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(Chicago ^istoticai ^ocieig 


Vol. I. 


^-^'^jS'-O^A /^u^-f.'C. 


Hioto-Mechanical Printing Co,, Chicago. 

Chicago Historical Society's Collection.^ — Vol. I. 


Englisli Settlement in Edwards County 

Founded in 1817 and 18 18, by 






Member of the Chicago Historical Society; Honorary Member of the Massa- 
chisetts and virginia historical societies; corresponding 


author of the 
"Sketch of Edward Coles, and the Slavery Struggle in Illinois in 1823-4." 






Introductory, - - - - - - -7 

Preface, ------- ~g 


Prefatory Remarks The Founders of the English Colony in Illinois, 
Morris Birkbeck and George Flower — Sketch of Morris Birkbeck 
— His Father a Quaker — His Education and Early Life in Eng- 
land — Travels of Birkbeck and Flower through France — Edward 
Coles visits Mr. Birkbeck and Family at Wanborough, England 
— Coles afterward becomes Governor of Illinois, and Birkbeck 
his Secretary-of-State — Characteristics of Birkbeck — Embarks for 
the United States in April, 1817 — Richard Flower, father of 
George Flower Reflections on the United States George Flower 
in the United States a year before Birkbeck. - - 17 


Mr. Flower sails for America — Reflections on the Voyage — Arrives 
in New York and visits Philadelphia — Invited to Monticello by 
Mr. Jefferson — Journey Westward -Visits Dr. Priestly, on the 
Susquehanna Lost in the Journey to Pittsburgh — From thence 
to Cincinnati The Town as he found it, and the People — The 
Neave Family Crosses the Ohio River and visits Lexington, 
and also Gov. Shelby, in Lincoln County — Fording of Dick's 
River — Hears of the Illinois Prairies for the first time — Visits 
Nashville, Tenn. -Meets Gen. Jackson at a Horse-Race — Return- 
ing East, visits Mr. Jefferson at Poplar Forest, South-western 
Virginia — Description of his House and his Personal Appearance, 
Dress, etc. Visits Col. John Coles, father of Edward Coles, in 
Albemarle County Passes the Winter with Mr. Jefferson at, 
Monticello — At the Inauguration of Mr. Monroe, and meets Ed- 
ward Coles for the first time -Mr. Birkbeck and his Family 
arrive at Richmond, from England. - - - 30 



Joins Mr. Birkbeck and Family in Richmond, Va.~Miss Andrews, 
afterward Mrs. Flower Decides to go Westward from Richmond 

Incidents of the Trip Meets with Mr. Sloo, U. S. Land-Officer 
at Shawneetown, who conducts the Party to Illinois — They stop 
at Gen. Harrison's, at North Bend — At Vincennes — "Painted 
Warriors, Bedecked Squaws, and Bedizened Pappooses" — Mr. 
Birkbeck's Daughters and Miss Andrews — Difficuities of the 
Journey bravely met— Mr. Birkbeck proposes Marriage to Miss 
Andrews Offer Declined — Leads to Unpleasant Results — The 
Party first Establishes itself at Princeton, Indiana— A Visit to 
the Shaker Settlement at Busro Account of the French-Cana- 
dian Settlement at Cattinet — Birkbeck and Flower start out in 
Search of the "Prairies" — Pass through New Harmony, George 
Rapp's Colony — Description of the Place — Cross the W^abash 
and enter the Territory of Illinois, and reach the " Big-Prairie " 
Settlement -" Boltenhouse Prairie," a Beautiful Sight — Crossing 
the W^abash into Illinois Territory Hard Ride to Birk's Prairie 

The Prairie Flies — Captain Birk, a Specimen Pioneer — His 
Cabin and his Family Intense Prejudice against the British — 
Journey Continued Reflections on the Pioneers — Long Prairie 
reached, where the English Settlement was afterward made — 
Return to Princeton — Timber-land around Boltenhouse Prairie 
entered at Shawneetown — Mr. Birkbeck to remain and Mr. 
Flower to return to England to procure more Funds and beat 
up for Recruits — The Decision made. - - - 47 

C H A P T P: R IV. 

Fear of Speculators — Desire to get a Grant of Land from Congress — 
Mr. Jefferson Written to on the Subject — His Answer — Letter of 
Hon. Nathaniel Pope Reply of Mr. Birkbeck — Mr. Flower sets 
out for England — Long Horseback-Trip to Chambersburgh, Pa., 
Accompanied by Mrs. Flower — The Outfit -Incidents of the Jour- 
ney—Mrs. Flower Remains in Chambersburgh - Mr. Flower Sails 
from New York to Liverpool — Birkbeck's Notes of Travel— The 
Emigrants. -------75 


» First Party of Emigrants Sail from Bristol, in March, 1818 — Many 
of Mr. Birkbeck's Neighbors and Acquaintances among them — 
Letter of Richard Birkbeck — Farm Operatives in England — Per- 
sons composing the Party — Land in Philadelphia, in June, 1818 


— Reach Pittsburgh and descend the Ohio River to Shawnee- 
town — Arrive at Mr. Birkbeck's Cabin on Boltenhouse Prairie — 
The "Barracks" — Sufferings and Discomforts of the Party — 
^A/^anborough laid off by Mr. Birkbeck — The next Ship -load of 
Emigrants sail in the following Month, April, 1818 — Mr. Flower's 
Family with this Party — Other Persons composing it -Mr. Flower 
Journeys by Carriage from Philadelphia to Chambersburgh with 
his Family — The last Ship-load of Emigrants proceeding to their 
Destination — Want of Harmony — A Black Sheep in the Fold — 
Arrival at Pittsburgh — Preparations to Descend the Ohio River 
— The Perils of the Voyage — Stop at Shawneetown — The Appear- 
ance of that Village — Mr. Fordham comes from the "Settlement" 
to meet Mr. Flower and Party at Shawneetown -His Account 
of Mr. Birkbeck and condition of Things at the "Settlement" — 
Preparations to receive the Emigrants — Log -Cabins and Hard 
Food — The first Meal on their Arrival — The blessing of an Iron 
Teakettle — No Greetings from the Settlement — Mr. Birkbeck and 
Mr. Flower at Variance — A short Dialogue between them, and 
they never Speak to each other afterward — The Cause of the 
Estrangement — First Experiences — A Sickly Season — A Time of 
Trial — Labor and Self-Sacrifices of Mrs. Flower — A Noble and 
True Woman — The first building of Cabins — Close run for Pro- 
visions — Settlement in Village Prairie — Emigrants coming in — 
Determined to lay out a Town — The spot Selected — The Name 
Agreed upon. ------ 95 


Albion Founded — Town Surveyed and Laid Off First Double Cabin 
— Benjamin Grutt — Albion a fixed Fact — The Log- Cabin and 
Blacksmith-Shop — Rowdyism — Wanborough springs into Exis- 
tence in 1818 — Efforts to obtain \Vater — Visit to Lexington, Ky. 
— Death of W^illiam Flower — Building in Albion — Old Park-House 
— The Sunday Dinner — Brick-Kilns — Market-House — New Roads 
— Brick-Tavern, built by Richard Flower — Kept by Mr. and Mrs. 
Lewis — The Mill — The first Store-keepers in Albion — Other early 
Settlers — Albion made the County-Seat -Erection of a Court- 
House and Jail — Pardon of Perry by Gov. Coles — Disappoint- 
ment of the People in not seeing him Hung — Consoling them- 
selves with Whisky and a score of Fights — Thirty-nine Lashes 
for a Poor Frenchman — Hon. W^illiam Wilson. - - 127 


Settlers on the Prairies about Albion — Death of Mrs. Wood — Other 


Settlers Billy Harris' Wagon Visiting England— Changes in 
the Country at large, but little in the respective Villages— An- 
other Ship-load of Emigrants — An Inappropriate Settler— John 
Tribe— ^A^illiam Clark and Family— 'William Hall, five Sons, and 
four Daughters -A W^ell Accident — Emigration for 1820 — Quar- 
rels of Doctors— Another W^ell Accident— Lawrence and Trim- 
mer Return to England— Col. Carter — Further Settlers Sketched 

Francis Hanks, Judge W^attles, and Gen. Pickering — Mr. and 

Mrs. Shepherd — Cowling, W^ood, Field, Ellis, and others — Old 
Neddy Coad — Accident to the Sons of W^illiam Cave — Small- 
Traders and Farmers. _____ 14^ 


Religion in the Settlement — Slanders and Efforts to divert Emi- 
grants — First Religious Services — Mr. Pell and Mr. Thomas 
Brown — The Hard- Shell Baptist Preacher — ^Jesse B. Browne and 
Judge Thomas C. Browne — The Campbellites or Christian Church 
— First Episcopal Church — Gen. Pickering an Active Promoter — 
Influence of the Chimes of Bells — Bishop Chase Consecrates 
the First Episcopal Church of Albion — William Curtis and his 
Congregation — Backwoodsmen don't like Episcopacy — The Meth- 
odist Church Better Adapts Itself to all Classes — Reflections 
Thereon — A Methodist Camp-Meeting Described — Mr. Birkbeck 
Unjustly Assailed — Mr. Birkbeck's Letter on Religion — Features 
of the Country — A Glowing Description — The Calumnies against 
the Settlement Rebutted by Mr. Birkbeck — Toleration of all 
Religious Opinions. ------ 167 


Consultations as to how to Advance the Interests of the Settlement 
— The Backwoodsmen begin to Leave the Country — The Michaels 
Brothers — Moses Michaels Elected to the Legislature, and a 
"Weak Brother" — Descriptions of Moving Emigrants — Two 
Early Settlers at Albion — One of them become Governor — Eng- 
lish and Americans have Different Ways of Doing Things — 
Emigrants from Europe bound for Albion, Land at nearly every 
Port from St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico — A Welshman 
Rides on Horseback from Charleston, S. C, to Albion — British 
Sketches Recognized by Britains at Albion— Cobbett's Abusive 
Letters about the English Colony— Cobbett's Character— Replies 
by Richard Flower and Morris Birkbeck Dr. Johnson's Charges 
Mr. Fearon's Book of Travels Adverse Influences — The Evil 
Genius of Slavery. ______ igj 



Conspiracy against Liberty — The Convention Question — The Salines 

— Slaves to Work them — How Slavery got a Foothold in Illi- 
nois — Provision of the First Constitution Gen. Willis Hargrave 

— System Adopted to Change the Constitution — The Project 
Exposed — The Pro -Slavery Men holding all the Offices ^Judge 
Samuel D. Lockwood an Exception — Letters of "Jonathan Free- 
man" and "John Rifle" — Handbill "Pro Bono Publico" — Letters 
of Morris Birkbeck — The Election takes Place — Vote of Ed- 
wards County — Slavery Men Active and Unscrupulous — Gov. 
Coles and Mr. Birkbeck — The latter appointed Secretary-of-State 
by Gov. Coles — The Outrages on Gov. Coles by the Slavery 
Party — Letter of Gov. Coles to Mr. Birkbeck — Honorable Excep- 
tions among the Pro -Slavery Men, Judges Wilson and Browne 
— The Cloven-Foot Exposed by the " Shawneetown Gazette " — 
The Death of Mr. Birkbeck — Buried at New Harmony, Ind. — 
His Memory to be held in Respect and Gratitude. - 197 


Interest in the Convention Question — Difference between Slaves and 
Servants — Asperity and Bitterness of the Contest — The English 
Spoke their Minds Freely — Estrangement of Friends— The Eng- 
lish Settlement Persecuted — Outrages on Colored Men — Lawsuit 
in Albion — Threatening Letters from Kidnapers — Negroes Kid- 
naped in Illinois and Indiana — The White-River Desperadoes — 
Their Arrest— Persecution of the Colored Men in the English 
Settlement — Mr. Flower sends a Colony to Hayti — Account of 
Difficulties Encountered — The Colony a Success in Hayti — The 
Settlement the Object of Detraction and Misrepresentation — The 
Fate attending Discoverers of New Countries and Founders of 
Colonies — Illustrated in the Case of William Penn — Treatment 
of Mr. Flower— The Cause of It. - - - - 257 


Murder of Richard Flower, son of George Flower — Murderer Ac- 
quitted — Large Outlays for Food — Relations between New Har- 
mony and the English Settlement — Robert Owen Buys Out the 
Harmonites — New Harmony under Robert Owen — Men Eminent 
in Literature, Science, and Art Flocked Around him — His Doc- 
trines Promulgated Spread far and wide — Mr. Owen's Ability as 
a Conversationist and His Equanimity of Temper — His Address 
to the People of Albion — Rapp's Society at New Harmony. 277 



The Emigration to the Settlement Recommences— The Character of 
the New Emigrants— The Crackles Brothers— Mr. Joseph Apple- 
gath — The Good Farms about Albion — The Courts at Albion — 
Attended by Eminent Men — Judge Wilson, Edwin B. Webb, 
Col. Wm. H. Davidson, Gen. John M. Robinson, John McLean, 
and Henry Eddy — Their Visits to Mr. Flower — "A Good Supper 
and a Bowl of Punch" — Dreary Travel to Vandalia — Bear-Meat 
and Venison — An Enormous Elk, the Patriarch of the Prairies — 
The Wrestling -Match between Indians and White Men — The 
Indians "Down" the Pale Faces — Perilous Ride from the W^abash 
to Vandalia — ^Judges Wilson and Lockwood and Henry Eddy out 
all Night in a Dreadful Storm — Horseback the only Mode of Con- 
veyance — Its Fatigues and Dangers. _ . _ 287 


Long Horseback Excursions — The Cabin Found — Island Grove — The 
Tempest — A Horrible Night — ^John Ganaway's Roadside-Cabin — 
A Good Breakfast — Hugh Ronalds' Adventure — Narrowly Es- 
capes Death — Long Journey by Wagon — The Delights of that 
Mode of Travel — Health and Spirits Renewed — Travel of that 
Day and the Present Day Contrasted — Mr. Hulme's Journey — 
Mr. Applegath, Bishop W^hitehouse, and Mr. kleinworth's — The 
First Crops and Cabins — The Progress Year by Year — The Peach- 
Orchard — A Happy Life — Children Growing Up — "Edward's Or- 
chard " — The Herding of Sheep— The Boys and Girls — A Charm- 
ing Picture of Rural Life — The Hospitable Home — Lingering on 
the Porch— The Welcome Guests— The Lost Child— The Finding 
and the Rejoicings — The W^ild Animals, Wolves, Bears, and 
Panthers — The Panther — The Wolf -Chase — Savage Fight be- 
tween Man and W^olf - - _ _ _ 297 


Marriage Certificates — Average Cost of Marriage — Erecting Log- 
Houses — Farmers Trading down the Mississippi — English Farm- 
Laborers become Substantial Farmers and Merchants in the 
English Settlement — Death of Richard Flower — His Character- 
istics—Frequent Festivities and Family Reunions at his House 
—The Ancestors of the Flowers — Mrs. Richard Flower— The 
Buckinghamshire Party of Emigrants Arrive— German Families 
Come in — The Yorkshire Men — Good Pork and Beef at Albion 
—The Last Ship's -Party Arrive— Travelers Visiting the Settle- 


ment — Mr. Hulme — Mr. Welby writes an Abusive Book — Mr. 
Fearon writes about the Settlement, but never saw It — The 
Thompsons — Mr. Stewart an Edinboro' Man — Mr. D. Constable, 
the Man with a Knapsack and a Cane — An Admirable Charac- 
ter — Good accomplished by Mr. Constable — Sir Thomas Beevoir 
and Lady Beevoir visit Albion — The Beevoir Family in England 
— The Aristocracy of England not a Degenerate Race — Lord 
Frederick's Sermon — The American Clock-Peddler — Defamatory 
Books Published in England — Constitution for a Library — Albion 
in 1822 and i860 — Its Peculiar Characteristics — No Printing-Press, 
no Bank, no Lawyer for Thirty Years — Log-Cabins give way to 
Comfortable Dwellings — Town and County Affairs — The Steady 
March of Improvement in the Settlement — A Bank Established in 
Albion — Two Lawyers settle there — The Doctors — ^Joel Churchill, 
the "Poor Man's Friend" — Cotton grown in the Settlement at 
one Time — Limits of the English Settlement — Never any Quar- 
rels between the English and Americans — Projected Railroads 
— The Southern Cross Railroad bought by Gen. Pickering — Solid 
Prosperity enjoyed by the Settlement — Annoyances by Insects — 
The "Tires." ....-- 311 

chaptp:r XVI. 

Difficulty in Establishing Schools — A certain Density of Population 
Necessary — In Town or Village of Spontaneous Growth — Oswald 
Warrington keeps School at Albion in its Earliest Days — Eng- 
lishmen and New Englanders build a School-House near Albion 
— A Colored Man Assists, but his Children are not Allowed to 
go to School — Another School-House — The Scene at a Country 
School— The Little Urchin at School— The Older Scholars The 
Log School-House on the Frontier an Interesting Object — Con- 
trasts with the Crowded City-School — Permanent Brick School- 
House at Albion — Influences of the School on the Backwoods- 
men — The Free-School System in Illinois — Statistics of Educa- 
tion in Edwards County — Agricultural Fair at Albion in 1858 — 
Splendid Display. .._--- 337 


Success of the English Settlement— What Contributed to it — Absence 
of Land-Speculation — Happy Adaptation of the Country to Set- 
tlers — Prairie-Land a Source of National W^ealth — Sterling Quali- 
ties of the English Laborers and Farmers — Solid Prosperity of 
the English Settlement in Illinois — The First Annoyances of 
the Early Settlers— The Prairie-Fires— First-Founders of Settle- 


ments rarely attain Material Advantages — What they are Com- 
pelled to Do — The Fate of William Penn — The Compensations 
— Striking Incidents in the History of the State — First -Settlers 
Accounted for — The Destiny which Befell the First-Founders — 
The Remains of Morris Birkbeck Repose in the Graveyard at 
New Harmony, Ind. — What became of his Children — The Pecun- 
iary Difficulties and Disasters of George Flower — Leaves Illinois 
with his Family in 1849, never to Return to Live — Cross the 
Great Wabash — Begin the \A^orld Anew in New Harmony — 
Removes to Mt. Vernon, Ind., in i860 — The Last Stage of Life's 
Journey — Ready to Lie Down to Sleep. - - - 3^9 

Appendix, - - -- - - - - 361 

Index of Subjects, - _. _ . . _ 375 

Index of Persons, ---__. -^(yj 


Hon. Isaac N. Arnold, president of the Chicago Historical Society. 

Dear Sir: — Twenty-two years ago there was presented to our 
Society a manuscript History of the EngHsh Settlement in 
Edwards County in this State, from its commencement in 1817, 
by George Flower. From a cursory examination of it myself, 
and what is said of it by those who have carefully read it, I am 
satisfied it is a valuable contribution to the history of our State. 

It is replete with incidents in the lives of Governor Edward 
Coles, Morris Birkbeck, George Flower, and others of that noble 
band who fought out the battle of freedom in our State in 
1823-4. In the interest of the history of the State, and in 
justice to the memory of Mr. Flower, who so generously pre- 
sented it to the Society, I think it should be published. I will 
cheerfully defray the expense. Yours, very truly, 

Chicago, August jo, 1882. L. Z. Leiter, 

L. Z. Leiter, Esq. 

Dear Sir: — I have received your note of the 30th of August, 
authorizing the publication at your expense of the History of the 
English Settlement in Edwards County in 181 7-1 8, by George 
Flower. For this act of liberality and appreciation of a valua- 
ble and extremely interesting contribution to the history of our 
State, you are entitled to the thanks, not only of our Society, but 
of all lovers and students of history. Your generosity enables 
us to publish a manuscript which would long ago have been given 
to the public, had not the means and resources of this Society 
been crippled by the Great Fire of 1871. • 

I desire to add to the thanks of the Society my own, not only 
for this liberal act, but for the example which I hope and believe 
will be the beginning of a series of contributions through the 
agency of our Society, to the history of our State and the North- 
West. Very truly yours, Isaac N. Arnold, 

Chicago, September 4, 1882. ^'resident of the Chicago Historical Society. 



AT a regular meeting of the Chicago Historical Society, 
held on the i8th day of September, i860, there was 
presented to the Society, through its Secretary, a manu- 
script History of the English Colony, founded by Morris Birkbeck 
and George Flower, in Edwards County, Illinois, in 181 7-1 8. 
This valuable and interesting manuscript was a contribution to the 
Society by the author, George Flower, who was then seventy-four 
years of age, and residing at Mount Vernon, Posey County, 
Indiana. In connection with this History was received a numer- 
ous collection of autograph letters written to Mr. Flower by 
Lafayette, Jefferson, Cobbett, the Abbe' Gaultier, Count de Las- 
teyrie. Madam O'Connor, D. Macdonald, then of New Harmony, 
Indiana, since Lord of the Isles and Earl of Skye, and other 
distinguished correspondents. Many of these letters are pub- 
lished in the Appendix. Most fortunately, both the manuscript 
and the letters had been borrowed from the Society a few days 
before the Great Fire in October, 187 1, and thus saved from 

Mr. Flower revised his History several times, but finally 
completed it when spending some time with his son, the 
Rev. Alfred Flower, at his residence on the prairie, about two 
miles south of Albion. In the latter part of the month of 
December, i86t, Mr. and Mrs. Flower made a visit to their 
daughter, Mrs. Agniel, at Grayville, White County, 111. Early in 
January, 1862, they were both taken sick on the same day. After 


an illness of one week they both died on the same day, Jan. 15, 
1862. What is somewhat remarkable, they had often expressed 
to each other, and to their family and friends, the desire that they 
might pass away together. Mrs. Flower died at dawn, and Mr. 
Flower breathed his last at twilight in the evening. At ten 
o'clock of the last day the attending-physician pronounced Mr. 
Flower out of danger, and there seemed to be every appearance 
of his speedy recovery. It was not till the afternoon that the 
family ventured to announce to him the death of his wife. 
Listening to the announcement with the utmost composure, there 
was soon noticed a sad change for the worse, and although his 
bedside was surrounded by his family, he passed away so quietly 
and peacefully that no on was aware of the exact moment he 
expired. They were buried in the same grave at Grayville. Mr. 
Flower was greatly exercised in regard to the condition of the 
country at the breaking out of the rebellion, and was intensely 
loyal to the Government. His fourth son, Richard Flower, was 
among the first to enlist in the First Indiana Cavalry, at Mount 
Vernon, Indiana, and he fell in the battle of Fredericktown, 
Missouri, in the fall of 1861. * 

The English Colony was located in Edwards County. The 
following letter from the Hon. Henry Dodge Dement, secretary- 
of-state, gives information as to the organization of the County 
in 1 8 14, and of the extent of country it then embraced. 
Edwards County was cut off from Gallatin, and then White 
County in 181 8 was taken off from the south part of Edwards. 
In its original organization Edwards County embraced an 
immense area of territory — extending practically from the Ohio 
river, (for its southern boundary, Gallatin County, was but rela- 
tively a short distance from the river,) to Upper Canada, including 
what is now a portion of the State of Wisconsin. The following 
counties, or parts of counties, in Illinois, have been formed out 
of the territory originally included in Edwards County: 

* The battle of Fredericktown was fought on October 18, 1861, by Col. 
J. B. Plummer (afterward Brigadier-General), of the nth Missouri volunteers. 
The rebels were commanded by Jeff. Thompson, called the "Swamp Fox," 
and Col. Lowe. The latter was killed. 







































In the presence of the stupendous changes in this State, it is 
hard to imagine that sixty-eight years ago, when Edwards County 
was organized, neither Cook County nor Chicago had any 
existence, but that the present Cook County was in the jurisdic- 
tion of PMwards County, and its county-seat at Palmyra, at the 
Falls of the Big Wabash, a town which has long since ceased to 

"Springfield, August 12, 1882. 
"Hon. E. B. Washburne, Chicago, 111. 

"J/y Dear Sir: — Replying to your favor of the 9th inst., it 
affords me pleasure to furnish you the following information 
concerning the formation of Edwards County, which would seem 
to answer your inquiries and put you in possession of the desired 
information. I begin by giving you the original boundaries of 
the County, as described in the act creating the County: 
"'Edwards County — organized Nov. 28th, 1814. 

" 'All that tract of country within the following boundaries, to 
wit: Beginning at the mouth of Bon Pas creek, on the Big 
Wabash, and running thence due west to the meridian line, (3d 
P. M.) which runs north from the mouth of the Ohio river; thence 
with said meridian line and due north till it strikes the line of 
Upper Canada; thence with the line of Upper Canada to the 
line that separates this territory from the Indiana Territory; and 
thence with the said dividing line to the beginning.' 

'"The south boundary line of the County was about the middle 
of Township three (3) south. The territory out of which 
Edwards was formed comprised the northern portion of Gallatin, 


and the eastern portion of Madison County. You will notice that 
Edwards not only embraced all the counties in eastern Illinois, as 
at present organized, north of Town three (3), south, but a large 
portion of Wisconsin as well. 

"If you will take a map of the State of Illinois and draw a line 
east and west from the 3d P. M. to the Wabash river, on the 
southern boundaries of the present counties of Edwards and 
Wayne, a glance from this line to the northern line of the State, 
and east of the 3d meridian, will disclose the present counties, 
embraced in the original county of Edwards. 

"The county-seat was located at Palmyra. If you so desire, I 
can send you a copy of the law forming the county. 
"Very truly yours, 

"Henry Dodge Dement." 

The History of the English Settlement of Edwards County, 
presented in this volume, can not fail to be read with avidity by 
all interested in the history of Illinois. The author, George 
Flower, was no ordinary man. He has left the impress of his 
character and his services upon the State, and his name will 
always be honorably associated with the colony he helped to 
found. Very few abler men than Morris Birkbeck and George 
Flower have illustrated the history of our Commonwealth. Mr. 
Birkbeck died before his work was accomplished, but not before 
he had acquired a name and a fame for the great service he had 
rendered in saving the State of his adoption from the curse of 
slavery. The services of George Flower, and his father, Richard 
Flower, in the same connection, entitle them, as well as Mr. 
Birkbeck, to the lasting gratitude of the people of Illinois. The 
narrative of Mr. Flower is simple and unpretending in its recitals, 
and it bears the impress of sincerity and truth. The story of the 
struggles, the labors, and the sufferings of the early colonists, the 
picturesque descriptions of scenes and events, give to the work 
all the interest of a romance. 

The following notice by Dr. Barry, the then librarian of the 
Chicago Historical Society, and which appeared in the Chicago 
Tribune of March 22, 1862, is appropriately inserted in this 
Preface, as a just tribute to the character of George Flower : 


A great and good man has recently passed from us. English 
by birth, American by choice, for near half a century he has 
lived among us — so long that the tide of events and the rush of 
adventurers had buried from general notice the silver-haired 
veteran who once was known, esteemed, and loved in both 
hemispheres — the honored founder of a prosperous colony, the 
enterprising agriculturist, the philanthropist of large and noble 
aims, the strong, true-hearted, and upright man. 

Born in Hertfordshire, England, in affluent circumstances, after 
gaining some distinction in his native land, by continental travel 
for the benefit of British husbandry, he came to America in 18 17 
(about thirty years of age) as the associate of Morris Birkbeck in 
founding the English Colony at Albion, Edwards County, in 

It was no mere sordid impulse that moved either of these 
noble-hearted men in their scheme of colonization. Republicans 
from deep-seated sentiment and conviction, the Great American 
Republic drew them hither as to a congenial home; and here 
they jointly established a thrifty and successful colony, transplant- 
ing on our virgin prairies the arts and improvements of the old 
mother-country. The large wealth possessed by Mr. Flower 
gave him a commanding, a responsible, and, we may add, a 
laborious position in the new Colony. His spacious mansion, of 
rare extent and furnish in a new settlement, was the scene of 
frank and elegant hospitality. Strangers of distinction sought it 
from afar. Improved husbandry, with the importation of the 
finest fleeces of England and Spain, followed the guiding hand of 
the master-mind. When the history of the Albion Colony is 
made known, it will form the truest and best eulogium of its 

The calm and philosophic wisdom of Mr. Flower, united with 
a rare benevolence, has left bright traces upon our Western 
history. In the eventful strife which accompanied the daring 
attempt in 1823 to legalize African slavery in Illinois, no one 
enlisted with a truer heroism than he. We, of the present day, 
and amidst the dire commotions of civil war, can but poorly 
comprehend the ferocity, and the gloomy portents of that strug- 
gle. So nearly balanced were the contending parties of the State, 
that the vote of the English Colony, ever true to the instincts of 
freedom, turned the scale — a handful of sturdy Britons being the 
forlorn hope to stay the triumph of wrong and oppression, whose 
success might have sealed forever the doom of republican and 
constitutional liberty in America. 

The failure of that nefarious plot against our young and noble 


State, led to an outburst of persecution and wrong against free 
negroes, and their humane protectors, transcending even the 
invidious hostiUty of our so-called Black Laws, and Constitutional 
Conventions. This wanton and vindictive display of inhumanity, 
it was, which gave birth to Mr. Flower's plan for the colonization 
of free negroes in Hayti, in which he had the confidence and 
cooperation of President Boyer, and which attracted an approv- 
ing notice throughout the Free-states of the North. Although 
but partially successful, its necessity being from the pressure of 
subsequent events less urgent, its conception and management 
reflect the highest honor upon its author, whose name will merit 
a place among the benefactors of mankind. 

Mr. Flower was one of that class of men whose fine insight, 
large views, and calm force raised him above all claimants to 
popular favor. In his early maturity, he numbered among his 
friends and correspondents such personages as our American 
Jefferson, Lafayette and the Comte de Lasteyrie of France, 
Madame O'Connor (the daughter of Condorcet) of Ireland, and 
Cobbett of Fngland. By these, and such as these, his superior 
tone of mind and character was held in true esteem. In the 
depths of our yet unfurrowed prairies, and amidst the struggle 
and hardship of a new settlement, a mind and heart like his 
might fail of a just appreciation by his cotemporaries. This sad 
realization he doubtless felt. But now that he has passed from 
the scenes of his voluntary exile, let it not be said that a true and 
gifted manhood was here, and we knew it not. There are those, 
now and to come, who will keep green his memory, and take 
pleasure in recovering the traces of a noble mind, that lived, 
thought, and acted only for human good. 

Mr. Flower met with the reverses which are the prescribed lot 
of the colonizers of the world. The wealth and position which 
he commanded, amidst the financial changes and revolutions of a 
new country, were finally succeeded by pinching penury, which 
but served, however, to reveal his inward strength, and his unfal- 
tering faith. For many years he has lived in retirement in 
Indiana, or among his revering children in this State; and for the 
last few years has beguiled his age in preparing a history of the 
Enghsh Colony he assisted to found, which he lived to complete, 
at the request of the Historical Society of Chicago. We hope, 
for the gratification of the public, and in justice to the author, its 
publication may not be long delayed. 

On the morning of 15th of January last, there lay, under the 
loving and sad watch of dear friends at Grayville, the sinking 
form of the aged man, whose worth we have poorly attempted to 


set forth, and the partner of his long and chequered Hfe. But a 
week before they had expressed the hope, often repeated, that, 
happily united in life, they might not be divided in their death. 
While the rays of the morning sun were gilding the room of the 
fond wife, she expired; and soon after the going down of the 
same day's sun, followed, to his last and welcome rest, the spirit 
of George Flower. 

A touching letter, communicating the particulars of Mr. Flow- 
er's death, was read at the meeting of the Chicago Historical 
Society, held on Tuesday last. The following appropriate and 
deserving tribute, passed by the Society, we have pleasure in 
placing in our columns : 

Whereas, This Society has received from the family of the late 
George Flower, the painful tidings of his recent death, at an 
advanced age, thus closing a career which for near half-a-century 
has been honorably devoted to the welfare of this, his adopted 
State ; 

Resolved, That in the estimation of the members of this Society, 
the late George Flower, as an enlightened and munificent founder 
of the successful colony of English settlers at Albion, in Edwards 
County, in this State, founded in 1817; as an early and distin- 
guished advocate of African colonization; as an intelligent, 
high-minded, and patriotic citizen, ever loyal to his adopted 
country and its institutions, seeking the highest good of the State, 
and laboring for the best interests of mankind, to whose advance- 
ment he freely dedicated his superior talents and ample fortune, 
unambitious of oftice or preferment, and in loyal obedience to 
the promptings of a nobly -gifted nature, merits a distinguished 
place on the roll of the founders and benefactors of this State, 
whose institutions he assisted to shape, and whose gigantic 
growth and prosperity he was permitted by Divine Providence to 
live to witness. 

Resolved, That the members of this Society entertain a grateful 
sense of the various and esteemed services rendered to its objects 
by their honored friend and associate, and especially in his 
finished and able memorials, recently prepared for this Society, of 
the English Colony at Albion, in whose foundation and growth 
he had so conspicuous a part. 

Resolved, That this Society deem it due and fitting to express 
their high and admiring esteem of the personal character of the 
late Mr. Flower, ever marked by a high-toned integrity, and the 
qualities of a true manhood; adorning prosperity by a munificent 
bounty and hospitality, and irradiating adversity — the adversity 


which too often befalls the founders of colonies and the benefac- 
tors of mankind — with the peace, constancy, and trust of an 
exalted faith. 

jResohed, That the Secretary communicate a copy of the above 
proceedings to the family and friends of the late Mr. Flower, 
with the expression of the heartfelt condolence of this Society 
with them in their most sad and painful bereavement. 

As to the portraits illustrating the volum.e, that of Mr. Birkbeck 
is from an engraving in the possession of E. G. Mason, Esq., of 
Chicago, and that of Mr. Flower from an oil painting belonging 
to his family. This portrait, life-size, together with a life-size 
portrait of Mrs. Flower, painted at the same time, and by the 
same artist, have recently been presented to the Chicago Histori- 
cal Society, by the family of George Flower. That generous gift 
is fully appreciated by the Society, and the donors will not only 
receive the grateful thanks of its members, but of all persons inter- 
ested in the early history of our State and of the English Settle- 
ment in Edwards County. These interesting portraits will adorn 
the rooms of the Society. 

The Chicago Historical Society and the public generally, are 
indebted to Levi Z. Leiter, Esq., of Chicago, for the publication 
of this volume. The Society, crippled by the disastrous fire of 
187 1, found itself unable to publish the History, and it was only 
after a recent examination of it by Air. Leiter when that gentle- 
man, with a liberality only equalled by his interest in everything 
connected with the history of our State, generously offered to 
defray the entire expense of the publication. 

E. B. W. 

365 Dearborn Avenue, 

Chicago, Oitcber 18, 1S82. 



English Settlement in Edwards County, 


Prefatory Remarks — The Founders of the English Colony in Illinois, 
Morris Birkbeck and George Flower — Sketch of Morris Birkbeck 
— His Father a Quaker — His Education and Early Life in Eng- 
land — Travels of Birkbeck and Flower through France — Edward 
Coles visits Mr. Birkbeck and Family at \Aranborough, England 
— Coles afterward becomes Governor of Illinois, and Birkbeck 
his Secretary-of-State — Characteristics of Birkbeck — Embarks for 
the United States in April, 1817 — Richard Flower, father of 
George Flower — Reflections on the United States — George Flower 
in the United States a year before Birkbeck. 

Narratives of voyages and travels, from the incidents 
and accidents recorded, and new scenes developed at every 
step, have been found acceptable reading, especially to 
youth, at all times and in every age. 

When given in plain style, and in simple language, by 
one who has witnessed what he relates, an interest is 
sometimes given, denied to fiction in its highest flights 
and brightest polish. 

The history of the settlement of a distant people, leav- 


ing a land of high civilization for a wilderness in another 
hemisphere, is an event of some interest at the time, both 
to actors and spectators. In after-times it may assume a 
deeper interest, perhaps as having given tone and charac- 
ter to a populous and powerful nation. 

In succeeding generations, when the wilderness -becomes 
peopled, and towns and cities are thickly strewn over its 
surface, all inhabited by a people speaking the same lan- 
guage, an observant trav^eler will find in different sections 
people of various habits and opinions. In communities 
sometimes proximate and sometimes remote from each 
other, there will exist distinctive features, mental and 
physical. Their opinions and intellectual power will 
differ, no less than their complexions, form, and feature. 
How to account for these differences will be an interesting 
problem to solve. Climate, soil, and position have their 
influences; but these are all subordinate to the hereditary 
bias. The opinions and habits, the physical, mental, and 
moral powers, handed down from father to son, are to be 
traced in distant generations. Thus we see that the 
religion, industry, and thrift of New England are to be 
traced to those qualities in the original band of its pilgrim 

The open-handed hospitality of Virginia, its display, 
dilapidation, and loose living, all may be traced to the 
jovial and careless cavaliers of King Charles' time, who 
settled on her shores. 

Pennsylvania, although largely intermixed with the Irish 
and German elements, yet preserves the characteristics 
and aspects of its first-citizens, the Quakers. 


The straight-streeted City of Philadelphia, with its sub- 
stantial houses, and neat keeping, reflects the drab-colored 
mantle of William Penn. 

Taking this view, the character, habits, and opinions of 
the first-founders and first-settlers of new colonies assume 
in after years an interest they would not otherwise possess. 

A distinction should ever be made between the first- 
founders and first- settlers. They are classes of men dis- 
tinguished from each other in mental tone and general 
habit. Explorers and first-founders, sanguine, enterprising, 
and imaginative, are generally men of theory and specula- 
tion. The first-settlers are more commonly endowed with 
caution, prudence, and closer business habits. Each class 
maintains for a considerable time its relative position, in 
the planting and early progress of a new settlement. 

The natural introduction to the history of the first- 
settlers will be a brief biographical sketch of its two first- 
founders, Morris Birkbeck and George Flower. 

The father of Morris Birkbeck, also named Morris, was 
an eminent Quaker preacher, whose good name was well 
known by Friends in America, as well as England. His 
teachings were held in much reverence at home and 
abroad, especially by the more orthodox members of the 
Society. Old Morris Birkbeck, as he was familiarly called, 
when his son arrived at manhood, althougli, eminent as a 
preacher, was by no means so for his wealth or worldly 
possessions. But he gave to his son a much better educa- 
tion than generally falls to the lot of the children of poor 

Morris Birkbeck, the younger, had a thorough knowl- 


edge of Latin, and a slight knowledge of Greek. In after 
life, he mastered the French language, so as to read it with 
facility. Whilst a mere youth, he was appointed clerk to 
the Friends' meeting. The duties of this office made him 
a ready writer, and a systematic arranger of documents 
and papers of every kind. Very early in life, he was 
placed upon a farm. A farmer's boy occupies much the 
same place upon a farm as a cabin-boy does on board a 
ship. There it was that he learned by experience farming 
and farm -work. When a young man, he hired a farm, 
with no capital of his own, and with a very small borrowed 
capital from a friend. He worked on the farm with great 
assiduity, not only with his own hands, but with such 
labor as his limited means allowed him to command. He 
watched his own progress, or rather his position, with 
great solicitude. He has often told me, that many times 
when he took stock, after valuing everything he possessed, 
even his books and clothes, he found himself worse than 
nothing. But, by perseverance, he acquired a little. He 
afterward took, on a long lease, a much larger farm called 
Wanborough, containing about 1500 acres of land, near the 
town of Guilford, in the county of Surrey. This farm he 
worked with great perseverance and spirit, always adopt- 
ing improvements in husbandry, implements, and live- 
stock, that appeared of any practical value. Here he 
acquired a competence, and brought up a family of four 
sons and three daughters, to whom he gave a liberal edu- 
cation, and to whom he was a most kind and indulgent 
parent. The farm of Wanborough was a hamlet. A 
parish is a large organization. It has its church, parson. 


vestrymen, church-wardens, and overseers of the poor. A 
hamlet is generally a small village or district, occupied, 
and often owned, by one person, who is required to pro- 
vide for the poor it may contain. 

The owner of* a hamlet is a potentate on a small scale, 
brought into immediate contact with its poor inhabitants, 
who, by the laws of England, he is bound to aid in sick- 
ness or want, by advice and material assistance. 

When I first became acquainted with Mr. Birkbeck he 
was nearly fifty years of age, enjoying excellent health. 
Mental and bodily activity were combined with unim- 
pared habits. In person he was below middle 'stature 
— rather small, spare, not fleshy, but muscular and wiry. 
With a constitution not of the strongest, he was yet a 
strong and active man. His bodily frame was strength- 
ened and seasoned by early labor and horseback exercise 
in the open air, which, from the nature of his business, was 
necessary to its supervision. He was capable of under- 
going great fatigue, and of enduring fatigue without in- 
jury. His complexion was bronzed from exposure; face 
marked with many lines; rather sharp features, lighted by 
a quick twinkling eye; and rapid utterance. He was origi- 
nally of an irascible temper, which was subdued by his 
Quaker breeding, and kept under control by watchfulness 
and care. But eye, voice, and action would occasionally 
betray the spirit-work within. Mr. Birkbeck, when I first 
became acquainted with him, 'was a widower. When no 
friend was with him, he would sometimes sit for hours 
in the afternoon, by his fire in the dining-room, his only 
companions a long-stemmed clay-pipe and a glass of water 
pn the table beside him. 


The little artificial thirst, occasioned by smoking, 
Avhen habitually allayed by mixed -liquors, or any thing 
stronger than water, he thought had betrayed into habits 
of intemperance, unsuspectingly, more individuals than 
any other single cause. A leisurely walk around the 
premises, an observation on anything out of place, with 
directions for the coming labor of the -morrow, generally 
closed the day's business with him. At tea, he again 
joined the faniily circle, enjoyed the exhilarating refresh- 
ment, and the abandonment of all business cares. 

The American supper does not exactly correspond to 
the English tea; it is a more formal, substantial, and busi- 
ness-li-ke meal, not differing from the breakfast and dinner 
that have gone before it. The men again return to their 
business, and the women to their household cares. Not 
so in England. The English tea, a light refection in itself, 
is the reunion of the family party, after the various occu- 
pations of the day. The drudgery of business and its 
cares are then put aside for the day. A new set of ideas, 
more light, buoyant, and refreshing, come to fill up the 
evening, preparing mind and body for sound and refreshing 
sleep — a book, music, conversation; if the women do any 
needle-work, it is then of the lightest kind, neither inter- 
rupting conversation, nor disturbing any reader. This 
enjoyment is common to all classes in England, in a 
greater or less degree; and the loss of this habit is to an 
Englishman one of his greatest privations in his change of 

If Mr. Birkbeck was absent from the family party in the 
drawing-room, — and sometimes he was so, even when his 


house was full of visitors — he was sure to be found in a 
small study, a little room peculiarly his own, trying some 
chemical experiment, or analyzing some earth or new 
fossil, that he picked up in his morning ramble in his 
chalk -quarries. 

After the downfall of Napoleon the First, and the peace 
succeeding to a twenty- years' war, Mr. Birkbeck invited 
me to accompany him in a journey to France, to which I 
readily acceded. We traveled together three months in 
that country, avoiding the usual route of English travel. 
Passing from north to south, to the shores of the Mediter- 
ranean, skirting the Pyrenees, and returning through the 
heart of the country by a more easterly route to Paris, we 
saw more of the country and Frenchmen at home, than 
we otherwise should, if confined to any one of the popular 
routes of travel. In this journey we saw much of the 
peasantry and small proprietors of the soil; and here and 
there an institution, and a man of celebrity and fame. 
The Botanical Garden at Avignon, then kept by the cele- 
brated de Candolle, was an object of great interest.* In 
the hot-house was the tall aloe ia its full size and beauty, 
in its centennial bloom. A little circumstance occurred 
that showed the extent to which art- culture existed in 

* Augustin Pyrame de Candolle was born in Geneva, Switzerland, in 177S, 
and died in 1841. He was a celebrated botanist and naturalist, and the 
author of many works, which acquired for him a European reputation. He 
was educated in Paris, and graduated as a doctor in medicine, but afterward 
devoted himself mostly to the study of botany. In 1806, he was charged by 
the French Government to study the state of agriculture in France; and, in 
1808, he accepted the chair of botany in the medical school at Montpelier. 
It must have been about this time that he kept the botanical garden at Avig- 
non, which Mr. Flower visited. 


France, among classes where it would -not be expected to 
exist. An artist had just arrived with a portfolio of the 
flowers of Spain — some hundreds of specimens, which he 
had copied in life-like size and color, with a beauty and 
fidelity of execution seldom witnessed. De Candolle, 
wishing to retain copies, and the time being short, distrib- 
uted these pictures in twos and threes to the young women 
of Avignon, many of them in humble life, as seamstresses 
and the like. In three days the originals were returned 
without a blemish, and the full number of copies depicted 
with an accuracy truly astonishing. But I must leave 
France and Frenchmen, or I shall never get to the English 
settlement in Illinois. On our return, Mr. Birkbeck pub- 
lished his " Notes of a Journey through France." It had 
a wide circulation in England, and was well known in 
America. It was the first book I met with at Monticello, 
the residence of Thomas Jefferson. 

About this time, Mr. Edward Coles, on his return from 
a diplomatic mission to Russia, spent some time in Eng- 
land. An introduction to Mr. Coles, in London, was 
succeeded by a visit to Mr. Birkbeck's house and family, 
at Wanborough. Here an intimacy and friendship was 
formed, in consequence of which Mr. Coles, when governor 
of Illinois, appointed Mr. Birkbeck his secretary-of-state.* 

* Edward Coles was elected governor of Illinois in August, 1822. His 
election was followed by a contest which continued for eighteen months, and 
which, for bitterness and desperation, is without a parallel in the history of 
political struggles in the United States. It resulted from an attempt to 
change the free-state constitution of the State into a constitution tolerating 
slavery. Though Gov. Coles was a Virginian, and had been a slave-holder, 
he was the leader of the free-state men who fought out the- great battle 
of freedom in that terrific conflict. By this time, the English Colony in 


Although neither at the time had any such thought, 
events were hurrying on to such a consummation. In 
less than two years from that time, they were both in 
Illinois, a little later, Mr. Coles as governor, Mr. Birkbeck 
as secretary-of-state. About this time, Mr. Birkbeck 
entertained vague notions of leaving England. The long 
lease of his farm was about expiring. He experienced, in 
common with other farmers, losses from the low price of 
farm produce, induced by the general peace after the long 
war. I was traveling at the time in America, dropping 
him an occasional letter; but not having a thought of his 
coming to this country. In fact, it was a crisis in his fate, 
which occurs in the life of every man at some period or 

Mr. Birkbeck was of quick perception and lively conver- 
sation, often spiced with pungent rernarks and amusing 
anecdotes. He was a general and rapid reader, and, not- 
withstanding his business occupations, showed a decided 
taste for scientific investigation, for which he always found 
time to indulge. For many years before leaving England, 
Mr. Birkbeck absented himself from Quaker meetings. His 
general and varied reading, and his more extended per- 

Edwards County had become an important factor in the politics of the State. 
Morris Birkbeck, Gilbert T. Pell, his son-in-law, George Flower, and Richard 
Flower, his father, played an important part in this contest in opposition to 
the slavery propagandists. The vigorous and facile pen of Mr. Birkbeck was 
called into requisition, and his writings were widely read, and exercised a 
great influence on public opinion. In 1824, David Blackwell, then secretary- 
of-state, resigned his office, and Gov. Coles, recognizing the services of Mr. 
Birkbeck and his exceptional fitness for the position, appointed him in his 
place, in September, 1824. The nomination had to be confirmed by the 
Senate, and that body, having a pro-slavery majority, rejected him on January 
15, 1825, he having held the office only three months. 


sonal intercourse served to loosen him in some degree from 
the sect in which he was brought up. Neither did he in 
dress conform to the pecuHar garb of the Societ}'. These 
were matters of deep concern to the strict ones of the 
sect. He did not consider himself as belonging to the 
Society of Friends, although I am not aware that he was 
ever formally disowned. These were the general antece- 
dents of Mr. Birkbeck before he left England. 

He embarked with his family from the port of London, 
on board the ship America, Capt. Heth, in April, 1817, and 
arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, in the month of June, of the 
same year. 

Richard Flower,* the father of George Flower, resided 
for many years in Hertford, the county town of Hertford- 
shire, twenty miles northeast of London. There, for more 
than twenty years, he carried on rather an extensive brew- 
ery. Having obtained a competence, he retired from busi- 
ness, and lived upon a beautiful estate, called Marden, 
which he purchased, situated three miles from Hertford. 

About this time, there was much uneasiness felt by all 
persons who had to do with agriculture in any way, whether 
as landlord, tenant, or laborer. The expenses of carrying 
on the long French war had introduced an artificial state 
of things. Heavy taxes, an inflated paper-currency, high 
price for farm produce, were circumstances with which the 
people of England had been so long familiar, that they 
felt as if this artificial system could never come to an end. 

* Richard Flower, like all the members of the English colony, was a strong 
anti-slavery and anti-convention man, and the trusted friend and correspond- 
ent of Gov. Coles. 


All this was changed at the peace. Tenants could not pay 
their rents; landlords were straightened; farmers who had 
taken leases, under high prices of grain, were losing money 
by wholesale. Laborers' wages were diminished; some 
were wholly unemployed, and many had to receive paro- 
chial relief The poor-rates increased another tax on the 
already-embarrassed farmer. This state of things, I have 
before said, produced great uneasiness; and many farmers 
and farm-laborers turned their eyes to other countries, to 
escape the pressure in their native land. 

The colonies of Great Britain — Australia, Canada, and the 
Cape of Good Hope — had each their partisans, and emi- 
grant aid-societies. A regular line of emigration was thus 
established to each of these colonies. France had many 
attractions — a fine climate, an amiable and courteous peo- 
ple, and the distance of removal short. Land was cheap, 
and a market at hand; and just that deficiency in agricult- 
ural improvement to tempt an Englishman to introduce 
the rotation of green crops, which had so much improved 
the agriculture of Great Britain. The old crop-and-fallow 
system, which formerly existed in Great Britain, at that 
time extended all over France, where wheat was cultivated. 
Difference of language was one great objection; but, more 
than all, the number and influence of the military and the 
clergy were, to persons of our republican tendencies, deci- 
sive against a residence in France as civilians. The arbi- 
trary conduct of some of the governors rendered a resi- 
dence in distant colonies somewhat objectionable. 

To persons of fastidious political tastes, the United 
States of North America seemed to be the only country 


left for emigration. What added much to the character of 
the United States, in the eyes of the people of Europe, 
was the judicious choice of her first ambassadors to the 
courts of Europe. What must not that nation be, that 
could send such men as Franklin and Jefferson to France, 
Adams and King to Great Britain. These eminent men 
were taken as samples of the talent and integrity of 
Americans, giving to the mass of the Republic a higher 
standard than it deserv-ed. Men of reading read all that 
was written about the country. The Declaration of Inde- 
pendence, the Constitutions of the United States and of 
each State, were among their reading. In these, the prin- 
ciples of liberty and man's political equality are so dis- 
tinctly recognized, that they really supposed them to exist. 
They did not reflect that a perfect theory on paper might 
be very imperfectly rendered in practice. This sometimes 
happens in other things besides political constitutions, as 
the following truthful anecdote will show: 

A celebrated agriculturalist gave a description in one of 
his published works of a new breed of pigs, which might 
be kept to great profit, at the same time giving a detailed 
account of their feeding and general treatment. A farmer 
from a midland county, in England, hastened to London, 
to acquire more precise information, and, if possible, some 
of the breed. His knock. at the door was answered by 
the lady of the house, who inquired his business. "She 
was sorry he had taken the trouble to come so far, her 
husband kept no pigs; his were only pigs upon paper. He 
wrote to show what might be done." The farmer was left 
to reflect that theorists are not always practitioners. 


It must not be hinted that the Constitution of the 
United States and the Declaration of Independence are 
only pigs upon paper. But certain it is that the great 
principles professed are marred and controvened by the 
American people. But a real liberty is found in the coun- 
try, apart from all its political theories. The practical 
liberty of America is found in its great space and small 
population. Good land dog-cheap everywhere, and for 
nothing, if you will go far enough for it, gives as much 
elbow-room to every man as he chooses to take. Poor 
laborers, from every country in Europe, hear of this cheap 
land, are attracted toward it, perhaps without any political 
opinions. They come, they toil, they prosper. This is 
the real liberty of America. The people of America, 
north and south, have never had the nerve to. carry the 
political principles on which their government was founded 
into practice, and probably never will. 


Mr. Flower sails for America — Reflections on the Voyage — Arrives 
in New York and visits Philadelphia — Invited to Monticello by 
Mr. Jefferson — Journey Westward — Visits Dr. Priestly, on the 
Susquehanna — Lost in the Journey to Pittsburgh — From thence 
to Cincinnati — The Town as he found it, and the People — The 
Neave Family — Crosses the Ohio River and visits Lexington, 
and also Gov. Shelby, in Lincoln County — Fording of Dick's 
River — Hears of the Illinois Prairies for the first time — Visits 
Nashville, Tenn. — Meets Gen. Jackson at a Horse -Race — Goes 
with Gen. Ripley in a Flat-boat to New Orleans — Returning 
East, visits Mr. Jefferson at Poplar Forest, South-western Vir- 
ginia — Description of his House and his Personal Appearance, 
Dress, etc. — Visits Col. John Coles, father of Edward Coles, in 
Albemarle County — Passes the Winter with Mr. Jefferson at 
Monticello — At the Inauguration of Mr. Monroe, and meets Ed- 
ward Coles for the first time — Mr. Birkbeck and his Family 
arrive at Richmond, from England. 

Having determined to visit America, I sailed from 
Liverpool in April, i8i6, in the Ship Robert Burns, Capt. 
Parsons of New York. The experience of the Captain 
can not be doubted, for he had crossed the Atlantic seven- 
ty-five times without accident, saving the loSs of a yard- 
arm. We arrived in New York fifty days after leaving 

My emigration, or rather my jonrney — for it had not at 
that time taken the decided form of emigration — was 
undertaken from mixed motives; among others the dis- 
turbed condition of the farming interest, and my predelic- 
tion in favor of America and its Government. 


Whoever has been brought up in tlie bosom of an afifec- 
tionate family, enjoying a fair share of refinement and 
ease, possessing rather an enthusiastic and sensitive tem- 
perament, will find that to leave his home and native land, 
perhaps never to return, is an impressive and sorrowful 
event. Standing alone on the stern of the vessel, or sur- 
rounded by unsympathizing strangers; carried on by an 
irresistible power into the wide waste of waters, the land 
of his birth receding and sinking out of sight; desolation 
and gloom oppress the soul, relieved only by sea-sickness, 
substituting physical for mental suffering. How different 
the feelings of a family party! Kind friends accompany 
them to a loving farewell. The ship contains to them all 
that is cherished and dear. A ray of light and hope illu- 
minates their watery way. Landing on the far-distant 
shore, they revel in all the allusions of anticipated bliss. 
There were no steamers and clippers in those days. In so 
long a passage as fifty days, our little cabin -party — only 
four of us, two Englishmen and two Frenchmen — at first 
strangers, soon became as a little band of brotherhood. 
At landing, this new bond was broken. Each individual 
hastening to his family or friends (for the other three had 
been in the United States before), the solitary stranger for 
a moment stands alone. The ocean behind, and a vast 
continent before him, a sense of solitude is then experi- 
enced, that has never been before and never will again be 
felt. "Baggage, sir!" and "what hotel!" restores him to 
the world and all its busy doings. • 

From New York, I wrote to the late President Jefferson, 
to whom I had a letter of introduction from his old friend, 


General LaFayette. A kind and courteous reply invited 
me to Monticello, an invitation I could not at that time 
accept. At Philadelphia, where I spent about six weeks, 
I became intimately acquainted with that most kind- 
hearted of men and active philanthropist, John Vaughan. 
The business of his life was to relieve the distressed, 
whether native born or foreign, and to give untiring assist- 
ance to the stranger, to aid him in carrying out his plans. 
To me he opened the institutions of the City, and intro- 
duced me to its best society. 

It was with him, at one of Dr. Wistar's evening parties, 
that I made the acquaintance of Mr. LeSeur, the French 
naturalist. We little thought then how soon we were 
destined to become neighbors in the distant West. He 
at Harmony, on the great Wabash, a place then but a few 
months old, and I at Albion, in Illinois, a spot neither dis- 
covered nor inhabited. To Mr. Jeremiah Warder and 
family I am much indebted for their cordial hospitality 
and considerate kindness, which was extended to every 
member of my father's family after their arrival two years 

In the first week of August, 1816, I was mounted on 
horseback, pursuing my journey westward. The first point 
of interest was the settlement of Dr. Priestly, on the Sus- 
quehanna, now known as Sunbury. A more romantically- 
beautiful situation can scarcely be imagined. At the time 
he made his settlement, that was the Far- West. From the 
after discovery of coal-mines, that whole district of coun- 
try has undergone such a change as to be scarcely recog- 
nizable. Far beyond, in the midst of wild forests, at a 


settlement forming by Dr. Dewese and a Mr. Phillips, an 
Englishman, I spent an agreeable week in exploring the 
heavy-wooded district of hemlock and oak that bordered 
on the Mushanon Creek. Dr. Dewese had built an elegant 
mansion, appropriate as a suburban residence for a retired 
citizen, but out of place in a small clearing in one of the 
heaviest-timbered and wildest districts of Pennsylvania. 
But neither Dr. Dewese nor Mr. Phillips were country-bred 
men. Their habits and tastes were formed in cities; and 
both, I believe, soon afterward returned to the city. From 
thence I made my way to Pittsburgh, through the wildest 
and roughest country that I have ever seen on the Ameri- 
can Continent. I was lost all day in the wood, without 
road or path of any kind, and a most exciting, though soli- 
tary, day it was to me. I climbed the tallest pines, only 
to see an endless ocean of tree-tops, without sign of human 
life. Toward night, I was relieved by a happy incident. 
The distant tinkling of a small bell led me to the sight of 
a solitary black mare. Dismounting, and exercising all 
my horse-knowledge to give her confidence, I at length 
induced her to come and smell of my hand. Seizing and 
holding her firmly by the foretop with one hand, with the 
other I shifted the saddle and bridle from my horse to her. 
With a light halter (which I always carried round the 
neck of my riding-horse) in one hand, I mounted my 
estray, and gave her the rein; in half an hour she brought 
me to a small cabin buried in the forest, no other cabin 
being within ten miles, and no road leading to it. So ter- 
minated my first day's experience in backwoods forest-life. 
It was no small job to get out of this wild solitude. 


It was noon the next day before I met a man. We 
greeted each other, we shook hands, we fraternized. Ah! 
poor man; I should have passed you in a street, or on a 
road, or, if to notice, only to shun. He was a poor Irish- 
man, with a coat so darned, patched, and tattered as to be 
quite a curiosity. He was one of a new settlement, a few 
miles off. How I cherished him. No angel's- visit could 
have pleased me so well. He pointed me the course, and, 
what was more, shewed me into a path. I soon afterward 
passed the settlement of his poor countrymen. A more 
forlorn place could never be seen. 

When at Pittsburgh, to Mr. Thomas Bakewell, and 
others, I was indebted for many civilities. Leaving the 
then town (now city) of Pittsburgh and its smoke, I 
passed in a north-western direction, to the almost -de- 
serted town of Harmony, built by Rapp and his associates. 
The large brick-buidings to be found in no other young 
American town, now almost uninhabited, looked very 
desolate. Rapp and his Society had removed, to form 
their new settlement of Harmony, on the Great Wabash. 
Further north, in the Barrens of Ohio, the settlement of 
Thomas Rotch (now Kendall) was just begun. Mr. and 
Mrs. Rotch, well-known members of the Society of 
Friends, were from Nantucket — the Rotches of Nantucket 
forming a large family connection, all extensiv^ely engaged 
in the whale-fishery. After spending two or three pleas- 
ant days with Mr. Rotch, I crossed the State of Ohio 
diagonally, in a south-west direction, passing through 
Cochocton and Chillicothe, to Cincinnati. This route 
led me through the then celebrated Pickaway Plains — 


SO named from the Pickaway Indians, whose town and 
chief settlement was placed thereon. A level prairie, 
about seven miles long and three broad, bounded by lofty 
timber, and covered with verdure, must have presented a 
grateful prospect in Indian times. Occupied by the white 
man, covered with a heavy crop of ripe corn, disfigured 
by zigzag fences, it now gave no inviting appearance. A 
narrow road, in some places deep in mud, ran the length 
of the plain. The little town of Jefferson (so called) was 
nothing more than half-a-dozen log- cabins, interspersed 
with corn-cribs. Not a garden, nor a decent house, nor a 
sober man to be found in the place. Although I had 
made my sixty miles that day, and the sun was setting, 
I pushed on without dismounting six miles further, to 
Chillicothe, situated on the opposite bank of the Scioto 
River. In crossing the river that night, not being aware 
of its size, and not knowing the ford, my journey had well- 
nigh found a watery termination. Sometimes swimming 
and sometimes wading, I was long in great jeopardy. 
At length, arriving safely on the other shore, I was well 
prepared by sixteen hours of almost continuous riding, 
for supper and a sound night's rest. 

Cincinnati, then a town of five or six thousand inhabi- 
tants, rapidly increasing and incumbered with materials 
for building, presented no very attractive appearance. In 
a small cabin, on the bank of the Ohio, about two miles 
above Cincinnati, were living two young men, brothers, 
with an aged and attached female who had been their 
nurse, and now kept their house. Mr. Donaldson, their 
father, had retn-ed from the English bar, to a farm in 


Wales, his two sons and their faithful nurse had emigrated 
to America. I was requested, before leaving England, to 
see them if possible, and here I found them. With Dr. 
Drake, then a young man, afterward a celebrated physi- 
cian, I became acquainted; I had boarded with his sisters 
in Philadelphia. Mr. Jeremiah Neave, a friend of Mr. 
Birkbeck, was at the time a well-known citizen of Cincin- 
nati. We became acquainted. He gave me the hospi- 
talities of his house. Mr. Neave, although a Quaker, was 
most ultra in his politics. An English Democrat, born in 
the political hot-bed of the French Revolution, he partook 
of the violent partizanship of those times. Against kings 
and priests he bore a sore grudge. The family of Mr. 
Neave have long since grown up, and are prominent and 
influential citizens of Cincinnati. 

At this time I could learn nothing of the prairies; not 
a person that I saw knew anything about them. I had 
read of them in Imlay's work, and his vivid description 
had struck me forcibly. All the country that I had passed 
through was heavily timbered. I shrank from the idea of 
settling in the midst of a wood of heavy timber, to hack 
and hew my way to a little farm, ever bounded by a wall 
of gloomy forest. 

Crossing the State of Kentucky to Lexington, I was 
much attracted by the beauty of the blue -grass farmS. 
In my short stay at Lexington, I became acquainted 
with Dr. Short, Mr. Trotter, and Mr. Saunders, — the 
latter an earnest and enterprising speculator and spirited 
farmer and introducer of improved stock. From Lex- 
ington I went into Lincoln County, to see Governor 


Shelby. Before reaching his residence I had to cross 
Dick's River. This was a peculiar stream, unHke any 
other that I had crossed. It ran over a bed of Hme- 
stone boulders as rapidly as a mill-race, and the ford 
was a curve, to be traced only by the eye of the stranger* 
by the deeper boiling of the water over its rough and 
rocky bottom. I met a man, three miles from the ford, 
who gave me warning of its force, and of its deep and 
drowning water on either hand if I missed the ford. I 
hesitated, fearing for the steadiness of my nerves. My 
head swims in rapid water; and I can not tell whether I 
am going up stream or down. I cautiously entered, keep- 
ing rather a tight rein on my little nag ; a precaution 
unnecessary, perhaps; for to turn round was impossible 
when once in that rush of water. The water was soon 
over my saddle-bow, while the haunches of my horse 
were higher than his withers. Another step and the 
pomel of my saddle was dry, but the water was running 
over my crupper. In this way we slowly and hazardously 
went, the water beating hard against us the whole time. 
We came out safely it is true; but I confess to have felt 
more fear, and exhaustion from fear, than at any other 
period in all my journeyings. But the fording of streams 
great and small is among my most disagreeable experi- 
ences in American horseback -travel. It did impress me 
strongly no doubt ; for to this period of my life the dark 
and rushing water of Dick's River occasionally troubles 
me in my dreams. 

Governor Shelby settled in the place he then occupied 
when it was a canebrake, and the buffalo all around him. 


Old Governor Shelby was a decided character — an honest, 
hasty man, somewhat hot-headed. He commanded the 
Kentucky horse-volunteers during the War of i8i2. Gen- 
eral Harrison was explaining to his officers the tactics to 
be observed at an approaching engagement. "I know 
nothing about your tactics," said old Shelby, "but show me 
the enemy, and my boys shall whip him." It was at Gov- 
ernor Shelby's house that I met the first person who con- 
firmed me in the existence of the prairies. It was Mr. 
Shelby's brother. He had just come from some point on 
the Mississippi, across the prairies of Illinois to the Ohio 
River, about Shawneetown. 

This was enough; I felt assured of where they were, 
and that, when sought for, they could be found. It was 
then too late in the season for me to go to explore them. 
It was now the last Aveek in October, and I could not 
expect to see them other than as a mass of burnt ground, 
or covered with snow. So I decided to proceed with my 
journey southward and eastward, and endeavor to reach 
Poplar Forest, a possession of Mr. Jefferson's, on the west- 
ern frontier of Virginia, before Christmas. A few days 
more and I was at Nashville, the capital of Tennessee. 
Before going to Nashville, I swerved to the right to get a 
peep at the Mammoth Cave, some of the wonders of which 
were just beginning to be talked about. The country 
about it was uninhabited and wild. Mr. Miller, the only 
small farmer near, went with me there with half-a-dozen 
candles in his hand. We had not traveled more than a 
hundred yards before I was satisfied with my exploration. 
I saw enouefh of the nature of the rock to understand the 


possibility of its extent. I had no wish to disturb the 
millions of bats that were hanging over our heads, with 
our slender provisions for exploration. The accounts of its 
extent were not generally credited at that time in America; 
and, upon my return to England, I was asked by well- 
informed men whether Americans were not playing on 
the credulity of Europeans. 

Approaching the town of Nashville, my horse showed 
unusual signs of sprightliness. With head and tail erect, 
he went with a bounding step, and seemed to recog- 
nize the spot. A negro boy rode up to my side, and 
said: "Sir, where did you get that horse.'" "At Phila- 
delphia, a place a long way off. Do you know the 
horse ? " " Lors, yes." He belonged to Major some- 
body, I forget the name, who rode him East, the year 
before, and sold him. When at Nashville, some periodical 
race came off. I rode out with the crowd to the course. 
Generals Ripley and Jackson were pointed out to me; the 
former of fair complexion and hght hair, rather a young 
man, carrying his head stiffly from a wound in the neck ; 
the latter an older man, lean and lank, bronzed in com- 
plexion, deep-marked countenance, grizzly-gray hair, and 
a restless and fiery eye. Jackson had a horse on the 
course, which was beaten that day. General Jackson was 
a whole man in anything he undertook. He was a horse- 
racer that day, and thoroughly he played his part. The 
recklessness of his bets, his violent gesticulations and im- 
precations outdid all competition. If I had then been 
told that he was to be a future president of the United 
States, I should have thought it a very strange thing. 


Years afterward, when I knew him an older and, I pre- 
sume, a wiser man, I often thought of the scenes in which 
my first impressions of him were made. 

I was some days in doubt whether to accept the invita- 
tion of General Ripley to accompany him in his flat-boat, 
then prepared to take him and his staff to New Orleans. 
He proposed that, after reaching New Orleans, I should 
visit the prairies of Oppelousas, and that, should I return 
to Virginia, I should do so by way of the Choctaw and 
Chickasaw nations, in Mississippi and Alabama, over the 
tract that the Abbe Raynal had formerly traveled. The 
offer was tempting, but I decided to make my visit to Mr. 
Jefferson. A cold wind and a slight fall of snow warned 
me that there was no time to be lost in passing the Ten- 
nessee Mountains. I fell in with a party of four Virginia 
planters and a North-Carolina doctor, returning homeward 
from an excursion into Missouri. We traversed the State 
of Tennessee at a rapid rate from west to east, and entered 
the western part of Virginia the latter part of November. 
A part of the region we traveled was mountainous, and, in 
a great degree, peopled by a very poor and, a portion of 
them, a very bad description of people. But a few years 
previous, it was the resort of notorious robbers and cut- 

One fellow, I think named Harp, was the terror of the 
country. The governor offered fifty dollars for his head. 
After many ineffectual attempts at capture, in a death- 
struggle with a man as desperate as himself, Harp's foot 
slipped. He fell with his adversary upon him, who, taking 
advantage of his position, cut off his head with his butcher- 


knife, put it into his saddle-bags, rode off with it to the 
governor, claimed and got his reward. Even at the time 
of my journey, a traveler was occasionally missed. 

After our second day's journey, we stopped for the night 
at the foot of the mountains, at a place of very suspicious 
appearance. The men of the house had not the right look 
with them. There appeared to be no one ostensible land- 
lord. We observed four different men, who came in during 
the evening, eyeing us carefully and exchanging but few 
words. The wretched negroes were in rags, and their 
every movement indicated marked fear and dread. The 
white woman, so called, that poured out the coffee, in 
appearance and demeanor, seemed to occupy no higher 
position than the negroes. A stack of eight rifles, occupy- 
ing a corner of the room, were one by one withdrawn 
during the evening. The long shed-like room we occupied 
was left for travelers; the family or company of discredit- 
ables that occupied this establishment living apart in 
cabins at a distance from the travelers' room. I laid down 
in my clothes, doubling up my coat and under 
my pillow, as my custom was, resolved to keep watch 
during the night. My companions (one or other of them) 
were awake until morning. 

One after the other, each of our hosts (if they might be 
so called) dropped in on some pretence, and soon went out 
again. We were watching and being watched, and I think 
each party was conscious of the fact. But nature would 
not entirely resign her dues. It is hard to keep awake a 
whole night, after a day's fatigue on horseback. Before 
morning I was in a sound sleep, from which I was aroused 


by my companions for an early start, as they said aloud. 
As our bill had been paid the night before, nothing hin- 
dered us from going to the stable for our horses. Not one 
of them had touched their oats or corn. They looked 
badly, and one came out rather lame in a hind leg. The 
mountain road was steep. The morning's mist did not 
permit us to see ten steps before us. Our progress at first 
was necessaril}' slow, and made slower by the lameness of 
one of the horses. When at a sufficient distance, we made 
a general halt. After a whispered consultation by my 
companions, the doctor, as he was called (as much a horse 
as human doctor from his appearance), examined the lame 
horse, and pronounced him "string cress'd." This opera- 
tion is performed by taking a thread of silk or a long hair 
from a horse's tail and tying it rather tight around the ten- 
der part of the fetlock, just over the hoof, but under the 
short hairs that drop over the crown of the hoof, and in 
this way the thread is concealed. Inflammation accom- 
panied by lameness speedily ensues. The doctor said the 
horse had been cress'd, but the string had been taken off 
before leaving the stable. From this time onward, we were 
on the lookout, and kept close order. When beyond the 
distance of apprehended danger, our tongues were loosened, 
and many stories of robberies and murders were told. 
The horses not eating was accounted for by their teeth 
being greased, which, it is said, will effectually prevent a 
horse from eating. I had traveled a thousand miles alone; 
I now felt satisfied with company. The road was moun- 
tainous and rocky, the accommodations bad, and the peo- 
ple uneducated, and frequently intemperate — in short of 


the class called "poor whites," although many were not 
without means. We entered the State of Virginia at 
Abington. I found Mr. Jefferson at his Poplar - Forest 
estate, in the western part of the State of Virginia. His 
house was built after the fashion of a French chateau. 
Octagon rooms, floors of polished oak, lofty ceilings, large 
mirrors, betokened his French taste, acquired by his long 
residence in France. Mr. Jefferson's figure was rather 
majestic: tall (over six- feet), thin, and rather high-shoul- 
dered; manners, simple, kind, and courteous. His dress, 
in color and form, was quaint and old-fashioned, plain and 
neat — a dark pepper-and-salt coat, cut in the old quaker 
fashion, with a single row of large metal buttons, knee- 
breeches, gray-worsted stockings, shoes fastened by large 
metal buckles — such was the appearance of Jefferson when 
I first made his acquaintance, in 18 16. His two grand- 
daughters — Misses Randolph — well-educated and accom- 
plished young ladies, were staying with him at the time. 

After a brief stay at Poplar Forest, I proceeded to the 
house of Col. John Coles, in Albemarle County. Messrs. 
Isaac and Walter Coles, brothers, lived with him. Mr. 
Edward Coles, the youngest brother, was then in England, 
forming an acquaintance with Mr. Birkbeck. The sister. 
Miss Coles, had just been married. Her husband, Mr. 
Stevenson, then a young lawyer, afterward minister to 
Great Britain, was then on a bridal visit.* 

* Col. John Coles was an officer of the Revolution, and belonged to the 
highest type of the old-school Virginians. At his plantation, called Ennis- 
corthy, he dispensed a liberal and generous hospitality, and he had, among 
his guests, many of the most distinguished citizens of the Commonwealth in 
that day. His oldest son, Isaac Coles, was the private-secretary of Mr. Jeffer- 


The greater part of the whiter I passed at Monticello, 
the permanent residence of Mr. Jefferson, in Albemarle 
County. The chief charm of the visit was in the evenino" 
conversations with Mr. Jefferson," who gave me the inner 

son, during his two terms of the presidency, and his brother, Edward Coles, 
subsequently governor of Illinois, was for six years the private secretary of 
Mr. Madison. Enniscorthy is on the Green Mountains, in Albemarle County, 
about fifteen miles from Charlottesville, the county seat. The whole surround- 
ing country is beautiful, and, at the epoch of Mr. Flower's visit, the neighbor- 
ing plantations were in the highest state of cultivation. The proprietors were 
generally men of wealth, education, and refinement, who devoted themselves 
to agriculture, con amore. The large and elegant mansion on the Estouteville 
plantation, adjoining Enniscorthy, was planned and built by Mr. Nelson, the 
architect of the University of Virginia, brought out from England by Mr. 
Jefferson. '1 he attention of the visitor to Enniscorthy is attracted by a small 
cemetery, in which were buried many members of the Coles' family. Here 
also repose the remains of Andrew Stevenson, the speaker of the House of 
Representatives for eight years, and afterward minister to Great Britain. * His 
second wife was Sarah Coles, the daughter of Col. John Coles and sister of 
Gov. Edward Coles, a lady of remarkable beauty and accomplishments. Hon. 
John White Stevenson, ex-governor and ex-United States senator from Ken- 
tucky, is the son of Andrew Stevenson, 

* Nothing can be more interesting than the life-like sketch of Mr. Jefferson 
as Mr. Flower first saw him, in 1816, at Poplar Forest. Mr. Jefferson 
was passionately fond of agriculture, and never so thoroughly happy as when 
overlooking his plantations. His large possessions at Monticello did not seem 
to satisfy him, and he purchased an estate in Bedford County, which he called 
Poplar Forest, and which was but a short distance east of Lynchburg. 
The visit to Monticello of Mr. Flower, with his rare intelligence, his literary 
tastes, and his knowledge of men and things in Europe, must have been in- 
teresting to both parties. It is melancholy to reflect on the changes which 
have taken place at Monticello since Mr. Flower's visit in 1816-7. That 
home, of the "author of the Declaration of Independence, the statute of 
Virginia for religious freedom, and the father of the University of Virginia," 
known the world over almost as widely as Mount Vernon, has gone into the 
hands of strangers, and fallen into ruin and decay. Persons from distant 
States and countries, holding the memory of Mr. Jefferson in reverence and 
affection, in visiting Monticello, now find the house which he built, and in 
which he lived and died, closed to all comers. 

* Personal observation. 


history of events, before only known to me, as to the 
world generally, in the published records or outside history, 
which is all that the public is generally allowed to see. 
I was much attracted by the features of the country, and 
by the climate of Western Virginia. But the brand of 
slavery was upon the land. Dilapidated fences, decaying 
homesteads, worn-out land everywhere met the eye, giving 
an uninviting aspect to a country perhaps more favored 
by nature than any other portion of the Union. 

