. Saponitown - Lawson Part Ten
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Lawson, Part Ten

{Tuesday.} Next day, we had 15 Miles farther to the Keyauwees. The Land is more mountainous, but extremely pleasant, and an excellent Place for the breeding Sheep, Goats, and Horses; or Mules, if the English were once brought to the Experience of the Usefulness of those Creatures. The Valleys are here very rich. At Noon, we pass'd over such another stony River, as that eight Miles from Sapona. This is call'd Heighwaree, and affords as good blue Stone for Mill-Stones, as that from Cologn, good Rags, some Hones, and large Pebbles, in great abundance, besides Free-Stone of several Sorts, all very useful. I knew one of these Hones made use of by an Acquaintance of mine, and it prov'd rather better than any from Old Spain, or elsewhere. The Veins of Marble are very large and curious on this River, and the Banks thereof.

Five Miles from this River, to the N.W. stands the Keyauwees Town. They are fortify'd in, with wooden Puncheons, like Sapona, being a People much of the same Number. Nature hath so fortify'd this Town, with Mountains, that were it a Seat of War, it might easily be made impregnable; having large Corn-Fields joining to their Cabins, and a Savanna near the Town, at the Foot of these Mountains, that is capable of keeping some hundred Heads of Cattle. And all this environ'd round with very high Mountains, so that no hard Wind ever troubles these Inhabitants. Those high Clifts have no Grass growing on them, and very few Trees, which are very short, and stand at a great Distance one from another. The Earth is of a red Colour, and seems to me to be wholly design'd by Nature for the Production of Minerals, being of too hot a Quality, to suffer any Verdure upon its Surface. These Indians make use of Lead-Ore, to paint their Faces withal, which they get in the neighbouring Mountains. As for the refining of Metals, the Indians are wholly ignorant of it, being content with the Realgar. But if it be my Chance, once more to visit these Hilly Parts, I shall make a longer Stay amongst them: For were a good Vein of Lead found out, and work'd by an ingenious Hand, it might be of no small Advantage to the Undertaker, there being great Convenience for smelting, either by Bellows or Reverberation; and the Working of these Mines might discover some that are much richer.

At the Top of one of these Mountains, is a Cave that 100 Men may fit very conveniently to dine in; whether natural, or artificial, I could not learn. There is a fine Bole between this Place, and the Saps. These Valleys thus hemm'd in with Mountains, would (doubtless) prove a good place for propagating some sort of Fruits, that our Easterly Winds commonly blast. The Vine could not miss of thriving well here; but we of the Northern Climate are neither Artists, nor curious, in propagating that pleasant and profitable Vegetable. Near the Town, is such another Current, as Heighwaree. We being six in Company, divided ourselves into Two Parties; and it was my Lot to be at the House of Keyauwees Jack, who is King of that People. He is a Congeree-Indian, and ran away when he was a Boy. He got this Government by Marriage with the Queen; the Female Issue carrying the Heritage, for fear of Impostors; the Savages well knowing, how much Frailty possesses the Indian Women, betwixt the Garters and the Girdle.

