D E S C R I P T I O N
North - C A R O L I N A.
THE Province of Carolina is separated from Virginia by a due West-Line, which begins at Currituck-Inlet, in 36 Degrees, 30 Minutes, of Northern-Latitude, and extends indefinitely to the Westward, and thence to the Southward, as far as 29 Degrees; which is a vast Tract of Sea-Coast. But having already treated, as far as is necessary, concerning South-Carolina, I shall confine myself, in the ensuing Sheets, to give my Reader a description of that Part of the Country only, which lies betwixt Currituck and Cape-Fair, and is almost 34 Deg. North. And this is commonly call'd North Carolina.
This Part of Carolina is faced with a Chain of Sand-Banks, which defends it from the Violence and Insults of the Atlantick Ocean; by which Barrier, a vast Sound is hemm'd in, which fronts the Mouths of the Navigable and Pleasant Rivers of this Fertile Country, and into which they disgorge themselves. Thro' the same are Inlets of several Depths of Water. Some of their Channels admit only of Sloops, Brigantines, small Barks, and Ketches; and such are Currituck, Ronoak, and up the Sound above Hatteras: Whilst others can receive Ships of Burden, as Ocacock, Topsail-Inlet, and Cape-Fair, as appears by my Chart.
The first Discovery and Settlement of this Country was by the Procurement of Sir Walter Raleigh, in Conjunction with some publick-spirited Gentlemen of that Age, under the Protection of Queen Elizabeth; for which Reason it was then named Virginia, being begun on that Part called Ronoak-Island, where the Ruins of a Fort are to be seen at this day, as well as some old English Coins which have been lately found; and a Brass-Gun, a Powder-Horn, and one small Quarter deck-Gun, made of Iron Staves, and hoop'd with the same Metal; which Method of making Guns might very probably be made use of in those Days, for the Convenience of Infant-Colonies.
A farther Confirmation of this we have from the Hatteras Indians, who either then lived on Ronoack-Island, or much frequented it. These tell us, that several of their Ancestors were white People, and could talk in a Book, as we do; the Truth of which is confirm'd by gray Eyes being found frequently amongst these Indians, and no others. They value themselves extremely for their Affinity to the English, and are ready to do them all friendly Offices. It is probable, that this Settlement miscarry'd for want of timely Supplies from England; or thro' the Treachery of the Natives, for we may reasonably suppose that the English were forced to cohabit with them, for Relief and Conversation; and that in process of Time, they conform'd themselves to the Manners of their Indian Relations. And thus we see, how apt Human Nature is to degenerate.
I cannot forbear inserting here, a pleasant Story that passes for an uncontested Truth amongst the Inhabitants of this Place; which is, that the Ship which brought the first Colonies, does often appear amongst them, under Sail, in a gallant Posture, which they call Sir Walter Raleigh's Ship, And the truth of this has been affirm'd to me, by Men of the best Credit in the Country.
A second Settlement of this Country was made about fifty Years ago, in that part we now call Albemarl-County, and chiefly in Chuwon Precinct, by several substantial Planters, from Virginia, and other Plantations; Who finding mild Winters, and a fertile Soil, beyond Expectation, producing every thing that was planted, to a prodigious Increase; their Cattle, Horses, Sheep, and Swine, breeding very fast, and passing the Winter, without any assistance from the Planter; so that every thing seem'd to come by Nature, the Husbandman living almost void of Care, and free from those Fatigues which are absolutely requisite in Winter-Countries, for providing Fodder and other Necessaries; these Encouragements induc'd them to stand their Ground, altho' but a handful of People, seated at great Distances one from another, and amidst a vast number of Indians of different Nations, who were then in Carolina. Nevertheless, I say, the Fame of this new-discover'd Summer-Country spread thro' the neighbouring Colonies, and, in a few Years, drew a considerable Number of Families thereto, who all found Land enough to settle themselves in, (had they been many Thousands more) and that which was very good and commodiously seated, both for Profit and Pleasure. And indeed, most of the Plantations in Carolina naturally enjoy a noble Prospect of large and spacious Rivers, pleasant Savanna's and fine Meadows, with their green Liveries, interwoven with beautiful Flowers, of most glorious Colours, which the several Seasons afford; hedg'd in with pleasant Groves of the ever-famous Tulip-tree, the stately Laurel, and Bays, equalizing the Oak in Bigness and Growth; Myrtles, Jessamines, Wood-bines, Honysuckles, and several other fragrant Vines and Ever-greens, whose aspiring Branches shadow and interweave themselves with the loftiest Timbers, yielding a pleasant Prospect, Shade and Smell, proper Habitations for the Sweet-singing Birds, that melodiously entertain such as travel thro' the Woods of Carolina.
The Planters possessing all these Blessings, and the Produce of great Quantities of Wheat and Indian Corn, in which this Country is very fruitful, as likewise in Beef, Pork, Tallow, Hides, Deer-Skins, and Furs; for these Commodities the New-England-Men and Bermudians visited Carolina in their Barks and Sloops, and carry'd out what they made, bringing them, in Exchange, Rum, Sugar, Salt, Molosses, and some wearing Apparel, tho' the last at very extravagant Prices.
As the Land is very fruitful, so are the Planters kind and hospitable to all that come to visit them; there being very few Housekeepers, but what live very nobly, and give away more Provisions to Coasters and Guests who come to see them, than they expend amongst their own Families.
Of the Inlets and Havens of this Country.
The Bar of Currituck being the Northermost of this Country, presents itself first to be treated of. It lies in 36 deg. 30 min. and the Course over is S. W. by W. having not above seven or eight Foot on the Bar, tho' a good Harbour, when you are over, where you may ride safe, and deep enough; but this Part of the Sound is so full of Shoals, as not to suffer any thing to trade thro' it, that draws above three Foot Water, which renders it very incommodious. However, this affects but some part of the Country, and may be easily remedied, by carrying their Produce, in small Craft, down to the Vessels, which ride near the Inlet.
Ronoak Inlet has Ten Foot Water, the Course over the Bar is almost W. which leads you thro' the best of the Channel. This Bar, as well as Currituck, often shifts by the Violence of the N. E. Storms, both lying expos'd to those Winds. Notwithstanding which, a considerable Trade might be carry'd on, provided there was a Pilot to bring them in; for it lies convenient for a large Part of this Colony, whose Product would very easily allow of that Charge; Lat. 35 deg. 50 min.
The Inlet of Hatteras lies to the Westward of the Cape, round which is an excellent Harbour. When the Wind blows hard at N. or N. E. if you keep a small League from the Cape-Point, you will have 3, 4, and 5 Fathom, the outermost Shoals lying about 7 or 8 Leagues from Shoar. As you come into the Inlet, keep close to the South Breakers, till you are over the Bar, where you will have two Fathom at Low-Water. You may come to an Anchor in two Fathom and a Half when you are over, then steer over close aboard the North Shoar, where is four Fathom, close to a Point of Marsh; then steer up the Sound a long League, till you bring the North Cape of the Inlet to bear S. S. E. half E. then steer W. N. W., the East-point of Bluff-Land at Hatteras bearing E. N. E. the Southermost large Hammock towards Ocacock, bearing S. S. W. half S. then you are in the Sound, over the Bar of Sand, whereon is but 6 Foot Water; then your Course to Pampticough is almost West. It flows on these three Bars S. E. by E. 1/4 E. about Eight of the Clock, unless there is a hard Gale of Wind at N. E. which will make it flow two hours longer; but as soon as the Wind is down, the Tides will have their natural Course: A hard Gale at N. or N. W. will make the Water ebb sometimes 24 hours, but still the Tide will ebb and flow, tho' not seen by the turning thereof, but may be seen by the Rising of the Water, and Falling of the same, Lat. 35o 25".
Ocacock is the best Inlet and Harbour yet in this Country; and has 13 Foot at Low-water upon the Bar. There are two Channels; one is but narrow, and lies close aboard the South Cape; the other in the Middle, viz. between the Middle Ground, and the South Shoar, and is above half a Mile wide. The Bar itself is but half a Cable's Length over, and then you are in 7 or 8 Fathom Water; a good Harbour. The Course into the Sound is N. N. W. At High-water, and Neap-tides, here is 18 Foot Water. It lies S. W. from Hatteras Inlet. Lat. 35o 8".
Topsail Inlet is above two Leagues to the Westward of Cape Look-out. You have a fair Channel over the Bar, and two Fathom thereon, and a good Harbour in five or six Fathom to come to an Anchor. Your Course over this Bar is almost N. W. Lat. 34o 44".
As for the Inlet and River of Cape Fair, I cannot give you a better Information thereof, than has been already deliver'd by the Gentlemen, who were sent on purpose, from Barbados, to make a Discovery of that River, in the Year 1663, which is thus.
From Tuesday the 29th of September, to Friday the 2d of October, we rang'd along the Shoar from Lat. 32 deg. 20 min. to Lat. 33 deg. 11 min. but could discern no Entrance for our Ship, after we had pass'd to the Northward of 32 deg. 40 min. On Saturday, Octob. 3 a violent Storm overtook us, the Wind between North and East; which Easterly Winds and Foul Weather continu'd till Monday the 12th; by reason of which Storms and Foul Weather, we were forced to get off to Sea, to secure Ourselves and Ship, and were driven by the Rapidity of a strong Current to Cape Hatteras, in Lat. 35 deg. 30 min. On Monday, the 12th aforesaid, we came to an Anchor in seven Fathom at Cape-Fair Road, and took the Meridian Altitude of the Sun, and were in Latitude 33 deg. 43 min. the Wind continuing still easterly, and foul Weather, till Thursday the 15th; and on Friday the 16th, the Wind being at N. W. we weigh'd and sail'd up Cape-Fair-River, some 4 or 5 Leagues, and came to an Anchor in 6 or 7 Fathom, at which time several Indians came on board, and brought us great Store of fresh Fish, large Mullets, young Bass, Shads, and several other Sorts of very good well-tasted Fish. On Saturday the 17th, we went down to the Cape, to see the English Cattle, but could not find 'em, tho' we rounded the Cape: And having an Indian Guide with us, here we rode till Oct. 24. The Wind being against us, we could not go up the River with our Ship; but went on shoar and view'd the Land of those Quarters. On Saturday, we weigh'd, and sail'd up the River some 4 Leagues, or thereabouts. Sunday the 25th, we weigh'd again, and row'd up the River, it being calm, and got up some 14 Leagues from the Harbour's Mouth, where we mor'd our Ship. On MondayOct. the 26th, we went down with the Yawl, to Necoes, an Indian Plantation, and view'd the Land there. On Tuesday the 27th, we row'd up the main River, with our Long-Boat, and 12 Men, some 10 Leagues, or thereabouts. On Wednesday the 28th, we row'd up about 8 or 10 Leagues more. Thursday the 29th, was foul Weather, with much Rain and Wind, which forc'd us to make Huts, and lie still. Friday the 30th, we proceeded up the main River, 7 or 8 Leagues. Saturday the 31st, we got up 3 or 4 Leagues more, and came to a Tree that lay cross the River; but because our Provisions were almost spent, we proceeded no farther, but return'd downward before Night, and on Monday the 2d of November, we came aboard our Ship. Tuesday the 3d, we lay still, to refresh ourselves. On Wednesday the 4th, we went 5 or 6 Leagues up the River, to search a Branch that run out of the main River towards the N. W. In which Branch we went up 5 or 6 Leagues; but not liking the Land, return'd on board that Night about Midnight, and call'd that Place Swampy-Branch. Thursday, November the 5th, we stay'd aboard. On Friday the 6th, we went up Greens-River, the Mouth of it being against the Place at which rode our Ship. On Saturday the 7th, we proceeded up the said River, some 14 or 15 Leagues in all, and found it ended in several small Branches; The Land, for the most part, being marshy and Swamps, we return'd towards our Ship, and got aboard it in the Night. Sunday November the 8th, we lay still, and on Monday the 9th, went again up the main River, being well stock'd with Provisions, and all things necessary, and proceeded upwards till Thursday noon, the 12th, at which time we came to a Place, where were two Islands in the Middle of the River; and by reason of the Crookedness of the River at that Place, several Trees lay cross both Branches, which stop'd the Passage of each Branch, so that we Could proceed no farther with our Boat; but went up the River side by Land, some 3 or 4 Miles, and found the River wider and wider. So we return'd, leaving it, as far as we could see up a long Reach, running N. E. we judging ourselves near fifty Leagues North from the River's Mouth. In our Return, we view'd the Land on both Sides the River, and found as good Tracts of dry, well-wooded, pleasant, and delightful Ground, as we have seen any where in the World, with abundance of long thick Grass on it, the Land being very level, with steep Banks on both Sides the River, and in some Places very high, the Woods stor'd every where, with great Numbers of Deer and Turkies, we never going on Shoar, but we saw of each Sort; as also great Store of Partridges, Cranes, and Conies, in several Places; we likewise heard several Wolves howling in the Woods, and saw where they had torn a Deer in Pieces. Also in the River we saw great Store of Ducks, Teal, Widgeon; and in the Woods, great Flocks of Parrakeeto's. The Timber that the Woods afford, for the most part, consists of Oaks of four or five Sorts, all differing in Leaves, but each bearing very good Acorns. We measur'd many of the Oaks in several Places, which we found to be, in bigness, some Two, some Three, and others almost Four Fathom in Height, before you come to Boughs or Limbs; forty, fifty, sixty Foot, and some more; and those Oaks very common in the upper Parts of both Rivers; also a very tall large Tree of great Bigness, which some call Cyprus, the right Name we know not, growing in Swamps. Likewise Walnut, Birch, Beech, Maple, Ash, Bay, Willow, Alder, and Holly; and in the lowermost Parts innumerable Pines, tall and good for Boards or Masts, growing, for the most part, in barren and sandy, but in some Places up the River, in good Ground, being mixt amongst Oaks and other Timbers. We saw Mulberry-Trees, Multitudes of Grape-Vines, and some Grapes which we eat of. We found a very large and good Tract of Land, on the N. W. Side of the River, thin of Timber, except here and there a very great Oak, and full of Grass, commonly as high as a Man's Middle, and in many Places to his Shoulders, where we saw many Deer, and Turkies; one Deer having very large Horns, and great Body, therefore call'd it Stag-Park. It being a very pleasant and delightful Place, we travell'd in it several Miles, but we saw no End thereof. So we return'd to our Boat, and proceeded down the River, and came to another Place, some twenty five Leagues from the River's Mouth on the same Side, where we found a Place, no less delightful than the former; and as far as we could judge, both Tracts came into one. This lower Place we call'd Rocky Point, because we found many Rocks and Stones, of several Sizes, upon the Land, which is not common. We sent our Boat down the River before us; ourselves travelling by Land, many Miles. Indeed, we were so much taken with the Pleasantness of the Country, that we travell'd into the Woods too far to recover our Boat and Company that Night. The next day being Sunday, we got to our Boat; and on Monday the 16th of November, proceeded down to a Place on the East-Side of the River, some 23 Leagues from the Harbour's Mouth, which we call'd Turky-Quarters, because we kill'd several Turkies thereabouts; we view'd the Land there, and found some Tracts of good Ground, and high, facing upon the River about one Mile inward, but backwards some two Miles, all Pine Land, but good Pasture Ground: We return'd to our Boat and proceeded down some 2 or 3 Leagues, where we had formerly view'd, and found ita Tract of as good Land, as any we have seen, and had as good Timber on it. The Banks on the River being high, therefore we call'd it High-Land-Point. Having view'd that, we proceeded down the River, going on Shoar in several places on both Sides, it being generally large Marshes, and many of them dry, that they may more fitly be called Meadows. The Wood-Land against them is, for the most part, Pine, and in some Places as barren, as ever we saw Land, but in other Places good Pasture-Ground. On Tuesday, November the 17th, we got aboard our Ship, riding against the Mouth of Green's River, where our Men were providing Wood, and fitting the Ship for the Sea: In the interim, we took a View of the Country on both sides of the River there, finding some good Land, but more bad, and the best not comparable to that above. Friday the 20th was foul Weather; yet in the Afternoon we weigh'd, went down the River about two Leagues, and came to an Anchor against the Mouth of Hilton's River, and took a View of the Land there on both sides, which appear'd to us much like that at Green's River. Monday the 23d, we went, with our Long-Boat well victuall'd and mann'd, up Hilton's River; and when we came three Leagues, or thereabouts, up the same, we found this and Green's River to come into one, and so continu'd for four or five Leagues, which makes a great Island betwixt them. We proceeded still up the River, till they parted again, keeping up Hilton's River on the Larboard side, and follow'd the said River five or six Leagues farther, where we found another large Branch of Green's River to come into Hilton's, which makes another great Island. On the Star-board side going up, we proceeded still up the River some four Leagues, and return'd, taking a view of the Land on both sides, and then judg'd ourselves to be from our Ship some 18 Leagues W. and by N. One League below this Place, came four Indians in a Canoe to us, and sold us several Baskets of Acorns, which we satisfy'd them for, and so left them; but one of them follow'd us on the Shoar some two or three Miles, till he came on the Top of a high Bank, facing on the River; and as we row'd underneath it, the Fellow shot an Arrow at us, which very narrowly miss'd one of our Men, and stuck in the upper edge of the Boat; but broke in pieces, leaving the Head behind. Hereupon, we presently made to the Shoar, and went all up the Bank (except Four to guide the Boat) to look for the Indian, but could not find him: At last we heard some sing, farther in the Woods, which we look'd upon as a Challenge to us, to come and fight them. We went towards them with all Speed; but before we came in Sight of them, heard two Guns go off from our Boat; whereupon we retreated, at fast as we could, to secure our Boat and Men. When we came to them, we found all well, and demanded the Reason of their firing the Guns: They told us, that an Indian came creeping along the Bank, as they suppos'd, to shoot at them; and therefore they shot at him at a great distance, with small Shot, but thought they did him no Hurt; for they saw him run away. Presently after our Return to the Boat, and while we were thus talking, came two Indians to us, with their Bows and Arrows, crying Bonny, Bonny. We took their Bows and Arrows from them, and gave them Beads, to their Content; then we led them, by the Hand, to the Boat, and shew'd them the Arrow-head sticking in her Side, and related to them the whole Passage; which when they understood, both of them shew'd a great Concern, and signify'd to us, by Signs, that they knew nothing of it; so we let them go, and mark'd a Tree on the Top of the Bank, calling the Place Mount-Skerry. We look'd up the River, as far as we could discern, and saw that it widen'd, and came running directly down the Country: So we return'd, viewing the Land on both sides the River, and finding the Banks steep in some places, but very high in others. The Bank-sides are generally Clay, and as some of our Company did affirm, some Marl. The Land and Timber up this River is no way inferiour to the best in the other, which we call the main River. So far as we could discern, this seem'd as fair, if not fairer, than the former, and we think runs farther into the Country, because a strong Current comes down, and a great deal more Drift-Wood. But, to return to the Business of the Land and Timber: We saw several Plots of Ground clear'd by the Indians, after their weak manner, compass'd round with great Timber Trees, which they are no-wise able to fell, and so keep the Sun from Corn-Fields very much; yet nevertheless, we saw as large Corn-stalks, or larger, than we have seen any where else: So we proceeded down the River, till we found the Canoe the Indian was in, who shot at us. In the Morning, we went on Shoar, and cut the same in pieces. The Indians perceiving us coming towards them, ran away. Going to his Hutt, we pull'd it down, broke his Pots, Platters, and Spoons, tore the Deer-Skins and Matts in pieces, and took away a Basket of Acorns; and afterwards proceeded down the River 2 Leagues, or thereabouts, and came to another Place of Indians, bought Acorns and some Corn of them, and went downwards 2 Leagues more. At last, espying an Indian peeping over a high Bank, we held up a Gun at him; and calling to him Skerry, presently several Indians came in Sight of us, and made great Signs of Friendship, saying Bonny, Bonny. Then running before us, they endeavor'd to persuade us to come on shoar; but we answer'd them with stern Countenances, and call'd out, Skerry, taking up our Guns, and threatening to shoot at them, but they still cry'd, Bonny, Bonny: And when they saw they could not prevail, nor persuade us to come on shoar, two of them came off to us in a Canoe, one paddling with a great Cane, the other with his Hand. As soon as they overtook us, they laid hold of our Boat, sweating and blowing, and told us, it was Bonny on shoar, and at last persuaded us to go on shoar with them. As soon as we landed, several Indians, to the Number of near 40 lusty Men, came to us, all in a great Sweat, and told us Bonny: We shew'd 'em the Arrow-Head in the Boat-Side, and a Piece of the Canoe we had cut in Pieces: Whereupon, the chief Man amongst them made a long Speech, threw Beads into our Boat, which is a Sign of great Love and Friendship, and gave us to understand, that when he heard of the Affront which we had receiv'd, it caus'd him to cry; and that he and his Men were come to make Peace with us, assuring us, by Signs, that they would tye the Arms, and cut off the Head, of the fellow who had done us that Wrong; And for a farther Testimony of their Love and Good-Will towards us, they presented us with two very handsome, proper, young Indian Women, the tallest that ever we saw in this Country; which we suppos'd to be the King's Daughters, or Persons of Distinction amongst them. Those young Women were so ready to come into our Boat; that one of them crowded in, and would hardly be persuaded to go out again. We presented the King with a Hatchet and several Beads, and made Presents of Beads also to the young Women, the chief Men, and the rest of the Indians, as far as our Beads would go. They promis'd us, in four Days, to come on board our Ship, and so departed from us. When we left the Place, which was soon after, we called it Mount-Bonny, because we had there concluded a firm Peace. Proceeding down the River 2 or 3 Leagues farther, we came to a Place where were 9 or 10 Canoes all together. We went ashoar there, and found several Indians; but most of them were the same which had made Peace with us before. We staid very little at that Place, but went directly down the River, and came to our Ship, before day. Thursday the 26th of November, the Wind being at South, we could not go down to the River's Mouth; but on Friday the 27th, we weigh'd at the Mouth of Hilton's River, and got down a League towards the Harbour's Mouth. On Sunday the 29th, we got down to Crane-Island, which is 4 Leagues or thereabouts, above the Entrance of the Harbour's Mouth. On Tuesday the 1st of December, we make a Purchase of the River and Land of Cape-Fair, of Wat-Coosa, and such other Indians, as appear'd to us to be the chief of those Parts. They brought us Store of fresh Fish aboard, as Mullets, Shads, and other sorts very good. This River is all fresh Water, fit to drink. Some 8 Leagues within the Mouth, the Tide runs up about 35 Leagues, but stops and rises a great deal farther up. It flows at the Harbour's Mouth, S. E. and N. W. 6 Foot at Neap-Tides, and 8 Foot at Spring-Tides. The Channel on the East-side, by the Cape-Shoar, is the best, and lies close aboard the Cape-Land, being 3 Fathoms at high Water, in the shallowest Place in the Channel, just at the Entrance; But as soon as you are past that Place, half a Cables Length inward, you have 6 or 7 Fathoms, a fair turning Channel into the River, and so continuing 5 or 6 Leagues upwards. Afterwards the Channel is more difficult, in some Places 6 or 7 Fathoms, in others 4 or 5, and in others but 9 or 10 Foot, especially where the River is broad. When the River comes to part, and grows narrow, there itisall Channel from side to side, in most Places; tho' in some you shall have 5, 6, or 7 Fathoms, but generally 2 or 3, Sand and Oaze. We view'd the Cape-Land, and judg'd it to be little worth, the Woods of it being shrubby and low, and the Land sandy and barren; in somePlaces Grassand Rushes, in others nothing but clear Sand: A place fitter to starveCattle, in our Judgment, than to keep 'em alive; yet the Indians,as we understand, keep the English Cattle down there, and suffer them not togo off of the said Cape, (as we suppose) because the Country Indians shall have no Part with them; and therefore 'tis likely, they have fallen out about them, which shall have the greatest Share. They brought on board our Ship very good and fat Beef several times, which they sold us at a very reasonable Price; also fat and very large Swine, good and cheap; but they may thank their Friends of New-England, who brought their Hogs to so fair a Market. Some of the Indians brought very good Salt aboard us, and made Signs, pointing to both sides of the River's Mouth, that there was great Store thereabouts. We saw up the River, several good Places for the setting up of Corn or Saw-Mills. In that time, as our Business call'd us up and down the River and Branches, we kill'd of wild Fowl, 4 Swans, 10 Geese, 29 Cranes, 10 Turkies, 40 Ducks and Mallards, 3 dozen of Parrakeeto's, and 6 dozen of other small Fowls, as Curlues and Plover, &c.
Whereas there was a Writing left in a Post, at the Point of Cape-Fair River, by those New-England-Men, that left Cattle with the Indians there, the Contents whereof tended not only to the Disparagement of the Land about the said River, but also to the great Discouragement of all such as should hereafter come into those Parts to settle: In answer to that scandalous Writing, We, whose Names are underwritten, do affirm, That we have seen, facing both sides the River and Branches of Cape-Fair aforesaid, as good Land, and as well timber'd, as any we have seen in any other Part of the World, sufficient to accommodate Thousands of our English Nation, and lying commodiously by the said River's Side.
On Friday the 4th of December, the Wind being fair, we put out to Sea, bound for Barbados; and, on the 6th of February, 1663/4, came to an Anchor in Carlisle-Bay; it having pleas'd God, after several apparent Dangers both by Sea and Land, to bring us all in Safety to our long-wish'd-for and much-desir'd Port, to render an Account of our Discovery; the Verity of which we do assert.
