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The world is called upon to sympathise with the sufferer; he who at home had been accustomed to the luxury of a bed, groaned the night out in America on the rack of a mattress; and for this the country is to be execrated, and the beautiful scenes of nature beheld with a jaun
Finding there was no bed to be procured, I seated myself in a nook of the chimney, called for wine and segars, and either attended to the conversation of the negro-girls who had spread their blankets on the floor, or entertained myself with the half-formed notions of the landlord and coachman, who had brought their chairs to the fire, and were disputing on politics. Both Americans and English are subject to loquacious imbecility. Their subjects only differ. The American talks of his government, the Englishna:1 of himself.
Early in the morning, I resumed my journey in the coach that was proceeding to Savannah; I had but a short distance more to go; for Coosobatchie is only ten miles from Pocotaligo. In journeying through America, the Indian names of places have always awakened in my breast a train of reflection ; a single word will speak volumes to a speculative mind; and the names of Pocotaligo, and Coosokatcbie, and Occoquan, have pictured to my fancy the havoc of time, the decay and succession of generations, together with the final extirpation of savage nations, who,
unconscious of the existence of another people, dreamt not of invasions from foreign enemies, or inroads from colonists, but believed their power invincible, and their race eternal.
I was put down at the post office of Coosohatchie. The post-master was risen, expecting the mail. He invited me to partake of a fire he had just kindled, before which a negro-boy was administering pap to a sickly infant, whom the man always addressed by the homeric title of My Son.
I sat with the post-master an hour, when I sought out the village tavern, where with some trouble I knocked up a miserable Negress, who, on my entrance, resumed her slumbers on an old rug spread before the embers of the kitchen fire, and snored in oblivion of all care. After all, I know not whether those whose condition wears the appearance of wretchedness, are not greater favourites of nature than the opulent. Nothing comes amiss to the slave ; he will find repose on the flint, when sleep flies the eye-lids of his master on a bed of down. I seated myself in a nook of the chimney till daylight, when the landlord came down; and, not long after, a servant was announced with horses, to conduct me to the house of Mr. Drayton.
An hour's ride through a forest of stately pines, brought me to the plantation, where I was received with much affability, by Mr. Drayton and his lady, and where I was doomed to pass the winter in the woods of Carolina.
MEMOIR OF MY LIFE 65
IN THE WOODS OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
Ocean Plantation.--Poetry delightful in Solitude.
Walks in the Woods.-Family of Mr. Drayton.
-Midnight Lucubrations.--Sketches of Natural | History.--Deer-Hunting.--Remarks on Slaves
and Slavery.—Militia of Coosobatchie District.-A School Groupe.-Journey into Georgia.
Deep in the bosom of a lofty wood,
way on the road from Charleston to Savannah, is situated a little village called Coosobatchie, consisting of a blacksmith's shop, a courthouse, and a jail. A small river rolls its stagnant water near the place, on whose dismal banks are to be found many vestiges of the Indians that once inhabited them; and in the immeasurable forests of the neighbourhood, (comprehended within the district of Coosobatchie,) are several scattered plantations of cotton and of rice, whose stubborn soil the poor negro moistens with his tears, and
Whose sore task
It was on one of these plantations that I passed the Winter of 1798, and the Spring of the following year.
I lived in the family of Mr. Drayton, of whose children I had undertaken the tuition, and enjoyed every comfort that opulence could bestow.
To form an idea of Ocean Plantation, let the reader picture to his imagination an avenue of several miles, leading from the Savannah road, through a continued forest, to a wooden house, encompassed by rice-grounds, corn and cottonfields. On the right, a kitchen and other offices : on the left, a stable and coach-house : a little further a row of negro-huts, a barn and yard : the view of the eye bounded by lofty woods of pine, oak and hickory.
The solitude of the woods I found at first rather dreary ; but the polite attention of an elegant family, a sparkling fire in my room every night, and a horse always at my command, reconciled me to my situation ; and my impulse to sacrifice to the Muses, which had been repressed by a wandering life, was once more awakened by the scenery of the woods of Carolina.
I indulged in the composition of lyric poetry, and when I had produced an Ode, transmitted it to Freneau, at Charleston, who published it in his Gazette. But planters have little disposition for poetry, and the eye of the Carolina reader was diverted from my effusions, by the more interesting advertisements for fugitive slaves; I was therefore apprehensive that my reputation would not become extended by the Muse, when at the distance of fourteen hundred miles, I found an Eulogist in Mr. Dennie, who conducted the only literary Paper in the United States, and whose praise was the more grateful, from its being voluntary and remote. “ As conductors of “the only paper on our Continent that is pro
fessedly literary, we consider it incumbent on “ us to pay the tribute of praise to certain easy
poems which have appeared in the Charleston “ Gazette, and which instead of being dated “ from Parnassus, or Helicon, or at least from
some town of our Union, appear to originate “in an obscure hamlet, of the barbarous and wigwam name of Coosohatchie. Among the
many pleasing effusions of this writer, is an imi“tation of that exquisite Ode in which Horace, “ under the name of Pyrrha, depicts the wiles of
a Courtezan. Mr. D. though stunned with “ Indian names, and resident among Indian rea