Lorenzo Dow.

The dealings of God, man, and the devil : as exemplified in the life, experience, and travels of Lorenzo Dow, in a period of over half a century: together with his polemic and miscellaneous writings, complete online

. (page 47 of 126)
Online LibraryLorenzo DowThe dealings of God, man, and the devil : as exemplified in the life, experience, and travels of Lorenzo Dow, in a period of over half a century: together with his polemic and miscellaneous writings, complete → online text (page 47 of 126)
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stay at a house, such as it was, that belonged
to a Half Breed, during the night. I was
very much fatigued, but rested tolerably

In the morning we started by ourselves soon
after we had got some refreshment, and trav-
elled on through the day until towards even-
ing, when we met a company of Indians, who
had been preparing their camp for the night.
This struck me with some considerable dread,
and to add to that, we had to cross a dreadful
slough, called by travellers, "hell hole'' 1 This
place consisted of thin mud, so that horses,
after they were stripped of saddle and harness,
could swim through ; and then it was neces-
sary that some one should be on the other side,
so as to prevent them from running away.
But we had no one with us to assist, and we
could not tell what we should do ; yet so it
happened, the Indians had made a temporary
bridge of poles and canes to get their horses
over, which served for us to get over upon

We were then under the necessity of pre-
paring for the night, as it was almost sun-set,
and we were not more than half a mile from
the Indian's camp, which was quite alarming
to me ; but there was no alternative, there we
must stay. Accordingly, Lorenzo made a
good fire, and provided a plenty of cane for
our horses, and made ready our little repast ;
by this time it was dark — we then lay down
to try to compose ourselves to rest j but my

mind was too much occupied by gloomy re-
flections to sleep, while I could hear Indians'
dogs barking, and the horses' bells jingle, al-
though it was a beautiful night. The moon
shone through the trees with great splendor,
and the stars twinkling around ; and if my
mind had been in a right frame, it would have
been a beautiful prospect to me, but I was so
much afraid, that it quite deprived me of any
satisfaction, while Lorenzo would have slept
sweetly, if I had not been so fearful, and fre-
quently disturbed him — I longed for day-light
to appear ; and as soon as it dawned, we
started and travelled a long- and tedious day,
still in this dreary wilderness. We expected
to have got to a man's house, living on the
Chickasaha River, who had an Indian family,
before night ; accordingly we came to a creek,
which Lorenzo took to be that river : I felt
very much rejoiced, as I hoped to find a house
which we could have the privilege of sleeping
in — but we were disappointed in our expecta-
tion — for when we got over the creek, we
found there an Indian village : we enquired
how far it was to this man's house, they told
us by signs it was ten miles, and it was now
almost sunset. We started on again, and
went perhaps half a mile, when the path be-
came divided into so many little divisions,
that we could not tell which to take. Loren-
zo went back to an Indian house, and re-
quested an old Indian to go and pilot us to
Nales — the old man hesitated at first, but after
understanding that he should be well paid, he
took his blanket, and wrapping it about his
head, he started on before us, and we followed
after — by this time it was almost sunset, but
but we kept on : there was a moon, though it
was obscured by a thin cloud, so that it was
not of so much use to us as it would otherwise
have been. We had not got more than three
miles from the Indian's house before it was
quite dark. I was very much afraid of our
pilot ; I strove to lift my heart to God for pro-
tection, and felt in some degree supported. —
Our way lay through a large swamp, inter-
mixed with cane, which made it appear very
gloomy ; but our pilot was almost equal to a
wolf, to find his way through this wild, unfre-
quented spot of the earth — he could wind
about and keep the path where I would have
thought it was almost impossible ; but having
travelled until ten or eleven o'clock, we arri-
ved at the river ; but how to get across, that
was the next difficulty — we must cross a ferry,
and the boat was on the other side — Lorenzo
requested the old Indian to go over and fetch
it, but he would not move one step until he
promised him more money : this was the sec-
ond or third time he had raised his wages af-
ter he started, to keep him on, until we could
I reach the place that we wished for. How-



ever, after he found that lie would get more
money, he started, and went up the river,
found some way across : in a short time he
had the boat over, and we went into it with
our horses, and the old man set us over.
This was perhaps eleven o'clock at night —
we came to the house, the family was gone
to bed, but the woman got up, and although
she was half Indian, she treated me with
more attention than many would have done
that had been educated among the more refin-
ed inhabitants of the earth !

