The Balsam Groves of the Grandfather Mountain
By Shepherd M. Dugger
Banner Elk, N.C., 1907 and 1934
This text is offered on Jeffrey’s Store on Lulu, has some of the texts offered on this website, and several other historic texts, not on the website. They are offered as reprints.
Note: The Balsam Groves of the Grandfather Mountain: A Tale of the Western North Carolina Mountains, is basically a novel with six chapters of factual information. These six chapters, pages 202-310 of Dugger’s book are presented here in electronic format.
The Western Gateway to the Highlands
“THE LAND OF THE SKY”
Will you come to the Mountains, “The Land of the Sky,”
Where a banquet of glory is spread for the eye,
Where scenes of encbantment enravish the soul.
And reason to rapture surrenders control.
Where the mountains do rear their summits above
The storm and the cloud, to the regions of love;
Where waters go dashing down rocky declines,
And the hills are covered with evergreen vines.
Where boasting musicians are wont to retire
When the bird of the mountain tunes his sweet lyre,
And lends to his melody wings that can fly,
To scatter his song through “The Land of the Sky.”
Where fountains are gushing from every hill-side,
All sparkling and cold as a health-giving tide;
An elixir of life more tempting to sip
Than the cup that presses the Bacchanal’s lip.
Where the air is freighted with sweetest perfume
Wafted from the flower when full in its bloom,
And the breezes that float o’er mountain’s tall peak
Give back the invalid the rose to his cheek?
Ye seekers of pleasure, oppressed by the heat,
Come to this region, ’tis a pleasant retreat;
Ye ones that are feeble, why linger and die,
Come up to this beautiful “Land of Sky.”
-A. M Dougherty
The valleys of the Watauga, the Holston and the Nolichucky, in East Tennessee, have been productive in great warriors and statesmen. At Greeneville, in this territory, Andrew Johnson, though born in North Carolina, began the political career that culminated in the presidency of Here was born and reared Thomas A. R. Nelson, the able jurist, who, soon after the War between the States, wrote the prophetic poem on East Tennessee beginning with the following beautiful lines:
East Tennessee! secluded land
Of gentle hills and mountains grand,
Where healthful breezes ever blow,
And coolest springs and rivers flow;
Where yellow wheat and waving corn
Are liberal poured from plenty’s horn–
Land of the valley and the glen,
Of lovely maids and stalwart men;
Thy gorgeous sunsets well may vie
In splendor, with Italian sky;
For, gayest colors deck the clouds,
As night the dying sun enshrouds,
And heaven itself doth wild enfold
Its drapery of blue and gold,
And, pillowed in the rosy air,
The seraphs well might gather there,
And, in the rain-bow-tinted west,
Be lulled by their own songs to rest!
Thy bracing winter, genial spring,
The ruddy glow of rapture bring;
Thy summer’s mild and grateful heat,
From sweltering suns gives cool retreat;
While frosty autumn, full of health,
Fills crib and barn with grainy wealth,
And challenges the earth to dress
Its leaves in richer loveliness!
Enchanting land, where nature showers
Her fairest fruits and gaudiest flowers;
Where stately forests wide expand,
Inviting the industrious hand,
And all the searching eye can view
Is beautiful and useful, too;
Who knows thee well, is sure to love,
Where’er his wandering footsteps rove,
And backward ever turns to thee,
With fond, regretful memory,
Feeling his heart impatient burn
Among thy mountains to return!
In this fertile valley, Colonels Sevier and Shelby collected and marshalled the troups which were joined by Colonel Campbell and his men from Virginia in winning the glorious victory over the British at Kings Mountain, October 7, 1780.
On the left bank of Doe River, within the corporate limits of Elizabethton, stands an historic sycamore that concerns the patriotism of all American citizens. Its beautiful bark always brightly spotted by the partial dropping of its annual incrustations, looks as though it were mantled in the robes of the leopard. Even its parting boughs seem to have been passed through the cased arms of skins from that carnivous beast.
Beneath its umbrageous foliage within the mirthful sound of the laughing Doe River, where every breeze was sweet with the odor of neighboring cedars, Andrew Jackson (Old Hickory), the royal hatter of John Quincy Adams, held the first Court ever convened in the great Commonwealth of Tennessee.
