Memoirs of a Huguenot Family/Journal of John Fontaine
JOURNAL OF JOHN FONTAINE.
The Journal commences on the 16th September, 1710, when he obtained an ensign's commission in Lord Shaw's regiment of foot. He was rather young to enter the service, only seventeen years old.
On the 1st February, 1710-11, the troops embarked at Cork, and put to sea immediately. The weather was very stormy, and one of the transports foundered at sea, having on board three companies under Colonel Chester. That on board of which John Fontaine was a passenger, arrived in safety at Plymouth on the 11th February. On the 26th March, the troops sailed for Spain, and encountered bad weather again, which caused them to put into Torbay. They anchored off Lisbon on the 22d April, and reached Barcelona on the last of May. There the troops were thinned by disease and violence. John observes: "There may be good laws in this try; but if there be, it is certain they do not put them in execution. And what is to be admired amongst these bigoted people is, that they do not punish murderers, but will rather protect them. If any man is murdered, it is commonly near a church; the murderer runs there at once, and then it is sacrilege to lay hands on him. He is protected from the law and the party offended, and also maintained, and furnished with a friar's habit, the better to hide his villainy; and passports are provided from convent to convent, until he is in a safe place."
"The country," he says, "seems to be very fruitful, but there are not people to cultivate the lands. All along the sea-shore, where there is the best land, places are not settled, because the Moors very often make descents, and carry away with them all they can get; and they make slaves of the people which they catch."
John appears to have been a very observing young traveller, his journal containing minute descriptions of what he saw in Barcelona, Terragona, Majorca, and Minorca, which I have not thought it worth while to give in this volume.
"The latter end of November, 1712, we had orders to embark; and as we were leaving Barcelona, the poor Spaniards, seeing they were left in the lurch, they called us traitors, and all the most vile names they could invent; and the common people threw stones at us, saying we had betrayed them into the hands of King Philip. It was with a great deal of difficulty we embarked."
The troops remained some time in the islands of Majorca and Minorca, and returned to England in the year 1713, without ever having had any engagement with the enemy. John went from Bristol to London by the stage-coach, which at that time occupied three days. He spent a short time with his relations, the Arnaulds, in London, and then set out for Ireland. He bought a horse, which carried him to Chester in five days; and from there to Holyhead in three days; and he crossed the Channel to Dublin in two days.
He spent some months at home, during which he employed himself in studying navigation, preparatory to a voyage across the Atlantic, which he contemplated making, in order to purchase land in some part of North America, to which it would be suitable for the family to emigrate. He was entirely at leisure after his return from Spain, and was therefore glad to make his taste for travelling subservient to the plans for the future good of his brothers and sisters.
He proceeded to Cork to take passage for Virginia, and after waiting from the 13th November to 3d December, 1714, the ship Dove, of Biddeford, made her appearance in the harbor, and he engaged passage on board of her for himself and four servants, for which he paid £25 sterling. He took out a few goods as an adventure, and amongst them some Bibles, Prayer-Books, and writing-paper, for account of Mr. Binauld, a French Refugee, who had a printing establishment in Dublin.
A Journal of our intended voyage, by God's assistance, in the Dove, of Biddeford, Captain John Shapley, commander.
7th Dec. 1714—We embarked, and on the 10th the wind proving fair, we set sail for the Virginias, with God's blessing.
For the first week they had fair winds, and made respectable progress. Poor John was sea-sick for several days.
16th Dec.—Wind N.E., not very hard. We sailed five or six knots the hour. We see many sea-hogs. We had no right observation. The method of taking an observation at sea:— You see first as high as you can the latitude you think yourself in: then you fix your veins; and then look for the horizon. You must observe that if the shade of the sun comes to the upper part of the slit of the horizon vein, and that the sun is at his full height, and that you see your horizon through the slit of the horizon vein, then you are assured of a good observation. You must begin to look before the sun is at his full height, that you may see him at the highest, and you must continue till you find him declining; and when you find the sun declining, you must leave off observing. Then take off the degrees of the quadrant, and look in the table for the sun's declination, which you must subtract from your latitude by observation, and the remainder will be the latitude of the place you are in. Now as the sun is going from us, we subtract, but when he comes to us, we must add.
20th Dec.—Wind S.W., very stormy; and not being able to bear sail, we lowered our fore-sail and put a reef in our mainsail, and so lay under our mizzen, driving to the north-east all night. The weather thick, and in the morning rainy, which assuaged somewhat the winds; but the greatness of the sea made us to continue under our mizzen-sail. We shipped some water, and see thousands of sea-hogs. We lay to the westward of the Azores, where, commonly, there is bad weather.
25th, Christmas.—Wind W. by N., very stormy and rainy. Not able to carry any sail, so we lay by under our mizzen. A mighty sea. Remained so all day and night, and made but an ordinary Christmas. Peas as hard as shot for breakfast. Two fowls killed by the bad weather. for dinner, and stirabout for supper. In good health, God be praised.
26th, Sunday.—Wind W. by N. At 5 in the morning, not quite so stormy, but a great sea and much rain. We set our main-sail and fore-sail, and steered S. by E. at the rate of three knots per hour. Provisions scant, all our fowls dead.
27th.—Winds from N. W. to W. by S., very varying, rainy, cloudy, dismal and stormy, the sea great and raging, and we not able to carry any sail.
28th.—The wind at S. W., very stormy. We endeavored to scud before the wind, but the ship would not steer, so we were forced to bring to under our mizzen, driving at the mercy of the sea. The sea was extraordinary great. At the rising of the moon, a star rose close after and followed the moon, which the sailors said was a great sign of a tempest, and upon the like occasions that it commonly happens.
29th.—The wind rose and blew very hard in the morning, and increased continually till it blew a tempest. About 10 at night, we were obliged to take in our mizzen and lay under bare poles, and about two hours and a half after the wind blew so terribly in the rigging that it clapt one side of the ship under water, and the sea-water came in from the steerage door in such abundance, that had it continued long it would have filled the ship. The sailors were for cutting away the mainmast, but two went up and cut away the main-top-mast, and then the ship righted. The main-top-mast fell overboard, but all the ropes not being cut, the sea drove the mast with such violence against the side of the ship that we were afraid it would stave her through; but at last we got clear, and cut all the ropes which held, and were in hopes that we should receive no further damage, but that was not God's pleasure. Half an hour after one, the wind blowing most dreadfully, and the night dark as it possibly could be the sea looked like a fire, and foamed upon our deck ready to tear us in pieces. One wave came on board which tore away our bowsprit close to the foot of the fore-mast, and the shock was so terrible that we thought the ship was stove in pieces. What a terrible cry the people gave, expecting to go down every minute; but it was God's will that nothing was broke but the bowsprit, which was striking, at every sea, violently against the ship's head. Two of our best sailors went up the fore-mast, to cut away the fore top-mast and the ropes that held the bowsprit. In the mean time we shipped another sea, which carried away the fore-mast, close by the board, and one of the men that was in the round top was carried with it into the sea; the other man had his body bruised between the mast and the side of the ship, but not unto death, God be praised. He that fell in the sea, a rope had him by the leg, so that he fell into the sea, but got no farther hurt than that the rope hurt his leg. He got in safe, but had drank so much salt water, and worked himself so, that he was not able to stir. By the time these two were well in the steerage, another comes in that had almost cut off his left hand, as he was cutting the ropes to let the masts go clear. These three men were disabled, the best men that we had. What can be imagined more terrible than to see the head of the ship all under water, and the sea foaming amongst us upon the deck, and the men that remained almost disheartened, and those poor men that were disabled, grieving that they could not help themselves, and encouraging the rest to disengage the ship from the foremast and bowsprit, which were a thumping the ship to that degree, that we expected every minute the masts would come through. We were encompassed with death and horror within and without, and it would make the most brave to submit himself. What could we think, to see so many misfortunes, one after the other, but that it was God's pleasure we should perish, and be destroyed for our wickedness. But when we called upon him for relief, he helped us, and at last we got quit of our fore-mast and bowsprit without any damage to the sides of the ship.
How the Lord doth show us, that it is not by the arm of flesh we are preserved from the raging and terrible sea, but by his almighty hand and powerful outstretched arm. Lord, we see that it is in thee alone we must trust, and have all hopes of relief from thee, and thou showest us this day, as our lives are witness of, that it is not in vain to humble ourselves before thee, and call upon our God and Saviour in the time of distress. Help us, therefore, God, to perform what we have promised unto thee in our great distress. Thou hast granted unto us our lives, O strengthen us by thy grace to employ the remaining part to thy honor and praise, never forgetting how sweet thy help is, when no other can help. O Lord, it is not only on this occasion that thou hast been pleased to preserve my life to me in imminent danger, but several times; therefore, let me never forget these thy blessings. Make me to be thankful to thee, and help me to perform thy commandments to the uttermost of my power, until the end of my days. Amen.
30th.—We lay under our mizzen all the day like a log of wood, and suffered much by the greatness of the winds and sea, being most always under water. We comforted ourselves, seeing that through God's infinite mercy he had preserved us until now. The wind was at N. W. very showery and full of hail. 31st.—We lay a hull, with our mizzen-sail out. We shipped several seas, and were almost continually under water. The wind, God be praised, had somewhat fallen, as also the sea, but not being in a capacity for proceeding on the voyage to Virginia, for want of masts and sails,—we were then 400 leagues to the westward of Cape Clear in Ireland,—about twelve of the clock, we all consulted what was best and most proper, to continue on to Virginia, or to return to Europe, All the sailors with one consent, gave their voice to set sail for England or some part of Europe, lest by continuing on the voyage to Virginia, either for want of provisions or rigging, we should perish. The wind being at W. by N., we set our main-sail, and mizzen-sail before for a stay-sail, and steered our course for England, W. by S., but made little way. We were, by our reckoning, in the lat. 42° 20′, and were further westward than the Island of Flores, which is the most western island of the Azores.
We are setting our ship in as good order as we can, but she is miserably shattered. We hope God will continue the wind fair for Europe.
1714-15, 1st January.—The wind at S. W. by S., something calmer, but the sea running very high. We lay by under our main-sail, but rolled miserably for want of masts and sails. We received several very dangerous seas that night, which we feared would founder us, but God was pleased to preserve us from all these threatening dangers. We made of our main-sail, a sprit-sail to make the ship steer; we also took down our mizzen top-mast, and fastened our main-mast, as well as we could, with our running tackle; and we are preparing sails, and contriving some posture to put the ship in, waiting for fair weather, when God will be pleased to send it. We are almost wasted by the violent motion of the ship, being without masts; but we still trust in Thee, God, and wait patiently for our deliverance by thy Almighty hand. Stretch forth thine arm to us O Lord, and bear us up in this our distress, lest we sink and fall under the weight of our sins. Suffer us not to repine against thee in our trouble, but let us confess that we merit to be afflicted. Thou hast, Lord, given for us thy only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: to his merits we fly, and through him we hope for salvation. Do thou pardon us, Lord, and accept of these our imperfect prayers, and if thou seest fit to take us to thyself, do thou also cleanse us, that we may be worthy of appearing before thee. All these thoughts come now before us, because we see death as if it were playing before our eyes, waiting for the sentence of Almighty God to destroy us. Nothing makes this sight so terrible as our sins, and it is our weakness and ignorance that makes us think more of death now than when we are at our own homes, and in our accounted places of security. If we rightly considered, we should think ourselves safer here than if we were in prosperity at home, for it is the devil's greatest cunning to put in our hearts that we are in a safe place, that we have long to live, and that a final repentance will be sufficient for our salvation. God, give us grace that while we live, we may live unto thee, and have, death always before our eyes, which most certainly will not cheat us, but come at last and take us out of this troublesome life, and if we are prepared for it, then we shall have our recompense for past watchfulness; therefore, let us cast off this world, so far as it may be prejudicial to our everlasting inheritance, and seek after thy laws, expecting mercy through the merits of our blessed Saviour and Redeemer. Amen. 2d Jan.—Wind S. by W. A fresh gale. By our observation, we found ourselves to be in the lat. 43° 00″; and that by our reckoning, we were 338 leagues to the westward of the Old Head of Kinsale.
