OF THE CORN OF NORTH CAROLINA.
The Wheat of this Province is very good and fair, the Flour very White, but the Grain is not altogether so large as ours, yet it seldom yields less than thirty Measures for one sown; not but that there has been Sixty Increase for one sown in Piney Land, which is accounted the worst Soil in the Country, and I have been credibly inform’d, that the Wheat which was Planted in the Savannas, and such like rich Soil, has produced a Hundred for one Measure Sown. These considerable Increases prevent the Planters to make strict and nice Observations of the Nature and Goodness of the Soil; for I never saw one Acre of Land managed as it ought to be, and were they as Negligent in their Husbandry in Europe, as they are in North Carolina, their Land would produce nothing but Weeds. And I must confess, when some of the Planters enquired of me how we managed the Land in Ireland, and what Labour and Expence we were at in ordering them to the best Advantage, it seemed very surprising to them how we could live, and especially when I told him, that we paid from three Shillings to four or five Pounds per Acre (besides many heavy Taxes) which Relation they could by no means give Credit to, but looked upon what I said as meer Romances or Tales, to impose upon their Credulity.
The Rye thrives very well here, but they having such Plenty of Maiz, in this Province, they little regard or value it, and especially by Reason of the Blackness of the Bread it makes.
The Barley does much better here than may reasonable be expected from their Management of it, that Grain requiring the Ground to be well Wrought, with repeated Plowings to make it Mellow, which their general Way of breaking with Hoes will never perform; though I have seen extraordinary Barley produced in North Carolina, after that manner, or with one Plowing only.
Oats does well here, but the vast Plenty of other Grain prevents their propagating of it in many Places, so that it is not common in these Parts of America at present.
The Rice, whereof there are several Sorts, some Bearded, others not, beside the White and the Red, but the White is best. The Rice of Carolina is esteemed as good as any brought to Europe, and is of a prodigious Increase, yielding from eight Hundred to a Thousand for one Measure that is sown. It grows best in their Wet and wild Land, that hath not been cultivated or broken up before. The Indian-Corn or Maize is most commonly Planted with the Hoe, and proves the most useful Grain in these Parts, being in great Plenty all over this Province; it is very nourishing in Bread Sodden or otherwise, as appears by those that continually feed upon it, making them strong, able, and fit for hard Labour. It grows in all manner of Ground except Barren Sands; but when Planted in good Ground, produces for one Measure, Seven or eight Hundred, at the lowest Computation that can be made. Pigs and Poultery fed with this Grain, eat the sweetest of all others.
The Millet does very well here, especially in light and loose Ground, they sow it in April and May, and prospers best in moist and rainey Weather: The Plenty of other Grain, prevents the Planters from sowing much of it, being only made Use of in Carolina to fatten their Poultry with.
There are two Crops of Corn in the Year, viz. the European Wheat is generally cut down first, and in their Barns the beginning of June, then they immediately Plow, Sow, or Plant the same Ground with Buck-Wheat, or Indian Corn, which wonderfully increases, and is ready to be brought home in September, October, or November, with which they generally feed their Horses, Hogs, and Poultry.
The Guinea Wheat thrives likewise very well here, and serves for the Uses of the former.
There are several sorts of Pulse in this Province; and first, the Bushel Bean, so called from producing a Bushel of Beans or more from one that is Planted; they are a Spontanious product in Carolina, and are Set in the Spring round Arbours, or near long Poles set in the Ground for that purpose, where they make a good Shade to sit under in the extreamity of hot Weather; they continue Budding, Flowing, and Ripening all the Summer, until the approach of Frost, which prevents their farther Growth, and so dye; they climb prodigious high, and their Stalk is about the thickness of a Man’s Thumb, the Pod grows like the Kidney Bean, but the Bean is flat, white, or mottled, with a purple Colour: They are extraordinary good, and well relished Pulse, either by themselves or with Meat.
The Indian Rouncival, or Miraculous Pea, so called from their long Pods and great Increase. These are a late Pea, and require a pretty long Summer to ripen and bring them to Perfection, they are a good Pulse, and in great plenty all over this Province with Christians and Indians.
The Bonavis is another kind of Pulse, and yields a great Increase, it doth not require so long a Summer to ripen as the former, they grow like Kidney-Beans, and are very plenty in this Province.
The Calivances are another kind of Pulse, resembling the former, but are not so flat, they are in great plenty in most of the Plantations amongst the Indian Corn. These and the Bonavis, afford two Crops in the Year, and are generally ripe and in full perfection in six Weeks time.
The Nanticoacks are another kind of Pulse, and resemble the Calivances, and are in great plenty all over this Province.
There are several other kinds of Pulse in this Province that we have no Name for, which are well known amongst the Indians, and are excellent Food.
The Kidney-Bean, is likewise here in great plenty, growing for the most part in every Corn-Field. The Indians had these four Sorts of pulse, viz. the Bonavis, Calivances, Nanticoacks, and Kidney-Beans, and several other sorts, long before the Arrival of the Europeans amongst them; which Report I have had affirmed several times, not only from the Christians, but likewise from the Indians in these Parts.
The large European-Bean, will in two or three Years degenerate into a dwarfish Kind, if not prevented by a new Supply of Foreign Seed, as I have experienced during my stay in those Parts; yet these Dwarfish sort become sweeter, and better relish’d, than any Bean of the same Sort in Europe; but these kind of Beans are very little regarded or made use of, and therefore seldom Planted, by reason the other Pulse are in such Plenty all over this Province.
I have observed several sorts of European-Pease in this Province come to as great Perfection, as in most Parts of Europe, particularly the white and gray Rouncival, the Hot-Spur, the Dwarf, the Field and the Sickle-Pease; and there is no doubt but that all other kinds of European-Pease would thrive well here had any tryal been made.
The Garden Roots that thrive here are Parsnips, Carrots, Skirrets, Turnips, Ground-Artichoakes, Garden-Radishes, Horse-Radishes, Potatoes of several sorts, and very large, some whereof weigh four Pounds; Leeks, Onions in great plenty, and excellent good Shallots, Cives, Garlick, and wild Onions, Beets, and most other Roots that are to be met with in Europe.
The Sallads are the curl’d Cabbage, Savoy, Lettice, round prickly Spinage, the sweet and common Fennel, Endive, Succory, Mint, the Dock or Wild Rhubarb, Cresses of several sorts, as Winter, Garden, Indian, Sciatica, Water-Cresses, and many more; French and English Sorrel, Purslain two sorts, viz. the Tame and the Wild; which are so plenty, that they are common Weeds in their Gardens, the Leaf is not as large as the Tame, but as good; the Planters boil it with their Salt Meat for Greens, this is never to be met with in the Indian Plantations; and is supposed to be produced from the Cow-Dung, which Beast the Indians keep not amongst them.
Samphire, is in very great Plenty along the Marshes near the Sea and Salt Water, and is very good.
Mushrooms, good and in great Plenty all over the Fields.
Asparagus, thrives in this Province to a miracle, without the assistance or benefit of Hot-Beds, Dung, or other Manure, being only produced from the natural goodness of the Soil, and it is found in Plenty in most Gardens in this Province, and as good as any in Europe. As likewise Selery and Clary.
Parsley, two Sorts, the White-Cabbage, from European Seeds thrive well here, but the planters seldom or never take Care or Pains to preserve good Seed of their own; so that by their Negligence, it is not so common as otherwise it might. The Colly-Flower does not thrive well here, by what tryals I have seen made during my abode in those Parts; but the plain and curled Coleworth, flourisheth.
The Artichoak I have observed but in two Places in this Province, which is tollerable good, here are likewise great quantities of excellent good Water-Mellons of several sorts, Musk-Mellons, very good and of several sorts, as the Golden, Green, Guinea, and Orange. Cucumbers, long, short, and prickly, and all produced from the natural Ground with great Increase, without any help of Dung, or reflection from Glasses.
Pompions, yellow and very large Burmillions, Cashaws, which is an excellent Fruit when boyl’d, Squashes, Symnals, Horns and Gourds, besides variety of other Speces of less value, such as the Poke, which is a kind of Mechoacan, and grows in every Field, the tender Tops whereof may be boiled and made use of as other Greens with all the safety immaginable, and are very good and nourishing, but the Roots (which are as thick as a Man’s Leg) are not to be medled with, being in their Nature violent Purgers, and occasion those that eat of them to be frantick for some time, though I have never heard of any farther Mischief done by them. Lambs-Quarter, and various kinds of Salleting, too tedious to mention.
The Pot-Herbs, and others which are useful in Physick are common here, and are as follows, Angelica, two sorts, viz. the Wild and the Tame, Balm, Bugloss, Borrage, Burnet, Marygold, Pennyroyal, Rue, Marjoram, two sorts, Summer and Winter Savory, Thyme, Rosemary, Lavender, Hyssop, which grows very large, Sweet Bazil, Groundsel, Derg, red and white, Nep or Cat-mint, Mallows several sorts, Tansay, Columbine, Dandelion, Wormwood, Southernwood, Bastard Saffron; and several sorts of Mustard.
The more Physical Plants are Anis, Asarabacca, growing in most Places in the Woods; Cardus, Benedictus, Caraway, Cummin, Coriander, Scurvy-Grass, two sorts; the one from Europe, and the other Spontaneous.
In these Parts Tobacco of many sorts, Dill, all the European sorts of Plantain, and two Spontaneous, Elecampain, Archangel, or Dead-Nettle, the Stinging-Nettle, the Seed being brought from Europe, there being none found growing Spontaneous in North Carolina—Comfery, Monks-Rhubarb, Burdock, Featherfew, Wormfeed, Garden-Poppies, none yet being discover’d growing Wild in this Province. Ground-Ivy is Spontaneous, but much smaller than the European; Perewinkle growing in great plenty in most parts of the Woods; Golden-Rod, several sorts of Horehound, Melilot, Bastard-Lovage. The Rattle-Snake-Root, whereof there are three sorts, and is so called, because it alone cures the Bite of the Rattle-Snake; it is very plenty in all the Savannas and Woods. Snake-Root, four sorts in Carolina; Purging Bindweed or Scamony, growing in most parts of this Province.
The Ipecacuana grows likewise in great Plenty in this Province, which I frequently made Use of during my stay in that Country, with as good Success as any I have ever met with in Europe. This Herb bringeth forth one or more Stalks, which are Quadrangular, about a Foot high, whereon grow Leaves confusedly set at certain distance one from the other, unless at the Top, where they grow one opposite to the other, something like Purslain, but more sharp, and of a dark green colour, with a red circle about the Edges, and divided with Threads or Sinews in the middle, which perish in Winter. I am not certain whether it beareth Flowers or Seed; the Root is so well known in every Apothecary’s Shop, that it would be needless to trouble the Reader with a farther Description about it. This and the Scamony grow in high Sandy Ground, in many Places in Carolina. Oak of Jerusalem, Indian-purger, Swallow-wort, Palma-Christi, several sorts of Mint, Red-Dock, Jamestown-Weed, so called from its being so very plenty in Virginia, especially on both sides of James’s River: The Seed it bears is exactly like that of an Onion, but it’s Leaves are very coarse and large, and indented ahout the Edges; it is excellent good in asswaging all manner of Inflammations, and curing Burns, by applying it outwardly, with which the Indians are well acquainted, but if it be taken Inwardly, it immediately occasions a Giddiness and Madness, so that you shall see those that take it (which most commonly happens to Children) run up and down the Fields in a most distracted manner, during its Operation, but does no further Mischief.
There is another Weed, vulgarly called the Swamp-Lillie, which grows in the Marshes and low Grounds, and is something like our Dock in its Leaves, and hath the same Effect, and possesses the Party with Fear and Watchings; though few have had the Tryal, or felt the Effects of these intoxicating Plants, except Boys and Children; it is likewise used with good Success in Inflammations and Burns, as the former.
Camomil thrives well here, but it must be Planted under a Shade, otherwise it comes to little or no Perfection.
The Red-Root, the Leaves whereof are like those of Spearmint, is used with good Success for Thrushes, and sore Mouths.
Vervine is very common here, being Spontaneous. House Leek, being first brought from Europe. Night-shade of several kinds, Yarrow and Mullein, in plenty, both being Spontaneous. Harts-Tongue, Polypodium of the Oak; the greater Centaury, in great plenty; but I never observed any of the Lesser growing in this Province. Prickly Bind-Weed, Larks-Spur, Hops, Flax and Hemp, the best and finest in the known World groweth in North Carolina.
Tisinaw, or Bastard China-Root, these grow in great Clusters, together, and have a stalk like a Brier, whereon grow small Black-Berries, the Indians boil these Roots and eat them, and sometimes make them into Bread.
Sarsaparilla, White Hellebor, several sorts of Thistles, Fern, Male and Female, Liquorice, Oris, Water-lillies, Peony, Male and Female, Solomons-Seal, Agarick, Coloquintida, Guinea-Pepper, Water-Flag, Flower de Luce, Betony, Shepherds-Purse, Chervil; Coffee, whereof they begin to plant much, within these few Years; Jessamine, Pellitory of Spain, Cloud Herb, by the Indians call’d Yaughtli. Strawberries are in such Plenty in the Season, that they are Feeding for Hogs; Narcissus, Daffodil, Snow-Drops, Wall-Flowers, Bloodwort, the white and red Lillie, Stargrass, which is used with good Success in most Fevers in this Country; Rushes of several sorts; the Herb Mastick, Indian-all-heal, Cinquefoil, or five leav’d Grass, Rib-wort, which is a kind of Plantain; Pellitory of the Wall, this Herb grows very plentiful on the Ground, there being no Rocks or Stone Walls for it to grow upon; Shepherds-Needle, Rosa-Solis, or Sun-dew; several sorts of Sage being first brought from Europe; Misseltoe of the Oak, in great Plenty all over this Province, whereof good Birdlime is made.
There are several sorts of Beautiful Tulips growing Spontaneous in this Province: The Trumpet-Flower, so call’d from its resembling the Form of that Instrument, and is of a beautiful Orange colour.
The May-Apple, so call’d from its having Apples in the Month of May; it grows upon one Stalk like the Wood-Sorrel, about half a Foot high, and has Leaves like it, but very near as large as a Man’s Hand, underneath which grow one Apple on each Stalk, about the bigness of a Musket Ball: This Plant is of a very strong Purging nature, and is frequently made use of in these Parts for several Disorders with good Success.
The Sun-Flower, the Indian-Figg, or Prickly-Pear, the Fruit of this Vegetable is frequently eaten, and is very sweet and luscious, but occasions such a high Tincture in the Urine, that it seems like pure Blood; by which means several Persons that have been unacquainted with its Effects, have been so surprized, that they expected nothing but immediate Death; yet it does no manner of harm, and as soon as its Operation is over, which is in less than twenty-four Hours, the Urine resumes its natural Colour, and the Patient, tho’ almost out of his Senses, becomes easy and well. There are various Kinds of Physical Plants growing in their Gardens, the Seed being brought from Europe and other Parts.
Thus have I given an Account of some of the Plants growing in this Country, yet not of the hundredth Part of what remains; a Catalogue of which, would be a Work of many Years, and more than the Age of one Man to perfect, or bring into a regular Classes, this Country being so very large, and different in its Situation and Soil; so that what one Place plentifully produces, another is altogether a Stranger to: Yet it is generally to be observed, that the greatest Variety is to be found in the low Grounds and Savannas.
The Pleasure Gardens of North Carolina, are not yet arrived to any great Perfection, or Adorned with many beautiful fragrant Flowers; there being only some few Rose-Trees, Bead-Trees, Orange-Trees, Clove Gilly-Flower, Pinks of several sorts, Sweet-William, Cowslips, Lavender-Spike, and Lavender-Cotton, Violets, Princess-Feather, Tres-Colores, and such like: But their Kitchen Gardens are very good, abounding with most sorts of Necessaries for that Use.
I will give an Account of the Climate, and so proceed to the Present State of North Carolina.
This Climate is very Healthful, and is not so Hot in the Summer as other Countries to the Eastward, in the same Parallels of Latitude; neither is the Country subject to Earthquakes, as Italy, and many other Hot Countries are: The Sky is generally very serene and clear, and the Air very thin and pure; and though we have but little Rain, yet the constant Dews that fall in the Night, sufficiently refresh the Ground, and supply the Plants with Moisture.
The North West Winds in the Winter, occasion very sharp and piercing Weather, the North East Winds blowing in the Winter, bring with them thick Weather, and in Spring some times Blight the Corn and Fruits of the Earth, but they very seldom continue long, being carried off by Westerly Winds, which are the most pleasant and healthful we have in these Parts of the World. And though these Northerly Winds cool the Air in Summer and are very pearcing in the Winter, yet they are of no Continuance.
Southerly Winds cause very hot and unwholsom Weather, and often occasion Fevers, and other Disorders in these Parts. The Spring and Fall are the most delightful and pleasant Seasons of the Year, being neither too Hot or too Cold; and though these Seasons are very pearcing, yet the Cold is of no Duration, and are in a great Measure owing to the Winds shifting from one Point to the other; for Southerly Winds will occasion it to be warm in the midst of Winter, as with us in April, and the North East Winds will on the contrary, make it cool in the midst of Summer.
The Weather is generally pretty moderate till after Christmas; then the Winter comes on apace, and continues variable ’till the midle of February, according to the Winds, sometimes warm and pleasant, at other times Rain, Snow, or Frost, but the Ice is seldom so strong as to bear a Man’s weight.
In the Year 1730, we had the most agreeable and pleasant Summer that has been known for many Years, and the Winter most severe.
In the Months of August and September we frequently have very great Storms and Squals of Wind, and it is remarkable for two or three Days before they break forth, that the Clouds seem to hang down very thick and pressing towards the Earth, and scarce a breath of Wind to be perceived for the said time; they are sometimes so very violent, that they make Lanes through the Woods by tearing up Trees by the roots.
These Storms are generally attended with most violent Claps of Thunder and Lightning, and pouring with Rain all the time they continue, which are very dreadful whilst they last; and I have seen old decay’d Trees, and especially the Pitch-Pine, frequently set on Fire by these violent claps of Thunder and Lightning, and sometime Trees in their Bloom tore and split in Pieces, yet I have seldom known or heard of any farther Dammage.
There are prodigious Water-Spouts to be seen in this Country, which are the forerunners and certain Signs of Storms and bad Weather, which quickly follow after them: These Water-spouts are vast exhalations of Water running out of the Clouds like little Rivers, and are generally to be met with at Sea and near the Shores, but seldom or never at Land; and are to be seen at a great distance, resembling all the colours in the Rainbow; it is said they are dangerous to be met with at Sea, for fear of falling upon their Vessels, for which reason when they espie them near at Hand, they frequently fire their great Guns to break them in the Air, before they come near the surface of the Water, as I have been credibly informed by several Masters of Ships; for I have never seen them otherwise than at a great distance. There are no regular Tides in Carolina, but what are occasioned for the most part by the Winds shifting from one Point to another.
THE PRESENT STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA.
THIS Province, and South Carolina, were granted by King Charles II. March the 24th in the Fifteenth Year of his Reign, and confirmed by Letters Patents bearing Date, June the 13th. in the 17th. Year of his said Majesty’s Reign, to the following Lords Proprietors, (viz.) Edward, Earl of Clarendon; George, Duke of Albemarl; William, Earl of Craven; John, Lord Berkeley; Anthony, Lord Ashley; Sir George Carterett, Knight, and Baronet; Sir John Colleton, Knight, and Baronet; and Sir William Berkeley; who possessed them until the Year 1729: At which time King George II. Purchased them from all the said Proprietors, excepting the Lord Carterett, who still retains his Eighth Part. Whilst it remained in the Hands of the Proprietors, they had a Governor who acted for them until the Year 1731, at which Time his Majesty sent over Governor Burrington, who was the first Governor after the King had made the Purchase, and with him came most of the Superior Officers; such as Secretary of the Province, Chief Justice, Attorney General, Provost-Marshal, and Naval Officers, the rest were at his arrival in the Country, but Nominated by the King, such as Surveyor General, Judge of the Admiralty, Comptrollers and Collectors.
They have two Houses, which resemble the two Houses of Parliament with us. The first or Upper-House consists of twelve Members and the Governor; in this House are heard all Chancery Suits, and other Causes that cannot be decided in the Inferior Courts; from whence there can be no Appeal, except to England.
The Lower-House consists of thirty five Members, being the most knowing, discreet and substantial Planters, chose out of each Precinct and Borough. In this and the Upper-House, are made all manner of Laws for the Safety and better Government of this Province. But whatever Laws are here made must be conformable to the Laws of England, and in no wise repugnant thereto. And such Laws as are made in these two Houses by the Governor, Council and Burgesses, are all recorded, and are as authentick and binding there, as our Acts of Parliament are with us.
There are likewise two other Courts in this Province, viz. the Precinct-Court, which is held in every Precinct of this Province, being much of the same Nature of our Court-Leets, or Court-Barons. The other is called the General-Court, which is held twice every Year, as the former is four times. This is much the same as our Assizes, where all Causes relating to Life and Death are heard, where the Chief Justice sits as Judge, and determines all Causes within the Jurisdiction of this Court. In the Precinct-Court, the Justices of the Peace sit on the Bench, and decide all Controversies brought before them. This Court upon any Grievance can Appeal to the General Court for Justice, and the General to Chancery. The Governor by the Power invested in him, Commissions all Justices of the Peace, and all Officers in the Militia, who upon any Occasion may call his Council, to advise with them, upon any Emergency that is necessary, or expedient, for the good and safety of the Country.
There are abundance of Attorneys in this Province, who are Licenced by the Governor, yet all Law-Suits are quickly decided in Carolina, to prevent the Planters ruining each other, as is too frequent to be met with amongst us.
These, and many other good Laws, that are to be met with in this Province, make it one of the best and mildest Governments to live under in all America. Whoever consider the Latitude and convenient Situation of Carolina, may easily inform themselves, that it is a most delightful and fertil Country, being placed in the same Latitude or part of the World which produces Wine, Oil, Fruit, Grain and Silk, with many other rich Commodities, besides a sweet moderate and healthful Climate to live in with all manner of Plenty, which are as great blessings as can attend any People upon Earth, which the Planters of Carolina at this Day enjoy, being subject to no vexatious Taxes, or Racking Landlords, to give them the least uneasiness or discontent.
