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Sketch of a journey through the western states of North America, 1827




Sketch of a journey through the western states of North America, 1827


Sketch of a journey through the western states of North America: from New Orleans, by the Mississippi, Ohio, city of Cincinnati and falls of Niagara, to New York, in 1827. Contains a description of the new and flourishing city of Cincinnati, by Messrs. B. Drake and E.D. Mansfield, and a selection from various authors, on the present condition and future prospects of the settlers, in the fertile and populous state of Ohio, containing information useful to persons desirous of settling in America.


Library Collection, Filson Historical Society



Drake, Benjamin
Flint, Timothy
Mansfield, Edward Deering




RB 917.7 B938s 1827


BY W. BULLOCK, F.L.S., &c. &c.

Where grand Ohio rolls his silver floods,
Through verdant fields, and darkly waving woods,
Beholding oft, in flowery verdure drest,
The green isle swelling from his placid breast;
Here where so late, the Indian's lone canoe,
Swift o'er the wave, in fearless triumph flew,
Behold the stately steam-borne vessel glide,
With eagel swiftness, o'er the yielding tide,
Ande where so late, its shelter, rude and low,
The wigwam rear'd, beneath the forest bough.
Lo! cities spring before the wondering eyes,
And domes of grandeur swell into the skies.


It will be perceived that the account of Cincinnati, con-
tained in this work, is written by Messrs. Drake and
Mansfield, in 1827, and that they have used much of the
information before published by Dr. Drake, in 1815, and
whose anticipations in favour of the place were fully
realized in the interim. The work is so accredited, as
exhibiting the actual state of the place of which it treats,
that the author of the present volume has purposely
inserted it, instead of relying on his own observations
merely, and which might be supposed to be influenced
by the favourable impression that the place made upon
him. Convinced of the accuracy of the account by
Messrs. Drake and Mansfield, he lays it before the public,
as likewise his purposed intention of forming a rural town
in its immediate vicinity, with full confidence, that those
persons who may choose to seek a cheap, agreeable, and
healthful retreat in that part of the world, will not be

The generalized plan of the United States of America,
represents the relative situations of Cincinnati and
Hygeia, and it will be found, on inspection, that they
are placed in the very heart of the country, and possessing
much greater advantages towards increasing prosperity,
than is to be found in any other part of the country.

The Author was so pleased with the country in the
neighborhood of Cincinnati, and convinced of its
eligibility, in every respect, for the residence of persons
of limited property, that he purchased an extensive estate
with a handsome house there, within a mile of the city,
to which he is about to retire with his family. The spot
is so beautiful and salubrious, and affords such facilities
for the erection of pleasurable dwellings, with gardens to
them, that, on his arrival in England, with a survey
of the estate, he engaged Mr. John B. Papworth, the
architect, to lay out the most beautiful part of it as a
town of retirement, to be called Hygeia, as shown in the
plan exhibited in the front of this volume. This will
enable persons desirous of establishing themselves in this
abundant and delightful country, to do so at a very
moderate expense.

Mr. Bullock returns to this estate immediately, and
application may be made to Mr. Papworth, 10, Caroline
Streer, Bedford Square, where the plan and model of the
spot may be seen.

On my return from Mexico to England, in the spring of the
present year, I was induced, by the representation of an
American friend, to pass through the United States, by way
of New Orleans, up the Mississippi and Ohio, by lake Erie,
the falls of Niagara, the Erie canal, and Hudson river, to
New York, as by this route the tedious sea voyage would be
much shortened, with the advantage of affording me the view
of a large and interesting portion of North America, without
losing time, or adding much to the expense; nearly the whole
journey being now performed by commodious steam and
towboats on the rivers, lakes, and canals in the interior of the

We sailed from Vera Cruz on the 20th of March, in the
small American schooner General Warren; our little cabin
contained a motley groupe of eighteen persons, natives of
France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and North
America—myself and wife being the oly natives of England.
The morning after we sailed, we had the misfortune to find
that one of our party, a Spanish merchant, who came on board
unwell, had brought among us that terrible malady, the
black vomitta, so fatal to strangers in this part of the world.
We were without medical assistance, and the sufferings of
the unfortunate man were dreadful; to add to our distress,
the weather, which was unfavourable on our first sailing, had
settled into one of those gales so well known in the Gulf of
Mexico by the name of Northers, so that we were compelled
to confine ourselves to the cabin with the invalid. On the
sixth day from our leaving land he expired, and was
committed to the deep.

