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national debt has been liquidated by this dishonest means.[2]

The reserve of the Delawares contained nine square miles, or 5760 acres.
For this it was agreed at the treaty, that they should be paid 6000
dollars, and the value of the improvements, which I conceived to be a fair
bargain. I was not then aware of the practice pursued by the government,
of making deductions, under various pretences, from the purchase-money,
until the unfortunate Indian is left scarcely anything in lieu of his
lands, and says, that "the justice of the white man is not like the
justice of the red man," and that he cannot understand the honesty of his
Christian brother. The following extract, taken from the New York
American, will give some insight into the mode of dealing with the

"_The last of the Ottowas_. - Maumee Bay, Ohio, Sept. 3, 1831. - Mr. James
B. Gardiner has concluded a very important treaty at Maumee Bay, in
Michigan, for a cession of all the lands owned by the Ottowa Indians in
Ohio, about 50,000 acres. It was attended with more labour and greater
difficulties than any other treaty made in this state: it was the last
foothold which that savage, warlike, and hostile tribe held in their
ancient dominion. The conditions of this treaty are very similar to those
treaties of Lewistown and Wapaghkenetta, _with this exception_, that the
surplus avails of their lands, _after deducting seventy cents per acre to
indemnify the government_, are to be appropriated for paying the debts of
their nation, which amount to about 20,000 dollars." [Query, what are
those debts? - could they be the amount of _presents_ made them on former
occasions?] "The balance, _if any_, accrues to the tribe. Seventy
thousand acres of land are granted to them west of the Mississippi.[3] The
Ottowas are the most depredating, drunken, and ferocious in Ohio. The
reservations ceded by them are very valuable, and those on the Miami of
the lake embrace some of the best mill privileges in the State."

The Delawares were too few (being but fifty-one in number) to contend the
matter, and therefore accepted of the proposed terms. At the conclusion of
the conference, the Commissioners told them that they should have a barrel
of flour, with the beef that had been killed for the occasion, which was
received with "Yo-ha! - Yo-ha!" They then said, laughing, "that they hoped
their father would allow them a little milk," meaning whisky, which was
accordingly granted. They drank of this modern Lethé and forgot for a time
their misfortunes.

On the Osage fork of the Merrimack river, there are two settlements of the
Delawares, to the neighbourhood of which these Indians intend to remove.

Near the Delaware reserve, I fell in with a young Indian, apparently about
twenty years of age, and we journeyed together for several miles through
the forest. He spoke English fluently, and conformed as far as his taste
would permit him, to the habits of the whites. His dress consisted of a
blue frock coat, blue cloth leggings, moccasins, a shawl tied about the
head, and a red sash round his waste. In conversation, I asked him if he
were not a Cayuga - : "No," says he, "an Oneida," placing both his hands on
his breast - "a _clear_ Oneida." I could not help smiling at his national
pride; - yet this is man: in every country and condition he is proud of his
descent, and loves the race to which he belongs. This Oneida was a widow's
son. He had sixteen acres of cleared land, which, with occasional
assistance, he cultivated himself. When the produce was sold, he divided
the proceeds with his mother, and then set out, and travelled until his
funds were exhausted. He had just then returned from a tour to New York
and Philadelphia, and had visited almost every city in the Union. As
Guedeldk - that was the Oneida's name - and I were rambling along, we met a
negro who was journeying in great haste - he stopped to inquire if we had
seen that day, or the day previous, any nigger-woman going towards the
lake. I had passed the day before two waggon loads of negros, which were
being transported, by the state, to Canada. A local law prohibits the
settlement of people of colour within the state of Ohio, which was now put
in force, although it had remained dormant for many years.

