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Full text of "Texas and the Gulf of Mexico ; or, Yachting in the New World, volume 1"

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TEXAS 



THE GULF OF MEXICO; 



YACHTING IN THE NEW WORLD : 



MRS. HOUSTOUN. 



WITH PORTRAITS AND ILLUSTRATIONS, 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 



VOL. I. 



LONDON 

JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, 

1844. 



PRINTED BY W. NICOL, 60, PALL MALL. 



DEDICATION. 



To those kind friends and acquaintances on 
the other side of the Atlantic, who so cor- 
dially welcomed the " Dolphin" to their 
shores, I venture to dedicate these vo- 
lumes. It is a satisfaction to me to think, 
that my pages may recall to their minds the 
many pleasant hours that I passed among 
them ; while it will at least prove that 1 
have not forgotten in the Old World, the 
many instances of kindness and hospitality 
which I experienced in the New. 

M. C. H. 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 



http://www.archive.org/details/texasgulfofmexic01hous 



CONTENTS OF VOL. I. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE 

Departure from BlackwalL The schooner yacht 
" Dolphin." Bay of Biscay. " Strong breezes 
and squally." Nancy, the black woman. . . 1 

CHAPTER II. 

First view of Madeira. Funchal. Inhabitants. 
Vegetation. Vintage. The Conral. Sugar- 
cane. Invalids. Climate. A Madeira goat. 
Bad conduct of three of the crew 16 

CHAPTER III. 

Departure for the West Indies. Peak of Teneriffe. 
Dead calm. Employment of the crew. Sunday. 
Barbadoes. Trade- winds. Dearness of provi- 
visions, &c. Frogs and grashoppers. Bridge- 
town . ci Miss Betsey Austin. " 37 



VI 



CHAPTER IV. 

PAGE 

Storm at sea. Lightning. Flying-fish. Iron light- 
house. Jamaica. Port Royal Harbour. Earth- 
quake of 1692. Pirates. Commodore Byng's 
house. Wallace, the Newfoundland dog. Mus- 
quitoes. Coloured and white population. Span- 
ish town. The Queen's house. Kingston. 
Unwholesome climate. Vultures. Superstition. 
" The Doctor. " Sally Adams. Departure. . 65 

CHAPTER V. 

Cape Corrientes. Squally. The Mississippi. Be- 
lize. Cat-fish. An odd character. Rifle shoot- 
ing. River Scenery. Thick fog 113 

CHAPTER VI. 

New Orleans. The harbour. Texan Commodore. 
The Hotel of St. Charles. Busy scene on the 
strand. American manners and customs. Eligi- 
ble situation of New Orleans. Population of the 
state of Louisiana. Yellow fever. National edu- 
cation, Departure from New Orleans. . . . 137 

CHAPTER VII. 

Sail for the Gulf of Texas. Galveston. Difficulty 
of crossing the bar at the mouth of the harbour. 



Vll 

PAGE 

Captain Elliott. Texas, its position, resources, 
and extent, .182 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Political position of Texas during the first years of 
her colonization. Events which were the more 
immediate cause of her declaration of indepen- 
dence .... 202 

CHAPTER IX. 

Progress of the struggle for Texan Independence. 
Declaration of the people of Texas in general con- 
vention assembled. Cruelty of General Santa 
Anna. Battle of San Jacinto. Total rout of the 
Mexican army 227 

CHAPTER X. 

Santa Anna brought prisoner to General Houston. 
Termination of the struggle, and recognition of 
the Republic. Constitution of Texas. . . . 243 

CHAPTER XL 

The island of Galveston. Curious mode of build- 
ing houses. Six-roomed house built in a week. 
Go-a-head career of the Texans 255 



Vlll 



CHAPTER XII. 

PAGE 

The public press. Courtesy of the Texans. Dry 
stores. Important position in society of the pig, 
The turn-out house. Chewing and spitting. Cli- 
mate. Comic scene in crossing a Bayon. French 
Emigrants. Idiot girl 264 

CHAPTER XIII. 

Sporting in Texas. Provisions. Bogs. Deer« 
shooting. The Mustany, or wild horse. Fish. 
Galveston fort. Improvidence and idleness of 
the Texans. Return to New Orleans. . . .291 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



City of Galveston .... to face the title-page. 

Funchal, Madeira P a g e 18 

Nancy, the Black Woman 108 

Dolphin Yacht in the Mississippi 122 

Portrait of General Santa Anna 244 



CHAPTER I. 



DEPARTURE FROM BLACKWALL. THE SCHOONER YACHT 
"DOLPHIN." BAY OF BISCAY, "STRONG BREEZES 
AND SQUALLY." NANCY, THE BLACK WOMAN. 



Vieil ocean, dans tes rivages 
Flotte comme un ciel ecumant, 
Plus orageux que les nuages, 
Plus lumineux qu'un firmament ! 
Pendant que les empires naissent, 
Grandissent, tombent, disparaissent 
Avec leurs generations, 
Dresse tes bouillonnantes cretes, 
Bats ta rive ! et dis aux tempetes ; 
Ou sont les nids des nations ? 

De Lamartine. 

Who has not seen and admired the remark- 
able and interesting coup d'ceil from the 
windows of the Trafalgar Hotel at Black- 
wall? It was on a bright afternoon early 
in September that I was seated in one of 

B 



its cheerful rooms looking out on the 
broad river, and the busy steamers pass- 
ing to and fro. It was my last evening 
before leaving England. We were about, 
if I may so express it, to take up our 
abode for the next twelve months on the 
bosom of the Ocean ; our intention be- 
ing to cross the Atlantic, and to visit a 
large part of the American Continent. 

I always feel, before setting out on a 
long land journey, something approaching 
to depression of spirits ; but on this occa- 
sion the. entire novelty of the expedition 
prevented the attack, and my pleasurable 
anticipations were almost unalloyed. It 
was a voyage undertaken principally in 
search of health for me, and I was bound 
to be pleased with the arrangements made 
for my comfort. The sun had nearly set 
when I walked to the West India Dock, in 



which the Dolphin was lying ; I could 
scarcely make her out in the dusky twilight, 
and this was my first introduction to my 
future home. 

The Yacht had been often described to 
me, and yet I was surprised at the size of 
her cabins, and the extreme comfort of her 
internal arrangements. 

I was met by the Master and the Doctor, 
and on going below found a most enjoyable 
state cabin, quantities of books, and in short 
every enjoyment which a reasonable woman 
could require. My own cabin was large, with 
two sofas, the bed being a swinging cot, 
which was taken down in the daytime. My 
first night on board was spent in the docks, 
as we intended to leave them at daybreak. 
No ships I believe ever sail, when they 
ought to do so, or rather at the time ori- 
ginally fixed for their departure ; and to 



this rale, ours was no exception. The 
middle of August was the time when we 
had intended to have taken our leave of 
England ; but so many alterations, and im- 
provements had been required for the ves- 
sel, that the 13th of September had arrived 
before we were in readiness to leave Black- 
wall. 

The schooner yacht Dolphin is two hun- 
dred and nineteen tons burthen,, drawing 
twelve feet water, and measuring one hun- 
dred feet in length : she carries six guns, 
and her crew consisted of eleven men, one 
boy, a carpenter, cook, and cooks' mate ; the 
other persons on board were the master 
and surgeon, the mate, steward, and stew- 
ard's mate, and my own maid. We had 
also with us a negress, a native of St. Tho- 
mas in the West Indies, who had been stew- 
ardess in one of the West India steamers, 



and who was to attend on me till my own 
maid became accustomed to the sea. We 
were in all four and twenty souls on board, 
and w r ere bound for Madeira as our first 
resting place. 

It was on the morning of the 13th of 
September 1843, that, after being hooked 
on to a steamer, we were tugged rapidly 
down the river. The weather was fine, 
as it generally is in the beginning of this 
most pleasant of months in the English 
climate ; the morning air was clear, bright, 
and bracing, and ere we reached Gravesend 
a fresh breeze sprung up from the west- 
ward, which was just what we wanted. 
Immediately all sail was made, and having 
dismissed our little steamer, the Dolphin 
was soon scudding along, at the rate of 
ten knots an hour. Before dark we were 
off Dover, and had put our pilot into his 



boat. We were becalmed a whole day off 
the Isle of Wight : this was tedious enough 
certainly, but still it was pleasant to look, 
a little longer, on the land we were leaving 
for so long a period, and I could not help 
thinking, as I gazed on the lovely Island, 
how doubtful it was, if, in my wanderings 
to the far West, I should see anything to 
compare with it. But with all my ro- 
mantic admiration for the shores of Eng- 
land, I confess I was not sorry when to- 
wards evening a breeze sprung up, taking 
advantage" of which we crowded sail, 
and soon lost sight of the coast. Our 
departure having been so long delayed was 
the cause of considerable inconvenience to 
us, for on the 21st the moon changed; 
and, as we had been led to expect, there 
arose a gale of wind that certainly surprised 
me. 



I did not consider myself quite a fresh- 
water sailor. I had frequently undertaken 
short voyages before, had yachted in the 
Mediterranean, and in the Channel^ and 
steamed in various directions near home, 
but the Bay of Biscay was new to me, and 
nothing that I had ever before encountered 
had at all prepared me for what we were 
to undergo. It was a short pitching sea, 
with a head wind, called in the log book, 
" strong breezes and squally," but which 
I thought at the time were tremendous 
gales. Sails w r ere reefed constantly, while 
occasionally a barque or schooner scudded 
past us, too much engaged in attending to 
her own safety to take any notice of us. 
I was at first surprised at the calmness 
and composure of the ship's crew, enter- 
taining as I did a private opinion of my 
own that we were in imminent peril. I 



8 



kept my fears to myself, however, and 
learnt to know better in time. 

How ill, and miserable, many of our 
party looked when the wind first began 
to freshen ! Till now, the sea had been calm 
as a summer lake, but we had at last to 
bid adieu to all the pleasurable sensations 
of fine weather sailing. The very dogs 
looked wretched, and instead of gambolling 
about, and enjoying in common with our- 
selves the novelty of the scene, they flung 
themselves heavily down, against the side, 
and when disturbed again by the violent 
motion of the ship, rolled uneasily and 
restlessly along the deck in search of some 
safer berth. The poor doctor was I think 
the greatest sufferer ; it was really melan- 
choly to see him, doubled up under the 
bulwarks, and obliged as he said, if he at- 
tempted to move, to stick to every thing 



that came in his way, like a leech. He 
bore his troubles with exemplary patience, 
as indeed we all did, and like everything 
else, they came to an end at last. I was 
happy enough not to suffer myself, but 
my maid was a wretched prey to the dis- 
tressing malady of sea sickness. I believe 
there never yet existed a lady's maid who 
was not ; though I have never yet been 
able, either from physical or natural causes, 
to decide satisfactorily why it should be 
so.* 

Sept. 22nd. Fresh gales, and squally, 
with rain, two reefs in topsail, mainsail 
triced up, and very heavy swell. A fearful 
night succeeded to this stormy day. A 

* Here I must take the opportunity of remarking for 
the benefit of the world in general, and bad sailors in 
particular, that the most popular dish at this time was 
currie, it seemed to answer the purposes both of food 
and medicine. 

B II. 



10 



night not to be forgotten ; at least by me, 
for in the course of it, an event occurred, 
which stamped its horrors on my imagina- 
tion. 

The wind being adverse, we were con- 
stantly obliged to " wear ship/' and when 
this operation was going forward, great 
care was required, and every precaution 
taken to prevent such articles of furniture, 
&c. from getting adrift as were not lashed 
to the deck, or otherwise rendered im- 
movable. When we were not prepared 
for the natural consequences of tacking, 
the tremendous lurches of the vessel set 
everything, to say nothing of ourselves, 
rolling about in mad confusion. 

Towards the morning of the 23rd, when 
the uproar was at its height, sails changing, 
men rushing along the deck, the wind veer- 
ing about in all directions, and the conse- 



11 



quent evolutions in full operation, my maid 
staggered into my cabin, pale as a ghost, 
and wringing her hands, " Oh ma'am, the 
captain says, we are going to turn over ! " 
This was really an awful piece of informa- 
tion, conveyed too so suddenly : it tallied, 
moreover, with my own silent fears, and I 
confess that, at first, I fully shared in the 
panic. 

A minute's reflection, and the still more 
consoling fact that we continued to remain 
afloat, shewed me the absurdity of fear. 
After all, the whole affair proceeded from 
an attention on the part of the master, 
who before giving the order to " bout ship," 
had sent to apprize me of his intention, 
that I might not be taken by surprise. 
The message had, however, gone from mate 
to boatswain, boatswain to steward, &c, 
till, like all things conveyed through many 



12 



hands, it became distorted, and by the time 
it reached my ears, had arrived at the ap- 
palling announcement that we were going 
to the bottom. 

One good result we perceived from the 
gale, disagreeable, and frightful enough as 
it was. It cured every one on board of sea- 
sickness. I accounted for this by suppos- 
ing it the effect of the counter irritation 
system : and that the overpowering evil 
of mental anxiety, removed the lesser one 
of corporeal uneasiness. 

Some little time before Madeira appeared 
in sight, the weather moderated, and we all 
began to cheer up ; the dogs shook them- 
selves and lay down in the sun to dry ; the 
idlers put on a thin seminautical costume, 
and Nancy, the black woman, who had 
been, however, anything but useful during 
the gales, came upon deck to warm herself. 



13 



In fine weather, she was to be seen stand- 
ing on the steps of the companion ladder, 
listening to the rough jokes of the sailors, 
with her shining black face just above the 
hatchway. She was evidently a favourite 
with the men, and I was often amused to 
see her standing there, showing every white 
tooth in her head, as she grinned a repar- 
tee to her merry tormentors. Nancy was 
a wit in her way, and, though not in her 
first youth, was certainly something of a 
coquette, and decidedly vain of her remain- 
ing attractions. I can see her now sitting 
on her stockingless heels in the forepart of 
the vessel, with her red cotton handkerchief 
tied over her head, chattering faster than 
any magpie. This was Nancy when the 
sea was calm ; when the wind blew, the 
case was widely different, and though born 
and bred a slave, she thought she had as 



14 



good a right to indulge in sickness and 
idleness, as her neighbours. 

The air had daily felt warmer as we pro- 
ceeded southward, and the power of the 
sun by the time we saw Madeira, was al- 
most too great to be pleasant. I felt glad 
to be spared the chilling changes of an Eng- 
lish winter. The great merit of the cli- 
mate of the Madeiras, consists, I believe, in 
its freedom from these great sources of 
suffering and illness to delicate and pulmo- 
nary constitutions. It is said that while the 
winter is twenty degrees warmer than in 
London, the summer is only seven warmer. 
Thus the extremes of heat and cold are 
not nearly so violent, as in England. The 
latitude of Lisbon appeared also charming, 
and were it not for the dirt, and other 
small inconveniences, I suppose that Lisbon 
would be quite as desirable a residence 



15 



for consumptive patients as Madeira ; it has 
certainly the advantage of being nearer 
home. 

As we neared the land, I felt that one 
of the worst stages of our voyage was over. 
The Bay of Biscay once passed in safety, 
the wide Atlantic has but few terrors, and 
I am sufficiently of a sailor to be aware 
of the great advantages of having plenty of 
sea room, and no land near, 



CHAPTER II. 



FIRST VIEW OF MADEIRA. FUNCHAL. INHABITANTS, 
VEGETATION. VINTAGE. THE CONRAL. SUGAR-CANE, 
INVALIDS. CLIMATE. A MADEIRA GOAT. BAD CON- 
DUCT OF THREE OF THE CREW. 



A ship in sight ! She bears a dismal freight, 
No gay young hearts, with pleasant hopes elate, 

# * * * * 

Here living ghosts gaze up with languid eye, 
And in the fervid sunshine pine and die. 

Old Poem. 

I was much struck by the first view of 
Madeira : it rises up high, black and steep 
from the sea, and looks at a distance like a 
huge ruined wall. As you approach nearer, 
however, you perceive white spots of houses 
on the hill sides, churches, temples, and 
abrupt ridges of mountains, on which seem 
literally suspended the most lovely gardens. 



17 

All this, mingled with the green foliage and 
the almost tropical vegetation, is lovely in 
the extreme. 

Sept. 26. We brought up in Funchal Roads, 
in twenty-two fathom water. The weather 
was extremely hot, at least it appeared so to 
us, though this was the cool season at Ma- 
deira. I need say nothing of the cordial 
kindness, and unlimited hospitality of the 
merchants at Funchal; the fact of their 
liberality and good feeling to strangers is 
too well known to need a comment, and 
our reception furnished but an extra ex- 
ample of its truth. 

A nearer view of Funchal is very amusing 
to a stranger. The shores are crowded with 
boats, and with wild-looking Portuguese 
gesticulating and quarrelling. The shape 
of the boats is remarkable, their sterns are 
so high and pointed. The rowers perform 



18 



their office in an erect posture, and with 
their faces turned towards the fore part of 
their craft. Children of very tender years, 
bronzed by the sun into a deep copper co- 
lour, are swimming about in all directions, 
and quite in deep water. The surface of 
the sea is studded by little black shining 
heads. In short, the inhabitants generally 
appear to me to partake of an amphibious 
nature. 

The houses of Funchal are mostly of a 
dazzling white, which has a very unplea- 
sant effect on the eyes. The roofs are ge- 
nerally flat, but you likewise see many 
turrets and steeples. There is an English 
Episcopal Church, and an excellent resi- 
dent minister. The English Library and 
Reading Club are excellent ; there is, too, a 
public ball-room, which is well attended ; 
and in the reading-club I have before men- 



19 



tioned the amusements of cards and billiards 
may also be enjoyed. 

I have often been surprised at the fond- 
ness for dancing which prevails in hot cli- 
mates ; the inhabitants seem to enjoy this 
exercise the more, the higher the thermo- 
meter ranges. I was told, that in Funchal, 
during the hottest months, balls were car- 
ried on with unabated spirit till a late hour 
in the morning, and that country dances 
and Scotch reels were executed, with a 
spirit of enterprise and perseverance un- 
known in our Northern latitudes. 

It is indeed a most beautiful, clear, and 
enlivening climate ; nevertheless, I was cer- 
tainly astonished at the degree of vigour, 
which the inhabitants seemed to retain. 
We went on shore in a Portuguese boat, 
and I had an opportunity of comparing, 
which I always do with peculiar satisfac- 



20 



tion, the superior cleanliness, promptitude, 
skill, and composure of an English sailor 
over his class in every other country. A 
Portuguese man-of-war lay along side the 
Dolphin, and the comparison certainly was 
not in favour of the former. Such hal- 
looing and such confusion I never heard, 
as came wafted to us from our neighbours. 
The officers possessed, I am sure, but little 
of the salutary authority necessary to keep 
sailors to their duty. 

We were most kindly received by Mr. 
Temple, who is a resident at Funchal, and 
gladly remained a week in his comfortable 
house. We spent our time very pleasantly 
in wandering about the Island, which, even 
at this advanced period of the year, pre- 
sents much both of vegetation and scenery, 
well worthy of notice. The flowers are 
beautiful; such a profusion of geraniums, 



21 



fuchsias, and heliotropes, with the glo« 
rious belladonna lily and bright oleander ! 
It is a perfect wilderness of sweets and bril- 
liant colours. The human part of the 
scenery is by no means in keeping with all 
this, for a more dirty, disorderly, uncivi- 
lized population it would be difficult to 
imagine. Police there is none, and the 
noises and confusion in the streets, espe- 
cially at night, are most disagreeable ; they 
effectually chase sleep, at least from the 
eyes of a new comer. Mr. Temple's house 
is situated close to the guard-house, and as 
the sentries are by far the most noisy 
people in the place, the neighbourhood is 
not agreeable. One of their favourite 
amusements at night was imitating the 
noises and cries of different animals. They 
alternately crow like cocks, roar like bulls, 
and gobble like fifty turkeys. Their imita- 



22 



tions, I must say, were correct, but the ef- 
fect was anything but pleasing. There ap- 
pears to be but little religious feeling among 
them; indeed their priests seemed to be 
almost objects of contempt, and their 
places of worship to be nearly neglected. 

The squalid poverty you every-where 
meet with is pitiable and revolting ; the 
children run about almost in a state of nu- 
dity, and are the ugliest little set of 
wretches, excepting, perhaps, the diminu- 
tive old women, I ever saw. The Portu- 
guese inhabitants generally require but a 
small quantity of food, and that consists 
principally of fruits and Indian corn. They 
are, though most frequently short in sta- 
ture, a very strong and hardy race, and 
their powers of enduring fatigue are great. 
Of the truth of this I had ample proof in 
my palanquin bearers, who under a broiling 



23 



sun, carried me at a sort of ambling pace 
to the tops of the highest hills, without ap- 
pearing in the slightest degree exhausted. 
It is true that on arriving at the summits, 
they generally begged for a cup of wine at 
the houses of call, which are conveniently 
placed there. It is, however, to strangers 
only that they are in the habit of making 
the application. 

The vineyards are very pretty ; the vines 
are trained over wooden pillars, supporting 
a lattice-work of bamboo. The grapes are 
dried in the shade, which is said to give 
them a peculiar richness of flavour. The 
vine was first introduced in Madeira in the 
year 1420, and was brought from the 
Island of Crete. 

The vintage is just over, and numbers of 
peasants are busily employed in bringing 
down the newly made wine from the vine- 



24 

yards in the hills. Some of the men have 
immense pigskins, filled with the red fluid, 
slung over their shoulders, while others are 
driving the pretty cream-coloured oxen 
into the town, laden in a similar manner. 
The effect of the pigskins is quite horrid ; 
they are filled to their utmost extent, even 
to the legs ; the mouth and nose being tied 
up ; this appearance of being a real animal 
is rendered still more unpleasant by the 
blood-red stains on the hide of the crea- 
ture. The drivers of the waggons, which 
are of a most simple and primitive form, 
are shrieking and bellowing all the while, 
by way of encouraging their beasts, and 
that with voices unequalled in the world, I 
should imagine, for shrillness and power. 

The grapes from which the largest quan- 
tity of wine is made are small and ex- 
tremely sweet; we have taken a large 



25 

quantity of them on board, besides ba- 
nanas, and various sorts of common fruits. 
The grapes from which the Malmsey wine 
is made grow upon rocks, over which they 
are trained — they are not gathered till 
over ripe. 

Among the many fine views which a 
stranger at Madeira should not fail to visit, 
that of the Conral stands preeminent. The 
road to this beautiful spot is steep, and 
stony. It is a valley completely enclosed by 
high abrupt hills, none of which are less than 
a thousand feet in height. The road lies 
alarmingly near the edge of the precipice s 
and is moreover extremely narrow. The 
horses are, however, so active and well 
trained, that no positive danger exists. A 
Portuguese runner generally accompanies 
your horse, encouraging him both by 
threats and caresses to proceed, and often 
c 



26 



not a little impeding his progress by 
hanging on at his tail. The horses are 
well shaped, though small, and particularly 
adapted to the nature of the country, and 
the roads. 

The Mount Church, built on extremely 
high ground, a short distance from Fun- 
chal, cannot be passed unnoticed ; the view 
of the town and roadstead from it is most 
beautiful and curious. There is a large 
convent, at which artificial flowers and 
other sorts of ornamental work can be pro- 
cured, besides delicious liqueurs, which the 
nuns manufacture in great variety. 

The most beautiful flowers and shrubs 
are found on the summits of the hills, and 
the whole appearance of the country is rich 
and luxuriant, far beyond my powers of 
description. The interior of the houses are 
as enjoyable as the gardens are beautiful; 



27 



the rooms are large, high, and airy, and 
the floors during the hot season are spread 
with a fine matting ; very little furniture is 
admitted, and the breeze is allowed to cir- 
culate freely through the houses. 

The dress of the gentlemen is as glaring 
as the colour of the houses, being white 
from head to foot; — jacket of white linen, 
sailcloth boots, and trowsers of the same. 
A large palmetto hat completes the cos- 
tume, which if not becoming, is well suited 
to the climate. 

I enjoyed my palanquin extremely. The 
motion is very easy, and sufficiently rapid, 
considering the great inequalities of the 
ground; I do not think that a horse could 
get over the ground quicker. It was some 
time before I hardened my heart to the 
supposed sufferings of the bearers, which 
after all were entirely imaginary. Eng- 



28 

lishmen would, I am sure, sink very soon 
under the exertion, besides the natural ob- 
jection entertained by our countrymen to 
being used as beasts of burthen. 

The sugar-cane grows in considerable 
quantities, and it was formerly the staple 
commodity of the Island, but, not proving 
very productive as an article of commerce, 
its culture was abandoned for that of the 
vine. Coffee, likewise, though of a most 
superior kind, is grown but in small quanti- 
ties. The coffee-trees are very handsome, 
and grow to a larger size than even in the 
West Indies or Cuba. 

Vines are found growing at a very great 
heighth, some say nearly three thousand feet 
above the level of the sea; but, though even 
in these elevated situations they bear fruit, 
no wine can be made from it. The chest- 
nuts are excellent, and in great profusion. 



29 



There are a good many rabbits and wild 
hogs on the island, but goats and oxen are 
the most common, as well as the most 
useful animals of which it can boast. Here, 
for the first time, I tasted that most indis- 
pensable article of (negro) food, the sweet 
potatoe. I cannot say that I approved of 
it as an adjunct to meat, but roasted like a 
chestnut, and eaten hot, it is very tolerable. 
I confess that in spite of its bright sun 
and flowery hills, Madeira has left a me- 
lancholy impression on my mind. I met so 
many wasted invalids, pale hectic girls, and 
young men, struggling vainly against decay. 
Oh ! that sad feat of the physician who can 
do no more, and " despairing of his fee to- 
morrow," sends his patient away to breathe 
his last in a foreign land ! Poor wanderers ! 
I saw their last resting place. " After life's 
fitful fever they sleep well," — as well as 



30 



though they reposed under a grassy mound 
at home. And yet — I would wish to have 
those whom I had loved when living near 
to me in death. It is a fancy, and the wise 
would doubtless call it a weak one, but 
who can reason away a fancy, or dogmatise 
on the feelings of the heart* I have been 
assured that consumptive patients at Ma- 
deira, lose in the charm of scenery, and 
under the influence of the climate, a sense 
of their danger, and the precariousness of 
their existence; that their spirits become 
raised, and that at the last they quietly sink 
to eternal rest with their sketch-books in 
their hands, and hopeful smiles upon their 
lips. — I doubt it. — Can they shut their 
eyes upon the hundreds of fellow-sufferers 
whom they daily meet? — or forget where- 
fore they are there? It is a comfortable 
belief, however, for their friends at home. 



31 



But I have not yet done with Madeira. 
I must say something of its rain, and a 
little more of its sunshine. The former 
falls in great quantities during four months 
of the year, viz. : — October, November, 
December, and January. The rain was 
described to me as descending in torrents ; 
yet greatly must the inhabitants enjoy the 
first refreshing and purifying drops, after 
the long spell of sunshine. The honey is 
delicious at Madeira; the bees have such 
flowers to revel amongst that it would be 
strange were it otherwise. The dress of 
the Portuguese inhabitants is extremely 
picturesque ; it consists of a blue jacket co- 
vered with silver buttons, a little cap on 
one side of the head, about the size of a 
large saucer, a white or striped shirt, and 
very wide trowsers. 

The anchorage in Funchal Roads is any- 



32 



thing but safe, and more than once during 
our stay we were in doubt whether we 
should not be obliged to up-anchor and 
stand out to sea, although there was not 
more than half a gale of wind blowing at 
the time. 

We secured a good stock of turkies, be- 
sides ducks and fowls, and a very pro- 
mising goat : the latter, however, fulfilled 
none of the promises made for her. Ma- 
riana, (for that was her name) enjoyed the 
reputation of being one of the best of her 
kind on the island : indeed her Portuguese 
owner, having exhausted his vocabulary of 
praise, wound it up by saying, that " she 
was fit to hang in a lady's ear." This, con- 
sidering that she was about three feet high, 
and large in proportion, with a most formi- 
dable pair of horns, was saying a good deal. 
By the man's account she was a perfect an- 



33 



nuity to him, and we considered ourselves 
fortunate in securing her services. Un- 
luckily for us, Mariana was not " a good 
sailor," (that expression of much meaning) 
and from the first she refused her accus- 
tomed aliment, and would taste nothing, 
except occasional scraps of such food as 
one would imagine no sensible goat of any 
country would have touched. Brandy cher- 
ries and birch brooms she particularly re- 
lished ; and on one occasion when in her 
awkwardness she upset the mustard-pot, 
(in hot weather we dined on deck) the con- 
tents were greedily devoured. So much for 
a Madeira goat, but as I could not wil- 
lingly revert to her again, I will close her 
eventful history here. We bore with her ca- 
prices till we arrived at Jamaica, when we 
turned her into the Dockyard, under the 
protection of the Commodore, where I be- 

c II. 



34 



lieve her to be at this moment. The little 
bullocks must be much better feeders^ to 
judge from the excellence of the beef; the 
mutton is by no means so good. 