Early in the spring, I was present at the inauguration of 
James Monroe as president of the United States. At 
the house of Mr. Madison, I saw, for the first time, Mr. 
Edward Coles, who had just returned from Great Britain. 
I again returned to Philadelphia, after a nine-months' ab- 
sence, having accomplished a journey of two thousand 
miles, without loss of health or accident, and without dis- 
turbance or dispute with any human being. I was staying 
with my friends at Philadelphia, in some doubt whether to 
return to England or to remain a while longer and see 
something more. I had almost decided to return, when I 
unexpectedly received a letter informing me of the arrival 
of Mr. Birkbeck and his family at Richmond. From my 
numerous acquaintance, Philadelphia had become my 
American home. It is one of the painful experiences of a 
traveler to be torn, perhaps forever, from new friends, from 
whom he has received many civilities and much kindness. 
It is like tearing up a plant that has just taken fresh root. 
There were, staying in Philadelphia, two young men, one 
from Norfolk, England, another from London, who in- 
tended to go Westward with me, should I so decide; but, 


during the winter, their destinations were altered. One 
had received an army appointment in the East-Indies, the 
other to fill some situation in Australia. We all three 
walked together to the wharf. The bells of the steam- 
boats, as they simultaneously struck their warning for 
departure, were to us the knell-note of a life-long separa- 
tion. We shook each other by the hand for the last time. 
I stepped on board the Baltimore boat, they on board the 
one bound for New York; and we were lost to each other 
forever more in this world. My first solitary journey was 
now ended, and a new experience in travel about to begin. 


Joins Mr. Birkbeck and Family in Richmond, Va. — Miss Andrews, 
afterward Mrs. Flower — Decides to go Westward from Richmond 
— Incidents of the Trip— Meets with Mr. Sloo, U. S. Land-Officer 
at Shawneetown, who conducts the Party to Illinois — They stop 
at Gen. Harrison's, at North Bend — At Vincennes — "Painted 
W^arriors, Bedecked Squaws, and Bedizened Pappooses" — Mr. 
Birkbeck's Daughters and Miss Andrews — Difficuities of the 
Journey bravely met — Mr. Birkbeck proposes Marriage to Miss 
Andrews — Offer Declined — Leads to Unpleasant Results — The 
Party first Establishes itself at Princeton, Indiana — A Visit to 
the Shaker Settlement at Busro — Account of the French-Cana- 
dian Settlement at Cattinet — Birkbeck and Flower start out in 
Search of the "Prairies" — Pass through New Harmony, George 
Rapp's Colony — Description of the Place — Cross the Wabash 
and enter the Territory of Illinois, and reach the " Big-Prairie " 
Settlement — " Boltenhouse Prairie," a Beautiful Sight — Crossing 
the W^abash into Illinois Territory — Hard Ride to Birk's Prairie 
— The Prairie Flies — Captain Birk, a Specimen Pioneer — His 
Cabin and his Family — Intense Prejudice against the British — 
Journey Continued — Reflections on the Pioneers — Long Prairie 
reached,- where the English Settlement was afterward made — 
Return to Princeton — Timber-lapd around Boltenhouse Prairie 
entered at Shawneetown — Mr. Birkbeck to remain and Mr- 
Flower to return to England to procure more Funds and beat 
up for Recruits — The Decision made. 

At Richmond, I joined Mr. Birkbeck and his family, 
composed of nine individuals. Himself aged about fifty- 
four, his second son, Bradford, a youth of sixteen, his third 
son, Charles, a lad of fourteen, a little servant -boy, "Gil- 


lard ", who had lived with Mr. Birkbeck all his life, about 
thirteen years old, and with the party was a cousin of 
mine, and of my age — twenty-nine, Mr. Elias Pym Ford- 
ham. Of the females, Miss Eliza Birkbeck was nineteen, 
Miss Prudence Birkbeck, sixteen, and Miss Eliza Julia 
Andrews, twenty-five. 

Miss Andrews (now Mrs. Flower) was the second daugh- 
ter of Rev. Mordicah Andrews of Eigeshall, in the county 
of Essex, England. There was great friendship between 
the members of Mr. Birkbeck's family and Miss Andrews, 
and, latterly, she stood almost in the relation of an elder 
daughter. Being on a visit to VVanborough, at the time 
Mr. Birkbeck decided on emigrating to America, she con- 
sented to accompany them, and under his protection to 
share the adventures that awaited them in the new world. 
A little orphan girl, Elizabeth Garton, completes the list 
of Mr. Birkbeck's family in America, and with me added 
to them made up the party that made their way into 

These were the original band of explorers. Of this party 
thus composed forty years ago, but one is now living in the 
Settlement — the little poor boy (now old man with large 
family and independent property) Gillard. Yet, consider- 
ing the length of time, the many risks and dangers they 
encountered, a large proportion of this little band are 
living. Three are dead, seven are living and widely scat- 
tered : one in England, two in Mexico, one in Australia, 
two in Indiana, and one in Illinois. Turning our eyes 
from the scattered remnant now standing on the four 
quarters of the globe, we will proceed on our journey. 


After consultation, we decided to go westward, exactly 
where was uncertain. The journey to Pittsburgh by 
stage was a rough afifair, in those days. But rough as it 
was the convenience of a stage-coach was to be found no 
farther. From some accident to the stage, the whole 
party were obliged to walk twelve miles into Pittsburgh. 
By descending the river Ohio in an "Ark", we should see 
nothing of the country, and we had no fixed point to go 
to. It was from this point that our journey of exploration 
may have said to have begun. Each individual of our 
party of ten was to be furnished with a horse and its 
equipments. An underblanket for the horse, a large 
blanket on the seat of the saddle for the rider, a pair of 
well-filled saddle-bags, all secured by a surcingle, a great- 
coat or cloak, with umbrella strapped behind, completed 
the appointments for each person. The purchase of the 
horses devolved upon me. In three days I had them all 
mounted. Imagine our cavalcade performing its journey 
day by day across the then wilderness states of Ohio and 

The omens of our first day's journey were not auspi- 
cious. Crossing a bridge made of large logs, over a creek 
emptying into the Ohio River, one of the logs was missing, 
leaving a gap nearly two feet wide, showing the water 
twenty feet below. My horse, young and inexperienced, 
leaped high and fell, rolling over me, and falling into the 
Ohio River, twenty feet below. She went down out of 
sight. In a few seconds she rose again, and with some 
difficulty, was saved from drowning and secured, with no 
other loss than a broken umbrella and a soaking to the 


contents of the saddle-bags. Farther on, Bradford Birk- 
beck's horse took fright and ran furiously with him 
through the woods, endangering life and limb of the rider. 
Luckily the girths broke and spilled everything, leaving 
the rider, fortunately, with whole bones, but with some 

The regular days' journey, steadily pursued, soon broke 
in both horse and rider. In fine weather and hard roads, 
it was very pleasant, no remarkable fatigue felt, the party 
kept well together, chatting agreeably by the way. At 
other times, from excessive heat or some atmospheric 
change, a general languor prevailed, and some dropped 
behind at a slower pace. The party would be sometimes 
strung out, one behind the other, for three or four miles. 
The horses, too, became spiritless and dull, so as to require 
a touch of the whip or spur. On such occasions, nothing 
brought us into order like a loud clap of thunder and a 
drenching shower of rain. The privations on the journey 
were many. The taverns, as they were called, but, in 
reality, often mere shanties, were sometimes destitute of 
either door or window, affording only a place on the floor 
to spread cloak or blanket. The hot sun, the sudden 
storms, accompanied by torrents of rain, thunder and light- 
ning, dangers imminent from crossing swollen and rapid 
streams were incidents of travel, borne not only with equa- 
nimity but cheerfulness by every member of the party. 
So the journey wore along. 

At Cincinnati, we were entertained in the hospitable 
house of Mr. Jeremiah Neave. Before leaving the city, we 
became acquainted with a Mr. Sloo, register of the newly- 


opened land-office at Shawneetown, in the Territory of Illi- 
nois. He gave us a more distinct account of the prairies 
in his land-district. He was going to Illinois on horseback, 
and offered to accompany and conduct us there. By his 
advice, we added a pack-horse to our already-numerous 
train; for the journey through the wilderness of Indiana 
would be attended by more discomforts than the track 
through Ohio from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati. Our first 
halt, after leaving the city, was at the house of a friend of 
Mr. Sloo's, at North-Bend — General Harrison. I thought 
it rather a cool proceeding to introduce such a strong 
party of strangers to the house and family of an absent 
friend. The pack-horse was long in arriving. Bradford 
had his difficulties; the pack turned in the streets of Cin- 
cinnati, dropping a blanket here and a coffi;e-pot there, the 
horse walking on with the greatest indifference, with the 
pack swinging under his belly, strewing its contents from 
one end of the street to the other, to the mirth of the 
spectators and amid the jeers and jibes of all the urchins 
of the place. Perseverance conquers all things. Bradford 
gathered up his traps and joined us late at North-Bend. 
We were very kindly received by Mrs. Harrison, and took 
our departure the next day. Cabins now became more 
distant to each other, roads deep in black mud, the forest 
more unbroken, dark, and gloomy. The additional blank- 
ets and food on the pack-horse were often needed. About 
two-thirds of the way across Indiana, the road forked. 
Mr. Sloo took the southern road, pointing to the lower 
ferry on the Wabash, leading to Shawneetown. We con- 
tinued due west on the road to Vincennes. 


One sultry evening, when in the deep forest, with our 
line extended for two or three miles, black clouds suddenly 
gathered up, extinguishing what light there was. Thun- 
der, lightning, and rain descended and continued, accom- 
panied by violent wind. The storm came so suddenly 
that the stragglers in the rear were driven into the 
w'oods, and there had to stay. Myself and three or four 
at the head of the line pushed on and reached a cabin. 
By noon, the next day, all had got together again. 

Just before leaving the timber to enter the prairie, on 
which the town of Vincennes stands, we met an Indian on 
horseback. A new blanket wrapped around him, leggins 
and moccasins adorned with beads, a bandage round the 
head sustaining a bunch of feathers; his face and breast 
painted ochre-red, with tomahawk and rifle, a stalwart 
savage was he. Others sat in groups among the bushes, 
cooling their legs in the lagoons of water, or engaged in 
conversation with each other. Others lay scattered on the 
ground, some asleep and some dead drunk. As we pro- 
ceeded their numbers increased. Painted warriors, be- 
decked squaws, bedizened pappooses, all were there. 
They had come in to take their treaty-stipend and traffic 
with the agents and traders that lived in Vincennes. They 
were a part of the valiant band that surprised Harrison on 
the battle-ground of Tippecanoe, and had nearly over- 
powered him. Though fighting hard and inflicting great 
loss upon Harrison's army, they lost the battle, and with it 
their prestige and their country! They came in now not 
as supplicants, but painted defiantly! Their look and 
manner plainly showed what was the feeling of their 


hearts. They only wanted the opportunity to tomahawk 
the inhabitants and burn the town. Unfortunate people! 
their courage broken, their country lost, their numbers 
diminishing, starvation their present doom, and utter ex- 
tinction a speedy certainty. 

At the well-known tavern of Colonel LaSalle, we quar- 
tered ourselves for some time, resting ourselves and horses, 
and looking at farms in the environs of the town. The 
great Wabash seemed to be the terminus of emigration. 
The people from the Eastern States, that were pouring in, 
chiefly found locations on the east bank of the Wabash, 
toward Terre Haute. Even here, where the river Wabash 
is the dividing line between Indiana and Illinois, nothing 
seemed to be known of the prairies, excepting the "trace," 
that is, the road or traveled way that crossed Illinois from 
Vincennes in Indiana, to St. Louis in Missouri. To ride 
that alone was then thought to be a perilous affair. 

Here was a period to our progress. We had heretofore 
been traveling continuously, and every one of us had ex- 
hibited an alacrity in prosecuting our journey with singular 
perseverance and assiduity. Good -breeding and good 
tempers had ever prevailed. Each yielded his own to the 
comfort of others. Youth, which accepts present enjoy- 
ment and rejects fears for the future, had much to do with 
the buoyancy of spirits which seldom failed us. Six of 
our party were under twenty, three were under thirty, and 
one, although advanced to fifty- four, was active, intelligent, 
and strong. We were not an ordinary party of country 
folks; the men looking only for a rich piece of bottom- 
land, and the women for the best milk -cow, Mr. Birk- 


beck's daughters, well-educated young ladies, of good 
sense and refinement, were most agreeable companions. 
Prudence, the youngest daughter, rather small and deli- 
cate, a brunette, with face and head of intelligence and 
cliaracter, her remarks were piquant, full of jest and mirth- 
enlivening conversation. Her elder sister Eliza, better 
grown and plump, with that fair -and -red English com- 
plexion so seldom seen here, was of graver mien and per- 
haps of deeper feeling, formed an agreeable contrast in 
conversation to the more lively sallies of her younger sis- 
ter. Miss Andrews, a little older, was in intellect and 
character more matured and of greater experience in life. 
As the head of her brother's house in London, her knowl- 
edge in household affairs and domestic economy was more 
perfect. Her intelligence and reading, and, above all, more 
general and frequent intercourse with good society, gave 
her a practical knowledge of life necessarily superior to 
those of her youthful companions. 

With these agreeable ladies our time never hung heavy. 
Conversation never slacked, ennui was never known. If 
any one of us was detained by accident or indisposition, 
the- hand of a kind female friend was ever extended for 
our relief I do n't think that any traveling party, consti- 
tuted as ours w^as, ever accomplished so much or pursued 
their journey and its objects, despite of its difficulties, with 
more perseverance than ours. I am sure none ever pre- 
served their tempers better, nor gave offices of kindness 
with more good-will, none could have a more sincere 
friendship and regard for each other, and none could 
enjoy each other's company more than we did. 


It is not surprising in a company so constituted and so 
situated, that feelings of attachment should have grown 
up with a strength and fervor perhaps unconscious to 
themselves. Whilst traveling, the daily business of the 
road occupied our attention. The care of the horses, the 
repair of their equipments, recording our day's travel, 
inquiries of the road in order to avoid its difficulties and 
dangers, gave full occupation to the men. To pack their 
saddle-bags, arrange their own bed, and procure little 
comforts for the whole party, which men seldom think of, 
but which' our ladies never forgot, all to be done in our 
short halts, or after a whole day's ride, kept the mind and 
body in full occupation. 

With bodily repose the mind becomes more active, and 
perhaps perception of the feelings becomes more distinct. 
We had felt the inconveniences of the sparcely-settled 
country we had passed over. Perhaps, as we stood on the 
vast uninhabited wilds we were soon to enter, an instinc- 
tive sense of individuality encountering its solitude and 
manifold labors, vaguely presented itself to each indi- 
vidual. A few words spoken from one person to another 
dissolved the happy charm which had hitherto surrounded 
us, and drew a veil from the eyes of many individuals of 
the party. 

Mr. Birkbeck made an offer of marriage to Miss An- 
drews, and the feeling not being reciprocal, was respect- 
fully but decidedly declined, although urged by great 
strength of feeling. This incident, purely personal and, un- 
der other circumstances unimportant, disturbed somewhat 
our little party; and even carried its influence to a distant 


period. Some constraint and reserve now took the place 
of the free flow of expression and easy intercourse which 
had accompanied us during all our journey. Little eratic 
movements might be observed. The smoker would some- 
times take a long session in silence, and again throw down 
his cigar after the first whiff. One young lady would take 
two or three extra cups of tea; another would not touch 
a drop. Ominous symptoms. Avowals and explanations 
between individuals may be imagined but not described. 
For a short time, things were a little embarrassing. 

I proposed for the hand of Miss Andrews, was accepted, 
and was subsequently married to her, at Vincennes, in 
1 8 17, at the house of Colonel LaSalle. The venerable 
Elihu Stout (who at a great age died last year), a jus- 
tice-of-the-peace, and editor of the only newspaper pub- 
lished at that time, was the officiating-magistrate. Present; 
Mr. Birkbeck, as father to the bride, and Mr. Elias Pym 
Fordham and Judge Blake as invited guests and witnesses. 

We immediately made arrangements for prosecuting 
the final portion of our journey into that part of Illinois 
recommended by Mr. Sloo. We agreed to establish the 
family at Princeton, the county-town of Gibson County, 
thirty miles south of Vincennes. For this purpose, Mr. 
Birkbeck and his family immediately went there, and my 
wife and I were to join him in a few days. 

After breakfast, Mrs. Flower and I mounted our nags 
and rode to the village and settlement of the Shakers, 
some twenty-five miles north. Few people then came to 
Vincennes without making a visit to the Shaker Settle- 


Besides a special interest pertaining to a sect or associa- 
tion of peculiar tenets or opinions, there is a general inter- 
est attached to all associations formed with a view of 
avoiding some of the evils of life but too common in gene- 
ral society. 

Arriving at Busro, the Sisters took charge of Mrs. 
Flower, the Brothers took care of me. When brought 
to dinner the attending brother placed me on one side of 
a long table (on which was spread a most excellent meal), 
the attentive Sisters bringing in Mrs. Flower, placed her 
exactly opposite to me. We kept a grave face in our 
novel situation, as became us in so grave and orderly a 
place. Busro had the good cultivation, neatness, and 
thrift usually found in Shaker settlements. Any society 
of bachelors and spinsters, without the expense, care, or 
trouble of children, and discarding all personal love, may 
well be orderly, neat, and rich, and generally are so. If 
they are satisfied under that arrangement, let nobody 
gainsay them. I was told that a few backwoods families 
occasionally joined them. The parents seldom perma- 
nently, the children frequently remained. This suited all 
parties. The old people of confirmed old-world habits, 
and not always the best of them, usually left. The chil- 
dren finding good food, good clothes, and good treatment, 
to all of which perhaps they had been strangers, more 
willingly remained, and the Shakers found it easier to 
impress the minds of children with their peculiar views. 

Whatever may be thought of the tenets of the Shakers, 
they are peaceable, sober, and industrious; but they were 
occasionally badly treated. During the War of 1812, the 


Kentucky volunteers, on their wa}' north, made Busro 
their camping-ground. They burnt fences and fruit trees 
for firewood, killed many cattle, insulted and reviled the 
inhabitants, and by force drove one or two of the members 
of the Society before them, and kept them as slaves doing 
menial service during the campaign. When they returned 
they encamped in the same place, doing more mischief, 
indulging in their barbarous sport of roasting alive a fat 

To a well -worded and temperate petition from the 
people of Busro, asking some compensation for the de- 
struction of property by troops in the pay of the United 
States, Congress turned a deaf ear. There is but one 
species of property — property in man, that the United 
States Government will exert itself to preserve; in that it 
is vigilant enough. 

Passing on our way to Princeton, about two miles from 
Vincennes, stands the village of Cattinet, differing in its 
houses, fences, implements of husbandry, vehicles, inhabi- 
tants, and domestic animals from any other American 
village. Its houses are built of thick slabs, or puncheons 
set on end. The roofs cov'ered with elm bark, in wide and 
long pieces, reaching from ridge to eaves. The garden 
fences are pickets or long posts, pointed at the top and 
firmly planted in the ground, close to each other, side by 
side. Their one-horse carts, or those drawn by oxen, 
were made without a particle of iron ; the harness without 
leather or iron, excepting the bit that goes in the animal's 
mouth. A shuck collar, two pieces of wood for a cart- 
saddle, rawhide for traces, and for strings and straps, hick- 


ory bark. When drawn by oxen, the load is pulleci by a 
Httle yoke fastened to the head of the cattle, as in France. 
The inhabitants are half-breeds between French and Ind- 
ian. Some of them catching the bad points of both par- 
ents are disagreeable to behold. A few exhibit a style of 
beauty peculiarly their own. The men lived chiefly by 
hunting in Illinois, formerly the buffalo, elk, and beaver; 
at the time I speak of, deer, turkey, raccoon, and opposum. 
They cultivated corn enough to keep a horse or a pair of 
oxen. They live chiefly upon an excellent Indian dish 
called succotash, composed of corn and beans. They are 
of the complexion of the "Bois-brule" of the Far-West. 
The lank curs, half-dog half-wolf, lurk with thief-like look 
about the door. Here the wild and the domestic cat live 
together in harmony with pet 'possum, coon, and squirrel. 
There is a vital spirit in Cattinet. As it was in the 
beginning so it is now. It is as old as Philadelphia. An 
American village would long ago run to ruin, or grown 
into a town or city. Riding on the road in front of 
the houses, I saw a matronly woman somewhat better 
dressed, walking with a composed and dignified step. 
Her complexion and features told me whence she came. 
She had the peculiar saffron color which I have noticed in 
the aged women in the south of France, who have been 
exposed to the weather. Saluting with my hat, I asked, 
in her own language, "Are you from France, madam.''" 
She replied in her native tongue, "And who are you, sir, 
that are so inquisitive.''" "An Englishman, madam." 
"Ah," said she, "then there are two of us;" meaning that 
we were the only two of unmixed blood in the village. 


At Princeton, we first boarded at a tavern kept by Basil 
Brown. The party being large, ten persons and eleven 
horses, we soon found, even at the moderate charge of two 
dollars a week for each person, and the same for each 
horse, that the amount could be reduced and more comfort 
obtained by keeping house, and by sending our spare 
horses into the country, to rest and grow fat on green corn 
and pumpkins. 

Princeton, surrounded by heavy timber and rich land, 
the delight of Americans and dread of Europeans, who are 
incapable of clearing off timber to advantage, but ten miles 
from the ferries on the Wabash, and twenty-five from Har- 
mony, suited us well for a temporary home. By the time 
we arrived there, Mr. Birkbeck had already agreed to rent 
a house of sufficient capacity, and my wife, as senior, was 
soon installed as housekeeper to the large family, which 
post she maintained whilst Mr. Birkbeck and myself were 
on journeys of exploration in Illinois, and up to the time 
when it became necessary for me to go to England. 

Mr. Birkbeck, myself, and his son Bradford mounted 
again, determined to find these ever-receding prairies. We 
went yet thirty miles south to Harmony, where three hun- 
dred organized laborers from Harmony, Pa., were in their 
third year of toil and improvement, clearing the heavy 
timber off the low and rich lands of the Wabash valley. 
It was surprising to see the extent of clearing accom- 
plished, and the number of buildings erected by this band 
of organized laborers; and equally surprising and pleasing 
to see the neatness, order, plenty, and apparent content 
that reigned. The long rows of neat cabins, each with a 


small, well-fenced garden in front, perfect in its vegetable 
culture and gay with flowers; the women in their quaint 
costume, well made of plain and strong materials of their 
own manufacture, neat and clean, altogether presented a 
striking contrast to the discomforts of many of the individ- 
ual first- settlers, detached and scattered far apart, where 
nature seemed to overpower the first puny cftbrts of her 
individual invaders. Contrasted with the cabins of the 
people, stood the large brick -mansion of George Rapp, 
completed, fenced, furnished, and occupied.* 

Opposite to Harmony, on the Wabash bottom, on the 
Illinois side of the river, a tract of about five miles wide 
was occupied by a full and heavy growth of cane. Across 
this bottom and through this cane the Harmonites had cut 
a road to the high lands of Illinois, to unite with roads and 
settlements made and to be made. Passing along this 
road, the traveler had on either hand a wall of impenetra- 
ble verdure, in many places, and for a long distance, full 

* Though situated in different States, and twenty-five miles apart, the Eng- 
lish Colony and New Harmony had, in the earlier days, much in common. 
The settlement at New Harmony, or, as it was first called, Harmonie, pre- 
ceded some years the settlement of Albion. The colony that founded Har- 
monic was made up of German Lutherans, from the kingdom of Wiirtemburg, 
having at their head a schismatic preacher, named George Rapp, a man of 
great will, determination, and energy, accompanied by a sort of religious 
enthusiasm, and holding an absolute mastery over his followers. The colony 
first settled in Pennsylvania in 1804, but, in 1813, Rapp purchased thirty 
thousand acres of government land on the Wabash, and on a part of which 
New Harmony was built. Contrary to the general idea, Rapp's colony was a 
great success, so far as the accumulation of property was concerned, and when 
Kapp sold out, in 1825, it was said that the vtG.'sXxkv per capita was ten times 
greater than the average wealth throughout the United States. The people 
lived together like "Shakers." In 1824, Rapp had become fatigued with his 
charge, and desired to sell out. It was then he visited Albion, to consult 
with Richard Elower, whom he commissioned to go to Europe to offer the entire 


twenty feet in height. Cane, whatever may be its size or 
height, makes its growth in one season. At its first corn- 
ing up it is almost as tender as asparagus, and in that state 
is rapidly destroyed by domestic animals, especially hogs. 
It bears its seed not annually but periodically, at long 
intervals, a quarter or half a century apart, and then dies. 
The seed resembles the wild oat, and is said to be nutri- 
tious to man and beast. I saw it in its full size and vigor 
of growth. I have seen it bear its profuse crop of seed 
and die. In the same spot where I saw it in its full and 
perfect growth, it is now scarcely so large as my little fin- 
ger, and from knee to shoulder high. Thus dwarfed and 
annually dwindling in size it may continue for many years, 
but the day of its utter extinction is near at hand. The 
Harmonites had entered a large tract of this cane, and 
fenced in three or four hundred acres, on which their nu- 
merous cattle and sheep subsisted during the winter season 
in the first and second year of their settlement. 

New -Harmony property for sale. Mr. Flower effected a sale to Robert 
Owen, a rich manufacturer of New Lanark, Scotland, a reformer and philan- 
thropist, who had made himself well known in Great Britain, particularly in 
respect of his views in regard to the labor question. He came to New Har- 
mony in the autumn of 1824, and completed the purchase of the Rapp village 
and twenty thousand acres of land, for one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. 
The Rappites soon left, and Owen then formed the colony of New Harmony 
on a new basis; a colony that has challenged more attention and criticism 
than any like colony ever established in this Country. When Robert Owen 
finally returned to Scotland, the colony fell under the direction of his three 
sons, William, Robert Dale, and David Dale Owen. The two last named 
have left their impress upon the country as reformers and thinkers, as scholars 
and writers, and men of large accomplishments. This is not the occasion for 
a disquisition on New Harmony, which, in competent hands, would be a sub- 
ject of the greatest interest. This brief allusion to the colony is made here 
because of the intimate relations which had sprung up between Mr. Birkbeck, 
Mr. Flower, and many persons of Edwards County, with Mr. Owen. 


Even here we could not learn anything of the prairies. 
Crossing a ferry a few miles south of Harmony, we entered 
the Territory of Illinois, and, in an hour's ride, we were in 
the settlement of the Big-Prairie. This was the first 
prairie in the south-eastern part of Illinois, and distant 
from the Ohio at Shawneetown about thirty miles through 
woodland. It was being settled exclusively by small corn- 
farmers from the slave-states. This prairie, not more than 
six miles long and two broad, was level, rather pondy, and 
agueish. Its verdure and open space was grateful to the 
eye, but it did not fulfil our expectations. 

Following the directions given to us by Mr. Sloo, we 
inquired the way to the Boltenhouse Prairie, so-called 
from the name of a man who had built a small cabin on its 
edge, near the spot where his brother had been killed by 
the Indians the year before. By side of the road we were 
following, was a small log-house, our last chance for infor- 
mation or direction. Our informant, stepping from his 
hut, indicated with his arm the direction we were to take, 
across the forest without road or path of any kind. 

"Keep a wagon-track in your eye if you can, and you 
will find the prairie." A wagon-track, or two ruts on 
the open ground made by wagon wheels, can be followed 
with some degree of certainty. But this was quite a differ- 
ent affair. A light-loaded wagon had passed a fortnight 
before, through the woods and high underbrush, leaving 
no mark on the hard ground, and only here and there a 
bruised leaf or broken stem to indicate its passage. For 
seven mortal hours did we ride and toil in doubt and 


Bruised by the brushwood and exhausted by the extreme 
heat we almost despaired, when a small cabin and a low fence 
greeted our eyes. A few steps more, and a beautiful prairie 
suddenly opened to our view. At first, we only received 
the impressions of its general beauty. With longer gaze, 
all its distinctive features were revealed, lying in profound 
repose under the warm light of an afternoon's summer sun. 
Its indented and irregular outline of w^ood, its varied sur- 
face interspersed with clumps of oaks of centuries' growth, 
its tall grass, with seed stalks from six to ten feet high, 
like tall and slender reeds waving in a gentle breeze, the 
whole presenting a magnificence of park-scenery, complete 
from the hand of Nature, and unrivalled by the same sort 
of scenery by European art. For once, the reality came 
up to the picture of imagination. Our station was in the 
wood, on rising ground ; from it, a descent of about a hun- 
dred yards to the valley of the prairie, about a-quarter of 
a mile wide, extending to the base of a majestic slope, 
rising upward for a full half-mile, crowned by groves of 
noble oaks. A little to the left, the eye wandered up a 
long stretch of prairie for three miles, into which pro- 
jected hills and slopes, covered with rich grass and decora- 
ted with compact clumps of full-grown trees, from four to 
eight in each clump. From beneath the broken shade of 
the wood, with our arms raised above our brows, we gazed 
long and steadily, drinking in the beauties of the scene 
which had been so long the object of our search. 

We had left Harmony that morning soon after daylight, 
went south a few miles to Williams' ferry, then, crossing 
over, came to the Big-Prairie as before stated, and drank a 


cup of water from Mr. Williams' well. This was all the 
refreshment we had taken during the day. We must have 
traveled more than forty miles in that rough country in 
.one of the hottest days of summer. Our clothing had 
for hours been wet through with profuse sweat, which 
trickled down our faces and dropped on our bodies. We 
felt wellnigh exhausted when we came in sight of our 
goal. There we stood. We felt no hunger, thirst, or 
fatigue. We determined to saddle up again, encounter 
the prairie and its flies, and finish our day's work by push- 
ing into Birk's Prairie, which, by the route we took, must 
have been seven miles farther. We passed the spot where 
Wanborough stands, and laid us down for the night near 
where Henry Huston first made his camp; the strongest 
day's fatigue I ever went through, and without refresh- 
ment, from the rising to the setting of the sun. 

Immediately on entering the prairie, the quietude of 
our ride was interrupted by the restless and refractory 
actions of our horses. They stamped with their feet, 
started to a rough trot, and then broke into a gallop. It 
was from the sting of the prairie-fly, a large insect, with 
brown body, green head, and transparent wings. These 
prairie-flies have a peculiar liking for light and sunshine. 
They attack both horses and cattle, and sting them dread- 
fully in the open prairie, but will not follow them into the 
ordinary shade of a wood or forest. They rarely, if ever, 
attack men. This induces the grazing animals to feed in 
the prairies by night, and retire to the woods by day. 
This annoyance induces travelers, crossing the large 
prairies, to travel by night and rest by day. 


Early as we were in the occupancy of these prairies, 
after the Indians had left, there was a class in before us. 
Not numerous, but of characteristics so peculiar as to 
deserve a passing notice. They belong to neither savage 
nor civilized life, but keep their station between the two; 
following up the Indians as they retreat, and moving away 
from the farmers as they advance. There were about six 
of these families scattered over a distance of fifty miles. 

Our first experiences in prairie life were not very com- 
fortable. Camping for the night near a pool of stagnant 
water, we lay down to rest, turning our horses loose to 
graze. In the morning our horses were missing. We wan- 
dered all day in vain search. I had separated myself 
from my companions in my rovings. The second night 
found me in a small prairie, about three miles west of the 
one we first entered. I lay down in the open prairie with- 
out fire or supper, my umbrella, a walking-stick by day, 
at night a house for my head. In the morning, somewhat 
stiff and cold, I again began my search, and soon became 
as wet as if I had walked through a river, from the dew 
on the tall grass. For once, I felt glad of the hot sun, to 
warm and dry me. As a resource in an emergency, I car- 
ried a small bag of ground parched-cornmeal, mixed with 
some sugar and a little ground ginger. A tablespoon of this, 
with water, in some shell or the hollow of your hand, is 
very grateful, prevents extreme hunger, and gives reason- 
able nutrition. On this I subsisted for a couple of days. 

In my wanderings, the thought struck me of finding out 
a Captain Birk, mentioned to me by my old friend Sloo, 
as living hereabout, the oldest settler in these parts; he 


had been here ahnost a year. Going in the direction in 
which I thought he Hved, I espied a trail, made by the 
dragging of a log. Following this, I came suddenly to a 
worm-fence, inclosing a small field of fine corn, but could 
see no dwelling. I wished to see Birk, but felt a little 
diffidence in appearing before the captain in my deshabille. 
After several day's travel, and two night's camping out, 
my toilette was considerably compromised. Looking 
closely, I observed, between two rows of corn, a narrow 
path. This I followed until I came suddenly in sight of 
a small cabin, within twenty steps of me, a little lower 
than the surrounding corn. Looking in the direction of a 
voice, calling back a savage dog that had rushed out to 
attack me, I saw a naked man, quietly fanning himself 
with a branch of a tree. 

My first surprise over, finding his name was Birk, I told 
him who I was and my errand, at which he did not seem 
at all pleased. These original backwoodsmen look upon 
all new-comers as obtruders on their especial manorial 
rights. The old hunters' rule is: when you hear the sound 
of a neighbor's gun, it is time to move away. 

What surprised me was the calm self-possession of the 
man. No surprise, no flutter, no hasty movements. He 
quietly said that he had just come from mill at Princeton, 
thirty miles distant, and was cooling himself a bit. Well, 
I thought he was cool. I afterward found all of this 
class of men, who live in solitude and commune so much 
with nature, relying on their own efforts to support them- 
selves and their families, to be calm, deliberate, and self- 
possessed whenever they are sober. The best breeding in 


society could not impart to them more self-possession or 
give them greater ease of manner or more dignified and 
courteous bearing. Birk's cabin, fourteen feet long, twelve 
broad, and seven high, with earth for a floor, contained a 
four-post bedstead, said posts, driven into the ground by 
an ax, were sprouting, with buds, branches, and leaves. 

The rim of an old wire-sieve, furnished with a piece of 
deerskin, punched with holes, for sifting cornmeal, a skillet, 
and a coffee-pot were all the culinary apparatus for a 
family of seven. A small three-legged stool and a rickety 
clap-board table the only furniture. An ax lay at the 
•door, a rifle stood against the wall. Himself and boys 
were dressed in buckskin, his wife and three daughters in 
ilimsy calico from the store, sufficiently soiled and not 
without rents. Mrs. Birk, a dame of some thirty years, 
was square-built and squat, sallow, and smoke-dried, with 
bare legs and feet. Her pride was in her hair, which, in 
two long well-braided black and shining tails, hung far 
■down her back. 

Birk got his title as commander of a company of men 
like himself, employed as outlying scouts to the American 
army on the Canada frontier. The cabin-door was made 
of two strong puncheons, to withstand an Indian attack. 
You might always find in the behavior of the females, of 
this class of people, the degree of estimation or aversion 
in which you were held. j\Irs. Birk was sour and silent, 
omnious indications. The British and Indians, having 
fought together against the Americans, were held by these 
people in the same category as natural enemies. To such 
an extent was this feeling exhibited, that, at a future time, 


quite a respectable farmer in the Big Prairie apologized to 
Mrs. Flower for the non-appearance of his wife, by saying 
she had lost a brother at the battle of the River Raisin, 
and that she always went out of the house into the woods 
whenever an English person entered, and remained there 
as long as he or she stayed. Besides, we came with the 
intention of settling and bringing other settlers. All this 
was distasteful to them. They came to enjoy the solitude 
of the forest and the prairie. They wished to be far from 
that species of civilization whose temptations could not be 
withstood by them, and which made the weaknesses of its 
victims augment its own gains. No wonder we were met 
by no cordial greetings. Our success would be their 
defeat, and the growth of our colony the signal for their 
removal. A few dollars liberally given for information 
and pilotage, and a dram of whisky whenever we had it 
to bestow, would modify the hostile feeling, and we soon 
became on friendly terms. 

Two or three slices from a half- smoked haunch, a few 
pommes of coarse corn-bread, seasoned by hunger, the 
best of sauce, gave us a relishing supper. How sleeping 
was to be managed, I felt at a loss. As night advanced, 
Birk reached his long arm up to a few clapboards over 
the joist, and pulled down a dried hog's -skin for my 
especial comfort and repose during the night. 

Father, mother, sons, and daughters all lay on the one 
bed. I, as in duty bound, lay my hog's-skin on the floor, 
and myself upon it. But I soon found that 
" Big fleas and little fleas. 

And less fleas to bite 'em, 


These again had lesser fleas, 
And so on ad itifinitiim." 

I removed my not over- luxurious couch outside the 
house, to a spot of earth free from vegetation, and there 
I lay until break-of-day; glad enough to run to the fire 
for a little warmth as soon as it was kindled. 

Cold is never more felt than at daybreak, after lying on 
the ground without covering, even in the summer season. 
Our horses which had strayed, were brought back to us by 
John Anderson, one of those outlying hunters who for a 
liberal reward acted with efficiency on the occasion. Under- 
standing the instinct of the horse, Anderson took a straight 
course toward Princeton, until he reached the Great Wa- 
bash, at La Vallett's ferry. There he found the fugitives, 
arrested by the broad stream, from immediately attempt- 
ing a crossing. 

Having again joined my companions, we once again 
mounted, and proceeded to look at the prairies west of the 
Little Wabash. We were advised by Birk to call on a man 
named Harris, who lived about twelve miles west of the 
Little Wabash. To find a little cabin through fifteen miles 
of forest and prairie, without road or even path, is no small 
job. But it is astonishing how necessity sharpens the wits, 
and how soon signs, before unnoticed and unknown, be- 
come recognized. We found him in a small cabin, shel- 
tered by a little grove, but no field or cultivation of any 
kind about his humble dwelling. He lived in the same 
style as Birk and in the same destitution. One article of 
luxury only excepted. This was a fiddle with two strings^ 
We found the prairies desirable as to size, soil, and prox- 


imity to timber, and of every form, each with its own 
pecuHar style of beauty. One small prairie charmed me 
very much — not more than two hundred yards wide and 
about half-a-mile long. A *thin belt of tall and graceful 
trees marked its boundary from other and larger prairies. 
Its distinguishing feature was a large Indian mound in the 
centre, covered with the same rank growth of grass as in 
other parts of the prairie. Its beauties lying in silent soli- 
tude, with its ancient burial-place of a by-gone race, gave 
to it an unusual and somewhat mysterious interest. These 
tumuli are not the burying-place of the present race of 
Indians; but of an anterior race, probably displaced by 
the Indians as we are displacing them. These prairies 
were only less desirable than those east of the Little Wa- 
bash as being further from main navigation, the Little 
Wabash not being navigable for steam-boats. 

Harris returned with us to Birk's, carrying the super- 
annuated fiddle carefully along. It was kept in scream 
until a late hour, bringing to the inmates of the cabin 
happy recollections of Tennessee, the State from which 
they had emigrated. The people of which Birk and 
Harris were specimens, were serviceable to us in our first 
settlement. Dexterous with the ax, they built all our first 
log-cabins, and supplied us with venison. In a year or 
two, they moved into less-peopled regions, or to where 
there were no people at all, and were entirely lost to this 
part of the country. The people in this part of Illinois 
are mostly from the slave-states, from the class of "poor 
whites," so-called. When they leave their homes and 
come into the little towns, on some real or pretended busi- 


ness, they are sober and quiet. They soon get to the 
whisky-bottle, their bane and ruin. Getting into a state 
to desire more, they drink all they can, becoming disagree- 
able, fractious, and often dangerous men. One glass kin- 
dles the eye, the second loosens the tongue, the third 
makes them madmen. They own a horse, rifle, ax, and 
hoe. It is astonishing to see with what deterity they use 
a good ax, and how well they shoot with even a bad rifle. 
They are not of industrious habits, but occasionally work 
with great vigor. 

Solitude, watchfulness, and contemplation amidst the 
scenes of nature, from day to day, from week to week, and 
often from month to month, give them that calm and dig- 
nified behavior not to be found in the denizens of civilized 
life. Another portion of this class follow a different des- 
tiny. Their little corn-patch increases to a field, their first 
shanty to a small log-house, which, in turn, gives place to 
a double-cabin, in which the loom and spinning-wheel are 
installed. A well and a few fruit-trees after a time com- 
plete the improvement. Moderate in their aspirations, 
they soon arrive at the summit of their desires. Does a 
more complicated mode of life and a larger amount of 
wealth add to human happiness .'' The only difference 
between these stationary settlers and the roving hunters 
appears to be in the sobriety of the one and the intemper- 
ance of the other. 

We returned to Princeton by a more direct route, cross- 
ing the Wabash at La Vallette's ferry. Auguste La Val- 
lette was a Frenchman of Canadian birth, I suppose nearly 
seven feet high; tall and thin as all the La Vallettes were. 


His brother Francois, recently killed by the Indians, lived 
on a similar site on the Wabash, forty miles higher up the 
river, on a freestone bluff, now called Coffee Island, and 
similar points and residences of Canadian-French families, 
forty and fifty miles apart, are to be found up the Wabash 
wherever the banks are high and commanding, sometimes 
on the Illinois and sometimes on the Indiana side of the 

Before leaving Illinois, night overtook us. We halted by 
the side of a fallen log, at a point of timber that stretched 
into the prairie. A fire being kindled, we sat down on the 
grass, talked over and decided what was to be done. I 
remember the spot well; it was then called the Long 
Prairie that runs west and east, toward La Vallette's ferry, 
on the Great Wabash (now Rochester), not far from a farm 
afterward made by Mr. John Kean, a native of Cornwall, 
but somewhat nearer to the farm now owned and occupied 
by Mr. John Cowling, and about a-half mile west of his 
father-in-law's house and farm, Mr. Edward Coad, now 
over eighty years old, enjoying a sound constitution and 
good health. 

This spot, so particularly fixed in my memory, I never 
passed in after years without a halt, to allow the panorama 
of the past, with all its vivid pictures to flit before me. 
Here our future destinies were fixed, and to the decisions 
made here the present English Settlement in Edwards 
County, Illinois, owes its existence. 

The result of our decision was this: — After clubbing 
together all the money we could then command, Mr. Birk- 
beck was to go to Shawneetown and enter all the wood- 


land around the Boltenhouse Prairie. We had not money 
enough with us to purchase the whole prairie. I was to 
return to England to remit him money as soon as possible, 
take with me and publish the manuscript of his book con- 
taining the record of our journey from Richmond to the 
prairies; bring out my father's family; and spread the in- 
formation; point out the road to it; and facilitate emigra- 
tion generally. He was on the home department to pur- 
chase more land and make the necessary preparations in 
building. I on the foreign mission, to bring in the people. 
As will be seen hereafter, he did his duty and I did mine. 
In a state of doubt, the wakeful mind allows of no com- 
plete rest to the body. Decisions once made, doubts 
banished, the way made clear, the mind looses its tension, 
and for a while rests in unconsciousness. The body 
relaxed in fibre, succumbs to fatigue. Both seek repose 
and refreshment in sleep. It was so with us. Stretched 
on our blankets, feet to the fire, saddle for a pillow, oblivi- 
ous of doubt, insensible to danger, we slept soundly until 
morning. After a hasty cup of coffee by our camp-fire, 
untethered our horses, mounted and rode to the Wabash, 
about six miles distant, was ferried over that stream by 
the tall Frenchman who owned that ferry, floundered 
through the odious swamp which lay on the Indiana side, 
for a mile, knee-deep in mud and water, and, after another 
ten-mile ride, rejoined the family at Princeton. 


Fear of Speculators — Desire to get a Grant of Land from Congress — 
Mr. Jefferson Written to on the Subject — His Answer — Letter of 
Hon. Nathaniel Pope — Reply of Mr. Birkbeck — Mr. Flower sets 
out for England — Long Horseback-Trip to Chambersburgh, Pa., 
Accompanied by Mrs. Flower — The Outfit — Incidents of the Jour- 
ney — Mrs. Flower Remains in Chambersburgh — Mr. Flower Sails 
from New York to Liverpool — Birkbeck's Notes of Travel — The 

Our safe return to Princeton was hailed by our families 
with affectionate joy. Thankfully we enjoyed, for a few 
days, a home made comfortable by cheerful hearts and 
active hands. After needful rest from our harassing jour- 
ney in the prairies, we thought of our own position. Our 
first measure was to secure as much land as our present 
means would allow in the Boltenhouse Prairie. By a jour- 
ney to Shawneetown, seventy miles distant, this was done, 
and about three thousand acres secured by payment into 
the land-office. 

It was evident to Mr. Birkbeck and myself, at the time 
we made our first entries of land in the Boltenhouse 
Prairie, that we were exposed to the invasion of specula- 
tors. Having expended all the money we could then 
command, by securing but little more than half the land 
we intended for own families, we felt fearful, as the point 
of our settlement was designated, that speculators might 
buy the lands immediately around those we had purchased 


and thus defeat our object in preserving lands at the gov- 
ernment price for those we hoped to induce to come from 
Great Britain the following year. Fortunately for us, at 
this time, there was a great scarcity of money, and the 
people in the countries of Indiana and Kentucky, adjacent 
to Southern Illinois, were almost all of them more or less 
in debt, and we were not then advertised, we had made no 
publications. From these circumstances, probably we were 
for the time secured from the species of obtrusion we so 
much dreaded. I wrote to Mr. Jefferson, asking his 
opinion as to whether Congress, on suitable application, 
would be likely to make us a grant of a township of land 
for our contemplated settlement. His reply was prompt 
and full; and as this letter, from that eminent statesman, 
so ably covers the whole ground of the inquiry, and is so 
characteristic of the man, no apology is needed for its 
insertion, feeling persuaded that it will be an object of 
interest to the reader long after the general narrative shall 
have faded from view. I may add that the original letter 
is now deposited in the archives of the Chicago Historical 
Society. In long after years, the curious reader of old 
documents will not fail to admire the neatness and even- 
ness of the handwriting, which is preserved with unvarying 
accuracy from the first to the last word of this interesting 
letter.* But further action in this matter had to be dropped. 

* This letter is still in possession of the Chicago Historical Society, and 
is now before me. It bears out all Mr. Flower says of it. It is charac- 
teristic of Mr. Jefferson, who was one of the most conscientious and painstak- 
ing of correspondents. He made it a point to reply to all letters whose 
writers had any claim to his consideration, and he never did it hurriedly nor 
in a careless or slip-shod manner. The extreme neatness and regularity of 


I was soon on my way to Great Britain to prepare our first 
emigrating parties. 

" Poplar Forest, 12th July, 181 j. 

"Dear Sir: — Your favor of August 12th was yesterday 
received at this place, and I learn from it with pleasure 
that you have found a tract of country which will suit you 
for settlement. To us, your first choice would have been 
gratifying, by adding yourself and friends to our society, 
but the overruling consideration with us, as with you, is 
your own advantage, and it would doubtless be a greater 
comfort to you to have your ancient friends and neighbors 
settled around you. I sincerely wish that your proposition 
to purchase a tract of land in Illinois on favorable terms, for 
introducing a colony of English farmers, may encounter 
no difficulties from the established rules of our land -de- 

" The general law prescribes an open sale, where all citi- 
zens may compete on an equal footing for any lot of land 
which attracts their choice. To dispense with this in any 
particular case requires a special law of Congress, and to 
special legislation we are generally averse, lest a principle 
of favoritism should creep in and prevent that of equal 
rights. It has, however, been done on some occasions, 
when special national advantages has been expected to 

his handwriting is the more remarkable when the fact of a broken wrist is 
taken into consideration, which seriously disabled him and was a great trouble 
and annoyance for many years, and of which he often complained. It was a 
most fortunate thing that this letter and many other valuable autograph letters, 
written to Mr. Flower, and presented by him to the Society, as well as the 
manuscript history of Edwards County, had been borrowed of the librarian a 
few days before the great fire in 1871, and thus saved from destruction. 


outweigh that of adherence to the general rule. The 
promised introduction of the culture of the vine procured 
a special law in favor of the Swiss Settlement on the Ohio. 
That of the culture of oil, wine, and other Southern pro- 
ductions did the same lately for the French Settlement on 
the Tombigbee. It remains to be tried whether that of 
an improved system of farming, interesting to so great a 
proportion of our citizens, may not also be worth a dis- 
pensation of the general rule. This, I suppose, is the 
principal ground on which your proposition will be ques- 
tioned, for although, as to other foreigners, it is thought 
better to discourage their settling together in large masses, 
wherein, as in our German settlements, they preserve for a 
long time their own language, habits, and principles of 
government, and that the}' should distribute themselves 
sparsely among the natives, for quicker amalgamation, yet 
English emigrants are without this inconvenience, they 
differ from us but little in their principles of government, 
and most of those (merchants excepted) who come here 
are sufficiently disposed to adopt ours. What the issue, 
therefore, of your proposition may probably be, I am less 
able to advise you than many others, for, during the last 
eight or ten years, I have no knowledge of the administra- 
tion of the land-office, or the principles of its government, 
even the persons on whom it will depend are all changed 
within that interval, so as to leave me small means of being 
useful to you. Whatever they may be, however, they 
shall be fully exercised for your advantage; and that not 
on the selfish principle of increasing our population at the 
expense of other nations, for the additions are but as a 


drop in a bucket to those by natural procreation, but to 
consecrate a sanctuary for those whom the misrule of 
Europe may compel to seek happiness in other climes. 
This refuge, once known, will produce reaction, even of 
those there, by warning their task-masters that when the 
evils of Egyptian oppression become heavier than those of 
abandonment of country, another's canaan is opened, where 
their subjects will be received as brothers and secured from 
lil^e oppression by a participation in the rights of self- 

"If additional motives could be wanting into the main- 
tainance of this right, they would be found in the animat- 
ing consideration that a single good government becomes 
thus a blessing to the whole earth; its welcome to the 
oppressed restraining within certain limits the measure of 
their oppressions, but should ever this be counteracted by 
violence on the right of expatriation, the other branch of 
our example then presents itself to their imitation, to use 
on their rulers, and do as we have done. 

"You have set your country a good example, by show- 
ing them a practicable mode of reducing their rulers to the 
necessity of becoming more wise, more moderate, and 
more honest, and I sincerely pray that the example may 
work for the benefit of those who can not follow it, as it 
will for your own. 

"With Mr. Birkbeck, the associate of your extraordinary 
journeyings, I have not the happiness of personal acquaint- 
ance, but I know him through his narrative of your jour- 
neyings together through France. The impressions re- 
ceived from that, give me confidence that a participation 


with yourself in the assurances of the esteem and respect 
oi^ a stranger will not be unacceptable to him, and the less 
when given through you and associated with those to your- 

•'Th: Jefferson. 
"To George Flower, Esq." 

During my absence in England, danger from the same 
source was, no doubt, entertained by Mr. Birkbeck. A 
correspondence between him and Hon. Nathaniel Pope, 
delegate for the Territory in Congress, on the same subject, 
shows in what light the delegate viewed the application 
and the applicant. 

It seems that Mr. Birkbeck's application was for an 
extension of time of payment, as we should now say for a 
preemption, on forty thousand acres of land. It is some- 
what curious to see how the minds of different individuals, 
entertaining the same general views, and actuated by simi- 
lar principles arrive at the same conclusions. Thus in 
view of danger from land speculation we acted individ- 
ually, but in a similar manner. Again, at the time of the 
convention question, without any communication with 
each other, we gave all the strength of our respective 
abilities to defeat that nefarious measure. We shall see 
more distinctly the nature of the petition forwarded to 
Congress, through Nathaniel Pope, by the perusal of the 
following letters. The first letter (Mr. Pope's) was in an- 
swer to one accompanying the petition referred to. The 
reply by Mr. Birkbeck fully explains his first letter.* 

* The original letter of Mr. Pope's is of the number of letters presented 
to the Chicago Historical Society by Mr. Flower. The handwriting is 


"Washington, Dec //, iSi-j. 

"6"/r; — I duly received your letter and petition. It is so 
indefinite as to" leave me embarrassed in adopting a course. 
It is much to be regretted that you had not entered into 
more explanatory details. I read, with great pleasure, your 
notes on your late tour to Illinois, in hopes of finding a 
solution to my difficulties, but in vain; I mean in quan- 
tity and terms of payment. I am so much flattered by 
your selection of the Illinois Territory as your permanent 
residence in the prospect of the permanent advantages 
it may derive from your experience in the arts of hus- 
bandry, that I can not fail to indulge an ardent wish that 
you may succeed in your plan. 

"I made some enquiries of Mr. Adams, late minister to 
London, now secretary-of-state, who speaks of you in the 
most flattering terms. I can not, however, conceal from 
you the only cause that will defeat your application. Al- 
though not personal to you, yet its operation is hostile to 
your views; I mean the fear of speculation. This fear is 
not awakened by any part of your conduct, but that of 

remarkably smooth, regular, and even elegant, denoting a man of education 
and rare adaptation to business. All the older members of the legal pro- 
fession in Illinois will well remember Nathaniel Pope, so long and so honora- 
bly identified with the history of the Territory and State of Illinois. He was 
the first secretary of the Territory of Illinois, holding the office from March 
7, 1809, to December 17, 1816. In the latter year, he was elected delegate to 
Congress from Illinois, and procured its admission as a State in 1818. He 
was the first judge of the United States District Court for the State of Illinois, 
and held that position till his death, in 1849, a period of thirty-one years. 
His successor, Hon. Thomas Drummond, has held the position of District 
and Circuit Judge of the United .States Courts for over thirty-three years. 

Judge Pope was a man of intelligence and education, to which he united a 
remarkably acute intellect. He was a good lawyer, an honest man, and incor- 
ruptible judge. Maj.-Cen. John Pope, of the United States Army, is his son. 



others. The bounty and liberality of the Government 
has been so often diverted from the intended objects, that 
members of Congress are diffident of supporting applica- 
tions of the nature of yours, as they have no personal 
knowledge of you. I regret that your arrangements did 
not comprehend a visit to this place, at this time, as per- 
sonal explanations would have advanced your plan, which 
seems to me replete with important advantages to the 
Territory, and well calculated to advance the happiness of 
the human family upon a more extended scale than ap- 
pears from a limited consideration of its operation. I can 
not, however, advise you to come on after the reception of 
this letter, as it would be too late to effectuate anything. 
Every thing that I can do under the stimulus of no ordin- 
ary anxiety for your success, shall be attempted. I hope to 
have the pleasure of hearing from you at an early period. 

"In the meanwhile, I beg you to accept assurances of 
my zeal in your cause, and with sentiments of respect 

and esteem, I am, your ob'd't ser't, 

"Nath'l Pope. 
"To Morris Birkbeck, Esq." 

To which Islr. Birkbeck replied: 

" Princeton, January i6, 1818. 

''Sir: — Owing to the interruption of the mails, your 
favor of the 14th ultimo has only just reached me. I 
regret that I did not state more particularly my views in 
regard to the object of the memorial I transmitted to you. 
As to terms, I should not be so weak as to reject any 
advantage which the liberality of the Government might 
afford. It is not a reduction of the price I would solicit, 


but such an extension of time of payment as might pre- 
clude embarrassment or disappointment. As to quantity, 
my idea was that it might be left indefinite to a certain 
extent. That is, that I might be allowed to engage as I 
might require for the purpose specified, not exceeding 
twenty, thirty, or forty thousand acres, leaving Govern- 
ment to fix the limits. This plan is, I think, not liable to 
be abused as a means of speculation, a design which, I 
think, would not be imputed to me by those who are 
acquainted with my habits; yet it is perfectly natural that 
a jealousy of that kind should operate in the way you 
mention. I dare say it is now too late for my explanation 
to avail anything. But I am anxious to express my obli- 
gation to you for your attention, whatever may be the 
result. I believe my plan is calculated to produce import- 
ant benefits without risk or concomitant evil, and I am 
gratified to find that it has your approbation. ^ 
" I am, sir, -most sincerely yours, 

"Morris Birkbeck." 

Our efforts in securing a preemption on a large quantity 
of land, through the preliminary correspondence with 
Jefferson and Pope, were unsuccessful. Our hands were 
full of busines.s, and we could not give to it the personal 
attention that such business at Washington requires. 

We had been two months at Princeton. The family 
always there ; our two selves almost always away, had com- 
pleted our work of exploration. The time now approached 
for my return to England, to carry out the next step. To 
make publication, bring people to the land, and place our- 


selves in funds. Our first plan was that Mrs. Flower 
should remain with Mr. Birkbeck's family and that I 
should proceed on my journey eastward and my voyage 
alone. To make a will and dispose of our effects in a 
secure and desirable manner is always proger, yet how 
often deferred. 

I therefore, before leaving Princeton, made my will. 
Mr. Birkbeck, Miss Birkbeck, and Bradford Birkbeck were 
witnesses to that instrument. How little did we think 
that this was to be our last united act. That we were 
never more to meet again or speak a friendly word to 
each other. Before leaving Princeton, we agreed on the 
division of our land and the building of our houses. On 
the latter point, we differed a little in opinion. He pro- 
posed that the north-and-south line, which divided our 
land, should run through one house. I living in the 
apartments on my land, and his family occupying the 
apartments on his land, both families, in fact, living in one 
house. Mrs. Flower and myself thought it better to live 
in our own house, and that Mr. Birkbeck's family should 
live in their house, however near those houses might be. 
This was the first difference in our plan of operations that 
had ever occurred between us, and, trivial as it may seem^ 
perhaps we may ascribe to it that divergence which carried 
the lasting separation that followed; as the ridge-tile of a 
house separates two raindrops, that fall within an inch of 
each other, in the same shower, casting one eastwardly, to 
mingle ultimately with the Atlantic Ocean, the other, 
westward, destined to add its atom to the Pacific. 

Although our residence at Princeton was one of united 


effort and cordial friendship, our feelings did not exhibit 
that even and warm glow which shone upon the party as 
it journeyed to the West. They partook now more of the 
character of an April day, when the clouds fly high and 
rapidly cast shadows on the bright sunshine as they pass. 

We were now in changed circumstances, our plans re- 
quired the division and subdivision of our little party. 
Some to turn back, encountering long journeys by land 
and voyages by sea, before they could be united again. 
And the part that remained, often to be divided through 
winter and succeeding spring, some remaining in Indiana 
and some wandering in Illinois. This naturally cast a 
shade of thought upon us all. 

The time arrived for my return to England. All cir- 
cumstances being considered, Mrs. Flower and myself 
thought it better to take the journey East together. We 
should enjoy each other's company three weeks longer, 
and, at my return in the following spring, we should again 
meet months earlier than we otherwise could. The last 
day at Princeton was spent by Mr. Birkbeck and myself 
in talking over the business that each was to do separately. 
He, in the further purchase of land as soon as funds could 
be procured, and in the erection of cabins and other neces- 
sary preparations for the settlement in spring. He handed 
to me his two manuscripts. One to be published in Phila- 
delphia and one in England. 

Let it be remembered, in these days of convenience and 
fast travel, that then horseback was the only mode of 
traveling, and the space contained in a pair of saddle-bags 
all that was allowed for papers, wardrobe, and often pro- 
visions for the traveler. 


The little horse that had carried me on my solitary 
journe)', of over two thousand miles, was a high-bred 
animal of mettle and of perfect, but of rather slight, frame; 
not of sufficient bone and substance to carry my weight 
with the baggage with which I was encumbered, and 
pressed, as I knew he must be, to a forty-mile daily travel. 
I gave him to my little friend, Prudence Birkbeck. She 
loved a gallop on a mettlesome nag. Her light weight he 
would carry as a feather, and I was well pleased to place 
my faithful little horse, to whom 1 was much attached, 
with a friend that would take care of him. 

Selecting two of the most suitable animals from our 
stud of ten, for myself and wife, behold them caparisoned 
and both of us mounted. On the back of each horse was 
evenly laid a soft and rather thin blanket, which received 
the saddle, kept steady in its place by girths and crupper, 
over the saddle, folded double and sometimes triple, was 
laid a large and soft Whitney blanket, kept in place by a 
broad circingle. The pad behind the saddle received the 
cloak and umbrella, tightly folded in one large roll, and 
bound with two leathern thongs. The saddle-bags, stuffed 
to their utmost capacity, were laid on the saddle, under 
the blanket, kept in place by two loops through which the 
stirrup-leathers passed. On the top of all sat the rider. 
It is rather a skilful job to pack saddle-bags well. As you 
put in their contents, you must poise them frequently, to 
see that each side is equally weighted. If you fail in this, 
you are plagued the whole ride, by the bags slipping to 
one side or the other, to the danger of their striking 
against the horse's legs, starting him off in a furious kick- 


ing-gallop. A riding appendage, peculiar to horsemen in 
America, is the legging. It is a piece of blue or drab 
cloth, about a yard square, folded round the leg from 
knee to ankle, pinned with three pins to keep the edges in 
place, and tied by two bands of tape or galloon, one below 
the knee, the other above the ankle. It catches all the 
splash and mud, and, when cast off, the pantaloon is dry 
The women, instead of the full cloth riding-habit worn in 
England, draw over their usual dress a long skirt, made of 
bombazine or some dark-colored stuff, and over their heads 
they cast a large handkerchief, which they tie under their 
chin. This keeps the bonnet and veil in place, and protects 
the face and ears from sun, wind, and rain. Our horses 
and ourselves thus accoutred, we mounted, and this is done 
by the horses being led to a block — in Western America, 
generally the stump of a tree — and even then it takes a 
pretty wide stride and fling of the leg for a man to clear 
saddle-bags, great-coat, and umbrella. But when once 
mounted, with a high pommel in front, cloak and umbrella 
behind, you are not easily dismounted. In these long 
journeys, there is very little mounting and dismounting, 
rarely more than once or twice in a day. Accoutred and 
mounted, our friends came around us with full hearts and 
tearful eyes, with hopes and, perhaps, some regrets and 
forebodings. ' We turned our horses toward their long and 
toilsome journey, and thus we parted with friends we were 
destined never more to meet. There is little to recount in 
this journey excepting its daily toil. 

In the latter part of September, the weather is often 
very hot. Relaxed by the long-continued heat of sum- 


mer, the body feels excessive languor under autumnal 
heat. To accomplish nearly forty miles a-day, encumbered 
as we were, was an effort, subjecting us to great fatigue. 
It would have been to a party of strong men. To my 
wife, I felt conscious it was a severe trial. Thinking of 
others always before herself, and gifted with a rare spirit 
of perseverance and resolution, she would never submit to 
the least delay, whatever might be her fatigue or suffering. 
It was getting late in the season, and she dreaded for me 
a winter's passage across the Atlantic. We never lost a 
day during the whole journey. We had but one brief 
delay; my horse falling lame, I had to sell him and get 
another. But this journey had its perils as well as its 

Somewhere in the State of Ohio, the waters were out. 
Rain had fallen for many days. From the edge of the 
high ground, we saw a valley, nearly two miles wide, cov- 
ered with water. The river, about two hundred yards 
before and below us, was undistinguishable from the sur- 
rounding water, excepting by the guard or hand-rails of a 
bridge, and the planks on the top of the bridge, which* 
were two or three feet above the water, but each sloping 
end of the bridge was under water. Sitting on our horses, 
and hesitating as to what to do, we saw, in the valley 
below, a man on horseback just entering the water. 

We watched him wading about knee-deep, and saw him 
ascend the sloping end of the bridge. Suddenly his horse 
went down under water, and he, floundering off his back, 
reached the dry planks on the top of the bridge. The 
horse was carried down stream a long distance before get- 


ting out. Approaching the man within speaking distance, 
we learned that one of the broad planks from the sloping 
end of the bridge was gone, but the space being concealed 
by the water, the horse fell through. Had we not seen 
this accident, one or both of us might have gone through 
and been drowned. We soon ascertained that only one- 
half of the plank was gone, and that the other half might 
be rode over. In fear and trembling we rode over this 
half-plank, which was under water and out of sight, and 
safely reached the top of the bridge. . The prospect was 
not inviting. The valley was two miles wide, and one 
mile and a-half of it was covered with water. Our way 
was along a corduroy-road, straight from the end of the 
bridge, across the valley. Over low, miry valleys, the 
roads were often made, by digging ditches on each side, 
thus raising the way a foot or two above the general level. 
Across this slightly-raised road-bed, logs, that is, trunks of 
trees, and some of them very large and ten feet long, were 
laid side by side. A little earth was sometimes thrown 
between them, but they were generally suffered to sink by 
their own weight, leaving a rough but hard surface, that 
nobody would either ride or drive over if there had been 
any other way of passing the swampy vale. Whenever 
very high water came, as was the case now, the whole road 
would be covered, hiding the deep dykes on each side. 
The course of the road was only visible by the projecting 
end of a log here and there, or a few logs that had risen, 
and were unsteady, wabbling about on the surface of the 
water. But what made it most dangerous, were the holes 
in the road, concealed by the water. As the water would 


not assuage for two or three days, we did not like to lose 
that time, so we v^entured in. A painfully perilous ride it 
was; at every step, expecting that both horse and rider 
would be down, floundering in the water; and we verified 
its dangers, luckily neither fatal nor very injurious. My 
horse had stepped over one of those unseen gaps under 
water, made by the loss of a log. Mrs. Flower's horse 
innocently stepped with his forefeet over also, but the 
hindfeet dropped in, bringing the water over the crupper 
and up to the seat of the saddle. For a few moments, the 
poor animal was standing half in and half out the water, at 
an angle almost as steep as the roof of a house. The pres- 
ence of mind of the rider, who gave a loose rein and a 
tight cling to the pommel, showing no fear by voice or 
sudden motion, allowed the sagacious animal to extricate 
itself, at the unavoidable risk, by its violent struggle, of 
throwing her over its head. A thorough wetting, and 
everything wet in the saddle-bags, excepting a slight strain 
to the horse, was the only real injury. 

In a few days we had passed Pittsburgh, and were 
ascending the Alleghanies. The bracing atmosphere of 
the mountains, in the latter days of October, made great- 
coat and cloak acceptable. The contrast to the hot, damp^ 
and sweltering atmosphere, we had left, was great. It is 
astonishing how soon we are restored from fatigue, con- 
tracted by exercise, in the open air. Debility is of much 
longer duration, from labor in factories, stores, and in 
rooms warmed by stoves. Hail, snow, thunder-storms, and 
drenching rains are all restoratives to health and spirits. 
The mountains crossed, we halted at the town of Cham- 


bersburgh, at the foot of the east slope of the Alleghanies. 
In the comfortable and quiet tavern, kept by Mrs. Hettick 
and her daughters, Mrs. Flower found convenient apart- 
ments. I was on my way to Philadelphia in twenty-four 
hours. Here was another parting. Our original number 
were now being widely separated. Mr. Birkbeck's family 
hundreds of miles west on the frontier. My wife alone at 
the foot of the Alleghanies, and myself gone to another 
quarter of the globe. How different now our situation to 
what it was four months before. Then united, conscious 
of strength from our union, and happiness from our 
strength. Now divided by distance and by time, each 
fragment exposed to doubt and uncertainty, and, worst of 
all, to falsehood and misrepresentation of any designing 
foe. Each unit felt all its responsibilities. After brief 
delay at Philadelphia, to puf Mr. Birkbeck's manuscript in 
the hands of the publishers, I proceeded on my way. On 
arriving at New York, I heard of a ship on the very eve of 
departure for England. I straightway walked to the dock, 
with my saddle-bags on my arm, and stepped on the 
Ajih Maria, Isaac Waite, captain, James Flack, owner. 

In five minutes we were in motion, and, in half-an-hour 
sailing on the ocean, with a fair wind and a calm sea. As 
the wind freshened the sea became rough and angry. The 
gale stuck right aft with such fidelity that we neither veered 
nor tacked until we sighted the west coast of Ireland 
which we did on the fourteenth day after leaving the har" 
bor of New York. A hard blow, as we entefed the Chan - 
nel, drove us within fearful proximity of the Tuscar light- 
house, whose lights glared ominously on our decks. The 


noble ship, under press of every sail, held hard to the 
wind, beam down and keel out, admirably answered to her 
helm. It was a fearful moment. We narrowly escaped 
wreck and a watery grave on that most dangerous coast. 
We were two days longer, buffeted by contrary winds in 
the Channel, before we entered the port of Liverpool, which 
we did on the seventeenth day from Nevy York, then 
thought to be a very rapid passage. If there is no purga- 
tory for man between the upper and lower regions of an- 
other world, there certainly is between the eastern shore 
of America and the western shore of Europe. I suffered 
much from sea-sickness during the rough and speedy voy- 
age. If I chanced to take a slight meal during a tempo- 
rary lull, I acted but as steward for the fish. The continued 
suffering of the voyage, after the fatigue of so long and 
laborious a ride, reduced my strength much. During the 
winter, I was preparing and assisting others to prepare for 
a final emigration in the spring. 

One copy of Birkbeck's notes* had been left for the 

* " Notes of a Journey in America from the Coast of Virginia to the Ter- 
ritory of Illinois, by Morris Birkbeck, author of 'Notes of a Tour in France,' " 
were published in Philadelphia in 1817, and in London in 1818. The book 
was very widely read in England and passed to a third edition. It did much 
to stimulate emigration to the English Colony in Edwards County. It was 
translated into P>ench and published in Paris in 18 19, under the title of 
"■ Lettres Sur les Nouveaux Etablissemens qui se forme nt dans Us parties occi- 
dental des Etats-Unis Amerique." The French publisher of this volume has 
an interesting preface. He says that the work he offers to the public has 
been published in Philadelphia in 1818; that it is written without pretension, 
and has no claim to literary merit, but that there will be found in it piquant 
details upon the western part of the United States. Those far-off regions 
have only a scattered population, and have been but little known up to the 
present time, and that, without doubt, it will be interesting to read a collec- 
tion of letters written from the Territory of Illinois by an actual inhabitant o' 
that country. 


Philadelphia press, another was being printed in England. 
The publication of these notes, and, afterward, a series of 
letters from the prairies, gave a wider range of information 
as to our proceedings and intentions. During the winter, 
I was constantly applied to in person and by letter for 
information and advice on the subject of emigration, by 
persons in every rank, but chiefly from those in moderate 

In describing western America, and the mode of living 
there, I found some difficulty in giving a truthful picture 
to the Englishman who had never been out of England. 
In speaking of a field, the only field he had ever seen was 
a plot of ground, from five to fifty acres in extent, sur- 
rounded by a ditch, a bank, and a live hawthorn fence; it 
has two or more well-made gates, that swing freely on 
their hinges, and clasp firmly when shut. The word field 
brings this picture to his eye. A zig-zag fence it is diffi- 
cult for him to understand, but why gates should swing 
freely on their hinges in England and drag on the ground 
in America is incomprehensible. 

You tell of a log-house. The only houses he has seen 
are buildings with plastered or papered walls, with ceilings 
and floors, with halls, passages, cellars, and attics, and each 
room furnished with a good chimney and hearth. The 
simple log-house he can scarcely realize. But few can 
comprehend the difficulties arising from an absence of 
population. To try and carry them from the conveniences 
of civilized life, ever present to their minds, I have said: 
suppose you and your family placed under a clump of oak 
trees, such as stand in an extensive and beautiful English 


park, with the sky above, the earth below, no fence, no 
house, and perhaps no person within twenty miles, and you 
may have some conception of your situation in a new and 
unpeopled country. The gloomily-disposed would shake 
their heads in despondency. The sanguine would make 
light of the difficulties, and be charmed with the picture. 
So people would reflect the color of their own minds upon 
the sketch you gave them. 

The publication in England of our travels, my return, 
and personal communication with a host of individuals, 
had given a wide-spread knowledge of what we had done 
and what we intended to do. Our call had received a 
response from the farmers of England, the miners of Corn- 
w^all, the drovers of Wales, the mechanics of Scotland, 
the West- India planter, the inhabitants of the Channel 
Isles, and the "gentleman of no particular business" of 
the Emerald Isle. All were moving or preparing to 
move to join us in another hemisphere. The cockneys 
of London had decided on the reversal of their city 
habits, to breathe the fresh air of the prairies. Parties 
were moving, or preparing to move, in all directions. At 
one time, the movement appeared as if it would be 
national. Representatives from each locality, and de- 
scendants from every class that I have mentioned, are 
now living in the English Settlement of Edwards County, 
Illinois. The preparatory movements were completed. 
The first act of our drama here properly closes, and the 
history of the actual emigration, with the accidents and 
incidents of the journeyings by sea and land, now begins. 


First Party of Emigrants Sail from Bristol, in March, 1818 — Many 
of Mr. Birkbeck's Neighbors and Acquaintances among them — 
Letter of Richard Birkbeck — Farm Operatives in England — Per- 
sons composing the Party — Land in Philadelphia, in June, 1818 
— Reach Pittsburgh and descend the Ohio River to Shawnee- 
town — Arrive at Mr. Birkbeck's Cabin on Boltenhouse Prairie — 
The "Barracks" — Sufferings and Discomforts of the Party — 
Wan borough laid off by Mr. Birkbeck — The next Ship -load of 
Emigrants sail in the following Month, April, 1818 — Mr. Flower's 
Family with this Party — Other Persons composing it — Mr. Flower 
Journeys by Carriage from Philadelphia to Chambersburgh with 
his Family — The last Ship-load of Emigrants proceeding to their 
Destination — ^A/■ant of Harmony — A Black Sheep in the Fold — 
Arrival at Pittsburgh — Preparations to Descend the Ohio River 
— The Perils of the Voyage — Stop at Shawneetown — The Appear- 
ance of that Village — Mr. Fordham comes from the "Settlement" 
to meet Mr. Flower and Party at Shawneetown — His Account 
of Mr. Birkbeck and condition of Things at the "Settlement" — 
Preparations to receive the Emigrants — Log -Cabins and Hard 
Food — The first Meal on their Arrival — The blessing of an Iron 
Teakettle — No Greetings from the Settlement — Mr. Birkbeck and 
Mr. Flower at Variance — A short Dialogue between them, and 
they never Speak to each other afterward — The Cause of the 
Estrangement — First Experiences — A Sickly Season — A Time of 
Trial — Labor and Self-Sacrifices of Mrs. Flower — A Noble and 
True Woman — The first building of Cabins — Close run for Pro- 
visions — Settlement in Village Prairie — Emigrants coming in — 
Determined to lay out a Town — The spot Selected — The Name 
Agreed upon. 

Early in March, 1818, the ship Achilles sailed from 


Bristol, with the first party of emigrants destined for our 
settlement in IlHnois. 

Mr. Charles Trimmer of Yeatley, Surrey, a young farmer, 
and a neighbor and acquaintance of Mr. Birkbeck's, with 
forty-four men and one married woman, sailed in this ship. 
The men were chiefly farm-laborers and mechanics from 
Surrey. Many of them had for years worked for Mr. Birk- 
beck, others were from his neighborhood, and were either 
personally acquainted or knew him by reputation. This 
party was under the especial care and leadership of Mr. 
Trimmer. Another party, of about equal number, com- 
posed of London mechanics, and tradesmen from various 
parts of England, formed another party that sailed in the 
same ship. These were under the guidance and direction 
of Mr. James Lawrence, merchant tailor, of Hatton Gar- 
den, London. Neither Mr. Lawrence nor any one of this 
party had any personal acquaintance with either Mr. Birk- 
beck or myself, but received their impulse from our pub- 
lished expositions. Mr. Lawrence being a man of prop- 
erty, a resident of the city, and well acquainted with the 
usages at the docks, custom-house, shipping, etc., became 
actually the head of the whole party. To him were 
addressed the various packages belonging to the emigrants, 
which he saw safely through the custom-house, and placed 
securely on board ship. His house became the resort of 
inquirers, in quest of information. His counting-house 
became a sort of office for emigration, where I met people 
of all classes, to be catechised and pumped of all I knew, 
and everything they thought I ought to know. To such a 
pitch had this grown, Mr. Lawrence must, I am sure, have 


felt a real relief to be on board ship and far away. He 
now began to have a taste of what it was to become a 
leader of a people, although in a fractional way, and on a 
small scale. 