All the mariners came to the master, and told him that if they proceeded on the voyage to Virginia, they were sure to perish by the way, and told him that they would not proceed but would return to Europe. The master would not consent to it without they made a protest against the ship, that she was not able to go to Virginia. I wrote the protest, they signed it, and we set our sails, and our course N. N. E. The wind being fair, and blowing fresh, we went at the rate of four knots per hour. About two of the clock in the morning we shipped two seas that we thought would have foundered the ship; but, God be praised, we received no great damage. All our men are recovering of their wounds and bruises. I am, God be praised, in health. By the log we have made this last twenty-four hours 40 miles of our way homewards.
3d.—Wind hard at S. W., a great swell; we steered our course N. E., and this twenty-four hours we made 58 miles. No observation. We shipped several seas, but not dangerous. The weather looks as if it would clear up. We saw some birds we call marline-spikes, mars, and rake-bats. We esteem ourselves by our dead reckoning to be in the lat. 45° 30″.
4th. Jan.—Wind S. by W., tolerable. We steered our course E. N. E. by N. This twenty-four hours we made 46 miles. No observation. We took out our mizzen-mast, and will put it in for a fore-mast as soon as the weather will permit. We are always wet upon deck, and the ship rolls most terribly. We reckon ourselves to be in the lat. 46° 00″.
5th.—Wind S. by W., blowing so hard that we could carry no sail. We got a spare main-yard, which we put up for a mizzen-mast. We roll enough to tear the ship to pieces. The weather dark and hazy, always wet upon the deck as in the sea. No observation.
6th Jan.—Wind S. by E., stormy. We lay under a skirt of our main-sail, and so drove as the wind and sea carried us. The ship rolls enough to distract one, and is always shipping water. Give us grace, Lord, to amend our lives by these warnings.
7th Jan.—Wind S. by E., stormy. A great sea, and we laying under a reefed main-sail. We shipped several seas. One carried away our main-tack, another came part in the steerage. We were forced to reef our main-sail, not able to bear any, the wind so stormy. We had but an indifferent observation, and think ourselves to be in lat. 49° 30", and reckon ourselves to be 258 leagues to the westward of the Land's End. In a miserable condition for want of rigging.
8th Jan.—Wind S. by E., tempestuous. A terrible sea. About six of the clock in the morning, we were struck with a violent sea in the quarter and waist of the ship, and we all felt assured we should perish. We received several other seas, but not so terrible. No observation this day.
O God, be pleased to sustain us, for we are brought to nothing. Turn thy face towards us, look upon our afflictions, and take pity upon us, most miserable sinners.
9th Jan.—Wind S. by W. No observation. Weather thick, wind abated. We lay under our main-sail. The sea doth not break over us as it did, but there is still a great swell. We are in the lat. 50° 00″, and west from the Land's End 260 leagues.
10th Jan. — The wind S. W. by S., the weather fair and the sea somewhat assuaged. We have an observation, and find ourselves to be in the lat. 51° 2″, and by our reckoning distant west from the Land's End 220 leagues.
11th Jan.—Wind S. W. by S., very hard, and the sea runs high. We esteem ourselves to be in lat. 51° 50″. Cold.
12th Jan.—The wind about ten at night came from the S. to W. by S., somewhat fair. We set our main-sail, and made our course E. by S. until about nine of the clock in the morning. Then the wind blew so hard that we were able to carry no sail. It came to a storm. We shipped two seas, but received no damage. No observation, but reckon ourselves to be in lat. 51° 30″ West of the Land's End in England 200 leagues.
13th Jan.—Wind W. N. W., abated, and about five of the clock this morning we set our reefed main-sail. We sailed about three knots per hour, and esteem ourselves to be in the lat. 51° 10″, and distant from the Land's End 175 leagues. About twelve of the clock in the night we shipped a sea that broke our waist board, and afterwards another struck us in the stern, but did us no great damage. We are securing our bit of a fore-mast. Hazy and cold weather.
14th Jan.—Wind W. by S., and almost calm. Our course steered S. E. We made between two and three knots per hour. We had a good observation, and found ourselves in lat. 51° 00″ distant from the Land's End of England 160 leagues. The weather clears up, and the swell of the sea is something abated. Our ship is as well rigged as we can afford.
15th Jan.—Wind at S. by E., very hard, so that we can carry no sail. It so continued for about nine hours, afterwards it cleared up, and was more moderate, so we set our sails and steered our course W. by N.; went at the rate of three knots per hour. Thick weather, no observation, but esteem ourselves to be in lat. 51° 00″.
16th Jan.—The wind came about S. by E. to N. After several heavy showers of rain, we set our sails at about three in the morning, and made three knots and a half per hour. The wind moderate, but the weather thick, so that we had no good observation. We esteem ourselves to be in lat. 51° 00″, and west from Land's End 160 leagues. "We saw a wild duck, which attempted several times to come on board, but at last fell into the sea by our side.
17th Jan.—The wind at N. W., a hard gale, but still we carried our main-sail, and steered our course S. E., and went by our log at the rate of five knots per hour. We had no observation, but by our reckoning we esteem ourselves to be in lat. 50° 50″, and distant from the Land's End 120 leagues.
By this day we may see that thy mercies are soon forgotten. Now that our miserable companions think they are out of danger, they forget all thy mercies to them, and bemoan their losses, repining against thy Providence for afflicting them. Lord, give us grace to consider, that notwithstanding the wind doth not at this time blow hard nor the sea rage, yet we are still in thy hands, and we have deserved more afflictions than we have suffered.
18th Jan.—Wind W. by S. We steered our course S. E. by E,, and went at the rate of four knots per hour, but not able to carry sail, being under our poles. Weather hazy.
19th Jan.—Wind W. by S., a good gale. Steered our course E. by S. We had an observation, and found ourselves to be in lat. 50° 24″, and westward from the Land's End of, England 60 leagues. Continue, Lord, thy favors to us. Let thy Almighty hand be with us to conduct us to a place of safety.
20th Jan.—Wind S. by W. and S. W.; blew very hard. We lay under our mainsail. About seven of the clock, the wind fell and we set our sails.
21st Jan.—Wind at W. by S.; a fair gale. About six in the afternoon we hove the lead, and found ground at sixty fathoms. The first the lead brought up was fine gray sand; sounded again, and found gray sand mixed with shells, something reddish, and blue stones. About ten of the clock in the morning we saw a brigantine on our starboard quarter that bore N. N. E. of us. We made signals of distress to her, but she would not come to us, so we did not speak to her. At eleven we met with a sloop belonging to Cork, and spoke with her. She told us that Scilly bore from us 14 leagues E.; but at twelve we had an observation, and found ourselves to be in the lat. 60°41″; and by our reckoning Scilly bears of us about ten leagues E. by N. We steered our course E. Northerly, and ran at the rate of three and a half knots per hour.
22d.—Wind S. W. We ran at the rate of four knots per hour. At two of the clock we saw the Island of Lundy, and, at one, it bore of us E. Northerly; at three we were up with the south end of the island, and the pilots came on board; and at twelve at night we cast anchor in Clove Alley Road.
23d.—Weighed anchor at Clove Alley, and came over the bar of Biddeford. Though the weather was calm there was a great swell on the bar. We came over at three quarters flood, and in the shoalest place we found three fathoms water. I remained on board that night, and unbaled all Mr. Binauld's goods and distributed them amongst the sailors. I wrote to my father and to Mr. Arnauld, and sent the letter to the post by the master of the ship. I lay on board that night, not well, but God be praised, delivered from the dangers of the sea. "We cast anchor before Appledore, a handsome village.
24th.—In the morning I went ashore, where I met with the son of Mr. Smith. I immediately hired a horse, and went to Biddeford, where I met with Mr. Smith, the owner of the ship. I spoke to him about the Bibles and paper, and inquired what he intended to do about the ship. He promised me he would make her ready as soon as possible, and send her immediately to Virginia. I went and took up my lodging at the post-house, at the rate of seven shillings per week, for diet and all. I was much out of order, so I went to bed immediately, and slept heartily. * * * * *
The repairs of the vessel were completed in about a month, and on the 28th February, she sailed a second time for Virginia with the same crew; the sailors, after all their hardships and dangers, consented to go again, relinquishing all claim for wages for the three months spent at sea, and in undergoing repairs.
We have the entire journal of the voyage, but nothing remarkable occurred upon it. On the 11th April they fell in with two ships, of which the following mention is made: "We see two ships, both under Turkish colors, which bore of us W. by N. When within a league of us, one of them fired a gun, and when within a mile, the other fired; they made us bring to, then they hoisted out their boats and came on board of us, and would have bought any thing of us, but the master was afraid to trade with them. We found that they were Spaniards come from the river De la Plata; they were laden with plate, furs and skins. They had been three years out of Cadiz, in Spain, and were now bound home. We told them the first news of the peace, which rejoiced them. They were very civil, and paid well for what little things they had of us. Each galleon was about five hundred tons, and had forty guns a piece mounted, and full of men. Their reckoning and ours agreed very well together." * * * * * *
26th May, 1715.—About nine of the clock in the morning we saw the land, about twelve we were up with Cape Henry. I saw a ship bound for London, and sent a word by them to my father to say I was well.
27th.—We continued, wind being fair, and before night we passed over the horse-shoe, and by two in the morning we came by the wolf-trap, and about ten we entered the mouth of Potomac river, which is made by Virginia on the west side, and Maryland on the east side. The rivers here are the finest I ever was in; all the borders are covered with noble trees.
I have not been on shore as yet, but the planters, who have been on board, inform me that there is not much tobacco in the country this year.
28th.—In the morning, about ten of the clock, I landed in Virginia, and walked about four miles to the Collector's, one Mr. MacCartney, where I stayed till night, and then got a permit to land my things, which cost me an English crown. I inquired if my men would do well there, but I found no encouragement.
A guinea passes for twenty-six shillings, and all foreign coin goes by weight. An ounce of silver passes for six shillings and threepence, and four pennyweights of gold for twenty shillings.
29th, Sunday.—About 8 of the clock we came ashore, and went to church, which is about four miles from the place where we landed. The day was very hot, and the roads very dusty. We got to church a little late, but had part of the sermon. The people seemed to me pale and yellow. After the minister had made an end, every one of the men pulled out his pipe, and smoked a pipe of tobacco. I informed myself more about my own business, and found that Williamsburg was the only place for my design.
I was invited to dinner by one Mrs. Hughes, who lent me a horse, and the master of the ship another, and we went to her house, and dined there, and returned to the ship after dinner.
30th.—In the morning I went to one Captain Eskridge and bargained with him for a shallop to go to Williamsburg. I am to give him five pounds for the hire of her, and to maintain my people. I went with the sloop to the Dove, and loaded my goods, and made all things ready for this second voyage. I lay on board the ship, where we had several planters who got drunk that night.