Thus you have an Account of the Latitude, Soil and Advantages of Cape-Fair, or Clarendon-River, which was settled in the Year 1661, or thereabouts; and had it not been for the irregular Practices of some of that Colony against the Indians, by sending away some of their Children, (as I have been told) under Pretence of instructing 'em in Learning, and the Principles of the Christian Religion; which so disgusted the Indians, that tho' they had then no Guns, yet they never gave over, till they had entirely rid themselves of the English, by their Bows and Arrows; with which they did not only take off themselves, but also their Stocks of Cattle; And this was so much the more ruinous to them, in that they could have no Assistance from South-Carolina, which was not then planted, and the other Plantations were but in their Infancy. Were it not for such ill Practices, I say, it might, in all Probability, have been, at this day, the best Settlement in their Lordships great Province of Carolina.
The Sound of Albermarl, with the Rivers and Creeks of that Country, afford a very rich and durable Soil. The Land, in most Places, lies indifferent low, (except in Chuwon, and high up the Rivers) but bears an incredible Burden of Timber; the Low-Grounds being cover'd with Beech; and the High-Land yielding lofty Oaks, Walnut-Trees, and other useful Timber. The Country, in some Plantations, has yearly produc'd Indian Corn, or some other Grain, ever since this Country was first seated, without the Trouble of Manuring or Dressing; and yet (to all appearance) it seems not to be, in the least, impoverish'd, neither do the Planters ever miss of a good Crop, unless a very unnatural Season visits them, which seldom happens.
Of the Corn of Carolina.
THE Wheat of this Place is very good, seldom yielding less than thirty fold, provided the Land is good where it is sown; Not but that there has been Sixty-six Increase for one measure sown in Piny-Land, which we account the meanest Sort. And I have been inform'd, by People of Credit, that Wheat which was planted in a very rich Piece of Land, brought a hundred and odd Pecks, for one. If our Planters, when they found such great Increase, would be so curious as to make nice Observations of the Soil, and other remarkable Accidents, they would soon be acquainted with the Nature of the Earth and Climate, and be better qualified to manage their Agriculture to more Certainty, and greater Advantage; whereby they might arrive to the Crops and Harvests of Babylon, and those other fruitful Countries so much talk'd of. For I must confess, I never saw one Acre of Land manag'd as it ought to be in Carolina, since I knew it; and were they as negligent in their Husbandry in Europe, as they are in Carolina, their Land would produce nothing but Weeds and Straw.
They have try'd Rye, and it thrives very well; but having such Plenty of Maiz; they do not regard it, because it makes black Bread, unless very curiously handled.
Barley has been sowed in small quantities, and does better than can be expected; because that Grain requires the ground to be very well work'd with repeated Ploughings, which our general Way of breaking the Earth with Hoes, can, by no means, perform, tho' in several Places we have a light, rich, deep, black Mould, which is the particular Soil in which Barley best thrives.
The naked Oats thrive extraordinary well; and the other would prove a very bold Grain; but the Plenty of other Grains makes them not much coveted.
The Indian Corn, or Maiz, proves the most useful Grain in the World; and had it not been for the Fruitfulness of this Species, it would have proved very difficult to have settled some of the Plantations in America. It is very nourishing, whether in Bread, sodden, or otherwise; And those poor Christian Servants in Virginia, Maryland, and the other northerly Plantations, that have been forced to live wholly upon it, do manifestly prove, that it is the most nourishing Grain, for a Man to subsist on, without any other Victuals. And this Assertion is made good by the Negro-Slaves, who, in many Places, eat nothing but this Indian Corn and Salt. Pigs and Poultry fed with this Grain, eat the sweetest of all others. It refuses no Grounds, unless the barren Sands, and when planted in good Ground, will repay the Planter, seven or eight hundred fold; besides the Stalks bruis'd and boil'd, make very pleasant Beer, being sweet like the Sugar Cane.
There are several sorts of Rice, some bearded, others not, besides the red and white; But the white Rice is the best. Yet there is a sort of perfum'd Rice in the East-Indies, which gives a curious Flavour, in the Dressing. And with this sort America is not yet acquainted; neither can I learn, that any of it has been brought over to Europe; the Rice of Carolina being esteem'd the best that comes to that Quarter of the World. It is of great Increase, yielding from eight hundred to a thousand-fold, and thrives best in wild Land, that has never been broken up before.
Buck-Wheat is of great Increase in Carolina; but we make no other use of it, than instead of Maiz, to feed Hogs and Poultry: And Guinea Corn, which thrives well here, serves for the same use.
Of the Pulse-kind, we have many sorts. The first is the Bushel-Bean, which is a spontaneous Product. They are so called, because they bring a Bushel of Beans for one that is planted. They are set in the Spring, round Arbours, or at the Feet of Poles, up which they will climb, and cover the Wattling, making a very pretty Shade to sit under. They continue flowering, budding, and ripening all the Summer long, till the Frost approaches, when they forbear their Fruit, and die. The Stalks they grow on, come to the Thickness of a Man's Thumb; and the Bean is white and mottled, with a purple Figure on each side it, like an Ear. They are very flat, and are eaten as the Windsor-Bean is, being an extraordinary well-relish'd Pulse, either by themselves, or with Meat.
We have the Indian Rounceval, or Miraculous Pease, so call'd from their long Pods, and great Increase. These are latter Pease, and require a pretty long Summer to ripen in. They are very good; and so are the Bonavis, Calavancies, Nanticokes, and abundance of other Pulse, too tedious here to name, which we found the Indians possess'd of, when first we settled in America, some of which sorts afford us two Crops in one Year; as the Bonavis and Calavancies, besides several others of that kind.
Now I am launch'd into a Discourse of the Pulse, I must acquaint you, that the European Bean planted here, will, in time, degenerate into a dwarfish sort, if not prevented by a yearly Supply of foreign Seed, and an extravagant rich Soil; yet these Pigmy-Beans are the sweetest of that kind I ever met withal.
As for all the sorts of English Pease that we have yet made tryal of, they thrive very well in Carolina. Particularly, the white and gray Rouncival, the common Field-Pease, and Sickle-Pease yield very well, and are of a good Relish. As for the other sorts, I have not seen any made tryal of as yet, but question not their coming to great Perfection with us.
The Kidney-Beans were here before the English came, being very plentiful in the Indian Corn-Fields.
The Garden-Roots that thrive well in Carolina, are Carrots, Leeks, Parsnips, Turneps, Potatoes, of several delicate sorts, Ground Artichokes, Radishes, Horse-Radish, Beet, both sorts, Onions, Shallot, Garlick, Cives, and Wild-Onions.
The Sallads are the Lettice, Curl'd, Red, Cabbage, and Savoy. The Spinage round and prickly, Fennel, sweet and the common Sort, Samphire in the Marshes excellent, so is the Dock or Wild-Rhubarb, Rocket, Sorrell, French and English, Cresses of several Sorts, Purslain wild, and that of a larger Size which grows in the Gardens; for this Plant isnever met withal in the Indian Plantations, and is, therefore, suppos'd to proceed from Cow-Dung, which Beast they keep not. Parsley two Sorts; Asparagus thrives to a Miracle, without hot Beds or dunging the Land, White-Cabbage from European or New-England Seed, for the People are negligent and unskilful, and don't care to provide Seed of their own. The Colly-Flower we have not yet had an Opportunity to make Tryal of, nor has the Artichoke ever appear'd amongst us, that I can learn. Coleworts plain and curl'd, Savoys; besides the Water-Melons of several Sorts, very good, which should have gone amongst the Fruits. Of Musk-Melons we have very large and good, and several Sorts, as the Golden, Green, Guinea, and Orange. Cucumbers long, short, and prickly, all these from the Natural Ground, and great Increase, without any Helps of Dung or Reflection. Pompions yellow and very large, Burmillions, Cashaws, and excellent Fruit boil'd; Squashes, Simnals, Horns, and Gourds; besides many others Species, of less Value, too tedious to name.
Our Pot-herbs and others of use, which we already possess, are Angelica wild and tame, Balm, Bugloss, Borage, Burnet,
Clary, Marigold, Pot-Marjoram, and other Marjorams, Summer and Winter Savory, Columbines, Tansey, Wormwood, Nep, Mallows several sorts, Drage red and white, Lambs Quarters, Thyme, Hyssop of very large Growth, sweet Bazil, Rosemary, Lavender: The more Physical, are Carduus Benedictus, the Scurvy-grass of America, I never here met any of the European sort; Tobacco of many sorts, Dill, Carawa, Cummin, Anise, Coriander, all sorts of Plantain of England, and two sorts spontaneous, good Vulneraries; Elecampane, Comfrey, Nettle, the Seed from England, none Native; Monks Rhubarb, Burdock, Asarum wild in the Woods, reckon'd one of the Snake-Roots; Poppies in the Garden, none wild yet discover'd; Wormseed, Feverfew, Rue, Ground-Ivy spontaneous, but very small and scarce, Aurea virga, four sorts of Snake-Roots, besides the common Species, which are great Antidotes against that Serpent's Bite, and are easily rais'd in the Garden; Mint; James-Town Weed, so called from Virginia, the Seed it bears is very like that of an Onion; it is excellent for curing Burns, and asswaging Inflammations, but taken inwardly brings on a sort of drunken Madness. One of our Marsh-Weeds, like a Dock, has the same Effect, and possesses the Party with Fear and Watchings. The Red-Root whose Leaf is like Spear-Mint, is good for Thrushes and sore Mouths, Camomil, but it must be kept in the Shade, otherwise it will not thrive; Housleek first from England; Vervin; Night-Shade, several kinds; Harts-Tongue; Yarrow abundance, Mullein the same, both of the Country; Sarsaparilla, and abundance more I could name, yet not the hundredth part of what remains, a Catalogue of which is a Work of many Years, and without any other Subject, would swell to a large Volume, and requires the Abilities of a skillful Botanist: Had not the ingenious Mr. Banister (the greatest Virtuoso we ever had on the Continent) been unfortunately taken out of this World, he would have given the best Account of the Plants of America, of any that ever yet made such an Attempt in these parts. Not but we are satisfy'd, the Species of Vegetable in Carolina, are so numerous, that it requires more than one Man's Age to bring the chiefest Part of them into regular Classes; the Country being so different in its Situation and Soil, that what one place plentifully affords, another is absolutely a Stranger to; yet we generally observe, that the greatest Variety is found in the Low Grounds, and Savanna's.
The Flower-Garden in Carolina is as yet arriv'd but to a very poor and jejune Perfection. We have only two sorts of Roses; the Clove-July-Flowers, Violets, Princes Feather, and Tres Colores. There has been nothing more cultivated in the Flower-Garden, which, at present, occurs to my Memory; but as for the wild spontaneous Flowers of this Country, Nature has been so liberal, that I cannot name one tenth part of the valuable ones; And since, to give Specimens, would only swell the Volume, and give little Satisfaction to the Reader, I shall therefore proceed to the Present State of Carolina, and refer the Shrubs and other Vegetables of larger growth, till hereafter, and then shall deliver them and the other Species in their Order.
The Present State of Carolina.
WHen we consider the Latitude and convenient Situation of Carolina, had we no farther Confirmation thereof, our Reason would inform us, that such a Place lay fairly to be a delicious Country, being placed in that Girdle of the World which affords Wine, Oil, Fruit, Grain, and Silk, with other rich Commodities, besides a sweet Air, moderate Climate, and fertile Soil; these are the Blessings (under Heaven's Protection) that spin out the Thread of Life to its utmost Extent, and crown our Days with the Sweets of Health and Plenty, which, when join'd with Content, renders the Possessors the Happiest Race of Men upon Earth.
The Inhabitants of Carolina, thro' the Richness of the Soil, live an easy and pleasant Life. The Land being of several sorts of Compost, some stiff, others light, some marl, others rich black Mould; here barren of Pine, but affording Pitch, Tar, and Masts; there vastly rich, especially on the Freshes of the Rivers, one part bearing great Timbers, others being Savanna's or natural Meads, where no Trees grow for several Miles, adorn'd by Nature with a pleasant Verdure, and beautiful Flowers, frequent in no other Places, yielding abundance of Herbage for Cattle, Sheep, and Horse. The Country in general affords pleasant Seats, the Land (except in some few Places) being dry and high Banks, parcell'd out into most convenient Necks, (by the Creeks) easy to be fenced in for securing their Stocks to more strict Boundaries, whereby, with a small trouble of fencing, almost every man may enjoy, to himself, an entire Plantation, or rather Park. These, with the other Benefits of Plenty of Fish, Wild-Fowl, Venison, and the other Conveniences which this Summer-Country naturally furnishes, has induc'd a great many Families to leave the more Northerly Plantations, and sit down under one of the mildest Governments in the World; in a Country that, with moderate Industry, will afford all the Necessaries of Life. We have yearly abundance of Strangers come among us, who chiefly strive to go Southerly to settle, because there is a vast Tract of rich Land betwixt the Place we are seated in, and Cape-Fair, and upon that River, and more Southerly which is inhabited by none but a few Indians, who are at this time well affected to the English, and very desirous of their coming to live among them. The more Southerly, the milder Winters, with the Advantages of purchasing the Lords Land at the most easy and moderate Rate of any Lands in America, nay (allowing all Advantages thereto annex'd) I may say, the Universe does not afford such another; Besides, Men have a great Advantage of choosing good and commodious Tracts of Land at the first Seating of a Country or River, whereas the Later Settlers are forced to purchase smaller Dividends of the old Standers, and sometimes at very considerable Rates; as now in Virginia and Maryland, where a thousand Acres of good Land cannot be bought under twenty Shillings an Acre, besides two Shillings yearly Acknowledgment for every hundred Acres; which Sum, be it more or less, will serve to put the Merchant or Planter here into a good posture of Buildings, Slaves, and other Necessaries, when the Purchase of his Land comes to him on such easy Terms. And as our Grain and Pulse thrives with us to admiration, no less do our Stocks of Cattle, Horses, Sheep, and Swine multiply.
The Beef of Carolina equalizes the best that out neighbouring Colonies afford; the Oxen are of a great size when they are suffer'd to live to a fit Age. I have seen fat and good Beef at all times of the Year, but October and the cool Months are the Seasons we kill our Beeves in, when we intend them for Salting or Exportation; for then they are in their prime of Flesh, all coming from Grass, we never using any other Food for our Cattle. The Heifers bring Calves at eighteen or twenty Months old, which makes such a wonderful Increase, that many of our Planters, from very mean Beginnings, have rais'd themselves, and are now Masters of hundreds of fat Beeves, and other Cattle.
The Veal is very good and white, so is the Milk very pleasant and rich, there being, at present, considerable Quantities of Butter and Cheese made, that is very good, not only serving our own Necessities, but we send out a great deal among our Neighbours.
The Sheep thrive very well at present, having most commonly two Lambs at one yeaning: As the Country comes to be open'd, they prove still better, Change of Pasture being agreeable to that useful Creature. Mutton is (generally) exceeding Fat, and of a good Relish; their Wool is very fine, and proves a good Staple.
The Horses are well-shap'd and swift; the best of them would sell for ten or twelve Pounds in England. They prove excellent Drudges, and will travel incredible Journeys. They are troubled with very few Distempers, neither do the cloudy-fac'd grey Horses go blind here, as in Europe. As for Spavins, Splints, and Ring-Bones, they are here never met withal, as I can learn. Were we to have our Stallions and choice of Mares from England, or any other of a good Sort, and careful to keep them on the Highlands, we could not fail of a good Breed; but having been supply'd with our first Horses from the neighbouring Plantations, which were but mean, they do not as yet come up to the Excellency of the English Horses; tho' we generally find, that the Colt exceeds, in Beauty and Strength, its Sire and Dam.
The Pork exceeds any in Europe; the great Diversity and goodness of the Acorns and Nuts which the Woods afford, making that Flesh of an excellent Taste, and produces great Quantities; so that Carolina (if not the chief) is not inferior, in this one Commodity, to any Colony in the hands of the English.
As for Goats, they have been found to thrive and increase well, but being mischievous to Orchards and other Trees, makes People decline keeping them.
Our Produce for Exportation to Europe and the Islands in America, are Beef, Pork, Tallow, Hides, Deer-Skins, Furs, Pitch, Tar, Wheat, Indian-Corn, Pease, Masts, Staves, Heading, Boards and all sorts of Timber and Lumber for Madera and the West-Indies; Rozin, Turpentine, and several sorts of Gums and Tears, with some medicinal Drugs, are here produc'd; Besides Rice, and several other foreign Grains, which thrive very well. Good Bricks and Tiles are made, and several sorts of useful Earths, as Bole, Fullers-Earth, Oaker, and Tobacco-pipe-Clay, in great plenty; Earths for the Potters Trade, and fine Sand for the Glass-Makers. In building with Bricks, we make our Lime of Oyster-Shells, tho' we have great Store of Lime-stone, towards the Heads of our Rivers, where are Stones of all sorts that are useful, besides vast Quantities of excellent Marble. Iron-Stone we have plenty of, both in the Low-Grounds and on the Hills; Lead and Copper has been found, so has Antimony heretofore; But no Endeavours have been us'd to discover those Subteraneous Species; otherwise we might, in all probability, find out the best Minerals, which are not wanting in Carolina. Hot Baths we have an account of from the Indians that frequent the Hill-Country, where a great likelihood appears of making Salt-peter, because the Earth, in many places, is strongly mix'd with a nitrous Salt, which is much coveted by the Beasts, who come at some Seasons in great Droves and Herds, and by their much licking of this Earth, make great Holes in those Banks, which sometimes lie at the heads of great Precipices, where their Eagerness after this salt hastens their End, by falling down the high Banks, so that they are dash'd in Pieces. It must be confess'd, that the most noble and sweetest Part of this Country, is not inhabited by any but the Savages; and a great deal of the richest Part thereof, has no Inhabitants but the Beasts of the Wilderness: For, the Indians are not inclinable to settle in the richest Land, because the Timbers are too large for them to cut down, and too much burthen'd with Wood for their Labourers to make Plantations of; besides, the Healthfulness of those Hills is apparent, by the Gigantick Stature, and Gray-Heads, so common amongst the Savages that dwell near the Mountains. The great Creator of all things, having most wisely diffus'd his Blessings, by parcelling out the Vintages of the World, into such Lots, as his wonderful Foresight saw most proper, requisite, and convenient for the Habitations of his Creatures. Towards the Sea, we have the Conveniency of Trade, Transportation, and other Helps the Water affords; but oftentimes, those Advantages are attended with indifferent Land, a thick Air, and other Inconveniences; when backwards, near the Mountains, you meet with the richest Soil, a sweet, thin Air, dry Roads, pleasant small murmuring Streams, and several beneficial Productions and Species, which are unknown in the European World. One Part of this Country affords what the other is wholly a Stranger to.
We have Chalybeate Waters of several Tastes and different Qualities; some purge, others work by the other Emunctories. We have, amongst the Inhabitants, a Water, that is, inwardly, a great Apersive, and, outwardly, cures Ulcers, Tettars, and Sores, by washing therewith.
There has been a Coal-Mine lately found near the Mannakin Town, above the falls of James-River in Virginia, which proves very good, and is us'd by the Smiths, for their Forges; and we need not doubt of the same amongst us, towards the Heads of our Rivers; but the Plenty of Wood (which is much the better Fuel) makes us not inquisitive after Coal-Mines. Most of the French, who lived at that Town on James-River, are remov'd to Trent-River, in North-Carolina, where the rest were expected daily to come to them, when I came away, which was in August, 1708. They are much taken with the Pleasantness of that Country, and, indeed, are a very industrious People. At present, they make very good Linnen-Cloath and Thread, and are very well vers'd in cultivating Hemp and Flax, of both which they raise very considerable Quantities; and design to try an Essay of the Grape, for making of Wine.
As for those of our own Country in Carolina, some of the Men are very laborious, and make great Improvements in their Way; but I dare hardly give 'em that Character in general. The Easy way of living in that plentiful Country, makes a great many Planters very negligent, which, were they otherwise, that Colony might now have been in a far better Condition than it is, (as to Trade, and other Advantages) which an universal Industry would have led them into.
The Women are the most industrious Sex in that Place, and, by their good Housewifry, make a great deal of Cloath of their own Cotton, Wool and Flax; some of them keeping their Families (though large) very decently apparel'd, both with Linnens and Woollens, so that they have no occasion to run into the Merchant's Debt, or lay their Money out on Stores for Cloathing.
The Christian Natives of Carolina are a straight, clean-limb'd People; the Children being seldom or never troubled with Rickets, or those other Distempers, that the Europeans are visited withal. 'Tis next to a Miracle, to see one of them deform'd in Body. The Vicinity of the Sun makes Impression on the Men, who labour out of doors, or use the Water. As for those Women, that do not expose themselves to the Weather, they are often very fair, and generally as well featur'd, as you shall see any where, and have very brisk charming Eyes, which sets them off to Advantage. They marry very young; some at Thirteen or Fourteen; and She that stays till Twenty, is reckon'd a stale Maid; which is a very indifferent Character in that warm Country. The Women are very fruitful; most Houses being full of Little Ones. It has been observ'd, that Women long marry'd, and without Children, in other Places, have remov'd to Carolina, and become joyful Mothers. They have very easy Travail in their Child-bearing, in which they are so happy, as seldom to miscarry. Both Sexes are generally spare of Body, and not Cholerick, nor easily cast down at Disappointments and Losses, seldom immoderately grieving at Misfortunes, unless for the Loss of their nearest Relations and Friends, which seems to make a more than ordinary Impression upon them. Many of the Women are very handy in Canoes, and will manage them with great Dexterity and Skill, which they become accustomed to in this watry Country. They are ready to help their Husbands in any servile Work, as Planting, when the Season of the Weather requires Expedition; Pride seldom banishing good Housewifry. The Girls are not bred up to the Wheel, and Sewing only; but the Dairy and affairs of the House they are very well acquainted withal; so that you shall see them, whilst very young, manage their Business with a great deal of Conduct and Alacrity. The Children of both Sexes are very docile, and learn any thing with a great deal of Ease and Method; and those that have the Advantages of Education, write good Hands, and prove good Accountants, which is most coveted, and indeed most necessary in these Parts. The young Men are commonly of a bashful, sober Behaviour; few proving Prodigals, to consume what the Industry of their Parents has left them, but commonly improve it. The marrying so young, carries a double Advantage with it, and that is, that the Parents see their Children provided for in Marriage, and the young married People are taught by their Parents, how to get their Living; for their Admonitions make great Impressions on their Children. I had heard (before I knew this new World) that the Natives of America were a short-liv'd People, which, by all the Observations I could ever make, proves quite contrary; for those who are born here, and in other Colonies, live to as great Ages as any of the Europeans, the Climate being free from Consumptions, which Distemper, fatal to England, they are Strangers to. And as the Country becomes more clear'd of Wood, it still becomes more healthful to the Inhabitants, and less addicted to the Ague; which is incident to most new Comers into America from Europe, yet not mortal. A gentle Emetick seldom misses of driving it away, but if it is not too troublesome, 'tis better to let the Seasoning have its own course, in which case, the Party is commonly free from it ever after, and very healthful.
And now, as to the other Advantages the Country affords, we cannot guess at them at present, because, as I said before, the best Part of this Country is not inhabited by the English, from whence probably will hereafter spring Productions that this Age does not dream of, and of much more Advantage to the Inhabitants than any things we are yet acquainted withal: And as for several Productions of other Countries, much in the same Latitude, we may expect, with good Management, they will become familiar to us, as Wine, Oil, Fruit, Silk, and other profitable Commodities, such as Drugs, Dyes, &c. And at present, the Curious may have a large Field to satisfy and divert themselves in, as Collections of strange Beasts, Birds, Insects, Reptiles, Shells, Fishes, Minerals, Herbs, Flowers, Plants, Shrubs, intricate Roots, Gums, Tears, Rozins, Dyes, and Stones, with several other that yield Satisfaction and Profit to those, whose Inclinations tend that Way. And as for what may be hop'd for, towards a happy Life and Being, by such as design to remove thither, I shall add this; That with Prudent Management, I can affirm, by Experience, not by Hear-say, That any Person, with a small Beginning, may live very comfortably, and not only provide for the Necessaries of Life, but likewise for those that are to succeed him; Provisions being very plentiful, and of good Variety, to accommodate genteel House-keeping; and the neighbouring Indians are friendly, and in many Cases serviceable to us, in making us Wares to catch Fish in, for a small matter, which proves of great Advantage to large Families, because those Engines take great Quantities of many Sorts of Fish, that are very good and nourishing: Some of them hunt and fowl for us at reasonable Rates, the Country being as plentifully provided with all Sorts of Game, as any Part of America; the poorer Sort of Planters often get them to plant for them, by hiring them for that Season, or for so much Work, which commonly comes very reasonable. Moreover, it is remarkable, That no Place on the Continent of America, has seated an English Colony so free from Blood-shed, as Carolina; but all the others have been more damag'd and disturb'd by the Indians, than they have; which is worthy Notice, when we consider how oddly it was first planted with Inhabitants.
The Fishing-Trade in Carolina might be carried on to great Advantage, considering how many Sorts of excellent Fish our Sound and Rivers afford, which cure very well with Salt, as has been experienced by some small Quantities, which have been sent abroad, and yielded a good Price. As for the Whale-fishing, it is no otherwise regarded than by a few People who live on the Sand-Banks; and those only work on dead Fish cast on shoar, none being struck on our Coast, as they are to the Northward; altho' we have Plenty of Whales there. Great Plenty is generally the Ruin of Industry. Thus our Merchants are not many, nor have those few there be, apply'd themselves to the European Trade. The Planter sits contented at home, whilst his Oxen thrive and grow fat, and his Stocks daily increase; The fatted Porkets and Poultry are easily rais'd to his Table, and his Orchard affords him Liquor, so that he eats, and drinks away the Cares of the World, and desires no greater Happiness, than that which he daily enjoys. Whereas, not only the European, but also the Indian-Trade, might be carried on to a great Profit, because we lie as fairly for the Body of Indians, as any Settlement in English-America; And for the small Trade that has been carried on in that Way, the Dealers therein have throve as fast as any Men, and the soonest rais'd themselves of any People I have known in Carolina.
