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ose a county court, consisting of a justice and quorum, ordered a draft for a certain number of men to stay at home. This draft stopped my brother, who was about to start for New Orleans-making him the exception of my father's adult sons who were not engaged in the defence of the country during the War of 1812. The part of the county in which my father resided was at that time sparsely settled. Wilkinson County is the southwestern county of the State. Its western boundary is the Mississippi River. The land near the river, although very hilly, was quite rich. Toward the east it fell off into easy ridges, the soil became thin, and the eastern boundary was a pine country. My father's residence was at the boundary line between the two kinds of soil. The population of the county, in the western portion of it, was generally composed of Kentuckians, Virginians, Tennesseeans, and the like; while the eastern part of it was chiefly settled by South Carolinians and Georgians, who we
commended in orders, and his name printed John Howell in a book entitled The naval monument. After peace was declared my father came in 1815 in a flat-boat down to Natchez, to look at the country; he was then an officer on half-pay and on leave. Very soon after he reached there he became intimate with Mr. Joseph Emory Davis, who was practising law. They became so mutually attached that when, in 1818, Mr. Joseph E. Davis, attracted by the great fertility of the alluvial land on the Mississippi River, called by the settlers the bottoms, had taken up a section of the wild land, thirty-six miles below Vicksburg, in Warren County, in the State of Mississippi, he proposed to my father, who thought of leaving the United States Navy, to join him in the purchase and cultivation of the land; but, after riding over the tract, my father feared the malarial effect of the lowlands upon his health and declined. Scattered about through this land, and adjoining it, were some small holdings of
trails, then the only roads, as the necessities of the fur-traders and those of occasional travellers required them. These little hostelries became celebrated throughout the Northwest, and the men who found in them rest and food and fire, remembered the Wentworths and Arndt families, as well as many others, with much friendliness. Fort Winnebago was situated on the Fox River, the course of which is so tortuous that the Indian legend was that an enormous serpent that lived in the Mississippi River went for a frolic to the Great Lakes. On his journey he left his trail through the prairies, and this collected the waters from the meadows, and the rains from heaven as they fell, and became the Fox River. Wau Bun; or, The Early Day, by Mrs. John H. Kinzie, page 80, to whose sprightly and valuable book I am indebted for much information of the Indian country. In the front lay an extent of meadow, across which was the portage road, about two miles in length, between the Fox and Wisco
ng. In 1829, the lead extracted amounted to twelve millions of pounds, but the treaties with the Indians, which secured this teeming country, had not been formally closed, though the fact of a treaty having been initiated was known. Colonel Willoughby Morgan, commanding the First Regiment of Infantry, and the post of Fort Crawford, in 1830, sent Lieutenant T. R. B. Gardenier to Jordon's Ferry, now Dunleith, with a small detachment, to prevent trespassing on the lead mines west of the Mississippi River and north to Missouri. In the autumn of 1831, Colonel Morgan died, and Colonel Zachary Taylor was promoted to the command of the First Infantry, who were then stationed at Prairie du Chien. The uneasiness about the Indians increasing, the regiment was ordered to Rock Island. It moved up the river in Mackinac boats, and passed the Dubuque mines en route. The Indians, who had collected in some force in the neighboring country, on hearing of this advance, returned to Iowa, fearing tha
th varying success and ever-increasing ferocity. The Illini confederacy claimed the territory on the east bank of the Mississippi, and lived in friendly intercourse with the villagers in the little settlement on the site of the city of St. Louis. nsurpassed fertility, extending from the upper end of Rock Island, from latitude 41° 15‘ to latitude 43° 15‘ on the Mississippi River. Mr. Davis wrote: The troubles on the Indian frontier, which had attracted attention in 1808, continued to whole party of whites. Black Hawk's village was on a lovely neck of land made by the union of the Rock with the Mississippi River. Gentle slopes, covered with lush grass and adorned by fine trees, stretched out to join a chain of beautifully runting its waving corn-fields in their longing eyes, recommended the removal of the Indians to the west side of the Mississippi River. Keokuk was that most unsafe of all leaders, a compromise man, and was in favor of going quietly to the Iowa Ri<
