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Journal of a Tour to North Carolina
by William Attmore, 1787:

Electronic Edition.

Attmore, William, d. 1800

Rodman, Lida Tunstall


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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
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Source Description:
(title page) Journal of a Tour to North Carolina by William Attmore, 1787
(series) James Sprunt historical publications ; vol. 17, no. 2
William Attmore
Lida Tunstall Rodman
46 p.
Chapel Hill
Published by the University
1922

Call number C970 J28 v. 16-17 c. 3 (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)


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THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
The James Sprunt Historical Publications
PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF
The North Carolina Historical Society

Editors:
J. G. de ROULHAC HAMILTON
HENRY McGILBERT WAGSTAFF
WILLIAM WHATLEY PIERSON, Jr.

VOL. 17
No. 2

CONTENTS
JOURNAL OF A TOUR TO NORTH CAROLINA
BY WILLIAM ATTMORE, 1787

CHAPEL HILL
PUBLISHED BY THE UNIVERSITY
1922


JOURNAL OF A TOUR TO NORTH CAROLINA
BY WILLIAM ATTMORE, 1787

EDITED BY
LIDA TUNSTALL RODMAN


Page 5

PREFACE

        The "Journal of a Tour to North Carolina," written by William Attmore, of Philadelphia, was a cherished possession of his great-granddaughter, the late Miss Rebecca Attmore, of New Bern, N. C. She was a real "Belle of the Fifties," who in character and person reflected the charm of that classic type of Southern womanhood that authors delight to picture.

        Thomas Attmore of Devonshire, England, Parish of Kentslean, born about 1692, who removed to America in 1713, was the grandfather of William Attmore, merchant of Philadelphia, of the firm of "Attmore & Kaigher." In the winter of 1787, William Attmore came to North Carolina to collect debts owing to his firm and to obtain new business. While on his tour he kept a diary, of which some parts have evidently been lost, but enough remains to form an interesting narrative. The handwriting of the original manuscript is clear and beautiful, and the ink as black as though it had been penned yesterday instead of over a century ago. Only the paper has become faded and torn by age.

        On this "tour," or a subsequent one, William Attmore met Miss Sallie Sitgreaves, the captivating daughter of Judge Sitgreaves 1,

        1 The name of William Sitgreaves occurs among the signers of a memorial to the Lords Proprietors in 1755. (Col. Rec. vol. V p. 32). John Sitgreaves was one of his descendants and resided in New Bern; he was a lawyer of culture and high attainments. Wheeler's history says "he was appointed Lieutenant by the State Congress in 1776, in Captain Cassel's company. He was in the battle of Camden. August 1780, as aid to Governor Caswell. He was a member of the Continental Congress in 1784, and from 1787 to 1789 in the Legislature from New Bern. He was appointed U. S. District Judge of North Carolina by Washington. Jefferson's private journal has the following:--'1789. Hawkins recommended John Sitgreaves as a very clever gentleman, of good deportment, well skilled in the law for a man of his age, and should he live long enough, he will be an ornament to his profession. Spaight and Blount concurring, he was nominated.' He died at Halifax in 1802 where he lies buried." (Wheeler's Hist. p 119.)


to whom he was married March 18, 1790. He died in Philadelphia in 1800, and was buried there.

        The names of some of the descendants of William Attmore and Sallie Sitgreaves who have lived in North Carolina in more recent years are:


Page 6

        Interesting family relics are two miniatures owned by Mrs. Thomas Constable; one represents the wife of Judge Sitgreaves, the other is a memorial of the Sitgreaves men who served in the Revolution. Mrs. Benjamin Huske owns a list or record, of lands held by the Attmore family in England dating from 1337, copied from the records in the Tower of London, and other quaint documents.

        The notes to the journal furnish other interesting data in regard to some of the persons and places mentioned.

LIDA T. RODMAN.

WASHINGTON, N. C.
NOVEMBER, 1921.


Page 7

THE JOURNAL OF A TOUR TO NORTH CAROLINA

        Tuesday, November 6, 1787. ABOUT 11 O'Clock A M I went onboard the Sloop Washington Packet, Captain Charles Kirby, Master, bound on a Voyage to Washington in North Carolina after being onboard a little while the boat being sent to the Shore I took that opportunity to land again, to get some further stores for the Voyage as yet omitted, and after waiting some time till about 1 o'clock, our Captain came down, we rowed onboard and directly hoisted Sail,--Upon enquiry find our Company onboard to be as follows,

        No remarkable occurence happened this afternoon altho' I, like Don Quixote watching for adventures; unless I record that one of the Seamen lost his Cap while busy getting in the Anchor. This was a very fine day, the Wind being from North to North East, we had a pleasant Sail by Gloucester Point, League Island, Mud Island, Little and Big Tinicum Islands--we amused ourselves from time to time eating Beef and drinking Grog upon the Quarter Deck, chatting and playing--

        After dark we came to, below Chester;--When the Ebb began, our Pilot, Gilbert MCracken turned out, and got the Sloop under way till about four O'Clock in the Morning, by this time it became so foggy, it became dangerous to proceed, and therefore cast


Page 8

Anchor in 4 fathom Water; supposing ourselves a little above Christiana Creek.

        Wednesday, November 7. At 11 O'Clock A. M. the Fog cleared away, and we found ourselves off Wilmington--At 12, the Ebb beginning we hove up Anchor and made Sail; passed a Brig coming in, having hurricane houses on deck.--And a number Shallops and Boats. Came to, alongside the Wharff at Newcastle and received onboard Mr. William Ford, a Passenger, with his Baggage. I went ashore and paid a visit to Thomas Kean Esqr Sheriff of New Castle County, drank a bottle of Wine with him at his house; then he came onboard with me we sat down in the Cabbin where we treated him with such as we had--We got into good humour; when our Captain came down and let my visitor know that he was sorry to disturb him, but that we were then half a Mile from Newcastle--Mr. Kean went ashore in the Boat in Company with Mr Mackie--We dropt about two Miles below Newcastle, then let go Anchor--Here we lay all Night, there coming on a thick Fog in the Night which prevented our making Sail--We dismissed our pilot at Newcastle, Capt. Kirby undertaking to pilot the Sloop down the rest of the way.

        Thursday, November 8. As we lay at Anchor hailed a Sloop going by us, and finding they were from New York with Oysters, sent our boat onboard, and got 7 or 8 bushels at 2/9, per bushel--Mackie and Ford who went in the Boat with two Seamen, stopt at Newcastle,--They rowed down under Shore where Ford luckily found a Man who brought him a Message--They then returned onboard.--

        At half past 11, O'Clock got up Anchor, and hoisted Sail; but little Wind; hazy Weather, comes on again and some rain at half past Twelve--This forenoon the Brige Charleston Packet, Capt. Strong passed us as we lay at Anchor--A Ship appears stretching up 4 or 5 Miles off, who must have passed us in the Fog this Morning early.

        At 3 O'Clock in the Afternoon, being about half way between Reedy Point and Reedy Island about a mile from the Delaware Shore, the Ebb being strong, little wind since we weighed Anchor,


Page 9

having had Boat ahead towing since we got up Anchor--we found the Tide set us fast toward a Shoal or spit of Land lying off; cast the Lead, and at the last throw by the Captain found but 9 feet Water; he immediately ordered to let go the Anchor; this was done directly; but force of the Tide was such, the Cable instantly parted, and we directly grounded on the Shoal, at about half Tide--a very little distance from our Anchor--After getting in Sails, our Seamen went in the Boat & weighed our Anchor by the Buoy Rope, with very little difficulty, and brought it onboard. Here we lay till about Sunrise next day, having got out another anchor.

        Friday, November 9. This Morning there being a light breeze to take us off the Shoal, we got up Anchor our Boat ahead to Tow; we got over to the Channel--towards the Delaware Shore: and the Flood being strong and the Wind rather ahead came again to Anchor, waiting for the Tide to go down to the Piers--We all turn'd out this Morning about Sunrise, a very fine Morning--Vast flocks of Blackbirds in sight going from Reedy Island to the Main:

        About I O'Clock in the afternoon we came to, at the Piers, and made fast to the outermost Pier without letting go an Anchor--After getting Dinner, the Captain, Easton, Brown, Mackie, Ford, and myself went ashore (the Captain resolving to wait for a Wind to go down the Bay in the Morning) we went up to the Town of Port Penn and amused ourselves 'till the Evening when we all came onboard.

        We found the Cabbin nearly cleaned up against our return by orders of the Mate--

        The Piers of Reedy Island, as they are generally called, are not built at Reedy Island but on the shore of the Delaware opposite to the body of that Island, and consists of first a long Wharff joining to the Main, then of three square piers composed of Logs, and filled up with Stones and Dirt; sunk in a row, at nearly equal distances from each other opposite that long Wharff, leaving an interval or thoroughfare for the waste to pass betwixt them, about 70 or 80 feet wide between each pier or Wharff; the whole forming a kind of Mole or Jettee above 300 feet out into the River--The use of these Piers is to form a Harbour for Vessels


Page 10

against the dangers of the Ice in Winter, And it is found to answer the purpose very well; last Winter above 50 Sail found shelter there till the navigation was clear.

        I should have mentioned that on the north side of the other Piers at some distance another Pier is sunk to serve as a kind of outwork to the others in breaking the Force of the Ice coming down.

        Reedy Island is about 3 miles long and not above a quarter of a Mile wide--It has formerly been banked in, but at present is not in culture but overflowed in high Tides--

        About half a mile above the Piers, lies the Village of Port Penn, consisting of 30 or 40 Houses, it is on the River side and directly opposite the upper end of Reedy Island--The River is 6 Miles over.--

        After getting onboard, we spent the Evening very gaily--Mirth and festivity smiled around us--Every Man endeavor'd to contribute to the general pleasure--And every attempt in these cases is received with favour.

