Part 2.

Geneva Lyons Canandaigua Falls of the Genesee Ridge Road Lewiston Fort Niagara Niagara Falls

At eleven o’clock at night we arrived at Dr. Jonas C. Baldwin’s, who has erected a dam across the river, cut a canal around the rift, and made two locks at this place. It is twelve miles from Three-River Point by water, and four by land. We were detained for a considerable time, before we could find our way into the mouth of the canal. The Doctor has laid out his village on Lot 85 Lysander, and called it Columbia. It is distant thirteen miles from Onondaga Court-house. There is a grist-mill and a saw-mill at this place.

Geddes had left us in the course of the day, and had walked home across the country. In his way he stopped here, and gave the Doctor notice of our approach, and luckily found his wife there on a visit. The family had sat up for us, but being tired out, had gone to bed, except a daughter, who had gone to a neighboring house which exhibited lights. We knocked the Doctor up, but the Commodore and one of the young gentlemen had gone to the house which was lighted, and being apprised of their mistake, returned over the bridge conducted by Miss Baldwin and her friend, and as the night was dark, they were accompanied by lights. Their appearance at a distance was like that of mortals who had gone astray, returning into the right road guided by genii. Our reception here was very friendly. The hands of the Morris had refused to proceed from the cold spring, until Capt. Clark agreed to give them an extraordinary compensation. It appears that we had mollified ours, by giving them four dollars as footings, being a collection made by those who had never before passed the Oneida Lake and Oswego Falls. On the Doctor’s chimney we saw excellent stone, brought from the head of Seneca Lake, which is deemed so handsome and valuable for chimney-pieces that a long piece has sold here for two dollars.

July 20th. The day being showery, we spent this day and night here. During an interval of fair weather, the Surveyor took the level of this part of the rift, and found the descent at the locks eight and a-half feet. The width of the river at the dam is about twenty-three rods, and below the dam a toll-bridge is nearly completed over the river. The length of the canal is 100 rods, the width 20 feet, and its depth six feet. There are two locks; the left one is six and a-half feet; the other, three and a-half feet. The length of the upper lock is eighty feet, and its breadth twelve and a-half. The length of the lower lock is eighty-five feet, and its breadth thirteen. The rapid, where the canal is located, is called McNarry’s Rift, but it composes part of Jack’s Rift. What renders it peculiarly bad is the rocky bottom, which defies the setting-pole. Jack’s Rift extends ten miles above Columbia, and is very shallow and bad at the upper end. The canal and dam have been erected under a law of the State.

In November 1809, there passed through the canal 65 vessels; in December, 15; in April, 1810, 51; in May, 1810, 73; in June, 1810, 59. Several vessels pass over the dam in seasons when the water is high. The proprietor says that the whole establishment cost $12,000 or $13,000. The locks and canal probably did not exceed $3,000.

The saw-mill in this place is owned by Burr, the celebrated bridge builder, who has a house here, and is concerned in the establishment. It is intended to have 23 saws. The tolls received here amounted –

In April last, to $115.49
In May 167.91
In June 141.40
Total 424.80

The Doctor keeps a small store. Several frames of houses are rising. Lots of half an acre have been sold from $50 to $150. He lives in two or three log houses connected together, with monstrous chimneys, and two beds in a room.

The river was never so low; the apron of the dam does not appear to be calculated to promote the passage of fish. No. 7 Camillus, is on the opposite side of the river, and belongs to the Company. A fine pit of potter’s clay is at this place. We saw a plant called Indian strawberries, headed like the strawberry, and not good to eat. It looks like the flower called Prince’s Feather.

The blackness of the Oneida lake, and the insalubrious quality of its waters, are owing to its being fed by streams originating in swamps. The other lakes, which are pure and transparent, are supplied by rivers which rise on hills. Dr. Baldwin is of opinion that the blossom of the Oneida lake arises from wood.

July 21st. Breakfasted at Columbia this day, and departed at seven o’clock. The family would receive no compensation, and behaved with great hospitality. The Doctor sent on board of our boat a saddle of lamb. Col. Porter left as a present for the young lady the "Dominican," a novel in two volumes, and the Commodore slipped into the hand of a little girl a bank bill. While here we amused ourselves in having a cockade made, and put in the commodore’s hat, but as soon as he discovered it he pulled it out as a forbidden badge. The hands on board of the Morris evinced a mutinous spirit yesterday, and threatened to leave us, complaining that they were pushed too hard. On being treated with proper spirit, they took wisdom for their counsellor. And behaved well to-day.

The river maintained the same gloomy, dark appearance, with low sunken sides, as we progressed. The people were now taking in their wheat harvest, which was abundant. We saw a beautiful flower called an Indian Pink. We passed No. 8 Camillus, on the south side, belonging to me, about seven miles from Columbia. It corners just below a bridge intended to be built, and a ferry. Its situation on the river is low, and is what is called a narrow lot; that is, the narrowest part is on the river. Land on the opposite side, has sold for $5 an acre.

We stopped in No. 35 Camillus, where there is a settlement made by one Simpson, and an Indian orchard of 40 old apple trees. On the right side, for a great distance, there extensive groves of pine trees. We met a Dr. Adams crossing the river in a canoe, with his saddle-bags under his arm, and clothed in a dark home-spun, to visit a patient. He describes the country as healthy, although he states that Baldwin’s dam has raised the river six inches, at the distance above of eight miles. Mr. Geddes says that he saw a trout killed which had in its belly two field mice and a ground squirrel. Black is the color of squirrels in the western country; you see few gray ones.

We dined in the woods, ten miles from Columbia, on the north side, and at the head of Cross Lake. Visiting an adjacent house, and seeing three lusty women at the wash-tub, none of whom was older than forty, we thought we would involve the commodore in a scrape, through the medium of his curiosity, and told him there was a woman at the house 100 years old, with gray eyebrows, and that her faculties were remarkably good. He immediately left the boat in a great hurry, and paced with uncommon rapidity through a hot sun, to the house, and inquired with great earnestness for a sight of the old woman. Instead of meeting the fate of Orpheus, he was received with laughter, and returned completely hoaxed.

Cross Lake is five miles long, and one broad; in some places it is very deep, and in others contains large reeds and high grass. It abounds with ducks, and is formed by the passing of the Seneca river through a large swamp. We quartered at Wordworth’s, a small log house, fourteen miles from Columbia, on the right side of the river, which is here twenty-four rods wide from Cross Lake, and near fifty feet deep. The insalubrious appearance of the country, and the heavy fogs on the river, added to the sickness of Captain Clark of the Morris, frightened me from taking a matrass with Col. Porter in his tent, although I knew that sleep could not be expected in the house. This place is in the town of Cato, and in the military township of Brutus. There is scarcely any population on the river, owing to its unhealthiness. The settlements are back. Wordworth gave for his land four dollars an acre, four years ago, and his family have been afflicted with fever every year but the present. Three of us spread our matrasses on the floor; three slept in two beds in a little room, and three in the tent. In the common sitting room there were, besides, the family bed and a tunnel-like bed for the children. We were not deceived in our expectations with regard to sleep. The crying of children, the hardness of the boards, the chirping of crickets, and flying of bats, clouds of musquitoes, and a number of other nuisances, effectually prevented repose. We rose at four, and found that our medicinal prescriptions had rendered Capt. Clark much better.

July 22d. – The river being clouded with a thick, heavy fog, we thought it prudent to take breakfast before we moved.

Between Woodworth’s and Musquito Point, there are three shallows, principally with rocky bottoms. On at the mouth of Skeneatelas outlet, two miles from Woodworth’s, one at Hickory island, five miles, and the other at Musquito Point, on the right side of the river. These shallows vary in depth from four to six feet. The mouth of Owasco outlet is nearly opposite Musquito Point. The Canada thistle is at Woodworth’s; it is not so tall as the common thistle, and is spread over the country. There are several ferries on the river, and the farmers were busily engaged in their harvest.

The wind became favorable part of the way, and we arrived at Musquito Point, eight miles, at eleven o’clock. William Lyon keeps the tavern, which has a masonic sign, and appears to be a decent house. It is on thirty-seven Brutus, and two years ago he bought it of an uncle for seven dollars an acre. He thinks that Baldwin’s dam has injured the salmon fishery. There is a good road from here to Oswego; the distance is thirty miles.

After leaving Musquito Point we encountered a baffling wind, and were compelled to drop our sails. We saw on the river the white and yellow lily in great beauty, together with the cat-tail and the wild eglantine on the bank. I had a sight of another red bird; the first, I saw on Wood Creek. There were also cranes and fish-hawks, but no bitterns.

