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Full text of "Sketches and eccentricities of Col. David Crockett, of West Tennessee"

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SKETCHES 



AND 



ECCENTRICITIES 



OP 



COL. DAVID CROCKETT, 



OF WEST TENNESSEE 



" Ridentem dicere verum, quid vetat ?" — Hor. 



NEW EDITION. 



NEW-YORK: 

PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY J. & J. HARPER, 

NO. 82 CLIFF-STREET, 
INI) SOLD BY THE PRINCIPAL BOOKSELLERS THROUGHOUT THX 

UNITED STATES. 

1 S3 3. 



pTHE MEW YORK] 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 



ASTOR, LENOX AND 

TtLDEi* FOUNDATIONS. 

1899. 



[Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1333, 
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United 
States for the Southern District of New- York.] 



PREFACE. 



So fashionable has it become to write a preface, 
that, like an epitaph, it now records of its subject, 
not what it is, but what it ought to be. The mania 
for book-making has recently assumed an epidemic 
character, and, like the late pestilence, unaffected 
by all changes of weather, save that a murky 
evening generally aggravates its symptoms, it 
makes its attacks from quarters the least expected, 
and. emanating fi?om beneath the dim light of some 
old rusty lamp, sheds abroad its sleepy, yawning 
influence. A book and preface are now consi- 
dered indissoluble ; so much so, that to see a book 
without a preface would be as rare as to see a 
preface without a book. Yet some men have 
been so lost to all fashion, as to send forth the 
treasures of genius without this expected formal- 
ity ; but as I do not aspire to that elevated niche 
in the temple of Fame, which such men have been 
allowed to occupy by universal consent, I must 



IV PREFACE. 

permit my better feelings to predominate, and 
clothe my first-born babe in all suitable garments, 
before I turn her loose upon a heartless world. 
Were I to set her adrift without this necessary 
appendage, my heart would smite me ; and I 
should never meet a poor beggar, thinly clad, 
breasting the storms of winter, but that with sor- 
row I should think of the destitute condition of my 
pretty bantling. 

Having thus resolved upon a preface, I will 
write as long as my humour prompts, or until the 
fit under which I am now labouring wears off. 

It is perfectly ridiculous, in my opinion, for a 
man to write a book, which he believes calculated 
to interest, instruct, amuse, or, in the phrase of the 
trade, to take, and then sit down and write an 
elaborate apology Tor doing so : nor is it less ab- 
surd to ask favour from the hands of would-be- 
critics — self-constituted judges of modern days — 
whose mere dictum creates a literary vassalage 
— beneath whose blighting influence, the finest 
specimens of genius, when linked with poverty, 
wither and die — and whose sole duty it is to blazon 
forth the fame of some one, whom public opinion 
has placed above them ; or, to puff into notice 
another, who has money — not mind — enough to 



PREFACE. V 

carry him along. But, as regardless of this class 
of gentry as I am careful of my own comfort and 
convenience, I have really laboured under the 
impression, that, in writing for my own amuse- 
ment, I had a right to select my topics and con- 
sequently I have been grave or merry, as my 
humour prompted. 

At this time, when, in every ephemeral tale, a 
red hunter must be treacherous, brutal, savage, 
and accompanied with the tomahawk and scalping 
knife, I should perhaps offer some apology for 
speaking of them in a different light, in my intro- 
duction ; but my apology is — it was my pleasure 
to do so. 

Gentle reader, I can promise you, in no part 
of this volume, the wild rhodomontades of " Bush- 
field ;" nor can I regale you with the still more deli- 
cate repast of a constant repetition of the terms 
"bodyaciously" "tetotaciously," " obfiisticated" &c. 
Though I have had much intercourse with the 
West, I have never met with a man who used 
such terms unless they were alluded to, as merely 
occupying a space in some printed work. They 
have, however, thus been made to enter, as a com- 
ponent part, into the character of every back- 
woodsman ; and, perhaps, I hazard something in 

A2 



VI PREFACE. 

leaving the common path ; but my duty commands 
it — and though the following memoir may wear 
an air of levity, it is, nevertheless, strictly true. 

In describing backwoodsmen, it has become 
customary to clothe their most common ideas in 
high-sounding, unintelligible coinage — while my 
observation induces me to believe that their most 
striking feature is the fact, that they clothe the 
most extravagant ideas in the simplest language, 
and amuse us by their quaintness of expression, and 
originality of comparison. With these remarks I 
submit to you the Sketches ani> Eccentricities 
of Colonel David Crockett. 

I know there are those, who dwell in the splen- 
did mansions of the east, and whose good fortune 
enables them to tread a Turkey carpet, or loll 
upon a sofa, to whom a faithful representation of 
the manners and customs of the "far off West," 
will afford a rich repast ; and there is another class 
for whom this volume will possess many charms, 
when I remark that it entertains for the " blue devils 91 
the most deep and deadly enmity. And, still far- 
ther, the learned, though they may see little to 
admire in the composition of this work, may yet 
find amusement in the peculiar eccentricities of an 
original mind : and the grave philosopher, also, is 



PREFACE. Vli 

here presented with a subject of deep and lasting 
meditation. 

Finally, most gentle reader, I hereby guaranty, 

that there shall not be found, in the volume before 

you, a single sentence, or a single word, calcu- 

ated to crimson the cheek of innocence, or give 

a license to vice. 






INTRODUCTION. 



In giving to the public the biography of a cele- 
brated backwoodsman, a brief sketch of the coun- 
try in which he resides will not be deemed irrele- 
vant. I am aware that much has been written 
upon this subject ; but it is a theme so fruitful in 
variety, that I hope, if I shall not be able to in- 
struct, I shall at least entertain. The term " far 
off West" seems, from general usage, to apply only 
to that section of our country which lies between 
the Alleghany and Rocky mountains. In compa- 
rison with this vast region, other portions of the 
globe, which have delighted the world with the 
finest specimens of history, of poetry, of sculpture, 
and of painting, dwindle into insignificance with 
regard to magnitude. Here Fancy, in her playful 
flights, may call into being empires which have no 
existence ; and though perhaps sober reason would 
now chide her fairy creations, yet the time will 
come, when they will only be looked upon with 
the conviction of truth. 

Oft, while seated upon the margin of the Missis- 
sippi river— the greatest curiosity on our globe— 



10 INTRODUCTION. 

have I indulged in thought, until my brain reeled 
with the multitude of images which crowded upon 
it. When I reflected on the vast region comprised 
in the phrase " far off West" — when I recollected 
that all the water which fell and accumulated be- 
tween the Alleghany on the east, and the Rocky 
mountains on the west, (a section of country thou- 
sands of miles in extent,) sought, by the same 
outlet, its passage to the ocean — and when I be- 
held at my feet, that passage, in a narrow muddy 
stream, winding smoothly "long, I was struck with 
astonishment. I thought it ought to boil, and dash, 
and foam, and fret its way, in hurried search of 
the ocean. Although the Mississippi receives 
tributaries which are navigable for several thou- 
sand miles, yet its size is not at all apparently 
increased. Irregular, though smooth, it forces its 
circuitous way along — yet restless, and ever chang- 
ing its bed, as if to relieve itself from the accumu- 
lating weight of waters. Frequently does it nar- 
row itseli to within less than a quarter of a mile. 
Then how incalculable must be its depth ! There 
are some portions of it very shallow ; but there 
are others, where no bottom has ever yet been 
found ; and could its waters be drained off, there 
would be left chasms into which the boldest would 
never dare look ; and in whose depths myriads of 
animals would crawl and flutter, which have never 
yet known the light of day ! 

The " far off West" spreads before us every 



INTRODUCTION. J 

variety of climate— every species of soil. One 
would be more disposed to look upon it as a crea- 
tion of fancy, than as possessing an actual exist- 
ence. Here, roam and play their sportive tricks 
over verdant fields, innumerable animals, whose 
feet are crimsoned with fruit, which the gods 
themselves would eat. Here, roving over our 
prairies, the weary hunter may repose on beds of 
flowers which give the blush to all the enchant- 
ment of city gardens. Here, while I am now 
writing, apart from the busy hum of men, how the 
events of a few years rise up before me ! The 
Past and Present both present themselves, and 
seek to gain my preference. The Past tells me 
that here, but a few years since, nature slept in 
primeval loveliness : her forests had never echoed 
to the sound of an axe ; her rivers had never been 
disturbed by the noise of a steamboat ; there was 
nothing to break in upon the stillness of evening, 
save the loud whoop of her children, the long 
howl of some hungry wolf, the wild scream of a 
famished panther, or the plaintive notes of some 
gentle turtle, weeping for one that's far away. 
" Yes," cried she, « here roamed my red men of 
the forest, free as the breezes which fanned their 
raven locks. Here, no bickerings disturbed their 
social intercourse—no right of property shed its 
baleful influence over their wild society— no white 
man was here to practise them in all the wiles of 
deception :— No— there was none. Here my young 



12 INTRODUCTION. 

daughters of the forest have led on the mazy dance 
— here, have luxuriated in all the delightful emo- 
tions of innocent love. Here, some Indian war- 
rior may have wooed his dusky bride. My heart 
grows sick when I think of all that was lovely 
which has left me." 

" But," cries the Present, "the scene that I could 
sketch is still more beautiful. Though no long 
howl of the wolf now announces evening; though 
no famished panther wakes you at midnight — yet 
the repose of nature is now broken by music far 
more delightful. The noise of children just burst- 
ing out from school — the cheerful song of the milk- 
maid, as she performs her evening duties — or the 
loud crack of some driver, as he forces his weary 
oxen to their stalls, now tells us of the close of day. 
Once, only a canoe danced lightly over your wa- 
ters : now, floating palaces adorn them, which 
realize all the gorgeous tales of eastern fancy, and 
with all their beauty blend the power of the magic 
carpet — 

4 Walk your waters like things of life, 
And seem to dare the elements to strife.'" 

The West presents much variety. Some of 
our cities, in beauty and in all the fascinations of a 
polished society, vie with those of the East; while 
there are many portions where the wildness of 
nature and the first rudiments of society are strug- 
gling for the ascendency ; and there are still many 
mare, where nature vet reposes in her loveliest 



INTRODUCTION 13 

form. The whole country spreads before us a 
field for speculation, only bounded by the limits of 
the human mind. 

Every spot shows that it was once the abode 
of human beings, who are now lounging idly about 
in the vale of eternity — not so small as the de- 
generate race of modern days, but majestic in 
size, and capable, according to scripture command, 
of managing the various species of the mammoth 
tribe — even those that were ligniverous,* whose 
ravenous appetite has clearly accounted for the 
want of timber on our great western prairies, and 
whose saliva, according to the MS. of a celebrated 
travelling antiquarian and great linguist, (which 
subsequent annotators seem to have overlooked) 
was of so subtle yet deadly a nature, that when 
applied to a tree, it immediately diffused itself 
throughout its roots, and killed, for all future ages, 
the power to germinate. 

We must ever regret that the same ingenious 
traveller did not inform us of their mode of eating 
this timber ; as henceforward it must be a matter 
of doubt. Was it corded up like steamboat wood 
and in that manner devoured ? Or did this ani 
mal, after the manner of the anaconda, render its-' 
food slippery by means of saliva, and swallow i! 
whole ? If this latter be the case, I am struck 

* An Essay of much ingenuity and fancy, published in the 
West, accounts for the present existence of the prairies, by 
supposing the timber to have been all devoured by an animal 
of the mammoth tribe ! 

B 



54 INTRODUCTION* 

with the analogy which this animal bears to the 
subject of my biography — for as my hero is the 
only person who could ever slip down a honey- 
locust without a scratch, so I presume that this is 
the only animal which has ever swallowed a tree 
of the same species, and received no inconve- 
nience from its thorns. But believing, as I do 
implicitly, that man was placed at the head of 
affairs in this lower world, I have no doubt that 
the time has been, when men were so much larger 
than they now are, that a mammoth was swung 
up and butchered with the same ease that we 
would now butcher a sheep; and it requires no 
great stretch of imagination to conceive a gentle- 
man of that dav, after the manner of the French 
epicure in America, (who, having despatched a 
pig, asked the waiter if there were no more leeth 
hogs,) crying out " wataire ! have you no more 
leetle mammoths ?" 

The multitude of tumuli, or Indian mounds, 
which every where present themselves, alone 
form a subject for deep meditation. The idea that 
they were used solely for burying places seems 
to me absurd, and were it now proper, I could 
adduce many arguments to the contrary. These 
tumuli, however, are found in all situations, of 
various heights, and different sizes; sometimes 
insulated, at others linked together for an indefi- 
nite distance. In Arkansas and Missouri, you 
frequently meet with chains of these mounds- 



INTRODUCTION. 15 

east of the Mississippi, they are generally insulated, 
and now remain but as a memento of what once 
was. Sometimes they are surrounded by a ditch, 
now almost effaced from the decay of vegetable 
matter, which gives them the appearance of works 
thrown up for defence. But, for what they were 
intended — when they were built — what was their 
height — are all questions which cannot be an- 
swered. Tradition has never dared affix a date 
to any of them ; nor can any Indian tribe now in 
existence give any clew which will enable us to 
solve the mystery. Large trees growing on their 
tops have been felled, and their ages counted ; and 
though some of them would reckon years enough 
to be looked upon as the patriarchs of the forest, 
yet that gives no direct clew — for, how long the 
mounds were in existence before the trees grew 
up, we cannot tell. 

In many places bones of the Aborigines yet 
whiten the soil : sometimes you meet with them 
so deposited as to leave little doubt that the last 
honours of war were once performed over them. 
How often, while travelling alone through our 
western forest, have I turned my horse loose to 
graze, and lolling upon one of those mounds in- 
dulged in meditation. Fancying it a depository 
for the dead, I have called before me all its inmates; 
and they rose up of every grade from hoary age 
to infancy. There stood the chief of his tribe, 
with wisdom painted in his furrowed cheeks ; near 



16 INTRODUCTION. 

him a warrior, in all the bloom of youth. There 
stood one, who, with all the burning fervour of 
eloquence, had incited his tribe to warlike deeds; 
near him a blushing daughter of the forest, cut oft 
while her beauties were just opening into day. 
And, to extend the picture, and view the wide 
expanse of the mighty West, methinks there rose 
up before me warriors of the forest, whose fame 
was once as fair as is now that of Hannibal or 
Csesar, Napoleon or Wellington. Yes, methinks, 
thev each had a Cannae or a Pharsalia, an Auster- 
litz or a Waterloo.* Yes, how often here, have I 
wandered over fields which, perhaps, were once 
hallowed by the sacred blood of freedom, or which 
have been consecrated by deeds of high and lofty 
daring. Could the " far off West" give up its his- 
tory, the chivalry of darker ages would have no 
votaries. But even the last remnant of this once 
great people is fast disappearing from the country. 
A few years more and not one will remain to tell 
what they once were. Thousands of them are at 
this time marching far " over the border." To 
see such a multituue of all ages, forced from a 
country which they have been taught to love as 
their " own native land" — to hear their wild lamen- 
tations at leaving the bones of all who were dear 
to them, to wander over a region which has for 

* Those who take an interest in the history of the Indian 
warriors and other great men, will find Thatcher's " Indian- 
Biography" and " Indian Traits," worthy of perusal. 



INTRODUCTION. 17 

them no tender recollections, touches all the finest 
chords of the human heart. Feelings of sympathy 
will ever kindle at the recollection of the fate of 
the Indians, whose history, at some future day 
may be read in the following brief epitaph : 

" Alas ! poor Yorick !" 

Throughout the west innumerable prairies 
abound, (covered with every flower which can 
delight the senses,) either rolling like the gentle 
heavings of the ocean, or level as the surface of 
an unruffled lake. These form another subject 
of fruitful meditation ; at least with those (if any 
should be found) who doubt the existence of the 
Tree-eater. What has caused them ? Why do 
you meet with them of all sizes, (the richest land 
we have,) without a shrub, surrounded by dense 
forests? Why, as soon as the whites begin to 
graze them, do they spring up in a thick under- 
growth, when if they do not graze them, they 
retain their former appearance ? Have they not 
been cultivated? Were they not plantations? 
And were not the inhabitants who once resided 
here, entirely destroyed by the Indian tribes who 
took possession ? Is not their present appearance 
owing to the fact that the Indians have burned 
them regularly since they were cultivated, in 
order to preserve them as pastures for their game ? 
1 am aware that some of the prairies, from their 
great size, would seem at once to put an end to 

sa 



18 INTRODUCTION"- 

these speculations. But, on the other hand, there 
are many proofs of the great antiquity of our coun- 
try, and many convincing arguments that its former 
proprietors were much farther advanced in civili- 
zation than the present natives. In support of 
this position I will simply refer to a circumstance 
generally known, that in digging a well near Cin- 
cinnati, two stumps were found some sixty or 
seventy feet below the surface, which had been 
cut off by an axe, and upon one of which the re- 
mains of an axe were found. Further, to prove 
that its former proprietors were somewhat en- 
lightened, I would remark that in digging a salt 
well at one of the licks near Shawneetown, Illi- 
nois, an octangular post was discovered some 
twenty feet below the surface, bored through pre- 
cisely similar to that now used for a pump. Also, 
in the same state, a large rectangular smooth 
stone was found, covered with regular hierogly- 
phical characters. Coins, brick, and forts, the 
results of a certain degree of civilization, have 
been every where found. 

That there were many prairies once in cultiva- 
tion, many ingenious arguments may be brought 
to prove. These views are given, merely with a 
hope that they may induce an examination into 
this subject. I have already entered farther into 
speculation than the nature of this work demands, 
and shall be gratified if my suggestions call into 
action talents more suited to the task* 



INTRODUCTION. W 

The country which I have but slightly sketched, 
in its wildest state was the home of Boone, the 
great pioneer of the west, who now lives in sculp- 
ture in the rotunda of your capitol. In a frontier, 
and consequently less attractive state, it is now 
the home of David Crockett, whose humours 
have been spoken of in every portion of our coun- 
try, and about whom there is less known than of 
any other individual who ever obtained so much 
notoriety. I intend no regular comparison between 
these two personages, for each will live while the 
" far off West" has a votary ; but I must run a 
parallel only for an instant. Each lived under 
the same circumstances : the one waged an eter- 
nal war with the Indians, and hunted game for 
recreation : the other waged an eternal war with 
the beasts of the forest, and served his country 
when his aid was wanted. Each could send the 
whizzing ball almost where he wished it. Mr. 
Knapp, in a beautiful sketch which he has given the 
world of Boone, mentions that frequently, to try 
his skill, " he shot with a single ball the humming 
bird, as he sucked the opening flower, and spread 
his tiny wings and presented his exquisite colours 
to the sun ; and brought down the soaring eagle 
as he poised in majesty over his head, disdaining 
the power of this nether world." I cannot say 
that Col. Crockett has ever performed either of the 
above feats, but often have I seen him seated on 
the margin of a river, shooting with a single ball 



20 INTRODUCTION. 

its scaly inmates, when only for an instant in wan- 
ton sport they glittered in the sun : the rifle 
cracked, and ever was there some little monster 
struggling on the top. The task of William Tell 
would give no pain ; for in idle sport does he 
sometimes shoot a dollar from between the finger 
and thumb of a brother, or plant his balls between 
his fingers as pleasure suits. In point of mind, 
Col. Crockett is decidedly Boone's superior. I do 
not found this remark on the authority of the com- 
mon sketches of the day, which are little better 
than mere vagaries of the imagination, but gather 
my information from a gentleman who now knows 
Col. Crockett, and who, with Boone for a compan- 
ion, has often hunted the buffalo on the plains of 
Kentucky. 

The country which it falls to my lot most par- 
ticularly to describe, is the western district of 
Tennessee ; and of that, to me, the most interest- 
ing spot, was Col. Crockett's residence. There, 
far retired from the bustle of the world, he lives, 
and chews, for amusement, the cud of his political 
life. He has settled himself over the grave of an 
earthquake, which often reminds him of the cir- 
cumstance by moving itself as if tired of confine- 
ment. The wild face of the country — the wide 
chasms — the new formed lakes, together with its 
great loneliness, render it interesting in the ex- 
treme to the traveller. But above all, the simpli- 
city and great hospitality of its thinly scattered 



INTRODUCTION. 21 

inhabitants, make one turn to it with pleasure who 
nas ever visited it. The many stories in circula- 
tion of deadly struggles with wild animals, and 
the great distance sometimes found between set- 
tlements, create in this country much interest for 
the traveller ; but for a more particular history 
of these things I refer you, gentle reader, to the 
Allowing pages. 



\ 



SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES 

OF 

COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 



CHAPTER I 

David Crockett, the subject of the following 
sketch, was born in Greene county, East Ten- 
nessee, of poor and respectable parentage* He 
was the ninth child. The extreme indigence of his 
father rendered him unable to educate his children, 
and at a very early age David was put to work. 
No one, at this early age, could have foretold that 
he was ever to ride upon a streak of lightning, 
receive a commission to quiet the fears of the 
world, by wringing off the tail of a comet, or per- 
form several other wonderful acts, for which he 
has received due credit, and which will serve to 
give him a reputation as lasting as that of the hero 
of Orleans. But he was always a quirky boy, and 
many and sage were the prophecies made of his 
future greatness. Every species of fortune-telling 
was exhausted to find out in what particular de- 
partment he was to figure ; but this was for ever 
shrouded in mystery. No seer could say more 
than that David was to be great. In the slang of 



24 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

the backwoods, one swore that he would never be 
" one-eye^ — that is dishonest ; another, that he 
would never be " a case" — that is flat, without a 
dollar. But let us pursue an even narrative of 
his life, and see how far these various prophecies 
proved to be correct. 

While David was yet young, his father moved 
from Greene to Sullivan county, and settled upon 
a public road for the purpose of keeping a tavern. 
David's duty here was to wait about the house 
and stable, and the labour devolving on him was 
already too great for a boy of his years. Spending 
his time in this way, he remained at home until 
he reached his twelfth vear, when he became ac- 
quainted with a Dutchman who resided about four 
hundred miles distant, and who was in the habit 
of regularly driving cattle to the western part of 
Virginia. To this man was David hired by his 
father, and at the early age of twelve years, en- 
tirely uneducated, he bade adieu to home, and, in 
the backwoods phrase, began to knock about. But 
a few days elapsed after the contract was made, 
before the old Dutchman, having bought up his 
cattle, was ready for the journey. After an agreea- 
ble though laborious trip they arrived at their 
place of destination. David was treated with 
much kindness, and many efforts were made to 
wean him from a too great fondness for his pa- 
rents. His activity and general acquaintance with 
business, for a boy of his years, made him a valua- 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 25 

ble assistant to the old Dutchman, who was 
anxious to retain him. But the menial offices 
which it soon fell to his lot to discharge, rendered 
him unhappy and dissatisfied ; and after remaining 
five or six months, he asked permission to return 
home, which was denied him. He immediately 
formed a resolution to do so at all hazards. 

While playing in the road on Sunday evening 
after his resolution was formed, he met with an 
opportunity of carrying it into effect. Many 
wagons passed, and with them he recognised a 
wagoner whom he ha i frequently seen, and who 
was then on a journe ■ to his father's. David soon 
told him of his situation, and his desire to get home, 
and received from his new friend a promise of 
protection, provided he would go along with him. 
This David readily agreed to ; and not being able 
to leave at that time, he found out where the 
wagons would encamp that night, and promised, 
after getting his clothes, to overtake them. 

He then returned to the house, succeeded in 
bundling up his little all, and having conveyed it 
to the stable unsuspected, went about his regular 
business. At supper he was even treated with 
more than usual kindness, which caused him to 
regret the step he was about to take ; but his re- 
solution was fixed. David with the rest of the 
family retired to bed as usual. He soon fell into 
a light sleep, from which he awoke about two 
o'clock, arose, dressed, and gently opening the 



26 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OP 

door, left the house. After getting out, he found 
it extremely cold and snowing, with several 
inches of snow already upon the ground. His re- 
solution for a moment faltered ; but he resolved to 
go on. Groping his way to the stable, he obtained 
his bundle, and soon was in the public road on his 
way to the camp of the wagoners. The place ap- 
pointed for their meeting was distant about seven 
miles. The snow was now falling fast, and driv- 
ing in his face ; the excessive darkness of the night 
much impeded his progress, and he was only ena- 
bled to get along by avoiding the woods on either 
side, and pursuing, by feeling with his feet, the 
smooth track of the road before him. The desire 
of reaching home, or rather the fear of being over- 
taken by his master, produced the excitement 
which alone enabled him to accomplish his purpose. 
The shades of night were giving place to the 
dark gray light of morning when David came in 
sight of the wagons. His friend was already stir- 
ring, and believed rather that an apparition had 
presented itself than that his young acquaintance 
was before him. However, he received him with 
much kindness, and paid him that attention which 
his situation deserved — making him drink whiskey 
freely, and by degrees thawing his frozen limbs. 
He also quieted his fears about being overtaken 
by his master, promised him protection, and con- 
vinced him from the fact that the snow was still 
falling, that no trace could be left of his escape, 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 27 

the prints of his feet being filled up almost as fast 
as created. This adventure was quite an under- 
taking for a boy so young ; and one would be 
disposed to look upon it merely as a premonitory 
symptom of similar adventures in after life. He 
soon became a favourite with the wagoners, spent 
his time pleasantly, and arrived in safety at his 
father's, whom he satisfied for having left his first 
master. 

Here for a year or two he remained, perform- 
ing the drudgery in and about his father's premises 
— a situation ill calculated to improve his mind or 
inspire correct morals. His ideas seem to have 
run far ahead of his years, and he appeared as 
if out of the sphere for which he was intended. 
With an ardent desire to be sent to school, he was 
admonished by his father's poverty that it was 
entirely impracticable. So, becoming dissatisfied 
with the tedious monotony ot his life, he neglected 
his business, and his father resolved again to hire 
him out, and accordingly did so to a cattle mer- 
chant, who was about to set out for western 
Virginia. 

During this trip he suffered much, was very 
badly treated, and having arrived at the end of 
his journey was dismissed, though several hun- 
dred miles from home, by his employer, who gave 
him only the sum of three dollars to pay ex- 
penses. David insisted it was not enough ; but he 
could get no more ; and meeting with a young 



■- 



28 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

acquaintance who had been engaged in the same 
employment, with one horse between them they 
set out upon their return. This trip served to 
convince him that cattle driving was not exactly 
"the thing ;" and if hi& earlier associations could 
have had any influence upon his after life, he 
would certainly either have become a grazier, or 
have laboured for ever under an insuperable an- 
tipathy for beef. 

It will be seen from a perusal of the following 
pages, that David was ever a mere sport for foi> 
tune. She was not always unkind to him, but 
tricky ; rather sportive than otherwise : so that his 
starting to a place was no proof that he would 
ever reach it. He was almost sure to diverge,, 
and in his wanderings appears to have been go- 
verned by the principle, that there was more 
beauty in a curve than in a straight line. 

David, with his companion, trudged along seve- 
ral days, when the latter,, being the larger, in- 
sisted upon his privilege to ride exclusively, which 
so much offended David that, meeting with a wa- 
gon going in a counter direction to his home, he 
bade adieu to his late comrade and took a pas- 
sage. Upon enquiry he found out that the wagon 
was bound for Alexandria, D. C. So, not caring 
whither he went, he entered into a contract to 
accompany it as a wagon boy. He visited Alex- 
andria, and then determined to return with the 
wagon home. After having travelled for several 



, COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 29 

days, his friend, the wagoner, entered into an en- 
gagement to do some hauling in the neighbour- 
hood, and David, in the interim, hired himself to 
a farmer as a ploughboy. In this situation he 
remained until he had accumulated the sum of 
eleven dollars ; when, meeting with a wagon 
bound for Baltimore, he resolved to go along with 
it. With the driver he deposited his money for 
safe keeping, and entered into an agreement upon 
small wages. Arriving in the suburbs of the city, 
some accident happened which delayed the farther 
progress of the wagon. The time necessary for 
repairing gave David some leisure. High with 
hope, the whole world as he imagined spread 
before him, down the streets of Baltimore he 
strolled until his faculties became confused with 
the " sights" he saw, and he stood gazing for the 
first time at a ship lying alongside of the wharf, 
with a part of her canvass floating loosely in the 
wind. Some of the crew observing the admira- 
tion with which he gazed on the rigging and on 
every part of the ship, asked him familiarly if he 
would not take a passage in her for Liverpool, 
the port for which she was bound. But a few 
moments elapsed before he was employed as a 
common sailor, to set out upon a voyage of three 
thousand miles, who perhaps an hour before was 
not aware that there was such a thing as a sea or 
a ship in existence. The ship was to sail that 
evening, and with a promise that he would return 

c 2 



30 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES' OT 

so soon as he could gather his clothes, David 
sought his wagon. With his ideas of the world 
much enlarged from having seen Baltimore, and 
the fact that this ship was to take so long a voyage, 
and with a boundless prospect for adventure be- 
fore him, light hearted and happy he danced his 
way back. Occasionally his golden visions were 
cTouded by the probability that the wagoner would 
not permit him to go ; but this was not calculated 
to have much effect upon a mind sanguine in its- 
own resources. Presenting himself before the 
wagoner, he asked him for the money he had de- 
posited with him for safe keeping, and also told 
him of his intention to go to Liverpool. The 
wagoner positively refused, and threatened him 
severely should he dare to leave. However, 
David taking advantage of his momentary ab- 
sence, bundled up his clothes and started for the 
ship. But as fate would have it, in strolling along 
a crowded street, whom should he run full tilt 
against but his friend the wagoner. 

Thus did fortune force David Crockett to figure 
m other places than the crowded streets of Liver- 
pool. But for this slight mishap the Western 
District could now have boasted of no hero. In a 
common scrape no one would have said, "Now 
the way he fights is a sin to Crockett" — and when 
any thing wonderful happened, " Now I tell you 
what, it is nothing to Crockett." However, the 
day after this adventure, David was on the public 




COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 31 

road, bound for home ; but dissatisfied and blub- 
bering along after the wagon demanding his mo- 
ney. A stranger met them, and finding out from 
David the cause of his distress, threatened the 
wagoner with an immediate whipping unless he 
would refund the money. This he was unable to 
do, having previously spent it ; so that David, col- 
lecting his clothes, bade adieu to the wagon with- 
out a cent, and again began to knock about. He 
stopped at the first house he reached, where he 
was employed as a common labourer. Here he 
remained until he had accumulated a small sum. 
He then again started for home ; but getting out 
of money in the western part of Virginia, he was 
forced to work. His necessities induced him to 
hire himself out merely for his clothes ; which 
after having obtained, being still without money, he 
bound himself as an apprentice boy to a hatter for 
four years. Here he remained several months, 
when the hatter failed and he was again thrown 
out of business. He then hired himself as a la- 
bourer, acquired a small sum of money, and set 
out for East Tennessee, where, after many adven- 
tures for one so young, he arrived and stopped 
with some relations, distant from his father's about 
one hundred miles. Here he sojourned until he 
either was or fancied himself an unwelcome guest. 
He then set out determined to reach his father's* 
having been absent about two years, and never 



32 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

having communicated a syllable to his relations 
during his wanderings. 

The shades of a winter evening were setting in, 
when David, neatly though plainly dressed, came 
in sight of the house of his father. Walking in 
with his bundle, he complained of fatigue and 
asked permission to remain. His father, rather 
infirm, was discharging the duties of his house ; 
his mother was preparing supper ; and a sister 
was engaged in some other household occupation. 
These, with a traveller or two, formed the little 
circle collected within. Withdrawing himself into 
a corner of the room, David remained a silent 
spectator of the scene before him — feeding his ima- 
gination upon the anticipated pleasure which was 
to burst forth upon his being recognised. Perhaps 
an hour elapsed, when the little party were sum- 
moned to supper. David's features, from the ex- 
treme silence he had preserved, were anxiously 
scanned bv all present so soon as he came to the 
light. His sister recognised him, and a happy 
meeting, with a gentle chiding for the strange 
manner in which he had introduced himself 
closed the evening. 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 8$ 



CHAPTER LL 

David's wanderings had caused his parents 
much uneasiness, and they had long since given 
him up for lost. A prosecution had been com- 
menced against the cattle-driver who had carried 
him off, which was compromised ; and for a time 
a ray of sunshine seemed to play over the family, 
while David amused them with his adventures', 
or called into action all their tender sympathies 
by a recital of his sufferings. Occasionally would 
he gather a crowd of his associates around him 
and create as much astonishment by a narrative 
of what he had actually seen, as he could have 
done had he just dropped from the clouds. But 
these halcyon days were of short duration. David 
had now arrived at an age when he began to feel 
his ability to support himself, and was anxious to 
engage in some laudable pursuit. He had, as yet, 
not received the first rudiments of the most com- 
mon education. He felt a great desire to learn 
to read and write ; but his father, so far from being 
able to afford him an opportunity, actually required 
his services. Being indebted to a merchant in a 
little village not many miles distant, he resolved 
to hire his son out to him until his labour should 
discharge the debt. The village had a bad cha* 
Tacter, and David protested against going; but 



34 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OP 

upon the entreaty of his father, and a promise that 
if he would discharge the debt he should thence- 
forth be his own man, he went to work. About 
six months of the closest labour (a fact stated by 
himself,) enabled him to release his father. He 
then quit the village, and hearing that the Qua- 
kers, many of whom resided in the village neigh- 
bourhood, were remarkable for their kindness, he 
resolved to seek employment among them. The 
first to whom he applied offered to employ him 
and give liberal wages, provided he would take 
in payment a note which he held, executed by his 
father, for the sum of thirty dollars. These were 
hard terms to a boy just entering into life, depend- 
ent entirely upon his own exertion for support ; 
but reflecting upon the situation of his father, his 
extreme poverty and great age, his goodness of 
heart prevailed, and he resolved to cancel the de- 
mand. He applied himself diligently to work, and 
in a little less than six months the Quaker gave 
him his father's note. In this part of his life, he 
has a perfect recollection of never having failed 
to work a single day while in the employment of 
In's friend, the Quaker. It however served to 
give him a good character, and he never wanted 
for employment afterwards. 

Although within twenty miles of his father's, 
he had not visited there for about twelve months : 
so, taking his note along with him, he went home, 
and after knocking about awhile, he presented it 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 35 

to his father, who told him he was entirely unable 
to pay it. David remarked it was not presented 
for payment, but intended as a gift, and stated 
how he became possessed of it. His father was 
much affected and even mortified — perhaps for 
having forced his son to work at a place counter 
to his wishes. Being much in want of clothes, 
and hearing that the Quakers were famous for 
their workmanship, David went to work among 
them until he was genteelly dressed. His desire 
of learning to read again returning, he went to see 
a Quaker who kept a school in the neighbourhood, 
and with him made the following bargain : That 
he would labour in the field two days for being 
allowed to go to school three. He soon became 
a favourite, progressed rapidly, and remained 
here some five or six months, strictly complying 
with his bargain. This was the only schooling he 
ever received. 

After being at school some four or five months, 
his tutor was visited by a female relation. She 
was pretty and fascinating, and David began to 
feel a little unhappy whenever she was absent. 
She did not long remain ignorant of the impres- 
sion she had made, nor could she recollect that a 
handsome stripling was interested in her welfare 
without feeling her spirits flutter with delight. 
They for some time conversed with their eyes, a 
language least liable to be misunderstood ; and 
David found out that she was not altogether indif- 



36 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

ferent to him. While things were in this situation 
she had an offer of marriage from a wealthy neigh- 
bour, which was exceedingly gratifying to her 
relation. David saw that with him the thing was 
out — that it would be idle to press his claims while 
a wealthy suitor was soliciting her hand. He 
subdued his passion. She was courted, and but 
a short time elapsed before it was necessary to 
make a parcel of pens. Pigs, turkeys, geese, 
chickens, &c. were restricted from taking exer- 
cise, and forced to sit and eat, preparatory to their 
being sacrificed on a day appointed, when Miss 

was to become a wealthy bride. An unusual 

bustle, with the arrival of all the neighbours, an- 
nounced the evening, "About this time," says 
David, " I began to feel unhappy, but did not know 
why. I thought the devil and all was in women— 
that there was nothing on earth like them." 

Among the crowd that assembled on that evening 
was a pretty little girl whom David had often seen; 
and he, with her for a partner, waited on the bri- 
dal couple. To cure one love scrape he conceived 
it wise to seek another — so to work he went. He 
was modest and retiring, and at first made but slow 
progress ; but several old fashioned plays were in- 
troduced, which served to help him along amazingly. 
Being a handsome fellow and a favourite where he 
lived, his attentions were kindly received, and ere 
they parted next morning, not only had the stolen 
glances of her eyes indicated an interest in his 






COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 37 

welfare, but her hand had been solicited, and that 
with her heart irrecoverably pledged. With 
regret the crowd parted, and not one experienced 
more heartfelt sorrow than our loving couple. A 
day not far distant was appointed when David 
was to pay a visit and ask for his bride. Time 
rolled heavily along. David could neither work 
nor go to school, but lounged idly about, thinking 
of her who was dearest to him. 

At length the day arrived, and borrowing a 
horse he set out in high hopes, filled with those 
natural yet exciting fears which render love so 
delightful. Upon getting within a few miles of 
the home of his intended, he heard of a great 
dance, and met a party going on for fun and frolic. 
He stopped. That evening was the time appointed 
by him to ask for his bride — that evening a frolic 
was to take place, and he was now in reach of it. 
His resolution faltered — to-morrow would do to 
ask for his wife. So wheeling his horse about, 
uninvited, he determined to enjoy the frolic. Ar- 
riving at the house full of fun and life, he soon 
became a welcome guest, and met with a very 
jolly set. It was composed of the less refined 
portion of society, and appearances promised 
much sport. The house was tolerably large, 
with a dirt floor, which had been swept, ready for 
a dance. Most of the persons present had " taken 
a little," and were consequently in a good humour. 
Both girls and boys had on their best bib and 



38 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

tucker. The dresses of the ladies, however, were 
chosen counter to Apollonius' advice, being gaudy, 
not rich ; and, expressed in fancy, they looked 
" very killing." 