There was much hardship in the case of this poor fellow. He had left his
family at Cincinnati, and had gone to work on the canal some eighteen or
twenty miles distant. He had been absent about a week; and on his return
he found his house empty, and was informed that his wife and children had
been seized, and transported to Canada. The enforcement of this law has
been since abandoned; and I must say, although the law itself is at
variance with the Constitution of the United States, which is paramount to
all other laws, that its abandonment is due entirely to the good feeling
of the people of Ohio, who exclaimed loudly against the cruelty of the


[1] De Witt Clinton, speaking of the Iroquois, or five nations, says,
"Their exterior relations, general interests, and national affairs, were
conducted and superintended by a great council, assembled annually in
Onondaga, the central canton, composed of the chiefs of each republic;
and eighty sachems were frequently convened at this national assembly. It
took cognizance of the great questions of war and peace; of the affairs
of the tributary nations, and their negotiations with the French and
English colonies. All their proceedings were conducted with great
deliberation, and were distinguished for order, decorum, and solemnity.
In eloquence, in dignity, and in all the characteristics of profound
policy, they surpassed the assembly of feudal barons, and perhaps were
not inferior to the great Amphictyonic Council of Greece."


Amount of lands sold up to the year 1824 44,229,837

173,176,606 acres unsold, estimated at one
dollar per acre. The Congress price was
then two dollars, but was subsequently
reduced to a dollar and a quarter, and
is now 75 cents. 173,176,606
- - - - - -

Deduct value of annuities, expenses of
surveying, &c. &c., being the amount of
purchase-money paid for same 4,243,632
- - - - - -

Profit arising to the United States from
purchases of land from the Indians 213,162,811
- - - - - -
Allowing 480 cents, to the pound sterling, the gross
profit is £44,408,918. 19_s_. 2_d_.

[3] There are lands west of the Mississippi, which would be dear at ten
cents per hundred acres.


From Little Sandusky, I passed through Marion, in Marion county. This
town, like most others in Ohio, is advancing rapidly, and has at present
several good brick buildings. The clap-boarded frame houses, which compose
the great mass of habitations in the towns throughout the western country,
in general have a neat appearance. I here saw gazetted three divorces, all
of which had been granted on the applications of the wives. One, on the
ground of the husband's absenting himself for one year: another, on
account of a blow having been given: and the third for general neglect.
There are few instances of a woman's being refused a divorce in the
western country, as dislike is very generally - and very
rationally - supposed to constitute a sufficient reason for granting the
ladies their freedom.

I crossed Delaware county into Franklin county, where Columbus, the
capital of the state, is situated. The roads from the lake to this city,
with few exceptions, passed through woodlands, and the country is but
thinly settled. Beech, oak, elm, hickory, walnut, white-oak, ash, &c.
compose the bulk of the forest trees; and in the bottom lands, enormous
sycamores are to be seen stretching their white arms almost to the very
clouds. The land is of various denominations, but in general may be termed

Columbus, the capital of Ohio, is seated on the Scioto river, which is
navigable for keel and flat boats, and small craft, almost to its source;
and by means of a portage of about four miles, to Sandusky river, which
flows into lake Erie, a convenient communication is established between
the lakes, and the great western waters. The town is well laid out. The
streets are wide; and the court-house, town-hall, and public offices, are
built of brick. There are some good taverns here, and the tables d'hôtes
are well and abundantly supplied.

There are land offices in every county seat, in which maps and plans of
the county are kept. On these, the disposable tracts of country are
distinguished from those which have been disposed of. The purchaser pays
one fourth of the purchase money, for which he gets a receipt, - this
constitutes his title, until, on paying the residue, he receives a regular
title deed. He may however pay the full amount at once, and receive a
discount of, I believe, eight per cent. A township comprises thirty-six
square miles (twenty three thousand and forty acres) in sections of six
hundred and forty acres each, which are subdivided, to accommodate
purchasers, into quarter sections, or lots of a hundred and sixty acres.
The sixteenth section is not sold, but reserved for the support of the
poor, for education, and other public uses. There is no provision made in
this, or any other state, for the ministers of religion, which is found to
be highly beneficial to the interests of practical Christianity. The
congress price of land has lately been reduced from a dollar and a quarter
per acre, to seventy-five cents.

Ohio averages 184 miles in extent, from north to south, and 220 miles from
east to west. Area, 40,000 square miles, or 25,600,000 acres. The
population in 1790, was 3000; in 1800, 45,365; in 1810, 230,760; and in
1820, 581,434. White males, 300,609; white females, 275,955; free people
of colour, 4723; militia in 1821, 83,247. The last census, taken in 1830,
makes the population 937,679.