3lst.—This morning Captain Eskridge came on board our ship, and he agreed to receive his five pounds in goods, at 50 per cent. I gave him
One piece of linen, 20 yards, at 3s 4d. . £3 6 8 Eight pair of shoes, at 4s. . 1 12 0 One pair of gloves. . 0 1 4 £5 0 0
And so we left the ship, and went that day as far as a place called Cove, and here we remained the night, and had a gust, but it did no damage. 1st June.—Wind N. W. We set our sails, and came within three miles of Wicomico, and the wind fell calm.
2d.—Wind contrary and calm. "We went a fowling, and killed two fishing-hawks, and went to see some of the planters, who treated us well.
3d.—We set sail, and made shift to get as far as New Point Comfort, where we cast anchor. A gust of rain, which wet us through.
4th.—We set sail, and came as far as Yorktown, and we landed at Gloucester, supped there, and lay that night. This town is on one side of York River, and Yorktown on the other side, opposite to it.
5th.—We set sail in the morning, had a fresh gale—as much as we could do to carry sail. About 12 we came to Queen's Creek, and about 3 to the landing of Williamsburg. I left the men in the sloop, and went up to the town, which is about a mile from the landing-place.
6th.—In the morning I hired two carts, and brought my goods up to town, and agreed for a lodging for myself, for diet and all, for twenty-six shillings per month. I hired a shop and a house for my people, and writ to my father.
7th.—I waited upon Governor Spotswood, and he assured me of all he could do. He invited me to dine, which I accepted of.
I remained in Williamsburg until the 6th September, and made several acquaintances. I also met with an old brother officer, Mr. Irewin. He did me a great deal of service.
9th. November.—At eight of the clock in the morning, Mr. Clayton and I, we waited on Governor Spotswood, to tell him we were going to the Germantown, to know if he had any service there. We breakfasted with him, and at nine we mounted our horses, and set out from Williamsburg—the roads very good and level. About four of the clock we came to Mrs. Root's, 25 miles from Williamsburg, where we crossed York River to West Point. I reckon the river to be about one mile and a half over at this place. This river of York divides itself here, where we landed, into two rivers, the north branch called Mattapony River, and the south branch Pamunkey River. Both of these rivers are navigable for above forty miles from the place where they fork. At a quarter after five we mounted our horses, and rid about five miles farther, and came to one Mr. Austin Moor's house, upon Pamunkey River, where we were well entertained. We had good wine and victuals. We made this day in all, thirty-one miles and a half, the miles of the same length as those in England, and the roads good.
10th. Sunday.—King William County.—We remained here all this day. I went to see Mr. Moor's improvements in the marsh, where, by draining, he hath very good hay. We are very kindly received here. My horse is run away.
11th.—Not being in any hopes of finding my horse, I borrowed one of Mr. Moor. About nine of the clock we sent the horses over Mattapony River, in the boat, and at ten we took our leave of Mr. Moor and his wife, and went in a canoe, which is made of the body of a large tree that is about three feet in diameter, which they saw off about twenty feet long, and afterwards saw off a slab of it, and then dig it hollow. Six or eight men may go in one of these canoes. As we were going along the marsh, I saw the nest of a musk-rat This animal is about twice as big as a London rat, and the same color as a beaver. It lives both in the water and on the land. I went to his nest, which was made in the marsh, of reeds, and made about the bigness of a half hogshead. I pulled this building to pieces, and found that it was made two stories high, and four rooms in it—two of a floor—the rooms were in the form of a pair of spectacles, two underground, and two above.
We continued on to the other side of the river, which is King and Queen County. At eleven of the clock we mounted our horses, and went this day to Mr. Baylor's, where we put up, and were well entertained. He lives upon Mattapony River, and is one of the greatest dealers for tobacco in the country.
12th.—About seven of the clock we breakfasted; about nine, a servant of Mr. Moor's brought me my horse to Mr. Baylor's, and at eleven we took our leave, and continued on our way. The day very windy. We see by the side of the road an Indian cabin, which was built with posts put into the ground, the one by the other as close as they could stand, and about seven feet high, all of an equal length. It was built four-square, and a sort of a roof upon it, covered with the bark of trees. They say it keeps out the rain very well. The Indian women were all naked, only a girdle they had tied round the waist, and about a yard of blanketing put between their legs, and fastened one end. under the fore-part of the girdle, and the other behind. Their beds were mats made of bulrushes, upon which they lie, and have one blanket to cover them. All the household goods was a pot.
We continued on our road, and saw several squirrels, and were on horseback till ten of the clock at night, and then arrived at Mr. Robert Beverley's house, which they reckon from Mr. Baylor's thirty miles. The roads very good. Here we were well received. 13th.—It being blowy and showery weather we remained here. After breakfast we went to see Mr. Beverley's vineyard. This Beverley is the same that made the History of Virginia. When we were in his vineyard we saw the several sorts of vines which are natural, and grow here in the woods. This vineyard is situated upon the side of a hill, and consists of about three acres of land; he assures us that he made this year about four hundred gallons of wine. He hath been at great expenses about this improvement. He hath also caves and a wine press; but according to the method they use in Spain, he hath not the right method for it, nor his vineyard is not rightly managed. He hath several plants of French vines amongst them.
14th.—The weather was very bad, and rained hard. We were very kindly received. We diverted ourselves within doors, and drank very heartily of the wine of his own making, which was good; but I found by the taste of the wine, that he did not understand how to make it. This man lives well; but though rich, he has nothing in or about his house but what is necessary. He hath good beds in his house, but no curtains; and instead of cane chairs, he hath stools made of wood. He lives upon the product of his land.
15th.—Blowing weather. Mr. Beverley would not suffer us to go. He told me that the reason he had for making so large a vineyard was, that about four years ago he made a wager with the gentlemen of the country, who thought it impossible to bring a vineyard to any perfection. The following was the agreement: If he would give them one guinea then, in hand, they would give him ten, if, in seven years' time, he could cultivate a vineyard that would yield, at one vintage, seven hundred gallons of wine. Mr. Beverley gave a hundred guineas upon the above-mentioned terms, and I do not in the least doubt but the next year he will make the seven hundred gallons, and win the thousand guineas. We were very merry with the wine of his own making, and drank prosperity to the vineyard.
16th.— Mr. Beverley detained us, and we went out a hunting. We saw several deer, but could kill none. We shot some squirrels and partridges, and went round a great tract of land that belongs to him, and returned home. We passed the time away very agreeably, and so to bed.
17th, Sunday.—About ten of the clock, we mounted our horses, Mr. Beverley with us, and we went about seven miles to his Parish Church, where we had a good sermon from a Frenchman named Mr. De Latané, who is minister of this parish. After service, we returned to Mr. Beverley's house, and finished the day there.
18th.—Mr. Beverley's son hindered us from proceeding on our journey this day, by promising to set out with us the next morning; so we took our guns, and went a hunting. We killed some squirrels and partridges, but did no hurt to the wild turkeys nor deer, though we saw several. To-day we went to some of the planters' houses, and diverted ourselves for some time, and so returned to our friend's house, and passed away the evening merrily.
19th.—In the morning, about nine of the clock, we mounted our horses, and took our leave of Mr. Beverley. His son came along with us; it rained hard from eleven until twelve. About three we came to a place upon Rappahannoc River, called Taliaferro's Mount, from whence we had a feeble view of the Appalachian Mountains, and a fine view of the river, which is navigable for large ships, and has several fine islands in it. When we had satisfied our sight, we continued on our journey, and about six we arrived at one Mrs. Woodford's, who lives upon Rappahannoc River, in a very agreeable place. This day we made thirty miles. This place is ten miles below the Falls of Rappahannoc River, and forty miles from the German settlement, where we design to go. We saw upon the river abundance of geese, ducks, and water-pheasants. We were kindly entertained.
20th.—At seven in the morning, we took our leave of Mrs. Woodford. The gentlewoman gave us provisions with us, and we put on our way, and at the distance of about five miles we came upon a tract of three thousand acres of land, which is in the disposal of Mr. Beverley, which he told me, when I was at his house, he would sell me at the rate of £7 10 per hundred acres. I rode over part of the land, and found it to be well timbered and good. It fronts upon the river of Rappahannoc about half a mile, where vessels of a hundred tons, or sloops may come. Five miles above it, I saw a small river which runs through the heart of the land, which river they call Massaponax, and is fit to set mills on. I would have agreed for this tract of land, but that Mr. Beverley would not dispose of it as commonly land is disposed of, but would have the deeds made to me for nine hundred and ninety-nine years, which I would not consent to, but insisted on having it for me and my heirs for ever; so I did not buy the land of him.
We continued on our way until we came five miles above this land, and there we went to see the Falls of Rappahannoc River. The water runs with such violence over the rocks and large stones that are in the river, that it is almost impossible for boat or canoe to go up or down in safety. After we had satisfied our curiosity, we continued on the road. About five we crossed a bridge that was made by the Germans, and about six we arrived at the German settlement. We went immediately to the minister's house. We found nothing to eat, but lived on our small provisions, and lay upon good straw. We passed the night very indifferently.
21st.—Our beds not being very easy, as soon as it was day, we got up. It rained hard, but notwithstanding, we walked about the town, which is palisaded with stakes stuck in the ground, and laid close the one to the other, and of substance to bear out a musket-shot. There are but nine families, and they have nine houses, built all in a line; and before every house, about twenty feet distant from it, they have small sheds built for their hogs and hens, so that the hog-sties and houses make a street. The place that is paled in is a pentagon, very regularly laid out; and in the very centre there is a block-house, made with five sides, which answer to the five sides of the great in closure; there are loop-holes through it, from which you may see all the inside of the inclosure. This was intended for a retreat for the people, in case they were not able to defend the palisadoes, if attacked by the Indians.
They make use of this block-house for divine service. They go to prayers constantly once a day, and have two sermons on Sunday. We went to hear them perform their service, which was done in their own language, which we did not understand; but they seemed to be very devout, and sang the psalms very well.
This town or settlement lies upon Rappahannoc River, thirty miles above the Falls, and thirty miles from any inhabitants. The Germans live very miserably. We would tarry here some time, but for want of provisions we are obliged to go. We got from the minister a bit of smoked beef and cabbage, which were very ordinary and dirtily drest.
We made a collection between us three of about thirty shillings for the minister; and about twelve of the clock we took our leave, and set out to return; the weather hazy, and small rain. In less than three hours we saw nineteen deer. About six of the clock we arrived at Mr. Smith's house, which is almost upon the Falls of Rappahannoc River. We have made this day thirty miles. Mr. Smith was not at home, but his housekeeper entertained us well; we had a good turkey for dinner, and beds to lie on.
22d.—At seven in the morning we mounted our horses, and we met upon the road with two huntsmen; we went with them into the woods, and in half an hour they shot a buck and a doe and took them on their horses. So we left them, and continued on our road, and about four of the clock we arrived at one Mr. Buckner's house, upon Rappahannoc River, where we tarried the night. We had good punch, and were very merry.
23d.—At eight in the morning breakfasted, got our horses, and continued on our road. About eleven we met with Mr. Beverley, and went with him to see a piece of land he had to sell, containing five hundred acres. It lies upon Rappahannoc River, and fronts one mile on the river, and on one side of it there is a large creek navigable for sloops, and an old house upon the land, with one hundred acres of cleared land about it; the other four hundred acres have wood growing on it, but all the large timber is cut down. He asked £50 per hundred for it, which I thought too dear, and we could not agree. We saw several wild turkeys in our way, but had no arms with us. About seven o'clock at night we arrived at Mr. Beverley's house. We made, this day, about thirty-eight miles.