I felt quite comfortable, and slept sweetly
through the remaining part of the night. In
the morning we started again, being then near
thirty miles from the settlements of Tombigby.
We passed through some delightful country
that day, and about two or three o'clock in
the afternoon we reached the first house that
was inhabited by white people. It made my
heart rejoice to meet again with those that
spoke a language which I understood, and
above all, to find some that loved the Lord !

Lorenzo held several meetings in this neigh-
borhood that were profitable, I trust, to some.
We stayed here two nights, and a good part
of three days, when we took our leave of
them, and departed on our journey through
the settlements of Bigby, which extend^ sev-
enty or eighty miles j:i length, through a rich
and fertile soil. The settlements were flour-
ishing, and the people in some parts hospita-
ble. We arrived at Fort St. Stephen's, situa-
ted on the Tombigby river — it is on an emi-
nence, and makes a handsome appearance,
although it is but small. The river is navi-
gable up to this place. It is a beautiful river ;
the water is as clear as crystal, and the land
verv fertile — well situated for cultivation.
This will be a delightful country, no doubt, in

We got fresh supplies at this place, and
made bul a tew hours stop before we started
on our journey, and crossed the river in a
ferry-boat — this was after twelve o'clock — we
travelled until late, and came to a small cabin,
where we got permission t" Btay for the night,
which we did. In the morning we started
very early — saw some scattering house-, and
;it night we got to the Alabama river, where
there was a ferry- kept by a man who was a
mixture, where we stayed that night. This
river is beautiful, almost beyond de cription.
On its pleasant bank stood Fori Mum. thai
has since been destroyed by the savage Creek
Indians, with those that lied to it lor pro-

We were now in the bounds ol the Creek
nation: we were still without any company.
This day we struck the road thai bad been
cut out by the order of the President, from the
state of Georgia, to Fort Stoddard. This

made it more pleasant for travelling, and then
we frequently met people removing from the
States to the Tombigby, and other parts of the
Mississippi territory.

We travelled betwixt thirty and forty miles
that day, and came to a creek, called Murder
creek : it got this name in consequence of a
man having been murdered there. This cir-
cumstance made it appear very gloomy to me.
But we made the necessary preparations for
the night, and lay down to rest: although I
was so much afraid, I got so weary at times,
that I could not help sleeping. About twelve
o'clock it began to rain so fast, that it was
like to put out our fire, and we were under the
necessity of getting our horses and starting, as
we had nothing to screen us from the rain.
The road having been newly cut out, the
fresh marked trees served for a guide — there
was a moon, but it was shut in by clouds.
However, we travelled on ten or twelve miles
and it ceased raining : I was very wet and
cold, and felt the need of a fire, more perhaps
than I had ever done in my life before !

At last we came in sight of a camp, which
would have made my heart glad, but I feared
lest it was Indians; yet to my great satisfac-
tion, when we came to it we found an old
man and hoy, with what little they possessed,
going to the country we had left behind, and
had encamped in this place, and with their
blankets had made a comfortable tent, and had
a good fire. This was refreshing to us, as we
were much fatigued. We made some coffee,
and dried our clothes a little — by this time it was
day-light; we then started on our way again.
I thought my situation had been trying as
almost could be, but I found that there were
others who were worse off than myself.

We came across a family who were moving
to the Mississippi — they had a number of
small children ; and although they had some-
thing to cover them like a tent, yet they suf-
fered considerably from the rain the night be-
fore : and to add to that, the woman told me
they had left an aged father at a man's house
by the name of manacle, one or two days be-
fore, and that she expected he was dead per-
haps by that time. They were as black
almost as the native*, and the woman seemed
very much disturbed at their situation. I felt
pity for her — I thought her burthen was really
heavier than mine. We kept on, and about
the middle of the day we got to the house
where the poor man hail been left with his
wife, son, and daughter. A I'cw hours before
we got there, he had closed his eyes in death
they had lain him out, and expected to bury
him thai evening : but they could not get any
thing to make a coffin of, only split stuff* to
make a kind of a box, and so put him in the
ground !