About three-quarters of a mile from Musquito Point, there is a large island of 2,000 acres, on which are some military lots, in the township of Brutus. On a north-west bay, to the north of the island, and four miles from Musquito Point, are the Galen Salt Works, a Company incorporated at the last session of the Legislature. There is a salt-spring on Hickory Island, before-mentioned; and there are others on the north side, a mile and a half below the mouth of Skeneatelas outlet, owned by S.N. Bayard, but whether worked or not, I am uninformed.

A squall took us in the bay, and we halted at Bluff Point, nearly opposite the Galen Salt Works, where there is a great turn in the river. Here is an old clearing, and the grass has been recently cut. The site is an elegant one for a house. Here we met a bare-headed man, shooting ducks for some sick people in Galen; he said that he had seen deer within an hour.

The Cayuga marshes commence at Bluff Point and extend to the Cayuga Lake, so as evidently to have formed but one lake. In coming up to Seneca River, we saw, ten or twelve miles below, small pieces of the marshes, which had been carried down by a violent freshet some time before. The marshes are principally composed of grass, overgrown with high grass, sometimes eight or ten feet high, in which were many wild ducks. The distance from Bluff Point (where high lands on each side of the river approach, and which may be considered as the eastern extremity of the original lake), to Montezuma, is four miles. The lake here has been filled up, and the marshes formed by depositions of mud, carried down the Seneca and Canandaigua Rivers. The bottom is muddy throughout, and the sounding averaged four feet. Mud Creek, which forms a junction with Canandaigua outlet, at Lyon’s, comes into the Seneca a little below Montezuma, on the right side. When about a mile from Montezuma, a violent squall arose, and we had great difficulty in balancing the boat. We arrived at Montezuma at three o’clock, and put up at I.H. Terry’s, physician and tavern-keeper, where we dined and lodged.

Montezuma is in No. 80 Brutus, in the town of Mentz, and is situated on a strip of land between the river and Cayuga marshes and marsh in the rear, and cannot therefore be healthy. It contains a few houses, which have sprung up in a short time. The hill furnishes a beautiful prospect of the marshes, and the Seneca and Canandaigua Rivers winding through them. A few scattering trees of willow and elm are to be seen. The whole was clearly a lake, choked up by alluvions. The channel of the river is said to be in the tract of the greenest grass. Dr. Clark, one of the present proprietors, formerly of New York, and John Swartwout, the former proprietor, have handsome houses on this hill.

The salt works, and whole establishment, are owned by a company, of whom Mr. Andrews, a very fat man, formerly a tavern-keeper in Skeneatelas, is the manager; and his intelligence and activity qualify him for the trust. Gen. North and myself slept at his house, and were handsomely accommodated.

It takes from 80 to 100 gallons to make a bushel of Salt here. Near 2,000 barrels have been made since November last. Salt sells for three shillings a bushel, and twenty shillings a barrel, at the works. There are several springs. The principal one that supplies the establishment is in the middle of a fresh water creek. The salt water is extricated from below the waters of this stream.

The Indians had discovered a spring near the marshes, by digging twelve or fourteen feet, where they made salt. On the site of this old spring a well is now digging for the fossil salt, and has been sunk to the depth 102 feet. The lower they go the salter the water is found. This manufactory contains eighteen kettles and twelve pans; each arch contains two kettles, and consumes a cord of wood in twenty-four hours. Excellent basket salt is also prepared here.

There is also a manufactory of red earthen ware; four or five kilns have been burnt. Two men can burn one in forty days. The principal artizan gets four shillings for every dozen pieces he makes, which remunerates him for his labor about $30 a-month, he however finding himself. The other hand is found, and his wages are $10 a-month. A stone factory is also to be established here.

On an adjoining lot, No. 81 Brutus, there is a large button-wood tree, entirely hollow, seventeen feet in diameter, and forty feet high. It is alive, is inhabited by swallows, and will contain twenty-five men. Dr. Mitchell is quoted for saying, on his visit here, that this is the largest tree in the world. Some years ago there was a ridiculous publication about the size of this tree, directed, "To all who disbelieved." This lot is valuable, and is claimed by one James Sacket. It is said to have been drawn by a foreigner, who, having no heirs, it has escheated to the State. Sacket is an itinerant hunter of claims, and boasts that he has made $15,000 by it. There are several persons in possession; and on his instituting suits against them they have all but one acknowledged his title. His object is to get the land cheap from the State under color of remuneration for improvements. Heard the whistling of quails for the first time in the western country.

July 23d. It rained all night, and the morning continuing so, we breakfasted before we departed. We were amused with a quarrel between the landlady and the Commodore, about his not giving a night’s notice of his intention to breakfast, as she requested; he had, indeed, sent word that he would not. In vain did he state that he could not foresee that the morning would be rainy. She was not to be appeased with this apology, and we took care to fan the flame.

The old bridge, called the Cayuga Bridge, was over the lake, and a mile long. Being carried away by ice, the present one is erected on the outlet, two miles from the former one. It is six miles from Montezuma to the new bridge. We had a view of the village of Cayuga, on the east side of the lake, and a settlement on the other side, where is Harris’ Ferry.

The Cayuga Lake is a beautiful expanse of water, forty miles long, and in some places, as at Aurora, three wide. In passing the fresh marshes, I heard the noise of the meadow-hen, which, with the general appearance, reminded me of the salt meadows on the sea-coast.

We penetrated the Seneca River on the north-west corner of the lake, and found its course north. It is narrow and deep, and not more than four miles wide. It is four miles from the mouth of the river to Mynderse’s Mills; one and a-half from the new Cayuga Bridge to the entrance of the river, and one and a-half miles from the entrance to a bridge over the river, on the route to Mynderse’s Mills. We saw on the margin of the river a plant with a beautiful white flower, composed of a single long flower like a grain of wheat, and several smaller ones attached to it, its leaves being nearly triangular. It was called here a polly-whog. Quere – if at Newtown.

We could not but admire the benignity of Providence, when we beheld boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) scattered profusely over the unhealthy, fever-generating country which borders on this river. The like we observed on Wood Creek. Boneset, from its being a powerful sudorific, is considered as a sovereign remedy for agues and Fall fevers, and has been even recommended for the yellow fever.

We arrived at Mynderse’s Mills, which are situated in Junius, Seneca county. The grist mills are celebrated for making the best flour in the State, and it sells for four shillings more per barrel in New York, than any other flour. This is principally owing to the superior excellence of the Seneca wheat. The mode of manufacturing flour is also superior; indeed, it would appear to be impossible to make bad bread of it. Wherever it is used, we saw white nutritious bread. Here we saw a machine for cleaning the wheat of furze, before it is put in the hopper. Here is a dam across the river, and a bridge – a carding and fulling machine, and store. Our boat passed through a small aperture in the dam. The authority by which this has been effected, requires some explanation.

The falls at this place, called the Seneca Falls, are thirty feet, and extend a mile. The Seneca Lake is fifty feet higher than the Cayuga. Last session a petition was presented to the Legislature for leave to dam up and improve this river, by incorporating a company for the purpose, with power to cut canals round this rapid and the Schoys. This was a speculating scheme with a view to hydraulic works, and ought never to be granted.

At this place we were visited by Mr. Rees, Sheriff of Ontario county, and the Rev. Mr. Chapman, a Presbyterian clergyman of Geneva. We put up at Samuel Jack’s tavern, where we dined and slept. Jack’s sign is that of a field-piece. In his best room was suspended a certificate of his being a member of the Tammany Society of New York, and his house was liberally supplied with profiles of himself and family, cut in paper. I asked him what he followed in New York? He answered, he had been in the clothes line. The weather being rainy, we determined, as we found this house comfortable and the men civil, to stay here for the night. Indeed, several of us were indisposed with head-ache, and the commodore’s disposition we imputed to the miasmatic exhalation of the lakes and Cayuga marshes.

Here we saw marine shells in flint stones, found on the highest land between the lakes. Marble is supposed to be made of shells called Madrepores. The principal shell was the scallop.

We this day dismissed all our hands, and sent back the Morris. We hired a new set of hands to proceed with the Eddy to Geneva. We had no great reason to be displeased with the men of the Eddy, until we discovered in the morning that they had carried away our trumpet and part of the laths that supported the awning. The captain was civil and decent, but conceited. His name was on every house and lock on the route.

July 24th. We were all better, and the morning was cool and pleasant. We walked to the head of the Seneca Falls on a turnpike which passes Mynderse’s, runs parallel with the Seneca turnpike, passes south of Salina, and joins the former turnpike near Manlius square.

