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Journal of a Lady of Quality
Chapter III. Residence in North Carolina

[Except for the ruins of St. Philip's Church and a few disinterred fragments, the town of Brunswick has today entirely disappeared and the site is included within the boundaries of Orton plantation. See Appendix IV.]

We got safe on shore, [In Appendix V is printed Alexander Schaw's description of North Carolina, written in London and dated the October after his arrival in 1775. It supplements his sister's account written in quite a different vein.] and tho' quite dark landed from the boat with little trouble, and proceeded thro' rows of tar and pitch to the house of a rnercht, to whom we had been recommended. [One of the most agreeable incidents connected with the editing of Miss Schaw's journal has been the discovery of the exact entries of the arrival of the Jamaica Packet and the Rebecca, in an old Brunswick customs book of entrances and clearances kept by William Dry, the collector. This book, containing the entrances from 1773 to July, 1775, and the clearances from 1763 to 1775, was discovered by Mr. James Sprunt of Wilmington, "in the ruins of a house, said to have been the residence of Nathaniel Rice," and is now in his possession. We are greatly indebted to Mr. Sprunt for the privilege of examining this sadly mutilated but invaluable manuscript. The entries are as follows:
"January 31, 1775, Jamaica Packet, Thomas Smith Captain, Brig, So tons, no guns, S men, built in Mass. 1772, registered Kirkaldy, 22 Oct. 1774, George Parker owner, ballast from Antigua, [signed) Thos Smith."
"February 14, 1775, Rebecca, Hugh Seater, Brig, 50 tons, no guns, 6 men, built in Mass. 1764, registered Basseterre, 29 Dec. 1774, Richard Quince owner, ballast, from St. Kitts." This entry is not signed, but one later, of July 2, 1775, when the Rebecca returned from another voyage to St. Kitts, bringing sugar and rum, is signed "Hugh Seater."]

He received us in a hail, which tho' not very orderly, had a cheerful look, to which a large carron stove [A Carron stove was one made at the Carron Iron Works on the Carron River in Stirlingshire, Scotland. The works were started in 1760 and are described by the traveller Pennant, who visited them in 1769. as "the greatest of their kind in Europe," employing 1200 men (Hume Brown, Surveys of Scottish History, p. 113). The name "Carronade" for a piece of ordnance comes from the same source.] filled with Scotch coals not a little contributed. The night was bitterly cold, and we gathered round the hearth with great satisfaction, and the Master of the house gave us a hospitable welcome. This place is called Brunswick, and tho' the best sea port in the province, the town is very poor— a few scattered houses on the edge of the woods, without street or regularity. These are inhabited by merchants, of whom Mr Quense [Quince][Richard Quince would naturally be Miss Schaw's first host, as he was the owner of the Rebecca, the vessel upon which she had just arrived. For his biography, see Appendix XI.] our host is the first in consequence. He is deeply engaged in the new system of politicks, in which they are all more or less, tho' Mr Dry, [For William Dry, see Appendix XI.] the collector of the customs, is the most zealous and talks treason by the hour. The arrival to day of my brother Bob [For Miss Schaw's brother Robert, see page 21, note, and for additional details. Appendix XII.] and W Murray [For the career of James Murray, see Appendix VIII.] of Philiphaugh gives us great pleasure. Bob is really a handsome fellow. I did not know how much I was complimented, when told I was like him. Mr Rutherfurd is some hundred miles up the country, so it will be several weeks before he hears his children are arrived, which is no small disappointment to them.

We have found our Captain with his Vessel here before us. Mrs Miller is up at my brothers. It turns Out that the Capt left St Kitts in a drunken fit, in which he fancied he was affronted by the Capt of the king's yacht. As to Mary, I will take her innocence for granted, for fear it turn out otherwise; in which case I would be much at a loss, for what can I do with a poor creature in this strange land, I must and will take care of her, tho' God knows her conduct does not encourage me. The Captain knows his fate is in my brothers hand, who, I make no doubt, will forgive him, and meet with as ungrateful a return as possible.

Schawfield March 22d 1775.

We have been these three or four days here, but this is the first time it has been in my power to write, but I have now sat down to bring up my Journal from leaving Brunswick; [Miss Schaw, according to the chronology of the narrative, remained at Brunswick from February 14 to March 17, and it is therefore strange that she should have given us no account of her life there. Possibly portions of the narrative have been lost. All we know of the month's experience is that during that time Miss Schaw was without a "dish of tea," a fact that may have political significance in view of the anti-British attitude of the provincial group which lived at Brunswick.] which we did last Friday, under the care of a Mr Eagle, [For Joseph Eagles, see Appendix XI.] a young Gentleman just returned from England and who owns a very considerable estate in this province. The two brothers were to follow and be up with us in a few miles, which however they did not. We were in a Phaeton and four belonging to my brother, and as the roads are entirely level, drove on at good speed, our guide keeping by us and several Negro servants attending on horse back. During the first few miles, I was charmed with the woods. The wild fruit trees are in full blossom; the ground under them covered with verdure and intermixed with flowers of various kinds made a pleasing Scene. But by and by it begins to grow dark, and as the idea of being benighted in the wilds of America was not a pleasing circumstance to an European female, I begged the servant to drive faster, but was told it would make little difference, as we must be many hours dark, before we could get clear of the woods, nor were our fears decreased by the stories Mr Eagle told us of the wolves and bears that inhabited that part of the country.

Terrified at last almost to Agony, we begged to be carried to some house to wait for day-light, but we had drove at least two miles in that situation before I%lr Eagle recollected that a poor man had a very poor plantation at no great distance, if we could put up with it and venture to go off the road amongst the trees. This was not an agreeable proposition; however it was agreed to, and we soon found ourselves lost in the most impenetrable darkness, from which we could neither see sky, nor distinguish a single object. We had not gone far in this frightful state, when we found the carriage stopt by trees fallen across the road, and were forced to dismount and proceed thro' this dreary scene on foot. All I had ever heard of lions, bears, tigers and wolves now rushed on my memory, and I secretly wished I had been made a feast to the fishes rather than to those monsters of the woods. With these thoughts in my head, I happened to slip my foot, and down I went and made no doubt I was sinking into the centre of the earth. It was not quite so deep however, for with little trouble Mr Eagle got me safe up, and in a few minutes we came to an opening that showed us the sky and stars, which was a happy sight in our circumstances.

The carriage soon came up, and we again got into it. I now observed that the road was inclosed on both sides, and on the first turning the carriage made, we found ourselves in front of a large house from the windows of which beamed many cheerful tapers, and no sooner were we come up to the gate than a number of black servants came out with lights. Mr Eagle dismounted, and was ready to assist us, and now welcomed us to his house and owned that the whole was a plan only to get us to it, as he feared we might have made some objections; he having no Lady to receive us. I had a great mind to have been angry, but was too happy to find myself safe, and every thing comfortable. We found the Tea-table set forth, and for the first time since our arrival in America had a dish of Tea. We passed the evening very agreeably, and by breakfast next morning, the two brothers joined us. MT Eagle was my brother Bob's ward, and is a most amiable young man. We stayed all the forenoon with him, saw his rice mills, his indigo works and timber mills. The vast command they have of water makes those works easily conducted. Before I leave the country, I will get myself instructed in the nature of them, as well as the method of making the tar and turpentine, but at present I know not enough of them to attempt a description.

We got to Schawfield ["Schawfield" or "Sauchie," as it was sometimes called by its owner, Robert Schaw, Miss Schaw's elder brother, was situated on the southwestern side of the Northwest branch, but a few miles above Wilmington. The northern part of the plantation was bought of James Moore and Ann his wife in 1772 and covered an area of 500 acres. The following is a description of that part of the property: "Beginning at the mouth of Indian Creek running up the river to the lower line of a tract or parcel of land, containing 500 acres, conveyed by deed to George Moore, Sr. by Maurice Moore, Jr. by Maurice Moore dec'd, thence west 400 poles thence south 80 poles to Indian Creek to the first station." The plantation also contained another tract of 400 acres, purchased by Robert Schaw of Benjamin Stone, shipwright, June 19, 1773, "beginning at a stake at an elbow on the old northwest road leading from Mt. Misery ferry, running along the lower side of said road south 15 degrees west 14 poles, thence along the said road 88 degrees west 120 poles, thence north 65 degrees west to back or westernmost line of the aforesaid lands, thence along the said line north to Indian Creek, then down the various courses of said creek to the mouth, then down the NW River to the first station" (Brunswick County Records, Conveyances, B, 300). Thus Indian Creek, the first creek above Mt. Misery on the other side of the river, ran through the middle of the plantation, which lay between the old northwest road and the river.] to dinner, which is indeed a fine plantation, and in the course of a few years will turn out such an estate, as will enable its master to visit his native land, if his wife who is an American will permit him, which I doubt. This plantation is prettily situated on the northwest branch of the river Cape Fear. Every thing is on a large Scale, and these two great branches of water come down northeast and northwest, and join at Wilmingtown. They are not less in breadth than the Tay at Newbrugh, and navigable up a vast way for ships of pretty large burthen.

Mr Eagle, who is still here, appears every day more worthy of esteem. He is not yet Major, yet has more knowledge than most men I have met with at any age. He left his country a child, and is just returned, so is entirely English, as his father and mother were both of that part of our Island and his relations all there. He very justly considers England as the terrestrial paradise and proposes to return, as soon as he is of age. I would fain hope his good sense will prevent his joining in schemes, which I see plainly are forming here, and which I fear you at home are suffering to gain too much ground from mistaken mercy to a people, who have a rooted hatred at you and despise your mercy, which they View in a very different light. We have an invitation to a ball in Wilmingtown, and will go down to it some day soon. This is the last that is to he given, as the congress has forbid every kind of diversion, even card playing. [According to clause eight of the Continental Association, adopted by the Continental Congress, October 20, 1774, all "expensive diversions and entertainments" were discountenanced and discouraged (Journals of Congress, I, 78). Acting upon this recommendation, the Wilmington Committee of Safety, on January 28, 1775, resolved "that Balls and Dancing at Public Houses are contrary to the Resolves of the General Congress" (North Carolina Records, IX, II 18), and on March I warned a Mrs. Austin of the town to withdraw the plans made for a ball at her house (ib., 1136). A few days later the same committee issued a general warning, declaring as its opinion "that all persons concerned in any dances for the future should be properly stigmatised" (ib., 1150). The ball to which Miss Schaw refers was to be given after this last warning, perhaps by some arrangement with the Committee of Safety.]

This morning a fine wood was set on fire just by us, and tho' I was informed of the reason and necessity of it, yet I could not look at it without horror; before it could be extinguished twenty thousand trees at least must have been burnt. I wish you had them and the ground they stand on. We had yesterday a curious tho' a frightful diversion. On a visit down the river, an Alligator was observed asleep on the bank. Mrs Schaw was the first who saw it, and as she is a notable house-wife was fired with revenge at the loss of many a good goose they have stolen from her. We crept up as softly as possible hardly allowing the oars to touch the water, and were so successful as to land part of the Negroes before it waked, which it did not do till all was ready for the attack. Two of the Negroes armed with strong oars stood ready, while a third hit him a violent blow on the eye, with which he awaked and extended such a pair of jaws as might have admitted if not a Highland cow, at least a Lowland calf. The negroes who are very dextrous at this work, presently Pushed the oars down his throat, by which means he was secured, but not till he received thousands of blows which did him no harm, as he is covered with a coat of Mail, so strong and compact, that he is vulnerable no where but in the eve, and a very small opening under the throat and belly. His tail is long and flexible, and so are his huge arms. With these he endeavoured to catch at his assassins, but the superior arts of man are more than a match for his amazing strength. Was superior reason never used to a more unworthy purpose it were well; for he is a daring Villain, an insolent robber, who makes war on the whole animal creation, but does not man do the same? Even worse, for this monster does not devour his fellow-monsters.

But let me proceed to his destruction, which was not accomplished with ease, and had he had his full strength, it is my opinion, he would have baffled all our arts. But they are one of the sleepers and retire into the swamps during the winter, from which this one had come earlier than common, and not having had breakfast after his five months nap he was too weak to make the resistance he would otherwise have done. He is indeed a frightful animal of which a lizard is the miniature, and if you can raise a Lizard in your imagination fifteen foot in length with arms at least six feet and these armed at the end with hands and claws resembling the talons of the eagle and clothe all with a flexible coat of mail, such as is worn on the back of a Sturgeon; if you have strength of imagination for this, you have our Alligator, which was at last overcome by pushing out his eyes and thursting a long knife into his throat. After all I could not see this without horror and even something that at least resembled compassion. The sight joined to the strong smell of musk that came from him made me sick, and I was very glad when they left him and pushed the boat from the shore, out of which by the bye neither Miss Rutherfurd nor I landed during the execution which seemed excellent sport to every one else, even to my tender-hearted brother. [There was an Alligator Creek on Eagles Island, but apparently Miss Schaw's alligator hunt was in the Northwest branch of the Cape Fear. Hugh Meredith, in his account of the Cape Fear section, contributed to the Pennsylvania Gazette, May 6-13, 1731, says, "Alligators are very numerous here, but not very mischievous; however, on their account swimming is less practos'd here than in the northern provinces."