I thought this would have been such a dis-
tress to me, had it been my case, that it made
my heart ache for the old lady. But I found
that she was of that class of beings that could
not be affected with any thing so much as the
loss of property; for she began immediately
to calculate the expense they had been at by
this detention — and I do not recollect that I
saw her shed one tear on the occasion.

We stayed but a short time and continued
on our journey. There we got a supply of
bread, such as it was; and there we met with
three men that were travelling our road, the
first company that we had found since we had
left the Mississippi, being now not more
than one-third of the way through the Creek
nation. We left this place betwixt one and
two o'clock.

I was very glad of some company, for we
had been very lonely before. We travelled
on without any thing particular occurring for
three days, until we arrived at the Chatta-
hochy river, where we met with some diffi-
culty in getting over, as the boat was gone.
This was early in the morning, before sunrise,
that we came to the river ; and there we were
detained until ten o'clock, and then had to
hire an Indian to take a canoe, and first carry
our baggage over, and then swim our horses
over. This hindered us until near eleven
o'clock before we got ready to start again.
We were in hopes of getting to Hawkings, the
agent, that night — but being so long de-
tained at the river, we were obliged to stay at
an Indian's camp, our company having stopped

I had got a fall from my horse and hurt
myself considerably ; and I was as much fa-
tigued and worn out by travelling as ever I
was in my life. I thought sometimes that I
never should stand it, to get through the wil-
derness, but Providence gave me strength of
body beyond what I could have expected.
We left the Indian's camp in the morning, and
reached Col. Hawkings' that night.

This was within about thirty miles of the
settlements of Georgia. I felt grateful to the
God of all grace, for his tender care over us,
while in this dreary part of the land — where
our ears had been saluted by the hideous yells
of the wolf — and had been surrounded by the
savages, more wild and fierce than they; and
yet we were preserved from all danger, and
brought through in safety.

We got to the river that divides the state
of Georgia from the Indian boundaries, about
three or four o'clock, and got into the white
settlements, which was very satisfactory to
me. We got to a friend's house that night
about dark, where we were received kindly !
This was like a cordial to my heart, as it had
been a Ions time since I had met with a friend.

We stayed that night with them, and the
next day we got to a friend's house within
twelve or fourteen miles from Milledgevillc,
the metropolis of Georgia. There Lorenzo
had left a small wagon, six weeks or two
months before — here he exchanged the two
horses we had for one that would work in a
carriage, and went on to Milledgeville, where
we stayed about a week— and found many
kind friends. This was some time in De-

While we were here the earthquakes began,
which alarmed the people very much. It was
truly an awful scene, to feel the house shaking
under you as sensibly as you could feel the
motion of a vessel, when it was moving
over the water ; and the trees as it were dan-
cing on the hills — all nature seemed in com-
motion. This was enough to make the stout-
est heart to tremble ! But when the people
get so hardened, that mercies nor judgments
cannot move them, we may conclude they are
in a bad way ! This is the case with too
many. that the day would arrive, when
the inhabitants of the earth would love and
serve the Lord !

We left MUledgeviUe, and went to a friend's
house, where I stayed three or four weeks,
while Lorenzo travelled the upper countries,
and through the New Purchase — and offered
free salvation to crowded congregations. He
then returned to where I was, and we started
on our journey to Virginia. Lorenzo preached
at several places, before we got to Louisville,
and had a chain of appointments given out,
which extended to North Carolina. We
came to Louisville, intending to stay only for
a few days ; but there came on such a rain,
that it raised the water courses to such a de-
gree, that it was impossible for us to travel
for near two weeks — this brought him behind
his appointments : but it gave him an oppor-
tunity of preaching to the people in Louisville
a number of times.

As soon as we could get along we started,
and with some difficulty we overtook the ap-
pointments — but not without disappointing
three or four congregations. We travelled on
from Georgia to Carolina in the cold incle-
ment weather, such as we have in January
and February ; and Lorenzo preached once
and twice in the day — the people seemed quite
attentive all the way that we came.

