Page images
PDF
EPUB

gers; but it is generally supposed, on the other hand, to be specific against some other diseases.

During my stay at this place, I was almost induced to make a tour for a fortnight to the southward, in Augusta county, for the sake of seeing some natural curiosities; which, the officers assured me, were extremely well worth visiting: but as the Cherokees had been scalping in those parts only a few days before; and as I feared, at the same time, that it would detain me too long, and that I should lose my passage to England, I judged it prudent to decline it.

The curiosities they mentioned to me, were chiefly these:

1. About forty miles westward of Augusta court-house, a beautiful cascade, bursting out of the side of a rock; and, after running some distance through a meadow, rushing down a precipice 150 feet perpendicular.

2. To the southward of this about twenty miles, two curious hot springs, one tasting like alum, the other like the washings of a gun.

3. A most extraordinary cave.

4. A medicinal spring, specific in venereal cases. A soldier in the Virginian regiment, whose case was almost desperate, by drinking and bathing in these waters, was, after a few days, intirely cured. This fact was asserted very strongly by some officers, who had been posted there : but colonel Washington, of whom I inquired more particularly concerning it, informed me that he had never heard of it; that he was not indeed at the place where it is said to have happened, but that having had the command of the regiment at that time, he should probably have been informed of it. What credit therefore is to be given to it, the reader must judge for himself.

5. Sixty miles southward of Augusta court-house, a nats

ural arch, or bridge, joining two high mountains, with a considerable river running underneath.

6. A river called Lost river, from its sinking under a moun. tain, and never appearing again.

7. A spring of a sulphureous nature, an infallible cure for particular cutaneous disorders.

8. Sixteen miles north-east of Winchester, a natural cave or well, into which, at times, a person may go down to the depth of 100 or 150 yards; and at other times, the water rises up to the top, and overflows plentifully. This is called the ebbing aud flowing well, and is situated in a plain, flat country, not contiguous to any mountain or running water.

9. A few miles from hence, six or seven curious caves communicating with each other.

A day or two before I left Winchester, I discovered that I had been robbed by my servant: he confessed the fact, and pleaded so little in justification of himself, that I was obliged to dismiss him. This distressed me very much, for it was impossible to hire a servant in these parts, or even any one to go over the mountains with me into the lower settlements. However, by the politeness of the commander of the place, the honourable colonel Byrd, and of another gentleman* of my acquaintance, I got over these difficulties; for the former, while I continued at Winchester, accommodated me with his own apartments in the fort, ordering his servants to attend and wait upon me: and the latter sent a negroe boy with me as far as colonel Washington's, eighty miles distant from this place. On the 4th of June, therefore, I was enabled to leave Winchester, and I travelled that night about eighteen miles, to Sniker's ferry upon the Shenando. The next morning I repassed the Blue-ridge at William's Gap, and proceeded on my journey about forty miles. I this day fell into conversation with a planter, who overtook me on the road, concerning the rattle-snake, of which there are infinite numbers in these parts; and he told me, that one day going to a mill at some distance, he provoked one to such a degree, as to make it strike a small vine which grew close by, and that the vine presently drooped and

* Colonel Churchill.

died. *

My accommodations this evening were extremely bad ; I had been wet to the skin in the afternoon; and at the miserable plantation in which I had taken shelter, I could get no fire; nothing to eat or drink but pure water; and not even a blanket to cover me. I threw myself down upon my mattrass, but suffered so much from cold, and was so infested with insects and vermin, that I could not close my eyes. I rose early in the morning, therefore, and proceeded upon my journey, being distant from colonel Washington's not more than thirty miles. It was late, however, before I arrived there, for it rained extremely hard, and a man who undertook to shew me the nearest way, led me among precipices and rocks, and we were lost for above two hours. It was not indeed, without some compensation; for he brought me through as beautiful and picturesque a scene, as eye ever beheld. It was a delightful valley, about two miles in length, and a quarter of one in breadth, between high and craggy mountains, covered with chamedaphnes* or wild ivy, in full flower. Through the

* Several persons to whom I have mentioned this fact, have seemed to doubt of the probability of it. But were it not true, a question will naturally arise, how an idea of that nature should occur to an ignorunt planter, living remote from all cultivated society; and, more particularly, how he should happen to fix upon that tree; which, supposing the thing possible, is the most likely to have been affected in the manner described.

* The cham@daphne is the most beautiful of all flowering shrubs : Catesby in his Natural History of Carolina speaks of it in the following nan

:

middle of the valley glided a rivulet about eight yards wide, extremely lucid, and breaking into innumerable cascades; and in different parts of it stood small clumps of evergreens; such as myrtles, cedars, pines, and various other sorts. Upon the whole, not Tempe itself could have displayed greater beauty or a more delightful scene.

At colonel Washington's I disposed of my horses, and, having borrowed his curricle and servant, I took leave of Mount Vernon the 11th of June.

I crossed over the Potowmac into Maryland at Clifton's ferry, where the river is something more than a mile broad; and proceeded on my journey to Malborough, eighteen miles.

a

ner: “ The flowers grow in bunches on the tops of the branches, to footstalks of three inches long; they are white, stained with purplish red; consisting of one leaf in form of a cup, divided at the verge into five sections. In the middle is a stilus, and ten stamina, which, when the flower first opens, appear lying close to the sides of the cup, at equal distances ; their apices being lodged in ten little hollow cells, which being prominent on the outside, appear as so many little tubercles. As all plants have their peculiar beauties, it is difficult to assign to any one an elegance excelling all others; yet considering the curious structure of the flower, and beautiful appearance of this whole plant, I know of no shrub that has a better claim to it.” Catesby, Vol. II. p. 98.

THE CAPTURE OF THE REDOUBTS

BEFORE YORK TOWN, IN 1781. [We are indebted to Robert Saunders, Esq., of Williamsburg, for the following copy of a letter from Robert Andrews to John Page, Esq., (of Rosewell, Gloucester county,) afterwards Governor of Virginia, the original of which was found among bis papers, after his death.]

My Dear Sir, I have just received your Billet, but have neither seen the Governor, Tucker, or Bradford. I do not know what your Queries may be, but I am certain you will be highly pleased with our success yesterday evening.

A little after seven o'clock an attack was made by the French Grenadiers, and the American light Infantry on the Enemy's two left Redoubts below the Town. In ten minutes they were both in our Possession without our firing a shot: The Enemy blazed away very furiously, not only from these Redoubts but their whole Line. We made about 70 prisoners, and it is supposed about 30 were bayoneted. Our Loss in killed and wounded was near an hundred. The acquisition of these two Places not only brings us into closer neighbourhood with the Enemy, but puts us on a level with them with respect to Ground. A few Days more will, I hope, close the scene; and enable us to look at each other in Triumph from York and Gloucester Points.

I most heartily rejoice with you on the brightening Prospect.

And am
Your Friend, &c.,

ROBERT ANDREWS. Our Marquis commanded the light Infantry and rode to the Redoubt.

From To-Day, a Boston Literary Journal:

VIEWS OF AMERICA IN 1782.

Some portions of the journal of M. De Broglie have recently been published, containing an interesting account of his visit to this country in 1782, and of the aspect of things at that time. We give below some parts of this journal, translated from the Courier des Etats Unis.

We think that our readers cannot fail to take an interest in these fragments. They show the degree of respect and curiosity which the character and fame of Washington had inspired, even at that early period. The Prince de Broglie came to the United States, with letters of introduction from Benjamin Franlin, for the purpose of joining the army of Count de Rochambeau. In the writings of Washington, published by Mr. Sparks,

« PreviousContinue »