Lastly, As to the Climate, it is very healthful; our Summer is not so hot as in other places to the Eastward in the same Latitude; neither are we ever visited by Earthquakes, as many places in Italy and other Summer-Countries are. Our Northerly Winds, in Summer, cool the Air, and free us from pestilential Fevers, which Spain, Barbary, and the neighbouring Countries in Europe, &c. are visited withal. Our Sky is generally serene and clear, and the Air very thin, incomparison of many Parts of Europe, where Consumptions and Catarrhs reign amongst the Inhabitants. The Winter has several Fitts of sharp Weather, especially when the Wind is at N. W. which always clears the Sky, though never so thick before. However, such Weather is very agreeable to European Bodies, and makes them healthy. The N. E. Winds blowing in Winter, bring with them thick Weather, and, in the Spring, sometimes, blight the Fruits; but they very seldom endure long, being blown away by Westerly Winds, and then all becomes fair and clear again. Our Spring, in Carolina, is very beautiful, and the most pleasant Weather a Country can enjoy. The Fall is accompanied with cool Mornings, which come in towards the latter end of August, and so continue (most commonly) very moderate Weather till about Christmas; then Winter comes on apace. Tho' these Seasons are very piercing, yet the Cold is of no continuance. Perhaps, you will have cold Weather for three or four days at a time; then pleasant warm Weather follows, such as you have in England, about the latter end of April or beginning of May. In the year 1707, we had the severest Winter in Carolina, that ever was known since the English came to settle there; for our Rivers, that were not above half a Mile wide, and fresh Water, were frozen over; and some of them, in the North-part of this Country, were passable for People to walk over.
One great Advantage of North-Carolina is, That we are not a Frontier, and near the Enemy; which proves very chargeable and troublesome, in time of War, to those Colonies that are so seated. Another great Advantage comes from its being near Virginia, where we come often to a good Market, at the Return of the Guinea-Ships for Negro's, and the Remnant of their Stores, which is very commodious for the Indian-Trade; besides, in War-time, we lie near at hand to go under their Convoy, and to sell our Provisions to the Tobacco-fleets; for the Planting of Tobacco generally in those Colonies, prevents their being supplyed with Stores, sufficient for victualling their Ships.
As for the Commodities, which are necessary to carry over to this Plantation, for Use and Merchandize, and are, therefore, requisite for those to have along with them, that intend to transport themselves thither; they are Guns, Powder and Shot, Flints, Linnens of all sorts, but chiefly ordinary Blues, Osnabrugs, Scotch and Irish Linnen, and some fine: Mens and Womens Cloaths ready made up, some few Broad-Cloaths, Kerseys and Druggets; to which you must add Haberdashers-Wares, Hats, about Five or Six Shillings apiece, and a few finer; a few Wiggs, not long, and pretty thin of Hair; thin Stuffs for Women; Iron-Work, as Nails, Spades, Axes, broad and narrow Hoes, Frows, Wedges, and Saws of all sorts, with other Tools for Carpenters, Joiners, Coopers, Shoemakers, Shave-locks, &c. all which, and others which are necessary for the Plantations, you may be inform'd of, and buy at very reasonable Rates, of Mr. James Gilbert, Ironmonger, in Mitre-Tavern-Yard, near Aldgate. You may also be used very kindly, for your Cuttlery-Ware, and other advantageous Merchandizes, and your Cargo's well sorted, by Capt. Sharp, at the Blue-gate in Cannon-street; and for Earthen-Ware, Window-Glass, Grind-Stones, Mill-Stones, Paper, Ink-Powder, Saddles, Bridles, and what other things you are minded to take with you, for Pleasure or Ornament.
And now, I shall proceed to the rest of the Vegetables, that are common in Carolina, in reference to the Place where I left off, which is the Natural History of that Country.
Of the Vegetables of Carolina.
THE spontaneous Shrubs of this Country, are, the Lark-heel-Tree; three sorts of Hony-Suckle-Tree, the first of which grows in Branches, as our Piemento-Tree does, that is, always in low, moist Ground; the other grows in clear, dry Land, the Flower more cut and lacerated; the third, which is the most beautiful, and, I think, the most charming Flower of its Colour, I ever saw, grows betwixt two and three Foot high, and for the most part, by the side of a swampy Wood, or on the Banks of our Rivers, but never near the Salt-Water. All the Sorts are white; the last grows in a great Bunch of these small Hony-Suckles set upon one chief Stem, and is commonly the Bigness of a large Turnep. Nothing can appear more beautiful than these Bushes, when in their Splendour, which is in April and May. The next is the Honey-Suckle of the Forest; it grows about a Foot high, bearing its Flowers on small Pedestals, several of them standing on the main Stock, which is the Thickness of a Wheat-Straw. We have also the Wood-bind, much the same as in England; Princes-feather, very large and beautiful in the Garden; Tres-Colores, branch'd Sun-flower, Double Poppies, Lupines, of several pretty sorts, spontaneous; and the Sensible Plant is said to be near the Mountains, which I have not yet seen. Saf-Flower; (and I believe, the Saffron of England would thrive here, if planted) the yellow Jessamin is wild in our Woods, of a pleasant Smell. Ever-Greens are here plentifully found, of a very quick Growth, and pleasant Shade; Cypress, or white Cedar, the Pitch Pine, the yellow Pine, the white Pine with long Leaves; and the smaller Almond-Pine, which last bears Kernels in the Apple, tasting much like an Almond; and in some years there falls such plenty, as to make the Hogs fat. Horn-Beam; Cedar, two sorts; Holly, two sorts; Bay-Tree, two sorts; one the Dwarf-Bay, about twelve Foot high; the other the Bigness of a middling Pine-tree, about two Foot and half Diameter; Laurel-Trees, in Height equalizing the lofty oaks, the Berries and Leaves of this Tree dyes a Yellow; the Bay-Berries yield a Wax, which besides its Use in Chirurgery, makes Candles that, in burning, give a fragrant Smell. The Cedar-Berries are infused, and made Beer of, by the Bermudians, they are Carminative, and much of the Quality of Juniper-Berries; Yew or Box I never saw or heard of in this Country: There are two sorts of Myrtles, different in Leaf and Berry; the Berry yields Wax that makes Candles, the most lasting, and of the sweetest Smell imaginable. Some mix half Tallow with this Wax, others use it without Mixture; and these are fit for a Lady's Chamber, and incomparable to pass the Line withal, and other hot Countries, because they will stand, when others will melt, by the excessive Heat, down in the Binacles. Ever-green Oak, two sorts; Gall-Berry-Tree, bearing a black Berry, with which theWomen dye their Cloaths and Yarn black; 'tisa pretty Ever-green, and very plentiful, growing always in low swampy Grounds, and amongst Ponds. We have a Prim or Privet, which grows on the dry, barren, sandy Hills, by the Sound Side; it bears a smaller sort than that in England, and grows into a round Bush, very beautiful. Lastof Bushes, (except Savine, which grows every where wild,) is the famous Yaupon, of which I find two sorts, if not three. I shall speak first of the Nature of this Plant, and afterwards account for the different Sorts. This Yaupon, call'd by the South-CarolinaIndians, Cassena, is a Bush, that grows chiefly on the Sand-Banks and Islands, bordering on the Sea of Carolina; on this Coast it is plentifully found, and in no other Place that I know of. It grows the most like Box, of any Vegetable that I know, being very like it in Leaf, only dented exactly like Tea, but the Leaf somewhat fatter. I cannot say, whether it bears any Flower, but a Berry it does, about the Bigness of a grain of Pepper, being first red, then brown when ripe, which is in December; Some of these Bushes to be twelve Foot high, others are three or four. The Wood thereof is brittle as Myrtle, and affords a light ash-color'd Bark. There is sometimes found of it in Swamps and rich low Grounds, which has the same figured Leaf, only it is larger, and of a deeper Green; This may be occasion'd by the Richness that attends the low Grounds thus situated. The third Sort has the same kind of Leaf, but never grows a Foot high, and is found both in rich, low Land, and on the Sand-Hills. I don't know that ever I found any Seed, or Berries on the dwarfish Sort, yet I find no Difference in Taste, when Infusion is made: Cattle and Sheep delight in this Plant very much, and so do the Deer, all which crop is very short, and browze thereon, wheresover they meet with it. I have transplanted the Sand-Bank and dwarfish Yaupon, and find that the first Year, the Shrubs stood at a stand; but the second Year they throve as well as in their native Soil. This Plant is the Indian Tea, us'd and approv'd by all the Savages on the Coast of Carolina, and from them sent to the Westward Indians, and sold at a considerable Price. All which they cure after the same way, as they do for themselves; which is thus: They take this Plant (not only the Leaves, but the smaller Twigs along with them) and bruise it in a Mortar, till it becomes blackish, the Leaf being wholly defaced: Then they take it out, put it into one of their earthen Pots which is over the Fire, till it smoaks; stirring it all the time, till it is cur'd. Others take it, after it is bruis'd, and put it into a Bowl, to which they put live Coals, and cover them with the Yaupon, till they have done smoaking, often turning them over. After all, they spread it upon their Mats, and dry it in the Sun to keep it for Use. The Spaniards in New-Spain have this Plant very plentifully on the Coast of Florida, and hold it in great Esteem. Sometimes they cure it as the Indians do; or else beat it to a Powder, so mix it, as Coffee; yet before they drink it, they filter the same. They prefer it above all Liquids, to drink with Physick, to carry the same safely and speedily thro' the Passages, for which it is admirable, as I myself have experimented.
In the next Place, I shall speak of the Timber that Carolina affords, which is as follows.
Chesnut-Oak, is a very lofty Tree, clear of Boughs and Limbs, for fifty or 60 Foot. They bear sometimes four or five Foot through all clear Timber; and are the largest Oaks we have, yielding the fairest Plank. They grow chiefly in low Land, that is stiff and rich. I have seen of them so high, that a good Gun could not reach a Turkey, tho' loaded with Swan-Shot. They are call'd Chesnut, because of the Largeness and Sweetness of the Acorns.
White, Scaly-Bark Oak; This is used, as the former, in building Sloops and Ships. Tho' it bears a large Acorn, yet it never grows to the Bulk and Height of the Chesnut
Oak. It is so call'd, because of a scaly, broken, white Bark, that covers this Tree, growing on dry Land.
We have Red Oak, sometimes, in good Land, very large, and lofty. 'Tis a porous Wood, and used to rive into Rails for Fences. 'Tis not very durable; yet some use this, as well as the two former, for Pipe and Barrel-Staves. It makes good Clap-boards.
Spanish Oak is free to rive, bears a whitish, smooth Bark; and rives very well into Clap-boards. It is accounted durable, therefore some use to build Vessels with it for the Sea; it proving well and durable. These all bear good Mast for the Swine.
Bastard-Spanish is an Oak betwixt the Spanish and Red Oak; the chief Use is for Fencing and Clap-boards. It bears good Acorns.
The next is Black Oak, which is esteem'd a durable Wood, under Water; but sometimes it is used in House-work. It bears a good Mast for Hogs.
White Iron, or Ring-Oak, is so call'd, from the Durability and lasting Quality of this Wood. It chiefly grows on dry, lean Land, and seldom fails of bearing a plentiful Crop of Acorns. This Wood is found to be very durable, and is esteem'd the best Oak for Ship-work that we have in Carolina; for tho' Live Oak be more lasting, yet it seldom allows Planks of any considerable Length.
Turkey-Oak is so call'd from a small Acorn it bears, which the wild Turkeys feed on.
Live-Oak chiefly grows on dry sandy Knolls. This is an Ever-green and the most durable Oak all America affords. The shortness of this Wood's Bowl, or Trunk, makes it unfit for Plank to build Ships withal. There are some few Trees, that would allow a Stock of twelve Foot, but the Firmness and great Weight thereof, frightens our Sawyers from the Fatigue that attends the cutting of this Timber. A Nail once driven therein, 'tis next to an Impossibility to draw it out. The Limbs thereof are so cur'd, that they serve for excellent Timbers, Knees, &c. for Vessels of any sort. The Acorns thereof are as sweet as Chesnuts, and the Indians draw an Oil from them, as sweet as that from the Olive, tho' of an Amber-Colour. With these Nuts, or Acorns, some have counterfeited the Cocoa, whereof they have made Chocolate, not to be distinguish'd by a good Palate. Window-Frames, Mallets, and Pins for Blocks, are made thereof, to an excellent Purpose. I knew two Trees of this Wood among the Indians, which were planted from the Acorn, and grew in the Freshes, and never saw any thing more beautiful of that kind. They are of an indifferent quick Growth; of which there are two sorts. The Acorns make very fine Pork.
Willow-Oak is a sort of Water-Oak. It grows in Ponds and Branches, and is useful for many things. It is so call'd, from the Leaf, which very much resembles a Willow.
The Live Oak grows in the fresh Water Ponds and Swamps, by the River sides, and in low Ground overflown with Water; and is a perennial Green.
Of Ash we have two sorts, agreeing nearly with the English in the Grain. One of our sorts is tough, like the English, but differs something in the Leaf, and much more in the Bark. Neither of them bears Keys. The Water-Ash is brittle. The Bark is Food for the Bevers.
There are two sorts of Elm; the first grows on our High-Land, and approaches our English. The Indians take the Bark of its Root, and beat it, whilst green, to a Pulp; and then dry it in the Chimney, where it becomes of a reddish Colour. This they use as a Sovereign Remedy to heal a Cut or green Wound, or any thing that is not corrupted. It is of a very glutinous Quality. The other Elm grows in low Ground, of whose Bark the English and Indians make Ropes; for as soon as the Sap rises, it strips off, with the greatest ease imaginable. It runs in March, or thereabouts.
The Tulip-Trees, which are, by the Planters, call'd Poplars, as nearest approaching that Wood in Grain, grow to a prodigious Bigness, some of them having been found One and twenty Foot in Circumference. I have been inform'd of a Tulip-Tree, that was ten Foot Diameter; and another, wherein a lusty Man had his Bed and Houshold Furniture, and liv'd in it, till his Labour got him a more fashionable Mansion. He afterwards became a noted Man, in his Country, for Wealth and Conduct. One of these sorts bears a white Tulip; and other a party-colour'd, mottled one. The Wood makes very pretty Wainscot, Shingles for Houses, and Planks for several Uses. It is reckon'd very lasting; especially, under Ground, for Mill-Work. The Buds, made into an Ointment, cure Scalds, Inflammations, and Burns. I saw several Bushels thereon. The Cattle are apt to eat of these Buds, which give a very odd Taste to the Milk.
Beech is here frequent, and very large. The Grain seems exactly the same as that in Europe. We make little Use thereof, save for Fire-Wood. 'Tis not a durable Timber. It affords a very sweet Nut, yet the Pork fed thereon (tho' sweet) is very oily, and ought to be harden'd with Indian Corn, before it is kill'd. Another sort call'd Buck-Beech is here found.
Horn-Beam grows, in some Places, very plentifully; yet the Plenty of other Wood makes it unregarded.
The Vertues of Sassafras are well known in Europe. This Wood sometimes grows to be above two Foot over, and is very durable and lasting, used for Bowls, Timbers, Posts for Houses, and other Things that require standing in the Ground. 'Tis very light. It bears a white Flower, which is very cleansing to the Blood, being eaten in the Spring, with other Sallating. The Berry, when ripe, is black; 'tis very oily, Carminative, and extremely prevalent in Clysters for the Colick. The Bark of the Root is a Specifick to those afflicted with the Gripes. The same in Powder, and a Lotion made thereof, is much used by the Savages, to mundify old Ulcers, and for several other Uses; being highly esteem'd among them.
Dog-Wood is plentiful on our light Land, inclining to a rich Soil. It flowers the first in the Woods; its white Blossom making the Forest very beautiful. It has a fine Grain, and serves for several Uses within doors; but is not durable. The Bark of this Root infused, is held an infallible Remedy against the Worms.
Laurel, before mention'd; as to its Bigness and Use, I have seen Planks sawn of this Wood, but 'tis not found durable in the Weather; yet pretty enough for many other Uses.
Bay and Laurel generally delight in a low, swampy Ground. I know no Use they make of them, but for Fire-Wood, excepting what I spoke of before, amongst the Ever-Greens.
A famous Ever-Green I must now mention, which was forgotten amongst the rest. It is in Leaf like a Jessamine, but larger, and of a harder Nature. This grows up to a large Vine, and twists itself round the Trees itgrows near, making a very fine Shade. I never saw any thing of that Nature outdo it, and if it be cut away close to the Ground, it will presently spring up again, it being impossible to destroy it, when once it has got Root. 'Tis an ornamental Plant, and worth the Transplanting. Its Seed is a black Berry.
The Scarlet Trumpet-Vine bears a glorious red Flower, like a Bell, or Trumpet, and makes a Shade inferiour to none that I ever saw; yet itleaves us, when the Winter comes, and remains naked till the next Spring. It bears a large Cod, that holds its Seed.
The Maycock bears a glorious Flower, and Apple of an agreeable Sweet, mixt with an acid Taste. This is also a Summer-Vine.
The Indico grows plentifully in our Quarters.
The Bay-Tulip-Tree is a fine Ever-green which grows frequently here.
The sweet Gum-Tree, so call'd, because of the fragrant Gum it yields in the Spring-time, upon Incision of the Bark, or Wood. It cures the Herpes and Inflammations; being apply'd to the Morphew and Tettars. 'Tis an extraordinary Balsam, and of great Value to those who know how to use it. No Wood has scarce a better Grain; whereof fine Tables, Drawers, and other Furniture might be made. Some of it is curiously curl'd. It bears a round Bur, with a sort of Prickle, which is the Seed.
Of the Black Gum there grows, with us, two sorts; both fit for Cart-Naves. The one bears a black, well-tasted Berry, which the Indians mix with their Pulse and Soups, it giving 'em a pretty Flavour, and scarlet Colour. The Bears crop these Trees for the Berries, which they mightily covet, yet kill'd in that Season, they eat very unsavory; which must be occasion'd by this Fruit, because, at other times, when they feed on Mast, Bears-Flesh is a very well-tasted Food. The other Gum bears a berry in shape like the other, tho' bitter and ill-tasted. This Tree (the Indians report) is never wounded by Lightning. It has no certain Grain; and it is almost impossible to split or rive it.
The white Gum, bearing a sort of long bunch'd Flowers, is the most curled and knotted Wood I ever saw, which would make curious Furniture, in case it was handled by a good Workman.
The red sort of Cedar is an Ever-green, of which Carolina affords plenty. That on the Salts, grows generally on the Sand-banks; and that in the Freshes is found in the Swamps. Of this Wood, Tables, Wainscot, and other Necessaries, are made, and esteemed for its sweet Smell. It is as durable a Wood as any we have, therefore much used in Posts for Houses and Sills; likewise, to build Sloops, Boats, &c. by reason the Worm will not touch it, for several Years. The Vessels built thereof are very durable, and good Swimmers. Of this Cedar, Ship-loads may be exported. It has been heretofore so plentiful in this Settlement, that they have fenced in Plantations with it, and the Coffins of the Dead are generally made thereof.
White Cedar, so call'd, because it nearly approaches the other Cedar, in Smell, Bark and Leaf; only this grows taller, being as straight as an Arrow. It is extraordinary light, and free to rive. 'Tis good for Yard, Top-Masts, Booms and Boltsprits, being very tough. The best Shingles for Houses are made of this Wood, it being no Strain to the Roof, and never rots. Good Pails and other Vessels, free from Leakage, are likewise made thereof. The Bark of this and the red Cedar, the Indians use to make their Cabins of, which prove firm, and resist all Weathers.
Cypress is not an Ever-green with us, and is therefore call'd the bald Cypress, because the Leaves, during the Winter-Season, turn red, not recovering their Verdure till the Spring. These Trees are the largest for Height and Thickness, that we have in this Part of the World; some of them holding thirty-six Foot in Circumference. Upon Incision, they yield a sweet-smelling Grain, tho' not in great Quantities; and the Nuts which these Trees bear plentifully, yield a most odoriferous Balsam, that infallibly cures all new and green Wounds, which the Inhabitants are well acquainted withal. Of these great Trees the Pereaugers and Canoes are scoop'd and made; which sort of Vessels are chiefly to pass over the Rivers, Creeks, and Bays; and to transport Goods and Lumber from one River to another. Some are so large, as to carry thirty Barrels, tho' of one entire Piece of Timber. Others, that are split down the Bottom, and a piece added thereto, will carry eighty, or an hundred. Several have gone out of our Inlets on the Ocean to Virginia, laden with Pork, and other Produce of the Country. Of these Trees curious Boatsfor Pleasure may be made, and other necessary Craft. Some Years ago, a foolish Man in Albemarl and his Son, had got one of these Canoes deck'd. She held, as I take it, sixteen Barrels. He brought her to the Collectors, to be clear'd for Barbados; but the Officer took him for a Man that had lost his Senses, and argu'd the Danger and Impossibility of performing such a Voyage, in a hollow Tree; but the Fellow would hearken to no Advice of that kind, till the Gentleman told him, if he did not value his own Life, he valu'd his Reputation and Honesty, and so flatly refus'd clearing him; Upon which, the Canoe was sold, and, I think, remains in being still. This Wood is very lasting, and free from the Rot. A Canoe of it will outlast four Boats, and seldom wants Repair. They say, that a Chest made out of this Wood, will suffer no Moth, or Vermine, to abide therein.
The Locust, for its enduring the Weather, is chosen for all sorts of Works that are exposed thereto. It bears a Leaf nearest the Liquorice-Plant. 'Tis a pretty tall Tree. Of this the Indians make their choicest Bows, it being very tough and flexible. We have little or none of this Wood in Pampticough.
The Honey-Tree bears as great a Resemblance to the Locust, as a Shallot does to an Onion. It is of that Species, but more prickly. They bear a Cod, one side whereof contains the Seed, the other the Honey; They will bear in five Years, from the Kernel. They were first brought (by the Indian traders) and propagated, by their Seed, at the Apamaticks in Virginia. Last Year, I planted the Seed, and had them sprung up before I came from thence, which was in August. Of the Honey, very good Metheglin is made, there being Orchards planted in Virginia for that intent.
The Sorrel, or Sowr-Wood-Tree, is so call'd, because the Leaves taste like Sorrel. Some are about a Foot or ten Inches Diameter. I am unacquainted with its Vertues at present.
Of Pines, there are, in Carolina, at least, four sorts. The Pitch-Pine, growing to a great Bigness, most commonly has but a short Leaf. Its Wood (being replete with abundance of Bitumen) is so durable, that it seems to suffer no Decay, tho' exposed to all Weathers, for many Ages; and is used in several Domestick and Plantation Uses. This Tree affords the four great Necessaries, Pitch, Tar, Rozin, and Turpentine; which two last are extracted by tapping, and the Heat of the Sun, the other two by the Heat of the Fire.
The white and yellow Pines are saw'd into Planks for several Uses. They make Masts, Yards, and a great many other Necessaries therewith, the Pine being the most useful Tree in the Woods.
The Almond-Pine serves for Masts very well. As for the Dwarf-Pine, it is for Shew alone, being an Ever-green, as they all are.
The Hiccory is of the Walnut-kind, and bears a Nut as they do, of which there are found three sorts. The first is that which we call the common white Hiccory. It is not a durable Wood; for if cut down, and exposed to the Weather, it will be quite rotten, and spoil'd in three Years; as will likewise the Beech of this Country. Hiccory Nuts have very hard Shells, but excellent sweet Kernels, with which, in a plentiful Year, the old Hogs, that can crack them, fatten themselves, and make excellent Pork. These Nuts are gotten, in great Quantities, by the Savages, and laid up for Stores, of which they make several Dishes and Banquets. One of these I cannot forbear mentioning; it is this: They take these Nuts, and break them very small betwixt two Stones, till the Shells and Kernels are indifferent small; And this Powder you are presented withal in their Cabins, in little wooden Dishes; the Kernel dissolves in your Mouth, and the Shell is spit out. This tastes as well as any Almond. Another Dish is the Soup which they make of these Nuts, beaten, and put into Venison-Broth, which dissolves the Nut, and thickens, whilst the Shell precipitates, and remains at the bottom. This Broth tastes very rich. There is another sort, which we call red Hiccory, the Heart thereof being very red, firm and durable; of which Walking-Sticks, Mortars, Pestils, and several other fine Turnery-wares are made. The third is call'd the Flying-bark'd Hiccory, from its brittle and scaly Bark. It bears a Nut with a bitter Kernel and a soft Shell, like a French Walnut. Of this Wood, Coggs for Mills are made, &c. The Leaves smell very fragrant.
The Walnut-Tree of America is call'd Black Walnut. I suppose, that Name was, at first, to distinguish it from the Hiccories, it having a blacker Bark. This Tree grows, in good Land, to a prodigious Bigness. The Wood is very firm and durable, of which Tables and Chests of Drawers are made, and prove very well. Some of this is very knotty, which would make the best Returns for England, tho' the Masters of Vessels refuse it, not understanding its Goodness. 'Tis a very good and durable Wood, to bottom Vessels for the Sea withal; and they say, that it is never eaten by the Worm. The Nuts have a large Kernel, which is very oily, except lain by, a long time, to mellow. The Shell is very thick, as all the native Nuts of America are. When it has its yellow outward Coat on, it looks and smells much like a Lemon.
