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Jefferson's Town and Canal-Clarksville

general view of the river two hundred and seventy-two miles down-Henderson Town -Diamond Island.

Mouth of the Wabash, Indiana Territory,

September, 1806.

PREVIOUSLY to leaving Louisville, I crossed the river and visited the town of Jefferson, which is also seated about two miles above the falls. It is , yet very small, but the inhabitants appear determined to add to its cha- .



racter and opulence, being now employed in forming a canal, by which navigators may avoid all dangers, and proceed down the river at all seasons of the year. I surveyed the line of the canal, and think it much more practicable than that marked off on the opposite shore. I entertain no doubt of the commerce of the river being adequate to the support of both undertakings, and that the proprietors will be hereafter amply remunerated. I descended the falls by the shore, and

more enjoyed their grandeur, though from a different point of view. I then crossed over to my boat, which lay at Clarksville, a small settlement lying near the eddy formed by the recoiling flood. It is as yet a village of no importance, however, if it form the mouth of the intended canal, its rise is certain. Twenty-five miles from Louisville, I passed the mouth of Salt River on the


Kentucky shore.

All I could learn respecting it, was, that it received its name from the number of salines on its banks, which impregnate its waters, when in a low state, and fifty-seven miles farther down I put into Blue River on the Indiana side, which takes it name from its colour being of a fine ažure.

In the whole run to the Wabash of two hundred and seventy-two miles, effected in six days, and I made little or no stop, and inet with no event to be called interesting. I very strongly perceived that occurrences capable of affording information and anecdote weré ceasing Above the falls, the banks of the river are enlivened by plantations, towns, and villages; below, nothing is seen but the state of nature, broken at vast distances, of from twenty to thirty miles, with wretched huts, the residence of solitude and misfortune. Most of the settlers on the lower parts of the waters are criminals, who either escaped from, or were apprehensive of public justice. On descending the river, they fix on some inviting spot, without ever looking after the proprietor of the soil, erect a log-hut, plant a little corn, make salt at a neighbouring saline; coffee from the wild pea; and extract sugar from the maple tree. In time they extend their labors, and embrace all' the necessaries of life. Some do more—from living in habits of industry they lose the practice of vice, and learn the consequence of virtue; while unhappily, some other pursue their former crimes, and live by the means of murder and the plunder of various boats.

The aspect and banks of the river in the late run I have made, are nearly similar to those above the falls, and from below Pittsburg. The banks are formed of a chain of mountains; some

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