24th.—At eight in the morning, we got on horseback, and took our leave of Mr. Beverley and his son, who left us, and so we put on our journey till we came to Mr. Thomas Walker's house upon Mattapony River. Here we set up that night, and were well entertained, and made in all this day twenty-five miles.
25th.—My horse proving lame, I was obliged to leave him at Mr. Walker's. I hired a horse, and from thence we went to King and Queen Court House, where we dined and tarried till four in the afternoon, and were invited by Captain Story to his house. We went with him and tarried all night, and we had but indifferent entertainment.
26th.—In the morning we crossed York River ferry to the brick house. About one, we put up at Fourier's Ordinary, where we dined, and at two we set out from thence, and at five in the afternoon we arrived at Williamsburg.
This journey, going and coming from Williamsburg to the German settlement comes to 292 miles, besides ferriages, and cost me about £3 10.
Our Journalist appears to have remained quietly at Williamsburg until April, 1716, when he thus proceeds in his narration:
The Governor proposed a journey to his settlement, on Meherrin River, called Christanna.
April 1716, Williamsburg.—The first day, Governor Spotwood and I set out from Williamsburg about eight of the clock in the morning, and we went to Jamestown in a four-wheeled chaise. Jamestown is eight miles from Williamsburg, and situated close upon James River. This town consists chiefly in a Church, a Court House, and three or four brick houses, it was the former seat of the Government, but now it is removed to Middle Plantation, which they call Williamsburg. The place where this town is built is on an island, it was fortified with a small rampart with embrasures, but now all is gone to ruin.
Our horses were ferried over before us; we left the chaise at Jamestown, and about ten of the clock we were in the ferry boat, and crossed the river, which they reckon to be about two miles broad at this place. When we arrived at the other side of the river, we mounted our horses, and set out on the journey. It rained all this day very fast, and we were well wet. About two of the clock we put into a planter's house and dined upon our own provisions, and fed our horses; and about three, we mounted our horses, and came to a place called Simmons' Ferry, upon Nottoway River. There was a great fresh in the river, so that we were obliged to swim our horses over, and to pass over ourselves in a canoe; then we mounted our horses and put on till we came to one Mr. Hicks' plantation, upon one of the branches of Meherrin River, called Herring Creek. The man of the house was not at home, so we fared but indifferently. We made in all this day 65 miles.
April, the 2d day.—We set out with a guide for Christanna, for this house is the most outward settlement on this side of Virginia, which is the south side. We have no roads here to conduct us, nor inhabitants to direct the traveller. We met with several Indians, and about twelve we came to Meherrin River opposite to Christanna Fort. We saw this day several fine tracts of land, and plains called savannas, which lie along by the river side, much like unto our low meadow lands in England; there is neither tree nor shrub that grows upon these plains, nothing but good grass, which, for want of being mowed or eaten down by cattle, grows rank and coarse. These places are not miry, but good and firm ground; they are subject to inundation after great rains and when the rivers overflow, but there is seldom over six or eight inches of water, which might easily be prevented by ditching.
About half after twelve we crossed the river in a canoe, and went up to the Fort, which is built upon rising ground. It is an inclosure of five sides, made only with palisadoes, and instead of five bastions, there are five houses, which defend the one the other; each side is about one hundred yards long. There are five cannon, which were fired to welcome the Governor. There are twelve men here continually to keep the place. After all the ceremony was over, we came into the fort and were well entertained. The day proving wet and windy, we remained within doors, and employed ourselves in reading of Mr. Charles Griffin his observations on the benefit of a solitary life. We reckon that we made this day fifteen miles: in all, from Williamsburg, eighty miles.
The 3d day.—About nine in the morning we got up and breakfasted. Mr. Griffin, who is an Englishman, is employed by the government to teach the Indian children, and to bring them to Christianity. He remains in this place, and teaches them the English tongue, and to read the Bible and Common Prayers, as also to write. He hath been now a year amongst them, and hath had good success. He told the Governor that the Indian chiefs or great men, as they style themselves, were coming to the fort to compliment him. These Indians are called Saponey Indians, and are always at peace with the English: they consist of about two hundred persons, men, women, and children; they live within musket-shot of the fort, and are protected by the English from the insults of the other Indians, who are at difference with the English: they pay a tribute every year to renew and confirm the peace, and show their submission. This nation hath no king at present, but is governed by twelve of their old men, which have power to act for the whole nation, and they will all stand to every thing that these twelve men agree to, as their own act.
About twelve of the clock the twelve old men came to the fort, and brought with them several skins, and as soon as they came to the Governor, they laid them at his feet, and then all of them as one man made a bow to the Governor: they then desired an interpreter, saying they had something to represent to him, notwithstanding some of them could speak good English. It is a constant maxim amongst the Indians in general, that even if they can speak and understand English, yet when they treat of any thing that concerns their nation, they will not treat but in their own language, and that by an interpreter, and they will not answer any question made to them without it be in their own tongue.
The Governor got an interpreter, after which they stood silent for a while, and after they had spit several times upon the ground, one of them began to speak, and assured the Governor of the satisfaction they had of seeing him amongst them, and of the good-will they had towards the English. They said that some of the English had wronged them in some things, which they would make appear, and desired he would get justice done to them, that they depended upon him for it: which the Governor promised he would, and he thanked them for the good opinion they had of his justice towards them; whereupon they all made a bow, and so sat down on the ground all around the Governor.
The first complaint they made was against another nation of Indians called Genitoes, who had surprised a party of their young men that had been out a hunting, and murdered fifteen of them, without any reason. They desired of the Governor to assist them to go out to war with these Genito Indians, until they had killed as many of them; but this the Governor could not grant. He told them he would permit them to revenge themselves, and help them to powder and ball, at which they seemed somewhat rejoiced. They also complained against some of the English, who had cheated them. The Governor paid them in full for what they could make out that they were wronged of by the English, which satisfied them, and afterwards he made them farewell presents, and so dismissed them.
About three of the clock, came sixty of the young men with feathers in their hair and run through their ears, their faces painted with blue and vermilion, their hair cut in many forms, some on one side of the head, and some on both, and others on the upper part of the head, making it stand like a cock's-comb, and they had blue and red blankets wrapped about them. They dress themselves after this manner when they go to war the one with the other, so they call it their war-dress, and it really is very terrible, and makes them look like so many furies. These young men made no speeches, they only walked up and down, seeming to be very proud of their most abominable dress.
After this came the young women; they all have long straight black hair, which comes down to the waist; they had each of them a blanket tied round the waist, and hanging down about the legs like a petticoat. They have no shifts, and most of them nothing to cover them from the waist upwards; others of them there were that had two deer skins sewed together and thrown over their shoulders like a mantle. They all of them grease their bodies and heads with bear's oil, which, with the smoke of their cabins, gives them an ugly smell. They are very modest and very true to their husbands. They are straight and well limbed, good shape, and extraordinary good features, as well the men as the women. They look wild, and are mighty shy of an Englishman, and will not let you touch them. The men marry but one wife, and cannot marry any more until she die, or grow so old that she cannot bear any more children; then the man may take another wife, but is obliged to keep them both and maintain them. They take one another without ceremony.
The 4th day.—In the morning I rid out with the Governor and some of the people of the fort, to view the lands, which were not yet taken up. We saw several fine tracts of land, well watered, and good places to make mills on. I had a mind to take some of it up, so I asked the Governor if he would permit me to take up 3,000 acres, and he gave me his promise for it. I went through the land I designed to take up, and viewed it. It lies upon both sides of Meherrin River, and I design to have it in a long square, so that I shall have at least three miles of the river in the tract. I am informed that this river disgorgeth itself into the Sound of Currytuck. This river, though large and deep, is not navigable, because of the great rocks it falls over in some places. There is a great deal of fish in this place; we had two for dinner—about sixteen inches long—which were very good and firm.
I gave ten shillings to Captain Hicks for his trouble in showing me the land, and he promises that he will assist me in the surveying of it. We saw several turkeys and deer, But we killed none. We returned to the fort about five of the clock.
The 5th day.—After breakfast, I went down to the Saponey Indian town, which is about a musket-shot from the fort, I walked round to view it. It lieth in a plain by the riverside, the houses join all the one to the other, and altogether make a circle; the walls are large pieces of timber which are squared, and being sharpened at the lower end, are put down two feet in the ground, and stand about seven feet above the ground. These posts are laid as close as possible the one to the other, and when they are all fixed after this manner, they make a roof with rafters, and cover the house with oak or hickory bark, which they strip off in great flakes, and lay it so closely that no rain can come in. Some Indian houses are covered in a circular manner, which they do by getting long saplings, sticking each end in the ground, and so covering them with bark; but there are none of the houses in this town so covered. There are three ways for entering into this town or circle of houses, which are passages of about six feet wide, between two of the houses. All the doors are on the inside of the ring, and the ground is very level withinside, which is in common between all the people to divert themselves. There is in the centre of the circle a great stump of a tree; I asked the reason they left that standing, and they informed me it was for one of their head men to stand upon when he had any thing of consequence to relate to them, so that being raised, he might the better be heard.
The Indian women bind their children to a board that is cut after the shape of the child: there are two pieces at the bottom of this board to tie the two legs of the child to, and a piece cut out behind, so that all that the child doth falls from him, and he is never dirty. The head or top of the board is round, and there is a hole through the top of it for a string to be passed through, so that when the women tire of holding them, or have a mind to work, they hang the board to the limb of a tree, or to a pin in a post for that purpose, and there the children swing about and divert themselves, out of the reach of any thing that may hurt them. They are kept in this way till nearly two years old, which I believe is the reason they are all so straight, and so few of them lame or odd-shaped. Their houses are pretty large, they have no garrets, and no other light than the door, and that which comes from the hole in the top of the house which is to let out the smoke. They make their fires always in the middle of the house; the chief of their household goods is a pot and some wooden dishes and trays, which they make themselves; they seldom have any thing to sit upon, but squat upon the ground; they have small divisions in their houses to sleep in, which they make of mats made of bullrushes; they have bedsteads, raised about two feet from the ground, upon which they lay bear and deer skins, and all the covering they have is a blanket. These people have no sort of tame creatures, but live entirely upon their hunting and the corn which their wives cultivate. They live as lazily and miserably as any people in the world.
Between the town and the river, upon the river side, there are several little huts built with wattles, in the form of an oven, with a small door in one end of it; these wattles are plastered without side very closely with clay, they are big enough to hold a man, and are called sweating-houses. When they have any sickness, they get ten or twelve pebble stones which they heat in the fire, and when they are red-hot they carry them into these little huts, and the sick man or woman goes in naked, only a blanket with him, and they shut the door upon them, and there they sit and sweat until they are no more able to support it, and then they go out naked and immediately jump into the water over head and ears, and this is the remedy they have for all distempers.
The 6th day.—The Governor sent for all the young boys, and they brought with them their bows, and he got an axe, which he stuck up, and made them all shoot by turns at the eye of the axe, which was about twenty yards distant. Knives and looking-glasses were the prizes for which they shot, and they were very dexterous at this exercise, and often shot through the eye of the axe. This diversion continued about an hour. The Governor then asked the boys to dance a war dance, so they all prepared for it, and made a great ring; the musician being come, he sat himself in the middle of the ring; all the instrument he had was a piece of board and two small sticks; the board he set upon his lap. and began to sing a doleful tune, and by striking on the board with his sticks, he accompanied his voice; he made several antic motions, and sometimes shrieked hideously, which was answered by the boys. As the men sung, so the boys danced all round, endeavoring who could outdo the one the other in antic motions and hideous cries, the movements answering in some way to the time of the music. All that I could remark by their actions was, that they were representing how they attacked their enemies, and relating one to the other how many of the other Indians they had killed, and how they did it, making all the motions in this dance as if they were actually in the action. By this lively representation of their warring, one may see the base way they have of surprising and murdering the one the other, and their inhuman manner of murdering all the prisoners, and what terrible cries they have, they who are conquerors. After the dance was over, the Governor treated all the boys, but they were so little used to have a belly full, that they rather devoured their victuals than any thing else. So this day ended.