The Planters by the richness of the Soil, live after the most easie and pleasant Manner of any People I have ever met with; for you shall seldom hear them Repine at any Misfortunes in life, except the loss of Friends, there being plenty of all Necessaries convenient for Life: Poverty being an entire Stranger here, and the Planters the most hospitable People that are to be met with, not only to Strangers but likewise to those who by any Misfortune have lost the use of their Limbs or are incapable to Work, and have no visible way to support themselves; to such Objects as these, the Country allows Fifty Pounds per Annum for their Support. So there are no Beggars or Vagabonds to be met with Strowling from place to place as is too common amongst us.
The Country in general is adorned with large and Beautiful Rivers and Creeks, and the Woods with lofty Timber, which afford most delightful and pleasant Seats to the Planters, and the Lands very convenient and easie to be fenced in, to secure their Stocks of Cattle to more strict Bounderies, whereby with small trouble of Fencing, almost every Man may enjoy to himself an intire Plantation.
These with many other Advantages, such as the cheapness and fertility of the Lands, plenty of Fish, Wild-fowl, Venison, and other necessaries that this Country naturally produces, has induced a great many Families to leave the more Northerly Plantations, and come and settle in one of the mildest Governments in the World, in a Country that with moderate Industry may be acquir’d all Necessaries convenient for life; so that Yearly we have abundance of Strangers that come amongst us from Europe, New-England, Pensilvania, Maryland, and from many of the Islands, such as Antegua, Barbados, and many others, to settle here; many of whom with small Beginnings, are become very Rich in a few Years.
The Europians, or Christians of North-Carolina, are a streight, tall, well-limb’d and active People; their Children being seldom or never troubled with Rickets, and many other Distempers that the Europians are afflicted with, and you shall seldom see any of them deformed in Body.
The Men who frequent the Woods, and labour out of Doors, or use the Waters, the vicinity of the Sun makes Impressions on them; but as for the Women that do not expose themselves to Weather, they are often very fair, and well featur’d, as you shall meet with any where, and have very Brisk and Charming Eyes; and as well and finely shaped, as any Women in the World. And I have seldom observ’d any Red-hair’d Women, or Men, born in this Country.
They marry generally very young, some at Thirteen or Fourteen; and she that continues unmarried, until Twenty, is reckoned a stale Maid, which is a very indifferent Character in that Country. These Marriages for want of an Orthodox Clergyman, is performed by the Governor, or the next Justice of the Peace; who reads the Matrimonial Ceremony, which is as binding there as if done by the best divine in Europe. The Women are very fruitful, most Houses being full of Little Ones, and many Women from other Places who have been long Married and without Children, have remov’d to Carolina, and become joyful Mothers, as has been often observ’d. It very seldom happens they miscarry, and they have very easie Travail in their Child-bearing.
The Children at nine Months old are able to walk and run about the House, and are very Docile and apt to learn any thing, as any Children in Europe; and those that have the advantage to be Educated, Write good Hands, and prove good Accompants, which is very much coveted, and most necessary in these parts. The young Men are generally of a bashful, sober Behaviour, few proving Prodigals, to spend what the Parents with Care and Industry have left them, but commonly Improve it.
The Girls are most commonly handsome and well Featur’d, but have pale or swarthy Complexions, and are generally more forward than the Boys, notwithstanding the Women are very Shy, in their Discourses, till they are acquainted. The Girls are not only bred to the Needle and Spinning, but to the Dairy and domestick Affairs, which many of them manage with a great deal of prudence and conduct, though they are very young.
Both Sexes are very dexterous in paddling and managing their Canoes, both Men, Women, Boys, and Girls, being bred to it from their Infancy. The Women are the most Industrious in these Parts, and many of them by their good House-wifery make a great deal of Cloath of their own Cotton, Wool, and Flax, and some of them weave their own Cloath with which they decently Apparel their whole Family though large. Others are so Ingenious that they make up all the wearing Apparel both for Husband, Sons and Daughters. Others are very ready to help and assist their Husbands in any Servile Work, as planting when the Season of the Year requires expedition: Pride seldom banishing Housewifery. Both sexes are most commonly spare of Body and not Cholerick, nor easily cast down at Disapointments and Losses, and seldome immoderately grieving at Misfortunes in Life, excepting it be the loss of their nearest Relations.
By the Fruitfulness of the Women in North Carolina, and the great Numbers of Men, Women, and Children, that are daily Transported from Europe, they are now become so powerful, in this and most of the other Provinces in the Hands of the English, that they are able to resist for the future any attempts the Indians may make on them. Add to this, the several Indian Kings that at present are in the Christian Interest, who pay some small Tribute as an Acknowledgment of their Subjection, and are ready upon all occasions to assist them when ever they are required so to do; therefore they live at present without any dread or fear of those Savages to what they formerly did.
The Men are very ingenious in several Handycraft Businesses, and in building their Canoes and Houses; though by the richness of the Soil, they live for the most part after an indolent and luxurious Manner; yet some are laborious, and equalize with the Negro’s in hard Labour, and others quite the Reverse; for I have frequently seen them come to the Towns, and there remain Drinking Rum, Punch, and other Liquors for Eight or Ten Days successively, and after they have committed this Excess, will not drink any Spirituous Liquor, ’till such time as they take the next Frolick, as they call it, which is generally in two or three Months. These Excesses are the occasions of many Diseases amongst them. But amongst the better Sort, or those of good OEconomy, it is quite otherwise, who seldom frequent the Taverns, having plenty of Wine, Rum, and other Liquors at their own Houses, which they generously make use of amongst their Friends and Acquaintance, after a most decent and discreet Manner, and are not so subject to Disorders as those who Debauch themselves in such a Beastly Manner. The former sometimes bring their Wives with them to be pertakers of these Frolicks, which very often is not commendable or decent to behold.
OF THE Religion, Houses, Raiment, Diet, Liquors, Firing, Diversions, Commodities, Language, Diseases, Curiosities, Cattle, &c. of NORTH CAROLINA.
THE Religion by Law established, is the Protestant, as it is professed in England; and tho’ they seldom have Orthodox Clergymen among them, yet there are not only Glebe Lands laid out for that Use, commodious to each Town, but likewise convenient for building Churches. The want of these Protestant Clergy, is generally supply’d by some School-Masters, who read the Lithurgy, and then a Sermon out of Doctor Tillitson, or some good practical Divine, every Sunday. These are the most numerous, and are dispersed through the whole Province.
I shall treat of the other Religions as they are to be regarded according to their Numbers; and first of the Quakers: These People enjoy the same Privileges as with us in Ireland, and live for the most part in Albemarle County, wherein they have a decent Meeting-House.
The Presbyterians succeed next, and have had a Minister of their own Order for many Years past; they are chiefly settled in and about the River Neus.
Roman-Catholicks are the next considerable, and are settled in many Parts of the Country, but mostly in and about Bath-Town, they have likewise a Clergyman of their own Order among them at present.
Next succeed the Anabaptists, who live mostly in Albemarle County.