Had every thing been dull, the appearance of 
old Ben, the banjo player, would have filled them 
with fun. He was seated in a corner upon a stool, 
holding his instrument, which he called Sal, 
and the perspiration exuded so freely that he 
looked very much as if he had been greased. His 
hair was roached, and he wore an air of much 
dignity. His forehead was low and narrow ; his 
eyes red and sunken ; his nose not so flat, but 
protuberant at the sides ; his lips curling, as if in 
scorn at each other. His teeth were not placed 
perpendicular, but set in at an obtuse angle, which 
caused them to jut out ; and his lower jaw seemed 
to have a great antipathy to the upper, and when 
idle, always kept as far off as possible. His appa- 
rel was in unison with his face. He had on no 
jump jacket, and his bosom was a little exposed. 
His coat hung down nearly to his heels, and was 
at the same time nearly large enough for a cloak ; 
while his pantaloons (light drab) were a close fit 
all the way, and so short that they only came 
where the calves of his legs ought to have been. 
The contrast between his black legs and drab 
breeches might have made one fancy he had on 
boots, but that the shape of the lower extremity 
denied it. His leg was placed so nearly in the 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 39 

middle of his foot, that, with toes at each end, no 
one could have tracked him ; and the hollow of 
his feet projected so far outward that it gave them 
somewhat the appearance of rockers to a chair. 
Ben also had much vanity, and thought he was 
looking remarkably well that evening ; but with 
all this, his willingness to oblige, and a certain 
portion of good humour which played over his 
countenance, rendered him pleasant to look upon. 
Girls and boys were all ready for fun, and never 
was there a more enlivening scene than when Sal 
jumped up, spun round, and swore she could "go 
her death" upon a jig, and cried out, " Uncle Ben, 
strike up !" Jinny got up, spun round, and faced Sal; 
and both began to shuffle. Soon the whole house 
was up, knocking it off— while old Ben thrummed 
his banjo, beat time with his feet, and sung, in 
haste, the following lines, occasionally calling for 
particular steps : 

" I started off from Tennessee, 
My old horse wouldn't pull for me. 

(Ben cries out — " Now, back step an 1 heel an 1 toe. 1 *) 

" He began to fret an' slip, 
An' I begin to cus an' whip ; 
Walk jawbone from Tennessee ; 
Walk jawbone from Tennessee. 

("Now, weed corn, kiver taters, an 1 double shuffle. 11 ) 

"I fed my horse in de poplar trof. 
It made him cotch de hoopin' cof; 
My old horse died in Tennessee, 
And will'd his jawbone here to me, 
Walk jawbone," &c 



40 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OP 

The dance was all life. They spin round — 
they set to — they heel and toe — they double 
shuffle — they weed corn — they kiver taters — they 
whoop and stop. 

"Now, Dick," says Sal, "did n't I go my death?" 

" Yes, you did, Sal. But did n't I go the whole 
animal ?" 

" Yes, you did, Dick. You are the yallerest 
flower of the forest." 

They take a little, treat the fiddler, and are 
again ready. No — Ben has to mend his suspender, 
and pull up his breeches. Now they are. Out 
goes Tom, and calls for her favourite tune of jay- 
bird ; but she was admonished that she had once 
been before the church for the same profanity, and 
was ordered to be seated. Names here, at that 
time, were no true indication of the sex, and are 
not entirely so to this day ; for I now know a girl 
named Tom, and a boy named Mary. However, 
Tom having seated herself, out walked Sal again, 
and called for Jim Crow. Says old Ben, " Miss 
Sal, I lub to see yur — yur so limber on de floor." 
So soon as Ben struck up, many joined in ; and 
when he stopped, every woman in the house was 
on the floor, being afraid of the consequence of 
the last line. This was danced in a different 
style from the other, and while Ben with his 
banjo and feet kept time, he sung the following 
lines: 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 41 

H My old misses she don't like me, 
Bekase I don't eat de black eye pea ; 
My old misses she don't like me, 
Bekase I don't eat de black eye pea. 

" My old misses long time ago, 

She took me down de hill side to jump Jim Crow ; 

Fus 'pon de heel tap, den 'pon de toe, 

Eb'ry Monday morning 1 jump Jim Crow. 

" Oh Lord, ladies, don't you know 

You nebber get to Heben till you jump Jim Crow." 

(Repeat — " My old misses," &c.) 

But even the world must have an end ; so the 
dance closed, and not one of all that crowd danced 
more, got in a love scrape sooner, drank more 
whiskey, saw more fun, or sat up later than David 
Crockett ; for next morning beheld him an earl j 
riser, not having retired during the evening, suffer- 
ing the after-claps always attendant upon a night 
of dissipation. It being the first excess he was 
ever known to be guilty of, nothing else was talked 
about. With him the only care, save for the sick- 
ness under which he was then labouring, was the 
fear that his intended might find it out. However, 
after the whiskey which he drank had evaporated, 
from being spread over the ground, and he had 
somewhat recovered, conscience stricken he 
mounted his horse, and unwillingly urged him on 
to visit his mistress. The distance diminished 
even faster than he wished it, and he rode up to 
a house, distant about a mile from the place of 
his destination, to inquire the news, or rather to 
saunter his time away. Dismounting and going 
in, he there met with a sister of his intended bride. 

D2 



42 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

After the usual commonplace salutations, he made 
some inquiry after her who was dearest to him, 
and ascertained that she was to be married on 
that very evening to another man. His riding 
whip slipped from between his fingers ; his lower 
; aw involuntarily fell. With mouth open, and 
eyes staring wildly, he gazed upon the messenger 
of this unwelcome news. The remainder of the 
company, not knowing the cause of his surprise, 
gazed as wildly at him. However, the tidings 
being too true, and corroborated beyond all doubt, 
he remounted, and again sought the scene of 
frolicking, there to forget, amid the gay and light- 
hearted, his own deep suffering and mortification. 
He was the last to leave the place, and then went 
home to the Quaker's, whose sympathies were 
much enlisted in his favour, upon a recital of his 
sufferings. 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 43 



CHAPTER III. 

Pecuniary misfortunes we submit to: the loss 
of our dearest friends we become reconciled to : 
but a rejection, where the feelings are much 
interested, creates sensations which belong exclu- 
sively to that situation. There are no terms which 
can define them, nor are they ever felt under other 
circumstances. In other misfortunes, their cer- 
tainty enables us to bear them. But in a rejection, 
there is always a species of suspense, or hope, 
which will exist in the face of a thousand denials. 
What ! Hope not exist, because a lovely woman 
has said no — because she has said no, whose only 
method consists in going counter to all method — 
because she has said no, whose determination, 
when once made, is so fixed that it has given rise 
to the following lines : 

" Stamp it on the running stream, 
Print it on the moon's pale beam, 
And each evanescent letter 
Shall be firmer, fairer, better, 
And more permanent, I ween, 
Than the things those letters mean." 

Yet there is something very sickening in a 
rejection. It unhinges one — relaxes all his mus- 
cles, and produces a state of feeling very nearly 
allied to that which a man feels who is to be hung, 
from the time the scaffold is knocked loose until 



44 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

the rope catches him. During that single moment 
of descent, liver, lights, etc. endeavour to go out 
through the mouth. But I hate to think of a 
rejection ; for I always recollect the general con- 
solation attending it. A woman most generally 
tenders her friendship in lieu of her love which is 
asked — a sufficient requital, Heaven knows ! But 
the other sex will tell you to stand it like a man ! 
Yes, stand it like a man, when you can 't stand it ! 
I have seen many a poor fellow, worse off than I 
could describe him, puffed up for an instant with 
this consolation. 

Thinking of the ladies, I have forgotten David, 
and I hope my reader will not require me to tell 
what he has been at since I left him ; for, of all 
things, I hate to dwell upon time subsequent to a 
rejection. It is a horrible portion of a man's life. 
Besides, I don't think a man has a right to mope, 
and pretend to pine away, and look mad, and be 
disagreeable to every body he meets with, because 
a lady cannot love him. By doing so, he pays 
but a poor compliment to the remainder, and 
shows great ignorance of the sex. 

"What careth she for hearts, when once possessed." 

Rather stand it like a man and be consoled, not 
by the trite adage that " there are as good fish in 
the sea as ever were caught out of it" — for I do 
not mean to make so scaly a comparison — but, 
reflect that where pearls are found, more may be. 
There is no philosophy in one's making a block- 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 45 

head of himself. If a woman don't love you, you 
would not marry her: then cease teasing, and drap 
it. This was the philosophy which then governed 
David ; and so far from having to part from him on 
account of one small mishap, I hope to be able to 
place him in a situation where he may have 
another chance of experiencing that delightful 
sensation, felt only between the scaffold and the 
end of the rope. 

Some short time after David's first misfortune, 
he happened to meet with a female cousin, who 
told him there was to be a great reaping and flax- 
pulling in the neighbourhood, at which there were 
to be many girls ; and that she had no doubt that 
the woman he was destined to marry, would 
be among the number. This was enough. It set 
his imaginination at work, and he returned home, 
once more indulging in happy anticipations. He 
then went over to a neighbouring Quaker's, where 
lived an apprentice boy, his associate, and to him 
communicated the prospect for fun. He caught 
like tinder the contagion, and both resolved to go 
at all hazards. The apprentice was to ask his 
master's permission, and David was to labour with 
him, when the frolic was over, to make up for lost 
time. However, the master would not hear of 
the proposition, and reminded David of the repu- 
tation he had already obtained by a frolic. But 
go they would, even counter to orders. So much 
fun could not be lost. The agreement settled upon 



46 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

was, that David should go over to the frolic in 
the morning, and his friend would get a couple of 
the old Quaker's horses, and come in the evening, 
though about six miles, in time for the dance. 
The appointed day came, and David hastened 
away to the reaping and flax-pulling. 

It was a lovely morning, and the scene one of 
life and happiness. There was only air enough 
to stir the dark ringlets of the girls, or impart to 
fields of yellow grain the gentle undulations of 
the ocean. 

When David arrived there, he found many as- 
sembled, and already engaged in their labours. In 
one field were to be seen the girls, playful and 
happy, performing their tasks, and striving to ex- 
cel. In another was to be heard the joyous song 
of the reapers, while their voices kept tune to the 
sweep of the sickle. His heart bounded with joy, 
and he was soon in the midst of them. The beau- 
ty of a harvest field, the universal cheerfulness 
which prevails over it, and the reflection that the 
husbandman is reaping the reward of his labour, 
render it one of the most interesting scenes in na- 
ture, and has served to identify it with festivity 
and rejoicing. 

Having finished their labours, the reapers sung 
with full chorus " the harvest home," while they 
bent their way to the field where the girls were 
engaged in pulling flax, vying who should finish 
soonest. When they arrived there, all was 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 47 

silence — nothing could be heard save the pulling 
of the flax. To the girls it was a moment of great 
interest. The young men were about to select 
their partners. The formality of introductions had 
not at that time crept into the backwoods, and Da- 
vid sauntered among the gathering of girls, in order 
to find out who was most beautiful, or who would 
suit his fancy best. He was soon observed to 
pace backwards and forwards a small spot of 
ground, as if for the purpose of examining the fea- 
tures of a little girl engaged in her task, not far 
distant. A moment more, he was at her side, pull- 
ing flax, and endeavouring to make her excel her 
companions. This was the benefit of a partner ; 
and it frequently happened, that the lady who ac- 
complished her task first, was more indebted to 
her beauty for doing so, than to her industry. 
Whether David's partner was pretty or not, I 
never knew. I have no cloubt he thought so. 

The day passed off pleasantly, and happily came 
on the evening dance. There was no fashion — 
no finery — no short frocks — no corsetts. They did 
not encircle each other throughout the mazy wind- 
ings of a waltz ; nor were they skilled in the less 
fashionable cotillion. But, with neat, plain gar- 
ments of their own manufacture, and with figures 
such as nature made them, they met, after the 
toils of the day were over, to give loose to the 
feelings of their innocent hearts. Nor must I for- 
get him, not who is master of ceremonies, for there 



V 




48 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OP 

was none, but who presides over the scene. His 
full heart overflows with joy, and brimful of hos- 
pitality, he sets before them all his little farm af- 
fords. Is it necessary that fashion should preside, 
or glittering show lend its ornaments, that the 
heart may be feasted ? Is it requisite that pride 
or wealth should lend its influence ? No — 

" For a' that, and a' that, 
Their tinsel show, and a' that ; 
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor, 
Is king o' men, for a' that." 

I fear that, for my city readers, this simple nar- 
rative will have no charms. But, to my mind, 
there is something refreshing in turning from the 
dissipation of a city to look upon a rural fete — 
from etiquette and rigid forms, to nature as it is. 
It reminds one of the days which, in some measure, 
once characterized our country, and which now 
characterize Scotland, and part of England. It 
reminds one of all that is happy. It seems pecu- 
liarly the home of love. 

When they met that evening, all were gladsome. 
Awhile they trip the country dance — then ex- 
change it only for some amusement less fatiguing, 
or for one which promises more pleasure. Even 
conundrums (I hate them, for they always remind 
me of rail-road stockings, which I abominate) were 
unknown. But, by-the-bye, why is the loveliest 
and best woman we ever meet with, like the Prince 
of Darkness ? 

The pastimes of our infancy ever interest us ; 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 49 

chiefly from their simplicity, or else from the fact 
that we wonder now how things so silly could 
have delighted us then. Plays which had been 
fashionable when their grandmothers were girls, 
such as Sell the Thimble, Grind the Bottle, &c, 
were called up, and wearied out. Nothing seem- 
ed to give more enjoyment than a play termed, 
" We are on our way to Baltimore." This, from 
its title, was probably picked up by David, during 
his wanderings ; and derived its chief charm from 
the circumstance, that every couple who composed 
it, had to kiss each other at stated pauses. It con- 
sisted of a wild and irregular dance, during which, 
with measured steps, the following lines were 
sweetly chanted : 

" We are on our way to Baltimore, 
With two behind, and two before ; 
Around, around, around we go,. 
Where oats, peas, beans and barley grow, 
In waiting for somebody. 

(A kiss.) 

"'Tis thus the farmer sows his seed, 
Folds his arms, and takes his ease, 
Stamps his feet, and claps his hands, 
Wheels around, and thus he stands, 
In waiting for somebody." 

(Another kiss.) 

David's partner was a bewitching creature, and 
ere they had finished dancing " We are on our 
way to Baltimore," she had led him far on the 
road to Love. From the rapid progress which 
he generally made in the affections of his mistress, 
it must be conceded that he could love more in a 

E 



50 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

given time than any other man. For we will 
here find him, though introduced as a stranger, 
engaged to be married before the evening is over. 
About eleven o'clock, who should step in but the 
apprentice boy, ripe for fun — having, after his 
master had retired to rest, taken out of the stable, 
according to agreement, a couple of horses. Upon 
going out to put them up, there they stood, cover- 
ed with perspiration ; and in lieu of saddles, there 
were two bundles of hay, upon one of which the 
apprentice had rode, and brought the other for his 
friend David. 

They drank on that night their fill of amuse- 
ment, and just before the break of day, David, 
having arranged matters with his love, and fixed 
upon a time for a visit, when he was to ask 
her mother's consent, set off with his friend for 
home. 

They had to ride a rapid race. The first light 
of morning was coming forth, when, in passing a 
neighbouring Quaker's, who happened to be out, 
they were discovered. A halt was called: the 
affair must be concealed. So David, returning, 
rode up to the Quaker's, made a full confession, 
and implored his secrecy. It was the first time 
he had offended ; would never do so again ; would 
be marked in his future conduct ; that a discovery 
would forever ruin the apprentice boy. These, 
with sundry other arguments, finally prevailed ; 
and on thev rode. The horses were rubbed, and 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 51 

put away ; and the friends, by means of a pole, 
climbed in at one of the upper windows. 

Scarcely were they quiet, when the apprentice 
boy was called by his master to get up and be 
stirring. David's Sunday clothes for a moment 
plagued him. They went down together. 

Quaker. — Why, David, how came thee here 1 

David. — I went over to the frolic, sir ; got tired, 
quit, and came over here ; and my friend got up 
and let me in. 

Quaker. — Thee had better have taken my ad- 
vice. 

David. — Yes, sir, I wish I had ; it would have 
saved me a long walk. 

So the affair was entirely concealed, and the 
whole matter passed off smoothly. David's time 
hung heavily on his hands, until the day appointed 
for his visit arrived. Rigging himself in his best 
clothes, he borrowed a horse, and set out to see 
his intended. Upon arriving at the house, he was 
told that she was visiting a neighbour's ; and over 
he went to see her. 

Riding up to the house where she was, many 
people had collected ; and to tell his business, or 
not attempt to conceal it, was more than his mo- 
desty could bear. So, feigning an excuse, he 
asked if they had seen any thing of a bay filly, be- 
longing to his friend the Quaker, which had stray- 
ed off— he himself having left her in the stable at 
home. He observed that many smiled, and looked 



52 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

quite knowing, as in truth they were, the mother 
of the girl having told the -object of his visit be- 
fore his arrival ; not being able, in common with 
her sex, to keep a secret. However, David soon 
managed to get an interview, and persuaded his 
intended to take a seat behind him, and return to 
her mother's. As he rode off with his tender 
charge, some wag among the crowd cried out, " I 
expect you have found your bay filly now !" 
Reader, if you were ever in love, you can imagine 
the feelings of David at this specimen of back- 
woods humour ; if not, I can give you no better 
idea of them than by using his own language : " I 
wish I may be shot if I know how I felt ; but I 
tell you what, it made me feel quite all-overish" 
Nevertheless, he spent his time very pleasantly, 
and had a day appointed for his wedding. 

Not long after this visit, a wolf hunt was agreed 
on ; and accordingly, on a fixed day, the neighbours 
all sat out. David being unacquainted with the 
woods, got lost, and wandered about, not being 
able to ascertain where he was. Most gentle 
reader, methinks you seem thunderstruck at the 
annunciation that David Crockett was lost in the 
woods ! But I beg you to bear in mind that he 
received his knowledge not by intuition, but by ex- 
perience ; and at this time he had not commenced 
his favourite pursuit of hunting. 

As the day was drawing to a close, and David 
was expecting to spend the night alone in the 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 53 

woods, what should he see but a female figure, 
wandering about, apparently lost. Upon making 
towards it, he beheld before him the woman who 
had pledged herself to be his, and his only. An 
explanation took place, which accounted for her 
situation. She had left home in the morning, in 
order to drive up the horses to go to meeting, and 
wandering off, was unable to get back. David 
gave a narration of himself, and together did they 
thank kind fortune for having, in a sportive hu- 
mour, brought about so remarkable a meeting. 

A godsend of this sort one never forgets : not 
even in the dull afternoon of life ; but it is ever 
looked upon as a little green isle in the waste of 
early years, which the fancy still delights to visit 
and linger on, as at home. They luckily, in a 
short time, came in sight of a hospitable roof, 
where they were entertained with much kindness. 
On the next day, David attended her home ; and 
the time fixed for his wedding being close at hand, 
he there remained until he was married. 



54 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 



CHAPTER IV. 

David Crockett being married, we have now 
to look upon him in a new light, but in one not less 
amusing. We will find in him no disposition to 
forego pleasure, or avoid a frolic ; and will con- 
template the outbreaking of that peculiarity of 
talent which has served to identify him with the 
country in which he lives. 

I*fear we shall not be able to relieve him from 
the poverty which was ever his attendant ; for we 
find him for two years after his marriage living 
with his wife's mother, and making barely enough 
for a support. From this situation he removed 
and settled upon Elk River ; when, the late war 
breaking out, he left home, and served as a volun- 
teer in defence of his country. After serving 
several months, he obtained permission to return 
home ; but having tasted the excitement of battle, 
the pleasure of company, etc., he became unhappy, 
and again sought the army. 

He was in many skirmishes, and always bore 
among his comrades the reputation of a brave man. 
He was at Tallisahatchee, Talladago, and at Pen- 
sacola. Serving under General Jackson, he be- 
came personally acquainted with him, and was 
sincerely and devotedly his friend, until circum- 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 55 

stances connected with his political life, brought 
about a separation. 

During his stay in the army, he found a field for 
the exercise of that talent with which nature had 
so eminently endowed him. Without education, 
without the refinement of good society, perfectly 
a child of nature, and thrown by accident among 
men raised, like himself, on the frontiers, and con- 
sequently uneducated, he was perfectly at home. 
Naturally of a fine person, with a goodness of 
heart rarely equalled, and a talent for humour 
never excelled, he soon found his way to the hearts 
of his messmates. No man ever enjoyed a greater 
degree of personal popularity, than did David 
Crockett while with the army ; and his success 
in political life is mainly attributable to that fact. 
I have met with many of his messmates, who spoke 
of him with the affection of a brother, and from 
them have heard many anecdotes, which convince 
me how much goodness of heart he really pos- 
sesses. He not unfrequently would lay out his 
own money to buy a blanket for a suffering sol- 
dier ; and never did he own a dollar which was not 
at the service of the first friend who called for it. 
Blessed with a memory which never forgot any 
thing, he seemed merely a depository of anecdote : 
while, at the same time, to invent, when at a loss, 
was as easy as to narrate those which he had al- 
ready heard. These qualities made him the ral- 
lying point for fun with all his messmates, and 



56 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

served to give him that notoriety which he now 
possesses. Vanity or refinement were terms that 
he hardly knew the meaning of, and his mind, un- 
taught by rigid rules, roved free as the wild beasts 
he hunted, and sometimes gave vent to expres- 
sions and to ideas, which could never have been 
conceived by any other individual. This slight 
sketch will perhaps be doubted. But to those 
who doubt, I would say, go and hunt with Colonel 
Crockett for a w T eek, and you will then believe, 
and never regret the time spent. 

While Mr. Crockett was absent, fighting in de- 
fence of his country, he met with a severe mis- 
fortune in the death of his wife, which rendered 
it necessary for him to return and take care of his 
children. This event served to wean him from 
all thoughts of the army, kept him closely at home, 
and for some time changed the general tenor of 
his life. 

Duty to his children required that he should 
seek a helpmate ; and accordingly he selected for 
his companion the widow of a deceased friend. 
He then removed to Laurens county, where cir- 
cumstances forced him to figure in a different 
sphere. Here his popularity secured him the of- 
fice of justice of the peace. Soon after this he 
was elected colonel ; and finally a representative 
in the state legislature. To fill these various of- 
fices, he was invited by the partiality of his friends ; 
but his success is mainly attributable to energy of 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 57 

character, and to the possession of that talent, in 
an eminent degree, which enables a man to re- 
cognise every person he meets, whether he knows 
him or not ; and to inquire, without being discom- 
posed, after wives and children who have long 
since been swept from existence. 

Colonel Crockett was flattered by being elected 
to the legislature ; but, satisfied that he was called 
upon to discharge a duty for which his early life 
had rendered him unqualified, he felt awkward. 
However, he took his seat, and the preliminary 
business of electing door keepers, clerks, etc. 
having been gone through, he discovered many 
persons presenting what they termed "bills," and 
being fresh from the backwoods, and unacquainted 
with the rules of a deliberative body, took up an 
idea, that, as many others were presenting bills, 
he must do so too. So he got a friend to draft a 
bill, rose in his seat, and with much confidence 
presented it. The object of it I have now for- 
gotten, though I was satisfied, at the time of his 
narration to me, of its propriety. The bill was 
opposed by Mr. M- 1, who, during the discus- 
sion, thought proper to travel out of his way to 
allude to Colonel Crockett, as the gentleman from 
the cane, in rather disparaging terms. 

The colonel's mettle began to rise: so that, 
when Mr. M 1 seated himself, upon many per- 
sons crying out, "Crockett, answer him — Crockett, 
answer him," he determined to do so. His diffi- 



58 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

dence for a time prevented him from rising — but 
his embarrassed situation is more happily described 
in his own language. " Well, I had never made 
a speech in my life. I did n't know whether I 
could speak or not ; and they kept crying out to 
me, ' Crockett, answer him — Crockett, answer 
him : — why the deuce do n't you answer him V 
So up I popped. I was as mad as fury : and there 
I stood and not a word could I get out. Well, I 
bothered, and stammered, and looked foolish, and 
still there I stood ; but after a while I began to 
talk. I do n't know what I said about my bill) 
but I jerked it into him. I told him that he had 
got hold of the wrong man ; that he did n't know 
who he was fooling with ; that he reminded me 
of the meanest thing on God's earth, an old coon 
dog, barking up the wrong tree." 

But the colonel was not satisfied ; for, says he, 

" After the house adjourned, seeing Mr. M 1 

walking off alone, I followed him and proposed a 
walk. He consented, and we went something 

like a mile, when I called a halt. Said I, «M 1, 

do you know what I brought you here for?' 'No.' 
' Well, I brought you here for the express purpose 
of whipping you, and I mean to do it.' But the 
fellow said he didn't mean any thing, and kept 
'pologising, till I got into a good humour. We 
then went back together ; and I don't believe 
any body ever knew any thing about it." 

h I '11 tell you another story of this same man : 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 59 

'twan't long after my difficulty with M 1, before 

he got into a fight with a member of the senate, in 
which he was worsted — for he had his ruffle torn off, 
and by accident it remained on the battle ground. 
I happened to go there next morning, and having 
heard of the circumstance, knew how the ruffle 

came there. I did n't like M 1 much, and I 

determined to have some fun. So, I took up his 
fine cambric ruffle and pinned it to my coarse 
cotton shirt — made it as conspicuous as possible, 
and when the house met, strutted in. I seated 
myself near M 1 ; when the members, under- 
standing how it was, soon filled the house with a 

roar of laughter. M 1 could n't stand it, and 

walked out. I, thinking he might want a fight, 
though I had tried him, followed after; but it 
did n't take place ; and after a while he came up 
to me, and asked if that was n't his ruffle. I told 
him yes, and presenting it, observed that I looked 
upon it as the flag of the lower house, which, in 
battle, had been borne off by the senate ; and, 
that being a member of the lower house, I felt it 
my duty to retake it." 

The "gentleman from the cane" was soon known 
to every member of both houses, and never was 
there a species of fun going on, but Colonel 
Crockett must have a hand in it. Thus did he 
become exceedingly popular, and his annunciation, 
declining to serve for another term, caused much 
regret. 



60 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

Colonel Crockett had vested the scrapings of 
his industry in a mill, which was scarcely com- 
pleted, before a freshet swept it off, and left no 
trace of its existence. Retiring to bed, comforta- 
bly situated, he awoke next morning flat without 
a dollar : so that, ever was he mere sport for 
fortune. But he had been schooled too deeply in 
misfortune to murmur at his luck, or spend his time 
in idle regret. He saw that, without capital, 
where he was, he could scarcely support himself. 
So, winding up his business, a short time found a 
little family, with a couple of pack horses heavily 
laden, travelling on deeper into the " far off 
West." In advance of this party, humming a 
song, walked a cheerful, light-hearted backwoods- 
man, with a child on one arm and a rifle on the 
other, followed by half a dozen dogs. 

This incident in the life of Colonel Crockett, 
simple as it is, is fraught with philosophy ; and if 
attended to, may compensate some reader for the 
perusal of this volume. How many of us, when 
we meet with misfortunes, are rather disposed to 
give way than to bear up against them. How 
many of us curse what we call our luck, and some 
even indulge in farther profanity. Yet how idle ! 
Will our cursing or fretting restore our losses ? 
Or will our sinking beneath the weight of misfor- 
tune, call forth tears of sympathy from a cold, 
calculating, interested world ? He is little versed 
in the ways of the world who thinks so. Mankind 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 61 

are ever disposed to press down him who is sink- 
ing. It is human nature. We are all struggling 
to accomplish some object, and the more we keep 
beneath us the better our prospect. One is rarely- 
assisted, unless his energy of character is forcing 
him ahead against accumulating circumstances : 
or unless he is so situated as not to require it. In 
either case, then, self interest prompts assistance, 
and in the latter you will have it forced upon you. 
This idea I have often seen illustrated, when 
seated on the margin of a little stream, watching 
the fish endeavouring to get up its rapids : the 
larger ones ever chase away the smaller, to make 
room for themselves. 

We curse our luck, and even call down the 
vengeance of heaven upon us. Yes ! When — - 
rarely is there an exception — if we analyze our 
loss, it may be traced to some imprudence of our 
own. Action is the soul of every thing. If we 
meet with a loss, regret is idle, and the sooner we 
go to work, the sooner it is repaired. 

I do not mean to inculcate the idea that it is 
necessary to move whenever one meets with mis- 
fortune. Nothing is more absurd : and no coun- 
try can give a more forcible illustration of my 
remark than the "far off West." Thousands of 
young men, of worth, of character, and of family, 
have flooded the west, to better their fortunes. 
They come here with anticipations of immediate 
success ; and there are so many engaged in the 

F 



62 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

same enterprise, that disappointment must be the 
inevitable consequence. And they spend their 
time, either brooding over past days, which then 
seem happy, or fall into the too prevalent customs 
of our country, drinking and gaming ; then sicken 
and die away, under the withering influence of 
blighted hopes. The learned professions in this 
country are crowded beyond any thing I have 
ever seen ; consequently the wreck of talent is 
great. Often have I met with examples which 
chilled me to the heart. Often have I seen one 
who might, by the coruscations of his genius, have 
shone conspicuous in the circle from which he 
came, in some far land, and whose parents are 
yet shaping out " Oh ! such bright hopes of future 
greatness," sinking into nothingness from cold 
neglect. Often do they sink into despondency, 
lamenting the loss of that society to which they 
have been accustomed, and of which, here, they 
cannot taste the sweets. 

These remarks are intended only to apply to the 
more unsettled portions of the "far off West," 
where, from the transitory nature of its inhabitants, 
and from the fact that they are made up of repre- 
sentatives from every region between the two 
circles, it is impossible that talent can be as much 
respected, or as highly appreciated as it is in a 
more settled society. A frontier country is no 
place for a man of modesty, of refinement, or of 
delicacy ; and it must ever be that ia a society 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 63 

so constituted, success is as often the result of 
accident as the consequence of merit. 

But to our narrative. When Colonel Crockett 
was next heard from, he had settled himself about 
one hundred and fifty miles from his former resi- 
dence, in Gibson county, Western District ; and 
was hard at work, putting up log cabins. His 
children were all too young to be of any service 
to him, so that all the labour requisite for forming 
a new settlement was performed by himself. His 
cabins were built; a well was dug; a little patch 
was cleared for corn ; and the Colonel found him- 
self in the bosom of our western forest, fortv 
miles from any settlement. 

Colonel Crockett was never avaricious ; and a 
change in his circumstances, from bad to worse, 
had no effect upon his spirits. They were too 
buoyant, too playful, ever to yield to any misfor- 
tune : so that, although at home above all others 
in a crowd, he seemed equally pleased with the 
deepest solitude. Here he became wedded to 
hunting, and the great quantity of game was well 
calculated to have fascinated any one. Being cut 
off from all society, his rifle and dogs were ever 
his companions. Even the face of the country he 
had chosen to dwell in, seemed, in some measure, 
the counter part of his mind. It was wild and 
irregular, and, like himself, subject to no restraint. 
Here, one moment, all nature was hushed into 
silence : the next, the earth seemed rocking to its 



m 



64 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

centre. He had chosen to settle in that section 
of country where the earthquake of 1812 was most 
sensibly felt, east of the Mississippi river. That 
country has been subject to slight shocks ever 
since, and the colonel remarked to me, that fre- 
quently, while at work, he has had his clothes or 
hat shaken down, but would merely hang them up 
and continue his labour. 






COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 65 



CHAPTER V. 

The earthquake of 1812 has been often de- 
scribed ; but I must mention a few incidents 
connected with it, as the scene of many hunting 
stories,as well as the residence of Colonel Crockett, 
lies in that section of country where its effects 
were most felt, east of the Mississippi river. This 
section of country is termed the Shakes, and is 
never alluded to in common conversation by any 
other title. 

The Obion river, a deep and navigable stream 
which empties into the Mississippi nearly opposite 
to New Madrid, was dammed up, and two con- 
siderable lakes, one nearly twenty miles long and 
varying in its breadth, the other not quite so large, 
have been found of unknown depth. The bed of 
the river has been changed ; and fissures or open- 
ings, made in the earth by the concussion, still 
remain, running parallel to each other, of various 
lengths, from three to thirty feet wide, and from 
ten to forty feet deep. One, to visit these Shakes, 
would see striking marks of the gigantic power of 
an earthquake. He would find the largest forest 
trees split from their roots to their tops, and lying 
half on each side of a fissure. He would find 
them split in every direction, and lying in all 
shapes. At the time of this earthquake, no per- 

y 2 



66 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

sons were living where those lakes have been 
formed. Colonel Crockett was among the nearest 
settlers; and to this day, there is much of that 
country entirely uninhabited, and even unknown. 
Several severe hurricanes have passed along, 
blowing down all the trees in one direction, and 
an undergrowth has sprung up, making these 
places almost impenetrable to man. 

This section of country which has been visited 
by the shakes, forms the best hunting grounds in 
the west. There are bears, wolves, panthers, 
deer, elk, wild cats, etc. in abundance ; and this 
is the only place within my knowledge east of the 
Mississippi, where elk are yet to be found. 

These lakes are famed above all places for their 
great quantity of honey — I presume from the fact 
that the immense number of trees which were 
killed by the formation of the lakes have afforded 
excellent hives. A bee-hunter told me he had 
remained in one spot and counted, in sight, eighty 
bee trees. They have been much hunted, and are 
now becoming more scarce. A few settlements 
for the purpose of hunting have lately been formed 
on the margin of these lakes, which, besides the 
game enumerated, are filled with wild geese, ducks, 
and swans. It was to this section of country, as 
I before remarked, that Colonel Crockett removed 
after his pecuniary misfortunes. 

Innumerable are the anecdotes that daily occur- 
red, while with no companion save his favourite 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 67 

Betsy, (his rifle,) or with his son and dogs some- 
times added, he roved the forest. 

Still hunting is with all hunters a favourite 
amusement. It requires more talent, and gives a 
wider field for the formation of stratagems and the 
exercise of ingenuity than any other species of 
the same occupation. There are many modes 
practised by a wary hunter of approaching game, 
even in an open field, which are attended with 
success. One will steal up while it is feeding — 
remaining perfectly still, and personating a stump 
when it becomes the least alarmed. His progress 
is gradual and at stolen intervals. The object 
which he wishes to shoot becomes familiarized to 
the stump, as it supposes, and the hunter ap- 
proaches as near as he wishes. Another person- 
ating a hog, will, upon his hands and knees, root 
himself along until within shooting distance. Either 
of these modes, when practised with skill, often 
proves successful. But there are a thousand plans, 
the best of which the hunter must select, and will 
be governed in his choice entirely by circum- 
stances* 

His favourite, Betsy, as he termed her, I had 
the pleasure of shooting. She is a large, coarse, 
common rifle, with a flint lock, and, from appear- 
ance, has been much used. In her breech there 
is a wire hole or two with feathers in them, and 
several parts of her may be found wrapped with 
a wax thread, for the purpose of healing up wounds 



68 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

which she has received in her passage through 
life. I t 

To bear hunting, Colonel Crockett has ever 
been most wedded; first, because it is profitable ; 
secondly, because there is danger in it, and con- 
sequently great excitement. It requires a man 
to be a bear hunter ; for he is frequently thrown; 
into situations which require as much coolness 
and determined purpose of mind as though he 
were in a regular battle. All hunters agree in 
saying that its meat is superior to that of any 
other wild game. You may drink, from its pecu- 
liar sweetness, (and it will never be attended with 
the slightest inconvenience,) a pint of pure bear 
oil at a draught. 

Occasionally settlers began to gather around 
him, and Colonel Crockett was called on for meat. 
If he had it, it was theirs — if not, he would take 
his dogs, go over and kill them as much as they 
wanted. This trait in his character, always 
gained for hira the good will of those who settled 
near him. 

I was amused at the simplicity with which he 
told me the following story : " I had n't been a hunter 
long in these backwoods, when I had an occasion 
to send my little son a short distance from home ; 
he soon came galloping back, and told me he saw 
two large elk cross the road just before him. I 
gathered up my rifle and accoutrements, jumped 
upon the horse, took up my son behind me, to 





COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 69 

show where they were, and rode off. I did not 
think it advisable to carry my dogs ; for they 
would at once have run them out of my hearing. 
The sun was something like two hours high, and 
the evening was calm and still. I had never at 
this time killed an elk, and was very anxious to do 
so. I found where they had crossed the road, left 
my little boy the horse to go home, and followed 
after them. The ground was rather hard, and 
their tracks almost imperceptible ; but I noticed 
where the grass was bruised by their treading, 
and sometimes I could see where they had bit a 
bush ; in this way I followed after them. I went, 
I s'pose, about a mile, when I seed my elk feeding 
in a little prairie ; there were no trees near me ; 
so I got down, and tried to root my way to 'em, 
but they had got a notion of me, for they would 
feed a while, and then turn their heads back and 
look for me, and then run off a little. We soon 
got into the woods agin, and I begun to work 'em 
right badly. When they were feeding, I'd git a 
a tree 'tween me and them, and run as hard as I 
could, then peep round to see 'em, and get down, 
root myself behind another tree, and then run agin. 
The woods were mighty open, and I could see 'em 
a long way, and I'd have got a shot, but as I was 
creeping 'long after 'em, I see'd five deer coming 
towards me. I stopped right still, and they come 
feeding 'long close to me : when they got in about 
twenty yards of me, I raised old Betsy, levelled 



70 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

her, and down dropped the largest ; the others 
raised their heads and looked astonished ; went 
up to the one which was down and smelt him, but 
didn't seem afraid of me. I spoke not, and the re- 
port of the rifle was the only noise. Having 
loaded, I raised old Bet again, and down come 
another ; the others only looked more astonished. 
I shot down a third, and the remainder still kept 
looking on. Coming off in a hurry, I brought but 
few balls, and my fourth load contained the last. 
I thought I must have my elk ; so I would n't shoot 
another deer. I have never seen any thing like 
that since, in all my hunting. I don't believe they 
had ever seen a man before ; for they was n't the 
least afraid of me. Well, as I was saying, I 
thought I must have my elk ; so I just left the 
deer lying there, and I was sorry I'd killed 'em, 
and off I started. I found their tracks, and fol- 
lowed on till I agin see'd 'em ; 'twas gitting late 
in the evening when I come in sight of 'em ; they 
had somewhat forgotten me, tho' they were still a 
little shy ; so, pursuing my former plan, I gained 
on 'em, but they still had a notion of me, and I 
could n't git a close shoot. The sun was down, 
and it was growing a little dim, and I found I must 
either shoot or lose 'em ; so I resolved to take the 
first chance. Again getting a tree 'tween me and 
them, I run as hard as I could up to it ; and upon 
peeping round, there stood my elk about one hun- 
dred and forty yards distant, in a tolerably clear 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 71 

place, with their heads turned back looking for me. 
This was my only chance ; so raising up old Betsy, 
I fired at the one which was nearest to me : at the 
report of the gun, it run off, passing the one which 
was before it about twenty yards, and then tum- 
bled over. The other ran on and stopped with it. 
The ball, as I found afterward, had entered just 
behind the shoulder, and ranged forward. I felt 
a little afraid, because they were so large ; but I 
went up : when I got in about twenty yards of 
'em, the one which was standing up began to paw 
the ground very violently and shake his head at 
me ; his horns were about six feet long, and he 
looked very formidable. I had nothing to shoot 
him with, and he seemed, from his actions, deter- 
mined for battle. I tried to frighten him, but I 
was not able to do so till I gave a shrill call, when 
off he run ; so great is the effect of the human 
voice upon all animals. I then went rather nearer 
to the one which was lying down, walked round 
him several times, and kept throwing chunks, to 
iind whether he was alive or not ; but he did not 
move, so I went up to him, and sure enough he 
was as dead as could be. By this time it was 
dark — I'd wandered off about four miles, and had 
nothing with me but my knife : however, I set to 
work and butchered him on the ground, and then 
set off for home. I felt mighty proud of this act, 
because the elk was the first I had ever killed, 



72 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

and lie was so large. Next morning, with the 
aid of pack horses, ] got him home." 

