Country Gentleman's House. --English Settler. --American Hospitality. --Emigrants to the West. --Buffalo. --Seneca Indians . --Canada. --City of Ararat. --Falls. --Eccentric Englishman. --Canada Farm --Difference of Prices in the two Countries. --Strike of Masters against Servants. --Low Life above Stairs. --Brock's Monument.
MR. WADSWORTH's house commands a fine view; the rising ground on the other side of the river presenting an undulating surface of woods and fields, interspersed with farm-houses. Such a prospect, whether you regard the variety of the scenery or the richness of the pasturage it embraces, is rarely to be met with. Such is the fertility of the alluvial soil, that a farm of eighty acres, situated higher up in the flats, near Mount Morris, has continued to bear the finest crops of wheat and other grain, for thirty-seven years without intermission, and without manure. It was purchased for sixty-six and a half dollars an acre: and the year before, yielded twenty, and was expected, in the ensuing harvest, to yield thirty dollars net profit per acre. The average crop on Mr. Wadsworth's land was twenty bushels an acre; that on the best being forty. The establishment is on a very large scale; above 2000 acres, if I was rightly informed, being in the proprietor's own hands, --in addition to other farms and lands which are estimated at more than 100,000 acres. The average price of land cleared for sale is twenty dollars an acre; the best land sells for thirty, including a good dwelling-house, barn, &c., with the respective lots. The net profits of one field of wheat, the year I was there, were twenty dollars an acre; --just two-thirds of the fee simple of the land. Where the farms are let out, the rent is usually one-third of the crop; the tenant defraying all the expenses of cultivation. The grain, thus obtained, is made into flour and sold. The retail price of meat is moderate, averaging six cents a pound for the best beef through the year. Eggs ten cents the dozen: cheese six to eight cents the pound. Wheat eight dollars the quarter. Board and lodging at an hotel, for one person, about two dollars per week.
A clergyman, in this part of the country, receives about 500 dollars a-year for his stipend; and can live comfortably upon it, being able to keep a horse and chaise, besides maintaining his family. The farming-men on Mr. Wadsworth's estate have ten dollars a month, in addition to board, lodging, &c. One of them saved, the preceding year, fifty dollars.
In a few years, these men, if industrious and prudent, become proprietors of land, and lay the foundation of a competent provision for their children. An Irishman, who had, some years before, the care of the sheep, the number of which was at that time about 7000, (since succeeded in their luxuriant pastures by eight or nine hundred bullocks,) laid by 500 dollars during the period of his service on the estate, and purchased 300 acres of land in the territory of Michigan with the earnings of his industry, which, by successive accumulations, now amount to eighteen or twenty thousand dollars. I wish this were a fair specimen of Erin's sons; but the prevalence of dissipation and improvidence among the most numerous class of Irish emigrants, has stamped them with a character too generally unfavorable to be removed by such examples of prudence.
I am indebted to Mr. Kemp --an Englishman, who has resided four or five years on a farm of 600 acres, in the township of Groveland, five miles south of Geneseo, for the following statement. He gave fifteen dollars an acre for his land; and it is now worth, including the house and outbuildings, thirty dollars an acre; or twenty-seven exclusive of them. The average produce of what he has cleared is about the same as that on the estate at Geneseo. A swing plough, with cast iron fittings, costs about seven dollars; a threshing machine from one to two hundred dollars. A barrel of pork, of 200 pounds, costs fourteen dollars. Farm horses, eighty to one hundred dollars each. A yoke of oxen, fifty to ninety. A very fine one I saw at Geneseo cost sixty; while the keep of each yoke averaged half a dollar per week. A milch cow cost sixteen dollars. Mr. Kemp and his family, consisting of his wife and six children, had enjoyed excellent health. Speaking of his native and his adopted country, he thought the rural part of the community, as far as he could judge from what he had observed in his own neighborhood, superior, in point of integrity and morality, to the corresponding classes in England. The population of the cities he considered nearly the same in both respects on each side of the Atlantic. He complained, as most Europeans do, (rather unjustly, for the new world was made for man as well as master,) of the great difficulty he had experienced in finding, and still more in keeping good servants. A servant he said, if industrious and saving, can lay by, in the course of two years, sufficient to purchase eighty acres (half a quarter-section of land) in Michigan: --the "el dorado" of agricultural emigrants from both sides of the Atlantic. He was of opinion that the part of the Union he had selected for his residence offers, upon the whole, the greatest advantages, from the excellence of the soil and the easy access to a market for its produce, to the investment of a small capital in land. The Erie canal is but thirty miles from Genesco and accessible by the river. Cash may at any time be obtained for grain from the agents in the villages, who are employed by the Rochester millers. While I was there, flour from wheat ground but five days before at that city, was on sale at New York, from which it is distant upwards of 400 miles by the canal.