Three of our men took the opportunity 
of our stay at Madeira to misconduct 
themselves sadly, so much so, as to require 
the assistance of the local authorities in 
bringing them to punishment. They were 
three of our finest men, and had hitherto 
conducted themselves well, at least to out- 
ward appearance, but the cheapness of the 
wine made it irresistible, and one night 
they being more than commonly noisy in 
the forecastle, the master sent to order 
them to be quiet, and to put out the lights. 
This, the three men in question refused to 
do, and moreover grew so violent and un- 
ruly, that it was found necessary to send 
for some Portuguese soldiers, from a 



35 



schooner lying nearly alongside, to assist in 
capturing the delinquents. They were des- 
perate in their resistance, vowing death and 
destruction to all on board, and daring the 
Doctor, who was armed to the teeth, and 
all the others in authority, to approach 
them. I happened to be on shore, and 
knew nothing of these occurrences till 
the following morning. They were at 
length safely lodged in a miserable prison, 
on a small insulated rock called the Loo. 
Here, if anywhere, repentance was sure to 
come ; and come it did, but all too late for 
two of the culprits. These men had made 
themselves so obnoxious to the rest of the 
crew, and were moreover such confirmed 
mauvais sujets, that all idea of compro- 
mise was out of the question ; but with the 
other man the case was different ; he was a 
favourite with his messmates, and there 



36 



was evidence to prove that he had been led 
away by the rest, besides which, he had 
offended in a less degree. All things consi- 
dered, we granted him a free pardon, while 
the others were left on the rock, to their 
solitude and their remorse.* 

* I must not forget to mention a circumstance, which 
I have since heard in regard to our recreant sailors. 
At the great flood and hurricane, which occurred at 
Madeira some months afterwards, these two men dis- 
tinguished themselves greatly, by the voluntary zeal 
which they displayed in the rescue and assistance of 
the sufferers. They saved some lives, and worked in 
the cause as only Englishmen can. 



37 



CHAPTER III. 



DEPARTURE FOR THE WEST INDIES. PEAK OF TENE- 
RIFFE. DEAD CALM. EMPLOYMENT OF THE CREW. 
SUNDAY. BARBADOES. TRADE-WINDS. DEARNESS 

OF PROVISIONS, &C. FROGS AND GRASHOPPBRS. 
BRIDGETOWN. " MISS BETSEY AUSTIN. " 



Now in the fervid noon, the smooth bright sea 
Heaves slowly, for the wand'ring winds are dead 
That stirr'd it into foam. The lonely ship 
Rolls wearily, and idly flaps the sails 
Against the creaking masts. The lightest sound 
Is lost not on the ear, and things minute 
Attract the observant eye. 

On the eighth day from our landing at 
Funchal, we were again in readiness for 
sea ; it was a lovely summer evening, about 
seven o'clock, when the order was given to 
up-anchor, and set sail for the West Indies. 
The windlass was manned, and as I lis- 



38 



tened to the jovial chorus of the crew, 
as they cheerily sung at their work, I 
could not help thinking of their late 
companions on the lone Loo rock, and 
mentally comparing them to the captive 
knight of old, in Mrs. Hemans* beautiful 
ballad. It was, however, I fear, a sad waste 
of sentiment. 

On the third day from leaving Madeira, 
we saw on the lee-bow the wonderful Peak 
of Teneriffe, and this at the immense dis- 
tance of one hundred and forty miles ! A 
curious aspect it wore, — a high bank of 
white clouds seeming to extend itself half- 
way up to the heavens, and that small dis- 
tinct peak of land crowning the whole. 

Having been informed at Madeira that 
we should have a fresh North-East wind, 
which would infallibly and expeditiously 
waft us to Barbadoes, and also that having 



39 



once set our sails, we should not have to shift 
them till we arrived there, we were not 
prepared for the long calm which followed* 
A repetition of the words " calm and fine/' 
varied only by occasional changes to, " light 
airs and fine," is all I can find in the log- 
book for many days. As for the employ- 
ment of the hands, it consisted in spreading 
and furling awnings, fitting and mending 
cutter sails, spinning yarn, and washing 
clothes. As for holystoning the decks, I 
set my face against that from the first ; it is 
the worst description of nervous torture of 
which I ever heard, excepting perhaps, the 
infliction of the squee gee, which, as its name 
almost implies, sets every tooth in one's 
head on edge for a week. Brooms and 
swabs are bad enough, but to these I was 
obliged to submit. 
This, certainly, was not a very animating 



40 



life; still, what with fishing for dolphins 
and bonetas, watching anxiously for wind, 
which sometimes came in the tantalizing 
shape of cats paws, time slipped along, 
though the ship did not. I tasted one of 
the bonetas, which the sailors had cooked 
for themselves, and very tough and dry it 
was. A dolphin, which soon after followed 
its unwise example, and allowed himself to 
be enticed on board, proved rather better. 
We dressed up our namesake with wine 
and other condiments, and he was pro- 
nounced to be "not bad;" still I greatly 
doubt if we should have allowed him even 
this scanty meed of praise, had a turbot or 
John Dory been within reach. 

And now, having brought my readers 
into a dead calm, or, as I have learnt to say 
in America, — a fix, — I think it high time 
to apologise for inflicting upon them any 



41 

fuller account of such a tedious time. 
I ought to remember that wise remark of 
Rochefoucauld, that u L'extreme plaisir que 
nous prenons a parler de nous-memes, nous 
doit faire craindre de n'en donner guere a 
ceux qui nous ecoutent." Still, as a long 
continuance of calm weather at sea is an 
acknowledged trial both to the temper and 
spirits, I have thought it better to give 
some account of the manner in which we 
endured it, for the benefit of adventurous 
persons, who may hereafter be disposed to 
follow us, and brave the dangers of the 
wide Atlantic in a vacht. 

But to return to our voyage. The ex- 
ceeding beauty of the stars and sky within 
the Tropics, has been often described, but 
had I not witnessed their nightly glory, my 
imagination never could have done them 
justice. A lonely ship in the wide ocean 



42 



must ever, I think, be a source of poetical 
feeling, even to the coldest fancy : but the 
calm and quiet of the sensation is raised to 
a trusting and almost holy train of thought, 
when the heat of the day being over, and 
the blazing sun gone down to his rest, you 
lie beneath that canopy studded with most 
brilliant stars, and feel with the poet, a 
longing 

" to tread that golden path of rays 
That seems to lead to some bright Isle of rest." 

One particularly quiet breezeless day, a 
shark gave us a good deal of employment 
and amusement. He was swimming about 
the ship for hours, with the pretty little 
pilot fish playing about his monstrous nose. 
Every sort of bait, from salt junk to 
tempting candles, was offered for his ac- 
ceptance, and rejected. The monster evi- 
dently was not hungry, for though he smelt 



43 

at them all, nothing would induce him to 
nibble at the baited hook. Once only they 
succeeded in hooking him, but he very soon 
broke away. Towards the evening, however, 
he grew more sociable, and condescended 
to eat some biscuit which I threw to him 
over the side. He was an enormous crea- 
ture, at least ten feet in length. There was 
something very unpleasant in the idea of 
this horrid "creature following in our 
wake," and though I did not share in the 
sailors' superstition of their being harbin- 
gers of death, yet I looked at him with 
great distaste, feeling that he was thirsting 
for our blood. 

We saw flying fish in great numbers; 
they flew on board at night, and were 
found in the morning on deck and in the 
chains, being attracted by the light. I ate 
them for breakfast, and found them deli- 



44 



cious ; like a herring in flavour and con- 
sistency, but more delicate. 

While copying my journal in England, 
on a positively winters day in the month of 
June, dark, drizzling, and cheerless, how 
strange it appears that I ever could have dis- 
liked the sun, in the way I did, in the Tro- 
pics. How often, in the morning, did I then 
find myself exclaiming against its scorching 
rays. At six o'clock, and often even at an 
earlier hour, I was on deck, driven up by 
the intolerable heat of the cabin, which 
being below the surface of the water, was 
necessarily hotter than it was above. It 
was contrary to all orders to spread the 
awning, before the decks were swabbed up, 
so I had ample leisure for complaint. There 
was that terrible sun again ; not a cloud 
above or around, but one wide canopy of 
blue over our heads ; nothing to break the 



45 



line of the horizon, and the azure sea, 
shining as crystal, with its long wearying 
swell. Yes! there was the perpetual sun 
glaring on us through the long day, and 
still more fiercely in the fervid noon ; the 
winds asleep, and the ship rolling heavily 
with her creaking masts, and idly-flapping 
sails. One day was so like another, that 
sometimes weariness almost took the place 
of hope. " When will it end ?" I used to 
exclaim, " When will there be a cloud ?" 
It put me in mind of Coleridge's beautiful 
description of a calm, in the " Ancient Ma- 
riner." And truly the schooner did look 
u like a painted ship upon a painted sea." 

31st. Light breezes, hardly more than 
" cat's paws," but they gave us hope. The 
look-out man reported a sail on the lee- 
bow. All eyes were strained to catch a 
view of the vessel, as she gradually neared 



46 



us. She proved to be a small brig, and 
hoisted English colours. She commenced 
making signals, and our master deciding 
that she wished to speak us, we slightly 
altered our course, to facilitate her object. 
Her only reason for nearing us appeared to 
be to ascertain our longitude, which having 
done, for we chalked it on the outside of the 
bulwark^ she proceeded on her way. The 
sight of this ship was quite an event, and 
gave us matter of discussion for the rest of 
the day. If I had followed my inclinations 
I should have entered into conversation 
with her, so eagerly did I long for the sight 
of fresh objects : and I felt quite surprised 
at the apathy with which she passed us by. 

When o'er the silent seas alone, 
For days and nights we've cheerless gone, 
Oh I they who've felt it, know how sweet, 
Some sunny morn a sail to meet. 

During all this time the heat was intense, 



47 



the thermometer ranged from 88 to 96 
under the awning, and there was no wind 
to refresh us. The only manner in which I 
could procure a breath of air, w r as by 
spreading a mattrass on the deck, between 
the ports, which were left open. It was 
fortunate that the yacht contained a large 
supply of water, as from the unexpected 
length of the passage, and the intense heat, 
an unusual quantity was daily consumed. 
Had the calm lasted much longer, however, 
we must have had an allowance of water ; 
as it was, indeed, our fresh provisions began 
to run short, and turkies and fowls were 
anxiously counted over, and cared for. 

There was much difficulty, after a time, 
in finding employment for the ship's com- 
pany, and as it is well known that the only 
method of keeping sailors out of mischief, 
and free from grumbling, is never to let 



48 



them be idle, all kinds of work were re- 
sorted to. 

The men, in fact, were seldom left in re- 
pose; they were always either spinning 
yarn, making mats, scraping cables, cleaning 
guns, or occupied in some task of a similar 
nature. We did not quite follow the ex- 
ample of American ships, in which it is said 
of the sailors, that 

" Six days they labour, and do all that they are able, 
And on the seventh, holystone the decks, and scrape 
the cable/' 

Sunday, of course, was a day of rest, and 
idleness ; on that day the men, clad in their 
light clean dresses, after attending prayers 
on deck, lay listlessly about the forecastle ; 
the best, and those most religiously inclined, 
(and sailors are often so, in spite of their 
reckless manners) were seen reading their 
Prayer Books, or some sober book from the 



49 



ship's library ; others were poring over old 
scraps of newspapers, or letters, which from 
their long-folded creases, were evidently 
the much and long-prized missives of their 
wives, ox friends in distant England. Thus, 
Sunday passed away, but on week-days the 
evenings were cheered by ajiddler, and en- 
livened by song. Music, such as " charmed 
the spirits of the deep," was heard from the 
forecastle, and in default of better and 
more refined strains, shortened our silent 
way. One of the performers, the steward's 
mate, who boasted of having been " on the 
stage" at an earlier period of his life, had a 
beautiful voice, and really sung very tole- 
rably. Sailors' ditties are very mournful 
things, not at all like the joyous chorusses 
I had imagined them to be; and I often 
longed to give them some new and more 
lively airs, to vary their monotonous concerts. 

D 



50 



Still, though we scarcely appeared to 
move, we certainly progressed a little, for 
after a most tedious passage of thirty days, 
I was told we were within a hundred miles 
of Barbadoes. This was indeed most wel- 
come intelligence, as we intended to make 
that island. On the afternoon of this day, 
when at least eighty miles from any land, a 
hawk was perceived flying round the ship. 
How glad I was to see him ! Poor thing ! 
He was very tired, as well he might be, 
after his long aerial journey. After perform- 
ing a few feeble evolutions, and alighting 
occasionally on different parts of the rig- 
ging, he settled on the foreyard-arm, and 
being quite exhausted, was easily taken. 
The creature did not live through the 
night. He was a kestrel, and a very fine 
one. In consideration of its long flight, and 
from a feeling of gratitude, as having been 



51 



the first harbinger of land, we thought his 
skin worthy of being preserved, for the pur- 
pose of stuffing, and it was put in the me- 
nagerie accordingly. 

At six o'clock in the morning of the 2nd 
of November, we were within a very few 
miles of the land. Barbadoes is a very low 
island, and does not strike one with any 
feeling of either wonder or admiration. 
You see a few white-looking houses on the 
slight elevations. The sight of tropical 
trees, cocoa, palms, &c. must always be 
interesting to one who sees them for the 
first time. About eight o'clock we made 
Bridgetown, and at ten, a. m. brought up in 
Carlisle Bay, in seven fathom water. 

Nancy, the negress, gave me, immedi- 
ately on our arrival, a fresh proof that ner- 
vous fancies are not confined to fine or 
even white ladies. Immediately after we 



52 



had come to an anchor, her conduct was 
most remarkable ; she commenced running 
wildly about the deck, evidently under the 
influence of some nervous panic. Every 
one she met she informed with striking 
marks of dismay on her countenance, that 
she must be near her end, for that she had 
a loud and terrific sound in her ears, which 
she was persuaded was the result of some 
fatal malady. The men only laughed at 
her, and at length she appealed to me for 
advice and consolation. I was too merciful 
to keep her longer in suspense, and told 
her what every one in the ship might have 
done, had they not enjoyed her tribulation, 
that the noise she thought exclusively her 
own, proceeded from myriads of frogs and 
grashoppers, which we distinctly heard, 
though at a considerable distance from the 
land. 



53 

The first interesting object which claimed 
our attention was an English man-of-war, 
the Imaum. She had arrived a few hours 
before us, and was lying at anchor. We 
had taken up our position close to her, and 
on comparing notes, we found that her pas- 
sage from Madeira had been as long as our 
own. 

I became almost persuaded, by this new 
instance of delay, of the truth of what I 
had previously suspected, that the exist- 
ence of trade-winds is a vulgar error, a sort 
of travellers' wonder. It was a constant 
demand of the doctor's, " Where is the 
trade-wind?" and a standing joke on board, 
that it had gone out of its course to annoy 
us. It was some consolation to find that 
we had companions in misfortune, and to 
make quite sure that the winds of heaven, 
and not the little Dolphin, had been in fault. 



54 



We were soon surrounded by boats, filled 
with individuals of every shade of black, 
brown, and yellow. The black ladies, 
dressed in white, and adorned with the 
most brilliant colours, glass bead necklaces, 
with gaudy handkerchiefs tied round their 
heads, were chattering and laughing, bar- 
gaining and coquetting, but still com- 
porting themselves with a dignity, and an 
air of grandeur, which shewed them duly 
conscious of their claim to respect, in being 
"true 'Badian born." 

I began to believe that, as they them- 
selves assert, "you must go to Barbadoes 
to larn manners " I was very much amused 
by these freed bondswomen ; they came 
upon the quarter-deck without any cere- 
mony, walked down into the cabin, and 
made themselves quite at home. 
The negroes brought alongside such fruits 



55 



as the island afforded, and they were poor 
enough. Having heard much in praise of 
the West India fruits, I was disappointed 
in those I saw. There were bad oranges, 
worse grapes, no pines, at which we felt our- 
selves much aggrieved, shaddocks, guavas, 
cocoa-nuts, and bananas, all indifferent. 
Still, notwithstanding the want of flavour of 
their contents, the fruit baskets were imme- 
diately emptied by our men, who seemed 
greatly to enjoy the sour oranges and taste- 
less cocoa-nuts. An immense quantity of 
grass was also purchased by them, for the 
purpose of making hats. These hats, which 
they make with much ingenuity, I ex- 
pected would be both light and cool ; they 
however turned out to be neither. They 
sew the plaits so closely together, that all 
such purpose is defeated. As an addition 
to the original weight, many sailors put on 



56 

a covering of canvas, and paint it thickly 
over. 

After enquiring the prices of various ne- 
cessaries, we made the discovery, when too 
late, that we had come to the wrong island 
for supplies, everything we required being 
both indifferent and expensive. Barbadoes, 
I was told, imports almost everything from 
Tobago and Martinique, and it was to St. 
Pierre, the capital of the latter island, that 
we ought to have betaken ourselves. Beef 
and mutton are tenpence a pound at 
Bridgetown, and water, of which we re- 
quired a considerable supply, a dollar a 
cask. Turtle are brought from Tobago, 
cattle from the Costa firma, and fruit and 
vegetables from Antigua and Martinique. 
Still, it is well known, that the Island of 
Barbadoes affords provisions of many sorts, 
which are raised on its own soil, though 



57 



unfortunately for us, they were not the 
kinds we required. I believe the exports of 
sugar average about 300,000 cwts. annu- 

ally. 

Barbadoes is said to be one of the heal- 
thiest of the West India Islands ; neverthe- 
less, in spite of the prevalent opinion, I 
confess that the country gave me the idea 
of being anything but salubrious, princi- 
pally from its lowness, and also from the 
immense number of frogs and grashoppers, 
which we heard throwing out their various 
notes in all directions. This alone gives an 
idea of marshiness and dampness, which 
precludes that of health. Barbadoes was 
one of the first, if not the very first of the 
Caribbean Islands colonized by the Eng- 
lish. For several years during the early 
part of the seventeenth century, the Earl 
of Carlisle was hereditary proprietor of the 



58 



Island, by virtue of a grant obtained from 
James the First. After the Restoration, it 
became the property of the Crown. The 
coloured population seem to me to be tole- 
rably well off, and not very idle. 

We went on shore in the cool of the 
evening, having appointed a carriage to be 
in waiting for us at the landing. And such 
a carriage and horses ! It was wonderful, 
from their appearance, how they contrived 
to go at all, but go they did, and at a tre- 
mendous pace. In vain I implored the 
negro driver to rein in his steeds. I believe 
he was revenging himself upon them for 
the previous drivings he had himself un- 
dergone in his own proper person, for he 
flogged away most unmercifully. 

Bridgetown is a long straggling town. 
There are no striking looking buildings in 
it, but the streets are in general broad, and 



59 



the houses white ; there is a disagreeable 
smell of cocoa-nut oil, but otherwise the 
city gives you a pleasant impression of 
freshness and cleanliness, particularly when 
compared with Funchal, the last town we 
had seen. There are several churches and 
chapels, and a cathedral, besides several 
buildings for charitable purposes. The po- 
pulation of Bridgetown is about twenty-two 
thousand. On leaving the town, and the 
pretty gardens which surround it, our road 
lay for several miles through an extremely 
flat country. There is very little wood on 
the island; some mahogany, cocoa-trees, 
and palms, and also a good many shrubs, 
but the country is in general very bare. 
The flowers, however, are beautiful; the 
datura scented the evening air, and fuch- 
sias and heliotropes drooped over the 
garden walls. 



60 



Oxen are more used as beasts of bur- 
then than horses, but the meat is not 
good. We were told, that at the proper 
season there is plenty of shooting, con- 
sisting of plover, teal, wild duck, &c. 
Aloes are very much cultivated, to judge 
from the number of plants to be seen on 
the sides of the roads ; the ginger is not 
reckoned so good as that grown in Ja- 
maica. There is a great deal of land still 
uncultivated ; towards the North, the coun- 
try becomes much higher, and is compara- 
tively cold. This part is known by the ap- 
propriate name of Scotland, and it must be 
a welcome change to the scorched inhabi- 
tants of the South, to refresh themselves 
occasionally by inhaling its invigorating 
breezes. Rum is very dear in Barbadoes, 
at least good rum, such as English sailors 
like. The proportion of black and coloured 



61 



people to white is about six to one, of 
which by far the greatest number are 
black. 

The barracks are large, convenient, and 
airy. We returned by a different road from 
the one by which we left the capital, and 
after driving through a considerable portion 
of the town, we visited the parade ground, 
where the band of the ninety-second regi- 
ment was playing for the amusement of 
some half-dozen coloured people, on foot, 
who were looking on. I noticed one or 
two ladies on horseback, and Colonel 
McDonald, who accompanied them, told us, 
for our satisfaction, that the season had 
been, and was, particularly healthy ; the 
men, however, looked, I thought, weakened 
and worn. We then pursued our drive as 
far as the Government House. Here I was 
rather entertained at our black charioteer, 



62 



who, pointing out to our notice a large 
building, surrounded by iron railings, and 
guarded by a sentry, informed us that it 
was the " Queen's House, all kep fine, fur- 
nish, ready for de Queen hersef, when she 
come to see 'Badian people." He seemed 
to entertain no doubt of the Queen's inten- 
tion of crossing the Atlantic, and evidently 
was rather surprised that her Majesty had 
not taken an earlier opportunity of visiting 
this interesting portion of her subjects. 

Still, after all there was to be seen at 
Bridgetown, I should be almost inclined to 
think, from the oft-repeated question which 
was addressed to me afterwards, " Did you 
see Betsey Austin ?" that that worthy lady 
is the principal attraction of the place. 
Betsey, or Miss Betsey Austin, as she is 
called, is a person of considerable import- 
ance, who keeps the principal hotel at 



63 



Brigetown. She has a large acquaintance 
amongst naval men, and is justly celebrated 
in Captain Marryatt's delightful novel of 
"Peter Simple;" she assured us she owed 
much of her present prosperity to the work 
in question, and seemed duly grateful to 
the author. " He berry nice man, Captain 
Marryat." Betsy may have her little faults, 
as who has not, but she must have a kindly 
heart in her capacious person from all I 
have heard. Miss Caroline Lee, her sister, 
is mistress of another hotel in the town, 
and makes better preserves of all kinds 
than any one else in the island. We took 
in a large supply of live stock, such as 
turtle, turkies, guinea fowls, and ducks. 

Two of our sailors became embroiled in 
a quarrel at one of the spirit shops at 
Bridgetown ; and one of them, the carpen- 
ter, after a hard fight, passed a night in 



64 



prison. I do not believe they were much 
in fault, but the coloured population of 
Barbadoes is notorious for seeking quarrels 
with English sailors; and they, as is well 
known, have no particular objection to a 
row at any time. On lecturing the carpen- 
ter, who was a Scotchman, for the folly of 
his conduct, which had consigned him to 
the hands of the police, and caused him to 
spend a night in prison, he replied, " If I 
had been mysel, it's no the dozen of them 
should have ta'en me." 



CHAPTER IV. 



STORM AT SEA. LIGHTNING. FLYING FISH. IRON 
LIGHTHOUSE. JAMAICA. PORT-ROYAL HARBOUR. 
EARTHQUAKE OF 1692. PIRATES. COMMODORE 
BYNG'S HOUSE. WALLACE, THE NEWFOUNDLAND 
DOG. MUSQUITOES. COLOURED AND WHITE POPU- 
LATION. SPANISH TOWN, THE QUEEN'S HOUSE. 
KINGSTON. UNWHOLESOME CLIMATE. VULTURES. 
SUPERSTITION. "THE DOCTOR. " SALLY ADAMS. 
DEPARTURE. 



There is a bondage worse, far worse, to bear 

Than his who breathes, by roof, and floor, and wall, 

Pent in, a tyrant's solitary thrall : 

Tis he who walks about in the open air, 

One of a nation who henceforth must wear, 

Their fetters in their souls. 

Wordsworth. 

Nov. 4. Left Carlisle Bay at 5 o'clock p.m. 

The Imaum, a line-of-battle ship, had 
weighed her anchor five hours previously, 
and we hoped to have the " pleasure of her 



66 



company" on the way, a sail being at ail 
times a welcome sight at sea. 

Nov. 5. Shortened sail to a squall, took 
in a reef in main-sail, double-reefed fore- 
trysail. 

Nov. 6. Strong winds, thunder and light- 
ning, treble-reefed foresail. How impossible 
it is in words to give an idea of the grandeur, 
the fearful magnificence of a storm at sea ! 
What a variety, are there, of stirring and 
deafening sounds, filling the mind with min- 
gled feelings of admiration and awe ! There 
is the shrill treble of the wind, whistling its 
fractious way through the rigging, joined 
with the never-ceasing roar of the foaming 
and angry sea, while the deep bass of the 
gradually n earing thunder is heard distinct 
above it all. The sea is one wild chaos of 
mountains ; mountains never for one in- 
stant still; now receiving us deep into a 



67 



fearful hollow, from which it seems as 
though we never could rise again ; and now 
carrying us over their summits, only to be 
dashed with greater fury into the raging 
abyss below. And how manfully the little 
schooner rides over the frantic waves ! 
How lightly she rises again, and how care- 
lessly she dashes the water from her bows, 
as she passes on, unharmed, over the trou- 
bled waters ! If a heavier sea than usual 
breaks, and you hear the dull heavy blow 
against her side, there is a tremble, a quiver, 
as though the poor little thing were 
stricken to the heart; it is, however, but 
for a moment, and the little Dolphin is 
bounding on again as proudly as before, 

" Oh ! there's a holy calm profound 
In awe like this, that ne'er was given 
To pleasure's thrill ; 
Tis as a solemn voice from heaven, 
And the soul listening to the sound, 
Lies mute and still." 



68 



It would be a cold heart, I think, that 
would not feel an absolute affection for a 
ship that has carried one in safety through 
perils such as these. She seems so like a 
thing of life, and I am sure I have parted 
with many a soi-disant friend with infinitely 
less regret, than I shall experience when I 
look my last on our safe and happy little 
schooner. 

Two nights before we arrived at Jamaica, 
the lightning was most vivid. The sky 
seemed to open, and to have changed its 
ordinary hues for a covering of flame — 
while every moment, on this brilliant 
ground, the red zig-zag forks darted out 
their angry tongues of fire like some fierce 
and goaded animal. For hours I gazed on 
this most magnificent sight; I could not 
make up my mind to go below, though the 
rain began to pour in torrents. No one 



69 



who has not witnessed a storm of thunder 
and lightning in tropical climates, can form 
an idea of the mingled beauty, and terror of 
the effect. For all the w r orld I would not 
have missed the sight, terrific and awe-in- 
spiring as it was. 

Towards night the tempest was at its 
height, and the sound of the contending 
elements, as if roaring for their prey, dead- 
ened the voice of man. Suddenly, a noise 
more stunning than the rest struck upon the 
ear. It was the electric fluid against the 
mainmast ; the sound it made was like that 
of two hands clapping, but five hundred 
times as loud. Our mast was only saved 
from destruction, and with it, doubtless, our 
own lives, by the circumstance of the 
rigging being wet, and acting as a con- 
ductor, by which means the fluid was con- 
veyed over the side into the sea. One of 



70 



the most remarkable occurrences during 
the storm was one which affected my own 
person. At the same time that the mast 
was struck, I felt a warm and most pe- 
culiar sensation down my hand, and im- 
mediately mentioned the circumstance. 
For many hours afterwards, a deep red 
mark, about six inches in length, and 
one in breadth, was plainly to be seen in 
the place where I had felt the heat, and 
what I should describe as almost pain. As 
I was standing in the direction in which 
the lightning passed, it is to be supposed 
that I received at the same time the 
slightest possible shock. The escape we 
all had from this worst of dangers was 
great and providential indeed. In a small 
vessel, once on fire, with a large quantity 
of gunpowder on board, our destruction 
must have been inevitable, had not the 



71 

Power which had sustained us so long 
among the dangers of the deep, stretched 
forth a hand of deliverance over us. 

During the night, the gale continued 
with unabated fury. To sleep was impos- 
sible, and as I lay in my cot, rocked from 
side to side, and longing for daylight, I 
heard a strange and unaccustomed sound 
outside my cabin door. On going out to 
ascertain from whence it proceeded, I 
found some flying fish, which had come 
down the companion-ladder with the wind 
and spray, flapping their delicate wings on 
the oil-cloth. It was a strange situation for 
flying fish to find themselves in ! 

The Imaum was near us during the 
gale, and at night we occasionally burnt 
blue lights, which to me was very cheering. 

Nov. 8. Squally, with heavy rain. Under 
treble reefed topsails. 



72 



9th. We were rounding Morant Point. 
Oh! what a swell was there. How we 
were thrown about. For the first and only 
time the cook requested a diminution of 
the daily number of dishes, and the sound 
of breaking crockery was heard playing its 
destructive accompaniment to the sound of 
the storm. 

A lighthouse, which was not mentioned 
in any of the nautical books, caused some 
surprise to those on board who had been in 
the West Indies before. This lighthouse, 
which was an iron one, and one hun- 
dred feet high, had, we afterwards found, 
been sent out not long before from Eng- 
land. 

During the whole of the 10th, the high- 
lands of Jamaica were in sight. We passed 
over the ancient town of Port Royal, which 
now lies " full fathom five" buried beneath 



73 

the sea; and soon after noon of the llth, 
we entered the harbour of its successor of 
the same name. We went in without a 
pilot, in a gale of wind, and going at the 
rate of twelve knots an hour. The Dol- 
phin, as usual, behaved beautifully, answer- 
ing to her helm, and dashing through the 
troubled waters in most perfect style. The 
rain was pouring down in torrents, such 
rain as is seldom seen except within the 
tropics. In these latitudes, it seems not so 
much to descend in drops, as in a positive 
sheet of water. The best of Mackintoshes 
are no protection from its violence ; they 
are wet through in five minutes. An expe- 
rienced resident in this climate recom- 
mended a thick blanket as the best dress in 
which to encounter these storms. 