There are likewise many Sectaries in Carolina, who have little or no appearance of Religion, except some few Forms of Prayers. This I take to be intirely owing to our want of Orthodox Divines, to instruct them in the true Notions of God, and right method of Worshiping, according to the tenor of revealed Religion. It is common to see here numbers of Men, Women, and Children, Baptized all together, when a Clergyman arrives in those Parts, and I have actually seen the Grandfather, his Son, and Grandson, receive this Sacrament at one time. There are numbers who never require Baptism, and consequently never covet to be made Christians, yet use some few Forms of Prayer.
By what I have already urged, my Readers will naturally observe, that there is Liberty of Conscience allowed in the whole Province; however, the Planters live in the greatest Harmony imaginable, no Disputes or Controversies are ever observed to arrise among them about their Religious Principles. They always treat each other with Friendship and Hospitality, and never dispute over their Liquor, which is a Custom too frequent and too much indulged with us, and from whence dangerous Consequences have arisen: By this Unity of Affection, the Prosperity of the Province has increased from its first rise, to this Day. But though they are thus remarkable for their Friendship, Harmony and Hospitality, yet in regard to Morals, they have their share of the Corruptions of the Age, for as they live in the greatest Ease and Plenty, Luxury of Consequence predominates, which is never without its attendant Vices. Can it be admired, that the generality of them live after a loose and lacivious Manner, when according to my former Observation, they have no Clergy to instruct them, and recommend the Duties necessary belonging to a Christian; and is it not natural to believe that Impiety and Imorality, when a People are void of those Benefits, must sway the major part of them. I would not be understood here, as if I designed to advance these imputations of Vice against the whole Body of the People: No, there are certainly Persons of both Sexes Temperate, Frugal, Good Oeconemists, remarkably kind to Strangers, and those in Distress, and zealous in the practice of Christanity.
Their Houses are built after two different Ways; viz. the most substantial Planters generally use Brick, and Lime, which is made of Oyster-shells, for there are no Stones to be found proper for that purpose, but near the Mountains; the meaner Sort erect with Timber, the outside with Clap-Boards, the Roofs of both Sorts of Houses are made with Shingles, and they generally have Sash Windows, and affect large and decent Rooms with good Closets, as they do a most beautiful Prospect by some noble River or Creek.
Their Furniture, as with us, consists of Pewter, Brass, Tables, Chairs, which are imported here commonly from England: The better sort have tollerable Quantities of Plate, with other convenient, ornamental, and valuable Furniture.
The Cloathings used by the Men are English Cloaths, Druggets, Durois, Green Linnen, &c. The Women have their Silks, Calicoes, Stamp-Linen, Calimanchoes and all kind of Stuffs, some whereof are Manufactured in the Province. They make few Hats, tho’ they have the best Furrs in plenty, but with this Article, they are commonly supplied from New-England, and sometimes from Europe.
Their Diet consists chiefly of Beef, Mutton, Pork, Venison in Abundance, Wild and Tame Fowl, Fish of several delicate Sorts; Roots, Fruit, several kinds of Sallads, good Bread, Butter, Milk, Cheese, Rice, Indian Corn, both which they concoct like a Hasty-Pudding: But as I shall treat more particularly of the Productions of the Country in the succeeding Pages, I shall now proceed to their Liquors.
The Liquors that are common in Carolina at present, and chiefly made use of, are, Rum, Brandy, Mault Drink; these they import. The following are made in Country, viz. Cyder, Persimon-Beer, made of the Fruit of that Tree, Ceder-Beer, made of Ceder-Berries; they also make Beer of the green Stalks of Indian-Corn, which they bruise and boyle: They likewise make Beer of Mollosses, or common Treacle, in the following manner, they take a Gallon of Mollosses, a Peck of Wheaten Bran, a Pound of Hops, and a Barrel of Fountain Water, all which they boile together, and work up with Yest, as we do our Malt Liquors; this is their common Small-Beer, and seems to me to be the pleasantest Drink, I ever tasted, either in the Indies or Europe, and I am satisfied more wholsom. This is made stronger in proportion, as People fancy.
It is necessary to observe that though there is plenty of Barly and Oats in this Province, yet there is no Malt Drink made, notwithstanding all kind of Malt Liquors bear a good Price, nor have any of the Planters ever yet attempted it.
Chocolate, Teas, and Coffee, are as common in Carolina as with us in Ireland, particularly the last, which of late Years they have industriously raised, and is now very cheap: These are sober Liquors, and take off the better Sort from Drinking what are hot and spirituous, who are not so addicted to Rum and Brandy as the inferior Sort, Caslena or Yaupan, an Indian Tea, which grows here in Abundance is indifferently used by Planters and Indians.
The Fireing they use is Wood, and especially Hickery, though we discovered Pit-Coal in our Journies towards the Mountains, yet it is not worth their while to be at the expence of bringing it, Timber being so plenty.
The chiefest Diversions here are Fishing, Fowling; and Hunting, Wild Beasts, such as Deer, Bears, Racoons, Hares, Wild Turkies, with several other sorts, needless to treat of here, ’till we come to describe each particular Specie.
Horse-Racing they are fond of, for which they have Race-Paths, near each Town, and in many parts of the Country. Those Paths, seldom exceed a Quarter of a Mile in length, and only two Horses start at a time, each Horse has his peculiar Path, which if he quits, and runs into the other, looses the Race. This is agreed on to avoid Jockying. These Courses being so very short, they use no manner of Art, but push on with all the speed imaginable; many of these Horses are very fleet.
It is common for People to come and go from this Province to Virginia, to these publick Diversions.
They are much addicted to Gaming, especially at Cards and Dice, Hazard and All-fours, being the common Games they use; at which they play very high, nay to such a pitch, that I have seen several hundred Pounds won and lost in a short time.
Cock-Fighting they greatly admire, which Birds they endeavor to procure from England and Ireland, and to that intent, employ Masters of Ships, and other Trading Persons to supply them.
Wrestling, Leaping, and such Activities are much used by them; yet I never observed any Foot Races.
Dancing they are all fond of, especially when they can get a Fiddle, or Bag-pipe; at this they will continue Hours together, nay, so attach’d are they to this darling Amusement, that if they can’t procure Musick, they will sing for themselves. Musick, and Musical Instruments being very scarce in Carolina.
These are the most material Observations I have made in respect of their usual Diversions.
But they have a particular Season, which is only at their Wheat-Harvest, not to be omitted; this they celebrate with great Solemnity, it is in the beginning of June, at which time the Planters notify to each other, that they design to reap the aforesaid Grain, on a certain Day, some send their Negroes to assist, others only go to partake of the great Feasts, &c. Some will frequently come twenty, nay thirty Miles on this Occasion, the Entertainments are great, and the whole Scene pleasant and diverting; but if they can get Musick to indulge this Mirth, it greatly adds to the Pleasure of the Feast. It must be confest, that this annual Revelling is very expensive to the Planters, but as its customary, few omit it, nor have they ever those publick Diversions at the reaping any other Grain but the European Wheat.
I am sensible that many Persons, who by their Misbehaviour in this Country, were obliged to quit it, have maliciously endeavoured to represent, not only the Province, but its Inhabitants, in a wrong Light; but as they intirely take the Opportunity to talk either before those who were never there, or before Persons incapable of judging, it is to be hoped, that the scandalous reports of such, will not be regarded. Several of those trifling Nusances have to my knowledge, scarcely been out of the Town or Port where they first arrived, during their Residence there: How therefore cou’d they be acquainted with the Fertilty of the Country, the Constitution, and Temper of the Inhabitants; before the learn’d, by whom they can be convicted, they dare not appear? And if the credulous and ignorant will be amused, all the Arguments Man can produce will not avail.
