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proposition. For it appears to us, that the body after death. has received more care and honours from savage than from refined nations; and we are not persuaded that Christianity inculcates any special funeral rites or extreme care for the dust and ashes of the departed. The question put by the author, and which he has left unsolved, "to what is to be attributed the universal indifference of Americans to honouring the dead by those little mementos and marks of affection and respect which are interwoven with the very religion of other countries?" we think may be readily answered. We are not an imaginative people. We are, as a whole, deficient in sprightliness and animation; careful, laborious, practical in our "notions," and more given to cutting canals and laying out railroads than to planning and decorating cemeteries. We would be unwilling to exchange the Pennsylvania or Erie canal for either Père-Lachaise or the Pyramids of Egypt.
We could dwell much longer upon the scenes in and about New Orleans; that city "to which each nation in Europe appears to have contributed a street;" but we must pass on, and shall therefore merely extract further, in relation to this subject, the “Yankee's" account of some of the stations (as parts of the Levée, appropriated to particular classes of shipping, are called.)
"Next to this station commences the range of steamboats, or steamers, as they are usually termed here, rivaling in magnitude the extensive line of ships below. The appearance of so large a collection of steamboats is truly novel, and must always strike a stranger with peculiar interest. "The next station, though it presents a more humble appearance than the others, is not the least interesting. Here are congregated the primitive navies of Indiana, Ohio, and the adjoining states, manned (I have not understood whether they are officered or not) by 'real Kentucks'— 'Buck eyes'-'Hooshers' and 'Snorters.' There were about two hundred of these craft without masts, consisting of 'flat-boats,' (which resemble, only being much shorter, the 'Down East' gundalow, (gondola,) so common on the rivers of Maine,) and 'keel-boats,' which are one remove from the flat-boat, having some pretensions to a keel; they somewhat resemble freighting canal-boats. Besides these, are 'arks,' most appropriately named, their contents having probably some influence with their god-fathers in selecting an appellation, and other nondescript craft. These are filled with produce of all kinds, brought from the Uppercountry' (as the northwestern states are termed here) by the very farmers themselves who have raised it;-also, horses, cattle, hogs, poultry, mules, and every other thing raiseable and saleable, are piled into these huge flats, which an old farmer and half a dozen Goliahs of sons can begin and complete in less than a week, from the felling of the first tree to the driving of the last pin.
"When one of these arks is completed, and every beast that is good for food' by sevens and scores, male and female, and every fowl of the air by sevens and fifties, are entered into the ark,-then entereth in the old man with his family by 'males' only, and the boat is committed to
the current, and after the space of many days arriveth and resteth at this Ararat of all 'Up country' Noahs.
"These boats, on arriving here, are taken to pieces and sold as lumber, while their former owners, with well-lined purses, return home as deck passengers on board steamboats."
The next point of debarcation with our traveller, was Natchez; and the details he furnishes of the city and neighbourhood are very amusing. He there saw more of the treatment of the negroes, as a class, and of their peculiarities and habits, than in New Orleans. He would appear to have caught their language and orthography admirably; which, by the by, constitute about as good English as the worthy Major Downing's regular slang. We shall make some liberal extracts from this portion of the work, partly to illustrate our author's powers of description, (which we regard as considerable,) and principally because we look upon all sketches of the character and dispositions of the negro race in the United States as replete with the deepest interest. The writer mingled with them, casually; not for purposes of commerce, but merely as an observer, standing aloof from all prejudices which might warp his conclusions deduced from what he saw. If, therefore, his account be true, (which we see no reason to doubt,) his testimony is of no little importance.
His landing at Natchez is thus described:-
"We landed last evening at the Levée, amid the excitement, noise, and confusion which always attend the arrival or departure of a steamer in any place. But here the tumult was varied and increased by the incessant jabbering, hauling, pulling, kicking and thumping, of some score or two of ebony-cheeked men and urchins, who were tumbling over each other's heads to get the first trunk.
"Trunk, massa-trunk! I take you baggage.'
"You get out, for a nigger!' exclaimed a tall, strapping fellow, as black as night, to his brother ebony. 'I'm the gemman, massa, what care de trunk.' 'Dis nigger, him know noffing, massa-I'm what's always waits on um gentlemans from de boats! roared another; and stooping to take one of the handles, the other was instantly grappled by a rival, and both giving a simultaneous jerk, the subject of the contest flew violently from their hands, and was instantly caught up by the first 'gemman,' and borne off in triumph. This little by-play was acted, with variations, in every part of the cabin, where there was either a gentleman or a trunk to form the subject.
"On landing, there was yet another trial of the tympanum. "Carriage, massa-mighty bad hill to walk up!' was vociferated on all sides; and
"No, no, no!' was no argument with them for a cessation of attack; denial only made them more obstinate; and, like true soldiers, they seemed to derive courage from defeat.