I had previously dispatched to Mr. Birkbeck a special 
messenger. A young man from London, who wished to 
try his luck in the new world, was glad of the opportunity 
of having his expenses paid to a point so far in the interior 
of America, and then take what might turn up in the lot- 
tery of life. By Mr. Robert Walford, I sent Mr. Birkbeck 
funds, of which I knew he stood in need. Mr. Walford, 
after staying for some time in the Settlement, finding no 
suitable occupation, went to Louisville, and opened busi- 
ness as an accountant, in which he succeeded, married, 
raised a family, and is, I believe, now living. 

I here insert a part of a letter from Richard Birkbeck 
{Mr. Birkbeck's eldest son), who was left in England to 
wind up his father's affairs at Wanborough. This letter is 
chiefly interesting to the American reader, as showing the 
scale on which some English tenants carry on their farms: 

"Wanborough, January i8, 1818. 
"My dear Father: — George Flower is now here, and has 
been here for nearly a week. With this you will have a let- 
ter of credit to the amount of ^3000, that is $15,000, and 
hope, according to the following statement, to send out an- 
other sum of nearly the same amount, by George Flower, in 
April. You will know that I have, by this time, given up 
possession of Wanborough on the first instant, excepting 
the barn-yard, from that I shall clear everything off by the 
first of April. I have received the amounts: 


Of the valuation of plowing, - £1473 

Of the underwoods, - - 1 001 7s. 6d. 

£2474 7s- 6d. 
"The above sum is the foundation of the letter of credit 
you now receive. The money previously received is in two 
sums, one of a ^1000, the other of £700. By the follow- 
ing account, you may judge in some measure of the proba- 
ble value of your property: 

Sheep, ------- £1200 

Horses, - - - ^ - - - 400 

Wheat, - - 400 

Wool, __.--- 700 

Barley, Oats, Pe^s, and Beans, - - looo 

Good-will for my quitting the farm, - 2000 

Dung to be paid for by James Onslow, - 1000 

• £?>700 

"This is the rough estimate; you may consider it nearly 
what the sum will be. I hope the sum does not fall short 
of your expectations. I think it exceeds our estimate." 

From this we may form some idea of the manner in 
which an English farm is conducted. Although Mr. Birk- 
beck left the farm legally on the first of January, the 
occupation and tillage was carried on up to the very day 
the incoming tenant took possession. The item ^1473, or 
$7000, is for ploughing and tilling, in preparation for the 
next crop. ;!^5000 more, the value of the underbrush of 
the wood, just ready to be cut and made into faggots and 
hoop-poles. All the operations of the farm went on from 


hand to hand, uninterrupted by any change. The landlord 
pay $5000 for dung left in the farm-yard, being so much 
more than the tenant received when he took possession of 
the farm, some fifteen years before. The farm may change 
hands, but the farmer never dies. The system of cultiva- 
tion is not disturbed by the removal or death of either 
landlord or tenant. The i^ 11,174 7s. 6d., or, in round 
numbers, $55,000, may be considered as his subscription 
toward laying the foundation of the English Settlement. 

In the Bristol ship, besides Mr. Lawrence and Triqimer, 
was Mr. Hugh Ronalds, gentleman from Hammersmith, 
near London. Mr. Hugh Ronalds became my brother-in- 
law, by marrying my second sister. Miss Mary Catherine 
Flower, and was for many years my near neighbor in Illi- 
nois, at his pleasant residence of Hazle Hill, about half- 
a-mile from Park House, and one mile from Albion. Mr. 
Ronalds, for many years, carried on a tannery near Albion. 
Several years a widower, his family grown and settled, he 
now resides comfortably on his income at Grayville, ten 
miles from his former residence near Albion, enjoying his 
two favorite pursuits, horticulture and literature. 

The Lawrence -and -Trimmer party landed safely at 
Philadelphia early in June. They made their way some 
in wagons some on horseback, over the mountains to Pitts- 
burgh, then descending the Ohio in flat-boats to Shaw- 
neetown, in August, proceeded without delay on foot, in 
wagons and on horseback, to Mr. Birkbeck's cabin on the 
Boltenhouse Prairie. Of this first party Mr. Birkbeck had 
long notice, and he had made for them the best prepara- 
tion he could. He had erected a square of rough log- 


cabins, with two doors in each, and a small sash-window 
in every door. This rendezvous, afterward called the bar- 
racks, was for all comers. Into this the first ship's com- 
pany — eighty -eight in number — went, all men, excepting 
three women. I must leave to imagination the various 
feelings of its motly inmates, some used to the refinements 
of civilized life; all to the comfort of a home however 
humble; some without money, all for a time without occu- 
pation ; without vegetables ; corn-bread and salt pork their 
only diet; whisky their sole luxury and consolation, and 
some not able to get that. It was for a time a fermenting 
mass. Strange and conflicting emotions exhibited them- 
selves in ludicrous succession. Some laughed and joked ; 
some moped and sulked; some cursed and swore. Things 
Avorked right in time. The activity and energy of the 
national character were soon displayed. 

The village of Wanborough was laid off by Mr. Birk- 
beck in five-acre lots. On these were built cabins, rented 
by some, bought by others. A good ox-mill and black- 
smith's -shop w^ere soon after added to the village. At 
this time, almost all the five-acre lots are purchased and 
thrown together or are^ attached to adjacent farms. 

The next ship with emigrants for the prairies, which 
sailed from Liverpool in the following month of April, 
was chartered by myself for the party that came with me. 
My own immediate family and friends occupied the cabin; 
my domestic serv^ants, and other emigrants going out to 
join us, filled the steerage; and my live-stock of cows, 
hogs, and sheep, of the choicest breeds of England, took 
up all the spare room on deck. My father and mother, in 


easy circumstances, and aged sixty-three, accompanied me, 
with my two sisters, young women grown, one brother, 
WilHam, a young man, the other, Edward, a lad. Miss 
Fordham, my cousin, going to join her brother in Ilhnois, 
with three attached female and one man-servant. The 
family of these most respectable people had lived with our 
family for three generations, and a distant removal could 
not now separate us. These, with myself and my two 
sons, young boys, were my immediate family party. But 
going to our settlement in this ship were also Mr. Francis 
Rotch and brother, friends of Mr. Birkbeck, and Mr. Filder, 
a gentleman rather advanced in years, a man of consider- 
able property; Dr. C. Pugsley and wife, and small family, 
from London; and Mr. Adam Corrie, I think, from the 
county of Nottingham, were also passengers. Besides these 
was Mr. John Wood, then a young man, now with gray 
locks, the father of a large family, a respectable and pros- 
perous farmer, near Albion, living in a good brick-house, 
on a fine farm, and surrounded by all rural comfort that 
a man need desire; also, Mr. John Ingle, and his family, 
from Cambridgesliire. Mr. Ingle is now living near Evans- 
ville, and his son, John Ingle, junior, is a prominent pro- 
fessional man, engaged in all the public business of the 
city. Mr. David Bennett, and family, Mr. White, and family, 
carpenter and builder, from London, Captain (baptismal 
name) Stone, wife, and family, were also of the company. 
Mr. Stone was steward on my farm in England. He now 
had the care of my cattle, sheep, and swine. These, and 
some other names not recollected, made a party of three 
score and more, bound to our settlement. It was the same 


ship, the Ann Maria, and the same captain, that brought 
me over so safely and rapidly in the previous fall. We 
arrived without accident at New York, after a passage of 
fifty days, and but one week after the Bristol ship, that 
sailed a month before us. To remove all these people and 
their luggage, and the animals that I had brought, to our 
Settlement, nearly a thousand miles inland, was no small 
undertaking, at a time when there was neither turnpike 
nor railroad, and steam-boats few, and in the infancy of 
their management. Patience, toil, time, and money were 
all required and all were freely bestowed. 

On reaching land, the ship's party was broken up, and 
smaller parties were formed of people of similar habits 
and tastes, clubbing together for mutual assistance on the 
way. Those of small means, proceeded on without loss of 
time. Those of more means, lingered a little in the cities, 
and with their new friends, before taking their departure 
for what was then the Far- West. 

Mr. John Wood, Mr. Ingle, Mr. White, and Mr. Bennett 
formed a party for travel, on their arrival at Pittsburgh, 
purchased a covered flat-boat, and descended the Ohio 
River together. Mr. Filder, I think, bought a horse, and 
rode the whole distance to Vincennes, on the Wabash. 
The Rotches, brothers, came, I think, with my father's 
party as far as Cincinnati, from thence on horseback. My 
father's family spent the first winter in Lexington, Ky., 
whilst I w^as preparing their residence in Illinois. In this 
manner, the various individuals and parties made the 
best way they could. Some of them were joined by 
individuals and families of English, that were lingering 


on the sea-board, without any specific reference to our 
Settlement; but seeing the emigration, and having read 
the pubUcations, joined and went on. I think every 
accession from the East was English. Not an Ameri- 
can joined us, excepting one, a Captain Kenyon, of a 
merchant -vessel formerly trading to India. He came 
in my boat down the Ohio. He was not a man suited 
to the Settlement by previous habits. An unavailable 
member, he did not stay long in the Settlement. I had 
traveled much before this trip. First, my journey alone, 
two thousand miles; then with Mr. Birkbeck's party west- 
ward ; and the return with my wife, another one thou- 
sand miles; but always on horseback. Now I was to 
enter on a new experience of travel. With a covered 
traveling- carriage, strongly built but light, and a capital 
pair of horses, I drove from Philadelphia to Chambersburgh. 
I had often driven on English roads, but never before on 
American. The roads were then for the most part in their 
natural state, pretty good when dry, almost impassable for 
mud if the weather was wet, and, in both cases, plentifully 
set with stumps. In many parts of the Alleghany Moun- 
tains, the road was merely a track made by the wagons 
from Philadelphia, going up the easiest watercourse on the 
mountain side, with all the large boulders unbroken, giving 
us severe bumps, and sudden and dangerous descents. 
The charge for carriage from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh 
was reduced then to $7 per hundred pounds. With nie, in 
my carriage, I took my two sons and Miss Maria Fordham. 
My father and mother and sisters, resting longer at Phila- 
delphia, traveling more deliberately, and proposing to pass 


the winter at Lexington, Kentucky, Miss Fordham took a 
seat in my carriage, to accompany me and my wife to 
Illinois. The roads, were good to Chambersburgh, and I 
rapidly drove along. 

My wife and I were once more together, and with us a 
little daughter, but a few weeks old. We stayed awhile at 
Chambersburgh, to make acknowledgment to our newly- 
found friends there who had been so kind to Mrs. Flower 
during her long and anxious solitude. Conspicuous among 
these were Mr. and Mrs. Calhoon. Mr. Calhoon was 
cashier of the bank, and all our little money matters 
passed through his hands. To others, unnecessary to 
name, equally solicitous and watchful in taking every 
opportunity in doing a kindness, we shall ever bear grati- 
tude in our hearts. 

My carriage was soon filled, my horses were strong, and 
we were proceeding onward to a given point, in the pleas- 
ing hope of meeting again, in the prairies, the friends we 
had left at Princeton, and of carrying out together the 
scheme of emigration and settlement that we had begun 
and thus far carried on to a successful point. The various 
objects we had in view, for which* I was sent to England, 
were all accomplished with singular success. ■ My voyage 
across the Atlantic was of unusual speed. The funds for 
Mr. Birkbeck were safely sent, exceeding somewhat in 
amount his own expectations. The publications made by 
book, pamphlet, and newspaper had excited general atten- 
tion. By a singular coincidence, my father had sold, a 
few days before my arrival in England, his dwelling and 
lands in Marden for ^23,000, thus giving to himself, my 


mother, brothers, and sisters, an opportunity of returning 
with me in the spring, which they wilhngly embraced, to 
take up their abode in the prairies. 

Both ships arrived in America without accident, most of 
the people had crossed the mountains in health, and many 
of these, by the time I got to Pittsburgh, were proceeding 
down the Ohio River to their ultimate destination. Every- 
thing worked smoothly; success was attained, but harmony 
was not. 

Who can calculate the extent of mischief spread by an 
envious temper, a false heart, and a loose tongue. There 
came over in my ship, as I have before stated, a doctor 
from London, a man of some skill in his profession, with a 
pretty wife. They assumed to be fashionable people, and 
were so, but of that part of fashion which assumes some- 
thing of its external appearance, without possessing any of 
its sterling qualities. I had no particular knowledge of 
him, but wishing to come to our Settlement, and reputed 
of some skill, I gave him every information and all facili- 
ties. Having made his neighborhood in England too hot 
to hold him, he for some time disturbed our Settlement, 
until he went elsewhere to follow his unhappy instincts. 
He made a point of coming out in my ship, and, unfortu- 
nately for the peace of our neighborhood, bought a town- 
share, and so became a town-proprietor. I note the un- 
happy propensities of this man as a prominent cause of 
the troubles which for a time disturbed our Settlement. 

Many of us bound for Illinois met at Pittsburgh. Some 
were ruffled in temper. All seemed to be' more or less 
disturbed by the roughness of the journey passed, and in 


anticipation of the new experiences on the river to come. 
A week was often lost at Pittsburgh in fitting up boats or 
chaffering for horses. Some were buying flat-boats, some 
purchased skiffs, fitted with an awning, for one or two 
persons; some determined to take it on horseback; but 
most of them went down the river. Here my brother 
William joined me, and gave me great assistance on the 
voyage and the first two months in Illinois. I purchased 
a keel-boat and a flat-boat, and lashed them together, 
the former for my family, the latter for my horses; car- 
riage fastened on the top of the flat; four English farm- 
laborers for oarsmen. With difficult}', I procured a pilot, 
who engaged to go a hundred and fifty miles with me 
down the river. But he left me just before coming to a 
difficult part of the river, called Dead Man's Shoal. There 
was no other resource, I had to take the steering-oar, and 
was soon aground. With much labor and difficulty we 
got off, poling and shoving up to our knees in the river, 
trying to get the boat off. With a "Pittsburgh Naviga- 
tor" {a book with a map of the river, in which all the 
islands, shoals, and dangerous places are laid down,) in one 
hand, and* the steering-oar in the other, I took my station 
at the helm. With my total inexperience, I found my 
new position both anxious and laborious. The labor and 
exposure I did not mind, but the constant watching and 
state of doubt was trying. I got on pretty well, going 
along by day and tying up at night. But it was not 
all smooth sailing. I got into one dangerous scrape, and 
out of it, too, as luck would have it. It w^as this: The 
"Navicfator" had described a certain island of great length 


close to the north shore, with a narrow and dangerous 
channel of rapid water, as especially dangerous, and to 
be avoided by every craft descending the river. I had 
been long looking for this island, and presently it came 
in sight. I was approaching it in the middle of the 
river, a very considerable distance off. I was not suffi- 
ciently aware of the distance a sand-bar extended from 
a point of an island. When about to steer for the Ken- 
tucky shore, my boats grounded. In pushing off, we 
were swung round into the current leading into the very 
channel we were warned to avoid. I felt, as we approached 
the danger, as a man may be supposed to feel when he 
finds himself and craft drawing into the waters of Niagara. 
I was, for a short time, uncertain, weak, and helpless, 
through sheer fright. Our two boats, lashed together, 
entered the dark channel, overhung by trees. The water 
was running at a rapid rate, and the channel was full 
of black and dangerous snags. I called to the oarsmen 
to give way with all their might. Seizing the steering- 
oar myself, which felt in my hands as light as a feather, 
giving it sudden twists and turns to port and lee, .going 
through the crooked channel with scarce room to pass 
between the snags, we eventually came out safe. Passing 
a flat-boat tied up in the stream beyond, I was accosted 
by the old man, as he sat smoking his pipe on the roof 
of his boat, "I say, stranger, you must be a mighty favor- 
ite summers to get through with your two boats from 
that devil's race-course!" 

I have found at other times, as then, if surprised by 
sudden danger alone, after the first moments of appalling 


fear, strength as suddenly comes, and you overcome. I 
suppose the god that lies dormant in every human breast 
suddenly awakes and carries him through. At Cincinnati, 
my crew deserted me, and it was some days before I 
could muster another. As we were floating along, one 
warm summer day, my eldest son, Richard, walking on 
a narrow pathway between the body of the boat and 
the edge, missed his foothold, and fell into the river. 
Mr. Hay ward, a young gentleman from Oxfordshire, 
whom we had taken into our boat, heard the splash, and 
plunged in; both child and man disappeared. They 
came to the surface, Hayward holding the child by the 
coat-collar. 'They were on the lower side of the boat. 
Hayward, who was a good swimmer, finding the boat 
press against them, with great presence of mind dived, 
with the child in his arms, under the boat, and came up 
on the other side, where I first lifted my son from the 
water, and then assisted Hayward on board. Very for- 
tunately, no other injuries were experienced than a fright 
and a drenching. They were soon made comfortable by 
a change of clothing. 

A few little incidents and we arrived at Shawneetown, 
a fortnight after Trimmer and Lawrence's party arrived 
at the same place; and a poor little village it was, of log- 
cabins and a few light frame-houses. It was occasionally 
subject to deep inundations from the floods of the Ohio 
River. The situation of Shawneetown is handsome, com- 
manding long reaches of the Ohio River, up and down 
stream. At that time, it was the only town in Southern 
Illinois, if we except Carmi, thirty miles north, on the 


Wabash, the county-seat of White County, then a very 
small place. 

Leaving my boats, I again proceeded by land in my 
Philadelphia vehicle, with two famous grays. Myself, my 
wife, my two sons, and Miss Fordham, rode in the carriage, 
which was filled with articles of the first necessity. My 
brother William, rode on horseback. Mr. Fordham, who 
had come to meet me, was also on horseback. He had 
remained with Mr. Birkbeck's family during the winter; 
making frequent excursions into the prairies, to assist in 
the preparatory arrangements, as well as more distant 
journeys to Cincinnati and Louisville, for a variety of arti- 
cles, with which he loaded a flat-boat and descended the 
Ohio. From him we learned all the news of the Settle- 
ment; the arrival of Lawrence and Trimmer's party, and 
various horsemen who had come overland from Cincinnati. 
All these were for the time occupants of the hollow-square 
of log-cabins, afterward facetiously called the "barracks"' 
from its limited space, offering unavoidably but limited 
accommodations to any, and this was becoming more and 
more crowded every day. Mr. Birkbeck's family occupied 
two cabins at some little distance from the general rendez- 

Enquiring of the health and condition of everybody, he 
he said they were generally well, but Mr. Birkbeck he 
thought had somewhat changed. He looked older, was 
rather testy, and occasionally gave short answers, and said 
some other things that rather surprised me. Mr. Fordham 
also told me that he had built two cabins on niy land. 
Near to one he had due a well. In this cabin he had 


placed a French-Canadian family, from Cattinet, that there 
might be some human beings on the place. The other he 
had built a-quarter of a mile off on a more beautiful site, 
a situation which he thought I should like as my perma- 
nent residence. After hearing all this, I decided to drive 
to the last-described cabin. After a drive of sixty miles 
in two days, we were at the prairies. I entered the prairie 
at the same spot from which we had first seen it; now with 
quite different feelings and other cares. On entering the 
prairie, my large horses were covered with the tall prairie- 
grass, and laboriously dragged the heavy-laden vehicle. 
The cabin built for me was well sheltered by wood from 
the north and east, with an arm of the prairie lying south 
in a gently-descending slope for a-quarter of a mile, it was 
as pretty a situation as could be desired. The cabin could 
not boast of many comforts. With a clap-board roof, held 
on by weight- poles, and a rough puncheon floor, it had 
neither door nor window. Two door-ways were cut out, 
and the rough logs were scutched down inside. All the 
chips and ends of logs left by the backwoods builders lay 
strewed upon the floor We were now face to face with 
the privations and difficulties of a first settlement in the 
wilderness. But greater than all other inconveniences was 
the want of water. There was no water nearer than the 
cabin in which the French family lived, a-quarter of a mile 

It is impossible for any one living in old countries, 
where the common conveniences of life have been accumu- 
lating for centuries and ages, to understand the situation 
of an individual or small family when first alighting in 


the prairies without even tliat indirect aid from art and 
cultivation common to all in a civilized community. 

The poorest man in an old country things nothing of a 
road or a path, or a drink of water from a well. He is the 
owner or occupier of some sort of a house, maybe a small 
cottage, but even he can shut his door against a storm, 
and crouch in safety before a small fire, made in 2i fireplace, 
perhaps enjoying the luxuries of a three-legged stool and 
a small deal -table, some shed outside to tie up a horse or 
cow. Not so here. A rough roof and a rough floor we 
had, and that was all. In three days the Frenchman, 
Jean Mummonie, brought us a turkey, for which we paid 
him a quarter-dollar, but there .were two days to live before 
the turkey came. The floor was cleared, and a fire kindled 
in a hole where a hearth was to be. One of us had 
a-half-mile trip for the water. Then for the first time 
we knew the blessing of an iron teakettle. Our first meal 
on the floor from such provisions as the carriage afi"orded, 
crackers, cheese, and tea without milk, drank alternately 
from one or two tin cups. Some sitting, some kneeling, 
some stretched at length, resting on an elbow, ancient 
fashion. This may be called beginning at the beginning. 
Romantic certainly. Picturesque to be sure. The gypsies 
in England, in their snug tents, sheltered by pleasant haw- 
thorn hedges, camp-kettles teeming with savory hare, par- 
tridge, and trout, raised at other folks' expense, we were 
far before or behind them, as the case may be viewed. 
But then I was in my own house, on my own 'land, in a 
free and independent Republic, might cast my vote into 
any hollow tree for coon or 'possum to be president of the 


United States. All this is very sustaining to a patriotic 
heart just from Europe, from the terribly-oppressing kings, 
dukes, priests that we hear so much about. But for this, 
how could we have stood it ? The second day was only a 
little more embarrassing than the first. Our horses, untied 
from the carriage-wheels, had to be led to grass, or grass 
cut for them by our pocket-knives. The second night 
came; what, nobody from the Settlement only two miles 
off; what did this mean ? 

On the third day after my arrival, I took my horse and 
rode over to Mr. Birkbeck's cabin. When almost in the 
act of dismounting, I saw him rise from his seat, from 
under the shade of an oak that stood opposite to his 
cabin door. He passed before my horse's head into the 
cabin, pale, haggard, and agitated. With eyes cast down, 
and shaking his head, he said: "No, we can not meet, I 
can not see you." Sitting on my horse, and looking at 
him in wonder, I said: "We must meet, our property is 
undivided, business is urgent, heavy payments are to be 
provided for freight and charges." But what! "Stop, 
stop," said he, "let a third person arrange all." "So be 
it," said I, and rode on. These were the last words that 
ever passed between us. When we take a cold, we are 
troubled to know how it happened, and think if we had 
taken an umbrella, or put on a great-coat, or changed 
our shoes, or done something we had not done, we should 
not have got it. So it is in our moral diseases. W^e can 
not help looking back to see how they came. Was it 
both of us leaving him at Princeton alone with his family 
on the frontier.'' We did not consider, perhaps, sufficiently 


at the time that the absence of both myself and wife 
would leave a dreary, void, and lonely winter for our aged 
friend. We, in the vigor of our years and affection for 
each others, perhaps, overlooked this, and, possibly, he 
might feel somewhat aggrieved on that account in the 
solitary winter he had to pass, for a father with his chil- 
dren only is in some sort a solitary being. He might 
feel that he was deserted, and a thought may have crossed 
his mind that we might never return. I think he felt 
something of this sort from an expression in a letter to 
an intimate friend in England, where he said: "You will 
see Mr. George Flower, who intends to return in the spring, 
but we all know when time and distance intervene, they 
are great barriers to the execution of our intentions." I 
was struck with the sentence when I saw it, but the friend 
had no such doubt, for he put into my hands a considera- 
ble sum of money, to be especially invested. Then again, 
instead of riding on with some feeling of injury at my 
reception, had I dismounted and insisted on an explana- 
tion, things might have been different. But all this is 
only saying if things were different to what they are, 
they would not be as they are. From that eternal chain 
ever lengthening, but never ending, the effect of today, 
the cause of tomorrow, what mortal power can change 
the smallest link.^ This is no place for metaphysical dis- 
quisitions, but a relation of events as they occurred. 

Here let me pause in the narrative, to do justice to 
ourselves in our after unfortunate and unpleasant situation. 
We never quarrelled or descended to altercation, never 
spoke ill of each other, and never, as I believe, attempted 


to do each other any injury. We were silent ever after, as 
if we ignored each other's existence. The hne of demar- 
cation between our lands was about three miles long. 
Ever after, I worked on one side, he on the other. When 
strangers visited the Settlement, they called on each of 
us. I say this in contradiction to the extraordinary false- 
hoods promulgated at the time. Regret and sorrow were, 
no doubt, the prevailing feelings in ea^h breast.* 

But we were now parted forever, and in that situation 
were, with all our caution, very much at the mercy of 
go-betweens and tale-bearers, ever to be found on an 
errand of mischief. There had arrived before me in Wan- 
borough, a man of parts and education. He had made 
calculations, before leaving the old country, to settle at 
the prairies, and there form his domestic relations. In 
this he was disappointed, and bore no friendly feeling to 
me in consequence. 

The void which our silence left was more than filled 
up by our intermeddling neighbors, and Mr. Birkbeck's 
annoyance, from indiscreet partizanship, was much greater 

* It would be useless at this remote period to inquire into the causes that 
led to the severance of the friendly relations between these founders of the 
English Settlement in Edwards County. It was luidoubtedly a great misfor- 
tune to the Colony at that time, because both of the men had strong friends, 
who formed themselves into Birkbeck and Flower parties, and which, no 
doubt, impeded the growth and prosperity of the Colony. While the friends 
of both of these men were much excited, and although they were estranged 
from each other, they never entered into any unseemly personal wrangle, 
and each pursued the even tenor of his way. Had it not been for the sad 
accident by which Mr. Birkbeck lost his life, there would probably have been 
a reconciliation between them. It was understood that Mr. Birkbeck's visit 
to New Harmony, at that time, was for the purpose of seeking the intervention 
of his friend, Robert Owen, to bring about a renewal of their friendly inter- 


than mine. The wildest reports, mostly ridiculous and 
some scandalous, were carried from one to the other, and 
were so often repeated, as to obtain some credence with 
those that invented and circulated them; and some indi- 
viduals were so indiscreet as to write, to their distant 
friends, these fabulous accounts. This brought to Mr. 
Birkbeck letters, asking explanations of the strange things 
they had heard. From this annoyance he could scarcely 
free himself by silence or reply. It has been said that 
none but fools intermeddle with other people's dissentions. 
If judged by that rule, we had many noii coinpus in our 
Settlement at tiiat time. 

There was that sense of justice in Mr. Birkbeck that 
prompted him to repair an injury inflicted from errone- 
ous impressions or heat of temper. Seven years after our 
short meeting and parting, Mr. Birkbeck went to Har- 
mony, and solicited Mr. Robert Owen to use his influence 
for a reconciliation between us; but from that journey 
he never returned.* 

I must anticipate a period of eight years to close the 
history of Mr. Birkbeck's family with myself and with 
the Settlement. Some time after the death of Mr. Birk- 
beck, a circumstance occurred which brought me once 
more into personal intercourse with the members of his 

* On his return to Wanborough from New Harmony, Ind., June 4, 1825, 
Morris Birkbeck was drowned while crossing Fox River. His body, taken 
two days afterward to New Harmony, was buried with every mark of respect 
and affection. Thus perished Morris Birkbeck, one of the ablest and most 
cultivated men of his time in Illinois, whose inlluence, wielded in the cause of 
freedom and humanity, should always be gratefully remembered. 


family, then living in Wanborough,* his two daughters, 
Mrs. Pell and Mrs. Hanks, neither of whom I had seen 
since our parting at Princeton, eight years before. Mr. 
Francis Hanks, eldest son of an Irish gentleman, and the 
only member of that family now remaining in Wanbor- 
ough, married Miss Prudence, the second daughter of Mr. 
Birkbeck, by whom he had three daughters. Mr. and 
Mrs. Hanks had for some time lived apart. Mrs. Hanks 
and her children lived with her sister, Mrs. Pell, to whom 
she was ardently attached, and by whom she was much be- 
loved. Mr. Hanks and myself had always been on friendly 
terms. From the peculiar position of my own and his 
father-in-law's family, we had nev^er conversed on his 
family affairs. Mr. Hanks now thought it his duty to 
take his children under his own care. He called on me 
to ask the loan of my carriage to bring his children and 
their little effects from Mr. Pell's to his own house. This 
led to further conversation then, and to more the next 
da}'. I questioned the wisdom of his intention in taking 
his daughters from the custody of their mother, and bring- 
ing them to a house without a housekeeper or female 
domestic, and in a country where a governess was scarcely 
to be procured. 

He listened to my suggestions, and, at his request, I 
went to see Mrs. Hanks on the subject. Mr. Pell met 

* Wanborough was laid out as a town by Mr. Birkbeck in five-acre lots, a 
mile or two west of where Albion is located, and there he had his own residence. 
A few other families settled there, but the town had no future. Everything 
went to Albion, and, at the present day, Wanborough has no existence, even 
in name. 


me at the hall-door, with some surprise, for I had never 
been there before. I briefly explained the object of my 
visit. He invited me in, and opened the door of the 
parlor, which I entered. There stood my two former 
friends, Eliza and Prudence, pale and motionless. Pru- 
dence soon became tremulous, her nervous temperament 
scarcely allowed her to stand, but she could not move. 
Her sister, with slight motion, invited me to a seat, which 
I for a few moments could not take. All the past Was 
passing through our minds, we were yscarcely conscious of 
existence. I asked Mrs. Hanks if she would like to retain 
her children, and received her almost inaudible assent and 
thanks. Mr. Pell came in, to our relief; we all made an 
effort, and spoke aloud, as if to dissipate the impression 
of some unhappy dream that had long oppressed us. 

Mr. Pell sat down to table to draw up an agreement, all 
of us sitting, participating in what was being written. I 
soon returned with Mr. Hanks' signature. Dinner was now 
ready. I was pressed to stay. I sat at the right-hand 
of Mrs. Pell, Mrs. Hanks opposite, Mr. Pell at the bot- 
tom, and three or four children near him. Mrs. Hanks 
never completely recovered her self-possession. Mrs. Pell, 
calm, conversable, and cheerful. The conversation became 
general. Yet it was evident that there were different 
parties at the table, feeling a different existence, and living 
in different worlds. Three of us saw all the happy days 
of the past, and the darker hours of separation and regret 
to which the husband could get but faint glimpses. The 
children knew no other world than they were enjoying, 
and the play to which they soon returned. At leaving, 


Mr. Pell requested a moment's stay at the hall -door: 
"Mr. Flower, there has been an estrangement between our 
families, may we hope that it is now at an end, and that 
all may be forgotten." As in the evening of a dark and 
dreary day, the clouds lighted up with a bright streak o^ 
sunlight in the western horizon, showing that the storms 
are past, giving promise of a fair and tranquil morrow. So 
one gleam of sincere, but melancholy, friendship closed 
our dark day, but for us there was no morrow. Mrs. 
Hanks soon after went to Mexico, with her daughters, to 
join her brothers, who had gone to that country after their 
father's death. Not long after her arrival in Mexico, on 
an evening promenade, she was attacked with the cholera 
and died. Her children, adopted by her bother Bradford, 
have been kindly cared for. A little later, I met Mrs. 
Pell, for the last time, at a friend's house in Albion. She 
was going, the next day, to New York with her children. 
At parting, she came forward, extending her hand with 
frankness, and with her own sweet smile, gave me a cor- 
dial farewell. This estimable lady was, I believe, the sole 
instructor, as well as care-taker, of her children, and this 
she was from the circumstances of her situation. Mr. Pell 
was a public man, twice in the Legislature, and was often 
for long periods abroad." A wife of ability and industry, 
everywhere valuable, is in western America a treasure of 
priceless worth. In the performance of her maternal 

* Gilbert T. Pell, who married the daughter of Mr. Birkbeck, was a mem- 
ber of the " Convention Legislature, " as it was called, from Edwards County, 
in 1822-4. He was a strong anti-slavery man, and voted against the resolu- 
tion to call a convention to change the Constitution of the State' so as to toler- 
ate slavery. He was also a member from the same county for 1S28-30. 


duties, and in every sacrifice for the welfare of her chil- 
dren, Mrs. Pell found refreshment and strength. She now 
took them the journey to New York and the voyage to 
England. For their sake, she went to the antipodes of 
the globe, encountering the world of water that lies be- 
tween England and Australia, where she now is watch- 
ing the peaceful progress of her children to wealth and 
station, as rewards for the virtues impressed upon them 
by her care and love. 

I should willingly have avoided these personal inci- 
dents, but our histories are so interwoven with the history 
of the Settlement that I could not entirely omit them. 

On my return from the short interview with Mr. Birk- 
beck, I saw that I could receive no benefit or aid from 
any previous preparation, and had only myself to rel}^ 
^ upon. No water near, a well was of the first necessit}'. 
Two laborers, one English and one American, were set 
at work, and struck a solid sandstone rock three feet from 
the surface. The nearest forge was where the town of 
Carmi now stands, thirty miles distant. About every 
other day, I sent to Carmi to have tools sharpened. Two 
sawyers set to work with a pit-saw, broke the iron han- 
dle of the saw. I sent a man on horseback to Harmony, 
twenty-five miles, to get it mended. He left the saw, 
and then rode off with horse, saddle, and bridle. I never 
saw him more. 

My old friend Birk gave me a call to say ''hoivd'yc',' 
bringing a haunch of venison, for which I paid him thirty- 
seven and a-half cents, about eighteen pence sterling. 
Think of that, ye aldermen of London! Our money was 


not decimally divided then. It was the Spanish coin: 
dollar, half, quarter, twelve-and-a-half and six-and-a-fourth 
cents, all in separate silver coins, no copper passing. 

"Birk, I want a smoke-house, well roofed, scutched in- 
side, and well chinked. How much.?" "Ten dollars," 
said he. "Find }'ourself (that is, feed yourself), haul 
your own logs. When.'" "Tomorrow." The house was 
built; money paid; whisky given; man rode home; drunk 
and happy; all in a quiet friendly way. So the Settle- 
ment was planted in two parts, side by side, about two 
miles distant from each other. 

For a moment let us glance at the situation of these 
settlers, a thousand miles inland, at the heels of the retreat- 
ing Iijdians. A forest from the Atlantic shore behind 
them, but thinly settled with small villages, far apart from 
each other. To the west, one vast uninhabited wilder-, 
ness of prairie, interspersed with timber, extending two 
thousand miles to the Pacific Ocean. • Excepting St. Louis, 
on the Mississippi, then a small place-, and Kaskaskia, yet 
smaller, there were no inhabitants west of us. About the 
same time, one or two small American settlements were 
forming a few miles east of the Mississippi, as we were 
planting ourselves a few miles west of the Wabash. The 
first member of Congress had to ride an intervening 
space of a hundred and fifty miles of wilderness between 
the little settlements of his constituents, lying in the 
west and east of the State. There were no roads on 
land, no steam-boats on the waters. The road, so- 
called, leading to Vandalia ( then composed of about 
a dozen log-houses), was made by one man on horse- 


back following in the track of another, every rider 
making the way a little easier to find, until you came 
to some* slush, or swampy place, where all trace was 
lost, and you got through as others had done, by guess- 
ing at the direction, often riding at hazard for miles 
until you stumbled on the track again. And of these 
blind traces there were but three of four in the southern 
half of the State. No roads were worked, no watercourses 
bridged. Before getting to Vandalia, there was a low 
piece of timbered bottom-land, wet and swampy, and often 
covered with water, through which every traveler had 
to make his way as he best could, often at the risk of 
his life. Such was the state of the country. No man 
could feel sure that he was- within the limits of the State, 
but from knowing that he was west of the Wabash and 
east of the Mississippi. We had some difficulties, pecu- 
liar to ourselves, as a foreign people. The Americans, 
by pushing onward and onward for almost two genera- 
tions, had a training in handling the axe and opening 
farms, and, from experience, bestowing their labor in the 
most appropriate manner, which we, from our inexperi- 
ence, often did not. Fresh from an old country, teeming 
with the conveniences of civilized life, at once in a wilder- 
ness with all our inexperience, our losses were large from 
misplaced labor. Many were discouraged, and some re- 
turned, but the mass of the settlers stayed, and, by gradual . 
experience, corrected their first errors, thus overcoming 
difficulties which had wellnigh overcome them. The 
future success oT the Settlement was obtained by individ- 
ual toil and industry. Of the first inconveniences and 
sufferings, my family had its full share. 


The summer had been very hot and latterly wet. Thun- 
der showers of daily occurrence sent mosquitoes in swarms. 
My cabin, recently built, of course, of green logs, unfur- 
nished, with rank vegetation growing all around it and 
up to its very sides, was in its situation and in itself a 
sufficient cause of disease. My shepherd and his family 
came, bringing a few choice sheep and an English high- 
bred cow. His whole family, in a few days, all fell sick, 
lying in a small cabin just built about a hundred yards 
from my own. Mr. White, carpenter, from London, wife, 
and two children, occupied a two-horse wagon and a sol- 
dier's tent. There was no house for him ; they all fell 
sick. My two sons were speedily taken with fever and 
ague, to us then a new disease. Miss Fordham, who 
shared our cabin, was attacked with the same disease. 
My constitution, strong and good, yielding from exposure 
to heat and rain, took another form of disease. Boils 
and irritable sores broke out on both my legs, from knee 
to ankle, incapacitating me, for a time, from walking. 
Thus we were situated for two or three weeks, without 
the slightest assistance from any source, or supplies other 
than from my own wagons, as they slowly arrived from 
Shawneetown, giving us sufficient bedding with flour and 
bacon. All the other merchandise and furniture did but 
add to our present embarrassment, in attempts to protect 
them from the weather, and in endeavoring to dry what 
was wet. 

We were carried through this period of trial by the 
unremitting labor and self-sacrifice of my wife.* She alone 

* Mrs. Flower was a woman of rare intelligence and excellent education, to 


prepared all our food and bedding, and attended to the 
wants of the sick and the suffering by night and day. 
To all this was added a fatigue that a strong man might 
have shrunk from, in bringing water from that distant 
well. Sustained in her unremitting labors by unbounded 
devotion to her family, and a high sense of duty to all 
within her reach, her spirit and her power seemed to rise 
above the manifold trials by which she was surrounded. 
And thus we were saved from probable death or certain 
dispersion. The incessant labor of the mother told on 
the infant at the breast; it sickened and died. With 
returning health we worked our way unaided through our 

To our former friends and those that sustained them 
in withholding the slightest assistance in our hour of trial, 
is it strange that we should accept the separation, and 
feel in our hearts that it must be forever.? We, for some 
time, experienced the inconveniences of population in ad- 
vance of necessary food and shelter. 

which she united an energetic character and a courageous spirit. An affec- 
tionate wife, a devoted mother, a l^ind friend, and a good neighbor, she proved 
herself in all the relations of life a true and noble woman. When misfortune 
and poverty came to her family in the later years, she met the changed circum- 
stances with a cheerful spirit and unsubdued courage. She was of the best 
type of an English countrywoman, and preserved, to the end of her days, the 
characteristics of her nationality. The sad day arriving when, in pursuit of 
occupation to support his family, Mr. Flower was obliged to leave the Colony 
he had helped to found, and with which he had been so conspicuously identi- 
fied for so many years, he removed to Mt. Vernon, Ind., on the Ohio River, 
to take charge of an hotel. Advanced years and impaired health made it im- 
possible for Mr. Flower to give much attention to the business, and the brunt 
fell upon his wife. With her high shell-comb and her tasteful turban, no 
weary guest will ever forget her cheery welcome, or the satisfactory and kindly 
manner in which he was entertained. 


The buildings necessary to secure our horses and our 
goods, now daily arriving, were built by the backwoods- 
men of whom I have before spoken, among them was my 
old friend Birk. These men worked well in the morning, 
slackened toward noon, as the drams of whisky (which 
they would not work without) told upon them, and in- 
dulged in imprecations, brawls, and rough-and-tumble 
fights, toward evening. 

Emigrants were continually flowing in. They first 
visited Mr. Birkbeck, who had but small accommodations; 
then came to me, who, at that time, had still less. At 
this stage, we were experiencing many of the inconveni- 
ences of a population in the wilderness, in advance of 
necessary food and shelter. Do as you will, if you are 
the very first in the wilderness, there are many inconveni- 
ences, privations, hardships, and sufferings that can not be 
avoided. My own family, one day, were so close run for 
provisions, that a dish of the tenderest buds and shoots 
of the hazle was our only resort. 

Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Trimmer, who led the first ship- 
load, made their settlement in the Village Prairie, a beau- 
tiful and extensive prairie, so-called from the Piankeshaw 
Indians, there formerly located. It was situated due north 
of my cabin in the Boltenhouse Prairie, about three miles, 
the intervening space covered by timber and underbrush, 
untouched by the hand of man. Emigrants kept coming 
in, some on foot, some on horseback, and some in wagons. 
Some sought employment, and took up with such labor 
as they could find. Others struck out and made small 
beginnings for themselves. Some, with feelings of petu- 


lence, went farther and fared worse; others dropped back 
into the towns and settlements in Indiana. At first, I 
had as much as I could do to build a few cabins for the 
workmen I then employed, and in erecting a large farm- 
yard, a hundred feet square, enclosed by log-buildings, 
two stories high; also in building for my father's family 
a house of considerable size, and appointed with some- 
what more of comforts than is generally found in new 
settlements, to be ready for their reception on the follow- 
ing summer. I had as yet done nothing in erecting build- 
ings for the public in general, as there had been no time. 
One evening, Mr. Lawrence, Mr. Ronalds, and I think, 
Mr. Fordham, called at my cabin, and, after their horses 
were cared for and supper over, we discussed the meas- 
ures that should be taken to form some village or town, 
as a centre for those useful arts necessary to agriculture. 
Every person wanted the services of a carpenter and 
blacksmith. But every farmer could not build workshops 
at his own door. Daylight ceased, darkness followed. 
We had no candles, nor any means of making artificial 
light. On a pallet, mattress, or blanket, each one took 
to his couch, and carried on the discussion. After much 
talk, we decided that what we did do should be done 
in order, and with a view to the future settlement, as 
well as our own present convenience. The tract of forest 
lying between Mr. Lawrence's settlement in the Village 
Prairie, on its southern border, and mine at the north of 
the Boltenhouse Prairie, was about three-and-a-half miles 
through. Somewhere in the centre of this tract of wood- 
land seemed to be the place. To the right of this spot, 


eastward, lay, about a mile distant, several prairies run- 
ning north and south for many miles, and others east and 
west to the Bonpas Creek, from three to five miles dis- 
tant. North-eastward from Mr. Lawrence's cabin, prairies 
of every form and size continued on indefinitely. About 
two miles west, and beyond Wanborough, were numerous 
small and fertile prairies, extending to the Little Wabash, 
from six to ten miles distant. On the south was my 
own beautiful prairie. Thus the spot for our town in a 
central situation was decided upon. Now for a name. 
We were long at fault. At last we did what almost all 
emigrants do, pitched on a name that had its association 
with the land of our birth. Albion was then and there 
located, built, and peopled in imagination. We dropped 
off, one by one, to sleep, to confirm in dreams the wan- 
derings of our waking fancies. 


Albion Founded — Town Surveyed and Laid Off First Double Cabin 
— Benjamin Grutt — Albion a fixed Fact — The Log -Cabin and 
Blacksmith-Shop — Rowdyism — \A/an borough springs into Exis- 
tence in 1818 — Efforts to obtain Water — Visit to Lexington, Ky. 
— Death of \A^illiam Flower — Building in Albion — Old Park-House 
— The Sunday Dinner — Brick-Kilns — Market-House — New Roads 
— Brick-Tavern, built by Richard Flower — Kept by Mr. and Mrs. 
Lewis — The Mill — The first Store-keepers in Albion -Other early 
Settlers — Albion made the County-Seat — Erection of a Court- 
House and Jail — Pardon of Perry by Gov. Coles — Disappoint- 
ment of the People in not seeing him Hung — Consoling them- 
selves with Whisky and a score of Fights — Thirty-nine Lashes 
for a Poor Frenchman — Hon. William W^ilson. 

One day was only suffered to elapse between our 
decision and the execution of our purpose. Before dis- 
persing the next morning, it was agreed that Mr. Ford- 
ham and myself should start north from my dwelling. 
Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Ronalds were to go south from 
the Village Prairie at a given hour on the following morn- 
ing. We met the next day in the woods, according to 
appointment. The spot seemed suitable, The woods 
were rather open, and the ground level. " Here shall be 
the centre of our town," we said. The spot of our meet- 
ing is now the public square in the centre of Albion, on 
which the school-house, the court-house, and the jail now 
stand. The surveying and laying of the town was en- 
trusted to Mr. Fordham, who forthwith went to work, and 


completed the survey and the plat. One of our number 
went to Shawneetown, and entered the section of six 
hundred and forty acres, which was all laid off in town 
lots. The public-square was in the middle. The blocks 
immediately around, and in the main street, were divided 
into quarter-acre lots. The blocks outside were divided 
into half-acres. As the distance increased from the cen- 
tre, the lots increased in size, until the outer belt of allot- 
ments were five and seven acres. 

The first double-cabin built, was designated for a tavern, 
and a single one for its stable. This was occupied by 
Mr. John Pitcher, who, with his family, came out with 
Mr. Lawrence. He was an excellent mechanic, and a man 
of more than ordinary intelligence. Unsuccessful in 
England, he came to the Settlement almost without a 
dollar. About two years afterward, he went to Vincennes 
(leaving his family at Albion), and undertook contracting 
for building on a large scale. He was pursuing his business 
successfully, when he was suddenly cut off by a virulent 
epidemic, much resembling the yellow fever. He was 
visited in his last moments by Mr. Benjamin Grutt, who 
was then at \"incennes and accidentally heard of his ill- 
ness. Too weak to articulate, with a significant pressure 
of the hand and a kindly smile, he took leave of his 
visitor, indicating that the little differences which had 
arisen between them had all passed away, and were then 
forgiven. This reminiscence, Mr. Grutt always spoke of 
as one of the most pleasing incidents of his life. His 
son Henry, then a boy, is now, I am happy to record, 
a gentleman of large property, now residing at St. Louis, 


acquired, I believe, in the city by his own industry and 
intelh'gence. Such opportunities does this country afiford 
for those who have the ability or good fortune to lay hold 
of them. 

Another and second double and single cabin were occu- 
pied as dwelling and shop by a blacksmith. I had brought 
bellows, anvils, tools, and appliances for three or four black- 
smith-shops, from the City of Birmingham, England. — 
There were three brothers that came with Mr. Charles 
Trimmer, all excellent mechanics, Abraham, Isaa^c, and 
Jacob Penfold. Jacob, the blacksmith, was immediately 
installed, and went to work. There stood Albion, no 
longer a myth, but a reality, a fixed -fact. A log-tavern 
and a blacksmith -shop. 

Two germs of civilization were now planted — one of the 
useful arts, the other a necessary institution of present 
civilization. Any man could now get his horse shod and 
get drunk in Albion, privileges which were soon enjoyed, 
the latter especially. 

The town -proprietors, at first four, afterward increased 
to eight (each share five hundred dollars), went to. work 
vigorously. They put up cabin after cabin, which were 
occupied as sgon as put up, by emigrants coming in. 
The builders of these were the backwoodsmen, some 
from twenty to thirty miles distant. Attracted by our 
good money and good whisky, these men gathered in. 
The work was generally done by contract or piece-work 
— the price twenty-five to thirty dollars for single cabins, 
16 by 18; from forty to fifty for double cabins. The 
builders generally worked hard by day. In the evening, 


they gathered around the whisky-barrel, as bees around 
a favorite flower. As the evening advanced, in succession 
were heard the sounds of mirth and jolHty, threats, loud 
oaths, and imprecations. Rough-and-tumble fights suc- 
ceeded, and silence was' only restored by the exhaustion 
of the mutilated combatants. The birth of our infant 
town was heralded by all the scenes of riot and debauch 
incident to such occasions. 

In August, i8i8, the village of Wanborough sprang into 
existence for the accommodation of the first-ship's party, 
on Mr. Birkbeck's property, and under his immediate direc- 
tion. In October, of the same year, Albion was founded 
under my more immediate superintendence. It has main- 
tained a slow, progressive, solid growth from that time to 
this, now more than forty years. 

The first efforts of the town-proprietors to obtain water 
were signally unsuccessful. The first well dug was in the 
public -square, and more than a hundred feet deep, and 
no water. The next a considerable depth, and but a 
limited supply. We knew not exactly where to dig to 
find water. The elevation of the town (being on the 
dividing ridge, between the Great and Little Wabash), 
giving greater salubrity, was accompanied by the incon- 
venience of deep -digging for water. When ignorance is 
complete, we are apt to take up with any superstition. 
I have often smiled at our resignation in following an 
old well-digger, who claimed to be a water-witch, with a 
forked hazel-rod in hand, here and there, up and down, 
through the bushes, with solemn tread and mysterious air. 
The rod is to bend down of its own accord over the spot 


where water is to be found. After following the witch 
for a proper time, the rod bent down. We told him to 
go to work. The result was water at a depth of forty- 
five feet, not so deep and copious, but affording a moder- 
ate supply. This difficulty about water was all obviated 
afterward, when the property was divided. Tanks and 
wells then became common as houses. But the want of 
water in the first instance was no light difficulty. Popu- 
lation streaming in before adequate preparations, add, to 
all the other inconveniences, the want of water, and it is 
almost fatal. When there were only two wells, I have 
known people to stand for two hours in the night to 
take their turn to dip their bucket full. Hence the efforts 
of the town-proprietors to get an early supply.* 

During the winter, I rode on horseback to Lexington, 
Ky., to visit my father's family. On the road, I was 
shocked to hear of the sudden death of my brother Wil- 
liam. He came with me and assisted me in the roughest 
part of our time. Feeling unwell, he decided to go to 
Lexington, and spent the winter with his father, mother, 
.sisters, and younger brother. He was accompanied and 
kindly attended on the journey by Mr. John Ingle. He 
sometimes seemed to recover, and at others to get worse. 
Suddenly one morning, as he sat up in bed, his mother 
in the room arranging the clothes for him to put on, he 
sunk back on the pillow and instantly expired. I do n't 
think the physicians knew precisely his case. They 
thought it heart-disease. This was a melancholy affair 
for us all, and a severe affliction to my aged parents. 

I was busily engaged, during the winter and spring, in 


building a comfortable dwelling for my father, not far 
from my own cabins. The body of the house, 50 by 40 
feet, covered by a hipped -roof, consisted of four rooms 
in the lower and the upper story, divided by a hall-pas- 
sage from north to south. The south front was protected 
by a broad, well-floored porch, that extended the length 
of the house. Every room was plastered or papered, and 
furnished with a good brick -chimney and stone -hearth. 
The north front was stuccoed, to resemble stone; the 
south, weather- boarded and painted white. The house 
was well furnished. Its good proportion, large windows, 
and Venetian blinds gave it an appearance of the old 
country rather than the new. It had two wings, one of 
hewn stone, the other of brick, used as kitchen and offices. 
A well, a cellar, stables, cow-house, and every other con- 
venience of that sort was appended. A handsome gar- 
den to the south was fenced in by an English hawthorn 
hedge. Thirty acres of the northern woodland was pre- 
served, the underbrush cleared and sowed with blue grass, 
it had the appearance of a park. Hence its name — Park 

Old Park-House, near Albion, will long be remembered 
by old settlers and distant visitors, for its social reunions 
and open-handed hospitalities. Here the family party of 
children and grandchildren met at dinner on a Sunday. 
An English plum-pudding was a standing dish, that had 
graced my father's dinner-table from time immemorial. 
Here all friends and neighbors, that had any musical 
tastes or talent, whether vocal or instrumental, met once 
a fortnight for practice and social enjoyment. Strangers 


and visitors to the Settlement received a hearty welcome, 
saw all that was to be seen, and received all the infor- 
mation they wished for, with necessary refreshment and 
repose. It may be truly said that, for thirty years, old 
Park House was never without its visitors, from every 
country in Europe, and every State in the Union. They 
were welcome, unless the family was absent, if their stay 
was for a week, a month, or a year. 

One of the first things the town -proprietors did, after 
digging the wells, was to contract for a large kiln of 
brick, for chimneys and hearths, to supply the various 
cabins now built and being built. Nothing gives more 
real and apparent comfort, than a good chimney and a 
tidy hearth. They next built a market-house, about 
seventy- five feet long, standing on a stone foundation, 
and covered by a shingle -roof. One division was fitted 
up for the reception of books, that were given by indi- 
viduals in England, as a nucleus for a public-library, and 
was used for public-meetings and public-worship. When 
Albion became the county-town, the first courts were 
held therein. They cut roads east, west, north, and south, 
and built a bridge over Bonpas Creek, that cost them five 
hundred dollars. Their last act of any notoriety, was the 
building of the new court-house-and-jail, which was done 
chiefly from their own subscription, with a portion from 
the County. The proprietors, if they had done no more, 
would have done uniformly well, which is a little too much 
to be expected of human nature. They had some violent 
disputes and law proceedings, which retarded business 
and was for a time injurious to the growth of the town. 


They dissolved partnership, and divided the unsold prop- 
erty, and of course all disputes arising out of the associa- 
tion were ended. My father took a lively interest in the 
growth of the town, and erected several buildings in which 
to carry on trades necessary to the existence of the town 
and the wants of the Settlement. 

The year after his arrival, he built a good two -story 
brick-tavern. It was a remarkably dry fall; and the wells 
of the town were not more than sufficient to supply the 
inhabitants. But my father was not a man easily turned 
from his intentions. He ordered a barrel put on a sled, 
drawn by a pair of oxen or one horse, and all the water, 
necessary to the building of that tavern was hauled nearly 
two miles in that tedious way. On the interruption of 
the usual teams, rather than hinder the workmen, he had 
a fine blooded-mare hitched to the sleigh ; from the care- 
lessness of the driver, she ran away and had her thigh 
broken by the rebound of the sleigh. 

Mr. John Pitcher was the builder of the tavern. The 
first occupants were Mr. and Mrs. Lewis. The second, 
Mr. Woods — not of the family of Wood before mentioned, 
but another family from Surrey, with another letter to 
their name. Mr. John Woods, the son, has a store in 
Albion, and has long held the office of county-treasurer. 
The next building for the benefit of the public was a mill. 
It was built as a tread-mill, worked by four oxen, relieved 
by other four, and so kept constantly going. It soon 
became crowded with grists of the backwoodsmen and 
farmers. Besides this, wheat was bought and flour made 
for sale. I recollect purchasing the first wheat ground in 


this mill. I had to go for it nearly seventy miles, to the 
prairies adjoining the Wabash, above Vincennes. It was 
■delivered at Mount Carmel at fifty cents a bushel, from 
thence brought in our own wagons over execrable roads 
to Albion, nineteen miles. It was an excellent sample of 
white wheat. The history of its growth was singular. 
The farmer, three years before, had sown his first crop of 
wheat. At harvest, being short-handed, much of the over- 
ripe wheat had shattered on the ground, When he brought 
liis plow to turn over the soil, the volunteer wheat looked 
so vigorous that he let it stand. He again harvested, and 
again he left the volunteer wheat stand ; and this, the 
third harvest, grown in the same way, I bought ; and a 
better sample I never saw — two of the crops ripened with- 
out any preparation of the soil. 

Two other houses of hewn- stone my father built, and 
lie accomplished many other improvements in and about 

Of the trades first in order come the stores. Mr. Elias 
Pym Fordham, who had taken my little store, sold out to 
Mr. Olver, a merchant from Plymouth, England. ' In after 
years, Mr. Olver removed to the neighborhood of Pitts- 
burgh, and opened the Edgeworth Institute, a seminary 
for young ladies, but he left behind him a capacious stone- 
house of his own building. 

Mr. Joel Churchill, an intelligent and educated gentle- 
man, from London, after trying farming in its roughest 
form in the woods, some five miles south of Albion (first 
in a log-house), soon built a store of brick, and a stone 
dwelling-house behind it. His business, by his good man- 


agement and application, in a few years, was much en- 
larged. To this he added the manufacture of castor-oil. 
These businesses, on a larger scale, are now carried on by 
Mr. Churchill and his two sons, Mr. Charles and Mr. James 
Churchill, both married men. Mr. Gibson Harris, at first 
the conductor of a small store for Mr. Francis Dickson of 
Vincennes, soon became its proprietor. After years of 
close attention to business, he built himself a good brick- 
store and dwelling-house. The house is now occupied by 
his widow, and the store carried on by one of his sons. 

Nearly forty years ago, a young Scotchman in his teens 
rode up to my house and wished me to purchase his horse, 
saddle, and bridle, which I did for sixty dollars — a good 
price in those days. I built him a forge, which he rented 
at first and afterward purchased. With the proceeds of 
the horse he purchased iron and went to work. This was 
the beginning of Mr. Alexander Stewart, who, after some 
years of labor and industry, added to his blacksmith- 
shop a store; business and capital increasing, he soon went 
largely into the produce of the country, of which pork, 
corn, and wheat are the staples. He is also a principal 
proprietor of a large flouring-mill, at Grayville. 

Mr. Moses Smith, from a very small beginning, first 
purchasing a few articles from the Harmonites and retail- 
ing them in Albion, soon increased his store; then added 
the produce business. On his son, Mr. John Smith, the 
business devolved after the death of his father, which 
occurred about three years ago. These may be called 
the original stores, two of them from very small beginnings, 
in the earliest years of the town, Mr. Harris and Mr. 


Smith being dead, and Mr. Churchill partially retired from 
the toils of business, it may be said of all three, that their 
sons reign in their stead. 

A store, owned by an association of farmers, was carried 
on successfully by Mr. Henry Harwich for several years. 
Mr. George Ferryman, from the Island of Jamaica, came 
to us at the period of emancipation, thinking the island 
would be ruined ; but he has since told me that the trade 
he left has largely increased. What is a little singular, 
Mr. Ferryman has twice removed from Albion w^ith all his 
family. There must be some strong national sympathy at 
work to bring our migrating settlers back. Captain Carter, 
one of our earliest settlers, and more recently Mr. Hen- 
shaw, both went back to London, and both returned to 

- Englishmen returning to their native country, after 
many years' residence abroad, think the old country has 
changed since they left it; but fail to see the change in 
themselves, worked by time, climate, and national associa- 
tions of an entirely different character. One of oui* most 
respectable, an early, though not of the earliest, settlers, is 
Mr. Elias Weaver, one of Rapp's people, a German, left 
the Harmonites, quite a young man at time of their re- 
moval, and came to Albion. Understanding the pottery 
business, my father built him a kiln, at which he worked 
some time; but he afterward changed to a business more 
to his liking, of which he also had some knowledge — a 
builder. He married, built himself a good house, and has 
assisted in the building of many others. He is now liv- 
ing, carrying on his business, a prosperous man. 


In 1822, the county-seat of Edwards County was re- 
moved from Palmyra, a very insignificant place on the 
Great Wabash, at the head of the grand rapids. As 
usual, on such occasions, every place of any pretensions 
was a rival for the honor. Between Mt. Carmel and 
Albion (both young towns, Mt. Carmel two or three 
3'ears our senior) was the competition. Albion was more 
central, had a better reputation for health, and the pro- 
prietors made liberal offers toward erecting the county- 
buildings. Be this as it may, the commissioners fixed 
the county-seat at Albion. This did not quite suit our 
neighbors in the eastern part of the county; and the 
County of Wabash was made from the east part of 
Edwards — Mt. Carmel the county-seat. In after years, 
the court-house, erected on the public-square at Albion, 
was followed by the erection of a good brick-building, for 
a public-school, sustained by private contributions. The 
large jail, recently built, is the third conspicuous building 
standing on the public-square. 

About this time, one of those accidents, as they are 
termed, occurred in Albion, not uncommon in young 
towns then, and much more common in old towns now. 
A man named Clark, in a grog-shop, stabbed a man 
named Hobson. A fellow named Perry, as accessory 
after the fact, was found guilty and condemned, and, by 
Gov. Coles, almost immediately after, pardoned. Two 
murderers let loose on society, with the tacit consent of 
the chief- executive officer of the State, called down deep 
censure upon Gov. Coles for his misplaced leniency. It 
is due, however, to the governor that the extenuating 


circumstances which led to this clemency should be 

During Perry's imprisonment, whilst under sentence of 
death, there lived near to Albion a young fellow of vagrant 
habits, who spent most of his time about grog-shops, and 
getting into fights. His youth and strength made him 
the bully of the place. The condemned Perry was the 
owner of a good rifle. All the backwoodsmen knew the 
qualities of their neighbors' rifles. From the frequent 
shooting- matches with each other, the range, power, and 
accuracy of all the rifles roundabout were known. Perry's 
rifle had a good reputation, and was coveted by the young 
vagabond. Jack Ellis. Jack, conferring with the prisoner, 
agreed to get up a petition, take it to Vandalia, and en- 
deavor to procure a pardon from the governor. If he 
succeeded. Perry was to give him his rifle. Jack set about 
the business with considerable tact. He took a sheet of 
paper, with a proper heading, and secretly and silently 
sped away to Vandalia, a dreary ride of seventy-five miles, 
the weather bad and waters out. When at Vandalia, he 
was in no hurry to present himself to the governor, but, as 
usual with men of his stamp, first went to the grog-shop. 
He soon told his story to the loafers hanging about the 
place, and, in exchange for his drams, they gave plenty of 
signatures to his petition. The governor signed, little 
thinking that the majority of the signatures were procured 
at some doggery, within fifty steps of his own lodgings. 
Jack, returning with the pardon, had fairly earned his rifle. 

In his interview with Perry, after his return, a curious 
scene took place. Perry, brought from a neighboring jail, 


was chained to a beam in a house, where Jack announced 
the success of his mission, and demanded his rifle. This, 
Perry flatly refused. He expostulated on the unreasona- 
bleness of the demand. What was he to do without his 
rifle.'' Might as well take his life as his rifle! How was 
he to live.'* It was unreasonable, inhuman, and much 
more to that effect. "Very well," says Jack, "no rifle, no 
pardon, here goes the pardon into the fire;" it went, but 
not into the flames, but onto the ashes close by. Perry, 
in his terror, gave up the rifle, adding to it all his other 
earthly possessions, an ax and a cow, and his old woman 
too, a faithful paramour, who had stood by him in his life 
of crime and trouble. Jack was not exacting, merely tak- 
ing cow, ax, and rifle, generously leaving the old woman. 

But there was another party to be appeased; the public. 
Disappointed of the exhibition, for which they had espec- 
ially come, they became furious. Men and women had 
come in from forty miles around, on horseback, on foot, 
and in numerous sledges (many wagons were not then in 
the country); a great crowd. On learning that Perry was 
out of their reach, they raged and cursed at everybody 
and everything generally, and Governor Coles in particu- 
lar. If the governor had been there, he would have been 
in danger that day. Consoling themselves with whisky 
and a score of fights, they gradually dispersed. The mur- 
der of Hobson terminated in the transfer of a cow, an ax, 
and a rifle, from an old ruffian to a young blackguard, and 
in giving to Perry a new piece of furniture. Perry claimed 
the coffin and' the rope that was to hang him, which the 
county had procured for his especial use. They were given 


up to him; the former became a fixture in his cabin as a 
corner-cupboard, the latter a happy memento in his rural 
hours. Jack did not live long to use his rifle. An insolent 
assault on a very quiet Englishman, procured for him a 
blow which gave him his quietus. He did not die for 
months, but he never recovered from that blow. 

The first court in a new county excites great interest, 
and the country population are in, almost to a man. At 
our first court, a poor Frenchman was convicted of steal- 
ing a quart of whisky from a neighboring distillery, and 
sentenced to thirty-nine lashes. He was stripped to the 
waist, tied to a post, and the lashes laid on without mercy 
by the sheriff". The sound of the whip, and the screams 
of the poor wretch, sent a nervous thrill through the not 
over-scrupulous country-people, who came in to see the 
opening of the court. If an honest vote could have then 
been taken, I am inclined to think that such institutions, 
as courts of justice, would have been banished as danger- 
ous and barbarous, by a great majority; and I don't know 
that the instincts of the untutored backwoodsmen were 
far from being right. A kidnapper, who would steal a 
free man, and plunge him and his posterity into everlast- 
ing slavery, could not be brought to trial. A murderer 
was sure to escape. But the poor creature who had not 
stolen to the value of a dime, was thus unmercifully dealt 

Hon. William Wilson, a native of Martinsburgh, Va., 
then a young man, residing near Carmi, was the judge of 
our circuit. He was a good lawyer, and a most agreea- 
ble companion. He was well and widely known, respected 


and beloved wherever known.* At that time, a court or 
an election would draw the people into the small towns 
from their most secluded haunts for miles around. Their 
habits, on those occasions, indicated the existing degree 
of civilization. The grog-shops (pioneer institutions in all 
young towns) were in full blast. You could scarcely cross 
the street (even when the court was sitting, perhaps to try 
some offender for a breach of the laws), without seeing 
two or three crowds swaying and cheering at some rough- 
and-tumble fight going on in their midst. Such were the 
scenes in Albion, from 1 8 19 to 1821. Here, for the pres- 
ent, I will leave the town, and give the rise and progress 
of some of the English settlers in the country. 

* William Wilson was on the bench of the Supreme Court of the State 
of Illinois for the long period of thirty years, lacking a few months. He was- 
first appointed July 7, 1819, nine months after the State was admitted into the 
Union. January 19, 1825, he was made chief-justice, and occupied that posi- 
tion until December 4th, 1848, when he was thrown out by the adoption of 
the constitution of that year. I knew him well, and argued many cases 
before the Supreme Court when- he presided as chief-justice. He has left 
behind him an excellent record, and his memory will always be gratefully 
cherished by the profession of his day. He was a good lawyer, and a pains- 
taking, conscientious judge. Of fine personal appearance and courteous man- 
ners, he presided over the court with great dignity. On leaving the bench, 
he retired to his farm near Carmi, White County, where he died, several years 
ago. For thirty or forty years after the organization of White County, Carmi 
was an important political centre. There resided Gen. Willis Hargrave, Leon- 
ard White, Daniel Hay, Lt.-Gov. Wm. H. Davidson^ Chief-Justice Wilson, 
Gen. John M. Robinson, U. S. Senator from 1830 to 1841, Edwin B. Webb, 
and S. S. Hayes; men who made their mark in their time, and were well 
known all over the State. 


Settlers on the Prairies about Albion — Death of Mrs. Wood — Other 
Settlers — Billy Harris' Wagon —Visiting England — Changes in 
the Country at large, but little in the respective Villages -An- 
other Ship-load of Emigrants — An Inappropriate Settler — ^John 
Tribe — William Clark and Family — William Hall, five Sons, and 
four Daughters -A W^ell Accident — Emigration for 1820 -Quar- 
rels of Doctors — Another Well Accident — Lawrence and Trim- 
mer Return to England — Col. Carter — Further Settlers Sketched 
— Francis Hanks, Judge W^attles, and Gen. Pickering — Mr. and 
Mrs. Shepherd — Cowling, W^ood, Field, ElHs, and others Old 
Neddy Coad — Accident to the Sons of W^illiam Cave — Small- 
Traders and Farmers. 

Having given the origin of the town, I will proceed to 
give an account of some of the individuals who first set- 
tled on the prairies around Albion. 

Mr. Brian Walker, with his friend, William Nichols, from 
Yorkshire, came to Philadelphia in 18 17, and to our Settle- 
ment in 18 18. Mr. Walker had, when he landed at Phila- 
delphia, one guinea in his pocket. How much was left of 
that guinea when he got to the prairies, there is no record. 
He and his friend Nichols got on land, settled side by side 
on the skirts of a prairie, one mile east of Albion. They 
worked hard, opened land, built their houses, married, 
raised large families, and became possessed of abundance. 
This is putting in few words the results of the labor of 
many years. Mr. Nichols died a few years ago. Mr. 
Walker is yet living on his farm. 


Mr. William Wood of Wormswold, near Loughborough, 
Leicestershire, a small -farmer, with his wife and a young 
son, Joseph, about twelve years old, left England, for the 
prairies, in the spring of 1819. Accompanying him, were 
two young men, John Brissenden from Woodchurch, Kent, 
and Wm. Tewks from Seargrave, Leicestershire, and Miss 
Mea, afterward Mrs. Bressenden; and with them came 
an acquaintance, with his wife and family, Mr. Joseph 
Butler, also from Woodchurch, Kent. Mr. John Wood, 
who sailed in my ship, was the eldest son of Mr. Wood. 
This party kept together, and came the usual route, from 
Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, and descended the Ohio in an 
ark. When near their journey's end, Mrs. W^ood was taken 
with the flux, and, on reaching the mouth of the Wabash, 
died. On a point of land at the junction of the Ohio and 
the Wabash, on the Illinois side, near no settlement or 
habitation of any kind, her grave was made between two 
trees, on which her name and age were carved. 

We can scarcely imagine a more melancholy fate for an 
aged man, than to lose his life-long partner, after their life 
of toil, and just at the end of the weary voyage they had 
undertaken for the benefit of their family — now to begin 
life again in a new country, with his one little son. Mr. 
Wood was a man of great vigor and good sense, and a 
sturdy laborer and good farmer. W^ith gray hairs on his 
head, he opened his farm, planted his orchard, and, for 
many years, lived to cat of its fruit. 

Mr. Joseph Wood, then a little boy, now a man of 
mature years, married Miss Betsy Shepherd. Mr. Wood 
is now owner of a large farm and good house, and said to 


be the best farmer in the country. He is father of ten 
children, and how many grandchildren, I don't know. 

Mr. John Brissenden, after acquiring a little money by 
working for others, settled on a piece of land alongside of 
his old friend, Mr. Wood. He went the usual way, opened 
his farm, married, reared a large family, built himself a 
capital house, and, besides his possessions in Edwards 
County, had a meroantile business at Maysville, Clay 
County. Mr. and Mrs. Bressenden are both living in the 
enjoyment of good health. 

William Tewks, ditto, ditto. Mr. Tewks added to his 
farm, two teams, four stout horses each ; was a carrier, 
going between Albion and Evansville, Ind. He acted as 
itinerant commission-man between both places, making 
the purchases, which his wagon brought home. He drove 
one of the wagons himself, and met with an accident, 
about three -years ago, that proved fatal. 

John Scavington from Nottinghamshire, came in the 
same year, took to a piece of open prairie beside Mr. Bris- 
senden. Mr. Scavington now lives, a well-preserved man. 
He has done, as his neighbors before mentioned, as to 
house, farm, family, and lands. He has kept to his farm 
almost exclusively, and is a hale and prosperous man. 

William Harris made most of his money wagoning with 
an ox-team. He has, for a few years, retired from that 
laborious occupation, and lived on a farm near to Albion. 
William Harris' team was a sort of institution in the coun- 
try for many years. I would charter Billy Harris' wagon 
for a long journey across the prairies. It was strong, 
large, well covered, and, when well fitted up with bedding 


and provender, was comfortable enough. Mrs. Flower, 
children, and myself, have taken many long and pleasant 
journeys in it. The best conveyance for our rough coun- 
try at that day — no hill too steep, no bog too deep for 
sturdy William Harris and his strong ox-team. Not rail- 
road-like exactly, but something more independent and, in 
many respects, more comfortable. 

Mr. George Woodham, who came in Trimmer's party, is 
now a man well-to-do in the world. William Harris, John 
Scavington, and George Woodham went to England last 
year, after an absence of about forty years, to see their old 
places and old friends, if any were living. When they 
came to this country they were poor men; now in circum- 
stances sufficiently easy to take this journey of pleasure, 
to visit again the scenes of their boyhood and youth. 

• England had seen many changes since they were there, 
railroads, penny-postage, an extended franchise, free-trade 
— all since they left England. But when they reached 
their respective villages, which were m widely-different 
parts of England, they found nothing changed. The 
church of centuries was yet standing, and likely to stand 
for centuries more. The manor-house, the farm-houses, 
the cottages on the green were all standing as they left 
them, in number and condition. 

To record the history of all the men in our Settlement, 
possessed of the power of labor, with ordinary intelligence 
and industry, would be but to record a monotony of suc- 
cess. As a sample, without any exaggeration of their past 
or present condition, of all such men which form the 
majority of the farmers of our Settlement, I give the fol- 
lowing : 


Early in the spring, 18 19, the ship Columbia sailed from 
Bristol to New Orleans. In her came Mr. Samuel Prichard 
of Bamsted, near Epsom, England, with a wife, four sons 
and four daughters. Mr. Prichard was of the Society of 
Friends, possessed of property, an agreeable, liberal, and 
well-educated man; an acquaintance of Mr. Birkbeck's. 
He selected a spot on a gentle eminence, about half-a-mile 
from Wanborough, on the road between Wanborough and 
Albion. Mr. Prichard unfortunately fell sick with fever, 
and soon died. His son, Mr. Thomas Pritchard, and his 
brother Edward, reside in the house their father built. 
Mr. Prichard's house and place strikes the eye of every 
stranger, for the good taste of its arrangement, its neat 
and simple appointments. It is a neat two-story frame- 
house, porch on the upper and lower stories in front. The 
principal feature is the ridge or knoll on which it stands, 
so smooth and verdant. I recollect the preparation of the 
ground. It was grubbed well, ploughed evenly, harrowed 
thoroughly, and then carefully raked by hand. This even 
surface was sown with blue-grass, bush -harrowed, and 
rolled smooth. It was done thoroughly, and has a beau- 
tiful lawn-like appearance to this day. The gate in front 
swings as easily, after forty years' hanging, as it did on the 
day it was put down. . So much for doing things well. 

Mr. Jackson, wife, and son came in the same ship. He 
was an inappropriate settler — a city man, with confirmed 
city habits and tastes; a copyist, a scribe, a small lawyer; 
but even he, I believe, got his living here as long as he 
stayed, by writing for the clerk of the court. 

Mr. John Tribe from Ewell, Surrey, came also in this 


ship. He was without capital, and has supported himself 
by the labor of his hands, and is now living, a worthy citi- 
zen of Albion, and whose excellent memory has supplied 
me with many of the particulars I am now recording. Mr. 
Tribe will excuse me for dwelling a little on the general 
tenor of his life, as I think his example rather good. He 
has not made that accumulation of property that many a 
man has, that came "with as little as he did; and this, 
probably, because he has not given himself up to the one 
idea of acquisition and accumulation. As he has labored 
along moderately through life, he has always reserved a 
little time for observation, reflection, and reading. He car- 
ries on the business of carding wool for the country, far 
and. wide, one of the most useful trades. But the most 
necessary and useful trades are not always those that are 
best rewarded. His house is small, his living plain and 
simple. He reserves a small room for himself, where he 
receives any friend who may call. On the table are writ- 
ing materials, books, periodicals, newspapers; an excellent 
orchard hard by; cows for his family use; milk, butter, and 
cream ; his vegetable garden, so well cultivated as to sup- 
ply him with every vegetable in season ; and a few flowers, 
of the choicest kind, that would grace the garden of Queen 
Victoria. Is not a New-York millionaire poor, compared 
to Mr. Tribe.? 

Mr. William Clark, wife, and six children, from Mow- 
bary, Surrey, also of the Society of Friends, with two 
laborers, one married and one single, arrived about this 
time. Mr. Clark's family came down the Ohio River in 
an ark, and met with a sad accident. One of his daugh- 


ters, a girl of twelve years, fell overboard, and was never 
seen more. He settled on one of the pretty little prairies 
between Albion and the Little Wabash. We were indebted 
to his capital and enterprise for the first wind-mill. The 
architect was Mr. David Kearsum. He and his brother, 
George Kearsum, and a Mr. Simpson came from Norfolk. 
Simpson went back to New York, when, in a warehouse, 
five stories high, thoughtlessly stepping backward, fell on 
the pavement, and was instantly killed. 