The chief thing which struck me in the above 
anecdote was, that the colonel should term them 
his elk, while they were running in the woods ; it 
shows the great confidence he has in his gun ; and 
I believe, from what I have seen, that Colonel 
Crockett feels as certain of a deer or elk which he 
may find in the woods, if he can get within one 
hundred and fifty yards of it, as if he had it in his 
chimney, smoking, and would be as much offended 
were -iny one to frighten it> as he would be were 
the >ame individual to take one of his hogs. 

Jolonel Crockett, having hunted for some time, 
collected all his skins, loaded a horse, and set out 
for a store in order to barter them for groceries. 
This simple incident exerted a great influence on 
his after life. At the store he met several ac- 
quaintances with whom he had served in the 
legislature, and together they spent a happy even- 
ing. Upon parting, they solicited Colonel Crockett 
again to become a candidate for the legislature ; 
this he declined, telling them that there were 
several candidates already in the field, and that 
he could not hope for success. Moreover, he was 
an entire stranger ; the election came on in a few 
weeks ; and that he lived down in the cane, forty 
miles from any settlement. Believing the matter 
at rest, they parted. Colonel Crockett returned 
home and devoted his time chiefly to hunting. 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 73 

Accident, however, soon afterward threw in his 
way a newspaper, in which he saw himself an- 
nounced as a candidate for the legislature at the 
ensuing election. He viewed the matter as a 
quiz ; but after thinking of the subject, resolved to 
make a trial ; and lent all his energy to the ac- 
complishment of that object, with a hope of quiz- 
zing those who had attempted to quiz him. 

He gave up for a time his favourite amusement, 
and began to mix among the people. He could 
occasionally hear of persons who intended to vote 
for the great bear hunter. He was becoming 
somewhat formidable, and the three other candi- 
dates agreed among themselves that two should 
withdraw in favour of the third. This was to be 
determined at some place where there was to be 
a very considerable gathering ; and to that place, 
an entire stranger, went Colonel Crockett. He 
beat about among the crowd the greater part of 
the day entirely unknown. When it was deter- 
mined that B. should run, the colonel went up to 
a small crowd, and called for a quart of whiskey, 
for which he had to pay fifty cents. While it was 
passing about, the colonel still unknown, B. hap- 
pened to pass along, Crockett hailed him. 

■ Hallo ! B., you don't know me, (B. called his 
name and passed into the crowd,) but I'll make 
you know me mighty well before August; I see 
they have weighed you out to me, but I'll beat you 
mighty badly." (Crockett not knowing a man.) 



74 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

B. — " Where did you spring from, Colonel V 9 

C. — " O ! I've just crept out from the cane, to see 
what discoveries I could make among the whites-- 
you think you have greatly the advantage of me, 
B. ; 'tis true I live forty miles from any settle- 
ment ; I am very poor, and you are very rich ; 
you see it takes two 'coon skins here to buy a 
quart, but I've good dogs, and my little boys at 
home will go their death to support my election ; 
they are mighty industrious ; they hunt every 
night till twelve o'clock ; but it keeps the little fel- 
lows mighty busy to keep me in whiskey. When 
they gets tired, I takes my rifle and goes out and 
kills a wolf, for which the state pays me three dol- 
lars ; so one way or other I keeps knocking along." 

B. — " Well, Colonel, I see you can beat me 
electioneering." 

C. — " My dear fellow, you don't call this elec- 
tioneering, do you ? When you see me elec- 
tioneering I goes fixed for the purpose. I've got 
a suit of deer leather clothes, with two big pockets ; 
so I puts a bottle of whiskey in one, and a twist of 
tobacco in t'other, and starts out : then if I meets 
a friend, why I pulls out my bottle and gives him 
a drink — he'll be mighty apt, before he drinks, to 
throw away his tobacco ; so when he's done, I 
pulls my twist out of t'other pocket and gives him 
a chaw : I never likes to leave a man worse off 
than when I found him. If I had given him a 
drink, and he had lost his tobacco, he would not 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 75 

have made much ; but give him tobacco and a 
drink too, and you are mighty apt to get his 
vote." Though profuse in his liberality, the colo- 
nel boasted of his economy, saying, when alone 
he never spent a 'coon skin, but always carried 
hare skins to buy half-pints. Conversing in this 
way, he soon became well known ; and ere he 
left the ground no person was more talked of than 
the great bear hunter. 

His fondness for fun gave rise to many anec- 
dotes ; among others I have heard this, which I 
do not altogether believe : Colonel Crockett, while 
on an electioneering trip, fell in at a gathering, 
and it became necessary for him to treat the com- 
pany. His finances were rather low, having but 
one 'coon skin about him ; however, he pulled it 
out, slapped it down on the counter, and called 
for its value in whiskey. The merchant measured 
out the whiskey and threw the skin into the loft. 
The colonel, observing the logs very open, took 
out his ramrod, and, upon the merchant turning 
his back, twisted his 'coon skin out and pocketed 
it : when more whiskey was wanted, the same 
skin was pulled out, slapped upon the counter, and 
its value called for. This trick was played until 
they were all tired drinking. 

About this time an incident also occurred some- 
what amusing, and which will serve to give a fur- 
ther illustration of the backwoods. The colonel's 
opponent was an honourable man, but proud and 



76 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OP 

lofty in his bearing. This of course was laid 
aside, as much as practicable, while he was elec- 
tioneering. Standing one day at his window, he 
observed several of his friends passing along the 
road, and familiarly hailed them to call by and 
take a drink. They called, and upon going into 
the house, there was a handsome table, with choice 
liquors set out on the middle of the carpet, which 
was not large enough to cover the floor, but left 
on each side a vacant space around the room. 
On this vacant space walked B.'s friends, without 
ever daring to approach the table. After many 
and frequent solicitations, and seeing B. upon the 
carpet, they went up and drank ; but left him 
manifestly with displeasure. Calling at the next 
house to which they came, where happened to 
live one of Crockett's friends, they asked what kind 
of a man was the great bear hunter ; and received 
for answer that he was a good fellow, but very 
poor, and lived in a small log cabin, with a dirt 
floor. They all cried out he was the man for them, 
and swore they would be d d sooner than sup- 
port a man as proud as B. They never having 
seen a carpet before, swore that B. had invited 
them to his house to take a drink, and had spread 
down one of his best bed quilts for them to walk 
upon, and that it was nothing but a piece of pride* 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 77 



CHAPTER VI. 

While electioneering, the colonel always con- 
ciliates every crowd into which he may be thrown 
by the narration of some anecdote. It is his man- 
ner, more than the anecdote, which delights you. 
Having been a great deal with the Dutch, he 
draws very liberally on them whenever he wants 
to make sport. I once had the pleasure of seeing 
Colonel Crockett the centre of some dozen per- 
sons, to whom he was telling the following story 
of a Dutchman, whose hen-house had met with 
some mishap, and who, afterwards meeting with 
Colonel Crockett, thus went on : " Well, tarn it, 
what you tink, a tarn harricoon come to my hinkle 
stall" (hen-house) " an picked out ebery hair out 
de backs of all my young hinkle s ; so I goes ober 
to brudder Richards, and gets his fox trap ; an as 
I comes back, I says to myself, I'll catch de tarn 
harricoon. So I takes de fox trap an goes to my 
hinkle stall, an I did n't set it outside, an I did n't 
set it inside, but I puts it down jist dere. So next 
morning I goes to my hinkle stall, an sure enough 
I had de tarn harricoon fast ; an he was n't white, 
an he was n't black, an ebery hair was off he tail, 
(opossum,) an soon as he see me, he look so 
shame — ah ! you tarn harricoon, you kill my hin- 
kle s> heh ! an I hit him a lick,, an he lay down, an 



78 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

he look so sorry, he make me tink he repent ; so 
I turn him loose. Well, now what do you tink ; I 
goes to my hinkle stall next morning, and dere lay 
my old speckled hinkle, an ebery hair was out her 
back ; so I goes ober to brudder Richard's gin, an 
gits his fox trap, to catch de tarn harricoon ; an I 
carried it to de hinkle stall, an I did n't set it out- 
side, an I did n't set it inside, but I puts it jist dere ; 
an sure enough, next morning I had de old harri- 
coon gin ; an he was n't white, and he was n't 
black ; but he was white, an he was black, spotted 
all ober, (pole cat,) an I goes up to him, ah ! you's 
de tarn harricoon dat catch my old speckled hin- 
kle, heh ! you de tam rascal ! an I hits him a lick, 
and he lif he tail up, an don't you tink I smelt him?' 

Pursuing this course, he laughs away any pre- 
judice which may exist against him ; and having 
created a favourable impression, enforces his claims 
by local arguments, showing the bearing which 
great national questions have upon the interests 
of the persons whom he wishes to represent. This 
mode, together with the faculty of being a boon 
companion to every one he meets, generally ena- 
bles him to accomplish his object. 

Over his competitor B., he was elected with 
much ease ; and served for four successive years 
in the legislature, notwithstanding he moved 
during the time more than one hundred and fifty 
miles, and was, consequently, dependent upon 
strangers for Ms second election. This is a forci-* 



L 5 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 79 

hie truth of the great power of his talent for 
electioneering. 

While in the legislature, there was a bill before 
it for the creation of a county. The author of it 
wished to run the boundary line, so as to support 
his popularity ; to this the colonel was opposed, 
because his interest was affected by it. They 
were hammering at it for some time ; whatever 
the author of the bill would affect by speaking, 
the colonel would undo by logrolling ; until the 
matter was drawing to a close, when he rose and 
made the following speech : 

" Mr. Speaker, — Do you know what that man's 
bill reminds me of? Well, I 'spose you don't, so 
I'll tell you. Well, Mr. Speaker, when I first 
come to this country, a blacksmith was a rare 
thing ; but there happened to be one in my neigh- 
bourhood ; he had no striker, and whenever one 
of the neighbours wanted any work done, he had 
to go over and strike till his work was finished. 
These were hard times, Mr. Speaker, but we had 
to do the best we could. It happened that one of 
my neighbours wanted an axe, so he took along 
with him a piece of iron, and went over to the 
blacksmith's to strike till his axe was done. The 
iron was heated, and my neighbour fell to work, 
and was striking there nearly all day ; when the 
blacksmith concluded the iron would n't make an 
axe, but 'twould make a fine mattock; so my 
neighbour wanting a mattock, concluded he would 






80 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

go over and strike till his mattock was done; 
accordingly, he went over the next day, and 
worked faithfully ; but towards night the blacksmith 
concluded his iron would n't make a mattock, but 
'twould make a fine ploughshare ; so my neigh- 
bour wanting a ploughshare, agreed that he would 
go over the next day and strike till that was done ; 
accordingly, he again went over, and fell hard to 
work ; but towards night the blacksmith concluded 
his iron would n't make a ploughshare, but 'twould 
make a fine skow ; so my neighbour, tired work- 
ing, cried, a skow let it be — and the blacksmith 
taking up the red hot iron, threw it into a trough 
of water near him, and as 'it fell in, it sung out 
skow. And this, Mr. Speaker, will be the way 
with that man's bill for a county ; he'll keep you 
all here doing nothing, and finally his bill will turn 
out a skow, now mind if it don't." 

Whenever the colonel was out of the legisla- 
ture, he was either at work upon his little farm, 
or engaged in his favourite pursuit of hunting ; 
and in this way has the most of his life been spent. 
By hunting, he has supplied himself and all his 
neighbours with meat ; and there lives no man 
who has undergone more hardships, done more 
acts of friendship, or who has been more exposed 
to all changes of weather, than David Crockett. 
He has lived almost entirely in the woods, and his 
life has been a continued scene of anecdote to one 
fond of hair-breadth escapes and hunting stories. 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 81 

The following story will be read with interest, 
both on account of the original ideas which it may 
present ; and likewise, as it will serve to illustrate 
the character of Colonel Crockett in a new light. 
I shall give it, as far as my recollection serves me, 
in the colonel's own language. 

" Well, as I have told you, it has been a custom 
with me ever since I moved to this country, to 
spend a part of every winter in bear hunting, 
unless I was engaged in public life. I generally 
take a tent, pack horses, and a friend 'long with 
me, and go down to the Shakes, where I camp out 
and hunt till I get tired, or till I get as much meat 
as I want. I do this because there is a great deal 
of game there ; and besides, I never see any body 
but the friend I carry, and I like to hunt in a wil- 
derness, where nobody can disturb me. I could 
tell you a thousand frolics I've had in these same 
Shakes ; but perhaps the following one will amuse 
you: 

" Sometime in the winter of 1824 or '25, a friend 
called to see me, to take a bear hunt. I was in 
the humour, so we got our pack horses, fixed up 
our tent and provisions, and set out for the Shakes. 
We arrived there safe, raised our tent, stored 

* 

away our provisions, and commenced hunting : 
for several days we were quite successful ; our 
game we brought to the tent, salted it, and packed 
it away. We had several hunts, and nothing 



82 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

occurred worth telling, save that we killed our 
game. 

" But, one evening as we were coming along, 
our pack horses loaded with bear meat, and our 
dogs trotting lazily after us, old Whirlwind held 
up his head and looked about ; then rubbed his 
nose agin a bush, and opened. I knew, from the 
way he sung out, 'twas an old he bear. The 
balance of the dogs buckled in, and off they went 
right up a hollow. I gave up the horses to my 
friend, to carry 'em to the tent, which was now 
about half a mile distant, and set out after the dogs. 

" The hollow up which the bear had gone made 
a bend, and I knew he would follow it ; so I run 
across to head him. The sun was now down ; 
'twas growing dark mighty fast, and 'twas cold ; 
so I buttoned my jacket close round me, and run 
on. I had n't gone fur, before I heard the dogs 
tack, and they come a tearing right down the 
hollow. Presently I heard the old bear rattling 
through the cane, and the dogs coming on like 
lightning after him. I dashed on; I felt like I 
had' wings, my dogs made such a roaring cry ; 
they rushed by me, and as they did I harked 'em 
on; they all broke out, and the woods echoed 
back, and back, to their voices. It seemed to me 
they fairly flew, for 'twas n't long before they 
overhauled him, and I could hear 'em fighting not 
fur before me. I run on, but just before I got 
there, the old bear made a break and got loose ; 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 83 

but the dogs kept close up, and every once in a 
while they stopped him and had a fight. I tried 
for my life to git up, but just before I'd get there, 
he'd break loose. I followed him this way for two 
or three miles, through briars, cane, etc. and he 
devilled me mightily. Once I thought I had him : 
I got up in about fifteen or twenty feet, 'twas so 
dark I could n't tell the bear from a dog, and I 
started to go to him ; but I found out there was a 
creek between us. How deep it was I didn't 
know ; but it was dark, and cold, and too late to 
turn back ; so I held my rifle up and walked right 
in. Before I got across, the old bear got loose 
and shot for it, right through the cane ; I was 
mighty tired, but I scrambled out and followed on. 
I knew I was obliged to keep in hearing of my 
dogs, or git lost. 

" Well, I kept on, and once in a while I could 
hear 'em fighting and baying just before me ; then 
I'd run up, but before I'd get there, the old bear 
would git loose. I sometimes thought 'bout giving 
up and going back ; but while I'd be thinking, 
theyM begin to fight agin, and I'd run on. I fol- 
lowed him this way 'bout, as near as I could 
guess, from four to five miles, when the old bear 
could n't stand it any longer, and took a tree ; and 
I tell you what, I was mighty glad of it. 

" I went up, but at first it was so dark I could 
see nothing ; however, after looking about, and 
gitting the tree between me and a star, I could 



84 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

see a very dark looking place, and I raised up old 
Betsy, and she lightened. Down come the old 
bear; but he was n't much hurt, for of all the fights 
you ever did see, that beat all. I had six dogs, 
and for nearly an hour they kept rolling and tum- 
bling fight at my feet. I could n't see any thing 
but one old white dog I had ; but every now and 
then the bear made 'em sing out right under me. 
I had my knife drawn, to stick him whenever he 
should seize me ; but after a while, bear, dogs and 
all, rolled down a precipice just before me, and 
I could hear them fighting, like they were in a 
hole. I loaded Betsy, laid down, and felt about in 
the hole with her till I got her agin the bear, and 
I fired ; but I did n't kill him, for out of the hole 
he bounced, and he and the dogs fought harder 
than ever. I laid old Betsy down, and drew my 
knife ; but the bear and dogs just formed a lump, 
rolling about; and presently down they all went 
again into the hole. 

" My dogs now began to sing out mighty often : 
they were getting tired, for it had been the hardest 
fight I ever saw. I found out how the bear was 
laying, and I looked for old Betsy to shoot him 
again ; but I had laid her down somewhere and 
could n't find her. I got hold of a stick and began 
to punch him ; he did n't seem to mind it much, 
so I thought I would git down into the crack, and 
kill him with my knife. 

" I considered some time 'bout this : it was ten 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 85 

or eleven o'clock, and a cold winter night. I was 
something like thirty miles from any settlement ; 
there was no living soul near me, except my friend, 
who was in the tent, and I did n't know where that 
was — I knew my bear was in a crack made by 
the shakes, but how deep it was, and whether I 
could get out if I got in, were things I could n't 
tell. I was sitting down right over the bear, 
thinking ; and every once in a while some of my 
dogs would sing out, as if they wanted help ; so 
I got up and let myself down in the crack behind 
the bear. Where I landed was about as deep as 
I am high ; I felt mighty ticklish, and I wished I 
was out ; I could n't see a thing in the world, but 
I determined to go through with it. I drew my 
knife and kept feeling about with my hands and 
feet till I touched the bear ; this I did very gently, 
then got upon my hands and knees, and inched 
my left hand up his body, with a knife in my right, 
till I got pretty fur up, and I plunged it into him ; 
he sunk down and for a moment there was a great 
struggle ; but by the time I scrambled out, every 
thing was getting quiet, and my dogs, one at a 
time, come out after me and laid down at my feet. 
I knew every thing was safe. 

" It began now to cloud up : 'twas mighty dark, 
and as I did n't know the direction of my tent, I 
determined to stay all night. I took out my flint 
and steel and raised a little fire ; but the wood 
was so cold and wet it would n't burn much. I 

H 



86 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

had sweated so much after the bear, that I began 
to get very thirsty, and felt like I would die, if I 
did n't git some water : so, taking a light along, I 
went to look for the creek I had waded, and as 
good luck would have it, I found the creek, and 
got back to my bear. But from having been in 
a sweat all night, I was now very chilly : it was 
the middle of winter, and the ground was hard 
frozen for several inches, but this I had not noticed 
before : I again set to work to build me a fire, 
but all I could do could n't make it burn. The 
excitement under which I had been labouring had 
all died away, and J was so cold I felt very much 
like dying : but a notion struck me to git my bear 
up out of the crack ; so down into it I went, and 
worked until I got into a sweat again ; and just 
as I would git him up so high, that if I could turn 
him over once more he'd be out, he'd roll back. 
I kept working, and resting, and while I was at 
it, it began to hail mighty fine ; but I kept on, and 
in about three hours I got him out. 

" I then came up almost exhausted : my fire 
had gone out and I laid down, and soon fell asleep; 
but 'twas n't long before I waked almost frozen. 
The wind sounded mighty cold as it passed along 
and I called my dogs, and made 'em lie upon me 
to keep me warm ; but it would n't do. I thought 
I ought to make some exertion to save my life, 
and I got up, but I don't know why or wherefore, 
and began to grope about in the dark ; the first 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 87 

thing I hit agin was a tree : it felt mighty slick and 
icy, as I hugged it, and a notion struck me to 
climb it ; so up I started, and I climbed that tree 
for thirty feet before I came to any limb, and then 
slipped down. It was awful warm work. How 
often I climbed it, I never knew ; but I was going 
up and slipping down for three or four hours, and 
when day first began to break, I was going up 
that tree. As soon as it was cleverly light, I saw 
before me a slim sweet gum, so slick, that it looked 
like every varmunt in the woods had been sliding 
down it for a month. I started off and found my 
tent, where sat my companion, who had given me 
up for lost. I had been distant about five miles ; 
and, after resting, I brought my friend to see the 
bear. I had run more perils than those described; 
had been all night on the brink of a dreadful 
chasm, where a slip of a few feet would have 
brought about instant death. It almost made my 
head giddy to look at the dangers I had escaped. 
My friend swore he would not have gone in the 
crack that night with a wounded bear, for every 
one in the woods. We had as much meat as we 
could carry ; so we loaded our horses, and set out 
for home." 



88 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 



CHAPTER VII. 

Gentle reader, I know of no more agreeable 
way to commence this chapter, than by giving you 
another of Colonel Crockett's Dutch anecdotes, 
which he tells with great humour. There lived 
in one of the mountainous counties of Western 
Virginia, many Dutchmen ; and among them, one 
named Henry Snyder ; and there were likewise 
two brothers, called George and Jake Fulwiler: 
they were all rich, and each owned a mill. Henry 
Snyder was subject to slight fits of derangement, 
but they were not of such a nature as to render 
him disagreeable to any one. He merely conceived 
himself to be the Supreme Ruler of the universe ; 
and while labouring under this infatuation, had 
himself a throne built, on which he sat to try the 
causes of all who offended him ; and passed them 
off to hell or heaven, as his humour prompted — 
he personating both the character of judge and 
culprit. 

" It happened one day that some difficulty 
occurred between Henry Snyder and the two 
Fulwilers, on account of their mills; when, to be 
avenged, Henry Snyder took along with him a 
book in which he recorded his judgments, and 
mounted his throne to try their causes. He was 
heard to pass the following judgments. 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 89 

Having prepared himself, he called before him 
George Fulwiler. 

" Shorge Fulwider, stand up. What hash you 
been doin in dis lower world ?" 

"Ah ! Lort, Ich does not know." 

" Well, Shorge Fulwider, has n't you got a mill?" 

" Yes, Lort, Ich hash." 

" Well, Shorge Fulwider, did n't you never take 
too much toll ?" 

" Yes, Lort, Ich has — when der water wash 
low, und mein stones wash dull, Ich take leetle 
too much toll." 

" Well, den, Shorge Fulwider, you must go to 
der left, mid der goats." 

"Well, Shake Fulwider, now you stand up. 
What hash you bin doin in dis lower world?" 

" Ah ! Lort, Ich does not know." 

" Well, Shake Fulwider, has n't you got a mill?" 

" Yes, Lort, Ich has." 

" Well, Shake Fulwider, has n't you never take 
too much toll ?" 

" Yes, Lort, Ich hash — when der water wash 
low, und mein stones wash dull, Ich take little too 

much toll?" 

" Well, den, Shake Fulwider, you must go to 
der left, mid der goats." 

" Now Ich tries mineself. Henry Shnyder ! 
Henry Shnyder ! stand up. What hash you bin 
doin in dis lower world ?" 

" Ah ! Lort, Ich does not know." 

H2 



90 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

"Well, Henry Shnyder, has n't you got a mill V 

" Yes, Lort, Ich hash." 

" Well, Henry Shnyder, did n't you never take 
too much toll V 

" Yes, Lort, Ich hash — when der water wash 
low, und me in stones wash dull, Ich hash take 
leetle too much toll." 
"But, Henry Shnyder, vat did you Jo mid der toll?" 

" Ah ! Lort, Ich gives it to der poor." 

(Pausing.) " Well, Henry Shnyder, you must 
go to der right mid der sheep ; but it ish a tarn 
tight squeeze." 

While the colonel was a member of the legisla- 
ture, some fellow started a report somewhat to his 
prejudice. After his return, at the first gathering 
he happened to meet with, he called the attention 
of the company, and mounted a stump to explain ; 
but his choler getting the better of his reason, he 
jumped down, swore he would n't explain, but he'd 
be d — d if he could n't whip the man who started 
the report. He could find no author, and his 
willingness to fight was taken as a fair proof of his 
innocence. 

Colonel Crockett was already higher in the 
political world, than in early life he had ever 
expected to be ; and had his inclination alone been 
consulted, his fame would never have reached 
Washington. He was so much wedded to hunt- 
ing, that, I have no doubt, he looked upon it as a 
sacrifice to exchange that pursuit for any other. 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 91 

The hunting stories which make a part of this 
work, are literally in his own style of narration ; 
and of their truth I have not the least doubt. The 
reason why the names of his dogs are changed in 
almost every story is, that a bear dog, if he fights 
regularly, is rarely good for any thing longer than 
one or two seasons. 

Nothing delights the colonel more than to be 
called upon by strangers to make a hunting party; 
and with the following one he was much pleased : 

" I was setting by a good fire in my little cabin, 
on a cool November evening, — roasting potatoes 
I believe, and playing with my children, — when 
somebody halloed at the fence. I went out, and 
there were three strangers, who said they come 
to take an elk hunt. I was glad to see 'em, invited 
'em in, and after supper we cleaned our guns. I 
took down old Betsy, rubbed her up, greased her, 
and laid her away to rest. She is a mighty rough 
old piece, but I love her, for she and I have seen 
hard times. She mighty seldom tells me a lie. 
If I hold her right, she always sends the ball 
where I tell her. After we were all fixed, I told 
'em hunting stories till bed time. 

" Next morning was clear and cold, and by times 
I sounded my horn, and my dogs come howling 
'bout me, ready for a chase. Old Ratler was a 
little lame — a bear bit him in the shoulder ; but 
Soundwell, Tiger, and the rest of 'em were all 
mighty anxious. We got a bite and saddled our 



92 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

horses. I went by to git a neighbour to drive for 
us, and off we started for the Harricane. My 
dogs looked mighty wolfish ; they kept jumping 
on one another, and growling. I knew they were 
run mad for a fight, for they had n't had one in 
two or three days. We were in fine spirits and 
going 'long through very open woods, when one 
of the strangers said, ' I would give my horse now 
to see a bear.' Said I, ' Well, give me your 
horse,' and I pointed to an old bear about three 
or four hundred yards ahead of us, feeding on 
acorns. I had been looking at him for some time, 
but he was so fur off, I was n't certain what it 
was. However, I hardly spoke before we all 
strained off, and the woods fairly echoed as we 
harked the dogs on. The old bear did n't want 
to run, and he never broke till we got most upon 
him ; but then he buckled for it, I tell you. When 
they overhauled him, he just rared up upon his 
hind legs, and he boxed the dogs 'bout at a mighty 
rate. He hugged old Tiger and another till he 
dropped 'em nearly lifeless; but the others wor- 
ried him, and after a while they all come to, and 
they give him trouble. They are mighty apt, I 
tell you, to give a bear trouble before they leave 
him. 'Twas a mighty pretty fight — 'twould have 
done any one's soul good to see it, just to see how 
they all rolled about. It was as much as I could 
do to keep the strangers from shooting him ; but J 
would n't let 'em, for fear they would kill some of 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 93 

my dogs. After we got tired seeing 'em fight, I 
went in among 'em, and the first time they got 
him down, I socked my knife into the old bear. 
We then hung him up, and went on to take our 
elk hunt. You never seed fellows so delighted as 
them strangers was. Blow me if they did n't cut 
more capers, jumping about, than the old bear. 
'Twas a mighty pretty fight, but I Vlieve I seed 
more fun looking at them than at the bear. 

" By the time we got to the Harricane, we were 
all rested and ripe for a drive. My dogs were in 
a better humour, for the fight had just taken off 
the wiry edge. So I placed the strangers at the 
stands through which I thought the elk would 
pass, sent the driver way up ahead, and I went 
down below. 

" Every thing was quiet, and I leaned old Betsy 
'gin a tree, and laid down. I s'pose I had been 
lying there nearly an hour, when I heard old Ti- 
ger open. He opened once or twice, and old 
Ratler gave a long howl ; the balance joined in, 
and I knew the elk were up. I jumped up and 
seized my rifle. I could hear nothing but one con- 
tinued roar of all my dogs, coming right towards 
me. Though I was an old hunter, the music made 
my hair stand on end. Soon after they first stark 
ed I heard one gun go off, and my dogs stopped, 
but not long, for they took a little tack towards 
where I placed the strangers. One of them fired, 
and they dashed back, and circled round way to 



94 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

my left. I run down 'bout a quarter of a mile, 
and I heard my dogs make a bend like they were 
coming to me. While I was listening, I heard 
the bushes breaking still lower down, and started 
to run there. As I was going 'long, I seed two 
elk burst out of the Harricane, 'bout one hundred 
and thirty or forty yards below me. There was 
an old buck and a doe. I stopped, waited till 
they got into a clean place, and as the old fellow 
made a leap, I raised old Bet, pulled trigger, and 
she spoke out. The smoke blinded me so that I 
could n't see what I did ; but as it cleared away, 
I caught a glimpse of only one of 'em going through 
the bushes ; so I thought I had the other. I went 
up, and there lay the old buck a kicking. I cut his 
throat, and by that time Tiger and two of my dogs 
come up. I thought it singular that all my dogs 
w T as n't there, and I began to think that they had 
killed another. After the dogs had bit him, and 
found out he was dead, old Tiger began to growl, 
and curled himself up between his legs. Every 
thing had to stand off then, for he would n't let the 
devil himself touch him. 

" I started off to look for the strangers. My 
two dogs followed me. After gitting away a 
piece, I looked back, and once in a while I could 
see old Tiger git up and shake the elk, to see if 
he was really dead, and then curl up between his 
legs agin. I found the strangers round a doe elk 
the driver had killed ; and one of 'em said he was 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 



95 



sure he had killed one lower down. I asked him 
if it had horns. He said he did n't see any* I 
put the dogs on where he said he had shot, and 
they did n't go fur before they came to a halt. I 
went up, and there lay a fine buck elk ; and 
though his horns were four or five feet long, the 
fellow who shot him was so scared, that he never 
saw them. We had three elk and a bear; so we 
managed to git it home, then butchered our game, 
talked over our hunt, and had a glorious frolic." 

While the colonel was a member of the legisla- 
ture, the tariff of '24 was passed by congress ; and 
the member from his district supported it contrary 
to the wishes of his constituents. An opposition 
was organized, and Colonel David Crockett was 
called upon by many of the people to become a 
candidate. There were already several in the 
field, when the colonel, at the warm solicitation of 
his friends, entered the lists. Now there was a 
fair opportunity for the exhibition of that talent in 
which he excelled. Seventeen counties composed 
the district ; and to be elected, his personal popu- 
larity had to overcome some talent supported by 
wealth and family influence. Many speeches 
were made, many barbecues were eaten, — great 
exertions were used by all parties ; and the elec- 
tion being over, the returns showed that in seven- 
teen counties Colonel Crockett had been beaten 
two votes. 

His friends have ever believed that he was fairly 



96 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OP 

elected ; and few of those opposed to him have 
been sceptical enough to doubt it. It has been 
rumoured that the election was conducted unfair- 
ly ; and the following circumstance leaves a sus- 
picion amounting to too strong a probability. The 
law of elections required that the ballot boxes 
should be sealed up when the polls were closed, 
and remain so until the votes were counted bv the 
judges. One of the sheriffs, who had been most 
violent in his opposition to the colonel, instead of 
sealing up the ballot box, merely fastened it with 
a wire hasp and carried it home, retaining it in 
that situation till the votes were counted. Now, 
if his opposition did not induce him to take out a 
few Crockett votes, his carelessness left him under 
an imputation by no means creditable. Little doubt 
was entertained but that Colonel Crockett could 
have been returned by contesting the election ; but 
he nobly said, " If it was not the wish of the peo- 
ple clearly expressed, he would not serve them." 

Being once more a private man, the colonel re- 
turned to the bosom of his family ; and as soon as 
the season would permit, occasionally sought his 
famous hunting ground, where he listened with 
rapture to the joyous cry of his dogs, or hung with 
delight on the far off echo of his old friend Betsy, 
as she distributed her death-dealing power to the 
beasts of the forest. 

In December of the year 18 — , he set out with 
a friend for a trip to the Shakes. The close of day 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 97 

l found them putting up their little tent, and storing 
away their provisions. Their horses were hob- 
f bled and turned loose, their rude supper was pre- 
pared ; and a short time found the colonel, his 
friend and dogs stored away, and sleeping off the 
[heavy night. There was something so wild in the 
[description which the colonel gave me of these 
\Shakes, that I like to dwell upon incidents con- 
nected with them. Frequently would he be 
jaroused from his sleep by the long howl of a gang 
[of wolves, attracted to his tent by the odour of his 
(provisions — so many in a gang as to intimidate 
jthe boldest ; at other times, by the wild scream of 
the panther. 

No one, he said, could tell the feeling which a 
i situation of that sort brought about, to one sepa- 
rated as far as he had been from all assistance. 
(Even his dogs seemed to partake of his feelings ; 
Ifor they would get up and come and lie close to 
pirn. The feeling was not fear, though he had 
pause to be afraid, from the many accidents which 
pad happened. He remarked that he had not 
■been a settler long in the Western District, when 
la. gentleman had occasion to send his servant into 
]\he woods for a piece of timber. The servant 
jremaining longer than was thought necessary, the 
piaster went to look for him. He was found, but 
jdead, and most shockingly mangled, with five 
I wolves lying around him, which had been killed 
with the sharp part of an axe. The ground bore 



98 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

marks of a most deadly and determined struggle, 
and showed that valour had yielded alone to num- 
bers. A large gang had been attracted by the 
odour of his provisions. " Nothing is more com- 
mon," said he, " than for wolves, when they meet 
with a single dog, to catch and eat him." 

But to my tale. The next morning betimes, the 
colonel and his friend were stirring ; and having 
prepared their breakfast, they set out hunting. 

" I was going 'long," said he, " down to a little 
Harricane, 'bout three miles from our tent, where 
I knew there must be a plenty of bear. 'Twas 
mighty cold, and my dogs were in fine order and 
very busy hunting, when I seed where a piece of 
bark had been scratched off a tree. I said to my 
companion, there is a bear in the hollow of this 
tree. I examined the sign, and I knew I was 
right. I called my dogs to me ; but to git at him 
was the thing. The tree was so large 'twould take 
all day to cut it down, and there was no chance 
to climb it. But upon looking aboat, I found 
that there was a tree near the one the bear was 
in ; and if I could make it fall agin it, I could then 
climb up and git him out. I fell to work and cut 
the tree down ; but, as the devil would have it, it 
lodged before it got there. So that scheme was 
knocked in the head. 

" I then told my companion to cut away upon 
the big tree, and I would go off some distance to 
see if I could n't see him. He fell to work, and 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 99 

he hadn't been at it long before I seed the old bear 
poke his head out ; but I could n't shoot him, for if 
[ did, I would hit him in the head, and he would 
iall backwards ; so I had to wait for him to come 
out. I did n't say any thing ; but it wan't a 
minute before he run out upon a limb and jumped 
down. 

" I run as hard as I could, but before I got there 
he and the dogs were hard at it. I did n't see 
much of the fight before they all rolled down a 
steep hill, and the bear got loose and broke, right 
in the direction of the Harricane. He was a 
mighty large one, and I was 'fraid my dogs would 
lose him, 'twas such a thick place. I started after 
him, and told my friend to come on. Well, of all 
the thick places that ever you did see, that bear 
carried me through some of the thickest. The dogs 
would sometimes bring him to bay, and I would 
try for my life to git up to 'em, but wnen I would 
get most there, he would git loose. He devilled me 
mightily, I tell you. I reckon I went a mile after 
that bear upon my hands and knees, just creeping 
through briars, and if I had n't had deer leather 
clothes on, they would have torn me in pieces. 

" I got wet ; and was mighty tired stooping so 
much. Sometimes I went through places so thick 
that I don't see how any thing could git through ; 
and I don't b'lieve I could, if I had n't heard the 
dogs fighting just before me. Sometimes I would 
look back, and I could n't see how I got along. 



165570 



100 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

But once I got in a clear place ; my dogs, tired of 
fighting, had brought the bear again to bay, and I 
had my head up, looking out to git a shoot, when 
the first thing I knew I was up to my breast in a 
sink hole of water. I was so infernal mad that I 
had a notion not to git out ; but I began to think 
it would n't spite any body, and so I scrambled 
out. My powder was all wet, except the load in 
my gun, and I did n't know what to do. I had 
been sweating all the morning, and I was tired, 
and I looked rather queer with my wet leather 
clothes on ; but I harked my dogs on, and once 
more I heard 'em fighting. I run on, and while I 
was going 'long I heard something jump in the 
water. When I got there, I seed the bear going up 
the other bank of the Obion river — I had n't time 
to shoot him before he was out of sight — he looked 
mighty tired. When I come to look at my dogs, 
I could hardly help from crying. Old Tiger and 
Brutus were sitting upon the edge of the water, 
whining because they could n't git over ; and I 
had a mighty good dog named Carlow,- — he was 
standing in the water ready to swim ; and I ob- 
served as the water passed by him it was right 
red, — he was mighty badly cut. When I come 
to notice my other dogs, they were all right bloody, 
and it made me so mad that I harked 'em on, and 
determined to kill the bear. 

" I hardly spoke to 'em before there was a gene- 
ral plunge, and each of my dogs just formed a 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 101 

streak going straight across. I watched 'em till 
they got out on the bank, when they all shook 
themselves, old Carlow opened, and off they all 
started. I sat down upon an old log. The water 
was right red where my dogs jumped in, and I 
loved 'em so much it made me mighty sorry. 
When I come to think how willingly they all 
jumped in when I told 'em, though they were 
badly cut and tired to death, I thought I ought to 
go and help 'em. 