The 7th day.—After breakfast we assembled ourselves, and read the Common Prayer. There was with us eight of the Indian boys who answered very well to the prayers, and understood what was read. After prayers we dined, and in the afternoon we walked abroad to see the land, which is well timbered and very good. We returned to the fort and supped. Nothing remarkable.
The 8th day.—About ten in the morning there came to the fort ten of the Meherrin Indians, laden with beaver, deer and bear skins, to trade, for our Indian Company have goods here for that purpose. They delivered up their arms to the white men of the fort, and left their skins and furs also. Those Indians would not lie in the Indian town, but went into the woods, where they lay until such time as they had done trading. The Governor and I we laid out an avenue about half a mile long, which gave us employment enough this day.
The 9th day.—About seven in the morning we got a horseback, and were just out of the fort when the cannon tired. We passed by the Indian town, where they had notice that the Governor was returning, so they got twelve of their young men ready with their arms, and one of their old men at the head of them, and assured the Governor they were sorry that he was leaving them, but that they would guard him safe to the inhabitants, which they pressed upon him, so that he was forced to accept of it. They were all afoot, so the Governor to compliment the head man of the Indians lent him his led-horse. After we had rid about a mile, we came to a ford of Meherrin River, and being mistaken in our water-mark, we were sometimes obliged to make our horses swim, but we got over safe. The Indian Chief seeing how it was, unsaddled his horse, and stript him self all to his belt, and forded the river, leading his horse after him; the fancy of the Indian made us merry for a while. The day being warm, and he not accustomed to ride, the horse threw him before we had gone two miles, but he had courage to mount again. By the time we had got a mile further, he was so terribly galled that he was forced to dismount, and desired the Governor to take his horse, for he could not imagine what good they were for, if it was not to cripple Indians.
We were obliged to ride easy, that we might not get before our Indian guard, who accompanied us as far as a river, called Nottoway River, which taketh its name from the Nottoway Indians, who formerly lived upon this river. The place was about fifteen miles from the fort. When we parted with the Indians the Governor ordered them to have a pound of powder and shot in proportion to each man. So they left us, and we crossed the river and rid fifteen miles further, until we came to a poor planter's house, where we put up for that night. They had no beds in the house, so the Governor lay upon the ground, and had his bear-skin under him, and I lay upon a large table in my cloak, and thus we fared until day, which was welcome to us.
The 10th day.—At five we got up, and at six we mounted our horses, and we took a guide who pretended to know the way, and bring us a short cut, but instead of that, he took us about seven miles out of our way. When we found that he was lost, we dismissed him; the sun began to shine out clear, so the Governor he conducted us, and about four of the clock we came to James River and took the ferry, and about six of the clock we mounted our horses and went to Williamsburg, where we arrived about eight of the clock. I supped with the Governor; and being well tired, I went after to my lodgings and to bed.
This journey, coming and going, comes to 160 miles.
Williamsburg, 20th August, 1716.—In the morning got my horses ready, and what baggage was necessary, and I waited on the Governor, who was in readiness for an expedition over the Appalachian mountains. We breakfasted, and about ten got on horseback, and at four came to the Brickhouse, upon York River, where we crossed the ferry, and at six we came to Mr. Austin Moor's house, upon Mattapony River, in King William County; here we lay all night and were well entertained.
21st.—Fair weather. At ten we set out from Mr. Moor's, and crossed the river of Mattapony, and continued on the road, and were on horseback till nine of the clock at night, before we came to Mr. Robert Beverley's house, where we were well entertained, and remained this night.
22d.—At nine in the morning, we set out from Mr. Beverley's. The Governor left his chaise here, and mounted his horse. The weather fair, we continued on our journey until we came to Mr. Woodford's, where we lay, and were well entertained. This house lies on Rappahannoc River, ten miles below the falls.
23d.—Here we remained all this day, and diverted ourselves and rested our horses.
24th.—In the morning, at seven, we mounted our horses, and came to Austin Smith's house about ten, where we dined, and remained till about one of the clock, then we set out, and about nine of the clock we came to the German-town, where we rested that night—had beds and indifferent entertainment.
German-town, 25th.—After dinner we went to see the mines, but I could not observe that there was any good mine. The Germans pretend that it is a silver mine; we took some of the ore and endeavored to run it, but could get nothing out of it, and I am of opinion it will not come to any thing, no, not as much as lead. Many of the gentlemen of the county are concerned in this work. We returned, and to our hard beds.
26th.—At seven we got up, and several gentlemen of the country, that were to meet the Governor at this place for the expedition, arrived here, as also two companies of Rangers, consisting each of six men, and an officer. Four Meherrin Indians also came.
In the morning I diverted myself with other gentlemen shooting at a mark. At twelve we dined, and after dinner we mounted our horses and crossed Rappahannoc River, that runs by this place, and went to find out some convenient place for our horses to feed in, and to view the land hereabouts. Our guide left us, and we went so far in the woods that we did not know the way back again; so we hallooed and fired our guns. Half an hour after sunset the guide came to us, and we went to cross the river by another ford higher up. The descent to the river being steep, and the night dark, we were obliged to dismount and lead our horses down to the river side, which was very troublesome. The bank being very steep, the greatest part of our company went into the water to mount their horses, where they were up to the crotch in the water. After we had forded the river and came to the other side, where the bank was steep also, in going up, the horse of one of our company slipped and fell back into the river on the top of his rider, but he received no other damage than being heartily wet, which made sport for the rest. A hornet stung one of the gentlemen in the face, which swelled prodigiously. About ten we came to the town, where we supped, and to bed.
27th.—Got our tents in order, and our horses shod. About twelve, I was taken with a violent headache and pains in all my bones, so that I was obliged to lie down, and was very bad that day.
28th.—About one in the morning, I was taken with a violent fever, which abated about six at night, and I began to take the bark, and had one ounce divided into eight doses, and took two of them by ten of the clock that night. The fever abated, but I had great pains in my head and bones.
29th.—In the morning we got all things in readiness, and about one we left the German-town to set out on our intended journey. At five in the afternoon, the Governor gave orders to encamp near a small river, three miles from Germanna, which we called Expedition Run, and here we lay all night. This first encampment was called Beverley Camp in honor of one of the gentlemen of our party. We made great fires, and supped, and drank good punch. By ten of the clock I had taken all of my ounce of Jesuit's Bark, but my head was much out of order.
30th.—In the morning about seven of the clock, the trumpet sounded to awake all the company, and we got up. One Austin Smith, one of the gentlemen with us having a fever, returned home. We had lain upon the ground under cover of our tents, and we found by the pains in our bones that we had not had good beds to lie upon. At nine in the morning, we sent our servants and baggage forward, and we remained, because two of the Governor's horses had strayed. At half past two we got the horses, at three we mounted, and at half an hour after four, we came up with our baggage at a small river, three miles on the way, which we called Mine River, because there was an appearance of a silver mine by it. We made about three miles more, and came to another small river, which is at the foot of a small mountain, so we encamped here and called it Mountain Run, and our camp we called Todd's Camp. We had good pasturage for our horses, and venison in abundance for ourselves, which we roasted before the fire upon wooden forks, and so we went to bed in our tents. Made 6 miles this day.
31st.—At eight in the morning, we set out from Mountain Run, and after going five miles we came upon the upper part of Rappahannoc River. One of the gentlemen and I, we kept out on one side of the company about a mile, to have the better hunting. I saw a deer, and shot him from my horse, but the horse threw me a terrible fall and ran away; we ran after, and with a great deal of difficulty got him again; but we could not find the deer I had shot, and we lost ourselves, and it was two hours before we could come upon the track of our company. About five miles further we crossed the same river again, and two miles further we met with a large bear, which one of our company shot, and I got the skin. We killed several deer, and about two miles from the place where we killed the bear, we encamped upon Rappahannoc River. From our encampment we could see the Appalachian Hills very plain. We made large fires, pitched our tents, and cut boughs to lie upon, had good liquor, and at ten we went to sleep. We always kept a sentry at the Governor's door. We called this Smith's Camp. Made this day fourteen miles.
1st. September.—At eight we mounted our horses, and made the first five miles of our way through a very pleasant plain, which lies where Rappahannoc River forks. I saw there the largest timber, the finest and deepest mould, and the best grass that I ever did see. We had some of our baggage put out of order, and our company dismounted, by hornets stinging the horses. This was some hindrance, and did a little damage, but afforded a great deal of diversion. We killed three bears this day, which exercised the horses as well as the men. We saw two foxes but did not pursue them; we killed several deer. About five of the clock, we came to a run of water at the foot of a hill, where we pitched our tents. We called the encampment Dr. Robinson's Camp, and the river. Blind Run. We had good pasturage for our horses, and every one was cook for himself We made our beds with bushes as before. On this day we made 13 miles. 2d.—At nine we were all on horseback, and after riding about five miles we crossed Rappahannoc River, almost at the head, where it is very small. We had a rugged way; we passed over a great many small runs of water, some of which were very deep, and others very miry. Several of our company were dismounted, some were down with their horses, others under their horses, and some thrown off. We saw a bear running down a tree, but it being Sunday, we did not endeavor to kill any thing. We encamped at five by a small river we called White Oak River, and called our camp Taylor's Camp.
3d.—About eight we were on horseback, and about ten we came to a thicket, so tightly laced together, that we had a great deal of trouble to get through; our baggage was injured, our clothes torn all to rags, and the saddles and holsters also torn. About five of the clock we encamped almost at the head of James River, just below the great mountains. We called this camp Colonel Robertson's Camp. We made all this day but eight miles.
4th.—We had two of our men sick with the measles, and one of our horses poisoned with a rattlesnake. We took the heaviest of our baggage, our tired horses, and the sick men, and made as convenient a lodge for them as we could, and left people to guard them, and hunt for them. We had finished this work by twelve, and so we set out. The sides of the mountains were so full of vines and briers, that we were forced to clear most of the way before us. We crossed one of the small mountains this side the Appalachian, and from the top of it we had a fine view of the plains below. We were obliged to walk up the most of the way, there being abundance of loose stones on the side of the hill. I killed a large rattlesnake here, and the other people killed three more. We made about four miles, and so came to the side of James River, where a man may jump over it, and there we pitched our tents. As the people were lighting the fire, there came out of a large log of wood a prodigious snake, which they killed; so this camp was called Rattlesnake Camp, but it was otherwise called Brooks' Camp.
5th.—A fair day. At nine we were mounted; we were obliged to have axe-men to clear the way in some places. We followed the windings of James River, observing that it came from the very top of the mountains. We killed two rattle snakes during our ascent. In some places it was very steep, in others, it was so that we could ride up. About one of the clock we got to the top of the mountain; about four miles and a half, and we came to the very head spring of James River, where it runs no bigger than a man's arm, from under a large stone. We drank King George's health, and all the Royal Family's, at the very top of the Appalachian mountains. About a musket-shot from the spring there is another, which rises and runs down on the other side; it goes westward, and we thought we could go down that way, but we met with such prodigious precipices, that we were obliged to return to the top again. We found some trees which had been formerly marked, I suppose, by the Northern Indians, and following these trees, we found a good, safe descent. Several of the company were for returning; but the Governor persuaded them to continue on. About five, we were down on the other side, and continued our way for about seven miles further, until we came to a large river, by the side of which we encamped. We made this day fourteen miles. I, being somewhat more curious than the rest, went on a high rock on the top of the mountain, to see fine prospects, and I lost my gun. We saw, when we were over the mountains, the footing of elks and buffaloes, and their beds. We saw a vine which bore a sort of wild cucumber, and a shrub with a fruit like unto a currant. We eat very good wild grapes. We called this place Spotswood Camp, after our Governor.