"Forcing my way through the dingy crowd-for four out of five of them were black, and, by the same token,' as ragged as Falstaff's regiment, of shirtless memory-I followed my athletic pioneer: who, with my heavy baggage poised accurately upon his head, moved as rapidly
and carelessly along the thronged Levée, as though he carried no weight but his own thick cranium. On looking round me for a moment, on landing, I was far from agreeably impressed with the general appearance of the buildings.
"The principal street, which terminates at the ascent of the hill, runs parallel with the river, and is lined on either side with a row of old wooden houses; which are alternately gambling-houses, brothels, and bar-rooms: a fair assemblage! As we passed through the street-which we gained with difficulty from the boat, picking our way to it as we could, through a filthy alley-the low, broken, half-sunken side-walks, were blocked up with fashionably-dressed young men, smoking or lounging, tawdrily arrayed, highly rouged females, sailors, Kentucky boatmen, negroes, negresses, mulattoes, pigs, dogs, and dirty children. The sounds of profanity, and Bacchanalian revels, well harmonising with the scene, assailed our ears as we passed hastily along, through an atmosphere of tobacco smoke and other equally fragrant odours. After a short walk we emerged into a purer air, and in front of a very neat and wellconducted hotel. From near this place, extending along the Levée to the north, commences the mercantile part of the 'landing,' lined with stores and extensive warehouses, in which is transacted a very heavy business. The whole of this lower town is built upon a reclaimed flat, from one to two hundred yards broad, and half a mile in length; bounded upon one side by the river, and on the other by the cliff or bluff, upon which Natchez stands, and which rises abruptly from the Batture, to the height of one hundred and sixty feet. This bluff extends along the river, more or less varied and broken, for several miles; though at no point so abrupt and bold as here, where it bears the peculiar characteristics of the wild scenery of 'Dover cliffs.' The face of the cliff at Natchez is not a uniform precipice, but, apparently by the provident foresight of nature, broken by an oblique shelf or platform, gradually inclining from the summit to the base. With but a little excavation, a fine road has been constructed along this way, with an inclination sufficiently gentle to enable the heaviest teams to ascend with comparative ease.
66 On arriving at the summit of the hill, I delayed a moment, for the double purpose of taking breath and surveying the scene spread out around me. Beneath lay the roofs of warehouses, stores, and dwellings, scattered over a flat, sandy surface, which was bordered, on the water side, by hundreds of up-country flat-boats, laden with the produce of the rich farming states bordering the Ohio and Upper Mississippi.' Lower down, steamers were taking in and discharging freight; while the mingled sounds of the busy multitude rose like the hum of a hive upon the ear. Immediately opposite me lay two ships, which, with their towering masts, gay flags, and dark hulls, agreeably relieved the otherwise long and unbroken line of boats. To the north, the river spreads its noble bosom till lost in the distance; while the continuous line of cliffs, extending along its shore like a giant-wall, seem to speak in the language of power, 'thus far shalt thou flow, and no farther, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.' To the south, the view is confined by the near projection of the obtruding cliffs. Yet the river stretches boldly out many miles on its course toward the sea, till lost to sight within the bosom of the distant forests which bound the southern horizon. To the west, the eye travels over the majestic breadth of the river, here a mile wide, and rests for a moment upon level and richly cultivated fields beyond, a quiet village and noble forests, which spread away to the west like a vast sea of waving foliage, till they blend with the bending sky, forming a level and unbroken horizon. Turning from this scene of
grandeur and beauty to the east, Natchez, mantled with rich green foliage like a garment, with its handsome structures and fine avenues, here a dome and there a tower, lies immediately before me. It is the very contrast to its straggling namesake below. The city proper consists of six streets, at right angles with the river, intersected by seven others of the same length, parallel with the stream. The front, or first parallel street, is laid out about one hundred yards back from the verge of the bluff, leaving a noble green esplanade along the front of the city, which not only adds to its beauty, but is highly useful as a promenade and parade ground. Shade trees are planted along the border, near the verge of the precipice, beneath which are placed benches, for the comfort of the lounger. From this place, the eye commands one of the most extensive prospects to be found on the Mississippi. To a spectator, standing in the centre of this broad, natural terrace, the symmetrical arrangement of the artificial scenery around him is highly picturesque and pleasing."
He was present, from motives of curiosity, shortly after, at an auction of slaves in Natchez, and he thus describes the It was in "Main street," the "Broadway" of the city.