I was very anxious to get to Lynchburg, as
we had some thoughts of striving to get a
small house built there, that we might have a
place of retreat in case of necessity — Lorenzo
still expecting to travel and preach as long as
his strength would admit. But we intended
to go on to Connecticut, to his fathers, where
I expected to have stayed for some time,
and then return to Lynchburg; but the

Providence of God seemed not to favor the

We arrived in Lynchburg about the seven-
teenth of March, where we calculated to stay
but a few days, and then go on to his father's
— after making some preparations for building
our little house. However, we had not been
in Lynchburg but about one week, before I
was taken very ill, and confined to my bed,
attended by two doctors, Jennings ami Owen,
who said my affliction was an inflammation
of the liver — which confined me for three
months to my bed, and was expected to die.
However, after having gone through a course
of physic, I got so as to be able to sit up and
i ride a little ; but was very feeble. My sick-
I ness had detained Lorenzo from going to the
North, as he had intended, — and after count-
ing the expense of building, he found that it
would not be in his power to accomplish his
design in building a house, without involving
himself in debt, which he was not willing to
do; accordingly he gave it up, and concluded
still to continue as we had been without house
or home, and leave the event in the hand of
Providence; knowing that we had been pro-
vided for all our lives, from a.never-failing
source— and we felt willing in some degree to
trust HIM still !

We were still at Lynchburg ; and had been
there for more than three months — and the
friends were very kind to me in my sickness.

Lorenzo wished to take me to his father's :
but my health was in such a state that it was
impossible for me to travel.

There was a man who lived in Buckingham
county, about five-and-twenty miles from
pljnchburg — we had but a small acquaintance
with him : he, coming to Lynchburg, saw Lo-
renzo, and invited him to come and stay at
his house awhile. He told him he had no
objections, but was thankful to him for his
kindness, though he saw no way of convey-
ance. Mr. John M. Walker, for that was his
name, told him he would send his carriage for
me the next week, which he did, and we went
to his house. This was a kind family. 1 had
not been there but a little more than" a week,
before I was again confined to my bed — and
it was expected that I must (lie. They gave
every attention to me they could have done
had I been their own child -may the great
Master reward them in this world with every
needed blessing, and in the world to come, a
crown of never-fading glory.

My Lorenzo attended me day and nighl al-
most from this time, until near Christmas. By

this I had got a little better, so a- to be taken

and wrapped in blankets and put into a close
carriage, and carried about half a mile to
another dear friend's house, Major William
Duval, where I was treated as if 1 had been a

near relation — and provided with every thing
necessary to make me comfortable ; and they
wished me to stay with them all the winter.
This was matter of thankfulness to us.

I had got so as to walk about my room a
little — and Lorenzo wishing to take a tour to
the North, he made the necessary arrange-
ments, and about the twenty-fifth of December
he left me and started to Richmond, on his
way to the city of Washington, where he stay-
ed for some time, and then on to New York,
and so on to his father's in Conned u ut.

He expected to return in March, hut did not
until May. I staid at brother Duval's, par-
taking of their hospitality, until some time in
March, when brother Walker" s family seemed
solicitous that I should go to their house again,
and sister Walker coming in her carriage her-
self, she being very delicate too — I concluded
to go. The old gentlemen not being at home
at the time, or 1 expect he would not have
consented for me to have left his house, until
Lorenzo returned.

I feel under great obligations to that dear
family that I cannot express. His wife was a
lovely woman. May the Lord reward them —
for it is not in my power !

I went home with sister Walker. I was at
this time much better, but in a few days after
I had got to brother Walker's T was again at-
tacked with my old complaint, a pain in my
side very severe. I applied to the remedies
that had been made use of, and that was
bleeding and blistering, but to little purpose

I felt very much discouraged ; as I thought
it more than probable that my time would be
but short in this world of woe — and I wished
much to see my companion once more in time,
but strove to be resigned to the will of the

My cry was — Lord, help me to be willing
to suffer all thy goodness sees best to inflict.
My pain was at times very severe, and then
I would get a little relief. I \vas taken about
the twenty-seventh of March, but three or
four days later than it was the Spring before,
when I was fust attacked.