6th.—We crossed the river, which we called Euphrates. It is very deep; the main course of the water is north; it is fourscore yards wide in the narrowest part. We drank some healths on the other side, and returned; after which I went a swimming in it. We could not find any fordable place, except the one by which we crossed, and it was deep in several places. I got some grasshoppers and fished; and another and I, we catched a dish of fish, some perch, and a fish they call chub. The others went a hunting, and killed deer and turkeys. The Governor had graving irons, but could not grave any thing, the stones were so hard. I graved my name on a tree by the river side; and the Governor buried a bottle with a paper inclosed, on which he writ that he took possession of this place in the name and for King George the First of England. We had a good dinner, and after it we got the men together, and loaded all their arms, and we drank the King's health in Champagne, and fired a volley—the Princess's health in Burgundy, and fired a volley, and all the rest of the Royal Family in claret, and a volley. We drank the Governor's health and fired another volley. We had several sorts of liquors, viz., Virginia red wine and white wine, Irish usquebaugh, brandy, shrub, two sorts of rum, champagne, canary, cherry, punch, water, cider, &c.
I sent two of the rangers to look for my gun, which I dropped in the mountains; they found it, and brought it to me at night, and I gave them a pistole for their trouble. We called the highest mountain Mount George, and the one we crossed over Mount Spotswood.
7th.—At seven in the morning we mounted our horses, and parted with the rangers, who were to go farther on, and we returned homewards; we repassed the mountains, and at five in the afternoon we came to Hospital Camp, where we left our sick men, and heavy baggage, and we found all things well and safe. We encamped here, and called it Captain Clouder's Camp.
8th.—At nine we were all on horseback. We saw several bears and deer, and killed some wild turkeys. We encamped at the side of a run, and called the place Mason's Camp. We had good forage for our horses, and we lay as usual. Made twenty miles this day.
9th.—We set out at nine of the clock, and before twelve we saw several bears, and killed three. One of them attacked one of our men that was riding after him, and narrowly missed him; he tore his things that he had behind him from off the horse, and would have destroyed him, had he not had immediate help from the other men and our dogs. Some of the dogs suffered severely in this engagement. At two we crossed one of the branches of the Rappahannoc River, and at five we encamped on the side of the Rapid Ann, on a tract of land that Mr. Beverley hath design to take up. We made, this day, twenty-three miles, and called this Captain Smith's Camp. "We eat part of one of the bears, which tasted very well, and would be good, and might pass for veal, if one did not know what it was. "We were very merry, and diverted ourselves with our adventures.
10th.—At eight we were on horseback, and about ten, as we were going up a small hill, Mr. Beverley and his horse fell down, and they both rolled to the bottom; but there were no bones broken on either side. At twelve, as we were crossing a run of water, Mr. Clouder fell in, so we called this place Clouder's Run. At one we arrived at a large spring, where we dined and drank a bowl of punch. "We called this Fontaine's Spring. About two we got on horseback, and at four we reached Germanna. The Governor thanked the gentlemen for their assistance in the expedition. Mr. Mason left us here. I went at five to swim in the Rappahannoc River, and returned to the town.
11th.—After breakfast all our company left us, excepting Dr. Robinson and Mr. Clouder. "We walked all about the town, and the Governor settled his business with the Germans here, and accommodated the minister and the people, and then to bed.
12th.—After breakfast went a fishing in the Rappahannoc, and took seven fish, which we had for dinner; after which Mr. Robinson and I, we endeavored to melt some ore in the smith's forge, but could get nothing out of it. Dr. Robinson's and Mr. Clouder's boys were taken violently ill with fever. Mr. Robinson and Mr. Clouder left us, and the boys remained behind.
13th.—About eight of the clock we mounted our horses, and went to the mine, where we took several pieces of ore; and at nine we set out from the mine, our servants having gone before; and about three we overtook them in the woods, and there the Governor and I dined. We mounted afterwards, and continued on our road. I killed a black snake about five feet long. "We arrived at Mr. "Woodford's, on Rappahannoc River, about six, and remained there all night.
14th.—At seven we sent our horses and baggage before us; and at ten we mounted our horses; we killed another snake, four feet nine inches long. At twelve we came to the church, where we met with Mr. Buckner, and remained till two, to settle some county business; then we mounted our horses, and saw several wild turkeys on the road; and at seven we reached Mr. Beverley's house, which is upon the head of Mattapony River, where we were well entertained. My boy was taken with a violent fever, and very sick.
15th.—At seven my servant was somewhat better, and I sent him away with my horses, and about ten o'clock the Governor took his chaise, and I with him, and at twelve we came to a mill-dam, which we had great difficulty to get the chaise over. We got into it again, and continued on our way, and about five we arrived at Mr. Baylor's, where we remained all night.
16th.—My servant was so sick, that I was obliged to leave him, and the Governor's servants took care of my horses. At ten we sent the chaise over Mattapony River, and it being Sunday, we went to the church in King William County, where we heard a sermon from Mr. Monroe. After sermon we continued our journey until we came to Mr. West's plantation, where Colonel Basset waited for the Governor with his pinnace, and other boats for his servants. We arrived at his house by five of the clock, and were nobly entertained.
17th.—At ten we left Colonel Basset's, and at three we arrived at Williamsburg, where we dined together, and I went to my lodgings, and to bed, being well tired, as well as my horses.
I reckon that from Williamsburg to the Euphrates River is in all 219 miles, so that our journey, going and coming, has been in all 438 miles.
Williamsburg, 14th October, 1716.—I settled my business and left all my things in the hands of Major Holloway, designing with God's blessing for New- York. I went to dine with the Governor, and took my leave of him and of all my acquaintance.
15th.—Got all things in readiness, mounted, and rode down to Hampton, which is forty miles from Williamsburg. About six of the clock I arrived, and went to my friend, Mr. Irewin's, where I supped and lodged.
16th.—I sent away my horses to Williamsburg, writ to Major Holloway, went to see several of my acquaintances. Mr. Michael Kearney also designed for New-York, so we agreed about what provisions we should put in for our voyage, and I returned to Mr. Irewin's.
17th.—This town, Hampton, lies in a plain within ten miles of the mouth of James River, and about one mile inland from the side of the main river; there is also a small arm of the river that comes on both sides of this town, and within a small matter of making it an island. It is a place of the greatest trade in all Virginia, and all the men-of-war commonly lie before this arm of the river. It is not navigable for large ships, by reason of a bar of land, which lies between the mouth, or coming in, and the main channel, but sloops and small ships can come up to the town. This is the best outlet in all Virginia and Maryland, and when there is any fleet made, they fit out here, and can go to sea with the first start of a wind. The town contains one hundred houses, but few of them of any note, and it has no church. The inhabitants drive a great trade with New-York and Pennsylvania, and are also convenient to trade with Maryland. They have the best fish and oysters of any place in the Colony, and there is good fowling hereabouts. The town is not reckoned healthy, owing to the great mud-banks and wet marshes about it, which have a very unwholesome smell at low water. We met at Mr. Irewin's, were very merry, supped well, and to bed.
18th.—Mr. Kearney and I spoke to the master of the sloop for our passage, and bought provisions for ourselves, and sent our clothes on board. Took leave of my acquaintances, and went to Mr. Irewin's, where I lay.
19th.—At eleven in the morning, the wind being N. E. we hoisted our anchor. By one we had passed Point Comfort, which makes the entrance of James River, and were in the Bay of Chesapeake. At four we were between the two Capes of Virginia, Cape Henry and Cape Charles. Weather fair. We kept within ten leagues of the shore, and so steered our course all night.
20th.—Wind continued N. E., weather fair. We kept within sight of the shore, and sounded, and found fourteen fathoms water, white sand. We saw several flocks of ducks and geese going to the southward. A smooth sea, but great swell. There is no harbor all along this coast, from Cape Charles till you come to the mouth of the Bay of Delaware, which goes up to Philadelphia.
21st.—Wind N. E. till one of the clock, and then it came about N. W., and blew very hard, so we sounded, and found but ten fathoms water. The wind continued to blow, so we came to an anchor, and about four we saw a sloop coming from the sea. She came to an anchor by us. Here we remained all night, and the wind blew very hard, still in sight of the land, and somewhat to the northward of Delaware Bay. There are great banks of sand lie off here, which are very dangerous. We can see the breakers on them.
22d.—In the morning about seven of the clock we raised our anchor, and set our sails, wind at N. W., a stiff gale and great sea, and about 12 of the clock we split our jib and foresail. At three we were up with Sandy Hook, which is the cape land of New-York port. The land is low and sandy with few trees upon it. About sunset we came to an anchor under Sandy Hook, in seven fathoms water, and three miles from shore.
23d.—In the sloop at anchor under Sandy Hook. The weather was so foggy all day that we could not see the shore, nor landmarks, so we could not hoist our anchor, for this is a very dangerous bay to come up without one has fair weather to see the landmarks. There are several banks and shoals of sand which are very dangerous. There is a great deal of water fowl of all sorts on these shoals. I observe that the ducks and geese are sooner here than with us in Virginia.
24th.—Calm weather, but such a fog that we could not see half a mile. We had a mind to go ashore, but the master and sailors were afraid that they could not find the sloop again with the boat, so we consented to remain on board. This fog is occasioned by the burning of the woods, for at this season the inhabitants set the woods on fire, and the Indians also about this time of the year go a fire hunting.
25th.—We are still at anchor, weather very foggy, so that the master will not venture up with his sloop. About twelve it cleared, so that we could see the land, and we got out the boat, and the men landed us in Staten Island. We were obliged to walk about four miles, not being able to hire any horses. This island is mostly high land and rocky, and that part of the land which is good is mixed with small stones. There are some good improvements here; the inhabitants are mostly Dutch; the houses are all built with stone and lime; there are some hedges as in England. The chief increase is wheat and cattle, they breed large horses here.
About five of the clock we came to the Ferry between Long Island and Staten Island, which is about one mile broad. The main body of New-York River runs between these islands. We crossed the ferry and came upon Long Island, to a small sort of village, where, it being late, we put up at the house of a Dutchman, one Harris Hendrick. We were well lodged and had a good supper.
26th.—About eight of the clock in the morning, we hired two horses to go to New-York. It is about eight miles from this ferry by land, but not near so much by water. Long Island is generally very plain ground, bears extraordinary good grass, and is an excellent place for cattle. It produceth wheat and all English grain in abundance. The chief part of the inhabitants are Dutch, but there are some few French. Amongst them there are several good improvements, and many fine villages, the woods are mostly destroyed. Besides the plentiful produce of the Island, there is every advantage for fishing and fowling that can be wished. About eleven o'clock we came to a fine village opposite New-York, and we crossed the ferry. The river is about a quarter of a mile over, and runs very rapidly; there are good convenient landings on both sides. As soon as we landed we went and agreed for our lodgings with a Dutch woman named Schuyler, and then I went to see Mr. Andrew Freneau at his house, and he received me very well, after which I went to the tavern, and about ten at night to my lodgings and to bed.