{Wednesday.} The next day, having some occasion to write, the Indian King, who saw me, believ'd that he could write as well as I. Whereupon, I wrote a Word, and gave it him to copy, which he did with more Exactness, than any European could have done, that was illiterate. It was so well, that he who could read mine, might have done the same by his. Afterwards, he took great Delight in making Fish-hooks of his own Invention, which would have been a good Piece for an Antiquary to have puzzled his Brains withal, in tracing out the Characters of all the Oriental Tongues. He sent for several Indians to his Cabin, to look at his Handy-work, and both he and they thought, I could read his Writing as well as I could my own. I had a Manual in my Pocket, that had King David's Picture in it, in one of his private Retirements. The Indian ask'd me, Who that Figure represented? I told him, It was the Picture of a good King, that liv'd according to the Rules of Morality, doing to all as he would be done by, ordering all his Life to the Service of the Creator of all things; and being now above us all, in Heaven, with God Almighty, who had rewarded him with all the delightful Pleasures imaginable in the other World, for his Obedience to him in this; I concluded, with telling them, that we received nothing here below, as Food, Raiment, &c. but what came from that Omnipotent Being. They listened to my Discourse with a profound Silence, assuring me, that they believ'd what I said to be true. No Man living will ever be able to make these Heathens sensible of the Happiness of a future State, except he now and then mentions some lively carnal Representation, which may quicken their Apprehensions, and make them thirst after such a gainful Exchange; for, were the best Lecture that ever was preach'd by Man, given to an ignorant sort of People, in a more learned Style, than their mean Capacities are able to understand, the Intent would prove ineffectual, and the Hearers would be left in a greater Labyrinth than their Teacher found them in. But dispense the Precepts of our Faith according to the Pupil's Capacity, and there is nothing in our Religion, but what an indifferent Reason is, in some measure, able to comprehend; tho' a New-England Minister blames the French Jesuits for this way of Proceeding, as being quite contrary to a true Christian Practice, and affirms it to be no ready, or true Method, to establish a lively Representation of our Christian Belief amongst these Infidels.

All the Indians hereabouts carefully preserve the Bones of the Flesh they eat, and burn them, as being of Opinion, that if they omitted that Custom, the Game would leave their Country, and they should not be able to maintain themselves by their Hunting. Most of these Indians wear Mustachoes, or Whiskers, which is rare; by reason the Indians are a People that commonly pull the Hair of their Faces, and other Parts, up by the Roots, and suffer none to grow. Here is plenty of Chesnuts, which are rarely found in Carolina, and never near the Sea, or Salt-Water; tho' they are frequently in such Places in Virginia.

At the other House, where our Fellow-Travellers lay, they had provided a Dish, in great Fashion amongst the Indians, which was Two young Fawns, taken out of the Doe's Bellies, and boil'd in the same slimy Bags Nature had plac'd them in, and one of the Country-Hares, stew'd with the Guts in her Belly, and her Skin with the Hair on. This new-fashion'd Cookery wrought Abstinence in our Fellow-Travellers, which I somewhat wonder'd at, because one of them made nothing of eating Allegators, as heartily as if it had been Pork and Turneps. The Indians dress most things after the Wood-cock Fashion, never taking the Guts out. At the House we lay at, there was very good Entertainment of Venison, Turkies, and Bears; and which is customary amongst the Indians, the Queen had a Daughter by a former Husband, who was the beautifullest Indian I ever saw, and had an Air of Majesty with her, quite contrary to the general Carriage of the Indians. She was very kind to the English, during our Abode, as well as her Father and Mother.

{Thursday.} This Morning, most of our Company having some Inclination to go straight away for Virginia, when they left this Place; I and one more took our leaves of them, resolving (with God's Leave) to see North-Carolina, one of the Indians setting us in our way. The rest being indifferent which way they went, desired us, by all means, to leave a Letter for them, at the Achonechy-Town. The Indian that put us in our Path, had been a Prisoner amongst the Sinnagers; but had out-run them, although they had cut his Toes, and half his Feet away, which is a Practice common amongst them. They first raise the Skin, then cut away half the Feet, and so wrap the Skin over the Stumps, and make a present Cure of the Wounds. This commonly disables them from making their Escape, they being not so good Travellers as before, and the Impression of their Half-Feet making it easy to trace them. However, this Fellow was got clear of them, but had little Heart to go far from home, and carry'd always a Case of Pistols in his Girdle, besides a Cutlass, and a Fuzee. Leaving the rest of our Company at the Indian-Town, we travell'd, that day, about 20 Miles, in very cold, frosty Weather; and pass'd over two pretty Rivers, something bigger than Heighwaree, but not quite so stony. We took these two Rivers to make one of the Northward Branches of Cape-Fair River, but afterwards found our Mistake.

{Friday.} The next day, we travell'd over very good Land, but full of Free-Stone, and Marble, which pinch'd our Feet severely. We took up our Quarters in a sort of Savanna-Ground, that had very few Trees in it. The Land was good, and had several Quarries of Stone, but not loose, as the others us'd to be.