I have now been above a month in this country, and have not lost a day in endeavouring to find out something or another worth your attention, tho' I am far from being certain of my success. Yet I am sure if you was on the spot, you would not be one hour without something to engage your curiosity or amuse your fancy, which is the case with your friend. I never saw so general and so extensive a genius as he [Joseph Eagles] is possessed of. Trees, plants, flowers and all the vegetable world fall under his particular observation: nor is inanimated nature his only study. The animal creation from the small reptile up to what is here dignified with the title of man engages his attention, and if I am happy enough to afford you any entertainment, you may thank him for it, as it is he who points out to me a thousand objects that I should overlook. He makes me walk with him for hours in the surrounding woods, which indeed are full of subjects to amuse the mind and please the fancy of such as have the least pretensions to taste or curiosity, and it is impossible to converse with him, and not gain a degree of both.

I think I have read all the descriptions that have been published of America, yet meet every moment with something I never read or heard of. I must particularly observe that the trees every where are covered over with a black veil of a most uncommon substance, which I am however at a loss to describe. It is more like sea weed than any vegetable I ever saw, but is quite black and is a continued web from top to bottom of the tallest trees and would be down to the ground, were it not eat up by the cattle. But as it is full of juice and very sweet, they exert their whole strength to obtain it, in which they receive no assistance from their Masters, tho' they own it is excellent feeding, but they are too indolent to take any trouble, and the cattle must provide for themselves or starve. [As far as cattle and stock are concerned, it is purely their care to see to it how they get through the winter; with horses it is no better. If they survive it, they survive it. Hay they have none for there are no meadows and corn fodder and tops do not go far. Thus in winter the people have no milk at all, and when spring comes the cows are so nearly starved out as to be of little benefit till harvest. This may be the reason that their horses are not much larger than English colts, and their cows the size of their yearlings" (Diary of Bishop Spangenburg, 1752, North Carolina Records, V, 2).] The women however gather it at a certain season, lay it in pits as we do our green lint, till the husk rot. It is made up of small tubes, within each of which is a substance, which exactly resembles that of the baken hair with which we stuff chairs, matrasses, etc, etc. and which answers pretty well with a very little trouble and no cost.

The trees that keep clear from this black moss (as it is called) are crowned with the Mistletoe in much higher perfection than ever you saw it, and as it is just now in berry looks beautiful. Indeed all the trees do so at this Season. The wild fruits are in blossom and have a fine effect amongst the forest-trees. Amongst the various trees that grow here, none seems so fit for the Cabinet maker's use as the red Mulberry. Its colour is infinitely more beautiful than the mahogany and it is so hard and close as to resist vermine, and grows large enough to afford planks of any size, yet it is only used to burn or for the most common purposes. It grows spontaneously every where, and the White Mulberry is also found in every place, which points out that the making of silk in this part of the country could be done with great ease. But tho' I may say of this place what I formerly did of the West India Islands, that nature holds out to them every thing that can contribute to convenicncv, or tempt to luxury, yet the inhabitants resist both, and if they can raise as much corn and pork, as to subsist them in the most slovenly manner, they ask no more; and as a very small proportion of their time serves for that purpose, the rest is spent in sauntering thro' the woods with a gun or sitting under a rustick shade, drinking New England rum made into grog, the most shocking liquor you can imagine. By this manner of living, their blood is spoil'd and rendered thin beyond all proportion, so that it is constantly on the fret like bad small beer, and hence the constant slow fevers that wear down their constitutions, relax their nerves and infeeble the whole frame. Their appearance is in every respect the reverse of that which gives the idea of strength and vigor, and for which the British peasantry are so remarkable. They are tall and lean, with short waists and long limbs, sallow complexions and languid eyes, when not inflamed by spirits. Their feet are flat, their joints loose and their walk uneven. These I speak of are only the peasantry of this country, as hitherto I have seen nothing else, but I make no doubt when I come to see the better sort, they will be far from this description. For tho' there is a most disgusting equality, yet I hope to find an American Gentleman a very different creature from an American clown. Heaven forefend else.

[For Wilmington, see accompanying plan and the description in Appendix VI.]

I have been in town a few days, and have had an opportunity to make some little observations on the manners of a people so new to me. The ball I mentioned was intended as a civility, therefore I will not criticize it, and tho' I have not the same reason to spare the company, yet I will not fatigue you with a description, which however lively or just, would at best resemble a Dutch picture, where the injudicious choice of the subject destroys the merit of the painting. Let it suffice to say that a ball we had, where were dresses, dancing and ceremonies laughable enough, but there was no object on which my own ridicule fixed equal to myself and the figure I made, dressed out in all my British airs with a high head and a hoop and trudging thro' the unpaved streets in embroidered shoes by the light of a lanthorn carried by a black wench half naked. No chair, no carriage—good leather shoes need none. The ridicule was the silk shoes in such a place. I have however gained some most amiable and agreeable acquaintances amongst the Ladies; many of whom would make a figure in any part of the world, and I will not fail to cultivate their esteem, as they appear worthy of mine.

I am sorry to say, however, that I have met with few of the men who are natives of the country, who rise much above my former description, and as their natural ferocity is now inflamed by the fury of an ignorant zeal, they are of that sort of figure, that I cannot look at them without connecting the idea of tar and feather. Tho' they have fine women and such as might inspire any man with sentiments that do honour to humanity, yet they know no such nice distinctions, and in this at least are real patriots. As the population of the country is all the view they have in what they call love, and tho' they often honour their black wenches with their attention, I sincerely believe they are excited to that crime by no other desire or motive but that of adding to the number of their slaves.

The difference between the men and the women surprised me, but a sensible man. who has long resided here, in some degrees accounted for it. In the infancy of this province, said he, many families from Britain came over, and of these the wives and daughters were people of education. The mothers took the care of the girls, they were train'd up under them, and not only instructed in the family duties necessary to the sex, but in those accomplishments and genteel manners that are still so visible amongst them, and this descended from Mother to daughter. As the father found the labours of his boys necessary to him, he led them therefore to the woods, and taught the sturdy lad to glory in the stroke he could give with his Ax, in the trees he felled, and the deer he shot; to conjure the wolfe, the bear and the Alligator; and to guard his habitition from Indian inroads was most justly his pride, and he had reason to boast of it. But a few generations this way lost every art or science, which their fathers might have brought out, and tho' necessity no longer prescribed these severe occupations, custom has established it as still necessary for the men to spend their time abroad in the fields; and to be a good marksman is the highest ambition of the youth, while to those enervated by age or infirmity drinking grog remained a last consolation.

The Ladies have burnt their tea in a solemn procession, [Miss Schaw may refer here to the Edenton tea party of October 25, 1774, but more probably she has in mind some Wilmington tea party of which, as far as we know, no record exists. At Edenton the tea was not "burnt" and as at Wilmington the proceedings at this time far exceeded in violence those in the quiet Aihermarle section, it is quite likely that Miss Schaw is recording a fact that has hitherto escaped observation.] but they had delayed however till the sacrifice was not very considerable, as I do not think any one offered above a quarter of a pound. The people in town live decently, and tho' their houses are not spacious, they are in general very commodious and well furnished. All the Merchants of any note are British and Irish, [That is, Scots Irish. "British" is evidently intended to include "Scottish," as Scotland at this time was called North Britain.] and many of them very genteel people. They all disapprove of the present proceedings. Many of them intend quitting the country as fast as their affairs will permit them, but are yet uncertain what steps to take. This town lies low, but is not disagreeable. There is at each end of it an ascent, which is dignified with the title of the hills; on them are some very good houses and there almost all my acquaintances arc. They have very good Physicians, [As early as 1736 there was a physician, Dr. Roger Rolfe, in New Liverpool, as Wilmington was then called. Two others, Drs. Mortimer and Green, died in 1772. At the time of Miss Schaw's visit Dr. Cobham and Dr. Tucker were those whose names are most frequently met with.] the best of whom is a Scotchman, [For Dr. Thomas Cobham, see Appendix XII.] at whose house I have seen many of the first planters. I do not wish however to be much in their company, for, as you know, my tongue is not always under my command; I fear I might say some- thing to give offence, in which case I would not fail to have the most shocking retort at least, if it went no further.

The ports are soon to be shut up, [The most important feature of the Continental Association was a non-importation agreement, to go into force (by an extension of time from December 1, 1774) on February 1, 1775. The Association was not formally adopted in North Carolina until April 5, 1775 (N. C. R. IX, 1180 to 1181), so that Miss Schaw must have written her account a few days before that date.] but this severity is voluntarily imposed by themselves, for they were indulged by parliament and allowed the exclusive privilege of still carrying on their trade with Europe, by which means they would not only have made great fortunes themselves by being the mart for the whole continent, but they would have had the power to serve the other colonies by providing them in those commodities, the want of which they will ill brook, and which is a distress they themselves must soon suffer, as European goods begin to be very scarce and will daily be more so, as the merchts are shipping off their propertys, either to Britain or the West Inches. I know not what my brother proposes to do with himself or me; for if he stays much longer, he will find himself in a very disagreeable Situation. He is just now up the country at a town called Newbern, where Govr Martin [For Governor Josiah Martin, see Appendix II, "The Martin Family."] resides, whose situation is most terrible. He is a worthy man by all accounts, but gentle methods will not do with these rusticks, and he has not the power to use more spirited means. I wish to God those mistaken notions of moderation to which you adhere at home may not in the end prove the greatest cruelty to the mother country as well as to these infatuated people; but I am no politician, as yet at least, tho' I believe I will grow one in time, as I am beginning to pay a good deal of attention to what is going on about me.

You will rejoice with me to hear that your young friends, Miss Rutherfurd and her brothers, have got a very considerable accession to their fortunes, by a gift of an old lady, [The "old lady" whom Miss Schaw describes as "nor of the best character or most amiable manners" was Mrs. Jean Corbin, who married, first, Colonel James Innes, of Braddock's campaign (died 1759), and second, in 1761, Francis Corbin, Lord Granville's agent in North Carolina (Appendix VIII). She made her will on February 10, 1775, and died probably toward the end of the next month. The will was probated on April 3 and the inventory completed on the thirteenth. Of her history nothing else is known, neither who she was—though "Jean" is manifestly a Scottish name—nor when she was first married. For the bequest, see Appendix X.] their father and mother's great friend, and whose death is hourly expected, as she has long been in a dropsy that now seems at a height. Mr Rutherfurd is as much in love with his daughter as I expected he would be, and so fond of the boys, that I fear they will be quite spoiled. I am as yet indulged with their company, but find the old Lady wishes to have Fanny with her, which is very right, tho' I am in pain for her with an old woman not of the best character or most amiable manners, and in so lonely a situation. But her gratitude and good sense will do much to please her. I inclose this and leave it behind me to go by the first ship. Mrs Schaw is impatient to get home, nor can I blame the anxiety of a mother for her little ones [Evidently referring to Mrs. Schaw's two youngest children, Alexander and Robert, Sons of the second husband, Miss Schaw's brother Robert (below, p. 160).] in such brutal hands as the Negroes to whose care she is forced to leave them in her absence. Perhaps my next may be from St Kitts, but in this I suppose my brother will be directed by GovT Martin, if he can be of any use, I am sure he will willingly run every risk, as I can answer for it, the king has not a more sincere or loyal subject. Farewell, my dear friend, that God may deliver us from this, and preserve you, is the prayer of a mind not much at its ease.


After I put my last packet into a safe hand, I left Wilmingtown and returned to Schawfield by water, which is a most delightful method of travelling thro' this Noble country, which indeed owes more favours to its God and king than perhaps any other in the known world and is equally ungrateful to both, to the God who created and bestowed them and to the king whose indulgent kindness has done every thing to render them of the greatest utility to the owners. Well may the following text from the prophets be applied to this people, and with very little alteration may he addressed to them. "My beloved has a vineyard in a very pleasant land, he dig'd it, he planted it, he hedged it round, and built a winepress in the midst thereof, but when he looked for grapes, they brought forth wild grapes. Judge I pray you between me and my vineyard, what could I do more for it than I have done, yet when I looked for grapes, behold it brought forth only wild grapes. Go to, I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard, I will take away the fence thereof, I will break down the wine press in the midst thereof, and I will leave it as I found it a habitation to wolves and bears." Such is the fate it deserves, but both its God and its king are merciful. May they be inspired to seek it before it be too late.

Nothing can be finer than the banks of this river; a thousand beauties both of the flowery and sylvan tribe hang over it and are reflected from it with additional lustre. But they spend their beauties on the desert air, and the pines that wave behind the shore with a solemn gravity seem to lament that they too exist to no purpose, tho' capable of being rendered both useful and agreeable. For those noble trees that might adorn the palaces of kings are left to the stroke of the thunder, or to the annihilating hand of time, and against whom the hard Sentence (tho' innocent of the crime) may be pronounced, why cumber ye the ground? As that is all that can be said of them in their present state that they cover many hundred, nay thousand acres of the finest ground in the universe, and give shelter to every hurtful and obnoxious animal, tho' their site is a most convenient situation both for trading towns and plantations. This north west branch is said to be navigable for Ships of 400 tons burthen for above two hundred miles up, and the banks so constituted by nature that they seem formed for harbours, and what adds in a most particular manner to this convenience is, that quite across from one branch to the other, and indeed thro' the whole country are innumerable creeks that communicate with the main branches of the river and every tide receive a sufficient depth of water for boats of the largest size and even for small Vessels, so that every thing is water-borne at a small charge and with great safety and ease.