27th.—About nine I went and breakfasted at the Coffee-House, and at eleven I waited upon Governor Hunter, who received me very kindly, and invited me to dine with him. After dinner I walked with him about the fort, wherein he lives. It is a small square situated upon a height above the town, and commanding it. The one side of it fronts the harbor, and hath a small curtain and two bastions; the land side hath but two half-bastions to it, so that it is a square composed of two whole and two half-bastions. There is a ravelin towards the land that lies on one side of the gate. It is but a weak place, and badly contrived. There is a regiment here, and the Governor always hath a guard, and this is all the duty they have, which is very little.
From the Governor I went to see the Mayor of the town, one Doctor Johnson, and was kindly received by him; thence to Colonel Delorty, and at night I went to the tavern, and was there with the Irish club until ten, and so to bed.
28th.—About eight in the morning, Mr. Kearney and I we hired horses, and went about seven miles out of town to one Colonel Morris's, who lives in the country, and is Judge or Chief Justice of this province, a very sensible and good man. We were well received by him, and remained with him all night; and we saw a great many fine improvements that he had made, and he showed us several rare collections of his own making. He lives upon the river that comes down to New-York.
29th.—About ten of the clock we left Colonel Morris's, crossed the river, and arrived at New-York at twelve. The roads are very bad and stony, and no possibility for coaches to go, only in the winter, when the snow fills up the holes and makes all smooth, then they can make use of wheel-carriages. There are but two coaches belonging to this province, because of the badness of the roads, though there are many rich people.
We were invited to dine at two with Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Lane. After dinner, I visited Mr. Freneau, and had a great deal of discourse with him about the trade of Virginia. From thence I walked round the town. There are three churches, the English, the French, and the Dutch Church; there is also a place for the Assembly to sit, which is not very fine, and where they judge all matters. The town is compact, the houses for the most part built after the Dutch manner, with the gable-ends towards the street; the streets are of a good breadth; the town is built close upon the river, and there is a fine quay that reigns all round the town, built with stone and piles of wood outside. There are small docks for cleaning and building small ships. At high-water, the vessels come up to the quay to lade and unlade. In winter the river is frozen, sometimes all over, and such abundance of ice comes down, that it often cuts the cables of ships, but cannot hurt those near the quay. The town is built on ground that gradually rises from the water, so it is amphitheatre like. The French have all the privileges that can be, and are the most in number here, they are of the Council and of the Parliament, and are in all other employments. The chief produce of this province is beef, flour, pork, butter, and cheese, which they send to the West Indies, and sometimes to Lisbon. They drive a great trade with the Northern Indians for skins and furs. There is plenty of all sorts of fish, oysters, and water-fowl. The climate is very cold in winter, a great deal of snow and frost for four months, and very hot in the latter part of the summer.
30th.—At ten of the clock, went to the Coffee-house, and at two of the clock to the Governor's to dinner. Thence I went to see Colonel Ingoldsby, and to the Irish Club, where I remained till ten, and so home to my lodgings.
31st.—At ten, went to the Coffee-house, and walked upon the Exchange, which is a small place that is planked, and hath pillars of wood all round, which support the roof and leave it open on all sides. I dined with Mr. Andrew Freneau, and remained with him till four of the clock, and then I went to the Coffee-house for an hour or two, and at six to the French Club, where they treated me, and at ten home and to bed.
1st November, 1716.—At eleven to the Coffee-house, dined at the tavern, from thence to Mr. Freneau, and went home at nine.
2d.—Breakfasted at the Coffee-house at nine, dined at the tavern at two; thence went home and writ to my cousin Arnauld in London, and so to bed.
3d.—Breakfasted at the Coffee-house at eight, dined at one at the tavern, informed myself about one Maxwell, whom Mr. Fooks recommended to me, and I was informed that he was very much in debt, and had been a long time in prison in New-York; but that he is now gone to South Carolina, and calls himself Joseph Mitchell, instead of his right name, James Maxwell. I writ to Mr. Fooks, in Dublin, about this Maxwell, and to bed.
4th, Sunday.—At ten I went to Mr. Freneau, and with him to church, I returned to his house and dined with him, and at half an hour after two we went to church again, which is after Calvin's way. The church is very large and beautiful, and within it there was a very great congregation. After service, I went home and to bed.
5th.—At ten in the morning, I carried Mr. Freneau a memorandum of the prices of goods. I dined at the Coffee-house, and then went to the French Club at the tavern, where we drank loyal healths, and at ten went home and to bed.
6th.—About ten went to visit Mr. Delancy, and then Mr. Freneau. The Postmaster-General, Mr. Hamilton, invited me to dinner, and I dined with him. At three, I went to the Coffee-house, and at six, I went with Mr. Byerly, the Collector, and some others, to the tavern, where we remained till ten. Thence to bed.
7th.—At eight, went to the Coffee-house; at ten, waited on Governor Hunter, and drank tea with him; from thence I waited on Mr. Burchfield, Surveyor-General, and I dined with him; and when I took my leave, he made me promises of service if an opportunity should offer. At four, I went to the Coffee-house, where I met with Mr. Freneau, and at six we went to the French Club, and at ten to bed.
8th.—At ten, I waited upon Governor Hunter and breakfasted with him; I dined with him at two, and at four I took leave of him, went to my lodgings and supped there, and at eight to bed.
Friday 9th November, 1716.—At five of the clock in the morning, got all our things in the ferry-boat, and set out for Amboy; the wind was contrary, and it blew so hard that at nine we were forced back again. So, Mr. Kearney and I, we hired two horses, and went seven miles out of town to Colonel Morris's, where we dined, and returned at night to our lodgings in New-York.
10th.—At eight in the morning, I bought a horse of Mr, Lancaster Sims, and paid him £8 for it. We crossed the ferry from New-York to Long Island about ten, and mounted our horses. We passed by a fine village called Flatbush, and at twelve we reached Hans Hendrick's house. The ferryman endeavored to cross the ferry from thence to Staten Island, but had to put back, so we dined at Hendrick's. At three, we saw a ship called the Cæsar Galley run aground upon White Bank. At five, we got into the boat again, and with much difficulty crossed to Staten Island, then we mounted our horses and came to one Stuart's, an inn on the road, about seven miles from the ferry, where we supped, and lay all night.
Sunday, 11th.—At seven in the morning we set out from Stuart's, and at twelve of the clock, we came to one Colonel Farrier's house, where the ferry is kept, and we got ferried over to Amboy, which is a small village where the Governor hath a house and gardens. It is a very agreeable place, surrounded on two sides by the water. After dinner we went to church. The church is very small, and much out of repair. The wind blew so hard that we could not get our horses ferried over, so we were obliged to remain all night.
12th.—The wind continued blowing very hard at N. W., and we could by no means get over the ferry in the morning; so we took a walk abroad in the country about here, which is very agreeable. At two we returned to our inn and dined. We met with two gentlemen from New-York, both lawyers, Justice Johnson and Mr. Bickly. We drank till ten, and to bed.
13th.—At ten we crossed the ferry, and mounted our horses; we dined at two, and continued on our way from three until seven. We made but thirty-two miles this day. We had bad entertainment.
14th.—At half an hour after seven we set out from our lodgings, and within one mile of Burlington I met with Mr. John Ballaguier. At eleven we came to Burlington, where we dined. It is a very pretty village, and there is a river passes through it navigable for sloops. At half an hour after twelve we set out for Philadelphia, the distance is twenty miles from Burlington. The roads are good here. At six we arrived at Philadelphia, and I waited on Mr. Samuel Perez and gave him Mr. Freneau's letter. He had no service for me.
15th.—At eight of the clock went to view the town, which is situated upon rising ground on Delaware River, and is built very regularly, the houses mostly of brick, after the English fashion. The streets are very wide and regular. There are many convenient docks for the building ships and sloops here. There is a great trade to all the Islands belonging to the English, as also to Lisbon and the Madeira Islands. The produce of the country is chiefly wheat, barley, and all English grain, beef, butter, cheese, flax, and hemp. The inhabitants are most part Quakers, and they have several good meetings, and there are also some English churches. There are all sorts of trades established in this town. Money that is not milled passes for six shillings and fourpence the ounce.
At twelve of the clock we left Philadelphia, and crossing a ferry about two miles out of the town, we had a great shower. The roads not good here. At five of the clock we got to Harlem, a small village well situated on Delaware River, sixteen miles from Philadelphia. Good entertainment.
16th.—At eight of the clock set out from Harlem. We crossed two ferries, and at one of the clock came to New-castle. After dinner I walked about the town, which has a great many good brick houses, but is a place of no trade, though situated upon Delaware River. We remained here all this day, and were well entertained and lodged.
17th.— About eight of the clock we set out from New-castle for Bohemia landing. About fifteen miles on the way we came to the division line between Pennsylvania and Maryland. At three we reached Bohemia landing, and were disappointed at finding no sloop there, and were obliged to go farther, for though there are two or three houses there, there is no entertainment. After riding four miles farther we came to Mr. Paterson's, a house of entertainment, where we remained this night.
Sunday, 18 th.—We remained all day at Paterson's, where there is nothing to be seen but trees A fair day. We are sixty miles from Philadelphia.
19th.—At eight of the clock set out from Paterson's house, and at twelve arrived at the Court House of the County of Kent, where we baited our horses, and had but indifferent entertainment. About three Mr. Kearney and I went to his brother's house in the neighborhood, where we put up and remained all night. We reckon that we made this day thirty-three miles. 20th.—It being rainy we remained where we were, and had good entertainment. This gentleman hath an extraordinary good tannery, which turns to account.
21st.—At nine in the morning we set out from the house of Mr. Kearney's brother, and at one we came to one Sutton's house, about twenty-eight miles from Mr. Kearney's plantation, and dined at three. There were eight rogues drinking at the place, who resolved to fall upon us and rob us. My comrade went out, not expecting any thing, and was knocked down; he endeavored to defend himself with his sword, but they with their stakes broke it to pieces. They tried to serve me after the same manner, but being on my guard I defended myself and my friend, until we got to our horses, and with a great deal of struggle we got away from them, and put on forward on the road about six miles to avoid them, and stopped, it being dark, at a poor man's house. About ten o'clock at night they came to steal our horses, and endeavor to surprise us, but when they saw we were prepared for them, after some few injurious words and threats, they made off. This is Sussex County. We sat up all night on our guard.
22d.—Being threatened with an assault in the morning, we thought it convenient at two of the clock to get our horses and take a guide. By six of the clock we were twelve miles on our way, and stopped at one Duick's house, where we breakfasted, and at ten continued our journey to Indian Creek. This part of the country is hardly inhabited, and the few people who are here make it their business to rob all passengers. We were detained at the creek two hours for the want of a canoe; we got one at last, and swam our horses over. We mounted on the other side, and went three miles further until we came to one Pepper's house, where we lay all night. 23d.— At seven in the morning got on horseback; a fair day: we rid sixteen miles through the forest, no inhabitants all the way, and at the end of the sixteen miles we came to on Mumford's, where we ate a bit; at two we mounted again, and at five of the clock came to Snow Hill, being forty miles from Pepper's, where we lay last night. This is a small village, but few houses, and not one public house, so we put up at a private house. This village is situated upon Pocomoke River, navigable for sloops as far as this place. Bad beds and ordinary victuals.
24th.—At eight got on horseback, and when we were seventeen miles on our way, we called at one Mr. Pope's, where we took a guide, the ways being very intricate. At five of the clock we came to one Mr. Kemp's, which we reckon about thirty-five miles distant from Snow Hill. We paid our guide and dismissed him. We were very well entertained, and our horses well fed, and about ten we went to bed.