It was early in 1821, that Mr. William Hall from Ewell, 
Surrey, with Mrs. Hall, five sons, and four daughters, also 
settled on one of the prairies west of Albion and Wan- 
borough. Mr. Hall owned a large water-mill in England. 
His family had possessed this mill ever since doomsday; 
when the lands in England were all divided by William 
the Conquerer, amongst his followers, and recorded in 
doomsday-book. Think of this, ye ever-moving Ameri- 
cans, who scarcely stay long enough to gather the ripened 
ear from the corn you drop in the ground! Mr. Hall was 
an Episcopalian; a very well-informed and educated man, of 
close observation, and. noted facts as he went along. From 
his journal and collection of papers, which have been 
kindly shown to me by his eldest daughter, Mrs. Mayo of 
Albion, I am indebted for many points of information, 
which I have been permitted to copy. Mr. Hall had a 
decided taste for the natural sciences, particularly'ornithol- 
ogy and botany. He noted the arrival and departure of 
the birds of passage, and their peculiarities in note and 
plumage; the seasons, the weather, and some of the inci- 
dents of the Settlement as they occurred, forming quite an 


interesting collection of memoranda, running over several 
years. One short note in his journal is significant of the 
occasional privations to which first-settlers are liable. "This 
day, a loaf of corn-bread without butter, but a little lard as 
substitute, and red-root tea, without sugar or milk, was our 
only fare." His reasons for leaving England, set forth at 
the beginning of his journal, show that the pressure then 
existing in England, and felt in different proportions by all 
classes of society, was seen and felt sensibly by him. His 
first and chief reason, to use his own words, was "the diffi- 
culty of providing for a numerous family, with which God 
has blessed me, and the prospect of removing that load of 
care and anxiety which fills the breasts of parents on that 
acconnt." The other reasons of Mr. Hall (objective), relat- 
ing to governmental abuses, though interesting, not being 
quite pertinent to this narrative, I omit, with the remark 
that the administration of the British Government, since 
the reign of Victoria, has adopted a more liberal policy 
than existed when he and I left England; and a larger 
experience would have shown Mr. Hall that the evils of 
which he and many others complained, are incident to 
Government in all its forms, and are made conspicuous and 
fearful when it is administered by bad men. Mr. Hall 
embarked in the ship Elcctra, from the port of London, 
with his wife, nine children, and a young man, Thomas 
Ayres, February 25th, 1821; arrived, by way of Philadel- 
phia, at Pittsburgh, May 21st, 1821. His flat-boat, besides 
his own family, contained twelve others: Mr. and Mrs. 
Paul, Mr. and Mrs. Hibert, Mr. and Mrs. Kidd, Captain 
Hawkins, and Mr. Gilbert. "We formed ourselves into 


two watches, and took our respective turns of six hours 
each, from 8 to 2, and the remainder was into two watches." 
The party arrived at their destination without accident. 
His settlement was hopeful, and he seemed satisfied with 
his present mode of life and its future prospects. In less 
than one year, he gives the following account of a sudden 
and severe affliction that befel him. In the succeeding 
spring, April 21 to 28, we find in his journal this record: 
"This week has been marked to us by one of the severest 
afflictions that can befall a parent — the death of a beloved 
child." After describing his house, garden of five acres, 
orchard, and opening farm, his present satisfaction and 
bright prospects of the future, in a long letter to his friend, 
Mr. John Marter, on the other side of the sheet we find: 
""Preserve this letter, dear John, as a memento of the insta- 
bility of all human felicity. The very day after I wrote it, 
on the fatal morning of the 24th of April, 1822, I heard 
the sound of my two sons passing through the porch, into 
which my bed-room opens. One of them I knew, by his 
hght step and cheerful voice, to be my beloved Ned, the 
other was unfortunate Robert. About half-an-hour after, 
I heard the report of a rifle in the woods. I lay about a 
quarter-of-an-hour longer, until it was light enough to 
•dress. When I went out of the door it was just five 
o'clock. Upon going to the back of the house, where I 
heard a most unearthly bellowing, I saw poor Robert roll- 
ing on the ground and writhing in the utmost agony. I 
immediately concluded he was dreadfully wounded, and it 
was some time before he could speak. He exclaimed, 'Oh, 
father, I have killed Ned, and I wish I was dead myself.* 


I uttered an involuntary exclamation, and sank down my- 
self upon him. The noise brought out his mother, and the 
scene which followed can not be described. Two of the 
neighbors, aroused by Robert's cries, assisted me in con- 
veying him and his mother and laying them on the bed. I 
went with them in search of the body, which was not 
found for some time. At length it was brought in, and 
buried in a spot which my poor boy had selected for his 
own garden. It seems they had found a turkey. Robert 
dispatched his brother one way, and lay down himself 
behind a log, to endeavor to call up the bird to him with 
his turkey-call. After a little while, he heard a rustling 
within shot, and soon after saw what he concluded to be 
the turkey, took aim, fired, and leaped up, shouting for 
Ned, and ran in triumph to pick up his game. Think of 
his feelings when he found it to be the corpse of his 
brother." So close does sorrow stand to joy in all situa- 
tions in life. 

Lingering in the Eastern cities, were English families 
who had not permanently taken root there. When our 
publications about the prairies came out, attracted by the 
picture, and pleased with the thought of being a part of 
the first among a colony of their own countrymen, several 
of these came on; and many of them without sufficiently 
estimating their own powers as first-settlers. 

Of this class was Mr. John Brenchly and wife, and Mr. 
John Lewis and wife, one son and two daughters. They 
left Philadelphia in i8i8, and were the first English settlers 
in the south part of the Village Prairie, a little before the 
Lawrence-and-Trimmer party arrived. Mr. John Brenchly 


had been a distiller; not a man of country habits, or pos- 
sessed of much capital. Mr. Lewis was a man of excellent 
education, and possessed a good deal of philosophical 
knowledge, but with small pecuniary means; a most 
charming companion and desirable acquaintance. These 
were both difficult cases for a new settlement. In a few 
months they both left their quarter-sections in the Village 
Prairie. Mr. Brenchly, for a year or two, lived chiefly by 
his labors as accountant, etc., but finally went back to 
Philadelphia. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis stayed longer, and, for 
a time, rented the first brick-tavern that my father built in 
Albion. They went ultimately to Cincinnati, and found 
more congenial occupations. It was a great loss to our 
musical parties when they left. Mr. and Mrs. Lewis 
understood music, and had fine voices. Speaking of the 
Lewis', reminds me of an accident that had nearly proved 
fatal to one of the family. I had dismounted from my 
horse, and hitched him by the bridle to the handle of the 
well, that stood near the kitchen-door, at Park House, and 
had run over to my cabins, about seventy yards distant. 
Soon after, a maid-servant came running in haste, and said 
that Mary Lewis had fallen into the well. The child, 
about twelve years old, was standing on the well-top; the 
horse, being suddenly frightened, pulled the windlass and 
well-top all off" together, and the child dropped in.* The 
well, about forty feet in depth, was ten feet in water. 
Calling to Mr. Matthew Coombs, a Cornish man, then liv- 
ing with me, and, fortunately, soon finding a coil of rope, 
we both ran over. By the aid of Mrs. Flower and the 
maid-servaht, I lowered the man into the well. With the 


same aid, and with great difficulty, we hauled up the man 
with the apparently lifeless body of the child in his arms. 
For nearly half-an-hour, every means of restoration was 
tried before signs of life appeared. She was saved; and is 
jiow a respectable married woman, and mother of a large 
family. This well, at its digging, gave us all a very pecu- 
liar fright. The well, fortunately as it turned out, was of 
somewhat larger diameter than common. It was sunk 
through a solid rock for forty-five feet. The sides and 
floor of the well were of smooth sandstone. The digger, 
William Truscott, had nearly finished his work, and was 
sweeping at the bottom of the well, just preparatory to 
coming up. The family were all in the house. Suddenly 
a dreadful hubbub — the mingled voices of a man and a 
beast in agony and distress — called every one within hear- 
ing to the spot. The cause was at once apparent. One 
of my large, fat English hogs had slipped his hindfeet 
.over the well, and could not recover himself The hog 
struggling to hold on by his forefeet, but slipping lower 
and lower, squealed in agony. The man below, looking 
up in terror, roared aloud for help, whilst he flattened him- 
self against the wall of the well, from which there was no 
escape. Down went the hog to his own instant death ; for 
a moment all was silent. "Are you alive, William.'" A 
faint voice said, "Oh, yes, pray bring me up." The man 
was brought up, almost dead with fright. The hog was 
eventually brought up, but split down the back from head 
to tail, as if it had b^-en cut with a sharp knife; just as 
horses are found on a battle-field, split open by a cannon- 


In 1820, Mr. Thomas Spring, his wife, and four sons left 
Derbyshire, England, for the prairies. The second son, 
Archibald, was left at a medical college, at Baltimore, to 
finish his studies. The family were proceeding to Wheel- 
ing by land, when the father, Mr. Thomas Spring, was 
taken with A fever, and died at Washington, Pennsylvania. 
Henry, Sydney, and John (the youngest) Spring came on 
with their widowed mother, in a wagon, to the prairies. 
They settled on Birk's Prairie. There Mr. Sydney Spring 
farmed for many years with good success; married Miss 
Prichard, and brought up a large family. He is now living 
on a commanding and beautiful spot, in the outskirts of 
Grayville, enjoying good health and all the comforts of 
life. Mr. Henry Spring is a merchant at Olney. Young 
Archibald Spring joined the family, and became a practis- 
ing-physician in Albion. The first Dr. Pugsley was, for a 
time, his bitter opponent. The enmity between doctors 
has always struck me as singular, and their enmity is more 
general, and bitterer than is found between members of- 
other professions. He was, for a long time, the only doc- 
tor, and enjoyed almost exclusively an extensive practice 
for nearly thirty years. He was carried off by the erysip- 
elas; and, a few days after his death, of the same disease, 
died Dr. Welshman, a skilful and experienced man, who 
had not been two years in the place. 

The hands engaged in digging a well for Mr. Lawrence, 
in the Village Prairie, met with a fatal accident. The well 
had proceeded to a considerable depth. As usual, in the 
morning, a man was let down ; he was seen to stagger and 
fall. Another was let down to assist him; he fell also. 


With difficulty, others were saved, who went down to bring- 
these up. Richard Kniffer and Thomas Clem, two active 
and able-bodied laborers, full of life and health, a quarter- 
of-an-hour before, were now brought up corpses. They 
were carried to their graves, and interred with the solemn 
rites of burial by their sorrowing companions. They had 
incautiously descended, and fell victims to the noxious 
vapor at the bottom of the well. 

Mr. Lawrence, I think, within one year, Mr. Trimmer, in 
two or three, returned to England; and their improvements 
fell into other hands before any advantage accrued to 
themselves. They had spent as much money as they 
thought prudent, and more than they expected. Besides, 
Mr. Lawrence was a city-bred man, and both were bache- 
lors. To spend their time without wife, housekeeper, or 
female assistant of any kind in the house, soon gave them 
a distaste for prairie life; so they departed. But all the 
farm-laborers that came with them were in immediate 
possession of all the advantages of their change of coun- 
try. Those of them that are living, and the families of 
those that are dead, possess all the independence yielded 
by an industrious farmer's life. 

About this time, Mr. James Carter, wife, and family from 
London; Mr. Kenton, market-gardener, from the neigh- 
borhood of London; Mr. Coles, wife, and mother, with 
four or five children, all from Liverpool; Mr. Peters, a 
butcher, all came in one party from Pittsburgh. Mr. Car- 
ter was, for many years, a well-known resident of Albion, 
holding several county-offices, and colonel of the county- 
militia. What is rather remarkable, twice Mr. Carter 


returned to England, and twice returned to Albion, and, 
whilst I am writing, here he is again, not quite fourscore, 
hale and hearty, drilling the companies in Albion for the 
Secession War of 1861. Mr. Coles' family settled on land 
between Albion and Grayville. The family, all grown up 
and settled on farms. The old folks have been dead some 

Mr. Thomas Simkins and family, a highly-respectable 
farmer from Baldock, in Hertfordshire, arrived in Albion 
in 1 8 19. He kept, for a short time, the log-tavern after 
Mr. Pitcher, and was, I think, the host when Mr. Welby 
from England, visited the Settlement, went home, and 
wrote a book about us. Mr. and Mrs. Simpkins have long 
departed this life; their sons and daughters all grown up 
and married, some in Albion and some in other places, 
respected members of society, now grandfathers and grand- 

Mr. Henry Bowman, then a young man, who cdme out 
with Mr. Pitcher from London, for many years kept a 
brick -tavern of his own building. Mr. Bowman married 
one of the Misses Simkins, is still living. 

Mr. Oswald Warrington, with a wife and large family, ' 
for some time, kept a grocery, and was school-master for 
some time. He wrote a most beautiful hand, and was 
fond of music and sociality, and played on one or two 
instruments. After some years, he went to Cincinnati, and 
is now carrying on business, although an old man. 

In the first year of our settlement, Mr. and Mrs. Orange 
from London, by way of New Orleans, came in and bought 
land on the south side of the Prairie, built 


temporary cabins, planted a capital orchard, and laid out 
a handsome garden. He went afterward to Cincinnati, 
where he entered into" business for a few years; returned, 
built an excellent house, in which he and Mrs. Orange 
now live. Three sons and two daughters married, with 
families, all settled within sight. 

Mr. Francis Hanks from Ireland, with several sons grown 
and growing up, bought a five-acre lot at Wanborough, and 
built him a house; after a time he returned; his eldest son 
Francis remained, and, on September ist, 1821, married 
Miss Prudence Birkbeck, as before mentioned. Mr. Hanks 
is engaged in raising stock, and is now living on his farm 
at Wanborough, a prosperous man. 

Mr. William Hallum from Derbyshire, England, and 
several other English families, all farmers, live in the 
extreme south of Edwards County, and several over the 
line, in the north of White County. 

Mr. Isaac Smith, James and Robert Thread, Mr. Stan- 
hope, and a number of others live in the north of Edwards, 
and over the line. Isaac Smith and the two Threads were 
excellent farm-laborers; and lived with me and my father 
. for many years. They are now wealthy men. James 
Thread is recently dead. Isaac Smith is the largest land- 
owner in the County. 

Mr. Henry Birkett, a planter from Jamaica, came in 
about 1820. He built a good house, in which he lived and 
died; and he was buried in his garden. He also owned a 
share of the town. 

Judge Wattles* and Mr. J. B. Johnson settled in Albion. 

* James O. Wattles was elected judge of the 5th Judicial District of lUi- 


The former as a lawyer, the latter as a blacksmith, and 
afterward as a justice-of-the-peace. Mr. Johnson is now 
now living at Harmony, in the latter capacity. Judge 
Wattles was an albino, white hair and white skin, with the 
peculiar red eyes of that race, dreadfully near-sighted, had 
to turn the paper upside down, and put it close to his 
spectacles, to enable him to read it. Notwithstanding, he 
was a rapid reader and writer, an excellent lawyer, and a 
good presiding-judge. He went to Harmony, when Mr. 
Owen began there. 

My father's family came from Lexington, and took pos- 
session of the Park House. The family consisted of my 
father, mother, two sisters, and my brother Edward, twenty 
years my junior, and then a stripling youth, now an exten- 
sive brewer, and a man of large property, living in Strat- 
ford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. 

In 182 1, Mr. Wm. Pickering,* gentleman, from Apple- 
ton Roebuck, in the parish of Bolton Percy, Yorkshire, six 
miles from the City of York, accompanied by his friend 
and cousin, Mr. Thomas Swale, made their first settlement 
in the Village Prairie. On the 9th of March, 1824, he 

nois, by the General Assembly, and commissioned January 19; 1825. He 
was legislated out of office, January 12, 1827. 

* Gen. William Pickering was a well-known man among the old Whig 
politicians of Illinois of his day. He was a representative man in the Whig 
party in the eastern or south-eastern part of the State. I often met him in 
conventions, and knew him well when in the Legislature. He had a continuous 
service in the House of Representatives, as the member from Edwards County, 
from 1842 to 1852, a service of exceptional length. He was a man of great 
intelligence and public spirit. He had a fine presence, and was thoroughly 
English in look and manner. He was an intimate friend of Mr. Lincoln, 
who, on his accession to the presidency, appointed him governor of Washing- 
ton Territory. 


became my brother-in-law, by marrying my eldest sister. 
Miss Martha Flower. Mr. Pickering, like myself, returned 
to England. On his coming a second time to this coun- 
try, he was accompanied by his venerable father, Mr. 
Mathew Pickering. He also brought valuable live-stock — 
a fine bull of the purest Durham blood; a thorough-bred 
Shetland pony; two rams and four ewes of the Lincoln- 
shire sheep, famous for producing, in its highest perfection, 
the long-combing wool of England; and four rams and 
eight ewes of the thorough-bred Bakewell- Leicestershire 
sheep. Gen. Pickering, a widower for many years, is now 
a resident of Albion. Mr. Pickering has ever taken a lively 
interest in every thing of a public nature. He has served 
in the Legislature, is extensively known in our own state, 
and also known abroad. 

With my father's family, came Mr. Thomas Shepherd, 
his wife, two sons, and daughter. Thomas Shepherd had 
lived with my parents from his youth; his father with my 
grandfather (on my mother's side) ; and his great-grand- 
father with my great-grandfather. Such instances are not 
uncommon in England. In these cases, the confidence 
between the employer and the employed is mutual, and 
the separation like the separation of blood relations. Mr. 
Shepherd had the care and management of my father's 
garden, and of his riding-horses, and some other arrange- 
ments about the house. Mrs. Shepherd had the exclusive 
care of the children of the family. Conscientiousness and 
integrity were the prominent traits in her character. The 
habit of reading, from her childhood, almost amounted to 
a passion with her. In a book she indulged at every 


opportunity. The habit of reading, aside from the infor- 
mation it imparts, and the tone of quietude and reflection 
it induces, is eminently suited to those who have the care 
of children. Thus the children of our family had always 
the advantage of association with a conscientious, kind, and 
well-informed friend. 

Some of the previous earnings of Mr. Shepherd were 
invested in a quarter- section of land immediately after 
our arrival, within two miles of Albion. After staying with 
my father a short time, he went on his own property, which 
soon began to improve under his energetic industry. He 
did not live long to enjoy his dawning prosperity. The 
active labor, which can be carried on continuously in cooler 
climates, too often proves fatal under our hot sun and 
sudden changes. The son, also named Thomas, was soon 
old enough to work the farm for his mother. A few years 
afterward, we see him a married man, and father of a 
family. Mr. Thomas Shepherd is an excellent specimen 
of a practical farmer; strong, industrious, and intelligent. 
The monotony of labor is, in his case, mitigated by the 
perusal of useful books, and the varied information con- 
tained in the newspaper press. This description of men, 
in which our Settlement is rich, are the true conservative 
elements of the country. The purely intellectual man, the 
exclusively hard-working or purely physical man, are each 
of them but half a man. It is knowledge and industry 
combined that makes the well-balanced character. 

Mrs. Shepherd, the mother, now lives with her son, en- 
joying every filial attention. Now in the eighty-fourth 
year of her age, she enjoys a book as well as ever : exem- 


plifying Montesquieu's maxim, that there is no "pleasure 
so cheap as reading, and none that lasts so long." 

Two sisters of Thomas Shepherd also came out with us. 
Mrs. Carter, the elder, had been a widow for many years ; 
she lived with my mother as housekeeper; and a few years 
after, married Mr. Wood whose wife died at the mouth of 
Wabash, as before related. Mrs. Ellis' husband died at 
Pittsburgh. Her daughter and only child married Mr. 
John Wood, he who came out with me. Mrs. Ellis was 
married in my house to Richard Field, one of Wellington's 
old life-guardsmen, who turning his sword into a pruning- 
hook, engaged in the better occupation of cutting up corn 
and pumpkins, instead of cutting down Frenchmen and 
their allies, as he was wont to do in former days; and all 
these friends had farms contiguous, or in sight of each 
other; and finding themselves every year better off in this 
world, until the moment they quit it. In the year i8i8, 
Mr. Henry Cowling, and his brother, Mr. John Cowling, 
who were afterwards joined by their youngest brother 
George Cowling, all Lincolnshire- men, came in. Mr. 
Henry Cowling, not finding the Illinois mode of working 
for a living quite to his taste, went South into those states 
where the practice of making others work for you, whether 
they like it or not, and giving them no wages for their 
labor, is considered the right thing. Liking the country 
well, there he lived, married, and died. Mr. John Cowling, 
the second brother, is living on his farm, about four miles 
south-east of Albion; hale and hearty, an energetic and in- 
dustrious farmer. 

It was in 1818 or 1819, that Mr. Hornbrook, of Devizes, 


Devonshire, called on me, as he came to see the Settle- 
ment; but having made previous decision to remain at 
Pigeon Creek, Indiana, where Evansville now stands. He 
had brought with him two men, Richard Husband and 
Mathew Coombs, and one young woman. They were in- 
debted to Mr. Hornbrook between two or three hundred 
dollars; as they all three wished to stay with me, I paid to 
Mr. Hornbrook the amount, taking their notes to be re- 
paid in work. The young woman lived with me as maid- 
servant, and the men kept with me at their work, until 
they had faithfully paid me all. Much of the complaint of 
servants, leaving their employers in America, on contracts 
made in Europe, arises from the contract being made at 
the low European price of labor, which begets feelings of 
discontent, when they see double the price given for the 
same work in America. I always gave to the persons I 
employed the full American wages. 

It was in the year 18 17, that a party of Cornish men, 
Edward Coad and family, William Truscott, Sen., and 
Junior, Samuel Arthur and others, under the leadership of 
a Mr. Slade, went farther, by nearly a hundred miles, into 
the interior of the State than we were; and settled at a 
point on the Kaskaskia River, where Carlyle now stands. 
This little colony, going much farther into the interior at 
that early period, suffered more inconveniences than we 
did. Mr. Slade in some sort abandoned his Colony by 
getting elected to Congress, and the people came into our 
Settlement. Old Mr. Coad, as we then thought him and 
called him, lived on my land for several years, and after- 
ward bought a piece for himself, where he has lived ever 


since. He is between eighty and ninety years old, and it 
is only within these three years that he has left ofif working 
as vigorously as ever. Old Neddy Coad possesses one of 
those simple-hearted and direct natures, that seems to 
know no guile, a truthfulness and simplicity of purpose 
seldom found united with brighter intellect and higher at- 
tainment. His wife died a few years back. It is said 
that she visits them now and then, and is seen by the hus- 
band, son, and daughter, who live in the same-house. And 
why not ? We learn from high authority, that spirits visit 
their former domicile for slight occasion, even to the pay- 
ing of small but just debts. On questioning one of the 
family as to her appearance, she looks, said he, as she used 
to do, only about fifteen years younger. If there be a 
place where faded beauty can renew its charms, the road 
to it will surely be found, and when found, a popular road 
it will be. So let us be hopeful, that if fifteen years of 
Time's defacements can be obliterated, perhaps the time 
may be extended, and our fair friends return to us, fairer 
than the lilly and brighter than the rose. All I can say 
about the matter is, if such things are to be believed from 
the testimony of others, I had rather take old Neddy 
Goad's word than that of many wiser and more learned 
men. So it will be seen that we are not behind the times, 
even to a spiritual manifestation. 

Richard Husband, before mentioned, was a remarkably 
hard-working man. He soon acquired a farm of his own, 
and traded to New Orleans for several years in his flat- 
boats, which he built himself and loaded with pork and 
other produce. On his return from one of these trips he 
died at Shawneetown, of fever contracted on the river. 


Mr. Samuel Arthur, one of the Cornwall band, a very- 
young man then and not very old now, has for many years 
been a citizen of Harmony, and a respectable man of good 

Mr. William Cave, a Devonshire-man, after brief stay in 
Ohio, joined our Settlement with his wife and family of 
sons and daughters; and lived for sometime on my farm 
about a-quarter of a mile from Park House. Mr. Cave 
had been a soldier for many years in England, a fine, tall, 
strong man, and an excellent swordsman. He was fond of 
music and played excellently on the violin; and generally 
made one of our musical party that met every fortnight at 
Park House. One day, as he was chopping down a large 
tree near his house, it fell suddenly, knocking down his 
two sons, who were caught and crushed under its heavy 
branches. One had his scull fractured and died immedi- 
ately, and was buried in our small family burying-ground 
near Park House. The other lad had his thigh fractured, 
which was set by Dr. Spring. He recovered completely, 
and only two years ago went to California, where he died 
at the age of thirty-two. His sisters, then small children, 
are now married and settled in California. 

But from time to time little parties came in year after 
year, chiefly small -tradesmen and farm -laborers. The 
latter, a most valuable class, came from all parts of Eng- 
land. The farmers brought with them their various ex- 
periences and tools, necessary to work the different soils. 
In this way a greater variety of workmen and tools are to 
be found in the English Settlement than perhaps in any 
one neighborhood in England. 

Three brothers, Joseph, Thomas, and Kelsey Crackles, 


able-bodied farm-laborers, from Lincolnshire, came with a 
full experience in the cultivation of flat, wet land ; and 
brought with them the light fly-tool for digging ditches 
and drains, b}^ .which a practised hand can do double the 
work that can be done by a heavy steel spade. They lived 
with me three years before going on farms of their own. 
Their experience has shown us that the flat, wet prairies, 
generally shuned, are the most valuable wheat lands we 

I omitted to mention, in connection with Mr. Olver, the 
name of John May, a laborer from Devonshire, Avho ac- 
companied Mr.'Olver's family to this country. John May 
was a remarkably sturdy, hard-working, industrious, and 
honest man. He married a young English woman who 
also came out with Mr. Olver. They were both of them 
saving and industrious people. He worked on Park-House 
farm for many years. He became possessed of a good 
farm, which he cultivated well, and built upon it a com- 
fortable house. What is rather uncommon at his advanced 
time of life, he learned himself to read, and enjoyed read- 
ing as much as any man in the latter part of his life. His 
two sons, living on their own farms, are men of property 
and respectability. These I have mentioned are a part of 
those who came in 1818. 18 19, and 1820. They are a 
sample of the men of which the English Settlement was 
made. They are those who encountered and overcame 
the first difficulties, who made the way smooth for those 
that came afterward. For the present, I must take leave 
of the settlers and their little town, not more than three 
years old, and proceed to topics of more general interest 
connected with their history. 


Religion in the Settlement — Slanders and Efforts to divert Emi- 
grants — First Religious Services — Mr. Pell and Mr. Thomas 
Brown — The Hard-Shell Baptist Preacher — ^Jesse B. Browne and 
Judge Thomas C. Browne — The Campbellites or Christian Church 
— First Episcopal Church — Gen. Pickering an Active Promoter — 
Influence of the Chimes of Bells — Bishop Chase Consecrates 
the First Episcopal Church of Albion — William Curtis and his 
Congregation — Backwoodsmen don't like Episcopacy — The Meth- 
odist Church Better Adapts Itself to all Classes — Reflections 
Thereon — A Methodist Camp-Meeting Described — Mr. Birkbeck 
Unjustly Assailed — Mr. Birkbeck's Letter on Religion — Features 
of the Country — A Glowing Description — The Calumnies against 
the Settlement Rebutted by Mr. Birkbeck — Toleration of all 
Religious Opinions. 

The exhibition of religion in the EngHsh Settlement 
must not be overlooked. As we have been especially 
assailed on that point, it is our duty to show the record as 
it is. Our assailants, that accused us of infidelity and all 
manner of wickednesses, raised their clamor from no pure 
motive, but desired to pander to popular prejudices in any 
way to render the Settlement unpopular, in order to stop 
■emigration to it, as I shall presently show. 

In a Settlement like ours, of a mixed population, various 
in nationalities, and individually differing in circumstances 
as to wealth and poverty, degrees of intellect and educa- 
tion, from every county in England, and various districts 
of Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, from Germany and France, 


and from almost every State of the Union, there doubtless 
existed almost every shade of religious opinion. In a new 
settlement there may not be found enough of any one sect 
to support a minister and build a church; and there is not 
often liberality enough amongst religious sects to aid and 
support each other. Thus there may be a vast deal of 
religion laid away and concealed, as it were, no public 
exhibition being made of it. 

A trivial but singular circumstance occurred, that acted 
as a spark to combustibles already laid in train. I think it 
was Mr. Pell, the son-in-law of Mr. Birkbeck, who happened 
to be in Shawneetown, when a man landed from a boat. 
The first thing he asked of the landlord was, if there was any 
religion in the English Settlement.^ What the answer was, 
I don't precisely know; but it could not be very encourag- 
ing, for the man muttered something, and said then he 
would not go there; turned round, and went on board 
the boat again, to find some place that had a better char- 

Why had this man asked such a question.'' Was it 
usual to ask, when one got within a hundred miles of a 
place, if there was any religion there .^ This was a puzzle. 
What could it mean.'* It meant this: That a parcel of 
land speculators in New York and Philadelphia, seeing 
that our Settlement was attracting emigrants, whom they 
wanted to settle on their land, east of the mountains, set 
on foot every disparaging report, as to health, success, 
provisions, morals, and religion; plying each individual on 
the point at which he was most sensitive. And this began 
almost as early as our first-settlers arrived. Of all this, we 


were for a time unconscious. It was not until after their 
attacks appeared in print, that we were at all aware of the 
extent of these calumnies. And it took a long time for a 
book or a pamphlet, from the Eastern cities, to reach us in 
those days. 

Mr. Pell, whom we called a smart Yankee, although he 
came from New York, saw at a glance that it would never 
do to have it said aboard that we had no religion ; and 
that another Sunday had better not pass without public 
worship. As far as my recollection serves me, Wanbor- 
ough took, for a short time, the precedence of Albion in 
organizing public religious meetings. 

Mr. Thomas Brown,* a New-Englander by birth, a shoe- 
maker by trade, then a resident of Wanborough, now a 
magistrate and a venerable resident of Harmony, procured 
a volume of Boucher's sermons from Mr. Birkbeck's library, 
and read one of them to a small congregation, assembled 
in a little cabin. 

A native of the Island of Gurnsey, Mr. Benjamin Grutt, 
read the Episcopal service in a room, in Albion, set apart 
for the public library. In religious sects, there is scarcely 
toleration enough to allow of a united movement. Each 
sect, therefore, is left to struggle on as it can. An itiner- 
ant minister would occasionally ride in, and give a sermon 

* Thomas Brown and his wife were natives of Litchfield, Kennebec Co., 
Maine. They emigrated to Edwards County at a very early day, and settled 
at Wanborough, soon after the town was laid off by Mr. Birkbeck, and occu- 
pied a cabin adjoining his. Mr. Brown was a most devoted friend and 
admirer of Mr. Birkbeck. On the death of the latter, he removed to New 
Harmony, Ind., in 1825, and was appointed postmaster of the town by Gen. 
Harrison in 1841, on the recommendation of Hon. George H. Proffitt of 
Petersburg, Pike County, then a Whig member of Congress from Indiana. 


in the court-house, and pass along.* Mr. Jesse B. Browne 
was clerk of the court at that time. He was brother of 
Judge Browne of Shawneetown. A fine man was Mr. Jesse 
B. Browne, six feet seven inches high, a kind and jovial 
man, too. On one occasion, an itinerant preacher, called 

* Jesse B. Browne, after leaving Albion, became a captain in the First Regi- 
ment United States Dragoons, then commanded by Col. Kearney. Leaving 
the army, I believe, he settled at Fort Madison, Iowa Territory, and, during 
territorial times, was a somewhat prominent Whig politician. 

Thomas C. Browne was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of the 
State, October 9, 1818, and served continually for more than thirty years. 
When the judicial system of the State was changed, in 1841-2, the number 
of judges increased and assigned to Circuit duties, Judge Browne was sent to 
the north-western Circuit, including Joe Daviess, Stephenson, Carroll, Lee, 
Rock Island, Mercer, Winnebago, Ogle, Boone, and Whitesides Counties. 
He settled at Shawneetown, Gallatin County, soon after the Territory of Illi- 
nois was organized and was a member of the Territorial House of Represen- 
tatives, from Gallatin County, in 1814 and 1815. He was a member of the 
Territorial Legislative Council for 18 16, '17, and 'iS, when the Territory of 
Illinois was admitted into the Union as a State. He was then appointed one 
of the first four judges of the Supreme Court by Gov. Shadrach Bond, better 
known, even after he was elected governor, as " Captain Bond". Judge T. C. 
Browne died, several years ago, at San Francisco, Cal., at the residence of 
his son-in-law, Hon. Joseph P. Hoge, formerly of Galena, and member of 
Congress from the Galena District, from 1842 to 1846. 

There was an incident in Judge Browne's career which led to stupendous 
results. In the gubernatorial contest in 1822, Chief- Justice Joseph Phillips 
ran as the pro-slavery candidate, with what was thought a certainty of an 
election. Edward Coles, representing the anti-slavery sentiment, was brought 
out as a candidate, and it was thought he would have great strength in the 
" Wabash Country", where the influence of the English Colony was beginning 
to be felt. The other side feared his strength in that part of the State, and, 
to take votes from him. Judge Browne, then a very popular man in the 
Wabash Valley, was induced to present himself as a candidate for governor. 
The Judge obtained an unexpectedly large vote, falling but a little short of the 
vote given to Phillips. As the result proved, he did not take votes from Coles, 
but from Phillips. Had not Browne been in the field, Phillips would have 
obtained nearly all the votes given to Browne, rendering his election absolutely 
certain. But for this state of things, Coles could not possibly have been 
elected, and thus enabled to play the role he did in preventing Illinois becom- 
ing: a slave-state. 


a hard-shelled Baptist, applied to Mr. Browne for the use 
of the court-house, which was readily granted. The good 
preacher was invited by Mr. Browne to meet two or three 
friends and take a little refreshment, in a private room, 
after the sermon. Corn-whisky, the only refection, was 
duly honored, each taking his fair share without flinching. 
At the end of the sitting, our hard-shell, true to his name, 
could sit straight in his chair and walk more steady out 
of the door, it is said, than any of his lay -companions. 
These were not the days of temperance societies. Cold 
water was not then inaugurated. 

Soon after my father arrived, in 18 19, he preached regu- 
larly, in Albion, every Sunday morning. The service was 
conducted after the manner of dissenting worship in Eng- 
land — singing, sermon, prayer. Earnest, energetic preach- 
ing generally attracts attendance. It was so in this case. 
The service was gratuitously performed, from a sense of 
duty in holding public worship. No creed, no catechism, 
no membership; it was a free church, even. if it could be 
allowed to be a church at all, by more strictly-organized 

Then came the church, built and brought together 
chiefly through the instrumentality of Mr. Daniel Orange, 
of a branch of the Baptists called Campbellites or Chris- 
tian church. A Rev. Mr. Baldwin, Episcopalian mission- 
ary, preached several sermons, gathered the Episcopalians, 
together, and organized a church; designated as St. John's 
Church. Mr. Pickering was an active promoter, and gave 
very efficient aid to this organization. But it was not until 
some years afterward, when the Rev. Benjamin Hutchins 


from Philadelphia, came first as missionary, afterward as a 
permanent resident, that an Episcopal church was built. 
There was a handsome subscription raised, a large share 
borne by Mr. Hutchins himself; and a church was accord- 
ingly built, and furnished with its pulpit, seats, altar, choir, 
and bell. But the chime of the English parish-church was 
wanting! And without that charm. Episcopacy can never 
here attain to the same power, over the feelings of the 
people, as it does in England. The touching, but cheerful, 
peals, simultaneously, from every parish spire in the realm, 
as the shades of evening close in, are felt by all hearts 
in every station and condition of life. .Their charming 
melody warms the hearts of its friends, and does more 
to allay the bitterness of its foes than all the preaching of 
its clergy, and the exaltation of its ceremonies. 

Yet so little valued are these sweet tones in the United 
States, that one of the finest chimes of large-sized Spanish 
bells, the finest in the world, charged with their full alloy 
of silver, which gives such melody to the tone, were 
knocked down at auction as old iron, and afterward 
broken and melted into water pipes or railroad iron. 

The Episcopal church of Albion is sustained not alone 
by Episcopalians, but by those who, if they belong to any 
church, prefer the old established church to any other. 
The building, when completed, was duly consecrated by 
Bishop Chase to a crowded congregation. 

Mr. William Curtis, a plain, working farmer from York- 
shire, a man of small pecuniary means, and limited 
education, preaches to a small congregation about two 
miles east of Albion. Mr. Curtis is a specimen of a 


numerous class of religious men that took root, and 
sprang up, under long and violent persecution. These 
heads of small voluntary communities are found very 
generally in Scotland and the northern counties of Eng- 
land, hating episcopacy especially, from which they 
received their chief persecution. They claim the right to 
preach and teach for every man, whether learned or 
unlearned, who feels so disposed. Our religious forms in 
Wanborough and Albion, whether of Episcopacy or dis- 
sent, although they might suit the religiously English, 
were not accepted or in any way attended to by the 
backwoodsmen around. By the backwoodsmen I mean 
the little- farmers from Tennessee, Kentucky, and indeed 
from all the Southern States before mentioned, and some 
families from the Eastern States, also, but more particu- 
larly the former. The silence and solitude, the absence 
from all emotion in which they lived, seemed to demand 
some excitement. Whenever they came into town, at an 
election, or a court, and frequently on any ordinary 
occasion, the warmth of feeling in which they stood in 
need, first raised by a little whisky, would show itself in 
free fights generally, an erratic movement in that way. 
An elegant sermon read from a book, a calm, logical 
disquisition, carrying a chain of reasoning, tracing effect 
from cause, a hymn sung in moderate tone and without 
any gesticulation, a short prayer in a subdued voice, was 
all nothing to them. Their religious feeling could only 
be excited by more powerful influences, embodied in a 
Methodist camp- meeting. This was the exhibition of 
feeling in which they delighted. In the camp-meeting 


their feelings could be displayed in all their force, without 
restraint, in forms far less objectionable than in grocery- 
brawls or street-fights. Well organized and under good 
discipline, the Methodist church wisely adapts itself to all 
classes; and in this it is not only exceeded by the Roman- 
Catholic church, and not by that in its influence over the 
backwoodsmen of the North-Western States. Fortunate 
in appointing preachers suited to the audience, in the 
camp-meeting it avails itself of the influences of nature to 
aid the words of the preacher. United the effect is 
powerful upon all ; and to a class in a certain stage of 
civilization quite irresistible. There is no temple con- 
structed by art like the great temple of nature, in beauty, 
grandeur, and space. It is in the silence of the grove, 
canopied by the blue heavens or the starry dome, that the 
feeble voice of man most easily influences the feelings of 
his fellows. Nature in her highest moods exerts a spirit- 
ualizing power by the silent appeals of her many beauties; 
the temper and feelings become calm and kindly. 

Surrendered by these happy influences, the preacher 
can more easily raise the feelings to the highest pitch of 
fervor, or melt the spirit to a more humble resignation. A 
preacher of moderate abilities, with a good voice in the 
open air, with a health-inspiring breeze, and the influences 
of nature, can act more decidedly than eloquence, reason, 
and logic all combined, on the feelings of his hearers, 
squeezed between four walls, inhaling the pestilential at- 
mosphere of their own breath. 

On a warm summer afternoon, as I was riding from Mt. 
Carmel, turning a point of wood, came suddenly on a 


scene that arrested my attention; and, as a stream of 
people were going in one direction, I joined them and 
went on. We were soon in front of the Methodist camp. 
It was in form of a hollow square, on the two sides 
opposite and on a portion of the third, were the log-huts, 
with roof sloping outward, occupied by families from a 
distance, furnished with bedding and a few simple cook- 
ing-utensils; these were all, or nearly all, occupied. In 
the centre of the third side was an elevated platform for 
the preacher, in the shade of three tall, handsome oak- 
trees, which stood immediately at its back, in front and 
below was what was called "the anxious-pew", a space 
about fifteen feet square, enclosed by a light post-and-rail 
fence. The body of the square was covered with ranges 
of light and even-sized* logs, smoothed on one side by the 
axe, affording sitting room for about three hundred people. 
There was an interlude in the service, and the seats were 
nearly vacant; people stood about in little groups, con- 
versing, or welcoming some newly-arrived acquaintance. 
Inside the camp presented to me a singular scene. In 
one apartment was a family cooking, and the meal all 
going on, in company with acquaintances from without. 
In the next, a little prayer-meeting; and all were kneeling 
at their devotions. In the front of the next division, a 
lively party of young and old chatting together in high 
glee. In the next, stood a solitary man erect and with 
rigid mien, and eyes intently fixed on an open bible 
held in both his hands. Outside, strangers were continu- 
ally arriving, some in buggies and some on horseback, 
fastening their animals to the branches of the trees, that 


in a semi-circle stood round the camp. I withdrew to a 
little distance to take a general view. Nothing could be 
prettier. The camp itself, standing as it did in the little 
prairie, surrounded by beautiful timber, was an interesting 
object. The various parties of youths and gay maidens, 
with their many-colored scarfs and ribbons, streaming in 
the wind, gave to the whole an air of cheerfulness not to 
be exceeded. At a given signal, all assembled inside the 
camp and took their seats. The preacher ascended the 
stand, and began his discourse in a voice scarcely audible. 
As he raised it to a higher pitch, a sort of groan-like 
response could be heard from a few in the audience, and 
now and then an emphatic "amen"! As the preacher 
raised his voice from bass to tenor, so the responses, in 
groans, amens, and shouts of glory increased in number 
and intensity. The scenes in the anxious - pew were 
getting exciting, and people crowded around. My curi- 
osity induced me to press forward to a closer view. I 
confess I was startled; but a moment's reflection checked 
any censure that is apt to arise in the breast of every man 
who sees doings different from his own. All real feeling 
is spontaneous; the mode of its display is convential, a 
mere matter of taste. There were about fifteen persons 
then under the highest excitement, chiefly females. One 
man, a Yankee, a near neighbor of mine, was there rolling 
and groaning as if in extreme pain, and uttering loud cries 
for pardon. Among the many shouters and exclaimers, 
one respectable, middle-aged female, of pleasing personal 
appearance attracted my attention among the many extra- 
ordinary attitudes, erratic motions, and various voices and 


sounds, in that extraordinary place. With eyes raised 
upward, arms raised straight about her head, incessantly 
clapping her hands and shouting glory, leaping continu- 
ally upward, as high as her strength would carry her, with 
all her fine black hair streaming down her back, and per- 
spiration trickling down her face, she presented rather a fine 
picture of the frenzy. Two young women, recently from 
Scotland, were there, affected quite as strongly, but rather 
differently. Short hysterical laughter, sobs, sighs, and 
weeping exhibited the depth and sincerity of their feel- 
ings. The preacher lowered his voice; exclamations 
became fainter; he ceased; and silence was restored. It 
reminded me of those extraordinary scenes recorded in 
history, of children, women, and men, who went about 
for weeks and months, singing and shouting, the epidemic 
spreading wherever they went. But the scene in the 
"anxious-pew" was more pandemonian than paradisical. 
Fear and flattery, mingled with fevered hope, formed the 
basis of their violent ejaculations and their many mourn- 
ful sounds; all seemed to be fearing that the God they 
worshiped would bestow an eternity of torment for an 
error or a crime. I was impressed, and somewhat de- 
pressed, by what I had seen ; for I felt no sympathy and 
could yield but partial approval. The social meeting of 
distant friends and acquaintance was the best feature of it 
all. I could not deny, that the whole affair was well 
Sj^iited to the times and to the people. 

From early documents, I see Mr. Birkbeck acted as 
chairman at two meetings, to promote a subscription for 
a church, and several notices occur of the Episcopal 


service being read by Mr. Woods. It seems, the religious 
element was at work as soon as the Settlement existed. 
As the infidelity of Mr. Birkbeck was urged by the 
enemies of the Settlement, as a reason for its avoidance, 
let us hear what he himself says, on that head. In a 
printed pamphlet, entitled "Extracts from a Supple- 
mentary Letter from Illinois, dated January ist, 18 19, 
addressed to British Emigrants, arriving in Eastern ports, 
reply to William Cobbett, Esq., July 31st, 18 19," I find 
the following. "In the solicitude for the well-being of our 
Colony, I have deprecated the formalities practised in lieu 
of religion. I have, therefore, been deemed a foe to re- 
ligion ; that bond which connects the soul of man with the 
supreme intelligence in whom we live and move and have 
our being. It is the love of God increasing our good-will 
to each other. It is a principle of action aiding the moral 
sense; a divine sentiment, impelling us to pursuits reason 
approves, and restraining us from evil. If I have written 
in disparagement of this principle, I plead guilty." These 
were his sentiments as published by himself, and should 
be accepted as standing on better authority than the 
imputations cast upon him by his theological foes and the 
enemies of the Settlement. Nothing more need be said 
on this subject. These were the aspects of religion in and 
about our Settlement, during the first three or four years 
of its existence. 

It should be remembered, that neither Mr. Birkbeck nor 
myself came here as preachers or teachers of religion. 
We had found a country especiall}^ adapted to the Euro- 
pean emigrant, relieving him and his immediate successors 


from the heart-breaking toil of felHng the forest before he 
could put in the plow. And what a country.^ For those 
who will come after us, and can never see it in its original 
beauty, I will give a brief record of its features as we first 
saw them. 

In the month of April, the surface of the prairie be- 
comes covered mith a delicious green. It resembles, 
when viewed at a little distance, a smooth carpet or well- 
shorn lawn. About the first of May the surrounding 
woods appear clothed in a verdure of a darker hue. As 
the season advances, the verdure increases in intensity, 
intermingled with flowers of brilliant hues, from the 
smallest to the largest. Herds of cattle and horses are 
seen quietly grazing, or reposing in the shade of the 
clumps of noble oak-trees that stand dotted about the 
prairie, enjoying the cool breeze. It is a fairy-like scene 
on which the eye delights to dwell, a perfect picture of 
rural felicity and peace. As summer advances, both 
herbage and foliage attain to greater amplitude, and 
richness of color. The great heat of the summer's sun, 
from which all animals seek a shelter, seems to make 
perfect every variety of vegetable life. Autumn finds the 
tall grass of the prairie in full size, but of a less brilliant 
green. Later in autumn, the trees, as if to defy the god 
of day, exchange their sober livery of green for robes of 
greater brilliancy and more gorgeous beauty. Standing 
side by side are trees of various but perfect colors. The 
pale-yellow contrasts with the violet or the copper-color. 
Whole clumps, of bright scarlet or rich crimson, inter- 
mingle often on the same tree with bunches of yellow or 


carnation. In spring and autumn, the temperature for 
many days together is dehcious — about 75° Fahrenheit. 
Sitting at ease, enjoying the beauties of the scene, fanned 
• by the soft zephyrs that come rolHng up from the south, 
laden with the perfume of sweet flowers; the lungs in- 
haling the delicious balm, redolent of health; every sense 
is gratified and simple existence is a joy. As winter 
approaches, the grass becomes dry and brown. A brand 
from some camp-fire ignites it. Preceded by dense vol- 
umes of smoke, the flames spread wider and wider. 
Fanned by an ever- increasing wind from the vacuum 
made by its own heat, the progress of the fire becomes 
terrific. Animals all fly before it. Those that are para- 
lized perish in the flames. The trees are burnt. Their 
leaves, small branches, and old trunks are consumed. For 
want of material the fire goes out; but the smothering 
smoke for a time rolls on, then lifts, displaying a scene of 
desolation almost dreadful to behold. The landscape, a 
few minutes before arrayed in the brilliancy of autumn 
coloring, is now a monotonous, dreary, black waste. And 
so it remains until winter advances and the cold sets in. 
A heavy fall of snow transforms the whole scene from 
black to white. The dazzling whiteness is painful to the 
eyes. In its extent, its uniform surface of purest white, 
its dazzling glare, there is a grandeur in its very dreari- 
ness. With the temperature ten or twenty degrees below 
zero, which sometimes is the case, the traveler may 
obtain experiences of the steppes of Tartary or the plains 
of Siberia on the prairies of Illinois. After a short period 
of rain, mud, and swollen streams, the annual changes on 


the face of nature again appear to go their perpetual 
round. This was the country we had found, made known, 
and recommended to others. The almost uniform success 
of those who came has justified our choice and vindicated 
our judgment. Our after mission was to point out its 
situation and the way to it; to defend it from the mis- 
representations and barefaced lies, unscrupulously uttered 
by its enemies; to spread before the European public 
from time to time our progress and success; to aid many 
who had expended all their means; to assist, both by 
pecuniary means and long periods of time and labor, any 
great object of public advantage, whether of roads, schools, 
buildings, or laws. And this we did from the first to the 
last. In the infancy of the Settlement, Mr. Birkbeck's 
pen was active to rebut the calumnies so assiduously 
propagated, and in defence of freedom from the evils of 
slavery. In the middle of our course my " Errors of 
Emigrants", two thousand copies of which were sold by 
the publisher in London in two weeks, gave a fresh im- 
pulse to emigration. Still later, by special request, I 
published a letter in the Loivell Courier, descriptive of the 
prairies, and giving other general information. This was 
translated by a Mr. Anderson, a native of Norway, into 
the Norse language, and circulated widely in Norway and 
Sweden, giving some impulse to the emigration of Swedes 
and Norwegians, who formed settlements in the northern 
part of our State. In after years, I received letters from 
Norwegians, inquiring after their countrymen settled in 
Illinois. They, not realizing the extent of our Western 
States, little thought that their friends whom they sup- 


posed to be my neighbors, were at least four hundred 
miles from where I lived. This we did gratuitously; and 
if any charges were incurred, at our own cost. Thus were 
we engaged. Religion we left to the people. If we 
differed from others in their speculation of things, unseen 
and unknown, we tolerated all opinions, and as far as was 
proper, promoted the wishes of our neighbors. Doubtless 
we should have given a site for any building of a public 
purpose. If for religious puposes, we should never have 
put any hinderance to the building of a temple, a syna- 
gogue, a mosque, a pagoda, a church, or Friend's meet- 
ing-house; and this we should do without feeling ourselves 
committed to a single dogma contained in any one of 
their creeds. 


Consultations as to how to Advance the Interests of the Settlement 
— The Backwoodsmen begin to Leave the Country — The Michaels 
Brothers — Moses Michaels Elected to the Legislature, and a 
"Weak Brother" — Descriptions of Moving Emigrants — Two 
Early Settlers at Albion — One of them become Governor — Eng- 
lish and Americans have Different Ways of Doing Things — 
Emigrants from Europe bound for Albion, Land at nearly every 
Port from St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico — A W^elshman 
Rides on Horseback from Chaijeston, S. C, to Albion — British 
Sketches Recognized by Britains at Albion — Cobbett's Abusive 
Letters about the English Colony — Cobbett's Character — Replies 
by Richard Flower and Morris Birkbeck — Dr. Johnson's Charges 
— Mr. Fearon's Book of Travels — Adverse Influences — The Evil 
Genius of Slavery. 

The members of our family often met at my house, but 
more frequently at my father's, to canvass some measure of 
interest to the town or settlement. Myself, my father, my 
brothers-in-law, Mr. Ronalds, and Mr. Pickering, and some- 
times an additional friend or two, composed the party. 
Measures for the advancement of the town or country 
were then discussed — the erection of some public building, 
school, library, a new road, a petition to the Legislature — 
and action in each case was often decided upon. If opin- 
ions were divided, we would take an appeal to the public 
sentiment, and a town-meeting was called. These meet- 
ings and discussions were often discordant and sometimes 
stormy. However they kept things alive. 


In 1819, the hunter-class of backwoodsmen began to 
move off, to keep their true position between the receding 
Indian and the advancing white man. With all their 
faults, they were an interesting class. We were getting 
too populous and civilized for them. 

Three brothers, Moses, John, and George Michaels, from 
one of the Eastern States — Connecticut, I think — were 
among our earliest settlers on the prairie on which Scav- 
ington and Brissenden had settled, three miles east of 
Albion. W^ith them came two families of Browns, from 
the same section. Moses Michaels,* for several years a 
magistrate, was our first representative in th^^ Legislature, 
that met first at Kaskaskia, and afterward at Vandalia. A 
most striking example of a man being placed in the front 
rank, without possessing a single qualification to lead or to 
command. Without one positive, his character was made 
up of all negative qualities. It may be observed in higher 
offices than those filled by our humble representative, men 
are often chosen for their moderate, rather than their supe- 
rior, ability. 

Other settlers, from the class of poor whites from slave- 
states, came in and settled among us; and, now and then, 
a more substantial farmer from New York and Pennsyl- 
vania. It was curious to see the different appointments of 
these various American settlers. The eye could detect 
from whence they came as far as it could discern them. 

* Michaels was not a member of the legislature when it sat at Kaskaskia, 
but only once a member of the House, after the seat of Government had been 
removed to Vandalia, and that was in 1820-22. According to Mr. Flower's 
account of him, that was quite enough. 


When a large wagon came in sight, strong and complete, 
generally painted blue, drawn by four strong horses in 
high condition, its feed-trough behind, tar-buckets and 
water swinging beneath, laden with a full supply of bed- 
ding and household gear on which sat sturdy boys and 
buxom girls, all dressed in stout homespun clothes, a stal- 
wart man in his deep-seated saddle driving; that wagon 
came from the Keystone State. 

Another traveling establishment, of a far different char- 
acter, was more frequently to be seen coming along — a 
little rickety wagon, sometimes a cart or light carryall, 
pulled by a horse as lean as a greyhound, scarcely able to 
drag the vehicle, which contains only a skillet, a small bag 
of meal, and a little piece of bacon; a gaunt, emaciated 
man and a large family, chiefly daughters, walking bare- 
foot, and without a change of raiment. "Where from, 
good folks ? " The answer is sure : from Alaba;;^^ or 
Caroline; a more perfect picture of destitution can not 
be seen. Give them time, and with good soil, with free- 
dom to work it, they will soon get on, if sober, which 
many of them are. Their only tools are an axe and a 
hoe, with, occasionally, a one-horse plow. They have no 
team to break up the prairie, and, necessarily, settle in the 
woods, girdle a few trees, and make a few rails, and get in 
a corn-patch. After all, these are the best settlers we get 
from the South. Their little corn -patch increases to a 
field; their first' shanty to a small log-house, which, in turn, 
gives place to a double cabin", in which a loom and spin- 
ning-wheel are installed. A well with a sweep, a grape- 
vine for a rope. A few fruit trees, and their improvement 


is complete. Moderate in their aspiration^s, they soon 
arrive at the summit of their wishes. The only difference 
between the roving hunters and these stationary settlers, 
appears to be in the greater sobriety of the stationary 

Quite a respectable man, a neighbor, told me that all he 
possessed was put into a bee-gum, and carried by himself 
and wife, when they came into the State on foot. We have 
some from the South with greater pretensions. But they 
neither plow, nor sow, nor build houses, nor make gar- 
ments. The best of them get into the professions — a 
doctor or a lawyer — but their great ambition is to get to 
the Legislature, and then to Congress. 

Another class, from another quarter, and with other 
abilities, also come to us. Young men fresh from college, 
from the New-England States. I have two examples now 
in my eye. These two young men came to Albion, their 
wits their only fortune. I mean their legitimate wits; that 
is, the power of turning their acquirements to the best 
account, losing no opportunity. They too decline manual 
labor. One went to Carmi. He was a magistrate while 
there; afterward cashier of a branch of the State Bank, at 
Mt. Carmel; and now conducts a large moneyed institu- 
tion at Evansville. The other, at first, took small children 
to teach, at two dollars a-quarter, and taught them their 
a, b, c. Whenever he could get a little writing in the 
clerk's office, he employed himself there. He was soon 
seen on a horse, riding the circuit with the lawyers, and 
becoming one himself. Tacking his political sails to suit 
the breeze, he got elected to the Legislature, and afterward 


became governor of the State of Illinois.* This is a class 
representing the active intellect of the country, possessing 
a great deal of tact and intelligence. 

It is very curious to see how differently the Eastern 
American, the Southerner, and the Englishman proceed in 
their way of farming, where they all begin with little or 
nothing. The Southerner, as I have before stated, goes 
into the woods, girdles a few trees, and raises some corn 
and pumpkins. It is hard to say how he employs himself 
the rest of the year. Industry, that is, systematic and 
continuous labor, he seems utterly to avoid; but he gets 
along after his own fashion, and, occasionally, by fits and 
starts, he will accomplish more than either of the others. 
But his periods of hard work are, for the most part, sepa- 
rated by long periods of inaction. The Eastern man, or 

* This must have been Augustus C. French of Palestine, Crawford County, 
elected governor of Illinois in 1846. His nomination, by the Democratic 
party, was the result of an accident. The convention could not agree on 
any of the prominent candidates, and in the present parlance, French became 
the dark horse. He was a very quiet, unobtrusive, honest man, but not in any 
way distinguished; living on the Wabash, had never mixed much with society, 
and had but little knowledge of etiquette when he first went to Springfield. 
It was the custom then, as now, for the governor to give occasional receptions 
to the members of the Legislature, judges, lawyers, strangers from abroad, etc. 
The story goes that Hon. Thompson Campbell of Galena, who had been 
secretary-of-state under Governor Ford, and who was not only a great wit> 
but remarkably quick at repartee, attended one of these receptions. Entering 
the house, not finding the governor receiving his guests in the front parlor, he 
straggled into a back room, where he found him sitting alone on a sofa. 
Approaching him, the governor extended his hand and asked Mr. C. to excuse 
him for not rising. Quick as a flash, Campbell replied, '■'■Oh! certainly, cer- 
tainly, Goz'ernor; ive nroer expect anything like politeness on these little occasions.'''' 
Mr. Campbell represented the Galena District in Congress for two years, from 
1850 to 1852, and was then made a judge of the United States Land-Court in 
California. He has been dead some years. 


Yankee, as we call him, shows great dexterity and good 
management in all he does. He has a certain sleight that 
seems to make his work go off rapidly and easily; and 
this quality is observable in the women as well as the men, 
in the housework as well as in the farmwork, and is very 
noticeable when contrasted with the mode of labor of 
most of the Europeans. If he meet with a difficulty he 
evades it, or lets it stand by, until he is better able to 
contend with it. Industrious, economical, and with a 
thrifty experience, he seems to get along easily, and sur- 
passes the Englishman at a great rate. The Englishman, 
unpractised in the ways of the country, does not take 
hold of things by the smooth handle. He plants him- 
self squarely before his difficulties, he evades nothing, but 
works hard and steadily to remove them ; not always with 
dexterity, on the contrary, he often seems to take hold of 
things the wrong way. But the Englishman has a higher 
standard in his mind. He has seen well-cultivated farms, 
and substantial and convenient farm-houses; mansions 
surrounded by verdant lawns, kept as closely shorn as the 
pile on a Turkey carpet, and the gravel-walks kept as 
clean as the floor of the drawing-room. These high 
standards he may not reach, but he approaches some- 
what toward them. His improvements are more substan- 
tial, and he stays upon them. After some years, com- 
paring the two, the Englishman has surpassed the Ameri- 
can. In a few more, the American is gone; but the 
Englishman remains. 

The three brother Michaels, who seemed to have less 
of the roaming propensity than most Americans that set- 


tied in the same prairie, with Wood, Brissenden, and 
Scavington, are gone; but the latter remain there stronger 
and more flourishing than ever. ' 

It is a noticeable fact that emigrants bound for the Eng- 
lish Settlement in Illinois, landed at every port from the 
St. Lawrence to the Gulf of Mexico. This arises from 
the fact that the laborers and small -farmers of England 
are very imperfectly acquainted with the geography of 
America. Indeed, among all classes in England there is 
a very inadequate idea of the extent of the United States, 
and scarcely any of the nationality of each state. The 
child at school, looking at the map of England, sees all 
the counties, and London as the metropolis of the king- 
dom. On the map of America, he sees the states, and 
Washington as the metropolis of the republic. He feels 
that the states of America and the counties of England 
are relatively the same. I question if half-a-dozen maps 
are to be found in all England, of the different states 
marked with county boundaries. It is a point not ex- 
plained to him by his teachers. Thus the error grows up 
with him. As various as their ports of debarkation^, were 
the routes they took, and the modes of conveyance they 

Some came in wagons and light carriages, overland; 
some on horseback; some in arks; some in skiffs; and 
some by steam-boat, by New Orleans. One Welshman 
landed at Charleston, S. C. "How did you get here.''" I 
asked. "Oh," he innocently replied, "I just bought me a 
horse, sir, and inquired the way." It seems our Settlement 
was then known at the plantations in Carolina and in the 


mountains of Tennessee. The great variety found among- 
our people, coming as they did from almost every county 
in the kingdom, in complexion, statue, and dialect, was in 
the early days of our Settlement very remarkable. Of the 
variety of places from which they came, I had some singu- 
lar indirect testimony. 

When a youth, I accompanied my drawing- master on 
his annual sketching tour into the southern counties of 
Wales, and adjoining counties of England. From some 
three hundred pencil-sketches, we selected six for pictures 
in body color, an art I was then learning. Like many first 
productions of children, my parents put these, my first 
efforts, into frames, and hung them up. By some means 
they came in our baggage, and were hung up in my cabins 
on the prairies. One day, the W^elshman, Williams, look- 
ing earnestly at one of them, asked me where that place 
was. I told him it was "Pont ne Vaughan," Glamorgan- 
shire, South Wales. "I thought it was, sir, or I should 
not have asked; and there stands the Widow Griffith's 
house. I have been there, sir, a hundred times." And 
there he stood, exclaiming sometimes in Welsh, sometimes 
in English, pleased at the representation that Recalled to 
him the happy scenes of his youth. 

On another occasibn, my shepherd challenged another 
picture. "Is not that the River Severn, near Bristol, sir.-'" 
"Yes." "And there are the two islands, called the 'flat' 
and the 'steep holmes,' on which I have gathered bushels 
of birds' eggs," said he. In this way were my early pic- 
tures nearly all recognized. That representations of places, 
taken nearly a half-century before in secluded places in 


England, far apart from each other, should be sent into a 
wilderness of another hemisphere, there to be recognized 
by persons, some of whom were not born at the time the 
sketches were taken, seems a very strange thing. 

It will be seen that our position is not on any of the 
great highways of travel. We caught none of the float- 
ing population as they passed. Most of those who came 

set out expressly to come to us. This circumstance indi- 

cates some leading sentiment that, in a greater or less 

degree, is conmion amongst us all. We are, generally 

speaking, republican in politics, with a strong bias for 

equal freedom to all men. A portion amongst us are of 

more liberal sentiments than strict sectionalism will allow. 

All, more or less, of a reflective and reading cast, with a 

certain vein of enterprise, or we should not have been here. 

Thus far we had been successful, contending and over- 
coming material objects. We were now to have our share 
of trouble, annoyances, and bitter contentions. Enemies 
were rising up, seeking to arrest the current of emigration. 

New towns and settlements forming deeper in the inte- 
rior, and with a fresher popularity, have to encounter envy 
and disparaging remarks from many of the inhabitants of 
older towns and settlements, themselves young and want- 
ing population. To pass them and their town is felt as a. 
sort of insult. There are persons in almost all places 
ready to exaggerate the difficulty of travel, and dilate on 
the disadvantages of the place, to which the traveler is- 
bound. Others, less scrupulous, give utterance to every 
plausible falsehood to arrest the stranger. This we had 
to endure, and we suffered from its influence, perhaps in: 


a greater degree, from the circumstance of our Settlement 
being more widely advertised and known. We lost many 
families, that came out to join us, from this cause. Scores 
and hundreds were, by these fabulous stories, arrested, and 
many of them ultimately detained from thirty to a hun- 
dred miles east of us. 

The most remarkable instance of this kind of influence 
occurred in the person of Mr. Filder, who came over in 
my ship. He was over fifty years of age, of apparent 
firmness and resolution, worth forty thousand pounds, and 
came out expressly to make a member of our Settlement 
in Illinois. He was one of those who made the journey 
from Pittsburgh on horseback. He traversed the states of 
Ohio and Indiana, and arrived at the old town of Vin- 
cennes. He had doubtless passed over much rough coun- 
try, and experienced many annoyances — bad roads, swol- 
len streams, bad cooking, buggy beds — altogether enough 
to put an elderly gentleman a little out of sorts. 

Finding that he was a man of property, and hoping to 
detain him at Vincennes, they plied him with awful accounts 
of the English Settlement, and the way to it. When he 
got there, he would find no water to drink; all the people 
there were shaking with the fever and ague. To get there, 
he must sell his horse and buy a canoe, to get through the 
swamps and waters; and much more of the like kind- 
Although within one day's ride, forty miles, and on the 
verge of the prairie country, for which he had taken a 
voyage of three thousand miles, and a journey of one 
thousand inland, for the purpose of seeing them, these 
unfavorable reports made such an impression on him, that 

cobbett's slanders. 193 

he rode back the journey, and recrossed the Atlantic, 
without seeing what he came to see. 

It was as early as the year 18 19, that William Cobbett 
wrote his two letters to Morris Birkbeck, which appear in 
the third part of his "Year's Residence in the United States 
of America." These had a wide circulation in England 
and in America. Written with his usual force and talent, 
these letters, with his after-efforts, had a decided effect in 
checking the current of emigration to our Settlement, and 
in diverting it to other channels. The more so as there 
was truth mingled with his special pleading, mistaken 
premises, and erroneous deductions. He accused Mr. 
Birkbeck of propagating misstatements, in the form of 
letters, addressed to fictitious persons in order to give 
them the semblance of truth. He quotes from a particu- 
lar letter as containing evidence of its own falsity. Now 
this particular letter I took to England, and delivered to 
the person to whom it was addressed, Mr. John Graves, a 
gentleman of great worth and respectability, of the Society 
of Friends, living near St. Albans, Hertfordshire. 

In replying, Mr. Birkbeck made use of an expression to 
this effect (for I have not the words to quote from), "there 
is something in your character that throws a doubt on the 
motive of your statement." The expression, I think, is 
correct. With all the strong points of Cobbett's character, 
and in them there was much to admire, there was still that 
doubt existing in the minds of his most ardent admirers. 
His sobriety, amazing industry, persistent perseverance, 
self- instruction, the bringing of himself from obscurity to 
name and honorable notice, are admirable powers and 


traits of character. The cloud of mistrust, which hung 
over his motives, even among his many admirers, I pre- 
sume was from his pecuhar position as a poHtical writer. 
No man could, for so many years as he did, and writing 
with his force and ability, maintaining one set of political 
opinions, praising all who agreed with him, and pouring 
out vituperation and abuse on all who differed from him, 
change suddenly, argue for all he had formerly denounced, 
praising those he had blamed, and vilifying those who he 
had formerly eulogized, either maintain his character for 
consistency, or dispel all doubts of his honesty. I have 
known many of Cobbett's admirers, and I rank myself 
among them ; but I have never known a half-dozen per- 
sons who yielded to him their implicit confidence. Be this 
as it may. He was in a position, by issuing his disparag- 
ing statements through his widely-read Register, to do us 
much harm, and would have done us much more, had he 
been implicitly believed. 

Some of these statements were replied to, in England, 
by the pen of my father, and in letters to individuals by 
myself, and by Mr. Birkbeck, in a printed address in pam- 
phlet form, "To Emigrants arriving in the Eastern States; 
published by C. Wiley & Co., 3 Wall Street, New York." 
The reports spread in the Eastern States, at first from 
sources to us unknown, were anonymous. They were 
most dismal — "That all our bright prospects had vanished, 
and that we had been visited by every calamity, physical 
and moral; by famine, disease, and strife; that the sound 
have beqn too i&w to nurse the sick, and the living scarcely 
able to bury the dead," etc. Cobbett's active pen, it was 


said (with what truth, I know not), was employed by cer- 
tain land- speculators, in New York and Pennsylvania. 

A Dr. Johnson, personifying, as he professed, a society 
for the benefit of European emigrants arriving in the port 
of New York, makes charges, without any scruple, against 
our situation and ourselves. It turned out that he was a 
large land-owner in New York and Pennsylvania. These 
calumnies were forcibly and well answered. But the venom 
had spread before the antidote could be applied. Hun- 
dreds who saw the denunciatory accusations, never saw the 
replies. When these statements were all tripped up, the 
last charge was made, and the cry of infidelity was raised. 
But we were out of reach. Their abuse was, in some sort, 
an advertisement. We had powerful interests to oppose 
us. The British Government did not like to see its people 
strengthening the United States, and neglecting its own 
colonies. A number of books and newspaper statements 
appeared suddenly in England, some anonymous, some 
under assumed names, and one or two with real names^ 
full of disparagement, falsehood, and abuse. 

Mr. Fearon's book of travels, although appearing under 
his own name, it is said, was edited and published by the 
poet-laureate, and so worded by him as to give an unfavor- 
able turn to everything American in the eyes of the Eng- 
lish emigrant. To sum up, the British Government lent 
the weight of its influence against us. The most popular 
writer of the times was actively engaged against us. The 
Eastern land-speculator. Tories everywhere. The bigoted 
religious (and they were legion) were all against us. They 
disparaged where they could not deny, and scrupled not 


to substitute falsehood for truth, whenever the occasion 
suited. They influenced the wavering, intimidated the 
weak, and forcibly restrained those over whom they had 

Thus stood the war without, when we were suddenly 
called upon to turn our weapons to an enemy at home — an 
enemy more to be dreaded than all the political writers 
and land-speculators put together. It was the evil genius 
of Slavery that stood within our borders, plotting and 
contriving how to make the whole State its prey. 


Conspiracy against Liberty — The Convention Question — The Salines 

— Slaves to Work them — How Slavery got a Foothold in Illi- 
nois — Provision of the First Constitution — Gen. Willis Hargrave 

— System Adopted to Change the Constitution — The Project 
Exposed — The Pro -Slavery Men holding all the Offices — ^Judge 
Samuel D. Lockwood an Exception — Letters of "Jonathan Free- 
man" and "John Rifle" — Handbill "Pro Bono Publico" — Letters 
of Morris Birkbeck — The Election takes Place — Vote of Ed- 
wards County — Slavery Men Active and Unscrupulous — Gov. 
Coles and Mr. Birkbeck — The latter appointed Secretary-of-State 
by Gov. Coles — The Outrages on Gov. Coles by the Slavery 
Party — Letter of Gov. Coles to Mr. Birkbeck — Honorable Excep- 
tions among the Pro -Slavery Men, Judges Wilson and Browne 
— The Cloven-Foot Exposed by the " Shawneetown Gazette " — 
The Death of Mr. Birkbeck — Buried at New Harmony, Ind. — 
His Memory to be held in Respect and Gratitude. 

There are questions asked at the present day. Scarcely 
any one person can give all the answers. It is some- 
thing like asking a soldier to give a description of a battle 
in which he fought. He necessarily gives the history of 
that part of the field that came under his own observa- 
tion. This effort to obtain a convention undoubtedly had 
a local origin. But the ramifications of this conspiracy 
against liberty, soon after its inception, extended over all 
the State, even to the extreme north. There are those, 
doubtless, now living, who can tell what part the centre 
and. north of the State took in this transaction, as I am 
about to describe the action of the south. My impression 


is that the treachery came from the south, and the traitors* 
from the north; at least, so many of them as were neces- 
sary to give an effective aid to the southern faction, that 
desired to introduce slavery and establish it over the State. 

The better to understand the coming controversy, the 
circumstances of the territory must be referred to, as they 
existed previous to the year 18 17, and the different tone of 
feeling that existed in the two parties living in the south- 
ern part of Illinois; one strongly opposing, the other as 
determinedly sustaining, the introduction of slavery into 
the new State. 

A saline, or water strong enough to make salt, was 
found in a district of country about ten or twelve miles 
north-west of Shawneetown, on the Ohio River. The 
salines were reserved from sale by the United States. The 
General Government leased these salines to individuals, 
and afterward to the State of Illinois, allowing slaves to 
be brought into the Territory for the purpose of working 
them. Under the Territorial law, hundreds and thousands 
of slaves were introduced into the southern part of the Ter- 

■ * Mr. Flower is at fault when he describes the " traitors " as coming from 
the "north." The northern counties of the State, as they existed in 1822, 
were Greene, Pike, Fulton, Edwards, Bond, Fayette, Montgomerj', Wayne, 
Lawrence, Crawford, Clark, Madison, and Sangamon. In the Senate, in 
the "Convention Legislature," these counties were represented hy Jive anti- 
convention men and tiuo convention men. In the House, in the same Legis- 
lature, these same counties were represented by nine anti-convention men 
(including Hansen) and four convention men (excluding Shaw). It will be 
seen, therefore, that the great body of the anti-convention men in the Legis- 
lature were from the northern counties of the State, having an organization in 
1822. The only anti-convention senator from the middle or southern portion 
of the State, as settled at that day, was Andrew Bankson of Washington 
County, and the only anti-convention representatives were Thomas Mather 
and Raphael Wieden of Randolph County. 


ritory, chiefly from the states of Kentucky and Tennessee. 

For all practical purposes, this part of the Territory was 
as much a slave-state as any of the states south of the 
Ohio River. To roll a barrel of salt once a year, or put 
salt into a salt-cellar, was sufficient excuse for any man to 
hire a slave, and raise a field of corn. Slaves were not 
only worked at the saline, they were waiters in taverns, 
draymen, and used in all manner of work on the north 
side of the Ohio River. As villages and settlements 
extended farther, the disease was carried with them. A 
black man or a black woman was found in many families, 
in defiance of law, up to the confines of our Settlement, 
sixty miles north, and in one instance in it. In some, but 
not many, cases, they were held defiantly; in others, eva- 
sively, under some quibble or construction of law; in most 
cases, under a denial of slavery. "Oh, no! not slaves; old 
servants attached to the family; don't like to part with 
them," etc. And in many cases it was so. In some of 
those "attached" cases, however, there was found no bar to 
trading off the poor darkey for a few loads of salt, or, what 
was better, a little ready cash. This was the planting of 
slavery on our soil, within the bounds of the saline, legally 
and without virtuality. The evil plant took such strong 
root, that, in a few years, it was found difficult to pluck it 
up and cast it from us. 

In article 6, section 2, of our first constitution, will be 
found the limitations to the term of service and the period 
fixed for the termination of slavery, before legally per- 
mitted in this section of the State. It reads thus: "No 
person, bound to labor in any other State, shall be hired to 


labor in this State, excepting within the tract reserved for 
the salt-works, near Shawneetown, nor even at that place 
for a longer term than one year, at any one time. Nor 
shall it be allowed there after the year 1825. Any viola- 
tion of this article shall effect the emancipation of such 
person from his obligation to service." 

Here the whole thing was supposed to be settled. Every 
body thought freedom established, and slavery excluded; 
and, under that belief, emigrants from free-states and from 
Europe came in, and began to make permanent settlements 
for themselves and families. 

As the time for excluding slavery drew near, the lessees 
of the saline — Granger, Guard, White, and others, and 
conspicuous among these, for the zealous advocacy of the 
convention cause, was Major Willis Hargrave,* afterward 
legislator and general, with other characters in the neigh- 
borhood, made a bold stroke to perpetuate their system of 
servile labor, not by asking for an extension of time for 
hiring hands to work the saline, but they sought so to 
change the constitution as to make the whole of Illinois a 

Their mode of proceeding was in private caucus. In 
these meetings, they adopted resolutions, embodying a 
system of action. After the system of action was more 
matured, they appointed a committee of five from each 

* Gen. Willis Hargrave was the official inspector of the Gallatin Saline. 
His residence was at Carmi, White County. He represented that county in 
the Territorial Legislature, in the sessions of 1817-18, and was amember of 
the first Senate of the State from 181 8 to 1822. He was a man of influence 
in his day, and was one of the boldest and most outspoken advocates of a 
change in the constitution, so as to make Illinois a slave-state. While others 
temporized and hesitated, he openly advocated making Illinois a slave-state. 


county, empowered to appoint a subcommittee of three in 
each precinct, well-wishers to slavery, to act in such a way 
as they thought best, to induce the citizens to vote for a 
convention to amend the constitution. At first it was 
endeavored to keep the main object out of view. It was 
for a time stoutly denied that the amendments proposed 
to be made in the constitution were intended to introduce 
slavery. But it was impossible to keep the secret, and 
very soon the true object was no longer denied. 