But these uncommon advantages are almost entirely neglected. In the course of Sixteen miles which is the distance between these places and the town, there is but one plantation, and the condition it is in shows, if not the poverty, at least the indolence [The word indolence," here and elsewhere used by Miss Schaw, was frequently employed by critics of the southern colonies, who, accustomed as many of them were to the careful husbandry of the Old World, were often roused to indignant protest against the slipshod methods of agriculture in vogue in America and the idleness which was encouraged by an all too bounteous nature (cf. N. C. R. V, 314, 640; VI, 1040). We may not wonder that the impressions which Miss Schaw received of North Carolina were unfavorable or that she should have expressed her opinions so frankly. She was writing to a private correspondent and not for the press. She had come from Scotland, by way of Antigua and St. Kitts, to a frontier country, which was still in large part a wilderness and where agriculture was still undeveloped. Her impressions were similar to those of many a New Englander who visited the Middle West in the early nineteenth century, or of those English men and women who made tours of the United States before 1840. In a more limited field she was a forerunner of Mrs. Trollope, whose Domestic Manners of the Americans pictures more elaborately, but with equal vigor, some of the cruder aspects of early American life. Unlike Mrs. Trollope, however, she was influenced in her criticisms by a dislike of democracy and a profound distrust of radical activities.] of its owner. My brother indeed is in some degree an exception to this reflection. Indolent he is not; his industry is visible in every thing round him, yet he also is culpable in adhering to the prejudices of this part of the world, and in using only the American methods of cultivating his plantation. Had he followed the style of an East Lotliian farmer, Nvith the same attention and care, it would now have been an Estate worth double what it is. Yet he has (lone more in the time he has had it [Robert Schaw acquired "Schawfield" in 1772 and 1773.] than any of his Neighbours, and even in their slow way, his industry has brought it to a wonderful length. He left Britain while he was a boy, and was many years in trade before he turned planter, and had lost the remembrance of what he had indeed little opportunity of studying, I mean farming. His brother easily convinced him of the superiority of our manner of carrying on our agriculture, but Mrs Schaw [Though we have not been able to trace Mrs. Robert Schaw's connections with any degree of certainty, it is fairly clear that she was related, either nearly or remotely, to the best people in the country," as Miss Schaw says. Miss Schaw would not have used this phrase without ample knowledge of that whereof she wrote. If Mrs. Schaw, who was Anne Vail before her marriage with her first husband, Job Howe (elder brother of Robert), belonged to the family of John and Jeremiah Vail of Perquimans and Craven counties, she was related to the Swanns, Ashes, Lillingtons, Moseleys, Hasells. Porters, and Moores—the "best people" in very truth, and engaged, most of them, as Miss Schaw says later, in the revolutionary movement. Mrs. Schaw died in 1788, leaving her property to her two sons, William Tryon Howe and Alexander Schaw, with a bequest of six negroes to Isabella Chapman, who, we suspect, was a daughter of Barbara Rutherfurd (John's sister) and Alexander Chapman of Wilmington. The fact that she made bequests also to the daughters of Joseph Leech of New Bern, strengthens the belief that she was related to Jeremiah Vail, who was of the same town. In her will she names as one of her executors "John Rutherfurd" (Clerk's Office, Wills, C, P. 396). If she means the father it is strange that she should not have known that he had died five years before. She may mean the son, who in 1787 would have been twenty-four years of age.] was shocked at the mention of our manuring the ground, and declared she never would eat corn that grew thro' dirt. Indeed she is so rooted an American, that she detests every thing that is European, yet she is a most excellent wife and a fond mother. Her dairy and her garden show her industry, tho' even there she is an American. However he has no cause to complain. Her person is agreeable, and if she would pay it a little more attention, it would be lovely. She is connected with the best people in the country, and, I hope, will have interest enough to prevent her husband being ruined for not joining in a cause he so much disapproves.

I have just mentioned a garden, and will tell you, that this at Schawfield is the only thing deserving the name I have seen in this country, and laid out with some taste. I could not help smiling however at the appearance of a soil, that seemed to me no better than dead sand, proposed for a garden. But a few weeks have convinced me that I judged very falsely, for the quickness of the vegetation is absolutely astonishing. Nature to whose care every thing is left does a vast deal; but I remember to have read, tho' I forget where, that Adam when he was turned out of paradise was allowed to carry seeds with him of those fruits he had been suffered to cat of when there, but found on trial that the curse had extended even to them; for they were harsh and very unpalatable, far different from what he had eat there in his happy state. Our poor father, who from his infancy [alternative reading, from his first creation] had been used to live well, like those of his descendents, was the more sensible of the change, and he wept bitterly before his beneficent Creator, who once more had pity on him, and the compassionate Angel again descended to give him comfort and relief. "Adam," began the heavenly messenger, "the sentence is passed, it is irrevocable; the ground has been cursed for your sake, and thorns and briers it must bring forth, and you must eat your bread with the sweat of your brow, yet the curse does not extend to your labours, and it yet depends on your own choice to live in plenty or in penury. Patience and industry will get the better of every difficulty, and the ground will bear thistles only while your indolence permits it. The fruits also will be harsh while you allow them to remain in a state of uncultivated nature; because man is allowed no enjoyment without labour; and the hand of industry improves even the choicest gifts of heaven." Adam bowed in grateful acknowledgment, and his heavenly instructor led him forth to the field, and soon taught him that God had given him power over the inanimate as well as the animate part of the creation, and that not only every beast and every bird was under his command, but that he had power over the whole vegetable world; and he soon proved that the hand of industry could make the rose bloom, where nature had only planted the thistle, and saw the fig-tree blossom, where lately the wild bramble was all its boast. He taught him that not only the harsh sourness of the crab was corrected, but the taste and flavour of the peach improven; by the art of in- grafting and budding the pear became more luscious, and even the nectarine juice was poor and insipid without this assistance. Adam had no prejudices to combat, he gave the credit due to his heavenly instructor, and soon saw a new Eden flourish in the desert from his labours, and eat fruit little inferior to those he had left, rendered indeed even superior to his taste by being the reward of his honest Industry.

As I cannot produce my Authority, perhaps you may suspect I have none, but that it was coined for the present purpose, should you think so, I cannot help it, but should Gabriel himself assure the folks here that industry would render every thing better, they would as little believe him, as they would your humble servant. Truly the only parable they mind is that of the lily of the Valley, which they imitate as it toils not, neither does it spin, but whether their glory exceeds that of Solomon is another question, but cer- tain it is they take things as they come without troubling themselves with improvements. I have as yet tasted none of their fruits, but am told that notwithstanding the vast advantages of climate, they are not equal in flavour to those at home in our gardens,—on walls which indeed they have no occasion for. Wherever you see the peach trees, you find hard by a group of plumbs so fit for stocks, that nature seems to have set them there on purpose. But her hints and the advice of those who know the advantages of it are equally unregarded. There are also many things that are fit for hedges, which would he a vast advantage, but these straggle wild thro' the field or woods, while every inclosure is made of a set of logs laid zagly close over each other. [The fence here mentioned is the "zigzag" or Virginian fence, found sometimes in southern New England, and frequently in the Middle West, where it is known as the "snake fence" or "log fence." The rails, usually split, are laid zigzag fashion, one upon another, without posts, but generally with bracing of some Sort at the angles. It is a slovenly affair; though easy to make and convenient for removing. Its height runs from three to five feet.]

On our arrival here the stalks of last year's crop still remained on the ground. At this I was greatly surprised, as the season was now so far advanced, I expected to have found the fields completely ploughed at least, if not sown and liar- rowed; but how much was my amazement increased to find that every instrument of husbandry was unknown here; not only all the various ploughs, but all the machinery used with such success at home, and that the only instrument used is a hoe, with which they at once till and plant the corn. To accomplish this a number of Negroes follow each other's tail the day long, and have a task assigned them, and it will take twenty at least to do as much work as two horses with a man and a boy would perform. Here the wheel-plough would answer finely, as the ground is quite flat, the soil light and not a stone to be met with in a thousand acres. A drill too might easily be constructed for sowing the seed, and a light harrow would close it in with surprising expedition. It is easy to observe however from whence this ridiculous method of theirs took its first necessary rise. When the new Settlers were obliged to sow corn for their immediate maintenance, before they were able to root out the trees, it is plain no other instrument but the hoe could be used amongst the roots of the trees, where it was to be planted, and they were obliged to do it all by hand labour. But thro' this indolence some of them have their plantations still pretty much incumbered in that way, yet to do justice to the better sort, that is not generally the case. Tho' it is all one as to the manner of dressing their fields, the same absurd method continuing every where. If horses were hard to come at or unfit for labour, that might be some excuse, but far is it otherwise. They have them in plenty, and strong animals they are and fit for the hardest labour. [Had Miss Schaw visited the middle and northern colonies where the staples were similar to those of Mid Lothian, she would have found agricultural conditions more to her liking. Both manuring and grafting were known and their value understood in Pennsylvania, New York, and New England, and though farming devices and appliances were inevitably crude, they were not so far behind those of Scotland as were the contrivances of the plantation colonies. Probably Miss Schaw did not herself realize how comparatively recent were the improvements in agricultural methods employed by the East Lothian farmers, whom she so greatly admired.]

The little time I have been here and the little of the country I have seen hardly admit of my sending you such particular accounts. The truth is, I should not in many years be able to give you so much merely from my own observation, but I have been much indebted to other people, particularly an old Gentleman, who has been many years in this country, and did not leave his own till he was arrived at a time of life to remember it perfectly and draw proper comparisons; for this he was perfectly qualified, as he was both a scholar and a man of sense. He left his country on account of some unhappy affair, which is needless to relate; spent several years in Holland, every part of which he seems to have studied with accuracy. He has a very good idea of fanning in all its parts, is an excellent Mathematician and has no bad smattering of Mechanicks; he has studied Physic and Botany; of the last lie is particularly fond, and this country affords him ample gratification for that study, as there is hardly a medicinal herb or plant produced in any climate that he has not discovered something here to answer its purposes. Add to this that his manners are those of Gentleman and his deportment such as may render age respectable; his conversation agreeable and instructive, and his good nature most extensive. Would you not imagine this man would be prized and courted? that the young would refer to his experience, and those of riper years apply to his superior knowledge. That however is far from the case. He has found but one man who had sense enough to understand him, and whose friendship he has cultivated. Who this man is you may know hereafter; sorry I am it is not my brother.

With this friend he lives a pleasant tho' obscure life; as the Gentleman is fond of retirement himself, he easily indulges his old friend. They both love reading, and are better provided for that amusement than all the rest of the province put together. [Evidently John Rutherfurd is the man referred to (see below, p. 184). That Miss Schaw should occasionally indulge in exaggerations is not surprising. She is certainly wrong in her remarks about books in the province, just as she is wrong in saying, on page 194, that there were not five men of property in Wilmington who favored the revolutionary movement.] I am fond of conversing with him, and happy in fancying lie is pleased with my curiosity. He is always willing to answer my interrogatories, nor is prolixity displeasing, as it shows me how willing he is to explain every thing to me that I wish to know. He told me, that when he came here, like other projectors, he hoped to improve the country; that he had brought many seeds Out with him, particularly all the different kinds of grass-seed, to try what would best answer this soil and climate, as he was thought no despisable gardener at home. He tried it here and soon had a very good garden where he first settled, but being in no situation to defend his property, his fruit, his vegetables and every thing else became the prey of the neighbouring Negroes, who tore up his fences, carried off what they could eat and destroyed the rest. He then accepted the invitation of a planter of fortune in the Neighbourhood, and endeavoured to return his civility by being useful to him. There he laid out a very neat garden, which soon produced every thing he wished, but this did not long continue, his neighbours laughed at him for it. He first became sulky and then rude to poor H—, refusing him a negro to work, and bidding him raise his damned European stuff with his own hands. He left this savage and as the Gentleman in whose family he has long resided had seen and admired him, he directly begged to be favoured with his company, where he has ever since been as happy as he wishes to be. It is evident he was once no stranger to the haunts of men, and that he has formerly known better days, but unless he voluntarily comes on the subject I will not ask his adventures. He asked me if I had not heard that poultry was here in vast plenty, and that there were more Turkeys raised here than in any part of the world. I owned I had been told so, but did not observe it to be the case, as in most farmers' yards at home I saw more domestick poultry than here about the houses of the planters. This he said was true, but that they all believed they exceeded, and would be very much affronted if I said otherwise; that they certainly had opportunity of doing so, as the rice and Indian corn were fine feeding, but that now the season was advancing, I would see how bad their method of managing them was. This I have now been an eyewitness to; not a tenth part of what is hatched ever coming to perfection, tho' those that do escape their nursing come on prodigiously fast.

I am here in the country; my brother is not yet returned and Miss Rutherfurd is gone to attend her old friend, who is just dying. The sooner the more agreeable to me, as I do not approve of her situation.