The Maple, of which we have two sorts, is used to make Trenchers, Spinning-wheels, &c. withal.
Chinkapin is a sort of Chesnut, whose Nuts are most commonly very plentiful; insomuch that the Hogs get fat with them. They are rounder and smaller than a Chesnut, but much sweeter. The Wood is much of the Nature of Chesnut, having a Leaf and Grain almost like it. It is used to timber Boats, Shallops, &c. and makes any thing that is to endure the Weather. This and the Hiccory are very tough Rods used to whip Horses withal; yet their Wood, in Substance, is very brittle. This Tree the Vine much delights to twist about. It's good Fire-Wood, but very sparkling, as well as Sassafras.
The Birch grows all on the Banks of our Rivers, very high up. I never saw a Tree on the Salts. It differs something, in Bark, from the European Birch. Its Buds in April are eaten by the Parrakeetos, which resort, from all Parts, at that Season, to feed thereon. Where this Wood grows, we are
not yet seated; and as to the Wine, or other Profits it would yield, we are, at present, Strangers to.
The Willow, here, likewise differs both in Bark and Leaf. It is frequently found on the Banks of fresh Water, as the Birch is.
The Sycamore, in these Parts, grows in a low, swampy Land, by River-sides. Its Bark is quite different from the English, and the most beautiful I ever saw, being mottled and clowded with several Colours, as white, blue, &c. It bears no Keys but a Bur like the sweet Gum. Its Uses I am ignorant of.
I never saw any Aspin, but in Rapahannock-River, from whence I brought one, (that was presented me there as a great Present) but it died by the way.
Of Holly we have two sorts; one having a large Leaf, the other a smaller. They grow very thick in our low Woods. Many of them are very strait, and two Foot Diameter. They make good Trenchers, and other Turnery-Ware.
The Red-Bud-Tree bears a purple Lark-Heel, and is the best Sallad, of any Flower I ever saw. It is ripe in April and May. They grow in Trees, generally small, but some are a Foot Diameter.
Pelletory grows on the Sand-Banks and Islands. It is used to cure the Tooth-ach, by putting a Piece of the Bark in the Mouth, which being very hot, draws a Rhume from the Mouth, and causes much Spittle. The Indians use it to make their Composition, which they give to their young Men and Boys, when they are husquenaw'd, of which you shall hear farther, when I come to treat of the Customs, &c. of that People.
Arrow-Wood, growing on the Banks, is used, by the Indians, for Arrows and Gun-Sticks. It grows as strait, as if plain'd, and is of all Sizes. 'Tis as tough and pliable, as the smallest Canes.
The Chestnut-Tree of Carolina, grows up towards the hilly Part thereof, is a very large and durable Wood, and fit for House-Frames, Palisado's, Sills, and many other Uses. The Nut is smaller than those from Portugal, but sweeter.
This is no Tree, but call'd the Oak-Vine, by reason it bears a sort of Bur as the Oak does, and generally runs up those Trees. It is so porous, that you suck Liquors thro' a Length of two Foot.
Prickly-Ash grows up like a Pole; of which the Indians and English make Poles to set their Canoes along in Shoal-Water. It is very light, and full of Thorns or Prickles, bearing Berries in large Clusters, of a purple Colour, not much unlike the Alder. The Root of this Tree is Cathartick and Emetick, used in Cachexies.
The Poison Vine is so called, because it colours the Hands of those who handle it. What the Effects of it may be, I cannot relate; neither do I believe, that any has made an Experiment thereof. The Juice of this will stain Linnen, never to wash out. It marks a blackish blue Colour, which is done only by breaking a bit of the Vine off, and writing what you please therewith. I have thought, that the East-India Natives set their Colours, by some such Means, into their finest Callicoes. It runs up any Tree it meets withal, and clasps round about it. The Leaves are like Hemlock, and fall off in Winter.
Of Canes and Reeds we have many sorts. The hollow Reed, or Cane, such as Angling-Rods are made of, and Weavers use, we have great Plenty of, though none to the Northward of James-River in Virginia. They always grow in Branches and low Ground. Their Leaves endure the Winter, in which Season our Cattle eat them greedily. We have them (towards the Heads of our Rivers) so large, that one Joint will hold above a pint of Liquor.
The small Bamboo is next, which is a certain Vine, like the rest of these Species, growing in low Land. They seldom, with us, grow thicker than a Man's little Finger, and are very tough. Their Root is a round Ball, which the Indians boil as we do Garden-Roots, and eat them. When these Roots have been sometime out of the Ground, the become hard, and make good Heads to the Canes, on which several pretty Figures may be cut. There are several others of this kind, not thoroughly discover'd.
That Palmeto grows with us, which we call the dwarfish sort; but the Palmeto-Tree I have not yet met withal in North-Carolina, of which you have a Description elsewhere. We shall next treat of the Spontaneous Fruits of this Country; and then proceed to those that have been transplanted from Europe, and other Parts.
Among the natural Fruits, the Vine first takes place, of which I find six sorts, very well known. The first is the black Bunch-Grapes, which yield a Crimson Juice. These grow common, and bear plentifully. They are of a good Relish, though not large, yet well knit in the Clusters. They have a thickish Skin, and large Stone, which makes them not yield much Juice. There is another sort of Black-Grapes like the former, in all respects, save that their Juice is of a light Flesh-Colour, inclining to a White. I once saw a Spontaneous white Bunch-Grape in Carolina; but the Cattle browzing on the Sprouts thereof in the Spring, it died. Of those which we call Fox-Grapes, we have four sorts; two whereof are called Summer-Grapes, because ripe in July; the other two Winter-Fruit, because not ripe till September or October. The Summer Fox-Grapes grow not in Clusters, or great Bunches, but are about five or six in a Bunch, about the Bigness of a Damson, or larger. The black sort are frequent, the white not so commonly found. They always grow in Swamps, and low moist Lands, running sometimes very high, and being shady, and therefore proper for Arbours. They afford the largest Leaf I ever saw, to my remembrance, the Back of which is of a white Horse-flesh Colour. This Fruit always ripens in the Shade. I have transplanted them into my Orchard, and find they thrive well, if manured: A Neighbour of mine has done the same; mine were by Slips, his from the Roots, which thrive to the Admiration, and bear Fruit, tho' not so juicy as the European Grape, but of a glutinous Nature. However, it is pleasant enough to eat.
The other Winter Fox-Grapes, are much of the same Bigness. These refuse no Ground, swampy or dry, but grow plentifully on the Sand-Hills along the Sea-Coast, and elsewhere, and are great Bearers. I have seen near twelve Bushels upon one Vine of the black sort. Some of these, when thoroughly ripe, have a very pretty vinous Taste, and eat very well, yet are glutinous. The white sort are clear and transparent, and indifferent small Stones. Being removed by the Slip or Root, they thrive well in our Gardens, and make pleasant Shades.
Persimmon is a Tree, that agrees with all Lands and Soils. Their Fruit, when ripe, is nearest our Medlar; if eaten before, draws your Mouth up like a Purse, being the greatest Astringent I ever met withal, therefore very useful in some Cases. The Fruit, if ripe, will presently cleanse a foul Wound, but causes Pain. The Fruit is rotten, when ripe, and commonly contains four flat Kernels, call'd Stones, which is the Seed. 'Tis said, the Cortex Peruvianus comes from a Persimmon-Tree, that grows in New-Spain. I have try'd the Drying of this Bark, to imitate it, which it does tolerably well, and agrees therewith. It is binding enough to work the same Effect. The Tree, in extraordinary Land, comes sometimes to two Foot Diameter, though not often. There are two sorts of this Fruit; one ripe in Summer, the other when the Frost visits us.
We have three sorts of Mulberries, besides the different Bigness of some Trees Fruit. The first is the common red Mulberry, whose Fruit is the earliest we have, (except the Strawberries) and very sweet. These Trees make a very fine Shade, to sit under in Summer-time. They are found wild in great Quantities, wherever the Land is light and rich; yet their Fruit is much better when they stand open. They are used instead of Raisins and Currants, and make several pretty Kickshaws. They yield a transparent Crimson Liquor, which would make good Wine; but few Peoples Inclinations in this Country tend that way. The others are a smooth-leav'd Mulberry, fit for the Silk-Worm. One bears a white Fruit, which is common; the other bears a small black Berry, very sweet. They would persuade me there, that the black Mulberry with the Silk-Worm smooth Leaf, was a white Mulberry, and changed its Fruit. The Wood hereof is very durable, and where the Indians cannot get Locust, they make use of this to make their Bows. This Tree grows extraordinary round and pleasant to the Eye.
The Hiccory, Walnut, Chinkapin and Chesnut, with their Fruits, we have mention'd before.
The Hazle-Nut grows plentifully in some places of this Country; especially, towards the Mountains; but ours are not so good as the English Nuts, having a much thicker Shell (like all the Fruits of America, that I ever met withal) which in Hardness exceeds those in Europe.
The Cherries of the Woods grow to be very large Trees. One sort, which is rarely found, is red, and not much unlike the Cornel-Berry. But the common Cherry grows high, and in Bunches, like English Currants, but much larger. They are of a bitterish sweet Relish, and are equally valuable with our small Black-Cherries, for an Infusion in Spirits. They yield a crimson Liquor, and are great Bearers.
Our Rasberries are of a purple Colour, and agreeable Relish, almost like the English; but I reckon them not quite so rich. When once planted, 'tis hard to root them out. They run wild all over the Country, and will bear the same Year you transplant them, as I have found by Experience.
The Hurts, Huckle-Berries, or Blues of this Country, are four sorts, which we are well acquainted withal; but more Species of this sort, and all others, Time and Enquiry must discover. The first sort is the same Blue or Bilberry, that grows plentifully in the North of England, and in other Places, commonly on your Heaths, Commons, and Woods, where Brakes or Fern grows.
The second sort grows on a small Bush in our Savannas and Meads, and in the Woods. They are larger than the common Fruit, and have larger Seed.
The third grows on the single Stem of a Stick that grows in low good Land, and on the Banks of Rivers. They grow three or four Foot high, and are very pleasant like the first sort, but larger.
The fourth sort grows upon Trees, some ten and twelve Foot high, and the Thickness of a Man's Arm; these are found in the Runs and low Grounds, and are very pleasant, and bear wonderfully. The English sometimes dry them in the Sun, and keep them to use in the Winter, instead of Currants. The Indians get many Bushels, and dry them on Mats, whereof they make Plum-Bread, and many other Eatables. They are good in Tarts, or infused in Liquors.
In the same Ground, commonly grows the Piemento, or All-Spice-Tree, whose Berries differ in shape from those in the West-Indies, being Taper or Conick, yet not inferiour to any of that sort. This Tree grows much like the Hurts, and is of the same Bigness. I have known it transplanted to the high Land, where it thrives.
Our Dew-Berries are very good, but the Black-Berries are bitterish, and not so palatable, as in England.
The Sugar-Tree ought to have taken place before. It is found in no other parts of Carolina or America, that I ever learnt, but in Places that are near the Mountains. It's most like one sort of Maple, of any Tree, and may be rank'd amongst that kind. This Tree, which, I am told, is of very tedious Growth, is found very plentifully towards the Heads of some of our Rivers. The Indians tap it, and make Gourds to receive the Liquor, which Operation is done at distinct and proper times, when it best yields its Juice, of which, when the Indians have gotten enough, they carry it home, and boil it to a just Consistence of Sugar, which grains of itself, and serves for the same Uses, as other Sugar does.
The Papau is not a large Tree. I think, I never saw one a Foot through; but has the broadest Leaf of any Tree in the Woods, and bears an Apple about the Bigness of a Hen's Egg, yellow, soft, and as sweet, as any thing can well be. They make rare Puddings of this Fruit. The Apple contains a large Stone.
The wild Fig grows in Virginia, up in the Mountains, as I am inform'd by a Gentleman of my acquaintance, who is a person of Credit, and a great Traveller in America. I shall be glad to have an Opportunity to make Tryal what Improvement might be made of this wild Fruit.
The wild Plums of America are of several sorts. Those which I can give account of from my own Knowledge, I will, and leave the others till a farther Discovery. The most frequent is that which we call the common Indian Plum, of which there are two sorts, if not more. One of these is ripe much sooner than the other, and differs in the Bark; one of the Barks being very scaly, like our American Birch. These Trees, when in Blossom, smell as sweet as any Jessamine, and look as white as a Sheet, being something prickly. You may make it grow to what Shape you please; they are very ornamental about a House, and make a wonderful fine Shew at a Distance, in the Spring, because of their white Livery. Their Fruit is red, and very palatable to the sick. They are of a quick Growth, and will bear from the Stone in five Years, on their Stock. The English large black Plum thrives well, as does the Cherry, being grafted thereon.
The American Damsons are both black and white, and about the Bigness of an European Damson. They grow any where, if planted from the Stone or Slip; bear a white Blossom, and are a good Fruit. They are found on the Sand-Banks all along the Coast of America. I have planted several in my Orchard, that came from the Stone, which thrive well amongst the rest of my Trees. But they never grow to the Bigness of the other Trees now spoken of. These are plentiful Bearers.
There is a third sort of Plum about the Bigness of the Damson. The Tree is taller, seldom exceeding ten Inches in Thickness. The Plum seems to taste physically, yet I never found any Operation it had, except to make their Lips sore, that eat them. The Wood is something porous, but exceeds any Box, for a beautiful Yellow.
There is a very pretty, bushy Tree, about seven or eight Foot high, very spreading, which bears a Winter-Fruit, that is ripe in October. They call 'em Currants, but they are nearer a Hurt. I have eaten very pretty Tarts made thereof. They dry them instead of Currants. This Bush is very beautiful.
The Bermudas Currants grow in the Woods on a Bush, much like the European Currant. Some People eat them very much; but for my part, I can see nothing inviting in them, and reckon them a very indifferent Fruit.
We have another Currant, which grows on the Banks of Rivers, or where only Clay hath been thrown up. This Fruit is red, and gone almost as soon as come. They are a pretty Fruit whilst they last, and the Tree (for 'tis not a Bush) they grow upon, is a very pleasant Vegetable.
The Haw-thorn grows plentifully in some parts of this Country. The Haws are quite different from those in England, being four times as big, and of a very pleasant agreeable Taste. We make no use of this Plant, nor any other, for Hedges, because Timber is so plentiful at present. In my Judgment, the Honey-Locust would be the fittest for Hedges; because it is very apt to shoot forth many Sprouts and Succours from the Roots; besides, it is of a quick Growth, and very prickly.
The Black Haw grows on a slender Tree, about the Height of a Quince-Tree, or something higher, and bears the black Haw, which People eat, and the Birds covet also. What Vertues the Fruit or Wood is of, I cannot resolve you, at present.
Thus have I given an account of all Spontaneous Fruits of Carolina, that have come to my Knowledge, excepting Services, which I have seen in the Indians Hands, and eat of them, but never saw, how nor where they grow. There may very well be expected a great many more Fruits, which are the natural Product of this Country, when we consider the Fruitfulness of the Soil and Climate, and account for the vast Tract of Land, (great part of which is not yet found out) according to the Product of that which is already discover'd, which (as I once hinted before) is not yet arriv'd to our Knowledge, we having very little or no Correspondence amongst the mountainous Parts of this Province, and towards the Country of Messiasippi, all which we have strange Accounts of, and some very large ones, with respect to the different and noble Fruits, and several other Ornaments and Blessings of Nature which Messiasippi possesses; more to be coveted, than any of those we enjoy, to the Eastward of the Mountains: Yet when I came to discourse some of the Idolizers of that Country, I found it to be rather Novelty, than Truth and Reality, that induced those Persons to allow it such Excellencies above others. It may be a brave and fertile Country, as I believe it is; but I cannot be persuaded, that it can be near so advantageous as ours, which is much better situated for Trade, being faced all along with the Ocean, as the English America is; when the other is only a direct River, in the midst of a wild unknown Land, greatest part of whose Product must be fetch'd, or brought a great way, before it can come to a Market. Moreover, such great Rivers commonly allow of more Princes Territories than one; and thus nothing but War and Contention accompanies the Inhabitants thereof.
But not to trouble our Readers with any more of this, we will proceed, in the next place, to shew, what Exotick Fruits we have, that thrive well in Carolina; and what others, it may reasonably be suppos'd, would do there, were they brought thither and planted. In pursuance of which, I will set down a Catalogue of what Fruits we have; I mean Species: For should I pretend to give a regular Name to every one, it's neither possible for me to do it, nor for any one to understand it, when done; if we consider, that the chiefest part of our Fruit came from the Kernel, and some others from the Succours, or Sprouts of the Tree. First, we will begin with the Apples, which are the
Harvey-Apple, I cannot tell, whether the same as in England.
Lady-Finger. The Golden Russet thrives well.
The Pearmains, of both sorts, are apt to speck, and rot on the Trees; and the Trees are damaged and cut off by the Worm, which breeds in the Forks, and other parts thereof; and often makes a Circumposition, by destroying the Bark round the Branches, till it dies.
Harvey-Apple; that which we call so, is esteem'd very good to make Cider of.
Winter Queening is a durable Apple, and makes good Cider.
Leather-Coat; both Apple and Tree stand well.
The Juniting is early ripe, and soon gone, in these warm Countries.
Codlin; no better, and fairer Fruit in the World; yet the Tree suffers the same Distemper, as the Pearmains, or rather worse; the Trees always dying before they come to their Growth.
The Redstreak thrives very well.
Long-stalk is a large Apple, with a long Stalk, and makes good Summer Cider.
We beat the first of our Codlin Cider, against reaping our Wheat, which is from the tenth of June, to the five and twentieth.
Lady-Finger, the long Apple, the same as in England, and full as good. We have innumerable sorts; some call'd Rope-Apples, which are small Apples, hanging like Ropes of Onions; Flattings, Grigsons, Cheese-Apples, and a great number of Names, given according to every ones Discretion.
The Warden-Pear here grows a good eating Pear; and is not so long ripening as in England.
And several others without Name. The Bergamot we have not, nor either of the Bonne Chrestiennes, though I hear, they are all three in Virginia. Those sorts of Pears which we have, are as well relisht, as ever I eat any where; but that Fruit is of very short Continuance with us, for they are gone almost as soon as ripe.
I am not a Judge of the different sorts of Quinces, which they call Brunswick, Portugal, and Barbary; But as to the Fruit, in general, I believe no Place has fairer and better relisht. They are very pleasant eaten raw. Of this Fruit, they make a Wine, or Liquor, which they call Quince-Drink, and which I approve of beyond any Drink which that Country affords, though a great deal of Cider and some Perry is there made. The Quince-Drink most commonly purges those that first drink it, and cleanses the Body very well. The Argument of the Physicians, that they bind People, is hereby contradicted, unless we allow the Quinces to differ in the two Countries. The least Slip of this Tree stuck in the Ground, comes to bear in three years.
All Peaches, with us, are standing; neither have we any Wall-Fruit in Carolina; for we have Heat enough, and therefore do not require it. We have a great many sorts of this Fruit, which all thrive to Admiration, Peach-Trees coming to Perfection (with us) as easily as the Weeds. A Peach falling to the Ground, brings a Peach-Tree that shall bear in three years, or sometimes sooner. Eating Peaches in our Orchards makes them come up so thick from the Kernel, that we are forced to take a great deal of Care to weed them out; otherwise they make our Land a Wilderness of Peach-Trees.
They generally bear so full, that they break great part of their Limbs down. We have likewise very fair Nectarines, especially the red, that clings to the Stone, the other yellow Fruit, that leaves the Stone; of the last, I have a Tree, that, most Years, brings me fifteen or twenty Bushels. I see no Foreign Fruit like this, for thriving in all sorts of Land, and bearing its Fruit to Admiration. I want to be satisfy'd about one sort of this Fruit, which the Indians claim as their own, and affirm, they had it growing amongst them, before any Europeans came to America. The Fruit I will describe, as exactly as I can. The Tree grows very large, most commonly as big as a handsome Apple-Tree; the Flowers are of a reddish, murrey Colour; the Fruit is rather more downy, than the yellow Peach, and commonly very large and soft, being very full of Juice. They part freely from the Stone, and the Stone is much thicker than all the other Peach Stones we have, which seems to me, that it is a Spontaneous Fruit of America; yet in those Parts of America that we inhabit, I never could hear that any Peach-Trees were ever found growing in the Woods; neither have the foreign Indians, that live remote from the English, any other sort. And those living amongst us have a hundred of this sort for one other; they are a hardy Fruit, and are seldom damaged by the North-East Blasts, as others are. Of this sort we make Vinegar; wherefore we call them Vinegar-Peaches, and sometimes Indian-Peaches.
This Tree grows to a vast Bigness, exceeding most Apple-Trees. They bear well, tho' sometimes an early Spring comes on in February, and perhaps, when the Tree is fully blown the Cloudy North-East Winds which attend the end of, that Month, or the beginning of March, destroy most of the Fruit. The biggest Apricock-Tree I ever saw, as they told me, was grafted on a Peach-Stock, in the Ground. I know of no other sort with us, than the Common. We generally raise this Fruit from the Stone, which never fails to bring the same Fruit. Likewise our Peach-Stones effect the same, without so much as once missing, to produce the same sort that the Stone came from.
Damson, Damazeen, and a large, round black Plum are all I have met withal in Carolina. They thrive well enough; the last to Admiration, and becomes a very large Tree, if in stiff Ground; otherwise they will not do well.
Of Figs we have two sorts; One is the low Bush-Fig, which bears a large Fruit. If the Winter happens to have much Frost, the tops thereof die, and in the Spring sprout again, and bear two or three good Crops.
The Tree-Fig is a lesser Fig, though very sweet. The Tree grows to a large Body and Shade, and generally brings a good Burden; especially, if in light Land. This Tree thrives no where better, than on the Sand-Banks by the Sea.
We have the common red and black Cherry, which bear well. I never saw any grafted in this Country, the common excepted, which was grafted on an Indian Plum-Stock, and bore well. This is a good way, because our common Cherry-Trees are very apt to put Scions all around the Tree, for a great Distance, which must needs be prejudicial to the Tree and Fruit. Not only our Cherries are apt to do so, but our Apples and most other Fruit-Trees, which may chiefly be imputed to the Negligence and Unskilfulness of the Gardener. Our Cherries are ripe a Month sooner than in Virginia.
Gooseberries I have seen of the smaller sort, but find they do not do so well as in England, and to the Northward. Want of Dressing may be some Reason for this.
Currants, White, Red, and Black, thrive here, as well as any where.
Rasberries, the red and white, I never saw any Trial made of. But there is no doubt of their thriving to Admiration, since those of the Country do so well.
The Mulberries are spontaneous. We have no others, than what I have already mentioned in the Class of Natural Fruits of Carolina.
Barberry red, with Stones, and without Stones, grow here.
Strawberries, not Foreign, but those of the Country, grow here in great Plenty. Last April I planted a Bed of two hundred Foot in Length, which bore the same Year.
Medlars we have none.
All sorts of Walnuts from England, France, and Maderas, thrive well from the Nut.
No Filberts, but Hazle-Nuts; the Filbert-Nut planted, becomes a good Hazle-Nut, and no better.
As for that noble Vegetable the Vine, without doubt, it may (in this country) be improved, and brought to the same Perfection, as it is, at this Day, in the same Latitude in Europe, since the chiefest part of this Country is a deep, rich, black Mould, which is up towards the Freshes and Heads of our Rivers, being very rich and mix'd with Flint, Pebbles, and other Stones. And this sort of Soil is approv'd of (by all knowing Gardeners and Vigneroons) as a proper Earth, in which the Grape chiefly delights; and what seems to give farther Confirmation hereof, is, that the largest Vines, that were ever discover'd to grow wild, are found in those Parts, oftentimes in such Plenty, and are so interwoven with one another, that 'tis impossible to pass through them. Moreover, in these Freshes, towards the Hills, the Vines are above five times bigger than those generally with us, who are seated in the Front-parts of this Country, adjoining to the Salts. Of the wild Vines, which are most of them great Bearers, some Wine has been made, which I drank of. It was very strong and well relisht; but what detains them all from offering at great quantities, they add, that this Grape has a large Stone, and a thick Skin, and consequently yields but a small quantity of Wine. Some Essays of this Nature have been made by that Honorable Knight, Sir Nathanael Johnson, in South Carolina, who, as I am inform'd, has rejected all Exotick Vines, and makes his Wine from the natural black Grape of Carolina, by grafting it upon its own Stock. What Improvement this may arrive to, I cannot tell; but in other Species, I own Grafting and Imbudding yields speedy Fruit, tho' I never found that it made them better.