The People live to as great Ages as most Europeans, they are entire Strangers to Consumptions, a Distemper fatal to us; but they are much addicted to aguish Disorders, which is incident to all Strangers, for they generally have their Seasonings at their first Arrival, or soon after, though it seldom proves mortal, and is easily carried off by Emeticks, and other Medicines properly given.
This Colony boasts more Advantages than several others on this Continent, both for Pleasure, Ease, and Profit: Were the Inhabitants as industrious as the Soil is bountiful, they might supply themselves with all the Necessaries of Life. With little Industry they may have Wines, Oil, Silk, Fruits, and many sorts of Drugs, Dyes, &c. Here the Curious may have a large Field to satisfie and divert their Curiosity; here they may collect strange Beasts, Birds, Fishes, Insects, Reptiles, Shells, Mines, Herbs, Flowers, Plants, Shrubs, Trees, Gums, Tears, Rosin, Stones, and several other things that yield both Profit and Satisfaction: If the plenty and cheapness of Provisions; and the low rate of Lands, may tempt People to this delightful Country, sure those who have but small Beginnings, with moderate industry, may here live more comfortably, and provide for their Families better than in any place I have yet seen in Europe.
The Rivers are very beautiful, pleasant, profitable, large and Navigable for several Leagues up the Country: They rise for the most part in or near the Mountains, and abound not only with great Quantities of delicate Fish, but likewise with Wild-Fowl of different kinds. In many of these Rivers are to be seen large and delightful Islands, where is excellent Pasturage and some of them afford large Stocks of Cattle and Deer, but scarce any Wild Beasts, and few Beasts of Prey. In these Islands frequently grow vast quantities of Cedar with several other kinds of valuable Timber Trees, as I have already mentioned.
The civilized Indians are very serviceable to the Planters in many Cases, particularly in making Weares to catch Fish; this they do for a small consideration, and it proves very advantagious to large Families, because they not only take great Quantities of different Sorts, but moreover what are very good and nourishing; these Weares are made after a method peculiar to the Indians only. Others Hunt and Fowl for them at very reasonable rates, this Country being as plentifully provided with all sorts of Game as any in America; the Indians sometimes assist the poorer sort of Planters in planting their Corn for small Triffles, when expedition is required.
The Mountains that are the most considerable are the Charokee, or Appelapean Mountains, they take their rise from the North-west part of South Carolina, and so continue in one Ridge to the Northward for several hundred Miles, being in most places five or six hundred Miles from the Sea; they are vastly high, and abound with Trees, various kinds of Plants, and Stones of several different Natures. Beyond these Mountains you have a prospect only of large Woods, Savannas, dismal Swamps and Forrests, being as is supposed, the Habitation of Savage Indians, and wild Beasts of various kinds.
The Commodities convenient to bring to this Province from Europe, are as follows; Guns, Powder, Ball, Shot, Flints, Linnens of all Sorts, but chiefly Blues; Brown and Stampt Linnens, Oznabrigs, Men and Women’s Apparel ready made up; some few Broad-Cloaths, Blew and Red Stuffs, Callimancoes, Druggets, Kersies, Camblets, all light Stuffs for Men and Women’s Summer Wear, Habberdashers Wares, Stockings of all sorts, some few Gloves, thin Wigs, Linnen Caps, Silk-thread, common Thread of all Sorts, Needles, Pins, Tobacco Pipes, Glass for Sashwindows, Looking Glasses, all sorts of hard Ware, such as Knives, Forks, Sizers, Saws, Hatchets, Chisels, Bills, Hoes, Spades, Shovels, Grubing Hoes, Wedges, Nails, and all manner of Tools for Carpenters, Shoemakers, Coopers Shave Locks, Locks for Doors, Traps of all Sorts, and especially for Beavers, what we commonly call Fox-Traps, Grindle-Stones, all manner of Whet-Stones, Paper, Ink, Saddles, Bridles, Fish-hooks of all Sorts, several Toys, as Fans, Necklaces, Beads, Ribbons, Tape, Thimbles, Shoe-buckles, and the like; Tradesmen of all sorts, Honest Servants and Negroes.
The produce of this Country for Exportation to Europe and the Islands, are Beef, Porke, Tallow, Hides, Deer-Skins, Furs, Wheat, Indian-Corn, Pease, Potatoes, Rice, Honey, Bees-wax, Myrtle-wax, Tobacco, Snake-root, Turpentine, Tar, Pitch, Masts for Ships, Staves, Planks and Boards of most sorts of Timber, Cotton, and several sorts of Gums, Tears, with some medicinal Drugs; Bricks and Tiles are made here, likewise several useful Earths, such as Bole, Fullers-Earth, Tobacco Pipe Clay, and Oaker, in great Plenty, excellent good Earth for the Potters Trade, and fine Sand for the Glassmakers. They export abundance of Horses to the Islands of Antegua, Barbadoes, &c.
Lead, Copper, Sulphure and Antimony, have been found here, but for want of good Encouragement, few or no endeavours have been made to discover these subterraneous Productions; here is likewise found in great Plenty the true Blood-Stone, near the Mountains, as also a very fine Earth, the same with Bruxels Sand, which the Goldsmiths use to cast with, which bears a good Price in several parts of Europe. We have likewise Chalibeat Waters, of several Tastes, and different Qualities, some Purging and others working by the Emunctories; there are several Waters also amongst the Inhabitants that outwardly cure Ulcers, Tettars, and Sores (disorders they are very subject to in this Country) by washing themselves in it; neither do they want very good Springs of fresh Water; as for Pump-water, ’tis to be had in most places in this Province.
We have an Account from the Indians, that there are hot Baths near the Hilly Country, where a great likelihood appears of making Salt-petere, because the Earth in many places is strongly mixed and impregnated with a Nitrous Salt, which is much coveted by the Beasts of this Country, who come at certain Seasons of the Year in great Numbers, and by their licking this Earth, make great Holes in those Banks, which sometimes lye at the Heads of great Precipices, where they often tumble down and are dash’d in pieces.
It is very certain that the most Sweet and healthful Part of this Country is inhabited only by the Savage Indians at present; and a great deal thereof has no other Inhabitants but the wild Beasts. For the Indians are not inclinable to settle in the richest Lands, because the Timbers are too large for them to cut down to make Plantations of: A farther confirmation of the healthfulness of the Hilly parts of this Country, is very apparent, in the large Stature and gray Heads so common to be met with amongst the Savages that dwell near the Mountains.
The Christians or Planters of North Carolina, Barter the Commodities that are produced in the Country for Rum, Sugar, Mollosses, Negroes, and the like.
The current Coin of this Country is at present only made of Paper Bills, which pass throughout all this Province; not but that the Gold and Silver Coin of all Nations pass here, according to their Weight or intrinsick Value, which the Planters carefully preserve to buy Negroes with in the Islands and other Places. The Contents of the Bills in this Province are as follows, viz. This Bill of ten Pounds shall be current in all Payments in North Carolina, according to an Act of Assembly made November 9th. 1729. This is the greatest Bill, and twelve Pence the smallest, which is wrote after the same manner of the former. The Assembly nominate five of their Members, who sign all these Bills with different Ink; all these Bills are numbered in figures at the top, in the nature of Bank-Bills, and Seals fixt to each of them; there is about thirty or forty thousand Pounds of this kind of Money in North Carolina.