We had company to day, amongst others a brother-in-law of Mrs Schaw a Robt Howe, or as he is called here Bob Howe. This Gentleman has the worst character you ever heard thro' the whole province. He is however very like a Gentleman, much more so indeed than any thing I have seen in the Country. He is deemed a horrid animal, a sort of a woman-eater that devours every thing that comes in his way, and that no woman can withstand him. But be not in pain for your friend, I do assure you they overrate his merits, and as I am certain it would be in the power of mortal women to withstand him, so am I convinced he is not so voracious as he is represented. But he has that general polite gallantry, which every man of good breeding ought to have, and when he meets with those who receive it as he deserves, I will answer it goes no further, but if it has particular effects on any one, I make not the least doubt, but he will be as particular as they please, but that, as they chuse, you know. He is at present a candidate for the command of the army that is now raising, for an army certainly is raising, fancy to yourselves what you please. I am sure he came to speak to my brother on the subject, but was too polite to introduce politicks. I wish he may get the command with all my heart, for he does not appear to me half so dangerous as another candidate, a Coil: Moor, whom I am compelled at once to dread and esteem. He is a man of a free property and a most unblemished character, has amiable manners; and a virtuous life has gained him the love of every body, and his popularity is such that I am assured he will have more followers than an' other man in the province. He acts from a steady tho' mistaken principle, and I am certain has no view nor design, but what he thinks right and for the good of his country. He urges not a war of words, and when my brother told him he would not join him, for he did not approve the cause, "Then do not," said he, "let every man be directed by his own ideas of right or wrong." If this man commands, be assured, he will find his enemies work. His name is James Moor: should you ever hear him mentioned, think of the character I gave him. [He afterwards opposed Parker and Clinton and defeated the Loyalists.]

I will not give you any account of the culture of the rice, as you have it very distinctly in Miller's dictionary, [Philip Miller, The Gardener's Dictionary, 1731, eight editions. Of Miller the London Chronicle printed the following obituary notice. 'Died, aged upward of 8o, Dec. 18, 171, Mr. Philip Miller, F.R.S., gardener to the Apothecaries Company, at their physic-garden at Chelsea [founded by Sir Hans Sloanel, to which office he succeeded his father about fifty years ago, but lately resigned on account of advanced age. He was allowed to be the best writer on gardening in this kingdom and was honoured with the acquaintance and correspondence of the connoisseurs of that science all over Europe and America. The universal good reception of his Dictionary and Calendar, the esteem in which they are still held, and the various editions they have passed through will be a lasting monument to his memory."] and it is still the same method. I am much Out of the way of any thing here; as my brother keeps himself much retired to avoid solicitations, which are at present both disagreeable and dangerous. But as I am really tired of this Style, I will go down to town to amuse myself, and you will not have any more letters till then. Adieu.

Point Pleasant.

I recollect I closed my last with a promise of writing you from Wilmingtown, and should not have failed, had not sundry events prevented me till now, when I once more resume my Journal. Early next morning after I got to town. I was waked by the sweetest chorister that ever I heard in my life, and of whose uncommon talents I had no warnings. It pitched on a Mulberry tree, close to the window of the apartment where I slept and began with the note of our thrush so full, that I never doubted it was our sober suited songstress, but presently I heard those of the black bird, which was succeeded by the shrill note of the lark, and after a few warbles, I heard the well known notes of our Linnet and Goldfinch. I could not believe that these various birds were here, yet to suppose that all the musick of a British grove was poured from one little pipe was not less surprising. I got up and opened the window-shutter to take a peep at my musician, but softly as I unbarred it, he was scared, and I just saw on wing what they call here the mocking bird. He is of a bluish colour on the back, his breast and head white about the size of our thrush, and by no means pretty. He is very improperly named; for as he never heard one of the birds I mention, he cannot be said to mock or imitate them. The red bird which is very pretty has but a few notes and these form only a chirp, which he never mixed with his Notes. He is not much regarded and they tell me will not live in a cage.

It was very early when this little serenader roused me. I sat down to write while it was yet cool and pleasant, and no yelping Negroes with their discording voices to grate my ears and disturb my thoughts, which often obliges me to lay down my pen, but neither they nor the sun were vet up, and I had wrote some time in peace and quiet, when an outcry like that of a score of hogs going to the shambles to be slaughtered made me tear my paper and fly down Stairs, where I saw the unhappy occasion of this uproar was no less than the whole court of offices belonging to the house of my agreeable hostess Mrs Heron [Mrs. Alice Heron was the widow of Captain Benjamin Heron, one of the most active and influential men of the province. The name "Heron" was well known in Scotland and in England, where Captain Heron had a brother, Charles, an apothecary and surgeon at Corhampton in Hampshire. Mrs. Heron also had a sister, Peggy, in England. Captain Heron, as lieutenant in the royal navy, had taken part in the Cartagena expedition, and afterwards, as master of a sailing vessel, was accustomed to go hack and forth between England and the colony. He served the government as deputy auditor, deputy secretary, and clerk of the pleas and of the crown, an office with extensive patronage and perquisites. He was also for some years a member of the council. He died in 1771. By his will he left to his wife the house and furniture in Wilmington, where were the offices named in the narrative ; to his daughter, Mary, his plantation, "Mulberry," on the Northwest; to his daughter, Elizabeth, his plantation "Mount Blake" or "Heron's" on the Northeast; and to his son, Robert, lands on the Sound next to those of Job Howe.] in flames and making hasty steps to the destruction of her whole property; as the fire had already caught hold of a palling that joined to the house. Tho' there were upwards of 500 blacks and whites by, vet her house and perhaps the whole town had been burnt, [The Wilmington town and borough records show that fires were a source of much trouble and a cause of much legislation in the early history of the town and borough. As early as 1749 the possession of buckets and ladders was made compulsory and in 1751 it was ordered that any one whose chimney got on fire should pay a fine of twenty shillings. Chimneys were to be built at least three feet above the ridgepole. In the year 1756 a serious conflagration took place and consequently a water engine was ordered from England, hose was provided, and an engine house was built. This engine got out of repair, and in 1772 was deemed too small and a larger one was bought. When a fire was discovered the bell on the courthouse was rung to arouse the inhabitants.] had not some British sailors come to their assistance, and by pulling up the pailing, left a sufficient void, by which means the houses already on fire burnt out of themselves. Evident as this manoeuvre must have appeared to every bystander, vet the inactivity of the white people, and the perverseness of the Negroes would not do it. As to the amiable widow she behaved with remarkable presence of mind, and tho' a considerable loser expressed her thanks to providence for what was saved in a most becoming manner.

It would not have been easy to resume my pen after this alarming business; but had I even designed it, another event put it again out of my power; for I just then got a letter from Fanny begging me to come to her as the old Lady was so ill, she could not survive another day, and she had no female friend with her. On my arrival next morning, I found the old Lady had taken her departure, and my friend very much shocked and affected at witnessing a scene at once so new and solemn, and which had the addition of one of the Negroes shooting another almost in the same moment his late proprietor expired. For my own part I could find no regret that a tedious and disagreeable attendance had not been necessary, and that there was no fear of her revoking what she had done in their favours.

Mr Rutherfurd had my two brothers and some other Gen- tlemen with him, and every thing prepared to lay her in the grave [Mrs. Corbin was burled at "the bottom of the lawn" on the "Point Pleasant" plantation, between her husbands, James Innes and Francis Corbin.] in a manner suitable to her fortune, and the obligations he had to her friendship. Every body of fashion both from the town and round the country were invited, but the Solemnity was greatly hurt by a set of Volunteers, who, I thought, must have fallen from the moon; above a hundred of whom (of both sexes) arrived in canoes, just as the clergyman was going to begin the service, and made such a noise, it was hardly to be heard. A hogshead of rum and broth and vast quantities of pork, beef and corn-bread were set forth for the entertainment of these gentry. But as they observed the tables already covered for the guests, after the funeral, they took care to be first back from it, and before any one got to the hail, were placed at the tables, and those that had not room to sit carried off the dishes to another room, so that an elegant entertainment that had been provided vent for nothing. At last they got into their canoes, and I saw them row thro' the creeks, and suppose they have little spots of ground up the woods, which afford them corn and pork, and that on such occasions they flock down like crows to a carrion.

They were no sooner gone than the Negroes assembled to perform their part of the funeral rites, which they did by running, jumping, crying and various exercises. They are a noble troop, the best in all the country; and the legacy, in every part, turns out more considerable than was even at first thought. God rest her soul, and for this one good deed, let all her evil ones be forgiven. She sleeps between her two husbands at the bottom of the Lawn, in a very decent snug quarter. Mr Rutherfurd will be obliged to go up the country soon; so I will remain sometime here with my sweet friend whose good fortune affects me more than it does herself, on whom it has wrought no change. All the country has been to visit her, and they all pretend to be pleased; but as many had form'd hopes, you may easily believe they are not all sincere. She is busy inventoring her new effects, which in furniture, plate, linen, jewels and cloths, are very considerable. The house is very handsome and quite on a British plan. The place is a peninsula that runs into the river and is justly called Point Pleasant. ["Point Pleasant" was the plantation of Colonel James Innes and was situated on the Northeast, on the south side, at the bend of the river. The location is shown on Wimble's map of 1738 and was, as Miss Schaw says, on a peninsula jutting northward into the stream, Mrs. Corbin had only a life interest in this plantation, which at her death was to go to support a free school at Wilmington. What she left to the children was as much of the Innes property—lands, personal possessions, and negroes—as was hers to dispose of according to the terms of her marriage settlement with Francis Corbin (Register's Office, Conveyances, E, 89-94. These together with certain annuities due her under that settlement were to be cared for by "her good friend" John Rutherfurd for the maintenance and education of Fanny and the boys. The dwelling house and other buildings on the "Point Pleasant" plantation were destroyed by fire shortly before the year 1783 (North Carolina ca€c Records, XXIV, 512).] It stands on a fine lawn, with the noblest scattered trees in the world thro' it. But here is more company, and I must lay down my pen. Adieu, Adieu.

Mr Rutherfurd and my brother set Out for Newbern some days ago. Mr Rutherfurd is an active member of the Assembly {that is, of the Council] [Rutherfurd was a member of the council, not of the assembly proper. The session opened on April 4, the council meeting for the first time on April 6. Rutherfurd was present.] and has gone to do his duty, tho' he expects much trouble, which has prevented most of the others from venturing up at this time, as they hear from undoubted authority that the provincial congress is also to meet at the same time without any regard to the presence of the Govr or members of the Assembly. This is also the time when Mr Rutherfurd should receive and settle the quit-rents, as he is a receiver-general of the province, and every year should settle the Accts and have them signed by the Govr. [For Rutherfurd's connection with the quit-rents, see Bond, The Quit. Rent System in the American Colonies, pp. 305.308; and for a brief biography and estimate, Appendix VIII. Martin wrote, July 29, 1774, to the Treasury, that he was convinced a much larger collection of this revenue could be made by a proper exertion on the part of the receiver-general, and said that the deficiency in the fund was due largely to Rutherfurd's neglect. He said further that he had done all in his power to urge on that official and had in fact prevented formal complaint of his conduct from being laid before the board, not wishing to take advantage of his "extreme good nature" and "distressed circumstance" (Public Record Office, Treasury i: 505, fo. 317).] This he has reason to believe cannot be done, yet is still resolved to perform his duty to the last. My brother attends the Gov', by his orders, as he wishes to have as many friends to the Government near him, as he can assemble. His situation is every way to be pitied. He is a man of spirit as well as a loyal subject, and will ill brook having an unlawful convocation [The "unlawful convocation," mentioned by Miss Schaw, was of course the Provincial Convention at New Bern, April 3, 1775. This convention consisted of the members of the assembly sitting as a convention, without authorization from the governor, and so without sanction of law. The same men, in the same quarters, sat the next day as a lawful assembly. See below, page 181.] sitting openly in the same town, controverting every Act that he and the lawful assembly propose, yet he must submit, as he has no power to do otherwise, and an attempt to support his own and the authority of the assembly might be attended with many bad consequences, and could render the King no sort of service. I am vastly anxious and will be most uneasy till they return. Good Heavens! what had we to do here.