New planted Colonies are generally attended with a Force and Necessity of Planting the known and approved Staple and Product of the Country, as well as all the Provisions their Families spend. Therefore we can entertain but small hopes of the Improvement of the Vine, till some skillful in dressing Vines shall appear amongst us, and go about it, with a Resolution, that Ordering the Vineyard shall be one half of their Employment. If this be begun, and carried on, with that Assiduity and Resolution which it requires, then we may reasonably hope to see this a Wine-Country; for then, when it becomes a general Undertaking, every one will be capable to add something to the common Stock, of that which he has gain'd by his own Experience. This way would soon make the Burden light, and a great many shorter and exacter Curiosities, and real Truths would be found out in a short time. The trimming of Vines, as they do in France, that is, to a Stump, must either here be not follow'd, or we are not sensible of the exact time, when they ought to be thus pruned; for Experience has taught us, that the European Grape, suffer'd to run and expand itself at large, has been found to bear as well in America as it does in Europe; when, at the same time, the same sort of Vine trimm'd to a Stump, as before spoken of, has born a poor Crop for one Year or two; and by its spilling, after cutting, emaciated, and in three or four Years, died. This Experiment, I believe, has never fail'd; for I have trimm'd the natural Vine the French way, which has been attended, at last, with the same Fate. Wherefore, it seems most expedient, to leave the Vines more Branches here, than in Europe, or let them run up Trees, as some do, in Lombardy, upon Elms. The Mulberries and Chinkapin are tough, and trimm'd to what you please, therefore fit Supporters of the Vines. Gelding and plucking away the Leaves, to hasten the ripening of this Fruit, may not be unnecessary, yet we see the natural wild Grape generally ripens in the Shade. Nature in this, and many others, may prove a sure Guide. The Twisting of the Stems to make the Grapes ripe together, loses no Juice, and may be beneficial, if done in Season. A very ingenious French Gentleman, and another from Switzerland, with whom I frequently converse, exclaim against that strict cutting of Vines, the generally approved Method of France and Germany, and say, that they were both out in their Judgment, till of late, Experience has taught them otherwise. Moreover, the French in North Carolina assure me, that if we should trim our Apple and other Fruit-Trees, as they do in Europe, we should spoil them. As for Apples and Plums, I have found by Experience, what they affirm to be true. The French, from the Mannakin Town or Freshes of James River in Virginia, had, for the most part, removed themselves to Carolina, to live there, before I came away; and the rest were following, as their Minister, (Monsieur Philip de Rixbourg) told me, who was at Bath-Town, when I was taking my leave of my Friends. He assur'd me, that their Intent was to propagate Vines, as far as their present Circumstances would permit; provided they could get any Slips of Vines, that would do. At the same time, I had gotten some Grape-Seed, which was of the Jesuits white Grape from Madera. The Seed came up very plentifully, and, I hope, will not degenerate, which if it happens not to do, the Seed may prove the best way to raise a Vineyard, as certainly it is most easy for Transportation. Yet I reckon we should have our Seed from a Country, where the Grape arrives to the utmost Perfection of Ripeness. These French Refugees have had small Encouragement in Virginia, because, at their first coming over, they took their Measures of Living, from Europe; which was all wrong; for the small Quantities of ten, fifteen, and twenty Acres to a Family did not hold out according to their way of Reckoning, by Reason they made very little or no Fodder; and the Winter there being much harder than with us, their Cattle fail'd; chiefly, because the English took up and survey'd all the Land round about them; so that they were hemm'd in on all Hands from providing more Land for themselves or their Children, all which is highly prejudicial in America, where the generality are bred up to Planting. One of these French Men being a Fowling, shot a Fowl in the River, upon which his Dog went down the Bank to bring it to his Master; but the Bank was so high and steep, that he could not get up again. Thereupon, the French Man went down, to help his Dog up, and breaking the Mould away, accidentally, with his feet, he discover'd a very rich Coal-Mine. This Adventure he gave an Account of amongst the Neighbourhood, and presently one of the Gentlemen of that Part survey'd the Land, and the poor French Man got nothing by his Discovery. The French are good Neighbours amongst us, and give Examples of Industry, which is much wanted in this Country. They make good Flax, Hemp, Linnen-Cloth and Thread; which they exchange amongst the Neighbourhood for other Commodities, for which they have occasion.
We have hitherto made no Tryal of foreign Herbage; but, doubtless, it would thrive well; especially, Sanfoin, and those Grasses, that endure Heat, and dry Grounds. As for our Low Lands, such as Marshes, Savannas and Percoarson-Ground, which lies low, all of them naturally afford good Land for Pasturage.
We will next treat of the Beasts, which you shall have an Account of, as they have been discover'd.
The Beasts of Carolina are the
Buffelo, or wild beef.
Rabbet, two sorts.
Squirrel, four sorts.
Lion and Jackall on the Lake.
Rats, two sorts.
Mice, two sorts.
The Buffelo is a wild Beast of America, which has a Bunch on his Back, as the Cattle of St. Laurence are said to have. He seldom appears amongst the English Inhabitants, his chief Haunt being in the Land of Messiasippi, which is, for the most part, a plain Country; yet I have known some kill'd on the Hilly Part of Cape-Fair-River, they passing the Ledges of vast Mountains from the said Messiasippi, before they can come near us. I have eaten of their Meat, but do not think it so good as our Beef; yet the younger Calves are cry'd up for excellent Food, as very likely they may be. It is conjectured, that these Buffelos, mixt in Breed with our tame Cattle, would much better the Breed for Largeness and Milk, which seems very probable. Of the wild Bull's Skin, Buff is made. The Indians cut the Skins into Quarters for the Ease of their Transportation, and make Beds to lie on. They spin the Hair into Garters, Girdles, Sashes, and the like, it being long and curled, and often of a chesnut or red Colour. These Monsters are found to weigh (as I am informed by a Traveller of Credit) from 1600 to 2400 Weight.
The Bears here are very common, though not so large as in Greenland, and the more Northern Countries of Russia. The Flesh of this Beast is very good, and nourishing, and not inferiour to the best Pork in Taste. It stands betwixt Beef and Pork, and the young Cubs are a Dish for the greatest Epicure living. I prefer their Flesh before any Beef, Veal, Pork, or Mutton; and they look as well as they eat, their fat being as white as Snow, and the sweetest of any Creature's in the World. If a Man drink a Quart thereof melted, it never will rise in his Stomach. We prefer it above all things, to fry Fish and other things in. Those that are Strangers to it, may judge otherwise; But I who have eaten a great deal of Bears Flesh in my Life-time (since my being an Inhabitant in America) do think it equalizes, if not excels, any Meat I ever eat in Europe. The Bacon made thereof is extraordinary Meat; but is must be well saved, otherwise it will rust. This Creature feeds upon all sorts of wild Fruits. When Herrings run, which is in March, the Flesh of such of those Bears as eat thereof, is nought, all that Season, and eats filthily. Neither is it good, when he feeds on Gum-berries, as I intimated before. They are great Devourers of Acorns, and oftentimes meet the Swine in the Woods, which they kill and eat, especially when they are hungry, and can find no other Food. Now and then they get into the Fields of Indian Corn, or Maiz, where they make a sad Havock, spoiling ten times as much as they eat. The Potatos of this Country are so agreeable to them, that they never fail to sweep 'em all clean, if they chance to come in their way. They are seemingly a very clumsy Creature, yet are very nimble in running up Trees, and traversing every Limb thereof. When they come down, they run Tail foremost. At catching of Herrings, they are most expert Fishers. They sit by the Creek-sides, (which are very narrow) where the Fish run in; and there they take them up, as fast as it's possible they can dip their Paws into the Water. There is one thing more to be consider'd of this Creature, which is, that no Man, either Christian or Indian, has ever kill'd a She-bear with Young.
It is supposed, that the She-Bears, after Conception, hide themselves in some secret undiscoverable Place, till they bring forth their Young, which, in all Probability, cannot be long; otherwise, the Indians, who hunt the Woods like Dogs, would, at some time or other, have found them out. Bear-Hunting is a great Sport in America, both with the English and Indians. Some Years ago, there were kill'd five hundred Bears, in two Counties of Virginia, in one Winter; and but two She-Bears amongst them all, which were not with Young, as I told you of the rest. The English have a breed of Dogs fit for this sport, about the size of Farmers Curs, and, by Practice, come to know the Scent of a Bear, which as soon as they have found, they run him, by the Nose, till they come up with him, and then bark and snap at him, till he trees, when the Huntsman shoots him out of the Trees, there being, for the most part, two or three with Guns, lest the first should miss, or not quite kill him. Though they are not naturally voracious, yet they are very fierce when wounded. The Dogs often bring him to a Bay, when wounded, and then the Huntsmen make other Shots, perhaps with the Pistols that are stuck in their Girdles. If a Dog is apt to fasten, and run into a Bear, he is not good, for the best Dog in Europe is nothing in their Paws; but if ever they get him in their Clutches, they blow his Skin from his Flesh, like a Bladder, and often kill him; or if he recovers it, he is never good for any thing after. As the Paws of this Creature, are held for the best bit about him, so is the Head esteem'd the worst, and always thrown away, for what reason I know not. I believe, none ever made Trial thereof, to know how it eats. The Oil of the Bear is very Sovereign for Strains, Aches, and old Pains. The fine Fur at the bottom of the Belly, is used for making Hats, in some places. The Fur itself is fit for several Uses; as for making Muffs, facing Caps, &c. but the black Cub-skin is preferable to all sorts of that kind, for Muffs. Its Grain is like Hog-Skin.
The Panther is of the Cat's kind; about the height of a very large Greyhound of a reddish Colour, the same as a Lion. He climbs Trees with the greatest Agility imaginable, is very strong-limb'd, catching a piece of Meat from any Creature he strikes at. His Tail is exceedingly long; his Eyes look very fierce and lively, are large, and of a grayish Colour; his Prey is, Swines-flesh, Deer, or any thing he can take; no Creature is so nice and clean, as this, in his Food. When he has got his Prey, he fills his Belly with the Slaughter, and carefully lays up the Remainder, covering it neatly with Leaves, which if anything touches, he never eats any more of it. He purrs as Cats do; if taken when Young, is never to be reclaim'd from his wild Nature. He hollows like a Man in the Woods, when kill'd, which is by making him take a Tree, as the least Cur will presently do; then the Huntsmen shoot him; if they do not kill him outright, he is a dangerous Enemy, when wounded, especially to the Dogs that approach him. This Beast is the greatest Enemy to the Planter, of any Vermine in Carolina. His Flesh looks as well as any Shambles-Meat whatsoever; a great many People eat him, as a choice Food; but I never tasted of a Panther, so cannot commend the Meat, by my own Experience. His Skin is a warm covering for the Indians in Winter, though not esteem'd amongst the choice Furs. This Skin dress'd, makes fine Womens Shooes, or Mens Gloves.
The Mountain-Cat, so call'd, because he lives in the Mountainous Parts of America. He is a Beast of Prey, as the Panther is, and nearest to him in Bigness and Nature.
This Cat is quite different from those in Europe; being more nimble and fierce, and larger; his Tail does not exceed four Inches. He makes a very odd sort of Cry in the Woods, in the Night. He is spotted as the Leopard is, tho' some of them are not, (which may happen, when their Furs are out of Season) he climbs a Tree very dexterously, and preys as the Panther does. He is a great Destroyer of young Swine. I knew an Island, which was possess'd by these Vermine, unknown to the Planter, who put thereon a considerable Stock of Swine; but never took one back; for the wild Cats destroy'd them all. He takes most of his Prey by Surprize, getting up the Trees, which they pass by or under, and thence leaping directly upon them. Thus he takes Deer (which he can not catch by running) and fastens his Teeth into their Shoulders and sucks them. They run with him, till they fall down for want of strength, and become a Prey to the Enemy. Hares, Birds, and all he meets, that he can conquer, he destroys. The Fur is approv'd to wear as a Stomacher, for weak and cold Stomachs. They are likewise used to line Muffs, and Coats withal, in cold Climates.
The Wolf of Carolina, is the Dog of the Woods. The Indians had no other Curs, before the Christians came amongst them. They are made domestick. When wild, they are neither so large, nor fierce, as the European Wolf. They are not Man-slayers; neither is any Creature in Carolina, unless wounded. They go in great Droves in the Night, to hunt Deer, which they do as well as the best Pack of Hounds. Nay, one of these will hunt down a Deer. They are often so poor, that they can hardly run. When they catch no Prey, they go to a Swamp, and fill their Belly full of Mud; if afterwards they chance to get any thing of Flesh, they disgorge the Mud, and eat the other. When they hunt in the Night, that there is a great many together, they make the most hideous and frightful Noise, that ever was heard. The Fur makes good Muffs. The Skin dress'd to a Parchment makes the best Drum-Heads, and if tann'd makes the best sort of Shooes for the Summer-Countries.
Tygers are never met withal in the Settlement; but are more to the Westward, and are not numerous on this Side the Chain of Mountains. I once saw one, that was larger than a Panther, and seem'd to be a very bold Creature. The Indians that hunt in those Quarters, say, they are seldom met withal. It seems to differ from the Tyger of Asia and Africa.
Polcats or Skunks in America, are different from those in Europe. They are thicker, and of a great many Colours; not all alike, but each differing from another in the particular Colour. They smell like a Fox, but ten times stronger. When a Dog encounters them, they piss upon him, and he will not be sweet again in a Fortnight or more. The Indians love to eat their Flesh, which has no manner of ill Smell, when the Bladder is out. I know no use their Furs are put to. They are easily brought up tame.
There have been seen some Otters from the Westward of Carolina, which were of a white Colour, a little inclining to a yellow. They live on the same Prey here, as in Europe, and are the same in all other Respects; so I shall insist no farther on that Creature. Their Furs, if black, are valuable.
Bevers are very numerous in Carolina, there being abundance of their Dams in all Parts of the Country, where I have travel'd. They are the most industrious and greatest Artificers (in building their Dams and Houses) of any four footed Creatures in the World. Their Food is chiefly the Barks of Trees and Shrubs, viz. Sassafras, Ash, Sweet-Gum, and several others. If you take them young, they become very tame and domestick, but are very mischievous in spoiling Orchards, by breaking the Trees, and blocking up your Doors in the Night, with the Sticks and Wood they bring thither. If they eat any thing that is salt, it kills them. Their Flesh is a sweet Food; especially, their Tail, which is held very dainty. Their Fore-Feet are open, like a Dog's; their Hind-Feet webb'd like a Water-Fowl's. The Skins are good Furs for several Uses, which every one knows. The Leather is very thick; I have known Shooes made thereof in Carolina, which lasted well. It makes the best Hedgers Mittens that can be used.
Musk Rats frequent fresh Streams and no other; as the Bever does. He has a Cod of Musk, which is valuable, as is likewise his Fur.
The Possum is found no where but in America. He is the Wonder of all the Land-Animals, being the size of a Badger, and near that Colour. The Male's Pizzle is placed retrograde; and in time of Coition, they differ from all other Animals, turning Tail to Tail, as Dog and Bitch when ty'd. The Female, doubtless, breeds her Young at her Teats; for I have seen them stick fast thereto, when they have been no bigger than a small Rasberry, and seemingly inanimate. She has a Paunch, or false Belly, wherein she carries her Young, after they are from those Teats, till they can shift for themselves. Their Food is Roots, Poultry, or wild Fruits. They have no Hair on their Tails, but a sort of a Scale, or hard Crust, as the Bevers have. If a Cat has nine Lives, this Creature surely has nineteen; for if you break every Bone in their Skin, and mash their Skull, leaving them for Dead, you may come an hour after, and they will be gone quite away, or perhaps you meet them creeping away. They are a very stupid Creature, utterly neglecting their Safety. They are most like Rats of any thing. I have, for Necessity in the Wilderness, eaten of them. Their Flesh is very white, and well tasted; but their ugly Tails put me out of Conceit with that Fare. They climb Trees, as the Raccoons do. Their Fur is not esteem'd nor used, save that the Indians spin it into Girdles and Garters.
The Raccoon is of a dark-gray Colour; if taken young, is easily made tame, but is the drunkenest Creature living, if he can get any Liquor that is sweet and strong. They are rather more unlucky than a Monkey. When wild, they are very subtle in catching their Prey. Those that Live in the Salt-Water, feed much on Oysters which they love. They watch the Oyster when it opens, and nimbly put in their Paw, and pluck out the Fish. Sometimes the Oyster shuts, and holds fast their Paw till the tide comes in, that they are drown'd, tho' they swim very well. The way that this Animal catches Crabs, which he greatly admires, and which are plenty in Carolina, is worthy of Remark. When he intends to make a Prey of these Fish, he goes to a Marsh, where standing on the Land, he lets his Tail hang in the Water. This the Crab takes for a Bait, and fastens his Claws therein, which as soon as the Raccoon perceives, he, of a sudden, springs forward, a considerable way, on the Land, and brings the Crab along with him. As soon as the Fish finds himself out of his Element, he presently lets go his hold; and then the Raccoon encounters him, by getting him cross-wise in his Mouth, and devours him. There is a sort of small Land-Crab, which we call a Fiddler, that runs into a Hole when any thing pursues him. This Crab the Raccoon takes by putting his Fore-Foot in the Hole, and pulling him out. With a tame Raccoon, this Sport is very diverting. The Chief of his other Food is all sorts of wild Fruits, green Corn, and such as the Bear delights in. This and the Possum are much of a Bigness. The Fur makes good Hats and Linings. The Skin dress'd makes fine Womens Shooes.
The Minx is an Animal much like the English Fillimart or Polcat. He is long, slender, and every way shap'd like him. His Haunts are chiefly in the Marshes, by the Sea-side and Salt-Waters, where he lives on Fish, Fowl, Mice, and Insects. They are bold Thieves, and will steal any thing
from you in the Night, when asleep, as I can tell by Experience; for one Winter, by Misfortune, I ran my Vessel a-ground, and went often to the Banks, to kill wild Fowl, which we did a great many. One Night, we had a mind to sleep on the Banks (the Weather being fair) and wrapt up the Geese which we had kill'd, and not eaten, very carefully, in the Sail of a Canoe, and folded it several Doubles, and for their better Security, laid 'em all Night under my Head. In the Morning when I wak'd, a Minx had eaten thro' every Fold of the Canoe's Sail, and thro' one of the Geese, most part of which was gone. These are likewise found high up in the Rivers, in whose sides they live; which is known by the abundance of Fresh-Water Muscle-Shells (such as you have in England) that lie at the Mouth of their Holes. This is an Enemy to the Tortois, whose Holes in the Sand, where they hide their Eggs, the Minx finds out, and scratches up and eats. The Raccoons and Crows do the same. The Minx may be made domestick, and were it not for his paying a Visit now and then to the Poultry, they are the greatest Destroyers of Rats and Mice, that are in the World. Their Skins, if good of that kind, are valuable, provided they are kill'd in Season.
The Water-Rat is found here the same as in England. The Water-Snakes are often found to have of these Rats in their Bellies.
That which the people of Carolina call a Hare, is nothing but a Hedge-Coney. They never borough in the Ground, but much frequent Marshes and Meadow-Land. They hide their Young in some Place secure from the Discovery of the Buck, as the European Rabbets do, and are of the same Colour; but if you start one of them, and pursue her, she takes into a hollow Tree, and there runs up as far as she can, in which Case the Hunter makes a Fire, and smoaks the Tree, which brings her down, and smothers her. At one time of the Year, great Bots or Maggots breed betwixt the Skin and the Flesh of the Creatures. They eat just as the English ones do; but I never saw one of them fat. We fire the Marshes, and then kill abundance.
The English, or European Coneys are here found, tho' but in one place that I ever knew of, which was in Trent-River, where they borough'd among the Rocks. I cannot believe, these are Natives of the Country, any otherwise than that they might come from aboard some Wreck; the Sea not being far off. I was told of several that were upon Bodies Island by Ronoak, which came from that Ship of Bodies; but I never saw any. However the Banks are no proper Abode of Safety, because of the many Minxes in those Quarters. I carried over some of the tame sort from England to South Carolina, which bred three times going over, we having a long Passage. I turn'd them loose in a Plantation, and the young ones, and some of the old ones bred great Maggots in their Testicles. At last, the great Gust in September, 1700. brought a great deal of Rain, and drown'd them all in their Holes. I intend to make a second Tryal of them in North Carolina, and doubt not but to secure them.
The Elk is a Monster of the Venison sort. His Skin is used almost in the same Nature as the Buffelo's. Some take him for the red Deer of America; but he is not: For, if brought and kept in Company with one of that sort, of the contrary Sex, he will never couple. His Flesh is not so sweet as the lesser Deers. His Horns exceed (in Weight) all Creatures which the new World affords. They will often resort and feed with the Buffelo, delighting in the same Range as they do.
The Stags of Carolina are lodg'd in the Mountains. They are not so large as in Europe, but much larger than any Fallow-Deer. They are always fat, I believe, with some delicate Herbage that grows on the Hills; for we find all Creatures that graze much fatter and better Meat on the Hills, than those in the Valleys: I mean towards and near the Sea. Some Deer on these Mountains afford the occidental Bezoar, not coming from a Goat, as some report. What sort of Beast affords the oriental Bezoar, I know not. The Tallow of the Harts make incomparable Candles. Their Horns and Hides are of the same Value, as others of their kind.
Fallow-Deer in Carolina, are taller and longer-legg'd, than in Europe; but neither run so fast, nor are so well haunch'd. Their Singles are much longer, and their Horns stand forward, as the others incline backward; neither do they beam, or bear their Antlers, as the English Deer do. Towards the Salts, they are not generally so fat and good Meat, as on the Hills. I have known some kill'd on the Salts in January, that have had abundance of Bots in their Throat, which keep them very poor. As the Summer approaches, these Bots come out, and turn into the finest Butterfly imaginable, being very large, and having black, white, and yellow Stripes. Deer-Skins are one of the best Commodities Carolina affords, to ship off for England, provided they be large.
Of Squirrels we have four Sorts. The first is the Fox-Squirrel, so call'd because of his large Size, which is the Bigness of a Rabbet of two or three Months old. His Colour is commonly gray; yet I have seen several pied ones, and some reddish, and black; his chiefest Haunts are in the Piny Land, where the Almond-Pine grows. There he provides his Winter-Store; they being a Nut that never fails of bearing. He may be made tame, and is very good Meat, when killed.
The next sort of Squirrel is much of the Nature of the English, only differing in Colour. Their Food is Nuts (of all sorts the Country affords) and Acorns. They eat well; and, like the Bear, are never found with young.
This Squirrel is gray, as well as the others. He is the least of the Three. His Food is much the same with the small gray Squirrels. He has not Wings, as Birds or Bats have, there being a fine thin Skin cover'd with Hair, as the rest of the parts are. This is from the Fore-Feet to the Hinder-Feet, which is extended and holds so much Air, as buoys him up, from one Tree to another, that are greater distances asunder, than other Squirrels can reach by jumping or springing. He is made very tame, is an Enemy to a Cornfield, (as all Squirrels are) and eats only the germinating Eye of that Grain, which is very sweet.
Ground Squirrels are so call'd, because they never delight in running up Trees, and leaping from Tree to Tree. They are the smallest of all Squirrels. Their Tail is neither so long not bushy; but flattish. They are of a reddish Colour, and striped down each Side with black Rows, which make them very beautiful. They may be kept tame, in a little Box with Cotton. They and the Flying-Squirrels seldom stir out in Cold Weather, being tender Animals.
The Fox of Carolina is gray, but smells not as the Foxes in Great-Britain, and elsewhere. They have reddish Hair about their Ears, and are generally very fat; yet I never saw any one eat them. When hunted, they make a sorry Chace, because they run up Trees, when pursued. They are never to be made familiar and tame, as the Raccoon is. Their Furs, if in Season, are used for Muffs and other Ornaments. They live chiefly on Birds and Fowls, and such small Prey.
I have been inform'd by the Indians, that on a Lake of Water towards the Head of Neus River, there haunts a Creature, which frightens them all from Hunting thereabouts. They say, he is the Colour of a Panther, but cannot run up Trees; and that there abides with him a Creature like an Englishman's Dog, which runs faster than he can, and gets his Prey for him. They add, that there is no other of that Kind that ever they met withal; and that they have no other way to avoid him, but by running up a Tree. The Certainty of this I cannot affirm by my own Knowledge, yet they all agree in this Story. As for Lions, I never saw any in America; neither can I imagine, how they should come there.
Of Rats we have two sorts; the House-Rat, as in Europe; and the Marsh-Rat, which differs very much from the other, being more hairy, and has several other Distinctions, too long here to name.
Mice are the same here, as those in England, that belong to the House. There is one sort that poisons a Cat, as soon as she eats of them, which has sometimes happen'd. These Mice resort not to Houses.
The Dormouse is the same as in England, and so is the Weasel, which is very scarce.
The Bat or Rearmouse, the same as in England. The Indian Children are much addicted to eat Dirt, and so are some of the Christians. But roast a Bat on a Skewer, then pull the Skin off, and make the Child that eats Dirt eat the roasted Rearmouse; and he will never ear Dirt again. This is held as an infallible Remedy. I have put this amongst the Beasts, as partaking of both Natures; of the Bird, and Mouse-Kind.
Having mention'd all the sorts of terrestrial or Land-Animals, which Carolina affords and are yet known to us, except
the Tame and Domestick Creatures (of which I shall give an Account hereafter, when I come to treat of the Ways and Manners of Agriculture in that Province) I shall now proceed to the known Insects of that Place. Not that I pretend to give an ample Account of the whole Tribe, which is too numerous, and contains too great a Diversity of Species, many not yet discovered, and others that have slipt my Memory at present; But those which I can remember, I here present my Readers withal.
Insects Of Carolina.
Long black Snake.
Water-Snakes, four sorts.
Vipers, black and gray.
Swamp-Snakes, three sorts.
Red-bellied Land Snakes.
Terebin, Land and Water.
Black Truncheon Snake.
Egg or Chicken-Snake.
Eel-Snake, or great Loach.
Frogs, many sorts.
Rotten-Wood Worm &c.