Four Commissioners and the Surveyor embarked in the Eddy, at seven o’clock. Colonel Porter, the young gentlemen, and servants, went to Geneva by land. Our boat had been pushed over the falls by new hands. The river was very low, and about three chains wide. Our men were good-natured, sagacious coopers from New England, who understood nothing about boating. Their names were Bellows, Cotton, Arnold, Rudd, and Resolved Waterman.

Schoy’s Rapid is six miles from Mynderse’s, and extends three-quarters of a mile. The fall is sixteen feet. There is a bridge over the river here. The ground on the left bank is laid out into a village, by one Baer, who married a niece of Governor Snyder, on a lot of 100 acres, purchased from the State, and part of No. 4 Romulus. Lots on one-quarter of an acre sell from $45 to $50. Here are mills, a store, post-office, and a few houses. The distance by land or water to Geneva is seven miles.

It being a considerable rain, we stopped at Samuel W. Smith’s tavern. He appeared to know us all. Smith’s daughter had seen the commodore at Pleasant Valley, in Dutchess County. The family were decent. Smith is a freemason, and paid me particular attention. I discovered in his bar some violent Federal hand-bills, principally against me; and as I took one of them in my hand, he was so disconcerted that he broke a decanter. In his garden, I saw short corn, which comes to maturity in seven weeks. The corn, however, of the most rapid growth, is the Mandane from the Missouri. Quere – Gelston?

My father owns No. 14 Romulus, adjoining the Schoy’s lot, which is said to be worth at least $14 per acre. A Dutchman from New Jersey, of the name of Van Riper, who was anxious to purchase this lot, was talking to me about it, and he recognized the commodore as a clerk in the factory at Patterson, to our great amusement and to his great mortification. We were told at Schoy’s, that before the erection of Mynderse’s and Baldwin’s mill-dams, salmon was in considerable plenty, but that since, they have been scarce.

We left Schoy’s at eleven o’clock, and walked to the head of the rapid where we again embarked. The color is a cerulean or a beautiful sea-green. Until you arrive at Schoy’s the country is well settled on both sides. Above it there is a prodigious swamp, and on the left side, four miles from Geneva, a large creek opens into the river. When we arrived near the lake we left the boat, and after a delightful walk on its margin arrived at Geneva at two o’clock, and put up at Powell’s Hotel, where we found our company had proceeded by land.

Having now concluded our voyage, and intending to proceed from this place by land, it may not be amiss to look back and reflect upon the means which we took to guard against sickness during a voyage of twenty-one days, through the most insalubrious waters, exposed to the alternations of heat and rain, the miasmata of marshes, the exhalations of swamps, the fogs of rivers, the want of sleep, and frequently of good water.

In the first place, we were well provided with good victuals. Our appetites were generally good, and our principal drink was port wine, which was recommended to us by the senior Commissioners.

In the second place, we took medicines when we found ourselves indisposed. Dr. Hosack had provided us with James’s Fever Powders, Elixir Proprietatis, Bark and Emetics; and we had got at Albany Lee’s Anti-bilious Pills – pills recommended by Mr. G. Morris, and some mentioned by Ellicott, when he was a Commissioner to run the boundary line between the United States and the Floridas. He says in his journal that it was given to him by Dr. Rush, and that as long as stock lasted he was free from fever, but as soon as he quit the use of it he was seriously attacked. The receipt is as follows: "Two grains of calomel with half a grain of gamboge, combined by a little soap. These pills we used liberally and found them very efficacious.

In the third place; although we passed through places where people were taken down with fever, and although one of our captains was seriously sick, and from the aspect of the land and water it appeared to be impossible for a stranger to escape their deleterious influence, yet we maintained a uniform flow of good spirits. The song and the flute, the jest and vive la bagatelle, more than our most powerful medicines, were the best antidotes to sickness.

We here received a letter from M. And V.R., apologizing for leaving this place, and promising to meet us on the Niagara River. Jackson, the British Minister, passed through this village on the 19th.

The Yankee coopers who brought our boat from Mynderse’s asked $15 instead of $10 for their services, which last was the usual and proper price. The commodore objected to the demand, but finally gave them $12.50. He stated that they did not know how to row, and that they were continually running the boat zig-zag from one side of the river to the other. To which one of them immediately replied, that their object in doing so was to give the Commissioners the most ample opportunity of exploring and examining the river. The Eddy was sold here for $30 without the sails.

The principal obstructions in the Seneca River are the Seneca Falls and the Schoy’s Rapid. Towards the source there are some shallows. >From the Schoy’s to the lake it runs through a swamp. The distance between the lakes is in general fourteen miles. The narrowness of this and the Cayuga Lake renders the view of them different from that of the Oneida Lake, for in the latter, looking lengthways, you cannot see land. The Seneca Lake is forty miles long from north to south, and on an average three miles wide. It is a beautiful expanse of water, good to drink, of a sea-green color, warm in winter and cold in summer, and never freezes. Delicious trout are caught in it, one weighed eighteen pounds; the most common weight is from three to five pounds. Its neighbor, the Cayuga Lake, far surpasses it in fish. The only outlet is the Seneca River, which is narrow at the point of exit. There is a bar at the mouth of the lake.

Geneva contains about one hundred houses, and its prosperity appears to be stationary, as no new ones are building. An Episcopalian and a Presbyterian Church, a Post-office, a printing-office, and a number of stores and mechanics’ shops are here. It is delightfully situated on the north-west end of Seneca Lake. To the west of Geneva there is a natural marsh or meadow, also a great deal of low land to the north. On the east is the lake. One would think it to be unhealthy, but it is said not to be so. The woods around are cleared, and probably the best meadows are drained. Lots here, consisting of three quarters of an acre with a front of twenty rods, sell for about two hundred dollars -- on the main street, from four to five hundred dollars.

Geneva is in the town of Seneca, which turns out five hundred votes. The leading republicans are Septimus Evans, Supervisor and Member of Assembly; Dr. Goodwin, and Mr. Dox, a merchant, originally from Albany. The town is republican, notwithstanding a federal paper, called the Geneva Gazette, is published her every Wednesday, by James Bogert.

Powell’s Hotel was built by Capt. Charles Williamson, the agent of the Pulteney estate, who also laid out the south part of this village. It is a very large and expensive wooden building, and has, besides an ice-house and the other appendages of a great establishment, a descending hanging-garden on the side of the lake. The fruit-trees, particularly the peach, apricot, and plum, look remarkably vigorous and healthy. The Alta Frutex, Syringa, Moss Locust, Persian Lilac, Jessamine, etc., and a number of other shrubs, are also in fine order. Grapes appear to do well. The peaches this year blossomed in February, and through the whole western country have been destroyed by a frost.

Capt. Williamson was a great benefactor to this country, although not to the Pulteney estate. No man has contributed more to the population, the wealth, and the general improvement of this country that he. He expended, by drafts on his employers, £600,000. In order to keep up the price of lands he frequently purchased them at a high rate. He was a gentleman, a man of honor and intelligence. He is now no more.

Phelps and Gorham gave for the Massachusetts land, two or three cents an acre. Not being able to make good their payments, they surrendered the country west of the Genesee river, to their grantors, and R. Morris gave for it one shilling per acre. The value is now incalculable.

July 25th. We left Geneva to view the confluence of Mud Creek and the Canandaigua outlet, at Lyons. We traveled in two wagons, and sent our baggage and two of our servants to Canandaigua by the usual route. About two miles from Geneva we passed a place once famous as an Indian castle, and called Canadusaga. This was destroyed by Sullivan’s army, together with an old Indian orchard, which has now grown up and is flourishing, and which, if not destroyed, would have been useless, on account of the age of the trees. There is an Indian mound or barrow for interring the dead at this place.

The country is well settled, fertile, and abounding in wheat, which is now gathering. We halted at T. Oaks’ tavern, in Phelpstown, near which is a Presbyterian church, six miles from Geneva. Here, according to an appointment, we conferred with Jonathan Melvin, a plain, illiterate farmer, respecting a route projected by him, from Galen salt works on the Seneca river, to Port Bay, on Lake Ontario. He has property on Port Bay, and says, that he has examined the route personally. The result of his information, reduced to writing on the spot, is as follows, to wit: --

Half a mile above Galen Salt Works, Crusoe Creek empties into Seneca River, opposite Bluff point; from thence to Crusoe Lake, dead water, navigable by a Durham boat. From the outlet to the head of the lake, one and a half or two miles; from the head of the lake to the inlet of Port Bay, three miles through a swamp; down the said inlet four and a half miles, to the great falls, which are forty feet perpendicular; from thence to where the waters are dead, and seven or eight feet deep, one mile and a half; from thence to the head of the bay, one mile and a half; a bar at the entrance of the bay may be removed; thence to the outlet of the bay, one mile and a half; the bay a mile wide, the outlet three-quarters of a mile wide; the whole distance eighteen miles.

