A Mission For Mr. Wedgwood

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On the Thirtyeth of October I took leave of this Fort, and proceeded for the Midle Settlement and Mountains, Crossing the Chattoga River at the Warwomans Creek; allso the Six deviders, besides a great Number of small Brooks and fine springs that have their Course between the Mountains; but the Savanahs are in some places very Rotten and daingerous for Strange Travillers; in severall parts a Man and his horse may sink in fifteen or Twenty foot and must unavoidable perish … it was then the Miserablist weather I ever was exposed too; haveing the Wind strong at N.E. with Cold and heavy rain or sleet, from five in the morning, till nine at night; when I arrived at an Indian hutt which was the first shelter I could cum at; and by that time there was scarce Life in me or my poar horse; and when I advanced near the fire, it overcame me and I fell down: and unluckily the Master was gon out, so that I had no other refreshment than Potatoes bread & Water and Indian Corn for my horse; but the poar Squaw dryed my Cloaths as well as she could and wrapd me in a Blanket and Bear Skin, and the next Morning Mr. Downy came home, for that was my Landlords name, who stewed me some Fowls, which made me a glorious Repast: This being Sunday the first of November I set off for Patrick Gallihorn, at [illegible] Town on the Tenassee River, which runs into the Massisipy, and is five Miles from the Ayoree Mountain: here I remaind a few days, and furnished my self with a Servant, Tools, Blankets and Bear Skins; and on the Third of november we retired to the ayoree Mountain, where we remaind ’till the Twentythird of decemr;

Here we labourd hard for 3 days in Clearing away the rubish out of the old pitt, which could not be less than Twelve or fifteen Ton; but on the fourth day, when the pitt was well cleand out, and the Clay appeard fine; to my great surprise, the Chief Men of Ayoree came and Took me prisoner, telling me I was a Tresspaser on their land and that they had reed instructions from Fort George, not to suffer their pitt to be opened on any account; and as to any consent of the head men of the Nation, they minded not, nor would they let any clay be dug under five hundred weight of Leather for every Ton: they also showd me a string of white Beads that the Young Warier had brought from the fort, as a firm Token of a faithfull and True Talk—This was a Mistake of some of the Gentle’n at fort George, which confounded me greatly, and I never yet had it cleard up; and have great reason to think there was some deceipt at the bottom; and proved of very ill Consequence to me, as it made the Indians set a high Value on their white Earth: however I sent for a Linguist and after a Strong Talk which lasted near four hours, we settld matters on such conditions, as I might obtain what I wanted without any further Molestation …

In four days from this, I had a Ton of fine clay ready for the pack horses, when very unfortunately the weather chainged, and such heavy rains fell in the night, that a perfect Torent flowd from the uper Mountains with such rapidity, that not only filld my pitt, but meltd, staind and spoild near all I had dug and even beat thro our wigwam and put out our fire, so that we were nearly perished with wet and cold: this weather provd of bad consequence another way, as it washed the Stratums of red earth that run Skirting thro the pitt, which staind and spoild a vast deal of white clay.

I have nothing more materiall to mention dureing the whole process of this work: the Indians were often paying me troublesome visits, indeed they would sometimes bring me a Little provision for good pay, and would often steal Trifles from me: however I Invited ‘em Together and heated ’em with rum and such Musick as I was capable of, which made ’em dance with great agility, especially when the Bottle had gon about well; which is the only way to make friendship with any Indians, provided they are not made drunk: by this means matters went on very smooth between us, and they held me fast by the hand, Crowning and calling me great George’s Warier &c the old beloved man allso consented I shod have his best Bow and case of arrows, and also the old Princes pipe and Town house sanktion. Thus we continued and parted very good friends, but withall, they hoped I shod want but a few horse Loads of white clay, and prayd I would not forget the promise I made ’em, but perform it so soon as possible

On the Eighteenth of December I had dug & dryd all the clay I intended to take, and as the pack horses were then at the fort I had a few days to hunt, fossil & Botanise which I improved as much as possible, but I found many things very short of my expectation; I had allmost forgot to aquaint the Reader, what a severe winter it proved in this part of the world; the River Tenassee tho shallow at this place, and a strong current yet twice I saw it frozen over in the Mornings and the pott ready to freeze on a slow fire … I was never more sensible of the Cold …

On the Twentythird of Decemr I took Leave of this cold and Mountainous Country, and went off with the pack horses for fort prince George; but the Frosty Weather breaking, and the mountain paths being very narrow and Slipery, we killd and spoild some of the best horses; and at last my own Slipt down and roled severall times over me; but I saved my self by laying hold of a young tree, and the poar Beast Tumbled into a Creek & was spoild: This was an unlucky Sircumstance, as I had then severall hundred Miles to Travill …

On the Twenty Seventh, I arrived once more at Fort George, which believe me, was, at that time a wellcome prospect; and when I came up to the parade I could gladly have kissed the Soldiers for Joy: