A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 208 pages of information about A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America.

There are land offices in every county seat, in which maps and plans of the county are kept.  On these, the disposable tracts of country are distinguished from those which have been disposed of.  The purchaser pays one fourth of the purchase money, for which he gets a receipt,—­this constitutes his title, until, on paying the residue, he receives a regular title deed.  He may however pay the full amount at once, and receive a discount of, I believe, eight per cent.  A township comprises thirty-six square miles (twenty three thousand and forty acres) in sections of six hundred and forty acres each, which are subdivided, to accommodate purchasers, into quarter sections, or lots of a hundred and sixty acres.  The sixteenth section is not sold, but reserved for the support of the poor, for education, and other public uses.  There is no provision made in this, or any other state, for the ministers of religion, which is found to be highly beneficial to the interests of practical Christianity.  The congress price of land has lately been reduced from a dollar and a quarter per acre, to seventy-five cents.

Ohio averages 184 miles in extent, from north to south, and 220 miles from east to west.  Area, 40,000 square miles, or 25,600,000 acres.  The population in 1790, was 3000; in 1800, 45,365; in 1810, 230,760; and in 1820, 581,434.  White males, 300,609; white females, 275,955; free people of colour, 4723; militia in 1821, 83,247.  The last census, taken in 1830, makes the population 937,679.

Having no more Indian reserves to visit, I took the stage, and rumbled over corduroys, republicans, stumps, and ruts, until my ribs were literally sore, through London, Xenia, and Lebanon, to Cincinnati.

At Lebanon there is a large community of the shaking Quakers.  They have establishments also in Mason county, and at Covington, in Kentucky:  their tenets are strictly Scriptural.  They contend, that confessing their sins to one another, is necessary to a state of perfection; that the church of Christ ought to have all things in common; that none of the members of this church ought to cohabit, but be literally virgins; and that to dance and be merry is their duty, which part of their doctrines they take from the thirty-first chapter of Jeremiah.

Their ceremonies are as follows:—­The men sit on the left hand, squatting on the floor, with their knees up, and their hands clasped round them.  Opposite, in the same posture, sit the women, whose appearance is most cadaverous and sepulchral, dressed in the Quaker costume.  After sitting for some time in this hatching position, they all rise and sing a canting sort of hymn, during which the women keep time by elevating themselves on their toes.  After the singing has ceased, a discourse is delivered by one of the elders; which being ended, the men pull off their coats and waistcoats.  All being prepared, one of the brethren steps forward to the centre of the room, and in a loud voice, gives out a tune, beating

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A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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