Then came articles in the newspapers, advocating the 
introduction of slavery for a limited time, quite plausible 
and mild at first. They were trying to tickle the fish, and 
did not want him to flounder before their fingers were in 
his gills, and they could throw him out of his element. 

After the action of the conventionists at Vandalia, the 
advocacy of slavery, in full, appeared in all the papers in 
the southern part of the State, and in those of Louisville 
and St. Louis. For a long time, the people were asleep on 
the subject, and the slave-holders were enabled, under 
cover of this apathy, to mature all their plans. Neither is 
this surprising, when we consider the state of the country. 
Settlements were far apart; but few took newspapers, and 
fewer read them; personal communication was infrequent. 
The country people were all engaged in their daily labor, 
not dreaming of any impending change in our system of 
laws and government. As to the tone of feeling among 
the people residing in that large portion of the State south 
of our Settlement, it was actively or negatively in favor of 
slavery. Our influential men, and all who held office, from 
the governor to the constable, were from slave -states. 


Every sheriff and every clerk of the county were pro- 
slavery men. Every lawyer and all our judges were from 
slave-states, and pro-slavery. I know of but one excep- 
tion in the whole bar that attended our courts, and that 
was Samuel D. Lockwood,* for many years a lawyer and 
judge, now living, I believe, at Batavia. 

The people were almost all of the class of poor whites, 
from the Southern States. Many of them had been negro- 
overseers. Such was the population south of our Settle- 
ment in Edwards County. The feeling in Edwards County 
was widely different; the English Settlement in the west 
and the Methodist Settlement in the east were strongly 
against slavery. When the action of the conventionists 
became known to our people, it aroused the indignation 
that had slumbered too long. 

The mode of proceeding to influence the vote of the 
Legislature, I will give in the words of an eye-witness, to 
all the proceedings. The history of the business appears 
to be shortly this : "Certain members of that body (speak- 
ing of the assembly), anxious to introduce a forbidden sys- 
tem among us, formed themselves into a junto or caucus, 
soon after the commencement of the session, and offered 
to other members their votes in favor of any proposition 
which those members had any interest in carrying, in con- 
sideration of their pledging themselves to support the 
measure of a convention. By the accession of these, their 

t Samuel D. Lockwood was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of 
Illinois, January 19, 1825, and held the office continuously till December 4, 
1848. As a lawyer he held a good rank, and was distinguished by the prol)ity 
of his character and the purity of his life. Illinois never had a magistnate 
more respected and beloved than Judge Lockwood. 


first victims, the caucus, in fact, became the legislature, as 
by comprising a majority of both houses, it was capable of 
carrying every question, tJiat one excepted. Other represen- 
tatives, who had not as yet bartered away their independ- 
ence, soon discovered that they were completely at the 
mercy of the junto; and, in order to recover the means of 
serving their constituents on those points of local interest 
which, when combined, form the general weal, suffered 
themselves, one by one, to be bought over, until the faction 
had acquired nearly two -thirds of the whole number of 
votes — the strength requisite to carry their favorite meas- 
ure, without the accomplishment of which, they declared, 
they would not quit Vandalia. 

" They repeatedly tried their strength by preparatory 
resolutions, and at length, on the 5 th of February, brought 
forward the main question; but it was decided against 
them by a majority of two. They were not, however, to 
be so baffled. They carried a vote of reconsideration, and 
the resolution was laid upon the table. On the nth of 
February, having gained over the deficient votes by means 
which it would seem invidious to mention, the resolution 
was again brought forward, and again lost, through the 
defection of a member who, on a former occasion, had 
voted for it. Notwithstanding this second decision, they 
persevered in their purpose. 

"One of the party, although in the constitutional minority 
on the last division, again moved a reconsideration of the 
question. The speaker declared the motion to be out of 
order, because the mover was in the minority. They 
attempted to overrule the decision of the speaker, by an 


appeal to the House; but the chair was supported by a 
majority of three. Here, -it might be supposed, the ques- 
tion was finally decided, and would have been allowed to 
rest; but it proved otherwise. On the succeeding day, the 
vote confirming the speaker's decision was reversed, and 
the motion for reconsideration, made by one of the minor- 
ity, carried; and to extinguish the vote of the defaulter, 
and create a favorable one in the room of it, as no such 
vote could be found in the House, they had recourse to a 
proceeding, the most unjust and impudently tyrannical 
that ever, as I believe, disgraced the Legislature of a free 

"By an arbitrary resolution, in direct violation of law, 
they expelled one of the representatives, who had been 
established in his seat, by the decision of the House, and 
introduced in his room a man favorable to their views, who 
had been declared, by the same decision, not to be a repre- 
sentative. Thus was -Mr. Hansen illegally expelled from 
his seat in the Legislature, and Mr. Shaw illegally placed 
in. Having accomplished this, they brought forward the 
main question the third time, and carried it by the vote of 
this man, whom they created a member for the express 
purpose, at the close of the session." 

Ford, in his history of Illinois, confirms this statement, 
but makes the tergiversation of the assembly more appar- 
ent. He says, at page 52: "When the Legislature assem- 
bled, it was found that the Senate contained the requisite 
two-thirds' majority; but in the House of Representatives, 
by deciding a contested election in favor of one of the can- 
didates, the slave-party would have one more than two- 


thirds; but by deciding in favor of the other, they would 
lack one vote of having that majority. These two candi- 
dates were John Shaw and Nicholas Hansen, who claimed 
to represent the county of Pike, which then included all 
the military tract and all the country north of the Illinois 
River, to the northern limits of the State. The leaders of 
the slave-party were anxious to elect Jesse B. Thomas to 
the United States Senate. Hansen would vote for him, 
but Shaw would not. Shaw would vote for the convention, 
but Hansen would not. The party had use for both of 
them, and they determined to use them both, one after the 
other. For this purpose, they first decided in favor of 
Hansen, admitted him to a seat, and with his vote elected 
their United States senator; and then, toward the close of 
the session, with mere brute force, and in the most bare- 
faced manner, they reconsidered their former vote, turned 
Hansen out of his seat, and decided in favor of Shaw, and 
with his vote carried their resolution for a convention."* 

* In the account Mr. Flower has given of the celebrated contest between 
Shaw and Hansen, he has simply followed the accepted historical version. 
Gov. Reynolds and Gov. Ford are both mistaken when they state that Han- 
sen was admitted to a seat in the lower branch of the Legislature, in order to 
vote for Thomas, for U. S. senator, and was then put out in order to admit 
Shaw, for the purpose of having his vote for the convention resolution. •Han- 
sen was the sitting-member whose seat was contested by Shaw. The contest 
was settled in the early part of the session, and without any reference what- 
ever either to the senatorial or convention question. The House decided that 
Hansen was entitled to his seat. It was only at the end of the session, and 
after Hansen had held his seat unchallenged for eleven weeks, that he was 
turned out, to put Shaw in so by his vote to carry the convention resolu- 
tion. The proceeding was lawless, revolutionary, and utterly disgraceful, 
and contributed largely to the defeat of the convention scheme before the 
people. [See "Sketch of Edward Coles and the Slavery Struggle in Illinois, 
in 1823-4, by E. B. Washburne, Honorary Member of the Chicago Histori- 
cal Society."] 


We had now no other recourse than to vote against a 
convention or become the accompHces of this base faction. 
We thought, at that time, that such a scene of base 
intrigue was never before exhibited under a representative 
government, as prei/ailed at Vandaha during that session. 
Some of the doings of other legislatures, and of Con- 
gress, have enlightened us since that time, and shown us 
that men are to be found as unscrupulous now as they 
were then. Small rewards were dealt out to small men. 
Larger douceurs were offered to larger interests. One 
thing, very well known, is, that the southerners offered to 
the northerners their support and votes in these terms: 
"If you will vote for our convention, we will vote for your 
canal." Whether the northmen were invulnerable, the 
legislative record will best show. So the measure was 
carried in the legislature.* 

Taking Edwards County, on the Wabash, which threw a 
decisive majority for no convention, following the same 
line of latitude westward, to where the Rev. Mr. Peck of 
Rock Spring, I think .in St. Clair County, headed the no- 
convention ticket; then to Edwardsville, where Gov. Ninian 
Edwards did good battle for freedom, and on to Alton; 
here was presented the first line of batteries against the 
slavery - shock from the south. After the vote of the 
legislature, up to the time of election, the war waxed 

* Mr. Flower is perhaps not entirely accurate in this statement. At this 
time the canal question could not have cut much of a figure. The first grant 
of land, for the construction of the lUinois-and-Michigan Canal, was not ob- 
tained until 1827. There was then no northern part of the State, as we now 
understand it. Sangamon and Pike were then the most northerly counties, 
though there were a few settlers in Fiilton. All the counties, afterward par- 
ticularly interested in the canal, were established subsequent to 1822-3. 


warm. From our Settlement many communications were 
constantly issuing, generally in reply to the advocates of 
slavery from the south. The discussion took every form. 
The religious, the benevolent, the political, the expedient 
arguments were all used by our opponents, and as con- 
stantly replied to by us, principally by Mr. Birkbeck. 
The native question showed itself then as now. It will 
be in place to give a sample of the controversy in an 
address from our Settlement which appeared in the Illi- 
nois Gazette: 

"An Address to the Citizens of Illinois for the day of Elec- 
tion, and worthy of their serious attention preparatory 
thereto : 

"Blessed beyond all the nations of the earth in the 
enjoyment of civil and political freedom, under a con- 
stitution which is the ^admiration of the wise in every 
nation to which the knowledge of it has extended, the 
citizens of this great republic have yet to deplore that 
there exists within it a system of oppression, greatly 
exceeding in its cruelty and injustice all other calamities 
inflicted by tyranny upon its victims, an inheritance of 
wretchedness, extending from generation to generation. 

"In those sections of the Republic where this system 
prevails, a large proportion of the people distinguished 
from the rest by color, but alike susceptible of pain and 
pleasure, with minds capable of improvement, though 
disgraced by their condition, are deprived of all rights, 
personal and civil, and groaning in hopeless servitude. 
The effect of this evil upon the states, laboring under 


this curse, (in addition to the every- day misery of the 
slaves), is to obstruct their improvement to an astonishing 
degree, especially by repressing population. According 
to a census made by congress in 1774, Virginia, at that 
period, contained 650,000 inhabitants. New York, includ- 
ing Vermont, and Pennsylvania, including Delaware, con- 
tained together only 600,000 — that is to say 50,000 less 
than Virginia alone. In 1820, by the last census. New 
York, Pennsylvania, and Delaware contained, omitting 
fractions, two millions six hundred thousand free persons; 
having increased above fourfold in forty-six years, eight 
of which were under the pressure of a consuming war. 
But these states had, during this period, delivered them- 
selv^es from slavery, that still more consuming plague with 
which we are now threatened. Virginia unhappily remained 
in bondage; and by the census of 1820, instead of a popu- 
lation of two millions and a-half, which she probably would 
have attained, if free, had little more than one million, of 
which four hundred and forty-five thousand were slaves; 
exposing a deficiency arising from this source in that single 
state, of two millions of free persons. In the value of land 
and the amount of manufacturing and commercial capital 
vested in public institutions, canals, hospitals, seminaries 
of learning, etc., the contrast is still more remarkable; a 
tenfold proportion in favor of the Free-states is probably 
below the truth. To this add the number and vast superi- 
ority of their towns and cities and cultivated farms, with 
the industry, tranquillity, and security of the inhabitants. 
Pursue the comparison throughout the Union, and such 
is the lamentable result; misery and vice, restraining 


population where slavery prevails, and drying up all the 
sources of prosperity. 

"We are assembled this day to make our election be- 
tween freedom with its blessings, and slavery and its 
curses unutterable; between good and evil. Indiana, our 
sister state, has given us an example of wisdom by an 
overwhelming majority against a slave-making conven- 
tion. Ohio, another sister rejoicing in her own freedom, 
is exerting herself in the generous hope of laying a 
foundation of universal emancipatLon; as appears by an 
earnest appeal to the Union lately issued by her legis- 
lature. United as we are^ with these states in a solemn 
compact against the admission of slavery, let Illinois 
prove herself worthy of their affinity, and coming for- 
ward with one consent on the side of wisdom and virtue, 
let us disappoint the hopes of a short - sighted party 
among us, who would sacrifice our permanent interests 
to their mistaken views of temporary advantage. The 
individual who presumes thus to address you is no poli- 
tician; has no objects at variance with the general wel- 
fare; no ambition but to be a friend of mankind, and 
especially his brethern and fellow-citizens of this State." 

This address was also published in handbill form, 
and freely distributed previous to the election. It was 
the last address from our side previous to the vote; and 
as it has been said to have been attended with effect, 
I have given it the first place here. 

In June, a series of letters signed "Jonathan Freeman", 
on the free side, replied to by "John Rifle", appeared in 
the SJiazv}ieetozvn Gazette. The following are specimens 
of the style and talent of each writer: 


JONATHAN freeman's LETTER, NO. I. 
"Zi? the Editor of the Illinois Gazette: 

"Sir — I am a poor man; that is to say I have .no 
money. But I have a house to cover me, and the rest 
of us, a stable for my horses, and a httle barn, on a 
quarter of good land paid up at the land-ofifice, with a 
middling fine clearing upon it and a good fence. I have 
about thirty head of cattle, some of them prime, and a 
good chance of hogs; and by the labors of my boys, we 
make a shift to get along. We help our neighbors, who 
are generally as poor as ourselves; — some that are new- 
comers are not so well fixed. They help us in turn; and 
as it is the fashion to be industrious, I discover that we 
are all by degrees growing wealthy, not in money to be 
sure, but in truck. 

"There is a great stir among the land-jobbers and poli- 
ticians, to get slaves into the country; because, as they 
say, we are in great distress; and I have been thinking 
how it would act with me and my neighbors. I read 
your paper as it comes out, but do n't find anything to 
clear it up. First of all you gave us an address from a 
meeting at Vandalia in praise of a convention; next you 
published the protest of the minority against the tricks of 
the slave-party; and then you said we had the whole 
matter before us. Though you seem to hang that way, 
you have not said hoz^.' slavery is to do good to me, and 
the like of me — that is four citizens out of five in the 
State. I have already seen people from Kentucky, and 
some of the neighbors have been traveling in that 
country. They all agree in one story, that the Ken- 

JONATHAN freeman's LETTER. 211 

tuckians are as bad off for money as we, some say worse. 
People that have been to New Orleans say it is the same 
all down the river; no money, but a power of plantations 
to sell, if there were any buyers. As money seems to be 
all we want, and they want it just as much as we do, I 
don't see how those slave -gentry are to make it plenty, 
unless sending more produce to New Orleans would raise 
the price; as to neighbors, give me plain farmers, working 
with their own free hands, or the hands of free workmen. 
Not great planters and their negroes; for negroes are 
middling light-fingered, and I suspect we should have 
to lock up our cabins when we left home, and if we were 
to leave our linen out ail nigrht, we mio^ht chance to miss 
it in the morning. The planters are great men, and will 
ride about mighty grand, with umbrellas over their 
heads, when I and my boys are working perhaps bare- 
headed in the hot sun. Neighbors indeed ! they woyld 
have it all their own way, and rule over us like little 
kings; we should have to patrol round the country to 
keep their negroes under, instead of minding our own 
business; but if we lacked to raise a building, or a dollar, 
the d — 1 a bit would they help ns. 

"This is what I have been thinking, and so I suspect we 
all think, but they who want to sell out; and they that 
want to sell, will find themselves mistaken if they expect 
the Kentckians to buy their improvements, when they 
can get Congress-land at a dollar and a-quarter an acre. 
It is men who come from Free-states with money in their 
pockets, and no workhands about them, that buy improve- 
ments. Yours, Jonathan Freeman." 


freeman's FIRST LETTER. 

" Sir: — I have seen in your paper of Saturday last, a 
letter signed Jonathan Freeman, about which I wish to 
make a few remarks. This Freeman Hves near the Wa- 
bash, and is a neighbor of mine, and from what I know of 
him, I am certain there is something not right about this 
letter. I know that he could not have wrote it himself, for 
two reasons; first, the man has not been sober for three 
months; and, second, he can't write. Freeman used to be 
an honest, industrious man, until about a year ago, when 
he got into the habit of going to Albion, keeping com- 
pany with the English, and drinking beer. He has got so 
haunted to the place, that there is no breaking him off; 
and it will be the ruin of him; for beer, you know, has the 
effect of stupefying and clouding the mind, as we may see 
by all the English that come over. Some chance ones are 
peart enough, but in a general way they have what I call 
a beer-fog over them. If it had not been for this, Free- 
man would never have allowed any man to put his name 
to such an instrument of writing as the one in your paper. 
There is no doubt that the English have been cologing 
with him on the subject of the convention, taking advan- 
tage of him when he was not rightly at himself, and may 
be some of them wrote that piece for him; however, I 
do n't think he ever knew anything about it. 

" Now as to the letter itself, let us see whether it is true. 
He says in one place, I discover that we are all by degrees 
growing rich, not in money to be sure, but in truck. This 

JOHN rifle's reply. 213 

I do say is not true. I appeal to the farmers throughout 
the State, whether any of them are getting rich, in money 
or truck, or anything else. They will answer — No. He 
says there is a great stir among "land-jobbers and politi- 
cians to get slaves into the country; " let me ask who does 
he mean by land-jobbers and politicians.'' Does he mean 
the Legislature.^ If so, the people will not thank him for 
libelling two-thirds of their representatives as land-jobbers, 
nor will truth justify him; for, in fact, a large majority of 
the Legislature were plain farmers like ourselves. Perhaps 
he means the people, and there he is equally wrong. The 
farmers of this country have no right to be called land- 
jobbers; whether they are politicians or not, will be found 
out at next election, when, I think, they will show that 
they will not be fuddled by British beer, nor cajoled out 
of their rights by British influence. 

"He says, 'the planters are great men, and will ride 
about, mighty grand, with umbrellas over their heads, 
when I and my boys are working, perhaps, bareheaded in 
the hot sun.' I now ask all the Kentuckians in this State 
to give evidence on this point. Do the people of Ken- 
tucky ride about, mighty grand, with umbrellas over their 
heads .-^ We have a great many Kentuckians, Tennesseeans, 
and North Carolinians in this State, and we don't find that 
they are more grand and proud than other folks. As for 
working bareheaded in the sun, I did not know that it was 
usual to do that in this country. They say the poor devils 
in the old country have to do it; but there is nothing to 
prevent their covering their heads here; and if they are 
too lazy to do so, I say let them go bareheaded. The 


fact is, that the man who wrote that letter for Freeman, 
has been used to have poor white folks for slaves; and 
they want to keep up the same rule here, which God for- 
bid. If they expect to introduce nobility, taxes, and 
white slavery among us, they will be mistaken. They 
tried that before the Revolution, and much they got by it. 

"Again, the writer of this letter says the negroes are 
middling light-fingered, and he gives this as an objection 
against their admission. This is as much as to say the 
blacks are thieves, and therefore we will not admit them 
among us as slaves, and keep them under control; but we 
will let them in as free people, and allow them the chance 
of stealing like gentlemen. I am a little surprised that 
the objection to light-fingered people should come from 
that quarter, for I am told that the people of a certain 
island over the water are so highly gifted in this way, that 
they can scarcely keep their hands out of each other's 
pockets; and that they are hung for it by dozens; but 
perhaps they wish to keep the business in their own hands 
, in this country. 

"Mr. Editor, I have now done w^ith my neighbor Free- 
man. I would advise him to mind his farm, and not be 
writing letters to the printer. Or, if he is so very anxious 
to be high up in the papers, to get some of his own coun- 
trymen to write his documents. I do n't think that any 
good will be done by writing, no how; for the people of 
this country will have their way, and the majority will 
govern, in spite of nabobs, who would make white slaves 
of us. June I J, 182J. John Rifle." 


freeman's second LETTER. 
"Sir: — As you have printed my homely letter, showing 
the sort of neighbors the slave-gentlemen and their negroes 
would be to us plain Illinois farmers, I send you my sim- 
ple thoughts, on what is brought up by way of excuse, by 
people who, I believe, know better, though they think that 
such as I do not. They say that if slaves from Kentucky 
come into Illinois, there will be as many less in Ken- 
tucky as there will be more here; so that the number of 
the whole will not be greater than if they had stayed there. 
I see the matter differently. When a man moves, it is 
because he is uneasy, and can't thrive; so he goes where 
he can do better; the better people are off, the faster they 
will increase. Many people in Kentucky are deep 'in debt, 
and have nothing left to call their own but slaves. In that 
case, they can't carry on to any good purpose. It goes 
hard with such men's negroes, with bellies pinched and 
short of clothing, they roam about by night, and pick up 
any thing they can find, to cover their backs or satisfy 
hunger. This is a great plague to a neighborhood, and 
very hurtful to the slaves. When a gang of these hungry, 
naked creatures, that hardly keep up in numbers, owing to 
their misery, move into a country where their master gets 
good land almost for nothing, they make plenty of corn 
and pork, and breed two for one. The neighborhood they 
left goes on better without them, and soon fills up their 
room; so that the slaves now in Kentucky are just as 
many more. If Ohio had been a slave-state, there would 
have been, at this time, about two hundred thousand more 
slaves in the world, and two hundred thousand fewer free 


persons. Which do you think best, Mr. Editor, to raise 
freemen or slaves.'' Some say we ought to let them into 
this country from humanity, becausa they would be better 
off. This sounds mighty well; but it is a hypocritical ar- 
gument; because kindness to the negroes is not the object. 
If they want room, why should they come to Illinois.^ 
There is plenty of wild land in Kentucky. All Missouri 
is open to them, besides the Southern States. We should 
consider, too, that when we open a country to slaves, we 
cl6se it against freemen, who also want to better their 
situation. JONATHAN FREEMAN." 

" To the Editor of the Illinois Gazette: 

"Sir: — There are some persons, who, after all thfe pains 
that have been taken to open their eyes, are still hanker- 
ing for slavery. Men, under the dominion of passion, 
can not hearken to reason. Passion is both deaf and blind, 
and Avarice is an overbearing passion, they acknowledge 
to be wrong; they are convinced that in the end, it would 
be impolitic; but urged by this demon, on they rush. I 
can compare them to nothing but the herd of swine we 
read of in the Testament, which, 'being possessed by a 
devil, ran furiously down a steep place into the sea;' and 
a sea 'of trouble it would be, a sea of troubles from which 
they would never be extricated. Suppose twenty thousand 
negroes to be in the State (no great number, only about 
two to a family) then begins a war to which there will be 
neither truce nor treaty; a war of oppression on the one 
hand, and of revenge on the other, rendering both parties 
wretched during its continuance, and to be ended, sooner 


or later, by the destruction of one or other of them. Look 
at old Virginia, which in 1774, was by far the most power- 
ful State in the Union, containing six hundred and fifty 
thousand inhabitants, more by fifty thousand than New 
York and Pennsylvania together, including Vermont, and 
I believe Delaware. Look at her condition during the last 
war with Great Britain. She could not contribute her 
quota of militia to the general defence, through fear of her 
slave population. Look at the Carolinas and Georgia. 
Consider their constant alarms; the system of nightly 
patrols, which, horrible as it truly is, is but the beginning 
of sorrows, something by way of prevention. As yet the 
power and the show of fighting has been all on one side; 
and so seems to be the suffering. The white man holds 
the rifle and brandishes the cow-skin, while the wretched 
victims, like the souls under the altar, are crying, 'How 
long, oh, Lord, holy and true, doest thou not judge and 
avenge our blood.''' But is the suffering all on one side.^ 
How fares it with the trembling females when their hus- 
bands and fathers are out, on this hateful but necessary 
duty.? Do you think they sleep, and if they do what are 
their dreams. -* When they have gathered up every tool 
which might be converted into a weapon of destruction, 
and barricaded their houses, and laid themselves in their 
beds with their little ones around them. How fare they ? 
The midnight torch and the club, and the spirit of ven- 
geance are abroad and awake, and do you think they 
repose in tranquility.? 

" Such, my fellow-citizens, advocates of this accursed 
system, is the inheritance you would provide for your 


posterity! I pray you to count the cost before you make 
the purchase. What I faintly describe to you is a very 
small part of the misery you would bring on yourselves 
and your children; these are pains of precaution, merely; 
all this and more must be endured, to put off the evil 
day which, sooner or later, will surely arrive. Besides 
this, on which would depend your very existence, there 
would be on every plantation a perpetual conflict between 
the eagerness of the master and the apathy of the slave; 
the simplest work must be carried on by violence and 

"The white man, ev-en the white woman (odious to con- 
template), must be ready to apply the lash ; and there 
would be an incessant war of plunder, in which the whites 
would have to act on the defensive. Every thing that 
can be secured, must be under lock. Your clothing and 
provisions and choice fruit and poultry; you might watch 
them, but it would be in vain. One thief in a neighbor- 
hood is a suflicient nuisance, but then there would be a 
hundred. If mischief to your property, by theft, would 
be increased a hundred fold, so would danger from fire; 
not through negligence only, but through design. What 
precautions are found necessary in slave-states against 
this devouring calamity! Yet fires are continually occur- 
ring; if you ask how they happened, the invariable answer 
is: 'from the carelessness or the malice of the negroes.' 
Then, too, would arise an o\erwhelming flood of gross 
immorality, carrying all decency before it. But I restrain 
my pen; the catalogue of calamities would be endless; 
and could all the advantages, which the convention ists 


most absurdly expect, be realized and weighed against 
any one of the evils which I have enumerated, they would 
be as a feather to a millstone. JONATHAN FREEMAN." 

A reverend divine enters the list, with Bible-arguments 
for slavery; his letter, over the signature W. K., appeared 
in the Republican Advocate; I never learned his n^me or 
residence. He was the Parson Brownlow of that day. 
We will give him a hearing, and see how he is handled 
by Jonathan Freeman: 

*\To tlie Editor of the Spectator : 

" Sir: — The following article, with the signature W. K., 
has appeared in the Republican Advocate and the Illinois 
Republican. As it is an extraordinary production, to give 
it a still more general circulation, I request the favor of 
your inserting it in your paper, with a reply to it from 
your ob'd't serv't, JONATHAN FREEMAN." 

"'Several gentlemen, who are raising a great hue and 
cry against the introduction of slavery into this State, 
appear to be influenced strongly by religious considera- 
tions and scruples of conscience. One would conclude, 
from what they say and write on this subject (if we can 
believe them sincere), that they really suppose it contrary 
to the spirit and precepts of our holy religion, to reduce 
the black curled-headed Africans to a state of bondage to 
white men, and bring them into the Western Hemisphere, 
and compel some of them to serve the good Christians of 

"'That it would better the condition of all Africa to 
bring her unhappy sable children to the American Conti- 


nent, no one, it is presumed, can be found so stupid and 
destitute of common sense as to deny or,' indeed, for one 
moment, to hesitate to believe. Therefore, I say nothing 
on this head; and shall content myself by referring the 
religiously-scrupulous part of the community, and espec- 
ially the preaching and exhorting part thereof, to such 
passages of holy writ as I would think ought to close 
their lips, and which are conceived to be unanswerable, in 
favor of reducing the negroes to a state of bondage to the 
whites, and of introducing and treating them as slaves 
among us. 

" 'The passages of scripture to which I would refer, and 
which may be deemed conclusive by reasonable and can- 
did men, are to be found in many different parts of the 
Bible; but it is considered sufficient for our purpose to 
quote from the 25th chapter of Leviticus, the 44th, 45th, 
and 46th verses: "Both thy bondmen and thy bondmaids 
which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are 
round about you, and of them shall ye buy bondmen and 
bondmaids. Moreover, the children of the strangers that 
do sojourn among you, of them shall you buy, and of their 
families, which are with you, which they beget in your 
land, and they shall be your possession; they shall be your 
bondmen forever." From these passages, we see very 
plainly that the Israelites were permitted to make slaves 
of the heathen that were around them. It is very evident 
that the African negroes are to be considered as "strangers" 
and "heathen" to us Christians, who stand in the place and 
footsteps of the ancient 'Jews, God's chosen people; and 
whatever was lawful for them to do, is lawful for us also. 


" ' I call upon the teachers of the Christian religion, and 
the expounders of the sacred book, which contains its pre- 
cepts; likewise the cunning and crafty opposers of a con- 
vention, for the purpose of so amending our- constitution, 
that we may legally enjoy the blessings of slavery, to 
explain away, if they can, the plain and obvious meaning 
of those passages which I have transcribed. VV. K.' " 

To our reverend brother, if we yield to him nothing else, 
we must thank him for his candor. He at least wishes, 
through the medium of a convention, so to amend the 
constitution, that we may legally enjoy the blessings of 
slavery. He goes the whole hog; and for that I rather 
like him, in comparison with that hypocritical, fast-and- 
loose crew, who, while working and pleading for a con- 
vention, denied that the object was to introduce slavery. 
But I leave him to Jonathan Freeman: 

" To W. K., Reverend Sir: — I am one of those who are 
strongly influenced by religious considerations and scruples 
of conscience in opposition to slavery; being quite certain 
that it is contrary to the spirit of our holy religion to 
reduce any human being to a state of bondage, excepting 
as a punishment for crimes. I have attentively considered 
the passages you have quoted, and I learn from them that 
the laws of Moses permitted the Hebrews, according to 
the custom of those barbarous ages, to buy bondmen and 
bondmaids, of the heathen round about them; but I do 
not discover that they were permitted to make them 
slaves. On the contrary, it is evident from all collateral 
passages, that the persons who might become bondmen 


and bondmaids to the Israelites were such as had forfeited 
their freedom, and were, by law, subjected to the penalty 
of slavery. Nothing is said respecting their 'curled hair" 
or sable complexions, or any title we have to stand in the 
place of the ancient Jews in this particular, or any other. 

" The Legislature of the United States has taken a 
different view from yours of the practice of bringing the 
'unhappy sable children of Africa to the American con- 
tinent, that they may enjoy the blessings of slavery;' hav- 
ing declared it to be a crime of the first magnitude, and 
punishable as such. In regard to making slaves of the 
heathen roundabout us, which you conceive to be our 
right as God's chosen people, that also is prohibited. I 
shall, therefore, confine my observations to the enslaving 
of the 'strangers' who sojourn among us; and, in illustra- 
tion of your extracts from the law of Moses, on this 
subject, I invite your attention to the following collateral 
authorities taken from the said code: 

"Exodus, chap. xxii. 21, 'Thou shalt neither vex a 
stranger nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the 
land of Egypt,' * 

" Exodus, chap, xxiii. 9, ' Tttou shalt not oppress a 
stranger; for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye 
were strangers in the land of Egypt.' 

"Leviticus, chap. xix. 33, 34, 'And if a stranger sojourn 
with ye in your land, ye shall not vex him ; but the 
stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one 
born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for 
ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord 
thy God.' 


"Leviticus, chap. xxiv. 22, 'Ye shall have one manner 
of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own 
.country; for I am the Lord your God.' 

"Exodus, chap. xxi. 16, 'He that stealeth a man and 
selleth him, or if he is found in his hand, he shall surely 
be put to death.' 

" Now, as the law of Moses, respecting strangers, is in 
perfect conformity with the principles of our free institu- 
tions, and as you, sir, consider the peculiar object of those 
laws applied in our case, I shall call upon you to exert your 
influence, as a good citizen and as a teacher of religion, 
that our practice may be brought to correspond with the 
true principles of Christianity and Republicanism. This 
would be better employment and better suited to the char- 
acter of a minister of the Gospel, than advocating slavery. 
Jesus Christ is the interpreter of the Mosaic law to Chris- 
tians'; and the following is his interpretation: 

" Mathew, chap. vii. 12, 'All things whatsoever ye would 
that men should do unto you, do you even so to them ; 
for this is the law and the prophets.' Allow me to remind 
you that the 'black curled-headed Africans are men; hav- 
ing the same relation to the Universal Father with your- 
self,' or it may "be a nearer, for it is written, 'he giveth 
grace to the humble; but he beholdeth the proud afar off.' 

"Jonathan Freeman." 

The insidious manner in which the convention question 
was 'broached by its friends and supporters, was one of the 
marked features in the early proceedings of the convention- 
ists. They denied at first that it was the object of the 
convention to introduce slavery. The annexed extract 


from the pen of the editor of the Illinois Gazette, which 
precedes the two letters that immediately follow it, will 
show the tone held by the conventionists at that time : 

" The writers of the following communications take tvv^o 
things for granted, which we deem very questionable, if 
not positive mistakes : First, that the main object of the 
convention was to introduce slavery ; and secondly, that 
the saline can be worked with more profit to the State by 
free laborers than hired slaves. 

"We do not believe that the introduction of absolute 
slavery is the object of the friends of a convention, speak- 
ing of them as a body ; though there are individuals, 
doubtless, who would desire it. We answer for ourselves, 
that it is not ours, nor ever was ; and we believe we may 
say as much for all the most influential and intelligent 
persons of that party throughout the State. As to work- 
ing the saline, we are clear that it can not be done either 
to private or public advantage by free laborers. Indeed it 
is a primary object of the friends of a convention in this 
quarter, to procure a prolongation of the privilege of hiring 
slaves at those works. Such is the conviction of the 
greater advantages to be derived from that species of 
labor, in the present paucity of our population." 

" ' To the Editor of the Illinois Intelligencer: 

" 'Sir: — In the Illinois Intelligencer of December 6, is an 
account of a meeting of certain individuals styling them- 
selves 'Friends of a Convention,' held at Vandalia, of which 
Gen. Willis Hargrave was the chairman. 

' "As it is thoroughly understood by every citizen who is 


capable of distinguishing his right hand from his left, that 
the main object of the convention of which these gentle- 
men profess to be the friends, is the introduction of slavery. 
I can not refrain from expressing my extreme regret that 
the General should have allowed himself to be placed in 
such a situation. I should have thought that the lament- 
able condition of the Gallatin Saline (of which I understand 
he is the official inspector) might have induced him to raise 
a warning voice so loud and so earnest as to be heard 
through every county and every plantation in the State, 
proclaiming to his fellow-citizens that their hard-earned 
dollars expended in salt have passed away into Kentucky 
and Tennessee for the hire of negroes ; not leaving a suf- 
ficiency to pay even the rent in our depreciated currency, 
at the rate of twenty-five cents to the dollar ! He should 
have laid before us this distressing fact; and have reminded 
us, that if free laborers had been employed instead of slaves, 
the amount of their wages, at least, would have remained 
in circulation among us, and would have prevented this 
valuable national estate from being an enormous drain upon 
our specie, instead of being a source of profit to the public. 

" One of the People.' " 

" ' To the Editor of the Illinois Gazette: 

" ^Sir: — At a time when avarice and folly are combining 
on the one hand for the introduction of slavery into our 
State, and virtue with good sense, her never-failing coad- 
jutor, on the other, are combining to oppose it, it is amus- 
ing to observe the artifices of the slave-party, by which 
they endeavor to impose on the public, by mustering and 



manoeuvring under the colors of the friends of freedom. 
In the Illinois Intelligencer of Nov^ember i, and in several 
other papers, is an account of an affair of this kind. Cer- 
tain citizens of Fox-River Township, in White County, to 
the number of about sixty persons, being assembled for the 
purpose of electing county- commissioners, formed them- 
selves into a society in support of a convention, which 
everybody knows is designed to bring about the toleration 
of slavery ; but, instead of proceeding like men, who have 
no cause to conceal their intentions, they drew up the fol- 
lowing resolutions : 

"(These resolutions were published in this paper of the 
8th; lack of room compels us to refer to them in this way.) 

'"Here the first resolution, unexceptionable in principle, 
is held up as a standard. Governments are instituted to 
secure the rights and insure the happiness of the governed, 
etc.; under these colors they march to the second resolu- 
tion, by which they bind themselves to use every honest 
exertion to induce their neighbors and fellow-citizens to 
act with them in bringing about a change of government ; 
and by which projected change a portion of the governed, 
instead of having their rights secured to them according to 
the tenor of the first resolution, are to be held, with their 
children after them, in perpetual bondage. They then pro- 
ceed to appoint a committee to carry into effect, not the 
resolutions including the first, but the resolution meaning 
the second; thus, laying down the colors of freedom, they 
take up the black banner and cut the figure which all peo- 
ple do when they are ashamed of their own transactions. 
"'The majority of my fellow-citizens of White County 


will, I trust, put a just value on their rights and their inde- 
pendence, and faithfully adhere to the first resolution. 

" 'People talk of the right of slave-owners to hold their 
fellow-man in bondage; but there is a great difference be- 
tween power and right. There may be a power but not a 
right to do wrong. The State of New York had the power 
to practise slavery, but never the right to do it. The people 
of that and other free-states, to their honor and incalculable 
advantage, have relinquished that noxious power, and they 
can not resume' it. The states which have abolished sla- 
very have abolished it forever. Nothing short of a dissolu- 
tion of all government can introduce slavery among a free 
people. The end of government is the intellectual and 
moral, as well as the corporal good of the whole. Should 
slavery be among their customs, the legitimate object of 
government would then be to mitigate the evil during its 
existence, and abolish it as soon as practicable. Such as 
been the course of the states alluded to. They have 
extirpated the accursed thing. We have bound ourselves, 
by a solemn compact, not to plant it; and on this express 
condition, we have been admitted to all the rights and 
privileges of the original States. The criminal power, 
which the advocates of slavery are coveting, and would 
sanctify under the name of a right, was not one of those 
rights and privileges. Slavery was a calamity under 
which they were afflicted, and from which we are happily 
exempted by our constitution ; and this exemption is one 
of the most precious of its gifts. 

'"Jonathan Freeman.' " 


" To tJie Editor of the S/iaivnectoivn Gazette: 

''Sir: — I beg leave to submit to you and the other 
gentlemen of the legal profession at Shawneetown the 
following queries, arising from facts, which I shall premise. 

"The property of the soil of this State, being vested in 
the General Government, offices were opened for the sale 
of land, and certain rights and immunities granted to 

" Query i. — May not such purchasers require of the 
United States protection and support in the enjoyment 
of those rights and immunities? When they attained the 
number of sixty thousand, or at an earlier period with the 
consent of Congress, they had a right to form a govern- 
ment under certain definitions and provisions, viz.: that it 
should, be a republic; that it should have no hereditary 
nobility, no church establishment; and no slavery, except 
as a punishment for crimes. 

'' Q. 2. — If the majority had prefered a monarchy, would 
not the United States have upheld the minority in its 
right to form a republic.'' 

"Q. J. — If the majority had attempted to create heredi- 
tary rank, or an established church, would not the United 
States have supported the minorit)' in their rejection of 
those usurpations.-* 

" Q. ^. — If the majority had attempted to introduce 
slavery, would not the United States have been bound 
to enable the minority effectually to resist it? There was, 
however, no need of the interposition of Congress in 
regard to these matters! The constitution of Illinois was 
framed in consistency with these stipulations; and under 


those express conditions and limitations, the people of the 
territory were admitted into the Union as a State. 

"(^. 5. — Did that contract cease to be binding the 
moment after it was executed.' 

"If your honorable fraternity shall see good to enlighten 
your unlearned fellow- citizens on these points, I may be 
encouraged to propose a few after queries for your so- 
lution. Jonathan Freeman." 

In reply to some sneering remarks, as to the absurdity 
of comparing the capacity of a curly-headed black fellow 
with white men, the following pertinent piece of history 
was given: 

" To the Editor of the Shazvneetown Gazette: 

''Sir: — Before the admission of slaves into this State, I 
would counsel the Solomons in our legislature to devise 
some plan to prevent any from being bought or stolen, or 
in any manner procured or brought among us, who are 
able to read or write; as it is to be feared they might soon 
be an overmatch for us in those exercises. A negro 
fellow, called Du Vasty, in St. Domingo, took it in his 
head to write a book in answer to Mr. Mazere, a white 
gentleman, who had written in defence of the slave-trade. 
In this answer the black breaks out in the following 

"'I have discovered,' says he, 'such absurdities, false- 
hoods, and equivocations in this work,' meaning the book 
of the white gentleman, 'that I have been twenty times 
on the point of throwing down my pen, and abandoning 
him and his brethren to the profound contempt they have 


inspired. I am a man! I feel it in all my being: I pos- 
sess thought, reason, strength. I have every feeling of 
my sublime existence. I am humbled at being obliged to 
reply to such childish sophisms, and to prove to men like 
myself that I am their fellow. My soul, indignant at this 
excess of falsehood and folly, leads me in my turn to 
doubt if they are men who dare to discuss a question no 
less impious and immoral than absurd.' 

"You may perceive from this specimen, Mr. Editor, that 
the Carolinians and Georgians have some reason for pro- 
hibiting the instruction of their slaves. Yours, 

"Jonathan Freeman." 

"Sir: — As the following six queries may bd answered 
in seven words, and require but little legal knowledge, 
though your indulgence, I propose them to our fellow- 
citizens in general. I would request them to answer in- 
genuously, to the satisfaction of their own conscience, each 
query severally and in succession as they read it, and then 
to make up their minds about voting for or against a con- 
vention designed to bring in slavery. 

" Query i. What was the original title of the white man 
to the negro .^ Q. 2. The power of enforcing it excepted, 
has not the negro as good a title to the w^hite man.!* 
Q, J. Can the transfer of a bad title improve or confirm 
it.^ Q. 4.. Is not the receiver of stolen goods, knowing 
them to be such, as bad as the thief; and should they pass 
from one such receiver to another, and so on, is not the 
last receiver as bad as the first.' Q. 5. Which is the 
greatest villain, a horse-thief or a man-thief; a receiver of 


stolen horses or a receiver of stolen men? Q. 6. If the 
majority of the legislature should happen to be of the 
latter class, and they were to pass a law, authorizing their 
constituents to steal men, women, and children, or to re- 
ceive them, knowing them to be stolen, would such a law- 
justify the villainy? JONATHAN FREEMAN." 

" To the Editor of the Illinois Gazette: 

"Sir: The complaining tone, which has become so com- 
mon among us, is no doubt occasioned by inconveniences, 
which we pretty generally feel as wants, which we are at 
present unable to satisfy. 

" People who suffer are apt to complain, and I suppose 
there is relief in it; but sometimes we indulge this pro- 
pensity unreasonably, and spend time and strength in 
grumbling, which well applied might set all to rights. 
This, I am inclined to believe, is our present case. Here 
we are, about sixty thousand persons, old and young, 
possessing the portions of our choice in a rich and beauti- 
ful country, lately a wilderness, but under well-directed 
industry fast becoming a fertile field. We labor for our- 
selves and our children, and have nothing to pay but for 
our benefit. 

"Our operations commence in the creation of real wealth. 
We build houses, and they are our own; make enclosures 
which produce more than enough for our subsistence. 
We have planted orchards, and are beginning to gather 
their fruit. We have store of cattle of all descriptions 
(sheep excepted) beyond our wants. We have also made 
ourselves clothing; but in this particular, our industry may 


have been somewhat deficient. Things have arrived at 
this point without much money; for the httle we brought 
with us has been mostly expended in paying for our land, 
and in purchasing articles of the first necessity, which are 
not to be found in a new country. There are, however, 
other articles necessary for our comfort, if not for our sub- 
sistance, which can not be procured without money; and 
here lies our difficulty. The times are somewhat 'out of 
joint'. The old world does not, as heretofore, take off 
the surplus produce of the new. The plain articles of 
food yield, at New Orleans, which is our emporium, little 
more than the cost of freight, and afford us a very scanty 
supply of foreign productions of luxury and comfort. 

" What is our reasonable course under these circum- 
stances ? To direct a portion of our industry to the supply 
of our ozvn wants, instead of raising u)iniarkctable produce. 
Let us examine into the resources of our country, and 
avail ourselves of them. Have we no iron-ore in our 
State, no clay suitable for pottery.'' At all events, we 
should grow the materials of our clothing, as we have cer- 
tainly skill to manufacture them; and the skill wJiicJi is 
not exerted, is dormant capital, lost to the public. 

"No country ever acquired lasting wealth and prosperity 
by exporting raw produce. It will be a fortunate event, 
which we are now deploring as a calamity, should it put 
us in the way of working up, and consuming our own pro- 
duce. We shall then be as independent as any people 
ought to be. Foreign commerce is not to be viewed as 
the source of wealth, but of convenience. We must give 
an equivalent for all we receive. The balance of trade is 


held by the even hand of mutual interest; both parties are 
served by it. The merchants in each country may grow 
rich, but it is at the expense of their home customers. 

"The real wealth of a country is of its own creation; 
consisting in its arts and industry, its productive lands, its 
buildings, its roads, canals, and public institutions; and in 
the means of enjoyment possessed by the people. Illinois 
might be both rich and happy, though walled in from the 
rest of the world; certainly neither so speedily, nor to an 
equal degree, as through a liberal communication with 
other nations. Let us have patience and perseverance, 
and all will be well. We generally left our ancient abodes 
under the pressure or apprehension of distress ; some from 
want or fear of it; some from the galling of political 
oppression. Now let us be thankful. Want is far from 
us, and we are free. Just escaped from the gripe of pov- 
erty, or the more horrible gripe of tyranny, it becomes us 
not to murmur because we have nothing better than liberty 
and plenty. Shall we complain because our corn-cribs are 
overflowing and our harvests too abundant. •* If any of us 
choose to exchange four or even eight bushels of corn for 
a pound of tea, we have good right so to do ; or if we 
choose to give a hundred and twenty bushels of corn for a 
coat of British broadcloth, so be it, but no grumbling ; the 
better way might be to do at present without the tea, and 
forever without a coat of foreign fabric, 'to wear our old 
coats,' as Dr. Franklin said on another occasion, 'until we 
can make new ones;' but this will never take place if we 
tolerate slavery; for that would encourage extravagance, 
cripple industry, keep us poor, and blight all our pros- 
pects. Jonathan Freeman." 


" To the Editor of the Shaiuneetozvn Gazette: 

"Sir: — I would freely commit the question, which now 
agitates and disgraces this State, to a congress of wise and 
conscientious men, taken from a slave-holding state, and 
consent to abide by their decision, confined to this simple 
question: 'Is slavery, considered as affecting the enslaving 
party, a blessing or a curse? ' 

"There is not at this moment a civilized nation on the 
face of the earth which has tasted the bitterness of slavery 
(and it is impossible to drink of that cup without tasting 
its bitterness) that does not loathe it as a nauseous and 
poisonous draught. The old slave -states of this Republic 
are writhing under it as an evil for which they can find no 
remedy. The entire Republic, of which we form an incon- 
siderable section, as a body, detests it. Europe, though 
enveloped by political thraldom, declares even in the con- 
gress of Verona her abhorrence of the system ; and Great 
Britain in parliament, urged by petitions from the people, 
has determined on measures leading to the emancipation 
of the slaves in her colonies. Whence then is the infatua- 
tion of the citizens of this State, who would beckon into 
their land of freedom this outcast abomination of the whole 
earth .'^ Are there men among us who can exult in the 
hope that a majority of their fellow-citizens will be so base 
as to hold up their hands for slavery.-* Such men, sir, are 
unworthy the blessings of this free constitution; they are 
unworthy of the age they live in. Unworthy, as I trust it 
will appear, of that community to whom they presume to 
look for support in their iniquitous attempt to enslave their 


"Liberators of mankind are embalmed in history; we 
dwell upon their names with filial fondness. But those 
who in this age of intelligence can employ their talents 
and their influence to rivet the fetters which avarice in 
times of ignorance has fixed upon their fellows, what shall 
we say of them.'' Language is unequal to the expression 
of our indignation and our pity! 

"I believe, sir, and in that belief I do exult, that the 
number of those unfortunate persons is very limited, and 
diminishes continually; and that the day of trial will find 
the citizens of Illinois worthy of their station. Other na- 
tions are struggling manfully against inveterate institutions 
of political bondage from which we are free; one and all 
we pray for their success; and blessed as we are in the 
enjoyment of those equal rights (with which our Creator 
has endowed all mankind) and with equal laws founded on 
those rights, we are not going to introduce into the very 
bosom of our families the most cruel and detestable op- 

"Our forefathers of many generations would have sacri- 
ficed themselves to secure these privileges for their off- 
spring. Let us then with grateful hearts, and hands of 
industry, improve the blessings we enjoy, and in due 
season we shall abound in wealth and comforts honestly 

" To the Editor of the Illinois Gazette: 

"Sir: — Early in last year, about the time that the con- 
vention question was forced through our legislature, the 
following resolutions passed the British House of Com- 
mons without a dissenting voice: 


'"That it is expedient to adopt effectual and decisive 
measures for ameliorating the condition of the slave-popu- 
lation in his majesty's colonies.' 

'"That through a determined and persevering, but at the 
same time a judicious and temperate enforcement of such 
measures, this House looks forward to a progressive im- 
provement in the character of the slave-population, such as 
may prepare them^ for a participation in those civil rights 
and privileges which are enjoyed by other classes of his 
majesty's subjects.' 

"'That this House is anxious for the accomplishment of 
this purpose at the earliest period that shall be compatible 
with the well-being of the slaves themselves, with the safety 
of the colonies, and with a fair and equitable consideration 
of the interests of private property.' 

"On the 15th of March of the present year, Mr. Can- 
ning, the prime-minister of that Government, stated to the 
House the measures which had been adopted in pursuance 
of the above resolutions; from which statement I have 
extracted some particulars for the entertainment and in- 
struction of our fellow-citizens. 

"It is proper in the first place to observe that the British 
colonies in the West Indies are of two classes; the one class 
is governed by authorities formed after the model of the 
mother-country; in those every proposition for the amel- 
ioration of the condition of the slaves is uniformly and 
violently rejected. In the other class of colonies, the 
Government of Great Britain rules without the intervention 
of legislative assemblies, and in these it was determined to 
establish by law such regulations as seemed best adapted 


to their present condition; and, accordingly, in the island 
of Trinidad, the following provisions are made compulsory- 
on the Government: 

'"I. The chastisement of females by the whip, to be 
entirely abolished.' 

"'2. The whip as a stimulus to labor to be abolished, 
even for males; and only retained as an instrument of 
punishment for crimes, and then under strict regulations.' 

'"3. Institutions of religious worship are provided for 
the slaves, and the encouragement of marriage strictly 

'"4. It is strictly provided that in all future sales (for, as 
Mr. Canning observed, the sale of slaves could not yet be 
prevented) the husband and wife, the reputed husband and 
the reputed wife, and the parent and the child, shall not in 
any case be separated from one another.' 

'"5. To secure to the slaves by law whatever property 
has been secured as theirs by custom; and this law in- 
cludes the right of bequest.' 

'"6. Those who shall take charge of the religious in- 
struction of the negioes shall have the power, and it will be 
their duty, to certify the fitness of the slave to give testi- 
mony in a court of justice; not in any individual case, nor 
at the moment the testimony may be required; but gener- 
ally, that such a slave has made such advances under 
instruction as to be conversant with the nature of evidence; 
and of these a register shall be kept, and they shall be 
considered in that respect as a privileged class.' 

'"7. It is also prescribed, in addition to other provisions 
favorable to manumission, that every negro shall be allowed 


to purchase his own freedom or the freedom of his child.'" 
"Thus has a process begun, under the authority of 
government, by which it is hoped that such an improve- 
ment in the moral condition of the slaves may be effected, 
as will, besides the abatement of their present miseries, fit 
them for the enjoyment of their freedom. 

" In addition to the above regulations, that government 
has, during the last year, formed a treaty with our own, on 
the subject of the slave-trade, which is declared by both 
governments to be piracy, and punishable by death. By 
this treaty, the mutual right of search is admitted ; and 
thus the natives of the United States and Great Britain will 
in future co-operate for the purpose of extinguishing this 
infamous traffic. 

"In melancholy contrast«to the enlightened spirit of the 
present age, the retrogade movement attempted by the 
advocates of slavery in this State will be viewed by future 
generations, even of our own posterity, with astonishment 
and disgust, as it is viewed at this time by other nations. 
'What!' they will exclaim (when they read the history of 
our present contest), 'would these diffusers of misery and 
crime have conveyed the pestilence into the bosom of every 
family.' Was no spot within our extended and still extend- 
ing limits of the American Republic, to be exempt from 
this defilement.'' Already has three-fifths of the million of 
square miles, which had there been appropriated, become 
a field of oppression, by the toleration of slavery; and were 
they not yet sated.' Over every district and over every 
plantation must resound the lash of the slave-driver, and 
the yells of its victims, to satisfy their unnatural, their in- 


fernal appetite? Yet they called themselves Republicans; 
with liberty on their tongues, and tyranny in their hearts; 
one hand displaying the declaration of equal rights, the 
other clenching the code of slavery with a monstrous avid- 
ity! In evidence of the demoralizing influence of slavery 
on the society which tolerates it, (this they could do with 
unblushing effrontery, whilst other and minor abominations 
skulked in corners and hid themselves from the public eye,) 
this the master-vice of depraved humanity could stalk 
abroad in open day; could raise its head in the Senate; 
seat itself on the bench; and dared even to approach the 
altars of benevolence and peace.' Such will be the impres- 
sions of impartial posterity. But it is with heartfelt satis- 
faction I perceive this scene of gloom and discouragement 
receding from our horizon ; with confidence I can declare 
to my fellow -citizens, that the good cause, the cause of 
humanity and of our true interests, is prevailing in almost 
every part of the State. The first Monday in August will, 
I trust, shine brightly upon us, and find us a wiser and a 
better people than our enemies have hoped, and that some 
of our friends have been ready to fear. We must not, how- 
ever, allow our zeal to relax under these favorable expec- 
tations, but continue to exert ourselves in promoting right 
feelings and sound principles, so as to meet the question on 
that day, not only safely but triumphantly, and not with the 
advantage of a few votes only, but with an overwhelming 
majority. Many estimable citizens of other states are 
waiting with anxiety for a happy issue of this controversy. 
Upward of a hundred families, substantial farmers of one 
neighborhood in Pennsylvania, whose names could be 


given, if necessary, are intending to move into this State 
when the question of slavery shall be set at rest by a right- 
eous decision. If we vote faithfully against a convention, 
that question, as regards the State of Illinois, will be settled 
forever; and then, I firmly believe, true prosperity will 
begin to beam upon us, and the blessings of heaven will 
reward our honest industry. We shall receive a great 
accession of population and of capital; manufactures of 
various kinds will spring up among us; and a home-market 
for produce will gradually infuse new life into all our 
undertakings. JONATHAN FREEMAN." 

" To the Editor of the Spectator. 

"Sir: — -In addition to the strictures on the letter signed 
W. K., I would impress on the minds of my fellow-citizens, 
that many people read the history of the Hebrew nation 
in the Old Testament to great disadvantage ; because 
they read it without reflecting that their institutions were 
adapted to the 'hardness of their hearts,' and to the state 
of society in those early times of ignorance and barbarism. 

"But the beneficient Creator has implanted in man a prin- 
ciple of improvement, as is expressed by the figurative dec- 
laration : ' I will take away their hearts of stone, and give 
them hearts of flesh.' The object of the teachings of Jesus 
Christ was to promote this happy revolution, not only in 
the Jews, but in all nations. He, the great and good inter- 
preter, has by one simple passage applied the law to every 
man's understanding and conscience: — 'Whatsoever ye 
would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto 
them, for this is the law and the prophets.' — Math. chap. 



vii. 12. Consequently, whatever we find in the institutions 
imputed to Moses, or in the customs of the IsraeHtes, which 
may appear inconsistent with this fundamental principle of 
morality and justice, we may be assured is not the law to 
us, or proper for our imitation. Those who cling to the 
harsh and the barbarous in the Jewish history, neglecting 
justice, mercy, and truth, are not Christians, whatever may 
be their pretentions. Nor are they as the reverend W. K. 
presumes, 'God's chosen people.' The chosen of God are 
those 'of every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, who 
work righteousness,' who observe the law written in the 
heart in these simple characters: — The love of God and 
the love of our neighbor. This is the Universal church 
in which eastern Seba bends with the native oF the far- 
thest West, and Ethiopia bows her head and worships. 
Returning to the letter of W. K., let us admit (what no 
one, excepting this reverend person, pretends to believe) 
that the progenitors of our American negroes were the 
lawful prrey of the Europeans, who tore them from their 
country. Now, as the present race is known by tradition 
only, of their African origin, I ask what was the kind and 
degree of guilt in their forefathers, which could transmit 
this dreadful doom of servitude through succeeding genera- 
tions.'' The slave-holder thinks nothing of this matter, but 
retains the infant in bondage under no pretense of right, 
but by force merely, reduced into a form of law by the 
slave-holders themselves. If there be a crime to be visited 
by punishment, like that which the negroes are now suffer- 
ing, this is that crime; and should power, in the course of 
events, change hands, and be transferred from the white 


man^to the negro, I pray God, that the negro may be a 
Christian, with a creed directly the reverse of that pro- 
fessed by W. K. ' Jonathan Freeman." 

"By Authority. 
"Whereas certain evil-disposed persons did, in the month 
of December last, assemble at Vandalia, and enter into a 
combination to control the freedom of election, enjoyed of 
right by the good people of this State, in order to exclude 
from public service, all citizens who are not of the conven- 
tion-party, however suitable and well qualified they may 
be to promote the public interest; and for that purpose 
did presume to appoint certain secret committees of five 
of the said party in every county, who were to appoint 
subcommittees of three for every precinct, for the carry- 
ing into effect of the scheme as above mentioned. And 
whereas, the first Monday in August next is the day 
appointed for the trial of the authors and abettors of said 
conspiracy against the sovereignty of the people. All good 
citizens are hereby required, for the furtherance of political 
justice, to find out and detect, as far as in them lies, these 
county and tozvnship conu)iittce-incn, and to publish their 
proceedings, in such manner as shall most effectually bring 
to light their underhand transactions. All newspapers, 
which are friendly to freedom and independence, are 
desired to give this notice a conspicuous place. 

"Pro bono Publico." 

Toward the close of the wordy warfare, the feelings of 
each party became somewhat embittered. The letters of 
"Americanus," to which the two following replies, signed by 


M. Birkbeck, were given, are not at hand; but the nature 
of their contents may be judged of by the replies : 

"Wanboro', January 6, 1822. 
" To the Editor of the Illinois Gazette: 

"The writer in your paper of January 3d, signed ' Ameri- 
canus,' is not to be depended on for the truth of his state- 
ments. His arguments will speak for themselves ; as will 
his candor and politeness. 

"In publishing my sentiments on the important ques- 
tion of a convention, I perform a duty, as I conceive, to 
myself, my family, and my adopted country. In subscrib- 
ing my name to those sentiments, I give my fellow-citizens 
the means of judging of their sincerity; by the stake I 
hold in the general welfare, which is equal to that of 
'Americanus,' ivJioever he may be. Having been an inhab- 
itant of the Territory before it became a state, I am as old 
a citizen as any in it; therefore, no man has a right to stig- 
matize me as a foreigner; and no man of Jionor, under a 
fictitious signature, would call his neighbor a 'foreign in- 

" He represents me as a Quaker, whether by way of 
compliment or reproach is immaterial ; because it is not 
the fact ; nor do I appear in the garb and character of that 
sect. But what bearing has this on the question? I 
object to slavery, not as a Quaker, but as a man, and an 
American citizen. 

" His account of the proceedings at Vandalia is of the 
same stamp, with his personal civilities — a tissue of absurd 
deductions from erroneous statements. The 'many jocular 


proposals' he alludes to, such as 'if you will support the 
resolution for calling a cojiveiition, I zuill support the laiv 
for cutting the canal,' and the jocular proceeding of burn- 
ing in effigy the opponents of a convention, and the jocu- 
lar yell of 'slavery or death,' were unseemly methods of 
conducting the business of legislation, on behalf of a free 
people, who may say, like the frogs in the fable, 'It may 
be sport to you, but it is death to us.' Poor frogs as they 
deem us! I trust we shall not allow them to finish the 
game. M. BiRKBECK." 

' ' For the Intelligencer. 

"To 'American us', Sir: — Under a fictitious signature, 
you have presumed to stigmatize me, your fellow-citizen 
with equal standing as yourself as regards this State, with 
the odious appellation of 'foreign incendiary and exile.' 
This you have done to inflame the public mind against my 
personal character, and to divert it from the arguments I 
have adduced against the ruinous schemes of your part\'. It 
would have been more manly to have attempted, at least, to 
refute those arguments. You call yourself 'Americanus'. 
An American, a true American, declares, in the face of 
the world, 'that all men are created equal, and endowed 
with unalienable rights of liberty,' and will 'pledge his life, 
his fortune, and his sacred honor,' in support of this 'self- 
evident truth.' This, sir, is my principle, and these are 
my pledges; and shall you, who are an advocate for sla- 
very, call me a foreigner.^ 

"An 'exile,' too, you are pleased to style me. Unless 
you chance to be of the few among us who were born in 


Illinois, you are also an exile from the land of your nativity. 
Whether this be to either of us a matter of disgrace or 
otherwise, will depend on the causes of our expatriation. 
Come forward, sir, in your own name, and state those 
causes; let us know your standing, with the occasion and 
circumstances of your removal. I will then do the like; 
and the public may decide how far you are entitled to 
reproach me, as an exile. 

"You represent me as deficient in due returns for polite- 
ness received. In what, sir, have I been wanting on that 
score, in regard to yourself or any other, to justify the 
imputation that I am void of gratitude and every virtue.^ 
In making a solemn appeal to my fellow-citizens against 
measures and principles pregnant with calamity, I have 
performed a duty to my adopted country; and I subscribe 
my name, that they might judge of my sincerity from the 
stake I hold, in common with themselves, in the prosperity 
of the State. You have availed yourself of this, to direct 
your attacks against my character; thus betraying the 
"weakness of your cause. The falsehood of your state- 
ment respecting the proceedings of the conventionists, has 
been exposed by others, which relieves me from that task, 
and yourself from farther notice. M. BiRKBECK. 

" Wanborough, Feb. 18, 182^." 

These are specimens of the many communications on 
this subject from our Settlement; and I believe there is no 
record of any pro-slavery document from our Settlement 
or County. 

The day of election came; and thus stood our vote for 
congressmen and convention: 


Election, August 2, 1824. 

Albion. Ball-Hill Prairie. Total. 

r- /- f Cook, - 207 

280 487 

14 103=384 

No Convention, ----153 237 390 

Convention, -----135 54 189=201 

It will be seen that the vote of our Settlement was more 
nearly divided than might have been supposed. This may 
be accounted for, in part, from the larger number of poor 
Southern-settlers in the western precinct, who were acted 
upon by the clerk of the court, Jesse B. Browne, and the 
sheriff, Henry J. Mills, both pro-slavery men. 

The slavery committees were active and unscrupulous in 
their endeavors to obtain a majority in our precinct. They 
were in the streets and in the grog-shops electioneering 
with the greatest blackguards in the county. We were 
not sufficiently alive to the weight of this species of influ- 
ence. Our mode of operation was different; we spoke our 
sentiments freely and gave them publicity through the 
press. And there we let the matter rest. Whatever influ- 
ence our opinions might have was felt more at a distance 
than at home. Cook, the congressman, received 384 votes 
majority; and the no-convention ticket 201. The elec- 
tion was conducted without violence, although each party 
went into it with feelings fully charged with political and 
personal hostility. The backwoodsmen were told to vote 
against the damned British, who fought with the Indians 
against them during the war, and were no better than they. 
We — that is a few of us — that took a deep interest and an 
active part in the contest, looked on our opponents as 


Tories, traitors to the liberties of their own country, and 
enemies to mankind. The political contest over, the 
bitterness long remained. 

The acquaintance and friendship in England between 
Mr. Coles and Mr. Birkbeck induced Mr. Coles to appoint 
Mr. Birkbeck his secretary -of-state. A better appoint- 
ment could not have been made. The office, before his 
appointment, was in a state of great disorder and confu- 
sion; during his brief career in office it was reduced to 
perfect order and arrangement. Governor Duncan said to 
a friend of mine: "I came to Vandalia with every prejudice 
against Mr. Birkbeck as secretary- of-state. But when I 
entered the office and saw the order and arrangement, 
especially when contrasted with the previous confusion, my 
opinion was completely changed." From what has been 
seen of the legislature, and the one object that the slave- 
party had in view, it is quite apparent that on no condition 
would they endure Mr. Birkbeck as secretary-of-state. 

Mr. Coles has been censured for abandoning Mr. Birk- 
beck too hastily; but the two after-nominations that he 
made, rejected also by the senate as soon as made, shows 
clearly that they had selected their man, and would have 
no other. Their after-conduct showed them to be perfectly 
vmscrupulous in attaining their end. Considering the 
circumstances of menace and intimidation by which he 
was surrounded — an infuriated mob led on by two Demo- 
cratic Judges, yelling and vociferating under his windows — 
"convention or death" — his position was embarassing. At 
Edwardsville, whilst he was there a short time before the 
assembling of the legislature, the same means were 


resorted to, with the additional insult of burning and 
hanging him in effigy. Governor Coles, I think, should 
receive due credit for maintaining as well as he did the 
side of freedom, when surrounded by insult, opposition, 
and threatened assassination, rather than censure for par- 
tially yielding, in a doubtful point of constitutional power 
under his difficult and dangerous position. 

To show that I have in no way exaggerated the nature 
or degree of opposition exhibited against Governor Coles, 
the following letter from Governor Coles to Mr. Birkbeck 
will show: 

"Vandalia, January gth, 1824. 

"Dear Sir: — I had the pleasure to receive, in due course 
of mail, your letter of the sixth ult., together with six of 
your pamphlets which you were so good as to send me, for 
which I return you my thanks. I had previously seea 
republished in a newspaper your pamphlet, and had read 
it with great pleasure. I could not but wish that every 
conventionist in the State had it, and was compelled to 
read it with attention. Our society at Edwardsville in- 
tends having another large edition of it printed, for the 
purpose of having it extensively circulated. I took the 
liberty of sending one or two of your pamphlets to some 
distant and particular friends, who take a deep interest in. 
the slave-question in this State. By the by, should not 
the review of your pamphlet, which appeared first in the 
Illinois Gazette, and since republished in all of the con- 
vention papers of the State, be noticed.*^ It is very 
ingeniously written; but what more particularly requires 
correction are the fabrications and misrepresentation of 


facts. One or two of these were hastily noticed and sent 
to be inserted last week in the paper published here ; but 
no paper has since issued from the press. 

"During the sitting of the courts, and the sale of the 
lands of non-residents for taxes, we had a considerable 
number of persons assembled from all parts of the State, 
and a pretty good opportunity was afforded of collecting 
the public sentiment in relation to the great question that 
is now convulsing the State. The friends of a convention 
pretend to be pleased; but it was very apparent they were 
not; and the more honest and liberal among them ac- 
knowledged that they thought their prospect bad. Our 
friends, on the other hand, were much pleased, and ren- 
dered much more sanguine of success from the information 
they received. The friends of slavery were caucusing 
nearly every night, and made many arrangements for their 
electioneering campaign. Among others, it is said, they 
have appointed five persons in each county, with a request 
that these five appoint three deputies in each electoral 
precinct, for the purpose of diffusing their doctrines, em- 
bodying their forces, and acting with the greatest concert 
and effect. This is well calculated to bring their strength 
to bear in the best possible manner, and should as far as 
possible be counteracted. When bad men conspire, good 
men should be watchful. The friends of a convention 
appear to be more and more bitter and virulent in their 
enmity to me, and seem determined not only to injure my 
standing with the people, but to break down my pecuniary 

"A suit has been lately instituted at Edwardsville against 


me for the recovery of the sum of two hundred dollars for 
each negro emancipated by me and brought to this State. 
The suit has been brought under a law pased on the 30th 
of March, 18 19, which was not printed or promulgated 
until the October following. In the meantime, that is 
about the first week in May, my negroes emigrated to and 
settled in this State. What is truly farcical in this suit is, 
that a poor worthless fellow who has no property and of 
course pays no taxes, has been selected to institute it, from 
the fear he has of being taxed to support the negroes I 
emancipated; when they, who are all young and healthy, 
are so prosperous as to possess comfortable livings, and 
some of them pay as much as four dollars a year tax on 
their property. I should, indeed, my friend, be unfortu- 
nate, were I now compelled to pay two hundred dollars for 
each of my negroes, big and little, dead and living, (for the 
suit goes to this,) after the sacrifices I have made and the 
efforts to befriend and enable them to live comfortably. 
For I not only emancipated all my negroes, which amount- 
ed to one-third of the property bequeathed me by my 
father, but I removed them out here at an expense of be- 
tween five and six hundred dollars, and then gave each 
head of a family and all those who had passed the age of 
twenty-four, one hundred and sixty acres of land each, and 
exerted myself to prevail on them to hold to an honest 
and industrious and correct course. This they have done 
in a remarkable degree; so much so, with all the preju- 
dices against free negroes, there never has been the least 
ground for a charge or censure against any one of them. 
And now, for the first time in my life, to be sued for what I 

GOV. coles' letter continued. 251 

thought to be generous and praiseworthy conduct, creates 
strange feeHngs; which, however, cease to give me perso- 
nal mortification, when I reflect on the character and 
motives of those who have instituted the suit.' 

"Just about the time this suit was instituted I had the 
misfortune to lose by fire two-thirds of all the buildings 
and enclosures on my farm, together with about two hund- 
red apple-trees and many peach-trees, many of each kind 
large enough to bear fruit. And, soon after, the State- 
house having been consumed by fire, a project was set on 
foot to rebuild it by subscription. Luckily, to the plan and 
arrangements, I declined subscribing, and proposed others 
which I thought would be more for the interest of the 
State, of the country, and the town, and which it is now, 
by the way, generally admitted to have been the best. 

"This, however, was immediately laid hold of by some of 
the factious conventionists, who, being aware that the loss 
of the State-house would operate to the injury of their 
favorite measure, and being anxious to display great solici- 
tude for the interests of the people here, and that too as 
much as possible at the expense of the anti-conventionists, 
busied themselves in misrepresenting my measures and 
motives for not subscribing my name to their paper, and, 
with the aid of large portions of whisky, contrived to 
get up a real Vandalia mob, who vented their spleen 
against me in the most noisy and riotous manner nearly all 
night for my opposition to a convention, and for my refusal, 
as they termed it, to rebuild the State-house. 

"All these, and other instances of defamation and perse- 
cution, create in my bosom opposite feelings, one of pain 


and the other of pleasure. Pain, to see my fellow-man so 
ill-natured and vindictive, merely because I am the friend 
of my species, and am opposed to one portion oppressing 
another; pleasure, that I should be in a situation that 
enables me to render service to the just and good cause in 
which we are engaged; and, so far from repining at their 
indignities and persecutions, I am thankful to Providence 
for placing me in the van of this eventful contest, and 
giving me a temper," zeal, and resolution which I trust will 
enable me to bear with a proper fortitude the peltings 
which are inseparable from it. In conclusion, I pray you 
to do me the justice to believe that no dread of personal 
consequences will ever abate my efforts to promote the 
good of the public, much less to abandon the great funda- 
mental principles of civil and personal liberty; and to be 

assured of my sincere friendship. 

Edward Coles." 

Having made mention of the unscrupulous conduct of 
many southern Illinoians, in their intrigues with the legis- 
lature at Vandalia, candor obliges me to acknowledge a 
class of honorable exceptions in the ranks of the conven- 
tionists. Although in favor of the convention, and no 
doubt at that time in favor of the introduction of slavery 
into the State, they acted with their party in a legitimate 
way, casting their votes in favor, but participating in no 
way with the disgraceful mobs, and more disgraceful acts 
with the legislature, led on by the party of whom Willis 
Hargrave, Esq., was the representative. Among these 
exceptions I record with pleasure the names of our two 
Judges, Hon. Wm. Wilson, and his associate, Judge Thomas 


C. Browne — the former of Carmi, White County, the latter 
of Shavvneetown, Gallatin County. Their quiet and dig- 
nified conduct at Vandalia was appreciated and remarked 
on to me by Governor Coles as strikingly contrasting with 
the disgraceful position the other two judges had assumed 
as leaders of a drunken mob, yelling "convention or 
death," under the windows of the chief-executive officer of 
the State, to endeavor by intimidation to gain his compli- 
ance with their infamous conspiracy against the liberties of 
the people. I lamented to differ with many worthy friends, 
men of influence and standing, in our part of the country; 
many of whom have since with manly frankness acknow- 
ledged their error. 

If any doubts remain as to the intention of the conven- 
tion, the following editorial remarks from the Shawncetoivn 
Gazette, June 14, 1823, must dispel them: 
"The Convention. 

"The vote of the last Legislature, recommending the 
call of a new convention, seems to have produced a good 
deal of excitement in the western part of the State, and 
to have called forth already some pretty warm discussion. 
In this quarter, as yet, we have heard but little said on 
the subject, owing probably to the great degree of una- 
nimity which prevails in favor of the measure. The 
people in this part of the State (in this and the adjoining 
counties particularly) have too great an interest at stake 
in keeping up the manufacture of salt at the saline, to be 
easily diverted from the course they intend to pursue, by 
making the question turn upon the propriety or impropri- 
ety of introducing negro slavery. They are persuaded 


that, unless the time can be enlarged, during which the 
slaves of the neighboring states can be hired to labor at 
the furnaces, the works, after the year 1824, must be 
abandoned, and this main source of revenue to the State 
be lost; besides all the advantages which they individu- 
ally derive from the market, which, when in operation, 
those works create. The people in this part, also, in 
common with others in all parts of the State, desire an 
amendment of the constitution in other particulars where- 
in it has been found defective, and many (we are far from 
concealing it) are in favor of the introduction of slavery, 
either absolute, as it exists at present in the slave-holding 
states, or in a limited degree — that is to say, to exist un- 
til the children born after its admission shall arrive at a 
certain age, to be fixed by the constitution." 

This, I think, tells the whole story. It will be seen 
during the sla\'er}' controversy that Mr. Birkbeck was 
assailed as a Quaker; as by the land -speculators and the 
enemies of the Settlement in the East he had been charged 
as an infidel. By these gentry, any epithet that was un- 
popular it was considered fair to throw at an opponent. 

In one short year from this time Mr. Birkbeck was no 
more. His sudden death altered the intentions and 
changed the destiny of his family. To Mr. William 
McClure of New Harmony, Mr. Birkbeck's library, con- 
sisting of many hundred volumes of choice books, was 
sold. And, I believe, through the influence and introduc- 
tion of Mr. ^IcClure, the two brothers Bradford and 
Charles Birkbeck went to Mexico to try their fortunes. 
They have succeeded — Bradford as a miner at Zacatecas; 


Charles, four hundred miles distant from his brother, as an 
agriculturalist. Although the general manner of Mr. Birk- 
beck's death is well known to me, the minute circumstances 
attending that sad event being recorded in the journal of 
Mr. Hall, I make from it the following extract: "June 4th, 
1825, Mr. Birkbeck went to Harmony, and took a packet 
of letters for us to Mr. Owen, who, being on the eve of his 
departure to England, had kindly promised me to deliver 
them. On his return, on Friday, happened the melancholy 
catastrophe of Mr. Birkbeck's death, who was drowned in 
Fox River on his return from Harmony. On his crossing 
at Fox River with his third son, Bradford, they found the 
flat on which they expected to be carried over had been 
taken away. They entered the water with their horses 
with the intention of swimming over. Bradford's horse 
plunged and threw him in the water. Being a good swim- 
mer, he, although encumbered with a great-coat, and very 
weak from recent illness, had nearly reached the opposite 
shore, when he heard his father's voice calling for assist- 
ance; and turning himself round he saw him struggling 
in the middle of the stream, and returned to his assistance. 
Upon reaching him his father caught hold of him and they 
both sunk together. Upon rising he desired his father to- 
take hold of his coat in another place, which he did, and 
both sunk again. But this time Bradford alone arose. 
Throwing hirtiself upon his back, he floated, and, quite 
exhausted, reached the bank; when, after some time, his 
cries brought a person to his assistance, who endeavored 
to recover the body of his father. But in vain. It was 
not found until the day following, when it was brought up 


with an umbrella firmly grasped in his right hand. Mr. 
Birkbeck's horse was also drowned, but Bradford's got over 
safely. The body of IMr. Birkbeck was taken to Harmony 
and there interred with every mark of affection and re- 
spect. So perished Morris Birkbeck, in the sixty-second 
year of his age." 

