January 16

Another warm summer day; have been at work on clothing rolls, also laying down sidewalk in front of my quarters. One of our new recruits has gone to the hospital to-day sick with lung fever. General W. H. Morris has returned from his home near N. Y. city with his sister and a lady friend. This evening he rode through the camp and was cheered by the men. The bands are serenading him to-night, his headquarters being just about a hundred yards in rear of my hut. It is bright moonlight.

260. John Adams

Bilbao, 16 January, 1780.

My dearest Friend,—We arrived here last night, all alive, but all very near sick with violent colds taken on the road for want of comfortable accommodations. I was advised on all hands to come by land rather than wait an uncertain time for a passage by sea. But if I had known the difficulties of travelling in that part of Spain which I have passed through, I think I should not have ventured upon the journey. It is vain to attempt a description of our passage. Through the province of Gallicia, and again when we came to that of Biscay, we had an uninterrupted succession of mountains; through that of Leon and the old Castile, constant plains. A country tolerably good by nature, but not well cultivated. Through the whole of the journey the taverns were inconvenient to us, because there are no chimneys in their houses, and we had cold weather. A great part of the way, the wretchedness of our accommodation exceeds all description.

At Bilbao we fare very well, and have received much civility from Messrs. Gardoqui and Sons, as we did at Ferrol and Corunna from M. de Tournelle and M. Lagoanere. I wish I could send you some few things for the use of the family from hence, but the risk is such that I believe I had better wait until we get to France. I have undergone the greatest anxiety for the children through a tedious journey and voyage. I hope their travels will be of service to them, but those at home are best off. My love to them.     Adieu, adieu.

January Sixteenth

When wintry days are dark and drear
And all the forest ways grow still,
When gray snow-laden clouds appear
Along the bleak horizon hill,
When cattle all are snugly penned
And sheep go huddling close together,
When steady streams of smoke ascend
From farm-house chimneys—in such weather
Give me old Carolina's own,
A great log house, a great hearthstone,
A cheering pipe of cob or briar
And a red, leaping light'ood fire.
John Henry Boner
(The Light'ood Fire )

 

Forcible resistance to British Stamp Act under Colonel Hugh Waddell, of Wilmington, N. C., 1766

 

 

Barripore, January 16, 1844

THE NEILGHUR HILLS.

On Friday morning the magistrate and myself determined to ascend one of the Neilghur hills. The doctor did not think it worth the fatigue, and therefore shot partridges and wild-ducks for our breakfasts. We started from our tents at about half-past five in the morning. For about four miles our road lay through jungle, similar to that I have already described.

As we emerged from this the effect was most extraordinary. We had been suffering much from heat, and the sudden exclamation of both of us was, "Oh, how very cold!" A chilling blast came down from the hills, which entirely altered the temperature of the air; and, moreover, the place where we now were can very rarely, if ever, be reached by the sun. These causes produce a most singular effect upon the vegetation. Behind us was a dense jungle of bamboos, brambles, cacti, &c., through which it was most difficult to force a passage. In front of us for nearly a mile—that is, extending to the foot of the hills—the appearance was altogether different: not a bamboo nor a cactus, not a bramble, scarcely even a thorn; the turf perfectly smooth; the only plants a sort of laurel and a species of wild-apple; and no two plants growing within four feet of each other. It was like a wilderness or a shrubbery in a gentleman's park. We found several marks of bears and also of elephants; and the natives were rather unwilling to proceed. However, we led the way, with our guns in our hands, and soon arrived at the foot of the hill. It rose very suddenly, and in many places we had to climb for several feet up the face of a smooth black rock, similar to that which I have already mentioned.

We had no adventures beyond a tumble or two, but it was a most fatiguing work; and the instant we reached the top we threw ourselves down and called for a cigar and a glass of beer. This hill, which is much the lowest of the whole range, is not, I suppose, more than five hundred feet in height: it rises to a peak, the extreme top being about six feet in diameter. Here we fired off our guns as a signal to the doctor, and then commenced our descent.

At the bottom we were very glad to mount our horses and ride back to the tent. It was a very clear morning, and you can hardly imagine the wild magnificence of the scene from the top. Behind us lay the thick jungle through which we had passed, with Balasore in the distance, and the sea forming the background; in front, a wilderness of brushwood, extending as far as the eye could reach; to the right was a winding river, bordered by the graceful bamboo, with native villages and patches of rice-fields on its banks; whilst to the left, from the midst of the thickets, rose abruptly the other hills, towering to the height of several thousand feet. All these ranges belong to tributary rajahs, and are not the property of the English. We were delighted with our excursion, and it has led to the proposal of another, which we hope to accomplish, with the addition to our party of the doctor and the master-attendant, as soon as I return from Cuttack.

This second expedition is to be to the highest point visible from Balasore. No human being has ever yet ascended it, and the natives pretend that it is impracticable; however, we mean to try. I should like to set my foot where no man has ever trodden. We shall go well armed with guns, pistols, and swords; we are also each to carry a hatchet and a billhook, to cut our way through the jungle.

We intend to take a barometer and thermometer in order to measure the height, and go well attended by natives. It is said that this hill is tenanted by all sorts of wild beasts, but we shall be too well armed to fear them. The inhabitants are a very savage race, and offer up human sacrifices; but they will hardly dare to attack white men. I am very fond of these excursions; the exercise I consider good for me—whilst at Guzzeepuddee I was ten or eleven hours on my feet each day; and another great advantage is, that they cost nothing beyond the price of powder and shot. I must now start for Cuttack. I found in the jungle the skeleton of a small boa constrictor: it is perfect except the lower jaw. I told one of my servants to take care of it. When I returned to Balasore he had lost it; I said, if he did not find it again I should deduct a rupee from his month's wages. His answer was, "O representative of God, you are the father and the mother of your slave, and you must do with him as you think fit." However, he managed to find the skeleton.