Three miles below the place of the great soldier’s sylvan court were born and reared the Taylor brothers, Bob and Alf, who, being rival nominees for Governor in 1886, reproduced “The War of the Red and White Roses.” In this political unique, Bob proved to be of the House of York, even for a second term, and the House of Lancaster, though defeated for the gubernatorial chair, has since been twice elected to Congress and following the World War, served one term as Governor of Tennessee. I cannot better continue my description of the Watauga Valley than by quoting the magnanimous oration which Landen C. Haynes, the maternal uncle of the Taylor brothers, delivered under the following circumstances:
At a grand banquet given to members of the bench and bar, during a session of the Supreme Court, held in Jackson, Tennessee, soon after the war between the States, General N. B, Forest arose and said: “Gentlemen, I propose the health of the eloquent attorney from East Tennessee” (turning to Haynes), a country sometimes called the God-for-saken.”
Mr, Haynes responded as follows:
“MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN: I plead guilty to the soft impeachment. I was born in East Tennessee, on the banks of the Watauga, which in the Indian vernacular means ‘beautiful river,’ and a beautiful river it is. I have stood on its banks in my childhood, looked down through its glassy waters, saw a heaven below, then looked up and beheld a heaven above, reflecting, like two vast mirrors, each in the other its moons and planets and trembling stars.
“Away from its banks of rock and cliff, hemlock and laurel, pine and cedar, stretches a vale back to the distant mountains as beautiful and exquisite as any in Italy or Switzerland.
“There stand the great Unaka, the great Roan, the great Blacks, and the great Smoky Mountains, among the loftiest in America, on whose summits the clouds gather of their own accord, even on the brightest day. There I have seen the great spirit of the storm after noontide go and take his evening nap in his pavilion of darkness and of clouds.
“I have then seen him aroused at mid-night as a giant refreshed by slumber and cover the heavens with gloom and darkness, awake the tempest and let loose the red lightening that ran along the mountain tops for a thousand miles swifter than an eagle’s flight in heaven.
“Then I have seen them stand up and dance, like angles of light in the clouds, to the music of that grant organ of nature, whose keys seemed to have been touched by the fingers of Divinity, in the hall of eternity that responded in notes of thunder resounding through the universe.
“Then the darkness drifted away beyond the horizon, and morn got up from her saffron bed like a queen, put on her robes of ligh, came forth from her palace in the sun, ‘stood tiptoe on the misty mountain top,’ and while Night fled before her glorious face to his bed chamber at the pole she lighted the green vale and beautiful river, where I was born and played in childhood, with a smile of sunshine.
“Oh, beautiful land of mountains with thy sun-painted cliffs, how can I ever forget thee!”
Mr. Haynes had a countenance as broad and brilliant as the land of his birth, and a voice as sweet and musical as Watauga’s murmuring tide. If he had lived in the days of Greek or Roman triumph, and had displayed his silver-tongued eloquence at the foot of Helicon or in the valley of the Tiber, his countrymen would have dropped a wreath of glory upon his brow and proclaimed him first of the nation.
It is most probable that he had never seen the Grandfather, through whose ferny filters trickle the first sparkling streamlets of the pellucid river that he immortalized, for if he had ever beheld its beautiful clouds “looping their wind-swung folds” around the giant arms of the majestic balsams high on the mountain-top, he would have set it as a gem in the exquisite eulogy on his native land.
The passenger-train that curls its of smoke through and beyond the beautiful vales of the Watauga is called by the quaint but appropriate name of the stem-winder, because, in winding the many graceful curve of the road where brooks pouring down over the rocks throw spray in at the windows, and the pasing glaes blossom with the sweet ordors of the woods, it bears a marked resemblance to the tempered steel of a timekeeper in playing its part within the glittering gold, and intricate movements of the best jewelled stem-winding watch.
Six miles above Elizabethton, the stem-winder stops at Hampton, a handsome station, beside a clear and unusually voluminous limestone spring, which is the nearest calcarous neighbour to the free- stone fountains of North Carolina.