Mr. Kemp spoke in very high terms of his neighbors, who had been uniformly kind, conciliatory, and respectful in their intercourse with him. He had been occupied exclusively in agricultural pursuits, and was satisfied with the success that had attended them. To a question, whether he ever felt any anxiety with respect to a future provision for his family, his answer was --"none whatever."
The mode of living in this part of a country, till within a few years an inaccessible forest, is extremely sociable and friendly; and, if Groveland resembles Geneseo, in hospitality and kindness, Mr. Kemp will find every day less reason to regret his removal from Poole in Dorsetshire to the "wilds of America." Such a man, however, would be an acquisition to any society: --obliging, intelligent, industrious and unassuming.
After a "visitation" of three weeks, during which the attentions I received from all were such as could be expected from none but friends of old standing, attentions that were given with a delicacy that would be hurt by an adequate acknowledgment, I took leave of Mr. Wadsworth and his family on the 12th of September; and, having been driven to Avon by his eldest son, continued my route the next morning to Buffalo (sixty-four miles), through a monotonous country.
Among the passengers in the stage was a farmer from the eastern part of the State, on his way to Illinois, whither he was emigrating with his four brothers, their families, and their household gods. The rest of the party were a little in advance in covered Waggons, travelling about twenty-five miles a day, and passing the night in tents, under which they had their usual meals, with as much comfort and security as if at home; having brought carpets and bedding with them. They were to embark, with their carriages and baggage, at Buffalo, and proceed by a steam-boat to the nearest spot that would lead to the place of their destination. This nomadic tribe consisted of twelve or fourteen families, most of them neighbors. In the spring they expected a reinforcement to their projected colony of fifty more families, chiefly from Vermont; and as they had their spiritual guide with them, and were not unprovided with medical assistance in case of need, the wants of man's double nature would be amply supplied.
The old man, whose conversation was remarkably sensible and entertaining, expatiated fully and frequently on the rich harvest that the inexhaustible prairies, to which his clan were hastening, presented to his view. He had been on the spot the year before; and, on his return, had prevailed upon his friends to sell their lands, and set out on a pilgrimage of 1000 miles to the "far West." He had no fear, he said, that the sanguine expectations his description of the "promised land" had excited, would be disappointed. We passed several parties journeying in the same direction, and with similar views. They reminded me of Horace's "campestres Scythae, quorum plaustra vagos rite trahunt domos." The picture, indeed, he draws of the ancient "squatters", whom the great officina gentium sent forth into the adjoining countries, is not inapplicable to a class of emigrants that are driven by the same hopes and fears to seek a subsistence in other lands, to clear the way for their successors, and to dispose of the ground they have brought into cultivation to some new comer, who shall again push them forward in their turn, when the advancing wave from behind shall have reached himself. "Defunctumque laboribus aequali recreat sorte vicarius."
It was quite dark before we entered Buffalo; and one of the passengers, who sat at the back part of the stage, was busily employed in looking out, from time to time, to see that no marauder had carried off his luggage from the boot. His brother-in-law, he informed us, had had his trunk, a few days before, cut off, and "gutted" of its contents at that very spot. I had heard of such occurrences before; but should not have expected to meet with this sort of highwaymen at such a distance from the great cities, where there are never wanting hands to strip the stages, on a fair opportunity, of a trunk or two from the cargo that is most unaccountably exposed behind, or slightly secured by a chain. Buffalo, however, contains above 12,000 inhabitants, and is much frequented by travellers and men of business, few of whom have leisure to stop and hunt after any one who may have taken a fancy to their wardrobe.
The progress of Buffalo has been very rapid, and is likely to continue, as its situation on the great road to the West, and the Erie canal, give it advantages which no rival can hope to wrest from it. In three years, the tonnage on Lake Erie increased from 6,000 to 18,000 tons. Upwards of 200,000 entered the port of Buffalo the year before; and half that number of passengers, it is supposed, passed through the place on their way to the New States. There were 20 steam-boats and 128 sloops, and schooners on the lake in 1833.
The value of property, and the amount of profits which trade offers at this place, may be estimated from the circumstance of a broker proposing to give 25 per cent. for money on good security; his object being, as he informed the person from whom I had the account, to lend it at an interest of 50 per cent. Making every allowance for exaggeration, the ordinary value of money must be great to admit of such a statement. A transaction of this kind is of course managed indirectly; as the law, which, in this State, limits the rate of interest, must be evaded. The policy of usury laws, as they are called, was discussed by the company in the stage between Avon and Buffalo. The emigrant defended them, while the rest of the party were strongly opposed to him. When he is settled in Illinois, the government of which he praised for promising to "protect" him against usurious bargains, by fixing the price he is to pay for the capital he may want, he will find himself a loser, and the lender a gainer, by all the difference between the demands of an open market and the indemnity that must be given, not only for the usual risks, but the chances of loss for infringing the enactment he approves of.
If these laws could be strictly enforced, the spirit of improvement would be checked, the uncleared land must remain a barren waste, and the price of grain would rise as the supply diminished. The greater part of that industry and enterprise by which such astonishing results have been obtained, has been put in motion by borrowed capital, much of which would certainly be withdrawn if its profits were not commensurate with the risk it incurs, and the return it contributes to make. What would remain would be of still higher value, and less likely to continue without an increased remuneration. In Canada, the legal restriction upon interest is evaded in exact proportion to its severity; the borrower being punished by the hand held out to protect him.
I remained but one day at Buffalo, and spent part of it in a visit to a settlement of Seneca Indians, between three or four miles from the city. I was accompanied by an Englishman, who is resident at the latter. The colony contains about 300, a large proportion of whom are converted to the Christian faith. The latter have a small and neat church, near which is the residence of a Presbyterian missionary, who has the spiritual care of the congregation. Their cottages and farm-houses are some of them in good order; and the land, of which but a small portion is as yet cleared, is tolerably well cultivated. We called on the widow of Red Jacket, a celebrated chief of the tribe, --she was living in a log-hut, where her husband had resided, and was in a very destitute state, happy to receive the donations of casual visitors. She was unable to speak English; and the little girl who waited upon her, and was busy preparing some Indian corn for her supper, was not inclined to make use of the little knowledge she had of our language. The inside of the cottage, though rudely and imperfectly furnished, was not without the appearance of comfort. We afterwards went into the farm-house of a very respectable good-looking Indian, who had just before passed us on horseback. His dwelling-house was in excellent condition, and his children, of whom, he told us in the little English he knew, he had six, looked healthy and cheerful. To judge from the fields about his house, he was in a prosperous state. It was unfortunate that he was not better acquainted with the only language by which we could communicate together; as from the expression of his countenance, and the quickness with which he comprehended what we said, be seemed to possess a good understanding, and a communicative disposition. These people are fast melting away, --not so much by the pressure of a more civilized community, as by the influence of an unaccommodating and cruel prejudice, which forbids a closer intercourse, and drives its victims into habits of intemperance and idleness, as a refuge from despondency and discouragement.
The vicinity of such a city as Buffalo is peculiarly unfavorable to these people, as it holds out irresistible temptations to drinking, and while it gives the citizens an interest in getting rid of a troublesome neighbor, deprives the latter of that stimulus to exertion and forethought he might find, if surrounded by people whose feelings and occupations were less uncongenial to his own.
The following morning I left Buffalo for the Falls of Niagara; and, after crossing, at Black-rock, the river that joins the lakes Erie and Ontario, continued the journey on the Canada side, having the Niagara on the right all the way to the Falls, at which the stage arrived about the middle of the day, the distance being twenty-two miles.
The difference, on passing the frontier between the two countries as they appear on each side of the river, is very perceptible; great part of the land in Canada having been under cultivation for thirty or forty years; whereas on the American side, the forest, still presents an unbroken surface for a considerable distance.
On our road we passed by Grand Island, which contains about 20,000 acres, and is still uncleared. It is here that it was intended --if such intention ever really existed --to build an asylum for the Jews from different parts of the world. It was to be called the city of Ararat. The projector (Noah, the editor of the New York Evening Star, --a man "bene notus" throughout the Union) who, it is said, was to have five dollars a head from the dispersed members of his race, memorialized the legislature of New York upon the subject in 1820; but the historical reminiscences of the Israelites were not in favor of the American wilderness; and the zeal of their disinterested brother was lost upon them. The wild scheme has long since been abandoned.