"Walk with me into this street about noon on a pleasant day in December. It is the only one nearly destitute of shade trees; but the few it boasts are shedding their yellow leaves, which sprinkle the broad, regular, and well-constructed side-walks, and the warm sun shines down cheerily and pleasantly upon the promenaders.-Here, at the corner, surrounded by a crowd, is an auction store. Upon a box by the door, stands a tall, fine-looking man. But he is black; ebony cannot be blacker. Of the congregation of human beings there, he is the most unconcerned. Yet he has a deeper interest in the transactions of the moment than all the rest-for a brief space will determine whom, aniong the multitude, he is to call master! The auctioneer descants at large upon his merits and capabilities.-'Acclimated, gentlemen! a first-rate carriage-driver-raised by Col. -. Six hundred dollars is bid. Examine him, gentlemen-a strong and athletic fellow-but twenty-seven years of age.' He is knocked off at seven hundred dollars; and with There's your master,' by the seller, who points to the purchaser, springs from his elevation to follow his new owner; while his place is supplied by another subject. These scenes are every-day matters here, and attract no attention after beholding them a few times; so powerful is habit, even in subduing our strongest prejudices. But the following dialogue, overheard by me, between two well-dressed, smart-looking blacks near by, one seated listlessly upon his coach-box, the other holding the bridle of his master's horse-though brief, contains a volume of meaning, in illustrating the opinions and views of the blacks upon the state of their degraded race.
"You know dat nigger they gwine to sell, George?'
"No, he field nigger; I nebber has no 'quaintance wid dat class.' "Well, nor no oder gentlemens would. But he's a likely chap. How much you tink he go for?' 'I a'nt much 'quainted wid de price of such kind of peoples. My master paid seven hundred dollar for me, when I come out from ole Wirginney-dat nigger fetch five hun'red dollar, I reckon.'
"You sell for only seben hun'red dollars! exclaimed the gentleman upon the coach-seat, drawing himself up with pride, and casting a contemptuous glance down upon his companion: 'my massa give eight VOL. XVIII.-NO. 37. 6
hundred and fifty silver dollars for me. Gom! I tink dat you was more 'spectable nigger nor dat.' At this turn of the conversation the negro was struck off at seven hundred, at which the colloquist of the same price became highly chagrined; but, stepping upon the stirrup, and raising himself above the crowd, that he might see the fool massa what give so much for a miserable good-for-nothing nigger, not wort' his corn,' consoled himself with the reflection that the buyer was 'a man what made no more dan tirty bale cotton; while my master make tree hun'red, and one of de firs' gemmans too!"
We continue our extracts, with the further view of enabling our readers to judge of the apparent contentedness, or otherwise, of the slaves; and to add another proof of the great humanity with which, (to the honour of the planters of the United States be it spoken,) as an almost universal rule, the negroes are treated.
"In 'Natchez under the hill,' the Sabbath, as a day of rest and public worship, is not observed according to the strictest letter of the old blue laws.' On that day the stores are kept open, and generally filled with boatmen and negroes. With the latter this day is a short jubilee, and, with the peculiar skill of their race, they make the most of it-condensing the occupation and the jollity of seven days into one. It is customary for planters in the neighbourhood to give their slaves a small piece of land to cultivate for their own use, by which those who are industrious generally make enough to keep themselves and their wives in extra finery and spending money throughout the year. They have the Sabbath day given them as a holiday, when they are permitted to leave their plantations and come into town to dispose of their produce, and lay in The various avenues to the their own little luxuries and private stores. city are consequently on that day filled with crowds of chatting, laughing negroes, arrayed in their Sunday's best, and adroitly balancing heavily loaded baskets on their heads, which, from long practice in this mode of conveyance, often become indurated, like a petrification, and as flat as the palm of the hand, distending at the sides, and elongating in proportion to the depression, causing a peculiar conformation of the skull, which would set phrenology at defiance. Others mounted on mules or miserable-looking plough-horses, in whose presence Rosinante himself would have looked sleek and respectable-burthened with their marketable commodities, jog on side by side, with their dames or sweethearts riding 'double-jaded'- -as the Yankees term the mode-behind them; while here and there market carts returning home from the city, (as this is also market morning) or from the intersecting roads, pour in upon the highway to increase the life, variety, and motley character of its crowd. But this unpleasing picture of a Sabbath morning, has brighter tints to redeem the graver character of its moral shades. Of all that picturesque multitude of holiday slaves, two-thirds, the majority of whom are women, are on their way to church, into whose galleries they congregate at the hour of divine service in great numbers, and worship with an apparent devoutness and attention, which beings who boast intellects of a higher order might not disdain to imitate. The female slaves very generally attend church in this country; but, whether to display their tawdry finery, of which they are fond to a proverb, or for a better purpose, I will not undertake to determine. The males prefer collecting in little knots in the streets, where, imitating the manners, bear