The weather now begins to be very warm, and tho' the thermometer never rises to the same height as in the West Indies, yet the want of air makes it quite intolerable. The evenings however are very fine, and we go out in Mr Rutherfurd's phaeton thro' the adjoining woods, and tho' the lightning flashes round us in these airings, yet it is a lambent flame, that we know will not hurt us. It is only the red light- fling which sets the trees on fire, which is not so frequent, and is always attended by loud explosions and heavy rains. But the lightning I speak of is a blue flame, resembling that of spirits on fire, and is so common that no body pays the least attention to it. But the other is more dreadful than any thing I ever saw at home; it sets whole woods on fire and shatters the largest trees from top to bottom, and is followed by a storm of wind and rain, that of itself is terrible. But this is a necessary evil, and makes that circulation, which alone can purify the putrid air that rises from bogs and swamps. The fruits are now ripe, [This section is misplaced. Fruits were not ripe at this time. Miss Schaw could hardly have tested a watermelon between February and May, and certainly could not have found "grapes dangling over our heads in large bunches" before August or September.] and I find the truth of my old friend's observation. I have never yet seen a peach, that either from colour or flavour was superior to those we have at home. As to the Nectarine or Apricock I have seen none, nor any plumb, a small red one excepted, such as we find growing red and yellow thro' our hedges, but which the fine climate makes better-tasted. The water-melon, of which they are so fond, I do not like, but perhaps that may be owing to my taste, not yet being accustomed to them. I have seen but few vegetables, and those very poor of their kinds. This too is their own fault, for the fine light soil is intirely fitted for them, and roots of all kinds would be excellent here, but their indolence makes them prefer what herbs they find growing wild to those that require the least attention to propagate, and one is really grieved to see so many rare advantages bestowed on a people every way so unworthy of them. I do assure you that every gift of nature is here. Not Italia, Spain or Portugal produce an Article that might not be had in Ili-her perfection, wine and oil not excepted. Finer grapes cannot be met with than are to be found every where wild, more particularly on the banks of the rivers, and up all the creeks, a proof of which I had a few days ago. On a sail we took up a creek, we found the grapes dangling over our heads in large bunches, particularly a red grape, whose berries are very large. The Negroes landed and filled the boat and we had them bruised and set to ferment, and this day we tasted the wine, which is already excellent, and in time will be as good as any of the common Portuguese wines, and yet the vines are perfectly uncultivated. How much better would it be, if any care were taken of them. There is a great variety of white as well as red, but they do not even make tarts of them. What they use for that is a huckle berry, which has a faint resemblance to our black or blue berry, but not equal to the crane berry.

The congress has forbid killing Mutton, veal or lamb, [The Continental Association of 1774 contained a clause (VI!) binding the colonists not to export or kill sheep "especially those of the most profitable kind." It is likely that Rutherfurd accepted the terms, but equally probable that he did not adhere to them very strictly.] so that little variety is to be had from the domestick animals; but indulgent nature makes up for every want, by the vast quantities of wild birds, both of land and water. The wild Turkeys, the wild pigeon, a bird which they call a partridge, but above all the rice-bird, which is the Ortalon in its highest perfection, and from the water the finest ducks that possibly can be met with, and so plenty that when on wing sixteen or eighteen are killed at a shot. The beauty of the Summer-duck makes its death almost a murder. The deer now is large, but not so fat as it will be some time hence; it is however in great plenty, and makes good soup. The rivers are full of fine fish, and luxury itself cannot ask a boon that is not granted. Do not however suppose by this that you meet elegant tables, far from it; this profusion is in general neglected. The gentlemen indeed out of idleness shoot deer, but nothing under a wild turkey is worth a shot. As they are now on the eve of a War, or something else I dare not name, perhaps they save their powder for good reasons; but at Mt Rutherfurd's there is a huntsman, with as many assistants as he pleases, [The huntsman and assistants were probably negroes. Both in North Carolina and South Carolina it was necessary for a negro to have a license or ticket to carry a gun. Therefore it was common for their masters to enter the names of such negroes as they wished to he licensed on the records of the county court and to offer security according to law. For instance, as early as 1740, Edward Moseley entered as "hunters on his sundry plantations" the names of four negroes. In 1764 Thomas Halloway "prayed for a ticket for a negro man named Burgaw Billy to carry a gun at Burgaw Plantation," and John Rutherford did the same for a negro named Mingo at Rocky Point, with his friend Benjamin Heron as security. After Rutherfurd acquired "Hunthill" he must have obtained a number of such licenses for his negroes.] and every day provisions are brought home of those Articles I have mentioned. Besides as he pays no great regard to the orders of the congress, he wants neither mutton [n]or lamb in their turn.

They have the true vulture here, with the bald head, which they call Turkey buzard, as he is little less than a turkey. [The turkey buzzard is one of the varieties of the American vulture, differing structurally from the vultures of the Old World. It is not considered, however, a true vulture any more than are those of Europe. Nevertheless Miss Schaw was well up in her ornithology.] The bears are exceeding troublesome and often carry off the hogs. I have got a whelp, which was only a day old when its dam was killed. Miss Rutherfurd is fond of it, but tho' only a fortnight old, it is too much for her already. We have also a fawn, which is much more beautiful than any I ever saw at home and tame as a dog. The Negroes are the only people that seem to pay any attention to the various uses that the wild vegetables may be Put to. For example, I have sent you a paper of their vegetable pins made from the prickly pear, also molds for buttons made from the calabash, which likewise serves to hold their victuals. The allowance for a Negro is a quart of Indian corn pr day, [An infant has the same allowance with its parents as soon as born.] and a little piece of land which they cultivate much better than their Master. There they rear hogs and poultry, sow calabashes, etc. and are better provided for in every thing than the poorer white people with us. They steal whatever they can come at, and even intercept the cows and milk them. They are indeed the constant plague of their tyrants, whose severity or mildness is equally regarded by them in these Matters.


We came to town yesterday by water, and tho' it was excessively warm had a pleasant sail. M' Rutherfurd has a very fine boat with an awning to prevent the heat, and six stout Negroes in neat uniforms to row her down, which with the assistance of the tide was performed with ease in a very short time. The banks of the North cast are higher than those of the North west, but produce the same trees, flowers and shrubs. There are two plantations on the banks, both of which have the most delightful situations that it is possible to imagine, one of them in particular has a walk of above a mile long just on the top of the bank, which nature has formed with the most beautiful exactness, and left nothing for Art but that of cleaning away the luxuriancy, which generally attends her works. This however is too much for the listless hands of indolence and this beautiful place is overgrown with brambles and prickly pears, which render it entirely useless, tho' a few Negroes with their hoes could clear it in a week. The master of this fine place is rich and uncumbered by a family. Something like a glimmering of taste inspired him about a dozen years ago to build a house on a good plan and near this a fine walk, and a most delightful situation it must have been. The outside was accordingly finished, and even a part of the windows put in, when the hot months, I suppose, destroyed this temporary Activity, which has never yet returned, and he and his wife live in a hovel, while this handsome fabrick is daily falling into decay and will soon cease to exist at all.

In a few miles farther and very near the town, I found another [The first of the two plantations to which Miss Schaw refers we have not been able to identify, but the second was "Hilton," the home of Cornelius Harnett, one of the leaders of the revolutionary movement in North Carolina. It was situated but a short distance north of Wilmington. It was at "Hilton" that Josiah Quincy held conferences with Howe and Harnett in 1773, where "the plan of Continental correspondence [was] highly relished, much wished for, and resolved upon as proper to be pursued." For a description, see North Carolina Booklet, II, no. 9, P. 71, and Connor, Cornelius Harnett, pp. 201-202.] and must confess that in all my life I never saw a more glorious situation. It fronts the conflux of the north east and north west, which forms one of the finest pieces of water in the world. On this there is a very handsome house, and properly situated to enjoy every advantage. But the house is all, for I saw nothing neat done about it; tho' Nature has blocked out a fine lawn for them; down to the river it is overrun with weeds and briers. They tell me however that the Mrs [The maiden name of Mary, wife of Cornelius Harnett, is unknown. 11cr identification as a Grainger is wrong. She lived at "Hilton" but died in New York City, April 19, 1792. Her will is still preserved (Wills, 4B, 486-488). Miss Schaw's later comment on Harnett as a "brute" may have only a political significance, but more probably it refers to his personality. If so the remark is not surprising, for despite Harnett's great services to the cause of the Revolution, he was not a man of either delicacy or refinement. The fact that he had an illegitimate child must he judged according to the moral standards of that day: Robert Halton, Francis Nash, and Matthew Rowan each had the same, and no one seems to have thought less of them on that account. But both Harnett and Howe were men of a fibre less fine and sensitive than that of James Moore, for example, and Miss Schaw was easily impressed by such distinctions. George Hooper's characterization of Harnett, drawn up many years later, though the tribute of one with loyalist antecedents and a Bostonian, is almost too flattering an estimate to be convincing. Certainly in Miss Schaw's day Harnett was not "beloved and honored by the adherents of monarchy," as Hooper says (Connor, Cornelius Harnett, pp. 202-203). Miss Schaw formed sudden likes and dislikes and acknowledges herself as prejudiced. This is shown in the case of the emigrants and of Neilson, both of whom, as she found, improved on acquaintance. Perhaps the same might have been true in the case of Harnett, Howe, and other American radicals, had she known them longer and under different circumstances.] of this placet is a pattern of industry, and that the house and every thing in it was the produce of her labours. She has (it seems) a garden, from which she supplies the town with what vegetables they use, also with mellons and other fruits. She even descends to make minced pies, cheese-cakes, tarts and little biskets, which she sends down to town once or twice a day, besides her eggs, poultry and butter, and she is the only one who continues to have Milk. They tell me she is an agreeable woman, and I am sure she has good sense, from one circumstance,—all her little commodities are contrived so, as not to exceed one penny a piece, and her customers know she will not run tick, [*To "run tick" was, and still is, to give credit. Mrs. Harnctt's practice was unusual, for charge accounts or book debts were very common in colonial days, when small change was difficult to obtain. Inasmuch as Mrs. Harnett was able to enforce her rule, coppers must have been more plentiful in 15 than they were under Dobbs or Tryon. The former in 1755 wanted the British government to issue a copper coinage for North Carolina (N. C. R. V. 155, 324-325), and the latter in 1764 suggested that North Carolina's share of the parliamentary appropriation be sent over either "in the copper coin of Britain or in such coin as his Majesty may be pleased to order to be coined in the Tower of London" (ib., VI, 219-1220).] which were they to be the length of sixpence, must be the case, as that is a sum not in every body's power, and she must be paid by some other articles, whereas the two coppers [that is, halfpence] are ready money. I am sure I would be happy in such an acquaintance. But this is impossible; her husband is at best a brute by all accounts and is besides the president of the committee and the great instigator of the cruel and unjust treatment the friends of government are experiencing at present. There are a few plantations forming near town, but so much in their infancy, that I can say little of them.

I rose this morning with a violent headache. The Musquctoes, tho' not yet so troublesome as at Point Pleasant, are swarming in town, which stands on a sandy soil, and is rendered from that situation intolerably hot. What they do in the low parts of the town, heaven knows. We are just now at the house of Doctor Cobham which is the best house and much the airiest situation, yet it is hardly possible to breathe, and both Miss Rutherfurd and myself appear as in the height of the small-pox; but terrible as this is, I will stay till I learn something of what is going on both here and at Newbern. I have sent to Mr Hogg and Mr Campbell, both Merchts of eminence; [*The firm of Hogg & Campbell was one of the leading mercantile and contracting houses in Wilmington, doing both a wholesale and a retail business. In the Cape Fear Mercury, December 29, 1773, we read, "For London, the ship Good Intent will be ready to sail part freight secured, for remainder apply to Hogg and Campbell." The firm was composed of Robert Hogg and Samuel Campbell, prominent men of known loyalist sympathies. That is why Miss Schaw felt that she could turn to them for such information and advice as she was not likely to obtain elsewhere. For biographical data concerning these men, see Appendix XI!.] from them I will hear truth not always to be met every where. My friends have been with me, by them I learn things are going on with a high hand. A boat of provisions going to the king's ship has been stopped, and Mr Hogg and Mr Campbell, the contractors, ordered to send no more. Good God! what are the people at home about, to suffer their friends to be thus abused. Two regiments just now would reduce this province, but think what you will, in a little time, four times four will not be sufficient. Every man is ordered to appear under arms. This the town's folks have been forced to comply with, tho' determined to go no further in a cause they so much disapprove. Melancholy clouds every honest face, while ferocity and blaze aze in those of their enemies. Heaven grant them deliverance, for much they are to be pitied. Miss Rutherfurd and I intended going up the North West to Schawfield, but have changed our design, as we find the boys very unhappy at the house where they are boarded. Jack naturally despises a Schoolmaster,' who knows not half what he does himself, so we carry them up to Point Pleasant and return next Monday to see the review of all the troops raised in this province. I will leave this letter to be sent, tho' I risk tar and feather was it to be seen. Perhaps it may be the last I will ever write you at least from this part of the world.

Point Pleasant.

The evening I came back here, my brother arrived from Newbern, having left Mr Rutherfurd at his plantation thirty miles from this. He had with him a young man* of so agreeable an appearance, that tho' I believed him an American, I could not help owning he had the look of a Gentleman, yet I was pre-determined not to be pleased with him. His wan meagre looks disgusted me, his white hands gave me great offence, as I could not help thinking he displayed them ostentatiously. His gravity, for he was vastly grave, frightened me, yet after all, the creature was tame and genteel enough, made a bow, as if he had once known what it was to enter a decent apartment, spoke with a voice that seemed humanized and entered into conversation very much like a rational being.

I now learned what had passed at Newbern meeting, where both the Govr. and assembly had been treated with great insolence, and those friends that dared own their principles had been abused in a most shocking manner, and that the provincial congress had come to a resolution and had it signed by its whole members to unite with and obey the grand continental congress in all their resolutions. I send you inclosed a copy of Govr Martin's speech, the protests taken by some of the members of the assembly, and also a paper wrote by a Mr McNight, for which he has been obliged to fly the province of Carolina. Our Stranger Gentleman turns out a man of family in Scotland and of rank here, from the office he holds under the crown; and as I view him now divested of prejudice, he makes quite a different figure from what he did; sorry I am to say however that his wan looks continue, and I fear will while he is in this climate, as he is under the power of an Ague, whose fits shake him to pieces. He is certainly not vain of his hands however white, and as far as I can observe is neither a savage nor a coxcomb. He is really an agreeable young man, has seen the world and knows a great deal. If he does not go up the country again, he will prove an agreeable accession to our little party.

