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CHAP. vi.

RETURN TO THE NORTH.

. Dec. 19,

UR horses being tamed, and taught to eat

U corn, by forcing it into their mouths, and we prepared with a tent and provisions, bid the settlements on the Mississippi adieu, and betook to the woods for Tombigby, having two others in company. We had not gone far before the saddle turned on the pack mare ; she took fright, which affrighted the one S. M. rode, and they both set to rearing and jumping, which endangered his life ; however he held them both until he dismounted, and they got settled. If they had got away, there was little prospect of catching them again. Twenty-three miles to the Indian line, on the main branch of Homachitti, we encamped for the night, it being cloudy and rainy: we spread our tent, kept a good fire, hobbled the fore-legs of our horses together, leaving a long rope dragging from their necks: here was plenty of grass, and a cane brake.

20th. Thirty-five miles; encamped a little off the road, lest the Indians should steal our horses.

21st. We arrived this afternoon to Pearl (or halfway river: the ford last year was good a number of yards wide, but now not more than five or six feet, which we knew not; a man who knew the ford (being much among the Choctaws) attempted to cross first and succeeded, though his horse made a small mis-step ; the next man's horse erred a little on the other side, but still I knew not the danger; I proceeded next, leading the packmare, but there not being sufficient ground for both horses, the water running like a mill tail, carried me down the stream two feet, whilst my mare could swim but one towards the shore; she struck the bank which gave way, however, she being an excellent swimmer and springy, made a second effort and got out. I lost my hobbles, and our tea, sugar and coffee, &c. got injured ; and I being much chilled by the wet, we went on till we came to a convenient tarrying place, and encamped for the night to dry our things, &c. N. B. The river

Sunday 25th. I spoke for the last time at Natchez. I visited Seltzer-town, Greenville, and Gibson-port. Tliis last place was a wilderness not two years ago, but now contains near thirty houses, with a court-house and jail. We held quarterly-meeting on Clarke's creek; some supposed I would get no campers, but at this Q. M. I wanted to know if there were any backsliders in the auditory, and if there were, and they would come for-' ward, I would pray with them : an old backslider, who had been lappy in the old settlements, with tears came forward and fell upon his knees, and several followed his example: a panic seized the congregation, and an awful awe ensued: we had a cry and shout; it was a weeping, tender time. The devil was angry, and some Frithout persecuted, saying, “Is God deaf, that they cannot worship Ilim without such a noise,” though They perhaps would make a greater noise when drinking a toast. This prepared the way for the Camp-meeting, and about thirty from this neighbourhood went thirty miles or upwards, and encamped on the ground: the Camp-meeting continued four days: the devil was angry' at this also, and though his emissaries contrived various projects to raise a dust, their efforts proved ineffectual ; in general there was good decorum, and about fifty were awakened, and five professed justifying faith ; 80 that it may now be said, the country which was a refuge for scape-gallowses, a few years since, in Spanish times, is in a hopeful way, and the wilderness begins to bud and blossom as the rose, and the barren land becomes a fruitful field. I crossed the Mississippi into Louisi." ana, and visited several settlements, holding religious meetings: I believe there is a peculiar providence of such a vast territory falling to the United States, as liberty of conscience may now prevail as the country poryulates, which before was prohibited by the Inquisition. We got some things fixed to our minds; procured th:ee Spanish horses, which had been foaled wild in the woods, and had been caught out of the gang, by climbing a tree and dropping a noose over the head, it* being made fast to a bougb, &c. We got letters from home, with information that they were well, and the work going on

CHAP. VI.

RETURN TO THE NORTH.

corn, by forcing it into their mouths, and we prepared with a tent and provisions, bid the settlements on the Mississippi adieu, and betook to the woods for Tombigby, having two others in company. We had not gone far before the saddle turned on the pack mare ; she took fright, which affrighted the one S. M. rode, and they both set to rearing and jumping, which endangered his life ; however he held them both until he dismounted, and they got settled. If they had got away, there was little prospect of catching them again. Twenty-three miles to the Indian line, on the main branch of Homachitti, we encamped for the night, it being cloudy and rainy: we spread our tent, kept a good fire, hobbled the fore-legs of our horses together, leaving a long rope dragging from their necks: here was plenty of grass, and a cane brake.

