Subject: INCIDENTS #8
Date: October 26, 1998



The Reverend John Elmore DuBois

Edited by Elizabeth A. DuBois
(c) 1998  DuBois Publishing Co. All rights reserved.

Journey to Alabama

 In December, 1820, in company with Thos. C. Ledbetter and his excellent
mother, M. Farley and family, Joseph W. Houck, and a few other friends,
I bade adieu to Charleston, the home of my childhood and youth, to seek
my fortune in the famous land of Alabama.

 While our journey was long and tedious, fraught with many hardships and
much exposure to wet and cold, yet it abounded in amusing incidents and
thrilling adventures.

  How things have changed!  We had then no such facilities for travel as
now.  No ponderous engines went dashing over the mountains and through
the valleys; no splendid steamers ploughed then as now these beautiful
rivers; but our travel was tramp! tramp! Instead of the whistle, the
crack of the teamster's whip was the salute of commerce, and the jingle
of his cluster bells, the music of transportation and travel.

   Finally we entered the Creek Nation at what is now the beautiful city
of Macon, Ga.  Here we found Old Fort Hawkins, one residence and one
blacksmith shop, while the wohle country around was a dense forest,
whose stately grandeur and deep solitudes were broken only by the
howling of the wild beasts, the chase and sports of the natives, and an
occasional party of emigrants from the older States.

        Whenever one of these parties chanced to come along, the Indians
thronged the roads from all quarters, and demanded toll for passage over
the bridges, many of which were only substitutes and some of them quite

 We found the natives very fond of trade and traffic, and that they did
not scruple to take advantage if they had an opportunity to do so.

    There we pitched our tents and remained about thirty days.  We spent
our time pleasantly in collecting supplies and learning to speak the
Indian language.  It was a source of great interest and amusement to us
to observe their customs and habits of life.  Among the most interesting
of these, to me, were their forms of worship.  This reminded me at once,
of a description of barbarous worship given in some of the writings of
Dr. A. Clarke.

      They would take their seats on the ground, arrange themselves in a
circle, assume a devotional attitude, and with the palms of their hands
slap the earth and cry. Ye-ho-wua!Ye-ho-wua! Ye-ho-wua!  Continuing this
barbarous chant for some time, they would rise apparently well-satisfied
with their devotions, and seemed plumed for athletic sports and deeds of
adventure and daring.

    Having recruited our energies, supplied our wants, and satisfied our
curiosity as to the character of the natives, we pushed on and crossed
the Alabama river at Washington, the capital of Autauga county, now
known as Pratt's Landing.  Thirteen miles further on we reached our
destination, the Dutch Settlement  now called Dutch Bend.

[To be continued...]

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