The Allegator is the same, as the Crocodile, and differs only in Name. They frequent the sides of Rivers, in the Banks of which they make their Dwellings a great way under Ground; the hole or Mouth of their Dens lying commonly two Foot under Water, after which it rises till it be considerably above the Surface thereof. Here it is, that this amphibious Monster dwells all the Winter, sleeping away his time till the Spring appears, when he comes from his Cave, and daily swims up and down the Streams. He always breeds in some fresh Stream, or clear Fountain of Water, yet seeks his Prey in the broad Salt Waters, that are brackish, not on the Sea-side, where I never met with any. He never devours Men in Carolina, but uses all ways to avoid them, yet he kills Swine and Dogs, the former as they come to feed in the Marshes, the others as they swim over the Creeks and Waters. They are very mischievous to the Wares made for taking Fish, into which they come to prey on the Fish that are caught in the Ware, from whence they cannot readily extricate themselves, and so break the Ware in pieces, being a very strong Creature. This Animal, in these Parts, sometimes exceeds seventeen Foot long. It is impossible to kill them with a Gun, unless you chance to hit them about the Eyes, which is a much softer Place, than the rest of their impenetrable Armour. They roar, and make a hideous Noise against bad Weather, and before they come out of their Dens in the Spring. I was pretty much frightened with one of these once; which happened thus: I had built a House about half a Mile from an Indian Town, on the Fork of Neus-River, where I dwelt by my self, excepting a young Indian Fellow, and a Bull-Dog, that I had along with me. I had not then been so long a Sojourner in America, as to be thoroughly acquainted with this Creature. One of them had got his Nest directly under my House, which stood on pretty high Land, and by a Creek-side, in whose Banks his Entring-place was, his Den reaching the Ground directly on which my House stood. I was sitting alone by the Fire-side (about nine a Clock at Night, some time in March) the Indian Fellow being gone to the Town, to see his Relations; so that there was no body in the House but my self and my Dog; when, all of a sudden, this ill-favour'd Neighbour of mine, set up such a Roaring, that he made the House shake about my Ears, and so continued, like a Bittern, (but a hundred times louder, if possible) for four or five times. The Dog stared, as if he was frightened out of his Senses; nor indeed, could I imagine what it was, having never heard one of them before. Immediately again I had another Lesson; and so a third. Being at that time amongst none but Savages, I began to suspect, they were working some Piece of Conjuration under my House, to get away my Goods; not but that, at another time, I have as little Faith in their, or any others working Miracles, by diabolical Means, as any Person living. At last, my Man came in, to whom when I had told the Story, he laugh'd at me, and presently undeceiv'd me, by telling me what it was that made that Noise. These Allegators lay Eggs, as the Ducks do; only they are longer shap'd, larger, and a thicker Shell, than they have. How long they are in hatching, I cannot tell; but, as the Indians say, it is most part of the Summer, they always lay by a Spring-Side, the young living in and about the same, as soon as hatch'd. Their Eggs are laid in Nests made in the Marshes, and contain twenty or thirty Eggs. Some of these Creatures afford a great deal of Musk. Their Tail, when cut of, looks very fair and white, seemingly like the best of Veal. Some People have eaten thereof, and say it is delicate Meat when they happen not to be musky. Their Flesh is accounted proper for such as are troubled with the lame Distemper, (a sort of Rheumatism) so is the Fat very prevailing to remove Aches and Pains, by Unction. The Teeth of this Creature, when dead, are taken out, to make Chargers for Guns, being of several Sizes, fit for all Loads. They are white, and would make pretty Snuff-Boxes, if wrought by an Artist. After the Tail of theAllegator is separated from the Body, it will move very freely for four days.
The Rattle-Snakes are found on all the Main of America, that I ever had any account of; being so call'd from the Rattle at the end of their Tails, which is a Connexion of jointed Coverings, of an excrementitious Matter, betwixt the Substance of a Nail, and a Horn, though each Tegmen is very thin. Nature seems to have design'd these, on purpose to give Warning of such an approaching Danger, as the venomous Bite of these Snakes is. Some of them grow to a very great Bigness, as six Foot in Length, their Middle being the Thickness of the Small of a lusty Man's Leg. We have an Account of much larger Serpents of this Kind; but I never met them yet, although I have seen and kill'd abundance in my time. They are of an Orange, tawny, and blackish Colour, on the Back; differing (as all Snakes do) in Colour, on the Belly; being of an Ash-Colour, inclining to Lead. The Male is easily distinguish'd from the Female, by a black Velvet-Spot on his Head; and besides, his Head is smaller shaped, and long. Their Bite is venomous, if not speedily remedied; especially, if the Wound be in a Vein, Nerve, Tendon, or Sinew; when it is very difficult to cure. The Indians are the best Physicians for the Bite of these and all other venomous Creatures of this Country. There are four sorts of Snake-Roots already discover'd, which Knowledge came from the Indians, who have perform'd several great Cures. The Rattle-Snakes are accounted the peaceablest in the World; for they never attack any one, or injure them, unless they are trod upon, or molested. The most Danger of being bit by these Snakes, is for those that survey Land in Carolina; yet I never heard of any Surveyor that was kill'd, or hurt by them. I have myself gone over several of this Sort, and others; yet it pleased God, I never came to any harm. They have the Power, or Art (I know not which to call it) to charm Squirrels, Hares, Partridges, or any such thing, in such a manner, that they run directly into their Mouths. This I have seen by a Squirrel and one of these Rattle-Snakes; and other Snakes have, in some measure, the same Power. The Rattle-Snakes have many small Teeth, of which I cannot see they make any use; for they swallow everything whole; but the Teeth which poison, are only four; two on each side of their Upper-Jaws. These are bent like a Sickle, and hang loose as if by a Joint. Towards the setting on of these, there is, in each Tooth, a little Hole, wherein you may just get in the Point of a small Needle. And here it is, that the Poison comes out, (which is as green as Grass) and follows the Wound, made by the Point of their Teeth. They are much more venomous in the Months of June and July, than they are in March, April or September. The hotter the Weather, the more poisonous. Neither may we suppose, that they can renew their Poison as oft as they will; for we have had a Person bit by one of these, who never rightly recover'd it, and very hardly escaped with Life; a second Person bit in the same Place by the same Snake, and receiv'd no more Harm, that if bitten with a Rat. They cast their Skins every Year, and commonly abide near the Place where the old Skin lies. These cast Skins are used in Physick, and the Rattles are reckon'd good to expedite the Birth. The Gall is made up into Pills, with Clay, and kept for Use; being given in Pestilential Fevers and the Small-Pox. It is accounted a noble Remedy, known to few, and held as a great Arcanum. This Snake has two Nostrils on each side of his Nose. Their Venom, I have Reason to believe, effects no Harm, any otherwise than when darted into the Wound by the Serpents Teeth.
The Ground Rattle-Snake, wrong nam'd, because it has nothing like Rattles. It resembles the Rattle-Snake a little
in Colour, but is darker, and never grows to any considerable Bigness, not exceeding a Foot, or sixteen Inches. He is reckon'd amongst the worst of Snakes; and stays out the longest of any Snake I know, before he returns (in the Fall of the Leaf) to his Hole.
Of the Horn-Snakes I never saw but two, that I remember. They are like the Rattle-Snake in Colour, but rather lighter. They hiss exactly like a Goose, when any thing approaches them. They strike at their Enemy with their Tail, and kill whatsoever they wound with it, which is arm'd at the End with a horny Substance, like a Cock's Spur. This is their Weapon. I have heard it credibly reported, by those who said they were Eye-Witnesses, that a small Locust-Tree, about the Thickness of a Man's Arm, being struck by one of these Snakes, at Ten a Clock in the Morning, then verdant and flourishing, at four in the Afternoon was dead, and the Leaves red and wither'd. Doubtless, be it how it will, they are very venomous. I think, the Indians do not pretend to cure their Wound.
Of Water-Snakes there are four sorts. The first is the Horn-Snake's Colour, though less. The next is a very long Snake, differing in Colour, and will make nothing to swim over a River a League wide. They hang upon Birches and other Trees by the Water-Side. I had the Fortune once to have one of them leap into my Boat, as I was going up a narrow River; the Boat was full of Mats, which I was glad to take out, to get rid of him. They are reckon'd poisonous. A third is much of an English Adder's Colour, but always frequent the Salts, and lies under the Drift Seaweed, where they are in abundance, and are accounted mischievous, when they bite. The last is of a sooty black Colour, and frequents Ponds and Ditches. What his Qualities are, I cannot tell.
Of the Swamp-Snakes there are three sorts, which are very near akin to the Water-Snakes, and may be rank'd amongst them.
The Belly of the first is of a Carnation or Pink Colour; his Back a dirty brown; they are large, but have not much Venom in them, as ever I learnt. The next is a large Snake, of a brown Dirt Colour, and always abides in the Marshes.
The last is mottled, and very poisonous. They dwell in Swamps Sides, and Ponds, and have prodigious wide Mouths, and (though not long) arrive to the Thickness of the Calf of a Man's Leg.
These frequent the Land altogether, and are so call'd because of their red Bellies, which incline to an Orange-Colour. Some have been bitten with these sort of Snakes, and not hurt; when others have suffer'd very much by them. Whether there be two sorts of these Snakes, which we make no Difference of, I cannot at present determine.
I never saw but one of these, which I stept over, and did not see him; till he that brought the Chain after me, spy'd him. He has a red Back, as the last has a red Belly. They are a long, slender Snake, and very rare to be met withal. I enquired of the Indian that was along with me, whether they were very venomous, who made Answer, that if he had bitten me, even the Indians could not have cured it.
This sort of Snake might very well have been rank'd with the Water-Snakes. They lie under Roots of Trees, and on the Banks of Rivers. When any thing disturbs them, they dart into the Water (which is Salt) like an Arrow out of a Bow. They are thick, and the shortest Snake I ever saw. What Good, or Harm, there is in them, I know not. Some of these Water-Snakes will swallow a black Land-Snake, half as long again as themselves.
The Scorpion Lizard, is no more like a Scorpion, than a Hedge-Hog; but they very commonly call him a Scorpion. He is of the Lizard Kind, but much bigger; his Back is of a dark Copper-Colour; his Belly an Orange; he is very nimble in running up Trees, or on the Land, and is accounted very poisonous. He has the most Sets of Teeth in his Mouth and Throat, that ever I saw.
Green Lizards are very harmless and beautiful, having a little Bladder under their Throat, which they fill with Wind, and evacuate the same at Pleasure. They are of a most glorious Green, and very tame. They resort to the Walls of Houses in the Summer Season, and stand gazing on a Man, without any Concern or Fear. There are several other Colours of these Lizards; but none so beautiful as the green ones are.
Of Frogs we have several sorts; the most famous is the Bull-Frog, so call'd, because he lows exactly like that Beast, which makes Strangers wonder (when by the side of a Marsh) what's the matter, for they hear the Frogs low, and can see no Cattle; he is very large. I believe, I have seen one with as much Meat on him, as a Pullet, if he had been dress'd. The small green Frogs get upon Trees, and make a Noise. There are several other colour'd small Frogs; but the Common Land-Frog is likest a Toad, only he leaps, and is not poisonous. He is a great Devourer of Ants, and the Snakes devour him. These Frogs baked and beat to Powder, and taken with Orrice-Root cures a Tympany.
The long, black Snake frequents the Land altogether, and is the nimblest Creature living. His Bite has no more Venom, than a Prick with a Pin. He is the best Mouser that can be; for he leaves not one of that Vermine alive, where he comes. He also kills the Rattle-Snake, wheresoever he meets him, by twisting his Head about the Neck of the Rattle-Snake, and whipping him to death with his Tail. This Whipster haunts the Dairies of careless Housewives, and never misses to skim the Milk clear of the Cream. He is an excellent Egg-Merchant, for he does not suck the Eggs, but swallows them whole (as all Snakes do.) He will often swallow all the Eggs from under a Hen that sits, and coil himself under the Hen, in the Nest, where sometimes the Housewife finds him. This Snake, for all his Agility, is so brittle, that when he is pursued, and gets his Head into the Hole of a Tree, if any body gets hold of the other end, he will twist, and break himself off in the middle. One of these Snakes, whose Neck is no thicker than a Woman's little Finger, will swallow a Squirrel; so much does that part stretch, in all these Creatures.
The King-Snake is the longest of all others, and not common; no Snake (they say) will meddle with them. I think they are not accounted very venomous. The Indians make Girdles and Sashes of their Skins.
Green-Snakes are very small, tho' pretty (if any Beauty be allow'd to Snakes.) Every one makes himself very familiar with them, and puts them in their Bosom, because there is no manner of Harm in them.
The Corn-Snakes are but small ones; they are of a brown Colour, mixed with tawny. There is no more hurt in this, than in the green Snake.
Of those we call Vipers, there are two sorts. People call these Vipers, because they spread a very flat Head at any time when they are vex'd. One of these is a grayish like the Italian Viper, the other black and short; and is reckon'd amongst the worst of Snakes, for Venom.
Tortois, vulgarly call'd Turtle; I have rank'd these among the Insects, because they lay Eggs, and I did not know well where to put them. Among us there are three sorts. The first is the green Turtle, which is not common, but is sometimes found on our Coast. The next is the Hawks-bill, which is common. These two sorts are extraordinary Meat. The third is Logger-Head, which Kind scarce any one covets, except it be for the Eggs, which of this and all other Turtles are very good Food. None of these sorts of Creatures Eggs will ever admit the White to be harder than a Jelly; yet the Yolk, with boiling, becomes as hard as any other Egg.
Of Terebins there are divers sorts, all which, to be brief, we will comprehend under the Distinction of Land and Water-Terebins.
The Land-Terebin is of several Sizes, but generally Round-Mouth'd and not Hawk-Bill'd, as some are. The Indians eat them. Most of them are good Meat, except the very large ones; and they are good Food too, provided they are not Musky. They are an utter Enemy to the Rattle-Snake, for when the Terebin meets him, he catches hold of him a little below his Neck, and draws his Head into his Shell, which makes the Snake beat his Tail and twist about with all the Strength and Violence imaginable, to get away; but the Terebin soon dispatches him and there leaves him. These they call in Europe the Land Tortois; their Food is Snails, Tad-pools, or young Frogs, Mushrooms, and the Dew and Slime of the Earth and Ponds.
Water Terebins are small; containing about as much Meat as a Pullet, and are extraordinary Food; especially, in May and June. When they lay, their Eggs are very good; but they have so many Enemies that find them out, that the hundredth part never comes to Perfection. The Sun and Sand hatch them, which come out the Bigness of a small Chesnut, and seek their own Living.
We now come again to the Snakes. The Brimstone is so call'd, I believe, because it is almost of a Brimstone Colour. They might as well have call'd it a Glass-Snake, for it is as brittle as a Tobacco-Pipe, so that if you give it the least Touch of a small Twigg, it immediately breaks into several Pieces. Some affirm, that if you let it remain where you broke it, it will come together again. What Harm there is in this brittle Ware, I cannot tell; but I never knew any body hurt by them.
The Egg or Chicken-Snake is so call'd, because it is frequent about the Hen-Yard, and eats Eggs and Chickens, they are of a dusky Soot Colour, and will roll themselves round, and stick eighteen, or twenty Foot high, by the side of a smooth-bark'd Pine, where there is no manner of Hold, and there sun themselves, and sleep all the Sunny Part of the Day. There is no great matter of Poison in them.
The Wood-Worms are of a Copper, shining Colour, scarce so thick as your little Finger; are often found in Rotten-Trees. They are accounted venomous, in case they bite, though I never knew anything hurt by them. They never exceed four or five Inches in length.
The Reptiles, or smaller Insects, are too numerous to relate here, this Country affording innumerable Quantities thereof; as the Flying-Stags with Horns, Beetles, Butterflies, Grasshoppers, Locust, and several hundreds of uncouth Shapes, which in the Summer-Season are discovered here in Carolina, the Description of which requires a large Volume, which is not my Intent at present. Besides, what the Mountainous Part of this Land may hereafter lay open to our View, time and Industry will discover, for we that have settled but a small Share of this large Province, cannot imagine, but there will be a great number of Discoveries made by those that shall come hereafter into the Back-part of this Land, and make Enquiries therein, when, at least, we consider that the Westward of Carolina is quite different in Soil, Air, Weather, Growth of Vegetables, and several Animals too, which we at present are wholly Strangers to, and to seek for. As to a right Knowledge thereof, I say, when an other Age is come, the Ingenious then in being may stand upon the Shoulders of those that went before them, adding their own Experiments to what was delivered down to them by their Predecessors, and then there will be something towards a complete Natural History, which (in these days) would be no easy Undertaking to any Author that writes truly and compendiously, as he ought to do. It is sufficient at present, to write an honest and fair Account of any of the Settlements, in this new World, without wandering out of the Path of Truth, or bespattering any Man's Reputation anywise concern'd in the Government of the Colony; he that mixes Invectives with Relations of this Nature rendering himself suspected of Partiality in whatever he writes. For my part, I wish all well, and he that has received any severe Dealings from the Magistrate or his Superiours, had best examine himself well, if he was not first in the Fault; if so, then he can justly blame none but himself for what has happen'd to him.
Having thus gone thro' the Insects, as in the Table, except the Eel-Snake, (so call'd, though very improperly, because he is nothing but a Loach, that sucks, and cannot bite, as the Snakes do.) He is very large, commonly sixteen Inches or a Foot and a half long; having all the Properties that other Loaches have, and dwells in Pools and Waters, as they do. Notwithstanding, we have the same Loach as you have, in Bigness.
This is all that at present I shall mention, touching the Insects, and go on to give an Account of the Fowls and Birds, that are properly found in Carolina, which are these.
Birds Of Carolina.
Turkey Buzzard, or Vulture.
Black Birds, two sorts.
Bunting, two sorts.
East India Bat.
Plover gray or whistling.
Martins, two sorts.
Diveling, or swift.
Wood-Peckers, five sorts.
Owls, two sorts.
Mocking-birds, two sorts.
Throstle, no Singer.
Cranes and Storks.
Sparrows, two sorts.
Water Fowl are,
Swans, called Trompeters.
Ducks, as in England.
Swans, called Hoopers.
Ducks black, all summer.
Geese, three sorts.
Ducks pied, build on Trees.
Ducks whistling, at Sapona.
Ducks, scarlet-eye, at Esaw.
Sea-pies or pied Curlues.
Great Gray Gulls.
Teal, two sorts.
Curlues, three sorts.
Black Flusterers or bald Coot.
Loons, two sorts.
Bitterns, three sorts.
Little Gray Gull.
Little Fisher or Dipper.
Great black pied Gull.
Water Witch, or Ware Coot.
As the Eagle is reckon'd the King of Birds I have begun with him. The first I shall speak of, is the bald Eagle; so call'd, because his Head, to the middle of his Neck, and his Tail, is as white as Snow. These Birds continually breed the Year round; for when the young Eagles are just down'd, with a sort of white woolly Feathers, the Hen-Eagle lays again, which Eggs are hatch'd by the Warmth of the young ones in the Nest, so that the Flight of one Brood makes Room for the next, that are but just hatch'd. They prey on any living thing they can catch. They are heavy of Flight, and cannot get their Food by Swiftness, to help which there is a Fishhawk that catches Fishes, and suffers the Eagle to take them from her, although she is long-wing'd and a swift Flyer, and can make far better way in her Flight than the Eagle can. The bald Eagle attends the Gunners in Winter, with all the Obsequiousness imaginable, and when he shoots and kills any Fowl, the Eagle surely comes in for his Bird; and besides, those that are wounded, and escape the Fowler, fall to the Eagle's share. He is an excellent Artist at stealing young Pigs, which Prey he carries alive to his Nest, at which time the poor Pig makes such a Noise over Head, that Strangers that have heard them cry, and not seen the Bird and his Prey, have thought there were Flying Sows and Pigs in that Country. The Eagle's Nest is made of Twigs, Sticks and Rubbish. It is big enough to fill a handsome Carts Body, and commonly so full of nasty Bones and Carcasses that is stinks most offensively. This Eagle is not bald, till he is one or two years old.
The gray Eagle is altogether the same sort of Bird, as the Eagle in Europe; therefore, we shall treat no farther of him.
The Fishing-Hawk is the Eagle's Jackal, which most commonly (though not always) takes his Prey for him. He is a large Bird, being above two thirds as big as the Eagle. He builds his Nest as the Eagles do; that is, in a dead Cypress-Tree, either standing in, or hard by, the Water. The Eagle and this Bird seldom sit on a living Tree. He is of a gray pied Colour, and the most dexterous Fowl in Nature at Catching of Fish, which he wholly lives on, never eating any Flesh.
The Turkey-Buzzard of Carolina is a small Vulture, which lives on any dead Carcasses. They are about the Bigness of the Fishing-Hawk, and have a nasty Smell with them. They are of the Kites Colour, and are reported to be an Enemy to Snakes, by killing all they meet withal of that Kind.
The Herring, or Swallow-tail'd Hawk, is about the Bigness of a Falcon, but a much longer Bird. He is of a delicate Aurora-Colour; the Pinions of his Wings, and End of his Tail are black. He is a very beautiful Fowl, and never appears abroad but in the Summer. His Prey is chiefly on Snakes, and will kill the biggest we have, with a great deal of Dexterity and Ease.
Goshawks are very plentiful in Carolina. They are not seemingly so large as those from Muscovy; but appear to be a very brisk Bird.
The Falcon is much the same as in Europe, and promises to be a brave Bird, tho' I never had any of them in my Hand; neither did I ever see any of them in any other Posture than on the Wing, which always happen'd to be in an Evening, and flying to the Westward; therefore, I believe, they have their Abode and Nest among the Mountains, where we may expect to find them, and several other Species that we are at present Strangers to.
The Merlin is a small Bird in Europe, but much smaller here; yet he very nimbly kills the smaller sorts of Birds, and sometimes the Partridge; if caught alive, he would be a great Rarity, because of his Beauty and Smallness.
The Sparrow-Hawk in Carolina is no bigger than a Fieldfare in England. He flies at the Bush and sometimes kills a small Bird, but his chiefest Food is Reptiles, as Beetles, Grasshoppers, and such small things. He is exactly of the same Colour, as the Sparrow-Hawk in England, only has a blackish Hood by his Eyes.
Hobbies are the same here as in England, and are not often met withal.
The Ring-tail is a short-wing'd Hawk, preying on Mice, and such Vermine in the Marshes, as in England.
Ravens, the same as in England, though very few. I have not seen above six in eight Years time.
Crows are here less than in England. They are as good Meat as a Pigeon; and never feed on any Carrion. They are great Enemies to Corn-Fields; and cry and build almost like Rooks.
[Black-Birds.] Of these we have two sorts, which are the worst Vermine in America. They fly sometimes in such Flocks, that they destroy every thing before them. They (both sorts) build in hollow Trees, as Starlings do. The first sort is near as big as a Dove, and is very white and delicate Food. The other sort is very beautiful, and about the Bigness of the Owsel. Part of their Head, next to the Bill, and the Pinions of their Wings, are of an Orange, and glorious Crimson Colour. They are as good Meat as the former, tho' very few here (where large Fowl are so plenty) ever trouble themselves to kill or dress them.
Of the Bunting-Larks we have two sorts, though the Heel of this Bird is not so long as in Europe. The first of these often accompany the Black-birds, and sing as the Bunting-Larks in England do, differing very little. The first sort has an Orange-Colour on the Tops of their Wings, and are as good Meat as those in Europe. The other sort is something less, of a lighter Colour; nothing differing therein from those in England, as to Feathers, Bigness, and Meat.
The Pheasant of Carolina differs some small matter from the English Pheasant, being not so big, and having some difference in Feather; yet he is not any wise inferiour in Delicacy, but is as good Meat, or rather finer. He haunts the back Woods, and is seldom found near the Inhabitants.
The Woodcocks live and breed here, though they are not in great plenty as I have seen them in some Parts of England, and other Places. They want one third of the English Woodcock in Bigness; but differ not in Shape, or Feather, save that their Breast is of a Carnation Colour; and they make a Noise (when they are on the Wing) like the Bells about a Hawk's Legs. They are certainly a dainty Meat, as any in the World. Their Abode is in all Parts of this Country, in low, boggy Ground, Springs, Swamps, and Percoarsons.
The Snipes here frequent the same Places, as they do in England, and differ nothing from them. They are the only wild Bird that is nothing different from the Species of Europe, and keeps with us all the Year. In some Places, there are a great many of these Snipes.
Our Partridges in Carolina, very often take upon Trees, and have a sort of Whistle and Call, quite different from those in England. They are a very beautiful Bird, and great Destroyers of the Pease in Plantations; wherefore, they set Traps, and catch many of them. They have the same Feather, as in Europe; only the Cock wants the Horse-Shooe, in lieu of which he has a fair Half-Circle over each Eye. These (as well as the Woodcock) are less than the European Bird; but far finer Meat. They might be easily transported to any Place, because they take to eating, after caught.
The Moorhens are of the black Game. I am inform'd that the gray Game haunts the Hills. They never come into the Settlement, but keep in the hilly Parts.
Jays are here common, and very mischievous, in devouring our Fruit, and spoiling more than they eat. They are abundantly more beautiful, and finer feather'd than those in Europe, and not above half so big.
The Lap-wing or Green-Plover are here very common. They cry pretty much, as the English Plovers do; and differ not much in Feather, but want a third of their Bigness.
The gray or whistling Plover, are very scarce amongst us. I never saw any but three times, that fell and settled on the Ground. They differ very little from those in Europe, as far as I could discern. I have seen several great Flocks of them fly over head; therefore, believe, they inhabit the Valleys near the Mountains.