" It was now about twelve o'clock. My dogs 
had been running ever since sunrise, and we had 
all passed through a harricane, which of itself was 
a day's work. I could hear nothing of my com- 
panion ; I whooped, but there was no answer ; and 
I concluded that he had been unable to follow me, 
and had gone back to the tent. I looked up and 
down the river, to see if there was a chance to 
cross it ; but there was none — no canoe was with- 
in miles of me. While I was thinking of all these 
things my dogs were trailing ; but all at once I 
heard 'em fighting. I jumped up — I hardly knew 
what to do, when a notion struck me to roll in the 
log I had been sitting on, and cross over on that. 
'Twas a part of an old tree, twelve or fifteen feet 
long, lying on a slant. I gave it a push, and into 
the water it went. I got an old limb, straddled the 
log, with my feet in the water, and pushed off. 
'Twas mighty ticklish work : I had to lay the limb 
across, like a balance pole, to keep me from turn- 

T 2 



102 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

ing over, and then paddle with the hand that 
wasn't holding the rifle. The log didn't float 
good, and the water came up over my thighs. 
After a while I got over safe, fastened my old log 
to go back upon, and as I went up the bank I 
heard my dogs tree. I run to 'em as fast as I 
could ; and sure enough I saw the old bear up in a 
crotch. My dogs were all lying down under him, 
and I don't know which was the most tired, they 
or the bear. 

" I knew I had him, so I just sat down and 
rested a little ; and then, to keep my dogs quiet, 
I got up, and old Betsy thundered at him. I shot 
him right through the heart, and he fell without a 
struggle. I run up and stuck my knife into him 
several times up to the hilt, just because he devil- 
led me so much ; but I had hardly pulled it out 
before I was sorry, for he had fought all day like 
a man, and would have got clear but for me. 

" I noticed when the other dogs jumped on him 
to bite him, old Carlow didn't git up. I went to 
him, and saw a right smart puddle of blood under 
him. He was cut into the hollow, and I saw he 
was dying — nothing could save him. While I 
was feeling 'bout him, he licked my hand ; — my 
eyes filled with tears ; — I turned my head away, 
and to ease his sufferings, plunged my knife 
through his heart He yelled out his death note, 
and the other dogs tried to jump upon him : such 
is the nature of a dog. This is all I hate in bear 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 103 

hunting. I did n't get over the death of my dog 
in some time ; and I have a right to love him to 
this day, for no man ever had a better friend. 

" After resting awhile, I fell to work and butch- 
ered my bear — I think he was the largest I ever 
saw. Then what to do, I did n't know. I was 
about, as near as I could tell, four miles from the 
tent, and there was a river between us. To leave 
my bear I could n't do, after working so hard ; 
but how to git him across, was the question. 
Finally I determined to carry him over on the 
same log I crossed on. I cut him up, threw away 
some of him, and brought at four turns as much 
as I could tote, (carry,) and put it on the bank. 
The river was about three hundred yards from 
where I killed the bear ; and 'twas hard work to 
git him there, I tell you. After I got it there I 
put a piece on my log, straddled it, and brought 
it over ; then went back, and kept doing this way 
till I brought it all over. But 'twas a d — 1 of a 
frolic, and I paid mighty dear for my meat. I 
packed it away in the crotch of a tree, to keep 
any thing from troubling it, and started for my 
tent. The sun was most down ; and though it 
was a cold winter day, and I had been wet all the 
time, I was n't cold much. I think that was the 
hardest day's work I ever had ; and why some of 
my frolics have n't killed me, I don't know." 

I asked the colonel if he had crossed many 
rivers in that way. He said never before that 



104 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

time, but since then he had crossed them a hun- 
dred times ; says he, " I just roll a chunk in. 
straddle it, and over I go." 

" But to go on with my tale. I got to my tent 
an hour or two in the night, where I found my 
companion with a good fire : he seemed mighty 
glad . to see me, for he did n't like staying there 
by himself. I told him what sort of a day I had 
had of it, and he could hardly Vlieve me ; so I told 
him I would take him next morning, and show 
him. I then dried myself, got warm, and went to 
sleep. Next morning we got our pack horses and 
went after my bear ; 'twas all safe, and we brought 
it to our tent and salted it away. My dogs 
were so much worsted by the fight they had had 
the day before, and I was so sore from it, that we 
concluded not to hunt any more that day. My 
powder was all spoiled; my friend hadn't much ; 
so next morning, instead of going hunting, we 
bundled up all our things and set out for home. 
'Twas more than a day's journey ; so the first 
night we camped about ten miles from my house. 
Having no powder at home, I told my friend if he 
would stay in the tent till I come back, I would 
go over the river to a little store, about twentv 
miles off, for a keg of powder which the merchant 
had promised to git for me. He agreed to do it; 
and the next morning I left my dogs with him and 
went down to the river, where I knew there was 
a crossing place. I got down pretty early, and 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 105 

the log I expected to cross on was almost under 
water, and the river still a rising ; but I thought 
as I was so far on my way, I would go over. The 
log did n't reach all the way across, but where it 
stopped a small tree grew up and leaned over the 
bank, so that when I quit the log I had been walk- 
ing on, I had to climb the little tree to git to the 
bank. I fastened my rifle to my back, climbed 
up, and got over safe. I noticed all these things, 
because I knew I'd have to wade when I come 
back. 

" Well, off I went to the store ; I got there just 
about sundown, and met with a right jolly set : so 
instead of going back, I staid there and frolicked 
with them, and made shooting matches for two or 
three days. I then got my powder, and one morn- 
ing before day, started off for my tent. The 
weather had turned much colder while I had been 
absent, and a smart snow had fallen, which made 
it mighty bad walking. I got to the river about 
two hours by sun, and as I expected, the river had 
risen and my log was covered. The water had 
risen considerably, but I did n't know how much : 
I knew it would n't do to stay there, for I should 
freeze ; there was no log to float across on, and 
my only chance was to git back as I got over.' I 
slung my keg of powder to my back and climbed 
down the little tree till I got to my log ; this I 
found by feeling, and the water was about three 
feet over it. I kept feeling 'long, and got over 



106 SKETCHES .AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

safe ; 'twas a mighty trying time ; for right under 
the log was twenty feet deep, and if I had made 
one false step, 'twould all have been over with 
David Crockett. 

" I had left old Betsy on the other side, so I had 
to go back for her, and pursue the same plan to 
git over; I got ready to start agin in about an 
hour, and I then had to go through a wide swamp 
to strike the path leading to my tent. The water, 
from the rise in the river, was all over the swamp, 
and I had to wade all the time ; and what made 
it worse, there was ice all over, which was n't 
strong enough to bear my weight, but made it 
mighty hard to git along. Just as I had started 
off, I saw where something had broke the ice, and 
a notion struck me 'twas a bear, and I determined 
to follow it. I kept on about a mile, most of my 
time knee deep in water, when I struck the high- 
land, and I found I was right in the path to my 
tent; and what I thought was a bear, was some 
friends who had been down to the river to look 
for me. I took their tracks, and about dark I got 
to my tent; 'twas full of people, and they were 
mighty glad to see me. I had staid away so long, 
that my friends thought some accident had hap- 
pened to me, and had gone to my house to git 
help to look for me. They told me that my 
family was in a great disturbance, believing I had 
been drowned ; so to quiet 'em, we all bundled 
up and went to my house that night." 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 107 



CHAPTER VIII. 

Reader! let you and me hold a small confab. 
My narrative has, before this, placed Colonel 
Crockett in situations, the truth of which, perhaps, 
you have doubted ; but, nevertheless, it is all true ; 
and the work, as far as it goes, has been, and will 
continue to be, an unvarnished picture of his life. 
So many incidents of an amusing nature have 
occurred to him, that it will be impossible for me 
to give more than a mere sample. Many of his 
queerest fantasies have no doubt been lost ; but 
this chapter will place him in a situation, to say 
the least of it, novel in the extreme. You know 
I told you David was always a quirky boy ; and 
now, to try your talent at guessing, I will tender 
you a copy of this work if you will divine where 
Colonel Crockett, in narrating a hunting story, 
will in truth place himself. 

But before we commence his hunting story, let 
us merely for variety's sake, take another of his 
Dutch anecdotes. 

" Well, I knew a young Dutchman once who 
was pretty well off, and who having, as he said, 
finished his edecation, was swelling very largely. 
He had been riding about for some time, attend- 
ing all the frolics in his reach, and came over- to 
an uncle of his where I happened to be. His uncle 



108 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

said, ' veil, Shon, vere you bin V ' Bin riding 
'bout to see der vorld. Und uncle, vat you tink, 
I bin down to Yacop Ransowers, to von great big 
veddin, und dere vas a heaps of folks dere, un ve 
all trink, un eat, an after tinner, tey all said com- 
pliments ; some said, ' much good may do you,' un 
some, said, ' little vont sarve me ;' so it come to my 
time, un I 'tots I must speak compliments too ; un 
I jus rose up, un if I did n't say, ' who keeps house, 
cot tam me V " The above story was told in the 
loud swelling language of the young Dutchman, 
who I have no doubt thought he had performed a 
wonderful feat when he spoke his compliments too ! 
Having disposed of the Dutch anecdote, we will 
now take the hunting story. 

" Well, I had been at home some time — the 
weather was so cold I did n't care much 'bout 
hunting, and Rces and a friend of his come over 
to my house one evening, and asked me if I did n't 
want to go down to the Shakes and take a bear 
hunt. I told 'em I did n't care much about it ; 
but if they wanted to go, I'd go with 'em: so next 
morning we fixed up, got our pack horses, and 
off we started for the Shakes. We pitched our 
tent right on the bank of one of those lakes made 
by the Shakes, and commenced hunting : we were 
tolerably successful : there was nothing strange 
about any of our hunts, only bear hunting is 
always the hardest work a man can be at. We 
killed our game and salted it away as usual, and 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 109 

on the third day 'twas so cold, and there was 
so much snow on the ground, that we all came to 
our tent earlier than usual ; we made us a good 
fire and were lying 'round it, when Mr. Mars, 
who had been to Mill's Point, rode up. He got 
down and told us that he was obliged to be at the 
land office very early next morning, and if we 
would set him across the lake there 'twould save 
him the trouble of riding 'round it, which was 
about twenty miles out of his way. There was 
an old flat lying on shore ; but we all told him we 
could n't ; 'twas too cold, and we were tired. But 
he kept begging us, saying he was obliged to be 
there ; and after awhile he pulled out a bottle of 
whiskey and passed it 'round. We soon emptied 
it, and it made me feel in a heap better humour : 
so when Mars fell to persuading us agin, I said 
I'd set him across, if one of the others would help 
me. Rees said he would, and Mars being in a 
great hurry, we went down to the lake, and getting 
his horse in, we pushed off. 'Twas a mighty 
rough establishment, oars and all. The oars were 
covered with ice, and the old flat had a good deal 
of snow in it, and she leaked mighty badly ; but I 
thought she would carry us over ; so after we had 
started off, Mars said if we carried him straight 
across he would have to swim a slue, and there 
was so much mushy ice in it, he did n't believe he 
could git his horse across ; but if we would land 
him up the lake he could get on safe. To go 

K 



110 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

straight across was about a mile, but to go where 
Mars wanted us was about three. However, we 
were all in a right good humour, and the sun was 
rather better than two hours high ; so we agreed 
to land him where he wished. 

" We pulled away, and just as we got about the 
middle of the lake, his horse made some motion 
in the boat, and set her to leaking worse than be- 
fore. I told Mars she'd sink if he did n't bail her: 
so he took his hat and went to work. We palled 
as hard as we could, and Mars worked mighty 
hard ; but the Water run in as fast as he could get 
it out. By and by, though, we got to the bank, 
and just as Mars went to lead his horse out, the 
whole bottom went down. It had only been 
pinned on, and the weight of the horse broke it 
loose. Rees and I was a little wet, and when we 
got upon the bank we did n't know what to do. 
Mars looked half frozen with his wet hat, and his 
horse was shivering : he had to ride about fifteen 
miles, or a little upwards, before he could get to a 
house ; and we were there without a horse, sepa- 
rated by a lake from our tent, and had nothing to 
strike fire. Mars said he could do nothing for us, 
for he was all but froze, and must go on, as he had 
a long way to ride, and 'twas getting late. I told 
him 'twas n't worth while for him to stay, and off 
he started. We looked at him till he got out of 
sight, and we didn't know what to do. Well, 
there was Rees and I shivering ; and we must 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. Ill 

either get back to our tent, or freeze to death. I 
recollected there was, right opposite to where we 
started from, a canoe ; but 'twas two miles to that 
place, and then to get to it, we would have to cross 
the very slue which Mars had been afraid of swim- 
ming. This was the only chance. I told Rees 
'twas n't worth while to consider — that there was 
no two ways about it — we must do it or die. So 
off we started. When we got to the slue, 'twas 
as Mars said, covered with mushy ice, and about 
thirty or forty yards across. We were mighty 
cold, and it made the chills run over me to look at 
it. I called to Rees, and told him, as he was 
tallest, he must go first. He didn't speak, but 
waded right in; he seemed to think 'twas death 
any how, and was resigned to his fate. I watched 
him as he went along. It kept getting deeper 
and deeper, till for nearly twenty yards he walk- 
ed along with nothing out but his head. After he 
got out, I started in, and for nearly twenty yards 
I had to tiptoe, and throw my head back, and the 
ice just come along up to my ears — 'twas this 
soft ice made of snow. I didn't speak ; we were 
too near dead to joke each other. We went down 
to the lake, and there we found the canoe. 'Twas 
nearly full of snow and water, and I set to work 
to clean her out ; and when I thought 'twould an- 
swer, I called to Rees to come on. He didn't 
answer me, and I went to him and shook him — but 
he was fast asleep. I endeavoured to rouse him 



112 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

up, but I could n't make him understand any thing ; 
so I dragged him along, and laid him in the canoe. 
I then straddled one end of it, put my legs as deep 
as I could in the water to keep them from freezing, 
and paddled over. Our friend we had left at the 
tent had a fine fire. I could see it some time be- 
fore I got ashore, and it looked mighty good. He 
had been preparing for us, as he knew we would 
be very cold when we got back. I hailed him, as 
I run the canoe ashore, to come and take out 
Rees ; for, says I, I believe he is dead. I got up, 
and thought I would jump out, and started to do 
so ; but I came very near breaking my neck, for 
I could n't step more than about six inches. I got 
out ; I could n't do any good by staying there, 
and I left my friend pulling poor Rees out, and 
started for the fire. I soon got to walking right 
good, and felt the fire before I got to it. But I 
was hardly at it before 1 began to burn all over. 
I kept turning round — my pains only grew worse. 
I was suffering torments worse than death, and I 
quit the fire. I turned towards the canoe. Oui 
companion had poor Rees in his arms, his feet 
dragging the snow, coming towards the fire. I 
did n't say any thing to him, for I did n't know 
what to say ; but while I was looking on, I recol- 
lected that there was a mighty big spring not fur 
off; and a notion struck me to go and git into it. 
The sun was just down, and the sky looked red 
and cold, as I started off' for the spring. When I 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 113 

got there I put my legs in, and it felt so warm that 
I sat right flat down in it — and I bent down, so as 
to leave nothing out but my mouth and the upper 
part of my head. You don't know how good I 
did feel. I was n't cold any where but my head. 
I sometimes think now of that frolic; and I believe 
the happiest time I ever spent was while I was in 
that spring. I felt like I was coming to ; 'twas so 
warm, and every thing around me looked so cold. 
How long I remained there I don't know; but I 
think an hour or two : 'twas quite dark when I 
got out. I went to my tent, and there I saw poor 
Rees wrapped up in some blankets and laid before 
the fire, his friend watching over him. He was 
dull and stupid, and had not spoken. The fire 
had no other effect upon me than to make me feel 
comfortable. I took off my clothes, got dry, 
went to sleep, and never experienced any incon- 
venience. But all our attention could not get 
poor Rees entirely well. We stayed with him 
two or three days, and then carried him home ; 
but he never walked afterwards. That frolic 
sickened me with hunting for one while." 



KS 



114 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 



CHAPTER IX. 

To give my readers a better idea of the charac- 
ter of Colonel Oockett, I have here sketched for 
them my first interview with him. 

Some time in the month of , in the year 

, while travelling through the Western Dis- 
trict, I heard Colonel Crockett, or the great bear 
hunter, so frequently mentioned, — and with his 
name were associated so many humourous anec- 
dotes, — that I determined to visit him. Obtaining 
directions, I left the high road and sought his resi- 
dence. My route, for many miles, lay through a 
country uninteresting from its samenesss ; and I 
found myself on the morning of the third day 
within eight miles of Colonel Crockett's. .Having 
refreshed myself and horse, I set out to spend the 
remainder of the day with him — pursuing a small 
blazed trail, which bore no marks of being often 
travelled, and jogged on, wondering what sort of a 
reception I should meet with from a man who, by 
quirky humours unequalled, had obtained for him- 
self a never-dying reputation. 

The character which had been given of the 
colonel, both by his friends and foes, induced me 
to hope for a kind welcome ; but doubting, — for I 
still believed him a bear in appearance,— I pur- 
sued my journey until a small opening brought 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 115 

me in sight of a cabin which, from description, I 
identified as the home of the celebrated hunter of 
the West. 

It was in appearance rude and uninviting, 
situated in a small field of eight or ten acres, 
which had been cleared in the wild woods ; no 
yard surrounded it, and it seemed to have been 
lately settled. In the passage of the house were 
seated two men in their shirt sleeves, cleaning 
rifles. I strained my eyes as I rode up to see if I 
could identify in either of them the great bear 
hunter: but before I could decide, my horse had 
stopped at the bars, and there walked out, in plain 
homespun attire, with a black fur cap on, a finely 
proportioned man, about six feet high, aged, from 
appearance, forty-five. His countenance was 
frank and manly, and a smile played over it as he 
approached me. He brought with him a rifle, 
and from his right shoulder hung a bag made of a 
raccoon skin, to which, by means of a sheath, was 
appended a huge butcher's knife. " This is Colo- 
nel Crockett's residence, I presume ?" " Yes, sir." 
" Have I the pleasure of seeing that gentleman 
before me ?" " If it be a pleasure, you have, sir." 
* Well, Colonel, I have rode much out of my way 
to spend a day or two with you, and take a hunt." 
" Get down, sir ; I am delighted to see you; I like 
to see strangers : and the only care I have is, that 
I cannot accommodate them as well as I could 
wish. I have no corn ; you see I've but lately 



116 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

moved here ; but I'll make my little boy take your 
horse over to my son-in-law's ; he is a good fellow, 
and will take care of him." Walking in, — " my 
brother, let me make you acquainted with Mr. 
, of ; my wife, Mr. ; my daugh- 
ters, Mr. . You see, we are mighty rough 

here. I am afraid you will think it hard times, 
but we have to do the best we can. I started 
mighty poor, and have been rooting 'long ever 
since ; but d — n apologies, I hate 'em ; what I 
live upon always, I think a friend can for a day 
or two. I have but little, but that little is as free 
as the water that runs — so make yourself at home. 
Here are newspapers, and some books." 

His free mode of conversation made me feel 
quite easy ; and a few moments gave me leisure to 
look around. His cabin within was clean and neat, 
and bore about it many marks of comfort. The 
many trophies of wild animals spread over his 
house and yard — his dogs, in appearance war- 
worn veterans, lying about sunning themselves — 
all told truly that I was at the home of the cele- 
brated hunter. 

His family were dressed by the work of their 
own hands ; and there was a neatness and sim- 
plicity in their appearance very becoming. His 
wife was rather grave and quiet, but attentive 
and kind to strangers ; his daughters diffident and 
retiring, perhaps too much so, but uncommonly 
beautiful ; and are fine specimens of the native 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 117 

worth of the female character — for, entirely un- 
educated, they are not only agreeable but fascin- 
ating. There are no schools near them, yet they 
converse well — and if thev did not one would be 
apt to think so, for they are extremely pretty, and 
tender to a stranger, with so much kindness, the 
comforts of their little cabin. The colonel has no 
slaves; his daughters attend to the dairy and 
kitchen, while he performs the more laborious 
duties of his farm. He has but lately moved 
where he now resides, and consequently had to 
fix anew. He took me over his little field of 
corn, which he himself had cleared and grubbed, 
talked of the quantity he should make, his peas, 
pumpkins, etc. with the same pleasure that a Mis- 
sissippi planter would have shown me his cotton 
estate, or a James river Virginia planter have 
carried me over his wide inheritance. 

The newspapers being before us, called up the 
subject of politics. I held in high estimation the 
present administration of our country. To this he 
was opposed. His views, however, delighted me; 
and, were they more generally adopted, we should 
be none the loser. He was opposed to the admin- 
istration, and yet conceded that many of its acts 
were wise and efficient, and would have received 
his cordial support. He admired Mr. Clay, but 
had objections to him. He was opposed to the 
tariff, yet, I think, a supporter of the bank. He 
seemed to have the most horrible objection to 



118 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

binding himself to any man, or set of men. He 
said he would as lieve be an old 'coon dog, as 
obliged to do what any man, or set of men, would 
tell him was right. The present administration 
he would support as far as he would any other ; 
and that was, as far as he believed its views to be 
correct. He would pledge himself to support no 
administration — when the will of his constituents 
was known to him, it was his law ; when unknown, 
his judgment was his guide. I remarked to him, 
that his district was so thorough-going for Jackson, 
I thought he would never be elected. He said, 
" he did n't care ; he believed his being left out 
was of service to him, for it had given him time 
to go to work ; he had cleared his corn field, dug 
a well, built his cabins," etc. ; and says he, " if they 
won't elect me with my opinions, I can't help it. 
I had rather be politically damned than hypocriti- 
cally immortalized." He spoke very highly of 
Benton, and was delighted with P. P. Barbour, 
whom he would have preferred for president to 
Jackson or Clay ; and of whom he remarked, " I'll 
be d — d if Barbour ain't as quick as Dupont's 
treble." He spoke with much pleasure of his 
former acquaintances at Washington, and assigned, 
at my instance, the reasons why he was beaten at 
the last election ; but they were better summed 
up by an Irish gentleman, with whom I had the 
pleasure of conversing while in the District. He 
said, " 'twas a poor bate that, to be baten only three 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 119 

or four hundred votes in seventeen counties ; and 
he would not have been baten at all, but that he 
carried on his back Jackson, and every lawyer 
and printer in the district." 

His rifle next came upon the tapis, and from 
him I learned that he was cleaning her up for a 
shooting match, to which I was invited. To 
gratify me, he, with his brother, went out and shot 
several times. One who is little accustomed to 
shooting, can form no idea of the skill of the back- 
woods marksmen. Even the fiction of Cooper, in 
the skill of his far-famed Hawk-eye, I have seen 
surpassed. And were the deeds of La Longue 
Carabine and old Betsy brought into comparison, 
an impartial judge would have to decide in favour 
of the latter. Not only does the colonel shoot 
well, who has indeed been a splendid shot, but the 
finest corps of riflemen in the world, might be 
selected from the north-western part of Tennessee. 

Forty yards off-hand, or sixty with a rest, is the 
distance generally chosen for a shooting match. 
These are considered equivalent distances ; that 
is, either may be selected — if no distance be spe- 
cified, this is implied. 

Off-hand shooting is always preferred by a good 
marksman, and is generally the closest. In shoot- 
ing with a rest, the rifle rebounds, and conse- 
quently throws its ball with much less accuracy. 
To prove this, take two rifle or gun-barrels, which, 
by placing them together, will touch only at each 



120 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

end, and you will find no difficulty in springing 
them together by means of your two fingers. In 
speaking of the accuracy of the western riflemen, 
I can conceive of nothing that I could say which 
would amount to fiction. I have known them, at 
the distance of one hundred yards, to shoot six 
balls out of eleven within less than half an inch of 
the centre ; and in all their shooting matches, no 
ball is allowed to count which is not found within 
an inch. They use for patching, cotton cloth, and. 
wipe their rifles after every discharge. I think 
they would even shoot with more accuracy than 
they do, did they use percussion locks, which 
possess many advantages over the flint lock. 

The time having arrived, on we went to the 
shooting match. The place selected was a grove, 
near which stood a tippling house. We found many 
persons already assembled, and they continued to 
flock in until several hundred were collected. 
They disposed of themselves in different groups 
about the grove, some lying down, others standing, 
and indulged pretty much in the same topic of 
conversation — that is, each man wanted his neigh- 
bour to put up something to be shot for. There 
was something very striking in their appearance. 
Almost every man was clad in the garb of a 
hunter, — with a rifle, a 'coon skin bag, from which 
was suspended a large knife and an alligator's 
tooth for a charger, — than which nothing can be 
more beautiful. Many articles were brought to 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 121 

the gathering for sale ; yet no person, though he 
might want them ever so badly, thought of buying. 
They must all go through the process of being 
shot for, before any man would consent to own 
them. This was literally the case with every 
article. Whenever any thing very pretty was 
exhibited, you would hear many persons telling 
the vender not to sell it, but to put it up — that is, 
make up chances, and have a shooting match. 

There is no country in the world which can 
beat the Western District in originality of names. 
I once overheard two men bargaining for a horse : 
said one to the other, " I will give you two hun- 
dred dollars worth of dogs for him." Two hundred 
dollars worth of dogs ! said I to myself — two 
hundred dollars worth of dogs ! ! — What can that 
mean ? Upon asking for an explanation, I found 
out that bonds, or promissory notes, were termed 
dogs — and that they were said to be of a good or 
bad breed, according to the ability and punctuality 
of the obligor. 

But to my tale. The crowd, to brighten their 
ideas, or rather to increase their propensity to 
shoot, which, by the bye, needed no stimulus, occa- 
sionally took a little — and when they were sum- 
moned to the field, where an ox or two was to be 
awarded to the victor, I could see many a man 
who was "how come you so?" Each man who 
was to shoot, carried with him his target: this 
consisted of a small board which had been burned 



122 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

black, and rubbed smooth, on which a small piece 
of white paper had been pinned. The judges took 
possession of all the boards ; and, from the centre 
spot on each, described four concentric circles, 
commencing with a radius of one-fourth of an 
inch, then half an inch, three-fourths of an inch, 
and one inch. 

The judges having measured the distance at 
which they were to shoot, from a tree against 
which their targets were to be placed, — and 
having marked out on the ground a circle, to pre- 
vent their being intruded upon under penalty of a 
quart, all was ready. There was no regularity in 
shooting ; each marksman called for his target 
when it suited him. One, taking his position, cried 
out, put up my board — it was done : and the crowd 
flocked together, on either side, from the target to 
the marksman, forming a lane of living people 
about four feet wide, with their heads inclining 
inwards, to see the effect of the shot. The marks- 
man stood for a moment as if sculptured from 
marble, the muzzle of his gun pointing to the earth 
— then raising it gradually, it became horizontal, 
poised for an instant, and there burst forth a sheet 
of living flame — the ball was buried in the paper, 
and at the annunciation of it, a wild shout rent the 

air. 

« D — n it, clear the track, and put up my board," 

was shouted from the lips of Crockett, and I dis- 
covered old Betsy poised aloft in the air. The 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 123 

lane was again formed, and Crockett lounged idly 
at his stand, with his gun upon his shoulder, which 
was carelessly thrown off, and discharged the 
moment it became horizontal. The same effect 
ensued — the ball was buried in the paper, and 
another wild shout rent the air. I never have 
witnessed more excitement ; the scene was kept 
up for several hours by various marksmen — and 
the welkin did not ring with louder applause, when 
on Long Island the far-famed Eclipse passed 
Henry, one of Virginia's favourite sons, than did 
the backwoods of Tennessee at each successful 
shot. 

I observed that many a marksman, after shoot- 
ing two or three times, would hide his rifle in the 
woods, as he said, to allow it rest — and the idea 
at first seemed to me superstitious — rbut there were 
two objects in doing so — it was hid to prevent any 
person from playing a trick upon it ; and allowed 
to cool, that its barrel might not glimmer. A 
heated barrel always glimmers, and a good marks- 
man never shoots when the rays of the sun may 
warp his vision ; but, if practicable, seeks a shade. 

Evening came on, and the crowd showed no 
disposition to disperse. A thousand shooting 
matches were in embryo : this man wanted a pair 
of shoes — another a hat — a third some cakes for 
his children — not one of which things would they 
dare to carry home, until it had gone through the 
regular process of being shot for. Whether this 



124 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

practice proceeds from a natural fondness for 
adventure, or from a spirit df economy, I know pot 
— for I saw several men pay two or three prices 
for an article, before they were fortunate enough 
to get it. But, methought, when one went home 
where, perhaps, sat some 

-"sulky, sullen dame, 



Gathering her brows, like gathering storm, 
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm," 

it would appease her but little to state, that their 
joint earnings had been spent for ginger-cakes — 
but that it would act like a sedative, when it was 
announced that they cost but a thimble of powder, 
with a leaden ball. 

The evening passed off amid a continual ring- 
ing of rifles, and night came on, and yet there was 
no disposition to disperse — it was damp and foggy, 
and consequently very dark ; and, to my utter 
astonishment, candles were called for, to enabi'e 
them to shoot. The distance was diminished : 
and, though their heads must have spun round like 
whirligigs, I think they rather improved in shooting. 
There was a candle held near each sight of the 
rifle, and one also on each side of the target ; and 
in this manner did they continue through the night 
to dispose of the merchandise, which had been 
brought for sale during the day. I sat up very 
late ; candles were continually called for, and new 
parties formed. Weary of the scene, I retired to 
bed. 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 125 

In the morning I arose with the first dawn of 
day, and mounted my horse. The noise had 
somewhat abated, though the candles were burn- 
ing, and the rifles ringing — and they continued to 
do so while I was in hearing. 



CHAPTER X. 

That Colonel Crockett could avail himself, in 
electioneering, of the advantages which well ap- 
plied satire ensures, the following anecdote will 
sufficiently prove. 

In the canvass of the congressional election of 
18 — , Mr. ***** was the colonel's opponent — a 
gentleman of the most pleasing and conciliating 
manners — who seldom addressed a person or a 
company without wearing upon his countenance 
a peculiarly good humoured smile. The colonel, 
to counteract the influence of this winning attri- 
bute, thus alluded to it in a stump speech : 

" Yes, gentlemen, he may get some votes by 
grinning, for he can out-grin me, and you know I 
ain't slow — and to prove to you that I am not, I 
will tell you an anecdote. I was concerned my- 
self—and I was fooled a little of the wickedest. 
You all know I love hunting. Well, I discovered 
a long time ago that a 'coon could n't stand my 
grin. I could bring one tumbling down from the 
highest tree. I never wasted powder and lead, 

L2 



126 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF - 

when I wanted one of the creatures. Well, as I 
was walking out one night, a few hundred yards 
from my house, looking carelessly about me, I saw 
a 'coon planted upon one of the highest limbs of 
an old tree. The night was very moony and clear, 
and old Ratler was with me ; but Ratler won't 
bark at a 'coon — he's a queer dog in that way. 
So, 1 thought I'd bring the lark down, in the usual 
way, by a grin. I set myself — and, after grinning 
at the 'coon a reasonable time, found that he did n't 
come down. I wondered what was the reason — 
and I took another steady grin at him. Still he 
was there. It made me a little mad ; so I felt 
round and got an old limb about five feet long — 
and, planting one end upon the ground, I placed 
my chin upon the other, and took a rest. I then 
grinned my best for about five minutes — but the 
cursed 'coon hung on. So, finding I could not 
bring him down by grinning, I determined to have 
him — for I thought he must be a droll chap. I 
went over to the house, got my axe, returned to 
the tree, saw the 'coon still there, and began to- 
cut away. Down it come, and I run forward ; 
but d — n the 'coon was there to be seen. I found 
that what I had taken for one, was a large knot 
upon a branch of the tree — and, upon looking at 
it closely, I saw that / had grinned all the bark 
off J and left the knot perfectly smooth. 

" Now, fellow-citizens," continued the colonel, 
"you mus>. be convinced that, in the grinning line* 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 127 

I myself am not slow — yet, when I look upon my 
opponent's countenance, I must admit that he is 
my superior. You must all admit it. Therefore, 
be wide awake — look sharp — and do not let him 
grin you out of your votes." 

I have never met with a man who had a 
happier talent for turning every thing to his own 
advantage than Colonel Crockett. Never at a 
loss, he gives in his blunt way, to every sally of 
wit against him, the happiest answer that can be 
conceived ; and I believe no person who has been 
the aggressor, ever left him satisfied with his own 
success. 

During his first canvass for congress, while at 
a public gathering, Colonel Crockett was, as he 
ever is, the centre of a crowd, which he was 
amusing with some comic story ; when, to abash 
him, a friend of his opponent, with an impudent 
yet smirking face, walked up, and pulling out a 
'coon skin, asked the colonel to give him the 
change for it : — four hare skins are equal to a 
'coon skin. Colonel Crockett, taking the skin and 
feeling the fur, asked, " Where did you git this ?" 

"'Twas handed me a while ago." 

" Well, vou take it back, and tell the fellow I 

. say he cheated you — it's a counterfeit — the fur 

ain't worth a rotten persimon — the 'coon was sick 

— you could n't git one of my dogs to tree sich a 

'coon as that. Take it back." 

The colonel, though wild and wayward in Ms 



128 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

flights, seldom says any thing without an inten- 
tion — and very often the keenest satire may be 
found lurking under the most ridiculous garb. 
But to place his character in a fair light, it is only 
necessary to advert to the circumstances under 
which he was elected. A hunter, poor, entirely 
without education, and without family influence, 
he was called upon by a large majority of the 
citizens of his district to represent them — a dis- 
trict composed of seventeen counties, and contain- 
ing at that time nearly 100,000 souls, without one 
single advantage other than the mere gifts of 
nature. He had to contend with men of genius, 
of fortune, and refined education — and, further, to 
withstand the fury of all the presses in his district, 
— which sent forth sheet after sheet of violent 
abuse, of ludicrous caricatures, and of biting satire, 
— and yet, from beneath this accumulating weight, 
Colonel Crockett rose to distinction. Is this not a 
proof that nature has indeed been liberal to him ? 
And, though we may laugh at his humours, yet 
we must all concede, that in the power of gaining 
men's hearts, with but one exception, Colonel 
Crockett stands unrivalled. There are many per- 
sons who will attribute his success to a want of 
talent in his own district. But this is not the case. 
For, though the country has been but lately settled, 
there is, in some portions of it, the refinement of 
good society— and, throughout the district, you 



t. 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 129 

frequently meet with fine specimens of genius, and 
of education. 

Colonel Crockett, as I before remarked, has 
been exposed to the wrath of the presses of his 
district ; and paper bulletins have been used 
against him in every shape which you can well 
conceive — in every style, from the most chaste 
and sedate language, to the violent slang of 
modern party spirit. I think nothing could have 
been better calculated for effect, than a series of 
numbers, distributed in pamphlet form, entitled, 
"Book of Chronicles, west of Tennessee, and east 
of the Mississippi rivers," — and which are really so 
severe, as well as amusing, that I must here insert 
a number. 

" BOOK OF CHRONICLES, 

WEST OF TENNESSEE, AND EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI 



RIVERS. 



" 1. And it came to pass in those days, when 
Andrew was chief ruler over the children of Colum- 
bia, that there arose a mighty man in the river 
country, whose name was David ; he belonged to 
the tribe of Tennessee, which lay upon the border 
of the Mississippi and over against Kentucky. 

" 2. Now David was chief of the hosts of Forked 
Deer, and Obion, and round about the Hatchee, and 
the Mississippi rivers ; and behold his fame had 
spread abroad throughout all the land of Columbia. 



M 



130 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

insomuch that there were none to be found like 
unto him for wisdom and valour; no, not one in 
all the land. 

" 3. David was a man wise in council, smooth 
in speech, valiant in war, and of fair countenance 
and goodly stature ; such was the terror of his 
exploits, that thousands of wild cats and panthers 
did quake and tremble at his name. 

" 4. And it came to pass that David was chosen 
by the people in the river country, to go with the 
wise men of the tribe of Tennessee to the grand 
Sanhedrim, held yearly in the twelfth month, and 
on the first Monday in the month, at the city of 
Washington, where the wise men from the east, 
from the west, from the north, and from the south, 
gathered themselves together to consult on the 
welfare of Columbia and her twenty-four tribes. 

" 5. In those days there were many occupants 
spread abroad throughout the river country : these 
men loved David exceedingly, because he promised 
to give them lands flowing with milk and honey. 

" 6. And it came to pass in the 54th year after 
the children of Columbia had escaped from British 
bondage, and on the first month, when Andrew 
and the wise men and rulers of the people were 
assembled in the great Sanhedrim, that David 
arose in the midst of them, saying, Men and 
brethren, wot ye not that there are many occu- 
pants in the river country on the west border of 
the tribe of Tennessee, who are settled down 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 131 

upon lands belonging to Columbia ; now I beseech 
you give unto these men each a portion for his 
inheritance, so that his soul may be glad, and he 
will bless you and your posterity. 

" 7. But the wise men from the south, the south- 
east, the west, and the middle country, arose with 
one accord, and said, Lo ! brethren, this cannot be 
done. The thing which our brother David asketh 
is unjust ; the like never hath been done in the 
land of Columbia. If we give the lands away, it 
must be to the tribe of Tennessee ; so that they 
may deal with the occupants as it may seem good 
in their sight. This has been the practice in old 
times, and with our fathers, and we will not de- 
part therefrom. Furthermore, we cannot give 
this land away until the warrants are satisfied. 

" 8. Behold, when David heard these sayings, 
he was exceeding wroth against the wise men 
and the rulers of the congregation, and against 
Andrew, and made a vow unto the Lord that he 
would be avenged of them. Then John, one of 
the wise men of the tribe of Tennessee, who lived 
at the rocky city, arose in the midst, and said, If 
we give this land unto the occupants instead of 
the tribe, all the occupants in the land of Colum- 
bia will beseech us for lands, and there will be 
none left to pay the debt which redeemed us from 
bondage ; no, not an acre : and this saying pleased 
the wise men and the rulers, and they did accord- 
ingly. 



132 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

" 9. Now there were in these days wicked 
men, sons of Belial, to wit : the Claytonites, the 
Holmesites, Burgessites, the Everettites, the Chil- 
tonites, and the Bartonites, who were of the tribes 
of Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Kentucky 
and Missouri, and who hated Andrew and his 
friends of old times, because the children of 
Columbia had chosen him to rule over them 
instead of Henry, whose surname was Clay, 
whom they desired for their chief ruler. 

" 10. And lo, when those men saw that David 
was sorely troubled in spirit, they communed one 
with another, and said, Is this not David from 
the river country in the west, who of old times 
was very valiant for Andrew to be ruler, and 
who perplexed our ranks in the Sanhedrim, and 
who was foremost in battle against our great 
chiefs Henry and John Q. when they were de- 
feated by Andrew ? Now Tristram, whose sur- 
name was Burgess, answered and said, Men and 
brethren, as the Lord liveth it is he. 