The town of Port Royal owes its origin 
to General Brague, in the year 1657. He 

E 



74 



first discovered its advantages as a military 
position. Its safe and splendid harbour, 
and the opportunities it afforded for com- 
merce, very soon raised it to a pitch of 
wealth and prosperity, unsurpassed by any 
other of our West India possessions. Its 
greatest source of wealth, however, seems 
to have been owing to the plunder depo- 
sited there by the buccaneers. Gold, silver, 
jewels, laces, and all the riches of the Spa- 
nish possessions in America, were constantly 
brought there, and it would be impossible 
to form any idea of the immense value of 
the spoils. Port Royal reached its highest 
pitch of prosperity about 1692, and it is 
from that year that its gradual decay may 
be dated. A tremendous earthquake over- 
threw, and buried beneath the waves, all 
the principal streets of the once flourishing 
city of Port Royal. Thousands perished 



75 



through this awful calamity, and the waves 
of the restless sea rolled over the once 
splendid church, and handsome buildings of 
the doomed city. There are some who de- 
clare that the steeple of the principal 
church may still be seen many fathoms 
under water in a calm day. 

It was melancholy to reflect on the 
frightful loss of life, and of the numbers of 
human beings whose bones were strewing 
the bottom of the harbour, in which we 
were now securely floating. The sharks 
swim carelessly over heaps of treasure, and 
mounds of gold. I have often wondered 
why some of our speculators, who in other 
parts of the world employ their energies in 
fishing for treasure, have not endeavoured 
to rescue some of these buried riches from 
the bottom of the deep. 

The glory and prosperity of Port Royal 



76 



seem to have departed for ever. Scarcely, 
after this fierce and terrible earthquake, 
had the remaining inhabitants recovered 
from their panic, and restored a few of the 
streets to something of their former state, 
when the ill-fated town was again destroyed 
by fire. Two hurricanes, one in 1722, and 
another in 1744, successively razed it to 
the ground. 

Jamaica has always been famous as the 
resort of pirates. Among the places of his- 
torical interest, as regards these adven- 
turers, Cow Bay stands pre-eminent. It 
was there that, in the year 1681, an en- 
gagement was fought between the Gover- 
nor, Sir Henry Morgan, and Everson, the 
Dutch pirate. The force of the latter con- 
sisted of but two ships, one of which was 
taken, and the pirate killed. The other 
vessel escaped. The crew of the one which 



77 



was taken were desperate, and fought 
bravely for their lives. Those who were 
not killed in action were executed on the 
shore. All the men were English. Some 
years after this occurrence, the neighbour- 
hood of Port Royal was visited by a whole 
fleet of pirates, who then infested these 
seas. The barbarities they committed along 
the coast, upon such of the harmless and 
inoffensive inhabitants who were so unfor- 
tunate as to fall within their reach, are de- 
scribed as dreadful, and for miles around, 
they desolated the country by fire and 
sword. 

There is certainly great beauty in the 
surrounding country, but Port Royal itself 
is as ugly as a town can well be. Immedi- 
ately after our arrival, our kind friend, 
Commodore Byng, sent to invite us to 
make his house our home during our stay 



78 

in the island. The offer was gladly ac- 
cepted, and we were soon landed at the 
dockyard, under a scorching sun. No 
sooner had we left the yacht, than the 
sailors, one and all, threw off their clothes, 
and plunged into the water. The master, 
of course, ordered them instantly on board 
again ; their escape from the jaws of the 
innumerable sharks which here infest the 
water, was almost miraculous. The thought- 
lessness of sailors is really wonderful. The 
Commodore's house is most comfortable. 
Never shall I forget the delightful relief it 
afforded, after undergoing the intense heat 
of the suns rays, as they pierced through 
the insufficient barrier of our quarter deck 
awning. On shore, we enjoyed exceedingly 
the green jalousies through which the sea 
breeze blew refreshingly ; and then the 
delicious iced water, and the luxurious 



79 



sofas and rocking chairs! I repeat, the 
change was most delightful. The day after 
our arrival a sad tragedy occurred, at least 
it was a tragedy to me. My beautiful 
young Newfoundland dog, Wallace, who 
fetched and carried as no dog ever did be- 
fore, and whose spirits and good-humour 
rendered him a favourite wherever he went, 
swam on shore in high health and spirits ; 
while bounding about in the exuberance of 
delight, at having escaped from the con- 
finement of the ship, he suddenly fell down 
in a fit, having, as we supposed, received a 
coup de soleil. His sufferings, poor fellow, 
were soon over, and he was buried in a 
corner of the dockyard. I grieved for him 
at the time, and greatly missed his honest 
greeting when I returned on board. 

The view from the Commodore's house 
is interesting. Cocoa-nut trees waved their 



80 



hearse-like tops to the breeze close to its 
walls, and within a stone's throw lay the 
old " Magnificent." Further off, we descried 
the delicate masts of our own little Dol- 
phin, while the flag of the good ship 
Imaum, was floating in the distance. The 
opposite land was clearly to be discerned. 
Up and down, before the house, paced the 
black sentry, calling the hours as they 
came round, and the bells of the various 
ships echoed his cry. 

The house, like most of those in tropical 
climates, is raised from the ground on high 
pillars. This mode of architecture not only 
renders the apartments much cooler, but 
preserves those who inhabit them, in some 
measure, from the attacks of insects and 
reptiles. Every expedient is resorted to 
for protection from the bites of the detes- 
table musquitoes ; notwithstanding which, 



81 



in common with all new comers, I found 
them most annoying. It is not so much 
the actual pain of the sting, at the time, as 
the aggravation of it afterwards, that is so 
trying ; and in this climate, where the 
slightest scratch often becomes a serious 
affair, the irritation produced by a mus- 
quitoe bite is often attended with bad, and 
even dangerous results. Two of our men 
were in the hospital for some time, in con- 
sequence of the venemous bites of these vi- 
cious little creatures. 

We had been much surprised at the 
dearness of every thing at Barbadoes, but 
we were more astonished, from the same 
cause, at Port- Royal. Mutton, bad and 
dry, lOd. a pound; a turkey, £1. 5s. ; and 
a small bottle of milk, Its. 6d. Eggs are 
6d. each, and all other necessaries of life in 
proportion. 

F II. 



82 



The residents told us it was impossible 
to open one's mouth, for the purpose of 
eating, under a dollar, and we found no 
great difficulty in believing them. Sugar is 
much dearer than in England, and I need 
not add, much worse, as it is well known 
that the refining process of the best is car- 
ried on in the €< old country." 

Jamaica, to my idea, presents the melan- 
choly picture of a land whose prosperity has 
passed away. Indolence is, I think, the prin- 
cipal characteristic of the inhabitants of this 
island at the present day, but it does not 
appear that one hundred and fifty years ago 
they were much more inclined to exertion 
than they are now. You see people of 
every hue, Creoles or natives, whites, 
blacks, and Indians ; the latter with va- 
rieties of the species. There is a regular 
rule here by which to discover and to class 



83 



the different castes, and to ascertain the 
exact proportion of black blood which runs 
in the veins of each. I could not under- 
stand, without taking more trouble than I 
thought the subject worthy of, the com- 
plicated classification, which is almost re- 
duced to a science here ; but it is of im- 
portance, to judge from the pains bestowed 
upon it. 

The Creole is generally handsome, and 
well made, but from indolence, and other 
causes, they are apt to become corpulent. 
They are said to be irritable, but generous, 
and kind-hearted, and their love of expense 
and shew is great. Now, however, they pos- 
sess, generally speaking, but very little of 
the means necessary to enable them to in- 
dulge in their favourite tastes and pursuits. 
That the Creoles have been losers to a 
large amount by the abolition of the slave 



84 



trade, there can be no doubt; and but 
little, that the prosperity of the island ge- 
nerally, its trade and resources, have gra- 
dually declined. I think it also more than 
questionable, whether the slaves themselves 
have found a greater aggregate of happiness 
since their freedom was declared. They 
wander about now in rags and destitution ; 
idleness is their occupation, and drunken- 
ness their striking vice. 

There is a look of hopeless indolence 
about the coloured population, which I did 
not remark in any of the other countries 
we visited. At Barbadoes, there appears to 
be some cleanliness, and some self-respect, 
which is visible in their manners; and in 
their attention to dress, and the adornment 
of their persons ; here, on the contrary, 
they seem thoroughly degraded. On my 
first arrival, finding walking, and even 



riding on horseback, too great an exertion 
in such a climate, I enquired of a lady who 
was paying me a visit, and who had been 
some time in the country, whether there 
were not palanquins for the use of indivi- 
duals, who, like myself, were unaccustomed 
to the climate? She shook her head, 
" There is not a man in the island," was 
the reply, " who would consent to degrade 
himself by becoming a palanquin bearer !'' 
And these people but yesterday were 
slaves! What they might be, had liberty 
been bestowed upon them gradually, and in 
a more judicious manner, I cannot say ; but 
I have often thought, that had each man 
been allowed to work out his liberation, the 
boon would have appeared more valuable, 
as we rarely prize that which has caused us 
no difficulty in the attainment. A still 
more important result would have been, 



86 



that a second nature, the well-known fruits 
of habit, would have been acquired ; and cer- 
tainly their present condition is not so good, 
as not to make any other very desirable. 

After writing all this, it has occurred to 
me, that the same thing has been said 
before, and much better than I can say it ; 
but let it go. It is truth, I believe, which 
is always something in this false generation. 
No subject, and now I am writing about 
truth, I may say it, no subject has ever 
afforded a stronger proof of the depth at 
which this virtue lies buried, than that of 
slavery. That there were some who abused 
their power over the negroes, there can, I 
fear, be no doubt ; at the same time it is 
equally true, that the rare instances of op- 
pression were greatly magnified by the 
morbid sensibilities, and sickly sentimenta- 
lities of well meaning abolitionists. 



87 



I was made so very comfortable at the 
house of the hospitable Commodore, that I 
can say nothing, by experience, of the dis- 
comforts attending a residence on the is- 
land. The Governor, Lord Elgin, with 
whom we had the pleasure of being previ- 
ously acquainted, gave us the kindest invi- 
tation to pay him a few days' visit at his re- 
sidence in the hills. I did not feel equal to 
the journey, which must be performed on 
horseback, and commenced at five in the 
morning in order to avoid the heat of the 
sun, but I greatly regretted not being able 
to see more of the interior of the island. 

Our first excursion was to Spanish Town. 
The route to Port Henderson from Port 
Royal is by water ; it is about six miles from 
the latter place. It is very much to be de- 
plored that the religious edifices, erected 
by the Spaniards here, should have been so 



88 



little respected by the English, who suc- 
ceeded them. Whether from fanatical fury, 
or other causes, they have been mostly de- 
stroyed, or suffered to fall into gradual 
decay. Spanish Town is irregularly built, 
and, partly perhaps from the glare of the 
white houses, appeared to me still more 
oppressive than Port Royal. 

The town is built on rather high ground, 
sloping towards the shore ; and as there is 
no marshy land between it and the sea, 
the refreshing sea-breeze blows healthily 
over the town. Spanish Town is long and 
narrow ; its buildings may extend to about 
a mile in length. There is a church and a 
chapel. The former is handsome ; the 
pews, pulpit, &c. are of cedar, and the 
aisles are paved with marble. The chapel 
stands near the Governor's house ; and not 
far off is the guard-house, where a party of 



89 



regular soldiers are always on duty. The 
Queen's house occupies one side of a large 
square. It was built in 1762, and is one of 
the finest of the kind in the West Indies. 
The length of the facade is two hundred 
feet, and it is built of most beautiful free- 
stone, which in this clear air, and smoke- 
less climate, retains its whiteness through- 
out all time. 

The Hall of Audience is a fine well pro- 
portioned saloon, about seventy-five by 
thirty feet. Some part of this immense 
building is appropriated to public dinners, 
balls, &c. The Assembly Chamber, or 
Common House, is about eighty feet in 
length, by forty in breadth ; there is a 
raised platform at one end, which is lined 
with seats for members. The chair of the 
Speaker is raised a little higher than the 
rest. Here, among the legislative assembly, 



90 



are to be seen both black and white faces. 
The former direct, with the white inhabi- 
tants, the affairs of the island ; and I am 
told, that among them, are one or two in- 
telligent men. 

It will, indeed, be a work of time and 
difficulty to restore Jamaica to any thing 
like its former state of prosperity ; to cor- 
rect the abuses which have crept into its 
government, and to restore confidence 
among all classes. The state of things is, 
however, improving, and may it continue 
to do so. Lord Elgin is exerting himself to 
further these desirable ends ; and the uni- 
versal popularity and esteem with which he 
is regarded, as well as the prospect of suc- 
cess, must cheer him, while devoting his ta- 
lents and energies in this formerly almost 
hopeless cause. 

The Hospital stands at the East end of 



91 



the town, near the river. The situation 
appeared to me to be ill chosen for the pur- 
poses of health. Great care, however, is 
taken of the sick, and large sums of money are 
granted in order to defray the expenses of 
their support, and the cost of medical aid. 

The market of Spanish Town is well sup- 
plied with fish, and black crabs, which are 
really delicious, and with tolerable poultry, 
milk, fruits, vegetables, &c. I have compared 
the prices of some of the necessaries of life 
before the abolition of slavery, with what 
they are at present, and I find them now 
very much higher; in many cases, nearly 
two-thirds. 

Turtle has not changed much in price ; 
we found it the cheapest food, as it is also 
the best, in Jamaica ; and we ate it in all 
shapes, cutlets, roasted, grilled, and made 
into soups, till we were quite tired of it. 



92 



There is a fine range of hills, North, and 
North-West of the town. Among these, 
are the pens, or villas of the rich inhabi- 
tants, who go there occasionally to enjoy 
health and coolness* The country is most 
beautiful ; and there are fine chalybeate 
springs in every direction. The road from 
Spanish Town to Port Henderson is excel- 
lent, but most disagreeably dusty. We 
could only go out after the sun was set, 
owing to the intense heat ; and the twilight 
is so short in low latitudes, that it was ge- 
nerally dark long before we returned to the 
yacht. It was a favourite excursion of mine 
that of visiting Kingston after sunset, and 
by water. The view of the town from the 
sea is very fine. 

The distance from Port Royal is about 
six miles, through what are called the Shal- 
lows. For a considerable part of the way, 



93 



the passage is so narrow, in consequence of 
the mangroves, which literally grow out of 
the water, that there is scarcely room for the 
oars of the boatmen. The scene is singular 
and pretty, and after the scorching heat of 
the day, the cool evening air was delight- 
fully refreshing. Oysters adhere in great 
numbers to the mangroves. 

Kingston stands in an amphitheatre of 
hills, and has full enjoyment both of the 
land and sea breeze. The shape of the ce- 
lebrated Blue Mountains is so varied and 
capricious, that one can hardly help fancy- 
ing it the result of one of those fearful 
earthquakes, with which these countries 
have so often been visited. The savan- 
nahs, or plains at the bottom of them, are 
charming. The mountains are in many 
parts covered with the thickest foliage ; the 
prickly pear grows in great quantities, and 



94 



there being but few paths, and those made 
in the Indian fashion, for single file, it is by 
no means safe to trust yourself in the fo- 
rests without a guide. 

The houses at Kingston are much supe- 
rior to those at Spanish Town. The soil 
on which the former town is built is partly 
gravel, but, owing in great measure to the 
torrents of water which descend from the 
high country, it is surrounded by a vast ac- 
cumulation of mud. The effluvia arising 
from this, and from the oozy nature of the 
soil, is terrible. 

The water, too, here is bad and un- 
wholesome ; in short, it is a dreadful place, 
and you can hardly go through the 
streets without being assailed by visions, 
or ideas of plague, pestilence, and sudden 
death. 

We were in the habit of seeing occa- 



95 



sionally here, a poor depressed, weary, 
young man, who had made up his mind 
that he should have the fever, and must 
inevitably die. I never saw any one so de- 
pressed by the idea of death; his very 
face had grown yellow by anticipation, and 
yet he was in good health, and manifested 
no other symptoms of decay.* Every day 
he brought us some fresh story of illness or 
fever ; and as his face was growing visibly 
longer, day by day, it must be, by this 
time, if alarm has not hurried him into the 
Port Royal burying-ground, a perfect sight 
to look upon. 

The market is near the water side, and is 

* I think our poor acquaintance must have been 
some one of the wandering ghosts of Admiral Hosier's 
ill-fated crew, who 

From their oozy tombs below, 
Through the hoary foam ascending, 
Wander through the midnight gloom. 



96 



well supplied, especially with vegetables, 
such as lettuces, cucumbers, French beans, 
artichokes, celery, peas, beans, &c, all 
brought from the mountains. I was told, 
that in the season, there are delicious 
strawberries, grapes, melons, mulberries, 
&c. The apples are excellent ; and so, I 
have no doubt, are all the other fruits, as 
the climate among the hills varies from ac- 
tual cold to temperate. A market-boat goes 
daily to Port Royal and back. 

The birds at Jamaica are very various 
and beautiful. I must say, a propos of birds, 
that one of the most disagreeable sights I 
ever witnessed was a row of that horrid de- 
scription of vultures, called scavengers. 
They were resting on a wall, gorged with 
their disgusting meal, their eyes closed, and 
their heads sunk between their shoulders, 

" And still for carrion carcases they crave." 



97 



These unpleasant creatures are protected 
by the government, and there is a very 
heavy penalty incurred by killing one of 
them. They are very useful, devouring 
carrion and preventing the accumulation of 
offal. Were it not for the scavengers, pu- 
trid and other fevers, would be still more 
prevalent than they are at present. Our 
doctor was very anxious to shoot one, and 
we with difficulty dissuaded him. 

It is strange, that in a climate like this, 
greater care is not taken to cleanse the 
streets, and to ventilate the apartments of 
the houses. I am told, that in the lodging- 
houses the rooms are so close and con- 
fined, that it is impossible to breathe in 
them freely. The overfilled church-yards 
being in the heart of the living population, 
is another great instance of imprudence. 
They have such dismal names too for 

VOL I. F 



98 



some of their streets and houses, " Dead 
Man's Hole," for instance. Enough to kill 
a nervous person, directly he sets his 
foot in it. The quarters of the soldiers 
have been removed from Kingston to a 
higher ground on the hills. Thus some ame- 
lioration in the lot of these poor fellows, 

" sent in this foul clime to languish," 

has been effected. The latter position is 
so much higher, that it has been found, al- 
ready, an improvement in their lot. 

There is a tolerable theatre at Kingston, 
which, however, is not very well attended 
by the inhabitants, though occasionally an 
Italian Company comes from Havanna for a 
month or two. There are several houses in 
the town where sugar is refined, and which, 
I was told, were worth seeing, but I confess 
I did not feel very enterprising in this 
climate. 



99 



Good rum is very high-priced, and the 
same quality which, in England, can be 
purchased at three shillings a gallon, 
cannot here be procured at less than nine. 
The reason of this is, that the rum is 
sent to England, where it undergoes some 
improving process, and that on its return to 
Jamaica, its price is increased to this large 
amount by colonial dues, charge of freight, 
&c. The rum of the country, before it 
takes a voyage to England, is execrable. I 
could not avoid hearing frequent com- 
plaints on this subject, from those charged, 
— to use an American phrase, — with li- 
quoring the ship's company, and the latter 
certainly did not seem to approve of the 
quality of the liquor. 

But to return to Kingston. The moon 
had risen when we returned from our ex- 
cursion ; and as its brilliant disk rose 



100 

over the distant blue mountains, reveal- 
ing their bold outlines, and shedding a 
subdued light over the tranquil sea, a more 
beautiful effect, or one more worthy of 
some great painter's hand, could scarcely 
be imagined ; 

" How sweetly does the moonbeam smile 
To-night upon yon leafy Isle." 

And yet, over this calm scene the angel of 
death was hovering ! Strange, that so lovely 
a land should be the stronghold of disease, 
the burial-place of the young, the healthy, 
and the gay ! But so it is ! To-day strong 
in health, and fresh in spirit; to-morrow, 
numbered among the dead. 

In no country that I ever heard of, is su- 
perstition more rife than it is in Jamaica. 
Even Ireland, that land of fancy and wild 
imaginings, can boast but few national 
ghosts and interesting revenants com- 



101 

pared with those which are said to flourish 
on this island. They have their dujfies, a 
most unpleasant species of ghost, answering 
to the Irish banshee, who are said to 
wander about in numbers proportioned to 
the deaths which take place. In sickly 
seasons, it is said, they may be seen to any 
amount. Of course, in common with all 
rational ghosts that ever were heard of, 
they prefer the burial-ground as their place 
of resort. There 3 when darkness comes, 
they love to 

" glide in paths that lead to graves." 

By all accounts, they are fearful things 
those same duffles ! and, as national ghosts, 
have a decided claim to respect and consi- 
deration. 

The burial-ground of Port Royal is just 
outside the town, and is a most congenial 
spot for their unholy revels. It is strewed 



102 

with human bones of all sorts and dimen- 
sions. Here they are said to hover over the 
silent graves, dancing about in wild glee, 
and sometimes even venturing beyond the 
limits of the grave-yard, to pay nocturnal 
visits to their former friends. There are 
several cocoa trees in and about the burial- 
ground ; their tops wave about, not at all un- 
like the plumes of a hearse, and add greatly 
to the gloom of the place. The ghost of a 
certain merchant, who died some time ago 
in Jamaica, is said to mount nightly to the 
top of one or other of these cocoa trees, and 
after taking a deliberate survey of the coun- 
try, to descend and make his way into 
the town. At the time of his death, several 
persons owed him money to a considerable 
amount ; in particular, one rather influen- 
tial person, against whom he appears to en- 
tertain a bitter grudge. The duffy of the 



103 

dead merchant frequently, in the dead of 
the night, "when all around are sleeping," 
enters the house of his quondam friend, 
and pummels his corpulent sides till he 
roars for mercy. I was seriously informed 
by a respectable lodging-house keeper, 
whose house had formerly been a hospital, 
that on moonlight nights, I might see 
troops of its former inhabitants, those who 
had died within the walls, walking leisurely 
up and down the verandah, and looking 
complacently in upon its present occu- 
pants. 

No fear of these nightly visitors seemed 
to be felt by any one; on the contrary, 
they were evidently considered as a sort of 
domestic animal, whom, however, it would 
be injudicious to disturb. 

It may be mentioned, that there are 
many superstitions peculiar to the negroes, 



104 

upon whose fears and credulity it is easy, 
but very barbarous, to work. 

The sea-breeze at Port Royal blows with 
considerable violence. On one occasion, I 
recollect a heavy decanter, full of wine, 
being literally blown off the table by the 
strength of the wind, as it blustered 
through the Commodore's house. The 
wind is considered here so healthy, and so 
reviving in its effects, that it is universally 
called " the doctor." I found his measures, 
however, rather too violent to be agreeable, 
and always fancied I felt the heat more, 
after he had ceased to blow upon me, or 
rather, in the intervals between his puffs. 
I found, also, that many people agreed with 
me, in disliking his diurnal visits. 

The time was now fast drawing near, 
when we were to take our leave of our 
pleasant quarters. In spite, however, of 



105 

tropical heat, musquitoes, and white ants., 
it required a great effort to make up 
our minds to bid adieu to our kind 
and hospitable host. 

A few days before our departure, the 
Commodore, with several officers of the 
Imaum, Captain Bruce, &c, gave us the 
pleasure of their company at dinner on 
board the Dolphin. It was their farewell 
visit. The principal event which marked the 
party was, that the Commodore's servant 
fell into the sea, while attempting to get 
into the barge. He rose immediately, and 
was speedily picked up ; happily with the 
usual number of limbs, for he had a narrow 
escape from the sharks. Necessary busi- 
ness connected with the yacht had already 
detained us a considerable time ; new sails 
had to be fitted, and awnings repaired, be- 
sides many other arrangements, of which I 

F II. 



106 

do not know the nature. We had also to 
replace our two sailors who were left at 
Madeira. This we found no difficulty in 
doing ; the two new hands being men-of- 
war's men, and called " very smart." The 
Steward's Mate had also taken to drinking, 
and idling, and was discharged. He was 
the " tragedian," and made his appearance, 
during our stay, on the boards of the King- 
ston Theatre. A substitute for him was 
not easily procured; however, we suc- 
ceeded at last, and were declared in readi- 
ness for sea. 

We were to weigh anchor at five o'clock 
in the morning, and consequently decided 
to sleep on board the last night. Adieus 
are always painful, whether addressed to 
place or people. I never leave a house, which 
in all probability I never shall see again, 
without a heavy heart, and the last minute 



107 

always comes too soon. After bestowing 
our last words, and last good wishes on our 
host, we shook hands with the best and 
most warm-hearted of negresses, Sally 
Adams. This pattern for housekeepers to 
single gentlemen has filled the like office at 
Port Royal time out of mind, but only as 
an amateur. She is sick-nurse at the Hos- 
pital, and friend and assistant general to all 
who require her aid. It is handed down 
traditionally, that Sally Adams performed 
these kind offices in the time of Admiral 
Rodney ; and I am not at all sure that she 
does not entertain a personal recollection 
of the unfortunate Hosier. 

Nancy, the negress, who had proved 
herself, in stormy weather, anything but an 
acquisition to our ship's company, we des- 
patched in a steamer to her native island, 
St. Thomas'. She was not a good specimen 



108 

of her country. Though by no means want- 
ing in intellect, she possessed the worst qua- 
lity of the fool, — cunning. I have often, 
through my cabin-door, heard her boasting 
of her ingenuity in deceiving a former mis- 
tress, or rather owner, who, by her own 
account, treated her with the greatest kind- 
ness. " I made believe pain in side, no 
work, then missis come and nurse, and rub 
side, and do all work herself." I was not 
sorry when she left us. Her extreme ugli- 
ness really disfigured the ship. 

At eight o'clock in the evening we took 
a final leave of our kind friends, and pre- 
pared ourselves for the noises, and rock- 
ings, which make one every moment men- 
tally acknowledge the truth of the saying, 
that, " a ship is a thing you never can be 
quiet in." 

The Lightning man-of-war steamer left 




NANCY. 



109 

Port Royal for Hayti, with prisoners, at the 
time of our departure from Jamaica. After 
remaining a day or two at St. Domingo, 
she was expected to leave that island for 
Havanna, to which city we were also 
bound. I had indulged the hope of again 
having a consort to sail with us, as there is 
something to me very satisfactory in the 
idea of having a friend near, on the wide 
waters. I have been often told, that in case 
of danger, there is seldom any chance of 
their being of any use, yet the very sight of 
them is cheering. 

Having been merely fastened to a buoy, 
we were soon under weigh the next morn- 
ing. Again, and most probably for the last 
time, I gazed on the beautiful scenery and 
luxuriant vegetation of this most lovely of 
the West India Islands. The Blue moun- 
tains, half hid among the clouds, and the 



110 

dark hills rising from the sea, were glorious 
to witness. But we leave the harbour, 
and now 

" the wind draws kindly aft, 
All hands are up the yards to square, 
And now the floating stu'n- sails waft 
Our little ship through waves and air. ,, 

Since we left Jamaica, sad changes have 
taken place. The excellent Bishop, who 
we left doing good, and " given to hospita- 
lity," has fallen a victim to the climate ; 
while Lady Elgin, the young, the beau- 
tiful, and the good, has also been laid 
low.* 

If the remaining friends and relations of 
those, that are thus prematurely laid in the 
grave, can find a consolation in their be- 

* Since writing the above, I see that the Assembly at 
Jamaica have voted eight hundred pounds, to be ex- 
pended in the erection of a tablet to the memory of the 
lamented Lady Elgin, as a mark of the respect in which 
she was universally held. 



Ill 

reavement, it must be in the sympathy of 
the many who knew and appreciated the 
virtues of the dead ; and in the belief, that 
in another world, the virtues of the de- 
parted have secured them, through faith in 
their Redeemer, an eternity of happiness 
and peace. 

Rest, then, weary wanderer, here, 

Be still — for sacred ground is near ; 

Here 'neath a simple tablet lying, 

The lov'd in life, the blest when dying, 

Waits, in this dark and still abode, 

A summons to attend her God ! 

A peaceful halo fills the air, 

And tells that faith is sleeping there. 

The young, the highborn, sleeps below, 

For her, the tears of thousands flow. 

Then, wanderer through this world of care, 

Breathe o'er this spot a silent prayer ; 

Pray for the desolate and poor, 

Who ne'er were driven from her door, 

Pray that the rich who here abide 

May imitate so fair a guide : 



112 

May they, like her, with open hand, 
Spread gladness through a grateful land , 
Winning, on earth, a people's love ; 
An angel's glorious lot above ! 






CHAPTER V. 



CAPE CORRIENTES. SQUALLY. THE MISSISSIPPI. BELIZE. 
CAT-FISH. AN ODD CHARACTER. RIFLE SHOOTING. 
RIVER SCENERY. THICK FOG. 



He will lie, Sir, with such volubility that you would 

think truth were a fool. 

Shakspeare. 

A strange fish ! Were I in England now, (as once I 
was,) and had but this fish painted, not a holiday fool 
there, but would give me a piece of silver. 

Shakspeare. 

Nov. 22. a. m. Light airs and fine. Five 
o'clock received the pilot on board — 
passed Portuguese shoal — ten o'clock dis- 
charged pilot. — Ten p. m. Beautiful moon- 
light night, running six knots passed Port- 
land Point and Pedro Bluffs. 