One mile beyond Hampton it dashes through one of the five tunnels on the line, and bursts into a grand canyon called the Gorge. Here the Doe River, a rumbling, tumbling, rollicking, frolicking stream, in dancing and dallying along the countless ages of time, has cut its way down through the Azoic rocks to the depth of a thousand feet, and so nearly perpendicular are the walls on either side that a suspension bridge could be constructed, with usual decorum, across the chasm at the top. Through this unique and beautiful gateway to North Carolina, the road-bed has been prepared, for the distance of four miles, by cutting a niche out of the rocks, about fifty feet above the river, on the left bank; and as the stem-winder “wheels its droning flight” through crag and canyon, by rushing rapids and foaming falls, through bracing. air and views sublime, it passes by great towers and walls, and temples, and cathedrals, and castles of stone, ornamented. with spires and domes and turrets and battlements, and enriched with a profusion of wild pinks that grow in the crevices and impart a glowing harmony to the gray columns and pilasters and obelisks and pinnacles and porticos of stone behind them. Passing this collossal structure of Nature’s masonry, the stem winder follows the rumbling waters of Doe to Roan Mountain station and hot which are connected by a road with the bald of the great Roan Mountain, twelve mile away.
Leaving the banks of the Doe, the train winds through the alternating valleys and vines of Shell Creek, crosses the state line an passes through Elk Park, Cranberry, Newland, Montezuma, Pineola, Linville, Linville Gap, Foscoe and Shulls Mills to its terminus at Boone, N. C. Such are the agencies that have driven the crouching panther from the mountains, and the rhododendron blooms that waved over his lair now drop their crimson petals upon the heads of fair men and maidens who sit beneath the shades and woo the sweet flowers to the rescue of their love-stricken hearts.
The State-line highway parallels this railroad from Elizabethton, Tennessee, to Elk Park, North Carolina, where it conncts with highways leading to all summer resorts, fishing waters, schools, and business places at or near Heaton, Banner Elk, Valle Crucis, Boone, Newland, Pineola, Linville, Blowing Rock, Shulls Mills, Foscoe, Crossnore, Altamont, Linville Falls, Minneapolis, Plumtree, Spruce Pine, Little Switzerland, Altapass, Ashford and Bakersville. At Cranberry has been the the greatest mine of magnetite in the South.
Elk Park is a good stopping place for all travelers passing through it to or from any place in North Carolina or Tennessee. It is headquarters of the Elk River Falls Fishing and Country Club, and is only four miles from the famous Elk Falls which is the second finest cataract in the Grandfather Mountain region.
When there was no railroad across the Blue Ridge east of Asheville, in North Carolina and Tennessee, and the talk of one was the hopes of the people, our friend Mr. A. M. Dougherty, uncle of the Dougherty brothers of the Appalachian State Teachers’ College of Boone, produced the following, which is the most descriptive railroad poem ever written:
The Iron Horse Is Coming
There’s news on the wind, ’tis wafted from the shore
Like a faint voice from the ocean’s mighty roar:
The iron horse is coming, oh, tell it once more.
On the Atlantic coast the iron horse will start,
And dash through the mountains like a winged dart;
Through the old North State and the State of Tennessee
The iron horse will travel and travel in glee.
Yes, the iron horse is coming, and that’s good news;
It will cure hard times and drive away the blues,
Awake from your slumbers, ye good mountaineers,
You’ll hear the mighty whistle in two or three years;
Ring the bells of welcome, let your cheers go round,
Our wealth will come forth, our wealth is in the ground.
What a resurrection of ores to the sight;
And our gems will sparkle like stars of the night.
And joy will kindle in the good farmer’s eye
When’ he can buy so cheap and sell so high.
His cabbage, potatoes, his turnips and fruits,
His bacon, beef, butter and milk from his brutes,
His cider and wine, and his kraut in his kegs,
His honey and feathers, and poultry and eggs,
And everything he grows, his grain and his hay,
Will bring good prices, and prices that will pay
And everything he buys from a railroad store
Will come much lower than he ever bought before;
His clothing and coffee, his sugar and flour,
Will all testify to the iron horse’s power.
And all the day long. through the hot summer days,
While out in the field, ‘neath the sun’s burning rays,
The farmer will whistle the iron horse’s praise.
And in front of his door the bird in her bower
Will tune her sweet lays to the iron horse’s power;
How the merchant will smile when the railroad comes
And brings cheaper gdods to his customers’ homes;
When he gets connected with the business world,
He’ll hang out his sign like a flag unfurled:
“Come one and all, great and small, rich and poor,
Everything is first-class in my railroad store.”
And the laboring man, the abused of the earth,
By cheap labor kept poor, and poor from his birth,
The only man that knows what money is worth,
Can rejoice when he hears the iron horse neigh.
“One dollars instead of fifty cents a day.”