Whatever may be thought of Mr. Birkbeck, by those 
who would square every man's opinion by their own; the 
inhabitants of the State of Illinois, if for nothing else, 
should hold his memory in respect and gratitude for the 
decided part he took against the introduction of slavery, in 
his letters of "Jonathan Freeman." 


Interest in the Convention Question — Difference between Slaves and 
Servants — Asperity and Bitterness of the Contest — The EngHsh 
Spoke their Minds Freely — Estrangement of Friends— The Eng- 
lish Settlement Persecuted — Outrages on Colored Men — Lawsuit 
in Albion — Threatening Letters from Kidnapers — Negroes Kid- 
naped in Illinois and Indiana — The White-River Desperadoes — 
Their Arrest — Persecution of the Colored Men in the English 
Settlement — Mr. Flower sends a Colony to Hayti — Account of 
Difficulties Encountered — The Colony a Success in Hayti — The 
Settlement the Object of Detraction and Misrepresentation — The 
Fate attending Discoverers of New Countries and Founders of 
Colonies — Illustrated in the Case of William Penn— Treatment 
of Mr. Flower — The Cause of It. 

■ It was no wonder that we felt deep interest and mani- 
fested much excitement on the convention question. We 
had chosen, as we thought, one of the freest governments 
in the world, and one of the freest states in the Union, 
because it was new and free, for our future residence. We 
had brought to it our property and our families, and to be 
there betrayed into the jaws of Slavery, excited our indig- 
nation and determined opposition. But, says the slave- 
holder, you bring your servants, why may not we bring 
ours.^ Because you have no servants to bring; you have 
only slaves. The term servant designates one of the parties 
to a free contract. The master has no more legal power 
over the servant, in England or America, than the servant 
has over the master. But you have stolen our term and 


applied it to your slaves. Servants in the South there can 
be none, as long as the poor, degraded negro slave stands 
in the way. Keep to the proper designation, and call them 
not your servants, but your slaves. A slave, although in 
human form, is a being despoiled of all the rights of 
humanity; purposely kept in ignorance, driven by the lash, 
or the fear of it, to his work, for which his master gives him 
no pay. An unfortunate wretch, from whom all the good 
to which his nature aspires is withheld; steeped in all that 
is vicious and depraved. This is a slave; the man made 
brute. To this poor, degraded being is the slave-holder 
obliged to entrust his property, his domestic animals, and 
his children. We desire not that compound of society 
found in a slave-state, a degenerate European aristocracy, 
and a full-blooded African barbarism! Besides, we ac- 
knowledge no property in man; with principles and prac- 
tices so opposite, there can be no peace; let us therefore 
keep apart. 

Under every form of government, even the most despotic, 
where property in man is disavowed, there may and do 
exist a variety of ties, both political and social; not sev- 
ered by any line of distinct demarkation. They may have 
family connections, and many other interests in common. 
The rich are frequently brought to poverty, and the poor 
often become rich. These classes are not naturally hostile 
to each other; for they have a common interest; friends in 
peace and companions in war. But in a nation composed 
of free and slave, there is no societ}-. One portion of the 
people is separated from the other by an impassible gulf. 
The laws made by one class are known to the other only 


by their severity. Whatever this may be, it is no republic. 
Give to this tyrannical confederacy some proper name. 

The contest through which we had passed was carried on 
by that degree of asperity and bitterness which must ever 
be felt, where principles and practices are so opposite as 
freedom and slavery. We spoke our minds freely, perhaps 
rashly, as Englishmen are apt to do, and this, doubtless, 
gave to many persons offence, which our silent vote might 
not have done. Many families and friends were separated 
and estranged from each other; and individuals who had 
hitherto met in easy social acquaintance, found avoidance 
less disagreeable than meeting. I look back to the part 
we took in that contest with some pleasure, and with some 
pride. It may be too much to say that our Settlement 
decided the fate of the State in favor of freedom ; when 
other settlements and small communities were exerting 
themselves as heroically, and as well. But when we con- 
sider the small majority by which this Free-state held to its 
integrity, it may perhaps be inferred that, if our influence, 
as well as our votes, had been cast the other way, Illinois 
would probably have been at this day a slave-state. This 
important election over, the people, once more in quietude, 
pursued their accustomed vocations. 

The negro question, having been settled by the State-vote 
governmentally, came upon us individually in no pleasant 
way. In these bickerings and disturbances, whether polit- 
ical or personal, we should always bear in mind the differ- 
ence of feeling that exists between Englishmen and Amer- 
icans, toward the African race. Englishmen, never having 
witnessed in their own country suffering, destitution, and 


degradation connected exclusively with any peculiarity of 
complexion, have no feeling of superiority or inferiority as 
connected with a cuticle of any color. ■ Americans, on the 
contrary. North as well as South, retain the old colonial 
feeling of hatred to color. In our own neighborhood, the 
recent contest left the feelings sore. A grudge was owed 
to us; we had pitilessly exposed and zealously fought the 
pro-slavery party. 

Three black men and their families — Gilbert Burris, 
Neptune Calvin, and Matthew Luther — came from the 
neighborhood of Carmi, for employment. They appeared 
to be very decent men, had been brought up in the habits 
of industry and sobriety by the Shakers, by whom they 
were emancipated and brought to this State. Their papers 
were examined, found to be regular, and were recorded. 
Luther was a miller, and attended the mill in Albion, 
that was built by my father, and after his death owned by 
me. The other two were farmers, and right good corn- 
farmers, too. To these I rented land on the usual terms 
of ten bushels of corn to the acre. To us it made no 
difference, black or white; if they did our work we paid 
them their wages. Whenever they or their little property 
received injury from wilful theft or \'iolence, I gave them 
protection. I soon found this in some sort to be an offence; 
and to my surprise, by some Eastern men as well as South- 
ern. We were verdant in those days, and did not know 
that " black men had no rights that white men need 
respect." A black man named Arthur, who had been in 
my service for more than a year, was suddenly arrested 
and taken before a magistrate, a New Englander, and 



claimed as a slave. As he came from Indiana, where he 
had resided many years, I pleaded that he could not be a 
slave — the laws of the Territory and the State alike forbid- 
ding slavery. They claimed to hold him by an indenture- 
law for ninety-nine years. I pleaded the nullity of the 
law. Our poor magistrate, Moses Michaels, who never 
dared say " boo to a goose," after spending half a day and 
going over to another magistrate three miles off to consult, 
did not give the black man up, but put me in unreasonably 
heavy bonds of two thousand dollars for his appearance at 
the next county-court, to be held at Palmyra, the then 
county-seat, on the great Wabash, nineteen miles and five 
months of time distant. 

Long before the assembling of the court, parties were 
sent over from Indiana to steal the man away, that I might 
be mulcted in the penalty of the bond ; whilst they might 
run him off and pocket his price when sold as a slave. 
The interval between the decision of the magistrate and 
the meeting of the county-court was spent in constant 
watchfulness, mental disturbance, and frequent skirmishes, 
often imperiling life. The man, Arthur, appeared duly at 
court. John McLean of Shawneetown, was counsel for 
plaintiff; Judge McDonald of Vincennes, for me, as defend- 
ant. The counsel conferred together. McDonald exhibited 
a decision of the supreme court of Indiana in a similar 
case. John McLean was too good a lawyer, and too 
shrewd a man, to allow any case to come into court where 
the law was dead against him. So the case was never 
called, and the man returned to my service as a free man. 
So this case was terminated in Illinois, that is to say, after 
I had paid my counsel his fifty-dollar fee. 


When at Vincennes some months afterward, I was served 
with a writ and arrested by the sheriff, at the instance of 
the claimant of Arthur. I had to choose between going 
to jail and giving bond. The latter was easily effected. 
Before the meeting of the Indiana court, I received several 
threatening letters to deter me from appearing at court. 
When the time arrived three friends accompanied me there, 
all armed. The law was again in my favor. But an enemy 
more mighty than the kidnapper fell upon us. A terrible 
epidemic, resembling the yellow-fever, prevailed at this 
time at Vincennes. We were all four of us taken down 
with it, and lay long in a precarious situation between life 
and death. 

Another case of this kind from Indiana produced another 
set of tactics on the part of our opponents. A man of 
color was working for me. His pretended (Claimant, with 
suitable associates, suddenly surrounded the cabin of the 
black, and had him bound before the alarm at my house, a 
short distance away, was given. In this case the kidnap- 
pers gained their point, taking him before a magistrate of 
pro-slavery tendencies. He gave the man up to the 
claimant, who took him into Indiana, and the man was 
never heard of afterward. I presented the claimant, a man 
of note and in official station, to the grand -jury. Whilst 
stating the case, one of the jurymen called out with some 
excitement, that the man was quite right in taking the 
negro. The foreman of the jury said, "Sir, you only came 
to present the facts, and in so doing are quite right." In 
turning to leave the room, I saw at once the case was de- 
cided, and so it was. The bill was refused. The majority 
of the jury were decidedly pro-slavery. 


My presentation to the grand-jury gave great umbrage 
to all in Indiana who held black men properly entitled to 
their freedom, under their fraudulent indenture-law, which 
had already been decided by their supreme court to be 
null, void, and of no effect. 

Kidnapping of whole families of free blacks in the south 
•of Indiana was no uncommon thing. The moral sense of 
the community received no shock at such outrages. A 
horse-thief was held to stricter accountability than a man- 
thief The south of Indiana, like the south of Illinois, is 
chiefly peopled by Southerners, who hold property in higher 
•esteem than liberty. 

In the timbered regions of Indiana, on the White River, 
hved a set of desperadoes who had the appellation of 
■"White-River Indians." Among these were a family sunk 
low in barbarism, and all the grosser vices. The sons of 
this family, three in number, associated with one or two 
others more respectable, but who would not at that period 
decline a foray on the pro-slavery side, were sent over to 
molest us, especially me and my family, even to the taking 
of life. Yet these wretches found harbor and encourage- 
ment among the Southern settlers around us. 

Suddenly alarmed by the sound of human voices, the 
barking of dogs, and the report of fire-arms, I ran over to 
my father's house a little before midnight. An Englishman, 
Thomas Harding, who lived at my father's as farm-servant, 
having occasion to step out of the house, was knocked down 
by the blow of a club on the back of his head, by some 
man who stood concealed in the shadow, close to the wall 
of the house. My father, alarmed by the noise, went out, 


saw one man retreating from the court-yard into the 
woods, and another lying bleeding on the ground, appar- 
ently lifeless. He dragged the wounded man into the 
house and closed the door. At first we thought it an 
attempt at house-breaking. But finding who the parties 
were, and their object, we assembled our forces. Many 
shots were exchanged, and the marauders for a time driven 
off The annoyance from these fellows became so great, 
that we determined to rid ourselves of them at all hazards. 
iMyself, Mr. Hugh Ronalds, Mr. Henry Birkett, together 
with a constable, mounted and went in pursuit. We over- 
took them after a hard gallop on a hot summer's day, in 
the open woods, ten miles distant. We were equal in 
number, man for man. They with rifles, we with pistols. 
Whilst the constable was reading his warrant, we rode up, 
got within the rifle-guard, and presented our pistols, 
each to his man. At this juncture, a very ill-looking fel- 
low, one of the gang, suddenly rode up at full speed. This 
gave them the advantage of one in number, of which the 
last comer instantly availed himself, by jumping from his 
horse and leveling his rifle at Mr. Ronalds, whom he doubt- 
less would have shot had not the man I was guarding as 
suddenly leaped from his horse and knocked up the rifle, 
when in the act of being discharged. 

Many other things of the same character occurred. It 
was a state of warfare of the most disagreeable kind. They 
were taken back to Albion and bound over. 

A circumstance inexpressibly ludicrous occurred in the 
midst of the strife. Amid oaths, boastings, refusals to sur- 
render or return, when every one was meditating murder 


on the other, our Yankee constable brought forward a 
quart bottle of whisky, with a deprecatory smile and good- 
humored voice — "Now, boys, come and take a drink; now 
come along with us quiet, and we'll treat you like gentle- 
men." The effect was sudden; the transition of feeling 
complete. We all laughed, and did as our worthy 
constable bade us — at least, all our prisoners did. We 
returned to Albion riding in pairs, with our arms in our 
hands. There never was a slave taken in our neighbor- 
hood, and I believe that there never was more than one 
that came to it. 

These, and similar outrages on ourselves, and assaults on 
the peaceable blacks settled among us, were of frequent 
occurrence. Seeing no hope of just treatment to the free 
colored people that lived on my lands, or of relieving my- 
self from the trouble of defending them, I proposed that 
they should go to Hayti. When they acceded to my pro- 
posal, I thought it due to them and myself to acquire more 
specific information of the island, and of the terms on 
which they would be received. For this purpose, I em- 
ployed Mr. Robert Grayham (formerly an English mer- 
chant), a gentleman who spoke the French language with 
fluency. He was at the time living with his brother-in- 
law, Mr. Sorgenfrey, in a prairie west of the Little Wabash. 
Their former habits not suiting them to prairie life, Mr. Sor- 
genfrey went to Carmi, and Mr. Grayham took this mission 
as a first step to a future change. I gave him five hundred 
dollars to bear his expenses, with a letter to Gen. Boyer, 
then president of Hayti, representing the case, and asking 
an asylum for my party of blacks, big and little, about 


thirty in number; also for other free people of color of the 
United States, if they chose to go there. Mr. Grayham 
returned in good time. He gave me a very pleasing 
account of his visit to the island, his interview with Ingi- 
nac, the secretary, and with Boyer, the president. 

When Boyer heard from Mr. Grayham that I had given 
five hundred dollars to get this information for the poor 
blacks, he, in the handsomest manner, handed him the 
amount, requesting him to give it to me, which he did on 
his return. The document he sent me in reply to my long 
letter, and many inquiries, was an official one, from the 
office of the secretary-of-state, stamped with the insignia 
of the republic, with national mottoes and devices. For 
propriety and perspicuity of diction, and for the neatness 
and beauty of its mechanical execution, it will favorably 
compare with similar documents from any government, 
whether European or American. 

The following spring, the colored emigrants prepared to 
take their departure. Among them were three brothers, 
men of extraordinary stature, standing six feet four, and 
over. This family of Joneses, able-bodied men and good 
farmers, with two or three other colored families, formerly 
lived higher up the Wabash, and were mustered into the 
service of the United States by Gen. Harrison, who formed 
a colored company to aid in defending the frontier during 
the war in 1812. Provided with a good flat-boat, stocked 
with sufficient provisions for their inland navigation and 
sea voyage, well furnished with axes, hoes, and plows, this 
party of colored people left the mouth of Bonpas Creek, 
where Grayvdlle now stands, in March, 1823, under the 


guidance and care of Mr. Robert Grayham, the only white 
man on board. 

The testimonials of their freedom were complete; signed 
by the clerk of the county, the secretary-of-state, and by 
Governor Coles himself They floated down the Wabash, 
and entered the Ohio in safety. As they were floating 
quietly and peaceably down the stream, when opposite 
to Shawneetown they were hailed, and invited to land, 
which Mr. Grayham acceded to, having many acquaint- 
ances, and being well known in the town. When about to 
depart, he was compelled to remain, with threats of sinking 
his boat if he made the attempt to go. He and the peo- 
ple were forcibly detained for four and twenty hours. 
They were at length suffered to depart, amid much confu- 
sion and violent denunciations. Of the peaceable demeanor 
and lawful objects of the emigrants, there was no question. 
By a strange inconsistency, the very people who profess 
to dislike the existence of free blacks among us, were the 
most bitter opponents to their removal. 

At the expense of slight repetition, I will insert a letter 
addressed by me to the editor of the Shaxvncctoivii Gazete, 
dated Jan. 22, 1824: 

''Mr. Editor : — It will be gratifying to the friends ot 
humanity to learn, that the party of colored people that 
left the Wabash last March, arrived safely in the island of 
Hayti on the 8th of June. To those good people of Shaw- 
neetown, and others who have expressed apprehensions 
that Mr. Flower and Mr. Grayham had sold these poor 
blacks, it will doubtless be a high source of satisfaction to 
hear that upon their arrival at Hayti, they were welcomed 


by the people and kindly received by the president, who 
put them on a good plantation, about twenty miles from 
the capital. To remove erroneous impressions arising" 
from false reports concerning this party of blacks, I will 
give a brief history of their emigration. A few families of 
colored people, living on my land as tenants, wished to go 
to some country where their liberty and property would be 
better secured to them than in this. Some of them made 
application to the African Colonization Society; but, re- 
ceiving no encouragement or assistance, gave up the plan. 
I recommended St. Domingo as a country better suited to 
them, and one to which they could transport themselves 
with ease. Particular information being wanted, I sent 
Mr. Robert Grayham to Hayti, to learn the expense and 
difficulties of the voyage, the state of the country, and 
what encouragement would be given to black emigrants 
from the United States. He returned in October, 1822, 
with the requisite information. The answer of the gov-, 
ernment of Hayti to my inquiries w'as published in your 
paper. In March, 1823, a party of colored people, about 
thirty in number, left the Wabash in a boat of their own, 
with some freight put on board by myself and others, 
under the care of Mr. Robert Grayham, who was to conduct 
the boat to New Orleans, and see the people on board a 
vessel for Port au Prince. The boat stopped at Shawnee- 
town for a few hours. Mr. Grayham, having dispatched his 
business there, was in the act of departing, when a mob 
assembled on the shore and ordered him to come-to again, 
accompanied by a threat of sinking the boat, in case of 
noncompliance. " The boat was again brought to shore. On 


Mr. Grayham's inquiring what they wanted, these officious 
people were somewhat at a loss. They wanted him to 
sleep on shore! To this unreasonable request he complied, 
on condition that a friend should sleep on board for the 
protection of property. The next day he departed. Upon 
his arrival at New Orleans, Mr. Grayham, as a matter of 
courtesy, waited upon the mayor, and informed him that 
his boat was manned by free colored people from Illinois 
and Indiana, who were going, with their families to Hayti. 
This official immediately replied that he would send them 
all to jail; and, if they were not sent out of the city in 
eight days, he would sell them all for slaves. The remon- 
strances of Mr. Grayham against such violent aggression 
upon the persons of free inhabitants of the United States, 
passing to a foreign country, was to no effect. The men 
were thrown into prison. But at the intercession of a 
humane friend, Mr. Gilbert, the women and children were 
permitted to remain on board their own boat; also two 
men, for whose appearance and good behavior this friend 
gave a bond. Mr. Grayham, placed in this unpleasant situ- 
ation, hastily took a passage in a vessel about to sail in 
three days for St. Domingo. The poor men, deprived of 
the means of earning anything on the wharves, and more 
than all they had demanded of them for jail-fees, etc., were 
unable to pay their passage money, and would actually 
have been sold as slaves by the mayor of New Orleans, 
had not Mr. Grayham promptly drawn on me for the neces- 
sary funds — three hundred and sixty dollars — to carry them 
out of the country. Thus were the free inhabitants of the 
United States, while peaceably pursuing their way to a 


neighboring country, without fault or crime imputed or 
alleged afjainst them, threatened with the doom of slavery, 
if they did not submit to the extortion of their money 
under the title of jail-fees, by the chief- magistrate of a 
city of this Republic, boasting the inalienable and inherent 
rights of man, and vaunting itself as the most enlightened 
nation of the earth. 

"With what indignation will all those good people view 
the conduct of the mayor of New Orleans, who could not 
help expressing their apprehensions lest Mr. Flower and 
Mr. Grayham should have sold these blacks. 

"Albion, Jan._22, 182^. George Flower." 

The mayor of New Orleans was a refugee from Hayti, 
which accounts, in some degree, for the unusual violence 
he displayed on the occasion. But anxieties were not yet 
at an end. The brig, often becalmed, was long on its 

In the meantime, many sinister reports began to be 
spread about, and afterward more openly circulated, that 
Mr. Grayham and myself had enveigled the black men, 
and, under pretence of sending them to a land of liberty, 
had sold them all for slaves in the South. The return of 
Mr. Grayham, some months afterward, with a stock of 
goods to open a store, in the eyes of many confirmed the 
report. It was several months (and I confess to some 
anxiety during the time) before I could confute these slan- 
ders by the publication of any letters, either from Mr- 
Grayham or the colored emigrants. They came, at last, 
from both sources — from the poor people, rejoicing in their 


change of country, and thanking me for my assistance in 
getting them there. 

A he once widely spread is seldom entirely eradicated. 
There are probably now living, those who believe that 
George Flower sold the free colored people, and pocketed 
the money; but only, I am happy to say, among that 
class who would have no scruple in doing it themselves. 

The emigration of this small colony of blacks from Illi- 
nois produced movements of greater importance than were 
involved in their own personal destinies. So well pleased 
were the rulers of Hayti with the efficient farming, sober 
habits, and general industry of the Illinois emigrants, that 
they conceived the idea of encouraging the free blacks of 
the Unites States to emigrate on a much larger scale. 
For this purpose, the Haytian Government sent their citi- 
zen Granville, a well-informed and well-educated man, on 
a mission to encourage the emigration of free people-of- 
color, and offered fourteen dollars a head as passage money 
to Hayti. 

His mission was successful so far as numbers were con- 
cerned. Five thousand or more went, chiefly from the 
cities of New York and Baltimore. The influential citi- 
zens of Philadelphia took a different view of the emigration 
of their free-colored population to Hayti, and decidedly 
gave it discouragement. As the question may again arise 
in this State, the reasons that influenced the Philadelphians 
should be duly appreciated. I therefore give the following 
letter which I received at the time : 

''Dear Sir: — You will have learned by the public prints 
that Citizen Granville arrived some weeks since from 


Hayti, for the purpose of encouraging emigration of free 
people-of- color to that country. He was accompanied 
from New York by Professor Griscom, who was very san- 
guine that a society for promoting this object would be 
desirable here, as well as at New York. A meeting was 
held a few days since with ten or a dozen of our influential 
characters, and a full development of the subject was 
discussed; the result of which was unanimously against 
promoting the views of Granville. Among other objec- 
tions, he admitted, that the government was a military 
despotism ; that the land proposed to be allotted to emi- 
grants was to each one fifteen acres; that these lands are 
still claimed by the Spanish authorities, and may still be a 
source of much contention; that the prevalent religion is 
the Roman Catholic; and that with industry a laborer 
would not earn more than two dollars a week. The citi- 
zens of Philadelphia are by no means likely to promote 
the emigration to Hayti while those of New York are 
engaged in the object, and now about dispatching a vessel 
with passengers. Very respectfully, 

"Jeremiah Warden. 
''Au^;ust i8t/i, 1824:' 

But these city-bred Africans were not farmers, like the 
Illinois men. Barbers, waiters, and a large portion of 
them found in the lower strata of city life, afforded poor 
materials for any beneficial purpose, and the removal of 
most of them was a disappointment to themselves and to 
the Haytian Government. 

This event, well known at the time, occurred in 1824 or 
1825, and is doubtless recollected by many persons now 


living. As the convention question, and the contests about 
the rights of the free blacks, formed two prominent points 
in our early history, I have dwelt more fully upon these 
details. Thus ends the black chapter of our history. But 
ill-feelings engendered during the contest manifested them- 
selves in other forms, and for some time continued to 
disturb and distract us. 

There are certain classes of men who appear destined to 
receive sometime in their life, and oftentimes during their 
whole career, a large share of opposition, detraction, and 
misrepresentation. The inventors of new machines, whose 
labor-saving power benefits the whole family of man, 
receive cruel opposition in their first attempts to perfect 
their inventions and bring them to the notice of the pub- 
He. Scorn, contempt, and ridicule are poured upon them 
•during their lives, and after dying in their fruitless strug- 
gles, some one steps in and reaps the reward of their labor, 
and disingenuously claims the honor of the invention. 
Fitch and Fulton, of the steam-boat, and Whitney, inven- 
tor of the cotton-gin, are familiar instances of this class in 
America. Discoverers of new countries, whose penetra- 
tion and perseverance have carried their attempts to a 
successful issue, and whose toils have changed and im- 
proved the condition of the world, are subject to the same 
fate. Witness Columbus pursuing his great idea, with 
slender and apparently inadequate means, through scorn, 
neglect, and opposition, to a successful issue, after short 
eclat, in a dungeon and in chains. The first-founders of 
settlements in new or uninhabited countries, seldom fail of 
receiving a large share of opposition, detraction, and pecu- 


niary loss. The most remarkable instance of this kind is 
to be witnessed in the life and fortunes of the founder of 
the great State of Pennsylvania, William Penn. Under 
ill-luck and miscarriage the world seldom fails to visit on 
the leaders of any great enterprise, reproach and condem- 
nation. But in the settlement of Pennsylvania a combina- 
tion of happy circumstances led to complete success. The 
munificence of the grant! The whole province of Penn- 
sylvania given in fee-simple to its founder; its advantageous 
situation on the sea-board; the peculiar state of the mother 
country, sending forth emigrants in number, and many of 
worth and character; the talent and integrity of its founder; 
his ample fortune and life-long devotion to the interests of 
the province; a combination of fortunate circumstances 
rarely, if ever, witnessed in any other similar enterprise, 
did not save the illustrious founder from the fate of men 
in his position. Pursued during his whole life by falsehood 
and defamation, we find him at its close in debt, compelled 
to mortgage the whole province for five thousand pounds, 
himself confined to the limits of the Fleet prison, and in 
that humiliating situation would have died, without one 
friendly voice or helping-hand from the great province he 
had successfully established, but for the assistance of some 
individuals of his own religious persuasion in England. 

For facts so conspicuous the reasons seem rather obscure. 
Is it some great law of compensation that runs through all 
things, balancing advantage with disadvantage.'' pleasure 
with pain ? As the old poet has it, 

"Every ivhitc must have its black 
And every sweet its sour." 



Or is it to be found in the universal but unextinguishable 
propensity in every human breast; the love of giving 
pain; ethics, morals, and religion notwithstanding? 

There is a mysterious antagonism in the order of nature, 
running through all life, vegetable and animal. Every 
plant as well as animal has its own peculiar enemy, perse- 
cutor, and destroyer. But man is the chief enemy of man. 
Let no man think to pass through this life without his 
share of annoyances, and as in duty bound I had mine. 
If he belongs to either of the classes I have mentioned, he 
is an imperfect calculator, who does not sum up a con- 
siderable share to his own account. It was about this 
time that hostile feelings seemed to culminate against me. 
I was assailed by legal proceedings, as well as other annoy- 
ances, in every way that malice and ingenuity could invent. 
But the whole of this hostility w^as local, confined to our 
Settlement, and from a portion of my own country peo- 
ple. With American gentlemen and their families, far and 
near, from my first entrance into the State up to the 
present day, my intercourse has been one of unbroken 
kindness and courtesy. It is true, I neglected somewhat 
that shield of popularity which men of any standing in 
our new western country might not at that day with impu- 
nity neglect. I rode into our little town most days to 
attend to any business, or speak with those to whom I had 
anything to say. I did not linger much, or enter grog- 
shops, for I used neither whisky nor tobacco, their chief 
articles of sale. I did not sympathise in these matters 
with the population around me, and this position an enemy 
could turn to my disadvantage at any time. A man to be 


popular in our new western towns and with the country 
people around, should be acquainted with everybody, shake 
hands with everybody, and wear an old coat, with at least 
one good hole in it. A little whisk}' and a few squirts of 
tobacco-juice are indispensable. From much of the former 
you may be excused if you treat liberally to others. If 
there is one fool bigger than another, defer to him, make 
much of him. If there is one fellow a little more greasy 
and dirty than another, be sure to Jiug Jiiui. Do all this 
and you have done much toward being a popular man. 
At least you could scarcely have a jury-case carried against 
you. I did not do all this and was therefore at a disad- 
vantage against active enemies who did, and who were 
leagued against me to drive me and my family from the 
Settlement. This period was the only exception to an 
unusual happy life of thirty years duration. And thirty 
years is a large slice of a man's life. 



Murder of Richard Flower, son of George Flower — Murderer Ac- 
quitted — Large Outlays for Food — Relations between New Har- 
mony and the English Settlement — Robert Owen Buys Out the 
Harmonites — New Harmony under Robert Owen — Men Eminent 
in Literature, Science, and Art Flocked Around him — His Doc- 
trines Promulgated Spread far and wide — Mr. Owen's Ability as 
a Conversationist and His Equanimity of Temper — His Address 
to the People of Albion — Rapp's Society at New Harmony. 

About this time, a melancholy event occurred in my 
family. Myself and father were at Pittsburgh, returning 
from the Eastern cities, when the news of the death of 
my eldest son was communicated to us by Frederick 
Rapp. It was occasioned by violence, and occurred in the 
following manner: My eldest son, Richard, then a prom- 
ising lad, was living at Park House with his grandmother, 
during my own and his grandfather's journey to the East. 
Late in the evening, some backwoodsmen of the lowest 
description, as they came from Albion, probably full of 
whisky, rode by the house, uttered several whoops and 
yells, as if in defiance, as they sometimes would do. The 
noise they made, induced the dogs to rush out barking. 
My son Richard ran out to call off the dogs, which he did. 
As he turned round, to walk into the house, one of the 
fellows dismounted, and, picking up a large bone, threw it 
at the poor lad. It struck him with violence on the back 
of his head. He was assisted to bed, from which he 


never arose. The scull was crushed and the brain injured. 
Notwithstanding all medical assistance and care that was 
given him, he died in a few hours. A court was called; 
the man tried, and, of course, acquitted. 

Large outlays were required for food during the first 
three years; and these expenditures fell almost exclusiv^ely 
upon the heads of the Settlement. These were drawn, 
some from Shawneetown and some from Harmony, the 
former sixty, the latter twenty-five miles distant. Between 
Albion and Shawneetown, for several years, John Morgan's 
horse-team and William Harris' ox-team constantly trav- 
eled; these brought us groceries and other commodities 
from those quarters. But the chief supply of flour, meal, 
whisky, woollen and cotton cloths, all the manufacture of 
the Harmonites came from Harmony. My first bill with 
the Harmonites amounted to eleven thousand dollars, and 
I afterward paid them many large sums. It is said that, 
between the years 1818 and 1824, the Harmonites received 
from our Settlement, one hundred and fifty thousand 
dollars, in hard cash. 

The first herd of thirty head of large cattle were pur- 
chased by me for sixteen dollars a-head. The following 
spring, my father sent, from Lexington, Ky., sixty fine 
steers and a noble bull, of English breed, a large and 
hardy animal, that imparted the first improvement to the 
neat stock of the country. In this way, the Settlement 
was at first supported, until it raised enough to live upon, 
and a surplus to spare. The low price of all produce, for 
some years, although advantageous to incomers from the 
old country, was discouraging to the farmers. With corn 


at ten and twelve cents a bushel; pork, two cents; beef, 
one and a-half cents a pound ; hiring labor would not pay ; 
and the farmer who worked for himself, could not feel any 
adequate money-remuneration. 

In 1824, my father was requested, by Mr. Frederick and 
Mr. George Rapp, to act as agent and endeavor to sell, in 
England, all the possessions of the Harmonites, on the 
Great Wabash, on which between four and five hundred 
Germans, of both sexes, had labored and built for the last 
nine years, with all the perseverance and method of that 
singular and interesting community. 

My father undertook the business, and alm.ost immedi- 
ately proceeded to England, accompanied by his youngest 
son, Edward Fordham Flower, my junior by twenty years, 
then a slender stripling youth. My father left him in 
England; and there he is now, a wealthy proprietor of 
one of the lars^est breweries in the kingdom, at Stratford- 
on-Avon, Warwickshire. 

The description and the advertising of the Harmony 
property in England, attracted the attention of Mr. Robert 
Owen of Lanark, Scotland, who came over, viewed the 
property, and became the owner, by purchase, of all the 
possessions of the Harmonites, on the Wabash. The 
quantity of land sold by Rapp to Owen was thirty-two 
thousand acres, and a large portion of it of the best 
quality, between two and three thousand acres under 
fence and good cultivation. The town of Harmony was 
included in the purchase; and this was no ordinary little 
western town. It consisted of several brick and frame 
two-story houses, for the use of small families, all built 


after one model, and with ample gardens, well fenced in, 
and neatly cultivated ; and a vast number of log-cabins, 
then inhabited and neatly kept. There were also five or 
six very large brick -buildings, three stories high, which 
contained the community families, of sixty to eighty indi- 
viduals each; Rapp's large brick-mansion; a very large 
building called the granary, built of the most solid 
masonry; and a very large brick-church, itself a curi- 
osity, the plan, it was said, being given to Father George 
Rapp in a dream. There were four entrances to the 
church, each entrance closed by lofty folding-doors; the 
doors are opposite, and one hundred and twenty feet 
from each other. The upper story is supported by 
twenty - eight pillars of walnut, cherry, and sassafras. 
The walnut were six feet in circumference and twenty- 
five feet high; the others were twenty-one feet high, with 
proportionate circumference; a surprisingly large building 
for this new country. There was a very large water-mill 
at the cut-off, about a mile from town, complete and in 
full operation; an oil-mill; the shops of the various trades 
— as blacksmiths', wheelwrights', coopers', carpenters', tan- 
nery, shoemakers, etc—all included; with two magnifi- 
cent orchards of grafted fruit in full bearing, and two 
extensive vineyards. The whole land and town for one 
hundred and thirty-two thousand dollars. There was an 
after purchase — such as the stocks and tools of various 
trades, and a considerable amount of live-stock, altogether 
amounting to fifty thousand dollars. Thus did the whole 
possessions of the German Harmonites change hands; and 
what was the property of Rapp and his associates, became 
the property of Robert Owen. 


This singular community of Germans had Httle or no 
communication with the people of the surrounding coun- 
try, excepting through the miller, store-keeper, tavern- 
keeper, and their secular head, Frederick Rapp, the 
adopted son of old George Rapp. their spiritual leader, 
and founder of the society. All who went to Harmony, 
with surprise, observed with what facility the necessaries 
and the comforts of life were acquired and enjoyed by 
every member of Rapp's community. When compared 
with the privations and discomforts to which individual 
settlers were exposed in their backwood's experiences, 
the contrast was very striking. The poor hunter that 
brought a bushel of corn to be ground, perhaps from a 
distance of ten miles, saw, with wonder, the people, as 
poor as himself, inhabiting good houses, surrounded by 
pleasant gardens, completely clothed in garments of the 
best quality, supplied regularly with meal, meat, and fuel, 
without any apparent individual exertion. He could not 
fail to contrast the comforts and conveniences surround- 
ing the dwellings of the Harmonites with the dirt, deso- 
lation, and discomforts of his own log-hut. It opened to 
his mind a new train of thought. One of them said to 
me, in his own simple language, "I studies and I studies 
on it" — an expression that depicts the feelings of every 
person that obtained a sight of Rapp's German commu- 
nity at Harmony. Rapp — his people and their language 
— departed; Mr. Owen, now the sole proprietor of all the 
possessions of its former owners, spoke to the people in 
a language they could understand. 

Nothing could be more opposite than the systems pur- 


sued by the two distinguished leaders, on the same field 
of operation. Whatever might be the merits of Rapp's 
community, an avoidance of intercourse between the mass 
of its members and all outside, barbarians was strictly 
maintained; and dissimilarity of language presented a 
complete bar to prying curiosity from without. 

Mr. Owen proposed his plans and gave his lectures and 
discourses, not only to those of his own opinions, but to 
all that chose to come and hear him. Mr. Owen, who was 
very powerful m colloquy, seldom lost an opportunity of 
explaining, what was then called, his new system of socie- 
ty. Discussion would arise; his system, doctrines, and 
their probable consequences were all discussed, fully criti- 
cised, and often warmly opposed. Mr. Owen possessed so 
steady ar temper, that no attack, however violent and per- 
sonal, could disturb it. The equanimity of his deportment, 
the quiet flow of argument, the steady and unaltered tone 
of his voice, I never knew to be ruffled by the most violent 
language and the sometimes hasty imputations of his 
opponent. Mr. Owen made a short visit to me and to my 
father, and took a brief view of our Settlement. During 
the evenings large numbers of settlers would call in to see 
and converse with him. It was about Christmas time, and 
the season was unusually warm and fine. On Christmas 
day, 1824, Mr. Owen delivered an extended and extempo- 
raneous address to the citizens of Albion, assembled in the 
open air on the public-square of the town. For the accom- 
modation of the people, chairs and benches were arranged 
in a semicircle. These discussions produced some effect, 
and some of our citizens went to Harmony, in the hope of 


realizing some portion of the happier future predicted by 
'Mr. Owen. Some came back, and are prosperous citizens 
in the vicinity of Albion ; some remained, and are prosper- 
ous citizens of Harmony. 

We need not be surprised at the care with which Rapp 
tried to keep his community from general intercourse. 
Notwithstanding their strong religious bond, it is very 
doubtful if Rapp's society could have been kept together 
if they had spoken English. During this visit, Mr. Fred- 
erick Rapp came to see Mr. Owen, and in my house the 
bargain which transferred the property was consummated- 
On this occasion, Frederick Rapp was accompanied by 
his niece, Gertrude Rapp, then a young lady of some 
seventeen years, in the full bloom of health and youthful 
beauty, now I believe Miss Rapp is the only representative 
of the family of Rapp living at Economy. 

Among the endless variety of people that flocked around 
Mr. Owen were some eminent in art, literature, and sci- 
ence. This gave to Harmony a pre-eminence in character 
and attractions to many neighboring towns. 

That the material wants of man can be procured in 
profusion without anxiety or injurious labor, has been 
satisfactorily proved by Rapp's community, by the Shak- 
ers, Moravians, and other well- organized communities. 
Following this idea, Mr. Owen argued, that if the mentla 
powers of man, well trained and developed from his earliest 
infancy, were also organized for the public weal, all the 
evils existing in our present form of society would vanish, 
as completely as destitution and want have vanished from 
the communities above named. Whether this happy con- 
summation is ever to be attained is yet doubtful. 


Although Mr. Owen failed to make his community, the 
doctrines he taught and the opinions he promulgated 
spread far and wide. Accepted by some with fervor, 
opposed and denounced by ,more, they nevertheless were 
in a fragmentary way accepted by a vast many. This we 
saw in after years, when indiscriminate opposition to all 
that Mr. Owen said had ceased. The halls of legislation, 
the courts of law, and the family government have been 
modified and influenced by the opinions promulgated by 
Mr. Robert Owen in the early days of his Harmony com- 
munity, followed up by the after- efforts of his son, Mr. 
Robert Dale Owen, in the State legislature. 

A father of a family, a religious man, opposed to most 
of Mr. Owen's opinions, said to me: "Well, in one thing I 
think he is right — in the treatment of children — and I 
shall leave off whipping." 

Mr. Owen wished to carry on this first successful step of 
Rapp's a step or two farther. He argued, that when peo- 
ple were relieved from anxiet)^ and toils, now often endured 
by parents in the support of a family, every child might 
receive the best education and training. If all the evils 
now inflicted on society from want, suffering, neglected 
education, and bad training were removed, there could not 
be much left to complain of; and there would be no longer 
any necessity for enduring that formidable power called 
Government- — -under all its forms a combination of re- 
straint, tyranny, and corruption, now found necessary to 
suppress, by its superior force of combination, the numer- 
ous individual crimes engendered in our present organiza- 
tion of society ; that if the community would only go on 


and apply its powerful combination to supply man's 
intellectual wants, as it had already supplied most of his 
physical wants, all the great evils of which we complain 
would cease. 

Rapp appeared to be content in supplying physical 
necessities, so far as house, clothing, food, and fuel, and in 
checking those moral evils which arise from their want, or 
an indiscriminate scramble to obtain them. Other evils he 
thought must be endured, and compensation looked for in 
another world. There were some in Rapp's society, it was 
said, who had higher aspirations. But Rapp was content 
with what they had already gained, and discouraged inno- 
vation; probably from a fear of losing what they had 
already obtained. "In effect," he said, "the plan can not 
be improved; be content with what you have got, go on as 
you are going on — do yon do all the working and / will do 
all the praying." As to children, he told them they had 
better not have any. Rapp was probably right, to a soci- 
ety of such moderate aspirations, and who were so well 
schooled in resignation to a certain class of evils. The 
plan could not be improved ; it was perfect as far as it 

Owen said — -"Go on. You have banished many incon- 
veniences and evils already, and this should encourage you 
to proceed; apply the same power of combination and do 
more. Have children, as many as you can bring up, edu- 
cate, and properly train. Attend to their health, and make 
them strong men; to their intellect, and make them wise 
men; to the supplying all their wants, and make them 
happy men. You will find that temperance in all gratifi- 


cation attains the maximum of enjoyment. Be as happy 
as you can here, and the better quaHfied will you be for 
happiness hereafter." So, in effect, said Owen; but his 
views were not carried out in the way he desired them to 
be. The materials that gathered around him were proba- 
bly too dissimilar and heterogeneous to be formed into a 
community of any kind. 

From Mr. Owens' addresses and publications we learned 
his opinions and intentions. We knew the Harmonites 
from our dealings at their store, and what we saw in our 
frequent visits to the town. In business they were punc- 
tual and honest. Industry and order were apparent every- 


The Emigration to the Settlement Recommences — The Character of 
the New Emigrants — The Crackles Brothers — Mr. Joseph Apple- 
gath — The Good Farms about Albion — The Courts at Albion — 
Attended by Eminent Men — Judge Wilson, Edwin B. Webb, 
Col. Wm. H. Davidson, Gen. John M. Robinson, John McLean, 
and Henry Eddy — Their Visits to Mr. Flower — "A Good Supper 
and a Bowl of Punch" — Dreary Travel to Vandalia — Bear-Meat 
and Venison — An Enormous Elk, the Patriarch of the Prairies — 
The Wrestling- Match between Indians and White Men — The 
Indians "Down" the Pale Faces. 

After the check given to emigration, from causes 
before mentioned, the tide began to flow again. Individu- 
als and famiUes were frequently arriving, and occasionally 
a party of thirty and forty. A fresh cause induced this 
tide of emigration. It arose from the private correspond- 
ence of the first poor men who came. Having done well 
themselves, and by a few years of hard labor acquired 
more wealth than they ever expected to obtain, they wrote 
home to friend or relative an account of their success. 
These letters handed round in the remote villages of Eng- 
land, in which many of them lived, reached individuals in 
a class to whom information in a book form was wholly 
inaccessible. Each letter had its scores of readers, and, 
passing from hand to hand, traversed its scores of miles. 
The writer, known at home as a poor man, earning perhaps 
a scanty subsistence by his daily labor, telling of the wages 


he received, his bountiful hving, of his own farm and the 
number of his hve-stock, produced a greater impression in 
the hmited circle of its readers than a printed publication 
had the power of doing. His fellow-laborer w^ho heard 
these accounts, and feeling that he was no better off than 
when his fellow-laborer left him for America, now exerted 
every nerve to come and do likewise. Among the many 
that came, induced by this sort of information, were three 
brothers, Thomas, Kelsey, and Joseph Crackles, three 
Lincolnshire men — a fine specimen of English farm-labor- 
ers, well skilled in every description of farm- labor, and 
particularly in the draining of land. They lived with me 
for three years after their arrival. They soon got good 
farms of their own; or, I should rather say, made good 
farms for themselves, I heard an American neighbor 
remark, on the first farm they bought, that nobody could 
ever raise a crop or get a living from it. It had not been 
in their possession two years, before it became noted for its 
excellent cultivation and abundant crops. In this way we 
have given to Illinois a valuable population, men that are 
a great acquisition to the Country. It was observed that 
these emigrants who came in the second emigration, from 
five to ten years after the first settlement, complained more 
of the hardships of the country than those who came first. 
These would complain of a leaky roof, or a broken fence, 
and all such inconveniences. The first -comers had no 
cabins or fences to complain of; with them it was conquer 
or die. And thus emigrants came dropping in from year 
to year. 

We received a valuable settler in the person of Mr. 


Joseph Applegath. Mr. Applegath was a bookseller in 
London, a man of good education and general informa- 
tion. He came out with the intention of joining Mr. 
Owen's community at Harmony. That failing, he took 
his apprenticeship in country life in our Settlement. He 
was a striking instance with what comparative ease a well- 
informed and cultivated man can change his occupation 
and even his habits of life. From knowing nothing of 
farming or country life of any kind, for several years he 
followed it energetically and successfully, acquiring the 
habit of labor, which in general seems to go so hard with 
those unaccustomed to toil. One secret of this was, he 
had nothing to unlearn, and no prejudices on that subject 
to eradicate. He looked over the fence of his neighbor to 
see how he did a piece of work, and copied after him. 
In a few years he retired from habitual labor, but not from 
active employment; he frequently gave familiar lectures 
to young people in Albion, on useful or scientific subjects, 
made easy to their comprehension by his simple language 
and arrangement. 

But it was the class of farm-laborers and small-farmers, 
of whom I have before spoken, that furnished the bone 
and sinew of the Settlement. Well instructed in all agri- 
cultural labor, as plowmen, seedsmen, and drainers of land, 
habituated to follow these occupations with continuous 
industry, the result was certain success. Their course was 
a uniform progress and advance. Many of them without 
money, and some in debt for their passage, they at first 
hired out at the then usual price of fifty cents a-day with- 
out board, and seventy-five cents for hay-time and harvest. 


In two or three years they became tenants, or bought a 
piece of unimproved Congress-land at a dollar and a-quar- 
ter an acre, and gradually made their own farms. Several 
of them, now the wealthiest farmers of the county, earned 
their first money on my farm at Park House. It is chiefly 
the labor of these men, extending over twenty, thirty, and 
even forty years, that has given to the Settlement the 
many fine farms to be seen around Albion. 

Among the advantages of the meetings of the courts of 
law in Albion, not the least were the periodical visits of 
intelligent and educated men of the legal profession, 
Hon. William Wilson, a native of Martinsburgh, Va., was, 
when appointed to his office of circuit-judge, a very young 
man. He possessed great amiability and good sense, and 
was extensively known through the State; a good lawyer 
respected and beloved wherever known. Between him 
and myself a lasting friendship existed until his death, 
which occurred in 1857. He settled near Carmi, in White 
Co., thirty miles south of Albion. Carmi was the home 
of Edwin B. Webb, Esq., so many years the represen- 
tative of White County in the legislature. Mr. Webb was 
one of our best lawyers, and was always relied on as such. 
He had a greater hold on the affections of his many 
friends and neighbors, by exerting the influence of his 
position in healing all breaches, and allaying those irrita- 

* Edwin B. Webb of Carmi, White County, was one of the best-known 
and most influential Whig politicians of his day, in south-eastern Illinois. He 
was first elected to the lower branch of the legislature from White County in 
1834, and reelected in 1836, 1838, '1840. In 1844, he was elected to the 
senate, from White County, and reelected in 1846, and finally closing his 


tions which so frequently accompany legal disputation. 

Col. William H. Davidson, for many years in the State 
senate, and often its presiding-officer, was much beloved 
for the amenity of his manners in public and in private 
life. Gen. John M. Robinson, then a young lawyer riding 
the circuit, and afterward, for many years, our senator in 
Congress — these two were Carmi men. 

John McLean, a good lawyer, a loud speaker, of sterling 
good sense, and blunt and somewhat boisterous manners, 
was the most popular lawyer in the earliest days of the 
State. A native of Kentucky, he was afterward sent to 
Congress.* Henry Eddy, long the editor of the Shawnec- 
town Gazette, was a good lawyer, and a most kind-hearted 

legislative service in 1848, which was continuous from 1834 to 1848, with the 
exception of two years, from 1842 to 1844. I knew Mr. Webb well. He 
was a well-known figure in Springfield for many years. He was a little under 
the middling height, always dressing genteelly, and. of pleasant and agree- 
able manners. A native of Kentucky, he was a devoted friend of Henry Clay, 
and was the Whig candidate for Governor of Illinois in 1852. At the break- 
ing up of the old Whig party, Mr. Webb declined entering into the Republi- 
can party, and joined the Democrats. He was always called " Bat " Webb, 
from his middle name, Bathurst. He died at his home in Carmi, in the fall 
of 1858, universally beloved and regretted. 

* John McLean was, undoubtedly, the ablest and most influential man in 
Illinois at the time of his death. He was elected United States senator in 
1825, to succeed Ninian Edwards, who had resigned to accept the position of 
minister to Mexico. Having served out the term of Gov. Edwards, of only 
a few months, Elias Kent Kane was elected his successor for the long term. 
In 1829, Mr. McLean was elected for six years, to succeed Jesse B. Thomas. 
He died, however, shortly after the commencement of his term of service, in 
1830. Had he lived, he would have left an indelible impress upon the history 
of the State. 

Mr. McLean was a member of the House of Representatives from Gallatin 
County from 1820 to 1822, and of which he was made speaker. He was also 
a member from 1826 to 1828, and from 1828 to 1830. He was speaker of 
the House both sessions, and elected senator while holding the office in 1829. 


and benevolent man, universally respected and beloved.* 
Judge Hall (afterward known as the editor of the Illinois 
MontJilv Magazine) was also a practising lawyer, with a 
reputation for literary talent. Judge Thomas C. Browne 
was associated with Judge Wilson, on the bench of the 
supreme court. These were all residents of Shawneetown, 
and usually made the tour of our circuit. 

The law business, being small in those days, allowed of 
an early adjournment of court, giving time for friendly 
intercourse. They generally favored our family with a 
visit. Those of them that were farmers, as well as law- 
yers, would generally spend a day with me, in looking at 
live-stock and crops, discussing farming matters generally. 
In the evening, several other friends would join the party; 
the conversation, unrestrained, was generally free and good- 
humored. The hilarity was by no means checked by a 
good supper and a bowl of punch. After tales of adven- 
ture in their wild and widely-extended circuit, varied con- 
versation, anecdote, and song, the party would retire, at a 
late hour generally, to meet again si.x months afterward. 

The opening of the legislature at Vandalia, and the ses- 

* Henry Eddy of Shawneetown, was one of the ablest and most prominent 
lawyers of his time in the State. I can not recall that he was ever in politi- 
cal life, except being a member of the House of Representatives from Galla- 
tin County from 1820 to 1822, when he was the colleague of John McLean. 
He was an anti-convention man in the great struggle in 1823-4, and the editor 
of the Shaivneetown Spectator. Like Mr. Webb of Carmi, he was one of the 
prominent Whig politicians in the south-eastern part of the State. A man of 
education and intelligence, he was distinguished by his courteous manners and 
gentlemanly bearing. He was elected judge of the third circuit in January, 
1835, but resigned the next month. No county in this State ever had two 
abler men in the Legislature, at the same time, than when Henry Eddy and 
John McLean represented Gallatin in 1S20 and 1822. 


sion of the supreme court, about the 8th of December, 
occasioned lonjT and dreary journeys to those obUged to 
attend from the southern part of the State. The lawyers 
from Shawneetovvn, joining those at Carmi, would proceed 
to some point west of the Little Wabash, generally at 
Ramsey's station, and wait a littld for any that might join 
them from Albion. I occasionally made one of the party. 
The distance from cabin to cabin was often from twenty 
to thirty miles. The host, on these occasions, was usually 
one of the earliest pioneers, who had pushed in among the 
red men and brown bears of the wilderness. After a 
supper of bear-meat and venison, the large log in the ten- 
foot chimney was set blazing afresh with brushwood. A 
large circle was formed in front, and we heard from our 
host some of his exciting or amusing adventures with wild 
men and wild beasts. 

At the house of one of these men, a noted character of 
that day — John Lewis of the trace — said that he had seen, 
in his hunts, the tracks of an enormous elk. For months 
of search, he had failed to get sight of the gigantic animal 
that had made these tracks of such unusual size. The 
fortunate day came at last. Himself concealed by a point 
of wood, the huge animal appeared in full view, grazing in 
the open prairie. Mustering all his wood-craft for con- 
cealment and approach, he succeeded in bringing down 
the animal at the first shot. He produced the horns; when 
set on their prongs, a tall man could walk under them 
without touching. This patriarch of the prairies met his 
death in 181S or 1819. 

Upon another occasion, at the same house, a party of 


Indians, accompanied by their agent, arrived. They were 
from some tribe far distant in the interior, on their way to 
Washington. They were regarded with some curiosity, 
and much admired as a fine specimen of their race — tall, 
thin, muscular men, of delicate features, with small hands 
and feet. There happened to be present, a party of back- 
woods-hunters, men of strong-set frames, used to fights of 
every description, and noted good wrestlers. Their num- 
ber being equal to that of the Indians, some one expressed 
the wish to see a friendly combat or trial of strength in a 
wrestlinfT-match, to see who could throw the other. With 
the consent of the agent, who explained to the Indians 
the nature of the proposal, the arrangement was soon 
made. Weapons being carefully removed from both par- 
ties, they met man to man. To the astonishment of the 
spectators, the Indians threw all their antagonists, again 
and again, and with such dexterity and apparent ease, that 
the white men could never get an opportunity to close 
with them. 

In journeying alone or in company, great risks were run 
from floods, loss of way, and sudden change of tempera- 
ture, especially in the winter season. Judge Wilson, Mr. 
S. D. Lockwood, and Mr. Henry Eddy of Shawneetown, 
undertook to reach Vandalia from one of the counties on 
the Wabash, a little north of us. The distance by section 
lines was about sixty miles, across the country, through 
prairie and timber, without road or track of any kind — no 
kind of habitation,' not even the humblest cabin in the 

Wilson took the lead, as the best woodsman. They 


continued to ride the whole of a fine winter's day without 
seeing man or his abode. Toward evening, the weather 
changed; it became very cold, with the wind blowing in 
their faces a heavy fall of snow. In this predicament, 
without food or fire, there was but one alternative when 
night came on. Each man seated himself on his saddle, 
placed on the ground, with the saddle-blanket over his 
head and shoulders, holding by the bridles their naked 
and shivering horses. It continued to snow for hours. 
For a long time they sat in this condition, thinking they 
should all freeze to death before morning. They afterward 
tied their horses, and spread a blanket on the ground near 
a fallen tree, and then squatted down close together — 
Lockwood in the middle — and thus they spent the long 
and dismal night. 

In the morning, they proceeded as they best could; 
before noon, reached the east bank of the Kaskaskia 
River, then booming full, at flood water. They all had 
to swim their horses across, Wilson again taking the lead. 
Dripping wet, all three rode into Vandalia, in the midst of 
the frost and snow of mid-winter. Lockwood, a confirmed 
invalid of some chronic disease, resigned himself to cer- 
tain death. Extraordinary to relate, the disease from that 
time left him, and he lived to be, and is, I believe, yet 
living, a sound and healthy man. 

When I look back at the inconveniences and perils of 
our journeys in the early days of our residence in Illinois, 
I wonder that any of us are alive to relate them. 

Apart from accidents, a journey then required the ex- 
penditure of all our strength. Horseback was the only 


mode. To bear the excessiye heat of a summer's sun, over 
the exposed prairies, from early dawn till night, or, to 
reverse the order of our habits, to escape the torments of 
the prairie-fly, by traveling all night and lying by during" 
the day; or to be overtaken by night in the midst of win- 
ter, crouching on the frozen ground, without fire or shelter, 
are incidents that try the constitution. But of all the 
dangers of backwoods -traveling, those of crossing swollen, 
streams and river-bottoms deeply flooded, with the surface 
of the water covered with floating or with solid ice, are 
the greatest. To be floundering in water of uncertain 
depth, the horse sometimes wading and sometimes swim- 
ming, obstructed, too, by floating logs and ice, produces 
sensations not at all agreeable. 


Long Horseback Excursions — The Cabin Found — Island Grove — The 
Tempest — A Horrible Night — ^John Ganaway's Roadside-Cabin — 
A Good Breakfast — Hugh Ronalds' Adventure — Narrowly Es- 
capes Death— Long Journey by Wagon — The Delights of that 
Mode of Travel — Health and Spirits Renewed — Travel of that 
Day and the Present Day Contrasted — Mr. Hulme's Journey — 
Mr. Applegath's, Bishop Chase's, and Mr. Kleinworth's — The 
First Crops and Cabins — The Progress Year by Year— The Peach- 
Orchard — A Happy Life — Children Growing Up — "Edward's Or- 
chard " — The Herding of Sheep — The Boys and Girls— A Charm- 
ing Picture of Rural Life— Th*e Hospitable Home — Lingering on 
the Porch— The Welcome Guests— The Lost Child — The Finding 
and the Rejoicings — The Wild Animals, W^olves, Bears, and 
Panthers — The Panther— The \A^olf -Chase — Savage Fight be- 
tween Man and Wolf. 

Sometimes, when not accompanied by gentlemen, my 
wife gave me her company in these horseback excursions 
into the interior of the State; and those journeys are, to 
this day, among the happiest recollections of my prairie 
life. One of these journeys is so characteristic of the time 
and country, as it then was, that I will give it : 

Each of us well mounted, and equipped with well-filled 
saddle-bags, we started northward, on a fine July morning. 
For the first twenty miles, the country was settled thinly 
— six or eight miles between cabins. North of the trace, 
leading from Vincennes to St. Louis, the country was yet 
more thinly settled — from ten to twenty miles between 


house and house. We had difficulty in finding the httle 
cabin we were in search of, for our first night's lodging, 
and but for a small column of blue smoke, betraying its 
locality in a small clump of brushwood, we should have 
passed it by. When found, it was of the smallest class of 
cabins. After a supper of corn-bread, milk, and venison, 
we rested for the night on one of the two beds, the whoel 
family taking to the other. 

Before mounting, the next morning, we were struck with 
the occupation of our host. He was greasing his wagon 
with good fresh butter. He might as well do so, he said, 
for when he took it to Lawrenceville, ten miles distant, he 
could only get five cents a pound for it, and that in trade. 
After riding across a prairie for about twelve miles, our 
horses being much tormented by the prairie-flies, we rested 
for some hours at a house in a point of timber, the last 
timber we should meet in a day's journey. About five in 
the afternoon, we mounted again.- The direction we trav- 
eled, with scarcely the indication of a track, was due north, 
keeping the timber about two miles to the right. A few 
miles ahead, and a little to our left, stood a grove of tim- 
ber, covering one section of land in the open prairie. It 
was appropriately called Island Grove. 

Clouds, black and portentous, had been long threaten- 
incf. The rain came down in torrents. The north wind 
blew in our faces with such violence, that, for a time, the 
horses could not face the storm. We had to allow them 
to turn round. Pursuing our way northward, night over- 
took us. The feeble rays of a young moon added but 
dreariness to the scene. The wind, growing more and 


more cold, pierced through our wet garments. It was 
about nine at night when we came to the track of the 
National Road, just being laid out and worked. This 
greatly relieved our anxious watchings; for we feared 
that we had passed over it, and were wandering north- 
ward in the interminable prairie. Following its course 
westward, we were suddenly arrested by a broad sheet of 
water, which we dared not enter and could not go round. 

The moon set. We were in darkness. Wet through, 
exposed to a keen north-wind, without the slightest shel- 
ter, we stood by the side of our horses and waited the 
termination of this dreary night. I, at length, yielded to 
sleep, on the wet and sodden ground. My wife, with 
greater resolution, kept watch on foot, holding the horses' 
bridles in her hand, sometimes putting her fingers under 
the saddles to catch a little warmth, and sometimes wak- 
ing me from what she feared might be a fatal slumber. 
One sound only was heard during these hours of dreary 
darkness, the dismal howl of a solitary wolf. At break-of- 
day, so stiff and cold were we, that we could with difficulty 
mount our horses. Both ourselves and horses shook and 
trembled as with an ague. 

We had to proceed about six miles, through mud and 
water, before reaching a small roadside- cabin, kept by 
John Ganaway. A good breakfast, and two hours sleep, 
set all to rights, and we proceeded on our way, none the 
worse for our late exposure. Such incidents were of com- 
mon occurrence to travelers on the prairies in those days. 

These encounters with the elements were not always so 
happily got through, especially in the winter season. Mr. 


Hugh Ronalds and his young son were travehng on the 
prairies, about thirty miles north-west of Albion, with a 
covered carriage and a pair of horses, in the winter season. 
On coming to a creek frozen over, in attempting to cross 
on the ice, the horses broke in; but the ice was too strong 
and the creek to deep to allow the horses to get through. 
It was necessary to detach the horses from the carriage, 
and to break the ice, to allow the horses to struggle out 
on the opposite bank ; in doing which, Mr. Ronalds 
became wet to his middle. Before he could arrange the 
harness on the horses, his clothes became quite stiff, his legs 
seemed to be incased in boards. A house near the creek, 
the view of which was an additional inducement to risk the 
crossing, was found to be entirely deserted. No fire or 
the means of making any. Under these circumstances, 
it became a struggle for life. Mr. Ronalds, becoming weak 
from cold and suffering, desired his son (a lad of nine 
years) to make for a house, about three miles across the 
prairie, and send back aid if he should arrive there. He, 
with aid of men and women, returned and met his father. 
Mr. Ronalds proceeded at a slow pace with the horses. 
He soon became insensible. When met by the party 
from the house, he was standing between the horses, hold- 
ing on by the harness, but nearly insensible and very 
numb. Covering him with blankets, and carrying him 
when he could no longer walk, they arrived at the cabin 
and put him to bed, stiff and unconscious. It was long 
before friction and warmth induced circulation or sign of 
life. The process of freezing, or dying, was attended by 
no remembered pain; but, in returning to life, he suffered 
much agony. 


If a family party desired to make a journey of some 
distance — say two or three hundred miles — a wagon was 
found to be the most safe and ' comfortable conveyance. 
Wishing to visit a friend who had settled a few miles north 
of Peoria, on the Illinois River, more than two hundred 
miles distant from Park House, an old friend and neigh- 
bor, Capt. James Carter, wishing to see the country north, 
accompanied us, brought with him a wagon and a pair of 
oxen, to which 1 added another yoke. This was furnished 
with provisions and cooking-utensils, and some bedding. 
My own covered wagon, drawn by two stout and active 
horses, with a driver sitting on the near saddle-horse, con- 
veyed my family, two sons and one daughter, with Mrs. 
Flower, and an infant at her breast. Two saddle-horses, 
one furnished with a side-saddle, for any of us to ride by 
way of change, completed our cavalcade. Proceeding thus 
leisurely along, we passed over some of the most beautiful 
prairies in the centre of the State. Pulling up at evening 
near some pleasant grove, we lighted our canip-fire and 
cooked our evening meal. As the evening advanced, we 
spread our blankets on the ground, and with feet to the 
fire took our night's rest. Breakfast over ne.xt morning, 
we proceeded onward through the day. A fresh venison 
ham, milk from some farm-house, or a prairie fowl, occa- 
sionally shot by one of the party, gave us the most whole- 
some and invigorating food. Including our short visit, we 
were six weeks going and returning, living day and night 
during our journey in the open air. The fine autumn 
weather continued with us until the last day of our return. 
On the afternoon of that day we were ushered into my 


own [lark gate by a gust of sleet and rain. We all returned 
with renewed health and spirits. Nothing can be imagined 
more enjoyable or was better enjoyed. The freedom from 
care, the gentle exercise in the open air, the ever-changing 
scene, the varied beauties of the landscape, gave renewed 
health, appetite, and happiness. On entering my park and 
pleasant dwelling, I confess to a feeling of approaching 
care. All had gone well during our absence. But letters 
were to answer, business to attend to, my wife had her 
household cares. We were again in harness, performing 
the drudgery of civilized life. These three journeys give 
a fair specimen of the primitive mode of traveling in the 
early years of our Settlement in Illinois. 

The difference in speed and convenience of travel then 
and now is very striking. The mean time of travel for 
family parties from the Eastern cities to the prairies, in the 
year 1818, I find to be nine weeks — that is for the whole 
family or parties, composed sometimes of two or three 
families, with all their plunder. One of the most expedi- 
tious and economical family-trips on record was made by 
Mr. Hall and his family, consisting of himself, wife, and 
seven children. The items are therefore interesting: 
Hire of wagon from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, for 

wife and seven children, _ _ _ _ ^75 

Expenses for twelve persons, Thomas and myself 

walking all the way, for thirteen days, - - 42 

Carriage of eleven hundred of heavy goods, at $3 

per TOO lbs., -------33 

Tavern expenses at Pittsburgh, i week, - - - 20 
Share of ark, - - - - - - - 15 


Three days in the ark and expenses to Shawneetown, 18 

Three days in ark at Shawneetown, . _ _ ^ 
Wagon-hire for the family and baggage to the 

prairies, -----___ 28 

Expenses four days and ferriages, - - - _ i^ 
For heavy goods up the Wabash and land-carriage 

from thence, - - - - - - -I5 

Time from May 7th to June 25th. 

Mr. Hulme, who visited our Settlement, and going by 
the quickest mode of travel, in his journal writes thus: 
"Pittsburgh. June 3. — Arrived here with a friend as travel- 
ing-companion, by the mail-stage from Philadelphia, after 
a journey of six days, having set out on the 28th of 

, Mr. Applegath, in 1823, arrived at Vincennes from the 
city of Baltimore in ten days, then thought to be very expe- 
ditious traveling. In 1859, Bishop Whitehouse reached 
Olney, Illinois, from New York, in two days and a-half, by 
railroad. Olney is thirty miles north of Albion, connected 
by a daily mail-stage. In August, i860, Mr. Kleinworth 
arrived at his residence in Albion in thirteen days and a- 
half, from the city of Lonflon. Mr. Kleinworth lost one 
day and a-half by detention on the road, so that the time 
of his actual travel was but twelve days. I recollect what 
a visionary I was thought thirty years ago for saying that 
we were, at a moderate rate of traveling, but three days 
distant from New York. Now that prediction is more 
than verified, for when no impediment occurs the distance 
has been made in less than two days. 


The first two years of settlement in a new prairie coun- 
try does not present the abundance in the field crops that 
new-comers expect to see from the accounts they have 
heard of the fertility of the soil. The first year's planting 
on a prairie sod yields not a-third of a crop. The second 
year is much better, but it is not until the third year that 
cultivation and seasons have sufficiently acted on the soil 
to allow it to yield its full abundance. The houses and 
cabins present too often a naked and somewhat comfort- 
less appearance, unless a little industry and taste is dis- 
played in training flowers and creeping -plants around 
them. The rich and venerable mellowness of ivy and 
moss will not be attained for centuries. But the virgin 
soil and hot sun, with the least aid from an industrious 
hand, will soon give floral ornament and cosy comfort that 
can not be attained about a house in cooler climates for 
many years. 

We had long left behind us the inconveniences and 
annoyances incident to first-settlers, and were enjoying the 
teeming abundance of a virgin soil under its first cultiva- 
tion, stimulated by a glowing climate. Nothing could 
gratify the farmer more than to witness the progress of his 
crops, for the first fifteen years on the same fields without 
aid of manure. The deep green of the maize, in its gigan- 
tic and rapid growth, almost outstretching the capacity of 
its own fibres in its vigorous shoots and rapid growth, suc- 
ceeded, in time of harvest, by large heavy ears, sometimes 
more than a hundred bushels to the acre, and wagon-loads 
of yellow pumpkins growing among the rows. Cattle 
increasin'? and thriving in condition in the range more 


rapidly than in the finest clover pasture, was surprising to 
farmers from the cool and gradual climate of England. 

On my farm, the profuse bearing of a large peach- 
orchard, the third year from planting the stones, surprised 
and gratified me. Among these seedling-trees, many pro- 
duced fruit of large size and exquisite flavor. I turned a 
few of my favorite English pigs into this orchard. It was 
amusing to see the gluttons as they slowly walked along, 
giving to an ordinary peach a contemptuous turn with 
their little snouts, not deigning to taste one unripe or 
deficient in flavor. They, like ourselves, were sated with 
the fruit, scores of bushels lying rotting on the ground. 
The two following years were equally bountiful. One 
hard winter killed many and diseased the remainder of 
the trees, until at length I could not gather a peck of 
peaches from the farm. 

I have said that I lived in a world of my own, and not 
a bad world either. My life seemed particularly felicitous. 
Based on domestic happiness, and surrounded by abund- 
ance. My children, as they grew up, taking their part of 
the care of the animals. At first, the two eldest boys, 
after an early breakfast, provided by their mother, took 
with them dinner, books, and slate, and led the fine merino 
flock, varying in number from four hundred to a thousand, 
into the prairie, where they stayed the whole day. As the 
family grew larger, a sister often went with the brothers. 
A small log-house, with overhanging porch and accommo- 
dations for their horses and dogs, was built for them on a 
pleasant hill overlooking the prairie, close by an, apple- 
orchard, just coming into bearing, planted by my young- 


est brother Edward before he went to England. Ahhough 
passed into other hands, the spot is called Edward's 
Orchard unto this day. 

During the heat of the day, whilst the flocks were repos- 
ing in the shade of the clumps of oaks, the children were 
resting in the cabin, or, unconscious of fatigue and defying 
heat, were chasing, with their horses and their dogs, some 
rabbit on the prairie or wildcat in a neighboring thicket. 
Thus, with their little house-keeping establishment, useful 
employment in the open air, cheerful amusement with 
their horses and their dogs, and freedom from restraint, 
they had a good time generally. Now no longer children, 
but fathers and mothers of families, with the cares and 
anxieties incident to their stations, they look back to this 
period as the happiest of their lives. At evening, one of 
their number came to the house to announce the arrival of 
the flock at the park gate. Myself or shepherd, if he was 
in the way, went to count them in. The children, relieved 
of their charge, came joyously in, bringing rabbit or squir- 
rel or some trophy of the chase. After refreshment and 
rest, as day closed in, the young ones all sunk to sound 
and happy slumber. 

In a fine summer's night, the house and its surroundings 
presented -a picture of quietude and peace, enjoyed by my- 
self and wife, walking together, as we sometimes did, in 
the early hours of the night, when all nature, in shadow, 
was reposing in silence. The beautiful cattle, as they 
quietly chewed the cud, allowed us to pass through them 
undisturbed. The flock of sheep, lying close together in 
one large clump, would begin to rise as we approached 


them, in accordance with their more timid nature. The 
refreshing coolness, the profound silence, the repose and 
security of the animals, with the shadow of night cast over 
all, was by every feeling acknowledged as a grateful relief, 
from the glare, the heat, and turmoil of day. 

Returning to the house, and once more gazing on the 
children in their deep, unconscious sleep, we would often, 
while conversing in subdued tones, linger long in the wide 
porch, enjoying together the sweetest hours of the twenty- 
four. More frequently we had some company at the 
house; this being the rule, privacy the exception, was the 
more enjoyed. Occasionally, a party of neighbors would 
spend the evening with us, but my home was frequently 
graced and enlivened by one or more intelligent strangers, 
either native or foreign born, and this adds to a home in 
the country a fresh light of intelligence and cheerfulness, 
and breaks the bond of prejudice, which grows too stiff in 
a confined locality. To diversify and vary life, a few 
adventures, incidents, and accidents occurred to us, only 
to be met with by settlers in a new country. 

Mr. Dransfield, living about eight miles from Albion, on 
the road to the Wabash, missed one of his children, about 
three years of age. Search was made by the parents, 
through all the out-premises and in the woods round about 
the house, to no effect. The next day, we heard of it at 
Albion, and the news spread to the farmers and settle- 
ments for miles around. On the following morning, neigh- 
bors, as they were called, assembled for ten miles round. 
After searching the surrounding woods in vain, fifty horse- 
men determined to search French -Creek Prairie, a long 


narrow prairie, about four miles long and scarcely a-half- 
mile broad. The horsemen formed a line at short intervals 
from each other, examining every inch of the ground as 
they slowly passed along. In a blackberry patch, one of 
the horsemen saw a little white rag flutter; he rode up, 
and there was the child standing, but looking rather scared. 
A long, loud whoop, along the whole line of horsemen, 
announced the discovery of the child. The little one was 
soon in the arms of its parents, and suffered no inconveni- 
ence from its long exposure. 

From wild animals, although destructive to our flocks 
and herds, we had no personal encounters or attacks. 
•Chastised by the arrows of the Indians and the bullets 
•of the backwoodsmen, they fly instinctively from the pres- 
ence of man. Wolves, bears, and panthers, the two latter 
in small numbers, are but rarely seen. But the large grey 
and black wolf were felt as a severe scourge for many 
years. They devoured great numbers of pigs, sheep, and 
calves. First and last, I have lost more than three hun- 
dred valuable sheep from those fellows, besides the care, 
trouble, and expense they put me to in watching the flocks. 
It is rather a singular fact, that the last wolf known to 
have come into the Settlement, killed my last sheep. For 
thirty years, these vermin made incessant war upon me. 
My successors in sheep-keeping have one enemy the less 
to encounter than I had. 

I once had six large black wolves keeping me closer 
company than I liked, in a lonely prairie, whilst driving in 
a buggy. We had reciprocal fear of each other, and no 
collision took place. As late as 1830, a panther showed 


himself within a few yards of my house, under the follow- 
ing circumstances. I was from home. A favorite pig, of 
a choice breed, was missed. A young hired lad and two 
or three of the children went in search. A rustling in a 
bramble-patch attracted attention. Mrs. Flower, who had 
joined the children, I think, in parting the brambles to 
look in, was startled by some animal rushing out. It 
sprung upon the fence, rested for a second or two, and 
then bounded away. "Look at the tail," said the lad; 
and, in his astonishment, fortunately, forgot to fire, or 
fatal consequences might have followed. A wounded 
panther always turns upon its assailants. 

One adventure with a large black wolf, from its singu- 
larity, may bear to be related. A iriend of mine, with a 
companion, were riding together in a large open prairie, 
one hot summer's day. On one side of them the wood 
was four miles distant, on the other three. As they rode 
up a steep and grassy mound, a wolf was coming up on 
the other side. Both wolf and horsemen met on the top 
with equal surprise, no doubt; for both parties came to a 
sudden halt, gazing at each other. In a moment, the wolf 
was making off for the nearest woods, with the horsemen 
after him at full speed. They soon overtook him, and 
attempted to ride him down. But the horses, perhaps 
from an instinctive fear of his fangs, would never step 
upon him. In this way they continued the chase for a 
long time. At length, the wolf, exhausted and faint, lay 
down. My friend dismounted to dispatch him by a blow 
on the head from his heavily-loaded whip. The horse. 
free from restraint and made frantic by the flies, galloped 


away; my friend's companion riding after, endeavoring to 
catch him and bring him back. My friend was now alone 
with the wolf As he raised his arm, to give the fatal 
blow, the wolf sprang to his feet, with his bristles erect, 
showing all his terrible fangs. Not liking the encounter, 
my friend, stepping backward, endeavored to retreat. Wolf 
would allow of no retreat, but springing at the throat of 
the man, was knocked down by a blow from the heavily- 
loaded whip. Three times were these attacks given and 
received, by wolf and man. At the last blow given, the 
load in the handle of the whip fell out. My friend was 
now without weapon. With great presence of mind, he 
threw himself upon the wolf, seizing him by the nape of 
the neck with one hand ; and throwing upon him the 
whole weight of his body, both came to the ground, man 
on top, still grasping him fast by the skin of his neck. 
Such was the strength of the wolf, that he rose up with 
the weight of the man upon him, walking and staggering 
along, until the disengaged hand of the man pulled up 
one of his legs, and threw him again. This struggle 
between wolf and man, with alternate advantage, con- 
tinued some time, until the companion returned with both 
horses. For a time they were at a loss, being destitute of 
all weapons. At last a small penknife was found, with 
which the wolf was bled to death, by severing his neck- 
vein — my friend holding on like grim death to the last 
moment, his face, in the struggle, often coming in dis- 
agreeable proximity to the jaws of the wolf. 