July 25th, continued. We proceeded to Lyons, ten miles north, through a violent shower, having left the commodore, who accompanied Mr. Reese, in his chair, at Oaks’ tavern. This village is near the confluence of Mud Creek and Canandaigua outlet; the latter contains four times as much water as the first, and both together are about as large as the Mohawk. This village was laid out by Captain Williamson, and contains two taverns and twenty or thirty houses, principally occupied by Methodists. Lots of a quarter of an acre sell for forty or fifty dollars. After viewing the rivers, we dined here and returned.

On our return, a mile from Lyons, and a mile from the road, in a thick wood, we stopped to see a camp-meeting of Methodists. The ground was somewhat elevated; the woods were cleared, and a circle was made capable of containing several thousands. The circle was formed of wooden cabins, tents, covered wagons, and other vehicles. At one end of the circle a rostrum was erected, capable of containing several persons, and below the rostrum or pulpit, was an orchestra fenced in. We arrived at this place before the meeting was opened, and we found it excessively damp and disagreeable, from the heavy rains. Here, eating and drinking was going on; there, people were drying themselves by a fire. In one place, a man had a crowd around him, to listen to his psalm singing; in another, a person was vociferating his prayer. And again, a person had his arm around the neck of another, looking him full in the face, and admonishing him of the necessity of repentance; and the poor object of his solicitude, listening to his exhortations with tear-suffused eyes. At length four preachers ascended the pulpit, and the orchestra was filled with forty more. The people, about two hundred in number, were called together by a trumpet, the women took the left and the men the right hand of the ministers. A good-looking man opened the service with prayer, during which groans followed every part of his orisons, decidedly emphatical. After prayer he commenced a sermon, the object of which was to prove the utility of preaching up the terrors of hell, as necessary to arrest the attention of the audience to the arguments of the ministers. And this was undoubtedly intended as a prelude to terrific discourses. Capt. Dorsey, who was a member of the Assembly last session, and who is a devout Methodist, was kind enough to show us seats, and to invite us to breakfast in the morning, at his house; but the dampness of the place, and the approach of night, compelled us to depart before the sermon was completed, which we did singly, so as to avoid any interruption. We were mortified at the conduct of our drivers in turning the carriages, so as to draw off the attention of the people from the sermon. We sent an apology for it to Capt. Dorsey, they were expressly directed to do this on our arrival. As far as we could hear, the voice of the preacher, growing louder and louder, reached our ears as we departed, and we met crowds of people going to the sermon. On the margin of the road, we saw persons with cakes, beer, and other refreshments for sale.

We returned to Oaks’ tavern, where we slept. The commodore had proceeded with Mr. Reese after dinner, and we did not meet him. In the course of the evening the Surveyor-General mentioned the singular death of the Rev. Mr. Hartman some years ago. He was a Lutheran minister, far advanced in life. He took passage from New York for Clermont, and the wind being adverse part of the way, he became very uneasy. On his arrival at the place of destination, he told Mrs. Livingston, the chancellor’s mother, that he had come to lay his old bones there, and expressed great anxiety to have his will written, as he was to die the next day at 12 o’clock at night. The chancellor wrote his will; he appeared to be composed, and in his usual state of health. The family considered his prediction a whim, but appointed a person to watch him. When the clock struck twelve he expired.

July 26th. We departed at five o’clock in the morning for the Sulphur Springs, in Farmington, six miles distant, where we found the commodore and Mr. Reese. We breakfasted there, in a handsome house.

We passed through the principal part of Farmington, a republican town. The first settler here was from Vermont, who brought with him a four-pound cannon, which he had taken from the British during the war. A number of Marylanders are settled here, as may be seen from their large crops of corn and tobacco. An emigrant from Fredericks county says, that land here does not produce more than there, but that his inducements to remove were his large family, and the cheapness of the land. The country from Oaks’ to the Springs is thickly settled, and covered with wheat, which yields twenty-five bushels an acre. Four parallel roads run in this direction, which are full of people, and one of them is a turnpike.

As you approach the Springs, the smell of sulphur reminds you of the Stygian lake, of the heathen mythology. There are two springs, a quarter-of-a-mile distant. The water is very cold, and a considerable stream runs from the principal spring. You see sulphur in its virgin state lying around, with concretions of stone formed by it, and gypsum mingled with the sulphur, forming in some places beds, into which you can penetrate a pole of five feet. There is a bathing-house adjacent to the spring, for the accommodation of invalids. It is supposed that there is some arsenic in the waters. Having before seen such a sulphur spring at Cherry Valley, my curiosity was not much excited.

The road is populous and thickly settled to Canandaigua, the County town, in which all the roads in the country center, as radii from a common center. It is nearly the center of territory, as well as of population.

Half-a-mile north of the village we perceived the remains of an old fortification. A mound of earth two feet high runs round two acres, and, as far as I could judge, it is nearly of an elliptical form. A ditch surrounds the whole; there were the appearances of two gates or entrances, on the north and south side. The ditch is nearly filled and narrow; part of the ground has been ploughed. On the side of the ditch and in the fort there are oaks upwards of 150 years old. This work is on the highest ground in its vicinity. There are two others near the village. Munro attributes these and similar works to the French, but he is unquestionably mistaken.

We reached Canandaigua at twelve o’clock, and put up at Taylor’s hotel; an indifferent house. This village is pleasantly situated at the north end of Canandaigua Lake, a fine body of water, eighteen miles long, and from one to two miles wide. There are more fish in it than in Seneca Lake. A trout weighing twenty-eight pounds has been caught in it, which had in its belly a whole fish, of two pounds weight. There are here a Court-house, Jail, Academy, Post-office, two printing-presses, and about one hundred and fifty houses. The main street strikes the outlet of the lake at right angles, and has a great many elegant houses. The Academy is not painted, and appears to be in a decaying situation, although it is endowed with property to the value of $20,000. This is a place of great business, and the society is agreeable. The lots were so laid out in the main street, as to contain originally forty acres in the rear. A very handsome house and five acres, on a commanding situation in this street, were lately sold for $4,000. There are eleven lawyers here. The Indians had considerable settlements in this place, when Sullivan’s army passed through and destroyed them. The mill-dams near the outlet render the lower part of the village unhealthy. Butter here sells for one shilling per pound; the best beef, five cents; common beef and mutton, four cents.

A plain coachee with leather curtains, belonging to Jemima Wilkinson, or the Friend, as she is called, was here for repairs at the coach-maker’s. On the back of it are inscribed in large letters, V +* F, and a star on each side. She resides with thirty or forty followers at Crooked Lake, in this country. She is opposed to war, to oaths, and to marriage; and to her confidential friends she represents herself as Jesus Christ personified in the body of Jemima Wilkinson.

I saw judge Atwater, Mr. Phelps, Mercer, and other respectable Republicans, and I gladly availed myself of a polite invitation of J.C. Spencer to take a bed at this house, having first rode with him in his chaise through the village and its vicinity.

July 27th. Young Eddy being indisposed with fever, the other two young gentlemen agreed to stay with him, and join us at Buffalo. We hired two wagons for the conveyance of five commissioners, a surveyor, and two servants; one servant rode on horseback, and we had a baggage-wagon besides. The commodore left us with an intention of joining us in the evening, after visiting some Quakers. At Col. Porter’s request, we stopped at Col. Norton’s, in Bloomfield, six miles from Canandaigua. A genteel house and family, but the proprietor being absent our visit was short.

We dined on our own provisions at Dryer’s tavern, in Bloomfield. The country so far was very populous, fertile, and delightful, particularly that part of it called Broughton Hill, an elevated portion, affording an extensive prospect. After leaving Dryer’s inn, the country changes for the worse. There is no underwood, and the predominant timber is oak. We crossed Gerundigut Creek at Mann’s mills, where Mr. Geddes proposes a great embankment for his canal, from the Genesee River to the head waters of Mud Creek. He crosses Gerundigut Creek here, in order to attain the greatest elevation of ground on the other side. Adjacent to this place were indications of iron ore and red ochre, which often accompany each other.

We arrived at Perrin’s tavern, in the town of Boyle, twenty-one miles from Canandaigua, four and-a-half from Gerundigut or Irondequot landing, and fourteen from Charleston. A vessel of thirty tons cargo comes to the head of this landing. The sign of the tavern contains masonic emblems, and is by S. Felt & Co. Felt is a man in the employ of the landlord, and the object of this marked sign is, as the landlord says, to prevent his debtors from seizing the house. Perrin is a violent Federalist. He behaved to me with great civility, conversed about masonry, and presented me with a masonic sermon. We drew lots for the choice of beds; and it turning in my favor, I chose the worst bed in the house. I was unable to sleep on account of the fleas. At this place we ate the celebrated white fish salted. It is better than shad, and cost at Irondequot landing $12 per barrel.