25th.—At ten we breakfasted, at eleven Mr. Kemp and I rode out and viewed a fine tract of land, and returned to his house to dinner at two. After dinner we went to see the shallop that we design to hire. The wind blew very hard at N. W. At ten we went to bed.
26th.—At ten Mr. Kearney and I agreed with the skipper of the sloop for a passage for ourselves, and our horses, to Rappahannoc River on the other side of the bay. We are to give him forty-four shillings for his trouble. We ordered him to ballast his sloop and be in readiness when the wind offered. At breakfast we drank of an herb called the golden-rod, the leaf is long, and it tastes and is of the color of green tea. We dined at four; after dinner we played at chequers, then supped and drank punch and diverted ourselves till twelve, and then to bed. 27th.—At ten we breakfasted—at twelve we ballasted the shallop, and hoisted the two horses in, and put all our things on board, as also liquor and provisions for the run. We were resolved to set out this afternoon, but neither wind nor tide would serve, and night drawing on we returned to our friend Mr. James Kemp, supped, and at ten went to bed. Wind at N. W., stormy.
28th.—At eight in the morning got up, breakfasted at nine, and took leave of Mr. Kemp, and went to one Sanford's before whose house the sloop lay. The wind blew hard, but we got a canoe, and with some difficulty we were put on board our shallop. At ten we hoisted the anchor, with the wind at N. and N. by E., a hard gale. At two we came to Egg Island, and at five, it being but half flood, we struck on Watts's shoals, where we remained, thumping for an hour. After we floated we came up to Watts's Island. At seven we cast anchor, and went ashore, to one Joseph Bird's house, where we supped on our own provisions, and for want of beds lay before the fire all night.
29th.—We got up at four in the morning, and went to the water, and called up the shallop-men; we got on board, and by five weighed anchor, and hoisted our sails. The wind is at N. E., and a fresh gale, but the tide against us. At seven we see the Tangier Islands, and at nine of the clock, came in sight of Windmill Point, which makes the north side of Rappahannoc River, and Gwinn's Island, the south side. At one, we came abreast with Windmill Point, and the wind changed to S. W., and blew fresh, with a great sea; we endeavored to weather Gwinn's Island, but we could not, in order to get to Queen's Creek in Piankatank River. We spoke a ship at three, she was from Barbadoes. At a quarter after three, finding the wind still freshen, we were obliged to put before it up Rappahannoc River. It became calm about six, so we put ashore at Mr. Churchill's plantation, and landed our horses with some difficulty. It was very dark, so we were obliged to lie at the negroes' quarters that night.
30th.—At eight mounted our horses, fasting; at ten we crossed Piankatank Ferry, and mounted again, but being strangers to the road, we came out of our way to Ivy River. We returned to the road, and passed by Gloucester County Court House. At three we came to Gloucester Town upon York River: we crossed the ferry and came to York Town; we went to Power's Ordinary, where we lay all night.
I accompted, and found that my journey to New-York and back again cost me twenty-four pounds.
Saturday, 1st December, 1716.—At nine in the morning set out, accompanied Mr. Kearney a mile from the town, and there took my leave of my fellow-traveller, and at eleven reached Williamsburg. I went and visited the Governor and my acquaintance.
3d December.—Set out from Williamsburg, and went to my plantation in King William County, and got together my servants and overseer, who had all run away, and put things into some order.
8th.—I returned to Williamsburg, and on the 11th, received news that my brother Peter had arrived at Hampton, and I went down to meet him, and on the 14th, he and his wife came up with me to Williamsburg, where we all took up our lodging, and in a few days my brother and I went to view the parishes and the plantations, and on the 29th got back to Williamsburg.
In February, 1717, Peter got a presentation to Roanoke Parish, and preached there. We all removed there in the month of March, and lodged at Captain Harwood's. I became very sick of the fever and ague, which continued until the month of May, when being somewhat better, I returned to the plantation in King William County. I bought another servant, which cost me £11 5, sterling.
October, 1717.—My brother James and his family arrived at York Town, and though I was very sick, I went down to meet them, so we all came up together in the ship to Captain Littlepage's. The houses that I was building, not being quite finished, when my brother's family arrived, they lodged at one Mr. Sutton's near the plantation.
By the 7th November, every thing was completed, so that we brought all our things and came to live there.
In November, we also sheathed the ship, which had sprung a leak during the passage, and when she was repaired and well fitted out, we tried to sell her, but could not; so we afterwards freighted her for Bristol, and in January, 1718, she fell down the river.
When my brother James and his family were settled on the plantation, I bought twenty-one head of cattle, one horse, eleven hogs, and another servant, and left every thing to the management of my brother. I was very sick for about five months, and so was all our family, so we had a great deal of trouble.
27th March, 1718.—I received a letter from my brother-in-law, Mr. Matthew Maury, to say that he was at Captain Eskridge's house, with his goods; where he would wait for me. I was not well, and the weather was wet and rainy, but I set out immediately, and crossed the ferry at Mr. Baylor's, and rid afterwards seven miles in the rain, and about an hour after night I came to one Bridgeworth's, where I lay. 28th.—I got up very sick next morning, but set out fasting. The day was very windy. I got about eight miles on my way, when my fever increased so much, and the pains in my head and bones, that I could ride no farther, and was forced to alight. At about ten of the clock I came to a poor widow woman's house, where I was for about two hours quite senseless. I was then taken with a violent vomiting, and my fever abated something, so I got on horseback again and rid to the ferry on Rappahannoc, where I lay that night—badly entertained.
29th.—Crossed the river, and got to Captain Eskridge's house at seven, and found that Mr. Maury was gone. Being very sick, I remained until the 1st of April to recruit, and on that day I mounted my horse and rid as far as Mr. Naylor's house, where I lay.
2d.—Crossed the river in a small boat, and was in great danger of being drowned. Got to Mr. Baylor's, where I lay that night, and went home next day. I made upon this journey in all, going and coming, 135 miles.
22d April.—I went down to Williamsburg to meet Mr. Maury, who had come round there. We hired a flat to convey his goods up the river. On the 25th, the goods were embarked, and we went to the Oyster Banks, and took in a great many oysters to carry home with us. We went about six miles up the river, and then we stopped for the night. We came as close to the land as we could, and stuck an oar in the mud, and tied our flat to it, and there we lay till it was day. A cold place.
26th.—Took up our oar and rowed about four miles, the wind at N. W., blew very hard. We were blown in on the shore, and the sea was very high, and there was no possibility of landing, so we were obliged to throw out all our oysters, to lighten the boat. We shipped a great deal of water, and having no anchor, we were like to drive on the mud and lose the flat. About two of the clock, the weather calming, we set out again, and made five miles, when the wind came to N. W., and such a violent storm, that we were obliged to put before the wind, and when we had gone back about a mile, we ran the flat ashore upon the strand, where we thumped mightily. The wind continued very high, but the tide being fallen, we unloaded the good«, expecting that when the tide would rise again, the boat would go to pieces. By twelve of the clock at night, we had all our goods on shore, but there being no house near, we lay upon the strand all night, and it rained very hard, so that we were wet to the skin. The wind abated a little, and as the tide rose, we drew up the flat nearer shore, and got her up as far as we could, and received no damage but being wet with both salt and fresh water.
27th.—We put the goods on board again, first thing in the morning, and the wind abated during the day, so that we were able to continue on our way, and we got to West Point about nine of the clock at night.
28th.—Came to Captain Littlepage's, and next day we got to Philip Williams his ferry, where we landed the goods. I remained on the plantation till the 6th of June, and then went down to Williamsburg, and settled all my business with Mr. Irewin and Major Holloway. On the 16th, I spoke to Captain Bonnequil, and agreed with him for my passage home.
On the 17th of July, 1718, I made over the deeds of the land to my brother James, in order to go to England.
4th August.—I received a letter from Mr. Freneau to say that there was a ship coming consigned to me; so I got my things on shore, left my fowls with the master, and paid him twenty-two shillings for the charges I had put him to. As soon as my goods were landed from the vessel, I came to York Town, thence to Williamsburg, and so to the plantation, which I reached on the 10th August.
19th December, 1718.—Received news of the arrival of the Henry and Margaret, consigned to me. I went immediately to her and entered her, landed the goods, and sold the most part of them, and kept the ship till the 7th June, 1719, when I set sail in her from James River, and on the 18th July, we came to Weymouth, on the 19th to Cowes, in the Isle of Wight, where I remained three days.
22d.—I left Cowes, and crossed the bay to Southampton.
23d.—I set out in the stage-coach for London, and arrived about eight of the clock. I took a hackney-coach, and went to Mr. Arnauld's, at Islington, where I remained until the 24th November, 1719, about the business of the cargo, and doing what I could for another voyage, but all to no purpose; so, on the 24th November, I left London. My horse tired at Coventry; so, on the 27th, I took the stage-coach, and came to Chester on the 29th. On the 30th, I hired three horses for Holyhead.
1st December.—I lay at Bangor; the 2d arrived at Holyhead, and went upon the top of the hill, from whence I could see Ireland. The 5th I embarked, and the 6th arrived in the Bay of Dublin. I took the wherry and landed by twelve, and came to Stephen's Green.
- In the preceding narrative, there is mention made of a Journal kept by John Fontaine. This has been sent to me, with great kindness, by his descendants, who are now living in the neighborhood of London. I cannot refrain from expressing my admiration of the piety and excellence of my kinswomen, at the same time that I make my acknowledgments for their contribution towards the completion of our family annals. Their lives are in all respects such as one might hope and expect to find in those descended from a long line of pious ancestry.
- The same journey is now accomplished by railway in three hours.
- The Rev. F. L. Hawks, D. D., has lent me a rare old book upon the colony of Virginia, by Hugh Jones, A. M., Chaplain to the Honorable Assembly, &c., 1724, from which I make the following extract: "He (Governor Spotswood) built a fort called Christanna, which, though not 30 far back, yet proved of great service and use; where, at his sole expense, I think, I have seen seventy-seven Indian children, at a time at school, under the careful management of the worthy Mr. Charles Griffin, who lived there some years for that purpose. These children could all read, say their catechisms and prayers tolerably well. The Indians so loved and adored him, that I have seen them hug him, and lift him up in their arms, and fain would have chosen him for a King of the Sapony nation."
- Governor Spotswood, when he undertook the great discovery of the Passage over the Mountains, attended with a sufficient guard, and pioneers and gentlemen, with a sufficient stock of provision, with abundant fatigue passed these Mountains, and cut his Majesty's name in a rock upon the highest of them, naming it Mount George; and in complaisance the gentlemen, from the Governor's name, called the mountain next in height Mount Alexander.
For this expedition they were obliged to provide a great quantity of horse shoes, (things seldom used in the lower parts of the country, where there are few stones;) upon which account the Governor, upon their return, presented each of his companions with a golden horse shoe, (some of which I have seen studded with valuable stones, resembling the heads of nails,) with this inscription on the one side: Sic juvat tracendere montes; and on the other is written the tramontane order.
This he instituted to encourage gentlemen to venture backwards, and make discoveries and new settlements; any gentleman being entitled to wear this Golden Shoe that can prove his having drunk his Majesty's health upon Mount George.—Hugh Jones, 1724.
- I understood afterwards, that in going home this vessel foundered, and all on board perished; so that I have great reason to return thanks to God for my reservation at this time; for I was fully resolved to go with him, had I not been prevented by Mr. Freneau's letter, which came to my hands four days before Captain Bonnequil sailed for England.