Marriage Certificates — Average Cost of Marriage — Erecting Log- 
Houses — Farmers Trading down the Mississippi — English Farm- 
Laborers become Substantial Farmers and Merchants in the 
English Settlement — Death of Richard Flower — His Character- 
istics — Frequent Festivities and Family Reunions at his House 
— The Ancestors of the Flowers — Mrs. Richard Flower — The 
Buckinghamshire Party of Emigrants Arrive— German Families 
Come in — The Yorkshire Men — Good Pork and Beef at Albion 
— The Last Ship's -Party Arrive — Travelers Visiting the Settle- 
ment — Mr. Hulme — Mr. Welby writes an Abusive Book — Mr. 
Fearon writes about the Settlement, but never saw It — The 
Thompsons — Mr. Stewart an Edinboro' Man — Mr. D. Constable, 
the Man with a Knapsack and a Cane — An Admirable Charac- 
ter — Good accomplished by Mr. Constable — Sir Thomas Beevoir 
and Lady Beevoir visit Albion — The Beevoir Family in England 
— The Aristocracy of England not a Degenerate Race — Lord 
Frederick's Sermon — The American Clock-Peddler — Defamatory 
Books Published in England — Constitution for a Library — Albion 
in 1822 and i860 — Its Peculiar Characteristics — No Printing-Press, 
no Bank, no Lawyer for Thirty Years — Log-Cabins give way to 
Comfortable Dwellings — Town and County Affairs — The Steady 
March of Improvement in the Settlement — A Bank Established in 
Albion — Two Lawyers settle there — The Doctors — Joel Churchill, 
the "Poor Man's Friend" — Cotton grown in the Settlement at 
one Time— Limits of the English Settlement — Never any Quar- 
rels between the English and Americans — Projected Railroads 
— The Southern Cross Railroad bought by Gen. Pickering — Solid 
Prosperity enjoyed by the Settlement — Annoyances by Insects — 
The "Tires." 


When wealth and its accessories shall have changed 
our simple customs, it may be curious to see how brief 
are the records of our marriage ceremonies, and how small 
their cost. In looking over the marriage certificates, from 
1815 to 1820, the following specimens are literal copies, 
and they certainly have the merit of brevity, if they have 
no other: 

"The within-named persons were joined together on the 
30th September, 18 16. G. M. Smith." 

"Was joined as husband and wife, Samuel Plough and 
Sare Plough by me, March 5, 18 13. William Smith." 

"January ist, 18 19. Then solemnized by matrimony, 
between David Payne and Margaret Stewart. 

"W. Spence, J. P." 

"August 2, 18 1 5. There appeared before me, Jeremiah 
Ballard and Eliza Barney, and was joined in marriage. 

"Seth Gard, J. P., 111. Ter." 

"111. Territory, June 18, 18 16. By authority from you, 
I solemnize rights of matrimony between Samuel Bum- 
bery and Mary Jones. David McGahee." 

"Was married on the 8th February, 1820, Philip Scud- 
more to Ann Stone. MosES Michaels." 

But our magistrates were not always so exact as to 
make any returns. These were the certificates. We will 
now give the fee bills : 

"Marrying License, - $1.00 License, .- $1.00 
Recording Certificates, 12^ Certificate, - 12^2 

Bill Cost, - - 25 Swearing Witness, 12^ 

$io/>^ $1-25" 


The average cost of marriage was one dollar, thirty-one 
and a -fourth cents. As many happy marriages were 
doubtless consummated under our brief and illiterate 
forms, as under the more formal and costly ceremonies 
that will succeed our primitive times. 

The first years of our settlement, from 18 18 to 1825, 
were spent by our settlers in putting up small houses 
(chiefly of logs), and shelter of the same sort for the 
work-horses and other domestic animals used in breaking 
up and fencing in the prairie for the first fields. In about 
three years, a surplus of corn, pork, and beef was obtained, 
but no market. Before they could derive any benefit from 
the sale of their surplus produce, the farmers themselves 
had to quit their farms and open the channels of com- 
merce, and convey their produce along until they found 
a market. At first there were no produce-buyers, and the 
first attempts at mercantile adventures were almost fail- 
ures. In the rising towns, a few buyers began to appear, 
but with too small a capital to pay money, even at the low 
price produce then was. They generally bought on credit, 
to pay on their return from New Orleans. In this way, 
the farmers were at disadvantage; if the markets were 
good, the merchant made a handsome profit. If bad, 
they often had not enough to pay the farmer. Then the 
farmers began to build their own flat-boats, load them 
with the produce of their own growth, and navigate them 
by their own hands. They traded down the Mississippi to 
New Orleans, and often on the coast beyond. Thus were 
the channels of trade opened, and in this way was the 
chief trade of the country carried on for many years. 


Afterward, partly from capital made in the place and 
foreign capital coming in, trade was established in a more 
regular way. The farmer is no longer called from his 
farm, but sells at home to the storekeepers and merchants, 
now found in all the small but growing towns, from ten to 
fifteen miles distant from each other, all over the country. 
They have now sufficient capital to pay for the produce on 
its delivery. In this way the trade established has con- 
tinued, excepting in its increasing magnitude. 

These farm-laborers of England, now substantial farmers 
and merchants in our land, may be considered the bone 
and sinew of our country. When considered, their en- 
larged sphere of action and change of destiny is truly 
wonderful. Once poor laborers, their experience com- 
prised within their parish bounds, or the limits of the 
farm on which they daily toiled for a bare subsistence; 
now farmers themselves in another hemisphere, boat- 
builders, annually taking adventurous trading - voyages 
of over a thousand miles, and many of them becoming 
tradesmen and merchants on a large scale, and command- 
ing an amount of wealth they once never dreamed of 
possessing. And well they deserve their success. They 
have earned it by perseverance and hard labor, flinching 
at nothing. 

My father, Richard Flower, died September 8, 1829, 
aged sixty-eight years. He was a striking and decided 
character, of marked features and imposing mien; hasty 
in temper, decided in speech, and prompt in action. He 
never sought to conceal his thoughts, but gave utterance 
to what he conceived to be the truthful convictions of 


his mind in the strongest language. Such a man could 
never be (what, it is true, he never sought to be) a popu- 
lar man in America. Englishmen, used to free speech at 
home, here uttering their unpremeditated thoughts, are 
apt to give offence. Americans, more guarded and non- 
committal, escape that difificulty. Once convinced of the 
truth of his impressions, no earthly power could turn my 
father from his course. It was his belief in the obliga- 
tion of public worship that induced him to officiate every 
Sunday before other organized societies opened their 
places of worship. Affectionate in his family, and hos- 
pitable to strangers, his mansion was the resort of many 
strangers who visited the Settlement, and the scene of 
frequent festivities and family reunions. He sustained 
every institution, and subscribed liberally to every public 
work that was likely to benefit the Settlement. 

Our ancestors were men of strong and impulsive feel- 
ing. One of them, William Flower, is recorded in print 
and picture in "Foxe's Book of Martyrs," folio edition. He 
is there represented tied to the stake; the faggots piled 
around him; refusing to recant; but offering his hand, 
which the executioner has lopped off; and is holding on 
a pike, as an atonement for an act which he acknowl- 
edged to be wrong; striking a priest with his wood-knife 
whilst officiating at the altar. My mother lived some 
years after my father, at Park House. She was the 
daughter of Edward Fordham of Kelshall, a village on 
the borders of Hertfordshire, near the town of Royston. 
Clustering around the bleak hills of that district, in the 
villages of Sandon, Kelshall, and Therfield, the family of 


Fordhams have long resided. In the wars of the Pro- 
tectorate, they were as numerous as they are now. With 
a company of some seventy or eighty men, all blood-rela- 
tions, and of one name, they joined Cromwell's army. 
Ordered to a ford of a river, there stationed to check the 
advance of the royal troops, they were all killed but one 
man, and he left on the field badly wounded. From this 
one man, the seventy-three uncles and cousins — all Ford- 
hams^ — that made me a farewell visit at my house at Mar- 
den before I sailed for America, all sprang. 

Myself, the eldest son, and my brother, Edward Ford- 
ham Flower, the youngest son — one in the United States, 
the other in England — are the only representatives of our 
family of that generation now living. 

In 1830, a large party arrived from Buckinghamshire, 
England, at our Settlement. They came by way of New 
Orleans, and landed at Shavvneetown. Mr. James Bun- 
tin, a prominent man of the party, is now living with his 
numerous family on, or near, his place, north of Albion 
which he first chose immediately after his arrival. The 
whole party are scattered about the Settlement, all doing 

• Soon after this, several German families came in, and 
have continued to drop in ever since — one or two in 
Albion, but most of them on farms in the country. 
They make very good settlers, and are very good neigh- 
boHS. Quiet, industrious, sober, economical, they seldom 
fail of success. Germans, we call them, although from 
Denmark, Prussia, and Bavaria; just as we, from England, 
Ireland, and Scotland, are called English. By the Ameri- 


cans they are called Dutch, as all persons from the con- 
tinent of Europe are called, who don't come from France, 
or speak pure French. 

A considerable number of emigrants, in addition to 
those already mentioned, came from Yorkshire, England. 
Two brothers, Charles and William Schofield, mechanics 
in Albion, with the families of Nailors and Stanhope, are 
all from Yorkshire. .They are men generally of fair com- 
plexion, light, sandy, or red hair; evidently of that colony 
of Danes who were compelled' by King Alfred, in the 
early period of English history, to remain in their colony 
in Yorkshire. However it might be in those days, York- 
shiremen scatter far and wide now. Strong and efficient 
settlers they make; and I have sometimes thought that 
but for the intermixture of blood by intermarriage, they 
and their descendants would eat out gradually the South- 
erners, made of somewhat softer materials. 

The pork raised in the neighborhood of Albion, for 
several years, maintained a high character, and was sought 
for by buyers. This was chiefly due to an excellent breed 
of hogs that I brought from England. From the fecun- 
dity of the animal, and the circumstance of every man 
breeding more or less hogs, the improvement and exten- 
sion in this breed of animals was more general and rapid 
than of the sheep and cattle I brought. Of the sheep 
imported, the merinos did the best. The breed has spread 
about the country, considerably improving the wool all 
around. Two flocks of pure blood and high quality are 
now in the same prairie, in possession of my two sons, 
Alfred and Camillus Flower. 


Drovers have told me that for several years they gave 
three dollars a head more for the steers in the neighbor- 
hood of Albion than in the settlements around. This was 
entirely owing to the first bull that I brought, and the 
second that Mr. Pickering brought, and gave to the 
Settlement. Dr. Samuel Thompson of Albion, imported 
a noble draught-horse, known in England as the Suffolk 
Punch. This gave great improvement to this class of 
animals. In a settlement of foreign origin, peopled from 
various localities, many novel and useful animals, plants, 
and implements are found. One brings some favorite 
breed of quadrupeds or poultry; another, a culinary plant 
or flower. Again, one brings a new and efficient tool, 
only known, perhaps, in his locality in England. 

About fifteen years ago, the last ship's -party arrived. 
Most of them were assisted by, and some were at the 
sole charge of, my brother, Edward F. Flower, and I am 
afraid, like many another man that does a kind thing, he 
has been allowed to do it at his own cost. The party 
all came safe, and were immediately absorbed, and have 
all don,e well for themselves. - 

From its very infancy, the Settlement has been visited 
by travelers and tourists. Mr. Hulme of Philadelphia, is, 
I think, the first traveler that gave a printed account of 
what he saw. Mr. Welby* was, perhaps, the next. As I 

* "A Visit to North America and the English Settlement in Illinois, etc., 
by Adlard Welby, Esq., South Rauceby, Lincolnshire." 

Mr. Welby traveled in this country in 1820-1, and on his return to Eng- 
land, in 1821, published the account of his travels, and what he had seen. 
The author pretends that he came "solely to this country to ascertain the 
actual prospects of the emigrating agriculturalist, mechanic, and commercial 


rode into Albion (when it was about six log-houses old), 
I saw a handsome phaeton and pair, attended by a groom 
in top-boots and on horseback. An invitation to my house 
was cordially accepted, to the relief of the landlord, whose 
accommodations then were too limited to allow^ of him to 
give a satisfactory reception to such a turnout. Mr. Welby 
spent a day or two with me. There was not much then 
to see. A few log-cabins near to Mr. Birkbeck, a few 
more, the very beginning of Albion, was all to show of 
architectural display. I have no distinct recollection of 
what he said. But I think there was something in his 
book that called forth some strictures from Mr. Birkbeck's 

Mr. Fearon,* has, I think, made mention of the Settle- 
speculator." On the other hand, the book would seem to disclose that his 
real object was to descry the country and discourage the emigration of the 
English to it. It is written in a spirit of mean prejudice and is full of mis- 
representation and abuse. He gives a chapter to an account of his visit to- 
the " English Settlement in the Illinois. " He reached the village after dark, 
and found poor accommodations for his entertainment, which must have put 
him in a bad humor. It was a time when there was an extreme scarcity 
of water in the Settlement. The next morning, he says, he sent to Mr. 
Birkbeck's well for water for his horses, which was refused to him; undoubt- 
edly for the reason that Mr. B. had barely sufficient for his own family. 
He then sent to Mr. Flower, and had better luck. He therefore abuses- 
Birkbeck and praises Flower, who extended to him a degree of politeness- 
to which he proved himself not entitled, as is shown by his misrepresenta- 
tions of the Settlement. Falling in with some shiftless and dissatisfied mem- 
bers of the Colony, he voiced their complaints against Mr. Birkbeck, who 
he arraigns in bitter terms for having held out false inducements to emigrants. 
While speaking of the Settlement as a "bad concern," and saying that it 
was no small pleasure for him to know "that he was in' a situation to get 
away," he alludes in warm terms of the "polite and hospitable attention" 
extended to him by Mr. Flower. 

* Mr. Henry Bradshaw Fearon published, at London, in 1818, "A Narra- 
tive of a Journey through the Eastern and Western parts of America;. 


nient; he never saw it. A Londoner, with city habits, is 
not very well qualified as an explorer in any new country. 
He traveled to Pittsburgh by public conveyance, down the 
Ohio and Mississippi in some river-craft. He knew noth- 
ing practically of the immense regions lying to his right 
hand or to his left. Mr. Fearon was sent out by a few 
families in London, who then thought of coming to Amer- 
ica. He accordingly traveled and made his report, which 
is recorded in his book of travels. With Mr. Samuel 
Thompson, the father-in-law of Mr. Fearon, of London, I 
became acquainted, when last in London, in 1817. Mr. 
Thompson was the head of a religious sect, then called the 
Free-thinking Christians. The opinions of himself and 

together with Remarks on Birkbeck's Notes and Letters." The author was 
never at the English Settlement, but he contents himself by devoting about 
sixty pages of his book to an adverse criticisjn on Mr. Birkbeck's "Letters" 
and " Notes. " The book, as a whole, is a readable one, showing the im- 
pressions which an Englishman formed of the country sixty years ago. 
There will be found in this volume many interesting descriptions of men 
and things. Curiously enough, Mr. Fearon speaks of meeting at Gwathway's 
Hotel, in Louisville, Ky., Lord Selkirk, who was on his "return from his 
unsuccessful expedition in the North- Western Territory." He says he 
obtained for his lordship some Boston papers which were only two months 
old, which afforded him great satisfaction, as he had not heard any intelli- 
gence from Europe for nine months. This is an interesting fact, for it shows 
that Lord Selkirk, on leaving the settlement he had founded on the Red River 
of the North, did not return home by sea from York Factory, but made 
his way by land to Fort St. Anthony — afterward Fort Snelling — and thence 
down the Mississippi River to St. Louis. Lord Selkirk formed his first 
colony in 181 1, which was reinforced by an emigration in l8i6. This colony 
was under the protection of the Hudson- Bay Company. Then came the 
gigantic struggle between the Hudson- Bay and the North-Western Com- 
panies. The latter company undertook to expel Selkirk's colonists. When 
Lord Selkirk, who was then in England, heard of this, he procured permis- 
sion from the British Government to take a military force from Canada to 
Red River, to protect his settlers. With a company of regular soldiers of 
the British army, and a certain number of volunteers, he returned with them 


followers are to be found in his many published works. 
Radical in politics, heretical in religion (according to the 
orthodox standard), Mr. Thompson and some members of 
his family and church then thought to leave England. 
America generally, and our Settlement in particular, at 
that time engaged their attention. So nearly were the 
minds of himself and friends made up for a removal, that 
they sent money by me to buy land. The land was 
bought. Fortunately for them, I think, they changed their 
minds, and never came. 

In after years, Mr. Thompson's two sons, F. B. Thomp- 
son, the younger, and Sam'l Thompson, the elder brother, 
both came out as permanent settlers, and inherited their 
father's land and property in Albion. Mr. Stewart, an 

to Red River, and drove out the representatives of the North-Western Com- 
pany. After this had been accomplished, finding his colony weakened by 
the troubles it had gone through, he determined to return to Europe to beat 
up recruits for another colony. The original colonists had been mostly 
Scotch, but now he turned his attention to procuring protestant Swiss, mostly 
from the Jura. This last colony, having been organized, sailed for York 
Factory in 1821. But in the meantime, and without the knowledge of the 
colonists, before they had taken their departure, Lord Selkirk had died at 
Pau, in France. This was a fatal blow to the success of the colony. 
Deprived of the fostering care of the founder, and with unlooked for and 
terrible hardships, and in the presence of frightful sufferings, the colonists 
were obliged to totally abandon their enterprise. There was no ship to take 
them back by the way of the sea from York Factory; the only possible 
escape was to the nearest settlement in the United States. Their attention 
was undoubtedly directed to this means of deliverance by the fact that Lord 
Selkirk had taken that route when he left the country in 1818. Many of these 
colonists afterward settled in the Galena lead mines and became excellent 
citizens, distinguished by probity and honor, industry and thrift. A son of 
one of the prominent colonists has written a very interesting account of the 
colony of 1821.* 

* See article "The Red-River Colony," by Brevet-Maj.-Gen. Augustus L. Chetlain of 
Chicago, published in "Harper's Magazine," for December, 1878. 



Edinboro' man, and a well-educated gentleman, after a 
wide circuit by Springfield, Jacksonville, St. Louis, and 
Vandalia came upon us from the west. Mr. Stewart did 
me the favor of a short visit. He took a more compre- 
hensive view than most travelers. He published a large 
volume of travels, much appreciated in England as a store- 
house of facts and statistics. He gave us, I think, a- 
favorable review. 

Among the many tourists, that, from time to time, 
visited our Settlement, one of a class, common in Europe, 
but rarely, if ever, seen in America, appeared among us in 
1824. As a pedestrian tourist, performing all his journeys 
on foot, he could see more of persons and places than if 
conveyed by stage or carried on horseback. 

On a summer afternoon, a gentleman of middle age, and 
middle stature, with a small knapsack on his back, and a 
light walking-stick in hand, came to Park House, and intro- 
duced himself as Mr. D. Constable from England. I had 
a slight knowledge of the name, and gained a complete 
knowledge of the family from his brother, who visited me 
some years afterward. We all spent a pleasant evening 
together. The next day he passed on, as unostentatiously 
as he came, to see other people and other places. He 
spent several days in the Settlement, staying a little time 
with those of congenial minds and similar tastes; and, no 
doubt, during those few days he obtained more informa- 
tion and correct impressions, than more pretentious and 
less observant travelers. The most remarkable thing about 
Mr. Constable was his unremarkableness. His dress and 
address were as plain and simple as they could be, not to 


be singular — nothing absolutely wanting; but nothing 
superfluous could be detected about his dress or personal 
appointments. A superficial observer would pass Mr. Con- 
stable by, as an ordinary man, almost unnoticed. In 
conversation he did not press inquiry, or argue strongly; 
and never followed argument into controversy. He did 
not much care for what you thought, but liked to hear 
what you knew; and would freely give you any informa- 
tion that he thought would be of service to you. But with 
all this simplicity, he possessed a talent of discovering 
what his companions knew and thought, quicker than 
most men. This he could generally do from passing 
remarks, or replies to casual questions. If not successful, 
he had recourse to a little expedient, that never failed to 
give the tone of mind of all his companions, if there were 
a dozen of them. In his little knapsack, besides his two 
shirts, one handkerchief, one pair of socks, razor, and soap, 
he carried a numerous pack of cards. Each card had on 
one side a portrait, and on the other a short biography of 
the person represented. Both men and women, eminent in 
any way, were here pictured; and, according to the opinion 
he wished to elicit, he made his selection of the cards — say 
a dozen or more; and, taking some favorable opportunity 
of showing, perhaps to some member of the party, a por- 
trait in which he or she would feel an interest, it would 
naturally pass from hand to hand, and the others would be 
asked for, and would receive some comment; some remark 
in approbation or censure of the life or opinions of the 
person represented, would escape the spectators.' If he 
wished more distinctly to learn the religious or political 


opinions of any one of the party, he would show portraits 
of some eminent divines, and of Voltaire, Rousseau, Pitt, 
Fox, Mirabeau, Paine, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, and so 
on, with others famous in science, or notorious for crime. 
Thus, in five minutes from some run of argument or casual 
remark, he would be in possession of the opinions, predi- 
lections, and prejudices of all his associates; and this was 
no small acquisition to one who wished to pass on his way 
smoothly, without conflict with his fellows. He would 
enter the humblest cabin and chat with its inmates. Trav- 
eling in this unostentatious way, he saw more of the whole 
people. It was not his fault if his entertainers did not 
gain something, however short his stay. If he saw a sick 
child, he would name some remedy or palliative within its 
parents' reach. If the woman was cooking, he was likely 
to tell her of some simple preparation for a palatable dish, 
or point out some plant that she had never thought of 
•cooking before. For he was a vegetarian, or ate little or 
no animal food. If a man was at work with a clumsy tool, 
lie would show him how it might be improved, and often 
sit down and whittle it into right shape. Constable was 
of the utilitarian school, and thought more of individual 
than political reform. He thought that extravagance in 
one part of the community made want in the other; if all 
the misspent labor in the fooleries of fashion and useless 
ornahientation was directed to the creation of something 
useful or necessary, this change would of itself go far to 
remove the suffering from want. He lived up to his opin- 
ions. As a bachelor, he occupied but two rooms, one for 
a parlor, the other for a bed-room. In England, it is not 


the habit to use by day the same room that you sleep in 
by night. The Enghsh bed -room is strictly a private 
room, never entered, excepting by special invitation ; per- 
haps to see some friend in sickness, incapable of leaving 
his bed. I do not recollect in all England that I ever saw 
a bed in a sitting-room. In his parlor were a few chairs, a 
table, and a shelf of books. On the sill of the window, 
near to which he usually sat, was a small pulley, over which 
ran a cord, with a hook at one end. About noon, at the 
sound of a well-known voice of a boy from a neighboring 
tavern, he lowered his hook into the street, and pulled up 
a small basket, containing a loaf of bread, a pint of beer, 
a slice of butter or cheese, a lettuce, or some vegetable or 
fruit in season. His simple repast over, as the boy returned, 
he lowered his basket and empty pewter-pot, both to be 
filled and drawn up for his next day's dinner. His break- 
fast and evening meal — ^a cup of tea and piece of dry 
toast — he prepared himself at his own fire. Whatever 
was left of his income at the end of the year, he gave 
away, either to relieve individual wants, or to strengthen 
some benevolent institution. He belonged to no political 
party, nor to any religious sect; yet was alive to every 
proposed reform, political or social; this led him to view 
with interest Harmony, at which he spent some time, at 
Rapp's exit and Owen's advent. 

A few years afterward. Sir Thomas Beevoir and Lady 
Beevoir of Beevoir Castle, England, made us a visit. 
Their mode of traveling was by a light phaeton, drawn by 
a well-matched pair of black ponies. These Sir Thomas 
drove from Washington City to Albion, and afterward 


across the state of Illinois to St. Louis, and from thence 
descended to New Orleans. He was unattended by any 
servant. He walked to Park House immediately after his 
arrival at Albion, and introduced himself. At his depart- 
ure, on his arriving at a very tall white gate, that stood 
between the lawn and the park, to the surprise of every 
body, he lightly laid his hands on the top bar, and with 
the greatest ease sprang over the gate without opening it. 
On relating the circumstance to a neighbor, a Norfolk 
man, who formerly lived in the vicinage of the Beevoir 
family — "Ah!" said he, "it is just like them. The Beevoir 
family are all muscular and long-limbed." He then related 
that at the parish church he attended, the living had been 
given to one of the Beevoir family, who officiated every 
Sunday. "He was a remarkable man," said he; "his arms 
were so long that when he stood upright he could with 
ease button up his own knee-breeches, which are just at 
the join of the knee and a little below. He delighted in 
all country sports, but his particular fancy was the ring. A 
strong man himself, a well-trained pugilist, his great length 
of arm gave him such an advantage, that but few adver- 
saries dare encounter him; but withal, a well-educated 
man and a good preacher." This discrepancy of avoca- 
tions, not unfrequently found in the preachers of the 
English Episcopal church, may be accounted for by the 
law of primogeniture, giving to the eldest son the estates, 
and often the presentation of one or more parochial liv- 
ings. In these aristocratic families, the younger sons are 
provided for by appointments in the church, army, and 


Those who suppose the aristocracy of England to be a 
degenerate race are greatly mistaken. They are almost 
always men of education, and in most of them their phy- 
sical powers are well developed. The fancy and the cleri- 
cal characters, united in the same person, is by no means 
uncommon in England. I was once much struck by the 
variety of characters assumed and well -performed by a 
scion "of a noble house in a few hours. We had attended 
in the morning the races in the Park. Lord Frederick 
rode his own horse in jocky costume. His light weight 
and rather diminutive stature fitted him for the office. 
Being his own jockey, secured him from those tricks to 
which gentlemen of the turf are always exposed. He was 
a horse-dealer as well as a racer; and by his good judg- 
ment in both added to his slender fortune. His friend and 
patron, at whose house we were, had presented him with 
the living. So, between the profits of his stable and his 
clerical salary, he had pocket-money enough to appear in 
genteel society. The party was large at dinner. Lord 
Frederick carved the game and did the honors of the table, 
taking his share, but not immoderately, of wine; and bear- 
ing his part in convivial after-dinner conversation. It was 
about eleven o'clock. Lord Frederick's chair was vacant. 
"Where is Lord Fred..''" asked one. Our host, pointing 
to a distant corner, said, "It's Saturday night; he is writ- 
ing his sermon for tomorrow." Some of the party had the 
curiosity to go to church to hear the sermon. The usual 
country congregation assembled, with a few of literary 
acquirements and good critics. The sermon was faultless, 
as was its delivery, suited to the plain people, the bulk of 


the congregation, as well as those of higher culture, from 
the purity of its diction, with a spirit of fervent piety run- 
ning through the whole that touched the most devout. 

The clock-peddlers of America perhaps have equal abil- 
ity, and the merit of more mother-wit. They can out-trade 
the shrewdest, shuffle a pack of cards with any man, and, 
whenever the occasion requires, can preach a better ser- 
mon, and offer a more fervent prayer, than many regular 
preachers. I think there must have been something origi- 
nal in our Settlement, to attract so many tourists of 
original and eccentric character, both men and women, as 
it did. To portray them all faithfully would take a 
volume of itself 

Maiiy books were published in England by real and pre- 
tended travelers, some of them very defamatory; others of 
so low and scurrilous a character, that they had but a 
limited circulation and did us but little harm. No two 
men have been more freely criticised than Mr. Birkbeck 
and myself. Of this we did not complain. Neither our 
actions nor our words were hid under a bushel. If notori- 
ety had been our object, we certainly attained it. Some 
friends in England, with ourselves, were anxious, for the 
good of the Settlement, that a public library should exist. ' 
Mr. Edward King Fordham of Royston, my uncle, gave 
several volumes; Mr. Samuel Thompson contributed his 
works. But the most valuable contribution was from Mr. 
Liddard — many volumes of the arts and sciences, full of 
valuable plates. To other gentlemen w.e were indebted 
for a variety of volumes, which each donor considered of 
some peculiar value. One of our first cares was to follow 


the intentions of the donors and place them in a pubHc 
Hbrary. But to establish an available library in a new- 
settlement, in a wild'country, is no easy matter. The chief 
difficulty lies in the care of the books, no fund being pro- 
vided for the salary of a librarian. If placed in a public 
room, they are maltreated, and often borrowed never to 
be returned. If joined to a reading-room, their fate is no 
better. The scattered settlers around are too distant for 
them to be available. The first inhabitants of a young 
town are too much pressed by active and laborious employ- 
ments for time or wish to read. Sedentary employments 
are not the order of the day. All that seems to be wanted, 
for years, is a ready-reckoner, a pocket-companion, or an 
interest table; or more than all, a few volumes of law, for 
reference. Our library soon got dispersed. After a time 
individuals boldly assumed their ownership. This brought 
on contentions; legal decision restored them. 

The town of Albion, in its early days, was rather 
belligerent. In 1822, we find it quiet, and only between 
one hundred, and one hundred and seventy or eighty 
inhabitants, — rather small to be dignified as a town, and a 
county-town, too; and it is not a large town now, in i860, 
being somewhat under a thousand inhabitants. But 
Albion has had, from the first, some peculiar character- 
istics. In its early days, it had a larger proportion of 
brick and stone houses than is usual in young American 
towns. There have been but few, if any, copartnerships 
in trade. You never see in Albion "Mr. & Co." It is 
Joel Churchill, George Harris, Matthew Smith, and so on. 
Every tub stands on its own bottom. Americans, so self- 


reliant in all other things, seem to want the support of 
numbers in trade. Mr. Hook would hardly venture his 
name alone as storekeeper in a new American town. His 
card would certainly be^Hook, Fish & Co. Mr. Foot 
would feel diffident of asking an extension of time and 
amount of the wholesale house; but who would think of 
refusing any request from that well-known house of "Foot, 
Fryingpan & Fiddle." One thing may be said in the favor 
of Albion: No mercantile house ever lost a dollar by an 
Albion store. 

No other county-town. I presume, in the State, has had 
the singularity to exist for more than thirty years, without 
a printing-press, a bank, or an attorney's office, if we 
except about two years residence of Judge Wattles. 

The numerous log-cabins, to be found in all western 
towns, are now cleared away, and comfortable dwellings 
stand in their stead. Ten well-stocked stores distribute 
supplies to the neighboring farmers, in place of two or 
three small stocks of goods, that could only be disposed 
of by giving extended credit. The mechanical trades 
once feebly practised, are much strengthened and ex- 
tended. The wagon and plow business, carried on by 
Charles and William Schofield, and by John Johns, Alex- 
ander Stewart, Elijah Chisholm, supply the country, far 
and wide, with wagons, carts, and plows. The clothing 
business is carried on with great spirit by Mr. Dalby and 
Mr. French. The diminutive needle and slender thread, 
industriously plied for some years, have built one or two 
good houses, and supplied their owners with sufficient 
incomes to enjoy them. Mr. French has, I believe, fol- 


lowed the universal instinct of man, by abandoning his 
sedentary trade, and recreates himself by cultivating a 
small piece of land, by his own hand, in the neighbor- 
hood of town. Both Mr. Dalby and Mr. French have, 
during their busiest time of life, cultivated their own good 
gardens, abounding with fine vegetables, and fruits, and 
many choice flowers. 

The public as well as the private business of the town 
and county is kept in a satisfactory state. In the first 
years of the Settlement, the public business of the county 
was rather loosely conducted, and the county deep in debt. 
But for the last twenty years, public business has been 
punctually and promptly performed, and the records of 
the county kept in order for ready reference. This is due 
to the good administration of the county affairs by Walter 
L. Mayo, Esq., who is said to be one of the best, if not 
the very best, county-clerks to be found in the State. 
The gatherings of the people from the country are now 
marked by decorum, quietude, and respectability. There 
js no display of luxury in town or county, and no desti- 
tution. Of the Settlement, as it was once called, there 
is now no definite bounds; it is intermixed with other 
settlements. The farmers in the country, and the trades- 
men of the town, have exhibited one steady march of 
progress, slow, continuous, and sure. Absence of specu- 
lation, and the solid effect from long-continued industry, 
is the great feature of the English Settlement. The 
progress at first was slow, and the swell of improvements 
kept such even pace with each other, that advance was 
scarcely perceptible. Comparing the state of things every 


five years, the advance is very marked. But so gradual 
has been the process, we can scarcely tell how those 
who were once the poorest are now the richest. Men, 
once without a dollar, and many of them owing for their 
passage across the sea, are now the largest land -owners 
and property-holders in the county. 

But a change is working, and the little peculiarities of 
the town will soon be obliterated. Under the banking- 
law of the State, Albion has now a bank — a sort of spirit- 
ual affair, but reversing the order of spiritual manifesta- 
tions — its invisible spirit residing in Albion, its body must 
be in some other sphere. Its notes may circulate in the 
moon, but never show their face in Albion ; for every such 
oftence would be punished by transmutation into metal. 

Two gentlemen of the legal profession have, at length, 
had the temerity to settle in Albion. The professors of 
medicine have increased. Of doctors, where there was 
once one, there are now four. Mr. Archibald Spring was, 
for many years, the only medical man, enjoying an exten- 
sive practice. Dr. Welshman from Warwickshire, England, 
a man of experience and skill as physician and surgeon, 
member of the Royal College of Surgeons of London, 
also settled in Albion. His residence was short ; for the 
same disorder, the erysipelas, carried off Dr. Spring and 
Dr. Welshman within a few days of each other. Dr. 
Samuel and Dr. F. B. Thompson then succeeded to the 
practice of the county, and continue at this time as resi- 
dents of Albion, and practising physicians. To them is 
added Dr. Francis Dickson. Dr. Lowe, representing the 
herbal branch of medicine, is also in full practice, a resi- 
dent of Albion. 


Mr. Joel Churchill is the only one of the three original 
merchants of Albion now living. He may be said to be 
the father of the trade. By his liberal dealing, and indul- 
gence to many of the poorest settlers in early days, their 
path to competence and comfort was rendered easy and 
smooth. His kindness in this way was at the time appre- 
ciated ; I recollect hearing poor settlers frequently speak 
of him as the "poor man's friend." Mr. Churchill held 
the office of postmaster for many years, to the satisfac- 
tion of the whole country. Many a poor farmer, who 
could not muster his quarter-dollar to pay his foreign 
letter, was patiently waited on for years, until he was 
able to discharge his postage-bill. The whole country 
was accommodated; the postal-department always settled 
with, no complaint could be made either of incompetency, 
neglect, or defalcation. Yet, at the commencement of Mr. 
Pierce's Democratic career, he was displaced, for political 
considerations alone. 

During the first ten years of the Settlement, there was 
a great deal of cotton grown. I had a cotton-gin, for 
the accommodation of the country, which was kept in 
full operation for several seasons. The soil and climate 
seemed to be pretty good for it, and many fair crops 
were raised. It was chiefly grown by southern settlers 
for their own use. As southerners grew more scarce, and 
northerners more plenty, the cultivation declin-ed, and has 
ceased now altogether. 

In the western part of Wabash County, then a part of 
Edwards County, a large tract of land was bought by 
Mr. Adam Corey, which has since been settled by fami- 
lies from England and Scotland. 


The heart of the Settlement, taking Albion for its cen- 
tre, may be said to extend ten miles north and seven 
miles south; between the Little Wabash on the west and 
the Bonpas Creek on the east, a breadth of about twelve 
miles; within these limits, the great majority are English 
settlers, but more than as many Europeans beyond these 
bounds make up for the number of Americans within. 
The general peace of the Settlement has never been dis- 
turbed by quarrels between Englishmen and natives, as 
such. We were never a close settlement, as the Harmon- 
ites or Shakers. We never sought or in any way monopo- 
lized the county- offices or the magistracy. But for the 
period, when Mr. Pickering was in the Legislature, our 
senators and representatives have all been natives. Peace- 
able and cordial intercourse has been 'maintained between 
the English and American settlers, excepting at the con- 
vention times, and for a short time after, when political 
excitement added virulence to private feud. 

In the year 1836, a charter for a railroad, granted by 
the legislature, from Alton to Mt. Carmel, was accepted 
by the people, and a company organized. In Indiana, a 
company was formed to continue the road to New Albany, 
at the falls of the Ohio. The road w^as afterward relin- 
quished to the State, and known as the Southern Cross 
Railroad. The State of Illinois, after expending between 
three and four hundred thousand dollars, sold out all its 
interest in this, as well as every other State work. That 
State interest was bought by Gen. William Pickering, 
through whose exertions a new company was formed, 
uniting the two companies into one under the title of 


the Alton, Mt. Carmel and New-Albany Railroad. I was 
president of the Illinois company for its first three years. 
When the work was commenced by the State, a heavy 
expenditure was made near Albion, on a deep-cut. 

The number of laborers employed, the money expended, 
and the hope of a speedy termination of the work, made, 
for a time, everything very lively, and landed property 
advanced; but not so much so as in more speculative 
places. The working of the road brought in many set- 
tlers. Irish laborers, proverbially turbulent, surrounded 
as they were by a sober population, were themselves quiet 
and well behaved. During the year they were at work, 
I don't recollect a disturbance of any kind. This road, 
for three years, gave me a considerable expenditure of 
time and mone}^ An appropriation of land for this road 
was twice passed in the senate, but lost in the house by 
six votes; and subsequently in the senate by one vote. 

There are few settlements that have enjoyed such solid 
prosperity; but we had to endure, during the first three 
years, many serious annoyances from minor causes, then 
seriously felt, but now unknown. Insects, and particu- 
larly mosquitoes, were very numerous and dreadfully 
annoying. The bite in its effect resembled more the 
sting of a bee. Our system was inflammatory. The 
strong English constitution, built up in a cool climate, 
had not then been reduced from the exhausting effects 
of the great heat experienced in the American summers. 
For the first two months after my arrival in the prairies, 
the mosquito- bites on my legs inflamed and became 
irritable sores, preventing me from walking, at a time 


when my utmost activity was needed. Now, the change 
of constitution is so complete that a mosquito-bite leaves 
no inflammation. The English constitution seems to last 
about two years. During that time, the Englishman bears 
the heat of summer and the cold of winter better than 
the natives. After that time, a change takes place; we 
feel heat less, but are much more sensible to cold. The 
acclimation, or changing of the constitution under change 
of climate, sometimes culminates in fever, sometimes by 
th& breaking out of many painful boils. This change also 
assumes another form, in which no decided disease can 
be traced. It is a long period of listlessness, an indis- 
position to all action; and this longer probation of weari- 
ness and weakness, without any decided pain, accom- 
plishee the change as completely as a violent fever or a 
painful eruption. The Americans have a most expressive 
word for this indescribable feeling- — it is the "tires". 
"How is such a one.''" "Oh! he has got the tires." 
After these inflictions are over, with moderate and regu- 
lar living, the huma.n constitution and climate act har- 
moniously together. 


Difficulty in Establishing Schools — A certain Density of Population 
Necessary — In Town or Village of Spontaneous Growth — Oswald 
W^arrington keeps School at Albion in its Earliest Days — Eng- 
lishmen and New Englanders build a School-House near Albion 
— A Colored Man Assists, but his Children are not Allowed to 
go to School — Another School-House — The Scene at a Country 
School— The Little Urchin at School— The Older Scholars— The 
Log School-House on the Frontier an Interesting Object — Con- 
trasts with the Crowded City-School — Permanent Brick School- 
House at Albion — Influences of the School on the Backwoods- 
men — The Free-School System in Illinois — Statistics of Educa- 
tion in Edwards County — Agricultural Fair at Albion in 1858 — 
Splendid Display. 

In all new countries there is a difficulty in establish- 
ing schools. The first inhabitants, the backwoods hunters, 
whose cabins are five, ten, and twenty miles apart, can 
have none. Their mode of life requires no education in 
the scholastic meaning of the term. Their habits are 
independent of literary acquirements, and their children 
grow up without knowing how to cast up the most sim- 
ple sum by the rules of arithmetic, or write a word, or 
read a sentence. Yet some of these untaught men, by 
some complex mental process of reason and arithmetic, 
arc capable of arriving at correct results sometimes more 
speedily than a scholar in figures. Some of the station- 
ary or farming class, generally poor, and settled individ- 
ually, live long enough to bring up a family without any 


education. In such cases, it is when the country has not 
filled up rapidly, and they have been left standing in 
their solitary situations for a number of years. In settle- 
ments of more rapid growth, the school has to bide its 
time. In a country which, to the eye, is pretty well set- 
tled, oftentimes no school-house appears. 

Standing in the centre of a moderate-sized prairie, the 
eye may trace a number of fine farms on the edge of 
the timber, with houses perhaps a mile apart, and this line 
of farms may extend for many miles, and yet the inhabi- 
tants not be near enough to reach the benefit of a school. 
There are many elegible situations in the open prairie, a 
mile or two from the timber. When these are occupied, 
then school-houses immediately appear. There must be 
a certain density of population before schools can exist. 
No matter what laws may exist on the subject, or what 
school-fund may lie in the treasury of the State, if there 
are not children sufficient within a mile of a school-house, 
there can be no school. 

As I have heard, a man of some eminence and ability, 
from the East, came into the State, to propose to the 
legislature an efficient system of State education. By 
the time he had proceeded to the large prairies that lie 
in the middle of the State, he saw that unless there was 
some way devised for inducing farmers to live contigu- 
ous to each other, there could be no schools. So he at 
once postponed his plan, and either went or sent to 
Texas, and procured a considerable quantity of osage- 
orange seed, and opened a large nursery of osage-orange 
plants, for hedges. By this means, he thought that he 


was doing more for the cause of education than by pro- 
posing the best educational scheme where it could not 
be applied. 

In a town or village, however humble, a school is soon 
got up, and is often of spontaneous growth. If there are 
only a half-score families, a school is easily assembled, 
and a suitable teacher is often found on the spot. It 
was so in Albion, in its earliest days. An inhabitant 
from a populous town in England, with a large family 
and limited means, opened school. He was one of those 
persons often found in new settlements, a man of town 
habits, and unsuited to country life. With him, the boys 
got a common-school education. In writing he excelled, 
and there are many men who owe their good and legi- 
ble writing to their early instruction at the school of Mr. 
Oswald Warrington, who, I am happy to say, is now liv- 
ing, his head white with age, a respectable tradesman of 
Cincinnati, Ohio. 

The next school was in the country, some three miles 
from Albion, built after the manner that schools were 
then, and are still built in country places. Four or five 
English farmers and two or three New Englanders, liv- 
ing in what was then close neighborhood, none being 
more than a mile from the common centre, assembled 
at an appointed time. Several driving their ox-teams, 
and more with axes, went to a neighboring wood (con- 
gress land, of course), prepared the timber, and laid it in 
its place. The raising was performed in the usual man- 
ner by the voluntary and united labor of neighboring 
farmers who had families to send to the school. A mas- 


ter was speedily found and installed; a young man of 
slender frame and town habits, a good penman and good 
at figures. The school went into immediate operation, 
was long carried on under different masters, and, I believe, 
is in existence at this day. This school has been carried 
on under the simple rules of its original builders, one of 
which was that those who labored in its first erection, 
should have a preference in sending their children in case 
of competition. One little circumstance, connected with 
this affair should not be omitted, as characteristic of the 
times we live in. Among those invited to assist in build- 
ing the school-house, was a neighboring farmer, a colored 
man, powerful and dexterous in the use of the axe. He 
cheerfully acceeded, and gave his full share of the labor. 
When the school was built, and the master about to enter 
on his duties, the colored farmer was politely informed 
that he must not think of sending any one of his chil- 
dren to school, for they were not of the right complexion. 
A century hence, perhaps both our prejudice and sense 
of justice may be open to criticism. 

The third school-house built, I think, was a few miles 
north of Albion, and deeper in the country. In passing 
along the road, I observ^ed, to my right hand in the woods, 
a solitary school-house, but no dwellings in sight. I have 
seen many such and wondered where the scholars came 
from. On closer observation, I have found these school- 
houses situated centrally and in the right place. Of the 
one I had passed, I found there were three farms within 
a- quarter of a mile, five within a half-mile, and eight 
within the radius of a mile. Before the teacher arrives, 


children of all ages are found assembled about the house 
in high exchange. Some are chasing each other round 
the house; others at hide-and-seek among the trees; an- 
other group watching a dog barking at a squirrel up a 
tree; some sit on the doorstep, cracking nuts. The girls 
in little groups, chatting confidentially to each other, and 
one or two, more careful than the rest, conning their les- 
sons in the silent and nearly vacant school-house. On 
the arrival of the teacher, they rush in, make a slight 
obeisance to the teacher, and take their places in silence. 
They are evidently emulous of each other. The favorite 
exercises seem to be short recitations or spelling. And 
this they do, the boys especially, in a full, strong voice, 
not always harmonious. The countenances of all are 
bright with excitement. Their clean- washed faces and 
hands, their coarse garments tidy and neat, give to each 
individual a self-confidence sufficiently apparent. 

A little urchin on the floor seems out of place, and 
looks different from the others; traces of tears are on his 
dirty little face, he looks lost and wonderingly around. 
"What do you do here.'*" says the teacher, not unkindly. 
"Oh, sir," says his sister, "he cried so to come; mother 
said he might this once." Before the morning is out, he 
is seen trying to make marks on the dust of the floor, 
with his tiny finger, in imitation of his sister on the slate, 
and by-and-by laid away in a corner, fast asleep. 

A little after school has begun, two tall, stout chaps 
enter, men grown, take their seats, and begin conning 
their lessons from their school-books, as the children are 
doing. Who are they.-* They are two of that class 


brought up in the sohtude of the wilderness without a 
chance of learning a letter. They are now endeavoring to 
regain their lost time at the first school-house within their 
reach, with equal diligence, but more painful effort, than is 
given by their young compeers. 

Masters in our first country schools have often told me 
that they have had some scholars older than themselves. 
The school over, a general gambol ensues, and the child- 
ren, dividing into two or three groups, take their separate 
ways. Subdividing again, they follow the scarce percepti- 
ble tracks made by their little naked feet, and individually 
arrive at their distant homes. In this way it is that the 
first school-houses spring up; and as little neighborhoods 
are formed, so they arise all over the country. 

The erecting of a little log school-house in a frontier 
settlement is to me a far more interesting object than a 
Girard College, with all its costly and elaborate domes 
and columns. They are the seed-beds of knowledge, 
giving permanence to the growth of our organized and 
complex system of society. The young children are 
redeemed from the dullness that must in some degree 
exist in isolated families, and are brought into social life. 
With many of their own age, they mingle with children 
older and younger, of various moods and tempers. An 
epitome of the world they are destined to live in. Their 
sympathies are awakened, their manners improved, and a 
thirst for knowledge is often engendered by the key to its 
treasures being placed in their hand. The amount of 
learning may not be much, but the avenues to knowledge 
are opened, never more to be closed to any, and by some 


to be followed to the highest sources of light and intelli- 
gence. Small as the amount of learning may be, in the 
fertile soil on which it is sown it is all retained. For these 
little country children, full of health and strength, accept 
the little intellectual training in their airy school, as an 
agreeable occupation, and to some as a positive recreation. 
What a pleasing contrast this with the children of a 
crowded city school. There, many of them in feeble 
health, confined in a faetid atmosphere, with their attention 
far too severely taxed, their labors too long continued, 
return to their tasks with reluctance, and feel them as a 
hated toil. 

It was in 1837 or 1838 that the first permanent school- 
house was erected in Albion. A good two -story brick - 
building. It has been carried on under various masters, 
and is now used as a free-school. 

When the new country school has been in operation a 
single week, its influence is felt, both on parents and 
children. Occasionally will be seen a boy ten or twelve 
years old leaning against a door-post, intently gazing in 
upon the scholars at their lessons; after a time he slowly 
and moodily goes away. He does not look like the other 
children; his dress is less tidy, his hair uncombed, and 
perhaps his face and hands unwashed. Neither has he the 
bright and self-confident look of the scholars. He 
belongs, perhaps, to some farmer's family residing outside 
the radius of the one- mile school -circle, or what is more 
likely to some, backwood's hunter within the circle. The 
solitary boy feels his exclusion from some benefit enjoyed 
by all the other children, giving to them a bond of fellow- 


ship. This feeling soon ripens into an intense desire to go 
to school, or to quit the neighborhood and go deeper into 
the wilderness, far away from an odious comparison. A 
crisis has now arrived in the fate of this backwoods 
family. All other influences of encroaching civilization it 
has withstood, but the influence of the school can no 
longer be resisted. To see all the children of his neigh- 
bors advancing in their own self-respect, and in the respect 
of others, whilst his own family are left on the dead level 
of ignorance, on which only a few days before they all 
rested together, creates a feeling he can not stand. He 
can no longer say, I am as good as you. He feels that he 
is a notch below them; and, if he decides to remain, he 
must send his children to school and join the ranks of 
civilization. The only other alternative, and the one most 
usually taken, is to dive deeper into the forest, and in its 
solitude regain his equanimity. 

Thus it was for years that education struggled on. In a 
few more years the people demanded the distribution of 
the school-fund. This temporary expedient was soon 
found insufficient for any permanent good. Within these 
five years the whole system has been changed, and educa- 
tion is supported by State -and -county tax on property; 
and this system of free-schools for all seems to have given 
a new impulse to education all over the State. Imperfect 
as this law confessedly is, under proper modifications, 
would reduce by one-half the thirty-five thousand officers 
now required for its administration; but the people having 
taken to it with such hearty good-will, the superintendent 
forbears to ask a hasty repeal of the law. "Scarcely two 


years have elapsed" says the report, "since the free-school 
system went into operation in this State, and in that brief 
period it has nearly swept the entire field of the thousands 
of private schools that then existed. Truly, those who 
still cling so tenaciously to the old feudal and anti-Ameri- 
can system of educating the rich alone, will soon have to 
abandon their ground for the only just principle, of 
making the property of the State educate the children of 
the State, has nearly taken entire possession of the public 

1 now make an extract from the "Biennial Report of 

the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of 

Illinois for 1858," which gives the statistics of education 

in Edwards County, the smallest county in the State: 

"Whole number of schools in the County, - - 47 

The average number of months taught, - - 6 

The number of male teachers, - - - - 36 

The number of female teachers, - - - - 23 

Average salaries of male teachers, - per month, $25 
Average salaries of female teachers, per month, $15 
Number of male scholars, _ _ _ - 1166 

Number of female scholars, _ _ - - 896 

Number of new school-houses built during the year, 1 1 
Number of school-houses, - - - - - 25 

Number of white persons under twenty-one, - 31 10 
Number of white persons between five and 

twenty-one, ------ 1762 

Amount paid to teachers, _ _ - - $3447 
For building, repairing, and renting school-houses, $1454 
Whole amount received for school purposes, - $4529 


Whole amount expended for school purposes, $5116 

Whole number of colored persons in the County 

under twenty-one years of age, - - 34 

Whole number of colored persons in the County 

between the ages of five and twenty-one, 21" 

There is nothing more than the common-school educa- 
tion existing in the little county of Edwards. The num- 
ber of children attending school is large in proportion to 
the population. 

There appears to be no mention of any colored scholars. 

The very different deportment of the people at their 
assemblages now, when compared with their behavior at 
the gatherings on public occasions, mentioned in the early 
part of this history, chiefly induces me to mention the 
annual fair held at Albion, October, i860, at which I was 
present. Edwards County was among the first, if not the 
very first county in the State, to institute a fair for the 
exhibition of live-stock and farm -produce. I think the 
first exhibition took place at Albion in the fall of 1838. 
The show of cattle, sheep, and hogs was then respecta- 
ble, including several animals of especial merit. A year 
or two afterward, specimens of the vegetables of the farm 
and flowers from the garden were added. For several 
years, it did not increase, and seemed to excite but little 
interest. It faded away and was discontinued. 

In 1858, new life was infused, and a more regular organ- 
ization effected. A neat little fair-ground, enclosing a 
pleasant grove of six acres, was well prepared and en- 
closed, furnished with all the appliances necessary for the 
exhibition of live-stock, farm and garden products, and 


specimens in various branches of industry and art. The 
arrangements for the comfort and refreshment of the 
spectators were also complete. The list of premiums was 
varied and numerous. It was immediately sustained by 
an excellent exhibition in every department, and met by 
the public with cheerful good-will, and a liberal patron- 

This year, happening to be near, I went to the fair, 
and was much pleased with the neatness of all the 
arrangements, and with the spirit in which the whole 
thing was conducted. To my surprise, I found as good 
and commodious an amphitheatre, and as well filled with 
well-dressed ladies as is to be found in any fair in the 
country. A full band discoursed its music on a stand in 
front, during the interludes of exhibition. The vegeta- 
bles, fruits, and farm-productions were of a superior order. 
The bouquets were numerous, tasteful, and gay, and some 
living specimens of handsome flowers in pots. Cakes, 
bread, confectionery, pickles, preserves, and specimens of 
every household art were abundant, neat, and good. 
Needle-work, useful and ornamental embroidery, and a 
great variety of fancy work, equal to anything of the 
kind. Of penmanship and drawing, much better speci- 
mens than I expected the little county could produce. 
The supply and arrangements for refreshments were good ; 
coffee, tea, cider, and lemonade in abundance. Dinners, 
hot and cold, served with an adjunct not always found 
in like places of more pretension, a clean table-cloth. 
There were some thousands of people, well mannered, 
well dressed, and good tempered, rationally enjoying 


themselves, by encouraging and promoting a common 

My memory was carried back to the time when whisky 
was the only cheer, and a rough-and-tumble fight the 
only excitement. The managers tell me, so well assured 
are they of countenance and support, that they shall 
double the area of the enclosed ground, and all other 
appliances for the fair in time for next year's exhibition. 


Success of the English Settlement — What Contributed to it — Absence 
of Land-Speculation — Happy Adaptation of the Country to Set- 
tlers — Prairie-Land a Source of National Wealth — Sterling Quali- 
ties of the English Laborers and Farmers — Solid Prosperity of 
the English Settlement in Illinois — The First Annoyances of 
the Early Settlers — The Prairie-Fires — First-Founders of Settle- 
ments rarely attain Material Advantages — \A^hat they are Com- 
pelled to Do — The Fate of William Penn — The Compensations 
— Striking Incidents in the History of the State — First -Settlers 
Accounted for — The Destiny which Befell the First-Founders — 
The Remains of Morris Birkbeck Repose in the Graveyard at 
New Harmony, Ind. — What became of his Children — The Pecun- 
iary Difficulties and Disasters of George Flower — Leaves Illinois 
with his Family in 1S49, never to Return to Live— Cross the 
Great Wabash — Begin the W^orld Anew in New Harmony — 
Removes to Mt. Vernon, Ind., in i860 — The Last Stage of Life's 
Journey — Ready to Lie Down to Sleep. 

The success of the English Settlement is not to be 
attributed to any single cause. The absence of land- 
speculation in the first-founders of the Settlement and the 
discouragement they gave to non-resident speculators, 
were the chief circumstances that preserved its healthy 
and progressive growth, and secured for many years the 
vacant lands around us to the class for which they were 
intended, the farm-laborers and farmers with small capital, 
who were to occupy the quarter-sections as soon as they 
purchased them. 


As early as 1817, I was solicited to purchase land for 
persons living in the Eastern cities, and well-wishers to the 
Settlement. This I was reluctant to do, though regretting 
to disappoint some valued friends, to whom I owed much 
obligation. Then an inquiry was made as to whether 
land was secured (such was the phraseology) for those that 
might be expected the following year; accompanied by 
an offer of any amount of capital, and of giving personal 
service in recommending our Settlement, and in forward- 
ing newly-arrived emigrants from Europe, with money and 
without. I have reason to think that similar offers were 
made to Mr. Birkbeck, for I recollect a short letter of his 
published, declining to invest any money in land for non- 
residents. Thus protected, the little-farmer with his 
slender means, found the quarter-section preserved for his 
immediate possession, without being compelled to pay an 
enhanced price to a previous purchaser. A valuable 
experience was gained in the gradual taking up of land. 
Of course, the most inviting situations were first secured. 
The last land, left as refuse, was flat, wet prairie, that had 
not much thickness of hazle mould, so much sought after 
by the farmer. The surface wet, but aridly dry in summer, 
with a subsoil of whitish clay. The Americans said they 
could not get a living off such land. The English labor- 
ers, by a little judicious ditching, which made part of their 
fencing, found it to be the best soil for small grain and 
meadow in the country. Some of our best farms are to 
be found on such land. The character of the Settlement 
would have been changed if based upon land-speculation, 
and our characters too. No doubt, with influential 


partners in the East, who would see every emigrant with 
capital, and every ship-load of poor emigrants, accredited 
with our name and the growing fame of our Settlement, a 
large and promiscuous emigration would have set toward 
us, and money might have been made by the speculation. 
But the gains so made would have been mingled with the 
tears of distress and the sighs of disappointment. The 
laborer must have remained a laborer for others many 
more years, before he could have saved enough to have 
paid the advance that would have satisfied us and our 
Eastern partners. 

The little-farmer, with just money enough to buy land 
at the Government price and build a small cabin, must 
have either labored for hire on the Settlement or gone 
outside into the wilderness, and suffered the privations of 
a solitary settler. By declining this, as some thought, 
tempting offer, we may have been blamed by others, but 
never by ourselves. A considerable land-speculation was 
made just before we came into the country, by a Virgin- 
ian; but when there are no inhabitants it is difficult for a 
speculator to know where best to make a purchase, and 
this speculation was so widely scattered, extending into 
many counties, that it did but little harm. To this early 
policy, little appreciated, perhaps, because but little 
known, more than any other act of its founders, the 
Settlement owes its steady and progressive growth. It 
was the invisible /Egis, protecting labor and industry, in 
reaping their sure rewards. 

Another favorable circumstance was the happy adapta- 


tion of the country to the settlers. Had our European 
settlers been placed in a heavy-timbered country, they 
would have desponded, despaired, and died. The cost of 
denuding a heavy-wooded district of its timber and pre- 
paring it for cultivation, is not less than twelve dollars an 
acre. What a source of national wealth this item is to a 
state like Illinois with its thirty-six million acres of prairie 
land. Every individual, thus fortunately placed, is saved 
a generation of hard and unprofitable, labor. This 
circumstance is not sufficiently appreciated by a pioneer 

One element of success may be traced to a happy 
proportion among the settlers of men of money, men of 
intelligence, and men of toil. A settlement all of needy 
laborers would have suffered much, and would probably 
have dispersed, — as Mr. Slade's settlement did, and as 
many others have done. It was the men of property that 
sustained the weight of the Settlement for the first five 
years, not only b)- its first supply of food and the building 
of its first houses, but in hiring the laborers as they came 
from the old country. This gave to the poor, but hard- 
working man. some knowledge of the ways of the country, 
while he was laying up a little store of money for his own 
independent beginning. The sterling qualities found in 
the great bulk of the English laborers and little-farmers, 
is another element of success. Their general sobriety, 
persevering industry, and habitual hard work, carried them 
through periods of long discouragements to final success. 
The first- f)unders gave what they had of ability and 


money to the very last. All these circumstances working 
together have given that solid prosperity, which is charac- 
teristic of the English Settlement in Illinois. 

There are certain annoyances and losses to the first- 
settler not set down in the bill, and never thought of. In 
the first years of a settlement in a new country, the forces 
of nature are strong and the defences of man are weak. 
Soon after my first arrival in the Settlement in the month 
of August, the season proved very rainy — daily thunder- 
storms, with strong gusts of wind. The storms of wind 
and rain would drive through and through the unchinked 
and doorless cabin, drenching every thing within. The 
first prairie- fires come with terrific force, devouring all 
before them. I had made some progress in enclosing a 
thirty-acre field, and had cut a considerable stack of 
prairie-hay, which stood at the bottom of the field. A 
prairie-fire approached us from the south; it soon con- 
sumed the hay- stack, what there was completed of the 
fence, and all the timber prepared for it. It crossed the 
prairie, driven by a furious wind, when stopped by a ditch, 
which fortunately had been dug, running in front of my 
cabins, and about twenty- five feet from them, but the 
flames lashed over into the house, and suddenly went out 
in dense smoke, almost suffocating us. Although checked 
in front of the house, the fire continued its course, sweep- 
ing by on each flank, in two long columns of flame, 
consuming prairie and woodland all over the country. 
This description of losses and annoyances, once overcome, 


are gone forever; but at a time when he is unprepared, 
they often inflict suffering and great loss of property. 

It is an historical fact, that the discoverers of new coun- 
tries and the first-founders of settlements in new countries, 
rarely attain any material advantages. It is those who 
follow in the track they have beaten, who shelter under 
the defences they have made, that reap the more solid 
advantages. There are a run of expenses that the first- 
founders of settlements must incur. The expenses of their 
first voyages and journeys, their publications, their return 
for their own families and other settlers, are among the 
first of their expenses. Others follow, that for a long 
series of years can scarcely be avoided. One is called 
upon to stand first in subscription and personal exertion 
to promote measures of public benefit, although of doubt- 
ful attainment after long-continued exertion. If a school, 
or a library, or any other local institution is needed, he is 
expected to give his time for their advancement and his 
money for their support. Often at some distant hall of 
legislation he is induced to remain for weeks and months 
watching or aiding in the passage of some law that might 
benefit his place and people, or to ward off some enact- 
ment of an injurious character. From habit, as well as 
inclination, he yields to solicitations, although often abused 
and maligned for the part he has taken. The article of 
postage alone is a heavy charge, or rather was so, when 
letters were from twelve to twenty-five cents each. I have 
paid many hundred dollars in this way replying to inquir- 
ies, and giving information in which I was in no way to be 


personally benefited. The entertainment of travelers and 
visitors is an incidental but often a heavy charge, and in 
many instances absorbs a considerable share of income, 
however large it may be. His attention otherwise direct- 
ed, his private business of course suffers. His settlement 
may be prosperous, but as an individual he must meet 
pecuniary ruin. The business of a first- founder's life is 
more of a public than a private character, but not of that 
description that gives him any pecuniary reward. The 
assistance he may have given to poor families is seldom, if 
ever, returned in money. From the unfortunate and 
dishonest he gets no repayment. From the honest, but 
poor, he has to take what they have alone to give, their 
labor, and that perhaps obliged to be taken at periods 
when not applicable to any beneficial purpose. 

"Imprudent," say some; "served him right," say others; 
"why did not he take care of himself" Wherever 
prudence greatly prevails as an element of character no 
explorers or first-founders of settlements will be found. 

William Penn, one the most disinterested of men, could 
not escape the calumnies propagated against him, nor the 
pecuniary loss entailed on men of his stamp. If any man 
could have been shielded from the losses and embarass- 
ments of all those who found colonies, Penn's favorable 
position should have saved him. He was possessed of an 
income of four thousand pounds sterling per annum. His 
large territory came to him by grant from the crown, not 
by purchase. His colony was on the sea-shore. Himself 
and all who followed him escaped the labor, risk, and 


expense of a thousand miles of interior travel, yet we see 
in his letter to his wife a recommendation to be careful of 
her expenses, by reason of his many debts. In reply to 
some who accused him of selfish motives, he says: "I am 
day and night spending my life, my time, my money, and 
am not sixpence enriched by this greatness. I am to the 
people of this place in travails, watchings, spendings, and 
to my servants, every way freely, not like a selfish man." 
He even found it necessary to return to England to rebut • 
the charges of selfishness and peculation that were raised 
against him, which for a time checked emigration to 
Pennsylvania, and prevented personal well-wishers and 
friends from following him, with his damaged reputation. 
His enemies, fearing his influence, reported him dead, and 
that he died a Jesuit — a term of great opprobrium at that 
■day — only to be confuted by his personal appearance in 

But there are fortunately some compensations in store 
for those whom the world regards as visionary characters. 
Their actions have been unselfish. An unselfish life leaves 
few regrets and no repinings. The first explorer or 
founder of a settlement in a new and distant country, 
follows the instincts of his nature and the promptings of 
his early being. In early manhood the dreamy imagin- 
ings of his youth prompt to action. He takes journeys 
and voyages. He has intercourse with a variety of mem- 
bers of the great human family, living under institutions, 
language, climate, and a host of other circumstances, all 
different from his own. From a local and stationary being 


he becomes a cosmopolite. He has intercourse with all 
classes, from the gifted, the intellectual, the educated, of 
every grade of mind and morals, to the lowest specimens 
of humanity, the dregs of civilization. His local habits 
become changed, many of his prejudices are swept away, 
opinions altered or modified, and his mental vision 
extended. He pierces through civilization, and stands in 
uninhabited regions. There he sees what none who come 
after him and fall into the routine of civilized life can ever 
see; nature in the plenitude of its perfection; its varied 
beauties, undisturbed and undistorted by art; the forest in 
its native grandeur, unscathed by the axe; the prairie, 
with its verdure and acres of brilliant flowers; the 
beauties of the prospect varying at every step, and limited 
in extent only by his power of vision. All these scenes, 
with their accompanying influences, exhibited under the 
varying aspects of light and shade, day and night, 
calm and storm, have surrounded him. His being has 
received the impress of them all in solitude and silence. 
Refreshed, strengthened, and purified, he feels, for a time 
at least, superior to the irritations and annoyances of an 
imperfect civilization; for there is in the changeful heart 
of man a deep response to the ever-changing aspects of 

Some striking incidents in the history of the State 
marked the period of our arrival and settlement. These 
were the exodus of the Indians, the extinction of the 
buffalo, the elk, and the beaver. Near to where Albion 
now stands, three years before its commencement, stood 


the populous village of the Piankeshaw Indians. The 
year before we arrived, the last buffalo was killed. The 
year after our arrival, the last elk was killed, as before 
related. Two or three solitary beavers remained but a 
few years longer. 

Many of those mentioned as first-settlers are now liv- 
ing in independent circumstances, hearty, hale, old men, 
enjoying themselves in their own way. Their children 
have grown up and taken their stations in life, mostly as 
farmers, and many of them rejoice in the sight of the 
third generation of their offspring — their great-grandchil- 
dren. Having accounted for the bulk of the first-settlers 
in their past and present state, let us see where the two 
first-founders are, and if their destinies differ from men of 
their class and kind. 

Morris Birkbeck lies neither in his native land nor in 
the State of his adoption, but dead and buried in the 
graveyard of New Harmony, Ind. His second daughter, 
Mrs. Hanks, lies buried in the City of Mexico. Two sons 
are living far apart from each other in the same republic. 
The eldest daughter, Mrs. Pell, with her family, are in the 
distant land of Australia. One of his sons lives in Eng- 
land. His house at Wanborough (in the English Settle- 
ment of Illinois) has long since been pulled down; and, 
I believe, no property in the Settlement remains to any 
member of his family. One only of his descendants sur- 
vives him in the United States — the daughter of his eldest 
son, Mrs. Prudence Birkbeck Ford of New Harmony, Ind. 

The last .three years of George Flower's life in Illinois 


were marked by pecuniary difficulties and disasters. His 
house, flock, and farm, sold at a low price, passed to the 
hands of a stranger. In the year 1849, himself and wife, 
his two youngest sons and youngest daughter, left Illinois, 
never more to return as residents. They crossed the Great 
Wabash with household furniture and some family plate, 
with two dollars and fifty cents in cash, to begin the world 
anew in the pleasant town of New Harmony, Ind. In 
i860, he is residing in the town of Mount Vernon, on the 
banks of the Ohio, seventy-four years of age, possessed 
of a sound constitution, and in the enjoyment of good 
health. From deafness, much increased within the last 
ten years, deprived thereby of the solace of conversation, 
he has to draw more largely from the resources offered 
by book, pen, and pencil. In poverty, but not in desti- 
tution, happy in his children, and blest in the companion- 
ship of the dear partner of his life,'^ who has shared with 
him the toils, anxieties, and happy days of the past, they 
both enliven the last stage of life's journey by cheerful 
reminiscences of the past and enjoyment of the present; 
accepting the prerogative accorded to age, of extracting 
happiness from a multitude of minor sources, unheeded 

* As applied to a happy domestic life, such as that of Mr. and Mrs. George 
Flower, how true are the following beautiful observations of Chateaubriand, 
as found in his "Genius of Christianity": 

" Habit and long life together are more necessary to happiness, and even 
love, than is generally imagined. No one is happy with the object of his 
attachment until he has passed many days, and above all, many days of mis- 
fortune with her. The married pair must know each other to the bottom 
of their souls; the mysterious veil, which covered the two spouses in the 
primitive church, must be raised in its inmost folds, how closely soever it 
may be kept drawn to the rest of the world. " 


by youth and overlooked by middle- age, they probably 
gather more flowers in the evening of life than they did 
in the noon-day of existence. Resting on the shady side 
of the road, spectators of scenes in which they once took 
a part, they watch the pilgrims toiling in the path they 
once so zealously trod, sometimes a little weary of their 
journey, ready to lie down to sleep. 



BoTLEY, 12 May, 1812. 
My Dear Sir: — -I have just sent off to New York, and have, 
therefore, nothing to send thither just now, but am as much 
obhged to you as if I had. You have my best wishes with you. 
Prepared, as you are, for a fine country and happy people, the 
reaUty will surpass your expectations. Mr. Oldfield and my 
nephew will, I am sure, be happy to see you at New York. Dr. 
Benjamin Waterhouse at Cambridge, Massachusetts, will look 
vipon this as a letter of introduction, and so will Messrs. William 
Duane, and Mr. Mathew Carey of Philadelphia, and also Mr. 
Niles of Baltimore. I am acquainted with none but literary 
men, but though there are in America, as here, many who think 
me a very bad fellow, there are, I believe, very many really good 
friends of freedom, who would not shake you by the hand the 
sooner for your having honored with your acquaintance, your 
sincere friend and most obedient servant, 

Wm. Cobbett. 

To George Flower, Esq., of Marden, Herts. 

P. S. Pray remember me very kindly to your father and all 
our excellent friends in Hertfordshire. You may again see as 
good people, but never will see better. 



Paris, August 24th, 1814. 
I take the opportunity of Mr. Loudon's return to England to 


let you hear from me and to thank you for the tokens of 
souve7iir you have given me. I have also received with pleasure 
the information you have sent me concerning the lithographic 
stones, which Mr. Loudon will forward to me in Paris. 

I have seen Mr. Swaine; I have spoken to several owners of 
flocks about the wool he intends to purchase; I believe he has 
not yet closed many trades. 

Our establishment of schools in France is considerably ham- 
pered by circumstances, and if our zeal is not abated, it is, at 
least, greatly obstructed. You can not form an idea of what is 
passing in France. The lessons of Bonaparte are marvelously 
put to profit. They do better still; they surpass him. We are 
in a complete disorganization; vexations are every day on the 
increase. In the south, a violent and fearful reaction takes place. 
You will have heard about the massacre of Protestants. The 
system which is being set up is far from the liberal ideas with 
which Europe has been lulled for more than a year. The 
measures which are being adopted prepare new convulsions in 
Europe. It is a great mistake to think that order and peace can 
be secured by such means. But time will unravel all those 
mysteries, for the annihilation of the press imposes silence. 
Reasoning is not permitted against the argument of bayonets. 
It is an excellent system, which Bonaparte has taught us long 
ago. I would have great many other things to tell you, which 
are not known in your country II! A thousand compliments to 
Mr. Birkbeck. I am sincerely devoted to you both. 

C. P. DE Lastevrie. 



Paris, October 8th, 18 14. 

Sir; — I take the occasion of Monsieur I'Abbe Gaultier's trip to 

London to remember myself to your souvenir and to recommend 

to you an estimable author, who has published a great many 

works upon the education of children, and who has devoted his 


life to an art which is not, as yet, enough known nor appreciated. 
Mr. Gaultier, who has resided in England before, returns to that 
country with the intention of studying the progress which the 
system of education may have made during his absence. He is 
curious to know the British and Foreign School Society, and no 
one is better qualified than yourself to help him to carry out the 
object of his researches. This is the reason why I take the 
liberty to direct him to you. I desire very much to see the 
method employed in England for poor classes established in 
France also; I shall do all I can to that end, and I hope I shall 
find men with sufficient zeal to cooperate with me toward so 
noble a task. But the present time is not very favorable; I hope 
it may be easier in a few months. I also regret to have but a 
few moments to devote to it. Other work which I have under- 
taken, and which I look upon as of great importance for the 
cause of humanity, prevents me from giving more time to it. 

If anything of the kind is done in France I will let you know; 
it is right for well-meaning men of all countries to be in complete 
accord. Let us leave to the miserable and shameful policy of 
governments their rivalries, the wars, and so many other crimes 
of which they are guilty, under the cover of order, religion, and 
the interest of the people. 

I regret very much, sir, that your stay in this country has been 
so short, and that I have been deprived of the sweet satisfaction 
of seeing you longer, and of manifesting to you the interest 
which your person and your way of thinking have inspired me, 
and also the sentiments of affection, with which I have the honor 
to be, C. P. DE Lasteyrie. 

Please remember me to your estimable friend Mr. Birkbeck. 

Mr. George Flower. 


LaGrange, November jd, 18 14. 
Dear Sir: — I have been much obliged to your kind inquiries 
on a subject most interesting to me. The pleasure of a meeting 
with Mr. Whitbread would be one of the highest I can enjoy. I 
hope that it is only postponed. 


saw one man retreating from the court-yard into the 
woods, and another lying bleeding on the ground, appar- 
ently lifeless. He dragged the wounded man into the 
house and closed the door. At first we thought it an 
attempt at house-breaking. But finding who the parties 
were, and their object, we assembled our forces. Many 
shots were exchanged, and the marauders for a time driven 
off. The annoyance from these fellows became so great, 
that we determined to rid ourselves of them at all hazards. 
Myself, Mr. Hugh Ronalds, Mr. Henry Birkett, together 
with a constable, mounted and went in pursuit. We over- 
took them after a hard gallop on a hot summer's day, in 
the open woods, ten miles distant. We were equal in 
number, man for man. They with rifles, we with pistols. 
Whilst the constable was reading his warrant, we rode up, 
got within the rifle-guard, and presented our pistols, 
each to his man. At this juncture, a very ill-looking fel- 
low, one of the gang, suddenly rode up at full speed. This 
gave them the advantage of one in number, of which the 
last comer instantly availed himself, by jumping from his 
horse and leveling his rifle at Mr. Ronalds, whom he doubt- 
less would have shot had not the man I was guarding as 
suddenly leaped from his horse and knocked up the rifle, 
when in the act of being discharged. 

Many other things of the same character occurred. It 
was a state of warfare of the most disagreeable kind. They 
were taken back to Albion and bound over. 

A circumstance inexpressibly ludicrous occurred in the 
midst of the strife. Amid oaths, boastings, refusals to sur- 
render or return, when every one was meditating murder 


on the other, our Yankee constable brought forward a 
quart bottle of whisky, with a deprecatory smile and good- 
humored voice — "Now, boys, come and take a drink; now 
come along with us quiet, and we'll treat you like gentle- 
men." The effect was sudden ; the transition of feeling 
complete. We all laughed, and did as our worthy 
constable bade us — at least, all our prisoners did. We 
returned to Albion riding in pairs, with our arms in our 
hands. There never was a slave taken in our neighbor- 
hood, and I believe that there never was more than one 
that came to it. 

These, and similar outrages on ourselves, and assaults on 
the peaceable blacks settled among us, were of frequent 
occurrence. Seeing no hope of just treatment to the free 
colored people that lived on my lands, or of relieving my- 
self from the trouble of defending them, I proposed that 
they should go to Hayti. When they acceded to my pro- 
posal, I thought it due to them and myself to acquire more 
specific information of the island, and of the terms on 
which they would be received. For this purpose, I em- 
ployed Mr. Robert Grayham (formerly an English mer- 
chant), a gentleman who spoke the French language with 
fluency. He was at the time living with his brother-in- 
law, Mr. Sorgenfrey, in a prairie west of the Little Wabash. 
Their former habits not suiting them to prairie life, Mr. Sor- 
genfrey went to Carmi, and Mr. Grayham took this mission 
as a first step to a future change. I gave him five hundred 
dollars to bear his expenses, with a letter to Gen. Boyer, 
then president of Hayti, representing the case, and asking 
an asylum for my party of blacks, big and little, about 


examine the different methods of instruction in use in Europe. 
He says he has worked with Lancaster. The French ambassador 
at London has given him a letter of introduction for our Minister 
of the Interior in Paris. He intends to present to the Govern- 
ment a plan of schools for the people. I believe he proposes 
to follow the Lancaster method, with some modifications. He 
appears to me to have devoted himself entirely to that useful 
occupation, and T think he will be very useful to us. But, as he 
is not known here, it would be well, in order to be able to act in 
concert with him, to know all about his morality, his acquire- 
ments, his means; whether his views on education are sound; in 
a word, what he has done in that direction in England. I will 
beg of you to take some information about Mr. Moran, in case 
you are not acquainted with him personally, and to give me an 
answer to my questions, so that I may help him or find employ- 
ment for him in the projects of popular education, which I may 
form with other parties. 