July 28th. We departed from here at seven o’clock, after breakfast, and after a ride of eight and a half miles arrived at a ford of the Genesee river, about twelve miles from the Great Falls, and seven and a half miles from Lake Ontario. This ford is one rock of limestone. Just below it there is a fall of fourteen feet. An excellent bridge of uncommon strength is now erecting at this place. We took a view of the upper and lower falls. The first is ninety-seven and the other seventy-five feet. The banks on each side are higher than the falls, and appear to be composed of slate, cut principally of red freestone. The descent of the water is perpendicular. The view is grand, considering the elevation of the bank and the smallness of the cataract or sheet of water.

From the ford to the lake is seven and a half miles; from the great falls to the lake, seven miles; from the great to the lower falls, one mile and a half; from the lower falls to Hanford’s tavern, where we put up, one mile and a half; from Hanford’s to Charlottesburgh, on the lake, four miles. There is a good sloop navigation to the lower falls.

These falls, as also those of Niagara, and perhaps of Oswego, are made by the same ridge or slope of land. The Genesee river, in former times, may have been dammed up at these falls, and have formed a vast lake, covering all the Genesee Flats, forty miles up. The navigation above the ford is good for small boats to the Canaseraga Creek, and ten miles above it, making altogether fifty miles.

We dined and slept at Hanford’s tavern; he is also a merchant, and carries on considerable trade with Canada. There is a great trade between this country and Montreal, in staves, potash, and flour. I was informed by Mr. Hopkins, the officer of the customs here, that 1000 barrels of flour, 1000 ditto of pork, 1000 ditto of potash, and upwards of 100,000 staves had already been sent this season from here to Montreal; that staves now sold there for $140 per thousand, and had at one time brought $400; that the expense of transporting 1000 staves from this place to Montreal is from $85 to $90; across the lake, from $45 to $50; of a barrel of potash to Montreal, twenty shillings; of pork, sixteen shillings; of flour, ten shillings; but that the cheapness of this article is owing to a competition, and is temporary. A ton of goods can be transported from Canandaigua to Utica, by land, for twenty shillings.

Notwithstanding the rain, we visited in the afternoon the mouth of the river. On the left bank a village has been laid out by Colonel Troup, the agent of the Pulteney estate, and called Charlottesburgh, in compliment to his daughter. He has divided the land into one acre lots. Each lot is sold at ten dollars an acre, on condition that the purchaser erects a house in a year. This place is in the town of Genesee. The harbour here is good. The bar at the mouth varies from eight to eight and a-half feet, and the channel is generally eleven feet. There were four lake vessels in it. We had an opportunity of seeing the lake in a storm, and it perfectly resembled its parent, the ocean, in the agitation, the roaring, and the violence of its waves.

The commodore overtook us at the ford, and subdued a severe sick head-ache by strong potations of tea.

July 29th, Sunday. We set off at six o’clock, and breakfasted at Davis’s tavern, in Parma, nine miles from the place of our departure. Our baggage wagon contained our provisions, on which we generally fared. Davis lives on the Pulteney lands, in a two-story log house. He has been here four years, and gave three dollars an acre on a credit of five years.

Shortly after leaving the Genesee river, we entered a remarkable road called the Ridge Road, extending from that river to Lewiston, seventy-eight miles. The general elevation of the ridge is from ten to thirty feet, and it width varies. Sometimes it is not more than fifteen or twenty yards, and its general distance from Lake Ontario is ten miles; at Davis’s it is nine miles. This ridge runs from east to west. About from three to half-a-mile south, and parallel with this ridge, there is a slope or terrace, elevated 200 feet more than the ridge, with a limestone top, and the base freestone. The indications on the ridge show that it was originally the bank of the lake. The rotundity of the stones, the gravel, &c., all demonstrate the agitation of the waters. When the country between it and the lake is cleared, it will furnish a charming view of that great body of water.

We saw along the road great quantities of ginseng, a beautiful convolvulus, or vine, with a delicate jessamine-like flower, which General N. has naturalized in his garden. Wherever there have been clearings in the wood, by the agency of fire, we saw the weed called fire-weed, which is always to be seen in such situations, and is made use of as an argument in favor of spontaneous or equivocal vegetation.

I saw for the third time the beautiful red-bird, before mentioned. He derives, from the singular redness of his plumage, the appellation of the Cardinal Bird. We also saw numbers of robins, blue birds, blue jays, three kinds of wood-peckers and hawks, and a great number of blackbirds. We also observed that all the squirrels we met with were black, which is the case all over the western country.

Our ride to Davis’s was unpleasant. It had rained all night, and this morning for two hours. The day, however, became pleasant. In this sequestered spot we had the satisfaction of seeing a bower, where forty persons had assembled to celebrate the birth-day of our nation. And this pleasure would have been more lively if we had not perceived a great number of electioneering hand-bills.

Land on this road is excellent, and is clothed with valuable and heavy timber. It produces in wheat, twenty-five bushels an acre, and corn in the same ratio. It sells on the road for five dollars an acre, and is but thinly settled.

We rode seven miles to dinner, and dined on cold ham. The house was kept by R. Abby, justice, tavern-keeper, and proprietor of a saw-mill. His only library was a Conductor Generalis; and a crowd of drunken people were collected about the house. In excuse for the justice, it might be remarked, that he was not at home; he was met on the road by some of our company, and expressed an intention of calling upon me at our lodgings, in the evening, of which pleasure we were, however, deprived. His house is on the tract of land called the Triangle, in the town of Murray. About a mile and a half from here, we saw a man who had been settled two years in this country, and who had purchased 300 acres for $600. About three miles west of Abbey’s, there is a fine nursery of young apple-trees and a good orchard. The land in this town sells for five dollars an acre, on the road; back of the road it is sold for four.

We met to-day a man going to Charlottesburgh, on the Genesee River, with two barrels of potash, drawn by two oxen in a cart. He must have gone twenty-six miles to market. Potash works are numerous over the coast, and appear to be the great resource of the people for raising money. We observed a man reaping wheat to-day, and other patrolling the woods with guns, so that Sunday does not appear to be held in high veneration. Natural meadows were frequent on both sides of the ridge. The wheat was good, and the corn bad. The frost, which happened on the night we lodged at Van Valkenburgh’s tavern, on the Oswego River, appears to have affected corn-fields partially, from here to Canandaigua, as if it had proceeded like a current of cold air, avoiding the highlands, and scattering devastation among the corn on low grounds.

The driver of our baggage-wagon is named Finch, and is a fugitive from Vermont. He commanded the mammoth raft that escaped from Lake Champlain during the embargo, and got it safe to Quebec, where he would have realized a handsome fortune, had it not been swept away and totally destroyed by an extraordinary flood. It was owned by seventeen people; he was before worth $6,000. Being ruined by the failure of this enterprise, he now relies upon his team and industry for subsistence, and appears to be a civil, sober, industrious, and intelligent fellow.

Six miles from Abbey’s we put up for the night at Matteson’s tavern, an open log house, in the town of Murray, where we suffered the want of sleep, and encountered every other privation. Two slept in the garret, three on the floor on mattrasses, and I thought myself happy in putting mine on a wooden chest, where I avoided the attacks of kittens. The night was very damp and rainy -- the musquitoes abundant; and were serenaded by the jingling of cow-bells, and the screaming of drunken clowns.

July 30th, Monday. We left this disagreeable place at half-past five, and after a ride of four hours through a wilderness, we arrived at one Downer’s, a private house, and nine and a half miles from where we slept. Downer emigrated from Vermont two years ago, and purchased this farm, which is in the town of Batavia, for eighteen shillings per acre. It is twenty miles from the village of Batavia, eight miles from lake Ontario, and by measurement, thirty-two and a half from the Genesee ford, where the bridge is erecting. Here we partook of a comfortable breakfast on our own provisions, assisted by the cheerful hospitality of our talkative landlady, who informed us that they had, in a time of scarcity, been obliged to give twenty shillings per bushel for Indian meal.