We have a most obliging invitation from the GovT and Mrs Martin, to go up and stay with them and celebrate the king's birth-day, which is not now far off, and this we will not fail to do. The heat daily increases, as do the musquetoes, the bugs and the ticks. The curtains of our beds are now supplied by Musquetoes' nets. Fanny has got a neat or rather elegant dressing room, the settees of which are canopied over with green gauze, and on these we lie panting for breath and air, dressed in a single muslin petticoat and short gown. Here I know your delicacy will be shocked, and I hear you ask, if our young man bear us company in this sequestrate apartment. Oh yes, my friend, he does, but he is too much oppressed himself to observe us. This serock [sirocco] has the same effect here as Briden tells us it has in Sicily; it has ruined all vivacity, as my pen shows you, and renders us languid in thought, word and deed.

My Journal now meets many interruptions, and all I can do, is, to take notes and join them as I have opportunity. Mr Neilson, our new friend, is gone up the country again and we are to follow in a few days, and pass some time at Newbern. I find [feel] the loss of his company: he is that sort of man, who is of all others the fittest companion for us at present. He has seen a great deal of the world; his manners, naturally soft, give him a sort of Melancholy, that is far from displeasing any where, but here is particularly agreeable. I am told he is in love, and I make no doubt is true. I should be glad to be acquainted with the Lady, for from what I am able to discover of his sentiments she must have something more than mere beauty to recommend her to his regard, different from the men of this country; I should hope she will be satisfied with the lot assigned her. But, good heaven! think of my talking in that way of a poor fellow that is chaced from place to place, and uncertain of his life. In the present situation, love does not admit of the various cares that press him; friendship however may be a consolation to him, and as he appears worthy, I dare say you will approve of my affording him as much esteem as is fit for me to bestow, or as he will ever desire of me.

I have been at a fine plantation called Hunthill belonging to Mr Rutherfurd. On this lie has a vast number of Negroes employed in various works. He makes a great deal of tar and turpentine, but his grand work is a saw-mill, the finest I ever met with. It cuts three thousand lumbers (which are our dales [deals] ) a day, and can double the number, when necessity demands it. The woods round him are immense, and lie has a vast piece of water, which by a creek communicates with the river, by which he sends down all the lumber, tar and pitch, as it rises every tide sufficiently high to bear any weight. This is done on what is called rafts, built UOfl a flat with dales, and the barrels depending from the sides. In this manner they will float you down fifty thousand deals at once, and 100 or 200 barrels, and they leave room in the centre for the people to stay on, who have nothing to do but prevent its running on shore, as it is floated down by the tides, and they must lay to, between tide and tide, it having no power to move but by the force of the stream. This appears to me the best contrived thing I have seen, nor do I think any better method could be fallen on; and this is adopted by all the people up the country.

There is a show of Plenty at Hunthill beyond any thing I ever saw, but it is a mere plantation. He has not so much as a house on it, yet he has a fine situation for one which he proposes to build. Here the old Gentleman I formerly mentioned resides with him, and I assure you they keep a good house, tho' it is little better than one of his Negro huts, and it appeared droll enough to eat out of China and be served in plate in such a parlour. He has however an excellent library with fine globes and Mathematical instruments of all kinds, also a set of noble telescopes, and tho' the house is no house, yet the master and the furniture make you ample amends. But I must tell you he built a bed-chamber for our reception, by no means amiss. This will be a fine plantation in time of peace, as he is able to load a raft once a fortnight —the plantation not only affording lumber, but staves, hoops and ends for barrels and casks for the West India trade, and he has a great number of his slaves bred coopers and carpenters. Every body agrees that it is able to draw from twelve to fifteen hundred a year sterling money.

We had a Tarrapin dressed there for turtle. They have really an excellent cook and she made it as good at least as any I ever eat in Britain. We are now preparing to go up the country, but we dread the heat, which every day increases. This place is one of the coolest, as the reflux of the tide ebbing and flowing every twelve hours forces a circulation of air; notwithstanding of which, we are hardly able to breathe even here. What must it be when more inland? for even at my brother's, tho' on the banks of the river, I was not able to exist, and had been in the fever and ague before this, had I remained there, as he has most of his ground in rice, which renders the air perfectly putrid. Of this he is very sensible, and has made a purchase down on the sound* for his children to live at, but times just now Put a stop to every thing.

This letter was begun several days ago, but was to have been finished before I went up the country, where now I will never be. Mr Rutherfurd and Miss Rutherfurd had set out for Newbern, and my brothers, myself and another Gentleman were to follow. There are no inns on the road, so we could only travel in such companies as could be accommodated in private houses. They had been gone two days, and I was at Schawfield ready to set out, when to my no small surprise Miss Rutherfurd returned, and came to me there. The reason of which was, that they had met an express from Mr Neilson, informing them and us that the Gov1's house had been attacked, himself obliged to get down to the man- of-war, and send off his wife, sister and children in a little vessel, with directions to land them in the first safe port. What renders these circumstances the more affecting is that poor Nlrs Martin is big with child, and naturally of a very delicate constitution, vet even this is better than her staying here, where she would be rendered constantly miserable with fear.

On the Govr's first coming down, the people at Wilmingtown sent aboard to him, desiring him to come on shore, and he would be safe. But he had luckily got information that a guard and ship were ready to carry him off to the congress.

Field days are now appointed, and every man without distinction ordered to appear under arms and be drilled. Those who will not comply, must fly out of the country, and leave their effects behind them to the mercy of these people, whose kindness is little to be trusted. Fanny insists on my going again to Point Pleasant, and I am myself very willing, for I think it much more agreeable, as my brother [Alexander] is gone down to the Govr, and will probably stay with him aboard, and poor Bob, my other brother, is very much at a loss how to act, and dares not speak on the subject. Mrs Schaw's whole connections are engaged. Mr Howe, who I told you was a candidate for the command of the army here, has got a regt and Moor is general. My brother has been offered every thing, but has refused every offer, and I tremble for his fate, but any thing rather than join these people. I will write you from Point Pleasant, and I will leave this as we pass Wilmingtown to catch the first safe opportunity.

Point Pleasant.

On our return here, we found Mr Rutherfurd and poor Neilson, whose situation is very deplorable, but whatever he suffers for himself, he feels more for his friend the governor, whom he loves and esteems as much as man can man. When one considers the fate of this young fellow, it is impossible not to be greatly affected. Had this unlucky affair not happened, he had been in as fine a way as any man in the province, and as he had turned all his attention to this line, it will not be easy for him to carry it to another. His health too is much worse, which is an addition to his distress, as it prevents his being so active as he wishes to be. I laugh at him and use every little Art in my power to make him view things in a more cheerful light, but he knows better than I do, and tho' his good nature and politeness make him appear to be diverted with my foolings, I am sensible they do not amuse his melancholy. Mr Rutherfurd has got the gout, but he does not mind it; he is a most cheerful companion. However it is prudent in him to keep out of the way, and he has gone to Hunthill. Notwithstanding Mr Neilson's anxiety, he is a great help to our spirits. He reads, walks and goes out on the water with us; but he leaves us in a day or two and goes down to the man-of-war. I keep scribbling on, tho' I have nothing now to say, unless I tell you I have seen a number of snakes, but have had no opportunity of taking them under consideration.

Mr Rutherfurd left us yesterday, and we go to town to see a review of the troops that remain after sending a little army to South Carolina. You at home know nothing of the power of this country, nor will you believe it till you find it with a witness. I yesterday crushed an Alligator with my foot that in six months hence would be able to devour me. Six months ago a very little force would have done here, and even yet a proper exertion would do much towards resettling peace in these Southern provinces, tho' I am far from believing that the case with those further North.


Good heavens! what a scene this town is: Surely you folks at home have adopted the old maxim of King Charles: "Make friends of your foes, leave friends to shift for themselves."

We came down in the morning in time for the review, which the heat made as terrible to the spectators as to the soldiers, or what you please to call them. They had certainly fainted under it, had not the constant draughts of grog Supported them. Their exercise was that of bush-fighting, but it appeared so confused and so perfectly different from any thing I ever saw, I cannot say whether they performed it well or not; but this I know that they were heated with rum till capable of committing the most shocking outrages. We stood in the balcony of Doctor Cobham's house and they were reviewed on a field mostly covered with what are called here scrubby oaks, which are only a little better than brushwood. They at last however assembled on the plain field, and I must really laugh while I recollect their figures: 2000 men in their shirts and trousers, preceded by a very ill beat-drum and a fiddler, who was also in his shirt with a long sword and a cue at his hair, who played with all his might. They made indeed a most unmartial appearance. But the worst figure there can shoot from behind a bush and kill even a General Wolfe.

Before the review was over, I heard a cry of tar and feather. I was ready to faint at the idea of this dreadful operation. I would have gladly quitted the balcony, but was so much afraid the Victim was one of my friends, that I was not able to move; and he indeed proved to be one, tho' in a humble station. For it was Mr Neilson's poor English groom. You can hardly conceive what I felt when I saw him dragged forward, poor devil, frighted out of his wits. However at the request of some of the officers, who had been Neilson's friends, his punishment was changed into that of mounting on a table and begging pardon for having smiled at the regt He was then drummed and fiddled out of the town, with a strict prohibition of ever being seen in it again.

One might have expected, that tho' I had been imprudent all my life, the present occasion might have inspired me with some degree of caution, and yet I can tell you I had almost incurred the poor groom's fate from my own folly. Several of the officers came up to dine, amongst others Coll: Howe, who with less ceremony than might have been expected from his general politeness stept into an apartment adjoining the hail, and took up a book I had been reading, which he brought open in his hand into the company. I was piqued at his freedom, and reproved him with a half compliment to his general good breeding. He owned his fault and with much gallantry promised to submit to whatever punishment I would inflict. You shall only, said I, read aloud a few pages which I will point out, and I am sure you will do Shakespear justice. He bowed and took the book, but no sooner observed that I had turned UI) for him, that part of Henry the fourth, where Falstaff describes his company, than he coloured like Scarlet. I saw he made the application instantly; however he read it thro', tho' not with the vivacity he generally speaks; however he recovered himself and coming close up to me, whispered, you will certainly get yourself tarred and feathered; shall I apply to be executioner? I am going to seal this up. Adieu.

I closed my last packet at Doctor Cobham's after the review, and as I hoped to hear of some method of getting it sent to you, stayed, tho' Miss Rutherfurd was obliged to go home. As soon as she was gone, I went into the town, the entry of which I found closed up by a detachment of the soldiers; but as the officer immediately made way for me, I took no further notice of it, but advanced to the middle of the street, where I found a number of the first people in town standing together, who (to use Milton's phrase) seemed much impassioned. As most of them were my acquaintances, I stopped to speak to them, but they with one voice begged me for heaven's sake to get off the street, making me observe they were prisoners, adding that every avenue of the town was shut up, and that in all human probability some scene would be acted very unfit for me to witness. I could not take the friendly advice, for I became unable to move and absolutely petrified with horror.

Observing however an officer with whom I had just dined. I beckoned him to me. He came, but with no very agreeable look, and on my asking him what was the matter, he presented a paper he had folded in his hand. If you will persuade them to sign this they are at liberty, said he, but till then must remain under this guard, as they must suffer the penalties they have justly incurred. "And we will suffer every thing," replied one of them, "before we abjure our king, our country and our principles." "This, Ladies," said he turning to me, who was now joined by several Ladies, is what they call their Test, but by what authority this Gentleman forces it on us, we are yet to learn." "There is my .Authority," pointing to the Soldiers with the most insolent air, "dispute it, if you can." Oh Britannia, what are you doing, while your true obedient sons are thus insulted by their unlawful brethren; are they also forgot by their natural parents'?

We, the Ladies, adjourned to the house of a Lady, who lived in this street, and whose husband was indeed at home, but secretly shut up with some ambassadors from the back settlernents on their way to the Gov' to offer their service, provided he could let them have arms and ammunition, but above all such commissions as might empower them to raise men by proper authority. This I was presently told tho' in the midst of enemies, but the Loyal party are all as one family. Various reasons induced me to stay all Night in the house I was then at, tho' it could afford me no resting place. I wished to know the fate of the poor men who were in such present jeopardy, and besides hoped that I should get word to my brother, or send your packet by the Gentlemen who were going to the man-of-war. In the last I have succeeded, and they are so good as [to] promise to get it safely there to my brother or the Govr who would not fail to send it by first opportunity to Britain. Indeed it is very dangerous to keep letters by me, for whatever noise general warrants made in the mouths of your sons of faction at home, their friends and fellow rebels use it with less ceremony than ever it was practised in Britain, at any period.

Rebels, this is the first time I have ventured that word, more than in thought, but to proceed.

The prisoners stood firm to their resolution of not signing the Test, till past two in the morning, tho' every threatening was used to make them comply; at which time a Message from the committee compromised the affair, and they were suffered to retire on their parole to appear next morning before them. This was not a step of mercy or out of regard to the Gentlemen; but they understood that a number of their friends were arming in their defence, and tho' they had kept about 150 ragamuffins still in town, they were not sure even of them; for to the credit of that town be it spoke, there are not five men of property and credit in it that are infected by this unfortunate disease.