Our wild Pigeons, are like the Wood-Queese or Stock-Doves, only have a longer Tail. They leave us in the Summer. This sort of Pigeon (as I said before) is the most like our Stock-Doves, or Wood-Pigeons that we have in England; only these differ in their Tails, which are very long, much like a Parrakeeto's. You must understand, that these Birds do not breed amongst us, (who are settled at, and near the Mouths of the Rivers, as I have intimated to you before) but come down (especially in hard Winters) amongst the Inhabitants, in great Flocks, as they were seen to do in the Year 1707, which was the hardest Winter that ever was known, since Carolina has been seated by the Christians. And if that Country had such hard Weather, what must be expected of the severe Winters in Pensylvania, New-York, and New-England, where Winters are ten times (if possible) colder than with us. Although the Flocks are, in such Extremities, very numerous; yet they are not to be mention'd in Comparison with the great and infinite Numbers of these Fowl, that are met withal about a hundred, or a hundred and fifty, Miles to the Westward of the Places where we at present live; and where these Pigeons come down, in quest of a small sort of Acorns, which in those parts are plentifully found. They are the same we call Turky-Acorns, because the wild Turkies feed very much thereon; And for the same Reason, those Trees that bear them, are call'd Turky-Oaks. I saw such prodigious Flocks of these Pigeons, in January or February, 1701-2,(which were in the hilly Country, between the great Nation of the EsawIndians, and the pleasant Stream of Sapona, which is the West-Branch of Clarendon, or the Cape-Fair River) that they had broke down the Limbs of a great many large Trees all over those Woods, whereon they chanced to sit and roost; especially the great Pines, which are a more brittle Wood, than our sorts of Oak are. These Pigeons, about Sun-Rise, when we were preparing to march on our Journey, would fly byus in such vast Flocks, that they would be near a Quarter of an Hour, before they were all pass'd by; and as soon as that Flock was gone, another would come; and so successively one after another, for great part of the Morning. It is observable, that wherever these Fowl come in such Numbers, as I saw them then, they clear all before them, scarce leaving one Acorn upon the Ground, which would, doubtless, be a great Prejudice to the Planters that should seat there, because their Swine would be thereby depriv'd of their Mast. When I saw such Flocks of the Pigeons I now speak of, none of our Company had any other sort of Shot, than that which is cast in Moulds, and was so very large, that we could not put above ten or a dozen of them into our largest Pieces; Wherefore, we made but an indifferent Hand of shooting them; although we commonly kill'd a Pigeon for every Shot. They were very fat, and as good Pigeons, as ever I eat. I enquired of the Indians that dwell'd in those Parts, where it was that those Pigeons bred, and they pointed towards the vast Ridge of Mountains, and said, they bred there. Now, whether they make their Nests in the Holes in the Rocks of those Mountains, or build in Trees, I could not learn; but they seem to me to be a Wood-Pigeon, that build in Trees, because of their frequent sitting thereon, and their Roosting on Trees always at Night, under which their Dung commonly lies half a Foot thick, and kills every thing that grows where it falls.
Turtle Doves are here very plentiful; they devour the Pease; for which Reason, People make Traps and catch them.
The Parrakeetos are of a green Colour, and Orange-Colour'd half way their Head. Of these and the Allegators, there is none found to the Northward of this Province. They visit us first, when Mulberries are ripe, which Fruit they love extremely. They peck the Apples, to eat the Kernels, so that the Fruit rots and perishes. They are mischievous to Orchards. They are often taken alive, and will become familiar and tame in two days. They have their Nests in hollow Trees, in low, swampy Ground. They devour the Birch-Buds in April, and lie hidden when the Weather is frosty and hard.
The Thrushes in America, are the same as in England, and red under the Wings. They never appear amongst us but in hard Weather, and presently leave us again.
Of Wood-peckers, we have four sorts. The first is as big as a Pigeon, being of a dark brown Colour, with a white Cross on his Back, his Eyes circled with white, and on his Head stands a Tuft of beautiful Scarlet Feathers. His Cry is heard a long way; and he flies from one rotten Tree to another, to get Grubs, which is the Food he lives on.
The second sort are of an Olive-Colour, striped with yellow. They eat Worms as well as Grubs, and are about the Bigness of those in Europe.
The third is the same Bigness as the last; he is pied with black and white, has a Crimson Head, without a Topping, and is a Plague to the Corn and Fruit; especially the Apples. He opens the Covering of the young Corn, so that the Rain gets in, and rots it.
The fourth sort of these Wood-peckers, is a black and white speckled, or mottled; the finest I ever saw. The Cock has a red Crown; he is not near so big as the others; his Food is Grubs, Corn, and other creeping Insects. He is not very wild, but will let one come up to him, then shifts on the other side the Tree, from your sight; and so dodges you for a long time together. He is about the size of an English Lark.
The Mocking-Bird is about as big as a Throstle in England, but longer; they are of a white, and gray Colour, and are held to be the Choristers of America, as indeed they are. They sing with the greatest Diversity of Notes, that is possible for a Bird to change to. They may be bred up, and will sing with us tame in Cages; yet I never take any of their Nests, altho' they build yearly in my Fruit-Trees, because I have their Company, as much as if tame, as to the singing Part. They often sit upon our Chimneys in Summer, there being then no Fire in them, and sing the whole Evening and most part of the Night. They are always attending our Dwellings; and feed upon Mulberries and other Berries and Fruits; especially the Mechoacan-berry, which grows here very plentifully.
There is another sort call'd the Ground-Mocking-Bird. She is the same bigness, and of a Cinnamon Colour. This Bird sings excellently well, but is not so common amongst us as the former.
The Cat-Bird, so nam'd, because it makes a Noise exactly like young Cats. They have a blackish Head, and an Ash-coloured Body, and have no other Note that I know of. They are no bigger than a Lark, yet will fight a Crow or any other great Bird.
The Cuckoo of Carolina may not properly be so call'd, because she never uses that Cry; yet she is of the same Bigness and Feather, and sucks the Small-Birds Eggs, as the English Cuckoo does.
The Blue-Bird is the exact Bigness of a Robin-red-breast. The Cock has the same colour'd Breast as the Robin has, and his Back, and all the other Parts of him, are of as fine a Blue, as can possibly be seen in any thing in the World. He has a Cry, and a Whistle. They hide themselves all the Winter.
Bulfinches, in America, differ something from those in Europe, in their Feathers, tho' not in their Bigness. I never knew any one tame, therefore know not, what they might be brought to.
The Nightingales are different in Plumes from those in Europe. They always frequent the low Groves, where they sing very prettily all Night.
Hedge-Sparrows are here, though few Hedges. They differ scarce any thing in Plume or Bigness, only I never heard this Whistle, as the English one does; especially after Rain.
The Wren is the same as in Europe, yet I never heard any Note she has in Carolina.
Sparrows here differ in Feather from the English. We have several Species of Birds call'd Sparrows, one of them much resembling the Bird call'd a Corinthian Sparrow.
The Lark with us resorts to the Savannas, or natural Meads, and green Marshes. He is colour'd and heel'd as the Lark is; but his Breast is of a glittering fair Lemon-Colour, and he is as big as a Fieldfare, and very fine Food.
The Red-Birds (whose Cock is all over of a rich Scarlet Feather, with a tufted Crown on his Head, of the same Colour) are the Bigness of a Bunting-Lark, and very hardy, having a strong thick Bill. They will sing very prettily, when taken old, and put in a Cage. They are good Birds to turn a Cage with Bells; or if taught, as the Bulfinch is, I believe, would prove very docible.
East-India Bats or Musqueto Hawks, are the Bigness of a Cuckoo, and much of the same Colour. They are so call'd, because the same sort is found in the East-Indies. They appear only in the Summer, and live on Flies, which they catch in the Air, as Gnats, Musquetos, &c.
Martins are here of two sorts. The first is the same as in England; the other as big as a Black-Bird. They have white Throats and Breasts, with black Backs. The Planters put Gourds on standing Poles, on purpose for these Fowl to build in, because they are a very Warlike Bird, and beat the Crows from the Plantations.
The Swift, or Diveling, the same as in England.
Swallows, the same as in England.
The Humming-Bird is the Miracle of all our wing'd Animals; He is feather'd as a Bird, and gets his Living as the Bees, by sucking the Honey from each Flower. In some of the larger sort of Flowers, he will bury himself, by diving to suck the bottom of it, so that he is quite cover'd, and oftentimes Children catch them in those Flowers, and keep them alive five or six days. They are of different Colours, the Cock differing from the Hen. The Cock is of a green, red, Aurora, and other Colours mixt. He is much less than a Wren, and very nimble. His Nest is one of the greatest pieces of Workmanship the whole Tribe of wing'd Animals can shew, it commonly hanging on a single Bryar, most artificially woven, a small Hole being left to go in and out at. The Eggs are the Bigness of Pease.
The Tom-Tit, or Ox-Eyes, as in England.
Of Owls, we have two sorts; the smaller sort are like ours in England; the other sort is as big as a middling Goose, and has a prodigious Head. They make a fearful Hollowing in the Night-time, like a Man, whereby they often make Strangers lose their way in the Woods.
Scritch Owls, much the same as in Europe.
The Baltimore-Bird, so call'd from the Lord Baltimore, Proprietor of all Maryland, in which Province many of them are found. They are the Bigness of a Linnet, with yellow Wings, and beautiful in other Colours.
Throstle, the same Size and Feather as in Europe, but I never could hear any of them sing.
The Weet, so call'd because he cries always before Rain; he resembles nearest the Fire-tail.
Cranes use the Savannas, low Ground, and Frogs; they are above five Foot-high, when extended; are of a Cream Colour, and have a Crimson Spot on the Crown of their Heads. Their Quills are excellent for Pens; their Flesh makes the best Broth, yet is very hard to digest. Among them often frequent Storks, which are here seen, and no where besides in America, that I have yet heard of. The Cranes are easily bred up tame, and are excellent in a Garden to destroy Frogs, Worms, and other Vermine.
The Snow-Birds are most numerous in the North Parts of America, where there are great Snows. They visit us sometimes in Carolina, when the Weather is harder than ordinary. They are like the Stones Smach, or Wheat-Ears, and are delicate Meat.
These Yellow-Wings are a very small Bird, of a Linnet's Colour, but Wings as yellow as Gold. They frequent high up in our Rivers, and Creeks, and keep themselves in the thick Bushes, very difficult to be seen in the Spring. They sing very prettily.
Whippoo-Will, so nam'd, because it makes those Words exactly. They are the Bigness of a Thrush, and call their Note under a Bush, on the Ground, hard to be seen, though you hear them never so plain. They are more plentiful in Virginia, than with us in Carolina; for I never heard but one that was near the Settlement, and that was hard-by an Indian Town.
This nearest resembles a Sparrow, and is the most common Small-Bird we have, therefore we call them so. They are brown, and red, cinnamon Colour, striped.
Of the Swans we have two sorts; the one we call Trompeters; because of a sort of trompeting Noise they make.
These are the largest sort we have, which come in great Flocks in the Winter, and stay, commonly, in the fresh Rivers till February, that the Spring comes on, when they go to the Lakes to breed. A Cygnet, that is, a last Year's Swan, is accounted a delicate Dish, as indeed it is. They are known by their Head and Feathers, which are not so white as Old ones.
The sort of Swans call'd Hoopers, are the least. They abide more in the Salt-Water, and are equally valuable, for Food, with the former. It is observable, that neither of these have a black Piece of horny Flesh down the Head, and Bill, as they have in England.
Of Geese we have three sorts, differing from each other only in size. Ours are not the common Geese that are in the Fens in England, but the other sorts, with black Heads and Necks.
The gray Brant, or Barnicle, is here very plentiful, as all other Water-Fowl are, in the Winter-Season. They are the same which they call Barnicles in Great-Britain, and are a very good Fowl, and eat well.
There is also a white Brant, very plentiful in America. This Bird is all over as white as Snow, except the Tips of his Wings, and those are black. They eat the Roots of Sedge and Grass in the Marshes and Savannas, which they tear up like Hogs. The best way to kill these Fowl is, toburn a Piece of Marsh, or Savanna, and as soon as it is burnt, they will come in great Flocks to get the Roots, where you kill what you please of them. They are as good Meat as the other, only their Feathers are stubbed, and good for little.
The Sea-Pie, or gray Curlue, is about the Bigness of a very large Pigeon, but longer. He has a long Bill as other Curlues have, which is the Colour of an English Owsel's, that is, yellow; as are his Legs. He frequents the Sand-beaches on the Sea-side, and when kill'd, is inferiour to no Fowl I ever eat of.
Will Willet is so called from his Cry, which he very exactly calls Will Willet, as he flies. His Bill is like a Curlue's, or Woodcock's, and has much such a Body as the other, yet not so tall. He is good Meat.
The great gray Gulls are good Meat, and as large as a Pullet. They lay large Eggs, which are found in very great Quantities, on the Islands in our Sound, in the Months of June, and July. The young Squabs are very good Victuals, and often prove a Relief to Travellers by Water, that have spent their Provisions.
Old Wives are a black and white pied Gull with extraordinary long Wings, and a golden colour'd Bill and Feet. He makes a dismal Noise, as he flies, and ever and anon dips his Bill in the Salt-Water. I never knew him eaten.
The Sea-Cock is a Gull that crows at Break of Day, and in the Morning, exactly like a Dunghil Cock, which Cry seems very pleasant in those uninhabited Places. He is never eaten.
Of Curlues there are three sorts, and vast Numbers of each. They have all long Bills, and differ neither in Colour, nor Shape, only in Size. The largest is as big as a good Hen, the smaller the Bigness of a Snipe, or something bigger.
We have three sorts of Bitterns in Carolina. The first is the same as in England; the second of a deep brown, with a great Topping, and yellowish white Throat and Breast, and is lesser than the former; the last is no bigger than a Woodcock, and near the Colour of the second.
We have the same Herns, as in England.
White Herns are here very plentiful. I have seen above thirty sit on one Tree, at a time. They are as white as Milk, and fly very slowly.
The Water-Pheasant (very improperly call'd so) are a Water-Fowl of the Duck-Kind, having a Topping, of pretty Feathers, which sets them out. They are very good Meat.
The little Gray-Gull is of a curious gray Colour, and abides near the Sea. He is about the Bigness of a Whistling-Plover, and delicate Food.
We have the little Dipper or Fisher, that catches Fish so dexterously, the same as you have in the Islands of Scilly.
We have of the same Ducks, and Mallards with green Heads, in great Flocks. They are accounted the coarsest sort of our Water-Fowl.
The black Duck is full as large as the other, and good Meat. She stays with us all the Summer, and breeds. These are made tame by some, and prove good Domesticks.
We have another Duck that stays with us all the Summer. She has a great Topping, is pied, and very beautiful. She builds her Nest in a Wood-pecker's Hole, very often sixty or seventy Foot high.
Towards the Mountains in the hilly Country, on the West-Branch of Cape-Fair Inlet, we saw great Flocks of pretty pied Ducks, that whistled as they flew, or as they fed. I did not kill any of them.
We kill'd a curious sort of Ducks, in the Country of the Esaw-Indians, which were of many beautiful Colours. Their Eyes were red, having a red Circle of Flesh for their Eyelids; and were very good to eat.
The Blue-Wings are less than a Duck, but fine Meat. These are the first Fowls that appear to us in the Fall of the Leaf, coming then in great Flocks, as we suppose, from Canada, and the Lakes that lie behind us.
Widgeons, the same as in Europe, are here in great Plenty.
We have the same Teal, as in England, and another sort that frequents the Fresh-Water, and are always nodding their Heads. They are smaller than the common Teal, and dainty Meat.
Shovellers (a sort of Duck) are gray, with a black Head. They are a very good Fowl.
These are called Whistlers, from the whistling Noise they make, as they fly.
Black Flusterers; some call these Old Wives. They are as black as Ink. The Cocks have white Faces. They always remain in the midst of Rivers, and feed upon drift Grass, Carnels or Sea-Nettles. They are the fattest Fowl I ever saw, and sometimes so heavy with Flesh, that they cannot rise out of the Water. They make an odd sort of Noise when they fly. What Meat they are, I could never learn. Some call these the great bald Coot.
The wild Turkeys I should have spoken of, when I treated of the Land-Fowl. There are great Flocks of these in Carolina. I have seen about five hundred in a Flock; some of them are very large. I never weigh'd any myself, but have been inform'd of one that weigh'd near sixty Pound Weight. I have seen half a Turkey feed eight hungry Men two Meals. Sometimes the wild breed with the tame ones, which, they reckon, makes them very hardy, as I believe it must. I see no manner of Difference betwixt the wild Turkeys and the tame ones; only the wild are ever of one Colour, (viz.) a dark gray, or brown, and are excellent Food. They feed on Acorns, Huckle-Berries, and many other sorts of Berries that Carolina affords. The Eggs taken from the Nest and hatch'd under a Hen, will yet retain a wild Nature, and commonly leave you, and run wild at last, and will never be got into a House to roost, but always pearch on some high Tree, hard-by the House, and separate themselves from the tame sort, although (at the same time) they tread and breed together. I have been inform'd that if you take these wild Eggs, when just on the point of being hatch'd, and dip them (for some small time) in a Bowl of Milk-warm Water, it will take off their wild Nature, and make them as tame and domestick as the others. Some Indians have brought these wild Breed hatch'd at home, to be a Decoy to bring others to roost near their Cabins, which they have shot. But to return to the Water-Fowl.
Fishermen are like a Duck, but have a narrow Bill, with Setts of Teeth. They live on very small Fish, which they catch as they swim along. They taste Fishy. The best way to order them, is, upon occasion, to pull out the Oil-Box from the Rump and then bury them five or six Hours under Ground. Then they become tolerable.
Of Divers there are two sorts; the one pied, the other gray; both good Meat.
Raft-Fowl includes all the sorts of small Ducks and Teal, that go in Rafts along the Shoar, and are of several sorts, that we know no Name for.
[Bull-Necks.] These are a whitish Fowl, about the Bigness of a Brant; they come to us after Christmas, in very great Flocks, in all our Rivers. They are a very good Meat, but hard to kill, because hard to come near. They will dive and endure a great deal of Shot.
Red-Heads, a lesser Fowl than Bull-Necks, are very sweet Food, and plentiful in our Rivers and Creeks.
Tropick-Birds are a white Mew, with a forked Tail. They are so call'd because they are plentifully met withal under the Tropicks, and thereabouts.
The Pellican of the Wilderness cannot be the same as ours; this being a Water-Fowl, with a great natural Wen or Pouch under his Throat, in which he keeps his Prey of Fish, which is what he lives on. He is Web-footed, like a Goose, and shap'd like a Duck, but is a very large Fowl, bigger than a Goose. He is never eaten as Food; They make Tobacco-pouches of his Maw.
Cormorants are very well known in some Parts of England; we have great Flocks of them with us, especially against the Herrings run, which is in March and April; then they sit upon Logs of dry Wood in the Water, and catch the Fish.
The Gannet is a large white Fowl, having one Part of his Wings black; he lives on Fish as the Pellican. His Fat or Grease, is as yellow as Saffron, and the best thing known, to preserve Fire-Arms, from Rust.
Shear-Waters are a longer Fowl than a Duck; some of them lie on the Coast, whilst others range the Seas all over.
Sometimes they are met five hundred Leagues from Land. They live without drinking any fresh Water.
We have a great pied Gull, black and white, which seems to have a black Hood on his Head; these lay very fair Eggs which are good; as are the young ones in the Season.
Marsh-Hen, much the same as in Europe, only she makes another sort of Noise, and much shriller.
[Blue-Peters.] The same as you call Water-Hens in England, are here very numerous, and not regarded for eating.
The Sand-Birds are about the Bigness of a Lark, and frequent our Sand-Beaches; they are a dainty Food, if you will bestow Time and Ammunition to kill them.
These are called Runners; because if you run after them, they will run along the Sands and not offer to get up; so that you may often drive them together to shoot as you please. They are a pleasant small Bird.
[Tutcocks.] A sort of Snipe, but sucks not his Food; they are almost the same as in England.
Swaddle-Bills are a sort of an ash-colour'd Duck, which have an extraordinary broad Bill, and are good Meat; they are not common as the others are.
The same Mew as in England, being a white, slender Bird, with red Feet.
[Shel-Drakes.] The same as in England.
The bald, or white Faces are a good Fowl. They cannot dive, and are easily shotten.
Water-Witch, or Ware-Coots, are a Fowl with Down and no Feathers; they dive incomparably, so that no Fowler can hit them. They can neither fly, nor go; but get into the Fish-wares, and cannot fly over the Rods, and so are taken.
Thus have we given an Account of what Fowl has come to our Knowledge, since our Abode in Carolina; except some that, perhaps, have slipt our Memory, and so are left out of our Catalogue. Proceed we now to treat of the Inhabitants of the Watry Element, which tho' we can as yet do but very imperfectly; yet we are willing to oblige the Curious with the best Account that is in our Power to present them withal.
The Fish in the salt, and fresh Waters of Carolina, are,
Whales, several sorts.
Scate or Stingray.
Sharks, two sorts.
Trouts of the Salt Water.
Bass or Rock-Fish.
Fresh-Water Fish are,
Pearch, brown, or Welch-men.
Pearch, flat, and Mottled, or
Pearch, small and flat, with red
Spots called round Robins.
The Shell-Fish are,
Large crabs, called Stone-Crabs.
Smaller flat Crabs.
Spanish, or Pearl-Oysters.
Oysters, great and small.
Tortois and Terebin, accounted
for among the Insects.
Man of Noses.
Perriwinkles, or Wilks.
Whales are very numerous, on the Coast of North Carolina, from which they make Oil, Bone, &c. to the great Advantage of those inhabiting the Sand-Banks, along the Ocean, where these Whales come ashore, none being struck or kill'd with a Harpoon in this Place, as they are to the Northward, and elsewhere; all those Fish being found dead on the Shoar, most commonly by those that inhabit the Banks, and Sea-Side, where they dwell, for that Intent, and for the Benefit of Wrecks, which sometimes fall in upon that Shoar.
Of these Monsters there are four sorts; the first, which is most choice and rich, is the Sperma Coeti Whale, from which the Sperma Coeti is taken. These are rich Prizes; but I never heard but of one found on this Coast, which was near Currituck-Inlet.
The other sorts are of a prodigious Bigness. Of these the Bone and Oil is made; the Oil being the Blubber, or oily Flesh, or Fat of that Fish boil'd. These differ not only in Colour, some being pied, others not, but very much in shape, one being call'd a Bottle-Nosed Whale, the other a Shovel-Nose, which is as different as a Salmon from a Sturgeon. These Fish seldom come ashoar with their Tongues in their Heads, the Thrasher (which is the Whale's mortal Enemy, wheresoever he meets him) eating that out of his Head, as soon as he and the Sword-Fish have kill'd him. For when the Whale-catchers (in other parts) kill any of these Fish, they eat the Tongue, and esteem it an excellent Dish.
There is another sort of these Whales, or great Fish, though not common. I never knew of above one of that sort, found on the Coast of North Carolina, and he was contrary, in Shape, to all others ever found before him; being sixty Foot in Length, and not above three or four Foot Diameter. Some Indians in America will go out to Sea, and get upon a Whales Back, and peg or plug up his Spouts, and so kill him.
The Thrashers are large Fish, and mortal Enemies to the Whale, as I said before. They make good Oil; but are seldom found.
The Divel-Fish lies at some of our Inlets, and as near as I can describe him, is shap'd like a Scate, or Stingray; only he has on his Head a Pair of very thick strong Horns, and is of a monstrous Size, and Strength; for this Fish has been known to weigh a Sloop's Anchor, and run with the Vessel a League or two, and bring her back, against Tide, to almost the same Place. Doubtless, they may afford good Oil; but I have no Experience of any Profits which arise from them.
The Sword-Fish is the other of the Whales Enemies, and joins with the Thrasher to destroy that Monster. After they have overcome him, they eat his Tongue, as I said before, and the Whale drives ashoar.
Crampois is a large Fish, and by some accounted a young Whale; but it is not so; neither is it more than twenty five or thirty Foot long. They spout as the Whale does, and when taken yield good Oil.
Bottle-Noses are between the Crampois and Porpois, and lie near the Soundings. They are never seen to swim leisurely, as sometimes all other Fish do, but are continually running after their Prey in Great Shoals, like wild Horses, leaping now and then above the Water. The French esteem them good Food, and eat them both fresh and salt.
Porpoises are frequent, all over the Ocean and Rivers that are salt; nay, we have a Fresh-Water Lake in the great Sound of North Carolina that has Porpoises in it. And several sorts of other unknown Fish, as the Indians say, that we are wholly Strangers to. As to the Porpoises, they make good Oil; they prey upon other Fish as Drums, yet never are known to take a Bait, so as to be catch'd with a Hook.
Of these there are two sorts; one call'd Paracooda-Noses; the other Shovel-Noses; they cannot take their Prey before they turn themselves on their Backs; wherefore some Negro's, and others, that can swim and dive well, go naked into the Water, with a Knife in their Hand, and fight the Shark, and very commonly kill him, or wound him so, that he turns Tail, and runs away. Their Livors make good Oil to dress Leather withal; the Bones found in their Head are said to hasten the Birth, and ease the Stone, by bringing it away. Their Meat is eaten in scarce times; but I never could away with it, though a great Lover of Fish. Their Back-Bone is of one entire Thickness. Of the Bones, or Joints, I have known Buttons made, which serve well enough in scarce Times, and remote Places.
The Dog-Fish are a small sort of the Shark Kind; and are caught with Hook and Line, fishing for Drums. They say, they are good Meat; but we have so many other sorts of delicate Fish, that I shall hardly ever make Tryal what they are.