On the following morning we made land, and in the
evening entered one of the mouths of the Mississippi, about

100 miles below New Orleans. The wind being adverse, we
cast anchor on those muddy banks covered with reeds, which
here commence the great swamp, or wilderness, that composes
this part of the United States, and which, though extremely
fertile, and under a fine climate, is a most dangerous district
for the residence of strangers, at the close of the summer,
and during the autumn, the miasma, or insalubrity of the air
at those periods, generating a disease, similar to that so pre-
valent, and so fatal at Vera Cruz. The next morning a fine
steam tow-boat of 300 tons, that we had passed the evening
before, outside the bar, whilst taking out the cargo of a
stranded vessel, came up, and took us, and another schooner in
tow, and proceeded up the river against wind and current to
New Orleans, where we arrived the following morning.

The woody flats that confined, or rather marked, the river
on both sides, as far as the eye could trace, were overgrown
with reeds, and other aquatic plants, which appeared springing
up amidst millions of whole trees, with their roots and
branches, which had been brought down with the floods, from
the sides of the rivers of the interior, 1000 miles above, and
deposited here, on the shallow mud-banks. In some instances
young trees were springing from these old trunks, and thus,
with the alluvial deposit surrounding them, were increasing
the territory of the United States in the Gulf of Mexico.

As we advanced farther up the river, we observed places
where some of the choicest of these dead trees had been
pulled on shore and negroes were employed in splitting them
for firewood, or sawing them into boards. The recollection
of the sufferings of the poor in many parts of Europe, from the
want of fuel, cannot but excite regret, at the sight of such
abundance of timber, wasting here in decay. For many miles
the ground does not admit of cultivation or settlement, but,
travelling onward, about noon we observed trees which began
to increase in size, and to assume the appearance of low
woods, which, however, seemed to spring from the water ; not
a spot of dry land being visible across these vast marshes, even
from the lofty and ample deck of the steam-boat.

About twelve leagues above the entrance from the sea, we cam
in sight of Fort Jackson, now erecting on the left side of the
river, on the first solid ground we had yet observed ; and on the
other side Fort Philip, on which the American flag was flying.

The ground from hence began to improve ; we passed several
houses, and, as we came opposite the site of the battle in which

the British army was defeated by General Jackson, during the
late war, the banks of the river assumed the appearance of the
neighbourhood of a populous city. We now passed numerous
good houses, each with a large verandah and garden; and a
nunnery, in which several of the ladies in their habitats were
distinctly visible. A few minutes brought us in sight of the
city of New Orleans, where the river was crowded with com-
mercial vessels from all nations, the majority of which, how-
ever were from England. We immediately landed, and found
ourselves in the midst of a well built street, nearly choked up
with bales of cotton. Here were handsome shops, filled with
well dressed people, in the European costumes, the ladies in
the fashipns of London and Paris. The English Language
being generally spoken, produced that unexpected delight,
which could only be felt by Britons, who, like ourselves, had
been long absent from our native land, and residents of such
a country as Mexico. We has an introduction to a respectable
boarding-house, kept by an English lady, whose politeness and
attention shortly made us feel ourselves at home. We re-
mained a week in this commercial city, and saw whatever was
deemed worth seeing ; but, as the city has been so well de-
scribed by the Rev. Timothy Flint, in his "Recollections of
the Last Ten Years spent in the Valley of the Mississippi,'
lately published, I shall gratify the English reader by giving
that gentleman's account in his own words.

"One hundred miles from the mout of the Mississippi,
and something more than a thousand from the mouth of the
Ohio, just below a sharp point of the river, is situated on its
east bank, the city of New Orleans, the great commercial
capital of the Mississippi valley. The position for a com-
mercial city is unrivalled, I believe, by any one in the world.
At a proper distance from the Gulf of Mexico–on the banks
of a stream which may be said almost to water a world–but
a little distance from Lake Ponchartrain, and connected with
it by a navigable canal–the immense alluvion contiguous to
it–penetrated in all directions either by bayous formed by
nature, or canals which cost little more trouble in the making
than ditches–steam-boats visiting it from fifty different
shores–possessing the immediate agriculture of its own
state, the richest in America, and as rich as any in the world,
with continually increasing agriculture of the upper
country, its position far surpasses that of New York itself.
It has one dreary drawback–the insalubrity of its situation.
Could the immense swamps between it and the bluffs be
drained, and the improvements commenced in the city be
completed; in short, could its atmospher ever become a dry
one, it would soon leave the greatest cities of the Union