Having no more Indian reserves to visit, I took the stage, and rumbled
over corduroys, republicans, stumps, and ruts, until my ribs were
literally sore, through London, Xenia, and Lebanon, to Cincinnati.

At Lebanon there is a large community of the shaking Quakers. They have
establishments also in Mason county, and at Covington, in Kentucky: their
tenets are strictly Scriptural. They contend, that confessing their sins
to one another, is necessary to a state of perfection; that the church of
Christ ought to have all things in common; that none of the members of
this church ought to cohabit, but be literally virgins; and that to dance
and be merry is their duty, which part of their doctrines they take from
the thirty-first chapter of Jeremiah.

Their ceremonies are as follows: - The men sit on the left hand, squatting
on the floor, with their knees up, and their hands clasped round them.
Opposite, in the same posture, sit the women, whose appearance is most
cadaverous and sepulchral, dressed in the Quaker costume. After sitting
for some time in this hatching position, they all rise and sing a canting
sort of hymn, during which the women keep time by elevating themselves on
their toes. After the singing has ceased, a discourse is delivered by one
of the elders; which being ended, the men pull off their coats and
waistcoats. All being prepared, one of the brethren steps forward to the
centre of the room, and in a loud voice, gives out a tune, beating time
with his foot, and singing _lal lal la, lal lal la_, &c., being joined by
the whole group, all jumping as high as possible, clapping their hands,
and at intervals twirling round, - but making rather ungraceful
_pirouettes_: this exercise they continue until they are completely
exhausted. In their ceremonials they much resemble the howling Dervishes
of the Moslems, whom they far surpass in fanaticism.

Within about ten miles of Cincinnati we took up an old doctor, who was
going to that city for the purpose of procuring a warrant against one of
his neighbours, who, he had reason to believe, was concerned in the
kidnapping of a free negro the night before. This is by no means an
uncommon occurrence in the free states bordering the great rivers. The
unfortunate black man, when captured, is hurried down to the river, thrust
into a flat boat, and carried to the plantations. Such negros are not
exposed for sale in the public bazaars, as that would be attended with
risk; but a false bill of sale is made out, and the sale is effected to
some planter before they reach Orleans. There is, of course, always
collusion between the buyer and seller, and the man is disposed of,
generally, for half his value.

These are certainly atrocious acts; yet when a British subject reads such
passages as the following, in the histories of East India government, he
must feel that if they were ten times as infamous and numerous as they are
in reality, it becomes not _him_ to censure them. Bolts, who was a judge
of the mayor's court of Calcutta, says, in his "Considerations on India
Affairs," page 194, "With every species of monopoly, therefore, every kind
of oppression to manufacturers of all denominations throughout the whole
country has daily increased; insomuch that weavers, for daring to sell
their goods, and Dallals and Pykars, for having contributed to, or
connived at, such sales, have by the _Company's agents,_ been frequently
seized and imprisoned, confined in irons, fined considerable sums of
money, flogged, and deprived, in the most ignominious manner, of what they
esteem most valuable, their castes. Weavers also, upon their inability to
perform such agreements as have been _forced from them by the Company's
agents_, universally known in Bengal by the name of _Mutchulcahs_, have
had their goods seized and sold on the spot, to make good the deficiency:
and the winders of raw silk, called _Nagaards_, have been treated also
with such injustice, that instances have been known of their cutting off
their thumbs, to prevent their being forced to wind silk. This last kind
of workmen were pursued with such rigour, during Lord Clive's late
government in Bengal, from a zeal for _increasing the Company's
investment_ of raw silk, that the most sacred laws of society were
atrociously violated; for it was _a common thing for the Company's
scapoys_ to be sent by force of arms to break open the houses of the
Armenian merchants established at Sydabad (who have from time immemorial
been largely concerned in the silk trade), and forcibly take the
_Nagaards_ from their work, and carry them away to the English factory."