The Pavilion hotel, at which the stage stopped, was nearly deserted, as the arrival of the autumn, though the finest season of the year, from the state of the atmosphere and the changing tints of the foliage, for visiting the Falls, appeared to have driven away or deterred the migratory flocks of tourists from the place. Two or three of my fellow-passengers just took a peep at them from the bank, and proceeded on their way back to New York. Having seen my things safe in the house, I hurried down to have a nearer view, and feasted my eyes with a spectacle which far exceeded, in magnificence and sublimity, every picture which my imagination had ever formed of this matchless prodigy. No description, whether addressed to the eye or the ear, can ever convey to the mind, any conception approaching to that which the spectator receives through the different senses to which it addresses itself. Nothing can give one so high an idea of power: --sound, velocity, and magnitude, being each in the highest degree and in everlasting combination. To witness this astonishing sight, forms in the existence of every one a new aera, to which his imagination will refer in its attempts to grasp the forms of grandeur and sublimity.
The first view I had was downward; the rock on which I stood being on a level with the precipice over which this enormous mass of waters is projected; I then descended, and proceeded through the spray within a few yards of the fall, between which and the rock is a sufficient interval for anyone to walk under who wishes to undertake what I was told would hardly repay the trouble, as nothing is to be seen. The view from this spot is not, I think, equal to that from above, as the latter presents the rapids, the fall, and the whirlpool at once before you. The sense of security too detracts something from the effect, as the torrent has spent its rage; and after a few eddies, proceeds on its way in comparative tranquillity; whereas the waves, as they roll and roar down the declining channel of the river, seem, with accumulated and accelerated force, to threaten the very ground on which you are standing.
Wishing to have a view from the American side, I crossed the ferry; and, ascending a wooden staircase, from the top of which is perhaps as fine a prospect as from any other point on that side, I passed, by means of a wooden bridge, over to Goat Island; the length of which divides the current, as its lower end divides the fall, into two portions (there are in fact three of the latter) --the widest of which is on the Canada side. Having traversed the island, I availed myself of a sort of wooden jetty, which has been erected near the precipice, and posted myself over the gulph. I was peculiarly fortunate both in the day and the hour. It was nearly five o'clock in the afternoon; and, as the sun's rays fell directly, from the opposite side, through the purest atmosphere, upon "the horned flood," the effect was most beautiful. The torrent, as it hurried onward to the fall, formed itself into the most splendid crystals; and meeting the foam as it rose from the bottom and the sides, was precipitated with it into the gulph below; where it was lost in a vast bason, that rivalled the mountain snow in whiteness. Turning round, I perceived the rival falls connected, as it were, by the most brilliant rainbow imaginable, the outline and tints of which presented ever-varying diversities, as the breeze agitated the refracting spray.
On my return through the island, I stepped into a log-hut, belonging to the man who collects the toll at the bridge, and sat for some time chatting with his wife and children. The old lady was at supper; and very hospitably invited me to partake of it. Most willingly would I have accepted the offer, had my appetite corresponded with her kindness. She did not press me; for there was too much sincerity on both sides, to repeat the invitation or to reverse the refusal. She was very communicative, and related to me several anecdotes of an unfortunate Englishman, who was drowned two or three years before in the river below. From the account she gave of him, he was evidently insane: he would often wander about, night and day, over the island; upon which he had hired a small cottage, where he cooked his own food, and lay wrapped up in his blanket on the floor. Sometimes he would be well-dressed and talk rationally; at others he would let his beard grow, avoid every one, and put on the most miserable and dirty garments. Though wayward and eccentric, he was harmless and inoffensive. In his most melancholy and dejected mood, he would take notice of the old woman's little girl; to whom, in spite of her repugnance, he had evinced a very singular attachment. Her presence