Great efforts are making towards this result. Unhappily,
when the dog star rises upon its sky, the yellow fever is but
too sure to come in its train. Notwithstanding the annual,
or at least the biennial visits of this pestilence ; although its
besom sweeps off multitudes of unacclimated poor, and com-
pels the rich to fly ; notwithstanding the terror, that is every
where associated with the name of the city, after the ab-
sence of a season, I discover an obvious change. New build-
ings have sprung up, and new improvements are going on.
Its regular winter population, between forty and fifty
thousand inhabitants, is five times the amount which it had
when it came under the American government. The ex-
ternal form of the city on the river side is graduated in some
measure to the curve of the river. The street that passes
along the leveé, and conforms to the course of the river, is
called Leveé-street, and is the one in which the greatest and
most active business of the city is transacted. The upper
part of the city is principally built and inhabited by Ameri-
cans, and is called the 'Fauxbourg St. Mary.' The greater
number of the houses in this fauxbourg are of brick, and
built in the American style. In this quarter are the Pres-
byterian church and the new theatre. The ancient part of
the city, as you pass down Leveé-street towards the Cathe-
dral, has in one of the clear, bright January mornings, that
are so common at that season, an imposing and brilliant
aspect. There is something fantastic and unique in the ap-
pearance, I am told, far more resembling European cities,
than any other in the United States. The houses are stuc-
coed externally, and this stucco is white or yellow, and strikes
the eye more pleasantly than the dull and sombre red of
brick. There can be no question, but the American mode of
building is at once more commodius, and more solid and
durable, than the French and Spanish ; but I think the
latter have the preference in the general effect upon the eye.
Young as the city is, the effect of this humid climate, ope-
rating upon the mouldering materials, of which the buildings

are composed, has already given it the aspect of age, and to
the eye, it would seem the most ancient city in the United
States. The streets are broad, and the plan of the city is
perfectly rectangular and uniform. There are in the limits
of the city three malls, or parade grounds, of no great extent,
and not yet sufficiently shaded, though young trees are
growing in them. They serve as parade grounds, and in the
winter have a beautiful carpet of clover, of a most brilliant
green. Royal and Charter streets are the most fashionable
and splendid in the city. The parade ground, near the basin,
which is a harbour, dug out to receive the lake vessels, is the
most beautiful of the parades."

"In respect to the manners of the people, those of the
French citizens partake of their general national character.
They have here their characteristic politeness and urbanity ;
and it may be remarked, that ladies of the highest standing
will show courtesies that would not comport with the ideas
of dignity entertained by the ladies at the North. In their
convivial meetings there is apparently a great deal of cheerful
familiarity, tempered, however, with the most scrupulous ob-
servances, and the most punctilious decorum. They are the
same gay, dancing, spectacle-loving race, that they are every
where else. It is well known that the Catholic religion does
not forbid amusements on the Sabbath. They fortify them-
selves in defending the custom of going to balls and the
theatre on the Sabbath, by arguing that religion ought to
inspire cheefulness, and that cheerfulness is associated with

"The Americans come hither from all the states. Their
object is to accumulate wealth, and spend it somewhere else.
But death–which they are very little disposed to take into
the account–often brings them up before their scheme is
accomplished. They have, as might be expected of an as-
semblage from different regions, mutual jealousies, and
mutual dispositions to figure in each other's eyes ; of course
the New Orleans people are gay, gaudy in their dress,
houses, furniture, and equipage, and rather fine than in the
best taste.

There are some fifty steam-boats lying in the harbour.
A clergyman from the North made with me the best enu-
meration that we could, and we calculated that there were

a 5

from twelve to fifteen hundred flat boats lying along the
river. They would average from forty to sixty tons burden.
The number of vessels in the harbour from autumn to spring
is very great. More cotton is shipped from this port than
from any other in America, or perhaps the world. I could
never have formed a conception of the amount in any other
way, than by seeing the immense piles of it that fill the
streets, as the crop is coming in. It is well known that the
amount of sugar raised and shipped here is great, and in-
creasing. The produce from the upper country has no limits
to the extent of which it is capable ; and the commerce of
this important city goes on steadily increasing.

This city exhibits the greatest variety of costume, and
foreigners ; French, Spanish, Portugese, Irish in shoals ; in
short, samples of the common people of all the European
nations, Creoles, all the intermixtures of Negro and Indian
blood, the moody and ruminating Indians, the inhabitants of
the Spanish provinces, and a goodly woof to this warp, of
boatment, 'half horse and half alligator ;' and more languages
are spoken here than in any other town in America. There
is a sample, in short, of every thing. In March the town is
most filled ; the market shows to the greatest advantage ; the
citizens boast of it, and are impressed with the opinion that
it far surpasses any other. In effect this is the point of union
between the North and the South. The productions of all
climes find their way hither, and for fruits and vegetables, it
appears to me to be unrivalled. In a pleasant March fore-
noon, you see, perhaps, half the city here. The crowd covers
half a mile in extent. The negroes, mulattoes, French, Spa-
nish, Germans, are all crying their several articles in their
several tongues. They have a wonderful faculty of twanging
the sound through their noses, as shrill as the notes of a
trumpet. In the midst of the Babel trumpeting, 'un pica-
lion, un picalion,' is the most distinguishable tune."

