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Mr Nuttall left Philadelphia the 2d of October 1818, and arrived at Pittsburg on the 15th. From this place he proceeded in a skiff to Louisville, where after waiting in vain for the descent of the steam boats, which the lowness of the water detained, he determined to purchase a flat-bottomed boat, and set sail for the Mississippi with only two companions. This measure he afterwards found to have been an imprudent one, since the destruction of his boat, a kind of event by no means uncommon, and which, as it afterwards proved, was several times very narrowly escaped, would probably have plunged him into embarrassment and distress.

The narrative of the voyage down the Ohio is much like the accounts we are accustomed to hear from other travellers in that quarter, excepting that Mr Nuttall intersperses geological and botanical information with his other remarks. His stops for the night are made, sometimes at a flourishing village, and sometimes at a miserable tavern or log house, destitute of comforts, and filled with drunken and profligate backwoodsmen. He finds himself mixed with a tide of emigrants of various characters and views, some hoping and some repenting, but all carried forward by a sort of contagious impulse. A stranger, who descends the Ohio at this season of emigration, cannot but be struck with the jarring vortex of heterogeneous population, amidst which he is embarked, all searching for some better country, which ever lies to the west, as Eden did to the east. Amongst this crowd are also those, who, destitute of the means or inclination for obtaining an honest livelihood, are forced into desperate means for subsistence.'

On his way, Mr Nuttall is subjected to various frauds and impositions from his transient acquaintances, both resident and migratory. At times his boat is aground and he cannot procure, from a fellow canoe-man, a lift of an oar to set him afloat again, without a douceur of eight or ten dollars; at other times he is well nigh being robbed for confiding his baggage to a treacherous pilot. We should gather from his book, that it is customary in this western country to denominate rogues, knaves, and outlaws of every description, by the general title of Yankees and New Englanders. How far this epithet may be deserved, we take not upon us to decide. It will be conceded, we believe, that the states of New Eng

land do not themselves so abound with characters of this description, but that justice and social order are still able to maintain their ground. And if rogues, who spring up among us, find it at any time more convenient and safe to remove their residence into other parts, where the arm of the law and the tone of morals are more favorable to the successful exercise of their callings; far be it from us to complain of their absence, or urge their return.


Mr Nuttall arrived at the mouth of the Arkansa about the middle of January, after a voyage very perilous to his little skiff, among the snags and sawyers of the Mississippi. A bayou connects the White river with the Arkansa, through which the water runs in opposite directions at different seasons of the year. Leaving this bayou,' says he, we entered the Arkansa, which was very low, but still red and muddy with the freshets of the Canadian. Most of the larger streams, which enter into it from the south, are charged with red and turbid water, while those of the north are clear. Every where I observed the chocolate or reddish brown clay of the salt formation deposited by the southern freshets. The Arkansa had here a very gentle current, and was scarcely more than 200 yards wide, with its meanders on a small scale similar to those of the Mississippi. In consequence of the unrestrained dominion of the inundation, no settlements yet appeared in this quarter.

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With painful exertions the boat was forced up the river, several days being requisite to ascend the first sixteen miles, in some of which they were obliged to wade more than three hours in the water to tow the boat over the extensive bars, which resulted from the sudden falling of the river produced by a corresponding ebb of the Mississippi. No change,' says he, yet exists in the vegetation, and the scenery is almost destitute of every thing which is agreeable to human nature; nothing yet appears but one vast trackless wilderness of trees, a dead solemnity, where the human voice is never heard to echo, where not even ruins of the humblest kind recal its history to mind, or prove the past dominion of man. All is rude nature as it sprang into existence, still preserving its primeval type, its unreclaimed exuberance.' Over a large tract of country no settlement or even habitation has been attempted, the lands being wholly overflowed in freshets as

far as the Mississippi. On one side of the Arkansa 'the floods cover the whole intermediate space to White river, a distance of thirty miles. Within this tract cultivation can never take place without recourse to the same industry which has redeemed Holland from the ocean. The singular caprice of the river, as it accidentally seeks its way to the sea, meandering through its alluvial valley, is truly remarkable. The variation of its channel is almost incredible, and the action which it exercises over the destiny of the soil can scarcely be conceived. After pursuing a given course for many ages, and slowly encroaching, it has at length cut through an isthmus, and thus abandoned, perhaps, a course of six or eight miles, in which the water, stagnating, at length becomes totally insulated, and thus presents a lagoon or lake.'

A few miles higher up is the post or town of Arkansas, situated on a prairie as elevated as the Chickasaw bluffs, and containing thirty or forty houses. Cotton and rice are cultivated here with success, but the growth of the place proceeds slowly, owing in some measure to the uncertain titles of the neighboring lands. Several enormous Spanish grants remain still undecided, that of the Messrs Winters of Natchez calling for no less than one million of acres. This claim, besides a great portion of the neighboring prairie, embraces much of the finest land on the northern border of the river, and extends for nearly one hundred miles along its bank.