I had received letters from Lorenzo which
informed me that he could not get hack before
May. My strength was continually declin-
ing; and to appearance, I would shortly be
an inhabitant of the other world. My mind
was variously exercised — it was sometime?
casl down, and at other times much comforted.
This long and tedious sickness taught me a
great le<son, as it related to the uncertainty of
earthly enjoyments, than any thing I had met
with before. My desire for temporalities were
gone — at least any more than was strictly ne-
cessary to make me comfortable — ami the
Lord that cared for us, had provided me with



the kindest friends, where I was treated with
the greatest attention.

Lorenzo returned in May, as he had wrote
me he should. I was at that time unable to
get out of my bed without assistance. I had
wrote to him to New York, before I got so
bad, that I was threatened with another at-
tack. He had made all the speed that he
could, and the day that he got to the place
where I was, he had travelled near seventy

I was much rejoiced to see him once more,
the God of all Grace had granted my request,
and returned him in safety to me again. He
staid with me for several weeks, and every
means was made use of to restore me to health
that could be — but they all seemed to prove
abortive. Dr. Jennings saw me several times
aftei" my last attack, and advised the use of
mercury, as the only remedy that could be of
any service to me. I followed his advice, and
was reduced very low, from the disorder and
medicine together — so that it was thought by
all who saw me, that I must die.

I strove to sink into the will of God ; know-
ing whatsoever was best for me would be
given — yet I could not divest myself of a de-
sire to get well, and live a little longer ; not
to enjoy what is commonly called the plea-
sures of the world, for my prospects were but
small at that time — hut to live more to the
glory of God, and be better prepared to join
the blood-washed company above, when I
should be called for.

Lorenzo had at this time gone to the low
lands, to fulfil some appointments which had
been given out by some of the preachers,
which took him about three weeks. I was
very ill while he was gone — about the time
that he returned I began to mend a little, so
that I could sit up in the bed. The Doctor
had advised Lorenzo to carry me to the White
Sulphur Springs, as it was the most likely
means to restore my health. After a few
weeks, I had got so as to be taken and put in-
to a chair and carried as far as Lynchburg, to
Dr. Jennings. We had then a chair and
horse of our own — but our horse's back had
got injured, so that we were under the neces-
sity of staying in Lynchburg until he should
get well, so that we could get on to the

We were detained for some time before our
horse got so as we could use him. I still was
very feeble in body — I could not walk one
hundred yards without assistance. Our horse
had been quite high, for near three weeks,
and his back had got tolerably well ; so that
we were about to make a start, and try to get
on to the Springs — but although our horse
had brought Lorenzo all the way from New
England, and down to the Low Lands of Vir-

ginia and the Carolinas, and back again to
Buckingham, and from there to Lynchburg in
the chair, and appeared very gentle : yet when
he put him in the chair to prepare to start for
the Springs, he began to act like as if he was
frightened, and we were apprehensive he could
not be managed by him, considering my weak
and helpless state; and the road through which
we must travel was very rough and mountain-
ous, consequently he sold him on the spot,
and hired a hack from a Quaker living in that
place ; he paid four dollars a day for the use
of it for ten days, besides bearing all the ex-
penses. We left Lynchburg in the morning,
and went the first day to New London, about
fifteen miles, and I stood the travel much bet-
ter than I expected I could. There Lorenzo
preached to the people, as he had some ap-
pointments sent on before him ! and we stay-
ed all night. The next day we went to Liberty,
where we had another appointment — and from
there we went to a friend's house, where we
were treated kindly — -and they called in some
of their neighbors, and we had a comfortable
little meeting.

The next day to Fincastle, where we stayed
all night, and Lorenzo preached twice. We
were now within a few miles of the moun-
tains, which was in some places so craggy
and steep, that it was with difficulty we could
ascend them ; and then we would come into a
valley, where the soil would appear as charm-
ing and beautiful as the mountains were rug-
ged and barren. We travelled on, and met

Online LibraryLorenzo DowThe dealings of God, man, and the devil : as exemplified in the life, experience, and travels of Lorenzo Dow, in a period of over half a century: together with his polemic and miscellaneous writings, complete → online text (page 47 of 126)