The rain discontinuing, we proceeded to Sibley’s tavern, fifteen miles from Matteson’s, twenty-five from Batavia, and eight from the lake. Here we halted awhile. The land along this route has been sold by the Holland Land Company for from eighteen to twenty shillings per acre. The Ridge Road was laid out by their agents about two years since, and may be considered as a great natural turnpike. In imagination, one might suppose that this ridge was a great road, created some thousand years ago, by the powerful emperor of a populous State, to connect the lakes with the interior country; or, like the wall of China, a great breastwork, erected by a mighty State, to protect the country against incursions from the lakes. Such as it is, the lashing of the waves of the lakes has spread this ridge with gravel; and if the stumps of the trees are eradicated, and the cavities filled up, it may be made the best road in the United States -- the expense of which will not exceed $200 per acre. It is twenty feet wide, but intended to be five rods. The Company have laid out their land in farms of 160 acres, twenty chains fronting the road, and 100 back, and they are not worth, in this situation, four dollars per acre.

Mr. Sibley says that there is a gentle descent from here to the lake, and he can give no account of a ridge or slope between this place and Batavia. Can there be a break in the slope here?

About nine miles south-west of Sibley’s there are salt-springs, worked by Mr. Ellicott, the agent of the Holland Land Company. A considerable deal is made, and salt is sold for a dollar a bushel. Eighteen miles from here, on the Triangle, and north of the road, salt is also manufactured, by Mr. Stoddert. Perhaps a range of salt springs, arising from a mine of fossil salt, may be traced from Salina to Kentucky, and from thence to Louisiana.

From Sibley’s we proceeded to the Oak-Orchard, three miles. It is a great plain, of six miles in extent, from east to west, covered by oak-trees, with little or no underwood. Through it the road is much improved. Oak-Orchard Creek runs through here; the banks are fifty feet steep. Five miles up the creek, there is a fall of thirty feet, which must be made by the upper ridge or slope. We could not learn the condition of the stream above the falls. There is a bar at the mouth, about knee deep in dry seasons. In the Spring and Fall, boats can ascend this creek twelve miles. For three miles above the bar, it is very deep. At the mouth it is about thirty feet wide, and then widens for three miles, from thirty to forty rods. If the bar could be removed, it would form an excellent harbor. Salmon, muscalunga, and other fish, run up it. Any number of mills may be erected on this stream, which is the only one in this country that will work a mill in all seasons. The people here have to go forty miles, to Stoddert’s mill, in this dry season [original text has "seasom"] , which certainly reflects no honor on the Holland Land Company. Before Ellicott’s salt-works were erected, which are five miles up the creek, Onondaga salt sold here for five dollars a bushel. On the margin of the creek we found excellent wild onions; wild leeks are also in the woods.

We dined at one Johnson’s, a private house, five and a-half miles from Sibley’s, and three from Ellicott’s salt works. It is a perfect wilderness from here to Sibley’s. Johnson settled here in the spring, and gave three and a-half dollars per acre. There was another family here, and the father of it has languished with fever and ague the whole season without making an effort to relieve himself. Our commodore, like the Good Samaritan, left some medicines to meet his case.

We proceeded seven and a-half miles from here to Stuart’s tavern, in the town of Cambria, in Niagara County, where we lodged, making in the whole twenty-seven miles this day’s journey. We had intended to stay at a tavern two miles back, but were prevented by a person languishing with fever, who represented himself to be a physician from Peekskill, of the name of Robert Thompson Owens, the son of a farmer and on his way to New Orleans. I slept in company with the commodore, under Col. Porter’s tent or sail, and made out extremely well.

July 31. Tuesday. The people at Stuart’s have migrated from Washington county, and are decent and well-behaved. There is an abundance of bears in this country; one of our servants saw one near the house. We breakfasted here, and on our departure the landlord missed his razor strop, when it appeared that the commodore, after shaving himself, had put it up accidently in his trunk. The commodore’s mistake afforded considerable merriment, in which he heartily participated.

We halted at Brown’s tavern, three miles from Stuart’s, seven miles from the great slope, and seven from the lake. Six years ago Brown gave fourteen shillings per acre for this farm. He says he would not sell it now for ten dollars.

We travelled ten miles on the Ridge Road without seeing but a very few houses. Here, to our great mortification, a heavy rain came on, and we found an interruption of the road on the ridge. For four miles we travelled through the worst road we ever encountered, it being off the ridge, and about two miles from each other passed two considerable streams, branches of the Eighteen Mile Creek. About a mile from Forsyth’s tavern we regained the ridge road; and just before we arrived there, which was at two o’clock, the road from Batavia to Lewiston joins the Ridge Road, and from this place to the latter the travelling is good.

Forsyth keeps a good house; we dined here. He lives fourteen miles from Stuart’s, seven from the lake, fifteen from Lewiston, thirty-five from Batavia, and sixty-two and a-half from the Genesee river. So that the Ridge Road, when completed, which it is intended to do, will be seventy-seven and a-half miles long. Forsyth gave for his land twenty-two shillings per acre, five years ago, and being an intelligent man and an old settler, was asked his opinion as to the formation of this ridge. He is of the decided opinion that it was the bank of a lake, and besides assigning the reason before-mentioned to support his opinion, he stated the following facts:

1st. That the fish-banks, being heaps of gravel before-mentioned, and commonly called bass-banks, are, on digging, found in a complete state at the foot of the ridge.

2nd. That all streams which enter the lake from the east have their mouths filled up with sand in a particular way, arising from the prevalence and power of the westerly winds, and that the points of the creek which break through this ridge correspond precisely with the entrance of the streams into the lake.

The road from Forsyth’s is excellent, and through a thick settled country. We stopped at Howell’s Tavern, ten miles from Lewiston, where we saw the Columbian. Land here sells for three dollars per acre. At this place we were told that in digging a well twenty-six feet, strata of different kinds were penetrated, and among others, one of lake sand and another of gravel. In digging a dam for a saw mill, several lake shells were found at the depth of four feet. As shells and bones are only preserved in clay and are destroyed in sand, it is no evidence that the lake has not overflown a country if no shells can be found in particular situations.

Lake Ontario (which was originally called by the English Cadarackin), must have been dammed up at its entrance, and on its bursting a pass, assisted probably by an earthquake, the terrible rupture must have created the Thousand Isles. The lake would then recede from its ancient boundaries.

After leaving Howell’s Tavern, we turned from the Ridge Road and ascended the great slope which approaches it here. The bottom of it is composed of a ledge of limestone, and its elevation is two hundred feet. On this hill we had a sublime view of immense forests towards the lake, like one prodigious carpet of green, and a distant glimpse of the great expanse of waters.

Three miles from Lewiston we passed through a village of Tuscarora Indians, containing 300 souls. Their territory consists of three miles square -- one given them by the Senecas, two by the Holland Company. They follow agriculture and keep a number of hogs and neat cattle. They also plant corn and cultivate wheat, which looks poor. I saw a chief with a cross on his back. When Jackson was at Queenstown, they were sent for to play ball for his amusement. They frequently visit the British and receive presents.

We put up at a tavern kept in Lewiston, by T. Hurtler, an old sergeant in the army. The Surveyor General and I slept at Mr. Barton’s, one of the house of Porter, Barton & Co., where we were kindly accommodated.

Lewiston contains but a few houses. It is within the State reservation of a mile, on the east side of the Niagara reservation, and is laid out in a town by the State. The portage round the Falls commences here, and is eight miles on the American, and ten on the British side. The portage has been leased from the State by Porter, Barton & Co., and the principal article conveyed is salt; three yoke of oxen can carry twelve barrels of salt, and make one trip a day. There are twenty-two teams of various kinds employed in this portage. The distance from here to the Falls is seven miles; to the outlet of the river into Lake Ontario, seven and a half miles. A vessel will float this distance by the current in three hours. The whole length of Niagara river, or rather the distance from lake to lake, is thirty miles. There is a ferry between this place and Queenstown, and the width of the river is one quarter of a mile.

Mr. Barton is building an elegant stone house, on a commanding situation. At his house I saw a large horned owl, with the head like a cat, and with talons. He had committed great trespasses on the poultry, biting off their heads and sucking their blood; he was shot on the poultry-house.

August 1st, Wednesday. The brig Ontario, of ninety tons, belonging to Porter, Barton & Co., being on her way to Oswego, we took our departure in her about ten o’clock, on a visit to Fort Niagara, having previously apprised the officers of the garrison of our intention. This is a handsome vessel, cost $5,000, can carry 420 barrels of salt, and is navigated by a captain and seven men. The monthly wages of a sailor is $20. We saw six British and American vessels, five of which were square-rigged, ascend the river at the same time. The business transacted here is principally on the American side, and is the transportation of salt. There are two merchants and a lawyer in this village; also a spacious warehouse, and a good wharf belonging to this company: the road to the wharf is down a steep hill, and is badly contrived, as only one team can load at a time. The color of the river is a beautiful sea-green, and its depth from 40 to 100 feet; the current descends at the rate of three miles an hour. The banks of the river are steep, and principally formed of a stone, composed of indurated red clay, which is friable on exposure to heat or frost. About two years ago, the ice accumulated some two miles below Lewiston, to the elevation of seventy feet, from bank to bank, and created a rise of water above, which swept away with the besom of destruction everything between the banks of Lewiston and Queenstown.