Nov. 26. This morning we made the Is- 
land of Cuba and as we supposed Cape 



114 

San Antonio, The land was very low and 
rocky, with here and there a few pines — ■ 
Our books of directions mentioned the 
great resemblance between Cape Corri- 
entes and Cape San Antonio, and also 
how often they were mistaken for one 
another. — As the weather was cloudy, 
and, owing to the currents, as we were 
not over sure of our exact position, we 
kept a good offing, and soon after dis- 
covered Cape San Antonio well to the 
westward ; the land we had first made 
being Cape Corrientes. We had also a 
proof of the accuracy of our charts ; the 
wrecks of two vessels being observable 
on the shore about three miles to the west 
of Cape Corrientes, where they had run 
up high and dry, fancying they were well 
past the westernmost point of Cuba. No 
sooner had we rounded Cape San Antonio, 



115 

than we found our change of course en- 
tailed upon us a dead foul wind ; we were 
also no longer under the shelter of the 
island. It was blowing very hard and the 
strong wind, in opposition to the current, 
produced a most unpleasant kind of sea. We 
were under single reefed mainsail and fore- 
stud-sail, and double reefed fore-trysaiL 
Midnight — heavy squalls attended with 
thunder, rain and lightning. There are few 
things more provoking after having un- 
dergone discomfort and fear, and after 
having fancied oneself a perfect heroine, 
than to be told that it was a mere nothing, 
blowing rather fresh, &c, I often felt quite 
mortified at having my illusions destroyed 
in this rough manner. 

Nov. 27. Double reefed fore-trysail — 
three sail in sight, in the afternoon mode- 
rate gales, midnight, squally. This was all 



116 

disagreeable enough, so we called a coun- 
cil, or in Indian language, a Palaver, and 
determined to give up Havana for the pre- 
sent, and to bear up for New Orleans. 
The change was delightful; we had the 
wind with us, and skipped along beauti- 
fully, seven, eight, and nine knots an hour, 
a few double reefs, but nothing to signify. 

Nov. 30. Fresh breezes and fine, sound- 
ed, no bottom, at thirty-five fathom. In the 
afternoon, double reefs again in mainsail. 

Dec. 1. Sounded, forty-five fathom, mud, 
altered course and set square sail. Three 
o'clock p. m. received a pilot on board. 
Saw a lighthouse on starboard bow ; at five 
o'clock we brought up off Belize in three 
fathom water, furled sails, cleared decks 
and set the watch. 

And this was the Mississippi ! The giant 
river of which I had heard so much ! It 



117 



really was very disappointing; mud, and 
reeds, and floating logs, yellow fever, damp- 
ness and desolation ! I believe there are 
about two hundred souls in this wretched 
little village of Belize, at least fifty of them 
are pilots. They go very far out to sea, 
and their boats, though not handsome, are 
well built and safe. The chief officer of 
the customs, and the great man of the 
place, came on board immediately and was 
most kind in his offers of assistance ; he 
had shooting " first rate " for my husband, 
and a ball with a drum and tambour to 
enliven the ladies, i.e. my maid and my- 
self! By his account, game is very plen- 
tiful here at all seasons of the year — 
snipes in abundance, and thousands of wild 
ducks ; and a short way up the river, 
plenty of deer, quail, grey squirrel and 
woodcock ; fish, to our surprise, is rather 



118 

a scarce commodity here : the sort most 
frequently caught is called the cat-fish, 
of which, by the bye, our new acquaint- 
ance told us rather a remarkable anec- 
dote. " Well sir," he began, " this is 
queer what I'm going to tell you, but it's 
a fact, that a friend of mine had a pointer 
dog marked with very particular spots, and 
this pointer had seven first-rate pups, all 
marked the same. Well sir, my friend he 
did'nt want the pups, so he just threw 
them slick into the Mississippi ; he was 
raised, my friend was, up north away, and 
he threw the pups in good two hundred 
miles from this, he did. Well sir, it might 
be a couple of days after this I was a 
fishing, and I caught as fine a cat-fish as 
ever you saw, and in its inside what might 
you think I found ? — just my friend's pointer 
pups, two of them was dead surely, but the 



119 

rest was only a little hungry ! — and that's 
a fact ! by — this and by that. " 

This singular personage was very proud 
of his skill in rifleshooting, and sent us evi- 
dences of his skill, in the shape of some deli- 
cious wild ducks shot that morning. He 
had come off conqueror in a well contested 
match with Alligator, the famous Indian 
chief, and, what was of much greater 
importance to him, he had likewise proved 
his superiority as a sportsman over an 
" English nobleman !" He forgot the name 
of this " distinguished individual," as he 
called him : by his account the " noble- 
man" was travelling for pleasure (a cir- 
cumstance in itself always sufficiently sur- 
prising to a Yankee mind) and finding him- 
self at Belize, challenged our informant 
to a rifle match. The peer boasted of 
being a first rate shot; he had won the 



120 

Cup at Manchester,, by his skill with the 
rifle, and in short " he would show the 
American what shooting was." u Well," said 
the narrator, " his Lordship dressed himself 
in a smart new bright green velvet hunting 
coat, with mother of pearl buttons as big 
as a dollar ; why I tell you, that coat was 
enough to have skeered all the ducks away 
from the river from this to eternity. Well, 
sir, he put on the coat, and then he stood 
up to fire, without a thought of keeping 
himself out of sight of the birds, and then 
away he popped, and a splendid gun he 
had too, quite first rate. Well sir, I shot 
twenty-two ducks out of twenty-three 
shots; a man with us shot ten out of 
twelve, while my Lord he never brought 
down a bird. I guess he was surprised a 
little, — I wish I did'nt obliviate his name, 
but I do — and that's a fact.'' 



121 

Our friend was really very useful to us ; 
he was a good specimen of a genuine Yan- 
kee : kind-hearted and hospitable to a de- 
gree ; rather given to drawing the long- 
bow ; but, as a sportsman, and a very good 
one, he must stand excused. His son was 
a very pleasant -mannered boy, a midship- 
man in the United States Navy. The 
two, together, supplied us plentifully with 
game, which we were not sorry to procure, 
as we intended sailing up the river to New 
Orleans, a mode of voyaging, which, with 
contrary winds, frequently occupies a con- 
siderable length of time ; the distance is 
about one hundred and five miles. 

It is not very easy to procure provisions 
of any sort at Belize. Beef is brought from 
the city (New Orleans) only in sufficient 
quantities to supply the wants of the pilots 
and their families, and is very high priced, 

VOL. I. g 



122 

namely, one shilling and threepence a 
pound. Fowls and eggs are still scarcer ; no 
poultry being reared in the neighbourhood. 
Milk was not to be had at any price ; but we 
were told that there was a widow lady up 
the river, who had milch cows, and might 
possibly be induced to part with some of 
their produce. With this hope I was 
obliged to be contented ; though, not hav- 
ing enjoyed the luxury of milk in my tea 
since leaving Jamaica, I confess I was ra- 
ther disappointed in having to wait still 
longer, for what we are accustomed to con- 
sider an indispensable article of diet. 

Dec. 2. Weighed anchor, and made sail 
up the river with a fair wind, moderate and 
fine. It is always customary to "take 
steam" up the Mississippi, so that our de- 
termination of sailing caused great astonish- 
ment, but it was so much more agreeable 



123 

and independent a course, that we had no 
hesitation in adopting it. The noise of the 
high pressure engines, which are almost in- 
variably used, is very disagreeable ; and 
you have not even the advantage of coming 
quickly to the end of your voyage, as the 
steamer generally takes several vessels in 
tow, and consequently, her steam not being 
of sufficient power, you do not average 
more than three or four knots an hour. 

After losing sight of the harbour, you see 
nothing on either side of the river, for 
several miles, but the same low reedy 
banks. Banks, however, they cannot be 
called, as there is not the slightest percepti- 
ble elevation ; you meet with innumerable 
snags and floating logs, which give a very 
desolate, ruinous look to the surface of the 
water. On ascending a few rattlings, one 
of the crew said he could see the sea over 



124 

the tops of the low trees ; there are several 
passes out of the river, and between them 
extend these swampy forests. 

Occasionally we passed, or met a large 
raft, floating up or down the stream. 
These rafts have generally a little hut built 
on them, in which there is a fire, and the 
men, who have charge of these floating 
islands, are very often seen comfortably 
cooking their dinner ; the muddy water all 
the while rippling over their wooden island, 
and finding its way out again as quietly as 
it came in. 

Too much cannot be said of the extreme 
muddiness and ugliness of this celebrated 
river, a few miles from its mouth. Its fogs 
" whip" those of our Thames. By the bye, 
the Yankees use the verb, " to whip," inva- 
riably where we say u to beat," for in- 
stance : when we first entered the river, as 



125 

we lay at anchor, a little schooner passed 
us, and without any previous greeting, the 
master hailed us through his speaking trum- 
pet, with the modest remark, " well stran- 
ger, I guess T could whip you pretty con- 
siderable, I could." — And by way, as he evi- 
dently considered, of making good his boast, 
he proceeded, taking advantage of our si- 
tuation, to sail round us in a most trium- 
phant manner. The Americans are great 
boasters, — I cannot with any regard to 
truth, say they are not, — and they are parti- 
cularly glad to whip the English when they 
can. At the same time the vaunt is generally 
made in the spirit of good humour and 
honest rivalship, and if taken in the same 
way, would never lead, as is too generally 
the case, to quarrels and heart-burnings. 

By degrees the scenery improves and 
the woods are thicker ; still the timber is 



126 

not of large growth, though the late autumn 
colours of the leaves rendered them very- 
varied and beautiful. The most common 
tree is the sycamore, not quite the same 
as ours of the same name, but nearly so ; 
the brilliant crimson of its seed-pods, con- 
trasted finely with the brown and changing 
leaves. As we advanced up the river the 
trees were of a more considerable size, and 
there was much more variety in their foli- 
age. Ilex and the line oak are very frequent. 
There is a peculiarity in the appearance of 
the woods, owing to the trees being almost 
universally covered with the long drooping 
Spanish moss. This parasitical plant hangs 
from every branch and twig, descending in 
long weeping clusters; these dependants 
often grow to the length of six or eight 
feet, and are of a greyish colour ; they 
give a sombre hue to the forests, and render 



127 

their appearance somewhat monotonous. 
The shores increased in beauty as we pro- 
ceeded, being diversified with splendid mag- 
nolias and cotton-wood trees. Occasionally 
we saw extensive clearings, on which were 
temporary wooden houses, erected near the 
river side : they are occupied by the wood 
cutters, who are employed in felling and 
stacking the w r ood for the innumerable 
steamers which work up and down the 
river. These insatiable monsters of the 
deep (the Mississippi is said to have no 
bottom) will soon effect the almost total 
destruction of those characteristic forests ; 
they are fast disappearing under the hands 
of the busy " go-a-head " steam-boat com- 
panies. 

We had a fine breeze all day, and though 
there was much trimming of sails and beat- 
ing up reaches, we found the log book 



128 

spoke well of our progress. We asked a 
Yankee fisherman, after we came to an 
anchor, how far we were from New Or- 
leans, and his reply was " well, I expect 
it will be sixty miles about from the city." 
This was a very good day's work, particu- 
larly as we were working against a current 
running from four to five miles an hour, 
and encouraged us to persevere. All day 
we had been hailed every hour by some 
steamer or other. The Webster, the Pre- 
sident, or the Henry Clay, with the oft 
repeated, " well, I guess you want to take 
steam up to the City?" "No/' "no," 
u no/ we had answered till we were tired. 
Now, all was comparatively still ; the huge 
river was composing itself to rest after its 
labours ; there was occasionallv a murmur- 
ing sound from the adjacent shore, as of 
some drowsy insects humming their latest 



129 

evening song, and now and then the light 
paddle of a canoe went ripple, ripple past — 
Here we lay, our two lights gleaming 
through the evening mist, our sails furled, 
all hands below save the solitary look- 
out man, — yes, — here we lay on the broad 
bosom of the giant Mississippi. What rest 
it was after the stormy nights to which we 
had so long been accustomed. 

During the night the fog became very 
thick, and we were kept rather in a state 
of alarm from the number of steamers, 
which were constantly passing us. By the 
American law you are obliged to have 
two lights constantly burning at the mast 
head at night ; should any vessel, not show- 
ing the required number be run against 
on the river by another ship, the former 
will not be entitled to any remuneration 
for damage sustained in the concussion. 

G II. 



130 

Dec. 3. The morning was damp, chilly 
and foggy, but before nine o'clock the sun 
had cleared away the mist, and we were 
again under weigh. As we progressed, the 
clearings became more frequent and greater 
signs of civilization were apparent. There 
was the more finished cottage, with its little 
garden crowded with orange trees, and 
most of them had in addition a small patch 
of Indian corn. The oranges are small, 
but grew very thickly ; they are sweet 
and eatable, though not to be compared 
to any which come to England. The wea- 
ther was very chilly ; the thermometer on 
deck at noon in the sun, stood at 54°, which 
to us, so lately arrived from the scorch- 
ing heat of the West Indies, was really 
cold; but notwithstanding this, we found 
the musquitoes very troublesome. All this 
day we had quite sufficient amusement in 



131 

watching the birds, which were displaying 
their bright colours in the variously tinted 
woods. They really were beautiful, and 
we were quite near enough to the shore 
to distinguish their colours, and generally 
speaking, their species ; there was the mock- 
ing bird with its elegant shape, but rather 
dingy plumage ; jays and woodpeckers of 
every hue, and the gaudy Virginia nightin- 
gale in great numbers ; we saw also wild 
ducks and flocks of wild swans and geese, 
the latter of which were extremely shy and 
wild. Of course every traveller in America is 
prepared by previous description to admire 
the autumn foliage of these " pathless 
woods." There is, however, a richness and 
variety in them — the bright and almost 
dazzling crimson shaded into rich golden 
yellow, and intermingled with the brightest 
which is perfectly indescri- 



132 

bable. If a painter were to attempt de- 
picting them to the life, he would be called 
" as mad as Turner," and truly no mortal 
hand could image forth such scenes as 
these. 

In this, our second days pilgrimage, I 
noticed several smart houses, the residences 
of sugar growers, whose manufactories were 
always near at hand. Rather further re- 
moved were the log huts of the slaves. 
We saw the latter in great numbers, both 
male and female, working in the clearings ; 
they seemed very cheerful, and we often 
heard them laughing merrily as we passed 
by : after all that I have been told of the 
sufferings of these people, it quite gladdened 
my heart to hear them. We made this 
day but little progress towards " the City," 
there being scarcely any wind ; eighteen 
miles, however, were better than nothing, 



133 

and as we were not pressed for time, we 
still refused the offers of our friends in the 
steam-tugs. 

At four o'clock p.m. the breeze died away 
entirely, and we came to an anchor in seven 
fathom water. In the evening, after din- 
ner, we rowed to the shore ; our object 
being to procure a little milk, and see- 
ing some cows in a neighbouring clear- 
ing, we did not quite despair of success. 
The river here is about a mile wide ; we 
had, therefore, some little distance to 
row, and the current was running very 
strong ; we did not take any of the men 
with us, as they had been so much em- 
ployed all day in tacking, trimming sails, 
&c. On reaching the shore the Doctor 
alone landed. We waited a long time, 
so long that the musquitoes tired with 
worrying us went to rest, and the mighty 



134 

fog, which I had hoped to escape, co- 
vered us over like a curtain. At length 
there came the welcome sound of approach- 
ing footsteps, and our companion accom- 
panied by three men made his appearance. 
He had literally been unable to escape 
before, so warm had been his welcome 
from these rude sons of the forest. They 
were profuse in their offers of assistance, 
and I believe would really have given us 
any thing they possessed. From the lady 
who kept the cows, we procured a small 
bottle of milk, for which we paid two bits 
— about one shilling ; they likewise brought 
me some fresh eggs, which were quite a 
luxury. 

The question now was " how to find 
the Dolphin ?" There is nothing so be- 
wildering as a thick fog, and by the time we 
had rowed, as we thought, to the middle 



135 

of the stream, we found ourselves com- 
pletely puzzled, both as to our own where- 
abouts and that of the schooner. The 
steamers were puffing up and down, thick 
and fast, giving us but little note of 
their approach ; indeed, were they ever 
so near, from the extreme density of 
the fog, there was every chance of our 
steering precisely the wrong way. Our 
only guide was our knowledge that the 
two lights of the Dolphin were to be 
looked for under the north star. We 
were at length enabled to catch a glimpse 
of her, as the fog hung low over the water, 
and our guiding star brought us to our 
home in safety. In less than an hour I found 
myself to my infinite relief in my floating 
home, playing " Hail Columbia " with va- 
riations ; an appropriate compliment to the 
" great City," we were approaching. 



136 

Dec. 4. Alas ! no wind, another linger- 
ing day. But the weather was warmer, and 
the birds were singing so gaily that they 
reminded me of an English day in June ; 
there was now no variety in the scenery. We 
came to an anchor early in the afternoon, 
having made about ten miles ! After dinner 
we rowed in the gig for some time along 
the banks, and landed several times in the 
hope of procuring fresh provisions. Meet- 
ing with no success, we returned on board 
laden with orange branches covered with 
fruit. All night the fog was very thick and 
the musquitoes most annoying. 



CHAPTER VI. 



NEW ORLEANS. THE HARBOUR. TEXAN COMMODORE. 
THE HOTEL OF ST. CHARLES. BUSY SCENE ON THE 
STRAND. AMERICAN MANNERS AND CUSTOMS, ELI- 
GIBLE SITUATION OF NEW ORLEANS. POPULATION 
OF THE STATE OF LOUISIANA. YELLOW FEVER. 
NATIONAL EDUCATION. DEPARTURE FROM NEW OR- 
LEANS. 



ts Soul of the world, Knowledge, without thee, 
What hath the earth that truly glorious is ?" 

Daniel. 

"Le gaing de nostre estude, c'est en estre devenu 
meilleur et plus sage." * * * * 

" D'autant que Tame est plus vuide et sans contre- 
poids, elle se baisse plus facilement soubs la charge de 
la premiere persuasion ?" 

Montaigne. 

Dec. 5. Only fifteen miles from the city. 
Its towers, and the dome of the St. 
Charles's Hotel, distinctly to be seen ! All 
rather tired with the monotony of our 



138 

fresh-water voyage. A dead calm till two 
o'clock, p.m. It was dusk before we 
reached New Orleans, The first view of 
the town from the river is very striking ; I 
think I never saw, in any other, so long 
and continuous a line of large, and even 
grand looking buildings. The innumerable 
lights which gleamed from the houses and 
public buildings, and which were reflected 
on the river, were to us, so long unused 
to the cheerful aspect of a large and bust- 
ling city, a most welcome sight. 

Dec. 6. If New Orleans appeared de- 
lightful to us by the light of its gas-lamps, 
what did it not do when seen in the face of 
day ! It was the busiest scene ! Such forests 
of masts ! Such flaunting colours and flags, 
of every hue and of every country ! Really, 
as the Yankees say, " Orleens may stump 
the univarse for a city." Five tier of ship- 



139 

ping in the harbour ! This is their busiest 
time for taking in cargo. 

There is a beautiful corvette lying near 
us, a long low hull, and raking masts ; at 
the mainmast is flying a small flag, with 
one star on its brilliant white ground ; it is 
the star of the young Republic of Texas. 
"Boat alongside!" "Side ropes!" It is 
the gig of the Texan Commodore. He had 
sent a lieutenant from the San Jacintho, 
with many kind offers of assistance and ci- 
vility. In about an hour Mr. Houston re- 
turned the visit, and brought the Com- 
modore back with him. The latter gave 
us a good deal of information as to the 
state of the Texan country, and some news 
from the army. His countrymen and the 
Mexicans are continuing a desultory war- 
fare, and with but little present prospect of 
coming to an amicable settlement. One 



140 

thing which the Commodore told us gave 
us a good deal of disappointment. We 
found that our plan of going to Aransas 
could not be put into execution. From all 
we had heard, the country about that river 
is the finest in Texas, and affords the best 
sports, there being wild animals in great 
variety. Unfortunately, the Dolphin, he 
assured us, drew too much water for the 
bar at the mouth of Aransas harbour, and 
lying outside, is by no means safe. The 
San Jacintho, though of eight hundred 
tons, drew but ten feet ; she was fully 
armed and equipped; all the Commodore 
wanted was money, and that seemed very 
scarce with him just then ; had he but pos- 
sessed that necessary article, he " would go 
to sea, take the Montezuma and Guada- 
loupe, and whip the Mexicans all round !" 
And so he very likely would, for he enjoys 



141 



the reputation of being a good officer, and 
a very fighting one. Mr. Houston went on 
shore with the Commodore, and was intro- 
duced to the British Consul. During his 
absence a great many boats came alongside. 
Great curiosity was evidently excited by 
our appearance. What could we be, a mi- 
niature man-of war, with our guns run out 
at the port-holes, and our white stripe? 
No one knew. But we heard afterwards, 
that our expected advent had been an- 
nounced in the New Orleans newspaper, 
and in that we were described as an armed 
vessel, going to fight for the cause of free- 
dom, viz, : to take the part of the Yu- 
catanese. Truly, though I wish them every 
success, I hope I may never hear the voices 
of our six-pounders in their behalf. 

We found the musquitoes most disagree- 
able ; they were worse, if possible, than at 



142 

Jamaica ; but to make me some amends, I 
had such beautiful flowers ! Jessamines of 
every kind ; daphnes, roses, violets ! Such 
a December bouquet ! and all growing in 
the open air. How refreshing they were, 
and how they reminded me of summer in 
distant England. 

We made it a rule, in general, not to 
sleep out of our own house, but wer 
tempted to break it here. Previous to our 
arrival, we had heard so much of the great 
Hotel of St. Charles, the immense extent of 
its accommodations, and the size of its 
apartments, that we decided upon spending 
a few days there, in order to see these 
wonders with our own eyes, and judge of 
them with our understandings. 

The St. Charles's Hotel was built on 
speculation by the proprietor of the Astor 
House, at New York, and I believe the 



143 

former to be, if possible, a still more pros- 
perous undertaking than the Astor House : 
It contains within its walls accommodation 
for at least five hundred persons. We 
landed in the gig about twelve o'clock, and 
such a scene of business and bustle never 
before met my eyes ! The Strand, or Le- 
vee, as it is called, is crowded by busy- 
looking men, passing in all directions ; evi- 
dently, their heads are full of business, and 
speculations and " operations," in course or 
in perspective, fill up every thought and 
feeling. No one looks at you, or delays 
for a moment his walk, or his conversation, 
for trivial causes. Indeed, I am inclined to 
believe, that were a mad dog at their heels, 
it would make but little impression upon 
their absorbed faculties. Black slaves, 
laughing, joking, swearing, and hallooing, 
are rolling along the sugar casks, or tumb- 



144 

ling over the bales of cotton ; and sailors of 
merchant vessels, the only idlers in this 
busy scene, are lounging about, with their 
pipes in their mouths, and their hands in 
their pockets. 

It is a most animated, and, to a stranger, 
most amusing sight ; but with all this bust- 
ling and noise, there is no confusion, and I 
saw no disorderly persons about. Who are 
those gaily dressed men sitting astride upon 
cotton bales, and looking so composed, 
while discussing some serious question with 
each other ? You can judge nothing from 
their countenances ; they are so well 
schooled and tutored, that no one would 
imagine an important mercantile negotia- 
tion was in progress. That gentleman 
mounted on a molasses cask, whistling, cut- 
ting up a stick, as if for the bare life, but in 
reality to prevent his countenance from be- 



145 

traying his feelings, is doing business with 
the man, who is balancing himself on an 
empty barrel near him. The latter, with 
the eternal quid in the corner of his mouth, 
is clearly looking out "for the giraffe," 5 * 
and, after a while, he rises with great sang 
froid, with, u Well, Sir, I calculate there's a 
something of a string-halt in the bargain ; 
its a horrid sight of money, Sir, you're ask- 
ing, and as Pm in a tarnation hurry to 
liquor, I'll just put it off till next fall." I 
need hardly say that this shrewd gentleman 
was recalled, and a bargain concluded. 
The process of liquoring is gone through 
several times before a bargain is struck. 

This, the first specimen I saw of Ame- 
ricans, in their own country, struck me for- 
cibly. It shewed me that those who, in 
dress, appearance, &c, are decidedly the 

* Anglice, taking care he is not taken in. 
VOL. I. H 



146 

gentlemen of the land, are so devoted to 
money making, as evidently to have neither 
time, nor many ideas to waste on other sub- 
jects. It convinced me, that though the 
contemplation of America as a nation, and 
at a distance, may, and indeed, must be in- 
teresting, yet the investigation and survey 
of the people who compose that nation, must 
soon become wearying and monotonous. 
One may be amused for a time at the 
shrewdness with which they make their 
bargains, at the acuteness of their remarks, 
and the originality of their expressions ; but 
once convinced, as I speedily became, that 
their every action proceeds from a love of 
amassing wealth, and you cease to become 
interested in individuals, whose conduct and 
whose pleasures are swayed by such an ig- 
noble cause. 

The Americans are accounted, and I be- 



147 

lieve justly so, a moral people, but even 
this merit is, I think, not so great a one in 
their case, as it is among other nations. 
Their love of wealth being all-powerful, 
and being to be gratified only by the 
strictest attention to business, it follows, 
necessarily, that the habits of their lives 
generally become quiet and restrained. 

You seldom see an American lady ac- 
companied in her walks, rides, or drives, 
except on Sundays, by a gentleman ; it 
would be a waste of time, and conse- 
quently a useless expenditure of money, to 
indulge in the gentle, and refining society 
of the female sex. Young, delicate, and 
pretty women are met unprotected, clad in 
the gayest colours ; I believe they are not 
denied any of the innocent enjoyments pro- 
cured by dress and female society, and they 
may be seen pacing the streets, from store to 



148 

store, and from boarding-house to boarding- 
house, shopping, and paying visits. This 
custom of young married women not having 
a home of their own, but inhabiting those 
nests of gossip called boarding-houses, 
seems to me injudicious and reprehensible. 
The young American wife, and they marry 
when almost children, is thus left all day 
without the society of her husband, or the 
protection of his presence. Her conversa- 
tion is limited to the vicious details of 
scandal, or the insipid twaddle of dress, and 
in a place where all have a right to enter, 
the good and the well disposed woman 
must frequently come in contact with 
many, who, had she possessed a home of 
her own, would never have been admitted 
to her presence. 

There were a variety of carriages stand- 
ing for hire on the Levee. Their cleanliness, 



149 

the excellence and ease of their springs, to 
say nothing of the well appointed appear- 
ance of most of the drivers, would put to 
shame the hired vehicles in most of the ca- 
pitals of Europe. We chose an open car- 
riage, though the weather was extremely 
cold, for we were curious to see as much as 
we could of this interesting city, 

I remarked how closely those, whom I met 
or passed, resembled each other. It is diffi- 
cult to mistake a Yankee for the inhabitant 
or native of any other country. They are 
almost all closely shaven, not a vestige of 
beard or whisker is left, — and then their 
garments are all so precisely the same ! I 
felt I should never be able to distinguish 
one man from another. I could not at first 
comprehend, why all the male inhabitants 
looked so precisely like figures made on the 
same model, but my lengthened drive 



150 

through the streets enlightened me. Out- 
side a great many of the " notion ' stores, I 
saw just such figures hanging up, coat, pan- 
talon a sous pied; in short, the whole out- 
ward man. There was this difference, and 
be it remarked, it is an essential one — 
the latter were men of straw. Such cannot 
be said of the wealthy merchants of New 
Orleans. The fact is this, there are no 
working tailors at New Orleans, and every 
article of dress comes ready made from the 
Northern States. There are merchant- 
tailors in plenty, and if the traveller in 
New Orleans is in want of a suit of clothes, 
he must, if of the masculine sex, betake 
himself to one of these gentlemen, and he 
will be forthwith fitted with anything he 
may happen to want. " Pants' 9 are daily 
announced, as a cargo just arrived u by the 
from New York," the latter city evi- 



151 

dently has the responsibility of setting the 
fashions to the 6UganU of the other cities 
of the Union. These garments being all 
of the same colour and fashion, fully ac- 
counts for the similarity of the appearance 
of the inhabitants. 

Every one in America, (and I include 
even New Orleans, where the admixture of 
French blood, and the Southern clime, would 
doubtless cause an appearance of gaiety, if 
it can be looked for anywhere in the States) 
— every one in America, I say, looks grave, 
serious, and reflective. There is none of 
the sportive, light-hearted manner visible 
among the French, and occasionally among 
our own countrymen ; their very amuse- 
ments, and they are few, are partaken of 
without any shew of relaxation or pleasure. 
Why is this ? Because business pursues 
them into the very heart of their enjoy- 



152 

ments ; because, in fact, it is their enjoy- 
ment, and business is certainly not a lively 
thing. It neither opens the heart, nor ex- 
pands the countenance. 

De Tocqueville says, — "I believe the se- 
riousness of the Americans arises partly 
from their pride. In democratic countries, 
even poor men entertain a lofty notion of 
their personal importance : they look upon 
themselves with complacency, and are apt 
to suppose that others are looking at them 
too. With this disposition, they watch 
their language and their actions with care, 
and do not lay themselves open to betray 
their deficiencies ; to preserve their dignity, 
they think it necessary to preserve their 
gravity." 

If the Americans are the proud, sensitive 
people that De Tocqueville asserts them to 
be, how is it that this pride is wholly and 



153 

solely personal ? How is it that it does not 
make them feel more acutely as a nation, 
and induce them to bestow a little of the 
anxiety they display for themselves as indi- 
viduals, on the honour and name of the 
country of which they affect to be so 
vain. 

The fact is, that, like many other proud, 
or I should say, vain people, it is the very 
sense of their public deficiencies, and the 
knowledge that their want of national faith 
is held up as a scorn and a warning among 
the nations of the earth, that induces them 
to wrap themselves up in this dignified (?) 
gravity, and in a cold and repellent de- 
meanour. An American does not even 
relax at his meals, (to be sure, they oc- 
cupy but a short space of time) his "at- 
tachment to his cares" is greater than ours 
to our pleasures; and it is this, as I said 
h n. 



154 

before, that renders him so uninteresting a 
character. 

The ladies cannot be uninteresting here ; 
they are so pretty, so gentle, and so femi- 
nine looking. I have said that they walk 
alone, and unprotected ; at the same time, 
I ought to add, that so great is the respect in 
which ladies are held in America, that such 
a course can rarely be attended by any dis- 
agreeable consequences. The taste which 
the American ladies display in their dress is 
questionable. It is true, their gowns, bon- 
nets, caps, &c. all arrive from Paris, and I 
much question whether an American lady 
would condescend to wear anything, which 
she even suspected was made by any other 
than Parisian fingers. 

The natural conclusion to be drawn from 
this fact would be, that the American ladies 
dress well. I, however, am far from think- 



155 

ing so. It is true, that each individual ar- 
ticle is well made, and the fashion correct. 
How can it be otherwise, when expense is 
not regarded, and Baudrant's choicest 
shew-rooms are ransacked for the New 
World ? Still, the tout ensemble is not 
pleasing; the cap or bonnet, however 
pretty, is not put on well, and the colours 
are never tastefully mingled. 

Ladies in America are too fond of gla- 
ring colours; and though their faces are 
lovely, they do not hold themselves well, 
and their figures are rarely good. I think 
I never saw so much beauty, or loveliness, 
so varied in its character, as I did in New 
Orleans. There was the fair English-Ame- 
rican, with her slight stooping figure, far 
surpassing, in charm of feature, the beau- 
ties of the "Old Country." The Creole- 
brunette, with her springy form, and ac- 



156 

tive, graceful walk, cannot be passed unno- 
ticed ; she looks very determined, however, 
and, as if the strife of active and angry pas- 
sions were often at war within her bosom. 
But lastly, and far more beautiful than 
either, I noticed the rich dark cheek of the 
Quadroon. The eloquent blood in her soft 
cheek speaks but too plainly of her des- 
pised descent. She seems to blush at the 
injustice of man, who visits upon her the 
sins of her fathers. The passer-by arro- 
gantly bids her stand aside, for he is holier 
than she; in bitter contempt, the women 
of the land shrink from her contact, and 
the large sleepy eye, half hid by its curled 
fringes, is hardly raised, as gracefully and 
humbly she passes them by. Poor thing ! 
what wonder, if, feeling that she is neg- 
lected and oppressed, she should turn in 
the desolation of her heart to other ties. 



157 

Deprived too frequently of the many con- 
solations of kindred affection; a solitary 
link in the chain of human sympathies — * 
brotherless, friendless, alone ! Let those 
who have never known what solitude of the 
heart is, speak harshly of the errors of the 
despised Quadroon. I can but pity her. 

All these, and much more, I saw and no- 
ticed during my first long drive through 
the busy streets of New Orleans. There is 
indeed much to see, and much to remark 
upon ; but close observation, after a time, 
becomes wearying, and I was not sorry to 
find myself arrived at the hotel. What a 
really magnificent building it is, with its 
immense facades, it quite strains ones eyes 
to catch a glimpse of its gigantic dome. 
The Americans certainly build remarkably 
fine looking edifices sometimes. I am not 
sure, however, that they are intended to 



158 

last. Yankees are too apt to chalk 
out fine plans, and commence splendid 
buildings, which after a time, and when 
only begun, they leave to Providence to 
finish. 

" A new country is never too young for 
exertion — push on — keep moving — go 
ahead." This is the Americans motto. 
They forget their youth, and consequent 
want of strength, in this very love of ex- 
ertion, and fondness for attempt and 
" movin." 

All this however does not apply to the 
St. Charles, which is finished, and is as good 
a specimen of a first-rate hotel as can be 
found anywhere. The establishment is con- 
ducted on a most liberal and splendid scale. 
The rooms for the table d'lidtes are im- 
mense, and public eating goes on at all 
hours of the day. Longer time is spent at 



159 

table by the Americans, at New Orleans, 
than in other parts of the Union, and greater 
attention is paid to the details of the cui- 
sine. This may perhaps be accounted for by 
the admixture of French inhabitants, and 
consequent Gallic tastes and feelings. 

The ladies have a table d'hote appro- 
priated to them alone ; I could not under- 
stand why they were to have this indul- 
gence, if indulgence it can be called, and 
I wondered at first why they could not 
wait till the hour of their husband's return 
from 'change, for their afternoon, and, what 
we consider, principal meal. 

I found out during my stay, that eating 
was, to judge from the frequency of its 
recurrence, the favourite amusement of the 
ladies, at New Orleans. They breakfasted 
at nine, then a luncheon was spread at 
eleven, dinner at four, tea at six, and 



160 

supper at nine o'clock ; at all these hours, 
a gong of tremendous power sounds clang- 
ingly through the hotel, summoning the 
fair boarders from their different apart- 
ments, to join in the social meaL 

About one hundred ladies, I was told 5 
sat down daily to these feminine repasts. 
I do not think that English women would 
submit to this, and great credit is due to 
the fair Americans, for the submission with 
which they give in to the wishes of their 
" lords." To be sure there is much in 
habit, and American women know, from 
their marriage day, the delights of living 
publicly in boarding houses, while they are 
altogether ignorant of the charms of a pri- 
vate life, the quiet delights of home, its 
necessary duties, and its chosen society. 

It is the want of employment to fill up 
their long leisure hours, (for though highly 



161 

gifted, and carefully educated, American 
ladies are not all studious and literary) 
which increases the number of their meals, 
fosters their love of dress, and creates the 
tendency to gossip. 

The ladies here see but little of their 
husbands : it would be well were it other- 
wise. The influence of a wife is silent but 
great, and no women in any country are 
better formed to use their power with 
moderation and discretion, had they but 
the opportunity of exerting it. All day 
the husband is absent attending to his 
everlasting business, and contracting habits 
and manners, which the few short moments 
he devotes to ladies' society are insufficient 
to counteract. 

Still women take a high position in the 
United States ; their education is superior 
to that of the men, and their writings have 



162 

in late years raised them to an elevated 
grade, on the ladder of literary fame. 

But I must return to the internal ar- 
rangements of this hotel, which, in fact, 
afford an excellent idea of the mode of 
life in this great capital of the Southern 
States. 

The evenings are occupied by music and 
dancing: the latter is a favourite amuse- 
ment here, as I believe it to be generally 
in America. The ladies invite such gentle- 
men as they think agreeable, to take part in 
their amusements ; and every evening* till 
long past midnight, I was kept awake by the 
stirring and animated sounds occasioned by 
a " carpet dance," with its accompanying gig- 
gling, fiddling, and floor-shaking. Still, I was 
quite glad to hear them, for I had really felt 
for the monotonous lives led by the poor la- 
dies, and had imagined the gentleman capa- 



163 

ble of nothing but bargaining, liquoring and 
shaving.* I was wrong, and so have many 
travellers in the States been before me. 
Most of the latter have neither remained 
long enough in the country to discover 
the truth, nor have they ever sufficiently 
thrown away the veil of prejudice, so as 
to enable them to see otherwise than 
" through a glass darkly." 

Our private apartments were very com- 
fortable, well carpeted, excellent fires, lux- 
urious furniture, and curtains of the richest 
blue damask. The only hotel to which 
I can at all compare it, is that of " Les 
Princes " at Paris. I could almost have 
fancied myself in that region of luxury, 
good living, and civility; there are white 
helps of the male sex, (our attendant was 
English) and seven excellent Parisian cooks ; 

* Anglice, taking your neighbour at a disadvantage. 



164 

I need not add that the cuisine was as good 
as possible. My bed room was delightful ; 
such snow-white musquito curtains, and 
endless rocking chairs and Psyches ! really 
had it not been for the appearance of the 
two former I should have found it hard 
to remember that I had crossed the 
water. 

An American breakfast, (when it is good 
of its kind) is not to be surpassed in any 
other country ; great variety of fish and 
fruit, preserves of every kind, and cakes of 
all sizes and descriptions. The buffalo 
tongues are very praiseworthy, and so are 
the Philadelphia hams, which they assert, 
(and I cannot deny) " whip the West- 
phalia by a long chalk." I thought their 
far famed buckwheat cakes delicious, they 
are buttered and eaten when hot, — but how 
unwholesome ! nothing but an American 



165 

digestion could venture to indulge in them 
habitually. 

The price of all these little enjoyments 
is rather high, in proportion to either Paris 
or London. For three rooms, food, lights, 
in short every thing (except wine) included 
for my husband, myself and my maid, the 
charges was seventeen dollars a day ; but 
then it must be remembered that we dieted 
(Yankee again) in private. 

The day after our arrival, our new ac- 
quaintance Commodore Moore paid us a 
visit, accompanied by a General Euston ; 
The former certainly did spin us some 
wonderful yarns, concerning the new coun- 
try we were about to visit ; but it was all 
very amusing, and only made us the more 
determined to see and judge for our- 
selves.* 

* The poor Commodore since those days has done 



166 

I did not see, in America, any of the 
offensive familiarity which is said to exist 
between masters and servants, or any of 
that objection on the part of the waiting 
class to attend as servants upon those, 
whom the accident or acquisition of wealth 
had placed for the time being in a superior 
situation of life. In America no honest 
calling is degrading, each man aspiring at 
some future time to hold as important a 
place in the world as another. Thus, 
while fulfilling the duties of a servant, he 
certainly feels himself upon an equality 

many wonderful things, besides saying them. I was 
quite sorry to read in a Texan paper, that he had been 
accused of piracy ; he certainly appeared ready to do 
any thing, (as the school boys say, " from pitch and toss 
to manslaughter ") for his country. 

General Euston has likewise I regret to learn, paid 
the debt of nature, having been murdered (poor old gen- 
tleman) by a faction. These things appear more sad 
when one has known the parties, however slightly. 



167 

with his present employer, who may (how- 
ever important his present situation) have 
commenced life with as small an amount of 
the all powerful cash as himself. This 
feeling, and these aspirations, naturally pre- 
vent any of the lowliness, and indeed ser- 
vility, which is often the characteristic of 
servants in aristocratic countries ; it does 
more, it no doubt induces that certainty of 
equality which to us is so objectionable. 
As sensible men, however, having entered 
into a temporary engagement and covenant 
to serve and, therefore, to obey, they do not 
(at least those who wish to maintain a good 
reputation, and gratify their employers) in- 
dulge in useless vaunts of liberty and equa- 
lity, but without servility, and with sufficient 
respect, do their duty during their volun- 
tary engagement, as well, or better, than the 
servants of manv other countries. The 



168 

terms of service over, the former master 
may shake hands with, and converse in 
familiar terms with his quondam servant, 
without fear of compromising his dignity, or 
coming in contact with language and habits 
inferior or different to his own. Some 
there must be, whose disposition and frame 
of mind are dangerously affected by this 
state of things ; who lose the sense of their 
temporary dependence, in the broad sea of 
democratic and over-liberal opinions, but 
these instances, among a serious, methodical, 
and sensible people like the Americans, are 
rare, and by no means sufficient to contro- 
vert my opinion that, (to use the words of the 
French writer, from whom I have previously 
quoted,) " the relation of servants and mas- 
ters is not disorganized." It is rather dan- 
gerous to take English servants to the 
United States ; there are very few, com- 



169 

paratively speaking, whose attachment and 
good sense are proof against the tempting 
charms and delusions of nominal equality. 
We had, fortunately, many opportunities 
during our stay of becoming acquainted 
with some of the most wealthy merchants 
of this wealthy city, and I did not fail to 
make every enquiry of them concerning its 
resources, its institutions, and its capabili- 
ties as a rising commercial capital. The 
situation of New Orleans is one of almost 
unparalleled eligibility. It can command 
twenty thousand miles of river naviga- 
tion ; thus, indeed, having " water privi- 
leges' 7 on a large scale; and then, with the 
sea, its navigation is perfectly easy, not 
only directly down the Mississippi, but by a 
canal and basin to the lake of Pontchar- 
train. Thus, its proximity to the ocean 
renders it almost a sea-port town. The 

VOL. I. I 



170 

immense quantity of cotton with which the 
city is literally choked up, during that part 
of the year when the crop is brought in, 
would alone give one some faint idea of the 
extent of its commerce. During the time 
we were in the harbour, there could not 
have been much fewer than sixteen hun- 
dred commercial flat-bottomed boats busily 
engaged in it. 

Louisiana, of which New Orleans is the 
capital, comprised, in the year 1538, Flo- 
rida, Alabama, Mississippi, South Tenessee, 
and Missouri. It received its name from 
the French King, In 1718, the city of New 
Orleans was founded. In 1732, the popu- 
lation amounted to five hundred whites, 
and two thousand blacks. In 1812, Louisi- 
ana became one of the States of the Union. 
In this year, also, the first steam-boat built 
on the Mississippi came down the river, 



171 

from Pittsburgh to New Orleans. Soon 
after this, the war with England was con- 
cluded. But previously to this year, se- 
veral new settlements had been made, and 
lands were colonized in Arkansas ; but the 
principal settlements were at Dauphin Is- 
land, Pensacola, and Mobile. In the year 
1727., the Jesuits and Ursuline nuns ar- 
rived from France, and many convents and 
religious edifices were erected. In 1730, 
the Council House and Jail were built. 
During this year, the price of a negro was 
one hundred and twenty-six dollars, now it 
averages five hundred ! 

In 1769, the colony was ceded to Spain, 
and in the same year the yellow fever made 
its first appearance at New Orleans. The 
Cathedral, or Church of St. Louis, is one 
of the most interesting objects in the city, 
though, alas ! suffered to fall almost into 



172 

ruins. It was built about this period, by 
the Spaniards. The architecture, though 
beautiful, is said by connoisseurs to be 
neither pure nor regular. The grand en- 
trance, consisting of a semicircular arched 
door, with two Tuscan columns on either 
side, is in the middle of the front part of 
the building, which is finely situated, in the 
centre of the Place d'Armes. 

On looking over the annual lists of the 
amount of shipping in the harbour, in 
learning the value of their cargo, and in 
comparing, one year with another, the cen- 
sus, and the revenue, one cannot but con- 
sider New Orleans as an unparalleled in- 
stance of the rapid increase of prosperity. 

In the year 1802, two hundred and fifty- 
six vessels, of different kinds, entered the 
Mississippi. The population of the city, in 
1810, was twenty-four thousand five hun- 



173 

dred and fifty-two, having been trebled in 
seven years. As I before mentioned, the 
great epoch in the history of this rising 
city, took place in the year 1812, when the 
first steam-boat entered its harbour. In 
1834, the city was first lighted with gas. 
In 1830, the population, including blacks 
and whites, amounted to forty-nine thou- 
sand eight hundred and twenty-six. In or- 
dinary years, the amount of deaths in New 
Orleans averages three thousand eight hun- 
dred. It is calculated, that about one in 
fifty die of pulmonary consumption ; and 
five hundred, at least, in passing through 
the acclimating process. 

According to the official details in the 
record of the dead, during the year 1822, 
the largest number of deaths, in any one 
day, of yellow fever, was sixty ; and of 
other casualties, eighty. During 1841, the 



174 

highest number, from yellow fever, was 
forty-three ; and the greatest mortality , 
sixty ; thus satisfactorily shewing, that the 
health of the city is improving. 

The process of draining the immense 
morasses, which almost surround New Or- 
leans, is attended with great difficulty, and 
proceeds but slowly. 

The greatest rise of the Mississippi takes 
place early in the summer, when the snows 
melt in the north and the hill country. 
When this rise takes place, the streets of 
New Orleans are three or four feet below 
the level of the river, and its inundations 
are sometimes of great service in cleansing 
and refreshing the city, during this season 
of heat and fever. 

There are many charitable associations 
in New Orleans, and noble institutions for 
the relief of the sick and poor. The 



175 

churches are handsome and numerous, and 
the prisons remarkably well conducted. 

The markets are clean, and more than 
usually well supplied with every necessary 
of life- Fruit is in great abundance ; ap- 
ples, nuts of all kinds and sizes, from the 
cocoa to the peccan, and pine-apples in 
profusion, — the latter were introduced 
from the island of Cuba. 

But to return to the public buildings. 
We greatly regretted having been at New 
Orleans after the burning of the St 
Charles' Theatre. I believe it was almost 
unrivalled, even in Europe, for its size, 
comfort, and the splendour of its decora- 
tions. The cotton presses on the Levee 
are well worth seeing, as are also the Mer- 
chants' Exchange, and the Banks ; the City 
Exchange is also very handsome. 

Fires are very frequent at New Or- 



176 

leans, partly owing to the large proportion 
of wood used in erecting the houses. The 
fire arrangements are admirable. 

Their system of national education can- 
not be too highly praised. There is a com- 
pelled tax of one per cent, on all appraised 
property ; for this, every one receives in- 
struction for his children, be they ever so 
numerous. This education comprises every 
branch of knowledge, and every sort of ac- 
complishment. The masters themselves are 
people of acknowledged worth and conside- 
ration, and receive large salaries. On 
Washington's birthday, thousands of these 
young citizens of the Republic were pa- 
raded through the streets, their teachers or 
governors at their head ; they were on 
their way to church, to fite the memory of 
their national hero. I noticed one ex- 
tremely pretty and lady-like person at the 



177 

head of one of the lines of girls. She was 
very young, and held down her head, as if 
rather an unwilling sharer in the exhibition. 
On enquiry, I found she was the wife of a 
military man, with a small income, and 
possessing great musical talent, had been 
appointed singing mistress, with a salary of 
two hundred pounds per annum. To an 
European, and especially to an English- 
man, this admixture of the classes of so- 
ciety, seems at first both strange and ill- 
advised. But he should recollect, that there 
is not, as with us, a broad line of demarca- 
tion to separate the rich or the well-born, 
from the poor and low; that each has a 
right to mingle with each, and that it is not 
the degradation of poverty, but of vice and 
incapacity, which keeps one man below 
another. I am aware, though no politician, 
that in thickly populated countries, and in 



178 

governments such as ours, this system of 
education could not be carried out ; but in 
the States, where there is plenty of space 
for each man to run his career, without 
jostling his neighbour, where courage, per- 
severance, and talent are sure to be re- 
warded with success, it is assuredly sound 
policy to raise as many useful citizens, and 
as few ignorant and unprincipled ones as 
possible. 

The whole character of the city, particu- 
larly of that part which is called the 
French quarters, is very indicative of its 
Gallic origin. The names of the streets 
are principally French, with generally an 
English translation beneath, such as, u Rue 
des Grands Hommes" " Great Men Street," 
"Rue des Morales? " Moral Street," &c. 
There are few good roads, as I found to 
my particular inconvenience, being shaken 



179 

and jolted in a manner perfectly indescriba- 
ble. The streets are wretchedly paved, but 
the carriages are good, and the springs on 
which they are hung, particularly safe and 
easy. 

Nothing can exceed the civility of the 
store-keepers. It is true, they will not put 
themselves much out of their way, but then 
a refusal or an excuse is made with polite- 
ness, and you are not pressed and urged to 
purchase, as you so often are in European 
shops. A stranger also should recollect, 
that the value he sets upon his dollar, is 
very different from the estimation in which 
it is held here. He must learn to regard it 
as a sixpence, and part with it as such. 
Dollars are not scarce at New Orleans, As 
a proof of this, I will mention a trifling 
affair which occurred, I remember, soon 
after our arrival, one of our party went into 



180 

a watchmaker's store, to purchase a glass 
for a watch. After a short delay, a gentle- 
man emerged from an inner room, with his 
mouth filled, not only with the eternal 
quid, but with no small portion of his din- 
ner besides. On hearing the demand, he 
very coolly replied, a Well now, as I'm eat- 
ing my dinner, if you're going right up and 
down town, s'pose you just call again, and 
see if I've done, and then we'll put a glass 
in that watch." His surprised customer 
took up his property, and slightly hinted 
that he would go to another store for his 
glass. No attempt was made to detain 
him — the dollar was no more to the New 
Orleans trader, as I said before, than a six- 
pence. 

We had now been a fortnight at anchor 
in the Mississippi, and, like true sailors, 
were longing for change and variety. On 



181 

the 13th of December, therefore, it was 
with cheerful hearts, that the men manned 
the windlass, and prepared for sea. How 
I enjoyed their impromptu songs ; the 
words were rough, and the airs were still 
more so. Still, as I heard the fine voice 
of the boatswain, leading off with 

The saucy schooner off she go, 
Merrily on to Texas ho ! 

I was quite exhilirated, and felt as if no 
future tempests could lessen my love either 
for the ship or its element. 



CHAPTER VII. 



SAIL FOR THE GULP OP TEXAS. GALVESTON. DIFFI- 
CULTY OF CROSSING THE BAR AT THE MOUTH OF 
THE HARBOUR. CAPTAIN ELLIOTT. TEXAS, ITS PO- 
SITION, RESOURCES, AND EXTENT. 



The power of armies is a visible thing, 
Formal, and circumscribed in time and space, 
But who the limits of that power shall trace, 
Which a brave people into light can bring, 
Or hide, at will, — for freedom combating 
By just revenge inflamed ? 

Wordsworth. 

Say, what is honour ? — Tis the finest sense 
Of justice which the human mind can frame. 

Wordsworth. 

Dec. 13. Left New Orleans, and made 
sail down the river. Wind and current 
both in our favour. Brought up at six 
o'clock in nine fathom w r ater; cold but 
fine. 



183 

Dec. 14. Working down the river; mo- 
derate breezes and fine. At five o'clock, 
p. m. anchored in eight fathom water, with 
fifteen fathom cable. 

Dec. 15. Towards the close of this dav 
we found ourselves near the South-West 
pass out of the river, and truly rejoiced we 
were, for we were quite tired of mud, and 
snags, and longed for the blue water of the 
deep sea. 

Dec. 16. Fresh breezes, and a bright sun, 
the weather was rather cold, but the fresh- 
ness of the air coming over the sea was 
delightful, and we were all enjoying in an- 
ticipation, the delights of the wild country 
to which we were bound. 

Dec. 17. Strong breezes, and cloudy. 
The Dolphin seems delighted to be in her 
own element again, fresh water evidently 
does not agree with her ; she is going 



184 

nine and ten knots an hour, and there 
is scarcely any motion, the wind is so 
fair* 

The land of Texas is very low, and the 
Guide books mention three trees, the only 
ones on the island of Galveston, as a land- 
mark. For these signs of vegetation we 
were anxiously looking on the morning 
of the second day from our leaving the 
river. In the mean- while, a man was kept 
almost constantly in the chains sound- 
ing for bottom. This precaution is I believe 
highly necessary in this part of the Gulf. 
Late in the evening we sounded in ten fa- 
thom water. 

Dec. 18. Sounding all the morning — 
ten fathom,, then eight, — seven — and five, 
in quick succession. This did not seem 
to me very agreeable, from the lowness of 
the island, and the circumstance of the wind 



185 

blowing on shore ; there was a very thick 
sea-mist too, and we could scarcely see the 
length of the ship ahead. From time to 
time the fog however rolled suddenly away, 
and during one of these intervals, the man 
at the mast head sung out " land on the 
weather bow." 

This was at eleven o'clock, a.m. The 
wind had freshened considerably, and there 
was a disagreeable drizzling rain falling, 
when at a distance of three or four miles 
from Galveston we shortened sail, and at 
noon distinctly made out the town of Gal- 
veston. I beg its pardon, I am aware that 
" city" is the correct term for so im- 
portant a place. 

The fog and mist had by this time con- 
siderably lessened in density, and we could 
distinguish a few grey looking houses, a 
church or two, and some masts of vessels, 



186 

but the latter were neither numerous nor 
imposing. Allowance must be made for this 
poorness of appearance, when we remem- 
ber, that we saw ail these things through 
an incessant rain, which made them, and 
indeed the whole prospect, look cheerless 
and forlorn. 

Before our arrival we had heard much of 
the dangers attending an entrance into the 
harbour. The small depth of water on its 
bar had always been held up to us in terro- 
rem, and as a reason for avoiding this part 
of the coast in the Dolphin altogether. All 
these recollections made us naturally anx- 
ious for the appearance of the pilot, for 
whom we made a signal immediately after 
shortening sail. As he did not make his 
appearance we stood off again, and waited 
with some degree of impatience, in hopes of 
seeing his boat leave the shore. 



187 

We spent at least three hours in this 
manner, shortening the time as well as we 
could in abusing all the government au- 
thorities indiscriminately, and pilots in par- 
ticular. At length, however, to our great 
relief, a large steamer, the New York, which 
we had observed some time previously 
occupied in getting up her steam, was seen 
coming towards us ; her high-pressure en- 
gine was puffing and blowing, like some 
huge elephant out of breath, and her deck 
covered with curious passengers. 

When she had arrived within speaking- 
trumpet distance, the captain hailed us 
through this instrument, which is still in 
general use in American ships, and gave 
us the welcome information that he had 
a pilot on board. We were delighted ; as 
we now saw some chance of coming to 
an anchor that day : the prospect of spend- 



188 

ing another night standing off and on was 
by no means agreeable. 

Before taking leave of us, the Captain, 
in a true Yankee spirit of " making an 
operation," offered to tow us over the bar. 
This was on his own account, and for this 
piece of civility, and trifling assistance, the 
performance of which would have occupied 
him half an hour, he demanded the mo- 
derate sum of one hundred dollars ! — of 
course the offer was declined ; however, as 
it was made civilly, hats were mutually 
raised in token of amity, and the New 
York puffed back to her station in the har- 
bour. 

We had now received the pilot on board. 
He was an Englishman, and a good sailor, 
as well as a safe and experienced pilot. 
There is at present a great want of these 
useful individuals at Galveston, and also, — 



189 

as our own pilot informed us — an insuffi- 
ciency of buoys; a few rotten barrels be- 
ing placed here and there, often in wrong 
places, and, not seldom, being removed by 
accident or malice. 

A strong northerly wind had prevailed 
for some days, and a considerable quantity 
of water had in consequence been blown 
out of the harbour ; the bar was thus less 
covered even than usual, and it became 
necessary to trip the vessel. This opera- 
tion consists in running the guns forward, 
and shifting the ballast ; thus she was put 
on an even keel, and the chances of her 
bumping (as it is called) on the bar 
are considerably lessened. The crossing 
this formidable impediment was a mo- 
ment of great excitement. The lead was 
thrown into the sea without intermission ; 
it was " by the mark four " — " quarter 



190 

less three " — " by the mark two 3J — u quar- 
ter less two/' called out rapidly one after 
another, by the man in the chains. Now 
was the trying moment ; even the pilot 
looked anxious, and we every moment ex- 
pected to feel the bottom. After the sus- 
pence of a minute, or indeed less, the pilot 
drew a long breath, and exclaimed " all safe, 
Sir, now" — the guns were run aft again with 
all dispatch, and we were steering straight 
into the harbour. 

After crossing the bar, there is an ex- 
tremely narrow channel through which 
vessels must necessarily pass before they 
can arrive at a safe anchorage. In this 
channel we felt the bottom, or rather side, 
but it is of soft mud, and there is no danger 
in the contact. 

In another half hour we found ourselves 
safely anchored in Galveston harbour, with- 



191 

in a hundred and fifty yards of the stand, 
in four fathom water. After dinner we were 
agreeably surprised by a visit from Capt. 
Elliot, her Britannic Majesty's Charge d' Af- 
faires in this republic. We had heard, much 
to our regret, that Captain Elliot was at 
Washington, the present seat of govern- 
ment, and had such been the case, we should 
have lost much useful information, as re- 
gards the republic, and infinite amusement 
and enjoyment personally. 

Previously to my arrival I confess to 
having known but little of Texas, its posi- 
tion, its resources, or its extent. It is just 
possible that my ignorance in this respect 
may be shared by others, and if so, some 
account of the republic may not be unwel- 
come. 

Texas is bounded on the north, bv the 
Red River, on the south by the Gulph of 



192 

Mexico, on the east by the Sabine River 
and Louisiana, and on the west by the 
Rio grande del Norte. Comprising within 
these limits an area of nearly five hundred 
thousand square miles. It has more than 
three hundred miles of territory bordering 
on the Gulph of Mexico, its coast lying 
nearly N.W. and S.E. Supposing Texas 
to have an average breadth of between 
three to four hundred miles, and extending 
in a north westerly direction for about seven 
hundred, its surface may be said to present 
an inclined plane gradually descending to- 
wards the sea. Towards the north-west 
is an elevated range of hills, (spurs of the 
Rocky Mountains) from whence several ri- 
vers take their source, flowing towards 
the Gulph of Mexico, in a direction nearly 
parallel to each other and about sixty 
miles apart. 