The iron horse is coming, he’s a steed that’s fleet,
He’ll trample hard times ‘neath his great iron feet.
Methinks I hear the train dashing o’er the plain,
Roaring and thundering like the mighty main.
On through Carolina’s undulating hills,
Now through the deep cuts and now along the fills,
Across each swamp and river by trestle or bridge,
And on to the foothills of the great Blue Ridge,
And panting and climbing and leaping its spurs,
And fretting and foaming in his cast-iron gears
And snorting and groaning his burden to bear,
And prancing and puffing and snuffing the air,
At length he reaches the top of the mountain,
And slakes his thirst in a cold crystal fountain;
Nor ever did steed of iron or of flesh
Quaff water from a fountain more cooling and fresh;
Nor ever did hills that echoed to thunder,
Present more romance and grandeur and wonder.
On dashes the steed as fast as a pigeon
Through a rugged, rich, and beautiful region;
And the passengers glance with wonder-bleared eye
At the hill-strewn landscapes, as backward they fly;
That deck so profusely this land of the sky.
The steed dashes on with thrilling locomotion,
Piling up mountains ‘tween him and the ocean;
And the breath from his nostrils rolls back on the air
And hangs like a cloud quite pensively there,
Or shoots up a column all curling and black,
That winds like a serpent far over the track.
On dashes the steed as fast as he can run,
His head-light gleaming like the noonday sun,
Through forests unmeasured, trees without number
Millions of trees made a-purpose for lumber.
And now the iron wheels clank and clatter and roar
And press the rich beds of East Tennessee ore.
Ip the county of Johnson, where the steed now runs,
The hills are swollen with millions of tons,
What wealth has slept since the dawn of creation,
Awaiting the hand of this generation!
Awake from your slumbers, ye good mountaineers
You’ll hear the mighty whistle in two or three years
Ring the bells of welcome, let your cheers go round.
Our wealth will come forth, our wealth is in the ground.
Eight miles north east of Elk Park is
Pair Banner Elk, the Highland flower,
With warbling birds in many a bower,
And valleys sweet with new mown hay,
And pastured bills where cattle lay.
Its laughing cascades foaming white,
Its speckled trout in waters bright;
O’er dallying pools and dancing nooks
The sportsman plies the feathered hooks.
These hay-scented meadows are sequestered in a triangular frame of mountains, the sides of which are about four miles long, and the corners represented by three lofty peaks, viz,: Beech, Sugar and Hanging Rock, each rising more than 5,000 feet above sea level and commanding a panorama of all the adjacent country. Beech was named from its beech groves, Sugar from the sugar maples that forest its slopes, and Hanging Rock from its hanging pinnacles. Hanging Rock stands at the east angle of the figure and Beech at the northwest.
Between any two of these mountain peaks the land swags like a great hammock whose hooks were in their summits. These hammocks are interwoven of ever-green and deciduous trees, and in their flowery meshes the hills are cradled.
Looking southeast from the valley, through and just beyond the hammock that swings between Sugar and Hanging Rock the great evergreen Grandfather uplifts his bold camel-backed outline in dark contrast to all his lighter surroundings. The slope of these flowery meads and leafy dells is toward the sunset, and the frolicsome creek that drains them is called Elk, from the antlered monarch that once had his verdant kingdom upon itsbanks. Just under the hammock that extends north and south from Beech to Sugar the Elk leaps from the valley into a gorge. Down this defile of the mountains beautiful escarpments of ferns and galax slope down the declivities to the water’s edge. Tall birch and hemlock spruce, growing on opposite sides of the stream, reach out and interlock their boughs, as if to shake hands across its musical current. Foaming falls spit their white mist contemptuously into the dimpled cups of the kalmia and rhododendron that bloom in the galleries of the rocks; and the leafy arches that canopy the stream are ribbed with the trunks of trees. Such are the lovely vistas that greet the tourist and the sportsman upon the banks of the Elk.
But it is doubtful how long our description will hold good, for the destroying agent are fast at work. The citizens who could save, and ought to save, a part of their forest in its natural beauty are right into it with fire and smoke, and it does seem to me that if they could use brimstone without stifling their own selves to death they would certainly order a few train loads in exchange for tan and lumber.
Looking southwest across and beyond line drawn from Beech to Sugar, Blood-Camp Mountain presents its long broad side to the vision-flat on top, clear cut against the sky but of less elevation than its neighbors.