        Saturday, November 10. At about half past 12 O'Clock, we cast off from the Pier, and got down to Bombay Hook in the night--Let go Anchor--Then weigh'd about break of day and stood down the Bay; Many Vessels in sight--passed two Brigs & a Schooner that were coming up,--hailed the Schooner found her to be from Newbern, 15 days out, Capt. Hudson.--

        We overtook and passed a Copper bottom Schooner with a crowd of Canvas--One of our Seamen seeing her look so gay, gave her the name of the Macaw Schooner--

        Towards Dusk came to Anchor in the Bay about 20 Miles above the Light House; the sky to the South and West looked very black and louring which gave us considerable apprehension of a severe Gale in the night;--We let go our best Bower and prepared for it in the best manner we could. Our whole Company looked very blank and melancholy; quite a contrast to the gaiety of last evening--The Wind pretty fresh. The Shoals in Delaware Bay are mark'd to Mariners by Beacons and Buoys--


Page 11

        Sunday, November 11. Contrary to our expectations, we had no Gale last night, and got early under way, and passed down the Bay and out to Sea with a favourable Gale--About 9 O'Clock A M we passed the Light House at Cape Henlopen about 2 Miles distance--We stood out to Sea, South east, & then stood to the Southward, our Captain intending to keep near the Coast: When in mid Channel one can see both Capes, but cannot see from one Cape to the other if one is ashore there.--

        After getting a little past the Light House, I began to grow Sea Sick, with the usual symptoms, Mackie also sick, & likewise black Rose. The rest of our Company well.

        Monday, November 12. I still continue indisposed, and have eat but little, these two days--one's stomach nauseates solid food while Sea Sickness lasts--The Sea much smoother today than yesterday, The reflection of a blue Sky makes the Water appear of a greenish Colour. When there is a cloudy Sky the Water appears of an azure or blue Colour.--

        Tuesday, November 13. Today we are nearly well--Mackie and I eat our allowance at Breakfast with a pretty good appetite. About 9 O'Clock, the Sea smooth and the Weather hazy we made the Land, supposed about 30 Miles to the southward of Cape Henry--We stood in within about half a Mile of the Shore, and Surff, 6 fathom Water. We have been trying this morning for some Fish, but had no success. We passed Currituck Inlet today--In the Evening we stood off shore, heaving about when within a quarter of a mile of the Shore--We saw 7 or 8 Craft standing up the Coast, we suppose them bound to Norfolk.

        Hailed two of them,--answer'd from New Inlet--It has been warm and pleasant today--Aired the Cabbin and Bed Clothes.--

        Wednesday, November 14. Rose at Sunrise--A very fine day--After some time standing in for the Land, find ourselves off Roanoke Island and Inlet--But little Wind all the Morning--The Wind all day ahead, what we gain on one Tack, we nearly lose on another--Saw several Whales, and diverted ourselves with observing their Spouting and blowing--One passed our bows within Musquet Shot. Flocks of Gulls about us--Tried again for Fish, bottle


Page 12

with Tow Line and Deepsea, but cannot catch one, We are now about 40 Miles from Cape Hatteras which we wish to get round, but this contrary Wind baffles us--In the Afternoon the Wind freshens on us, but still ahead--

        Thursday, November 15. About 3 O'Clock in the Morning came on a Squall and rough Sea, which lasted till about 9 O'Clock; in the Morning--I am again Sick--Wind still ahead--Find by observation at noon that we have gained but 11 Miles southing in 24 Hours past--

        Friday, November 16. Wind still ahead,--A very brisk Wind and rough Sea today--Spoke a Sloop bound from New York to Edenton.--A brig in sight. A Whale & Sword Fish pass us. I am again sick from the rough Sea--In the evening came on rain--And fell calm; our Vessel rolled and pitched very much--The Captain and people being on deck about 8 or 9 O'Clock, the night dark, in hoisting the Boom from the Larboard to the Starboard crutch, the Boom swinging over crushed the head of one of the Seamen, John, between it and the Starboard crutch in a shocking manner; the poor Man fell on the Deck, and afterwards bled from his Mouth Nose and Ears many Quarts--They got him down into the Cabbin and laid a Sail for a Bed, We expected him to die in a little while--We spent the night very disagreeably--His Groans and the bad situation in which he was distressed us much.

        Saturday, November 17. Soon after we got something composed, about 12 last night, the Wind came round to the Northward, and blew violently, with a high Sea, We stood off the Land and Afterwards laid to, under a reef'd Mainsail-till the Morning, then stood on our way, and went at a great rate, Passed Cape Hatteras Shoals,--After getting round the Cape, stood in for Land, and hoisted a Signal for a Pilot, one came onboard who took charge of us till we passed over Ocracoke Bar and came to Anchor at the upper Anchorage, about one O'Clock here we found lying a Brig, a Schooner and 3 Sloops--Got dinner; After 3 O'Clock stood on, crossed a Shoal or Bar across the Channel called the Swash, lying 6 Miles or thereabouts from Ocracoke Bar,--


Page 13

        On the Bar is 14 feet water, at low tide--On the Swash is 8 feet at low tide; the Tide rises on these Shoals but about----feet on the Bar, and about----inches on the Swash.

        The Inlet opens into a great Bay called Pamlico Sound, that receives into it many Rivers on different sides, We crossed it about 40 Miles, partly in the Night, the Moon shining bright to the mouth of Tar River, Went up that River in the night till we came off Bath Creek Mouth about 2 miles from a place call'd Bath Town which lies up the Creek; then let go Anchor till Sunrise, being about 24 Miles up the River--

        Sunday, November 18. Hoisted out our Boat and set Mr. Brown on shore near the point, then stood on, up the River 16 Miles further, to Washington; where we arrived about 1 O'Clock--Here a number of Gentlemen came onboard us--Went with David Shoemaker and paid a short visit at his house, returned onboard and dined.--Towards evening took a walk to Mr. Nuttle's, where was Mr. & Mrs. Shoemaker, and Capt. Eldredge; drank Tea there. Mr. Mackie and I return'd and slept onboard.

        Monday, November 19. Muster Day in Washington, which brought a large number of people from the Country--

        Mr. Richard Blackledge, 2

        2 Richard Blackledge and his brother Thomas Blackledge were natives of New Bern both of whom lived in Washington for a few years. Richard Blackledge was one of the first commissioners of the town of Washington, a lawyer of brilliant ability; he represented Beaufort county several terms in the Legislature. He married Louisa Blount, daughter of Colonel Jacob Blount, and Sister of John Gray Blount. After their marriage they lived in Tarborough. Prior to the ceremony, a marriage settlement was made by which her property, consisting of a house and two lots in that town with twenty or more negro slaves, were conveyed to her brother, Gov. William Blount in case of her death without children. The document is signed by Judge Samuel Spencer; it is written on parchment in good preservation and bears the stamp forced upon us by England. It reads "2 lots, or pieces of land, in the Town of Tarborough situated on Saint George and Saint Andrew and Granville Sts., and known in the plan of the town as numbers 104 and 105." In the history of Edgecombe county by Turner and Bridgers (page 107) this house is described as the place where George Washington, on his visit to the State in 1791, was cordially entertained "at the beautiful residence overlooking Tar River, belonging at the time to Major Reading Blount." The career of Richard Blackledge was cut off by his addiction to the drink habit. His wife only lived a short time after her marriage and left no children. The house situated near the river was still standing a few years ago, but in a very dilapidated condition. (Reference also to Dec. 21st)


came to town.--I dined at David Jones's in Company with Kirby, Mackie, & Whitall.--Drank Tea with Rachel Shoemaker--Many disorders in town, the Militia some of them fighting. This is the practise every Musterday. Mr. Knight a Criminal who had escaped from Philadelphia was
Page 14

taken up, alongside our Vessel & Capt. Eldredge's; he was put in irons and sent to Goal. I slept onboard.

        Tuesday, November 20. Mr. Blackledge waited on me, and kindly invited me to fix my residence with him and his brother Thomas, that I should have a Room for myself, and he wou'd furnish me a Horse &c. to be at my command during my stay in North Carolina.--I had engaged quarters at Horn's Tavern, but now conclude to accept Blackledge's offer.--I Breakfasted onboard--Blacklege called down at the Vessel about dinner time, when we walk'd to the House, where he then introduced me to his brother Thos. & to his brother's wife, Polly Blackledge 3.

        3 Mrs. Polly Blackledge, the wife of Mr. Thomas Blackledge, was a daughter of Col. Salter. Their residence in Washington was of short duration. They are survived by a number of descendants mostly residents of New Bern.


There were two young ladies dined with us, Miss Sally Salter, sister of Mrs. T. Blackledge, and Miss---- Armstrong, two agreeable looking young ladies, but rather silent today. My Chest &c. was sent up in the Evening--Wrote home to J. K. and Wm. F.--near Tarborough. Rain at night--

        Wednesday, November 21. After Breakfast, set off from Washington for Newbern in Company with R. Blackledge, B. Brown, Capt. Keais 4,

        4 Capt. Nathan Keais, a native of Rhode Island where he commanded a company of State troops during the Revolution. He is put down also, as one of the Captains of the Second Regiment North Carolina troops. He and his wife, Barbara, are buried in the churchyard surrounding St. Peter's Church, Washington. Their descendants are represented in the Hoyt and Tayloe families.


Jno. G. Blount 5,

        5 John Gray Blount is said to have been the most influential man in Beaufort county in his day. He was a merchant of large enterprise and a patriot of the Revolution. He and his wife, Mary Harvey, daughter of Col. Miles Harvey of Perquimans, are buried in the churchyard of St. Peter's Church, Washington. They left many descendants represented in the Blount, Rodman, Myers, Branch, J. G. B. Grimes and Cowper families.


Doctor Loomis & Charles Cooke, all on Horseback, we crossed Tar River in a Scow--rode a Mile or two, then Blackledge pushed on before us, in order to get to Newbern early--The rest of us rode about 22½ Miles, where we cross'd Swift's Creek, on a bridge, this is a branch of Neuse River.