193 

Texas has three divisions of country 
differing from each other to a remarkable 
extent, not only as regards its surface and 
soil but also its climate. These are termed 
respectively, by its inhabitants, the Low, 
the Rolling, and the Hilly country. The 
first of these, bordering upon the Gulph 
of Mexico, and along the whole line 
of coast, is a perfectly level low tract ex- 
tending about sixty or seventy miles. To 
these lowlands, which are certainly not 
healthy, but wonderfully rich and produc- 
tive, succeeds the beautifully undulating 
Rolling Prairies ; nothing can surpass this 
portion of Texas in natural attractions : 
its ever verdant prairies resemble our most 
beautiful parks ; magnificent clumps of tim- 
ber are scattered over its surface, and its 
valleys are watered by quick running limpid 
streams. The third division comprises the 

VOL. I. K 



194 

high broken mountainous tract more to the 
north, at a distance of three or four hundred 
miles from the sea coast ; here are said to 
be Table-lands, with a soil scarcely inferior 
to the former divisions, and fully equal to 
either of the others in beauty and climate. 
This country, as also the entire tract to the 
northward, has not yet been sufficiently 
explored to form any very accurate judge- 
ment of its merits. 

The principal rivers commencing, from 
the eastward, are the Sabine and the Neches, 
both flowing into the Sabine lake, out of 
which there is a narrow inlet to the Gulph, 
with a bar across the channel, having only 
six feet of water ; this is the only mud bar 
on the coast, those of all the harbours west- 
ward being of hard sand. The Trinity 
flows into Galveston Bay, the Bragos di- 
rectly into the Gulph, with a most danger- 



195 

ous bar at its embouchure having not more 
than five or six feet of water. 

The Colorado flows into the Bay of Ma- 
tagorda, which, like the Bay of Galveston, 
and almost all the other bays on this coast, 
is only separated from the Gulph of Mexico 
by a narrow strip of land rarely more than 
a mile or two in breadth. 

The bay is nearly forty miles in length, 
and has a bar at its entrance with seven 
feet of water. The Guadaloupe, St. An- 
tonio, and Neches, are inferior in size to 
those I have previously mentioned, but, 
like them, flow into similar long narrow 
bays, separated from the sea by a sandy 
ridge of a mile or more in breadth. The 
Bay of Aransas, which receives the Guada- 
loupe and San Antonio rivers, is connected 
with the sea by an extremely narrow chan- 
nel, with six feet and a half of water over 



196 

its bar. The Rio Grande del Norte, form- 
ing the western boundary of Texas, rises in 
the Rocky mountains ; it is said not to be 
navigable, on account of its rapids, till 
within two hundred miles of the sea, near 
the town of Loredo ; thence, to the Gulph, 
it is described as a noble stream, three or 
four hundred yards wide, and of conside- 
rable depth. 

The Republic of Texas most undoubt- 
edly owes its origin to Moses Austin, who 
first conceived the plan of establishing a 
considerable colony in that country. This 
was eventually effected by his son, Stephen 
Austin, assisted by Mr. Williams; both 
Americans by birth, and men of distin- 
guished talent and enterprise. With the 
latter we had the good fortune to become 
acquainted in Texas, and had to thank 
him for a great deal of valuable informa- 



197 

tion regarding the country and its history. 
Previous to the year 1821, the central 
part of Texas appears to have been only 
frequented by roving bands of Indians. 
There were a few settlements on its eastern 
frontier, bordering upon Louisiana ; and the 
Mexicans, to the amount of four or five 
thousand, were established in the neigh- 
bourhood of San Antonio de Bexar, and 
Goliad, or La Badia. 

Moses Austin received his original grant 
in the year 1820, when Mexico was under 
the rule of Spain, and died soon after in 
the United States, whilst preparing to put 
his plans for colonization into effect. Soon 
after his father's death, Stephen Austin 
started with a small body of settlers from 
New Orleans, and after arriving in Texas, 
having carefully explored the country, 
selected, as the lands most desirable, a 



198 

tract of country lying between the Brazos 
and the Colorado river, at about seventy 
miles distance from the sea. After a short 
period, he again returned to the United 
States, and made arrangements for coloniz- 
ing on a more extended scale. 

In the mean time, Mexico had finally suc- 
ceeded in throwing off the yoke of Spain. 
On Austin's return, therefore, to his co- 
lony, in 1822, what was his mortification to 
find that, before he could proceed with the 
distribution of lands, it would be necessary 
for him to proceed to Mexico, to solicit 
from the new government a confirmation 
of the grant made to his father ! It was 
at this period, and whilst the Cortes were 
debating upon Austin's petition, and also 
other applications of a similar nature, that 
Iturbide overthrew the existing govern- 
ment, and proclaimed himself Emperor. 



199 

Austin had no difficulty in obtaining the 
object of his visit Mexico has always 
been too weak to govern her distant pro- 
vinces, and, at this period, being utterly un- 
able to protect her settlers in Texas, and 
indeed, her own frontiers, from the ra- 
vages of hostile Indians, she was only too 
glad to avail herself of any offers made by 
foreigners to colonize and settle in the rich 
plains of Texas. This seems to have con- 
tinued to be the prevailing feeling of the 
successive governments in Mexico, from 
1822 till the year 1830; and, in that in- 
terval, almost the whole of Texas was 
granted to different individuals, who were 
called impresarios, or contractors. The 
contract was,, that they were to introduce 
into the country, and settle a stipulated 
number of families, in order to be en- 
titled to the land granted by govern- 



200 

ment. To return, however, to Stephen 
Austin. 

Scarcely had Iturbide granted his peti- 
tion, when the Emperor was himself de- 
throned by Santa Anna, who immediately 
annulled all grants of land made by his pre- 
decessor in power. Thus, Austin had again 
to solicit from the Cortes a confirmation of 
his former grant. This he at last succeeded 
in obtaining, and soon after returned to 
Texas. There be had to struggle with a 
variety of difficulties. His infant colony, 
now consisting of about three hundred fa- 
milies, was to be governed without any 
controlling power, unless we except the 
moral influence which his superior men- 
tal qualities enabled him to exercise over 
the rude settlers. The population was 
now rapidly increasing. In the year 1825, 
nearly the whole of Texas had been 



201 

granted away to impresarios, and in 1830, 
we find that settlements had sprung up 
in every part of the country. 



K II. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



POLITICAL POSITION OF TEXAS DURING THE FIRST 
YEARS OF HER COLONIZATION. EVENTS WHICH 
WERE THE MORE IMMEDIATE CAUSE OF HER DE- 
CLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. 



And from these grounds, concluding as we doe, 
Warres causes diuerse ; so by consequence 
Diuerse we must conclude their natures too ; 
For warre, proceeding from the Omnipotence, 
No doubt is holy, wise, and without error, 
The sword of justice, and of sin the terror. 

Lord Brooke. 

No country has been more calumniated 
and misrepresented than Texas. She has 
been called the Alsatia of the United 
States ; and again,, the " pestiferous swamps 
of Texas/' "pillaged from the too con- 
fiding Mexicans/' &c. &c. The greater 
part of these mis-statements, that have 



203 

appeared in England, concerning Texas, 
are said to have been circulated by the 
Mexican bondholders., and others inte- 
rested in the prosperity of Mexico.* The 
Americans, however, have been far more 
bitter in their attacks upon the unoffending 
Republic. The Southern States were doubt- 
less influenced in their conduct by jealousy 
of the far superior soil and climate of 
Texas, and her probable commercial ad- 
vantages. 

* The Mexican debt to British bondholders amounts 
to nearly ten millions sterling, and Santa Anna, in 
the year 1837, either despairing of ever recovering 
Texas, or hoping to acquire powerful allies in the 
Mexican bondholders, made over to that body, lands in 
Texas, to the extent of forty millions of acres, as fur- 
ther security for the principal and interest of their 
bonds. These lands were to be specially hypothecated, 
until the total extinction of the bonds, and the govern- 
ment engaged to give complete possession to the gua- 
ranteed lands. This transaction is altogether so strange 
and ridiculous, as to be scarcely credible. 



204 

The Northern States of America, on the 
other hand, are ranged against the Re- 
public, on account of the existence of sla- 
very in the country, and from a feeling that 
the interests of Texas are thereby con- 
nected with the slave-holding States of the 
Union, and thus increasing their power. 

It appears to me, that few people have 
ever had more just cause than the Texans, 
for throwing off an oppressive yoke, and 
separating themselves from a nation, which 
had so long proved its incapacity even for 
self-government. Previous to Texas de- 
claring her independence, the Mexican Re- 
public had been constantly a prey to inter- 
nal dissensions ; and civil war, in all its 
horrors, had desolated the country. Her 
political institutions had been changed, or 
overthrown, according to the interest or ca- 
price of each successive military chief of 



205 

the country. The rule of these political 
leaders was invariably marked by blood- 
shed, cruelty, and oppression, and the 
country was in a constant state of anarchy 
and revolution. 

I shall now endeavour to show the poli- 
tical position of Texas during the first years 
of her colonization, and afterwards to de- 
scribe the events which were the more im- 
mediate cause of her declaration of Inde- 
pendence. Under the constitution of 1824, 
Mexico was a confederated Republic, 
somewhat similar to the United States, 
having a President, Vice-President, Senate, 
and a House of Representatives, as a central 
government. Each State had, however, its 
separate independent government. The 
Mexican government, as I have before 
mentioned, having found itself obliged, for 
its own security, to encourage colonization 



206 

in Texas, declared by a decree of Cortes, 
dated 7th May, 1824:— 

H That Texas is to be annexed to the 
Mexican province of Cohahuila, until it is 
of sufficient importance to form a separate 
State, when it is to become an independent 
State of the Mexican Republic, equal to 
the other States of which the same is com- 
posed, free, sovereign, and independent, in 
whatever exclusively relates to its internal 
government and administration." 

This decree was declared "inviolable," 
and the act says, " can never be reformed/' 

It was then, on the faith of this decree, 
that new settlers were constantly arriving 
in Texas, from all countries, and this state 
of things continued till the year 1830, 
when the hitherto increasing prosperity of 
the country received its first check. 

Bustamente, an adventurer, who by in- 



207 

trigue, or bloodshed, had contrived to pos- 
sess himself of the first office in the Mexi- 
can Republic, prohibited the further ingress 
of foreigners, and issued several decrees ini- 
imical to the interests of Texas. The 
Mexican government, apparently jealous of 
its rising influence and prosperity, seems 
now to have made several enactments, at 
variance with the constitution of 1824. To 
effect these, it was necessary to introduce a 
considerable force of Mexican soldiers into 
the country ; thus, it eventually ended in 
Texas being placed almost entirely under 
military rule. It would be difficult to give 
an adequate idea of the numerous acts of 
injustice and oppression to which the set- 
tlers were subjected at this period. They 
were at length driven to resistance; and 
the military commandants, or governors, 
were soon forced out of the country, and 



208 

with them the whole of the Mexican 
troops. 

The oppressive rule of Bustamente was, 
fortunately, brought to a conclusion in the 
year 1832. His object had been to esta- 
blish a central government, instead of the 
federal constitution, but finding himself un- 
able to cope with the superior mental 
powers and military conduct of Santa 
Anna, he resigned his office in favour of 
General Pedraza, and early in 1833, Santa 
Anna was proclaimed President. 

The Texans having now had sufficient 
experience of the bad effects arising from 
their being under the administration of the 
State of Cohahuila, resolved to petition the 
Supreme Government for a separation of 
the provinces, and demanded that Texas 
should be granted an independent state 
government, in conformity with the fe- 



209 

deral compact, and Act of Cortes, of 
1824. 

The memorial set forth, that Texas was 
virtually without any government at all ; 
that the language of the people was diffe- 
rent ; that Cohahuila and Texas were alto- 
gether dissimilar in soil, climate, and na- 
tural productions ; that owing to the nume- 
rical inequality of their respective represen- 
tatives, the enactment of laws beneficial to 
Texas could only emanate from the ' ge- 
nerous courtesy' of her constitutional part- 
ner, and that legislative advantages to the 
one might, from incompatibility of inte- 
rests, be ruinous to the other. 

Protection from Indian depredations, 
they declared to be of vital importance to 
Texas, which protection Cohahuila was un- 
able to render. The Indians in their im- 
mediate neighbourhood had been denied 



210 

justice, which would be granted by inde- 
pendent Texas. Finally, Texas possessed 
the necessary elements for a state go- 
vernment, and for her attachment to 
the federal constitution and to the re- 
public, they pledged their lives and ho- 
nours. 

Stephen Austin was the person selected 
by the people to proceed to Mexico, and to 
submit their petition for the consideration of 
Cortes. Austin, after waiting nearly a year 
in the capital, and being able to gain no 
reply to the petition with which he had 
been charged, wrote to the authorities in 
Texas, recommending them at once to or- 
ganize a State, de facto, without waiting 
for the decision of Congress. 

This was considered by the government 
as a treasonable proceeding, and shortly 
afterwards Austin was arrested at Sattillo, 



211 

whilst on his return to Texas- Being 
brought back to the capital, he was impri- 
soned in the dungeons of the Inquisition 
for upwards of a year. He did not return 
to Texas till more than two years had 
elapsed from the date of his departure, and 
not until Santa Anna had overthrown the 
federal constitution of the Republic, and 
established in its place a Central Consoli- 
dated Government, rendering him wholly 
independent of the States of the Confede- 
racy, and thus, in fact, becoming military 
dictator of Mexico. 

Several of the States were of course op- 
posed to this change : some, indeed, re- 
sorted to arms, but were unable to resist 
the power of the dictator. The constitu- 
tional authorities of Cohahuila and Texas 
assembled at Mondova, and solemnly pro- 
tested against this change of government. 



212 

They were, however, driven from office by 
a military force, under General Cos. The 
government was then dissolved ; and the 
Governor, and other members of the State 
legislature, were imprisoned. Thus, the 
central government was established — in 
opposition to the will of the States and of 
the people — by the forcible, and unconsti- 
tutional destruction of the social compact 
which they had sworn to support. It was 
at this juncture that Austin was released ; 
and Santa Anna, becoming alarmed at 
the public meetings, and various demon- 
strations of opposition in Texas, deter- 
mined on sending Austin back to his coun- 
try as a mediator. 

At a public meeting, soon after his re- 
turn to Texas, he made the following 
speech, giving very fully his opinions of the 
state of affairs, and also recommending 



213 

such measures as he thought advisable to 
be pursued. 

"I left Texas," said Mr. Austin, "in 
April, 1833, as the public agent of the 
people, for the purpose of applying for the 
admission of this country into the Mexican 
confederation, as a state separate from Co- 
hahuila. This application was based upon 
the constitutional and vested rights of 
Texas, and was sustained by me in the city 
of Mexico to the utmost of my abilities. 
No honourable means were spared to effect 
the objects of my mission, and to oppose 
the forming of Texas into a territory, 
which was attempted. I rigidly adhered to 
the instructions and wishes of my constitu- 
ents, so far as they were communicated 
to me. My efforts to serve Texas in- 
volved me in the labyrinth of Mexican 
politics! I was arrested, and have suf- 



214 

fered a long persecution and imprison- 
ment. 

" I consider it to be my duty to give an 
account of these events to my constituents, 
and will, therefore, at this time, merely ob- 
serve that I have never, in anv manner, 
agreed to anything, or admitted anything, 
that would compromise the constitutional 
or vested rights of Texas. These rights 
belong to the people, and can only be sur- 
rendered by them. 

H I fully hoped to have found Texas at 
peace, and in tranquillity, but regret I find 
it in commotion ; all disorganized, all in 
anarchy, and threatened with immediate 
hostilities. This state of things is deeply to 
be lamented ; it is a great misfortune, but 
it is one w r hich has not been produced by 
any acts of the people of this country. On 
the contrary, it is the natural and inevi- 



215 

table consequence of the revolution that 
has spread all over Mexico, and of the im- 
prudent and impolitic measures, both of the 
general and state governments, with regard 
to Texas. The people here are not to 
blame, and cannot be justly censured. 
They are farmers, cultivators of the soil, 
and are pacific from interests from occupa- 
tion, and from inclination. They have uni- 
formly endeavoured to sustain the constitu- 
tion and the public peace, and have never 
deviated from their duty as Mexican citizens. 

" If any acts of imprudence have been 
committed by individuals, they evidently 
resulted from the revolutionary state of the 
whole nation, the imprudent and censura- 
ble conduct of the state authorities, and the 
total want of a local government in Texas. 

" It is, indeed, a source of surprise and 
creditable congratulation, that so few acts 



216 

of this description have occurred under the 
peculiar circumstances of the times. It is, 
however, to be remembered, that acts of 
this nature were not the acts of the people, 
nor is Texas responsible for them. They 
were, as I before observed, the natural con- 
sequences of the revolutionary state of the 
Mexican nation ; and Texas certainly did 
not originate that revolution ; neither have 
the people, as a people, participated in it. 
The consciences and hands of the Texans 
are free from censure, and clean. 

" The revolution in Mexico is drawing to 
a close. The object is, to change the form 
of government, destroy the federal constitu- 
tion of 1824, and establish a central or con- 
solidated government. The states are to 
be converted into provinces. 

" Whether the people of Texas ought or 
ought not to agree to this change, and re- 



217 

linquish all or a part of their constitutional 
and vested rights, under the constitution of 
1824, is a question of the most vital im- 
portance ; one that calls for the deliberate 
consideration of the people, and can only 
be decided by them, fairly convened for the 
purpose. 

" As a citizen of Texas, I have a right to 
an opinion on so important a matter. I 
have no other right, and pretend to no 
other. In the report which I consider it 
my duty to make to my constituents, I in- 
tend to give my views on the present situa- 
tion of the country, and especially as to the 
constitutional and natural rights of Texas, 
and will, therefore, at this time, merely 
touch this subject. 

" Under the Spanish government, Texas 
was a separate and distinct province. As 
such it had a separate and distinct local or- 

VOL. I. l 



218 

ganization. It was one of the unities that 
composed the general mass of the nation, 
and as such participated in the war of the 
revolution, and was represented in the con- 
stituent Congress of Mexico, that formed 
the constitution of 1824. This constituent 
Congress, so far from destroying this unity, 
expressly recognized and confirmed it by 
the law of May 7, 1824, which united 
Texas with Cohahuila, provisionally, under 
the especial guarantee of being made a 
state of the Mexican confederation, as soon 
as it possessed the necessary elements. 

" That law, and the federal constitution, 
gave to Texas a specific political existence, 
and vested in its inhabitants special and de- 
fined rights, which can only be relinquished 
by the people of Texas, acting for them- 
selves, as a unity, and not as a part of Co- 
hahuila, for the reason that the union with 



219 

Cohahuila was limit ed, and only gave 
power to the State of Cohahuila and Texas 
to govern Texas for the time being, but 
always subject to the vested rights of 
Texas. The State, therefore, cannot relin- 
quish those vested rights, by agreeing to 
the change of government, or by any other 
act, unless expressly authorized by the 
people of Texas to do so ; neither can 
the general government of Mexico legally 
deprive Texas of them without the consent 
of the people. These are my opinions. 

" An important question now presents it- 
self to the people of this country. The 
federal constitution of 1824 is about to be 
destroyed, and a central government esta- 
blished ; and the people will soon be 
called upon to say whether they agree to 
this change or not. This matter requires 
the most calm discussion, the most mature 



220 

deliberation, and the most perfect union. 
How is this to be had ? I see but one way, 
and that is by a general consultation of the 
people, by means of delegates elected for 
the purpose, with full powers to give such 
an answer, in the name of Texas, to this 
question, as they may deem best, and to 
adopt such measures as the tranquillity and 
salvation of the country may require. 

" It is my duty to state, that General 
Santa Anna verbally and expressly autho- 
rized me to say to the people of Texas, 
that he was their friend, that he wished for 
their prosperity, and would do all he could 
to promote it ; and that in the new consti- 
tution, he would use his influence to give 
to the people of Texas a special organiza- 
tion, suited to their education, habits, and 
situation. 

" Several of the most influential and in- 



221 

telligent men in Mexico, and especially the 
Minister of Relations and War, expressed 
themselves in the same manner. These de- 
clarations afford another and a more urgent 
necessity for a general consultation, of all 
Texas, in order to inform the general govern- 
ment, and especially General Santa Anna, 
what kind of organization will suit the edu- 
cation, habits, and situation of this people. 

" It is also proper for me to state, that 
in all my conversations with the President 
and Ministers, and men of influence, I ad- 
vised that no troops should be sent to 
Texas, and no cruisers along the coast. I 
gave it as my decided opinion, that the ine- 
vitable consequence of sending an armed 
force to this country, would be war. I 
stated that there was a sound and correct 
moral principle in the people of Texas, that 
was abundantly sufficient to restrain, or put 



222 

down, all turbulent or seditious movements, 
but that this moral principle could not, and 
would not, unite with any armed force sent 
against this country., On the contrary 5 it 
would resist and repel it, and ought to do so. 
" This point presents another strong 
reason why the people of Texas should 
meet in general consultation This country 
is now in anarchy, threatened with hostili- 
ties ; armed vessels are capturing all they 
can catch on the coast, and acts of piracy 
are said to be committed under cover of 
the Mexican flag. Can this state of things 
exist without precipitating the country into 
a war ? I think it cannot ; and> therefore, 
believe, that it is our bounden and solemn 
duty, as Mexicans and as Texans, to repre- 
sent the evils that are likely to result from 
this mistaken and most impolitic policy in 
the military movements. 



223 

"My friends, I can truly say, that no 
one has been, or is now, more anxious than 
myself to keep trouble away from this 
country. No one has been, or now is, 
more faithful to his duty as a Mexican ci- 
tizen, and no one has personally sacrificed, 
or suffered more in the discharge of this 
duty. I have uniformly been opposed to 
have anything to do with the family poli- 
tical quarrels of the Mexicans. 

" Texas needs peace, and a local govern- 
ment ; its inhabitants are farmers, and they 
need a calm and a quiet life But how can 
I, or any one, remain indifferent, when our 
rights, our all, appear to be in jeopardy ; 
and when it is our duty, as well as our ob- 
ligation, as good Mexican citizens, to ex- 
press our opinions on the present state of 
things, and to represent our situation to 
the government? It is impossible. The 



224 

crisis is such, as to bring it home to the 
judgment of every man, that something 
must be done, and that without delay. 
The question will, perhaps, be asked, what 
are we to do ? I have already indicated 
my opinion. Let all personalities, or divi- 
sions, or excitements, or passion, or vio- 
lence, be banished from among us. Let a 
general consultation of the people of Texas 
be convened as speedily as possible ; to be 
composed of the best and most calm, and 
intelligent and firm men in the country ; 
and let them decide what representations 
ought to be made to the general govern- 
ment, and what ought to be done in future." 
I have copied at full length the senti- 
ments and opinions of Austin, which he ex- 
pressed on his return from Mexico, because 
his opinion on this important subject had 
great weight with all parties. The cha- 



225 

racter of Austin stood high, as an unpreju- 
diced observer, a just man, and a disinte- 
rested member of the state. Even the 
Mexicans, though they had uniformly op- 
pressed, and persecuted him, yet in the 
main, did justice to his unbending princi- 
ples of honour and integrity. The account 
given, on the authority of such a man as 
Austin, of the motives and grievances 
which influenced the colonists, should, I 
think, go far in refutation of the many un- 
just, and ill-founded charges that have been 
made against the Texan people. 

Though repeatedly stigmatized, as owing 
their origin to ruffians, and runaway rogues 
from every part of the world, we find the 
new settlers influenced in their struggles 
for freedom, by feelings of which more ci- 
vilized, and longer established countries, 
might be justly proud. 

L II. 



226 

The colonists certainly were inclined to 
treat the opinions of Austin with deference, 
and to be guided by his judgment ; and it is 
probable, that had Mexico, at this crisis, 
adopted conciliating measures, and acted 
with common justice towards the colony, 
the progress of disaffection and revolt 
would have been arrested, and Texas 
would have been retained as one of the 
States of the confederacy. 

How long, however, it would have conti- 
nued so, it is not for me to determine ; it is 
not probable, that a country formed of 
such independent spirits, would have re- 
mained under any yoke, particularly that of 
a State, where the language and habits 
were so essentially different from their 
own, and whose capital was distant from 
their frontier at least twelve hundred miles. 



CHAPTER IX. 



PROGRESS OF THE STRUGGLE FOR TEXAN INDEPEN- 
DENCE. DECLARATION OF THE PEOPLE OF TEXAS IN 
GENERAL CONVENTION ASSEMBLED. CRUELTY OF 
GENERAL SANTA ANNA, BATTLE OF SAN JACINTO. 
TOTAL ROUT OF THE MEXICAN ARMY. 



And tell me haughty harte, confesse a truth, 
What man was aye so safe in glorie's porte ? 
But traynes of treason (oh the more the ruth) 
Could undermine the bulwarks of this forte, 
And raze his ramparts down in sundrie sort ? 
Search all thy books, and thou shalt find therein, 
That honour is more harde to holde than winne. 

Gascoigne. 

In conformity with the advice of Austin, 
committees of safety and vigilance were 
now formed, and resolutions passed, to in- 
sist on their rights, under the federal con- 
stitution of 1824. Troops were organized, 
and every preparation made to resist the 



228 

Mexican forces, which were expected to be 
sent against them. In these anticipations 
they were not disappointed ; General Cos 
soon after arrived at Copano, and marched 
thence to Bexar. 

The first meeting of the hostile troops 
was at Gonzales. The Mexicans, in an at- 
tack upon the town, w r ere repulsed with 
great bravery, and suffered considerable 
loss, both in killed and wounded. Shortly 
after this, a more important victory was 
gained, in the capture of the town and gar- 
rison of Goliad, containing a great quantity 
of military stores, besides three hundred 
stand of arms, and two brass cannon. This 
was followed by the election of General 
Austin, as Commander-in-Chief of the 
Texan army ; and the new leader, under 
the banner of the Mexican federal consti- 
tution, immediately marched upon Bexar, a 



229 

town strongly garrisoned by the Mexican 
troops, under General Cos. 

After several engagements in the neigh- 
bourhood, which invariably resulted in fa- 
vour of the colonists, the town of Bexar 
was stormed by a party of three hundred 
volunteers. The Mexicans behaved with 
determined bravery, but were unable to 
withstand the fury of their assailants ; up- 
wards of three hundred had fallen before 
the unerring rifles of the Texans, and on 
the fourth day the garrison agreed to capi- 
tulate. 

General Cos and his party were allowed 
to return into Mexico with their arms and 
private property, under their parole of ho- 
nour, that they would never again assist, in 
any way, to oppose the re-establishment of 
the federal constitution of 1824. The 
Texans, by the achievement, gained posses- 



230 

sion of a large quantity of military stores, 
including nineteen pieces of ordnance and 
two swivel guns, several hundred stand of 
arms, and abundance of ammunition. 

The country was now freed for the pre- 
sent from Mexican troops, and a general 
convention of delegates, from the different 
municipalities of Texas, was forthwith held 
at San Filipe de Austin. On the 3rd of 
November, 1835, a state government was 
organized for Texas, and their motives and 
principles proclaimed in the following ma- 
nifesto : — 

" Declaration of the people of Texas, in 
general convention assembled. 

" Whereas, General Antonio Lopez de 
Santa Anna, and other military chieftains, 
have, by force of arms, overthrown the fe- 
deral institutions of Mexico, and dissolved 
the social compact which existed between 



231 

Texas and the other members of the Mexi- 
can confederacy ; now, the good people of 
Texas, availing themselves of their natural 
rights, solemnly declare — 

" First — That they have taken up arms 
in defence of their rights and liberties, 
which are threatened by the encroachments 
of military despots, and in defence of the 
republican principles of the federal consti- 
tution of Mexico. 

"Second. — That Texas is no longer mo- 
rally or civilly bound by the compact of 
Union ; yet stimulated by the generosity 
and sympathy common to a free people, 
they offer their support and assistance to 
such of the members of the Mexican Con- 
federacy, as will take up arms against mi- 
litary despotism. 

" Third. — That they do not acknowledge 
that the present authorities of the nominal 



232 

Mexican Republic have the right to govern 
within the limits of Texas. 

" Fourth. — That they will not cease to 
carry on war against the said authorities, 
whilst their troops are within the limits of 
Texas. 

" Fifth. — That they hold it to be their 
right, during the disorganization of the Fe- 
deral System, and the reign of despotism, 
to withdraw from the Union, to establish 
an independent government, or to adopt 
such measures as they may deem best cal- 
culated to protect their rights and liberties ; 
but that they will continue faithful to the 
Mexican Government, so long as that na- 
tion is governed by the constitution and 
laws that were formed for the government 
of the political association. 

" Sixth. — That Texas is responsible for 
the expenses of her armies now in the field. 



233 

" Seventh. — That the public faith of 
Texas is pledged for the payment of any 
debts contracted by her agents. 

" Eighth. — That she will reward by do- 
nations in land, all who volunteer their ser- 
vices in her present struggle, and receive 
them as citizens. 

" These Declarations we solemnly avow 
to the world, and call God to witness their 
truth and sincerity, and invoke defeat and 
disgrace upon our heads should we prove 
guilty of duplicity. 

B. T. Archer, President/' 

The struggle for independence had now 
fairly commenced ; two months had scarce- 
ly elapsed after the departure of General 
Cos, when almost all the military resources 
of Mexico were brought against Texas, di- 
rected by Santa Anna in person. This in- 
vasion seems to have occurred at a most 



234 

unfortunate period for the settlers. Austin^ 
with several others of their most influential 
men, had been sent as Commissioners to 
the United States, to seek assistance from 
those who might be expected to sympathize 
in the cause of independence, and another 
party had marched towards Matamoros on 
the Mexican frontier. 