As I had nothing further to do in town, I came up to Schawfleld, where Fanny met me, and we will go to Point Pleasant again in a day or two, as I find this place so warm, that I shall certainly have a fever, if I stay. It is beautiful however, the garden is in great glory, tubby roses so large and fragrant, as is quite beyond a British idea, and the Trumpet honey-suckle is five times as large as ours, and every thing else in proportion. I particularly name these two as their bell seems the favourite bed of the dear little humming birds, which are here in whole flocks. The place altogether is very fine, the India corn is now almost ready, and makes a noble appearance. The rice too is whitening, and its distant appearance is that of our green oats, but there is no living near it with the putrid water that must lie on it, and the labour required for it is only fit for slaves, and I think the hardest work I have seen them engaged in. The indigo is now ready; it looks very pretty, but for all these I refer you to Miller's description, which, on comparison, I find perfectly just. Tho' the water melons here are thought particularly fine, I am not yet reconciled to them. My brother brought some cantalup melon seed, which was sown here; tho', by what accident I cannot tell, they were all torn up while green. They must have been exquisite, but every melon except the water melon, is indiscriminately called musk melon and despised, which is a pity, for our good ones must be a great treat here. The cotton is now ripe, and tho' only annual grows to a little bush. It seems extremely good, and is very prolifick. They complain much of the trouble it requires, as it must not only be weeded, but watched while green, as the bears are very fond of it in its infancy. It also is troublesome to gather and to clean from the husk, so that few house-wives will venture on the task, and I am glad they do not; for under proper management, it would be an Article of great consequence. Two or three score of our old women with their cards and wheels would hurt the linnen Manufactories. But were I a planter, I would send a son or two to be bred to the weaving and farming business, who might teach the Negroes, and I would bring Out a ship loaded on my own account with wheels, reels and Looms, also ploughs, harrows, drills, spades, rakes, etc. And this may all happen, when Britain strikes home. We set off this afternoon for the Point and travel by land, so I will be able to give you some account of our journey in that way, as we must go by the great road that leads into South Carolina the one way and Virginia the other. Adieu.

P. S. This will be delivered to you by my brother, who has just stole UI) from the Sound to bid me, farewell. He has not an hour to stay: he goes home with despatches from the Govr. I am lost in confusion, this is unexpected indeed—oh heavens! Farewell.

Thank God, my brother got safe aboard the King's ship and sailed with Capt Talmash in his frigate that same afternoon for England. It was very fortunate he had the P1- caution to venture thro' the woods under the guidance of a single Negro, for tho' his coming up from the Sound, as well as his intended expedition were concealed with the utmost care, yet his leaving the frigate just as Capt Talmash arrived had been known and raised such suspicions that the roads were guarded to watch his return and seize him. Of this his friend at the Sound was informed and was in the utmost distress. It would not however have been an easy matter to make him yield, as he had an invincible aversion to the tarpot, and as he carried a pair of pistols in each pocket, he would have tried these in the first instance; but it is much better as it is. I have a letter from him after he got on board Capt Talmash, where he desires me to take the first opportunity of going to St Kitts and carrying with me my young friends. And that I might be able to do so in comfort, he sends me an order to his man of business to put into my hands, whatever belonged to him on the Island, and pay me his Salary till I can hear from him about my return to Britain and begs Mr Rutherfurd to agree to his proposal, and Mr Rutherfurd says it must come to that or worse, and seems satisfied. But poor Fanny has so lately found a father that she is loath to lose him again so soon, so that for the present the scale of fate hangs doubtful.

Mr Neilson came here some days ago, he looks worse than ever, and his ague more severe. He has anxiety painted on his looks. He makes light however of his own distresses, but seems to suffer perfect agony on the Governor's account, whom he cannot mention without feeling that anguish, which is too strong for his constitution. May God deliver him and all our distressed countrymen from the present situation. A few months ago the task would have been easy; it is still possible, but (God make me a false prophetess) it will not be long so. The inclination of this country is however far from being generally for this work. Indolent and inactive, they have no desire to move, even where their own immediate interest calls them. All they are promised is too distant to interest them; they suffer none of those abuses they are told of and feel their liberty invaded only by the oppressive power of the Congress and their Agents, who at this Season are pressing them from their harvest, for they know not what purpose. But tho' they show at first a very great degree of reluctance to go, yet they believe there is no retreat, after they have been once under arms and are convinced that from that moment they fight for their lives and properties, which by that act are both forfeited to their blood-thirsty enemies. You may therefore be assured they will not fail to exert all the activity and courage they are able to muster up, and, once engaged themselves, are willing to draw in others.

It is a most unfortunate circumstance they have got time to inculcate this idea. Three months ago, a very small number had not any thing to apprehend; a few troops landing and a general amnesty published would have secured them all at home. For I do not suppose them of such a martial spirit as voluntarily to have joined Cother's standard. At present the martial law stands thus: An officer or committeeman enters a plantation with his posse. The Alternative is proposed, Agree to join us, and your persons and properties are safe; you have a shilling sterling a day; your duty is no more than once a month appearing under Arms at Wilmingtown, which will prove only a merry-making, where you will have as much grog as you can drink. But if you refuse, we are directly, to cut up your corn, shoot your pigs, burn your houses, seize your Negroes and perhaps tar and feather yourself. Not to chuse the first requires more courage than they are possessed of, and I believe this method has seldom failed with the lower sort. No sooner do they appear under arms on the stated day, than they are harangued by their officers with the implacable cruelty of the king of Great Britain, who has resolved to murder and destroy man, wife and child, and that he has sworn before God and his parliament that he will not spare one of them; and this those deluded people believe more firmly than their creed, and who is it that is bold enough to venture to undeceive them. The King's proclamation they never saw; but are told it was ordering the tories to murder the whigs, and promising every Negro that would murder his Master and family that he should have his Master's plantation. This last Artifice they may pay for, as the Negroes have got it amongst them and believe it to be true. Tis ten to one they may try the experiment, and in that case friends and foes will be all one.

I came to town yesterday with an intention of being at church this day, where I was informed there was to be service performed by a very good clergyman. In this however I was disappointed, for I found the whole town in an uproar, and the moment I landed, M' Rutherfurd's negroes were seized and taken into custody till I was ready to return with them. This apparent insult I resented extremely, till going up to Doctor Cobham's, I found my short prophecy in regard to the Negroes was already fulfilled and that an insurrection was hourly expected. There had been a great number of them discovered in the adjoining woods the night before, most of them with arms, and a fellow belonging to Doctor Cobham was actually killed. All parties are now united against the common enemies. Every man is in arms and the patroics going thro' all the town, and searching every Negro's house, to see they are all at home by nine at night. But what is most provoking, every mouth male and female is opened against Britain, her King and their abettors—here called the tories,—tho' the poor tories are likely to suffer, at least as much as any of them, and who were as ready to give their assistance to quell them as any independents amongst them. But whatever way this end, it will confirm the report I formerly mentioned to you past all contradiction.

As I was afraid to venture up with only the Negroes, I despatched the boat with them, and a letter to Fanny, begging her to secure all their arms and come herself down to town. She is far from well: her father is as yet at Hunthill. Mr Neilson came down with me and presently went off to the Governor, so she has no white person with her, but our two Abigails. I expect her every moment. I go to sup with my friends on the hill, and return to sleep at the Doctor's. I change my quarters every time I am in town, to please all my friends. To do the whole justice, they are very hospitable. Good evening to you. I will write again to morrow. I have an excellent apartment, and ever body is too much engaged about themselves to mind what I am doing.

After a sleepless night, to which the musquetoes contributed more than my fears of the Negroes, I am sat down by the first peep of day to inform you of what further happened yesterday. I told you I was going to sup at the bill, which is at the other extremity of the town. Here I found the affair of the Negroes justly attributed to the cause I formerly mentioned, vizt that of falsifying the King's proclamation, for tho' neither they nor I had seen it, we were convinced it was in a style the reverse of what was given out. Our time passed so agreeably that it was now too late to venture so far without some male protector, and as all the Negroes were locked up, I therefore waited till the Midnight patrol arrived, the commander of which was a tory, and my particular acquaintance. Under his protection therefore I marched off at the head of the party stopping at the different houses in our way to examine if the Negroes were at home. For God's sake! draw a picture of your friend in this situation and see if 'tis possible to know me. Oh! I shall make a glorious knapsack-bearer. You have formed a very wrong idea of my delicacy; I find I can put it on and off like any piece of dress. But to proceed with my Mid-night march. While the men went into the houses, I stayed without with the commander of the party, who took that opportunity to assure me, he believed the whole was a trick intended in the first place to inflame the minds of the populace, and in the next place to get those who had not before taken up arms to do it now and form an association for the safety of the town. What further design they had, he could not tell, but made not the least doubt it was for some sinister purpose this farce was carried on. That poor Cobham had lost a valuable slave, and the poor fellow his life without the least reason, he was certain; for that it was a fact well known to almost every body that he met a Mistress every night in the opposite wood, and that the wench being kept by her Master, was forced to carry on the intrigue with her black lover with great secrecy, which was the reason the fellow was so anxious to conceal himself; that the very man who shot him knew this, and had watched him. My hypothesis is however that the Negroes will revolt. I bade my friend good night and found Mrs Cobham in a terrible huff, from the idea I was not to come back that night. She is so much affected by the fate of her Negro, that she is almost as great a tory as her husband, which was not lately the case. But here comes the Coffee, farewell. If Fanny come down, I will write again from this.

Point Pleasant.

Fanny could not come down, and my fear of the Negroes being over, I returned in the Phaeton she had sent down for me and travelled off by the great road, which I believe I have never mentioned to you. I am indeed extremely inaccurate, but you must pardon me. I do the best to obey your commands and keep my own promise, to both of which I am in duty bound. This road begins at Wilmingtown and goes clear across the country to Virginia on one side and South Carolina on the other, and as its course lies across the river, it is crossed by a bridge, which tho' built of timber is truly a noble one, broader than that over the Tay at Perth. It opens at the middle to both sides and rises by pullies, so as to suffer Ships to pass under it.* The road is sufficiently broad to allow fifty men to march abreast, and the woods much thinner of trees than anywhere I have seen them. The pasture under these trees is far from bad, tho' the hot season has parched it a good deal. Off from this wood lie many plantations, which however arc hid amongst the trees from the view of the road, and not easy of access from it. Point Pleasant lies about four miles off from it—part of the way is thro' the woods, where the path is devious and uncertain to those that are unacquainted with it. About a mile or little more from Point Pleasant, begins a most dismal swamp thro' the middle of which there is a road made with infinite labour, raised on piles covered with branches, and over all sods; and it is by no means comfortable to drive a carriage over it, as the swamps on each hand appear unfathomable, and I would really believe them so, did not the noble Magnolias, the bays and a thousand Myrtles convince me it had a bottom from which they spring.

For a description of the Magnolia, I refer you to Miller, tho' they are infinitely more beautiful than he describes them, and carry the flower twice a year on trees as large and full spread as our Oaks, and you may conceive the Glory of a full spread oak covered with white roses, for both in smell and look that is the flower they resemble. The Myrtle thro' all this swamp is the candle-berry-myrtle, which makes the green candle you have seen at home. They give a very pleasant light, and when placed in a silver candle-stick, look extremely pretty. And here for a moment let me lead you to admire what Nature has done for the inhabitants of this country. This is an Article which every house-wife grudges the expence of—here they have it for nothing, if they would only accept of it. The cotton is in plenty growing every where for the wick, if they would take the trouble to spin it. The berries hang to the hand, and seem to beg you to gather them, but they generally beg in vain, not one out of fifty will take the trouble to make them into candles. The poorer sort burn pieces of lightwood, which they find without trouble, and the people of fashion use only Spermaceti, and if any green wax, it is only, for kitchen use. I have seen it prepared however, and its process is the most simple you can imagine. When the berries are gathered and picked from the stalks, they are thrown into a kettle of Water, which is set to boil, and kept boiling for a few hours, in which time the berries melt almost away. It is then Set to cool, and when cold, you find the grosser parts have sunk to the bottom of the kettle, while the pure wax forms a cake on the top. To have it fine, it requires to go thro' several boilings, and then it will become so transparent as to be seen thro'. All that is further to be done is only to melt it, and pour it into proper moulds, when it will afford the most agreeable light a candle can give.