        We dined at Johnson's near the Creek, about 22 Miles from Washington. Rode to Curti's Tavern 7½ Miles further; here we staid all night--Went to bed early, being a good deal tired.--


Page 15

        Thursday, November 22. At Curti's we met General Armstrong 6

        6 General Armstrong was a member of the Pitt county committee of safety, and one of those named to solicit donations for the relief of the people of Boston. He was elected Major of Pitt county militia in 1775; was in active service near Philadelphia, and promoted to Colonel in 1777; elected Brigadier General in 1786, and member of Fayetteville Convention 1789. His home was on the south side of Tar River in the neighborhood of the Salter and Grimes plantations. His name has disappeared from Pitt county, and most of his descendants have moved farther south.


to whom I was introduced by Mr. Blount--After breakfast we led our Horses to the River Neuse, at this place about 200 yards over, here ferried over in a Scow, and rode on 10 Miles further, to Newbern--first crossing Batchelor's Creek on a Bridge, 3 Miles from Curti's--

        Went in Company with Blount and Brown, to Pendleton's Tavern--There I dined paid several Visits, Saw John Green, John Kennedy & Nathan Smith drank Tea at Nathan Smith's--At Mr. Green's I saw the pretty Miss Cogdell 7,

        7 (Hist. Pitt Co., by Henry King) "The pretty Miss Cogdell," was the daughter of Richard Cogdell and mother of Hon. George E. Badger, Judge of the Superior Court, and Secretary of the Navy in 1841.


whom Mr. Green introduced to me--When the Tea Tackle began to rattle, I was sorry I had previously declared an engagement at Smith's--And was therefore obliged to move--Mr. Green waited on me to Smith's, and then to my Quarters.--

        Friday, November 23. Breakfasted at Pendleton's--In the forenoon there was a Horse Race five Horses started for the Purse which was won by a Horse called Sweeper--Went to Dine with John Green, by invitation; there was Miss Cogdell, Misses Wright Stanly, Mr. Doiley, & Mr.________ Green, (John's brother)--Towards evening took a walk with John Green to see the palace.

        The palace is a building erected by the province before the Revolution--It is a large and elegant brick Edifice two Stories high; with two Wings for the offices, somewhat advanced in front towards the Road, these are also two Stories high but lower in height than the main Building, these Wings are connected with the principal Building by a circular arcade reaching from each of the front Corners to the corner of the Wing--The palace is situated with one front to the River Trent and near the Bank, and commands a pleasing view of the Water--It was finished within, in a very elegant manner. The grand Staircase lighted from the Sky by a low Dome, which being glazed kept out the Weather--


Page 16

        This House was formerly the residence of the Governors of this Country, as well as the place where the Legislature sat, to transact their business--It is somewhat out of repair at present, and the Legislature, not meeting at this time in Newbern, the only use now made of it is, the Town's people use one of the Halls for a Dancing Room & One of the other Rooms is used for a School Room. The only inhabitants we found about it were the Schoolmaster and one little boy in the palace, school being out. And in the Stables 2 or 3 Horses who had taken Shelter there from the bleakness of the Wind. The King of G. Britain's Arms, are still suffered to appear in a pediment at the front of the Building; which considering the independent spirit of the people averse to every vestige of Royalty appears Something strange--

        We returned to Mr. Green's, where I drank Tea with the ladies. Miss Cogdell's Sister called in the evening; And two Gentlemen came in--I was introduced to Mrs. Stanly--And accompanied the Ladies with several Gentlemen, as far as my way went where I bid them Adieu for the evening.

        One instance of the vicissitudes of human affairs; is exhibited in the situation of things at the palace, which from being the seat of a little Court, under the regal Government; is now become the seat of a petty Schoolmaster with his little subjects, another instance occurs in the person of Mr. Jno. W. Stanly 8,

        8 John Stanly often a member of the Legislature from Craven, and a member of Congress from 1801 to 1809. He became engaged in a political controversy with Governor Richard Dobbs Spaight in 1802 which unfortunately terminated in a duel in which Governor Spaight received his death wound.

        The beautiful house built by Mr. Stanly at such a large expenditure, for that day, is still standing, and is an ornament to the town of New Bern. It is described as "the house in which George Washington was entertained in 1791. And, where Mr. Stanly gave hospitable welcome to Gen. Nathanael Greene, and made a loan to him of forty thousand pounds for the necessities of his suffering soldiers of the Revolution." It is now owned by Hon. James A. Bryan, who served as a captain in the Confederate Army.


the husband of Mrs. Stanly already mentioned; this Man of whom the first knowledge I had, was, his being confined a prisoner in the Goal of Philadelphia for debt, upon his liberation removed to this Country, where by a Series of fortunate events in Trade during the War he acquired a great property, and has built a house in Newbern where he resides, that is truly elegant and convenient; at an expense of near 20,000 Dollars--He has a large Wharff and
Page 17

Distillery near his house; upon Neuse River side of the Town--and a fine plantation with sixty Slaves thereon.--

        One circumstance deserves to be recorded to his honour--Altho' brought to Philadelphia from Honduras a Prisoner arbitrarily; and on his arrival sent to Goal by the person who brought him by force yet upon his getting into affluent circumstances, he generously relieved the pecuniary distresses of that very person afterwards; the more meritorious, as upon a settlement of Accounts with that Man, it was found that he owed him nothing, but on the contrary that person was in his Debt--Mr. Wright Stanly brother to John invited me to spend a Week with him at a Farm about 13 Miles from Newbern, where he promises me the diversion of Deer Hunting and driving.

        Saturday, November 24. Races again today, four Horses started; a mistake happen'd, the Horses being nearly abreast some of the people halloed, "set off," "go," &c. which the riders supposed to be Orders from the proper judges; they set off, and run the course with great eagerness, the blunder created some anger and a good deal of Mirth. The Riders were young Negroes of 13 or 14 years old who generally rode bareback.--

        I have attended the Races yesterday and today rather from motives of curiosity than any love to this Amusement, and think I shall hardly be prevailed on to go ten Steps in future to see any Horse Race--The objections and inconveniences attending this kind of Amusement, obvious to me, are,

        One of the Riders a Negroe boy, who rid one of the Horses yesterday, was, while at full speed thrown from his Horse, by a Cow being in the Road and the Horse driving against her in the hurry of the Race--The poor Lad was badly hurt in the Head and bled much--

        The second day, one of the Horses at starting, run violently amongst the people that sat in a place of apparent security, it was precisely the spot where I thought there was the greatest safety, for foot people--More might be added.

        I went to the Court House to see the proceedings there at the Superior Court--An Argument about bringing on the cause of the Heirs of Samuel Cornell 9

        9 Samuel Cornell a distinguished Tory; it has been stated that his family was connected with that of Daniel Webster.


against those who had bot property once his but confiscated by the Government--Saw H. Harris he kindly offers me an introduction to Ladies of his acquaintance in and about Newbern--

        Sunday, November 25. This morning Mr. John Green called at my quarters, he asked if I had a mind to go to Church; I having no inclination to go, he left me at Church time.

        It is the custom here With some, if they can afford it, when a burial happens in their families, to give the Minister and bearers white scarffs and Bands the Scarff is composed of about 3 yards & a half of white linen and hangs from the right shoulder & is gathered in a knot below the left Arm, with a Rose and Ribbands, also white; from the knot the two ends or tags hang down; the Band for the Hat is of white linen also, about 1½ yards or sometimes that quantity will make two Bands if split down the middle--This is tied round the Crown of the Hat & the two ends streaming down--

        The Sunday after the Funeral, the bearers assemble somewhere, with these decorations to their persons and go in a body into Church, where the Minister dress'd in the like manner receives at the door.


Page 19

        This custom I had the opportunity to observe today, there having been a funeral last Week, the bearers assembled at the Tavern where I stay, opposite the Church, in order to go into Church together. The Linen is of a convenient quantity to make a shirt after ceremonies are over.

        I went to dine with Nathan Smith, by invitation: the Company consisted of himself and Sister, and eight Gentlemen Guests; Col. Davie 10,

        10 Colonel Davie here mentioned was the well-known and distinguished soldier of the Revolution, William Richardson Davie.


Messrs. Tomlinson, Haines, Grainger, Carty &c.--It is useful & entertaining in a Company of Strangers, after the first Salutations and civilities are passed to be rather silent, and observe the Characters of the Company, opening by degrees in the course of conversation, one also hears many anecdotes of other persons who are sometimes handled freely, in their absence; and one hears many particulars useful or curious.--

        Col. Davie produced a curious Tobacco Pouch, made of a young Mink Skin, the size of a little Cat, it was dress'd with the hair, Feet and Claws and Tail on, and when thrown on the Table with a bellyfull of Tobacco look'd like a little dead black Cat.

        Mr. Grainger mentioned a Method of discovering wild Bees in the Woods--Fix a piece of Honeysuckle on a forked, Pole, which is to be set upright, a Bee comes, loads himself, and flies directly towards his home, follow him with all dispatch, as far the eye can reach him, then move the Pole forward so far; the Bee or some other, comes again, follow on still, which by degrees leads to the Tree where the Bees are with their Store of Wax and Honey--

        In the evening returned to my quarters, where I found Armstrong, and Capt.----, other Gentlemen came in.

        Monday, November 26. Today, was tried in the Superior Court, the Claim of the Heirs of Samuel Cornell Esqr. for the property that belonged to him in North Carolina; he having gone away in the early part of the War the property being consider'd as confiscated was sold by the Agents of the State--Judgment was given against the Heirs--The Judge & Lawyers in this Country dress in black Robes & white Tunics like parsons.


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        Tuesday, November 27. Nothing worth remarking.--

        Wednesday, November 28. Breakfasted with John Green--About 11 O'Clock Capt. John Jones & the older Mrs. Blackledge arrived in Gurling's Sloop from Philadelphia.--six day's passage.

        About noon met Mr. John Stanly in Church Street, he told me he was going to look for me to give me an invitation to dine tomorrow at his house.