"11. Then Daniel, whose surname was Web- 
ster, and who was a prophet of the order of Balaam, 
said, Let us comfort David in his afflictions ; his 
wrath is kindled against Andrew and his friends, 
and against the wise men of Tennessee ; perad- 
venture he will come over to us at the next elec- 
tion to fight for Henry against Andrew ; and 
Thomas, whose surname was Chilton, said, Thou 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 133 

speaketh wisely ; let what thou sayest be done 
according to thy words. 

"12. Then Daniel drew nigh unto David and 
said unto him, Wherefore, O my brother, dost thou 
seem sad and sorrowful? Why is thy soul bowed 
down with affliction? Hath the hand of the Lord 
smote heavily upon thee ? Have famine and 
pestilence destroyed thy land and all thy beloved 
occupants ? Or have the wise men and rulers 
been unkind to thee ? I pray thee tell me, and I 
will comfort thee. 

" 13. And David lifted up his eyes and wept, 
and said, O Daniel ! live for ever. If the wise 
men and rulers had given my occupants the lands 
according to the manner I beseeched them, I could 
have been wise man and chief ruler in the river 
country for life. But if I join the wise men and 
give it to the state of Tennessee, then they will 
share the honour with me, and the council of the 
state of Tennessee will give it to the occupants at 
twelve and one-half cents per acre, and they will 
receive the honour instead of me ; then the people 
of the river country will not have me for their 
wise man and chief ruler forever, and it grieveth 
me sore. 

" 14. And Daniel answered and said unto David, 
Swear unto me that thou and all thy people in the 
river country will come over unto me and fight 
with me at the next election against Andrew and 
his people, in favour of Henry for chief ruler of 

M 



134 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

Columbia ; then I will help thee to get the lands for 
thine occupants; and David swore accordingly,, 
and there is a league existing between them even 
unto this day. 

" 15. Now there was a man in the river coun- 
try, about the centre way thereof, whose name 
was William. He loved David as he loved his 
own soul ; his soul and David's were knit as 
though they were but one ; he was David's chief 
counsellor. When David wept, he wept ; when 
David rejoiced, he rejoiced ; if David bade him 
go, he went ; if David bade him come, he came. 

" 16. So it came to pass when David returned 

from the great Sanhedrim, that William ran and 

fell upon his neck and wept for joy ; then David 

said unto him, I have been discomfited in all my 

plans ; I could not get my beloved occupants their 

lands without dividing the honour with the wise 

men of my state, and giving it to the whole tribe 

of the Tennessee ; I wot not but the council 

would give it to them as cheap as I, but it would 

rob me of the honour, and then I cannot be wise 

man and chief ruler for life ; I have . therefore 

engaged to forsake Andrew and join the ranks of 

Henry, for the chief ruler over the children of 

Columbia — for the wise men of my tribe and the 

friends of Andrew have forsaken me. Wilt thou, 

in whom my soul delighteth, go with me in these 

things ? 

" 17. And William answered, and said, Where 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 135 

thou goest, I will go ; where thou stayest, I will 
stay ; what thou doest, I will do ; and I will have 
none other God but thee — when I forsake thee, let 
the Lord forsake me, do as thou wilt. 

" 18. And David said unto William, Draw near 
unto me ; I will counsel thee, for thou art my 
beloved disciple, in whom I am well pleased. Go 
thou through all the river country, and every 
neighbourhood thereof; tell the people I will be 
elected by five thousand votes. As thou art a 
Baptist, they will put trust in thee. 

" 19. If thou dost come to a people who knoweth 
thee not, if they are for me, say unto them, be strong 
and valiant on the day of the election ; — if they are 
against me, say unto them thou art against me 
also — but that thou hast been all through the river 
country, and I will be elected by a mighty host : 
this will terrify them, and they will join me. If 
thou shalt come to an ignorant people, say unto 
them my adversary is guilty of corruption. If a 
Jackson man approaches thee, say unto him I 
have always been for Jackson. 

" 20. If a Clay man encounter thee, then mayest 
thou tell him of the bargain with Daniel. If a 
Baptist greet thee, say unto him I am religiously 
disposed and think highly of the Baptists. If a 
Methodist shall enquire of thee, say unto him I 
always attend their camp-meetings. If a Cum- 
berland Presbyterian shall call upon thee, say unto 
him I have joined his society. 



136 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OP 

"21. But be thou circumspect in all things, and 
do not say unto the people that I have franked 
sack bags full of books into the river country, 
against Andrew, at their expense. Thou shalt 
not say unto the people that I have franked 
Hume's History of England, or a sack of feathers ; 
be careful to inform Roland, the High Priest, of all 
these things, so that, he may direct the congregation 
accordingly. 

" 22. Remember now, my beloved disciple, that 
I am thy light and thy life ; I have sent thee big 
coats, bibles, hymn books, and many articles from 
the great Sanhedrim, for thyself and family. I 
will send thee many other things if thou art faithful 
unto the end. Go forth, and the Lord prosper thee. 

" 23. And William went unto all the river coun- 
try and did according to all that David commanded 
him ; but the people were a stiff-necked genera- 
tion, and would not agree that David should bring 
Henrv to be chief ruler over the children of Co- 
lumbia instead of Andrew ; but with one accord 
said unto William, David hath beguiled us, we 
will desert him and stick to Andrew, who hath 
brought us out of British bondage — and we will 
vote for William, whose surname is Fitzgerald — 
and the people all said, Amen !" 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 137 



CHAPTER XI. 

The inhabitants of the Western District I love, 
and shall ever remember with pleasure, notwith- 
standing their propensity for fun and frolic, for 
they are kind, hospitable, and generous ; and 1 
should be unhappy, if I knew I had written a line 
calculated to wound the feelings of a single indi- 
vidual. My object has been merely to amuse 
myself, — to "lend a wing to weary time," and 
catch the " manners living as they rise." And, if 
this hasty production has the same effect upon 
others which it has had upon me, many a wan- 
dering exile may, for a moment, be relieved from 
the too sad thoughts of those now far away, — 
many a frightened poor soul may, for a while, 
cease to think of the dreaded cholera, — and many 
an afflicted patient bid farewell, for a time, to the 
blues. Indeed, I should believe any man a queer 
fellow who cannot, in this hotchpotch, find some 
page to his taste. 

During my stay with Colonel Crockett, among 
other things, I asked him how he liked the various 
jests which had been published concerning him. 

" Oh, d — n it," says he, " I don't care — those 
who publish them don't intend to injure me." 

" But," says I, " Colonel, what do you think of 
your last commission V 

its 



138 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

" What commission ?" 

" The one which it is reported our worthy pre- 
sident has given you." 

" Well, I don't know what that is." 

"I perceive from the newspapers," said I, "that 
in order to quiet the fears of the world, you are 
authorized by the president to mount the Alle- 
ghany, and wring off the tail of the comet, when 
it makes its appearance." He could not help 
smiling, but instantly replied : 

" I'll be d — 'd, if I had a commission, if I did n't 
wring Ms tail off." 

Among the various devices used for killing 
game, the following plan, said by some wag to have 
been practised by Colonel Crockett, has in it the 
spice of originality. The wild animals of his dis- 
trict are supposed to take more interest in the 
congressional election than its citizens, from the 
fact that if the colonel be elected, they have some 
respite. 

During his first terms of service in congress 
they increased rapidly, and are said to have 
prowled about, very much to the annoyance of 
the planters. But great was the consternation 
among their ranks, when it was announced that 
he was defeated : at all hours might they be seen 
making their way to the swamps west of tho 
Mississippi. The colonel is supposed to have been 
in no very good humour at being beaten, and to 
have resolved to vent his ire upon the bears of hi& 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 139 

district ; and, in order to do this, is supposed to 
have taken along with him his hunting-knife, and 
gone down to the banks of the Mississippi, where 
he planted himself in a path in such a position, 
that he could see at some distance without being 
seen. He had not long occupied this situation 
when an old bear was perceived coming along in 
great haste : the colonel suffered it to approach 
tolerably near, when, jumping up, he gave a sud- 
den squeal, crying out, Fve got you, have I. This 
was hardly ever known to fail, and is said to have 
acted like an electric shock ; so killing was its 
effect, that before a bear which was thus assailed 
could recover from its surprise, it is generally 
believed that it was nearly butchered. The bear 
being killed and dragged out of the way, the 
colonel had only to squat in his former position 
until another came along. 

Although I have given in this work so large a 
space to hunting stories, I have failed to mention 
a species of hunting very much practised through- 
out the " far away west," and which is almost ever 
attended with invariable success. I allude to fire 
hunting, or the plan by which deer are killed of 
a night with a gun or rifle — which I have some- 
times practised, though I abhor it. Yes, gentle 
reader, deer are here killed of a night with a gun, 
very often with a rifle — and the darker the night, 
the better the prospect for success. I have known 






140 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OP 

many a single hunter to kill five, six, and even 
seven of a night. 

Fire hunting was unknown in this country until 
within some fifty or sixty years, when it was intro- 
duced by Mr. Burnie, who lived among the 
Choctaw Indians. In Virginia it was practised 
before this, but not with the same success. The 
facility with which Mr. Burnie killed deer at 
night, infused into the superstitious Indians a be- 
lief that he was some superior personage, and that 
he effected it by means of physic, which is their 
to kalon, and solves all their mysteries. He 
delighted for some time in practising upon their 
fears — and literally astonished the natives. How- 
ever, it was revealed — and is now generally prac- 
tised, though prohibited by law. 

To prepare for a fire hunt, it is necessary to get 
a common frying-pan, the handle of which is 
lashed to a board, three or four* inches in width, 
and five or six feet long, which is placed on the 
shoulder, and the arm thrown over it, to keep it 
in a horizontal position. The handle being length- 
ened, throws the pan several feet behind the 
hunter, in which there is a light wood fire kindled, 
— and he is then ready for a hunt. The light from 
the fire illuminates a circle, save where the shadow 
from the head falls, which diverging as it goes off, 
is in size considerable. Within this shadow, the 
huntsman sees and shoots his game, which mani- 
fests itself alone by its eyes, which are red and 



COLONEL J$AVID CROCKETT. 141 

fiery, from the reflection of the light, and visible 
. at some distance. The huntsman either walks or 
rides, shoots with the pan on his shoulder, and 
seeks the highland or swamp, or any place where 
he will probably meet with deer. To increase the 
shadow, or range of vision, it is only necessary to 
move the handle horizontally to the right or left, 
which causes the shadow to sweep the segment 
of a circle in any direction you please. The 
danger arising from this species of hunting is, that 
dogs, sheep, horses, and cows, are liable to be 
shot — their eyes presenting an appearance similar 
to that of the deer. The most experienced hunter 
may be deceived by the eyes of a dog or sheep. 
Horses and cows, from the fact that their eyes 
are farther apart, may be distinguished — yet many 
of them have been sacrificed to a knowledge of 
this pursuit. 

There is something very striking in viewing a 
walking light, meandering through the woods, 
while shooting upwards it throws around a broad 
lurid glare, and lends to the woods, wherever a 
shadow falls, a gloom far greater than that of the 
night. 

The sight is calculated to have much effect upon 
a human being ; and I cannot reconcile it to my- 
self to see even a deer fall bv so treacherous a 
plan — treacherous it seems to me, for having lain 
concealed all day in swamps to avoid man — - 
having rid themselves of dogs, perhaps by a long 



»•* 142 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

and weary chase, they move out under cover 
of night to pick their scanty subsistence, or to* 
glean nutriment for their tender young. Little 
do they suppose, when all nature is wrapped in 
sleep, that there is an enemy in search of them, 
so captivating in appearance as to lull asleep all 
fear, all suspicion of injury. They feed — their 
beautiful leopard-like young sport in gambols near 
them — occasionally drawing the flowing teat : a 
flambeau is seen approaching, shedding far and 
wide its broad lurid glare. This is the only object 
seen by them. As the hunter sweeps his circle, it 
flits about, reminding them only of a " marsh's 
meteor lamp," by the light of whiclyso often they 
have cropped the tender herbage, while sporting 
o'er some grassy meadow. Nearer still it ap- 
proaches, — and they gaze with rapture at the 
beautiful sight ; a redder light bursts forth, and the 
dread crack of a rifle rings through the forest. 
The mother falls, and lies weltering in her blood. 
Her tender infants lick from her wound the crim- 
son fluid as it exudes. They look about — they 
see nothing to alarm them. .• Tears fill their eyes, 
which only makes them a more prominent mark 
for the huntsman, — and, chained to the spot by the 
magic effects of the light, they there remain, until 
they are offered up as a sacrifice to filial affection. 
I have often heard the question mooted, who 
was the better marksman, the white or red man. 
My observation — and I have had many opportu- 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 143 

nities of judging — induces me to believe that there 
.is no sort of comparison between them. The 
white man not only shoots with more precision, 
but traces with greater accuracy the various 
animals which are hunted to their respective 
places of abode ; perceives things which an Indian 
can never see ; steers his course through the 
wildest forest by signs invisible to other eyes, yet 
still correct, and accomplishes, by means of his 
ingenuity, objects of which an Indian would have 
never dreamed. Among the celebrated hunters 
of the far-off west, Colonel David Crockett and 
John Bradshaw, of the Western District, are 
most conspicuous. Between them, they have 
killed about fifteen hundred bears, exclusive of a 
proportionate quantity of other game ; and I 
therefore think this question must be decided in 
favour of the whites, unless two red hunters can 
be found whose deeds may in some measure com- 
pare to this. 

But let us again return to the colonel — for the 
election is coming on, and he must run for con- 
gress. Now do not fancy, I beseech you, that 
since his last defeat he has been altogether idle, 
or that his time has been spent exclusively in 
hunting — for, although he has made a very con- 
siderable impression on the wild beasts, he has 
likewise made some impression upon the men, — 
for which a Kentucky boatman can vouch, who 
had the pleasure of meeting with him while in 



244 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OP 

one of his quirky humours. This scene is best 
described in the colonel's own language : " I had 
taken old Betsy," said he, " and straggled off to 
the banks of the Mississippi river ; and meeting 
with no game, I did n't like it. I felt mighty 
wolfish about the head and ears, and thought I 
would spile if I was n't kivured up in salt, for I 
had n't had a fight in ten days ; and I cum acrost 
a fellow floatin' down stream settin' in the stern of 
his boat fast asleep. Said I, ' Hello, stranger! if 
you don't take keer your boat will run away with 
you' — and he looked up ; and said he, ' I don't 
value you.' He looked up at me slantendicler, 
and I looked down upon him slantendicler ; and 
he took out a chaw of turbaccur, and said he, ' I 
don't value you that.' Said I, ' cum ashore, I can 
whip you — I've been trying to git a fight all the 
mornin' ;' and the varmint flapped his wings and 
crowed like a chicken. - I ris up, shook my mane, 
and neighed like a horse. He run his boat plump 
head foremost ashore. I stood still and sot my 
triggurs, that is, took off my shurt, and tied my 
gallusses tight round my waist — and at it we 
went. He was a right smart koon, but hardly 
a bait for such a fellur as me. I put it to him 
mighty droll. In ten minutes he yelled enough, 
and swore I was a ripstavur. Said I, ' Ain't I 
the yaller flower of the forest ? And I am all 
brimstone but the head and ears, and that's aqua- 
fortis.' Said he, ' Stranger, you are a beauty : and 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 145 

if I know'd your name I'd vote for you next elec- 
tion.' Said I, 'I'm that same David Crockett 
You know what I'm made of. I've got the closest 
shootin' rifle, the best 'coon dog, the biggest ticlur, 
and the ruflfest racking horse in the district. I 
can kill more lickur, fool more varmints, and cool 
out more men than any man you can find in all 
Kentucky.' Said he, 'Good mornin', stranger— 
I'm satisfied.' Said I, * Good mornin', sir ; I feel 
much better since our meetin';' but after I got 
away a piece, I said, ' Hello, friend, don't forget 
that vote.' " 

This scene, with some slight alteration, has been 
attributed I understand to an imaginary character, 
Colonel Wildfire. This I have not seen. But I 
am unwilling that the hard earnings of Colonel 
Crockett should be given to another. 

I believe I have said nothing of the religious 
opinions of Colonel Crockett, and perhaps I should, 
as a chapter upon religion would be very appro- 
priately situated in a work of this nature ; but I 
am out of the humour at present, and will only 
observe that I once heard him, upon being invited, 
refuse to go to meeting ; and the reason he assigned 
was, that he once heard the preacher state posi- 
tively that " he had seen a single stalk with thirty- 
three heads of cabbage on it." 

But since the colonel's defeat for congress, 
while we have been regaling ourselves with 
sundry topics, he came very near making his 

N 



146 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OP 

exit. Believing that he did not grow. rich fast 
enough, he loaded a boat with staves, and sat out 
for New-Orleans. In floating down the father of 
waters, he one day fell asleep ; and the crew, in 
rounding a point in the river, turned the boat 
bottom upwards. They swam to shore ; and 
nothing was seen of the colonel. But when all 
hope was gone, and they least expected it, the 
colonel, having examined the curiosities at the 
bottom, was seen wading out ! Yes, gentle reader 
" walking the waters like a thing of life !" You 
know it would have been extremely absurd to 
have drowned himself in a stream which he had 
so often waded. Moreover, it would have tended 
to render fabulous the exploits of which he had 
so often boasted. He was reserved for a far 
higher destiny. He had to take another elec- 
tioneering tour, and perform divers and various 
feats. 

In this age of invention, when the power of 
steam is running the world mad, — which is not 
only producing phenomena in mechanics which 
future ages shall wonder at and admire, but which 
perhaps will yet account for the velocity of the 
comets, and even set the solar system in motion, 
and which, when applied to the mind, gives to the 
tongue a volubility unrivalled — in this state of 
things, I say, with steam enough, it is not to be 
wondered at that any man should make a stump 
speech. I therefore will not claim for the colonel 



. 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 147 

4 

the praise which would otherwise be his due for 
having often spoken until his tongue was tired 
performing its offices, — until some veteran stump, 
which stood firm as the rock of ages, though the 
winter winds of a century had howled around it, 
was fatigued with his weight ; but I will claim for 
him the ingenuity of having discovered that the 
best way to keep his arguments unanswered, 
when his opponent had commenced a reply, was 
to intimate to the crowd, that down at a spring 
some three or four hundred yards hence, they 
would find a little steam, which soon left his 
adversary nothing to address but the weary 
stump to which he had bid adieu. 

No country presents a greater rage for " trip- 
ping on the light fantastic toe," than does the far- 
away west. Here "belles and matrons, maids 
and madams," all meet with a suitable partner in 
the other sex. You do not fancy, gentle reader, 
that they move with measured steps through a 
gay parterre, or thread the mazy dance in some 
well-illumined hall ? No. Nor do they listen to 
an Italian band, which warbles the soft airs of 
its native country. But with music much more 
sweet — the banjo — thrummed by some old trusty 
black ; with a hall whose roof is the star-spangled 
firmament, and whose floor is girded by the limits 
of the forest ; with forms not screwed into fashion's 
mould, nor feet encumbered with light prunellas, 
they trip the fairy dance. Governed by the repub- 



148 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

lican maxim, that we are by nature free and equal, 
there is no necessity for introductions. And so 
great is the spirit of accommodation, that they all 
dance. Whether a lady solicits a gentleman, or 
a gentleman a lady, is a matter of indifference. 
Nor can this amusement get along altogether 
without steam — for there ever burns a furnace 
bright and ready, from which issues a supply suf- 
ficient to keep the ball in motion. 

This is the famous bran dance of the west, and 
derives its name from the fact that the ground is 
generally sprinkled with the husk of Indian meal. 
Nothing can be more joyful and happy than a 
meeting of this sort. Freed from the trammels of 
fashion, they give loose to all the indulgence of 
innocent mirth. 

However, when the election came on, Colonel 
Crockett, so far from being again beaten by two 
votes, was returned by a majority of twenty- 
seven hundred. But he lost a vote which he very 
much regretted. This was the vote of a Dutch- 
man, who said, "Crockett was a clever fellow, 
and he liked him, but he couldn't vote for him; 
he tell too many tarn hard stories upon de Dutch." 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 149 



CHAPTER XII. 

I have before observed, that there are few men 
who possess in the same degree with Colonel 
Crockett the power of gaining men's hearts. And 
the following instance will serve to illustrate my 
remark. 

Colonel Crockett, with a friend, having wan- 
dered off a distance from home, for the purpose of 
hunting, fell in with some dozen persons, utter 
strangers, engaged in a spree. Being kindred 
spirits, a union was soon formed ; the bottle was 
passed round, and its frequent circulation brought 
about a free interchange of opinions. The elec- 
tion for congress was at hand; and the company 
fell to dissecting the character of each candidate. 
Being violently opposed to Colonel Crockett, they 
treated him with much severity. Crockett agreed 
with them in all their denunciations, and was 
among the loudest in abusing Crockett. But as 
the spirit began to operate, the company became 
more noisy, and Crockett's suppressed passion 
began to tire of confinement. While he was 
struggling to keep it down, one of the company 
waxing rather warm in his abuse, jumped up and 
cried out, " I wish Crockett was here. I'd send 
him to congress, d — n him — I'd kick him so he 
wouldn't know himself." This was more than 

N2 



150 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

flesh and blood could stand. The wish was hardly 
expressed before, to the astonishment of all pre 
sent, Crockett was up with his coat off, in a boxing 
attitude, telling them who he was, and inviting the 
fight. The company, though opposed to Crockett, 
had become much pleased with the two strangers 
who had joined them ; and they immediately inter- 
posed to prevent the fight. The novel situation 
in which they were placed, and the unexpected 
and ludicrous manner in which the collision had 
been brought about, rendered it an easy matter 
to restore harmony. And to make it perpetual 
Crockett invited the company to go with him to 
a neighbouring store, and take a drink to better 
acquaintance ; saying that he improved upon 
acquaintance, and that the longer they knew him, 
the better they wouW like him. And so it turned 
out ; for at the store they remained for some time, 
carousing and listening to the colonel's anecdotes ; 
until, overpowered by his humour and kindness, 
they yielded with a good grace, and swore that 
they " would live or die in defence of Crockett." 
The store happened to be a precinct for holding 
elections ; and it was observed by many that of 
the twelve men at one time so violently opposed 
to him, he lost but a single vote. 

In giving to the public this sketch of the back- 
woods, brief though it may be, I should think I had 
omitted an essential part of my duty were I to fail 
to mention an itinerant class of gentry, now iden- 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 151 

tified with every new country, whose adventures 
are as amusing as they are annoying to its 
inhabitants. I allude to the tribe yclept Clock 
Pedlers, which term implies shrewdness, intelli- 
gence, and cunning. A pedler, in disposing of a 
clock, feels the same anxiety that a general does 
on the eve of a battle ; and displays as much 
mind in bringing arguments to support his wishes, 
as Bonaparte did on the plains of Waterloo in the 
disposition of his forces. Their perseverance is 
so untiring, and it has been so often crowned with 
success, that a yankee clock now graces every 
cabin throughout the west. And the backwoods- 
men, even the half-horse, half-alligator breed, when 
boasting of their exploits, always add, " I can 
stand any thing but a clock pedler." 

Reader, did you ever know a full-blooded yan- 
kee clock pedler? If not, imagine a tall lank 
fellow, with a thin visage, and small dark grey 
eyes, looking through you at every glance, and 
having the word trade written in his every action, 
and you will then have an idea of Mr. Slim. But 
to make it clearer, imagine the same individual, 
with a pedler's wagon, and what he would call a 
goodcretur, riding where the roads are smooth, and 
always walking up hill : and, if you will then fill 
up his wagon with yankee clocks, throw in a 
package or two of horn combs, and give him a 
box of counterfeit jewelry, he will be ready for a 
trip. Aye, not only ready for a trip, but rich. 



152 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

And every article he parts with, will carry with 
it a lasting impression of the " clock pedler." 

Slim never travelled as if bound to any particu- 
lar place, for he had business with every man he 
met, and had an excuse for calling at every house. 
So that, after passing through a neighbourhood, he 
was perfectly familiar with the pecuniary concerns 
of every man in it. 

The sun was getting low, when Slim, who was 
travelling the high road, with a perfect knowledge 
that there was a tavern about a mile ahead of him, 
left it to seek a cabin, which, with a modest but 
retiring aspect, showed itself in the woods at some 
short distance. The smoke floating off from a dirt 
chimney, was mingling with the blue ether ; and the 
children with loud, laughing voices, were playing 
in the yard. But no sooner did they see the clock 
pedler, than there was a race, each striving to be 
the first bearer of the news, that a gentleman with 
a carriage was coming. 

Slim driving up, halted — and there walked out 
the proprietor of the cabin. 

"Friend, can't you give a stranger in these 
parts some directions?" 

" 'Bout what, or where ?" 

" Wuh — my horse is tired, and I should like 
myself to get a pallet." 

" If you had kept the road about a mile furtb_r A , 
you would have found a tavern : but if you can 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 153 

rough it here, do so. My house is always open 
to a stranger." 

Slim accepts the invitation, draws the wagon 
into the yard, and while rubbing his "cretur" 
down, chuckles to himself, " I've got that fellow." 

They go to the house, take a little whiskey and 
water, eat supper, and draw around the fire. 

Slim then makes a dead set to get rid of one of 
his clocks. 

** Stranger, what's your name ?" 

" Baines." 

"An' what's yours?" 

" Slim." 

" Mr. Baines, I hav n't shown you my articles 
yet." 

" What sort of articles ?" 

" I have a fine clock that I could spare, and some 
jewelry, and a few combs. They would suit your 
daughter there, if they ain't too fine — but as I got 
a great bargain in 'em, I can sell 'em cheap." 

" Jewelry in these backwoods ! 'Twould be 
as much out of place on my gal here, as my leather 
hunting-shirt would be on you. And as for a 
clock, I have a good one — you see it there." 

Slim finds a thousand faults with it, knows the 
maker — never did see one of that make worth a 
four pence ha'-penny — and winds up with, " Now 
let me sell you a clock worth having." 

" No. I have one that answers my purpose." 

" Not so bad a beginning," said Slim to himself* 



154 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

Slim then brings out his horn, or as he calls them, 
his tortoise shell combs, and his counterfeit jewelry, 
all of which he warrants to be genuine — over- 
whelms the young lady with compliments upon her 
present appearance, and enlarges upon the many 
additional charms his articles would give her — 
wishes to sell a comb to her mother, who thinks 
one for her daughter will be sufficient. " Your 
daughter, madam !" Slim would never have sus- 
pected her of being old enough to have a daughter 
grown. The mother and daughter begin to see 
new beauties in the pedler's wares. They select 
such articles as they would like to have, and join- 
ing with the pedler, they pour forth on old Baines 
one continued volley of sound argument, setting 
forth the advantages to be derived from the pur- 
chase. The old man seeing the storm that is about 
to burst, collects within himself all his resources, 
and for a long time parries, with the skill of an 
expert swordsman, the various deadly thrusts 
which are made against him. But his opponents 
return to the charge, in no wise discomfited. They 
redouble then energies. With the pedler in front, 
they pour into the old man volley after volley. 
No breathing time is allowed. He wavers — faul- 
ters. Flesh and blood can't stand every thing. 
And, as a wall before some well-directed battery, 
his resolution grows weak — for a moment totters — 
then falls, leaving a clear breach. Through this 
he pedler enters ; and having disposed of two 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 155 

tortoise shell combs, and a little double refined 
jewelry, the women retire from the field of action, 
and the pedler, taking advantage of the prostrate 
condition of his adversary, again reiterates the 
defects in his clock, and concludes with, " Now 
let me sell you one cheap." 

" No, I'll be d — d if you do," says Baines. 

(Reader, the only apology for this oath is, 
would you not have sworn under the same cir- 
cumstances ?) 

Slim disappears, but soon returns bearing in his 
arms a yankee wooden clock. Baines looks thun- 
der-struck. 

" Let me put it up." 

" No, it's no use." 

" I know that. I don't want you to buy it. I 
only want to put it up." 

Still asking permission, yet having it denied, 
Slim is seen bustling about the room, until, at the 
end of the dialogue, his wooden clock having 
encroached upon the dominions of an old family 
time-piece, is seen suspended with all the beauty, 
yet bold effrontery, of a yankee notion — while the 
old family time-piece, with a retiring yet conscious 
dignity, is heard to cry out, " Oh tempora ! Oh 
mores !" And concludes her ejaculations by thun- 
dering anathemas against this modern irruption of 
the Goths. 

Slim having accomplished so much, draws 
around the fire, and soothes the old man by dis- 



156 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OP 

cussing the quality of his farm. Baines begins to 
go into the minutiae of his farming operations, and 
the clocks strike nine. 

" Now just notice the tone of my clock. Don't 
you see the difference ?" 

" A man may buy land here at a dollar an acre." 

" I like always to see in a house a good time- 
piece ; it tells us how the day passes." 

" Wife, had n't we better kill that beef in the 
morning?" 

" Did you notice that clock of mine had a look- 
ing-glass in it ?" 

Baines proposes to go to bed. Slim always 
likes to retire early ; and, going to his apartment, 
cries out, " Well now, old man, buy that clock. 
You can have it upon your own terms. Think 
about it, and give me an answer in the morning." 

" What do I want with the clock ?" 

" Oh, you can have it upon your own terms. 
Besides a man of your appearance ought to have 
a good clock. I would n't have that rotten thing 
of yours. Did you notice the difference when they 
were striking?" 

Baines going to his room, says, " No, I'll be shot 
if I buy it." 

Soon the house becomes quiet. Slim collects his 
scattered forces, and makes preparation for a 
renewal of the attack in the morning. The daugh- 
ter dreams of tortoise shell combs and jewelry. 
The mother, from Slim's compliment, believes her- 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 157 

self both young and beautiful. And the old man 
never turns over but the corners of a clock prick 
him in the side. 

Morning comes, and with its first light Slim rises, 
feeds his " cretur," and meeting with Mr. Baines, 
makes many inquiries after his health, etc. ; pro- 
fesses to be in a hurry, and concludes with, "Well, 
as I must now leave, what say you about the clock?" 

* Why, that I don't want it." 

Slim bolts into the chamber, where the ladies 
are scarcely dressed, after whom he makes many 
inquiries — then jumps into a chair, and sets both 
clocks to striking, ridicules the sound of the old 
man's, and commences the well-formed attack of 
the last night, which he keeps up for nearly an 
hour, only interrupted by the repeated striking of 
the clocks. 

They then take a fog-cutter, eat breakfast, and 
Slim returns to the charge. The old man is utterly 
confounded. Slim sees his advantage, follows him 
over his farm, every part of which he admires, and 
which only supports his argument, that a man so 
well fixed ought to have a good clock. They return 
to the house, take a little more whiskey and water, 
and Slim is struck with the improved appearance 
of the room. His clock sets it off. 

Slim, clapping Baines by the shoulder, " Well 
now, old gentlemen, let me sell you the clock." 

"But what shall I do w ; th mine ?" 

« Oh, Pll buy that. What do you ask for it?" 

o 



4K 



158 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OP 

" It ought to be worth ten dollars." 

" Mine cost me forty dollars — but give me thirty 
to boot, and it's a trade." 

" Well, I believe— No, I won't have it." 

" My dear fellow, my clock is fastened up now. 
Besides, you have made me waste all day here — 
you ought to take it." 

Baines does not exactly see how that is — hesi- 
tates — and Slim proceeds to take down the old 
clock. It is all over now, the money is paid, and 
Slim is soon ready to leave — but, before going out 
he remarks, " It would be as well to leave the old 
clock here, as I shall be back in a day or two." 
Slim then mounts his wagon and drives off: and 
methinks I can see the rueful countenance of 
Baines, while gazing at the wagon until it disap- 
pears. His thoughts I leave to the imagination of 
my reader. 

About three years after the happening of this 
event, in passing along, I chanced to call upon Mr. 
Baines. After being seated a few minutes, said I, 
" Stranger, how came you with a yankee clock 
in these wild woods ?" 

" Oh, confound the clock," said he, and narrated 
the above story, showing at the same time his old 
clock, which, as yet, had never been called for. 

Colonel Crockett being elected, we have to 
transfer him from the wilds of the forest, where 
his only aim was to compass the ingenuity of wild 
beasts, or master them in deadly struggle, to a 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 150 

scene which required him at once to forget all 
former recollections, and enter upon the perform- 
ance of new duties. We should not, therefore, 
wonder, if the character which had been thus idly- 
thrown aside, should in some inadvertent moment 
leap forth, and for an instant claim the ascendency. 
Nor should it be a matter of detraction, if it had 
asserted its rights, and claimed for itself entire 
supremacy. For, though opinions may change 
with the wind, the features of a man's character 
are too deeply stamped, to be altered at will. 

So much rubbish has been thrown over the 
character which I have attempted to trace, that I 
fear that it appears like an object seen through a 
dark fog, rather indistinct — its outlines are not 
clearly perceptible. I must therefore be pardoned, 
while, for an instant, I set it forth in a clearer light. 

To analyze the mind of Colonel Crockett, and 
assign the motives which have prompted him to 
do those particular acts which have given him so 
much notoriety, must fall to the lot of some philo- 
sopher. For myself, I do not feel disposed to dip 
as deeply in metaphysics as would be requisite to 
give this matter a fair elucidation. But I take 
great pleasure in bearing testimony to the high 
natural endowments of this gentleman ; for I have 
never seen a character, strip it of all adventitious 
circumstances, which I could take more pleasure 
in beholding. Precluded by necessity, from all 
intercourse with books— shut out by circumstances, 



160 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OP 

until late years, from that species of society which 
alone could have benefited hkn — he is really 

" Rara avis, et simillima nigroque cygno ;" 

and yet, at the same time, a fine specimen of 
human nature. 

Many men without the advantages of education, 
have been great ; but it was reserved for the gen- 
tleman whose character I have attempted to 
sketch, bereft of fortune, of education, and of the 
advantages of society, to be taken wild from the 
woods, and transferred to the floor of a legislative 
hall. And yet in Colonel Crockett, in this charac- 
ter, notwithstanding all his eccentricity, we find 
many of those traits which, of themselves, ennoble 
and add lustre to our race. What spring of action, 
other than generosity the most pure, could have 
often induced him to breast the storms of winter, 

• 

and force his way through heaps of drifted snow, 
to supply the wants of some poor famished family, 
dependent upon the precarious subsistence of 
hunting, as all families must be, who first make 
war with the forest. Was there another motive, 
for having often rescued from the hands of an 
officer, bv his own means, the bed of a widowed 
woman with helpless children ? Was there an- 
other motive, for having often, with his hard earn- 
ings, purchased a blanket for a suffering soldier ? 
What spring of action, other than a high and 
noble daring of soul, could have often prompted 
him, at the thoughtful hour of midnight, when 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 161 

embosomed deep in a forest, to peril his life for 
the sake of a dog — for the sake of that faithful 
animal which could make no requital ? Here 
there was no approving voice of the world to 
urge him on — no loud acclamation of a crowd to 
stimulate to action. 

Many a spirit will dare do a deed in the face 
of the world, which rather than do when alone, 
unseen, and apart from assistance, it would crouch 
and fawn like a guilty thing. But, methinks, it is 
only in a moment of this sort that the high and 
lofty attributes of our nature exhibit themselves 
as the true gift of that Being after whom we were 
fashioned. There are many persons who will 
look upon these traits of character as mere acts 
of folly ; but to them nature has indeed been poor. 
They never felt her more generous impulses. We 
need not, therefore, wonder, when this character 
has been assailed, that presses have been closed 
to his vindication, and that torrents of abuse, which 
few in this world are able to withstand, have often 
burst upon him in all their fury. Notwithstanding 
this, I do not mean to be understood as saying 
that Colonel Crockett is entirely fit for the station 
which he has often filled through the kindness of 
his constituents; for the necessary qualifications 
of a representative are various and many, and we 
rarely find them combined in the same individual ; 
yet, so far as the most perfect frankness of manner, 
an independence of which few can boast, and an 

02 



162 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

honesty of purpose which no one doubts, are con- 
sidered requisites, Colonel Crockett is qualified in 
an eminent degree. When one suddenly changes 
the faith which for a long time he has professed, 
and is benefited by the change, we may attribute 
to him some improper motive ; but if by changing 
he sacrifices every thing, we must believe it the 
effect of principle, and there is nothing left at 
which even envy can cavil. This was the case 
with him ; but in conversing on the subject, he 
laughs and says, " I have never changed. I think 
now as I did when I started, but Jackson has 
turned round." " / had rather be politically damned 
than hypocritically immortalized" is a sentiment 
which would have honoured a far more erudite 
society than that of the backwoods ; and those 
gentlemen who have supported its author have the 
pleasure of knowing that their votes were confer- 
red on one whose intentions at least were honest. 
To test the worth of a man, strip him of the acci 
dental advantages which fortune may have given 
him ; and, pursuing that plan, how few would be 
found superior to the subject of this brief sketch. 
To a person who, like myself, could never behold 
the magic which gave to a man character merely 
because he was rich, or because he was descended 
from some proud family, it is pleasant to contem- 
plate one rising superior to fortune, and possessing 
at the same time the ennobling virtues of our race. 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 163 






CHAPTER XIII. 

Colonel Crockett was no doubt highly grati- 
fied by the result of the election. His triumph 
was a forcible proof of the power of native intel- 
lect struggling against opposing circumstances ; 
and, anticipating much pleasure in the boundless 
field of enterprise which lay before him, in the 
winter of 1827 he emerged from the wild woods 
and occupied a seat in congress. Unacquainted 
with forms, and a stranger to etiquette, his ap- 
pearance gave rise to much amusement. But 
few persons ventured more than once to entertain 
themselves at his expense. Though rude in speech, 
his repartee never failed of its object. The noto- 
riety which he had obtained from several speeches 
made before he reached Washington, rendered 
him conspicuous as an original, and induced almost 
every person to seek his society. 

But in order to keep up the thread of my nar- 
rative, it will be necessary to accompany him on 
his journey from his residence to Washington 
City. " When I left home," said he, " I was 
happy, devilish, and full of fun. I bade adieu to 
my friends, dogs, and rifle, and took the stage, 
where I met with much variety of character, 
and amused myself when my humour prompted. 
Being fresh from the backwoods,- my stories 



164 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

amused my companions, and I passed my time 
pleasantly. When I arrived at Raleigh the wea- 
ther was cold and rainy, and we were all dull and 
tired ; and upon going in the tavern, where I was 
an entire stranger. I did not feel more comfortable, 
for the room was crowded, and the crowd did not 
give way that I might come to the fire. I felt so 
mean from being jolted in the stage, I thought I 
had rather fight than not : and I was rooting my 
way to the fire, not in a good humour, when some 
fellow staggered up towards me, and cried out, 
f Hurrah for Adams.' Said I, ' Stranger, you had 
better hurrah for hell, and praise your own 
country.' 

" Said he, ' And who are you?' 