"The communications from this city with the interior, are
easy, pleasant, and rapid, by the steam-boats. More than a
hundred are now on these waters. Some of them, for size,
accomodation, and splendour, exceed any that I have seen
on the Atlantic waters. The Washington, Feliciana, Pro-
vidence, Natchez, and various others, are beautiful and com-
modious boats. The fare is sumptuous, and passages are
comparatively cheap. I have also uniformly found the pas-

sengers obliging and friendly. Manners are not so distant or
stately as at the North ; and it is much easier to become ac-
quainted with your fellow passengers. A trip up the Missis-
sippi at the proper season of the year is delightful."

The vicinity of New Orleans is not interesting, and the roads
and drives but few, owing to the swamp in which it is placed.
We went in a carriage to lake Ponchartrain, about three miles
distant, where we procured a few interesting fresh-water
shells ; but, in general, the subjects of natural history, which
I had lately seen, had not much novelty to recommend them.

I must not omit stating, that, in one of my rambles, in a
small street, near the steam-boat landing, I saw on a sign, in
large letters, "Big Bone Museum." This excited my curiosity,
and I expected to see mammoth-bones, as the banks, past which
the water of this river rolls, had produced a great number of
those surprising remains. I therefore entered, and was indeed
astonished at the sight, not of the remains of a mammoth, but
what are believed to be those of a stupendous crocodile, and
which, indeed, are likely to prove so, intimating the former
existence of a lizard, at least 150 feet long ; for I measured
the right side of the under jaw, which I found to be 21 feet
along the curve, and 4 feet 6 inches wide ; the others con-
sisted of numerous vertebrae, ribs, femoral bones, and toes, all
corresponding in size to the jaw ; there were also some teeth,
these, however, were not of proportionate magnitude ; but the
person who found them (W. S. Schofield), assured me that he
had also discovered another tooth, similar to the rest, but con-
siderably larger, which had been clandestinely taken from his
exhibition-room. These remains were discovered, a short time
since, in the swamp near Fort Philip, and the other parts of
the mighty skeleton, are, it is said, in the same part of the

On my hinting the probability that these bones might have
belonged to a species of whale, Mr. S. gave me such reasons,
on the authority of an intelligent zoologist, and comparative
anatomist, who was preparing to give the world a description
of them, as convinced me, that my conjecture was without
foundation. I offered a considerable sum for these immense
remains, but the proprietor refused to part with them, assuring
me that it was his intention to procure the remainder of them,
and then take them to Europe.

On the 3rd of April we left New Orleans, in the beautiful

steam-boat George Washington, of 375 tons, built at Cin-
cinnati, and certainly the finest fresh-water vessel I had seen.
River boats, like these, possess the advantage of not having to
contend with the ocean storms, as ours have, and are therefore
built in a different manner, having three decks or stories above
water. The accomodations are much larger, and farther re-
moved from the noise, heat, and motion of the machinery ;
wood being the only fuel made use of, they are consequently
not incommoded by the effects of the dense smoke, so annoying
in some of our steam vessels. The accomodations are ex-
cellent, and the cabins furnished in the most superb manner.
None of the sleeping rooms have more than two beds. The
principal are on the upper story, and a gallery and verandah ex-
tends entirely round the vessel, affording ample space for
exercise, sheltered from sun and rain, and commanding,
from its height, a fine view of the surrounding scenery,
without being incommoded by the noise of the crew passing
overhead. The meals furnished in these vessels are excellent,
and served in a superior style. The ladies have a separate
cabin, with female attendants, and laundresses ; there are,
also, a circulating library, a smoking and drinking room for
the gentlemen, with numerous offices for servants, &c. &c.
They generally stop twice a day to take in wood for the
engine, when fresh milk and other necessities are procured,
and the passengers may land for a short time. The voyage
before the introduction of steam, was attended with much risk
and labour, and occupied ninety days, from New Orleans to
Cincinnati, for small vessels ; the same voyage (1600 miles) is
now performed, with the greatest ease and safety, in eleven or
twelve days, against the stream, and the descent between the
above places is done in seven days ; each vessel taking several
hundred passengers, besides her cargo of merchandise. The
rate of travelling is extremely moderate in proportion to the
advantages of the accomodation. We paid about 8l. each
from New Orleans to Louisville (1500 miles), which includes
every expense of living, servants, &c. In ascending this
magnificent river, the Mississippi, of which the Ohio may be
considered a continuation, is navigable for the largest vessels,
at high water, from the Gulf of Mexico to Pittsburgh (2212
miles). The traveller is now enabled, without the least
danger or fatigue, to traverse the otherwise almost impass-
able and trackless wilderness, and wilds, that bound the
western states of America, and this, without leaving his com-

fortable apartment, from the windows of which he can enjoy
the constantly varying scenery, so new to European tra-