20th. Thirty-five miles; encamped a little off the road, lest the Indians should steal our horses.

21st. We arrived this afternoon to Pearl (or halfway river: the ford last year was good a number of yards wide, but now not more than five or six feet, which we knew not; a man who knew the ford (being mueh among the Choctaws) attempted to cross first and succeeded, though his horse made a small mis-step; the next man's horse erred a little on the other side, but still I knew not the danger; I proceeded next, leading the packmare, but there not being sufficient ground for both horses, the water running like a mill tail, carried me down the stream two feet, whilst my mare could swim but one towards the shore; she struck the bank wbich gave way, however, she being an excellent swimmer and springy, made a second effort and got out. I lost my hobbles, and our tea, sugar and coffee, &c. got injured ; and I being much chilled by the wet, we went on till we came to a convenient tarrying place, and encamped for the night to dry our things, &c.-N. B. The river

was muddy : I could not swim: and had not the mare struck the bank where she did, I must have lost my life, as the trees and brush filled the shore below.

22nd. I met some people from Georgia ; at night I was taken with a strong fever, but drank some water and coffee, and got a good night's rest.

Sunday 23d. Feel somewhat better; it snowed some, and the sun hath shone scarcely ten minutes dur. ing these five days.

24th. We rode about forty miles through Six-town of the Choctaws, and whilst we were passing it, I obseryed where they scaffold the dead; and also the spot where the flesh was, when the bone-picker had done his ofice. The friends of the deceased weep twice a-day for a term, and if they cannot cry enough themselves, they hire some to help them: it was weeping time, and their cries made our horses caper well. I was informed of an ancient custom which at present is out of date among them; When one was sick a council was held by the Doctors, if their judgment was that he would die, they being supposed infallible, humanity induced the neck-breaker to do his office: An European being sick, and finding out his verdict, to save his neck, crept into the woods, and recovered, which shewed to the Indians the fallibility of the Doctors, and the evil of the practice; therefore, to shew that the custom must be totally abolished, they took the poor neck-breaker and broke his neck.

25th. We came to Densmore's, agent for Indian affairs; our provisions were gone, and with difficulty we procured relief: some people, who were dancing in a neighbouring house, came in to hear me talk: I held a meeting with them, and then lay down to rest.

26th. After breakfast we came near the trading road, from the Chickasaws to Mobile, where we encamped near a spring and cane-brake : the leaves of the cane are food for cattle, &c.

27th. We started betimes and came to the first house on the Tombigby settlement, within four miles of fort St. Stephen, where there is but one family, but it will be a place of faine in time. We had met the man of the house where we staid, who told us to call; his wife made a heavy charge; we paid her, and S, M. said, :« tell your husband never any more to invite travellers

to be welcome for his wife to extort." The river was high and swamp not fordable, which necessitated us to go down the river about seventy miles to the Cut-off; which is a channel from the Tombigby to the Alabama river, about seven miles from their junction, where they form the Mobile: the island contains about sixty thousand acres, which are commonly overflowed by the spring food as Egypt is by the Nile. I held meetings during the six days of my tarrying in the settlement; and took my departure for Georgia, but was necessitated to keep on the dividing ridge, between the streams, to prevent being intercepted by creeks. There were ferries at the above rivers. In the settlement there was not a preacher of any society; my appointments were given out in Georgia, with the days and hours fixed: In consequence of the high waters we had to lose much travelling.

Jan, 4th, 1805. We fell in with a camp of whites, where we were informed of some whites having been murdered by Indians, and one Indian killed by a white and another wounded: the wounded Indian was determined to kill some white in revenge. These whites had hired a chief to pilot them around to avoid the danger; but my time being limited obliged me to take the nighest cut, which was through the village where the wounded Indian lived. Here we parted from all the · company, and set off by ourselves, having four hundred miles to go.

8th. We fell in with an Indian trader, who was out of provisions : we gave him some, and tarried at his habitation that night; he made us some return next day; then we pursued our journey : this being in the Creek nation, we had some difficulty in finding our way, there being so many Indian by-paths ; however, we came to Hawkins's old place that night. :-10th. Our charges were eleven shillings, though I think not worth the half. We left the place about an hour ky sun, having the prospect of a pleasant day before us; but we had not gone mapy miles before it gathered up and began to rain and sleet, which made it tre

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