As we approached Cincinnati the number of farms, and the extent of
cultivated country, indicated the comparative magnitude of that city.
Fields in this country have nothing like the rich appearance of those in
England and Ireland, being generally filled with half-rotten stumps,
scattered here and there among the growing corn, producing a most
disagreeable effect. Then, instead of the fragrant quickset hedge, there
is a "worm fence" - the rudest description of barrier known in the
country - which consists simply of bars, about eight or nine feet in
length, laid zig-zag on each other alternately: the improvement on this,
and the _ne plus ultra_ in the idea of a west country farmer, is what is
termed a "post and rail fence." This denomination of fence is to be seen
sometimes in the vicinity of the larger towns, and is constructed of posts
six feet in length, sunk in the ground to the depth of about a foot, and
at eight or ten feet distance; the rails are then laid into mortises cut
into the posts, at intervals of about thirteen or fourteen inches, which
completes the work.

Cincinnati is built on a bend of the Ohio river, which takes here a
semicircular form, and runs nearly west; it afterwards flows in a more
southerly direction. A complete chain of hills, sweeping from one point of
the bend round to the other, encloses the city in a sort of amphitheatre.
The houses are mostly brick, and the streets all paved. There are several
spacious and handsome market houses, which on market days are stocked with
all kinds of provisions - indeed I think the market of Cincinnati is very
nearly the best supplied in the United States. There are many respectable
public buildings here, such as a court-house, theatre, bazaar, (built by
Mrs. Trollope, but the speculation failed), and divers churches, in which
you may see well-dressed women, and hear orthodox, heterodox, and every
other species of doctrine, promulgated and enforced by strength of lungs,
and length of argument, with pulpit-drum accompaniment, and all other
requisites _ad captandum vulgus_.

The city stands on two plains: one called the bottom, extends about 260
yards back from the river, and is three miles in length, from Deer Creek
to Mill Creek; the other is fifty feet higher than the first, and is
called the Hill; this extends back about a mile. The bottom is sixty-five
feet above low water mark. In 1815 the population was estimated at 6000,
and at present it is supposed to be upwards of 25,000 souls. By means of
the Dayton canal, which runs from that town nearly parallel with the "Big
Miami" river, a very extensive trade, for all kinds of produce, is
established with the back country. Steamers are constantly arriving at,
and departing from the wharf, on their passage up and down the river. This
is one of the many examples to be met with in the western country, of
towns springing into importance within the memory of comparatively young
men - a log-house is still standing, which is shewn as the first habitation
built by the backwoodsman, who squatted in the forest where now stands a
handsome and flourishing city.

On arriving at Cincinnati, I learned that my friend T - - had taken up his
abode at a farm-house a few miles from town, where I accordingly repaired,
and found him in good health, and initiated into all the manners, habits,
customs, and diversions of the natives. Farming people in Ohio work hard.
The women have no sinecures, being occupied the greater part of the day in
cooking; as they breakfast at eight, dine at half-past twelve, and sup at
six, and at each of these meals, meat, and other cooked dishes are served
up. In farming they co-operate with each other. When a farmer wishes to
have his corn husked, he rides round to his neighbours and informs them of
his intention. An invitation of this kind was once given in my presence.
The farmer entered the house, sat down, and after the customary
compliments were passed, in the usual laconic style, the following
dialogue took place. "I guess I'll husk my corn to-morrow
afternoon." - "You've a mighty heap this year." - "Considerable of corn."
The host at length said, "Well, I guess we'll be along" - and the matter
was arranged. All these gatherings are under the denomination of
"frolics" - such as "corn-husking frolic," "apple-cutting frolic,"
"quilting frolic," &c.