        I gave him to understand that I expected to leave Newbern towards Evening this day--He then ask'd me to go to his house & take a Glass of Wine--We had a variety of Chat--Engaged to dine with him tomorrow if I don't leave town--Went to see Capt. Jones at Jno. Green's was introduced to his Mother-in-law. In the Evening he & Mr. Green called at my quarters, where I gave them punch--Saw N. Smith today at his Store--I am to expect trouble, I see, in settling with him. R. Blackledge set off for Tarborough early this Morning. H. Harris and I had a long conversation in the Afternoon at my quarters, this & an appearance of rain prevents my setting out for Washington.--

        Thursday, November 29. Went at two O'Clock to Mr. John W. Stanly's to dine, he had also invited Judge Spencer 11,

        11 Judge Samuel Spencer of Anson county held many offices under the Colonial government, and was one of the three Judges of the Superior Courts first elected under the constitution in 1777.


and Mr. Iredell 12

        12 Mr. Iredell emigrated to Chowan county from England when 17 years old. He studied law under Gov. Samuel Johnston and married his sister, Hannah. He became a very distinguished citizen of North Carolina. He held office successively as member of the Assembly, Judge of the Superior Court, Attorney General of the State and, later, was appointed by George Washington Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. In the presidential election of 1796 he received three electoral votes.


an eminent Lawyer, Mr. Thomas Turner, Mr. William Shepard 13

        13 William Shepard of New Bern was the father of Honorables Chas. B.; William B.; and James B. Shepard; and of Mary, the wife of Hon. John H. Bryan of Raleigh.


and Mr. Bryan were there. The Ladies present were Mrs. John W. Stanly, Mrs. Wright Stanly and Mrs. Green, the widow of Mr. James Green--The Court holding late kept us waiting for the Judge & Lawyers. I had a long tète a tète Conversation with Mr. John W. Stanly before Dinner; about half past four the Judge and Mrs. Iredell came, then we sat down to Dinner. Had a long discourse with Judge Spencer on the subject of Paper Money & c. I do not like his ideas, he contends that the Country
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cannot do without a Paper Medium, and that the value of this medium shall be regulated from time to time by a Scale of value or depreciation. I am afraid the Ladies were ill entertained while they staid with us.--We dropt the subject on going into the Tea Room, where more general topics took place--A while after Tea, I took my leave and retired to my Quarters--

        Friday, November 30. I staid in Newbern till about 3 O'Clock in the Afternoon, then set off alone, for Washington--Coming out of Town I heedlessly miss'd my way, and rode about two Miles before I was sensible of my being wrong--Had I only thrown the reins on the Horse's Neck he wou'd probably have gone right, as he knew the way home to Washington better than I, and it is also probable that he had not such a variety of ideas to embarrass his mind.--The Road from Newbern to Washington is thro' a Tract of Country mostly a flat and level body of Land, the Soil a whitish Sand, the timber is mostly Pines; in some places the Pines mixt with a few Oaks; in one place the Road goes a short distance thro' a Swamp of large Cypress Trees, and small canes, with which are intermingled a variety of Shrubs and Vines growing out of the water.--The Road is partly cover'd with the dead spines or leaves of the Pines, of a rust colour--Abundance of the Trees, more particularly the Oaks, have large quantities of a long silver grey colour Moss hanging from the branches, it grows often 3, 4 or 5 feet long and looks like Streamers hanging from the boughs--This Moss is good food for Cattle, who are generally very fond of it--In the Winter when Fodder is short the people cut down the Trees cover'd with it for the Cattle to browse.--About dark I arrived at Neuse River, where giving one or two halloes that made the Woods echo, the Ferryman on the other side heard and answr'd me--Then came over in the Ferry Scow and took me across to the Ferry House a little distance from the River, where Mrs. Curtis gave me hospitable entertainment,--There is a long Causeway to pass on the South side of Neuse River very bad in wet Seasons--

        Saturday, December 1. After Breakfast I set out alone for Washington, after riding a Mile or two, looking down upon the


Page 22

Road I thought there lay in the path a fine large Orange, which in a moment I concluded had dropt from the pocket of somebody who had been down to Newbern, & was carrying it home; perhaps it might be for a present for his Sweetheart--I found it however to be only a Gourd or Squash in colour & shape like an Orange and is very common in this Country.

        A few miles further on, I saw two beautiful Woodpeckers with varigated plumage and red towering Crests--Their Note was a repetition in a shrill sound of the word PEAP. They were much larger than any I ever saw in Pennsylvania.

        Sunday & Monday, December 2 & 3. Staid at T. Blackledge's--Several Visitors there--During my absence at Newbern, a quarrel has taken place between Kirby and Ford--Wrote to J. K. inclosing R. Blackledge's Papers, Sunday. Ford fined 20 pounds for Assaulting Kirby, and bound to good behaviour.--

        In the evening I went and took Tea at Mrs. Shoemaker's by invitation. Mrs. Nuttle came in, I waited on her home, She invites me to Visit.--At Mr. Blackledge's today was introduced to Messrs. Grimes 14,

        14 Messrs. Grimes, father and son, were Demsie Grimes and his son the first Bryan Grimes. Demsie Grimes was a wealthy and leading citizen of Pitt county; he owned Avon and Grimesland plantations on the South side of Tar River, about twelve miles from Washington. Bryan Grimes was the father of the late distinguished General Bryan Grimes of the Confederate Army; and of the late Mr. William Grimes a highly valued citizen of Raleigh.

        "Miss Betsy Grimes" mentioned further on was the daughter of Demsie Grimes and married Reading Grist. She was the ancestress of the Grist family of Beaufort county. She is buried in the Grimes burial plot at Avon where repose the remains of three generations of her family.


father and son.--Miss Betsy Grimes & Miss Polly Watkins came and staid at Mr. Blackledge's--

        Wednesday, December 5. It was so warm & pleasant today we sat with open Windows. Staid at T. Blackledge's--Miss Salter, Miss Grimes, Miss Watkins, two Miss Eastwood's there--cloudy and some Rain.--Capt. John Wallace 15

        15 Capt. John Wallace, a citizen of Beaufort county for many years prominent in the seafaring trade and other industries. He was distinguished for energy and activity in business, the late Capt. Alf Styron of Washington was one of his descendants.


gave us a good deal of his Company today.

        Thursday, December 6. A Cloudy and rainy Day, staid at home; spent the day Writing, Reading and Chatting--I think it observable that our Language is more and more sliding into modes of expression allusive and allegorical, approximating to the eastern stile--Professional Men, Lawyers, Seamen, Soldiers


Page 23

&c. introduce many phrases into common Language, at first perhaps ludicrously, which by degrees obtain a currency, and are applied to the business of common life, the Soldier desires you to parade yourself and take a walk with him, he tells you that he visited at such a place, and staid till they began to parade Dinner, then he March'd off, the Sailor finds you lying down, he enquires "What's the matter that you are lying "on your Beam ends? and tells you to "Get up, or Ben "will get to Windward of you for he is eating all the Pie." I am persuaded that many terms introduced in this way ludicrously are adopted at last as classical--It sounds strange to my ear, to hear the people in Carolina, instead of the word carry or carried commonly say, toat, or toated--I asked a boy what made his head so flat he replied "It was occasioned by toating Water. This is the usual phrase--I am told the Joiner charges in his bill for "toating the Coffin home" after it is finished.

        Friday, December 7. Captain John Wallace informs me, that in one of his Voyages at Sea, in Latitude 231/2 North, they caught a Shark about ten feet long, in whose Maw was 2 Hats & 1 Milled Cap; this he declares to me, that he saw with his own eyes.--Tho' many things are related of the dangers from Sharks, yet I have not known, nor ever heard credibly attested, that a Shark has ever bit or injured a living Man on the Coast of the United States--Thousands of Men in the Summer Season, are in the Water, Bathing, Fishing &c. upon our Coasts--

        Miss Watkins & Miss Grimes left us today--In the Afternoon I was introduced to Mrs. Jno. Blount, by Mrs. Blackledge.--The Weather clears in the Afternoon--

        Mr. Blount; Mrs. Blount; Mr. Arnett, a Lawyer; Capt. Wallace and Miss Sally Salter drank Tea with us.--A party agreed for Deer Hunting tomorrow.--

        Saturday, December 8.


                         To drive the Deer with voice and hound,
                         This Morn we took our way,

        But,--


                         No stricken Buck hath cause to rue,
                         The Hunting of the Day.--


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        A Frosty Morning, When the day grew warm the Dew Drops hung at the end of the leaves, like Diamonds quivering in the Sun beams--

        About 9 O'Clock, a party of us, embark'd to cross Tar River to go on a Deer Hunt, the Company were, Capt. Dill, Messrs. Thos. Blackledge; Nuttle; Whipple, Bonner, Capt. John Wallace; and myself, we row'd in Dill's boat by two Sailors; John Blount Esqr. was to cross over in a Canoe and meet us, over the River at his Farm 16

        16 One of the historic spots near Washington. It was devised by the will of John Gray Blount to his grandson, William Blount Rodman, and became known as "Rodman's Quarters." It was occupied by both Federals and Confederates during the Civil War as a fort, from which point of vantage each at different times shelled the Town in efforts to dislodge the other. It is now owned in part by Mr. Ott Rumley.


near which we were to hunt this Morning--The method of hunting is generally as follows,

        One part of the Company go into the Wood with the Hounds and usually carry their Guns along, here they begin to trail for the Deer Tracks, and put the Dogs on the Scent, the other part of the Company are station'd in different places where it is known that the Deer usually cross the Forest towards the River, for a hunted Deer when hard push'd by the Dogs and Hunters generally makes for the Water where they can swim with great strength and swiftness,--A party is station'd in a Canoe or Boat to pursue him, if he takes the Water,--If he takes the River They must seize him by the Tail and lift him by it and drown him.--All this we tried but without getting a Deer--I was station'd at a Neck of Land that joins a small peninsula to the Main and was known to be a good place for the reception of a herd running down I stood at my Post for about two hours with the vigilance of a Sentinel looking for an enemy with 7 small bullets in my Gun, to pepper him well, but no Buck came near me; one of our party shot at a Doe a considerable distance from him, but without effect, she got away--While I stood at my Post five Hounds pass'd me within 30 Yards, and shortly open'd their Music, soon after, I heard a most dreadful squealing of Pigs, I was afterwards told that a party of the Neighbors were out hunting Wild Hogs; when the dogs seize them, the Men come up, tie the feet of the Hog taken, and leave him on the spot for the present,


Page 25

then halloe the dogs after the rest of the herd.--Returning from the Hunt we saw a Negroe in only his shirt bringing a horse from the fields, he shook with cold. We returned to Washington in the Afternoon.