{Saturday.} Next Morning, we got our Breakfasts of Parch'd Corn, having nothing but that to subsist on for above 100 Miles. All the Pine-Trees were vanish'd, for we had seen none for two days. We pass'd through a delicate rich Soil this day; no great Hills, but pretty Risings, and Levels, which made a beautiful Country. We likewise pass'd over three Rivers this day; the first about the bigness of Rocky River, the other not much differing in Size. Then we made not the least Question, but we had pass'd over the North-West Branch of Cape-Fair, travelling that day above 30 Miles. We were much taken with the Fertility and Pleasantness of the Neck of Land between these two Branches, and no less pleas'd, that we had pass'd the River, which us'd to frighten Passengers from fording it. At last, determining to rest on the other side of a Hill, which we saw before us; when we were on the Top thereof, there appear'd to us such another delicious, rapid Stream, as that of Sapona, having large Stones, about the bigness of an ordinary House, lying up and down the River. As the Wind blew very cold at N.W. and we were very weary, and hungry, the Swiftness of the Current gave us some cause to fear; but, at last, we concluded to venture over that Night. Accordingly, we stripp'd, and with great Difficulty, (by God's Assistance) got safe to the North-side of the famous Hau-River, by some called Reatkin; the Indians differing in the Names of Places, according to their several Nations. It is call'd Hau-River, from the Sissipahau Indians, who dwell upon this Stream, which is one of the main Branches of Cape-Fair, there being rich Land enough to contain some Thousands of Families; for which Reason, I hope, in a short time, it will be planted. This River is much such another as Sapona; both seeming to run a vast way up the Country. Here is plenty of good Timber, and especially, of a Scaly-bark'd Oak; And as there is Stone enough in both Rivers, and the Land is extraordinary Rich, no Man that will be content within the Bounds of Reason, can have any grounds to dislike it. And they that are otherwise, are the best Neighbours, when farthest of.

{Sunday.} As soon as it was day, we set out for the Achonechy-Town, it being, by Estimation, 20 Miles off, which, I believe, is pretty exact. We were got about half way, (meeting great Gangs of Turkies) when we saw, at a Distance, 30 loaded Horses, coming on the Road, with four or five Men, on other Jades, driving them. We charg'd our Piece, and went up to them: Enquiring, whence they came from? They told us, from Virginia. The leading Man's Name was Massey, who was born about Leeds in Yorkshire. He ask'd, from whence we came? We told him. Then he ask'd again, Whether we wanted any thing that he had? telling us, we should be welcome to it. We accepted of Two Wheaten Biskets, and a little Ammunition. He advised us, by all means, to strike down the Country for Ronoack, and not think of Virginia, because of the Sinnagers, of whom they were afraid, tho' so well arm'd, and numerous. They persuaded us also, to call upon one Enoe Will, as we went to Adshusheer, for that he would conduct us safe among the English, giving him the Character of a very faithful Indian, which we afterwards found true by Experience. The Virginia-Men asking our Opinion of the Country we were then in? we told them, it was a very pleasant one. They were all of the same Opinion, and affirm'd, That they had never seen 20 Miles of such extraordinary rich Land, lying all together, like that betwixt Hau-River and the Achonechy Town. Having taken our Leaves of each other, we set forward; and the Country, thro' which we pass'd, was so delightful, that it gave us a great deal of Satisfaction. About Three a Clock, we reach'd the Town, and the Indians presently brought us good fat Bear, and Venison, which was very acceptable at that time. Their Cabins were hung with a good sort of Tapestry, as fat Bear, and barbakued or dried Venison; no Indians having greater Plenty of Provisions than these. The Savages do, indeed, still possess the Flower of Carolina, the English enjoying only the Fag-end of that fine Country. We had not been in the Town 2 Hours, when Enoe-Will came into the King's Cabin; which was our Quarters. We ask'd him, if he would conduct us to the English, and what he would have for his Pains; he answer'd, he would go along with us, and for what he was to have, he left that to our Discretion.

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