On leaving New Orleans, in ascending the river, thte
country, still the same continuous flat, is enriched and en-
livened by a succession of pretty houses and plantations, with
each a small negro town near them, as well as the sugar-
houses, gardens, and summer-houses, which give the idea of
wealth and industry. For sixty miles the banks present the
appearance of one continued village, skirted with plantations
of cotton, sugar-cane, and rice, for about two miles from the
river, bounded in the rear, by the uncultivated swamps and
woods. The boat proceeds continually near the shore on one
side or the other, and attracts the inhabitants to the front of
their neat houses, placed amidst orange groves, and shaded with
vines and beautiful evergreens. I was surprised to see the
swarms of children of all colours that issued from these abodes.
In infancy, the progeny of the slave, and that of his master,
seem to know no distinction ; they mix in their sports, and ap-
pear as fond of each other, as the brothers and sisters of one
family ; but in activity, life, joy, and animal spirits, the little
negro, unconscious of his future situation, seems to me to enjoy
more pleasure in this period of his existence, than his pale com-
panions. The sultry climate of Louisiana, perhaps, is more
congenial to the African constitution, than to that of the

The next morning we arrived at Baton Rouge, 127 miles
on our journey ; a pretty little town, on the east side, and
the first rising ground we had seen, being delightfully
situated on a gradual acclivity, from which, is a fine view of
the surrounding flats. The fine barracks close to it, contain
a few companies of troops. We here stopped to take in
some ladies, who continued with us to the end of the voyage.
To this place the leveé, or artificial banks, are continued
on both sides of the river from New Orleans, without which
the land would be continually overflowed. From this to
Natches (232 miles), the country is not interesting, consisting
principally of dense forest and wilderness, impenetrable to the
eye, diversified, however, by the various water fowl which the
passing vessels disturb, in their otherwise solitary haunts, and
by the number of black and gray squirrels leaping from branch
to branch in the trees. The great blue kingfisher, which is
common here, is so tame, as scarcely to move, as the boat passes,

and we frequently saw, and passed close to large alligators,
wich generally appeared to be asleep, stretched on the half-
floating logs. Several were fired at together, must have been
each upwards of twelve feet long.
Natches is a pleasantly situated town, on rather a steep
hill, about half a mile from the landing place, where are
many stores and public houses. The boat remained here an
hours, and we ascended to the upper town, a considerable
place, with a town-house, and several good streets and well-
furnished shops, in which we purchases some books. This
place exports much cotton, and the planters are said to be
rich. It commands a fine prospect over the river and sur-
rounding country. It has been tried as a summer residence
by come of the inhabitants of New Orleans, but the scourges
of this part of America (fever and ague) extend their revages
for more than 1000 miles higher up. A partial elevation of
ground, in an unhealthy district, has been proved to be more
pernicious, than even the level itself. From hence, to the
junction of the Ohio, there is little to interest the stranger, ex-
cepting the diversity of wood and water. The ground rised in
some places, though with little variety, till you pass the junction
of the Ohio, 1253 miles for the sea. shortly after entering the
Ohio, the country begins to improve ; you perceive the ground
beginning to rise in the distance, and the bank occasionally
to rear into small hills, which show their strata of stone,
and rise into bluffs, projecting into the bends of the river,
shutting it in, so as to produce the effect of sailing on a suc-
cession of the finest lakes, throughmagnificent woods, which
momentarily changed their form, from the rapid motion of our
boats. It was now full moon, and these scenes viewed during
the clear noghts, were indescribably beautiful. The tenth
day brought us to the flourishing commercial town of Louis-
ville, in Kentucky, 1542 miles from the sea, consideres as
second only to Cincinnati, in the western states. It is situated
in the commencement of the health district, but was lately
visited. The streets are spacious and regular, the houses
mostly of brick, and the shops and stores large, and well filled
with merchandise. The falls of the Ohio, which are at this
place, excepting at high water, prevent large vessels from pass-
ing up ; we therefore left the Washington, and embarked in a
smaller vessel, above the falls. On our road up from Shipping-

port, at the foot of the falls, we had an opportunity of examining
the fine canal and locks, now constructing at great expense, to
enable vessels of all dimensions to navigate the river at all
seasons. It is a great work, and calculated to be of consider-
able advantage to this country. We took a hackney coach,
of which there were several in the streets, and proceeded to
view the town, which is much more extensive than it appears.
We visited the museum, an appendage to almost every Ame-
rican town. among the fossil remains, therein, I observed
the perfect skull and horns of a species of eik, which was new
to me. The firing of the bost's gun, the constant singal for
passengers to come on board, obliged us to shorten our survey,
and in a few minuted we were again proceedings up the Ohio
in a steam-boats, with most of our late companions, and many
additional passengers. I must here observe, that the society in
the steam-boats is generally very pleasant, consisting of well
informed, intelligent people, attentive and obliging to strangers,
readily pointing out to their notice every thing worthy of ob-
servation, or that can contribute to raise their opinion of the
country and its constitution, of which they are, with good
reason, proud. They universally complain of the injustice
done them by English writers, who they say, seem to have
come among them only to misrepresent what little they have
seen of the country, and that, perhaps, like myself, from the
deck of a stean-boat.