From Arkansas to Cadron (or Quadrant) a distance of about three hundred miles by water, there is a succession of small settlements or plantations, the greatest uninhabited interval not exceeding thirty miles. Mr Nuttall proceeded up the river in a large skiff bound to Bairdstown settlement. An account of the country, its Indian tribes, its botany, geology, and a description of some remarkable hills, constitute this portion of the itinerary. Above Cadron, at the distance of about two hundred miles, is Fort Smith, the highest garrison of the United States on the Arkansa river. It consists of two block houses, and lines of cabins or barracks for the accommodation of seventy men whom it contains. It is situated at the junction of the Pottoe, on a rising ground of about fifty feet elevation, surrounded by alluvial lands and uplands of unusual fertility. After Mr Nuttall had remained some time at Fort Smith, a favorable opportunity was presented for crossing the wilderNew Series, No. 13.


ness which separates the Arkansa from the Red river. A company of soldiers was despatched by order of government, to expel some white residents, who had settled beyond the Kiamesha, on the territory ceded by the United States to the Osage Indians. To this expedition Mr Nuttall attached himself. The country between the two rivers, sometimes level, and sometimes rough and mountainous, afforded a rich botanical harvest of new and interesting plants. The traveller, enchanted by the beauties of these untrodden regions, seems to forget fatigue and danger, in contemplating the luxuriant scene around him.

'Our route,' says he,' was continued through prairies occasionally divided by sombre beits of timber, which serve to mark the course of the rivulets. These vast plains, beautiful almost as the fancied Elysium, were now enamelled with innumerable flowers, among the most splendid of which were the azure larkspur, gilded coreopsides, rudbeckias, fragrant phloxes, and the purple psilotria. Serene and charming as the blissful regions of fancy, nothing here appeared to exist but what contributes to harmony.'

By the beginning of June the prairies began to be parched with drought. All the lesser brooks and neighboring springs were dried up, and the arid places appeared quite scorched with the heat. Still there prevailed throughout these prairies, as over the sea, a refreshing breeze, which continued for the greatest part of the day. The swarms of musquitoes which prove so troublesome along the banks of the Mississippi and Missouri, are here almost unknown, and never met with, except on the immediate alluvial borders of the rivulets.

In my solitary, but amusing rambles over these delightful prairies, I now for the first time in my life, notwithstanding my long residence and peregrinations in North America, hearkened to the inimitable notes of the mocking bird (turdus polyglottus.) After amusing itself in ludicrous imitations of other birds, perched on the topmost bough of a spreading elm, it at length broke forth into a strain of melody the most wild, varied, and pathetic, that ever I had heard from any thing less than human. In the midst of these enchanting strains, which gradually increased to loudness, it oftentimes flew upward from the topmost twig, continuing its note, as if overpowered by the sublimest ecstacy.'

The chief population, except Indians, which is met with in these western wilds, consists of fugitives from justice, or per

sons whose moral character renders an abode with civilized society uncongenial to their habits. The condition of these people is represented as sufficiently deplorable. Situated on a sort of land debateable,' between the Osage Indians and Cherokees, they are the subjects of continual abuse and plunder from both these tribes, without having the means of security or redress.

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At the Red river, Mr Nuttall became a sufferer for the indulgence of his botanical propensities. Having delayed about two hours behind his party, then on their return, he was led astray by a false track, and was never afterwards able to rejoin his companions. He was too remote to hear the guns fired as signals for him, and after great exertions he only succeeded in gaining their camp half an hour after the party had left it. Not a moment was to be lost, and a guide was hired to find their trace, and if possible to overtake them. We travelled,' says he, as fast as possible for about ten miles through a horrid brake of scrubby oaks, but all to no purpose, and, after firing a gun which was neither heard nor answered, we returned again, as I dared not venture alone and unprepared through such a difficult and mountainous wilderness. My botanical acquisitions in the prairies proved, however, so interesting as almost to make me forget my situation, cast away as I was amidst the refuse of society, without money and without acquaintance; for calculating upon nothing more certain than an immediate return, I was consequently unprovided with every means of subsistence.'

In consequence of this disappointment, Mr Nuttall was obliged to remain two or three weeks at the cabin of a settler, and at length, as the best convoy that offered, to put himself under the guidance of three whites going in pursuit of their horses stolen by the Cherokees. After wandering a week in the mountains with great toil and difficulty, they succeeded in gaining the garrison at Fort Smith.

On the sixth of July Mr Nuttall continued his voyage up the Arkansa. After passing the mouths of the Canadian and Grand rivers, he entered a stream called the Verdigris. An interesting account is given of the country about these rivers, also a description of the customs and manners of the Osage Indians, too long for us to transcribe. An excursion was made up the Grand river to visit the Osage salt works, situated near

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