" ' I'm that same David Crockett, fresh from the 
backwoods, half-horse, half-alligator, a little touched 
with the snapping-turtle ; can wade the Mississippi, 
leap the Ohio, ride upon a streak of lightning, and 
slip without a scratch down a honey locust ; can 
whip my weight in wild cats, — and if any gentle- 
man pleases, for a ten dollar bill, he may throw in 
a panther, — hug a bear too close for comfort, and 
eat any man opposed to Jackson.' 

" While I was telling what I could do," said the 
colonel, " the fellow's eyes kept getting larger and 
larger, until I thought they would pop out. I 
never saw fellows look as they all did. They 
cleared the fire for me, and when I got a little 
warm, I looked about, but my Adams man was 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 165 

gone." I asked Colonel Crockett if he had ever 
used the above expressions before ? He said, 
" Never ; that he felt devilish, and they all popped 
into his head at the time ; and that he should 
never have thought of them again if they had n't 
gone the rounds of all the papers." 

" At Raleigh," continues the colonel, " I became 
pretty well acquainted, and left there for Peters- 
burg, Va., where happening to get hold of a 
newspaper, the first thing I saw was a piece 
headed ' Hero of the West/ giving an account of 
my visit to Raleigh. I discovered that it was a 
source of much amusement ; and, not wishing to 
be known, I determined to obey one of our back- 
woods sayings, « Lay low and keep dark, stranger, 
and prehaps you'll see some fun.' And so I did ; 
for I never let any body know who I was until I 
got to Washington." 

An anecdote is related as having happened to 
the colonel somewhere on his route, which par- 
takes strongly of originality. While at dinner, at 
some public house, where the waiters were very 
officious in their services, and extremely polite to 
the colonel, handing to him every thing on the 
table, among other things they pressed him to 
take some chicken; he declined, begging them 
"if they cared any thing for him to take it away, 
for that he had been fed upon chickens until he 
was nearly feathered." 

He arrived at Washington, and had been there 



166 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

but a short time, when he received a note inviting 
him to dine with the president. Unaccustomed 
to formality, he did not exactly comprehend its 
meaning, and required of a friend an explanation, 
which was cheerfully given ; and who also being 
invited, tendered his services to go with the colo- 
nel and introduce him. This was done accordingly, 
and propriety of action marked his behaviour. I 
was much struck with his simplicity of manner in 
narrating to me this event. " I was wild from the 
backwoods," said he, " and 1 did n't know nothing 
about eating dinner with the big folks of our coun- 
try ; and how should I, having been a hunter all 
my life ? I had eat most of my dinners upon a 
log in the woods, and sometimes no dinner at all. 
I knew whether I ate dinner with the president or 
not, was a matter of no consequence, for my con- 
stituents were not to be benefited by it. I did 
not go to court the president, for I was opposed 
to him in principle, and had no favours to ask at 
his hands. I was afraid, however, I should be 
awkward, as I was so entirely a stranger to 
fashion ; and in going along, I resolved to observe 
the conduct of my friend, Mr. Verplanck, and to 
do as he did ; and I know," said he, " that I did 
behave myself right well." 

The colonel's originality of character induced 
some person to write a humorous yet false ac- 
count of this dinner scene, which could never 
have been believed by any person who knew him, 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 167 

but which the colonel thought proper to deny, as 
it was used to his prejudice by his enemies. 

The account alluded to is here inserted, and 
with it the certificates which go to disprove it. 
The colonel is supposed to have returned from 
Washington, after the first winter, and to be at a 
house-raising among his constituents, where, to 
their numerous inquiries relative to his visit to 
Washington, he gives the following account: 

" The first thing I did," said Davy, " after I got 
to Washington, was to go to the president's. I 
stepped into the president's house — thinks I, who's 
afeard ? If I did n't I wish I may be shot. Says 
I, ' Mr. Adams, I'm Mr. Crockett, from Tennes- 
see.' ' So,' says he, « how d'ye do, Mr. Crockett?' 
and he shook me by the hand, although he know'd 
I went the whole hog for Jackson. If he did n't 
I wish I may be shot. Not only that, but he sent 
me a printed ticket to dine with him. I've got it 
in my pocket yet. (Here the printed ticket was 
exhibited for the admiration of the whole com- 
pany.) I went to dinner, and I walked all round 
the long table, looking for something that I liked. 
At last I took my seat just beside a fat goose, and 
I helped myself to as much of it as I wanted. But 
I had n't took three bites, when I looked away up 
the table at a man they called Task, (attache.) 
He was talking French to a woman on t'other 
side of the table. He dodged his head and she 
dodged her's, and then they got to drinking wine 



168 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

across the table. But when I looked back again, 
my plate was gone, goose and all. So I jist cast 
my eyes down to t'other end of the table, and sure 
enough, I seed a white man walking off with 
my plate. I says, * Hello, mister, bring back my 
plate.' He fetched it back in a hurry, as you may 
think ; and when he set it down before me, 'how 
do you think it was ? Licked as clean as my 
hand. Jf it was n't I wish I may be shot. Says 
he, ' What will you have, sir?' And says I, ' You 
may well say that, after stealing my goose.' And 
he began to laugh. Then, says I, * Mister, laugh 
if you please ; but I don't half like sich tricks upon 
travellers.' I then filled my plate with bacon and 
greens ; and whenever I looked up or down the 
table, I held on to my plate with my left hand. 
When we were all done eating, they cleared 
every thing off the table, and took away the table- 
cloth. And what do you think ? There was 
another cloth under it. If there was n't I wish I 
may be shot. Then I saw a man coming along 
carrying a great glass thing, with a glass handle 
below, something like a candlestick. It was stuck 
full of little glass cups, with something in them 
that looked good to eat. Says I, ' Mister, bring 
that thing here.' Thinks I, let's taste them first. 
They were mighty sweet and good — so I took 
six of 'em. If I did n't I wish I may be shot." 



COLONEL DAVID CftOCKETT. 169 

Correspondence between Mr. Crockett of Tennessee, 
Mr. Clark of Kentucky, and Mr. Verplanck of 
New-York, all three members of the House of 
Rejjresentatives. 

House of Representatives, ) 
January 3d, 1829. $ 

Dear Sir — Forbearance ceases to be a virtue, 
when it is construed into an acquiescence in false* 
hoods, or a tame submission to unprovoked insults. 

I have seen published and republished in various 
papers of the United States, a slander, no doubt 
characteristic of its author, purporting to be an 
account of my first visit to the president of the 
nation. I have thus long passed the publications 
alluded to with silent contempt. But supposing 
that its republication is intended, as in its origin it 
evidently was, to do me an injury, I can submit to 
it no longer, without calling upon gentlemen who 
were present to do me justice. I presume, sir, 
that you have a distinct recollection of what passed 
at the dinner alluded to ; and you will do me the 
favour to say, distinctly, whether the enclosed 
publication is not false. I would not make this 
appeal, if it were not that like other men I have 
enemies, who would take much pleasure in mag- 
nifying the plain rusticity of my manners into the 
most unparalleled grossness and indelicacy. I have 
never enjoyed the advantages which many have 
abused ; but I am proud to hope, that your answer 
will show that I have never so far prostituted the 

p 



170 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

humble advantages I do enjoy, as to act the part 
attributed to me. An early answer is requested. 
I am, sir, most respectfully, 

Your obedient servant, 

DAVID CROCKETT. 
Hon. James Clark, of Ky. 

A similar request to the above, was communi- 
cated to the Hon. Mr. Verplanck, of New- York. 

Washington City, Jan. 4, 1829. 

Dear Colonel — In your letter of yesterday, you 
requested me to say, if the ludicrous newspaper 
account of your behaviour when dining with the 
president, which you enclosed to me, is true ? 

I was at the same dinner, and know that the 
statement is destitute of every thing like truth. I 
sat opposite to you at the table, and held occa- 
sional conversation with you, and observed nothing 
in your behaviour but what was marked with the 
strictest propriety. 

I have the honour to be, with great respect, 
Your obedient servant, 

JAMES CLARK. 

Col. D. Crockett. 

Washington, Jan. 4, 1829. 
Dear Sir — I have already several times antici- 
pated your request, in regard to the newspaper 
account of your behaviour at the president's table, 
as I have repeatedly contradicted it in various 
companies w^here I heard it spoken of. I dined 
there in company with you at the time alluded to, 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 171 

and had, I recollect, a gocd deal of conversation 

with you. Your behaviour there was, I thought, 

perfectly becoming and proper; and I do not 

recollect or believe that you said or did any thing 

resembling the newspaper account. 

I am yours, 

• GULIAN C. VERPLANCK. 
Col. Crockett. 

That Colonel Crockett should have had to pro- 
duce certificates of his behaviour, is certainly a 
novel circumstance, but tends much to prove how 
various were the attacks, and how wanton the 
abuse which was heaped upon him. So much 
use was made by his enemies in his own district, 
of the above publication, that justice to himself 
induced him unwillingly to appear before the pub- 
lic, in order to vindicate himself from so ridiculous 
a charge. His rusticity of manner, blended with 
great good humour, frequently gave rise to much 
fun. He was ever the humorous hero of his own 
story, and defended himself from the sallies of his 
acquaintances with so much pertinacity, that no 
time, no place, not even the pomp of wealth, nor 
the pride of name, could awe him into silence, 
when jocosely assailed. The following circum- 
stance is a forcible proof of this remark. "After 
the dinner was over," said the colonel, " I, with 
the remainder of the Compaq 7 , retired to the 
famous ' East Room.' I had drank a glass or two 
of wine, and felt in a right good humour, and was 



112 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

walking about gazing at the furniture, and at the 
splendid company with which it was filled. I 
noticed that many persons observed me ; and just 
at that time, a young gentleman stepped up to me 
and said, * I presume, sir, you are from the back- 
woods V 

« Yes sir." 

" A friend whispering to me at the time, said it 
was the president's son ; and as I had never been 
introduced to him, I know'd he wanted to have 
some fun at my expense, because, after I spoke the 
first word, you might have heard a pin drop. All 
was silence. So I thought I would keep it up. 
Mr. A. then asked me, ' What w T ere the amuse- 
ments in the backwoods.' 

" Oh," said I, " fun alive there. Our people are 
all divided into classes, and each class has a par- 
ticular sort of fun ; so a man is never at a loss, 
because he knows which class he belongs to." 

" ' How is that V " said Mr. A. 

" We have four classes," said I, " in the back- 
woods. The first class have a table with some 
green truck on it, and it's got pockets ; and they 
knock a ball about on it to get it into the pockets," 
(billiard table,) " and they see a mighty heap of 
fun. They are called the quality of our country, 
but to that class I don't belong." 

* Then there is the second class," said I. " They 
take their rifles and go out about sunrise, and put 
up a board with a black spot on it, about a hun^ 



• COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 17$ 

dred yards off, and they shoot from morning till 
night for any thing you please. They see a 
mighty heap of fun too ; and I tell you what, I am 
mighty hard to beat as a second rate hand in that 
class." 

" The third class," said I, " is composed of our 
little boys. They go out about light with their 
bows and arrows, and put up a leaf against a tree, 
and shoot from morning till night for persimons, 
or whortleberries, or some such thing ; and they 
see a mighty heap of fun too." 

" But the fourth class," said I, " oh, bless me ! 
they have fun. This is composed of the women, 
and all who choose to join them. When they 
want a frolic, they just go into the woods and 
scrape away the leaves, and sprinkle the ground 
with corn bran, and build some large light wood 
fires round about, raise a banjo, and begin to dance. 
May be, you think they don't go their death upon 
a jig, but they do, for I have frequently gone there 
the next morning, and raked up my two hands full 
of toe nails." 

" By the time," says the colonel, " I had finished 
giving an account of our amusements, the whole 
house w r as convulsed with laughter, and I slipped 
off and went to my lodgings." 

I asked him, what prompted him to tell the 
above storv? 

He said, that "most persons believed every 
thing which was said about the backwoods, and 

P2 



174 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

he thought he would tell a good story while he was 
at it. Besides," said he, " the object in questioning 
me at such a place was to confuse me, and laugh 
at my simplicity, and I thought I would humour 
the thing." 

The above scene gave rise to much amusement, 
and considering the company in whose presence 
it occurred, it is certainly without a parallel. And 
nothing could give a more forcible proof of the 
most perfect independence of character — perfectly 
at home in the presence of a president, foreign 
ministers, senators, congress-men, and the polished 
ladies of Washington City. 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 175 



CHAPTER XIV. 

As a member of congress, Colonel Crockett was 
ever at his post, faithful and assiduous in his atten- 
tion to the welfare of his constituents ; and his 
great personal popularity rendered him a valua- 
ble representative to his district. He who con- 
sumes most time, and makes most noise, is rarely 
a serviceable member. But he attends to the 
interests of his constituents, who, without wasting 
time in idle declamation, is ever at his post, voting 
upon all subjects which in any manner affect the 
people of his district. A political life of this nature 
would merely form a tissue of dry details, unin- 
teresting and unnecessary, save as a work of 
reference. 

Although possessed of many requisites for a 
representative, it is not his political life which has 
given him so much notoriety, but his talent for 
humour and originality. As a boon companion, no 
one stood higher than Colonel Crockett ; and his 
conduct has been often characterized by acts of 
generosity, which reflect much credit upon him as 
a man, and lustre upon the state of society in 
which he originated. Few persons, with the same 
means, have ever performed more acts of kind- 
ness, and still fewer with so perfect a disregard to 
all future recompense. Were it proper, these 



176 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

remarks might be illustrated by private anecdotes, 
which would place the character of Colonel 
Crockett in a very fair light. It has become cus- 
tomary in the common publications of the day, to 
make every backwoodsman rant and rave in 
uncouth sayings, and in new coined words, diffi- 
cult of pronunciation. This being done, the cha- 
racter is finished, and the hero turned loose as a 
genuine son of the wild woods. Nothing can 
argue a greater ignorance of the true character 
of a backwoodsman, than a sketch of this nature. 
I have before remarked, that so far from this being 
true, they express themselves in the simplest lan- 
guage possible. The most extravagant ideas they 
clothe in the simplest words, and delight us by 
quaintness of expression and originality of concep- 
tion. If there be any one distinguishing feature in 
their character, it is a generosity and nobleness of 
soul, seldom met with in a more polished society. 
Did I want a friend who would stick by me 
through all the trials of adversity in life, give me 
a backwoodsman, a stranger to form and fashion, 
who, uncorrupted by intercourse with the world, 
has held communion only with his own heart, and 
worshipped God only in the beauty of nature. 
Though their rusticity may often give rise to 
amusement, yet there is a high and lofty bearing 
in their deportment. They have been so long 
companions with danger, that they become stran- 
gers to fear. They have nothing to conceal, and 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 177 

are consequently frank in their manners. It would 
be difficult to hire an inhabitant of a polished city 
to do, what a backwoodsman first did from neces- 
sity, and habit afterward renders familiar. To 
sleep in the wild woods apart from assistance, with 
no music save the hungry howling of the beasts of 
the forest, and to cross rivers whose depth is un- 
known, at all seasons of the year, form but small 
items in the life of a backwoodsman. To me it 
seems, that a determined purpose of mind is a 
part of their character. Often have I been struck 
with their fearlessness, upon seeing them in the 
most inclement season ride their horses into a 
stream, careless of its depth or hidden dangers, 
and force their way across. 

In sketching the life of Colonel Crockett, we 
find so much levity, good sense, good humour, 
and such a propensity for fun, that his character 
is often seen in different lights. Yet, I think, any 
person may recognise the original from the picture 
drawn. The following circumstance shows a sin- 
gular conception of ideas. 

During the colonel's first winter in Washington, 
a caravan of wild animals was brought to the city 
and exhibited. Large crowds attended the exhi- 
bition ; and, prompted by common curiosity, one 
evening Colonel Crockett attended. 

" I had just got in," said he : " the house was 
very much crowded, and the first thing I noticed 
was two wild cats in a cage. Some acquaintance 



178 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES 0E 

asked me ' if they were like the wild cats in the 
backwoods V and I was looking at them, when 
one turned over and died. The keeper ran up 
and threw some water on it. Said I, ' Stranger, 
you are wasting time. My looks kills them things; 
and you had much better hire me to go out here, 
or I will kill every varmint you've got in your 
caravan.' While I and he were talking, the lions 
began to roar. Said I, ' I won't trouble the 
American lion, because he is some kin to me, but 
turn out the English lion — turn him out — turn him 
out — I can whip him for a ten dollar bill, and the 
zebra may kick occasionally during the fight/ 
This created some fun ; and I then went to another 
part of the room, where a monkey was riding a 
pony. I was looking on, and some member said 
to me, i Crockett, don't that monkey favour Gene- 
ral Jackson V ' No,' said I, ' but I'll tell you who 
it does favour. It looks like one of your boarders, 

Mr. , of Ohio.' There was a loud burst of 

laughter at my saying so ; and, upon turning round, 

I saw Mr. , of Ohio, within about three feet 

of me. I was in a right awkward fix ; but I bowed 
to the company, and told 'em, ; I had either slan- 
dered the monkey, or Mr. , of Ohio, and if 

they would tell me which, I would beg his pardon.' 
The thing passed off; and next morning, as I was 
walking the pavement before my door, a member 

came up to me, and said, ' Crockett, Mr. ■, 

of Ohio, is going to challenge you.' Said I, * Well, 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 179 

tell him I am a fighting fowl. I 'spose if I am 
challenged I have the right to choose my wea- 
pons ?' 'Oh yes,' said he. ' Then tell him,' said 
I, ' that I will fight him with bows and arrows.' " 
There was another circumstance occurred while 
Colonel Crockett was in Washington, which goes 
far to show how perfectly a stranger to every 
thing like fashion he is. A young gentleman of 
worth and respectability had been paying his 
addresses to a daughter of Colonel Crockett ; and 
having obtained her consent, wrote to her father 
in Washington, requesting his permission that 
they might be married. The colonel, approving 
the match, wrote in answer to his letter the 
following laconic reply : 

" Washington, . 

Dear Sir : 

I received your letter. Go ahead. 

DAVID CROCKETT." 

I have never known a character more free from 
restraint under all circumstances, or more truly 
independent, than Colonel Crockett. After the 
adjournment of congress, the colonel returned 
home ; and he who but a short time before had 
been mixing with the fashion of our own and of 
foreign countries, and representing a district com- 
posed of seventeen counties, in the congress of 
one of the first nations upon earth, might then be 
found with a hoe or plough, labouring for the 
subsistence of his family. What a beautiful com- 



180 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

mentary is his election upon our republican insti- 
tutions ! Not only a proof that the power of our 
institutions is derived directly from the people, 
but what an example of the easy access of the 
humblest individual to the highest offices within 
the gift of our government — that he, whom the 
satellites of a regal government would despise for 
his poverty — that he, whose daily labour in the 
field was required to provide the necessaries of 
life for a family— that he, entirely uneducated, 
should, because the people willed it, be called 
upon to represent persons of wealth, of family 
influence, and of education : not a greater mark 
of their power, than that he whom our senate had 
degraded, should be chosen by the people to pre- 
side over the same body. 

In attending to the duties of his farm, and in 
hunting, when the season permitted, Colonel 
Crockett spent his time between the meetings of 
congress. Having gathered in his corn, and pro- 
vided for the wants of his family, the time drew 
near for him to return to Washington. For a 
chancre of scenerv, he determined to take the 
steam-boat as far as Wheeling, and, accompanied 
by several friends, he went down to Mill's Point 
for that purpose. There they had to wait some 
time for a boat. There was likewise a young 
gentleman present, who was waiting to go down 
the river. At length a boat appeared, descending 
the river. The young gentleman raised a signal 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 181 

and hallooed, but all in vain. The boat swept 
gracefully by, heedless of his cries. Colonel 
Crockett having witnessed the scene, and seeing 
the situation of the young man, turned to him — 
" Stranger, do you know what I would have done 
with that boat if I had been in your place ?" 

" No. What could you have done ?" 

"Well, I'll tell you what I'd have done. I 
would just have walked right on board of her, 
taken her by the bill, and have dipped her under. 
D — n 'em, they are all afraid of me upon these 
waters, but they don't know you. You'll see when 
I speak to them if they don t obey me." 

It was but a short time before a boat was seen 
struggling up against the current. The colonel 
raised his flag, and upon nearing the point where 
he stood, the boat curved beautifully round, and m 
a few moments was lying at the shore waiting for 
her passenger. The colonel seeing the young 
man said, " Stranger, did n't I tell you so. You 
see thev are afraid of me." Colonel Crockett had 
become so notorious, that the boats were all anx- 
ious to get him as a passenger. He was an inex- 
haustible fountain of fun to every company in 
which he happened to be thrown. 

During their passage up the river, a small com- 
pany had assembled around the colonel at the 
bow of the boat ; and while there the machinery 
got out of order, and the boat began to go along 
with the current. 



182 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

" Heave anchor," cries the captain. 

" Hold," cries Crockett. " Pay me for the wood 
you would burn, and I will get out and tow her 
up ; and for double price, I will take her over the 
falls." 

He then went on to Washington, where he 
remained until congress adjourned. 

Colonel Crockett's term of service having ex- 
pired, he again announced himself as a candidate 
for congress. The character which he had ac^ 
quired for eccentricity, organized a powerful op- 
position against him, and no one ever entered the 
field against greater odds. He was caricatured in 
the shape of almost every living wild animal, and 
his innocent ebullitions of humour were gravely 
arraigned against him. Every species of vitu- 
peration was showered upon him, but without 
effect. He was too deeply seated in the affections 
of his constituents. Living among them as poor 
as the poorest, in a hut the work of his own hands, 
his interest was perfectly identified with their's. 
He was their companion under all circumstances. 
He hunted with them, or if his assistance was 
wanted he was ready to cut logs, and help a friend 
to put up his cabin, help him to dig a well, and^x 
out and out, and then he was ready to divide his 
meat and bread with him. No friend ever asked 
a favour which could be granted, that was denied. 
To confer a favour always gave him a pleasure ; 
and it was this innate love of conferring benefits* 






COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 183 

which served to render him so popular. Nothing 
could be more perfectly original, and at the same 
time more humorous, than his mode of getting rid of 
the various charges which were preferred against 
him. And indeed his manner shows, that he was 
possessed of more good humour than falls to the lot 
of most of us. 

As a husband, no one can be more kind and 
indulgent than the colonel. As a father, he is not 
only affectionate, but even a companion for his 
children. Yet notwithstanding these circum- 
stances, the malevolence of some person originated 
a report that he was unkind to his wife, that she 
had most of the labour to do, and that he would 
not even give her shoes. The report was entirely 
false, and gave the colonel no concern. Indeed, 
the vilest slander, when entirely destitute of truth, 
gives us much less concern than one of a much 
milder nature, founded, though remotely, on fact. 
At some public gathering the report was told to 
the colonel, who, with the utmost good humour, 
said it was a lie — that his wife neither wanted for 
shoes, nor did she have much work to do, for that 
he always gave her his old boot legs to make 
shoes of, and cut up wood enough when he went 
to "Washington to last her till he got back. Pur- 
suing a plan of this sort, so entirely new, nothing 
disconcerts him. And that circumstance, indeed, 
which occurs in his presence, must be a singular 
one which he does not turn to his advantage. 



184 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

Believing that honest poverty is no crime, he is 
not ashamed of his circumstances, and frequently 
alludes to them in some amusing manner. 

In the section of country in which Colonel 
Crockett lives, there are very few slaves. Almost 
every man has to labour for the subsistence of his 
family-. Many of his constituents are poor, yet 
they live comfortably, and are happy and cheer- 
ful ; and there is a greater interchange of neigh- 
bourly acts among the citizens of his district, than 
I have seen any where in the west. To an agri- 
culturist who wishes to get rich, the Western 
District holds out few advantages, on account of 
the failure which has marked the cotton crop for 
several years past. It is too far north for cotton, 
but is an excellent grain and corn country. But 
to one who has a family dependent upon his own 
exertions, and who would be content to live com- 
fortably, no country presents more advantages 
than does the north-western part of the state of 
Tennessee. The soil is light, very productive, 
and easy of cultivation, and you there meet with 
good water, which is rarely to be found in the 
more settled parts of the district. The country is 
very much intersected with rivers, which flow into 
the Mississippi, and which, when they are cleared 
out and their navigation improved, will render 
land in that section of country very valuable. 

Colonel Crockett was acquainted with the situa- 
tion of his constituents. They had settled upon 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 185 

public lands lying waste and uncultivated — they 
had improved them- — they had rendered them 
more valuable by making roads and building 
bridges, and rendering that section of country 
accessible to the more settled parts of the west — 
they had breasted all the dangers and difficulties 
attendant upon settling a new country — they had 
laboured under so many disadvantages, that the 
colonel thought their claims upon the justice and 
clemency of the general government were of a 
high order. And to place those lands within the 
reach of every citizen of his district, that he might 
provide a home for himself and family, was with 
him an overruling passion. His attention was. 
directed closely to this subject while in congress, 
and it was so managed by him, that if in his zeal 
for the welfare of his constituents, he had not 
asked too much, he might have conferred upon 
them a sensible benefit, and have given them their 
lands at a much less price than perhaps any future 
representative will be able to do. If in this matter 
however he erred, his error must be attributed to 
his wishes for the welfare of his constituents, and 
to a firm belief on his part that his views were 
correct, and that at some future day he would 
bring his favourite scheme to bear. 

The above subject generally formed a part of 
his discourse in his public harangues, or his war 
talks, as electioneering speeches are called in the 
west. He also frequently discusses and gives his 



186 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

views upon questions affecting the general interests, 
of our country. He has ever been a strong friend 
to internal improvements; and as will be seen, it was 
this subject which afterward induced him to with- 
draw his support from General Jackson. As a 
speaker, Colonel Crockett is irregular and im me- 
thodical in the arrangement of his discourse. He 
seizes upon whatever comes first, which he ex- 
presses in bold and strong terms. His language, 
though rude and unpolished, is forcible ; and his 
discourse is pleasing from the humour and singular 
comparisons which pervade it, and from the nu- 
merous anecdotes with which he illustrates his 
subjects. His electioneering tour was arduous 
and laborious, yet he surmounted all difficulties ; 
and the result of the election showed that he was 
returned to congress by a majority of thirty-five 
hundred votes. Thus, so far from losing ground, 
he had actually gained upon the affections of his 
constituents. 

The election being over, the colonel returned 
home to cultivate his little field of corn ; and when 
leisure permitted, again sought the company of 
his dogs and rifle. He has been so long wedded 
to hunting, that it now seems a part of his busi- 
ness. An old hunter never forgets the sound of 
the horn, but even when too old to join in the 
chase, its cheering voice gives animation to his 
weather-beaten frame, and carries him back to 
youthful scenes, where, in the rapture of the mo* 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 187 

merit, he forgets that he is no longer young. None 
but a hunter can tell how the heart swells at the 
joyous sound of the horn, or how it dances with 
delight at the approach of an animating chase, or 
how elastic the step and how buoyant the feelings 
when one rises with the first dawn of light, and 
sallies forth to hunt the deer, or rouse from his 
lair the more hated beasts of the forest. Bears, 
panthers, wild cats, and wolves, create much 
excitement for the hunter. The first are hunted 
principally as a matter of profit ; the latter, be- 
cause they are very destructive to hogs and 
sheep, and also because they have frequently been 
known to attack individuals when alone and apart 
from assistance. An attack from wild animals 
east of the Mississippi river is now somewhat a 
rare circumstance ; but you can scarcely meet 
with an old hunter who is not able to tell you of 
some desperate struggle, or hair breadth 'scape. 

I believe there is no animal so willing to attack 
the human species as our common panther. When 
irritated by hunger it is reckless of consequences, 
and makes its attacks under all circumstances. 
While travelling through the late Choctaw pur- 
chase, I stopped with a Mr. Turnbull, an old 
settler, who amused me with many anecdotes con- 
nected with the wildness of the country ; and 
among others, with an account of a fight he had 
had with a panther, marks of which he now carries*, 
and will carry to his grave.. 



188 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

He had built a cabin at some distance in the 
woods, and had but lately taken possession of it, 
when sitting by a good fire on a damp, rainy 
evening, he was endeavouring to quiet his child, 
which was crying, and for that purpose placed it 
upon his shoulder, and walked his apartment. 
The door was open, and he turned to it to examine 
the weather, when a panther, attracted perhaps 
by the cries of the child, sprung upon him, fasten- 
ing its fore claws in his head, and its hind claws 
in his thighs. Mr. Turnbull, who is full six feet 
high, large and muscular, dropped his child, and 
being without arms, seized the panther by the 
throat with one hand, and with the other hugged 
it closer to him, and then fell on the floor so as to 
keep the panther at bottom. At first he said he 
could feel its claws working their way into his 
flesh, but the strong grasp which he had on its 
throat soon caused it to loosen its hold, and he 
then, retaining his grasp, dragged it to the fire, 
which was burning brightly, and threw it in. The 
panther upon being so roughly treated, endea- 
voured to escape out of the chimney. Whenever 
it would attempt to spring out, he would pull it 
back by the tail. He pursued this plan until it 
was disabled from the fire, and then seizing his 
axe, knocked it in the head. His wife was pre- 
sent and a witness of the scene, but so much 
alarmed as to be unable to render any assistance. 
Exclusive of this, he was once, when riding with 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 189 

a friend, pursued some distance by a panther. 
They prepared for battle, and it followed them 
for some distance seeking an opportunity, though 
it did not make an attack. Their general mode 
of attack is to couch themselves upon a tree, and 
spring off upon whatever comes near them. I 
heard a hunter say, that he had once seen as many 
as five panthers in view, on the trees adjoining a 
large salt lick, where they were waiting to spring 
upon deer. 

The following anecdote was narrated to me as 
having actually occurred. There lived in the 
west three brothers, John, Dick, and Bill, famed 
for their propensity for quarrel and love of fight- 
ing. They invariably attended every public place, 
and elicited a fight if there was a possible chance. 
And what was very remarkable, the oldest brother 
present would always claim the privilege of fight- 
ing, though a younger one might have brought 
about the quarrel. So steadfastly was this privi- 
lege adhered to, that Bill, the younger, never 
could have a fight, but would often cry and say, 
" that his brothers would n't let him have a fight, 
though he b'lieved he was a better man than any 
of 'em." He was so anxious to try his prowess, 
and begged so hard for a chance, that it was 
agreed among them, that the next fight which 
could be raised should belong exclusively to Bill. 
Not long after this determination, John and Bill 
went out upon a hunting excursion. They had 



190 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

wandered about for some time in the woods, when 
stopping to rest, they discovered a panther couched 
upon a limb, and in the act of springing upon them. 
Before John, who had the rifle, could shoot it, it 
had lit upon Bill, who drew from its sheath his 
hunting-knife, and with his hands and feet com- 
menced a desperate fight. The panther would no 
sooner light upon him, than its hold was cut loose, 
which rendered it frantic, and for a long time they 
each fought with all the spirit of desperation. 
During this scene, John, the oldest brother, stood 
by, leaning carelessly on his rifle, apparently an 
unconcerned spectator of the fight. The fight was 
still prolonged. Bill's clothes were stripped from 
him, and he with the panther literally besmeared 
with blood. Fortunately Bill's knife found its way 
to the panther's heart, and freed him from his 
antagonist. This was no sooner done, than naked, 
his body streaming with blood from the nails of 
the panther, he ran up to his brother John to take 
vengeance for his not having assisted him ; who 
only laughed, and told him of the promise which 
he had exacted, that the first fight which could be 
raised should belong exclusively to him ; saying 
at the same time, " it had been a beautiful fight — 
that Bill had given good evidence of manhood, 
and had acquitted himself with great credit." The 
compliment was pleasing to Bill. He went to a 
branch,* washed the blood from his body, bor- 

* In the south and west small streams are called Branches, 






COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 191 

rowed some of his brother's clothes, and ever after- 
ward thanked him for being permitted to win for 
himself so much fame. Bill was at once exalted 
above his brothers, and ever afterward retained 
his reputation. For he who had whipped a pan- 
ther at fair fight, could never get a chance of losing 
his hard-earned fame by fighting with a man. 

Wild cats also have frequently been known to 
attack persons. The following story was told to 
me by a gentleman cognizant of the circumstances. 

?A person who had removed from the east to our 
western forests, had selected a site for his resi- 
dence, and was engaged in putting up the neces- 
sary houses for a settlement. His negroes at 
night were encamped at his door, and it happened 
that while they were preparing their supper a 
wild cat sprung upon an old negro woman, one of 
the group, and though her cries speedily brought 
assistance, they were scarcely able to preserve 
her life. It was several times beaten off, but 
strange to tell, returned, and each time sought 
her from the crowd as its victim. Wolves abound 
in large numbers throughout the west, but the set- 
tlements have become so thick, that they rarely 
now venture to attack individuals. It is some- 
what remarkable that though you may hear innu* 
merable wolves at night, you very rarely see 
them during the day. I have often heard old 
hunters remark this ; and I suppose it is owing to 
the circumstance that their sense of smelling is 



192 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

very acute, which enables them to elude their 
enemies. Farther, as a proof of their sagacity, 
they generally travel constantly in windy weather, 
and always against the wind, by which means 
they are able to detect an enemy before it 
approaches them, trusting to their heels should 
they be pursued. It is idle to hunt them with 
dogs, for they never tire, but have been known to 
catch and eat a dog out of the very pack which 
was pursuing them. A panther, though more 
ferocious, will flee from a dog, and is easily treed. 
These are some of the circumstances which, 
blended with the wild appearance of the country, 
create so much interest to the traveller, and really 
render a trip to the unsettled portions of the west 
a delightful recreation to one tired of a city life. 
But exclusive of the game above enumerated, you 
find occasionally a few elk, and every species of 
game common to our country. Partridges, phea- 
sants, woodcocks, and turkeys, abound in large 
numbers — for a genuine son of the backwoods 
rarely condescends to molest them. Nor must I 
forget the many species of ducks which infest our 
western waters in great numbers, and easily fall a 
prey to the hunter. The prairies, in some parts 
of the west, and the barrens, in other parts, form 
the best hunting grounds ; and they are so exten- 
sive and open, that nothing could afford a fairer 
field to the sportsman. Having been raised in 
one of the oldest states in the union, where my 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 193 

ambition never rose higher than to stop the wood- 
cock in his circling flight, or bring the partridge 
tumbling to the ground, my spirits danced with 
delight, when as a hunter I first trod our western 
forests, where instead of meeting with some lone 
bird lamenting the loss of its mate, to whom the 
deadly shot of the sportsman would give relief, I 
roused the bounding deer from its covert, or drove 
before me, in wide extended fields, clouds of birds, 
from morning until night. My fondness for shoot- 
ing small game, such as turkeys, partridges and 
woodcocks, gave the old hunters much amuse- 
ment ; and they laughed at me with the same 
pleasure that an old weather-beaten tar does at a 
landsman just seeking the ocean for his home. 
The habits of the wild pigeon have long been a 
subject of much curiosity. The great numbers in 
which they appear, and the singular propensity that 
they have to roost together, have for some time 
been a source of speculation. They frequently 
fly as much as eighty miles to feed, and return to 
their roost the same evening. This was proved 
by shooting them at their roost of a morning when 
their craws were empty, and then shooting them 
again in the evening when they returned. Their 
craws were then found filled with rice, and it was 
computed that the nearest rice-field could not be 
within a less distance than eighty miles. I have 
often seen pigeon roosts in the older states, but 
they scarcely give an idea of one in the west. I 

R 



194 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

have seen a cloud of those birds cover the horizon 
in every direction, and consume an hour in passing. 
And near a roost, from an hour before sunset until 
nine or ten o'clock at night, there is one continued 
roar, resembling that of a distant water-fall. A 
roost frequently comprises one hundred acres of 
land i and strange, though literally true, as can be 
attested by thousands, the timber, even though it 
be of the largest growth, is so split and broken by 
the immense numbers which roost upon it, as to be 
rendered entirely useless. There are few persons 
hardy enough to venture in a roost at night. The 
constant breaking of the trees renders it extremely 
dangerous ; and besides there is no necessity for 
shooting the birds, as the mere breaking of the 
limbs kills many more than are taken away. A 
pigeon roost in the west resembles very much a 
section of country over which has passed a violent 
hurricane. Wolves, foxes, etc., are constant atten- 
dants upon a pigeon roost. 

It is as a hunter that I like most to dwell upon 
the character of Colonel Crockett, for in that 
capacity he is really great. I do not know that I 
ever enjoyed more pleasure than I did during my 
first hunt with him. The character he had ob- 
tained, the great quantities of game he had killed, 
and the sagacity of his dogs, all of which had often 
in my presence been the theme of conversation, 
created a restless anxiety on my part at once to 
mingle with him in the chase, and be a witness 



i 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 195 

of his far-famed skill. So, having determined on 
the following morning to take an elk hunt, we 
cleaned our guns, prepared for the chase, and with 
pleasant conversation whiled away the early part 
of the evening. I then retired to bed, feasting on 
anticipation, and even anxious to annihilate time. 
At last the heavy night passed away and morning 
came, and with it came hope, and happiness, and 
buoyancy of spirit. I arose and went out ; the 
colonel was already up, and seizing an old horn 
which swung from the logs of the cabin, he sounded 
it until the woods seemed alive, while echo an- 
swered to its joyous notes. Then the dogs which 
were scattered about the yard rose from their 
couches, yawned, stretched themselves, and lent 
their deep toned voices to its cheering sound. 

The morning was not more beautiful than usual. 
The sun bounded up into the heavens, and tinged 
with its golden beams the tops of the forest ; but 
this it had often done before, and yet I thought 
nature never looked so cheerful, so lovely. Happy 
myself, I saw every thing only through the medium 
of my own feelings. I did not think that the music 
which had so many charms for me was but the 
death note of preparation for the execution of 
' some noble elk, or panting stag. While my heart 
thrilled with pleasure at the scene before me, I 
did not recollect that every blast which floated 
off, carried with it to quaking hearts the idea of a 
long and weary chase, a certain yet protracted 



196 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

death. However, my feelings ran bat a short time 
in this strain. The arrival of several of the neigh- 
bours with their dogs, who had been invited to join 
us, — their rifle-guns and accoutrements, their wild 
and picturesque dresses, and the tumultuous bark- 
ings of the dogs, infused into us only animation, 
and a desire for the chase. So having obtained 
our breakfast, we were soon on foot, moving mer- 
rily forward to a small hurricane, which had been 
agreed upon for a drive. The time consumed in 
arriving there we whiled away by the narration 
of anecdotes and sage prophecies, with regard to 
our probable success. 