We landed at the Fort from the brig, which hauled close up to the dock, and were received with a national salute, and other military honors. Capt. Leonard and Dr. West and families reside here, and Lieut. Gansevoort, a single man. The garrison consists of an artillery company. We dined with the commanding officer, in the large stone house, which is 105 by 46 feet. It is in itself a complete fortification, has a well, prisons, and only one door. It had iron window shutters, which were taken away by the British, when they surrendered the Fort, under Jay’s treaty. There are marks of shot in the rafters from a six-pounder, and which were fired at the siege under Sir Wm. Johnson. It is said that the French asked permission of the Indians to build a trading-house, and that they erected surreptitiously this work; it is further stated that the stone were brought from Fort Frontenac. Considering the distance, and the monstrous mass of stones, one would think this impossible. As the stones about the windows are different, and more handsome than those which compose the building, the probability is, that the former only were brought from Fort Frontenac, and that the latter are the common stones of the country. Niagara Fort is in a ruinous condition. There are two block-houses at the east and west end; and an old stone house, which was built by the French, constitutes the magazine. The only pleasant thing to the feelings of an American are the new barracks which are building.

The bar of the Niagara River at its entrance into the lake is twelve feet. From the north room in which we dined, we had a superb view of the lake. We understood here, that Gen. Dearborn, the late Secretary of War, had represented as an excuse for not erecting a fort at Black Rock, that the State had asked twelve dollars an acre for the ground -- an assertion totally destitute of truth.

We returned via Newark in our carriages, which we had sent to that place for the purpose. The river here is about thirty chains wide. It was formerly the seat of government of Upper Canada, which has been transferred to York, and Newark is now called Niagara. It contains about eighty houses, a court-house, and two churches.

As we walked through the town we saw a dozen people, whom we were told were the principal men of the place, looking at us. Some years ago I got acquainted with Dr. Ker, Deputy Grand-Master of Upper Canada, whom I was told resides in this place, and intended to pay me particular attention of he saw me. The British fort is a little farther up than ours, and is said to be fourteen feet higher. Its condition is not much superior; in is under the command of a Major. Jackson was received at this place with military honors, and complimented with a ball.

I observed an uncommon number of musquito hawks flying over the plains adjacent to this town; they were in pursuit of insects, and their cry was squah, in a sharp note.

The road from Niagara to Queenstown is pleasant and well-cultivated, and the country has plenty of young orchards of apple and peach trees. I am told, however, that improvements are stationary, and that the country does not look better than it did eleven years ago. The difference between the American and British side, in every attribute of individual and natural improvements, must strike the most superficial eye. It is flattering to our national pride, and to the cause of republican government; indeed, Mr. Morris insinuated that Jackson recognized with no little spleen.

The politics of Upper Canada are tempestuous. A great majority of the people prefer the American government, and on the firing of the first gun would unite their destinies with ours. The Irish and emigrants from the United States are opposed to the Scotch, who have monopolized the government. There are two newspapers printed in the province. The editor of one is an Irishman of the name of Willcocks, whose paper is called the Guardian. It is printed at Niagara, has an extensive circulation in Canada, and a limited one in this State. He is bold, but not possessed of great talents. He leads the opposition, and is a member of their parliament as it is styled, and has been prosecuted by the Government. Jackson sent for him and was closeted some hours with him. He complains bitterly of the abuses of government, particularly in exacting oppressive fees. The other press supports the Government.

Queenstown contains about forty houses. I saw two square-rigged vessels taking in salt. It does but little business, when compared with its opposite rival. Eighteen thousand barrels of salt were conveyed by the portage at Lewiston last year, and but four thousand on this side. We crossed the ferry at Queenstown, which affords a curious phenomenon. An eddy runs up on each side, and facilitates a passage against a very impetuous current in the center of the river. In passing the river here, we had a full view of the great ridge, which passes to the banks of the river on the American side, is interrupted by the river, and is renewed on the British side, bending off towards the west, and running to the north end of Lake Ontario. The large rocks where the break of the great ridge opens, and the whole aspect of the water and the surrounding country, evidently show that this was the ancient seat of the Great Cataract.

We again availed ourselves of the hospitality of Mr. Barton.

August 2d, Thursday. Messrs. Morris and Van Rensselaer arrived here from Chippeway, and after breakfast at Mr. Barton’s, we all proceeded to a village near the Falls of Niagara, along the carrying road where Judge Porter resides.

On the top of the slope at Lewiston, we observed the old way in which the French drew up their goods. A crane was fixed on the hill, and an inclined plane down the descent in which sleighs were fixed, and as goods were conveyed up in one sleigh, others were let down in another.

After two miles we saw the Devil’s Hole, which is a monstrous chasm or ravine, close to the road, and is 150 feet deep, where the hill is upwards of 300 feet perpendicular above the center of the river. It is formed by a small creek, called Bloody Run, precipitating itself into the bank. This name is derived from this circumstance: After the capture of Niagara by Sir William Johnson, an escort of thirty wagons were driven down the precipice by an ambuscade of French and Indians, and all killed except two -- one who broke through the enemy, and the other who was caught by a tree in his descent, and although miserably wounded, is yet alive and tells the story.

Two miles from this place, we saw, from Major Brother’s house, the whirlpool, which exhibits the power of water in the most astonishing manner. When the largest trees of the forest are caught in the vortex of this fresh water maelstrom, such is the fury of its vertiginous motion, that they are whirled round with inconceivable velocity, and after being precipitated into the great abyss of waters, and lost to the eye for a considerable time, they are ejected in fragments from their prison, or entirely demolished. We arrived at the village, one-quarter of a mile above the Falls, and three-quarters of a-mile from Fort Schlosser. It was established by Porter, Barton, & Col., and is the best place in the world for hydraulic works. Here is a carding-machine, a grist-mill, a saw-mill, a rope-walk, a bark-mill, a tannery, Post-office, tavern, and a few houses. An acre-lot sells for fifty dollars. The rope-walk is sixty fathoms long; is the only establishment of the kind in the western country, and already supplies all the lake navigation. The hemp used in this manufactory is raised on the Genesee Flats, and costs there from $280 to $300 per ton, and when brought here, it amounts to $380. Tar is procured from New York, there being no pitch pine in this country, and the price there and transportation here bring it in cost to nine dollars. It constitutes in price a twenty-fifty part of the rope.

You recognize, at a considerable distance, the Falls, from the ascent of vapors, and the clouds which are always hanging over the place, and you hear the roaring of the waters like the noise of thunder. At Fort Schlosser, upwards of two miles by water above the Falls, the river narrows, and a Rapid commences of irresistible force and immense velocity, and extends to the Falls. The noise and agitation and fury of these rapids constitute as great a curiosity as the Cataract itself. An island, denominated Goat Island (from the circumstance of Mr. Stedman, the former possessor of Fort Schlosser, keeping his goats there), and containing about eighty acres, runs up to the Falls and divides the waters. Here the whole river precipitates itself 162 ½ feet, according to the report of an engineer, over a mass of calcareous stone and shistic. The greater part of the mighty mass passes over on the west side, and, viewed from the American bank, appears green in the thickest part of the Cataract, whereas the volume of water on our side, when seen from Table Rock, looks white, which is imputable to its inferior density. There are cataracts which exceed this in altitude, but there is none in the world which approaches it in volume of water. The elevation of the banks of the river detracts greatly from the sublimity of the spectacle. Below the Cataract there are huge rocks, which have been torn and hurled from their foundations by the Rapids. Two or three years ago, an immense mass of the rocky stratum was precipitated over, and shook the country around like an earthquake. If it be true, as is suggested, that the rock below the limestone is soft, if the river should ever succeed in carrying off the superior stratum, the whole of the upper lake will rush into Lake Ontario, and deluge whole counties below. I felt the agitation of the Falls in slightly shaking Judge Porter’s house, and after I had retired to bed. It is generally supposed that every animal which passes over the Falls is killed; but this is a mistake. Tame geese frequently pass over alive. There is a dog at Chippeway which escaped with a broken rib; and two sheep were once found below the Cataract, one of which was alive. Fish often go over safely. On the other hand, the chance is greatly against life. Wild geese, fish, deer, and other creatures are to be seen dashed to pieces. A tragical story is told of a poor Indian, which would form a good subject for a poem. He tied his canoe to the shore at Chippeway, and fell asleep. A British soldier, it is supposed, loosened his fastening and he floated down. When he got involved in the great Rapid, he was awakened by the noise, and rising up and perceiving his situation, he tried to paddle himself out. But finding his efforts useless, he wrapped himself up in his blanket, and sat down in the canoe, yielding himself to his fate with Roman fortitude. In this short and dreadful interval between life and death, the rich fancy of a poet might conceive and delineate the ideas which passed through the mind of the poor Indian, and the feelings which agitated his bosom, when on the eve of his final separation from his family and sacred home, and when the ties which united him to this world were about to be forever dissolved.