        Sunday, December 9. Thos. Blackledge being about to remove from Washington, I yesterday evening moved my effects to Geo. Horn's, where I have engaged to Board, to pay 6/ Paper Money per day; if absent three days to be allowed the time--Dined there today for the first time--In the afternoon went with Doctor Loomis & others to the funeral of John Bonner 17,

        17 John Bonner, one of the Bonner family on whose land the Town of Washington was planted. James and Henry Bonner were the founders of the township. They have many honored descendants in town and county today.


about a Mile in the Country; when we arrived at the house, we found it crowded with a mixt Company of Men and Women, sitting & standing round the Corpse, which was nailed up in a Coffin and cever'd with a Sheet, Parson Blount 18

        18 Rev. Nathaniel Blount, familiarly known as "Parson Blount," was a first cousin of the brothers, John Gray, Reading, and Thomas Blount, all of whom are mentioned in the journal. He was a student for the ministry under Rev. Alexander Stewart of St. Thomas church, Bath. He was ordained in London in 1773. In the same year he built "Blount's Chapel," now Trinity Church, Chocowinity. The families of Mrs. Thomas Kingsbury of Wilmington and Mr. Levi Blount of Mississippi represent his descendants.


was standing with a Tea Table before him, to hold his Books, and an Arm Chair for him to sit down if he chose it--He went thro' a long service from the Liturgy of the Church of England Prayers, Creeds, Psalms, &c. and afterwards preach'd a very excellent Funeral Sermon; and instead of a fulsome eulogium on the deceased, he very pathetically exhorted his hearers to consider the shortness of life, the certainty of Death & the necessity of a preparation for the World to come.--I staid till Sermon was over. when being very cold, I came away--I was told that the Corpse was carried to the family burying place on the Farm by six bearers with Napkins, in the manner Children are commonly borne to the Grave; each of the bearers had a black Ribband tied round one of their Arms--

        This Man tho' a Member of the Assembly, and a rich Batchelor, lived in an old house that had four Windows in the lower room only one of which appeared ever to have been glazed; the others had sash lights but no Glass--


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        I return'd to Horn's where I spent the evening.

        Monday, December 10. In the forenoon paid a Visit at Thos. Blackledge's Sally Salter went home by Water accompanied by two young Girls, Louisa Salter & Fanny Batchelor; I went to the water side with them--

        This has been a clear cold day. At night I paid a visit to Rachel Shoemaker--

        Tuesday, December 11. Writing all day at my Quarters till evening, then receiving an invitation from John G. Blount I went and drank Tea at his house. Thos. Blackledge and his Wife were there Blount gives me a general invitation to his house--Doctor Loomis introduced me today to Mr. Hacket, just arrived from Tarborough, and one of Horn's boarders--.Captain Scott and Mr. McKim are also boarders in Horn's family.

        Wednesday, December 12. Dined at Thomas Blackledge's today on Venison by invitation from him last evening--The Venison was tender and excellent, being part of a Fawn that he with others got yesterday just on the back of Town; they went to look for some Hogs; and some Dogs that were along, giving indications of Game being near, upon looking out they saw this hapless Fawn; one of the Comy fired, and broke its leg; the Dogs immediately catch'd it.--After Dinner Mr. Stephen Cambreleng calling in, I was introduced to him.

        This has been a Cold Day tho' clear, it is said some of the small Creeks are frozen over, a circumstance uncommon here at this Season--

        Thursday, December 13. In Conversation this Morning at Breakfast, it was mention'd by Capt. Scott that the allowance of provision made to a working Slave, in a part of this State and in South Carolina, was one peck of Indian Corn per Week 19:

        19 This was probably a tale meant to amuse the visitor. The woods were full of small game, and the rivers teemed with fish, a resource then, as now for whites and blacks alike.


this he was to dress or cook as he pleased; they are allowed no Meat, they have the privilege sometimes of working a bit of Ground for themselves, out of such time as they gain when Task'd, or on Sundays. One of the Company present, a Stranger I did not know,
Page 27

told us, that in one of his Voyages to the Coast of Guinea, and at a place called the River Jenk, he was present at the burial of an old Chief or King who had died--The body of the King was in a Coffin of Wood: his people buried along with him five stout Negroe Men alive, these were without Coffins, they submitted to this without apparent reluctance, and received some Rum to drink just before they were buried--

        In the evening went to Thomas Blackledge's where I drank Chocolate--

        Friday, December 14. This forenoon rode out on a visit to Colonel Kennedy's 20

        20 Colonel Kennedy was a wealthy and leading citizen of Beaufort county. His home here mentioned, was a social center of refined hospitality. The house was built about 1750, and is still standing. The foundation which encloses a substantial cellar is built of brick as are the chimneys and both ends, while the front and back of the house are of timber. This presents an unusual appearance for if you approach from the east or west you expect to enter a brick building, but on arriving at the front or rear entrance you see only a frame building on a brick foundation. The interior was elegant in its day, though now stained by age and abuse. The family burying ground nearby is enclosed by a substantial iron fence, but the handsome marble monuments therein are being wrecked by the ravages of time.

        The place is now the property of the heirs of General Bryan Grimes, who purchased it after the Civil War.


about two Miles from Washington he lives near the River side, a large Creek runs by his house, our party was Mrs. Thos. Blackledge in a Sulky, and Lucy Harvey 21,

        21 Lucy Harvey was a daughter of Col. Miles Harvey and sister of Mrs. John Gray Blount with whom she made her home, both parents being dead. She married Major Reading Blount in 1794. They are buried in their family burial plot, on what was their country home of "Bellefont." This place has passed into other ownership and is subdivided into small farms.


and myself on Horseback, we dined and drank Tea there, and spent a very agreeable day with Col. & Mrs. Kennedy, their Son John & daughter Miss Absoley, Miss Evans was there on a visit but scarcely spoke--Absoley is a pleasing Character, genteel in her person, mild and amiable in her manners, attentive to the Company; with graveness, a degree of Cheerfulness--She put me in mind of a lady I once loved--We return'd by Moonlight, & Mrs. Blackledge drove thro' the Woods with such Spirit all the way home, Lucy and myself rode full Gallop to keep up with her--

        This was Lucy's first ride by herself on horseback, we had scarcely rode one Mile out, before she was able to Canter, tho' our first outset was rather unpromising--I never saw any Girl ride so well on the first trial--


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        I sat a while with the Ladies on our return, then retired to Horne's to my Quarters there I always find a great deal of Company.

        Saturday, December 15. WASHINGTON is a Town containing about sixty Families, it is situated on the North East side of Tar River about 40 Miles from the mouth of the River and 80 from Ocracoke Bar--the River at Washington is about ¾ of a Mile over but the Channel is narrow, there being flats near the Shore; Vessels drawing 7½ feet Water come up to the Town when the River is low; when the Water is raised by Freshes Vessels of greater burthen can come there; for about two Miles below the Town the Navigation is impeded by sunken Logs, and by Stumps of large Trees that are supposed to have grown there--From this Town the trade up the River as far as the town of Tarborough at the head of the Navigation, is carried on chiefly in large Scows and Flats drawing but little Water, some of these carry 70 or 80 hogsheads of Tobacco--Tarborough is 50 Miles above Washington and contains about 20 families--

        At Washington there are several convenient Wharffes, and there are sometimes lying here near 20 sail of Sea Vessels--Washington being the County Town of Beaufort County there is a Court House and Prison there; and there is a School House--The Lots upon the River are laid out 100 feet front to each Lot.--The Houses are built of Wood a few are large and convenient--

        Tar River like many other Rivers of North Carolina has no tide, other than a small rise sometimes occasioned by the Winds driving the Waters, a Vessel at Anchor usually rides with her head to the Wind. Heavy Rains however occasion considerable Freshes when these happen it is difficult setting and poleing Flats up the River, they often then warp up by Ropes fastened to the Trees on the bank.

        Mr. Nuttle brought with him to our Quarters this Evening a large Dog, singular for being whelped almost without a Tail, he has now but a short stump about an inch long, it is cover'd with hair just covering the Stump and ending in a point at the bottom of the Stump.


Page 29

        Sunday, December 16. Dined with Doctor Loomiss by invitation, there were present Messrs. Leland and Arnett, those two Gentlemen went away directly after dinner, at the Doctor's desire I staid till near evening, after Tea I took leave--We had much talk--He invites me to take Christmas Dinner with him, if I stay in Washington--From the Doctor's I went to Thos. Blackledge's drank Tea there--A good deal of Company was there--

        Deliver'd letters to Capt. Kirby for Philadelphia for John Kaigher, Benjn. Horner, William Zane, Richard Adams and Polly Attmore, I enclosed the whole in a cover directed for Kaiger & Attmore. No Fire Engine is kept in the place, neither is there any Fire Buckets, If a Fire should happen in a high Wind, the Town might suffer much.

        By many this place is counted unhealthy, some however are of a contrary opinion.

        Lately there has been a Rum Distillery established at this place--This is not likely to render the place more healthy--

        The Merchants export from this Town, Tar, Pitch, Turpentine, Rozin, Indian Corn, Boards, Scantling, Staves, Shingles, Furs, Tobacco, Pork, Lard, Tallow, Beeswax, Myrtlewax, Pease, and some other articles, their Trade is chiefly with the West Indies and with the other States on this Continent; the Navigation not admitting Vessels of great burthen to come up to the Town; and for a large Vessel to lay below to load at the Anchorage near the Bar, is always inconvenient, and sometimes dangerous.

        Monday, December 17. Rain last night, and Cloudy and wet today--Capt. Kirby sailed for Philadelphia.

        Tuesday, December 18. I breakfasted this Morning at Horne's, after breakfast walk'd down to Thomas Blackledge's to enquire if he could accommodate me with a Horse to ride up the Country to visit William Tuton on business; I found David Jones there, who inform'd me that he was riding towards Tarborough; and of course would be company for me upwards of 30 Miles; Company is generally desirable upon a Journey, but is particularly agreeable when one is going a road that we have not traveled before, if the person is well acquainted with the Road;--Mr. Blackledge


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was out, but Polly ventured to let me have the Horse that I had rode to Newbern,--Mr. Jones invited me to take an early dinner with him, which I accepted, and afterwards we set out, We saw a number of partridges by the side of the Road, they did not take wing on our coming up but run into the bushes, we could have killed a great many of them if we had been furnished with Guns--After riding on we consulted together and agreed that we would cross Tar River at Mrs. Salter's and go on as far as Mr. Grimes with whom both of us were acquainted and stay all night,--We cross'd the River; at this place about a hundred yards over, in a small Scow, and walk'd up a high bank to Mrs. Salter's house 22,

        22 "Mrs. Salter's house" this was the plantation of Col. Edmund Salter, not far from Avon and Grimesland. It was in recent years the residence of Col. Joseph Saunders of Confederate fame.


which is near the bank of the River and commands a fine prospect down the River for a Mile or two,--We went into the House, Mrs. Salter is Mother to Polly Blackledge and Sally Salter, that I have mentioned to you before, Sally & her Mother were both at home, as was Peggy, another daughter; a very pretty and agreeable Girl; my fellow Traveller, I soon found, had prepared an oblation, he produced from his pocket several fine Oranges which he presented to the Mother and Daughters, he had also Letters for Miss Sally, from some of her Friends at Washington--Mrs. Salter invited us to stay and take Coffee; and afterwards to lodge there, this seeming to be more pleasing to Mr. Jones, than to go on further, I readily agreed to it--And our Horses were put up. We spent the evening in conversation on different subjects, amongst the rest a good deal was said on Religion--At length Jones & I retired to go to rest, we found two Beds in our room, and proposed to ourselves each to take one to himself, but my fellow Traveller upon examining the one that by tacit consent had fallen to his lot, found it to be without Sheets, this circumstance rather disconcerted him, as I believe he had before heard me say, that I had as lieve sleep with a Snapping Turtle or a Two-Year-old Bull, as with a Man, However I soon relieved him by declaring that in present circumstances his Company would not be disagreeable, and we tumbled in and went to Sleep.