Spanish Mackarel are, in Colour and Shape, like the common Mackarel, only much thicker. They are caught with Hook and Line at the Inlets, and sometimes out a little way at Sea. They are a very fine hard Fish, and of good Taste. They are about two Foot long, or better.
Cavallies are taken in the same Places. They are of a brownish Colour, have exceeding small Scales, and a very thick Skin; they are as firm a Fish as ever I saw; therefore will keep sweet (in the hot Weather) two days, when others will stink in half a day, unless salted. They ought to be scaled as soon as taken; otherwise you must pull off the Skin and Scales, when boiled; the Skin being the choicest of the Fish. The Meat, which is white and large, is dress'd with this Fish.
Boneto's are a very palatable Fish, and near a Yard long. They haunt the Inlets and Water near the Ocean; and are killed with the Harpoon, and Fishgig.
The Blue Fish is one of our best Fishes, and always very fat. They are as long as a Salmon, and indeed, I think, full as good Meat. These Fish come (in the Fall of the Year) generally after there has been one black Frost, when there appear great Shoals of them. The Hatteras Indians, and others, run into the Sands of the Sea, and strike them, though some of these Fish have caused Sickness and violent Burnings after eating of them, which is found to proceed from the Gall that is broken in some of them, and is hurtful. Sometimes, many Cart-loads of these are thrown and left dry on the Sea side, which comes by their eager Pursuit of the small Fish, in which they run themselves ashoar, and the Tide leaving them, they cannot recover the Water again. They are called Blue-Fish, because they are of that Colour, and have a forked Tail, and are shaped like a Dolphin.
The Red Drum is a large Fish much bigger than the Blue-Fish. The Body of this is good firm Meat, but the Head is beyond all the Fish I ever met withal for an excellent Dish. We have greater Numbers of these Fish, than of any other sort. People go down and catch as many Barrels full as they please, with Hook and Line, especially every young Flood, when they bite. These are salted up, and transported to other Colonies, that are bare of Provisions.
Black Drums are a thicker-made Fish than the Red Drum, being shap'd like a fat Pig; they are a very good Fish, but not so common with us as to the Northward.
The Angel-Fish is shaped like an English Bream. He is so call'd, from his golden Colour, which shines all about his Head and Belly. This is accounted a very good Fish, as are most in these Parts. The Bermudians have the same sort of Fish, and esteem them very much.
Bass or Rock is both in Salt and Fresh-Water; when young, he much resembles a Grayling, but grows to the size of the large Cod-Fish. They are a very good firm Fish. Their Heads are souced, and make a noble Dish, if large.
Sheeps-Head has the general Vogue of being the choicest Fish in this Place. Indeed, it is a very delicate Fish, and well relish'd; yet I think, there are several others full as good as the Sheeps-Head. He is much of the Bigness of the Angel-Fish, and flat as he is; they sometimes weigh two or three Pound Weight. This Fish hath Teeth like a Sheep, and is therefore so call'd.
Plaice are here very large, and plentiful, being the same as in England.
Flounders should have gone amongst the Fresh-Water Fish, because they are caught there, in great Plenty.
Soles are a Fish we have but lately discover'd; they are as good, as in any other Part.
Mullets, the same as in England, and great Plenty in all Places where the Water is salt or brackish.
Shads are a sweet Fish, but very bony; they are very plentiful at some Seasons.
Fat-Backs are a small Fish, like Mullets, but the fattest ever known. They put nothing into the Pan, to fry these. They are excellent sweet Food.
The white Guard-Fish is shaped almost like a Pike, but slenderer; his Mouth has a long small Bill set with Teeth, in which he catches small Fish; his Scales are knit together like Armour. When they dress him, they strip him, taking off Scales and Skin together. His meat is very white, and rather looks like Flesh than Fish. The English account them no good Fish; but the Indians do. The Gall of this Fish is green, and a violent Cathartick, if taken inwardly.
The green Guard is shaped, in all respects, like the other, save that his Scales are very small and fine. He is indifferent good Meat; his Bones, when boil'd or fry'd, remain as green as Grass. The same sort of Fish come before the Mackarel in England.
Scate, or Stingray, the same as in England, and very common; but the great Plenty of other Fish makes these not regarded; for few or none eat them in Carolina, though they are almost at every ones Door.
Thornbacks are the same as in England. They are not so common as the Scate and Whip-Rays.
Congar-Eels always remain in the Salt-Water; they are much more known in the Northward Parts of America, than with us.
Lampreys are not common; I never saw but one, which was large, and caught by the Indians, in a Ware. They would not eat him, but gave him to me.
Eels are no where in the World better, or more plentiful, than in Carolina.
Sun-Fish are flat and rounder than a Bream, and are reckon'd a fine-tasted Fish, and not without Reason. They are much the size of Angel-Fish.
Toad-Fish are nothing but a Skin full of Prickles, and a few Bones; they are as ugly as a Toad, and preserv'd to look upon, and good for nothing else.
They are taken by a Bait, near the Inlet, or out at Sea a little way. They are blackish, and exactly like a Tench, except in the Back-fins, which have Prickles like a Pearch. They are as good, if not better than any Tench.
Trouts of the Salt-Water are exactly shaped like the Trouts in Europe, having blackish, not red Spots. They are in the Salts, and are not red within, but white, yet a very good Fish. They are so tender, that if they are in or near fresh Water, and a sudden Frost come, they are benumm'd, and float on the Surface of the Water, as if dead; and then they take up Canoe-Loads of them. If you put them into warm Water, they presently recover.
The Crocus is a Fish, in Shape like a Pearch, and in Taste like a Whiting. They croke and make a Noise in your Hand, when taken with a Hook or Net. They are very good.
The Herrings in Carolina are not so large as in Europe. They spawn there in March and April, running up the fresh Rivers and small fresh Runs of Water in great Shoals, where they are taken. They become red if salted; and, drest with Vinegar and Oil, resemble an Anchovy very much; for they are far beyond an English Herring, when pickled.
[Smelts.] The same as in England; they lie down a great way in the Sound, towards the Ocean, where (at some certain Seasons) are a great many very fine ones.
The fresh Water affords no such Bream as in England, that I have as yet discover'd; yet there is a Sea-Bream, which is a flat and thin Fish, as the European Breams are.
The Taylor is a Fish about the Bigness of a Trout, but of a bluish and green Colour, with a forked Tail, as a Mackarel has. They are a delicate Fish, and plentiful in our Salt-Waters. Infinite numbers of Species will be hereafter discover'd as yet unknown to us; although I have seen and eaten of several other sorts of Fish, which are not here mention'd, because, as yet, they have no certain Names assign'd them. Therefore, I shall treat no farther of our Salt-Water Fish, but proceed to the Fresh.
The first of these is the Sturgeon, of which we have Plenty, all the fresh Parts of our Rivers being well stor'd therewith.
The Indians upon and towards the Heads and Falls of our Rivers, strike a great many of these, and eat them; yet the Indians near the Salt-Waters will not eat them. I have seen an Indian strike one of these Fish, seven Foot long, and leave him on the Sands to be eaten by the Gulls. In May, they run up towards the Heads of the Rivers, where you see several hundreds of them in one day. The Indians have another way to take them, which is by Nets at the end of a Pole. The Bones of these Fish make good Nutmeg-Graters.
The Jack, Pike, or Pickerel, is exactly the same, in Carolina, as they are in England. Indeed, I never saw this Fish so big and large in America, as I have in Europe, these with us being seldom above two Foot long, as far as I have yet seen. They are very plentiful with us in Carolina, all our Creeks and Ponds being full of them. I once took out of a Ware, above three hundred of these Fish, at a time.
[Trouts.] The same in England as in Carolina; but ours are a great way up the Rivers and Brooks, that are fresh, having swift Currents, and stony, and gravelly Bottoms.
The same Gudgeons as in Europe are found in America.
The same sort of Pearch as are in England, we have likewise in Carolina, though, I think, ours never rise to be so large as in England.
We have a white Pearch, so call'd, because he is of a Silver Colour, otherwise like the English Pearch. These we have in great Plenty, and they are preferable to the red ones.
The brown Pearch, which some call Welch-men, are the largest sort of Pearches that we have, and very firm, white and sweet Fish. These grow to be larger than any Carp, and are very frequent in every Creek and Pond.
The flat or mottled Pearch are shaped almost like a Bream. They are called Irish-men, being freckled or mottled with black, and blue Spots. They are never taken any where, but in the fresh Water. They are good Fish; but I do not approve of them, no more than the other sorts of Pearch.
We have another sort of Pearch, which is the least sort of all, but as good Meat as any. These are distinguish'd from the other sorts, by the Name of Round-Robins; being flat, and very round-shap'd; they are spotted with red Spots very beautiful, and are easily caught with an Angle, as all the other sort of Pearches are.
We have the same Carp as you have in England.
And the same Roach; only scarce so large.
Dace are the same as yours too; but neither are these so large nor plentiful, as with you.
[Loach.] The same as in England.
Sucking-Fish are the nearest in Taste and Shape to a Barbel, only they have no Barbs.
Cat-Fish are a round blackish Fish, with a great flat Head, a wide Mouth, and no Scales; they something resemble Eels in Taste. Both this sort, and another that frequents the Salt Water, are very plentiful.
Grindals are a long scaled Fish with small Eyes; and frequent Ponds, Lakes, and slow-running Creeks and Swamps. They are a soft sorry Fish, and good for nothing; though some eat them for good Fish.
[Old-Wives.] These are a bright scaly Fish, which frequents the Swamps and fresh Runs; they seem to be between an English Roach and a Bream, and eat much like the latter. The Indians kill abundance of these, and barbakue them, till they are crisp, then transport them, in wooden Hurdles, to their Towns and Quarters.
The Fountain-Fish are a white sort which breed in the clear Running Springs and Fountains of Water, where the Clearness thereof makes them very difficult to be taken. I cannot say how good they are; because I have not as yet tasted of them.
The white Fish are very large; some being two Foot and a half long and more. They are found a great way up in the Freshes of the Rivers; and are firm Meat, and an extraordinary well-relish'd Fish.
Barbouts and Millers-Thumbs, are the very same here, in all respects, as they are in England. What more are in the fresh Waters we have not discover'd, but are satisfied, that we are not acquainted with one third part thereof; for we are told by the Indians, of a great many strange and uncouth shapes and sorts of Fish, which they have found in the Lakes laid down in my Chart. However as we can give no farther Account of these than by Hear-say; I proceed to treat of the Shell-Fish, that are found in the Salt-Water, so far as they have already come to our Knowledge.
The large Crabs, which we call Stone-Crabs, are the same sort as in England, having black Tips at the end of their Claws. These are plentifully met withal, down in Core Sound, and the South Parts of North-Carolina.
The smaller flat Crabs I look upon to be the sweetest of all the Species. They are the Breadth of a lusty Man's Hand, or rather larger. These are innumerable, lying in most prodigious quantities, all over the Salts of Carolina. They are taken not only to eat, but are the best Bait for all sorts of Fish, that live in the Salt-Water. These Fish are mischievous to Night-Hooks, because they get away all the Bait from the Hooks.
Oysters, great and small, are found almost in every Creek and Gut of Salt-Water, and are very good and well-relish'd. The large Oysters are excellent, pickled.
One Cockle in Carolina is as big as five or six in England. They are often thrown upon the Sands on the Sound-Side, where the Gulls are always ready to open and eat them.
Clams are a sort of Cockles, only differing in Shell, which is thicker and not streak'd, or ribb'd. These are found throughout all the Sound and Salt-Water-Ponds. The Meat is the same for Look and Taste as the Cockle. These make an excellent strong Broth, and eat well, either roasted or pickled.
The Muscles in Carolina have a very large Shell, striped with Dents. They grow by the side of Ponds and Creeks, in Salt-Water, wherein you may get as many of them as you please. I do not like them so well as the English Muscle, which is no good Shell-Fish.
[Conks.] Some of the Shells of these are as large as a Man's Hand, but the lesser sort are the best Meat, and those not extraordinary. They are shap'd like the end of a Horses Yard. Of their Shells, the Peak or Wampum is made, which is the richest Commodity amongst the Indians. They breed like a long Thing shap'd like a Snake, but containing a sort of Joints, in the Hollowness whereof are thousands of small Coaks, no bigger than small Grains of Pepper.
The Skellops, if well dress'd, are a pretty Shell-Fish; but to eat them only roasted, without any other Addition, in my Judgment, are too luscious.
Man of Noses are a Shell-Fish commonly found amongst us. They are valued for increasing Vigour in Men, and making barren Women fruitful; but I think they have no need of that Fish; for the Women in Carolina are fruitful enough without their Helps.
Wilks, or Periwinkles, are not so large here, as in the Islands of Scilly, and in other parts of Europe, though very sweet.
The Sea-Snail-Horn is large, and very good Meat; they are exactly shaped as other Snail-Horns are.
Fidlars are a sort of small Crabs, that lie in Holes in the Marshes. The Raccoons eat them very much. I never knew any one try whether they were good Meat or no.
Runners live chiefly on the Sands, but sometimes run into the Sea. They have Holes in the Sand-Beaches and are a whitish sort of a Crab. Tho' small, they run as fast as a Man, and are good for nothing but to look at.
Spanish Oysters have a very thin Shell, and rough on the outside. They are very good Shell-Fish, and so large, that half a dozen are enow to satisfy an hungry Stomach.
The Flattings are inclosed in a broad, thin Shell, the whole Fish being flat. They are inferiour to no Shell-Fish this Country affords.
Finger-Fish are very plentiful in this Country; they are of the Length of a Man's Finger, and lie in the Bottom of the Water about one or two Foot deep. They are very good.
Shrimps are very plentiful and good, and are to be taken with a Small-Bow-Net, in great Quantities.
The small Cockles are about the Bigness of the largest English Cockles, and differ nothing from them, unless in the Shells, which are striped cross-wise, as well as long-wise.
The Fresh-Water Shell-Fish are, Muscles, which are eaten by the Indians, after five or six hours Boiling, to make them tender, and then are good for nothing.
Craw-Fish, in the Brooks, and small Rivers of Water, amongst the Tuskeruro Indians, and up higher, are found very plentifully, and as good as any in the World.
And thus I have gone through the several Species of Fish, so far as they have come to my Knowledge, in the eight Years that I have lived in Carolina. I should have made a larger Discovery, when travelling so far towards the Mountains, and amongst the Hills, had it not been in the Winter-Season, which was improper to make any Enquiry into any of the Species before recited. Therefore, as my Intent was, I proceed to what remains of the Present State of Carolina, having already accounted for the Animals, and Vegetables, as far as this Volume would allow of; whereby the Remainder, though not exactly known, may yet be guess'd at, if we consider what Latitude Carolina lies in, which reaches from 29 to 36 deg. 30 min. Northern Latitude, as I have before observ'd. Which Latitude is as fertile and pleasant, as any in the World, as well for the Produce of Minerals, Fruit, Grain, and Wine, as other rich Commodities. And indeed, all the Experiments that have been made in Carolina, of the Fertility and natural Advantages of the Country, have exceeded all Expectation, as affording some Commodities, which other Places, in the same Latitude, do not. As for Minerals, as they are subterraneous Products, so, in all new Countries, they are the Species that are last discover'd; and especially, in Carolina, where the Indians never look for any thing lower than the Superficies of the Earth, being a Race of Men the least addicted to delving of any People that inhabit so fine a Country as Carolina is. As good if not better Mines than those the Spaniards possess in America, lie full West from us; and I am certain, we have as Mountainous Land, and as great Probability of having rich Minerals in Carolina, as any of those Parts that are already found to be so rich therein. But, waving this Subject, till some other Opportunity, I shall now give you some Observations in general, concerning Carolina, which are, first, that it lies as convenient for Trade as any of the Plantations in America; that we have Plenty of Pitch, Tar, Skins of Deer, and Beeves, Furs, Rice, Wheat, Rie, Indian Grain, sundry sorts of Pulse, Turpentine, Rozin, Masts, Yards, Planks and Boards, Staves and Lumber, Timber of many common sorts, fit for any Uses; Hemp, Flax, Barley, Oats, Buck-Wheat, Beef, Pork, Tallow, Hides, Whale-Bone and Oil, Wax, Cheese, Butter, &c. besides Drugs, Dyes, Fruit, Silk, Cotton, Indico, Oil, and Wine that we need not doubt of, as soon as we make a regular Essay, the Country being adorn'd with pleasant Meadows, Rivers, Mountains, Valleys, Hills, and rich Pastures, and blessed with wholesome pure Air; especially a little backwards from the Sea, where the wild Beasts inhabit, none of which are voracious. The Men are active, the Women fruitful to Admiration, every House being full of Children, and several Women that have come hither barren, having presently prov'd fruitful. There cannot be a richer Soil; no Place abounding more in Flesh and Fowl, both wild and tame, besides Fish, Fruit, Grain, Cider, and many other pleasant Liquors, together with several other Necessaries for Life and Trade, that are daily found out, as new Discoveries are made. The Stone and Gout seldom trouble us; the Consumption we are wholly Strangers to, no Place affording a better Remedy for that Distemper, than Carolina. For Trade, we lie so near to Virginia, that we have the Advantage of their Convoys; as also Letters from thence, in two or three Days at most, in some Places in as few Hours. Add to this, that the great Number of Ships which come within those Capes, for Virginia and Maryland, take off our Provisions, and give us Bills of Exchange for England, which is Sterling Money. The Planters in Virginia and Maryland are forc'd to do the same, the great Quantities of Tobacco that are planted there, making Provisions scarce; and Tobacco is a Commodity oftentimes so low, as to bring nothing, whereas Provisions and Naval Stores never fail of a Market. Besides, where these are raised, in such Plenty as in Carolina, there always appears good Housekeeping, and Plenty of all manner of delicate Eatables. For Instance, the Pork of Carolina is very good, the younger Hogs fed on Peaches, Maiz, and such other natural Produce; being some of the sweetest Meat that the World affords, as is acknowledged by all Strangers that have been there. And as for the Beef, in Pampticough, and the Southward Parts, it proves extraordinary. We have not only Provisions plentiful, but Cloaths of our own Manufactures, which are made, and daily increase; Cotton, Wool, Hemp, and Flax, being of our own Growth; and the Women to be highly commended for their Industry in Spinning, and ordering their Housewifry to so great Advantage as they generally do; which is much more easy, by reason this happy Climate, visited with so mild Winters, is much warmer than the Northern Plantations, which saves abundance of Cloaths; fewer serving our Necessities, and those of our Servants. But this is not all; for we can go out with our Commodities, to any other Part of the West-Indies, or elsewhere, in the Depth of Winter; whereas, those in New-England, New-York, Pensylvania, and the Colonies to the Northward of us, cannot stir for Ice, but are fast lock'd into their Harbours. Besides, we can trade with South-Carolina, and pay no Duties or Customs, no more than their own Vessels, both North and South being under the same Lords-Proprietors. We have, as I observ'd before, another great Advantage, in not being a Frontier, and so continually alarm'd by the Enemy; and what has been accounted a Detriment to us, proves one of the greatest Advantages any People could wish; which is, our Country's being faced with a Sound near ten Leagues over in some Places, through which, although there be Water enough for as large Ships to come in at, as in any part hitherto seated in both Carolinas; yet the Difficulty of that Sound to Strangers, hinders them from attempting any Hostilities against us; and, at the same time, if we consider the Advantages thereof, nothing can appear to be a better Situation, than to be fronted with such a Bulwark, which secures us from our Enemies. Furthermore, our Distance from the Sea rids us of two Curses, which attend most other Parts of America, viz. Muskeetos, and the Worm-biting, which eats Ships Bottoms out; whereas at Bath-Town, there is no such thing known; and as for Muskeetos, they hinder us of as little Rest, as they do you in England. Add to this, the unaccountable Quantities of Fish this great Water, or Sound, supplies us withal, whenever we take the Pains to fish for them; Advantages I have no where met withal in America, except here. As for the Climate, we enjoy a very wholesome and serene Sky, and a pure and thin Air, the Sun seldom missing to give us his daily Blessing, unless now and then on a Winters Day, which is not often; and when cloudy, the first Appearance of a North-West Wind clears the Horizon, and restores the Light of the Sun. The Weather, in Summer, is very pleasant; the hotter Months being refresh'd with continual Breezes of cool reviving Air; and the Spring being as pleasant, and beautiful, as in any Place I ever was in. The Winter, most commonly, is so mild, that it looks like an Autumn, being now and then attended with clear and thin North-West Winds, that are sharp enough to regulate English Constitutions, and free them from a great many dangerous Distempers, that a continual Summer afflicts them withal, nothing being wanting, as to the natural Ornaments and Blessings of a Country, that conduce to make reasonable Men happy. And, for those that are otherwise, they are so much their own Enemies, where they are, that they will scarce ever be any ones Friends, or their own, when they are transplanted; so, it's much better for all sides, that they remain as they are. Not but that there are several good People, that, upon just Grounds, may be uneasy under their present Burdens; and such I would advise to remove to the Place I have been treating of, where they may enjoy their Liberty and Religion, and peaceably eat the Fruits of their Labour, and drink the Wine of their own Vineyards, without the Alarms of a troublesome worldly Life. If a Man be a Botanist, here is a plentiful Field of Plants to divert him in; If he be a Gardner, and delight in that pleasant and happy Life, he will meet with aClimate and Soil, that will further and promote his Designs, in as great a Measure, as any Man can wish for; and as for the Constitution of this Government, it is so mild and easy, in respect to the Properties and Liberties of a Subject, that without rehearsing the Particulars, I say once for all, it is the mildest and best establish'd Government in the World, and the Place where any Man may peaceably enjoy his own, without being invaded by another; Rank and Superiority ever giving Place to Justice and Equity, which is the Golden Rule that every Government ought to be built upon, and regulated by. Besides, it is worthy our Notice, that this Province has been settled, and continued the most free from the Insults and Barbarities of the Indians, of any Colony that was ever yet seated in America; which much be esteem'd as a particular Providence of God handed down from Heaven, to these People; especially, when we consider, how irregularly they settled North-Carolina, and yet how undisturb'd they have ever remain'd, free from any foreign Danger or Loss, even to this very Day. And what may well be look'd upon for as great a Miracle, this is a Place, where no Malefactors are found, deserving Death, or even a Prison for Debtors; there being no more than two Persons, that, as far as I have been able to learn, ever suffer'd as Criminals, although it has been a Settlement near sixty Years; One of whom was a Turk that committed Murder; the other, an old Woman, for Witchcraft. These, 'tis true, were on the Stage, and acted many Years, before I knew the Place; but as for the last, I wish it had been undone to this day; although they give a great many Arguments, to justifie the Deed, which I had rather they should have had a Hand in, than myself; seeing I could never approve of taking Life away upon such Accusations, the Justice whereof I could never yet understand.
But, to return to the Subject in Hand; we there make extraordinary good Bricks throughout the Settlement. All sorts of Handicrafts, as Carpenters, Joiners, Masons, Plaisterers, Shoemakers, Tanners, Taylors, Weavers, and most others, may, with small Beginnings, and God's Blessing, thrive very well in this Place, and provide Estatesfor their Children, Land being sold at a much cheaper Rate there, than in any other Place in America, and may, as I suppose, be purchased of the Lords-Proprietors here in England, or of the Governour there for the time being, by any that shall have a mind to transport themselves to that Country. The Farmers that go thither (for which sort of Men it is a very thriving Place) should take with them some particular Seeds of Grass, as Trefoil, Clover-grass all sorts, Sanfoin, and Common Grass, or that which is a Rarity in Europe; especially, what has sprung and rose first from a warm Climate, and will endure the Sun without flinching. Likewise, if there be any extraordinary sort of Grain for Increase or Hardiness, and some Fruit-Trees of choice Kinds, they will be both profitable and pleasant to have with you, where you may see the Fruits of your Labour in Perfection, in a few Years. The necessary Instruments of Husbandry I need not acquaint the Husbandman withal; Hoes of all sorts, and Axes must be had, with Saws, Wedges, Augurs, Nails, Hammers, and what other Things may be necessary for building with Brick, or Stone, which sort your Inclination and Conveniency lead you to.
For, after having look'd over this Treatise, you must needs be acquainted with the Nature of the Country, and therefore cannot but be Judges, what it is that you will chiefly want. As for Land, none need want itfor taking up, even in the Places there seated on the Navigable Creeks, Rivers, and Harbours, without being driven into remoter Holes and Corners of the Country, for Settlements, which all are forced to do, who, at this day, settle in most or all of the other English Plantations in America; which are already become so populous, that a New-Comer cannot get a beneficial and commodious Seat, unless he purchases, when, in most Places in Virginia and Maryland, a thousand Acres of good Land, seated on a Navigable Water, will cost a thousand Pounds; whereas, with us, it is at present obtain'd for the fiftieth Part of the Money. Besides, our Land pays to the Lords, but an easy Quit-Rent, or yearly Acknowledgement; and the other Settlements pay two Shillings per hundred. All these things duly weighed, any rational Man that has a mind to purchase Land in the Plantations for a Settlement of himself and Family, will soon discover the Advantages that attend the Settlers and Purchasers of Land in Carolina, above all other Colonies in the English Dominions in America. And as there is a free Exercise of all Persuasions amongst Christians, the Lords-Proprietors, to encourage Ministers of the Church of England, have given free Land towards the Maintenance of a Church, and especially, for the Parish of S. Thomas in Pampticough, over-against the Town, is already laid out for a Glebe of two hundred and twenty three Acres of rich well-situated Land, that a Parsonage-House may be built upon. And now I shall proceed to give an Account of the Indians, their Customs and Ways of Living, with a short Dictionary of their Speech.