The town of San Antonio de Bexar was 
thus left defenceless, its garrison of one hun- 
dred and forty men being obliged to take re- 
fuge in the fort of the Alamo on the opposite 
side of the river. Here they defended them- 
selves for a fortnight against a force amount- 
ing to four thousand men. The Mexicans 
though frequently repulsed, at length suc- 
ceeded in taking the place by storm, and the 
whole of its garrison were put to the sword. 
After the final struggle, there were left but 
seven men and these were refused quarter. 



235 

It is also asserted that such were the feelings 
of exasperation evinced by the Mexicans 
from the determined resistance made by the 
Texans, that the bodies of the dead were 
subjected to every sort of indignity. The 
obstinate courage of the Texans is said to 
have caused them a loss of nearly fifteen 
hundred men 5 and no treatment was thought 
sufficiently bad for their conquered foes, liv- 
ing or dead. 

Thus fell the Alamo after a defence high- 
ly creditable to Texan bravery and military 
skill. Shortly after this period, the invaders 
obtained another advantage over Colonel 
Fannin and a body of about three hundred 
men. In this instance the Mexicans be- 
haved with almost unparalleled treachery 
and cruelty. Santa Anna came up with 
Colonel Fannin and his little army, as they 
were retreating before the superior numbers 



236 

of the Mexicans. The Texan Colonel, not- 
withstanding the disparity of numbers, en- 
gaged the enemy and fought with despera- 
tion till darkness put an end to the conflict. 
Four or five hundred of the enemy had 
fallen before the deadly aim of the Texans, 
who now entrenched themselves in the 
Prairie, resolved to sell their lives as dearly 
as possible. During the night, however, the 
Mexicans received a reinforcement, and 
Colonel Fannin determined to surrender, 
provided he could obtain an honourable 
capitulation. The propositions made by 
Colonel Fannin were accepted by Santa 
Anna, and terms of capitulation were then 
signed and formally interchanged. 

According to these terms, the Texans were 
to surrender, and to give up their arms, on 
condition of their lives being spared, and 
their being allowed to retire into the United 



237 

States. No sooner, however, were they in 
his power then Santa Anna, totally regard- 
less of faith and honour, ordered them all 
to be massacred, under circumstances of 
aggravated cruelty. 

On the 11th of March a convention, as- 
sembled at Washington, had declared Texas 
a " free, sovereign and independent Repub- 
lic." A constitution was framed, and an exe- 
cutive government appointed, to act until 
other elections should be made by the 
people. The provisional government re- 
tired to Galveston Island, where they re- 
mained until the conclusion of the w r ar. 

The Texans were now thoroughly exas- 
perated by the cruelty and want of faith 
they had experienced at the hands of the 
Mexicans, and, fortunately for them, Santa 
Anna found at length a rival more than his 
match in General Houston. The Texan 



238 

army under his command was now posted 
on the Colorado river, and amounted to 
about twelve hundred men. The enemy, 
having received considerable reinforcements, 
occupied the river both above and below 
him ; General Houston, therefore, apprehen- 
sive of being surrounded, deemed it advisa- 
ble to retire to the Brazos, which he crossed 
on the 12th of April : thence he led his 
troops to the Buffalo Bayon, and down its 
right bank to within a short distance of 
its junction with the San Jacinto river. 

The Mexican army soon approached, and 
occasional skirmishes took place during the 
day, until Santa Anna withdrew his troops 
to a position on the banks of the San Ja- 
cinto, and there commenced a fortification 
about a mile distant from the Texan camp. 
Houston had ordered the bridge, on the only 
road communicating with the Brazos, to be 



239 

destroyed, thus cutting cff all possibility 
of the enemy's escape. The Texans com- 
menced the attack at half past three, and 
a most sanguinary conflict ensued. The 
Colonists fought as men only do when they 
contend for life and freedom, and they were 
irresistible. I extract the following details 
from General Houston's report of the Battle 
of San Jacinto. ee About nine o'clock on 
the morning of the 21st, the enemy were 
reinforced by five hundred choice troops, 
under the command of General Cos, in- 
creasing their effective force to upwards of 
fifteen hundred men, whilst our aggregate 
force for the field numbered only seven 
hundred and eighty-three " . . . " The 
conflict lasted about eighteen minutes from 
the time of close action until we were in 
possession of the enemy's encampment, tak- 
ing one piece of cannon, four stand of co- 



240 

lours, all their camp equipage, stores and 
baggage." ..." The conflict in the 
breastwork lasted but a few moments; 
many of the troops encountered hand to 
hand, and not having the advantage of 
bayonets on our side, our riflemen used 
their pieces as war clubs, breaking many of 
them off at the breach. The rout com- 
menced at half past four, and the pursuit 
by the main army continued until twi- 
light." " In the battle, the 

enemy's loss was six hundred and thirty 
killed, among whom was one General Offi- 
cer, four Colonels, two Lieutenant- Colonels, 
two Second Lieutenant-Colonels, seven Cap- 
tains, one Cadet. Prisoners, seven hundred 
and thirty. President General Santa Anna, 
General Cos, four Colonels, Aids de Camp 
to General Santa Anna, and the Colonel of 
the Guerrero Battalion are included in the 



241 

number. General Santa Anna was not taken 
until the 22nd, and General Cos yesterday, 
very few having escaped. About six hun- 
dred muskets, three hundred sabres and 
two hundred pistols, have been collected 
since the action ; several hundred mules 
and horses were taken, and nearly twelve 
thousand dollars in specie. For several days 
previous to the action our troops were en- 
gaged in forced marches, exposed to exces- 
sive rains, and the additional inconvenience of 
extremely bad roads, badly supplied with ra- 
tions and clothing, yet amid every difficulty 
they bore up with cheerfulness and forti- 
tude, and performed their marches with 
spirit and alacrity — there was no mur- 
mering. ,, 

An important blow was now given to 
the Mexican power in Texas ; and be it 
remembered this decisive victory over the 

VOL. I. M 



242 

chosen troops of Mexico, was gained by a 
mere handful of raw undisciplined volun- 
teers, armed with rifles alone, and suddenly 
drawn together from their agricultural pur- 
suits to defend their liberty and indepen- 
dence. 



CHAPTER X. 



SANTA ANNA BROUGHT PRISONER TO GENERAL HOUSTON, 
TERMINATION OF THE STRUGGLE, AND RECOGNITION 
OF THE REPUBLIC. CONSTITUTION OF TEXAS. 



Thou in a moment canst defeate 
The mighty conquests of the proude, 
And blast the laurels of the greate, 
Thou canst make brightest glorie set 
O' th' sudden in a cloud. 

Habington. 

As has been already mentioned, the pri- 
soners of importance taken on this occasion 
were Santa Anna the President, and General 
Cos ; the former was captured on the day 
following that on which the engagement 
was fought ; he was discovered disguised, 
and without any vestige of soldierly uni- 



244 

form, wandering alone, on the banks of 
Buffalo Bayon. This was indeed a sudden 
and most overwhelming change ; a terrible 
turn in the wheel of fortune. He was se- 
cured without difficulty as he had retained 
no arms in his sudden flight. It was per- 
haps fortunate for him that the party by 
whom he was taken were ignorant of his 
name and rank, as the people were beyond 
measure exasperated against him. Santa 
Anna was conveyed without delay to the 
presence of General Houston, who, having 
been wounded in the ankle during the en- 
gagement, was lying underneath a tree. 
The head of the Texan General rested up- 
on a rough pillow^ his war saddle being 
laid under his head ; a blanket was spread 
beneath him, and this was his only couch. 
Santa Anna was led up to him, and boldly 
announced himself thus, — " Soy Antonio 




AWT©BI© L^FEl ME SIM! I A MI if A 



/ c 



245 

Lopez de Santa Anna, Presidente de la Re- 
publica Mexicana, y General en Gefe del 
ejercito de operaciones."*— Upon this intro- 
duction General Houston politely requested 
his prisoner to take a seat on a medicine 
chest : to this he consented, but appearing 
rather faint, and not a little agitated, the 
chest was opened for some remedy for these 
complaints. Having swallowed a conside- 
rable quantity of opium, the patient declar- 
ed himself better, and found words to say 
to his captor " you were born to no ordin- 
ary destiny ; you have conquered the Napo- 
leon of the West !" What vanity in this 
free-booting leader of a degraded and miser- 
able people ! 

The President's own account ofthisinter- 

* I am Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, President of 
the Mexican Republic, and General in Chief of the army 
of Operations. 



246 

view with the Mexican General, when the 
latter was a prisoner, and entirely in his 
power, is very characteristic of his own 
bold and decided nature; his deadly foe 
was in his hands, he had proved himself 
merciless, and unworthy of faith, and had, 
by his own conduct, forfeited all claim to 
the consideration and forbearance due to- 
wards a prisoner of war. The place of 
meeting was not one calculated to impress 
the Mexican with awe, or to give him an 
exalted idea either of the riches or power 
of his conqueror. But the dignity of the 
latter did not depend upon outward show, 
and he received his prisoner, as a great man 
should, — without parade or any outward 
demonstration of triumph. In the course 
of the conversation which followed, Santa 
Anna whether by design, or otherwise, ad- 
dressed his captor by the title of General, 



247 

omitting the word President, &c. and thus, 
according to Houston's view of the matter^ 
tacitly denying his right to independence 
and authority. u I only looked at him, 
Gentlemen," said the Texan President in 
his account of the audience, — " I looked 
at him once, and he corrected the mistake ; 
if he had'nt, you know, gentlemen, I should 
have closed the scene ; " meaning, he 
should have at once signed his death 
warrant. The look must have been an 
expressive one indeed, and yet it may be 
doubted whether the Mexican was aware 
by how slender a hair the sword that 
hung over his head was suspended. Better, 
far better would it have been for his 
country had the President not allowed his 
kindness of heart to overcome his sense 
of justice : had he ordered the execution 
of Santa Anna, much bloodshed would 



248 

have been spared, and many evils pre- 
vented. 

The political motives which influenced 
General Houston on this occasion are not 
known, but the liberation of Santa Anna 
was not effected without great difficulty, 
and much opposition. The majority of 
the people demanded his execution, as a 
just atonement for the blood of their fellow 
citizens, who, by his merciless and treache- 
rous mode of warfare, had been so inhuman- 
ly sacrificed. 

After a time, however, a convention was 
agreed upon, and the Mexican General 
was set at liberty. His intention was to 
embark without loss of time for Vera Cruz ; 
this however he soon found was not an 
easy matter to effect. The rage and ani- 
mosity of the Texans against him, had not 
in any degree subsided, and the excitement 



249 

was so great and universal, that it was found 
necessary for his own safety, again to place 
his person in security. The Texan Presi- 
dent, however, contrived with some diffi- 
culty to liberate him, and he then embarked 
in safety for the United States. He arrived 
at Washington on the 18th of December, 
and from thence was sent in a ship of war, 
by the xlmerican government, to Vera Cruz. 
No sooner had this unprincipled man again 
obtained power in his own country, than, 
forgetful of the noble sentiments and gen- 
erosity which had guided the conduct of 
the Texan President, he again commenc- 
ed his system of annoyance and petty war- 
fare; thus proving that however much we 
may admire the magnanimity of Houston's 
behaviour, the policy which guided him was 
mistaken. His treacherous and vindictive 
enemy was left free to annoy and harass 

M II. 



250 

the man, who so generously overlooked his 
cruelty and his crimes. The frontiers of the 
Republic have been constantly disturbed 
by this implacable foe, and its progress to- 
wards settlement, population, and prosperity 
materially retarded. 

The victory , of San Jacinto terminated 
the struggle for independence in Texas. 
Since that event the Mexicans have resorted 
to every sort of intrigue, and pursued a 
course of policy, which has certainly an- 
swered the object for which it was adopted. 

The Mexican policy evidently has been, — 
by keeping the country in a constant state 
of agitation from " threatened invasion," to 
check the tide of emigration, which other- 
wise could have flowed into Texas. Since 
their defeat at Jacinto, however, the Mexi- 
cans have never undertaken another organ- 
ized campaign against, or invasion of, Texas. 



251 

It is true that marauding bands have attacked 
the frontier towns, and that constant appre- 
hensions are entertained of their making 
still bolder inroads ; yet notwithstanding 
these evident hindrances to emigration, the 
country is rapidly encreasing in population, 
and there is little doubt that the Anglo 
Saxon race, by whom this is chiefly effected, 
will ere long overrun the rich provinces of 
Northern Mexico. Texas has now been 
recognized as an independent republic by 
most of the European powers, as well as by 
the United States of America. An indus- 
trious, agricultural population is rapidly 
pouring in from Kentucky and the Northern 
States of the Union, while England, France 
and Germany, are contributing their share 
of emigrants to swell the encreasing tide. 
The present population of this rising coun- 
try may be estimated at eighty thousand 



252 



free men, and to these may be added twenty- 
two thousand slaves. In the province of 
Bexar there are a considerable number of 
Mexicans. The Republic is divided into 
thirty-six counties. 





ft^W. 


Red River. 


Nacogdoches, 


Shelby. 


Harrison. 


Sabine. 


Robertson. 


San Augustine. 


Montgomery. 


Jasper. 


Harris. 


Jefferson. 


Galveston. 


Liberty. 


Brazoria. 


Houston. 


Fannin. 


Bowie 


Jackson. 


Burnet. 


Victoria. 


Fort Bend. 


Gonzales. 


Austin. 


Bexar. 


Washington. 


Goliad. 


Milam. 


Refugio. 


Bastrop. 


San Patricio. 


Fayette. 


Travis. 


Colorado. 


Lamar. 


Matagorda. 


Panola. 



The constitution of Texas is modelled, 
with some little difference., after that of 



253 

the United States ; Texas being an in- 
tegral, whilst the United States form a 
federal, Republic. The legislative power is 
exercised by a President and Vice-Presi- 
dent, elected for three years, and a Senate, 
and House of Representatives, The mem- 
bers of the former at present consist of 
fifteen, and the latter of thirty-two mem- 
bers. 

The common law of England, so far as it 
is not inconsistent with the constitution, 
and the acts of Congress, has been adopted 
as the general law of the land. It must 
not, however, be supposed, that the colo- 
nists of Texas are at all behind-hand in 
the art of making laws for themselves. On 
the contrary, they enact them with sur- 
prising facility. Austin, a town of inconsi- 
derable size, on the Colorado river, is the 
nominal seat of government. It is, how- 



254 

ever, situated too near the Comanche In- 
dians, to be considered a safe place for the 
meeting of Congress ; the Comanchies being 
a hostile tribe, and very inveterate in their 
hatred of the whites. Washington, a town 
on the Brazos, is the actual seat of govern- 
ment. A meeting of the Indian tribes is to 
take place in a few months at the Waccoo 
village, some hundreds of miles from 
Washington, up the country. This meet- 
ing may be productive of peaceful and con- 
ciliatory measures. 



CHAPTER XL 



THE ISLAND OF GALVESTON. CURIOUS MODE OF BUILD- 
ING HOUSES. SIX-ROOMED HOUSE BUILT IN A WEEK. 
GO-A-HEAD CAREER OF THE TEXAN S. 



An Isle I fain would sing, an island fair, 

A place too seldom view'd, yet still in view : 

Most obvious to all, yet most unknown to most. 
Phineas Fletcher. 

I have already remarked, that at a dis- 
tance, the city of Galveston — in America 
every village is called a city — gives one, 
on a first view, no very high idea of its im- 
portance. The houses in general are small, 
though, here and there, an overgrown rick- 
etty looking building speaks of the larger 
means and higher pretensions of its occu- 
pant. The streets are disposed with not 
much regard to regularity ; and the houses 



256 

are built of wood, most frequently of 
planks nailed together, clinker-fashion. 
The whole affair has, I must say, at pre- 
sent rather a fragile appearance, and it will 
readily be conjectured, that when viewed 
from the water, any grandeur of effect 
must be quite out of the question. 

The island of Galveston is about fifteen 
miles in length, and seldom exceeds two in 
breadth. I have before remarked, that on 
its surface it boasts but three trees, and 
those are not remarkable for size or 
beauty. The soil is rich, and is covered 
with the long, thick, and rather rank grass 
of the Prairie. The island is intersected 
with several inlets of the sea, or Bayons, 
as they are called. At present, Galveston 
is the only town in existence on the island, 
but it is fast rising into size and import- 
ance. It is strange, that here, where bricks 



257 

could so easily be made, the inhabitants 
should still continue satisfied with their 
wooden tenements. The only bricks I saw 
in Galveston were those forming one soli- 
tary chimney. It is calculated that, on an 
average, these wooden houses last ten 
years ; and in the mean time they are very 
liable to be blown down. It must not be 
supposed, however, that such an occurrence, 
—which, by the way, is by no means a rare 
one — materially injures the building cap- 
sized The houses, in fact, and religious 
edifices at Galveston, are formed to endure 
shocks of this description. They are all 
raised a foot or two from the ground, by 
means of small, but solid blocks of wood, 
one of which is placed at either of the four 
corners. This is ingenious ; it raises the 
house out of the road, and in the summer 
keeps out the snakes, &c, to say nothing of 



258 

the pigs. Were brick edifices to be recom- 
mended to the Galveston citizens, I have 
no doubt that their reply would be, that, in 
the first place, the wooden houses occupy 
infinitely less time in their erection. To 
this I agree, but would it not eventually 
answer, in the necessity of rebuilding being 
less frequently required ? Another excuse 
would be, that the foundation of the soil 
being light, the brick buildings would be 
more likely to weigh it down than the 
wooden ones. This may be the case ; but 
cannot good foundations be made, and wet 
and light soil improved, and rendered ca- 
pable of supporting the weight of an 
ordinary house? Another advantage of 
a wooden tenement, — which, however, 
I am inclined to think, is a questionable 
one — consists in its faculty of locomo- 
tion. It is no uncommon thing, to see a 



259 

house of considerable size drawn by means 
of a movable windlass to a considerable 
distance. 

The English church is at present in 
rather a dilapidated condition. During a 
recent hurricane, it was, in common 
with half the town, and the Roman Ca- 
tholic Chapel among the rest, thrown 
on its beam ends, where it remained 
till it was raised up. The city of Gal- 
veston fell, as might a pack of cards built 
into temporary houses by a child at play ! 
The Catholic priest, poor man, whose 
abode was in the vestry of his little chapel, 
took refuge, during the hurricane, in the 
Protestant Church, which was the last to 
fall. He was afterwards gravely and se- 
verely rebuked by the righteous among his 
congregation, for his want of faith, and his 
taking refuge among the heretics. It might 



260 

naturally be supposed, that Galveston 
would remain, after this visitation, a heap 
of ruins ; but no — in an incredibly short 
period of time, both houses and churches 
were raised from their recumbent position ; 
no one was hurt, either in their persons or 
their pockets, and business went on the 
same as before. It is true, that the church 
windows were all broken, and are not yet 
repaired ; but we were told that the clergy- 
man had gone to Halifax, to obtain funds 
from the Bishop for that purpose. 

I was quite surprised at the celerity with 
which houses are erected here. A very 
good six-roomed house is raised, from 
floor to ceiling, and rendered fit for habi- 
tation in a week. I do not mean to say 
that they are remarkably air-tight, or parti- 
cularly well arranged; but to build any 
house in so short a time is worthy of remark. 



261 

I have heard, to pursue the subject of houses, 
of a description of building, which I am 
sure would tell well here, where mud is at 
a discount. It is, as nearly as I can recol- 
lect, to make a double wall of planks, each 
wall being at a distance of some eight or ten 
inches from the other. The space between 
the two should be filled up with mud, well 
pressed down. After a short time, this be- 
comes as solid as brick ; and houses built 
in this way, would, I am sure, be much 
more comfortable. The external air would 
be much more effectually excluded ; the 
inmates would have less to suffer, both 
from cold and heat ; and there is no 
doubt, that the houses themselves would 
last for a considerable longer period than 
they do at present. I cannot assert that 
the process of building would be effected 
as speedily as it now is : much more time 



262 

would doubtless be expended ; and time to 
these people is money. Perhaps, how- 
ever, when the population is greater, and 
labour consequently cheaper, some im- 
provements in these respects may be ef- 
fected. The Texans are an impatient 
people; they drive to, and at their end, 
with greater velocity than any individuals I 
ever saw or heard of. Nothing stops them 
in their go-a-head career. The present, 
and how to make the most of it, is their 
iddejixe, and they are too much occupied 
by their daily business, to have leisure to 
think calmly of results. 

To u go-a-head," is essentially the motto 
of the Texan people ; and let them once 
get well on their legs, and no people are 
better calculated to do it faster. I am not 
going to enter into their politics ; but I 
thought from the first, and I have heard 



263 

sensible Texans say the same thing, that 
they ought to lean upon some established 
power — say the United States, — at least 
for the present. 

But to return to Galveston ; the city 
contains about three hundred covered 
buildings, which a bold person would, or 
might call houses. There are also four 
churches ; rather a considerable proportion, 
I should say to the number of inhabitants, 
which amount only to about two thousand. 
Then, there are temples, squares, theatres, 
botanical and zoological gardens ; but they 
are only at present on the ground plan. 

Altogether, Galveston is a rising city ; 
and no doubt will rise in time to be of 
considerable importance. 



CHAPTER XII. 



THE PUBLIC PRESS. COURTESY OF THE TEXANS. 
DRY STORES. IMPORTANT POSITION IN SOCIETY OF 
THE PIG. THE TURN-OUT HOUSE. CHEWING AND 
SPITTTNG. CLIMATE. COMIC SCENE IN CROSSING A 
BAYON. FRENCH EMIGRANTS. IDIOT GIRL. 



It is the mynd that maketh good or ill, 
That maketh wretch or happie, rich or poore ; 
For some that hath abundance at his will, 
Hath not enough, but wants in greatest store ; 
And other that hath little, asks no more, 
And in that little is most rich and wise ; 
For wisdom is most riches. 

Spencer. 

There are many large and valuable stores 
in Galveston. Under this denomination, 
come all sorts of warehouses and maga- 
zines, and what in England we should call 
shops. There are three newspapers printed 
and circulated at Galveston. These have a 



265 

considerable sale, and as entire liberty of 
the press is, of course, allowed, their con- 
tents are often amusing enough. 

The advertisements, likewise, are by no 
means deficient in entertainment. The 
most numerous are, I think, those of me- 
dical men, of whom Galveston boasts a 
large supply. It is quite a treat to a 
stranger, at least it was so to me, to drive 
through this very original city, and remark 
the different amusements, callings, and 
trades. There are plenty of attornies' of- 
fices. Law is decidedly popular, even in 
this new country ; and I noticed no small 
sprinkling of grog shops. Some of the 
most frequented stores are those containing 
drugs and chemicals; and every ship that 
comes in is announced as containing 
leeches by thousands, quinine by hogs- 
heads, and calomel by clots ; to say no- 

VOL. I. n 



266 

thing of demi Johns of Castor oil. Doctor- 
ing must answer here, if anything does. 

In this colony there exists a spirit of 
good will, and mutual helpfulness, very 
pleasant to see. I believe this to be the 
case in most new settlements, before refine- 
ment begets selfishness, and the indulgence 
of luxuries hardens the heart. If a settler 
happens to require the aid of his neigh- 
bour's hands, or working tools, in the per- 
formance of any manual labour, the assist- 
ance is rendered as readily as it is asked. 
This is saying a great deal, for no one 
seems to hesitate a moment about consi- 
dering his neighbour's property as his own ; 
and should the latter not happen to be in 
the way, his goods are removed, pro tem- 
pore, without scruple. 

I have reason to speak gratefully of 
the courtesy and civility of the Texans. 



267 

During our stay among them, I experi- 
enced repeated instances of goodwill ; one 
in particular, which prepared me for the 
rest, I will mention here. The pier 
near which the yacht was anchored, 
extended a considerable distance into the 
sea. The landing was at all times difficulty 
more especially so at low water. To a lady, 
the clambering ascent, for there were no 
steps previous to my arrival, was almost im- 
practicable. The morning after our arrival 
I prepared to go on shore in the gig, really 
dreading the difficulties which, I was told, I 
had to encounter. What was my surprise 
and satisfaction, to find, when the boat 
touched the piles of the wharf, that a most 
convenient flight of steps, and a balus- 
trade had been erected during the night. 
This had been done without any regard to 
expense, and solely for my accommodation. 



268 

The person to whom I was indebted for this 
really useful service, neither expected, nor 
would receive any remuneration. He was 
an ale-house keeper on the wharf, and a very 
well educated man, for any station of life. 

Such occurrences as these may be called 
trifling, but they at least serve, in some 
measure, to illustrate the character of the 
people, and to justify my remarks on their 
willingness to befriend, and render assist- 
ance to one another. 

The designation of "dry store," is that 
which is appended to by far the largest 
number of the houses of Galveston. Till I 
made enquiries, I could not imagine what 
these stores contained. The very name, 
too, was an anomaly; for the said dry- 
store stands most frequently in water, or at 
least in mud and mire, which to English 
feet would be scarcely fordable. Trifles 



269 

such as these are totally disregarded by 
these hardy settlers, and their wives and fa- 
milies seem equally disposed with them- 
selves to make light of difficulties. There 
is something very praiseworthy in this un- 
daunted spirit of enterprise, and one feels 
that it both deserves, and will be rewarded 
by eventual success. 

Now I am on the subject of mud and 
mire, I may as well suggest, that a very 
little trouble and expense would raise both 
houses and causeways above the inconveni- 
ence of wet ; but, as I before remarked, 
these people prefer enduring evils to losing 
time in remedying them. At present, the 
numerous pigs are the only living creatures 
who benefit by the oozy prairie, which sur- 
rounds nearly every house in Galveston. 
The pigs here are as much considered, and 
I believe occupy as important a position in 



270 

society, as those of Ireland* They are not, 
however, clean feeders, — those Galveston 
swine ; nothing seemed to come amiss to 
them, and they disputed the carrion food 
with the disgusting turkey buzzards. Hav- 
ing observed this, I carefully eschewed 
pork during my stay. The pigs themselves 
are frightful ; their long tails are destitute 
of curl, even when suffered to retain their 
original number of joints. This, however, 
is seldom the case. The dogs, both wild 
and tame, are inveterate pig hunters ; being 
often hungry withal, the latter frequently 
suffer, and it was a rare sight to meet one of 
these unclean beasts with either ears or tail. 
Thus, all creatures here make up their 
minds to bear the ills which flesh is heir to. 
It is a truth, which every moment is forced 
upon one, that those difficulties and dis- 
comforts, which would appear most formi- 



271 

dable to us, are unfelt and unnoticed by 
them ; and that, where an Englishman would 
sink, past redemption, in the mire of des- 
pondency, they, to their praise and credit 
be it spoken, contrive to struggle through. 

There is one large and flourishing hotel 
at Galveston, besides several smaller ones. 
In the former, the Tremont House, as it is 
called, assemble the fashionable portions of 
the society. The table d'hote dinner hour 
is two ; and, after the quarter of an hour, 
which is the time an American generally 
allows himself to devote to this meaL has 
elapsed, they are to be seen reading the news- 
paper under the wide verandah of the hotel, 
in every variety of bodily contortion. I 
believe it is not in the nature of an Ameri- 
can to sit still, or to sit straight. They are 
perpetually either rocking or balancing 
themselves in their chairs, or, with legs 



272 

hanging over the railing of the verandah, 
performing that frightful act of uncleanli- 
ness, on which Mr. Dickens has heaped 
such deserved reprobation. I wonder what 
the American ladies are about, that they 
do not put a stop to this latter proceeding, 
which, and I do not exaggerate, is men- 
tioned with disgust in all civilized societies, 
whenever the manners and habits of our 
transatlantic brethren chance to come 
under discussion. I have reason to believe 
that the fair "ladies of the land" are as de- 
licate and refined in their habits, as they 
are well educated and beautiful ; that they 
have unbounded influence over, and are 
treated with marked respect and considera- 
tion by the hardy " sons of the soil/' ad- 
mits not of a doubt ; — then why do they not, 
one and all, rise up and say to their hus- 
bands., their brothers, and their lovers, 



273 

u Cast away that lump of tobacco, which 
disfigures your appearance, and renders 
your voice and manner of speaking ridicu- 
lous ; I will have no chewing. I will have 
no spitting. If you must smoke, do it in 
moderation, and with propriety , but let our 
floors, our hearths, be secure from pollu- 
tion." American ladies! do this, and you 
may not only as now be proud of your 
countrymen as men, but vain of them as 
gentlemen. 

But to give up being personal, and re- 
turn to more general subjects. From all 
I could learn, and judging from the opi- 
nion of a skilful medical man, who had 
been a long time in the country, I should 
say, that the climate of Galveston Island is 
by no means unhealthy. Of course, in 
these latitudes, the heat, during two or 
three months in the year, must be very 

N II. 



274 

great. July, August, and September, are 
the most trying months; then the mus- 
quito rages ; and men doubtless long for 
trees, and cooling streams, and shelter 
from the sun. Of the climate, during the 
remaining nine months of the year, I heard 
no complaint, even among our dissatisfied 
countrymen. The scenery, if such it can 
be called, is totally without variety : a long 
monotonous prairie, with occasional tus- 
socks of high grass, little plots of reeds, 
and frequent bogs, cover the whole extent 
of the island. The soil is rich, and well 
adapted to grazing purposes. There are a 
good many deer, which are sold in the 
market at about two dollars each. Fowls 
and turkeys, alias gobblers, are brought 
from the main land, distant about four 
miles ; the usual price of the former is ten- 
pence ; and of the latter, one dollar each. 



