Page images
PDF
EPUB

the prospect of proving so advantageous to England as this. They have the finest land on all the continent; and as it is the farthest part to the southward on the continent, it certainly must be the finest climate. You may have at least three crops in a year here by industry, which is more by two than they have in a great many places on the Main.

I intend after my return to Charleston to take a journey, by land, to Cape Fear in North Carolina, which I have heard so much talk of, as likewise to the beautiful lake which is the head of Waccumaw river. I left Georgia on the 9th of May, and set out for Charleston in a canoe, with four oars, having sold my horse. We lay in the wood that night, at a place called Bloody Point, which is on the north side of Sanfusky Sounds; it is so named from the scout boats being cut off there in the Indian war, by the Augustine Indians. I met with nothing very material that night, except my sending one of the oar-men for some fresh water to a spring about a stone's throw from the camp, who came back in a terrible fright, swearing he either saw the devil or some spirit, the vulgar having a notion among them, that this place was haunted ever since. We took each of us a stick of light wood in our hands, and went to meet this spirit, which proved to be nothing but a poor raccoon, which we killed and barbicued for our supper with some oysters for sauce, there being great plenty there, and I think much the finest in the whole province. About four the next morning, we set out from thence, and about ten reached Port Royal Sounds, where we had very near been cast away by a sudden storm from the northeast; but, by the providence of God, and the skilfulness of the pilot, happily escaped: those Sounds are about ten miles over, and they say the bar is much the finest in South Carolina. We reached the town of Beaufort in Port Royal Island that evening, by Frederick Fort, where his majesty's independent company is settled.

Beaufort is pleasantly situated, and would be much pleasanter, would it admit of a large town; but the land round it being got into the hands of a few gentlemen who have other tracts elsewhere, there is no room for others who would live there to settle it; so that the town in itself is but very indifferent. We slept there that night, at one Mr. Richard Woodward's, and the next morning set out for Charleston,

[ocr errors]

and arrived there on the thirteenth morning with nothing worthy notice.

I set out from Charleston on the 10th of June, on my travels to Cape Fear, in North Carolina, in company with thirteen more, and the first night reached Mr. More's, in Goose creek. The next night we reached Captain Screen's, at French Santee, and the third reached Wineaw ferry, which is about one hundred miles from Charleston. There we lay that night, and there being so many of us, it was twelve the next day before we all crossed the ferry. We dined there at one Mr. Masters's, on the fens on the other side, and the same night reached one Muenly, who keeps another tavern on the road, about twenty-two miles from Masters's.

The next morning, about five, we left his house, and about six came on the long bay, the tide just serving for us to get over the swashes. We had twenty-five miles farther to ride on the bay, or sea-shore, and five miles after before we came within sight of a house, so that we were obliged to ride gently for fear of our horses. When we got about fifteen miles over the bay, my horse gave out, and I was obliged to take one of the negro's horses, leaving him behind to take care of mine. When we rode about two miles farther, another of our companions' horses gave out, and in short two more before we got to Ash's, or Little river, which was the next house.

The next morning, just as we were setting out from thence, our tired horses came in, when we ordered them to be left there till further orders: we left the boys behind to come after us as well as they could. We reached Little Charlotta by dinner time, which is about fifteen miles from Ash's, or Little river: we dined there, and in the afternoon crossed the ferry, where we intended to sleep that night. We reached there about eight the same night, after having crossed the ferry.

It is named so after one Lockwood, a Barbadian, who with several others attempted to settle it some time ago; but, by his cruel behavior to the Indians, they drove him from thence, and it has not been settled above ten years. We left Lockwood's Folly about eight the next morning, and by two reached the town of Brunswick, which is the chief town in Cape Fear; but with no more than two of the

same horses which came with us out of South Carolina. We dined there that afternoon. Mr. Roger More hearing we were come, was so kind as to send fresh horses for us to come up to his house, which we did, and were kindly received by him ; he being the chief gentleman in all Cape Fear. His house is built of brick, and exceeding pleasantly situated about two miles from the town, and about half a mile from the river; though there is a creek comes close up to the door, between two beautiful meadows about three miles length. He has a prospect of the town of Brunswick, and of another beautiful brick house, a building about half a mile from him, belonging to Eleazer Allen, Esq., late speaker to the Commons House of Assembly, in the province of South Carolina. There were several vessels lying before the town of Brunswick, but I shall forbear giving a description of that place; yet on the 20th of June we left Mr. Roger More's, accompanied by his brother, Nathaniel More, Esq., to a plantation of his, up the north-west branch of Cape Fear river. The river is wonderfully pleasant, being, next to Savannah, the finest on all the continent.