appeared to soothe his unquiet spirit; and he would talk to her and shew her little attentions, when no other person could obtain an answer or a remark from him. His age was between thirty and forty; and, from his language and deportment, he must have received a good education. He could speak five or six languages, and played on several musical instruments. Having been obliged to quit his hermit's cell, as the owner fancied his uncouth appearance might frighten visitors from the island, he was much chagrined, and betook himself to a little cot provided for him near the ferry. Here he was accustomed to bathe in the Niagara; and, having, as it was supposed, got one day out of his depth (for he was unable to swim) he was swept away by the current; and his clothes, that were found on the shore, alone remained to tell his unhappy fate. His body was carried by the stream into lake Ontario, where it was afterwards discovered. Such was the history (I need not add the name) of my countryman, which the mistress of this sequestered cottage gave me; concluding her narrative with a warm eulogy upon his gentle and kind disposition, and an expression of unaffected compassion for his untimely end. There was something. both interesting and picturesque about the cabin and its inmates. It was built near the torrent, the thunder of which was the "lullaby" of its cheerful and contented family. I asked one of the daughters whether her rest was not interrupted at night, when absent from home; she replied that she had been out on a visit, not long before, for the first time; and had not been able to sleep for nearly a fortnight --deprived of those soothing sounds to which her ear had been so long habituated. The worthy dame expatiated much in praise of an English lady, who had been at the falls during a whole winter. To use her expression she was so "enamoured" of the place that she could not quit it. She too was one of Nature's favorite children --with a romantic imagination and a benevolent heart. The sympathies of the one, however, had checked the aberrations of the other. Her mind had found a healthful occupation in instructing the children of the neighbouring settlers. She would come on to the island in the coldest weather, when few would venture out into the open air, and would gaze for hours on the falling waters.
It was getting late, or I should have remained longer in the cottage. I shall not readily forget it, nor the affectionate manner in which the kindhearted matron bade me farewell; --repeating the words, "my dear child" --an expression she had often used during our conversation.
I could not, on recrossing the ferry, but lament, as I had done before, that a barbarous and sacrilegious hand had been permitted to outrage every feeling of taste, congruities or common sense, by placing a wooden bridge and a circular building, like a shot-tower, directly over one of the falls. Every person who has the slightest pretension to any thing like susceptibility of tender or lofty emotions from the view of external objects, should have protested against the wild schemes of a "money-changer," that have marred the simplicity and purity of this "solemn temple" --interrupting the devotion of the worshipper, and mingling with his admiration of the Divine architect disgust at the arts and contrivances of unfeeling trade and avaricious speculation. The name of this Vandal is, I believe, Porter. It is to him that the island, with its appurtenances, belongs; and it is for the sake of extracting a few additional dollars from the pockets of the curious, that this vile sacrilege has been committed.
Having taken another view, the next morning, of the rapids, from a spot where the waters are seen to the greatest advantage, rushing towards the fall, from the level of which they are elevated fifty feet, at the distance of half a mile, I walked on with a young Englishman, whom I had met at the hotel, to the "whirlpool," about four miles below --having directed my luggage to be sent on to the tavern at Stamford, where the stage to Niagara was to take me up. Before we arrived at the whirlpool, we could hear its roar, which, though not so loud as to be distinguished on a clear and calm night, at a distance of twenty or thirty miles, as is said to be the case with that of the falls, is still very great. The scenery on the lofty and precipitous banks of the river at this place is much finer than what I saw above; and the Maelstrom below, as it whirled about in the enormous basin which it had worked out to take its pastime in, affords a magnificent object to the spectator, as he stands about 200 feet above it, and takes a bird's-eye view of rocks and woods and waters in their most beautiful forms and combinations.
