Lands of the Slave and the Free eBook

Henry Murray
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 679 pages of information about Lands of the Slave and the Free.

[Footnote J:  Since I was there, General Cadwallader has taken the place into his own hands.]

[Footnote K:  In case the expression is new to the reader, I beg to inform him that to “whittle” is to cut little chips of wood—­if, when the fit comes on, no stick is available, the table is sometimes operated on.]

[Footnote L:  I believe the plan of making the canal-boats in sections is original; but the idea of dragging them up inclines to avoid expenses of lockage, &c., is of old date, having been practised as far back as 1792, upon a canal in the neighbourhood of Colebrook Dale, where the boats were raised by stationary engines up two inclines, one of 207 feet, and the other of 126 feet.  I believe this is the first instance of the adoption of this plan, and the engineers were Messrs. Reynolds and Williams.  The American inclines being so much greater, the dividing the boat into sections appears to me an improvement.]


Scenes Ashore and Afloat.

A trip on a muddy river, whose banks are fringed with a leafless forest resembling a huge store of Brobdignagian stable brooms, may be favourable to reflection; but, if description be attempted, there is danger lest the brooms sweep the ideas into the muddy water of dulness.  Out of consideration therefore to the reader, we will suppose ourselves disembarked at Louisville, with the intention of travelling inland to visit the leviathan wonder—­the would-be rival to Niagara,—­yclept “The Mammoth Cave.”  Its distance from Louisville is ninety-five miles.  There is no such thing as a relay of horses to be met with—­at all events, it is problematical; therefore, as the roads were execrable, we were informed it would take us two long days, and our informant strongly advised us to go by the mail, which only employs twenty-one hours to make the ninety-five miles’ journey.  There was no help for it; so, with a sigh of sad expectation, I resigned myself to my fate, of which I had experienced a short foretaste on my way to Pittsburg.  I then inquired what lions the town offered to interest a traveller.  I found there was little in that way, unless I wished to go through the pig-killing, scalding, and cutting process again; but stomach and imagination rebelled at the bare thought of a second edition of the bloody scene, so I was fain to content myself with the novelty of the tobacco pressing; and, as tobacco is the favourite bonbon of the country, I may as well describe the process which the precious vegetable goes through ere it mingles with the human saliva.

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Lands of the Slave and the Free from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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