Being somewhat curious in respect to national amusements, I attended a
"corn-husking frolic" in the neighbourhood of Cincinnati. The corn was
heaped up into a sort of hillock close by the granary, on which the young
"Ohiohians" and "buck-eyes" - the lasses of Ohio are called
"buck-eyes" - seated themselves in pairs; while the old wives, and old
farmers were posted around, doing little, but talking much. Now the laws
of "corn-husking frolics" ordain, that for each red ear that a youth
finds, he is entitled to exact a kiss from his partner. There were two or
three young Irishmen in the group, and I could observe the rogues kissing
half-a-dozen times on the same red ears. Each of them laid a red-ear close
by him, and after every two or three he'd husk, up he'd hold the
redoubtable red-ear to the astonished eyes of the giggling lass who sate
beside him, and most unrelentingly inflict the penalty. The "gude wives"
marvelled much at the unprecedented number of red-ears which that lot of
corn contained: by-and-by, they thought it "a kind of curious" that the
Irishmen should find so many of them - at length, the cheat was discovered,
amidst roars of laughter. The old farmers said the lads were "wide
awake," and the "buck-eyes" declared that there was no being up to the
plaguy Irishmen "no how," for they were always sure to have every thing
their own way. But the mischief of it was, the young Americans took the
hint, and the poor "buck-eyes" got nothing like fair play for the
remainder of that evening. All agreed that there was more laughing, and
more kissing done at that, than had been known at any corn-husking frolic
since "the Declaration."

The farmers of Ohio are a class of people about equivalent to our second
and third rate farmer, inasmuch as they work themselves, but possessing
infinitely more independence in their character and deportment. Every
white male, who is a citizen of the United States, and has resided one
year in the state, and paid taxes, has a vote. The members of the
legislature are elected annually, and those of the senate biennially; half
of the members of the latter branch vacating their seats every year. The
representatives, in addition to the qualifications necessary to the
elector, must be twenty-five years of age; and the senators must have
resided in the state two years, and must be thirty years of age. The
governor must be thirty years of age, an inhabitant of the state four
years, and a citizen of the United States twelve years, - he is eligible
only for six years in eight.

Notwithstanding the numerous religious sects that are to be found in this
country, there is nothing like sectarian animosity prevailing. This is to
be attributed to the ministers of religion being paid as they deserve, and
no one class of people being taxed to support the religious tenets of

The farmers of this state are by no means religious, in a doctrinal sense;
on the contrary, they appear indifferent on matters of this nature. The
girls _sometimes_ go to church, which here, as in all Christian countries,
is equivalent to the bazaars of Smyrna and Bagdad; and as the girls go,
their "dads" must pay the parson. The Methodists are very zealous, and
have frequent "revivals" and "camp-meetings." I was at two of the latter
assemblages, one in Kentucky, and the other in Ohio. I shall endeavour to
convey some idea of this extraordinary species of religious festival.

To the right of Cheriot, which lies in a westerly direction, about ten
miles from Cincinnati, under the shade of tall oak and elm trees, the camp
was pitched in a quadrangular form. Three sides were occupied by tents for
the congregation, and the fourth by booths for the preachers. A little in
advance before the booths was erected a platform for the performing
preacher, and at the foot of this, inclosed by forms, was a species of
sanctuary, called "the penitents' pen." People of every denomination might
be seen here, allured by various motives. The girls, dressed in all
colours of the rainbow, congregated to display their persons and
costumes; the young men came to see the girls, and considered it a sort of
"frolic;" and the old women, induced by fanaticism, and other motives,
assembled in large numbers, and waited with patience for the proper season
of repentance. At the intervals between the "preachments," the young
married and unmarried women promenaded round the tents, and their smiling
faces formed a striking contrast to the demure countenances of their more
experienced sisters, who, according to their age or temperament, descanted
on the folly, or condemned the sinfulness of such conduct. Some of those
old dames, I was informed, were decoy birds, who shared the profits with
the preachers, and attended all the "camp-meetings" in the country.

The psalmodies were performed in the true Yankee style of nasal-melody,
and at proper and seasonable intervals the preachings were delivered. The
preachers managed their tones and discourses admirably, and certainly
displayed a good deal of tact in their calling. They use the most
extravagant gestures - astounding bellowings - a canting hypocritical
whine - slow and solemn, although by no means _musical_ intonations, and
the _et ceteras_ that complete the qualifications of a regular
camp-meeting methodist parson. During the exhortations the brothers and
sisters were calling out - Bless God! glory! glory! amen! God grant! Jesus!

At the adjournment for dinner, a knowing-looking gentleman was appointed

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Online LibraryS.A. FerrallA Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America → online text (page 3 of 15)