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        Wednesday, December 19. Jones and I rose early intending to ride on to Mr. Grimes's three Miles from Mrs. Salter's where we made no doubt that we should find a good Breakfast, we bid adieu to Mrs. Salter, who had risen; and pursued our way; we called at Mr. Grimes's we found that he had gone from home, his daughter Betsey that I had seen at Thomas Blackledge's with two other young Women were at home, they were at work in a room below stairs, and we soon found that they seemed rather embarrass'd with our Company; to our Grief, they for half an hour neglected to ask us whether we had breakfasted 23,

        23 "They neglected to ask us whether we had breakfasted." This was probably not from lack of hospitality on the part of Miss Betsy Grimes, but was occasioned by the strict etiquette of that day. A young lady of her high position would have committed a social error had she entertained strange young men in the absence of her parents. Her mother was dead and her father and brother absent on business, therefore, "they seemed rather embarrassed with our company."


being in despair on this head Jones asked if I would ride on, as Mr. Grimes was not at home; with great reluctance I was obliged to answer, Yes,--Then with heavy hearts we bid the Girls, good b'ye, mounted our horses, and rode twelve Miles to Greenville, formerly called Martinsburg; here at the hospitable house of Mr. Johnson, Innkeeper, we relieved our importunate Appetites--Some disappointment like this probably induced Shenstone to write his poem beginning,


                         Who'er has travell'd Life's dull round,
                         Where'er his various fate has been;
                         May blush to think, how oft he's found,
                         His warmest welcome at an Inn--

        GREENEVILLE, so called in Honour of General Green, is the County Town of Pitt County; it is situated on the Southeast side of Tar River, at this place about 90 or 100 yards over, when the River is low; tho' near a Mile wide when there are freshes in the River, and it is here about ten feet deep.--The Village consists of about fifteen families, and is a place of some Trade, the planters in the vicinity, bringing their produce to this Landing. The Town stands high and pleasant.

        Mr. Jones and I, after eating our Breakfasts walked to Messrs. Easton and Wright's Store at the bank of the River, with the latter I had some business, the former was my fellow passenger,


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Mr. Easton invited us to drink some Punch with him, before we continued our Journey, this we did, not because we wanted any, but it is a maxim with me in general not to reject the proffered civilities of any Man: we walked up to his lodgings where I saw his daughter little Sylvia my fellow passenger from Philadelphia--Just as we were about to set off from Greeneville, it began Raining and appeared likely to continue to rain the whole day, we had our Horses led to the Stable again, and after waiting two or three hours, appearances being more favourable, we crossed to the North side of the River in a small Scow and pursued our way--

        We rode about 10 Miles, to the house of Wm. Tuton and were informed there, that he was gone to Tarborough and was not expected home for several days, this determined me to accompany Mr. Jones to that place, we accordingly rode on five Miles further and about night fall arrived at the house of Mrs. Cobb, an ancient woman, who keeps a petty Ordinary--We concluded to stay here all night, not being sure of obtaining a lodging in Tarborough if we went there, as we had heard that every house was crowded, the Assembly being then met at that place. Mrs. Cobbs' house consisted of two Apartments, one was the sitting Room, the floor was of Clay or dirt, and there was one Bed in the Room--The other Apartment was floored with Boards and contained four good Beds, two on each side of the Room.--Mrs. Cobb; is a Woman between 83 and 84 years of Age, as she told me; she was born in the Isle of Wight County, Virginia, she retains her faculties and is as brisk and lively as most Women of 30 years of Age--She waits on Travellers herself and even goes to the Stable and takes care of their Horses herself. This not from necessity, having assistance enough if she chooses it; but seems to plume herself on her activity, and attention to her Guests and to their Horses--This Woman has near 50 descendants Children, Grandchildren, and Great Grandchildren--We complained on entering the House that the Fire was almost out, she went and brought a load of Wood, threw it on, and with a pleasant air said "There it will be a fire when it burns"--alluding I suppose to the Story of the Fox that made the Ice smoke--We were furnished with a very indifferent


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supper; but our Horses being well taken care of in regard to food and each one being fastened by himself in a cover'd log Pen, we getting clean and good beds for ourselves were not uneasy.--

        Mr. Van Noorden 24

        24 A street in the town of Washington commemorates Mr. Van Noorden's ownership of a part of the original land.


and another Gentleman arrived in the course of the evening at this Stage we were now four Guests but we got each of us a bed to ourselves.--

        Thursday, December 20. We were alarmed in our Quarters before day, by the firing of Muskets at some little distance from the house in which we lay--We found that the firing was at a school House in the neighborhood, of our Quarters, with powder only; tis the custom here for School Boys upon the approach of Christmas, Easter and Whitsuntide, to rebel against their School-master, in order to force him to grant them a holiday; the boys rise early in the Morning and go to the School House, which is considered as their Fort, they barricade the Door and Windows, carry into the house with them victuals and blankets, with water and wood, sufficient to sustain the Siege that they expect from the Master; Upon his approach at the usual School hours, he finds himself shut out, he demands the cause, the Garrison acquaints him that they are determined to have a holiday, this is frequently denied, and now commences the Siege, the Master tries to force his way into the house, they resist him by every means in their power, and sometimes give him some very serious hard knocks, throw Stones &c. It is generally looked upon as a piece of fun; the Master pretends to be solicitous to subdue them, and if he catches any Stragler from the Fort, he will flog him heartily & it is understood on these occasions that the boys are to be peaceable, except during the actual storm of the enemy, when they are at liberty to maul him to their hearts content--This Scene is sometimes continued many days, at last the Master proposes terms, that he grants them so many days holiday; which if satisfactory being accepted by the Garrison, peace is again established in the little community. Sometimes however the Master not being a


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good humour'd Man & not entering into their views, finds means to subdue the Garrison, and threshes the Ringleaders heartily--

        Jones and I, set out about Sunrise from Mrs. Cobb's and rode eleven Miles to Tarborough before breakfast--riding over a Bridge built of Wood at the Town, over Tar River.

        TARBOROUGH, is the County Town of Edgecombe County; it is situated on the Southeast side of Tar River, at this place about eighty yards over, the Town contains about twenty Families, and for the size of it has a considerable Trade, it is the highest Town on the River, and Boats seldom go above this place.--The houses are all of Wood--It is situated on a high flat piece of Ground, and is a very pleasant place.

        There is an Inspection house here for the reception and examination of Tobacco, and I am told there is brought to it annually 1400 Hogsheads.--

        Tobacco is brought to the Inspecting house at this Landing sometimes in Waggons but more usually rolled, and from the distance of a hundred Miles or more--When brought in Waggons it is pitch'd from the tail of the Waggons without fear of Staving, if judiciously dropt, so as to let the end of the Staves strike the ground first. The method of rolling it to the Landing is as follows two rough Wheels or Cleets are made to the Cask by fixing on, with strong wooden Pins, pieces of Wood hewn in shape like the fellows of a Wheel; these are fastened to the hogshead, at the quarters, or near each end of the Cask; next an axle is made by driving into each end of the Cask, a piece of Wood; squared at one end, to answer a square hole in the heading; this to prevent the Axle from turning in the Cask;--the Shank of it left without the Cask, is made round; a rough pair of Shafts are now prepared, in the ends of which, are holes for those round Shanks to work in as the Hogshead rolls over, sometimes a small square box, is built upon the Shafts, for carrying Victuals, a blanket, or other things; each Hogshead is drawn by two Horses; one placed before the other; and each Horse has usually a Saddle upon his back for the Men bringing the Tobacco to ride when they choose it; and I observed that in coming into Tarborough, they mostly


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availed themselves of the indulgence; and came riding into Town with the Tobacco rolling after them. They throw away the Shafts on their arrival and return home on horseback.

        It may be here observed that Pitch, Tar, & Turpentine are rolled to the Landing from the Woods, partly in the same manner; in these, the Axle, is one Stick drove quite through the Cask, and wedged so as not to work loose, leaving a Shank at each end which when it arrives, is sawed off, leaving the rest of the Stick in the barrel--They do not take the trouble to fix Cleets to the barrels, the cask rolls upon the Hoops,--Two barrels are often drawn together, the last one is fixed by a box at each end reaching to the end of the Shafts.

