THE Province of Carolina
separated from Virginia
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
, I shall confine myself, in the ensuing Sheets, to
give my Reader a description of that Part of the Country only, which lies
, 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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
||Rabbet, two sorts.
||Squirrel, four sorts.
||Lion and Jackall on the
||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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
|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
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
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
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
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
||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
||Ducks whistling, at
||Ducks, scarlet-eye, at
|Sea-pies or pied Curlues.
|Great Gray Gulls.
||Teal, two sorts.
|Curlues, three sorts.
||Black Flusterers or bald
|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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
These are called Whistlers, from the whistling Noise they make, as they
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
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
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
The same Mew as in England, being a white, slender Bird, with red
[Shel-Drakes.] The same as in England.
The bald, or white Faces are a good Fowl. They cannot dive, and are
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
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
|Pearch, flat, and Mottled,
|Pearch, small and flat,
|Spots called round Robins.
The Shell-Fish are,
|Large crabs, called
|Smaller flat Crabs.
||Spanish, or Pearl-Oysters.
|Oysters, great and small.
||Tortois and Terebin,
||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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Eels are no where in the World better, or more plentiful, than in
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
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
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
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
[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
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
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
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
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
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.