There is a Treasury Office kept wherein all the Bills are changed, and new ones given for those that are old and torn; yet not withstanding all the Care that is taken, these Bills are counterfeited, and the publick very often imposed upon. The Money of North Carolina is in value five Shillings for one Sterling; and in South Carolina, the difference is Seven to One Sterling; with these Bills they purchase Lands, and all Necessaries.
It is admirable to observe the Prosperity of several Adventurers to Carolina, in the memory of Man; and how many from the most despicable beginnings in a short time, by Gods blessing and their own industry, are arrived to as splendid Fortunes, as any have in other British Provinces on this Continent. All manner of Game is here very plenty, neither are there any Laws here to bind their Priviledges, as it is with us in Ireland, for the meanest Planter may, with as much Freedom, destroy all manner of Game, as he that is the most Wealthy, or highest in Dignity. So that the poorest Planter has as much Right to the delicaceies of this Country, as the richest; nay the very Labourer is intituled to the same Priviledge.
The Language principally made use of in this Province is the English; notwithstanding there are Planters settled here from France, Germany, Holland, and many other parts of Europe, who have all learn’d and speak the English Tongue, many of the Indians also use it, and especially the three civilized Kings, and those that Trade and Converse with the English; there are many of the Planters that understand and speak the Indian Language well.
The Diseases that are most common in Carolina are, Agues, or intermittent Fevers, Cachexia, Diarrhaea, Dysenteria, the Clap and French Pox, the Yaws, Chollicks, Cholera-Morbus, Convulsions, Hooping-Cough, Cutaneous Disorders, such as Tetters, Ring-worms, Rashes, prickley-Heats, and the Itch.
The Agues or intermittent Fevers, do generally admit of the same method of Cure as with us in Ireland, so that it would be needless to repeat it here, which almost every old Woman pretends to have an infalible Cure for.
The Cachexy, or ill habit of Body, is a very common Distemper in these Parts; ’tis very stubborn in its Nature, and tedious and difficult to be cured. In this disorder, the Face is very pale and discolor’d, and the Body big and swoln; this Distemper is principally owing to their eating great quantities of Fruit that this Country produces, and to a sedentary way of living, and their eating Clay and Dirt, which the Children, both Whites and Blacks, and some of the old People are very subject to; by which means the whole Humours of the Body are corrupted and vitiated to that degree (through surfeits and ill digestion) that they will hardly admit of a Cure. Steel’d Wines, and other Preparations of filings and rust of Iron, strong Purgers, and Exercises, are the only Methods to perfect the Cure of this Distemper.
The Cholera-Morbus, is a vehement Perturbation of the whole Body and Bowels, from a deprav’d Motion of the Ventricle and Guts, whereby bilious, sharp, or corrupt Humours, are plentifully and violently discharged upwards and downwards. This disorder is happily carried off by giving proper Doses of the Ipecauacana, that grows plentifully in Carolina, which I have already made mention of.
The Cramp or Convulsions, is a Motion whereby the Muscles or Membranes are contracted and remitted, without the Will. This Disorder is common in these Parts, and especially amongst the Negroes or Blacks, whereof many die, either for want, or before proper Medicines can be administer’d; it admits of the same method of Cure as with us in Europe.
The White and Bloody-Flux are common Distempers in Carolina, and so are the Clap and French Pox; these are cured after the same manner as with us.
The Yaws, are a Disorder not well known in Europe, but very common and familiar here; it is like the Lues venerea, having most of the Symptoms that attend the Pox, such as Nocturnal Pains, Botches, foul Erruptions, and Ulcers in several parts of the Body, and is acquired after the same manner as the Pox is, viz. by Copulation, &c. but is never attended with a Gonorrhaea in the beginning. This Distemper was brought hither by the Negroes from Guinea, where it is a common Distemper amongst them, and is communicated to several of the Europeans or Christians, by their cohabiting with the Blacks, by which means it is hereditary in many Families in Carolina, and by it some have lost their Palates and Noses.
This Distemper, though of a venereal kind, is seldom cured by Mercurials, as I have often experienced, for I have known some undergo the Course of three Salavations to no purpose, the virulency still continuing as bad as ever: Wherefore I judge it not amiss to set forth the most effectual method for curing it, which I have often experience’d, and never without good success (during my residence in those parts) though the Distemper was of ever so violent a nature, or long continuance; it is as follows:
Take four Ounces of the Bark of the Spanish Oak, two Ounces of the middle Bark of the Pine Tree, two Ounces of the Root of the Sumack, that bears the Berries, of these Ingredients make a strong Decoction, whereof let the Patient drink a full Pint milk-warm and half a Pint cold, this gives a strong Vomit, by which abundance of filthy Matter is discharged. This is what is to be done the first Day. Then let the Patient drink half a Pint three times a Day, viz. in the Morning, at one o’Clock in the Afternoon, and at Night, for six Weeks; and if there be any outward Sores, wash them clean five or six times a-Day with part of the same Decoction, ’till they are all healed up, and the Patient becomes well.
The Patient must abstain from all sorts of flesh Meat, and Strong Liquors during the said Course, his principal Diet must be Broth, Gruel, Penaeda, and the like. They may boil the above quantity of Ingredients four times, if more, it will be too weak; this Method effectually cures the Yaws in the said time, and the Patient becomes as strong and healthy as ever. I have here given the true method of the Cure of this Distemper, it being little known in Europe.
The Cholick, or Dry Belly-ach, is another common Distemper in this Country, and is often attended with such violent Convulsions, that frequently the Limbs are so contracted (and especially the Hands) that for want of Care and good Advice, they have continued so all their life time; though I have known some of them die in these Fits, which are attended with such a violent constipation of the Bowels, that they cannot void any thing either upwards or downwards. Strong Vomits, Purges, Clysters, and Oyntments, for the contracted Limbs, are the most effectual Methods to carry off this Disorder.
Rashes and Prikley-heat, are common Disorders here; in the extremity of the hot Weather, which suddenly comes after cold, they are attended with extream Itchings all over the Body, especially the Legs, which if scratched immediately, inflame, and become inveterate Sores and Ulcers; to prevent which, Spirit of Wine and Camphir or any other Spirit, is of excellent use, by applying it to the Parts.
Tetters and Ring-worms, are common in this Province, and are easily cur’d by severa1 Plants in this Country, and especially by the Juice of the Sheep-Sorrel, by applying it to the Part infected.
The Hooping-Cough, at my arrival in Carolina, was an universal Disorder amongst young and old, whereof several Negroes died. It continued in this Province for seven or eight Months successively, beginning in September, and ending in June; after Bleeding and Vomiting, I found the Jesuite Bark to be of excellent use in this disorder. I was assured by many in Carolina, that they never knew this Distemper in these Parts before that time.
The Children are much afflicted with the Worms, which is owing to their eating vast quantities of Fruit, this excess sometimes occasions Fevers amongst them, yet they are cured after the same manner as with us, likewise with many Plants growing here.
As for Cutaneous Disorders they are seldom at a loss for a speedy Cure, not only from the Plants, but likewise the Waters. Thus have I given an Account of the most common Disorders amongst the Christian Inhabitants.
The Curiosities here are, variety of strange wild Beasts, and several kinds of Birds, Fishes, Snakes, Insects, Reptiles, Herbs, Plants, Shrubs, Trees, and Fruits: many whereof are not to be met with in Europe, which the Reader will find inserted in their proper Places, when I come to treat on those heads. There is a large Cave on the top of the Mountains, that will hold a hundred Men and more to sit in, but whether it be natural or artificial, is not known by any that have seen it; but I am of Opinion that it is natural, the Indians having had no Tools to work in Wood or Stone, at the first arrival of the Europeans, so that it cannot be reasonably imagined that a Work of this nature could be perfected without proper Instruments for that purpose.