        The manner of managing Tobacco at the Inspecting house is this--The planter driving up near the door, disengages his Horses; then knocks and splits off the cleets or fellows, which with the Shafts are thrown away; the remains of the wooden pins which fasten'd the Cleets are drove into the Tobacco, till the heads of them are quite through the Staves, that the Cask may Slip off the Tobacco the easier, the Shanks of the Axles are sawed off, the other part remains in the Tobacco and is disregarded: next the Hogshead being set on one end, the hoops of the end now uppermost are taken off and that head taken out; then the Cask with the Tobacco is gently eased down on the bilge, or side, and then the end before downward is raised uppermost; so that the Tobacco now bearing on the Ground, the Cask may be lifted quite away from it, leaving the Tobacco standing without a Case; and easy to be inspected. The work hitherto is done by the Countryman or his Assistant; Now the Inspector is called, who bringing a Crow bar drives it into the Tobacco where he chooses, raising a mass or Cheese of it, so as to examine it in about three different strata or parts of it; if found to be good and merchantable, it is passed and allowed as such. The empty Cask with the head and Hoops being now carried to the large Scales belonging to the Inspection is weighed, and whatever it weighs is marked upon the head, being by Merchants called the Tare of the Cask; next the Cask being again put over the Tobacco, it is again upset, the head and


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hoops fixed as at first, then being rolled to the Scales the Cask and Tobacco therein are weighed together, and the gross weight being marked on the head, over the Tare weight first marked; the neat weight of Tobacco may easily be known by subtracting the Tare. The Inspector now makes an entry in his Warehouse Book, of the Hogshead with the weight, and affixes a Number to the Cask, which he also enters in his Book; he gives to the planter a Note or receipt for the Cask of Tobacco, expressing the Number, weight and Tare, and receives the Hogshead of Tobacco into the Warehouse, where it may lay till the Tobacco of the next Year comes in; the Planter pays for its examination and Storing Five Shillings.--The Planter has now no further trouble with the Tobacco; his Note or Receipt is transferable like a Bill of Credit merely by the possession of it, and he may sell his Note when or where he pleases; the buyer when he wants to remove the Tobacco, presenting the Note, and the identical hogshead is delivered to him--Confusion is prevented, by numbering all the Tobacco that comes into the Warehouse in one Crop, regularly from No. 1 to the end.

        If the Planter has any ordinary Tobacco in his Cask, it is taken out, and he may sell it to whom he pleases, but cannot get a Note for it. The Inspection or Warehouse is a large framed house of Wood; it is 160 feet long and about 50 feet broad.--It is near the bank of the River.

        A new regulation is proposed in this State in regard to Tobacco to class it in three divisions, No. 1, to be of the first quality, No. 2, of the second sort, and No. 3, to include all ordinary and trash Tobacco however mean without rejecting any.

        We found upon our arrival at Tarborough the place much crowded; the Legislature being sitting for the dispatch of business--The size of the Town appear'd so inadequate to the comfortable accomodation of a Legislature composed of about 120 Commons or Delegates and about 60 Senators, together with the people attending the Sessions in business or going there on motives of pleasure that you will not easily believe that it was possible to


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provide for them, Yet provided for they were. and they said themselves, very comfortably; One old Countryman said that he had cause to be satisfied that he lived there much better than at home.--

        Captain Toole a Trader, and for the time Innkeeper provided for 40 or 50 Members, with a great number of others; every family almost received some of the Members; Beds were borrowed from the Country, 3 or 4 placed in a room, and two of their Honors in a Bed--provisions were in plenty, Horses were mostly sent to Farms in the vicinity of the Town--Mr. Faulkner who formerly resided sometime in Philadelphia brought hither his E O Table; Gambling was carried to great extent, at this Table and also at other Games; at times several of my acquaintances have told me of their losses,--A Trader of Newbern lost in one night 600 pounds--Some attempts were made to represent some dramatic pieces, but with very bad success--Two of the Actresses were Adventuresses from Charleston. I rode up to the house of Captain Toole, situated at a corner of two Streets, in the middle of the Street that crosses by the side of his house there was a place for horses to stand, composed of two posts set in the ground at about 15 feet distance from each other on the tops rested a cross piece with Pins at intervals for fastening the Bridles, here stood a dozen horses, and here I fix'd mine with the rest--till I should be able to get a place for him--Going into the front Room I found the Table laid for Breakfast in two rows, I waited some time by the fire side, when the Breakfast being brought in, I hung up my Hat and without any Ceremony took my Seat amongst the Crowd; Legislators, Planters and Merchants, After being all seated I lifted up my eyes and saw that I had committed a faux pas, every Man but me had kept his Hat on--However this made but little difference, I only determined to keep it on next time--We had a tolerable Breakfast--my friend Jones, had gone to breakfast with an acquaintance--I found Mr. Thomas Stuart here whom I had seen at Newbern, he kindly offered to show me the way to the Court house where the Assembly sat, having accepted his


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offer, we walk'd up; the Court House is a large wooden building of two Apartments, built in this form

Illustration

[Diagram]

and standing on brick Pillars; in the long Room the Commons met, in the other the Senate--Any person is at liberty to go and hear the debates of either House, Standing uncover'd without their Bar--The bar at the Senate was a Board laid across two old Trunks, standing on the ends which served very well pro tem.

        The Bar of the Commons House was the Court Room Bar--Every Member sat with his Hat on except when addressing the Chair--The business before the house not being very interesting I soon retired--But soon after hearing that the new Governor was to be Sworn into Office I returned. There was now a joint Meeting of the two houses in the large Room, a Committee of 3 or 4 gentlemen went to him, they walk'd together to the House all the Members rose on his entering, the usual Oath of Allegiance to the State and Oath of Office as Governor being by him distinctly repeated and sworn, he retired to his lodgings, there being no Ceremony of Proclamation--

        Retiring from thence, I soon after met my fellow passenger Mackie, taking a walk with him We called at Mr. Clement's Store, I was introduced to him--Next I took a walk to the house of my friend Richard Blackledge, he was at home and introduced me to his Wife, an elegant Woman, to Miss Brannon and to Miss Hill who were at his house,--He invited me to dine--

        Leaving Blackledge--I was introduced to Mr. ---- Ross, a Merchant--At dinner I returned to Richard Blackledge's, here was a large Company, amongst others Judge Williams 25.

        25 Judge Williams of Williamsboro.


I was introduced to some of the Company, and during Dinner an Argument arose between one of the Gentlemen present, and the Judge, respecting Slaves; the Judge wished that there was an immediate addition of One hundred Thousand Slaves to the State; I soon became a Party and we had a good deal of conversation on the subject I principally endeavour'd to shew the political inexpedience
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of the practice of keeping Slaves by argument on the advantages a State having none but Free Citizens must have over a State encumber'd with Slaves in case of a contest for power; and by shewing the disadvantages to posterity from the practice.--With just glancing a few hints on the general rights of Mankind, such as I thought that my auditory might bear--The Judge frankly declared that his views were for the present ease and affluence; and said that he admitted our Great Grandchildren wou'd be Slaves.--Here seemed to rest our Argument. I now took a walk, afterwards Mr. Jones coming to look for me I return'd to Tea in the evening, Doctr. Williamson was there to whom I was introduced. After some Conversation I took a walk up to Tooles, here I saw my fellow passenger Billy Ford, he had a black eye and wore a silk Handkerchief tied over it, upon enquiry into the cause of this disaster, he inform'd me that there had been, an evening or two before a jovial meeting of some of the members of the Legislature, in the Court House, when he standing up to entertain them with the exhibition of "Bucks have at ye all" Some of the Company grew riotous, Somebody threw an Orange Skin and hit him in the eye. Somebody also threw the Leg of a Turkey which miss'd him, but fell not, guiltless to the floor, giving Toole a violent blow on the back.-- He invited me to go upstairs to be introduced to some great Men, but I was engaged--

        Soon after parting with Ford my attention was engaged by a Quarrel in one of the Rooms below a Stout Man in Liquor wanting to fight with another Man not so disposed;--He endeavour'd all in his power by opprobious words & otherwise to provoke the quiet Man to strike him first, in order to avoid being indicted for an assault, and as the phrase is here "To Quit the Law," amongst other expedients he lay down on the Floor, upon his back with his Legs and Arms extended calling "Now strike me" "Kick me"--Stamp upon me"--but his Adversary was not to be provoked to give him an opportunity to make battle with impunity.-- After taking a drink of Porter with my friend John Whitall at Toole's, tired with the different Scenes of the day I began to think of a bed--I had asked of Mackie to let me have a part of his Bed in the Store, I went there, he told me I could be accomodated with


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a spare Bed in the house, and going out Mr. Gilchrist his brother's partner came in, and invited me into the house, here he introduced me to Samuel Johnston Esqr. the new Governor, to General McDowell, and other Gentlemen, Colo. Davie was here, to whom I was introduced at Newbern,

        The Governor and I, had a long conversation on various topics, and I retired to bed pretty late.

        Friday, December 21. I breakfasted at Capt. Toole's--Afterwards I saw William Ford who invited me to dine with him, this did not suit today, he invited me to call in the forenoon and take a glass of Wine with him, this I did--

        Having this Morning seen Mr. Gilchrist, he told me that he had expected me to Breakfast: he invited me to dine with him, and desired that David Jones would come also.-- I took a walk to the Tobacco Inspection; the price of that article is 50/ per 100 lb. part to be paid in Goods-- David Jones and I went to dine at Mr. Gilchrist's, after Dinner the Governor came in; most of the Company except him retiring, he & I had a long tète a tète Conversation-- He kindly invited me to pay him a Visit if I should come in the neighborhood of Edenton where he resides, which I Promised. In the evening I went to visit William Tuton at Mr. Greir's, here was Benjamin Brown and William Ford-- In the evening I walk'd to Richard Blackledge's where I took Tea, then returned to Mr. Greir's where I eat Supper-- Two back country Assembly Men came in, one named Gardner from Surry County, we had a long conversation on the subject of paper Money; one of the Assembly Men seemed to think Merchants of little benefit to the Country and said that he wished there were none for 100 Years to come. It growing late we could not end our subject, but the Assembly Men said that next evening they were at our service for further debate. I staid and slept with Benjamin Brown.

        Saturday, December 22. I breakfasted and dined at Toole's. There was Snow, Sleet and Rain all day--They were out of Wood at Toole's, and we suffer'd there for want of Fire--In the evening I saw Mr. Gilchrist, he invited me to lodge at his House, letting me know that he expected me last night. I drank Chocolate there.