On leaving Louisville, the magnificence of the American
rivers and scenery seemed to commence. In no part of the
world, that I have seen, are these surpasses in grandeur, or
variety, every mile affording a perpetual change. The trees
attain here an altitude, and size, unknown in Europe, and
their diversity of form and colour, formed a contrast with the
monotonous green of the wilderness below. Among the snow-
like blossom of the dog-wood, and bright scarlet of the red-
bud, which were conspicuous in the woods that now covered the
sloping banks of the river, the openings between, at in-
tervals, exhibited rich pasture lands with comfortable farm-
houses, surrounded with gardens, orchards, and vineyards,
and convinced the traveller, that he had left the regious of
swamps and marshes, fevers and agues, and arrived at those
of hill and dale, pasturage and health. We now saw greater
numbers of land and water fowl. The beautiful little summer
duck was plentiful--we shot several; andthe black vulture
was occasionally seen. In our passage up the river we had

not unfrequently seen alligators, but now they entirely dis-
appeared. We now found the cottages comfortably furnished,
and surrounded by small gardens ; the inhabitants possess
numerous hogs and cattle. We passed serveral respectable
dwellings, with luxuriant orchards and vineyards, that an-
nounced our approach to a more cultivated and richer popula-
tion than we had before seen.
When within a mile of Cincinnati; the elegant house and
extensive estate, called Elmwood, the residence of Thomas
D. Carneal, Esq. was pointed out to me, by a gentleman of the
country, as one of the finest residences in that part of America.
Passing the powder-works, and the bridge over the Deer
creek, a few minuted brought us opposite the city, where we
saw the glass-houses, paper-mills, foundries, and other demon-
strations of a flourishing, and rising commercial and manufac-
turing city. It was Easter Sunday, and the landing was
crowded with respectable, well-dressed people. We had only a
minute to view the front of this part of the city, with the steam-
boat landing, and the villages of Newport and Cavington on
the opposite side, befor we were landed, and introduced to
Col. Mack, proprietor of the principal hotel ; an establishment
of order, regularity, and comfort, that would do credit to any
city of Europe. The number and respectability of its guests,
proved at once, the estimation in which it was held in the
country. The dinner-bell summoned us at two o'clock, and
we found an assemblage of about seventy ladies and gentle-
men ; the former at the head of the table, with Mrs. Mack,
while the colonel was on his feet, attending to the wants of
his guests, and seeing that the waiters were attending to
their duty. The dinner was such, that an epicure, from
whatever part of the world he might have arrived, would have
had little cause to complain, as in no part of my travels have I
seen a table spread with more profusion, or better served ;
the only occasion of complaint with an Englishman would
arise from the wnat of warm plates, and a little more time
to have enjoyed the repast, twenty minutes only being
allowed by the industrious habits of this part of America,
for their principal meal. Little wine is used at the dinner-
table ; the guests, being principally merchants, who prefer this
mode of living, to housekeeping, return immediately to their
stores, or counting-houses, with a better relish for business
than is usually found after the enjoyment of the bottle. I
should have stated, that, befor dinner, we underweent the un-

deviating ceremony of introduction to the principal guests,
who were assembled in the drawing-room. In no part of the
old Continent that I have visited, are strangers treated with
more attention, politeness, and respect, than in Cincinnati ;
and where, indeed, can an Englishman forget that he is not at
home, except in the United States? In most other regions,
he must forego many early habits, prejudices, and propen-
sities, and accommodate himself to others, perhaps, diame-
trically opposite ; he must disguise or conceal his religious
or political opinions ; must forget his native language, and
acquire fluency in another, before he can make even his wants
known, or his wishes understood ; but here the same language
and fashion, as in his own, prevail in every state ; indeed it is
necessary for him to declare himself a foreigner, to be known
as such ; and I have always found this declaration a passport to
increased attention and kindness, for every man in this land
of freedom enjoys his opinions unmolested. Not having the
slightest intention of stopping at any town on my way to
New York, I was without any introductions ; but this de-
ficiency, by no means prevented my receiving the usual benefit
of the hospitality of the inhabitants, which was such, as to in-
duce us, at first, to remain a few days, and ultimately, pro-
bably, to end our lives with them.