As soap and candle are commonly a joint manufacture, I will now mention that article, which they have here very good, as they have the finest ashes in the world. But when you have occasionally to buy it, however, you meet only with Irish soap, and tho' some house-wives are so notable as to make it for themselves, which they do at no expence, yet most of them buy it at the store at a monstrous price. They are the worst washers of linen I ever saw, and tho' it be the country of indigo they never use blue, nor allow the sun to look at them. All the cloaths coarse and fine, bed and table linen, lawns, cambricks and muslins, chints, checks, all are promiscuously thrown into a copper with a quantity of water and a large piece of soap. This is set a boiling, while a Negro wench turns them over with a stick. This operation over, they are taken out, squeezed and thrown on the Pales to dry. They use no calender; they are however much better smoothed than washed. Mrs Miller offered to teach them the British method of treating linens, which she understands extremely well, as, to do her justice, she does every thing that belongs to her station, and might be of great use to them. But Mrs Schaw was affronted at the offer. She showed them however by bleaching those of Miss Rutherfurd, my brothers and mine, how different a little labour made them appear, and indeed the power of the sun was extremely apparent in the immediate recovery of some bed and table-linen, that had been so ruined by sea water, that I thought them irrecoverably lost. Poor Bob, who has not seen a bleaching-washing since a boy, was charmed with it, and Mrs Miller was not a little pleased with the compliments he made her on it. Indeed this and a dish of hodge podge she made for him have made her a vast favourite, and she has promised him a sheeps' head. But as she rises in the Master's esteem, she falls in that of the Mistress, who by no means approves Scotch or indeed British innovations.

Some days ago we were informed that Gen1 Moor with 1500 or 2000 men had marched down the country, having resolved to take the fort, and with the cannon they expected to find in it, take also the Cruiser, the Govr and the whole covey of tories he had with him. The fort indeed was no hard conquest; but the Govr some how or other having a hint of the design, had taken Out the cannon, which with the garrison, vizt Capt Collett and his three servants, were now aboard the Cruiser. However they did burn this mighty place of strength, together with the houses belonging to it; but not stopping there, they wantonly destroyed the corn and burnt the houses of several planters, who had at times been useful to those aboard the frigate. This we were informed of by a Gentleman who was making his escape from the country, and called on us in his way.:: He further informed us, that he and the other Gentlemen who had armed and formed themselves into two companies for the defence of the town, had been ordered out on this duty of burning the fort, but that they having all refused, were now ordered to stand trial for mutiny and desertion, but had refused to submit. This, he said, was all done in consequence of a letter received from the grand congress, in which they were accused of having done nothing to show the side they had espoused. I therefore make no doubt every step will be taken to show (at least) their zeal by the abuse of their fellow-subjects. But as every body is getting off as fast as possible, they will not have many objects to vent their fury on.

.Nir Neilson was so ill that he was again forced to come ashore for a few days to recover a little. He has no place to sleep in aboard, but lies on the quarter-deck in his hammock, as do many more Gentlemen, as it is quite crouded. He left us this day. Mr Rutherfurd sometimes comes down, but seldom, nor stays above a day or two, which is very prudent every way. His daughter has not been well to day, and been forced to keep her bed. I fear she is in for the fever and ague. She is now asleep, and tho' it is struck one, I will watch by her till she waken, as I am not a little anxious about her. Farewell, I go to my charge.

Never was any thing more fortunate than poor Neilson's leaving this [place] yesterday, had he remained, I have reason to believe his sorrow and anxieties would by this [time] have been over, a circumstance of much less consequence to himself than his friends, in which number I must ever rank myself, or be a most ungrateful wretch, as he has been to me as a brother, ever since we became acquainted. Judge then what I must have suffered to have seen a man of so much worth murdered before my eyes for doing his duty to his King, his country, and if any thing can be above these sacred names, his friend. I wrote you in a former packet that some Scotch Gentlemen had come down from the back settlements with offers to the Govr of raising a considerable number of men, provided the Govr could obtain for their use, arms and ammunition, and that he would give such commissions as empowered them to act in it with safety. This last part was immediately agreed to, and as to the first, he sent off an express to the commander in chief, and makes no doubt the request will be complied with, and with these assurances the Gentlemen returned to their friends.

The commissions were prepared as fast as possible, also a copy of the King's Proclamation with an additional one from the Govr, offering pardon to whoever would return, and reward to whoever joined the Royal party. These finished, an English groom, who was the same that had escaped the tar and feather, and who was a most expert rider, was mounted on a fine English hunter, the commissions put into the travelling bags before him, under cover of his own linens, and fixed to the crupper; in a leather case were the two proclamations. He had made out two days journey very safely, when on the third he happened to pass by a house where a set of officers and committee-men were baiting their horses, as they were so far on the way to Hillsburgh, where they make their paper-money for the use of the army. The beauty of the English mare took their fancy, and discovering who the fellow was, were resolved to become masters of her. But he no sooner observed he was pursued, than he quitted the road and struck into the woods, where trusting to the superior swiftness of his mare, he put her full speed, and in a few moments would have left his pursuers far behind, but, alas, he was not on New Market course. A tree struck her or rather she a tree so violent a blow, that she fell to the ground, and threw her unfortunate rider with the bags, and before he could get hold of the bridle, scampered off most unluckily, carrying with her the two proclamations, which were fixed to the saddle. The fellow however had the presence of mind to bury the commissions in the sand, then running to a distant part of the wood, he let the bags lie on the ground, as if thrown by the mare, and laid himself down as half killed by the fall.

He was now questioned and threatened, but would give no further account of his business, than that he was on his way to quit the country and begged them to let him go; and it is probable they might have agreed, had not some of the party gone in search of the booty, which they caught and found on her this dreadful treasonable paper. There was now no denying, so the poor wretch lost all courage, and begged they would not punish a poor servant that was forced to obey his master. He fell on his knees before his inexorable judges and executioners, for such they would have been had they not hoped to force more from him, or at least pretend they had. Togive a face to their proceedings, he was now brought to Wilmingtown, and the proclamation taken to the Committee, where it was read, and such was the indignation it raised in the members, that they burnt it with their own hands, publishing another for themselves; in which they set forth the bloody design forming against them by Britain and Governor Martin. As to the prisoner, he was suffered to escape; as a further inquiry might have cleared up those points they had a mind to hide from the multitude under very false colours. Besides they had got the Mare, which was a main Article.

The fellow came here in his retreat, where he is taken care of, and gave me the above particulars. But he was Neilson's servant; the mare was also his property, and to crown all, the Governor's proclamation was found to be his hand writing. On this about a dozen of the greatest brutes they had, with two or three of the most worthless of the scoundrels received a commission to go to Point Pleasant and search for the person of Archd Neilson, with full authority to put the law in execution in what way they saw proper. By this time they were all drunk, and set out about twelve at night on this humane expedition. Fortunately however they were such a set, as were not in use to visit at this house, so were strangers to the way, after they quitted the great road, and rambled down on other parts of the wood, which brought them on the plantation of a Gentleman, who tho' engaged in their own party was by no means easy at these Midnight Visitors. They however explained the mistake sufficiently to convince him, that they were very improper people to pay a visit, where they were likely to behave in no very delicate manner. He therefore readily gave them the drink they demanded of him, and they were soon in no condition to leave his house, and therefore transferred their commission to him, which he faithfully promised to execute before morning, and accordingly I was beckened Out, Miss Rutherfurd being still asleep, and found a Gentleman he had despatched, as soon as he could, to give us information, and to carry Neilson, if there, to the committee with him; who as they would by this time be come a little to themselves, would not hurry his fate. He expressed great pleasure however at hearing he was gone, for the truth of which he took my word, without further search, assuring me honestly, that had these people got him, he had never got out of their hands alive, so enraged were they at his conduct. Coffee was brought in, and during breakfast, he frankly confessed, they had got some news that had not been agree- able, which had been transferred [transpired, sic] by the arrival of a ship from Boston. This was a battle having happened on a place called Bunkershill, where some of the lines had been forced by the English. He believed however they had suffered more than the Americans. I am glad however to find that we had any advantage, tho' not a little uneasy to hear more Particulars.

Miss Rutherfurd is now quite well; an emetick, which was far too strong, has however removed every symptom for the present. I shall not be easy till I go to town to inquire the particulars of this battle, which before this you are perfectly acquainted with. I have now been in town, which is intirely deserted by the Tories, some of whom are out in the country, and others gone Out of the way, till this hurry of passion be a little settled. I have seen a newspaper published by the committee's order, where the whole story of the battle is denied, tho' it is said that the Americans had made an attack on us and killed many of our officers, amongst others they mentioned Major Pitcairn. I hope it is not the Pitcairn that was married to a Miss Dalrymple, as I know many of her relations. But tho' 'tis all false together, I hope the pub- usher will be hanged, for they have vexed me, tho' I do not believe them.

Aboard the Cruizer, his Majesty's Frigate of war.

Rejoice with me, my friends, to find me safe this length. You suppose I have fled from the tar-pot. In truth I am not sure what might have happened, had I stayed much longer, for the ill humour was come to a very great height.

Our coming here, for we are all here, is the most extraordinary thing that has yet happened, and was so sudden and surprising, that I am not yet sure, if I am awake or in a dream. But I hope it is no dream that I have found here a large packet from you, which I sincerely thank God did not fall into the hands of the Committee, as your last did, and I am most happy to find that I am obeying you by leaving this unhappy country.

Before I begin to fill up the blanks in my Journal, which is no less than a whole month, suffer me to take one look back to the unhappy people I have left, and on whose conduct I can now calmly reflect, tho' on reflection it appears still more extraordinary. We have often met this sort of madness in individuals, who, surrounded with Prosperity, have yet resolutely determined to be wretched. Poor Lady was a strong instance of this; who never would believe she was happy, till misery forced her to know the state she had forfeited. Many indeed are the instances of that ingratitude to divine providence in single persons, but that a whole empire should be seized by such a delirium, is most amazing. Yet I take the view too wide, it is not a whole empire, but some self-interested wretches, who are endeavouring to ruin this royal first-rate [vessel] on purpose to steal from the wreck materials to build themselves boats with. But farewell unhappy land, for which my heart bleeds in pity. Little does it signify to you, who are the conquered or who the victorious; you are devoted to ruin, whoever succeeds. Many years will not make up [for] these few last months of depredation, and yet no enemy has landed on their coast. Themselves have ruined themselves; but let me not indulge this melancholy. I at present require all my spirit to carry mc thro' many difficulties.

I shall therefore without preface begin an account of how I am so unexpectedly here, for so it was even to me, however much I wished it. As I write much at my ease, and am in no dread of having my letters seen, I would probably tire you with my own reflections; but there is a ship just ready to sail, in which we endeavoured to have taken our passage, but it is crouded beyond any thing that ever was seen with people flying from this land of nominal freedom and real slavery. There is however a fine Vessel just, come in, which we have secured, but she will not be able to sail for some time, as she has obtained leave to land the Emigrants. They are all out of her however, and we have got her, and will sleep in her every Night, tho' we stay all day aboard the frigat, where we meet the utmost friendship and kindness. My brother and Mr Rutherfurd are both with us, and our ship affords them all accommodations. I shall write as much as I can, as this packet will go by the other vessel, and I am certain will find its way safe to you. It shall be addressed to the custom house.

About a fortnight ago, the GovT issued out an order for the members of the assembly to meet him onboard the frigat. Mr Rutherfurd was then in a fit of the gout, vet went without a shoe to obey the summons, and was indeed the only member that made his appearance. This he thought his duty, tho' he made no doubt of the consequence that would attend it. On his return he was ordered by the Committee to give up his seat in the assembly [Council], and also to resign into their hands his commission as Receiver general of the quit-rents, and hold that office in future of the Congress. As he was resolved to do neither, he became very anxious in regard to his children, whom he feared he would not long be able to protect. My brother too had the same cause to wish me away safely. They had appointed him from the first Quarter Master general with a Colonel's rank. He had put off giving any positive answer, till now that they were form- ing camps, where his duty was necessary, and he was commanded to attend. His plan is to send Mrs Schaw and her children amongst her friends and get out of the way himself. But this was not .I to secure me. Mr Rutherfurd and he therefore agreed to our going down to the Sound, and waiting the first opportunity either to the West Indies, Britain or indeed any place of peace and safety. Of this we were not told, till the very night before it was to be put in execution, for had we been making the least preparations, I would have been forced to find bail for £5oo, for the expence of the war, which my brother wished to avoid. As to Fanny and her brothers, they left sufficient behind them. My brother applied to the Committee for himself and some company to go in his boat on a fishing party to the Sound, which was agreed to, so in it we set off and went down in this boat and two canoes, above fifty miles on a river, as broad, for part of the way, as the Queensferry. It was very rough and the wind so high, as to toss us about at a sad rate, and I do own, that at that moment I felt my spirits ready to forsake me entirely; but no sooner found myself amongst friends and in a snug birth, than they returned, and I hope will not again play truant. Poor Fanny however feels severely at again leaving her father. As to the young rogues, they are perfectly happy. My heart suffers a severe pang in parting with my poor brother Bob. Our acquaintance has been but short, but I sincerely love him, and the situation I leave him in adds greatly to my concern.

We have had a terrible work to get some hard money. We durst not try for it in town. We had indeed several hundred pounds of paper, but that could serve for no more use, than as so much brown paper, nor durst the folks aboard the frigate part with any that they had got, as they expected daily to sail, when our paper would be of no use to them. To our great joy we find Mr Neilson is to bear us company, and he got a message privately sent up to town, and several of our friends have come on board and brought us as many dollars and Joes, as have filled my dressing box, of which I am made keeper. At our own request the George, which is the name of our vessell goes by Portugal. I have promised Mrs Paisley a visit ever since she was married, and this is a fine opportunity. But Cap, Deans calls for this. Adieu, shall I really see you and dear Scotland once more? My head turns giddy at the thought. I am ready to faint. Oh my God! 'tis a sort of feeling I have long been a stranger to.

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