th a battalion of mounted miners pursued and overtook the Indians while crossing the Wisconsin and attacked their rear-guard, which, when the main body had crossed, swam the river and joined in the retreat over the Kickapoo hills toward the Mississippi River. General Atkinson with his whole army continued the pursuit, and after a toilsome march overtook the Indians north of Prairie du Chien, on the bank of the Mississippi River, to the west side of which they were preparing to cross in bark canMississippi River, to the west side of which they were preparing to cross in bark canoes made on the spot. That purpose was foiled by the accidental arrival of a steam-boat with a gun on board. The Indians took cover in a willow marsh, and there, on August 3d, was fought the battle of the Bad Axe. The Indians were defeated, dispersed, and the campaign ended. In the meantime General Scott, with troops from the east, took chief command and established his headquarters at Rock Island. Thither General Atkinson went with the regular troops, except that part of the First In
Varina Davis, Jefferson Davis: Ex-President of the Confederate States of America, A Memoir by his Wife, Volume 1, Chapter 15: resignation from the army.-marriage to Miss Taylor.-Cuban visit.-winter in Washington.-President van Buren.-return to Brierfield, 1837. (search)
d ten negroes whom he bought with a loan from his brother, went to work on The Brierfield tract, so called because of a dense growth of briers which were interlocked over the land. The cane was too thick to be uprooted or cut, and they burned it, and then dug little holes in the ground and put in the cotton-seed, which made an unusually fine crop, and the prices of cotton then rendered it very remunerative. While he was busily at work the summer sped on until what is known on the Mississippi River as the chill-and-fever season was upon him, and it was thought advisable for the young couple to seek a more healthful place, as they were unacclimated: so they went to visit his sister, Mrs. Luther Smith, at her Locust Grove plantation near Bayou Sara, La. Very soon after their arrival Mr. Davis was taken very ill with malarial fever, and, the day after, Mrs. Davis became ill also. They were both suffering greatly, but he was considered very dangerously ill, and they were nursed
ent harbors on the Lakes, and especially that of Chicago, which was just then beginning to be built up into a city. On this subject there was a good deal of feeling between the Southern and Southwestern States. Before attending a commercial convention in Cincinnati, Mr. Calhoun had in some measure changed his views, and in a speech in his journey through the West and South (before the convention at Cincinnati) he justified the appropriation for the Lakes, and suggested one for the Mississippi River, because they were all inland seas. Great was the confusion of his allies and adherents throughout the Democratic party: they looked upon the proposition as class legislation, not justified by the Constitution, and a latitudinarian construction of this instrument by him was as though Moses had altered the Commandments. In this state of feeling he drew nigh to Vicksburg in his tour, and my husband was invited to welcome him. Mr. Davis had known Mr. Calhoun with some degree of int
upon him by the women of the South. Sometimes, when he read criticisms upon himself made by disapproving Confederates, without saying why, he would ejaculate, God keep and bless the women of the South; they have never shot an arrow at me. When the speeches were finished, the regiments marched from Lafayette Square down to the Place d'armes, where they partook of a luncheon prepared for them. The Place d'armes is in the centre of a hollow square, one side of which is bounded by the Mississippi River. It must have been a striking sight, this immense company of the people seated in front of the old cathedral and the Department of Justice, amid the shade of semitropical trees and surrounded by brilliant flowers that bloomed on the borders of the Square, the turbid inland sea flowing on the other side. All the balconies of the Pontalba building were crowded on either side with ladies in their summer garb, each one laden with wreaths and bunches of blossoms for the heroes of the hour
th Mexico, by brevet of the lowest rank, to any company, and to bestow certificates of merit upon soldiers who were in like manner distinguished; also to grant certificates of merit to distinguished non-commissioned officers who were not considered eligible for the position of commissioned officers. He also made a full and lucid statement of the explorations that had been made, and were making, in order to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, describing the character of the country and the difficulties to be overcome. Copies of the instructions given to the explorers of the War Department were appended to the report. From these it appears that the officers were directed to observe and note all the objects and phenomena that had an immediate or might have a remote bearing upon the railroad, or which might serve to develop the resources and make known the peculiarities and climate of the country. For