We reached the Forks, as they call it, that same night, where the river divides into two very beautiful branches, called the North-east and the North-west, passing by several pretty plantations on both sides. We lodged that night at one Mr. Jehu Davis's, and the next morning, proceeded up the north-west branch; when got about two miles from thence, we came to a beautiful plantation, belonging to Captain Gabriel, who is a great merchant there, where were two ships, two sloops, and a brigantine, loading with lumber from the West Indies : it is about twenty-two miles from the bar; when we came about four miles higher up, we saw an opening on the north-east side of us, which is called Black river, on which there is a great deal of very good meadow land, but there is not any one settled on it.

The next night we came to another plantation belonging to Mr. Roger More, called the Blue Banks, where he is a going to build another very large brick house. This bluff is at least a hundred feet high, and has a beautiful prospect over a fine large meadow, on the opposite side of the river; the houses are all built on the south-west side of the river, it being for the most part high champaign land: the other side is very much subject to overflow, but I cannot learn they

met with very cong to Mr. More that night at one

have lost but one crop. I am credibly informed they have very commonly four-score bushels of corn on an acre of their overflowed land. It very rarely overflows but in the winter time, when their crop is off. I must confess I saw the finest corn growing there, that ever I saw in my life, as likewise wheat and hemp. We lodged there that night at one Captain Gibbs's, adjoining to Mr. More's plantation, where we met with very good entertainment. The next morning we left his house, and proceeded up the said river to a plantation belonging to Mr. John Davis, where we dined. The plantations on this river are all very much alike as to the situation ; but there are many more improvements on some than on others : this house is built after the Dutch fashion, and made to front both ways on the river, and on the land, be has a beautiful avenue cut through the woods for above two miles, which is a great addition to the house. We left his house about two in the afternoon, and the same evening reached Mr. Nathaniel More's plantation, which is reckoned forty miles from Brunswick. It is likewise a very pleasant place on a bluff upwards of sixty feet high. I forbore mentioning any thing either as to the goodness or the badness of the land in my passage from South Carolina, it being, in short, nothing but a sandy bank from Winneaw ferry to Brunswick; and, indeed, the town itself is not much better at present: it is that which has given this place such a bad name on account of the land, it being the only road to South Carolina, from the northern part of the continent, and as there are a great many travellers from New York, New England, &c., who go to Charleston, having been asked what sort of land they have in Cape Fear, have not stuck out to say, that it is all a mere sand bank; but let those gentlemen take a view of the rivers, and they will soon be convinced to the contrary as well as myself, who, must confess, till then was of their opinion, but now am convinced by ocular demontration, for I have not so much as seen one foot of bad land since my leaving Brunswick. About three days after my arrival at Mr. More's, there came a sloop of one hundred tons, and upward, from South Carolina, to be laden with corn, which is sixty miles at least from the bar. I never yet heard of any man who was ever at the head of that river, but they tell me, the higher you go up the better the land, and the river grows wider and wider. There are peo

ple settled at least forty miles higher up, but indeed the tide does not flow, at the most above twenty miles higher. Two days after, I was taken very ill of an ague and fever, which continued on me for near a month, in which time my companions left me, and returned to South Carolina. When I began to recover my health a little, I mentioned to Mr. More the great desire I had to see Waccamaw Lake, as I had heard so much talk of it, and had been myself a great way up the river, that I was sure by the course of the country, I could not be above twenty miles from thence, he told me he had a negro fellow, who he thought could carry me to it, and that he would accompany me himself, with some others of his acquaintance. On the 18th of July, we set out from his house on horseback, with every one his gun, and took the negro with us. We rode about four miles on a direct course through an open pine barren, when we came to a large cane swamp, about half a mile through, which we crossed in about an hour's time, but it was astonishing to see the innumerable sight of musquetoes, and the largest that ever I saw in my life, for they made nothing to fetch blood of us, through our buckskin gloves, coats and jackets. As soon as we got through that swamp, we came to another open pine barren, where we saw a great herd of deer, the largest and fattest that ever I saw in those parts: we made shift to kill a brace of them, which we made a hearty dinner on. We rode about two miles farther, when we came to another cane swamp, where we shot a large she-bear and two cubs. It was so large that it was with great difficulty we got through it. When we got on the other side, it began to rain very hard, or otherwise, as far as I know, we might have shot ten brace of deer, for they were almost as thick as in the parks in England, and did not seem to be in the least afraid of us, for I question much whether they had ever seen a man in their lives before, for they seemed to look on us as amazed. We made shist as well as we could to reach the lake the same night, but had but little pleasure ; it continuing to rain very hard, we made a large fire of light wood, and slept as well as we could that night. The next morning we took a particular view of it, and I think it is the pleasantest place that ever I saw in my life. It is at least eighteen miles round, surrounded with exceeding good land, as oak of all sorts, hickory, and fine cypress swamps. There is an

VOL. II.

8

« PreviousContinue »