A beautiful white substance is found at the bottom of the Falls, supposed by some to be gypsum, and by the vulgar to be a concretion of foam, generated by the force of the Cataract. But it is unquestionably part of the limestone dissolved and reunited.

Goat Island belongs to the State, and must be extremely valuable for hydraulic works. The general idea is that it would answer for a State Prison, being impracticable to pass from it. But this is a mistake; it can be easily reached by a canoe from above. I saw a man who had potatoes planted on it, and who visited it frequently. Stedman used to ride there on horseback. The land is very fertile. As well for its nearness to the dead carcasses below the Falls as its seclusion, eagles build their nests on this island, which is covered with wood. Last autumn, a year, a large buck-deer was seen for two or three weeks, wading a short distance into the Rapids from this island and retreating. He had probably drifted down from above, and not knowing the safe passage to the shore he no doubt perished at the Cataract. After an elegant dinner we rode to Fort Schlosser, and here M. and V.R. left us and passed over to Chippeway. Near Fort Schlosser is the old English landing, and the fort was probably made to protect it. The French landing is half a mile lower down, just at the head of the Rapids, where there are the remains of stone buildings. Fort Schlosser was surrounded by palisadoes and a ditch, and contained two wooden houses and a Block-house, some of which buildings remain. This place is a little above Chippeway, and is the termination of the portage. Near it are the remains of an old fort, supposed to be French, covering half an acre, with four bastions and a ditch. Near this place are very large ant-hills.

We passed the young gentlemen to-day on their way to Lewiston and the Fort, and returned to Judge Porter’s, where we slept. This place is 300 miles from Detroit, and 470 from New York; 90 miles to Presque Isle, and 190 to Pittsburgh.

August 3d, Friday. We arrived at Chippeway for breakfast. The river here is two miles wide. After breakfast the Commissioners had a conference, in which they directed Mr. Geddes to take levels and distances on a variety of points, and adjourned to meet at the City Tavern, in New York, on the 28th August. [original text has "July".]

Chippeway is in the town of Willoughby, in the county of Lincoln. The most opulent man does not pay more than three dollars a year in taxes. Street, the Speaker of their Parliament, lives near here, and migrated from Connecticut. Chippeway is a mean village of twenty houses, three stores, two taverns, a wind-mill, and a distillery. There are also barracks here, surrounded by demolished palisadoes, in which a lieutenant’s guard is stationed. Chippeway creek or river intersects the village. The race of a mill-dam here conceals a boiling-spring, which will boil a tea-kettle. Two or three miles back of Queenstown there are two springs a few yards from each other -- one impregnated with sulphur, and the other with vitriolic acid. On Lake Erie there are petrifying waters which run into it, at which you can see petrified substances distinctly marked by the feet of Indians.

One Stevens keeps a tolerable inn here. Jackson and Morris had a contest in this house for rooms. The former sent out an avant courier, who engaged a room with two beds. Morris followed, and after reconnoitering both taverns, took a room to the rear of Jackson’s, to which he could not go without passing through Jackson’s. When the parties met, Jackson and his wife remonstrated against the arrangement. The former was insolent to Morris who, however, soon induced the Briton to take refuge in the adjacent house.

Jackson has been received with distinguished attention in Canada. The ball at Niagara was attended by forty girls, collected from the town and the whole adjacent country, and arrayed in various fashions. Jackson appeared in his diplomatic suit, and was received by a band of music playing "God save the King." His lady was complimented in a similar way, and by the rising of all the company. She told a gentleman that she was well accommodated here; that there was no Mr. M. here to oust them of their rooms.

Having seen the Cataract from the American side, we took this opportunity of viewing it from the opposite side, and we proceeded to Table Rock, from whence we had a fair view. The spray of the waters enveloped us with a mist as penetrating as rain. The clouds of vapor generated here must have a considerable agency in producing the frequent showers which are experienced in this country.

I could not but observe the number of taverns in Canada and the western country, which contained emblems of Free-Masonry on their signs.

Near Chippeway, a house had a sign marked small-pox, to apprise people of the disease.

One of the hands who rowed us over the river here is named Cowan. Although seventy years old, he can now make two pair of shoes a day; for each pair he charges four shillings. He has had two wives; seven children by one and fourteen by another, of whom fifteen are girls.

We returned and slept at Judge Porter’s, where we also dined.

The cold Friday of last winter was experienced all over the country, and at Fort Niagara with extreme severity.

We saw wine and jelly glasses here, of excellent quality, which were manufactured at Pittsburgh. The common window-glass used here is also brought from that place; and also lead, from the mines on the Missouri, which cost at Pittsburgh eight dollars per hundred pounds, and in this place nine dollars and a-quarter.

Lake Ontario never freezes over, although Lake Erie does. The former is generally much deeper, although in some places the latter is sixty fathoms deep. Lake Erie is 230 miles long and sixty wide; Lake Superior is 300 miles long. Michigan 300; Huron 200. Ontario 180. The smallest of these lakes is larger than the Caspian sea.

August 4th, Saturday. After breakfast we set out from Fort Schlosser, in a Durham salt boat, drawing two feet water, twenty-five tons burthen, and able to carry 150 bushels of salt, between seventy and eighty feet long, and seven and eight feet wide. She had six men, who pushed her up against the stream. But notwithstanding she had been lightened for our accommodation, our situation was unpleasant. The weather was uncommonly warm, and the captain being absent, the hands were very noisy, intemperate, and disorganizing. The current was sometimes three miles an hour -- on an average, two and a-half.

Navy Island is in view of Fort Schlosser, and is supposed to be within the British dominions, although this is not certain. It contains 300 acres, and has one squatter.

Grand Island is in our jurisdiction, and contains 23,000 acres. The Indian right is not extinguished, and the Indians will not tolerate and intrusions or trespassers on it. It is full of deer, owing to the absence of wolves and settlers. It is about twelve miles long, and its greatest breadth is six miles. At the foot of this island there are the remains of two French vessels, which were formerly burnt, on account of their not being able to escape.

The jurisdictional line between Great Britain and the United States ought to have run through the center of the channels of the lakes and rivers, instead of the center of the waters, in order to have effectually secured equal advantages of navigation to both nations.

Gill Creek enters the river on the left bank, about half a-mile above Fort Schlosser, and is considered as the probable place for the commencement of a canal. It has a good bay and landing, is deep, and about twenty yards wide. Cayuga Creek enters the river on the same side, about three miles higher up.

Tonnewanta Island contains ninety acres, and is ten miles from Fort Schlosser. It commences at the mouth of the creek of that name. Ellicott’s creek enters Tonnewanta Creek, about 300 yards above its mouth, and just above a bridge erected by General Wilkinson. There is a Rapid seven miles from the mouth of Tonnewanta, and falls about thirty. To the Rapids you may ascend in a canoe. Sturgeon weighing eighty-two pounds have been speared at the Rapids, where there are several good mill seats. The country above them is a wilderness. The Tonnewanta Reservation is twenty-four miles from the river, on this creek. The creek has no bar at its mouth. This information I received from one of our boatmen.

We took a cold dinner on board. Despairing of reaching Black Rock with our disorderly fellows, we landed at a tavern about a mile above Tonnewanta Creek, and took to our carriages. The disorderly spirit of our boatmen had extended itself to the driver, and I had to silence his importance. In a short time we passed a considerable stream; the road was bad, but the country pleasant. The meadows on the river were fine, and the land improved on both sides, after you pass the upper end of Grand Island. One Dayton, who keeps a tavern four miles from Black Rock, purchased two years ago eighty acres, at four dollars per acre.

I saw a fish-hawk flying with a very large fish in his talons, and a strange bird with a large head, his body speckled, and wings appeared touched with red when he flew. He was not quite the size of a blue-bird.

At Black Rock we saw a great number of barrels of salt, and several square-rigged vessels, and had a beautiful view of Lake Erie.

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