of Samuel Hastings Stackhouse, 1811
On Sunday morning went with Cousin Smith
to Columbia 5 miles up the river to call on Mrs. Hilditch to whom I have
a letter from Dr. Staughton. Arrived at her home. She is gone
to meeting at Duck Creek 3 miles distant. Conclude to go. Met
with a Col. Marks formerly of New York. They partly promise to return
by way of New Orleans early in the spring. Advise Ezekie to give
the direction of his farm to his mother until his return, which he approves
of & intends writing to that effect. Cousin Smith is much pleased
with this country & were it agreeable to his wife he would settle permanently
in it. His disposition towards his mother is that of a dutiful &
affectionate son, willing to do anything that would contribute to her happiness.
My Cousin Ezekial is young & perhaps yet giddy. He however possesses
a strong mind, good principles & a disposition, energy of character
& a few years experience will probably make him more solid & form
his mind in more usefullness. We should hope that the Lord might
bless this migration which he has made to the good of his soul. Much
of the precious seed of the Lord's elect is scattered in this western region.
The power of the Word is yet to declare the great salvation of God.
To many has it come: already to make the wilderness to blossom, and there
are many fields which we would hope are nearby ripe unto harvest.
This afternoon at 5 o'clock Mr. Snodgrass
& William arrive. Conclude to set out next day.
Wednesday, 6th of Nov. Prepare
for starting. William wishes to remain another day--not yet determined.
Mr. S. & Wm. go over to Newport. We conclude to remain until
tomorrow. Before leaving this state I must notice one feature of
their constitution which reflects much honor on the framers of it &
I fear will at some future day not very far distant practically assert
its policy & virtue to the misery & distress of many of the sister
states. The constitution of the State of Ohio recognizes a general
& universal principle of personal liberty. Slavery is not sanctioned
in any shape. The slave without any exception becomes a freeman on
treading the soil of this favoured country.
Thursday morning, 7th Nov. Rainy,
unpleasant weather. Take breakfast & set out on our journey,
recross the Ohio at Cincinatti having previously crossed it at Wheeling.
This becomes necessary from the winding of the river. Pass over the
Dry Ridge & at 2 o'clock arrive at Gaine's, wet & fatigued.
We have come 20 miles & conclude to tarry here. I have a severe
pain in my bones & feel generally unwell. Retire early to bed
with many of the sensations of a wearied traveller. Have rather a
wakeful dreaming half slumbering rest through the night. Rise at
the first glimmer of the morning light & proceed onward. We have
in company Judge Warren of Georgetown, a gentlemanly man who is on his
way home from court at Born [Bonn?] Courthouse. In this vicinity
(which is in the State of Kentucky which we entered on crossing the river
at Cincinatti) there has been a great revival of religion. We are
informed that upwards of 200 persons have been added to the Babtist Church
within the last year. Arrive at Theobolds, 16 miles, where we breakfast.
Proceed on pass Arnold's brickhouse which looks well but has rather a bad
reputation. Travellers are not very safe with the host. We
pass through rather an indifferent country, the lands not very good &
very broken. Observe a deserted farm on which, we are informed, three
entire families have been swept off by disease of a high bilious cast after
periods of illness not exceeding 4 or 5 days. It is supposed there
is some very noxious or poisonous quality in the water. At sunset
we arrive at Mr. Nelson's, distance 36 miles. An excellent house
kept by a Virginian who is very attentive & accomodating. Furnishes
us with an excellent supper. On arriving here I find myself in as bad order
as the preceding evening. Pain in my bones, to which is added a stiff neck
& a disposition to fever. Take some rest & feel better. We
here meet with a General & a senator who are not a little gay &
quite anxious that the Judge & myself should try our skill at disputation.
The senator gives a banter in fav. of the judge & the Gerneral takes
him up by fixing upon me. I get off by observing that I am at this
time but a foundered nag & unfit for the turf. Take a dose of
[Lees?] pills. Feel better in the morning & in early season proceed
on our journey. At 12:00 o'clock we arive at Georgetown. Pass
a Babtist meeting house at the Dry Sun 5 miles from this place. Breakfast
at Georgetown. Again severe pain in my bones with the landlord tells
me is the Logas. This is a small town containing about 60 or 70 houses
scattered with a beautiful & finely improved country around it.
Called on Major Gano & deliver my letter from Mr. Page. Am treated
with much politeness. he is very urgent for us to remain with him
until the morrow. Introduces me to Mr. Pitts, a man of large property
& business who has an extensive factory of cotton bagging. He is about
starting for Natches & New Orleans & promises to meet us at Nashville.
Major Gano discovers a disposition to be useful to me, engages to correspond
with him. My introduction to him was a very special nature.
My friend Page gave a large latitude in expressing himself.
Spend a few hours in Georgetown and
with difficulty get away at about 4 o'clock. Pass through a beautiful
country to Lexington where we arrive a little after dark & put up at
Postlewaits Hotel. I am quite unwell, severe pains & some fever.
Bathe my feet, dissolve a quarter pound of salts, take part at night &
the balance in the morning. Retire early to bed.
Sunday morning, the 10 Nov. I
feel much better. Enquire after places of worship. Find them
to be a Presbyterian, Episcopal & Methodist. Intend going to
the first but by some mistake get to the latter. In the afternoon
I go to the Presbyterian Church where I am much pleased & edified with
the preaching of a Mr. McCord who is a covenenter or a seceeder & is
at this time itinerating. He preached from Luke, "Whosoever shall
be ashamed of me & my word of him shall the Son of man be ashamed when
he shall come in the glory of his presence." This preacher appears
to have the real root of the matter in him, preaching boldly & with
plainness, his language scriptural & well chsen, his doctrine in my
view clear & distinguishing. I could wish that he might itinerate
as far as New Orleans. Return home, take supper & retire to my
room. Receive a letter at this place from Mr. Bower, New York.
Expect one from my Mary but am disappointed.
The greatest objection to the country
between this place & the Ohio & also the neighborhood of Cincinatti
is the limestone water. The springs all run through veins of limestone
& the water is strongly impregnated with that quality which is unpalatable
This town has been settled about 20
years contains about 7000 inhabitants. The buildings are chiefly
of brick & the streets well laid out. Lexington exhibits much
liveliness in business. Here are several rope walks, bagging factories,
etc. The stores are large & respectable. The public buildings
are a courthouse, bank, insurance office. There are also four places
of worship the Presbyterian, Methodist, Episcopal & Babtist.
The building of the first is tolerable good & very commodious.
The Babtists do not assemble here every Sabbath. I have much to say
about them in this state, but which I shall defer for the present.
On Monday morning, 11 Nov. Set
out early. Find myself considerably reoriented. Go to Nicholasville,
a small town 12 miles from L. to breakfast where we see a waggonload
of cotton from Augusta, Georgia. They receive many of their supplies
in this vicinage from Augusta: such as sugar, rice, coffee, etc.
The wagons go out loaded with bagging, bale rope, etc. & return with
those articles or cotton. Proceed on 8 miles & cross Kentucky
River. Notice the high & picturesque cliffs of a bluish cast
which are of amazing height, regularly perpendicular from the river &
might resemble the great wall of China. Proceed on. At 7 miles
from Kentucky River cross Dix River, a very handsome stream, bottomed &
bounded by rock & portenting a wild [or mild?] & romantic view.
The country through which we pass this day is well improved. Pass
a great number of very handsome farms. Arrive at Danville, a flourishing
little town some 32 miles from Lexington. Put up at Col. Davenport's
large brick house.