Having also settled among ourselves the way 
that the elk, if roused, would run, I selected for 
myself a stand, with a certain expectation of a 
shot. Colonel Crockett selected a small opening 
within sight of me, and the remainder of the 
hunters stationed themselves at different points of 
the hurricane. We were then readv. The sound 
of the horn, and the cheering hark of the driver, 
told us that he had already entered the hurricane. 
For some time all was quiet, and nothing broke 
in upon the stillness of the scene, save the " look 
about" " hark about dogs" from the lips of the 
driver. Time never seemed to me to move so 
heavily ; and weary, I seated myself,, where in 
fancy I listened to the cry of the dogs, and killed 
many a noble elk, as he bounded by me. . But this 
delusion lasted not long before I was waked up by 






COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 197 

the music of a living chase. At first the dogs 
opened in long yells, at irregular intervals, and 
slowly they appeared to move through the tangled 
thicket, — then burst forth one long, loud roar, as 
they dashed off, and swept through the woods like 
the blast of a tornado. " He's up, he's up," with 
a loud whoop, was shouted from the lips of the 
driver, and the woods re-echoed with the roar of 
the dogs. Trembling with anxiety I jumped up 
and cocked my gun, expecting every moment to 
see the elk. I turned towards Colonel Crockett. 
He was lounging idly against an old beech tree, 
his rifle leaning against it, and he apparently an 
unconcerned spectator of the scene. 

For some moments it was difficult to tell which 
way the dogs were running, — then their notes 
became fainter, and my heart grew sick while I 
thought they were leaving me. They stretched 
on until they were almost lost to the ear. They 
circled, they tacked, they were at fault. I heard 
them coming, and my heart grew glad as their 
music increased. Another moment, — with wide- 
stretched eyes I looked in every direction, — and 
all was still, though the dogs were circling near 
me. Colonel Crockett, calm and unmoved, now 
held his rifle — the bushes crack, his leaps are 
heard — 'tis the elk that's coming. The colonel 
shrunk behind a tree, and raised his rifle. The 
game is in view — not an elk, but a lovely stag is 
bounding by us. Colonel Crockett bleated — the 

R2 



198 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OP 

stag was deceived, it stopped, and with panting 
sides and lofty head, looked wildly round. I raised 
my rifle ; the colonel's rung through the forest, 
and with it the cry of "here, here, here, dogs;" he 
running in a direction counter to that in which the 
deer was standing. In an instant the deer bounded 
away like lightning, and " a panther, a panther !" 
w r as shouted from the lips of Colonel Crockett. I 
ran up to him, and learned that while he was in 
the act of shooting the deer, a panther, roused 
from his lair by the cry of the dogs, had passed 
by, at which he thought he had discharged his 
rifle with effect. The horn was soon sounded, 
the dogs after much trouble were called off from 
the deer, the huntsmen were assembled, the cause 
was explained, and we then proceeded to examine 
the spot where Colonel Crockett said he had shot. 
But a few moments sufficed to convince us that the 
panther was wounded : the deer was gladly for- 
gotten, and with joyous shouts we placed the dogs 
upon the panther's trail, and followed on. Nothing 
could be more animating than their eager cry. 
Long and weary w T as the chase, which was sure 
to lead us wherever most difficulties opposed our 
progress. The joyous shouts of the huntsmen so 
animated the dogs, that they gave the panther but 
little rest. For a long time he eluded their pur- 
suit ; but they caught him upon the brink of a 
little branch, and never did I hear such a fight. 
The wild screams of the panther, and the loud 






COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 199 

Veiling of the wounded dogs resounded through 
the forest. I scrambled on through briers, bushes, 
etc., and arrived just in time to see the panther 
with one desperate effort tear himself from the 
dogs and slip off. With unabated vigour they 
followed on, and for some time held a running 
fight, when the panther, to relieve himself, took 
a tree. The peculiar notes of the dogs told of 
this joyous event, and fierce was the struggle who 
should reach the soonest. Who was the fortu- 
nate person I have now forgotten, though I well 
recollect that I was not. A short time, however, 
brought us together, and merry were we at the 
panther's expense. He was crouched in the 
crotch of a tree, looking composedly down upon 
the dogs, his eyes gleaming with rage. Fearing 
he might jump down and give us more trouble, 
we all formed a line, and at a given signal, fired 
our balls into the panther's body. He fell without 
a struggle, and instantly every dog was upon him, 
worrying him as if he was alive. I have often 
known old hunters, when their dogs were loth to 
take hold, shoot their guns in the air, and it always 
produces the desired effect — they immediately 
seize. The panther measured, from tip to tip, a 
little more than nine feet. The day was well nigh 
spent, and dragging him along as a trophy of our 
victory, we returned to the house, where, over a bot- 
tle of whiskey and some good water, we remained 
and listened with attention until each hunter gave* 
in his own way, his ideas of the day's hunt. 



200 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 



CHAPTER XV. 

The chief circumstance which characterized 
Colonel Crockett's second term in congress is the 
change which he is supposed to have undergone 
in his sentiments towards the present executive. 
In alluding to this subject, he stated that he had 
ever been a friend to internal improvements ; that 
he believed they were consistent with the spirit of 
the constitution ; that the situation of the west 
particularly required them ; and that it was good 
policy, in the present nourishing state of our finan- 
cial department, to carry on a scheme of gradual 
improvement. He alluded particularly to the 
situation of the west, the poverty of its inhabitants, 
and its sparse population ; to their having to con- 
tend with the difficulties incident to a new country 
— clearing lands, opening roads, and building 
bridges— and to their inability, under these cir- 
cumstances, of carrying on any general state of 
improvement. He also adverted to the bounteous 
gifts of nature — a soil rich and productive, inter- 
sected with innumerable rivers; and stated the 
numerous advantages which would flow from these 
sources, should they, by the assistance of the gene- 
ral government, be rendered safe and navigable. 
He adverted to public roads, and the facilities 
which they would afford to the inhabitants of the 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 201 

west; likewise to the good which would result 
from their cementing together the various western 
interests. He alluded to the large quantity oi 
lands owned by the general government in the 
western states — to the immense revenue derived 
from that source, and thence inferred, as a matter 
of right, the propriety of spending a large portion 
of that revenue in the internal improvement of the 
same section of country. 

In supporting General Jackson, he had always 
done so under a firm belief that he was a friend to 
internal improvements, and when he vetoed the 
Maysville Road Bill, he thought he swerved from 
the political faith he had formerly professed ; "and 
I felt bound," said he, " in duty to myself, to differ 
with him in opinion." He said he never had, and 
never would, swear allegiance to any man ; that _ 
to General Jackson he was not more opposed than 
to any other person ; that he could not bind himself 
to do whatever General Jackson thought right, 
but would support his views when he thought 
them correct, when he was instructed to do so, or 
when he knew that it was the wish of his con- 
stituents ; but, under other circumstances, his 
judgment must ever be his guide. 

Colonel Crockett's conduct on this occasion was 
certainly the effect of principle, and his bitterest 
enemies cannot with any shadow of justice im- 
peach it. Standing high in the affections of his 
constituents, popular above any other man in his 



202 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

district, he might have retained his seat in con- 
gress as long as he wished it, without a chance of 
being beaten ; and to do this he only had to follow 
in the wake of public opinion. But being a friend 
to internal improvements, believing that the situa- 
tion of his country required them, he could not lend 
his support to an administration going directly 
counteT to his own views. By blindly following 
it, he would certainly retain his seat in congress. 
By opposing, he might lose it. But that freedom 
and independence which have hitherto stamped 
his character, induced him to obey the dictates of 
his own judgment, and trust for re-election to the 
justice of his constituents. Surely he could not 
have given a better example of correct principle 
and honest intentions. By pursuing the dictates 
of his own judgment, there was every thing to 
lose, and nothing to gain — and yet he obeyed 
them. The Jackson party was then, as it now is, 
dominant throughout the United States. The 
Clay party did not expect to succeed in their 
election. And if it did, what was the reward 
held out to Colonel Crockett for his support? 
There was none. His want of earlv education 
would have disqualified him for any office which 
he would have accepted. And yet, so fashionable 
is the slang of party spirit, that he is said by the 
Jackson editors to have been bought up. Previous 
to his withdrawing his support from General Jack- 
son, he was the first in the house of congress to 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 203 

denounce the political course of Martin Van 
Buren, then Secretary of State, which he did in 
strong and harsh terms, some of which have lasted 
until the present time, and have been adopted by 
the opposition editors for their poignancy and, as 
they think, aptitude, without being aware that they 
are indebted for them to a hunter of the west. 

It would be difficult for any writer to give such 
an account of the west, its manners, customs, etc., 
as would be admitted on all hands to be correct. 
The beauty of its scenery and the fertility of its 
soil require much commendation ; but then there 
are so many difficulties and inconveniences at- 
tendant upon the settling of a new country, that 
a person is apt to be influenced by the circum- 
stances under which he is situated. So far is this 
true, that even in the west you meet with many 
persons who differ in opinion with regard to the 
advantages which it presents. In the west you 
meet with every shade of character which you 
can possibly conceive, from the pious and devout 
Christian, to him who disregards his God, and 
sets at defiance all the laws of man. You also 
meet with representatives from every civilized 
country in the world — and having all gone there 
for the purpose of bettering their fortunes, they 
are generally shrewd, intelligent, and enterprising, 
much more so than the mass of people in the older 
country — -for it requires some energy of character 
in a man, to sever the ties of affection which bind 



204 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

him to his native place, and seek a home in a 
strange land. Thrown together under circum- 
stances of this nature, unacquainted with each 
other's former character, they are, in general, less 
confiding than they are in a country where society 
is more settled. Yet there is more civility than 
you would expect to meet with, and much appa- 
rent frankness of manner. The citizens, as yet, 
have paid no attention to the luxuries, and very 
little to the comforts of life ; but nature here has 
been so bountiful in her gifts, that the time is not 
far distant when the Mississippi valley will, in 
point of wealth, be the first agricultural country 
in the world, filled with a population brave, enter- 
prising, and industrious. 

Although the west is settled by representatives 
from every country, it is very largely indebted 
for its inhabitants to Virginia, Georgia, and the two 
Carolinas. One, to witness the immense emigra- 
tion from those states to the west, would assign it 
at once as the cause of their increasing so slowly 
in population. Emigrants from these states, as 
well as from Kentucky, form by far the larger 
proportion of the population of the west. Whether 
this disposition to move is peculiar to that people, 
or whether it arises from the existence of some 
temporary cause, I know not. The south would 
perhaps attribute it to the injurious effects of 
the tariff system, saying, to bear its burdens we 
must have rich lands. The north would assign 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 205 

as its cause the evils of slavery. But if this latter 
be true, it is somewhat remarkable that southern- 
ers in moving should, with but few exceptions, 
always settle in a slave state, and this though they 
may own no slaves of themselves. I should sup- 
pose it was owing to the fact, that in the south 
there are but few manufactories, and consequently 
the great mass of the people are raised upon 
plantations in the cultivation of the soil ; and when 
entering upon life for themselves, they generally 
pursue the same avocation. The western soil 
being productive, and had at a less price than 
lands of equal value in their native states, holds 
out inducements to emigrate. This disposition to 
move must be owing in a great measure to the 
habits of the people, from the circumstance that it 
is a very rare occurrence to see in the west a 
northern man who is a planter or farmer. 
Northern emigrants who come here — and they 
form but a small proportion of the population — 
generally settle in the towns or little villages, 
where their tact for trade enables them to get 
along with more advantage to themselves than 
they could derive from agriculture. Possessed of 
this peculiar talent, they live easily, and generally 
accumulate fortunes. The Yankees, as all men 
north of the Potomac are here termed, are gene- 
rally well educated, and have become as cele- 
brated in the west for shrewdness and cunning, 
as they are in the south. Their shrewdness has 

s 



206 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

given rise to many anecdotes, and, among others, I 
heard from Colonel Crockett the following : 

" Two foreigners, who w T ere fresh from our 
mother country, in travelling through the west on 
horseback, happened to pass an evening at a house 
situated on the banks of the Mississippi river, 
where they met with a Yankee pedler, who had 
just disposed of his stock of goods, and was ready 
to go to any part of the world where interest 
might call him. By shrewd guesses, he soon 
found out every thing in relation to the circum- 
stances, residence, and business of his companions, 
and then kindly gave a history of himself. He no 
sooner announced himself as a Yankee, than the 
foreigners, who had often heard of the shrewdness 
of their character, were all anxiety that he should 
play them a Yankee trick. This he modestly de- 
clined. They insisted ; and offered to give him 
five dollars for a good Yankee trick. The money 
was taken, with a promise either to refund it, or 
play a good trick — and morning was selected as 
the time for the exhibition of the Yankee's skill. 
Pleased with each other, they all retired to bed in 
the same apartment; and when morning came, 
the Yankee rose with the first light, gently dressed 
himself in the clothes of one of the foreigners, took 
a pair of saddlebags to which he had no title, and 
quietly leaving the house, was observed to go on 
board of a flat boat bound for New-Orleans. The 
foreigners soon after awoke, and upon getting up 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 207 

to dress, beheld the sad reality of a Yankee trick. 
Having much money in their saddlebags, they 
found out which way the Yankee had gone ; and 
obtaining a small skiff, set out after him. The 
skiff was light ; and, moving rapidly, an hour or 
two brought it along side of the flat boat, where 
sat the Yankee perfectly composed, in quiet pos- 
session of their clothes and saddlebags. With 
much apparent pleasure he arose, inquired after 
their healths, and asked how they were pleased 
with the trick. The idea that they then had ot 
the Yankee, I leave to the imagination of my 
reader. However, he soon delivered their sad- 
dlebags, which had not been opened, and ex- 
changed clothes. The foreigners having deposited 
their saddlebags in the skiff, very much dissatis- 
fied, were about to leave, when the Yankee 
insisted upon their taking a parting glass together ; 
and, while drinking, he stepped back, jumped in 
the skiff and pushed off. Amid the execrations 
of the crew he plied his paddle, and the skiff 
darted away from the flat boat. Going up stream, 
pursuit with the flat boat was idle, and he was 
observed to land on the Arkansas shore, where, I 
have no doubt, before this he has doubled the 
money thus obtained." 

The frontier settlers in the west are either from 
Kentucky or the southern states, and living as 
they do, almost excluded from society, they have 
established for themselves a character and language 



208 SKETCHES AND ECCENTRICITIES OF 

peculiar to them as a people. Wedded to hunting* 
and careless of society, they manage always to 
live on the extreme frontier of a settlement, by 
selling out the clearing which they have made, 
and plunging again into the forest, whenever the 
tide of population approaches too near to them, 
Many accumulate a competency from this habit 
of moving, which often becomes so confirmed as 
to render them unhappy, should they be constrained 
to remain in one place more than a year or two. 

Those persons who navigate our western waters 
in flat boats, have many peculiarities in their habits 
and language. The great exposure to which they 
are subject, the great labour they frequently per- 
form, and their propensity for fun and frolic, have 
rendered them remarkable as a class. The intro- 
duction of steam boats so extensively on our 
western waters, has served to destroy, in a great 
measure, the use of flat boats, and has driven to 
other occupations many of the persons thus en- 
gaged ; but a fine sketch of this class of persons, 
as they have existed, may be found in the charac- 
ter of Mike Fink, by a gentleman of Cincinnati. 

Colonel Crockett having served out his second 
term in congress, was again a candidate for res- 
election, and though every exertion was used by 
him, he failed of success. The country was 
flooded with handbills, pamphlets, etc. against 
him ; and it was about this time that a series of 
numbers, entitled " The Book of Chronicles," made 



COLONEL DAVID CROCKETT. 209 

their appearance. Many of his constituents had 
served under General Jackson throughout the last 
war. Their homes, their wives, and children, had 
been defended by him from the attacks of the 
Indians. These circumstances were called up by 
his opponents, and reiterated daily to his constitu- 
ents. It was a powerful lever, and one that turned 
the fate of the election. But the contest was warm 
and doubtful, and it required all the exertions of 
the opposing party to gain it, under those circum- 
stances — a strong proof of the personal popularity 
of Colonel Crockett. 

Under the last census his district has been ma- 
terially changed. Several counties have been 
thrown out, and among them some that were most 
violent in their opposition to him. He is still a 
candidate for the ensuing election, with flattering 
hopes of success. 



NOTE BY THE PUBLISHERS. 

Since the earlier portions of this work were placed 
in the hands of the printers, the election has taken 
place, and the result has been the success of the gallant 
•eolonel over his opponent, Mr. Fitzgerald. This triumph 
was thus characteristically announced by him in a letter 
to a friend, written immediately after the canvass. 

Dear Sir : 

Went through — tight squeezing — beat Fitz. 170 

Yours, D. C. 



THE FAMILY LIBRARY. 



In presenting to the American public a list of the Works com- 
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The general estimation in which the work is held is proved by tin 
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No pains and no expense have been spared in procuring and select- 
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guished names, those of 

Professors H. H. Milman, H. G. Bell, Esq., 

" Leslie, G. P. R. James, Esq., 

" Jameson, Horace Smith, Esq., 

" Wilson, B. B. Thatcher, Esq., 

" G. Bush, Sharon Turner, F.SJL, 

" Euler, and Mrs. Jameson, 

" Griscom, J. A. St. John, Esq., 

Lord Dover, John Abercrombie, M.D., 

Sir Walter Scott, P. F. Tytler, Esq., 

Sir David Brewster, Robert Mudie, Esq., 

John Gait, Esq.. John Barrow, Esq., 

J. G. Lockhart, LL.D., Rev. J. Williams, A.M., 
Robert Soutbey, LL.D., " G. R. Gleig, 

J. S. Hemes, LL.D., " George Croly, 

Hugh Murray, Esq., " M. Russell, LL.D., 

Allan Cunningham, Esq., " E. Smedley, 

With the assistance and co-operation of persons of such emmem 
talents and hi^h reputation, a series of works has been commenced 
and is still in progress, embracing almost every department of science 
and literature, and combining with great excellence of execution the 
advantages of exceedingly low price, convenience of form, and 
beauty of illustration. While the trifling cost has placed the several 
works within the reach of all classes of readers, the interesting 
nature of the subjects, and the pleasing manner in which they are 
treated, render them well suited for the perusal of young persons, and 
valuable auxiliaries to parents and teachers in the important offices 
of guiding and cultivating the youthful mind ; and the care that has 
been taken to exclude every thing that could in the slightest degree 
have a prejudicial influence in a moral or religious point of view, 
entitles the series to the entire confidence of the most scrupulous. 

With these recommendations, the publication will be found de- 
serving of a place in every well-eelected Library, and as each workis 



•3 



FAMILY LIBRARY. 



compUte in itself, and may be purchased separately from the others, 
it will furnish a valuable variety of literary presents, of school books, 
and of volumes for family reading, adapted to the means and tastes 
of all classes of readers. 

The publication of the Family Library is still in progress, and will 
be continued by the addition of every appropriate work that is pro- 
duced either in England or America, so long as the publishers con- 
tinue to receive the same encouragement which has hitherto attended 
their enterprise. At present the series embraces the following : — 



Vos. 1, 2, 3. Milman's History of 
the Jews. With Plates. 

4,5. Lockhart's Life of Napoleon 
Bonaparte. W ith Plates. 

6. Southey's Life ofNelsan. 

7. "Williams's Life of Alexander 

the Great. With Plates. 

8. Natural History of Insects. 

9. Gait's Life of Lord Byron. 

10. Bush's Life of Mohammed. 

11. Scott's Letters onDemonology 

and Witchcraft. Plate. 

12. 13. Gleig's History of the Bi- 

ble. With Maps. 

14. Discovery and Adventure in the 

Polar Seas, &c. By Profes- 
sor Leslie, Piofessor Jame- 
son, and Hugh Murray, Esq. 

1 5. Croly's Life of George the 

Fourth. With a Portrait. 

'6. Discovery and Adventure in 
Africa. By Prof. Jameson, 
James Wilson, Esq., and 
Hugh Murray, Esq. With 
a Map and Engravings. 

*7, 18, 19. Cunningham's Lives 
of Eminent Painters and 
Sculptors. With Portraits. 

20. James's History of Chivalry 
and the Crusades. Plate. 

21, 22. Bell's Life of Mary Queen 
of Scots. Portrait. 

23. Russell's Ancient and Modern 

Egypt With Plates. 

24. Fletcher's History of Poland. 

With a Plate. 

25. Smith's Festivals, Games, and 

Amusements. With Plates. 
2fi. Brewster's Life of Sir Isaac 

Newton. With Plates. 
27. Russell's History of Palestine, 

or the Holy Land. Plates. 
83. Memes' Memoirs of the Em.- 

prw.s Jostphin*. plates. 



29. The Court and Camp of Bo- 
naparte. With Plates. 

30. Lives of Early Navigators. 

With Portraits. 

31. A Description of Pitcairn's 

Island, &c. Engravings. 

32. Turner's Sacred History of 

the World. 

33. 34. Mrs. Jameson's Memoirs 

of Celebrated Female Sove- 
reigns. 
35, 36. Landers' Africa. With 
Engravings and Maps. 

37. Ahercrombie on the Intellect- 

ual Powers, <SfC 

38, 39, 40. St. John's Lives of 

Celebrated Travellers. 

41, 42. Lord Dover's Life of Fre- 
deric II. King of Prussia. 
With a Portrait. 

43, 44. Sketches from Venetian 
History. With Plates. 

45, 46. Thatcher's Indian Biog- 
raphy. With Plates. 

47, 48, 49. History of India. 

50. Brewster's Letters on Natural 

Magic. Engravings. 

51, 52. Taylor's History of In- 

land. With Engravings. 

53. Discoveries on the Northern 

Coasts of America. 

54. Humboldt's Travels. Plates. 

55. 56. Eider's Letters on Natural 

Philosophy. Engravings. 

57. Mudie'ei Guide to the Observa- 
tion of Nature. Engravings. 

59. Abercrombie, on the Philoso- 
phy of the Moral Feelings. 

59. James's History of Charle- 

magne. With a Portrait. 

60. Russell's History of Nubia 

and Abyssinia. 

61. 62. Russell's Life of Olive? 

Cromwell. With a "Portra^i 



Recommendations of the Family Libit try. 

The following opinions, selected from highly respectable Journals, win 
enable these who are unacquainted with the Family Library to form an 
estimate of its merits. Numerous other notices, equally favourable, and 
from sources equally respectable, might be presented if deemed necessary. 

"The Family Library. — Avery excellent, and always entertaining Mis- 
cellany."— Edinburgh Review, No. 103. 

" The Family Library. — We think this series of books entitled to the 
extensive patronage they have received from the public. The subject* 
selected are, generally, both useful and interesting in themselves, and are 
treated in a popular and agreeable manner : the style is clear, easy, and 
fiowing, adapted to the taste of general readers, for whom the books ara 
designed. The writers are mostly men of high rank in the literary world, 
and appear to possess the happy talent of blending instruction wita 

amusement We hesitate not to commend it to the public as a valuable 

series of works, and worthy a place in every gentleman's library." — Mixga* 
zine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge. 

"We take the opportunity again to recommend this valuable series of 
volumes to the public patronage. We know of no mode in which so much 
entertaining matter may be procured, at so cheap a rate, as in the Family 
Library."— N. Y. Daily Advertiser. 

" The Family Library should be in the hands of every person. Thus 
far it has treated of subjects interesting to all, condensed In a perspicuous 

and agreeable style We have so repeatedly spoken of the merits of the 

design of this work, and of the able manner in which it is edited, that on 
this occasion we will only repeat our conviction, that it is worthy a place 
in every library in the country, and will prove one of toe most useful as 
fc is one of the most interesting publications which has ever issued from 
the American press."— N. Y. Courier 6f Enquirer. 

" It is needless at this late period to cjmmend to public attention and 
encouragement the collection of delight, til works now in a course of pub- 
lication under the appropriate title of the Family Library." — JV*. IT. Eve- 
ning Journal. 

" We have repeatedly expressed our unwavering confidence in the 
ments of this valuable series of popular and instructive books. The 
Family Library nas now reached its sixteenth number, with the increasing 
favour of the enlightened American public ; and we have heard of but 
one dissenting voice among the periodical and newspaper publishers who 
have frequently noticed and applauded the plan and the execution of the 
Family Library. A censure so entirely destitute of reason cannot injure 
a class of publications pure in sentiment and judicious and tasteful ia 
composition." — The Cabinet of Religion, ire. 

" The names of the writers employed are a sufficient surety that the 
merit of the Family Library will suffer no decline."— A - . Y. Evening Post^ 

"The Family Library is a collection which should be sought after by 
every one desirous of procuring the most valuable new works in the 
cheapest and most convenient form."- N. Y- Daily Sentinel. 

"Those who condense and arrange such works for publication, and 
they also wbo promulgate them, richly deserve the thanks and patronaga 
of all enlightened communities in the country. The Family Library 
promises to be a most useful and cheap repository of the most important 

events of profane, ancient, and modern history A series of volume*, 

well conducted, and published with such stirring contents, cannot fail t«- 
surpass all dry encyclopedias, or diffuse and elaborate histories or biogra- 
phic, miserably translated, and extended to the rery stretch of vogk 
boeity."— Pkil^xlphia GaXtt. 



FAMILY CLASSICAL LIBRARY. 



The Publishers have much pleasure in iecording 
the following testimonials in recommendation of the 
Family Classical Library. 

" Mr. Valpy has projected a Family Classical Library. The idea is 
excellent, and the work cannot fail to be acceptable to youth of both sexes, 
&s well as to a large portion of the reading community, who have not had 
\he benefit of a learned education." — Gentleman's Magazine, Dec. 1829. 
" We have here the commencement of another undertaking for the more 
general distribution of knowledge, and one which, if as well conducted 
as we may expect, bids fair to occupy an enlarged station in our imme- 
diate literature. The volume before us is a specimen well calculated to 
recommend what are to follow. Leland's Demosthenes is an excellent 
work." — Lit. Gazette. 

"This work will be received with great gratification by every man who 
knows the value of classical knowledge. All that we call purity of taste, 
vigour of style, and force of thought, has either been taught to the modern 
world by the study of the classics, or has been guided and restrained by 
those illustrious models. To extend the knowledge of such works is to 
do a public service." — Court Journal. 

" The Family Classical Library is another of those cheap, useful, and 
elegant works, which we lately spoke of as forming an era in our pub- 
lishing history." — Spectator. 

"The present era seems destined to be honourably distinguished in 
literary history by the high character of the works to which it is succes- 
sively giving birth. Proudly independent of the fleeting taste of the day, 
they boast substantial worth which can never be disregarded ; they put 
forth a claim to permanent estimation. The Family Classical Library is 
a noble undertaking, which the name of the editor assures us will be exe- 
cuted in a style worthy of the great originals." — Morning Post. 

" This is a very promising speculation ; and as the taste of the day runs 
just now very strongly in favour of such Miscellanies, we doubt not it 
will meet with proportionate success. It needs no adventitious aid, how 
ever influential ; it has quite sufficient merit to enable it to stand oa 
its own foundation, and will doubtless assume a lofty grade in public 
favour." — Sun. 

" This work, published at a low price, is beautifully got up. Though 
to profess to be content with translations of the Classics has been de 
nounced as ' the thin disguise of indolence,' there are thousands who 
have no leisure for studying the dead languages, who would yet like to 
know what was thought and said by the sages and poets of antiquity 
To them this work will be a treasure." — Sunday Times. 

" This design, which is to communicate a knowledge of the most 
esteemed authors of Greece and Rome, by the most approved translations, 
to those from whom their treasures, without such assistance, would be 
bidden, must surely be approved by every friend of literature, by every 
lover of mankind. We shall only say of the first volume, that as the 
execution well accords with the design, it must commwid general appro- 
bation." — The Observer. 

" We see no reason why this work should not find its way into the 
boudoir of the lady, aB well as into the library of the learned. It is cheap, 
portable, and altogether a work which may safely be placed in the haads 
of persons of both »exea." — Wteklf Frtt Press, 



\ 



\ 



PROSPECTUS 

OF THS 

LIBRARY OF SELECT NOVELS. 



Fictitiods composition is now admitted to form an extensive and im- 
portant portion of literature. Well-wrought novels take their rank by the 
side of real narratives, and are appealed to as evidence in all questions 
concerning man. In them the customs of countries, the transitions and 
shades of character, and even the very peculiarities of costume and dia- 
lect, are curiously preserved ; and the imperishable spirit that surrounds 
and keeps them for the use of successive generations renders the rarities 
for ever fresh and green. In them human life is laid down as on a map. 
The strong and vivid exhibitions of passion and of character which they 
furnish, acquire and maintain the strongest hold upon the curiosity, and, 
it may be added, the affections of every class of readers ; for not only ip 
entertainment in all the various moods of tragedy and comedy provided in 
their pages, but he who reads them attentively may often obtain, without 
the bitterness and danger of experience, that knowledge of his fellow- 
creatures which but for such aid could, in the majority of cases, be only 
acquired at a period of life too late to turn it to account. 

This " Library of Select Novels" will embrace none but such as have 
received the impress of general approbation, or have been written by 
authors of established character ; and the publishers hope to receive such 
encouragement from the public patronage as will enable them in the 
course of time to produce a series of works of uniform appearance, and 
including most of the really valuable novels and romances that have been 
or shall be issued from the modern English and American press. 

There is scarcely any question connected with the interests of literature 
which has been more thoroughly discussed and investigated than that of 
the utility or evil of novel reading. In its favour much may be and has 
been said, and it must be admitted that the reasonings of those who be- 
lieve novels to be injurious, or at least useless, are not without force and 
plausibility. Yet, if the arguments against novels are closely examined, 
it will be found that they are more applicable in general to excessive in- 
dulgence in the pleasures afforded by the perusal of fictitious adventures 
than to the works themselves ; and that the evils which can be justly 
ascribed to them arise almost exclusively, not from any peculiar noxious 
qualities that can be fairly attributed to novels as a species, but from those 
individual works which in thoir class must be pronounced to be indif- 
ferent. 

But even were it otherwise — were novels of every kind, the good as 
well as the bad, the striking and animated not less than the puerile, in- 
deed liable to the charge of enfeebling or perverting the mind ; and were 
there no qualities in any which might render them instructive as well as 
amusing — the universal acceptation which ihey have ever received, and 
still continue to receive, from all ages and classes of men, would prove 
•n irresistible incentive to their production. The remonstrances of moral- 
ists and the reasonings of philosophy have ever been, and will still be 
found, unavailing against the desire to partake of an enjoyment so attrac- 
tive. Men will read novels ; and therefore the utmost that wisdom and 
philanthropy can do is to cater prudently for the public appetite, and, as it 
is hopeless to attempt the exclusion of fictitious writings from the shelves 
of the library, to see that they are encumbered with the least possible 
aumber of such as have no other merit than that of novelty. 



VALUABLE WORKS 

PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW-YORK. 






Life of Governor John. lay, 2 v. 8vo, 

Life of Gov. Wm. Livingston, 8vo. 

Sketches of Turkey in 1882... 8vo. 

Taylor's Records of his Life. .8vo. 

Gibbon's Rome (fine) 4 v. 8vo. 

Robertson's Works 3 v. 8vo. 

History of Modern Europe, 3 v. 8vo. 

Life of* Byron, by Moore. .2 v. 8vo. 

Cooper's Surg. Dictionary, 2v.8vo. 

Hooper's Med. Dictionary, 2 v. 8vo. 

Wesley's Miscel. Works, 3 v. 8vo. 
Rev. Robt. Hall's Works, 3 v. 8vo. 

Good's Book of Nature 8vo. 

Crabb's English Synonymes..8vo. 

Brown's Bible Dictionary 8vo. 

Gibson's Surveying 8vo. 

Boueharlatt's Mechanics 8vo. 

Davies' Surveying 8vo. 

Davies' Descriptive Geometry . 8 vo 
Davies' Shades and Shadows, 8vo. 
Memoirs Duchess D'Abrantes, 8vo. 
Poems of Brooks and Willis, 8vo. 

Annals of Tryon County 8vo. 

Percy Anecdotes 8vo. 

Worrell's Four Voyages 8vo. 

Risi. of the American Theatre. 8vo. 
Polynesian Researches, 4 v. 12mo. 
England,and the English 2 v. 12mo 

Life of Dr. E. D. Clarke 8vo. 

Dibdin's Reminiscences Svo. 

Letters from the jEgean 8vo. 

Imprisonment of Pellico,<fec. 12mo. 



Owen's Voyages 12mo. 

Travels of Fidler and Coke in the 

U. States and Canada 12mo. 

Life of Baron Cuvier 12mo. 

Life of Col. Crockett 12mo. 

Banditti and Robbers... »...12mo. 
Bush on the Millennium. . . .I2mo. 

Keith on Prophecy ] 2mo. 

British Spy, by Wirt 12mo, 

Comforter of the Afflicted.. 12mo. 
Mrs. Morrell's Voyages .... 1 2mo. 

Verplanck's Discourses 12mo. 

Verplanck's Liberal Studies. 12mo. 
WiH Sports of the West, 2 v. 12mo. 
Moore'sLife of Fitzgerald 2 v. ] 2mo. 
French Revolution," 1830. ..12mo. 
France, by Lady Morgan. 2 v. 12mo. 

Housekeeper's Manual 12mo. 

Domestic Duties 12mo. 

Mathematical Tables 12mo. 

Lives of Signers of Dec. Tnd. 12mo. 

Schoberl's Christianity 1 2mo. 

Devorgoil — Atalantis 12mo. 

Modern American Cookery, 16mo. 

Art of Invigorating Life 18mo. 

Plays of Massinger and Ford, 18mo. 
The Family, Theological, Clas- 
sical, Juvenile, and Novelist Li- 
braries, embracing upwards of one 
huvdred vclvmes — For the titles of 
which see the Publishers' Cata- 
logue. 



INTERESTING AND POPULAR NOVELS. 



Bulwer's Novels 1 1 y. 12mo. 

Miss Edgeworth's do.. .9 v. ]2mo. 

James's do 12 v. 12mo. 

The Whigs of Scotland, 2 v. 12mo. 

The English at Home . .2 v. 12mo. 

Traits of Travel 2 v. 12mo. 

Heiress of Bruges 2 v. 12mo. 

Dreams and Reveries.. 2 v. 12mo. 
Roxobel, Mrs. Sherwood 3 v. 18mo. 
Diary of a Physician.. .2 v. 18mo. 

Sketch Book of Fashion 12mo. 

LastofthePlantagenets,2v. 12mo. 
Southennan, by Gait. . . 2 v. 12mo. 

Heiress of Bruges 2 v. 12mo. 

Stories of a Bride 2 v. 12mo. 

Tales by a Chaneron . . 2 v. I2mo. 

Tales of the West 2 v. 12mo. 

Refugee in America ... 2 v. 12mo. 
Seaward's Narrative — 3v. 12mo. 
Jacqueline of Holland . .2 v. 12mo. 
Denounced— Lost Heir. 2 v. 12rno. 
The Abbess, Trollope . .2 v. J2mo. 
Tales of my Landlord . . 2 v. 12mo. 
Chronicles of Canongate 2 v. l2mo. 
Posthumous Papers — 2 v. l2mo. 
Tales of Early Ages . . .2 v. 12mo. 



The Younger Son 2 t. ]2mo. 

Rom. nf History, Spain 2v. 12mo. 
Bom. of History, Francelv. 12mo. 
Rom. of History Italy, 2 v. 12mo. 

Hungarian Tales 2 v. 12mo. 

Romance and Reality. ..2 v. 12mo. 

The False Step, &c 2 v. 12ma 

Rybrent De Cruce 2 v. 12mo. 

The School of Fashion, 2 v. 12mo. 

Almack's Revisited 2 v. 12mo. 

Campaigns of a Cornet, 2 v. 12mo. 
TaJes of Military Life . .2 v. 12mo. 
Sketches of Irish Character. .12mo. 

Leggett's Tales, <fcc 12mo. 

Ambitious Student, Bulwer, 12mo. 
The Talba— Beatrice-. 2 v. 12mo. 
Incognito — Haverhill . . 2 v. 12mo. 
Zohrab — Oxonians ... 2 v. 12mo. 
Waverley— Cloudesley, 2 v. 12mo. 
Foscarini— Maxwell . . 2 v. 12mo 
Arlington— Separation, 2 v. 12mo. 
Kings Page — Private Life . . 12mo. 
Walter Colyton,Lawrie Toddl2mo. 
Falkland — Country Curate .12mo. 
New Forest — Village Belles. 12mo. 
Waldegrave— Stratton Hill . 12mo. 



STANDARD WORKS, 

PUBLISHED BY 

J. &. J. H1.RPER, 82 CLIFF-STREET 
NEW-YORK. 

And for Sale by the principal Booksellers throughout the United State*. 



KISTORY OF THE JEWS. By the Rev. H. H 

Milmxn. In 3 vols. 18mo. Illustrated with original Maps 
and Engravings. 

"Until the appearance of Professor Milman's admirable work, there 
was no History of the Jews, deserving of the name, except that 
of Josephus : and he lived at a period too remote, and too limited in 
its knowledge, to enable him to do justice to the subject. The no- 
tices to be found in various Universal Histories are meager and un- 
aatisfaetory ; and a narrative at once Christian and liberal in its tone, 
spirited and elegant in its language, and adequately depicting tha 
manners, wars, religion, and policy of the most remarkable of nations, 
was still wanting. The nature of the present work is strictly his- 
torical — not theolocgial — yet it elucidates many obscure passages* in 
the Old Testament, employs with great skill the casual evidence of 
heathen writers, and throws new light on the manners and customs 
of the Hebrews by frequent references to the pages of the oldest 
travellers. 

" Professor I{. H. Milman is one of the most chaste and classical 
writers of the age. The History of the Jews embraced in the vol- 
umes before us, has already passed through three editions in Eng* 
land, and is highly and justly commended by many of the most 
respectable periodicals."— -N. Y. Journal of Commerce. 

"It is written in a very interesting manner — in a more phil 
sophical spirit, and with more depth of reflection, than is generall 
found in histories of this nature. It is not wanting in historical cou 
densation, and the colouring of the style is lively and picturesque."— 
N. Y. Evening Ptst. 

"The narrative of the various and highly interesting events in 
that period flows on in a chaste style ; and a thorough knowledge) 
of his subject is evident in every page. The work is spirited, well 
arranged, and full of information, and of a wise and well-cultivated 
spirit." — Athenaeum. 

" The style in which it is written is remarkably lucid and elegant : 
attractive by its general smoothness and simplicity, yst aiumatea 
and forcible." — Baltimore Republican 



2 STANDARD WORKS. 

LIFE OF NAPOLEON BONAPARTE. By J. G. 

Lockhart, Esq. In 2 vols. 18mo. With Engravings. 

