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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 176, October 28, 1853

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Identifier: DX04190711

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 6, page 176, October 28, 1853

Description: Describes reaching the Mississippi River after riding across Mississippi on his way to Louisiana.

Transcription:

every where, and as we rode on at a brisk pace — (knowing it was the last day of our journey;) we had ample employment to prevent the dependant boughs strikings us. There was little, or no undergrowth, the many trees shutting out sunlight and air preventing it. On the trunks of the trees you could spy, some six or seven feet above the ground, the water line, which, when the mighty Mississippi, swollen by its thousand tributaries, overflows its banks; is reached, and all this night great forest half submerged. Slap dash, helter-skelter we rode, now a hat knocked off compelling pause; through mire and puddle at a brisk gallop. And by noon we came upon a monstrous cleared place, tens of thousands of tree stumps, and large cotton fields. It was the Deer Creek plantation of Harry Hill; of whose death, by the yellow fever, we had read. (A man well esteemed & known by three of our party, he had had commercial business with the relatives of [Keane] Richards & Keene [Oliver] Kellam. Maurice Keene was now on his way to New Orleans, to enter the office of Hill’s successors.) Riding up a miry lane, towards the negro-huts we, in a cotton field found the overseer, overlooking the slaves. He was a tall, keen looking man, sunburnt, and wore a long blue-blanket coat. He gave us directions, and onwards we rode, helter skelter. All that afternoon we kept up brisk speed, along deer Creek, through the forest; which became magnificent. I never saw trees of such mighty girth and height. Right to the west lay our course, and as the declining sun gilded the rich foliage of some hollow or turn in the winding river, often did we press hastily an on in the hopes of greeting the Mississippi. Little bridges we had to cross sometimes, but ever kept by the stream. The road was muddy and wet, yet on we rode, galloping at full speed. And just upon sunset we issued forth on the eastern bank of the Mississippi. Riding along the top of the levee, or pyramidically shaped earthern wall which confined the river during its winters expansion; I looked on

Rights: NoC-US

Place:

Dates: 1853-10-28

Type(s): Diary
Page

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Horses
Trees
Nature
Swamps
Plantations
Slaveholders
Yellow fever
Death
Transportation
Diseases
Diaries
Mississippi River
Slavery
Slaves
Travel

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