Mr. Gregoire has handed me a few pamphlets, which he wants 
me to transmit to you. I have added a few more, amongst them 
a report on the extraction of the gelatine of bones, by Mr. Dar- 
cet. It is one of the happiest applications for the nourishment 
of man. They have commenced, in Paris, to make soups and 
broths with the gelatine of those bones, in several hospitals. 
They make prepared broths for the navy. Mr. Darcet has made 
an arrangement with some Englishmen who have taken out a 
patent for importation in England. 

A newspaper of Denmark says, that Mr. Banks has started, 
jointly with Mr. Barker, at Bath, a lithographic establishment, 
and that the stone they use for printing is found in great quanti- 
ties in the neighborhood of Bath. Having, for several years, 
devoted myself to the starting of a similar establishment, I am 
expecting to begin work for the public in two months at the 
latest. I wish you would be kind enough to send me a sample 
of the Bath stone used in England for lithographing. I have 
been obliged, until now, to draw my stones from Germany, as I 
have not yet been able to find any in France. A sample of the 
Bath ones would enable me to find out whether we have the 


same kind in France, and, in case it were impossible to find them 
in France, I think it would come cheaper for me to get them 
from Bath, via Bristol and Havre, and have them come to Paris 
by way of the Seine. I am obliged to get those from Germany 
by land, over a distance of 240 leagues. I beg of you to send 
me, by the first occasion you have, a small sample of the Bath 
stone, about four inches square will be large enough. Mr. Banks 
will certainly let you have some, if you ask it for me. I attach 
great importance to the lithographic art, which will afford a new 
medium to facilitate and to propagate useful knowledge; it is in 
its infancy yet and wants to be improved; I devote a part of my 
time to that object. Mad. de Lasteyrie, who is in good health, 
sends you her compliments. I reiterate the expression of my 
most complete devotion to you. 

C. P. DE Lasteyrie,* 

To George Flower. Rue de la Chaise, No. 20. 

P. S. — A thousand compliments to the interesting and estimable 
Mr. Birkbeck. Please tell him that I thank him very much for his 
little work on France, which I have read with much pleasure. I 
have distributed, to the proper parties, the copies which he sent 
me. I have heard that Mr. Sinclair was about to come to Paris. 
I shall be delighted to see him. Please remember me to him 
and also to Mr. Banks. 

My Dear Sir: — I have just received your letter of the 27th 
of March, and thank you for your kind inquiry of me. I have 

* Count de Lasteyrie, the correspondent of Mr. Flower, a publicist and 
philanthropist, was born in France in 1759, and died in 1849. In politics, he 
was an ardent defender of liberal principles, a supporter of the liberty of the 
press and religious freedom. In these respects, he was naturally in sympathy 
with George Flower. He had traveled much in Europe and had much stud- 
ied the art of lithography. He founded the first lithographic establishment 
in Paris. He was the cousin of Count Adrian Jules Lasteyrie, the grandson 
of Lafayette, who was well known to me; a republican member of the Cham- 
ber of Deputies under the Republic, a great friend of Mr. Thiers, and belong- 
ing to the group of the " Centre Left. " 


had a very severe fit of illness since I came in this country, but 
I am quite recovered. I have, as yet, done very little in the 
accomplishment of the business I came upon, so that it is im- 
possible for me to say what time I shall stop here. 

I am sure Mr. Lasteyrie will be very happy to hear what you 
mention respecting the stones, and peculiarly of the way of making 
use of all stones in France, for the accomplishment of his art. 
As I above tell you that the period of my return to France is 
quite uncertain, it would be better for you to write to Mr. Lastey- 
rie about these stones, as it might save him a journey and many 
laborious researches, both of which I know he has either under- 
taken or is about to undertake. If you do not find any good 
opportunity of sending him the apparatus, before I go through 
England, I shall be very happy to take charge of it for Mr. Las- 
teyrie. From the habit of reading English books on scientific 
subjects, I am confident he will understand very well what you 
may write to him on the subject. 

I dare say you will be glad to hear that I have heard from my 
family so late as the 27th of March, and that all were well. 
Everything was quite quiet, though on the emperor's road. 

When you see or write Mr. Birkbeck, pray remember me to 
him, and to Morris. With best wishes for your and family's happi- 
ness, I remain, my dear sir, yours sincerely, 


April 6, 181J. 

Mr. George Flower, 

Marsden, Hertford, Herts., England. 

* Madam O'Connor was the only daughter and child of the Marquis de 
Condorcet, the illustrious philosopher, mathematician, author, politician, 
member of the French Academy, etc. Her mother, the Mafchioness de Con- 
dorcet, was the sister of General Grouchy, afterward a marshall of France, 
and so well known in connection with the battle of Waterloo. The daughter 
was born nine months after the taking of the Bastile, July 14, 1789. Though 
a nobleman of rank and distinction, he embraced republican ideas at an 
early period in the Revolution. He was the friend and associate of Dr. 
Franklin, when he represented the American Colonies in Paris; and during 
the French Revolution, Thomas Paine was a frequent visitor to the salons 
of Madam de Condorcet. A member of the National Convention from the 




Paris, August 2j, 181 ■). 
Sir: — I had the pleasure of receiving a letter from you, through 
a countryman of yours (Mr. Swaine), who has come to make pur- 
chases of fine merino wool. My flock is always very beautiful, 
but less numerous; because the armies of your nation, who have 
camped near the place where it is, have eaten one hundred of 
them, without my getting paid for them. I must stand that loss 
with courage; unfortunately, it is not the only one. 1 am much 

Department of the Aisne, he allied himself to the Girondins. Denounced 
to the Convention by the infamous Chabot, July 8, 1793, he was put in 
accusation before the Convention, but escaped before he was arrested. Con- 
cealed by Madam Vernet, who gave him an asylum for eight months, and 
where he was a prey to frightful moral torments. The terrible punishments 
denounced by the Convention against all persons harboring or concealing the 
proscribed deputies determined him no longer to expose the brave and noble 
woman, who had so long sheltered him, to further peril. The poor woman 
protested, and said she would run every risk to still further protect him; and 
so persistent was she, that he was obliged to secretly leave her house. In the 
disguise of a laborer, he wandered about several days in the suburbs of Paris, 
and at last, lame and footsore, and dying of hunger, he entered a cabaret and 
ordered an omelet. This led to his arrest. He was taken to Bourg La 
Reine and put in prison, where he committed suicide. His daughter, Madam 
O'Connor, became the correspondent of George Flower in 1815. In 1807, 
she had married Arthur O'Connor, who was an Irish revolutionist, and, 
although a protestant, he always espoused the cause of the oppressed catho- 
lics in Ireland. Accused of treason, he was imprisoned for five years in 
Ireland and Scotland. On being released, he went over to France, in 1803, 
and, in 1809, was appointed a general of division by Napoleon, and given 
an important command. His service, however, was not of long duration; 
and, after his retirement, he settled on his domain at Bignon, where he occu- 
• pied himself with agricultural pursuits. He was naturalized as a French 
citizen in 1818. History relates a curious incident touching Condorcet and 
Lafayette, which illustrates the Revolutionary epoch. "I am surprised," said 
Condorcet to Lafayette, upon seeing him enter the room in the uniform of the 
National Guard of Paris, of which he had so recently been the commander, 
"in seeing you. General, in that dress." "Not at all," replied Lafayette, "/ 
ivas (ired of obeying, and loished to command, and therefore laid down my gen- 
eral's commission and took a musket on my shoulder. " 



obliged to you for your kind souvenir^ and beg you to accept the 
assurance of my distinguished consideration. 

Member of the French Institute, and Inspector-General of the 
Royal Sheepfolds. 
I have traded with your countryman; I have sold him my 
wool. If he likes it, I will sell him more another year, provided 
he is reasonable as to the price. 
To Mr. George Flower. 


Paris, August 2S, iSij. 

What will you have thought of me, my dear sir, when Mr, 
Swain has returned home without my having paid the attention 
due to him, and to your much valued recommendation. The 
enclosed apology will, I hope, clear my conduct in your and his 
estimation. I long to hear you both have received it, and after 
having waited a few days for a private opportunity, I forwarded it 
to the care of a French banker, who will send it by you. 

The unexpected loss of your illustrious countryman, Mr. 
Whitbread, has deeply affected me — besides the general fraternity 
between men engaged in the cause of freedom, and my particular 
obligations to this great patriot, I had for him an admiration, I 
did put in him hopes which make me feel on the melancholy 
event every sentiment that respect and affection can produce. 

You have, I dare say, taken an interest in the political catastro_ 
phe of France which attended the proceedings of our short-lived 

* Alexander Henri Tessier was born at Augerville in France, in 1741, and 
died in Paris, in 1S37. Studying the natural sciences and medicine at the 
college of Montaiga, at Paris, he became a member of the medical society in 
1776. Becoming a member of the Academy of Sciences, in 1783, he was- 
named sometime afterward director of the " Establishment Rural, " at Ram- 
bouillet, and he was then placed in charge of a flock of merinos, which had 
been sent to Louis XVI, from Spain. It was this, probably, which led him 
to become a producer of wool. Before his death, he reached the highest 
honor to be obtained by a Frenchman in private life — a member of the 
French Institute. 


House of Representatives, that had in a fortnight's time to 
defend its existence from two dynasties, the latest of which was 
supported by the armed forces of Europe. A new and very 
different assembly is now convened, of which I am a member. 
I beg you to present my best compUments to Monsieur Birkbeck. 

Believe me, my dear sir, your very sincere friend, 


Monsieur George Flower, Marsden, near Hertford^ England. 


LaGrange, April i6t/i, 1816. 

My Dear Sir: — Your letter, directed Rue' d'Anjou, has not yet 
reached me. The one to LaGrange is just received. I hasten 
to answer it. Sure as I am that you shall be highly pleased with 
the United States, and that the approbation will be reciprocal, I 
can not but approve your intended plan. Yet I much lament 
not to have the pleasure once more to welcome you at LaGrange 
before your leaving Europe. You would lind me in a state of 
retirement still more rigid than when I was gratified with your 
and Mr. Birkbeck's visit, but hitherto determined to remain upon 
this ground. Should I depart from it, America would, of course, 
be the direction for me. Happy, indeed, I would be to meet 
you on that blessed land. 

Inclosed is my letter to Mr. Jefferson. I would have added a 
few more to my friends at Washington and other parts of the 
United States, had I not reflected that I must first insure the safe 
arrival of the one you are now expecting. 

The post communication not being so regular as might be 
wished, I shall only send these lines, but if your departure was 
deferred, will be at your disposition for any thing you may desire. 
I can not be more agreeably gratified by my friends than in the 
attention they will pay, the advice and civilities they may offer to 
you, my dear sir. You will find a great number of French 
citizens have arrived in the United States; some by proscription, 
many more from choice. Upon those subjects I refrain from 
expatiating, as my first object is to convey the introductory lines 
to Monticello, and to offer the most affectionate wishes for your 
happy voyage. 


My family are much obliged to your kind remembrance, and 
beg their best regards be presented to you. Be pleased to 
remember us to our friend Monsieur Birkbeck. Let me know 
when this answer has reached you, and believe me, with the most 
sincere attachment, yours, I^afayette. 

Our friends in Vignon are well. I shall let them know your 
kind inquiries about them, and forward your compliments. 
. Monsieur George Flower, Marsden, near Hertford, Afigkterre. 


New Lanark, 4 August, 1820. 
The Rev. Mr. Rapp. 

Most worthy Sir: — -Having heard much of your Society, and 
feeling a peculiar interest respecting it, I am induced to open a 
correspondence with you, in the expectation of procuring a 
correct account of your establishment. 

My first attention was called to it by some travels published in 
America by a Mr. Mellish, who in 181 1 visited the original 
settlement near to Pittsburgh, and who gave many details which, 
to me, appeared to promise many future advantages. You have 
since had an opportunity of creating a second settlement, under 
the full benefit of the experience derived from the first, and the 
particulars of the result of these two experiments would be of 
real value to me, in order to ascertain the positive inconveniences 
which arise from changes to society from a state of private to 
public property, under the iieculiar circumstances by which your 
colonies have been surrounded. 

If you can furnish me with any authentic, printed or manu- 
script, statement of the rise, progress, and present state of 
Harmony, you would confer upon me a very particular obligation. 

The gentleman who conveys this letter will perhaps have the 
goodness to take charge of them and bring them to England. 
Should this be inconvenient to him, any parcel addressed for me 
to New Lanark, North Britain, and forwarded to Mr. Quincy 
Adams, the secretary of state for the American home depart- 
ment, would, I have no doubt, come safe. 

There is a colony here of about 2400 person?, whom I have 


already placed under new circumstances, preparatory to a still 
more improved arrangement, from which incalculable advantages 
to all classes may be expected. I am now in the midst of 
preparing a further development of the system I have in view, 
and it will give me pleasure to send you a copy of it, the earliest 
opportunity after it shall be ready. In the mean time I send you 
copies of such works as I have already published, which I 
request you to accept. I am, sir, your most obedient 

Robert Owen. 


My Dear Sir: — I am happy to say that my father arrived here 
safe and well this morning from Mount Vernon, where he arrived 
late last night per steamer Wm. Pefin, which has gone on with a 
load to Nashville. My father being anxious to lose as little time 
as possible, has determined, as you will perceive by the enclosed 
notice, to hold a meeting this day week. Will you give it all the 
publicity you conveniently can. Three gentlemen, who are, I 
believe, forming an establishment at Cincinnati, arrived with him, 
and we expect several here with whom he settled while on his 
tour. I have given the bearer a note for Mr. Birkbeck, enclosing 
a notice of the proposed meeting: as 1 understand he has never 
been at Wanborough, I will trouble you to forward the note 
thither, if convenient, with the least possible delay. 

I hope Mrs. G. F. is quite well; also your father, and our 
other friends. My father begs to be remembered to you all. 

In haste, truly yours, Wm. Owen. 

Harmony, Wednesday. 


New Harmony, T2th May, 1824. 
My Dear Sir: — Several of your neighbors came here to join 
the Society during Mr. Owen's absence, but the committee 
determined not to receive any more persons for a {aw days, that 
they might have time to arrange such as had already joined. 
We, however, promised to let them know after Mr. Owen's 
return, whether they were accepted. Mr. Owen returned last 


evening, and now takes the opportunity of Dr. Spring, to request 
you will, if convenient, and if you think the following persons, or 
any of them, would be good and useful members, to inform them 
that they may join: 

Mrs. Olive Johnson. 

Mr. and Mrs. Cradock. 

Capt. Huston. 

Mr. Philip B. Miles (is his lameness not objectionable). 


Mr. and Mrs. Warrington (after four months of sober life). 

Mr. William Wilkinson, bricklayer. 

As we have a number of families offering their services, and 
many not very effective, it is not advisable to take any of the 
foregoing, unless you consider them likely to be immediately 
useful and valuable members. Of course, you will consider this 
letter private, and such as you can not recommend I trust you 
will inform, that at present we have so many applicants that we 
are obliged to postpone their reception till a future opportunity. 

I hope Mrs. Gregory, your children, Mr. and Mrs. Flower, and 
the rest of your family are well. Pray give my best respects to 
them, and believe me, sincerely yours, D. Macdonald.* 

* The captivating theories of Mr. Robert Owen attracted many distin- 
guished people, not only from Europe, but all parts of the United States, 
to New Harmony. Among these was the Scotchman, D. Macdonald, who, 
on his return to his own country, became Lord of the Isles and Earl of Skye. 


Abington, Virginia, ....... 43 

Academy of Sciences, French, . . . . . 370 

Acclimation, ....... 336 

Achilles, ship, ....... 95 

African Colonization, ..... 15, 267 

Africans, ..... 219, 220, 221, 259, 272 

Alabama, ........ 185 

Albemarle County, Virginia, ..... 43 

Albion, 9, 13, 15, 32, 99, loi, 116, 118, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 133, 134, 

135, 136, 139, 143, 145, 147, 148, 149, 153, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159, 
160, 161, 162, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 184, 212, 246, 264, 277, 278, 
282, 283, 289, 290, 293, 307, 316, 317, 318, 325, 326, 329, 330, 334, 

339, 340. 

Court-house at, . 

Peculiarities of, . 

in 1812 and i860, .... 

Vote on Convention, 
Alleghanies, ...... 

Alton, ...... 

America, ... 25, 30, 48, 66, 118. 163 

America, ship, ..... 

Atlantic Ocean, ..... 

Augersville, ..... 

Australia, ...... 

Ave Maria, ship, .... 

Avignon, ...... 

Backwoodsmen leave the country, 

Ball-Hill Prairie, 



Baptist services, . 

Barrens of Ohio, 


133, 141 





', 91, 103 


'63, 257, 

259, 361 


84, 88, 

104, 120 


27, 48, 

118, 35S 

91, 102 

23, 43 



155, 271, 

303, 361 


170 I 





Batavia, Illinois, ....... 202 

Bath, England, ....... 366, 367 

Bears, ........ 308 

Beaver, ....... 59, 357, 358 

Bignon, ........ 369 

Birk's Prairie, . . . . . . 65, 66, 67, 155 

Birmingham, England, ...... 129 

Birkbeck, Morris, Jr. (see Personal Index), agrees to enter land, 73^4 

Anti-.Slavery services (see Letters on Slavery), . . . 13-4 

appointed Secretary-of-State of Illinois, but is not confirmed, 25, 247-8 
burial-place of, . . . . . . . 358 

death of, . . . . . . 115, 255-6 

descendants of, . . . . . . . 358 

early life of, ...... 19-20 

education and mental taste, . . . -19, 20, 23, 25 

embarks for America, ..... 26 

erects temporary buildings for settlers, . . «. . 100 

family, ....... 47-8- 

farm at Wanborough, England, . . . . .20 

i> 11 M given up, . . 97-9 

i> II 11 profits of, . . . 97-9 

father, ....... 19 

at fifty, ......... 21 

founds Wanborough, Illinois, . . . .116, 130 

Illinois' indebtedness to, . . . . .12 

letter to Mr. Pope concerning extension of time of payment on lands, 82-3 
letters on Slavery, ..... 209-45 

lives in Princeton, Indiana, . . . -56, 72, 84. 

man of great ability, . . . . . .12 

meets Mr. Flower at Richmond, .... 47 

mentioned in letters addressed to George Flower, 362, 363, 364, 365, 367, 

368, 371, 372, 373- 
non-residents, unwilling to invest for, .... 350 

Pope's, Gov., reply to a letter from, . . . . 81-2 

portrait of ....... 16 

proposes to Miss Andrews, ..... 55^^ 

receives funds from England, . *. . . -97 

receives visit from Edward Coles, .... 24 

publishes " Notes of a Journey in America, " . . 9') 92-3 

i< " Notes of a Journey through France, " . . 24 

ir with George Flower, pamphlet to emigrants, . . 194 

M "Supplementary letter to British emigrants, " . 178 

religious sentiments, . . . . . 25, 26, 177-9 

religious training, . . , . . . 19, 21 



Birkbeck, Morris, Jr., remains in America, . 

searches for Illinois prairies with Mr. Flower, 
subscription toward founding the English Settlement, 
temperate habits, ..... 
variance with Mr. Flower, .... 

visits France with Mr. Flower, 
widower, a ..... . 

Blacks, free, outrages upon in Illinois, . . 249-50, 

tt no educational advantages for in Illinois, 
II outrages upon in New Orleans, 

Black laws of Illinois, ..... 

Black soldiers in War of 181 2, 

Blooded stock, 


Boltenhouse Prairie, . 

Bond County, 

Bonpas Creek, 

Boone County, 


Botanical Gardens at Avignon, 

Botley, England, 

Bourg La Reine, 


Bristol, England, 

British and Foreign School Society, . 

Government discourages emigration, 

prejudices against the, 

Buffalo, the, .... 
Busro, Ind., Shaker Settlement at, 
Butter, five cents a pound, 


100, 160, 

63. 74, 75, 99, 

96, 99 



Cambridge, Massachusetts, 

Cambridgeshire, England, 

Campbellite's services. 



Canadian French, 

Cane in its natural state. 

Cape of Good Hope, 

Carlyle, town of, 

Carmi, . 108-9, "9) 

141, 142, 186, 253, 260, 

- 73-4 



109, 1 12-5 



260-5, 268-9 

• 340 


305. 317, 318 


124, 125, 157 


133, 266, 334 

II, 170 



. 361 


• 133 
147, 190, 367 

• 363 

. 68-9 

59, 357, 358 



165, 170, 187 


. 171-2 

10, II, 27, 320 




. 163 

265, 290, 292, 293 



185, 189, 230 
58-9, I 10 
90-1, 103, 104 
91, 92 




7, 9, 16, 77 

9, H. 15, 16, 76-7, 80 


102, 108, 109, 153, 157, 158, 


Carroll County, 

Castor-oil, manufacture of, 

Cattinet, the French Settlement, 


Champaign County, . 

Channel, the 

Charleston, S. C, 

Historical Society, 

Chickasaw nation, 

Chillicothe, . 

Choctaw nation, 

Cincinnati, 34, 35, 36, 50, 51 

Clark County, 

Clay County, 

Clergymen of English Church, 


Cochocton, . 

Coffee Island, 

Coles County, 

Coles, Edward (see Personal Index), appoints Mr. Birkbeck secretary- 

of-state, ...... 25, 247 

emancipates his slaves, its consequences, . . . 249-50 

father and brothers, . . . . . .43 

governor of Illinois, ..... 25, 247 

letter to Mr. Birkbeck, ...... 248 

minister to Russia, ...... 24 

pardons a murderer, ..... 138-40 

signs free papers for black emigrants, . . . 267 

" Sketch of Edward Coles, " . . . . . 205 

Columbia, ship, ....... 147 

Communities retain characteristics of founders, . . . 1 7-9 

Congress, . .58, 76, 77, 80, 81, 82, 163, 169, 186 

land, price of, . . . . . . . 290 

Cook County, . . . . . . . 11, 12 

Connecticut, . . . . . . .184 

Cornwall, England, . . . -73) 94) I53) 163, 165 

Cotton growing, ....... 333 

Court, first, at Albion, ...... 141 

Court-house and jail, ...... 133 

Courts and circuit-court riding, ..... 133 

• 34. 35 


339> 373 

II, 198 


• 325-8 




Crawford County, ..... 
Crops, Illinois, . . - . 

Cumberland County, .... 

Cutthroats and robbers, ..... 


Dead Man's Shoal, ..... 

Deer, ....... 

DeKalb County, ..... 

Delaware, ...... 

Denmark, ...... 

Derbyshire, England, ..... 

Devonshire, England, .... 

DeWitt County, ..... 

Dick's River, ..... 

Discovers and founders of settlements, fate of. 
Ditching, advantages of ... . 

DuPage County, ..... 


Eastern cities, ..... 

man, settlers, ..... 

states, ..... 

trip, 1818, time and expense of . 

Edgar County, ..... 

Edgeworth Institute, ..... 

Edwards County, 9, 10, 12, 114, 138, 159, 169, 198, 202, 206, 331, 345-8 
agricultural fairs, ...... 346-8 

counties formed out of, . . . . . .10 

county-seat moved to Albion, .... 138 

educational statistics, 1858, ..... 345-6 

representative, . . . . . . 159 

state of county affairs, . . . . . -33^ 

Edwardsville, ...... 206, 247, 248, 249 

Effingham County, . . . . . . .11 

Egyptian bondage, ...... 79 

Electra, ship, . . . . . . .150 

Elk, 59, 293, 357-8 

Emerald Isle, . . . . . . . .94 

Emigrants, first parties, ..... 95-7) 99-101 

Emigration, blessings of, . . . . . -79 

England, 25, 48, 79, 83, 85, 92, 93, 94, loi, 113, 119, 146, 149, 156, 157, 
160, 165, 190, 195, 212, 257, 259, 274, 279, 316, 324, 325, 356, 358, 
361, 363, 364, 368. 
English, ...... .13,69,188-9,265 
























, 168, 






184, 338 






English Channel, ...... 91, 92 

farmers, ....... 77 

farm-laborers, success of . . . . 289-90, 314 

Settlement in Edwards County, attacks upon . . 168, 191-6 

Mr. Birkbeck's subscription to . . . . 99 

blooded stock in . . . 100, 160, 278, 305, 317, 318 

books referring to ... . 318-9, 328 

cotton raised in ..... . 333 

county-fairs in . . . . . 346-8 

court and court-house in . . . . 138, 141 

discomforts of settlers in . . 100, iio-i, 121, 124-5 

distance between cabins in . . . . . 293 

emigration recommences to . . . . 287-9 

extent of . . . . . . . 354 

farming profits in .... . 304, 313 

founding . . . . . 13, 116, 130 

off highways of travel, ..... 191 

land in, gradually taken up, .... 350 

lawyers who visited ..... 290-3 

manuscript history of ..... 9 

marriage certificates, early . . . . 312 

mechanics, early ...... 129 

murders in . . . . . 138-9, 277-8 

outrages upon blacks in . . . . 260-1, 263-4 

peach raising in ..... 305 

peculiarities of ..... . 330 

physicians in, early ..... 332 

pork raised in . . . . . -317 

public library in ..... 328 

religious teachers in, early .... 167-79 

schools and school-houses in . . . 337^43 

settlers, characteristics of . . . . .161 

ri classes of ..... 289, 314 

M earliest .... 95, 108, 128-38 

M early .... 142-66, 184-90, 316, 318 

M places of nativity, . 94, 103, 166, 167, 189.91, 316.7 

II ports at which they arrived, . . . 189 

site determined upon, ..... 73-4 

temperate habits of settlers in . . . . 335 

tradesmen, early ...... 135.7 

visited by tourists, . . . . 318.28 

vote in, upon convention question, .... 246 

wolves and panthers in . . . . 308.9 

social life, ....... 22 




English unable to picture to themselves Illinois life, truly . 93 

Enniscorthy, . . . • . .■ .43 

Establishment, rural ...... 371 

Episcopal services, . . . . . . 169.70, 17 1.2 

Essex, England, ...... 48 

Europe, . . . . . . 112, 163, 361 

Evansville, Indiana, ..... loi, 145, 163, 186 

Falls of the Big Wabash, . . . . . .11 

Far West, ....... 59 

Farming in America, profits of . . . -3^3 

in England, profits of . . . . . 97-9 

Fayette County, . . . . . . 11, 198 

Fleet prison, ....... 274 

Flower, George (see Index of Persons), African colonization scheme, 14, 265.70 
age in 1817, . 48 

ancestors, ....... 315.6 

and Miss Eliza Andrews, afterward Mrs. Flower, . . 48 

at seventy-four, ....... 359 

attends inauguration of President Monroe, ... 45 

builds cabins for settlers, . . . .124 

burial place of ..... . 10 

Chicago Tribune, extract from . . . .12 

correspondents of (see letters) . . 9, 14 

crosses the Wabash, . . . . .63 

death of . . . . 9.10, 14.5 

death of his brother William, . .131 

descends Ohio River in an "Ark, " .... 106.8 

determines with Mr. Birkbeck upon place for settlement, . 73.4 

describes camp-meetings, . . . . . 173-7 

drives from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh in carriage, . .103 

embarks for America, . . . 30, 100. i 

II n England, . . . . . .91 

established at Princeton, Indiana, .... 56 

evening of his life, . . .14, 359.60 

father of (see Flower, Richard) .... 26 

finds Capt. Birk's at last, . . 66.7 

finds Mrs. Flower a noble woman, .... 122.3 

first experiences in new home, . . no, iii, 122 

foray with pro-slavery mob, ..... 264 

gets to Big-Prairie, ...... 64.5 

goes half-a-mile for water, . . . . no 

hears from Mr. Birkbeck, ..... 109 



Flower, George, horseback rides into interior of Illinois, 297.8, 301 

11 trip eastward, .. _. .. .. 86.91 

hospitality of .. .. -. .. .. .. 13 

hospitality of Mrs. Gen. Harrison to .. .. .. 51 

husbandry upon improved scale, . . .- .. .. 13 

Illinois, indebtedness of, to services in slavery struggle of 1823, 7, 12, 13 

joined by Mr. Fordham, .. .. .. .. 109 

joins Mr. Birkbeck at Richmond, Va., .. _. ..47 

journeying westward, first time, with party, .. .. 49-74 

invited to visit Monticello, .. .. .. .. ..32 

lays out the town of Albion, .. .. .. .. 125.9 

leaves Mrs. Flower at Chambersburgh, .. .. ..91 

leaves Settlement in 1849, -- -- -- 125.9,358.9 

legal difficulties with neighbors, .. .. .. .. 275 

letter from William Cobbett to .. .. .. .. 361 

V Count de Lasteyrie, .. .. .. 361, 362, 365 

11 Abbe Gaultier to .. .. .. .. 364 

.1 Gen. Lafayette to -. .. .. 363, 370.1 

.1 D. Macdonald to .. .. .. .. 373 

II Madam O'Connor to .. .. .. .. 367 

11 William Owen to .. .. .. .. 373 

II A. H. Tessier to .. .. .. .. 370 

life imperilled, .. .. .. 35, 37, 40.2, 91.2, 262 

log-cabin and first meals of .. .. .. .. Iio.i 

lost in the rain, .. .. .. .. .. 298 

lost on his way to Pittsburgh, . . . . . . . . 33 

makes a comfortable house for father, .. .. .. 133 

makes a will, .. .. .. .. .. ..84 

man of great ability, a.. .. .. .. .. 12 

marries Miss Andrews, .. .. .. .. ..56 

mediates between Mr. and Mrs. Hanks, .. .. .. 116 

meets, for the first time, Edward Coles, . . . . . . 45 

ti Mrs. Flov^er with babe at Chambersburgh, .. .. 104 

11 Gen. Jackson, .. .. .. .. ..39 

11 Gen. Ripley, .. -. .. .. .. 39 

11 President Madison, .. .. .. .. ..45 

mother of .. .. .. .. .. .. 315 

motives for immigration, .. .. .. _. ..13 

moves to Mount Vernon, Indiana. .. .. .. 123 

murder of his son Richard, .. .. .. .. 277.8 

non-residents, unwilling to invest for .. .. .. 350 

outrages upon, on account of friendship toward blacks, .. 260.5 

passes through Cattinet, .. .. .. .. 58.9 

pays just wages, .. .. .. .. .. .. 163 



Flower, George, pecuniary difficulties of .. .. .. 14, 358.9 

portrait of .. .. .. .. .. ..16 

president of railway, .. .. _- .. .. 335 

provisions with difficulty obtained by -. .. .. .. 123 

published, with Mr. Birkbeck, a pamphlet "To Emigrants," 194 

publishes "Errors of Emigrants, " .. .. .. .. 181 

11 letter in 1.070^// Catrier, .. .. .. 187 

puts Mr. Birkbeck's "Notes upon a Journey to America" in hands 

of publishers, .. .. .. .. .. 91, 93 

reaches Long-Prairie, .. .. .. .. ..73 

resides at Princeton, Indiana, .. .. .. .. 84 

returns, for a time, to England, .. .. .. .. 73.4 

returns to Princeton, .. .. .. .. .. 72 

rides to Lexington, .. .. .. .. ..131 

searches for the prairies, with Mr. Birkbeck, . . . . 60 

sees Indians, .. .. .. .. .. ..52 

sends colony to Hayti, .. .. .. .. .. 265.70 

sickness of .. .. .. .. .. 122, 262 

and Mr. Sloo, .- -. .. .. .. 50, 51 

social life in Illinois of -. .. .- .. 305-7 

11 II Philadelphia of .- -- .. .. 32 

spends a day at Busro, .. .. .. .. .. 56.8- 

stops at Shawneetown, . . . . . . . . 108 

II Vincennes, .. .. .. .. .. 52.3 

suffers from sea-sickness, .. .. .. .. 92 

takes Mrs. Flower east with him, . . . . . . . . 85 

temperate habits of .. .. .. .. .. 275.6 

thought a visionary, .. .. .. .. .. 303 

tribute to memory of, by Rev. William Barry, .. .. 13-5 

11 II by Chicago Historical Society, .. .. i5-6- 

variance with Mr. Birkbeck, at, cause, .. .. 109, 112. 5 

visits Cincinnati, .. .. .. .. .. ..35 

II Coles family, .. .. .. .. .. 43 

II Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, .. .. .. 43.4 

II II at Poplar Forest, . . . . . . 43 

II France with Mr. Birkbeck, .. .. .. .. 23.4 

11 Neave family, .. .. .. .. .. 36 

II New Harmony, .. .. .. .. .. 60.2 

11 Dr. Priestly, .. .. .. .. .. 32 

II Gov. Shelby, .. .. .. .. ..37 

II mammoth cave, .. .. .. .. .. 38.9 

visited by distinguished travelers, .. .. .. 318.26 

writes history of the English Settlement in Edwards County, 9, 14 

writes to Jefferson concerning land-grant, gets reply, .. 76.80- 



Flower, Mrs. George (see Personal Index) adventure with panther, 308.9 

accompanies Mr. Flower on journeys in Illinois, .. 297.8, 301 

aids in rescuing child from well, .. .. .. .. 153 

babe born to, at Chambersburgh, .. .. .. .. 104 

burial-place of .. .. .. .. .. 10 

characteristics of.. .. .. .. .. 122.3 

death of .. .. .. .. .. .. 9.10 

decides at first to remain at Princeton, .. .. .. 84 

disliked by a woman because English born, .. .. 69 

evening of life of .. .. .. .. .. 359-6o 

goes east with husband, ./ .. .. .. 85.91 

life imperilled, .. .. .. .. .. ..90 

maiden name of .. .. .. .. .. 48 

mentioned in letters addressed to husband, .. .. 373, 374 

nurses sick, .. .. .. .. .. .. 122 

portrait of .. .. .. .. .. .. 16 

resides at Chambersburgh during husband's visit to England, 90.1 

refuses Morris Birkbeck, .. .. .. .. ..55 

visits Busro, .. .. .. .. .. .. 57 

Flower, Richard (see Personal Index), .. .. .. ..26 

an anti-slavery man, .. .. .. .. .. 25 

builds tavern and other buildings at Albion, .. .. 134-5 

characteristics of .. .. .. .. .. 314-5 

death of .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 314 

hospitality at Park House of .. .. .. .. 104 

house attacked by pro-slavery mob, .. .. .. .. 263 

Illinois indebtedness to .. .. .. .. 12 

interest in Albion, .. .. .. .. .. .. 183 

lives at Lexington, Kentucky, .. .. .. .. 102, 131 

Marden his English estate, .. .. .. .. ..26 

H II II sold, -. .. .. -- 104 

moves to Albion, .. .. .. .. .. 134, 159 

negotiates the sale of New Harmony, .. .. .. 61, 279 

Park House, the Illinois residence of .. .. ..131 

preaches at Albion, .. .. .. .. .. 171 

wife of .. .. .- .. .. -. 315-^ 

Fort Madison, Iowa, .. .. .. .. .. 170 

Snelling, .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 320 

St. Anthony, .. .. .. .. .. .. 320 

Founders of colonies, losses and gains of .. .. .. 354-7 

Fox River, .. .. .. .. .. .. 115 

Fox-River Township, .. .. .. .. .. .. 226 

Foxe's " Book of Martyrs, ". . .. .. .. .. 315 

France, .. .. .. 23.4, 27, 28, 59, 79, 361, 363, 364 



Frederickstovvn, Mo., -- -- -- -- -- 10 

Free-school system, advantages of .. .. -- 344-5 

Free-states, .. .- -- -- -- -- 208 

Free-thinking christians, .. -- -- .. -- 320 

French, .. .. .. .. .. 58.9, 78, 141, 162, 371 

Canadians, -. -- -- -- -- 72, 73, no 

Creek Prairie, .. .. -- -- .- 307 

Institute, .. -. -- -- -- -- 37' 

Settlement on Tombigbee, . . . . - - - - 78 

Friends, the .. -- .. -- 18, 19, 25, 36, 147, 148 

Fulton County, .. .. .- .. -- -- 206 


Gafena, .. -. .. .. -. .- 170, 187 

Congressional District, .. .. .. -. -- 187 

lead mines, .. .. .. .. -- -.321 

Gallatin County, .. .- .. -- 10,11,170,253,291,292 

saline, .. .. .. .. .. -- 198.200, 225 

Georgia, .. .. .. -- .. .. -- 217,230 

Germans, .. .. .. -. 61,78,137,279,281,316 

Germany, .. .- .. .- -- .- 367 

Gibson County, Indiana, .- -. .. -- -- 56 

Girondins, .. .. .. -. -- -- 369 

Glamorganshire, Wales, .. .. -- .. .- 190 

Grayville, .. .. -- 9, 10, 99, 136, 155, 157, 266 

Great Britain, .. .. .. .. 76,77,238,280 

uneasiness felt by the agriculturalists of .. -. .. 226.7 

Great Wabash, .. .. .. .. 1 1, 53, 73, 13°, 279 

Greene County, .. .. .. -. -. .. 198 

Grundy County, .. .. .. .. .. ..11 

Guernsey, island of .. .. .. .. .. 169 

Gulf of Mexico, .. -. -. .. -. .. 189 

Gwathway's Hotel, Louisville, .. -. .. -- 320 


Hammersmith, England, .. .. .. .. -.99 

Harmonie (see New Harmony), .. .. .. .. 61 

Harmony, Pa., .. .. .. .. .. 34, 62 

Hatton Garden, London, .. .. .. .. .. 96 

Havre, .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 367 

Hayti, .. .. .. .. -- 14, 265, 268, 270, 271, 272 

colonization scheme, .. .. .. .. 14,265.72 

u II discouraged, .. .. .. 271.2 

HazleHill, .. .. .. .. .. .. --99 

Hebrews, .. .. .. .. .. .. 221 




Hertford, .. .. .. .. .. 364,365,368,372 

Hertfordshire, England, .. .. -.13, 26, 157, 193, 315, 361 

Horseback traveling, .. .. .. _. 85.7,295.8,301 

House of Commons, England, .. .. .. .. 235 

Hudson Bay Company, .. _. _, _. .. 320 

Hunter-class, disappearance of .. -. __ .. 184 

Hunting (see also elk, buffalo, deer, etc.), .. .. 308.10- 


Illinois, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 38, 48, 51, 53, 56, 59, 60, 61, 63, 
71. 73> 77» 92, loi, 104, 105, 106, 162, 187, 192, 196, 209, 210, 213, 
215, 234, 240, 245, 256, 261, 359. 

admitted as free state, .. .. .. .. .. 227.9 

congressman's district, .. .. .. .. .. 120 

efforts to introduce slavery iiuo .. .. .. 13-4. 197-247 

Gazette, .. .. .. .. 207, 210, 216, 224, 235, 242 

Governors, .. .. .. .. ..187, 205, 206, 247 

in 1812, -- .. .. -- ' .- -. 120. I 

Intelligencer, .. .. .. .. .. 224, 226, 244 

judges of U. S. court in .- _. .. .. ..81 

legislative council in 1816. 18, .. .. .. .. 170 

legislature in 1820.22, .. .. ._ .. 184,202.5 

and Michigan Canal, .. .. __ .- _. 206 

" Monthly Magazine," .. _. .. .. .. 292 

northern, .. .- .. -. .. _- 198 

northwestern circuit in 1841.42, .. .. .. .. 170 

southern, .. .. .. .. .. .. 76 



M ignorance of, .. -. .. .- 36, 38, 58, 63 

Republican, .. .. .. .. .. ..219 

slavery in .. .. _- .- -- 198.200,253.4 

supreme court, .. .. -. -. -- .. 202 

territorial delegate, . . . . . - - - - - 80 

U. S. senator, .. .. .- .. .. -. 205 

India, .. .. .. .. .- -. -. 103 

Indiana, 11, 14, 48, 49, 50, 51, 53, 76, 125, 169, 192, 209, 261, 262, 263, 294. 

Indian mound, .. .. .. -- -. .. 71 

Indians, .. .. .'- 34, 35. 52, 59. 63, 66, 68, 73, 263, 357.8 

as wrestlers, .. .. .- -- -- -. 294 

Intemperance among pioneers (see also temperate habits 01 English settlers) 

72, 138, 142, 251, 252, 265, 276, 348 

Iowa, -. -- .- -- -. .. ..170 

Ireland, .. .. .. -- -- .. 91. 94. 158. 3^9 

Iroquois CouiU}, .- .. -- .. .. ..II 



Israelites and slavery, .. .. .. .. -. 220. 1 


Jamaica, island of -. .. -- -- -- ijj, 158 

Jasper County, .. .. -. -- -- -- il 

Jefferson County, .. -- .. -- -- ..11 

town of .. -- -- -- -- -- 35 

Joe Daviess County, .. .. -- -- -. ..170 


Kane County, .- .. .. -- -. .- 11 

Kankakee County, -- .. -- -- .. ..ii 

Kaskaskia, -. -. -- -- -- _. 120, 184 

River, .. -. -. -- -. -- _.i63 

Kelshall, England, '.. .. _. .. -. 315 

Kendall County, -. .- -- -. -- _-ii 

Ohio, -- -- -- -- -- -- 34 

Kennebec County, Maine, .. .- .- __ .- 169 

Kent, -- -. -- -- -- -- -- 144 

Kentucky, .. 36, 38, 57, 58, 76, 173, 199, 210, 211, 213, 215, 216, 291 


LaGrange, France, .. .. .. -- .. 363, 364 

Lake County, .. .. .. .. -- .. Ii 

Lanark, Scotland, .. .. .. .. _. 279 

Land, government, price of .. .. _. -. ..211 

H unable to get extension of time of payment for, 75, 80 

office, Shawn eetown, recently opened, 1S18, -. __ __ $1 

advantages in gradual taking up of . . _ - _ _ 350 

LaSalle County, .. .. .. .. _. _-ii 

LaVillette's Ferry, .. .. .. __ 70, 72, 73, 74 

Lawrence County, .. .. .. .. _. Ii, 198 

Lawrenceville, -. .. -- .. .- -. 298 

Lee County, .. .- .. .- -. .- ..170 

Leicestershire, England, .. _. -- -. .. 144 

Lexington, Ky., .. ._ .. 36, 102, 104, 131, 159, 278 

Lincoln County, Ky., .. .. .. .. .. 36 

Lincolnshire, England, .. .. .. .. 162, 166, 288 

Litchfield, Maine, -. .. _. _. _. 169 

Little Wabash, ._ .. .. 70, 71, 126, 130, 149, 265, 334 

Lithographic establishment, .. .. .. .. 366.7 

Liverpool, England, .. .. .. .. 30, 92, 100, 156 

Livingston County, .. .. .. .. .. il 

Log-cabins, description and price of .. .. -. 129.30 

disappearance of .. .. .. -. .. 330 



London, 24, 54, 81, 92, 94, 97, 99, loi, 105, 122, 135, 137, 150, 156, 157, 

189, 289, 303, 320, 362, 364, 365, 366. 
Long-Prairie, -. -. .. .. .. .. -.73 

Lost child, .. .. .. .. .. .. 307.8 

Louisville, Ky., .. .. --97, 102, 104, 109, 181, 201, 320 

Lowell Courier, .. .. .. .. .. .. 181 


Macon County, 

Madison County, . . 

Mail, interruption of 

Mammoth Cave, 

Marden, _ . . . . , . . 26, 

Marion County, 

Market for farmers' produce, 

Marriage licenses and fees, early 
Martinsburgh, Va., 
McHenry County, 
McLean County, 
Mercer County, 
Methodist camp-meeting, 


Mexico, .- 

city of - - 
Mississippi River, 

State of 
Missouri, State of 
Montgomery County^ 

1816 and 1882, 
Mount Carmel, 
Mount Vernon, Ind., 
Mushanon Creek, 




National Road, 

Negroes, American hatred of .. 



II, 198 

82, 94 




364, 365, 368, 372 



- 313 





.. 141, 290 

-- 145 









- . 202 


118, 254, 291, 358 

- 358 




120, 121, 313, 320 



40, 53, 216 



24, 32, 371 



-- 335 


138, 174, 177, 186 

9, 10, 123, 373 


.. 138, 277 



-- 38, 39 

-- 34 



. . 260 



New England, .. .. .. .. .. 18, 186,339 

New Harmony, Ind., 32, 60.1, 63, 64, 114, 115, 119, 136, 137, 159, 165, 167, 

254, 255, 256, 278, 279, 281.6, 289, 325, 358, 372, 373, 374. 
New Lanark, Scotland, .. .. .. .. 62, 372 

New Orleans, 40, 147, 157, 164, 189, 210, 232, 268, 269, 270, 313, 316, 325 
New- York City, 30, 31, 91, 92, 102, 118, 119, 148, 149, 168, 184, 195, 271, 
272, 303, 361. 

State of .. .. .. .. .. 195, 208, 217, 227 

Niagara, .. .. .. .. .. .. 107 

North-Bend, .. .. .. .. .. .. ..51 

North-Britain, .. .. .. .. .. .. 372 

North Carolina, .. .. .. .. .. 213, 217 

North-western Company, .. .. .. .. _. 320 

States, .. .. .. .. .. .. ..174 

Territory, .. .. .. .. .. .. 320 

Norfolk, England, .. .. .. .. .. .. 149 

Virginia, .. .. .. .. .. .. 26 

Nottinghamshire, England, .. .. .. .. loi, 145 

Norway, .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 181 


Ogle County, .. .. .. .. .. .. ..170 

Ohio River, 11, 38, 49, 102, 103, 105, 106.7, 108, 109, 123, 144, 14S, 198, 320. 

dangerous crossing, .. .. .. .. ..49 

navigating the .. .. .. .. .. 106.7 

State of .. .. .. .. 49, 50, 78, 165, 192, 209, 215 

Olney, Illinois, .. .. .. .. .. ..155, 303 

Oppelousas, .. .. .. .. .. ._ ..40 

Opossum, .. .. .. .. .. .. 59 

Oxfordshire, .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 108 


Pacific Ocean, .. .. .. .. .,. .. 84, 120 

Palestine, Illinois, .. .. .. .. .. ..187 

Palmyra, Illinois, .. .. .. .. .. 11, 13S, 261 

Panthers, .. .. .. .. .. .. 308.9 

Paris, -. .. .. .. 361, 362, 365, 366, 367, 370 

Park House, .. 99, 132, 153, 159, 165, 166, 277, 290, 301, 315, 326 

Pau, France, .. .. .. .. .. .. 321 

Peasants of France, artistic taste of . . . . . . . . 24 

Pennsylvania, .. .. 18, 2,2, 184, 185, 195, 208, 217, 239, 274 

Peoria, .. .. .. .. .. ._ .. 301 

Petersburg, .. .. .. .. .. .. 169 

Philadelphia, 19, 32, 36, 45, 59, 85, 91, 92, 93, 99, 103, 143, 144, 150, 152, 
168, 172, 271, 272, 302, 303, 361. 



Piankeshaw Indians, 
Piatt County, 
Pickaway Indians, 

Pigeon Creek, Ind., 
Pike County, 
Pioneer life, 

Ti unlike English, .. 

specimen of 

reflections on 
Pittsburgh, 33, 34, 49, 51, 90, 99, 102, 103, 105, 106, 

162, 192, 277, 302, 303, 320, 372. 
"Pittsburgh Navigator, " 
Plymouth, England, 
Poplar Forest, 

Pork of Albion, high price received for 
Posey County, Indiana, 
Postage rates, 
Prairie ignorance, 

changing appearance of 


Princeton, Ind., .. 56, 57, 60, 67, 72, 82, 83, i 

Produce, price of 


124, 358 




.. 163 

-- 198, 206 


. -- 93-4 

66, 67 


i35> 144, i5o> 156, 

.. 106 


38, 43> 77 


-. 268 


-- 359 

60, 63 


-- 180, 353 

-- 65 

4, 85, 104, 112, 1 16 

.. 278 

Quakers (see Friends), 



Railroad building, . . 
Ramsey's Station, 
Randolph County, 
Red- River Colony, 

of the North, . . 
Religious sentiment in the Settlement, 
Republican Advocate, 
Richland County, 
Richmond, Va., 
River Raisin, .. 
Rivers, dangerous crossing of 
Road making, 

from Chamber.sburgli to Pittsburg! 
Roads, American and English 

18, 19, 25, 36, 243, 254 

-- 59 


-- 293 


.. 321 



-- 219, 240 



.. 69 

.. 49-5°. 88.90, 295 

-- ^l)}>i ^35> Z'^h 


.. 10; 



Koads, early (see Trace) -. -- -- .. .- 61.2 

Robert Btirns, ship, .. ._ .. _. .. -.30 

Rochester, Illinois, .. .. .. .. .. 73 

Rock-Island County, -- -. .. .. -. .. 170 

Rock Spring, Illinoi . -- -. -. -. .. 206 

Roman Catholics, .. _. -. .- -- ..174 

church, _- -- -- -- -. .. 272 

Russia, -. -- -- '-- -- .- -.24 


Saline District, .. .. -. .- .. .. 198 

Sandon, England, .. ._ .. .. .. .. 315 

San Francisco, .- -. -- .. .. .. 170 

Sangamon County, .. .- .. .. .. 198,206 

Schools in France, .- __ .- .. 362, 363, 365.6 

difficulties in sustaining in Illinois, .. .. .. .. 338 

Lancastrian, .. _. .. -- .. .. 365.6 

price of tuition in Illinois, .. .. .. .. .. 186 

and school-houses, early .. ., .. .. 337-45 

Scioto River, .. ._ ._ .. .. ..35 

Scotland, .. .. .. .. 94» 173. 364. 369. 374 

Sea voyages, dangerous and tedious . _ . . . . 92, 102 

Seine River, .. .. .. .. .. .. 367 

Settlers (see English Settlement), losses of .. _. .. 353 

from different localities, characteristics of .- -- ._ 184.7 

Severn, River . .. .. .. .. .. .. 190 

Shakers, .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 57, 260 

Shawneetown, 38, 50, 51, 75, 99, 108, 122, 128, 164, 168, 170, 198, 200, 228, 

253, 261, 267, 268.9, 278, 292, 293, 294, 316. 

ShawneetQivn Gazette, .. .. .. 209, 22S, 229, 234, 253, 267 

Spectator, .- ._ _. .. ._ .. 292 

Shelby County, -. .. ._ .. .. .. ii 

Ship voyage, dismal nature of .. .. .. '.. 92 

Siberia -. .. ._ .. .. .. ..180 

Skye, Isle of .. _. .. .. ._ .. 9, 374 

Slave-states, settlers from (see also Southerners), .. .. .. 71 

Slave-trade declared piracy, .. .. .. .. 238 

Slavery (see Birkbeck's letters), 210, 215, 216, 219, 225, 22S, 230, 231, 234, 
235, 240, 243, 244. 

a curse to Western Virginia, .. .. .. .. 45 

efforts to introduce into Illinois, .. .. 24.5, 197.256 

It 11 H incident in struggles, .. 170 

English efforts to modify, .. .. .. .. 235.8 

extension in U. S. of . . . . . . . . . . 238 



Snow storm, lost in 


-- 300 

Societe Philantropique, 


Southerners as settlers, .. .. .. 187.8, 



246, 260 

Southern States, .. 


185, 202 



24, 172 




attacks of 


-- 195 

discouraged, .. .. '.. .. 


fear of.. 


75-6, 8a 

Springfield, Illinois, 


187, 291 

St. Clair County, .. .. ;. 


.. 206 

St. Domingo, 

229, 267 

St. Lawrence, Gulf of.. 

-- 189 

St. Louis, -- -. -- -- 53> 120, 



320, 325 

Stephenson County, 


.. 170 



Sunbury, England, 

-- 32 

Surrey, England, .. _. -_ -. 20, 96, 



148, 149 

Susquehanna River, 


Supplies, from whence drawn. 



.. 181 

Swiss Settlement on Ohio, . . 




.. 180 

Temperate habits in Settlement, 


Tennessee, .. .. .. .. ..71, 



199, 213 



Terre Haute, . . 

-- 53 



Therfield, England, 

-- 315 

Timber-land avoided by English, 


Time and expense of average trip from East, in 1818.23, 


Tippecanoe, Battle of 


Trace across Illinois, 

- 53 



from Vincennes to St. Louis, 

-- 297 

Traveling in 1 8 18 and i860. 


by stage, boat, and on horseback. 





.. 78 



Turkey, wild .. 

59, I" 

Tuscar Lighthouse, 





United States, .. .. 27, 112, 172, 189, 238, 316, 321, 371 

ignorance in England of the .. .. -. .. 189 

Land Court, California, .. .. .. .. ..187 

reflection on the .. -. -- -- -- 27.9 


Vandalia, 120, 121, 139, 184, 201, 206, 210, 224, 242, 243, 247, 248, 251, 

252, 253, 292, 294, 295. 

Venison, price of .. .. .. -- -- -- 119 

Vermillion County, . . - - - - - - ..11 

Vermont, .. .. -- -- -- -- 208,217 

Verona, . . . - - - - - - - - - - - 234 

Vignon, France, .. .. -- -- -- -- 37 1 

Village-chime, charm of the . . . . - - - - ..172 

Prairie, .. .. -- 124, 125, 127, 152, 153, 155, 159 

Vincennes, .. 51, 52.3, 56, 102, 128, 135, 136, 192, 261, 262, 303 

Virginia,.. .. .. .. 18,38,40,43,45,92,208,217 


Wabash County, . . . . . . . . . . - - 1 1 

River, 53, 60, 61, 73, 102, 106, I20, 121, 144, 162, 187, 206, 212, 
266, 267. 
ferries, .. .. .. -- -- 51, 60, 63 

fording of (see also Great Wabash and Little Wabash), .. 63 

valley; .. -. -- -. -- 60, 61, 62, 170 

Wales, .. .. .. .. -. .- 36,94,189,190 

VvT'anborough, England, . . . . . . . . 20, 24, 48, 97 

Illinois, 65, 100, 115, 116, 126, 130, 147, 149, 158, 169, 173, 243, 245, 

358, 373- 

Washington City, .. .. .. .. 81,83,294,325,371 

County, .. .. -- -. -- .- -• 198 

Pennsylvania, .. .. -- -- -- I55 

Warwickshire, England, .. .. .. -. I59> 279 

War of 1812, .. .. .. .. .- .. 57, 266 

of the Rebellion, . . . . . . - - - - . . 10 

Water, difficulty of obtaining .. .. .. 119,130.1,134 

Waterloo, . . . . . . - - - - - - - - 3^8 

Wayne County, .. .. .. -- -- 11,12,198 

Wealth, production (jf .. .. .. -- -. 232.3 

Well, child in .. .. .. .- -- -- '53 

digging, dangers of .. -. -- -. i54j '55-^ 

Western States, .. .. .. -. .- -- 181 

West Indies, .. .. .. .- -- -- 94.236 

Wheeling, .. .. .. .. -- -- i55 



Whipping-post, .. .. .. .. .. .. 141 

White County, .. .. .. 9, 109, 142, 200, 226, 253, 290 

White River, . . . . . . . . . . 263 

Indians, . . . . . . . . . . 263 

Whitesides County, .. .. .. ..170 

Wild animals, .. .. .. .. .. 308- 10 

Will County, . . . . . . . . . . ..11 

Williams' Ferry, . . . . . . . . . . 64 

Winnebago County, .. .. 170 V 

Wisconsin, .. .. .. .. .. .. 12 

William Penii, steamer, .. .. .. .. --373 

Wolves, .. .. .. .. .. .. 308- 10 

Yankees, .. .. .. .. 169 

Yeatley, Surrey, . . . . . . 96 

York, City of . . 159 

Factory, .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 320 

Yorkshire, England, .. .. .. .. 143, 159, 317 


Zacatecas, Mexico, .. .. .. .. .. 254 


■S^dams, John, 28. 
Adams, John Quincy, 81, 324, 372. 
Agniel, Mrs., 9. 
Alfred the Great, 317. 
Allen, William, 364. 
"Americanus, " 242, 243, 244. 
Anderson, |ohn, 70. 
Anderson, Mr., 181. 
Andrews, Eliza Julia, 48, 54, 55. 

(See Flower, Airs. George.^ 
Andrews, Mordicah, 48. 
Applegath, Joseph, 289, 303. 
Arnold, Isaac N., 7. 
Arthur, Mr., 260, 261, 262. 
Arthur, Samuel, 163, 164. 
Ayres, Thomas, 150. 

Bakewell, Thomas, 34. 

Balwin, Rn>. Mr., 171. 

Ballard, Jeremiah, 132. 

Banks, Mr., 366, 367. 

Bankson, Andrew, 198. 

Barker, Mr., 366. 

Barney, Eliza, 312. 

Barry, William, 13. 

Beevoir, Lady, 325-6. 

Beevoir, Thomas, 325-6. 

Bennett, David, loi, 102. 

Birk, Capi., 66, 67, 68, 71, 119, 120, 

Birk, Mrs., 66. 

Birkbeck, Bradford, 47, 50, 51, 60, 
84, 118, 254, 255, 256. 

Birkbeck, Charles, 47, 254, 255. 

Birkbeck, Eliza, 48, 54, 84. (See 
Pell, Mrs. Eliza.; 

Birkbeck, Morris, Sr., 19. 

Birkbeck, Morris, yr. (see Subject In- 
dex), 7, 9, II, 13, 19, 20, 21, 23, 
24, 25, 26, 46, 55, 58, 72-4, 81-3, 
91-3. 97-9. 100, 109, 1 12-5, 116, 
130, 177-9, 209-45, 247-8, 255, 
350, 358, 362, 363. 364. 365. 367, 
368, 371. 372, 373- 

Birkbeck, Prudence, 48, 54, 86, 116, 

158. (See Hanks, Mrs.) 
Birkett, Henry, 158, 264. 
Blackwell, David, 25. 
Blake, Judge, 56. 
Bonaparte, Xapoleon, 23, 362. 
Bond, Shadrach, 170, 246. 
Bouhley, Mr., 374. 
Boucher, Krv. Mr., 169. 
Bowman, Henry, 157. 
Bowman, Mrs. Henry (Simkins), 157. 
Boyer, President, 14, 265, 266. 
Brenchly, John, 152-3. 
Brenchly, Mrs. John, 152-3. 
Brissenden, John, 144, 145, 189. 
Brissenden, Mrs. John (Mea), 144, 

Brown, Basil, 60. 
Brown, Thomas, 169. 
Brown, Mrs. Thomas, 169. 
Browne, Jesse B., 170, 171, 246. 
Browne, Thomas C., 170, 253, 292. 
Bumbery, Samuel, 312. 
Buntin, James, 316. 
Burris, Gilbert, 260. 
Butler, Joseph, 144. 

Calhoon, Mr., 104. 
Calhoon, Airs., 104. 
Calvin, Neptune, 260. 
Campbell, Thompson, 187. 
Candolle, Augustin Pyrame de, 23. 
Canning, George, 236-7. 
Carey, Matthew, 361. 
Carter, James, 137, 156, 301. 
Carter, Mrs. James, 156, 162. 
Cave, William, 165. 
Cave, Airs. William, 165. 
Chabot, Al., 369. 
Charles H., 18. 
Chase, Philander, 172. 
Chateaubriand, Viconite de, 359. 
Chetlain, Augustus L. , 321. 
Chisholm, Elijah, 330. 
Churchill, Charles, 136. 



Churchill, James, 136. 

Churchill, Joel, 135, 136, 137, 329, 

Clark, the niitrdej-er, 138. 
Clark, William, 148. 
Clay, Henry, 291. 
Clem, Thomas, 156. 
Coad, Edward, 73, 163, 164. 
Coad, Mrs. Edward, 164. 
Cobbett, William, 9, 14, 178, 193, 

194, 195, 361- 
Coles, Edward (see Subject Index), 7, 

24-5. 43, 44, 45. 138-40, 170, 205, 

247-8, 253, 267. 
Coles, Isaac, 43, 44. 
Coles, John, 43, 44. 
Coles, Mr,, 156, 157. 
Coles, Mrs. 156. 
Coles, Walter, 43. 
Columbus, Christopher, 273. 
Condorcet, Marchioness de, 368. 
Condorcet, Marquis de, 14, 368-9. 
Constable, D., 322-5. 
Coombs, Matthew, 153, 163. 
Cook, Daniel P., 246. 
Corey, Adam, 333. 
Corrie, Adam, loi. 
Cowling, George, 162. 
Cowling, Henry, 162. 
Cowling, John, 73, 162. 
Crackles, Joseph, 1 65-6, 288. 
Crackles, Kelsey, 155-6, 288. 
Crackles, Thomas, 165-6, 288. 
Cradock, Mr., 374. 
Cradock, Airs., 374. 
Crawford, Mr., 364. 
Cromwell, Oliver, 316. 
Curtis, William, 172. 


Dalby, Mr., 330-1. 
Darcet, Mr., 366. 
Davidson, William H., 142, 291. 
Dement, Henry Dodge, 10, li. 
Dewese, Dr., 33. 
Dickson, Francis, 136, 332. 
Donaldson, Mr. 35. 
Drake, Dr., 36. 
Dransfield, Mr., 307. 
Drummond, Thomas, 81. 
Duane, William, 361. 
Duncan, Joseph, 247, 252. 
Du Vasty, M., 229. 


Eddy, Henry, 291-2, 294-5. 
Edwards, Ninian, 206, 291. 
Ellis, Jack, 139-41. 
Ellis, Mj-s., 162. 

Fearon, Henry Bradshaw, 195, 319. 

Ferryman, George, 137. 

Field, Richard, 162. 

Field, Mrs. Richard (Ellis), 162. 

Filder, Mr., loi, 102, 192-3. 

Fitch, John, 273. 

Flack, James, 91. 

Flower, Alfred, 9, 317. 

Flower, Camillus, 317. 

Flower, Edward Fordham, loi, 159, 
279, 306, 316, 318. 

Flower, George (see Index of Subjects) 
7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 23- 
4, 26, 30, 32-3, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40- 
2, 43-4, 45-6, 48, 51, 52-3, 45-70, 
73-4, 76-80, 84, 85, 86, 91, 92, 
103-8, 109-16, 120-4, 125-31, 133, 
163, 173-7, 181, 194, 260-70, 275- 
6, 277, 297-8, 301-2, 303, 305-7, 
315-6, 318-26, 335, 350, 358-60, 


Flower, Mrs. George (Andrews), 9, 
10, 15, 46, 55, 56, 57, 69, 84-91, 
104, 109, 122-3, 146, 153, 297-8, 
301, 308-9, 359-60, 373, 374. 

Flower, Martha, 159, 160. 

(See Pickering, Airs. William, j 

Flower, Mary Catherine, 99. 
(See Ronalds, Mrs. Hugh, j 

Flower, Richard ( see Index of Subjects ) 
12, 25, 26, 61, 102, 103, 131, 132, 
134, 135, 159, 171, 183, 279, 314. 

Flower, Mrs. Richard (Fordham), 315. 

Flower, Richard, y^., 108, 109, 277-8. 

Flower, Richard, Jr. ( 4tli son), 10. 

Flower, William, lor, 106, 109, 132, 

Flower, a babe, 104. 
Ford, John, 205. 

Ford, Mrs. Prudence (Birkbeck), 358. 
Ford, Thomas, 187, 204. 
Fordham, Edward King, 328. 
Fordham, Elias P., 48, 56, 109, 125, 

127, 135- 
Fordham, Maria, loi, 103, 109, 122. 
Fox, Charles James, 324. 
Fo.\, Mr., 364. 



Franklin, Benjamin, 28, 368. 
Frederick, Lord, 327-8. 
French, Augustus C, 187. 
French, Mr., 330- 1. 
Fulton, Robert, 273. 


Gahee, David, 312. 

Ganaway, John, 299. 

Card, Seth, 312. 

Garton, Elizabeth, 48. 

Gaultier, Abbe, 9, 362, 363, 364, 365. 

Gilbert, Mr., 150, 269. 

Gillard, ^/r.,'47, 48. 

Granville, Citizen, 271. 

Graves, John, 193. 

Grayham, Robert, 265, 266, 267, 268, 

269, 270. 
Gregoire, M., 366. 
Gregory, Mrs., 374. 
Griscom, Prof., 272. 
Grouchy, Emmanuel, 368. 
Grutt, Benjamin, 128. 


Hall, Edward, 15 1-2. 

Hall, Robert, 151-2. 

Hall, James, 292. 

Hall, "William, 149, 150, 15 1-2. 

Hall, Mrs. William, 149. 

Hall, Mr., 255, 302. 

Hallum, William, 158. 

Hamilton, Alexander, 324. 

Hanks, Francis, 116-8, 158. 

Hanks, Mrs. Francis (Birkbeck), 1 16- 
8, 158, 358. (See Birkbeck, Pru- 

Hansen, Nicholas, 198, 204, 205. 

Harding, Thomas, 263. 

Hargrave, Willis, 142, 200, 224, 252. 

Harp, Afr., 40. 

Harris, George, 329. 

Harris, Gibson, 136. 

Harris, Mr., 70, 71. 

Harris, William, 145, 146, 278. 

Harrison, William H.,38, 51, 52, 169, 

Harrison, Mrs. William H., 51. 

Harwick, Henry, 137. 

Hawkins, Capt., 150. 

Hay, Daniel, 142. 

Hayes, S. S., 142. 

Hay ward, Mr., 108. 

Henshaw, Mr., 137. 

Heth, Capt., 26. 

Hettick, Mrs., 91. 
Hibert, Mr., 150. 
Hibert, Mrs., 150. 
Hobson, Mr., 138. 
Hoge, Joseph P., 170. 
Hornbrook, Mr., 162-3. 
Hulme, Mr., 303, 318. 
Husband, Richard, 163, 164. 
Huston, Henry, 65, 374. 
Hutchins, Benjamin, 171. 


Imlay, George, 36. 

Ingle, John, Sr., loi, 102, 129. 

Ingle, John, yr., loi. 

Jackson, Andrew, 39, 40. 
Jackson, Mr., 147. 
Jackson, Mrs., 147. 
Jefferson, Thomas, 9, 14, 24, 28, 31, 
38, 43, 44, 45, 76, 77-80, 83, 324, 

"John Rifle," 209, 212, 214. 
Johns, John, 330. 
Johnson, Dr., 195. 
Johnson, J. B., 158-9. 
Johnson, Olive, 374. 
"Jonathan Freeman," 209, 210-1,215, 

216-9, 221-3, 225-7, 228-40, 256. 
Jones, Mary, 312. 
Jones Family (colored), 266. 


Kane, Elias Kent, 291. 
Kean, John, 73. 
Kearney, Stephen Watts, 170. 
Kearsum, David, 149. 
Kearsum, George, 149. 
Kenton, Mr., 156. 
Kenyon, Capt., 102. 
Kidd, Mr., 150. 
Kidd, Mrs., 150. 
King, Rufus, 28. 
Kleinworth, Mr., 303. 
Kniffer, Richard, 156. 

Lafayette, Gen., 9, 32, 363, 367, 369, 

370, 371- 
LaSalle, CcL, 53, 56. 
Lasteyrie, Adrien Jules, 367. 
Lasteyrie, Count de, 9, 14, 361, 362, 

363, 364. 368. 



LaVallett, Auguste, 70, 72, 74. 
LaVallett, Fran9ois, 73. 
Lawrence, James, 96, 99, 108, 124, 

125, 126, 127, 128, 155, 156. 
Leiter, Levi Z.; 7, 16. 
LeSeur, J/r. , 32. 
Lewis, Mary, 153. 
Lewis, John, 134, 152-3, 293. 
Lewis, Mr., 134, 152-3. 
Liddard, Mr., 328. 
Lincoln, Abraham, 159. 
Lockwood, Samuel D., 202, 294-5. 
Loudon, Mr., 361, 362. 
Louis XVI, 370. 
Lowe, Col., 10. 
Lowe, Dr., 332. 
Luther, Mathew, 260. 


McClure, William, 254. 

McDonald, Jiuige, 261. 

McLean, John, 261, 291, 292. 

Macdonald, D., 9, 373, 374. 

Madison, James, 44, 45. 

Marter, John, 151. 

Mason, Edward G., 16. 

Mather, Thomas, 198. 

May, John, 166. 

Mayo, Walter L., 331. 

Mayo, Mrs., 149. 

Mazere, M., 229. 

Mea, Miss, 144. 

Mellish, Mr., 372. 

Michaels, George, 184, 188-9. 

Michaels, John, 184, 188-9. 

Michaels, Moses, 184, 188-9, 261, 

Miller, Mr., 38. 
Mills, Henry J., 246. 
Mirabeau, Comte de, 324. 
Monroe, James, 45. 
Montesquieu, Baron de, 162. 
Moran, J. H. O., 365-6. 
Moses, 221, 223, 241. 
Morgan, John, 278. 
Mummonie, Jean, ill. 


Nailor, Mr., 317. 
Neave, Jeremiah, 36, 50. 
Niles, Hezekiah, 361. 

O'Connor, Arthur, 369. 

O'Connor, Madam, 9, 14, 367, 368-9. 

Oldfield, Mr., 361. 
Oliver, Mr., 166. 
Orange, Daniel, 157, 158, 1 71. 
Orange, M7S., 157, 158. 
Owen, David Dale, 62. 
Owen, Robert, 62, 114, 115, 159, 255, 
279, 280-6, 289, 325, 372, 373, 374. 
Owen, Robert Dale, 62, 284. 

Paine, Thomas, 324, 368. 

Parsons, Capt., 30. 

Paul, Mr., 150. 

Paul, Mrs., 150. 

Payne, David, 312. 

Peck, J. M., 206. 

Pell, Gilbert T., 25, 116, 118, 168, 

Pell, Mrs. Eliza (Birkbeck), 116, 119, 

Penfold, Abraham, 129. 
Penfold, Isaac, 129. 
Penfold, Jacob, 129. 
Penn, William, 19, 273, 274, 355-6. 
Perry, Mr., 138-41. ^ 
Peters, Mr., 156. 
Phillips, Mr., 33. 
Phillips, Joseph, 170. 
Pickering, Mathew, 160. 
Pickering, William, 159, 171, 182, 

318, 334. 
Pickering, Mrs. W. (Flower), 160. 
Pitcher, John, 128, 134, 157. 
Pitt, William, 324. 
Plough, Samuel, 312, 
Plough, Sare, 312. 
Plummer, J. B., 10. 
Pope, John, 81. 
Pope, Nathaniel, 80, 81-3. 
Priestly, Joseph, 32. 
Pritchard, Edward, 147. 
Pritchard, Miss, 155. 
Pritchard, Samuel, 147. 
Pritchard, Mrs. Samuel, 147. 
Pritchard, Thomas, 147. 
Proffitt, George H., 169. 
Pugsley, C, loi, 155. 
Pugsley, Mrs. C, lor, 


Randolph, Misses, 43. 

Rapp, Frederick, 277, 279, 281, 283-5. 

Rapp, George, 34, 61, 279, 280-6, 

325, 372. ^ 

Rapp, Gertrude, 283. 



Raynal, Ablh\ 40. 
Reynolds, Thomas, 205. 
Ripley, Gen., 39, 40. 
Robinson, John M., 142, 291. 
Ronalds, Hugh, 99, 125, 127, 182, 

264, 300. 
Ronalds, Mrs. Hugh (Flower), 99. 

(See Flower, Mary. ^ 
Rotch, Francis, 101, 102. 
Rotch, Thomas, 34, loi, 102. 
Rotch, Airs. Thomas, 34. 
Rousseau, J. J., 324. 


Saunders, J^r. 36. 
Scavington, John, 145, 146, 189. 
Schofield, Charles, 317, 330. 
Schofield, William, 317, 330. 
Scudmore, Philip, 312. 
Selkirk, Lord, 320, 321. 
Shaw, John, 198, 204, 205. 
Shelby, Gov., 36, 37, 38. 
Shelby, Mr., 38. 
Shepherd, Betsy, 144. 
Shepherd, Thomas, 160. 
Shepherd, Mrs. Thomas, 160, 161, 

Shepherd, Thomas, Jr., 161. 
Short, Dr., 36. 
Simkins, Miss, 157. 
Simkins, Thomas, 157. 
Simkins, Mrs. Thomas, 157. 
Simpson, Mr., 149. 
Sinclair, Mr., 367. 
Skyej Lord of , 9, 373, 374. 
Slade, Charles, 163, 352. 
Sloo, Mr., 50, 51, 56, 63, 66. 
Smith, G. M., 312. 
Smith, Isaac, 158. 
Smith, John, 136. 
Smith, Matthew, 329. 
Smith, Moses, 136. 
Smith, William, 312. 
Sorgenfrey, Mr., 265. 
Spence, W., 312. 

Spring, Archibald, 155, 165, 332, 374. 
Spring, Henry, 155. 
Spring, John, 15 s. 
Spring, Sydney, 155. 
Spring, Mrs. Sydney (Pritchard), 155. 
Spring, Thomas, 155. 
Spring, Afrs. Thomas, 155, 
Stanhope, Mr., 158, 317. 
Stevenson, Andrew, 44. 
Stevenson, John White, 44. 

Stevenson, Sarah (Coles), 44. 

Stewart, Alexander, 136, 321, 330. 

Stewart, Margaret, 312. 

Stone, Ann, 312. 

Stone, Captain, loi. 

Stout, Elihu, 56. 

Swaine, Mr., 362, 369, 370. 

Swale, Thomas, 159. 


Tessier, Alexander Henri, 369, 370. 

Tewks, William, 144, 145. 

Thiers, Mr., 367. 

Thomas, Jesse B., 205, 291. 

Thompson, F. B., 321, 332. 

Thompson, Jeff, 10. 

Thompson, Samuel, 318, 320, 321, 

328, 332. 
Thompson, Samuel, yr., 321. 
Thread, James, 158. 
Thread, Robert, 158. 
Tribe, John, 147. 
Trimmer, Charles, 96, 99, 108, 124, 

129, 156. 
Trotter, ATr., 36. 
Truscott, William, Sr., 154, 163. 
Truscott, William, Jr., 163. 

Vaughan, John, 32. 
Vernet, Madam, 369. 
Victoria, Queen, 148. 
Voltaire, M., 324. 


Waite, Isaac, 91. 
Walford, Robert, 97. 
Walker, Brian, 143. 
Warder, Jeremiah, 32, 272. 
Washburne, E. B., 11, 205. 
Warrington, Oswald, 157, 339, 374. 
Warrington, Mis. Oswald, 157, 374. 
Waterhouse, Benjamin, 361. 
Wattles, James O., 158-9, 330. 
Weaver, Elias, 137. 
Webb, Edwin B., 142, 290-1, 292. 
Wei by, Adlard, 157, 318. 
Wellington, Duke of , 162. 
Welshman, Dr., 155, 332. 
Whitbread, Mr., 363,^370. 
White, Leonard, 142. 
White, Mr., loi, 102, 122. 
Whitehouse, Bishop, 303. 
Whitney, Eli, 273. 
Wieden, Raphael, 198. 



Wiley, C, & Co. (firm), 194. 
Wilkinson, William, 374. 
William the Conqueror, 149. 
Williams, Mr., 64, 65. 190. 
Wilson, William, 141-2, 252, 290, 

W'ister, Dr., 32. 
Wood, Mrs. Betsy (Shepherd), 144. 

W^ood, Mrs. (Carter), 162. 

Wood, John, loi, 102, 134, 144, i8c 

Wood, Mrs. John (Ellis), 144, 162. 

Wood, Joseph, 144. 

Wood, William, 144. 

Woodham, George, 146. 

" W. K.," 219, 221, 240, 241, 242. 



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