My first ramble on the morning after my arrival was to
the market, at an early hour, where a novel and interesting
sight presented itself. Several hundred waggons, tilted with
white canvass, and each drawn by three or four horses, with a
pole, in a similar manner to our coaches, were backed against
the pavement, or footway, of the market-place, the tailboard,
or flap of the waggon, turned down, so as to form a kind of
counter, and convert the body of the carringe into a portable
shop, in which were seated the owners, amidst the displayed
produce of their farms ; the whole having something of the
appearance of an extensive encampment, arranged in perfect
order. It was the first time I had seen an American market,
and if I was surprised at the arrangement, I was much more
so, at the prices of the articles, as well as at their superior
quality. For a hind quarter of mutton, thirteen-pence was
demanded ; a turkey, that would have borne a comparison
with the best Christmas bird from Norfolk, the same price ;
fowls, three-pence to four-pence each ; a fine roasting pig,
ready for the spit, one shilling and three-pence ; beef, three-
halfpence per pound ; pork, one penny per pound ; butter,

advantages of its local situation, and the introduction of steam
power. To these may be added, its extremely healthy site, and
salubrity of climate (not an instance of fever, or ague, being
there known) ; the richness of its soil, the overflowing plenty,
and unparalleled cheapness of the necessaries, as well as the
luxuries of life ; the industry, the kindness and urbanity of its
inhabitants to strangers ; the benefits derived from its public
institutions, and the excellent society it affords, from the liberty
and freedom of opinion being enjoyed under its mild govern-
ment ; from the empolyment given to industry and labour ;
and from the interest derived from capital, which is here in-
creased to treble what it is in Europe, whilst the expense of
living is not one-third of what it is there, and taxes are scarcely
felt. All these advantages considered, I know of no place that
bears comparison with Cincinnati. Impressed by so many in-
viting circumstances, all conspiring to the favourite object of
my pursuit, I determined to collect my family together, and
make this rising city my permanent abode.

A few days afterwards we were invited to spend a day at
Elmwood, the house of Thomas D. Carneal, Esq., a member
of the Kentucky legislature, whose residence I mentioned,
on our arrival at Cincinati. The estate, or farm, as it is
here called, consists of about 1000 acres, part of which is
as fine arable land as ever was ploughed, and part rich
pasture land. It commences nearly opposite the town, on
the Kentucky side, stretches about two miles and a half
along the banks of the Ohio, and is about eight miles in cir-
cumference. It is scarcely possible to find a more beacutiful,
fertile, or healthy spot. A ride round its boundaries, em-
braces every variety of landscape. Its general feature is level,
gently rising from the river into undulatory hill and valley,
resembling the finest part of the county of Devon, excepting,
that the portion farthest from the river is clothed with woods,
to which, from the size of the trees, their beauty, and variety,
nothing in Europe can compare. The prospect from the hill
and house, over this part ofthe valley of Ohio, the noble reiver
winding through it, enlivened by the passing steam-boats,
with colours waving, and signal guns echoing from the sur-
rounding hills ; its floating arks, laden with stores for the
settlers on the shores, besides the sailing and fishing boats ;
on one side of the river, the beautiful rising city, with domes,
pinnacles, public buildings and manufactories, and on the other
bank, the villages of Newport and Cavington ; together form

such a view, as would require a much able pen than mine to
do justice to.

Mr. Carneal, who is a considerable landholder, selected
this desirable spot for his abode, and, at considerable expense,
about six years since, erected the elegant mansionhe now re-
sides in. It is considered the completest residence in the
country, and built of stone and brick, after his own designs,
with three handsome fronts. The lofty apartments, which
it contains, in point of beauty of convenience, are surpassed
by few, even in the Atlantic cities, as no expense was spared
for its completion. It is surrounded by every requisite for a
gentleman's country-house, domestics' houses, barns, stables,
coach-house, ice-house, dairy, &c. &c.

I have not, since I left England, seen a house so completely
furnished with all the elegancies and refinements of society,
nor a more hospitable and abundant board, which is wholly
supplied from his own grounds. Better beef and mutton
could not be desired. Game is so plentiful, that it is easily
and abundantly procured within half a mile of the house.
Fish of the finest kinds, in great variety, are taken in the
Ohio, within a still shorter distance, and kept alive in pens
on the banks, and a well-stored kitchen-garden, orchard, and
vineyard, of twenty-five acres, planted with all the best ve-
getables, and fruit of the United States, contribute to the
general stock ; in short, every necessary and luxury of life,
excepting tea and coffee, is produced on the estate. The house
is situated on a gentle acclivity, about 150 yards from the
river, with beautiful pleasure grounds in front, laid out with
taste, and decorated with varieties of magnificent plants, and
flowers, to which we are yet strangers ; it commands a full
view of the river, and all that passes on it. A more desirable
spot for a family residence, perhaps, is scarcely to be found.
The great variety of beautiful birds that are found here,
much enliven the scene. The first night I passed in this
elegant retreat, the mocking-bird, with its lucid, ever-varying
notes, continuing until dawn, kept me awake for some time
with its melody ; and in the morning, ere sunrise, the red-
bird, or Virginian nightingale, was chanting his morning
hymn, close to my bed-room window. It continued so long,
that I suspected, what proved to be the case, its nest and
young were concealed in the honeysuckle on which he was
singing. Another variety of honeysuckle in front of the house,
within ten feet of the door, was the constant resort of the ruby-