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        The Governor was there, and I had another long tète a tète Conversation the early part of the evening with him on the Slavery of the Negroes, on Liberty, about many of our acquaintances; their Houses &c. General McDowell 26

        26 General McDowell was probably Charles McDowell as he was older than his brother Joseph; both were participants in the battle of King's Mountain.


afterwards came in, we had a deal of conversation, he told us about his Wars with the English, the Indians, and the Bears; he was one of those Commanders who defeated & killed Colo. Ferguson at King's Mountain, he is an elderly Man his Locks are beginning to Silver over. General McDowell related his killing some Bears nearly as follows--

        "There was a large old Tree with a hole in it, very high up, some of us went there, and we thought it was likely there was a Bear down that hole, I got an Indian Ladder (this is a Saplin with the Limbs cut off, about a foot from the Stock so as to take hold with the hands and feet in clim'ing) this Ladder, I set up against the Tree, and getting a long Pole with a flaming brand on the end of it, got up the Ladder, with the Pole, and held the Fire to the hole in the Tree which soon took Fire, the Smoke and heat forced out a full grown Bear who descended so fast, I was at last obliged to drop myself to the ground, here I had left my Gun, and just as the Bear was reaching the Ground, I fired and broke his back, we then dispatched him with the Axe, -- Soon after another Bear called a Yearling came out and descended we knock'd him on the head also with the Axe-- And there came out of the hole, one more Bear, also a Yearling, he ran out upon the boughs of the Tree, and there being a bad Marksman in the Company, We set him to Shoot this Bear, and after firing many times he at last hit him and brought him down--"

        As I grew very sleepy I retired to bed. This evening the Assembly finished their Session and broke up.

        Sunday, December 23. It is very much the custom in North Carolina to drink Drams of some kind or other before Breakfast; sometimes Gin, Cherry-bounce, Egg Nog &c. several of the Assembly Men, this Morning indulged themselves in this respect.


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        General Thomas Parsons came in and staid a short time--I breakfasted at Mr. Gilchrist's and dined at Captain Toole's.

        The Assembly Men push'd out of Town this forenoon in great numbers, many of them appearing very anxious to get home.

        In the afternoon I paid a visit at Richard Blackledge's, drank Tea there. The company there, were Mrs. Harvey 27,

        27 "Mrs. Harvey" was Ann Blount, widow of James Harvey, the young son of Col. John Harvey the distinguished Moderator of the Assembly held at New Bern, in 1774. She made the trip on horseback from Pitt county across the mountains into Tennessee to visit her brother, Gov. William Blount. She died there and her remains rest near his in the Presbyterian churchyard, in Knoxville, Tenn.


Doctor Williamson 28,

        28 Doctor Hugh Williamson, though born in Pennsylvania, was largely associated with North Carolina. He represented Edenton in the House of Commons in 1782, and was sent to Congress from that district in 1784. He was one of the signers of the Constitution from this State. He was again in Congress from 1790 to 1792. He wrote a history of North Carolina in 1812.


Major Blount, Colonel Thomas, &c. We had a good deal of conversation.

        I went to Mr. Gilchrist's to lodge.

        Monday, December 24. I breakfasted at Mr. Gilchrist's today, & dined at Capt. Toole's, I visited William Tuton upon business, he offers payment in Lands for a demand we have, could not agree about the terms.

        The Assembly of North Carolina, consists of two Commons and one Senator for each County in the State; of these Counties there are about sixty.

        The Legislature meet the first Monday in November by Law,--Some of them came to the Assembly to Tarborough 800 Miles, these came from the settlements about Cumberland River. These Members encamp in the Woods returning home, part of the way; the country is settled as far back as 3 or 400 Miles.

        In the evening I rode out to Edward Hall's Farm about two Miles from Tarborough upon business, he inviting me to stay all night, I accepted his invitation--The evening Moon light, and has been a fine day.

        Tuesday, December 25. This Morning according to North Carolina custom we had before Breakfast, a drink of EGG NOG, this compound is made in the following manner: In two clean Quart


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Bowls, were divided the Yolks and whites of five Eggs, the yolks & whites separated, the Yolks beat up with a Spoon, and mixt up with brown Sugar, the whites were whisk'd into Froth by a Straw Whisk till the Straw wou'd stand upright in it; when duly beat, the Yolks were put to the Froth; again beat a long time; then half a pint of Rum pour'd slowly into the mixture, the whole kept stirring the whole time till well incorporated.

        After Breakfasting I returned to Tarborough. I dined with Andrew Grier. After dinner saw a dance of Negroes to the Banjo in his Yard.

        In the afternoon I set off for Washington, after riding a few Miles I overtook Brown, Tuton &c. who were going down the Road,--We stopt at Mrs. Cobb's, took a drink, and rode to Jone's Tavern being some in the night.

        We arrived in the heighth of a quarrel there between two Men; the Landlady applied to me to part 'em, I told her "No, let them settle their own differences."--They were going to fight out in the Road, when one of the company declared he wou'd massacre the Man who should attempt to Gouge, (that is, endeavors to run his thumbs into the eyes of the other, scoop out his eye balls) Womble, one of the disputants declared "I cannot fight without a Gouge" One of the company supported his declaration saying "Ay! A Gouge all weathers, by G--. the terms were not accepted; their passions cooled by degrees and the gouging Man said, "tho I am but a little "Shoemaker, I won't be imposed upon" I replied You may be a Shoemaker perhaps, but you are

        A page of manuscript is missing here]

        In some places on the way, there appears amongst the Trees a very luxuriant herbage one sort called Reed, appearing like our Meadow Tussocks as we call them, is now green and continues so all winter--And another kind which now looks brown, like dead Grass, but grows green toward Spring,--both are excellent for Cattle--

        The Settlements along this Road are but few--I was overtaken in the Woods by a Man in a homespun Jacket and ragged Trousers,


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mounted on a Poney a little bigger than a Goat, the first notice I had of him was by his giving a Whistle behind me.

        I grasped a loaded Whip, and turn'g it in my hand; looking round me, with some little apprehension from the loneliness of the place--He came up, and rode about two or three Miles with me when he left me. I found by his conversation that he was a Tar burner. We had a variety of Chat,--Amongst other talk he told me that two Wolves had been killed about a fortnight before near the place we then were--

        After parting with this honest fellow, I rode on, trusting my Horse to chuse the Road and his choice . . . . did credit to his Sagacity-except once where there happen'd to be a Post of direction--Here he Seem'd to incline to go contrary to the direction on the Post which conduct I could not account for as it was clear he was not making homeward, till afterwards upon enquiry I found his Owner had been used to ride up that Road while Courting the lady now his Wife; and that place was still the habitation of some agreeable young Ladies,--perhaps his intention was to introduce me there.--

        After riding 25 Miles I arrived at Mr. Pearce's where I got dinner and rested my Horse. There was playing at his door five Negroe Children every one dress'd in a Shirt only--Clothes are not bestowed on these Animals with much profusion--At Johnson's one was Walking abot. the Court Yard absolutely naked, and in Newbern I saw a boy thro' the Street with only a Jacket on, and that unbuttoned.--

        From Pearce's I rode five Miles to Mr. Blount's Ferry at Tar River here two Negroes rowed me over to the Washington Shore where I landed at Sunset--

        Being fond of remarking upon the tempers of Men and upon human Nature in general, under every appearance and circumstance I thought proper to interrogate Polydore one of the Negroes who rowed me, in respect to his condition as follows--

        ATTMORE, Where was you born, boy?

        POLYDORE, I was born in Guinea.

        ATTMORE, Don't you want to go back to your Country?


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        The other Negroe answers--He is fast, he can't go.

        POLYDORE, I have learnt another Language now, they will kill me if I go back to my home--

        ATTMORE, How came you brought from yr. Country,

        POLYDORE, I went with many more to attack a town, where they were too strong for us, they killed a great many, and took 140 of us prisoners, and sold us.--

        ATTMORE, Had you not better have let them alone and remained in peace at home?

        POLYDORE, No--My Nation always fight that Nation--

        ATTMORE, And what would do if you return'd to your Country now, wou'd you be quiet?

        POLYDORE, No--I go there, and fight 'em worse than ever.--

        As we got to Shore at this period, I gave my two ragged Ferrymen a small present, for which they were thankful--And Galloped up the Shore to my former Quarters as Blackledge's Here I found Miss Sally Salter, & Miss Absoley Kennedy,

        The remainder of the manuscript has been lost, save the next page, a fragment descriptive of New Bern.]

        NEWBERN, is a Town situated on a point or Neck of Land at the confluence of the Rivers Neuse and Trent, each of these Rivers are at the Town about three quarters of a Mile wide, the Town contains about 500 or 600 Houses which are mostly built of Wood, this place is generally reckon'd to be the Capital of North Carolina, tho' the Legislature do not always meet there, the Neuse is navigable for Sea Vessels about----miles above the Town and for Scows and Flats about Miles--The Trent is navigable above the Town for Sea Vessels about Miles and for Flats and Scows about Miles--

        There is an elegant house in this place called the Palace, formerly the residence of the Governor many of the houses are large and commodious some are one story and some two Stories high.

        There are to many of the houses Balconies or Piazzas in front and sometimes back of the house, this Method of Building is found convenient on account of the great Summer Heats here--These Balconies are often two Stories high, sometimes one or


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both ends of it are boarded up, and made into a Room. There are convenient Wharves at Newbern, these are mostly on the Trent side of the Town where the Shipping generally lay--Vessels drawing 9 feet water can come up to the place--There is a small church 29

        29 This was the present "Christ Church" New Bern, originally Craven Parish, established by the Vestry Act of 1715. (See Colonial Records Vol. II p. 209). The two royal Governors, Tryon and Martin attended this church during their occupancy of the Palace. A very handsome silver communion service and alms basin, also Bible and Prayer Book, each bearing the Royal arms, the silver engraved "presented by George the II, King of England," are in the possession of the present Christ Church. The records of this Parish were destroyed by fire many years ago, and the tradition to which the memory of man runneth not to the contrary is that these particular articles were presented to Christ Church by George II.

        However, Bishop Joseph Blount Cheshire is inclined to the belief that this eucharistic service with accompanying Prayer Book and Bible were originally given to the Royal Chapel of St. Philips, at old Brunswick and that when New Bern became the seat of the Royal Government under William Tryon he transferred these sacred and beautiful articles to Christ Church, New Bern, and gave it the distinction of being the "Royal Chapel."

        To the historian this belief is quite tenable and only enhances the historic interest that clusters around this old Parish.


here with a square tower, Cupola and Bell & it is the only place of Worship in the Town. This place being the County Town of Craven County, there is a brick Goal here, and a Court House, the latter is raised on Arches; the Courts being held upstairs, the lower part serves for a Market place; tho' but little provisions are carried there; people coming in Boats or Canoes sell their Marketting at the River side.