This settle, in front of the door, was a capital point to perpetrate tricks on the constantly arriving throngs from the East, who, with characteristic enterprise, often stopped to inquire for employment. A few days after the sham duel, Harrison determined to play a trick on another emigrant, a shrewd, tolerably well-informed young man, who had evinced a great deal of self-complacency and immodest pertinacity. He told the pertinacious emigrant, who inquired for a place, that he had not, himself, anything that could engage his attention, but that he had a friend (alluding to me) who was now in town, who was extensively engaged in milling and merchandizing on the Little Miami, and was in want of a competent, responsible clerk. He added that, if he would call in the evening, his friend would be in, and he would introduce him. Meantime, I was informed of the character I was to play in rebuking assumption. The man came, punctual to his appointment, in the evening, and was formally introduced. I stated the duties and the peculiar requisites and responsibilities of the trust. These he found but little difficulty in meeting. Other difficulties were stated. These, with a little thought, he also met. He had evidently scarcely any other quality than presumption. I told him at last that, from the inhabitants in the vicinity, it was necessary that he should speak Dutch. This seemed a poser, but, after some hesitancy and hemming, and the re-mustering of his cardinal presumption, he thought he could shortly render himself qualified to speak. I admired the very presumption of the theory, and finally told him to call the next day on my agent, Mr. Schenck, at such a number (Martin Baum’s) in Maine Street, to whom, in the mean time, I transferred the hoax, and duly informing Schenck of the affair; and I do not recollect, at this time, how he shuffled him off.
Descent of the Ohio River from Cincinnati to its mouth—Ascent of the Mississippi, from the junction to Herculaneum—Its rapid and turbid character, and the difficulties of stemming its current by barges—Some incidents by the way.
1818. At Cincinnati, I visited a sort of gigantic chimney or trunk, constructed of wood, which had been continued from the plain, and carried up against the side of one of the Walnut Hills, in order to demonstrate the practicability of obtaining a mechanical power from rarefied atmospheric air. I was certain that this would prove a failure, although Captain Bliss, who had conducted the work under the auspices of General Lytle, felt confident of success.