My companion left me at the tavern, which is about three miles from the falls, and one and a half from the whirlpool; and I sought a resting place in a farm-house opposite, the owner of which very politely begged me to walk in, and gave me a glass of home-made cherry brandy, which diluted with water made a very refreshing beverage. I sat talking with him for upwards of an hour, till the stage arrived. I found he was anxious to dispose of his farm. On inquiring the price, he said he expected fifty dollars an acre --the house, barns, and other buildings to be included in the purchase. He had a good garden and an excellent orchard, from the produce of which, in addition to what was reserved for the use of the family, he generally made 100 barrels of cider. He had resided there thirty-four years; and the land, of which there were one hundred acres, appeared to be in good condition. Provisions in that part of the province are cheap; meat being about two-pence sterling a pound; butter, four to five; and eggs about the same price per dozen. The wages of farming men average ten dollars a month with board and lodging. The proprietor told me the only taxes he had to pay were three dollars for his farm, &c., and six days' labor on the roads, or a commutation of three dollars. Part of his land was under the plough, and the rest (nearly one half) in meadow. The price of land in the neighbourhood had risen thirty or forty per cent., in consequence of an estate (Forsyth's) having been purchased by a company as the site of a city --to be called the City of the Falls. Some houses were already erected. Had it been on the same side with Chippewa, which is three miles from the falls, it might have had some chance, from its greater vicinity to the Welland canal, of uniting the merchant with the man of pleasure in its favor. As it is, it would be as well for English capitalists to pause, when they arrive in New York, before they embark in a speculation, which is warmly recommended by those who would suffer from its failure. He informed me that the settlers were doing well, and the progress the colony had made was likely to continue in an increasing ratio. Many English emigrants, who had passed his house in prosperous circumstances on their way to Michigan and Illinois, and other places in the United States, had returned disheartened and ruined; the titles to the lands they had bought not having proved to be good, or the accounts they had received. having misled them. What estimate may be formed from this representation of the relative advantages held out by the two countries to emigrants, it would not be easy to say. Allowance must be made for the disposition to make the best of every thing connected with what we want to dispose of. An Englishman, however, who intends to settle in the New World, would do well to remember, that the cheapness of land is not its only recommendation; and that difference of manners may add no small item to the sum total of his privations and inconveniences.
As there is but a very small duty in Canada on English manufactures, clothing is cheaper there by one-third, if not by one half, than it is in the United States. It is a common thing for the citizens of the latter, who reside near the frontier, to cross over for the purpose of purchasing whatever they can take back with them as articles of personal consumption. I was told at New York of a person going into Canada to furnish his winter wardrobe, and finding, on his return to that city, that the difference of prices between the two countries just covered his travelling expenses going and returning.The same complaints are made about servants on both sides of the frontier. It seems, however, both useless and foolish to grumble at the inevitable consequence of the peculiar state of things in a new country. The master and the servant perform every where the same quantity of work. It is but a division of labor. The share of each varies with the circumstances of the society in which they are placed. In some, none of the drudgery is done by the master; in others it is equally divided between them. In England, the servant stands submissively below, and has all the hard work to do. In America, he is frequently the "top-sawyer." I had an amusing illustration of this simple truism from the young Englishman who had just left me. He had called a few days before on an old acquaintance of his family, who was living in the interior of the Upper province; when an apology was made for not asking him to dinner, as there was neither meat nor cook in the house. The master was without a servant; and his wife confined to her bed by sickness. His domestics had all left him; and no one would take their places. The cause of this desertion was, that he had told the females they should no longer sit in the same room with their mistress. This resolution so exasperated them that in resentment for what they viewed as an unjustifiable infringement of their privileges, they left the house immediately. The neighbors took up the matter very warmly, and entered into a sort of combination to alter the domestic arrangements of the country, and draw a stronger line of distinction between the parlor and the kitchen. It is a hazardous experiment; and they will probably pay dearly for it, whether the result be victory or defeat. A circumstance that occurred not long ago at a sequestered village in Massachusetts affords a fair commentary upon this anecdote, with an useful hint for some of the actors. A woman who had been hired as a servant, insisted upon taking her meals with the family. The lady of the house, finding her bent upon carrying her point, agreed that they should exchange places, and that they should sit by turns above and below stairs. When Betty's turn came to preside at the dinner, she was placed, with due form, in the post of honor; --to partake of the good things she had just dressed, and exhibit her skill in carving, after having exercised it in cooking. There happened to be a large party at table; and the instructions they had received, when invited, prepared them for the scene, and enabled them to preserve their gravity. The poor girl maintained her ground for some time, till her situation became so extremely painful, that she burst into tears, and left the room. The next day she requested that she might be allowed in future to confine her person, as well as her labors, to the culinary department.
On our way to Niagara, about fifteen miles from the Falls, the passengers alighted to view the monument which was erected to the memory of Sir I. Brock, by the legislature of the Upper Province, on an eminence overhanging Queenstown. Sir Isaac, who was the Lieutenant-governor, and commanded the British forces, fell near this spot in the action which took place. on the 13th Oct. 1812, with the Americans. On approaching the column, the most splendid prospect burst upon our view. Before and below us was the Niagara, expanded into a noble river, majestically moving onwards, to be lost in Lake Ontario; the opposite shores of which were plainly visible, with their outlines terminated by the horizon. This was one of the most noble views I saw in America.