275 

The only " drive" is on the sea-beach, 
and a most beautiful beach it is — so hard 
and smooth, with its fine sand, that you 
scarcely hear your horse's foot fall, as he 
trots, or rather runs along — a light car- 
riage behind him, and the broad prairie 
spreading far before. Occasionally you are 
— I was going to say — stopped, but I should 
have been wrong : no one is stopped in 
this country by anything short of a bowie- 
knife, or a rifle-ball ; but your progress is 
delayed by an interesting Bayon, through 
which you have to wade, or swim, as the 
case may be. There is neither time nor 
spare cash to erect bridges; and, indeed, 
were the expense to be incurred, the pro- 
bability is they would be washed away by 
the first rain, or by a more than usually high 
tide. Bridges then being out of the ques- 
tion, nothing is left you but to make the 



276 

best of such means of transport as are 
within your reach. If you fortunately 
chance to meet with any person who has 
lately crossed, you ask, "Well, Sir, is it 
swimming ?" Should the answer be in the 
affirmative, and you happen to be on 
horseback, equipped for a journey, with your 
plunder (luggage) about you, you " up sad- 
dle-bags," and boldly plunge into the stream. 
Should your route lie along the shore, the 
safest plan is to go a good way out to 
sea — on — on — till you find yourself 
well out among the breakers. I confess, 
that at first this struck me as rather an 
alarming proceeding ; but, in fact, it is much 
the safest plan ; there being always a bar 
of sand formed across the mouth of these 
bayons, and if you can hit that, the depth 
of water is much lessened. 

At the crossing of one of these bayons, 



277 

we once witnessed a most comical scene, 
We were returning from a shooting ex- 
cursion in a light carriage, and were ac- 
companied by an English gentleman on 
horseback. We had crossed our last bayon 
in safety, when we found a traveller, 
going in the contrary direction on foot, 
waiting patiently for a lift over the water. 
He was a Frenchman, and his figure 
was rather an anomaly in these wild re- 
gions; he was accoutred in the full cos- 
tume of la jeune France ; long chevelure, 
pantalons a sous pied ; coat 5 guiltless of 
collar, and painted boots : sure " such a 
man was never formed" to tread the path- 
less prairies, and how he got there, and 
who he was, I could not guess, and never 
have to this day, But there he stood, 
bowing and shrugging, with a most cat-like 
horror of wetting his feet. He was evi- 



278 

dently most anxiously looking out for an 
opportunity of crossing the awful looking 
breakers dry-shod. No sooner did our 
companion perceive his situation, than he 
kindly offered to recross the water, pro- 
vided the Frenchman would mount behind 
him. This, however, was sooner said than 
done ; it being no easy matter for a gen- 
tleman, evidently not too well skilled in 
equestrian exercises, to effect a location on 
the back of a fiery steed, quite unused to 
carry any extra burden. The cavalier at- 
tempted to spring up, au pantalon dtroit ; 
but it was all in vain ; for after each suc- 
cessive effort he found himself stretched 
on terra jirma. After many fruitless at- 
tempts, he changed his ground, and 
eventually succeeded in fixing himself in 
front, with his arms clinging closely round 
our friend's throat. In vain, however, 



279 

the unfortunate rider, suffering for his phi- 
lanthropy, implored to be released. " Mais 
Monsieur," vociferated the Frenchman, in 
the true spirit of Sinbad's " Old Man of the 
Sea/' " Je suis tres bien comme 5a." " If 
you are, I'm not," was the reply ; and in a 
moment, the arms were transferred to the 
neck of the horse ; and thus, with legs 
dangling, and himself hanging on as if for 
the bare life, the poor foreigner was safely 
conveyed across the breakers. We laughed 
heartily, and would, I fear, willingly have 
increased our merriment, by seeing the fo- 
reigner struggling in the shallow water. 
Poor man ! his troubles were not yet at an 
end. A small bundle which he had held in 
his hand had fallen from his grasp, and 
during his equestrian exploits had drifted 
well out to sea ! What this precious bun- 
dle contained we had yet to learn. No 



280 

sooner was its owner in safety, than hat in 
hand, and hair streaming in the breeze, he 
made his compliments to his deliverer. 
"Mille remercimens." — "Ce n'est rien, une 
complaisance de prairie, dans ce pays sau- 
vage il faut s'aider Tun et 1'autre." " C'est 
vrai, et voyez vous, Monsieur, j'etais fort 
embarrasse, c'est que je portais le bonnet 
de Madame ma femme," Here he disco- 
vered his loss, which in the agitation of the 
moment had passed unnoticed. "Mais 
mon dieu ! on est il done le bonnet de ma 
femme V 9 The Englishman pointed si- 
lently to the sea, and we left our friend on 
the beach, shrugging his shoulders in impo- 
tent despair. 

Now that I am on the subject of emi- 
grant Frenchmen, I must say a word on 
the extreme fitness of these people to cope 
with the inconveniences of a new country, 



281 

such as Texas. They are more light of 
heart, and less easily depressed than the 
English settler ; added to which, their 
wants are fewer, and more easily supplied. 
If a Frenchman, in the distant and scarcely 
inhabited prairie, finds himself in want of a 
dinner, he takes his rifle, cries, " a la chasse? 
and is as proud and happy if he returns 
with a small lark, to regale himself after 
his toil, as an Englishman would be had he 
brought home a fat buck. 

One evening, as I stood on the wharf, 
waiting for the gig to come off from the 
Dolphin, I witnessed the disembarkation of 
one hundred and fifteen emigrants, shipped 
by the authorities from France. They were 
a motley group ; most of them well clothed, 
and one and all looking cheerful and 
happy. Among them, I remarked a poor 
old man, erect and strong. He was dressed 



282 

like a farmer, but from his carriage, I 
thought must have been a soldier in his 
youth. He had on a blouse, with a fur 
casquette on his head ; his wife carried his 
gun, and he was surrounded by his chil- 
dren. He told me he had left his farm, 
near Verdun, to settle in Texas. In his 
own country he was a poor man ; here, his 
children (he had eleven of them) at any 
rate would not starve. " Madame," he 
said, " nous ne sommes pas des paresseux, 
nous sommes ici pour travailler." There 
was a promise of success in the old man's 
energetic tone, as he uttered these words. 
It was, he said, very pleasant to be greeted 
by kindly words in a foreign land, on his 
first landing. He was one of Napoleon's 
old soldiers. u Je ne suis pas aristocrate, 
moi." (What egotism there is in a 
Frenchman.) Moi! The tears stood in 



283 

the old man's eyes, as he offered me a 
pinch of snuff. It was all he had to give ; 
and I received the offering in the spirit in 
which it was made. His old tabatiere was 
modelled after the petit CaporaVs cocked 
hat; it was of tin, polished and shining 
from long use. 

Among the group stood an idiot girl. 
I was much struck by her appearance: 
though her deficiency in intellect was evi- 
dent from a certain wandering gaze in her 
dark eyes, which it was impossible to mis- 
take, yet her countenance betrayed but little 
of that vacuity, which is so generally indica- 
tive of her class. Such pitiable objects as 
decided idiots have frequently something 
revolting in their manner and appearance ; 
with this poor emigrant however there was 
nothing of this, and I looked at her with 
unmixed feelings of interest and compassion. 



284 

She was not exactly pretty, but her features 
were small, and interesting, and of all the 
party her person appeared the cleanest, and 
her attire the least untidy and neglected* 
I was sufficiently interested to enquire her 
history, and learnt that she was the daugh- 
ter of poor parents in the neighbourhood of 
Verdun. An object of compassion from her 
birth, she had nevertheless not been quite a 
useless burthen upon her parents. Her 
docility was remarkable, and she learnt to 
be useful in various little matters. An- 
nette — for that was her name — was very 
deaf, and she had an impediment in her 
speech, which rendered her utterance ex- 
tremely painful ; still a through the gloomy 
vaults of the dull idiot's brain" meandered 
ideas peculiar to herself, and when the 
difference between right and wrong was put 
before her, the natural goodness of her dis- 



285 

position led her to refuse the evil and 
choose the good. 

It happened that the child of a small 
farmer in Annette's village — he was the 
very old Buonapartist with whom I found 
her on the wharf — strayed away one sum- 
mer's day, and was not missed for several 
hours : he was a little boy of some three 
years old. Annette was present when the 
loss of the little plaything of the house was 
discovered : she witnessed the agony of the 
mother, and the manly grief of the old 
farmer. That night Annette's little bed 
was unoccupied. 

One day, and another passed away. The 
country was scoured in all directions, in 
search of the missing ones, but without 
effect. On the third evening, when the mo- 
ther had almost given up hope in the sick- 
ness of despair, Annette gently entered with 



286 

the young boy in her arms ; noiselessly she 
stept, and the mother saw and heard no- 
thing till she felt her child's warm kisses on 
her cheek ! Enquiries were showered upon 
both, — where had they been ? In what 
situation had the idiot girl discovered the 
lost child? They could not tell — the 
girl's poor head was weak and wandering, 
and her companion was but an infant. 
Something he told of a hollow tree, and of 
Annette's cloak being wrapt about him ; she 
had fed him too with bread which she had 
brought — and this was all they knew. 
Soon after this poor Annette became an 
orphan, and the father, grateful to the feeble 
minded girl who had saved the child of his 
old age, brought her with his family to this 
new country, and she was unto him as a 
daughter. When I saw Annette the hand 
of the rosy faced boy was in hers ; she was 



287 

evidently a favourite, and a playfellow. I 
have no fear, but that the poor girl will do 
well in the wilderness ; there is here such 
an universal feeling of kindness towards 
childhood and helplessness. She looked 
happy and careless like the rest, and I am 
certain she will never want a friend, as long 
as Texan hearts remain, as they are now, 
in the right place. 

How little did any of these poor people 
conceive of the difficulties that awaited 
them ! " Is not this Bexar T they asked 
immediately on their landing ; and when 
they were told that they had some hun- 
dreds of miles of difficult country to travel 
over before they could arrive at the pro- 
mised land : though they looked disap- 
pointed for a moment, yet the spirit of hope 
was soon awake again, and like the pilgrims 
of old they went on their way rejoicing. 



288 

Notwithstanding the hopeful, and even 
joyous expression which I remembered on 
the countenances of these emigrants, the 
sight altogether left a sad and painful im- 
pression on my mind. I can fancy I see 
them now, those pale cold faces, and shiver- 
ing forms interspersed among bales of cotton 
on the unsheltered wharf: a bitterly cold 
and fierce norther is blowing upon them, 
and their scanty garments are but ill pre- 
pared to screen them from its violence. 
Heaven only knows whether they will ever 
realize the fortunes they have come so far 
to seek, but as I bid them adieu, I wished 
them success from the bottom of my heart. 

After this interesting sight, we went on 
board the Dolphin, with two of our corps 
diplomatique, Captain Elliot, and Monsieur 
de Cramayel. As usual the affairs of the Re- 
public, especially as regarded the important 



289 

subject of emigrants were discussed. We all 
agreed that it was incumbent on all govern- 
ments sending out parties to this new, and 
little known country, to obtain every inform- 
ation which could be useful to the settlers, 
previous to their departure. In case of 
failure, also, or of sickness, their should be 
means of relief at hand, and large families 
should not be permitted to leave their homes, 
with even the possibility of starvation before 
them. From Captain Elliot I always gained 
much valuable information in regard to this 
young and interesting country. 

Our acquaintances in this little settlement 
were necessarily few, and we were really 
obliged to those among them, who were 
willing to share the monotony of our sea life. 
I beg to offer many thanks to the corps di- 
plomatique of Texas for the agreeable va- 
riety of their society, 

VOL, I. O 



290 

I regret extremely, that owing to our 
living on board the Dolphin, I did not ex- 
tend my acquaintance among the pleasant 
society, which I am aware the city of Galves- 
ton affords. I hope, at some future visit, to 
be able to make amends for the loss, which 
was caused by those unavoidable impedi- 
ments to visiting — viz. stormy days, — and 
foaming seas. We were not in a situation 
to be hospitable at the time of our anchor- 
age in Galveston bay. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



SPORTING IN TEXAS. PROVISIONS. BOGS. DEER SHOOT- 
ING. THE MUSTANY, OR WILD HORSE. FISH. 
GALVESTON FORT. IMPROVIDENCE AND IDLENESS OF 
THE TEXANS. RETURN TO NEW ORLEANS. 



To snare the fish we fix the luring bait ; 
To wound the fowl we load the gun with fate. 

Parnell. 

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own. 

Wordsworth. 

There is not much variety of amusement 
at Galveston. Game, however, was plentiful 
in the neighbourhood ; and of this we took 
advantage, and never missed a day without 
going out to try our skill. Horses were to 
be hired in plenty, and not very bad ; there 
is a certain Captain Gary, in Galveston, who 
keeps, what is courteously termed, a livery 



292 

stable. He is a free negro, who with great 
labour and perseverance saved up money to 
the amount of a thousand dollars, and pur- 
chased his freedom. Horses are to be had 
from him at half a dollar a day, with a sort 
of carriage included. In this vehicle our 
little party daily packed up their guns, and 
sometimes their fishing tackle, and sallied 
forth in quest of adventures. Their sport 
was very varied. When the wind was north- 
erly, there were flocks of sea-birds, in num- 
bers almost incredible, ducks of every des- 
cription, the delicious canvass-back, the man- 
darin, the pintail, and our common wild 
duck, all good ; but the most numerous 
kinds were scarcely eatable, being hard and 
fishy. The geese were the most difficult to 
shoot, being very shy ; and from the want 
of cover in the prairie, they generally saw 
us in sufficient time to get out of our way. 



293 

Mr. Houston however, contrived sometimes 
to bring one down, and that at distances 
of one hundred and fifty yards ; but they 
are not worth eating for no keeping 
makes them tender, and they taste much 
more of fish than fowl. No one must 
be surprised at our attempts to eat near- 
ly every thing we shot. Our dinners, with 
the exception of game, consisted always 
of beef ; mutton was not to be had — 
a sheep being quite a sight at Galveston. 
Pigs, to be sure, there were ; but they fed 
so uncleanly, upon snakes and dead dogs, 
that recourse to them was not to be 
thought of. Turkeys and fowls were 
scarce, and we had had enough of them on 
the voyage. The venison is good, but des- 
titute of fat ; the price of a deer is about 
two dollars. Soon after our arrival, Mr. 
Houston went to the main-land, and came 



294 

back with a magnificent deer, which he had 
brought down with small shot. It caused 
great jealousy among the Galvestonists. 
" I say, Captain, so you've been using up 
our deer, I see/' said one of these gentle- 
men to him, when he returned triumph- 
ant with the spoil. I remember, on the 
same day, that I took a drive on the sea- 
beach ; the day was fine, and I saw 
many beautiful, and some curious birds. 
There was the pelican standing drowsily in 
the shallow water, and as we approached, 
wheeling away with his heavy lagging 
flight. There were beautiful herons of va- 
rious kinds, and a flight of spoonbills, of a 
brilliant rose-colour, like the flamingo. 
More inland, the bright plumaged cardinal 
darted past us, while the yellow larks 
skimmed above us, in vast numbers. It 
was a pleasant day, and I well remember it. 



295 

Mr. Houston was so pleased by his sue- 
cess with the deer, that the day following 
we tried our fortune again. We were not 
very systematic in our arrangements, and 
were easily beguiled out of our path by 
any game that chanced to come in our way. 
Bogs are frequent, and not a little dan- 
gerous, as there are scarcely any visible 
signs of them, and if you are unlucky 
enough to get well into one, the chances 
are rather against your soon getting out 
again. In the neighbourhood of these bogs 
snipes are very plentiful, and Mr. Houston 
had left me in charge of the carriage, and 
was fast filling his pockets with those birds, 
when I espied a fine deer bound out of the 
rushes, not ten yards behind him. Unluc- 
kily, he neither saw nor heard him, and I 
had the mortification to see the animal get 
away without a shot being fired at him. 



296 

Soon after, we saw by the help of our 
glass, two deer feeding together at a dis- 
tance. They are extremely shy, and our 
only plan was to surround them, making 
the circle smaller by degrees. I took up 
my position at one angle ; Captain E., who 
accompanied us, at another ; and Mr. 
Houston, with his rifle, at the third. The 
deer stood a moment at gaze, evidently 
doubting at which point to make his es- 
cape. Unluckily for himself, he chose the 
strongest position, and while in full career, 
he received his death wound from Mr. 
Houston's rifle. I must confess, that anx- 
ious as I always was that the shot should not 
miss, yet I always felt a reaction of regret, 
when I saw the prey stretched lifeless be- 
fore me. On this occasion, though they 
assured me the deer was to all intents and 
purposes dead, yet I could not see his qui- 



297 

vering limbs, and leathern coat, stretched 
almost to bursting by convulsive sighs, 
without reproaching myself for having been 
a party to his assassination. I felt still 
more remorse, when we discovered that his 
companion, the friend perhaps of years, 
would not leave the spot where he had 
fallen, but kept hovering about, just out 
of gun-shot, long after the remains of his 
companion had been removed. 

I must here tell an American anecdote of 
deer shooting. One of our acquaintances, 
as a proof of the great tenacity of life in 
these animals, informed me, that he had 
once shot a deer, had cut its throat, and 
half skinned it, when, rather to his surprise, 
the animal suddenly rose, looked about 
him, and finally trotted off. " He required 
another ball in his heart to finish him — - 
and that's a fact, Madam." 

o II. 



298 

Wild swans are very numerous, but too 
shy for sport ; the price of a swan's skin is 
a dollar. The best bird I tasted in Texas 
was the prairie hen ; it is a delicious com- 
pound of pheasant, grouse, and partridge. 
People that have been in India say that it 
resembles the jungle fowl of that country. 
It is as large as a pheasant, with spurs or 
tufts of feathers on its heels. We killed 
quantities of snipes, and plovers — some- 
times twenty at a shot. The inhabitants 
do not waste their ammunition upon such 
small game, except the boys, who from the 
age of five years are intrusted with a rifle ; 
and dangerous enough are these inexperi- 
enced sportsmen to harmless passers by. 
The perseverance of these people when a 
deer is in question, is remarkable ; they 
will creep in a horizontal position, in the 
long grass, for hours together ; sometimes, 



299 

perhaps, not advancing more than a yard in 
a minute. Our livery-stable keeper. Captain 
Cary, earned a great portion of his freedom 
money in this way. A drunken rascal he 
was, with a head covered with black wool 
and shaped like a sugar loaf. He let out a 
great many horses to our sailors at differ- 
ent times ; and when we first arrived, they 
seemed to prefer a ride to the grog shop ; 
though there was every variety of apple- 
toddy, egg-nogg, gin-sling, hot tom-and- 
jerry, and juleps of every kind advertised at 
the numerous bar-rooms, in most tempting 
array. It was quite amusing to see them 
mounted on high stepping horses, riding 
as only sailors do, as hard as they could go, 
without any definite object — their hats at 
the back of their heads, their loose trowsers 
above their knees, and full three feet 
of daylight between themselves and their 



300 

saddles. At the risk of their own lives 
and the horses, they would come gallop- 
ing down the slight wooden pier, shout- 
ing and hallooing, for the admiration of 
their comrades on board. This love of 
equestrian exercise, however, did not last 
long. The charms of " Social Hall," " Ten 
Pin Alley/' and the " Travellers' Friend," 
soon seduced them, and more than once 
their leave was broken, and they returned 
intoxicated to the vessel. 

The mustany, or wild horse, I w T as not 
fortunate enough to see in any numbers. 
They are small, strong, and wiry ; but, as I 
before remarked, difficult to tame, and apt 
to be vicious. I saw one just lassoed, with 
the Mexican, who had caught him, on his 
back; he was using great, but I suppose 
necessary severity. I do not know which 
looked the wildest, the horse or his rider. 



301 

On the day that I saw this animal, we had ra- 
ther a disagreeable adventure., namely, be- 
ing nearly swamped in a bog in the prairie. 
Our horse floundered in, but luckily the 
hind wheels of the carriage were on terra 
firma. By this means we were able, after 
a good hour's labour, to rescue the poor 
animal from his disagreeable situation. 

It is really quite melancholy to see the 
innumerable bones of animals, which are 
scattered over the face of the country. 
During our drives and rides, we were con- 
stantly stumbling over these dismal looking 
remains, bleaching in the sun. The bones 
are principally those of horned cattle, 
which have sunk too deeply in the bogs 
to be able to extricate themselves. No 
greater proof than this can be required 
to prove the immense quantity of cattle 
that exist in this country. Often I have 



302 

perceived the head and shoulders of an 
unfortunate animal just appearing above 
the surface of the bog. Life being still in 
the creature, we have thought it advisable 
to send a merciful bullet through its de- 
voted head. Mr. Houston, on one occa- 
sion, was on the point of putting a period 
to the sufferings of a poor beast, thus 
doomed to a living grave ; he was, how- 
ever, deterred by the recollection of a piece 
of advice he had previously received. The 
Texans are particularly sensitive about the 
interference of strangers in any of their 
affairs ; and it is more than probable, that 
the shooting of a cow, however well inten- 
tioned the act, would give rise to disagree- 
able language, and possibly to measures of 
retaliation. 

There are many kinds of excellent fish at 
Galveston. The best of these is decidedly 



303 

the red fish. It very much resembles the 
cod in flavour, and grows to the length of 
fifteen feet. We found it excellent when 
salted. 

There are likewise immense quantities of 
grey mullet, which, though certainly an in- 
ferior fish, are nevertheless verv welcome 
when no other, nor better sorts are to be 
procured. At low water, they were taken 
from the pier by means of a casting net. 
Oysters are much in demand, oyster soup 
being a favourite delicacy among the Ame- 
ricans. They are large, and coarse, and by 
no means highly flavoured. We often took 
grey mullet ourselves with a casting net; 
and occasionally, in the Bayons, Mr. H. 
hooked a red fish, which was a pleasant va- 
riety in our sports. The bait for them was 
a piece of crab, or oyster. I was disap- 
pointed at finding so small a variety of 



304 

shells along the coast. For the first few 
days after my arrival, I wearied my eyes 
with looking for treasures of this description. 
I soon, however, discovered that I must 
give up the search in despair, I never 
found, notwithstanding this deficiency, that 
the drives along the sea-beach were either 
dull or monotonous. There were always 
ducks to circumvent or surprise, and pelicans 
to watch, as they stood unconcernedly in the 
water ; and generally, travellers to enter 
into conversation with. I regretted that 
the time was drawing near when we were 
to leave the island. We are, however, look- 
ing forward to returning when the weather 
is finer, and the prairie not so wet. 

The sea fogs were just now very disagree- 
able, and it must have been extremely un- 
safe for ships to venture near the land. On 
the 9th of January a large vessel was seen. 



305 

This was an event of importance, and it 
was quite delightful to perceive the masts 
and sails of what we plainly perceived was 
an English man-of-war, breaking the line of 
the horizon. By degrees, and as the vessel 
approached nearer the land, she was pro- 
nounced to be the Electra, an English cor- 
vette. Her arrival on the Texan coast had 
been expected, and the pilot went out to her 
immediately in his little schooner* The 
sea mist, which had partially cleared away, 
came on again so thickly, shortly after his 
departure, that he found it impossible to 
find the ship. In consequence of this, the 
Electra stood off to sea again. This sort 
of weather continued for about a fortnight ; 
it is true, we had occasional glimpses of sun, 
but they shone through such a curtain of 
misty haze, as to be as unlike the bright 
king of day as possible. 



306 

It is very curious, the suddenness with 
which these mists roll away. During this 
time there was no rain, and our sporting 
amusements went on as usual. The day 
before that on which we intended bidding 
adieu, for the present, to the young Republic, 
we had some rifle practice with the seven 
barrel. A deserted house was the object, 
and the owner's old boots the particular 
aim. Mr. Houston gained credit from the 
lookers on for the correctness of his aim at 
this singular and original target. 

Not far from the scene of this exploit is 
the fort of Galveston ! Not willingly would 
I speak in disparaging terms of any of the 
warlike defences of the city ; but I cannot 
really advise the good citizens to trust 
too much, or too implicitly to them. Their 
safety in case of an attack by sea, lies in 
the difficulty of access to their coast. The 



307 

bar at the mouth of the harbour, and the 
shallowness of the water, form a natural 
barrier to invasion^ by means of that ele- 
ment. For the same cause, a navy is al- 
most a useless possession to themselves. I 
believe the President always strongly object- 
ed to having the Republic burdened by the 
purchasing, fitting up, and maintaining the 
expence of ships of war. In the present 
financial condition of the country, a navy is 
a worse than useless incumbrance. 

The extreme apathy and indolence of 
these people, when there is no present and 
personal good to arise from their exerting 
themselves, is really wonderful; love of 
country, though I believe it to be strong 
within them, is as nothing compared with 
self interest and aggrandisement. I believe 
the same observations would apply to most 
individuals throughout the world, but I 



308 

could not help being struck with its peculiar 
applicability to these Republicans. As a 
proof of this, I may mention that there were 
lying in the harbour of Galveston, a brig 
and a steamer, both vessels of war ; they 
were both aground, and were literally falling 
to pieces for want of repair, a prey to ma- 
rine insects and vermin of all kinds. A 
little money, and a very slight degree of 
exertion, expended in time, would have 
saved two valuable vessels to the Republic, 
and also their harbour from exhibiting a 
most unsightly monument of their impro- 
vidence and idleness. The revenue of the 
country is not at present sufficient to play 
ducks and drakes with ; w r hat it may be here- 
after time will shew, as well as the disposi- 
tion of the people as to its expenditure. In 
the mean time, the money arising from the 
sale of these vessels would have been some- 



309 

thing. Not long ago a large steamer went 
on shore on the island about ten miles from 
Galveston city. She belonged to a Galves- 
ton merchant, and contained a large cargo 
of cotton. She very soon broke up, as a 
heavy norther was blowing at the time, and 
very little of her besides her engine was 
saved. A good many bales of cotton were 
floated on shore, and we used to meet por- 
tions of the iron work being hauled (An- 
glice carted) along the beach to Galveston. 
Altogether the loss must have been a heavy 
one to the proprietor. Cotton, harmless as 
it looks, sometimes turns out a most dan- 
gerous cargo. If at the time it is packed, it 
happens to contain the least degree of mois- 
ture, it is apt to ignite, in the same manner 
as hay when pressed into a heap, in a similar 
state. 
Our kind friend, Monsieur de Crama- 



310 

yel, the Charge d'Afifaires for France,, had 
sent me a most beautiful little live hawk, of 
a species quite new to me, which he had 
shot, but it was only " seriously " not " dan- 
gerously wounded. " The sailors, — who 
certainly are the most tender hearted people 
in the world, as far as as dumb animals are 
concerned, — nursed it through its illness, 
and soon made it quite tame and sociable. 
We had by this time accumulated quite a 
menagerie on board. My favourite dog, I 
have related before, died of a coup de soleil 
at Jamaica : long may the graceful boughs 
of the cocoa nut tree wave over his tomb ! 
We had still, however, old Rake the setter, 
who is I regret to say, far gone in decrepi- 
tude, and second childishness ; like many 
other better dogs than himself, he has had 
his day ; yet still u sans eyes — sans teeth 
— sans everything" — the old dog always 



311 

finds a warm berth, a kind word, and the best 
of dogs' food that can be had for asking. Be- 
sides this worthy animal we had two mocking 
birds, an eagle and a goat. The latter we 
found a most useful animal, though not equal 
in beauty to her predecessor; she was 
bought at New Orleans with her kid. The 
latter soon found its way into a pie ; those 
on board, with harder hearts than I could 
boast of, eating of it with great satisfaction. 
I heard the poor goat wandering about the 
decks over our heads, in search of her child, 
and uttering dismal bleatings, while her pro- 
geny was under discussion. Had I had the 
heart to partake of it, I am sure I never 
again could have looked poor Nan in the 
face with any degree of assurance. 

We had serious thoughts of continu- 
ing our course southward, to visit Vera 
Cruz, and thence to proceed to Mexico. 



312 

Several circumstances however deterred us 
from following this plan. In the first place 
we were by no means sure that, coming from 
the port of a hostile country, we should be 
well received by the Mexicans. Another 
reason was, the want of a tolerable road 
between Vera Cruz and the capital. Three 
hundred miles over rocks and stones, a- 
mongst brigands, and thieves, was enough 
to turn back the boldest of us. To New 
Orleans, therefore, it was decided that we 
should again betake ourselves. 

The Electra, after a fortnight's absence, 
or rather after standing on and off the shore, 
had at length succeeded in coming to an 
anchor outside the bar. She has brought 
despatches for Captain Elliot, and we are to 
take him out to the Corvette in the Yacht. 

January 26th. — We took our pilot on 
board, he having assured us that there was 



313 

sufficient depth of water on the bar for us 
to go out of the harbour. 

I was really quite sorry to say adieu to 
this island, where we had lingered so long. 
We had on board our friends of the corps 
diplomatique, who were bound, as the Yan- 
kees say, to pay a visit to Captain Darley, 
on board the Electra. We passed the for- 
midable obstacle of the bar without any 
difficulty, and, soon after, put both pilot and 
passengers into the boat of the former, with 
many farewells and good wishes. We pass- 
ed close to the bows of the Electra, and 
remarkably well she looked to us, accus- 
tomed to Yankee and Texan craft. The 
wind was favourable, and we steered a 
direct course to the southwest pass of the 
Mississippi. 

If we escape the dangers of plague, pesti- 
lence, famine, and shipwreck, and live to 

vol. i. p 



314 

return to Texas, I shall, I have no doubt 
have something more to say about the 
young Republic. " It's a fine country and 
that's a fact." 



END OF VOL. i. 



PRINTED BY W. NICOL, 60, PALL MALL, 



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