throated humming birds, one of the smallest of that diminutive
family, whose various evolutions, performed with the quick-
ness of light, the eye finds it difficult to follow. The beautiful
blue jay is so common, as to be troublesome. The orange and
black oriole, that makes the remarkable pendant nest, is here
by no means scarce ; its note is charming. Several varieties
of woodpecker are seen close to the house, and wild ducks were
hourly of the horse-pond, whilst the farm-yard abounds with
wild pigeon, as tame as our domestic ones ; and the quail,
nearly as large as our partridge, swarmed in the gardens,
orchards, and pleasure grounds. The children of the family
had their pet tame deer ; and a pair of the gigantic eik, or
wappetti (nearly the size of horses), ranged through the mea-
dows, and returned to the house, at milking-hours, with the
cows. A few weeks before, Mr. Carneal had parted with a
pair of American buffaloes, or Bonassus, which he had kept
for some time, for the purpose of improving his breed of draft

Shortly after my return from Elmwood, I was informed
that Mr. Carneal was on the point of changing his residence,
and that the whole would be sold. I could not resist the
temptation of knowing the price, and, after a few days
consideration, I became the purchaser.

I now went to reside as a visitor with Mr. C., and remained
a fortnight in examining the property, and every day became
more satisfied with my acquisition. I found on it, every re-
quisite for building; the finest timber, abundance of stone
and lime, with gravel, sand, clay, &c. It appeared to me,
that a finer site for building a small town of retirement, in
the vicinity of a populous mannfacturing city, could scarcely
exist. I made a little model of the land, and determined to
have it laid out to the best possible advantage,with profes-
sional assistance, on my arrival in England, and prepared to
return home to collect my family, and those of my friends,
whose limited incomes made such a removal as I contem-
plated convenient, and, on June 2, took my departure in a
stage, that had just commenced running on a new road to
Sandusky, on Lake Erie. The distance is 200 miles ; but in
consequence of the rain, which had been considerable, the
road naturally bad and new, was worse than usual, and it
took us four days to perform it. This was the only part of
the journey through American (2400 miles) that we travelled
by land. We passed, in many places, through fine cul-

tivated lands, with neat little towns and villages ; but the
greater part lay throught a new country of dense forest,
where the axe had scarcely cleared a sufficient passage for
the coach. At one place, where we were to spend the
night, the establishment was only three weeks old ; in that
time, the family, who had come some distance, had erected
three log-houses, and placed their furniture and effects
therein ; yet, our entertainment was by no means bad. The
poor hostess, who never had so muh company under her
roof, did all in her power to make us comfortable ; and our
party, which consisted of eight persons, three of whom were
ladies, were in perfect good humour, notwithstanding their
new situation. When we arrived at the latter end of our
journey, we saw some fine lands destitute of woods, but inter-
spersed with small clumps, resembling those in some of the
parks of our nobility ; they were the reserved possessions of the
Indians, when they sold the adjoining country to the commis-
sioners of the United States. We wished to have entered
some of their houses, which were well built, with sash win-
dows and shingle roofs, but were told, that in general they
avoided receiving the visits of white strangers. Many of them
were wealthy, as appeared from their fine cultivated fields, and
large herds of cattle and horses. Near one village, we met a
young Indian driving a handsome waggon, drawn by four re-
markably fine oxen, which would have done credit to any En-
glish gentleman ; the youth was well dressed, and passed our
carriage with a look that sufficiently marked his consequence.
In the course of the day we saw near the road several
wild turkeys, whose splendid plumage, glittering in the sun,
far excelled in appearance those of the domestic ones. We
also conversed with several Indians, some of whom were on
horseback, armed with rifles ; they were civil, and seemed
pleased at the notice we took of them. A squaw, with her son
behind her, accompained us some miles. Her dress was a loose
blue cloth coat, with scarlet pantaloons, black beaver hat and
feathers, and her face was painted bright red. We arrived at
Sandusky in the evening, and found a steam-boat just starting
for Buffalo ; but being told another would arrive, during the
night, we preferred waiting for it, and were disappointed, as
it passed by, without entering the harbour ; and as no other
was expected for some days, we took our passage on the fol-
lowing evening, in a sailing schooner, which brought us in
three days to Buffalo, a distance we should have performed in


Bullock, William, “Sketch of a journey through the western states of North America, 1827,” The Filson Historical Society Digital Projects, accessed May 22, 2024,