As all Grain and Pulse thrive here to admiration, so do the Stocks of Cattle, Horses, and Swine multiply surprizingly, there being as great numbers of each Species, as in any Province possessed by the English in America.
The Veal is very good and white, but they seldom kill any for the Market, being fond to preserve their Calves to a larger growth. The Planters make Penfolds adjacent to their Habitations, wherein they milk their Cows every Morning and Evening; after which, they turn them into the Woods, where they remain feeding all Day; when they return at Night, they carefully shut up their Calves with some few of the Cows, in those Penfolds, which protects them from the Wolves, or any other voracious wild Beasts: In the Mornings and Evenings the Cows return from the Woods to be milked, and are turned out as usual; the Calves are turned into the Inclosures where they remain feeding and safe all the Day, no wild Beast ever appearing near their Plantations in that space of time. I have seen one hundred Calves together in one of these Penfolds, being all the Property of one Planter. The Calves generally suck their Dams all the time they are milking, otherwise the Cows would not suffer any one to touch them. The Milk is very pleasant and rich.
Their Heifers bring forth Calves at eighteen or twenty Months old; this early production makes such a wonderful increase, that many of the Planters, from mean beginnings, are Masters now of such large Stocks of Cattle, that you may buy hundreds in the Season: Their method of killing, is generally to shoot them in the Fields, or in the Penfolds; then they cut off the Head and Feet, and take out the Intrails, which they throw away as useless, except the Fat, (which they carefully preserve.) After this manner they continue killing all the Year, as they have Occasion.
If the Cattle be suffered to live to a proper Age, their Beef proves as large and fat as any in the neighbouring Colonies. They kill vast Quantities of Beeves in October, and the other cool Months, especially when they intend them for Salting and Exportation, for at those Seasons they are in their prime of Flesh, and best preserved. The Exportation of this Commodity is one of the greatest Branches of their Trade.
It may perhaps seem very strange to some Europeans, how the Planters can have such large Stocks of Cattle, where there are such Numbers of Wolves, Tygers, Panthers, and other Beasts of Prey; but I can assure them that they give themselves no further trouble than what I have already observed, few or no wild Beasts ever daring or attempting to kill either Calves or Foles, fearing their Dams, who vigorously defend them. When a Cow hath once espied a Wolf or any other voracious Beast near, she gives a Signal by bellowing and roaring, upon which all the Black Cattle within her hearing will run to her assistance, and most resolutely defend their own Species.
There are great Numbers of those Cattle wild, which continually breed in the Woods, (so are there of Horses and Mares) here you shall see great Droves feeding promiscously in the Savannas amongst the Deer, fifty or Sixty Miles distant from any Inhabitants. This sociable Disposition amongst Beasts of different kinds we observed in our Traveling up towards the Mountains, which, together with the Beauty of the Country gave us no small Satisfaction.
The Horses are well shaped, swift, and generally about thirteen or fourteen Hands high, they are durable and will travel incredible Journies. They are never shod, partly by reason of the softness of the Ground, which is covered over with Grass, without any Gravel or Stones; they have few or no distempers amongst them as in European Countries, such as Spavin, Splint, Ringbones, and the like; they are seldom or never blind, and generally live twenty Years or more, most commonly dying of old Age. If there were but good Stallions and Mares sent here from England, or any other Parts, we could not fail of a good Breed in a short time; the Country and Pasturage being so proper for that end.
The Planters are the worst Horse-masters I have ever met with, for few or none allow Corn to their Horses after long Journies, for they frequently tye them to a Tree for Hours together, and sometimes for a Day or two without any manner of subsistence, from whence it sometimes happens that they break loose, and take into Woods, where they remain for Weeks together, with the Saddles on their Backs, before they are found out, and had not they been such good Drudges as they are, there would be but few in this Province, with the bad usage they give them.
The Horses which they keep within the Inclosures, and some times feed with Indian-Corn, are rendered very durable for Journies and Hunting in the Woods. I hope it will not be improper here to give the Reader an Account how they take the Wild Horses in the Woods, which is as follows. The Planters generally, two or more hunt on Horseback in the Woods together, and as soon as they espie a wild Horse, they pursue him, and their Horses are so well train’d to this way of Hunting, that they will neither hurt themselves nor the Riders against a Tree, though you ride them in full Speed, they will perform this for Hours together, ’till such time as the wild Horse stands still; then one of the Hunters alights and claps a Bridle into his Mouth, and a Saddle on his Back (tho’ ten or fifteen Years old) and rides him to their own, or the next Plantation, where they feed him with Indian-Corn and Salt, which feeding, in a little time, makes him as tame and domestick, as any in their Plantation, and fit to pursue his wild Species in the Woods at the next Hunting match, or any other use they have occasion to make of him.
The Sheep thrive well, having two or three Lambs at one Yeaning; they are never suffered to ramble in the Woods (as the other Cattle are) but are kept in Inclosures in the Plantations, from whence they will come every Evening to the Planters Houses, having no Defence against the wild Beasts (and especially the Wolves, their mortal Enemy) at Night they are put up in their Penfolds made of Timber, which every Planter has for that Purpose to defend them from all manner of wild Beasts, but it sometimes happens, through Negligence, that if they are not Inclosed, they become a Prey to the Wolves, who never fail to search and watch for them at Night. The Mutton is generally exceeding Fat, and as well relish’d as any I have met with in Europe. Their Wool is fine, and a good Commodity here. They seldom kill any of their Lambs for the Market, but generally preserve them to a greater Age; neither are the native Planters so fond of Mutton (which is of a middling Size) as the Europeans generally are.
Of Goats, they have but very few in Carolina, and yet they would thrive very well there; but they are so mischievous to Gardens, Orchards, and other Trees, that the Native Planters are not fond of keeping or preserving great numbers of them, though their Flesh is fat and well relish’d, as any in Europe, and their skins are as good.
The Swine are more numerous here than in any of the English Provinces; and the Pork exceeds any in Europe for Goodness. The plenty of Acorns, Nuts, and other Fruits, which the Woods naturally afford, make their Flesh of an excellent Taste, and produces great quantities of them; some Planters possess several hundreds, and vast numbers are to be met with in the Woods, which are every persons Property that can kill them; for no one claims them as his own, except they bear his own Mark or Brand, and it is so with Horses and Cows, that are wild in the Woods. The Planters export vast quantities of Pork to the Islands in the West Indies, such as Barbadoes, Antegua, and several other places where Provisions are scarce, for such Commodities as they have occasion for.
They have plenty of all manner of Domestick Fowl, such as Geese, common Ducks, Muscovy Ducks, Turkeys, Cocks and Hens, Pigeons, and the like, to be purchased at cheaper Rates, than in any part of Europe.
Notwithstanding North Carolina yields to no Country in point of Fertility, especially for Cattle, Venison, Fish and Flesh, yet amongst all this Plenty, there is a scarcity of sufficient Hands to cultivate this noble and fertile Soil. It is capable of producing as good Hemp and Flax, as grow in most parts of Europe, and Linnen might here be brought to great perfection.
This Country likewise produces as good Tobacco, as any to be met with in Virginia, Maryland, or any other Neighbouring Province in the Hands of the English: But the Planters having so many other valuable Commodities proper for Exportation, they little regard or improve it at present, in proportion to what they do in other Provinces.