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William Hepworth Dixon, White Conquest: Volume 1, Chapter 35: the Gulf of Mexico. (search)
er-den, enclosed on every side with jungle, in which every tree is hung with Spanish moss. This ghastly parasite clings in cobwebs, of dull mouse-colour, from every branch. Observe this weed, a resident in Brashear says to me, when showing us the lions of his hamlet. You see it in a place-get off as quickly as your horse will trot. We call it fever-moss. It is a sign that chills and fevers hang about. The weed seems widely spread; we see it everywhere along the Gulf. Along this Gulf disease and death are widely spread. It grows in every marsh and pool, round every lake and bay. You find it in Eastern Texas and Southern Louisiana, in Western Florida, and among the inland waters of Alabama. This parasite is ugly, fcetid, and of little use. Negroes rake it down and bury it in the earth. In ten or twelve days the stench dies out, and then they dig it up and dry it in the sun. When crisp and hard, they stuff it into mattresses and pillows in place of straw. Negroes are