This celebiated work contains an epitome of all that has been 
proved to be true concerning the character and actions of the most 
extraordinary man of the last thousand years. The English lan- 
guage possesses no other authentic epitome of his history ; and, not- 
withstanding the smallness of the limits within which it is com- 
pressed, the narrative throughout is clear, distinct, and copious. 
The life of Napoleon, doubly interesting when relieved of the 
tediousness of useless detail, has never been better to'-l. 

The work is written with commendable impartiality, and the 
author has been careful to interweave with his narrative all the new 
illustrations and anecdotes furnished by Boumenne, and other 
French writers, whose memoirs have appeared since the publication 
of the great work of Sir Walter Scott, from which a large portion 
of his materials was derived. As an evidence of the amazing popu- 
larity of this History, it is stated that more than 27000 copies hava 
been disposed of in Great Britain alone. 

LIFE OF NELSON. By Robert Southey, Esq., LL.D. 
18mo. With a Portrait. 

This Biography has been pronounced one of the Laureate's most 
successful efforts : the enthusiastic and romantic character of Nel- 
son furnished a congenial subject, and he has treated it with con- 
summate ability. The errors of the fortunate and gallant admiral 
are fairly and fearlessly exposed ; while the nobler elements of his 
mind, his heroic courage, his perseverance, and his insatiable appe- 
tite for glory, as well as the great actions in which they are dis- 
played, are described and illustrated with a happy choice of language 
and most felicitous effect. 

" Southey's fine and popular biography of Nelson was very much 
wanted, and is now to be had very cheap, in a neat and coa- 
venient form." — N. Y. Com. Advertiser. 

LIFE OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT. By the Rev. 

John Williams, A.M. 18mo. With a Map. 

This volume fills a blank in the historical library, and furnishes 
an excellent manual for the student. It is not confined to the mere 
exploits and adventures of the Macedonian hero, although they con- 
stitute the leading topic, but contains a masterly view of the times 
in which he lived, and of the manners, arts, and sciences of the 
Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Arabs and Indians, and other nations 
whom he visited or conquered. The story is well and elegantly 
told, and conveys a more distinct and accurate idea of the ancient 
Napoleon than is to be found in any other history. In the perusal, 
the curiosity of the reader is gratified as well as stimulated^ 
and his mind is moved to profitable reflection. 

"The style is good, and the narrative well conducted. A modem 
history of this famous warrior cannot fail to be interesting."— Ntm- 
York Daily Advertutr. 



STANDARD WORKS. h 

NATURAL HISTORY OF INSECTS. 18mo. Illus- 

trated by numerous Engravings. 

The study of Natural History is at all times, and to almost every 
person, eminently pleasing and instructive : the object .n this admi- 
rable volume has been to render it doubly captivating by the plain 
and simple style in which it is treated, and by the numerous engra- 
vings with which the text is illustrated. There is no branch of this 
delightful science more pleasing than that which exhibits the won- 
derful goodness and wisdom of the Creator, as they are displayed in 
the endless varieties of insect life — their forms, habits, capacities 
and works — and which investigates the nature and peculiarities 
theso diminutive tribes of animated existence 

" It seems to us that it will prove at once agreeable and instru 
to persons of all classes." — AT. Y. Daily Advertiser 

LIFE OF LORD BYRON. By John Galt, Esq. 18mo. 

The splendour of Lord Byron's fame, and the interest attendant 
upon the story of his eventful life and early death, have combined to 
render his biography a work of more than usual attraction. Mr. 
Gait enjoyed the advantages consequent upon a long and intimate 
acquaintance with the noble poet, and has given a striking and satis 
factory description of his mind and character. One of the greatest 
merits of the work is its strict impartiality : the writer is evidently 
free from prejudice either favourable or adverse to his subject, and 
tells what he knows or believes to be the truth, without any bias 
from envy, ill-will, or affection 

u The sprightly pen of the author has communicated uncommon 
interest to this work, and he appears to have done perfect justice to 
its inspired subject." — Albany Daily Advertiser. 

" Mr. Gait is one of the most fascinating writers of the age." — 
Journal of Commerce. 

IFE OF MOHAMMED ; Founder of the Religion o* 
Islam and of the Empire of the Saracens. By the Rev 
Georok Bush, A.M. 18mo. "With a Plate. 

The objects of the writer in the preparation of this volume have 
been condensation, clearness, and accuracy. It was written ex- 
pressly for the publishers by an American author, and, in addi- 
tion tu the numerous and highly nattering commendations bestowed 
upon it by the press, it has received the testimonial of republication 
in England. In' one respect, the plan adopted by the author pre- 
sents an improvement upon preceding memoirs of the great impostor 
in the careful collocation of the chapters of the Koran with thi 
events of the narrative, — a method by which the history is illustrated 
in a remarkable degree. The appendix, containing a series of pro- 
phetic investigations, is peculiarly curious, learned, and valuable. 

" Mr. Bush is a scholar of extensive acquirements, and well fitted 
for the task which he has undertaken in this volume."— N. Y. Oba 



STANDARD WORKS. 

LETTERS on DEMONOLOGY and WITCHCRAFT. 

By Sir Walter Scott, Bart. 18mo. With an Engraving. 

This is a very curious and interesting work, containing as it does 
the results of much thought and great research upon one of the moat 
exciting topics of human inquiry. Most of Sir Walter Scott's un- 
rivalled novels betray fhe predilection for the supernatural with 
which his mind was tinged, and the extent of his reading in works 
which treat of " the history of that dark chapter of human nature" 
to which this volume is devoted. In it he has laid open the stores 
Of his memory, and strikingly condensed and elucidated the subject; 
in many cases explaining, by most ingenious theories, occurrences 
which seem to lie beyond the boundaries of natural action. 

"This volume is most interesting, and will be read with great 
pleasure by almost every class of readers." — U. S. Gazette. 

" The subject is most alluring, and the manner in winch it is han- 
dled is magical." — Athen. 

HISTORY OF THE BIBLE. By the Rev. G. R. Gleio. 

In 2 vols. i8mo. With a Map of Palestine. 

These volumes do not, as from their title one might imagine, con- 
tain merely an account of the origin and contents of the Sacred 
Volume : the object of the writer has extended far beyond this. He 
has produced, perhaps, the most elaborate and able examination 
of the various objections urged against the Scriptures that has ever 
been written ; and, at the same time, one of the clearest and most 
satisfactory expositions of the whole Bible, not only as the founda- 
tion of our faith, but also as a history. In the performance of his 
task, Mr. Gleig has exhibited equal piety and learning, and his work 
is calculated to facilitate to a remarkable degree both the compre- 
hension and enjoyment of the inspired writings. 

" The style of it is surpassed by no work with which we are 
acquainted." — Albany Telegraph and Register. 

POLAR SEAS AND REGIONS. By Professors Leslw 
and Jamkson, and Huoh Murray, Esq. 18mo. With Maps 
and Engravings. 

The plan of these works would not be complete without a 
requisite degree of attention to the most recent improvements and 
discoveries in every branch of science. In none have greater ad- 
vances been made, in the present century, than in geography and the 
knowledge of the earth which we inhabit, and care has accordingly 
been taken to include the best of such works as treat of these dis- 
coveries. The Polar Seas and Regions have been most fertile in 
results through the enterprise and perseverance of a Ross, a FrankJin, 
and a Parry, and the work in which their investigations are described 
is one of the most interesting and instructive of the series. 

" The writers are gentlemen of first-rate standing in the scientific 
Vorld, and the subject is one to which every curious mind is attract^ 
19 a sort of involuntary impulse."— If. Y. Journal «f Camausv*. 



STANDARD WORKS. 

LIFE AND TIMES OF GEORGE IV. By the Ret- 

Grorgb Croly. 18mo. With a Portrait. 

f 

The regency and reign of this monarch occupied one of the mojf 

eventful and interesting periods of English history, not only from the 

magnitude and importance of their political occurrences, but also 

from the vast improvements in science and the arts by which they 

were distinguished, and the number of eminent individuals who 

flourished at this epoch. The character of George himself was not 

the least remarkable among those of the principal personages of the 

ime, and it has been handled by Mr. Croly with a just and fearless, 

ut not uncharitable spirit. His perceptions are close, keen, and ac 

urate, and his language singularly terse and energetic. His work 

ill be of the highest value to the future historian. 

"Mr. Croly has acquitted himself very handsomely. His subject 
is one of much interest, and he has treated it with unusual impar- 
tiality. The author's style is chaste, classical, and beautiful, and it 
may be taken as a model of line writing." — Mercantile Advertiser. 

DISCOVERY AND ADVENTURE IN AFRICA. By 

Professor Jameson, and James Wilson and Hugh Murray, 
Esqrs. 18mo. With a Map and Engravings. 

In this volume is recorded every thing that is known of the interiox 
of that dangerous continent which has been for so many ages a term 
incognita, and proved the grave of so many enterprising travellers, 
except what has been revealed to us by the recent investigations 
of John and Richard Lander, whose adventures form the subject 
of two of the succeeding numbers of the Library. The plan of the 
work consists of condensed abstracts of the narratives of all the mod- 
ern African travellers, in which every thing important or interesting 
is preserved, while the unessential details have been so abbreviated 
fcg to bring the substance of each account within convenient linuts. 

" This work we believe will be interesting to every class of reader*, 
especially to the philanthropist and Christian." — N. Y. Evangelist. 

LIVES of EMINENT PAINTERS and SCULPTORS 

By Allan Cunningham. In 3 vols. 18mo. With Portrait* 

The author has collected, in these small volumes, a history of art 
in England, and the lives, characters, and works of its most eminent 
professors, — the materials of which were previously scattered through 
many volumes, inaccessible and uninviting to the mass of readers, 
The critical observations profusely scattered through these biog- 
raphies will render them useful to the student, while the personal 
anecdotes with which they abound make them equally alluring to 
the ordinary reader. The labours and struggles of genius, the sue 
cess of perseverance, and the inutility of talent unallied to prudence, 
as exemplified in these narratives, afford a useful moral lesson, while 
the incidents which illustrate them become the source of pleasure 
and entertainment. 

u The whole narrative is lively and alluring." — JV. Y. Atlas. 



O STANDARD WORKS. 

HISTORY OF CHIVALRY AND THE CRUSADES. 

By G. P. R. James, Esq. 18mo. With Engravings. 

No modern writer is, perhaps, so well qualified to write upon this 
subject as the author of " Richelieu," and of the " Life and Times 
of Charlemagne;" unquestionably, since the death of Sir Walter 
Scott, the best informed historical antiquary of the age. The present 
work contains, in a small compass, a clear and concise account of 
that celebrated institution which, in process of time, became the 
foundation of the modern European systems of government and juris- 
prudence, with a vivid description of those amazing ebullitions of 
national enthusiasm which poured such immense multitudes of wa*» 
like pilgrims upon the plains of Asia, and produced such extraordi. 
nary changes in the condition of mankind. The work is eminently 
curious, interesting, learned, and philosophical. 

" The author of this work has done the public a service, which 
we tlunk will be duly appreciated." — N. Y. Daily Advertiser. 

LIFE OF MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS. By H. G. Bell. 

In 2 vols. 18mo. With a Portrait. 

|t is now generally admitted that great injustice has been done to 
the character of Mary, and that there is good reason to believe her, 
to say the least, guiltless of the dark offences charged against her 
Mr. Bell has undertaken her vindication, and, having investigated 
the facts with uncommon industry and patience, he has succeeded 
in establishing a conviction of her entire innocence. The sym- 
pathy excited by the story of her beauty and her misfortunes is 
now heightened by the assurance of her wrongs. Mr. Bell's is con- 
sidered the most affecting, ls well as the most impartial life of Mary 
that has been written. 

" The reader will be pleased to learn that the life of Mary has been 
written anew, by one who appears, both in temper and talent, ex- 
tremely well qualified for the task." — N. Y. Atlas. 

ANCIENT AND MODERN EGYPT. By the Rev.M 
Kussell, LL.D. 18mo. With a Map and Engravings. 

In this volume is contained a distinct and well arranged account 
f all that is known with certainty respecting the ancient history, as 
well as the present condition, of that extraordinary country who36 
antiquity baffles the research of the most persevering explorers, and 
to which both Rome and Greece were indebted for at least the ru- 
diments of those arts and sciences which were brought in thern to 
such perfection. The stupendous remains of Egyptian architecture, 
and the treasures of knowledge that still remain locked up in the far 
famed hieroglyphics, have long engaged the attention of the most ac- 
complished scholars, and every thing relating to them and the land 
in which they exist is in the highest degree interesting to the in- 
quiring mind. 

" All that is known of Egypt is condensed into this history ; and 
the readers of it will find themselves well repaid for theu labour and 
inoney."— New-Haven Advertiser. 



STANDARD WORKS. 7 

HISTORY OF POLAND. By James Fletcher, Esq. 

18mo. With a Portrait of Kosciusko. 

The recent unsuccessful effort of the gallant ard unfortunate 
Poles to break their yoke of bondage ha." fixed the attention and 
awakened the sympathies of every lover of freedom and every friend 
to humanity. The writer of this history iias brought to his under- 
taking much learning, great industry and patience m research, and 
the most unbiased candour. The volume is full of interest ant 
useful information, drawn from an immense variety of sources, many 
of which are not accessible to the mass of readers, particularly in 
America. 

" Of the writer's fairness and research we have a very good 
opinion ; and his book is just the thing that is wanted at the present 
moment." — N. Y. American. 

" No work has for a long period been published here so deserving 
of praise and so replete with interest." — American Traveller. 

FESTIVALS, GAMES, AND AMUSEMENTS, Ancient 
and Modern. By Horatio Smith, Esq. 18mo. With Addi- 
tions. By Samuel Woodworth, Esq., of New- York. With 
Engravings. 

'■': ^Laws, institutions, empires pass away and are forgotten, but the 
diversions of a people, being commonly interwoven with some im- 
mutable element of the general feeling, or perpetuated by circum 
stances of climate and locality, will frequently survive when every 
other national peculiarity has worn itself out and fallen into oblivion." 
This extract shows the spirit in which this captivating volume was 
•designed, and its pretensions to utility. The information imbodied 
in its pages is curious and extensive, and not the least attractive por- 
tion is the account of the amusements, &c. peculiar to different sec 
tions of the United States, added by Mr. Woodworth. 

" The book is highly amusing and interesting." — Penn. Inquirer* 

JFE of SIR ISAAC NEWTON. By David Brewster 
LL'.D. F.R.S. 18mo. With a Fortrait and Woodcuts. 

' This is.the only extended Life of the greatest of English philoso- 
phers ever given to the public. In attempting to supply a vacancy 
IB philosophic and scientific literature, Sir David Brewster, himself 
one of the most profound and eminent savans of the age, has not 
only sought out from resources hitherto unknown and inaccessible 
'toprevious writers every fresh and novel particular of Newton's life, 
but has given the most lucid explanations of his great discoveries, 
and the steps by which they were accomplished; and has been re- 
markably successful in rendering these intelligible to all classes of 
readers. 



8 STANDARD WORK* 

PALESTINE, OR THE HOLY LAND. By the Rer. 
M. Russell, LL.D. 18mo. With a Map and Engravings. 



The early history of that most interesting portion of the globe 
the theatre of those wonderful events from which our religion is de- 
rived — as well as its present state, is described in this volume with 
the greatest accuracy. The places of many of the incidents recorded 
in the Bible are pointed out, and the changes that have occurred in 
the lapse of ages are carefully delineated. The work may be read 
with pleasure and advantage in connexion with the Sacred History 
•which it confirms and illustrates. 

"This work is the most desirable record of Palestine we hn« 
ever seen." — American Traveller. 

14 The whole volume will amply repay perusal." — N. Y. American. 

MEMOIRS OF THE EMPRESS JOSEPHINE. By 

John S. Memks, LL.D. 18mo. With Portraits. 

Amid the turmoils, the vast achievements, the ambitious aspirings, 
and the complicated intrigues which mark the era of Napoleon's 

freatness, it is refreshing to pursue the elegant and gentle course of 
osephine, whose affection for the conqueror and native goodness of 
heart were so often made the instruments of mercy, and whose per- 
suasive voice was ever ready to interpose between his wrath and its 
trembling object. Placid in situations peculiarly trying, Josephine 
preserved her character unsullied, and the story of her life abounds 
with occasions for the respect and admiration of the reader. The 
author has performed his task with great ability, and the public is 
indebted to him for one of the most delightful biographies. 

u This is the only complete biography which has ever appeared 
of that much admired woman." — N. Y. Constellation. 

" This work will be found to possess a beauty of language, a fas- 
cination of style, and a depth of interest which few works of thin 
kind can claim." — Boston 7 'raveller. 

COURT and CAMP of BONAPARTE. 18mo. Wit 
a Portrait of Prince Talleyrand. 

This volume has been carefully prepared as a suitable and indis- 
pensable companion to the Life of Napoleon. It contains the sub- 
stance of the many hundred volumes of Memoirs, Lives, Narratives, 
anecdotes, &c, connected with the career of Napoleon, with which 
the press of France has been so prolific during the last fifteen years. 
It presents rapid but vigorously drawn sketches of the emperor's 
brothers, wives, sisters, ministers, marshals, and generals ; and 
those who wish to gain a competent knowledge of " Napoleon and hit 
times" will find no work in any language which conveys so much 
information in so little space or in a more lively and agreeable 
manner. 

u This work is highly interesting."— U. S. Oatiate. 



STANDARD WORKS. 9 

LIVES AND VOYAGES OF DRAKE, CAVENDISH, 
AND DAMPIER; including the History of the Bucaniers. 
18mo. With Portraits. 

The relation of the voyages, discoveries, and adventures of early 
and celebrated English navigators is, in so far, a lustory of the rise 
of her naval power. In this volume are contained the lives of three 
of the most eminent ; and, from the very nature of the subject, it pre- 
sents much curious and valuable information, gleaned from many 
sources, and in every instance verified by scrupulous examination 
and reference to original documents. Early Spanish Discovery in 
the South Seas, and the first circumnavigation of the globe by Ma- 
gellan, form a subordinate but appropriate branch of the work ; and 
the subject is completed by the History of the Bucaniers — those 
daring rovers whose wild adventures afford so much to charm the 
youthful mind, and form one of the most interesting chapters in the 
annals of maritime enterprise and adventure. 

DESCRIPTION OF PITCAIRN'S ISLAND AND ITS 
INHABITANTS ; with an authentic Account of the Mutiny 
of the Ship Bounty, and of the subsequent Fortunes of the 
Mutineers. By John Barrow, Esq. 18mo. With Engra- 
vings. 

The author of this volume has brought into one connected view 
what had heretofore appeared only in detached fragments, and some 
of these even not generally accessible. The story is replete with in- 
terest. We are taught by the Book of Sacred History that the diso- 
bedience of our first parents entailed upon our globe a sinful and 
suffering race ; in our own time there has sprung up from the most 
abandoned of this depraved family — from pirates, mutineers, and 
murderers — a little society which, under the precepts of that Sacred 
Volume, is characterized by religion, morality, and innocence. The 
discovery of this happy people, as unexpected as it was accidental, 
and every thing relating to their condition and history, partake so 
much of the romantic as to render the story not ill-adapted for an 
epic poem. 

SACRED HISTORY OF THE WORLD; as displayed 
in the Creation and subsequent Events to the Deluge. By 
Sharon Turner, F.S.A. 18mo. 

To exhibit the Divine Mind in connexion with the production and 
preservation, and with the laws and agencies of visible nature, 
and to lead the inquirer to perceive the clear and universal dis- 
tinction which prevails between the material and immaterial sub- 
stances in our world, both in their phenomena and their principles. 
is the main object of this admirable volume. In it religious and 
scientific instruction are skilfully and strikingly blended, and facts 
and principles are so made to illustrate each other that the mind and 
heart are equally improved by its perusal, and the cause of science is, 
as it were, identified with that of religion. The information con 
tained in it chiefly relates to Natural History, and it is extremely 
copious, accurate, and interesting, whOe the reflections are eminent 
for their depth, wisdom, and piety. 



10 STANDARD WORKS. 

MEMOIRS OP CELEBRATED FEMALE SOVE- 
REIGNS. By Mrs. Jameson. In 2 vols. 18rao. 

The intention of this work is to illustrate the influence which a 
female government has had generally on men and nations, and that 
which the possession of power has had individually on the female 
character. The didactic form of history or biography has not always 
been adhered to; incidents and characters are treated rather in a 
moral than in a political or historical point of view ; and public- 
affairs and national events are not dwelt upon, except as connedted 
with the destiny, or emanating from the passions or prejudices of tho 
individual or sovereign. The Lives form an admirable illustration 
of the female character, and the lessons they furnish abound with in 
straction, while the incidents recorded are interesting, not only in 
themselves, but as authentic details of remarkable personages whom 
circumstances or personal qualities have invested with claims to our 
attention. 

AN EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE THE COURSB 
AND TERMINATION OF THE NIGER. By Richaeb 
and John Lander. In 2 vols. 18mo. With Maps and En- 
gravings. 

With encouragement and assistance of a very limited description 
these adventurous young men embarked in an enterprise which in 
every previous instance had terminated fatally ; and all who knew 
the nature of the climate, and the grievous hardships they must en- 
counter, predicted that the only intelligence ever received of them 
would be some obscure rumour of their destruction. The narrative 
■hows how often these predictions were on the point of being verified. 
They were assailed by sickness, imprisoned in filthy huts, sold aa 
alaves, plundered, abused, and nearly sacrificed to the cupidity and 
revenge of the ferocious savages. In spite of all these obstacles, by 
means of patience, perseverance, enthusiasm, and courage, they 
finally triumphed over every difficulty and completely gained the 
object of their mission, thus effecting the most important and appar- 
ently the most hopeless geographical discovery of the age. 

LIVES OF CELEBRATED TRAVELLERS. By 

James A. St. John. In 3 vols. 18mo. 

Every man whose mind can sympathize with human nature under 
all its various aspects, and can detect passions, weaknesses, and vir- 
tues like his own through the endless disguises effected by strange 
religions, policies, manners, or climates, must peruse the relations 
of veracious travellers with satisfaction and advantage. The author 
of these volumes has with great industry and judgment compiled a 
series of highly interesting narratives, containing the most striking 
incidents in the fives and wanderings of all the celebrated travellers 
that have flourished within the last eight centuries, taking them up 
in their regular order of succession, presenting only the attractive 
portions, and omitting all useless and unnecessary details. The 
reader will find in these volumes the substance of many ponderous 
tomes, most of which are rare, and only to be found in the extensive 
European libraries. 



STANDARD W0RK8. 11 

INQUIRIES CONCERNING THE INTELLECTUAL 
POWERS AND THE INVESTIGATION OF TRUTH. 
By John Abercrombie, M.D. 18mo. 

THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE MORAL FEELINGS. 

By the Same. 18mo. 

The study of the phenomena of mind presents a subject of intense 
interest, not only to the moral philosopher, but to every one who has 
in view the cultivation of his own mental powers. In the pursuit 
of this study one of the greatest obstacles arises from the difficulty 
of procuring facts, and this obstacle it is one of the objects of the 
present volumes to assist in removing. In the performance of his 
undertaking the accomplished author exhibits the possession of a 
mind thoroughly versed in the details of the science to which hi* 
attention is directed, and familiar with abstract inquiry. His des- 
criptions of the mental phenomena are singularly lucid, precise, and 
interesting, and his reasonings sound, original, and perspicuous. He 
never seeks to surprise by the ingenuity, or to startle by the novelty 
of his doctrines, but directs all his force against the most prominent 
difficulties of his subject, and never quits his position until they are 
subdued. Above all, he has exhibited philosophy as the handmaid 
of religion, and made it manifest that all the rays of knowledge 
naturally converge towards that one point in which is situated the 
throne of heavenly and eternal truth. 

The most able and influential reviews, both of England and the 
United States, have given the strongest encomiums to this admirable 
work, and it has been extensively adopted in our colleges and 
higher establishments for education. 

• " It will not only feed, but form the public intellect. It cannot be 
disseminated too widely in a nation eager for knowledge, keen in 
inquiry to a proverb, and accustomed to think no matters too high 
for (scrutiny, no authority too venerable for question."— Churchman. 

LIFE OF FREDERICK II., KING OF PRUSSIA. By 

Lord Dover. In 2 vols. 18mo. With a Portrait. 

Frederick II. lived in an age among the most remarkable in the 
annals of the world. He was one of those men who constitute an 
epoch ; who, by their paramount influence upon the events of a par- 
ticular period, impress it, in a degree, with characteristics resulting 
from their own peculiar sentiments, habits, and proceedings; who 
may be considered monuments on the road of ages to designate cer- 
tain divisions of time. But, apart from the character of Frederic, 
the great incidents in the midst of which he lived and moved, and in 
which he was a prominent actor, render this period of European his- 
tory one of the mosr interesting and important ; and it has been ably 
delineated by the modern historian of the Prussian monarch. Lord 
Dover has long been favourably known as the Hon. Mr. Ellis, and 
his Life of Frederick has much enhanced his reputation. It is hon- 
ourable to him, considering the irreligious character of Frederick, 
that he has nowhere rendered vice attractive, and that his pages are 
studiously guarded from the slightest contamination of infidelity. 



12 STANDARD WORKS. 

SKETCHES FROM VENETIAN HISTORY. By the 
Rev. E. Smedlev. In 2 vols. 18mo. With Engravings. 

Few have the knowledge, the time, or the means to explore for 
themselves the treasures bf the Italian chronicles. The author of 
tins work has laid open their stores for the benefit of those to whom 
the language in which they are written renders them a sealed book- 
gleaning from them the most characteristic incidents, amusing sto- 
ries, and anecdotes, while, at the same time, he has sustained all 
the dignity of historical research ; passing lightly over events of 
minor importance, and reserving himself for those momentous and 
interesting transactions which require to be more fully displayed. 
The beauty of the style has been very generally noticed, and has 
gained the applause of the most competent, judges. 

INDIAN BIOGRAPHY; OR AN HISTORICAL AC- 
COUNT OF THE NORTH AMERICAN NATIVE 
ORATORS, WARRIORS, STATESMEN, &c. By B. B. 
Thatcher, Esq. In 2 vols. 18mo. With Engravings. 

The extensive popularity of these Biographies is one of the 
strongest evidences of their merit : within a very few months after 
the publication a large edition was disposed of, and the work was at 
once established as a standard. Until its appearance there was no 
authentic or satisfactory account of the Indians : notices of a few of 
the most distinguished among them in earlier times were to be found 
scattered through the pages of various historical works, but the num- 
ber was very limited, and it might be said that all knowledge of their 
true character, and of the traits for which they were remarkable, was 
locked up in manuscripts or in obsolete publications. The writer 
of these volumes has, with great industry and perseverance, explored 
those almost unknown stores of information, and produced a work 
of the highest character for candour, extent, and accuracy. It has 
been truly said, that until Mr. Thatcher took upon himself the office 
of their historian, full justice had never been done to the characters 
and actions of the aborigines. 

HISTORICAL AND DESCRIPTIVE ACCOUNT OP 
BRITISH INDIA ; from the most remote Period to the 
present Time. By several eminent Authors. In 3 vole. 
18mo. With a Map and Engravings. 

A history of India in a convenient form, and in an easy and fami- 
liar style, has long been considered a desideratum. This work com- 
mences with the early annals of the Hindoos, traces the progress and 
decline of the Mohammedan power, and brings the history of the 
British dominion in India down to the time of the permanent estab- 
lishment of the India Company and the foundation of that stupendous 
empire. It is divided into departments comprising the history, litera- 
ture, arts, and manners of the Hindoos, and a description of the 
country, its climate, soil, diseases, productions, and natural features: 
these departments have been committed to distinct writers of end 
nence, and fully qualified to treat of them with distinguished ability, 
and the result has been the production of a body of accurate and 
complete information, such as is not to be found collected in an J 
other work in the English, or, indeed, in any language. 



8TAMBARD WORKS. 18 

LETTERS ON NATURAL MAGIC. By Sir David 
Brewster, LLD., F.R.S. 18mo. With numerous Engra- 
vings. 

The author of this volume passes under review the principal phe- 
aomena of nature, and the leading contrivances of art which bear the 
impress of a supernatural character, and more especially those sin- 
gular illusions of sense in which the most perfect organs fail to per- 
form their functions, or perform them unfaithfully. These arc themes 
full of interest, and worthy of the labour bestowed upon them by the 
philosophic writer. 

The eye and ear are, of course, the chief organs of deception, and, 
accordingly, optical illusions occupy a considerable, portion of the 
volume. Those depending on the ear succeed, and, after these have 
been described and explained, we are entertained with amusing 
accounts of feats of strength, of mechanical automata, and of some 
of the more popular wonders of chymistry. Under each of these di- 
visions anecdotes of the most interesting kind illustrate the author's 
explanations, and no subject in itself grave and important was ever 
treated m a more captivating manner. 

HISTORY OF IRELAND. By W. C. Taylor, Esq. 

With Additions. By William Sampson, Esq. In 2 vols. 
18mo. With Plates. 

Before its republication, this work was submitted for examination 
to several gentlemen resident in New-York, natives, or the descend- 
ants of natives, of the country whose history it contains, and distin- 
guished for their attachment to the unhappy land to which they 
trace their origin, and for their talents and acquirements. Their 
opinion was unanimous, and highly favourable, and each of them ex- 
pressed in strong terms the pleasure it would afford him to see 
republished in the United States a work so fair, so copious, 
and so accurate. The public at large has confirmed their sentence, 
and stamped this history with the seal of approbation. The value 
of the history as originally published has been greatly enhanced by 
the additions of William Sampson, Esq., whose reputation is too well 
known in the country of his adoption to require eulogy. 

HISTORICAL VIEW OF THE PROGRESS OF DIS- 
COVERY ON THE MORE NORTHERN COASTS OF 
NORTH AMERICA. By P. F. Tytler, Esq., and Pro£ 
Wilson. 18mo. With a Map and Engravings. 

Among the most remarkable occurrences of the nineteenth century 
are the various expeditions of discovery to the northern coasts of the 
western continent, so important, although not perfectly satisfactory 
in their results. \ri no other portion of the earth's surface has the 
navigator to contend with such formidable difficulties, and in none 
does h c . behold so peculiar an aspect of nature : it follows, therefore, 
of course, that expeditions to no other part of the world furnish to 
the historian such ample and interesting materials. The present 
volume exhibits a full and accurate view of all that is important in 



14 STANDARD WORKS. 

TRAVELS AND RESEARCHES OF BARON HUM 

BOLDT. By W. Macgillivray. 18mo. Engraving 

The celebrity enjoyed by Baron Humboldt, earned by a life oi 
laborious investigation and perilous enterprise, and by the most ex 
tensive contributions to science, renders his name familiar to every 
person whose attention has been drawn to statistics or natural philo- 
sophy ; and his works are ranked among the very first for the splen- 
did pictures of scenery which they contain, the diversified informa- 
tion which they afford respecting objects of universal interest, and 
the graceful attractions with which he has invested the majesty of 
science. The present volume contains an abridged account of all 
the travels and researches of this eminent observer of nature, in 
which nothing is omitted that can be either interesting or useful to 
the general reader, while the several narratives are sufficiently con- 
densed to br-ing them withm the compass of a convenient volume. 

LETTERS of EULER on NATURAL PHILOSOPHY ; 
WITH NOTES AND A LIFE OF EULER. By Sir 
David Brewster, LL.D., F.R.S. With additional Notes. 
By J. Griscom, LL.D. In 2 vols. 18mo. With Engravings. 

Of all the treatises on Natural Philosophy that have been pub- 
lished in the various languages of Europe there is none that has en- 
joyed a more extensive and permanent celebrity than that of the 
famous mathematician and philosopher Leonard Euler, contained in 
his letters to the Princess of Anhalt. They have been translated 
into several tongues, and edition after edition has been published in 
Europe with still increasing reputation. The most eminent savans 
of England and France have repeatedly borne testimony to their ex- 
cellence, not only by the strongest expressions of approbation, but by 
assuming the task of editing the work : the latest who has bestowed 
this mark of commendation was Sir David Brewster, from whose 
edition this now published was printed. The notes added by him 
»e copious and valuable; and the publishers of the American 
edition, stiil more to enhance the merit of the work, have secured 
the assistance of Professor Griscom, whose notes will be found 
numerous and of great utility. 

A POPULAR GUIDE TO THE OBSERVATION OF 

NATURE. By Robert Mudie. With Engravings. 18mo. 

The author is an ardent lover of nature, and a close observer of the 
works of the Creator, and his aim has been to awaken in his readers 8 
spirit, kindred to his own, and to point out to the student the trva 
path of inquiry ; that which alone can lead to the just perception and 
full enjoyment of the innumerable charms that lie scattered sf? 
lavishly around us in every form of animate and inanimate existence 
In the accomplishment of his undertaking he has produced a work 
not more remarkable for its originality and for tbo extent and accu- 
racy of the information it conveys, than for the novelty of its views, 
the infinite variety and wisdom of its reflections, and the singula! 
interest with which it fills the mind of the delighted reader. To 
the tyro this guide is of incalculable value, and even to the accom- 
plished scholar, it recommends itself hy the new and striking features 
with which it invests the exhaustless subject of which it treats. 



VALUABLE WORKS 

Published by J. & J. HARPER, 82 Cliff-strbet, 

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THE HISTORY OF MODERN EUROPE, from the 

Rise of the Modern Kingdoms to the present Period. By William RtTSSSLb, 
LL.D., and William Jones, Esq With Annotations, by an American. In 
3 vols. 8vo. 

THE HISTORICAL WORKS OF THE REV. WIL- 
LIAM ROBERTSON, D.D.; comprising his HISTORY OF AMERICA; 
CH \Rl.GS V ; SCOTLAND, and INDIA. In 3 vols. 8vo. With Plates. 

GIBBON'S HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND 

FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE. In 4 vols. 8vo. With Maps and Pliles 

ENGLISH SYNONYMES, with copious Illustrations 

and Explanations, drawn from the best Wrile;s. By GiiOtiGK Ckabbk, M.A. 
8vo. 

LIFE OF LORD BYRON. By Thomas Moore, Esq. 
In 2 vols. Svn. With a Portrait. 

THE BOOK OF NATURE; being a popular Illus- 

tration of the general Laws and Phenomena of Creation, &c. By John 
Mas..n Goon, M.I), and F.R S. 8vo. With his Life. 

HOOPER'S MEDICAL DICTIONARY. From the 

last London Edition. With Additions, by Samuel Akkrly, M.D. 8vo. 

COOPER'S SURGICAL DICTIONARY. In 2 vols. 

New and improved Edition. 8vo. 

GOOD'S (Dr. John Mason) STUDY OF MEDICINE. 

In 5 vols. 8vo. A new Edition. With Additions, by Samuel Coopkr. 

DOMESTIC DUTIES; or Instructions to Married 

Ladies. By Mrs. Pamcks. 12mo. 

WORKS OF THE REV. ROBERT HALL, with 

Memoirs of his Life, by Guegokv and Fustier. Complete edition. In 3 
vols. 8vo. Portrait. 

A MEMOIR OF THE LIFE OF WILLIAM LIV- 
INGSTON, LL.D. Member of Congress in 1774, 1775. and 1776; Delegate to 
the Federal Convention in 1787; and Governor of the Slate of New-Jersey 
from 1776 to 1799. By Tiikuddkic Skdgwick, Jr. 8vo. Portrait. 

THE LIFE OF JOHN JAY, with Selections from his 

Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers. By his son Wm. Jay. In 2 vols. 
8vo. Portrait. 

THE PERCY ANECDOTES. Revised edition. To 

which is added, a Valuable Collection of American Anecdotes, original snd 
selected. Poi traits. 8vo. 

POLYNESIAN RESEARCHES, during a Residence 

of Eight Years in the Society and Sandwich Islands. By Wili iam Elli& 
In 4 vols. 12mo. Plates. 

THE COMPLETE WORKS OF MARIA EDGE- 
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KEITH ON THE EVIDENCE OF PROPHECY. 

S(t v 1 1 last London Edition. 12nu>. 



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THE INVALID'S ORACLE ; OR, ART OF INVIGO- 
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THE COOK'S ORACLE, AND HOUSEKEEPER'S 

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AN ELEMENTARY TREATISE ON MECHAN- 
ICS. Translated from the French of M. Boucharlat. With Additions and 
Emendations by Edward H. Courtenay. 8vo. Numerous Plates. 

LIFE OF WICLIF. By C. W. Le Bas, A.M. 18mo. 
THE CONSISTENCY OF REVELATION with 

itself and with Human Reason. By P. N. Shuttle worth. 18mo. 

LUTHER AND THE LUTHERAN REFORMA- 
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HISTORY OF THE REFORMED RELIGION IN 

FRANCE. By Rev. Edward Smedlev. In 2 vols. 18mo. Portraits. 

THE COMFORTER ; or, Consolation for the Afflicted. 

By a Village Pastor. 12mo. 

LETTERS TO THE YOUNG. By Maria Jane 

Jbwsbury. Prom the third Edition revised and enlarged. 18mo. 

BROWN'S DICTIONARY OF THE HOLY BIBLE. 

8vo. [Only complete Edition published in this country.] 

BROWN'S (J.) BIBLE CONCORDANCE. 32mo. 
GIBSON'S SURVEYING. Improved and enlarged. 

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Military Academy at West Point. 8vo. 

DESCRIPTIVE GEOMETRY AND SPHERICAL 

PROJECTIONS. By Charles Davies. 8vo. 

TREATISE ON SHADOWS AND PERSPECTIVE. 

By Charles Davies. Svo. 

FOUR VOYAGES IN THE CHINESE SEA, AT- 
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8to. With Portrait. 

NARRATIVE OF A VOYAGE TO THE ETHIOPIC 

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CHRONICLES OF THE CANONGATE. By Scott. 

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DREAMS AND REVERIES OF A QUIET MAN. 

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CONTARINI FLEMING. A Psycological Auto- 

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LIFE OF OLIVER CROMWELL. By Rev. M. Rus- 

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YOUTH AND MANHOOD OF CYRIL THORNTON. 
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Life of fJovernor John Jay, 2 v. 8vo 
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Duchess D'Abranies Svo. 

Poems of Brooks and Willis, 8vo. 
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Letters from the Aegean 8vo. 

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THE LIFE OF WICLIF. 

BY CHARLES WEBB LE BAS, M.A. 
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THE CONSISTENCY OF THE WHOLE SCHEME OF REVELA- 
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LUTHER AND THE LUTHERAN REFORMATION. 

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BY CHARLES W. LE BAS, M.A., 

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HISTORY OF THE REFORMED RELIGION IN FRANCS 
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2kI