Way back in days forgotten, when some hunters were camping at a spring on southern slope, and one of them was bitten by a rattlesnake, a comrade bled him, as a treament, with a pocket-knife, but he died. This originated the names “Blood-Camp Spring” and “Blood-Camp Mountain.”
The overtopping Beech is crowned with an imposing pinnacle, which, being cleft in the center presents a double front, of which the west side was named the Roc’s Egg, because it is supposed to resemble the egg of the roc, the monstrous bird of Arabian mythology.
Looking half a mile west from this hard-shelled production of the mythical species, tall Rider’s Rock rises before the observer, a presents him with the exquisite picture of a horse and rider embroidered of ferns and lichens upon its face.
The entire mountain, with its cliffs and pinnacles, faces the south, and ever casts its adamantine smile upon the emerald valley of Banner Elk and its tributary, shy Shonnyhaw.
From the very summit of the Beech, the land sloping northward was rendered bald in 1890 by the use of two axes, of which one was wielded by the writer of this little volume, while the other was manned by Mr. A. M. Huger, Chuckey Joe, of Charleston, S. C., who named the Roc’s Egg and the Rider’s Rock.
The spot thus divested of trees is grown over with an indigenous grass of such a profuse and lustrous green that the sight-seer can scarcely refrain from lying down and rolling on the cosey carpet beneath him.
So majestic are the rocks of the Beech, an so glorious the panorama which they corn mand, that Chuckey Joe saw fit to poetize follows:
THE BALLAD OP THE “BEECH”
DEDICATED TO THE LITTLE “BALD” OF THE BIG “BEECH”
By HUGGER AND DUGGER, Sponsors
(The little “Bald” was born August 23, 1890.”)
That I’m as “old as the hit’s,” everyone must confess;
Being a “mountain,” you see, I could hardly be less;
But, somehow, yonder “Grandfather,” say what I will,
In spite of my “ages,” “gets the age on me,” still.
Yet we grew up together; when the Record begins,
Some score thousand years back, we were brothers and twins;
He stuck to the “Blue Ridge,” and I to the “Stone,”
And if he claims the “Linville,” why the “Elk” is my own.
True legions of “Low-landers” pray at his shrine,
Whilst only rare Ramblers offer incense at mine;
Yet these “Summer-ers” claim to be civilized folk
With a passion for “peaks,” but that’s surely a joke;
Pot if “culture” they long for in’ fact, not in fun,
Let them note,-I’ve ten farms to the Grandfather’s one;
And if corn, clover, and cabbages, buckwheat and beans,
Ain’t “culture,” just explain what the butt’ of it means?
But as I said sooner, “Inconsistency’s cheap!”
If you’ve ever been wool’d yourself-don’t laugh at sheep.
You-uns claim culture, and polish, and taste, and sich “stuff,”
Yet you worship the “Grandad” for being a “rough,”
I can’t for the life of me (and my life is long),
See why the “Grandfather” should have the whole throng
Lauding “Him” to the skies, whilst the “Beech,” though begotten
In Brotherhood with him, seems almost forgotten.
I’ve been puzzling my pate (’tis no soft one, you bet!)
Why the “G. F.,” you see, should become such a pet;
No doubt “Kelsey’s curves” up his slopes air big help,
But if he is a “lion” the “Big Beech” is no whelp.
If he has his “Balsams,” I have samples as good
As on Yonahlossee’s top ever have stood;
And his “knuckles” could never knock down my “Roc’s Egg,”
Nor his “Raven Rock” lower my “Rider” one peg.
That a Mountain his own “faults” should oft overlook
Is quite logical (vid. any Geo-logicat book);
Nor could you expect any “Bump” of my size
To “lie low” when even “The Hump” bumps hisself for the prize.
I can play a “bluff game” as my “pinnacles” tell,
And lift y-live bundred feet is (I swear it) a “swell,”
But what sot me back when the “Boss Humps” were called,
Was, they thought nie a mere “Boy” because I warn’t “bald.”
There are acres of much bigger balds, say the Finical,
But I’m sure you’d discover “fine points” on my “Pinnacle”;
Gray crags, with a few laurel clumps, or an ash;
And belted round these, like an emerald sash,
A greensward, where my choicest “Rhododendron Vaseyi”
Can flaunt their fair flowers to the sun and the sky;
And “Rain-roosts” I have too ;-you could hardly find better ones
To keep dry your “dry goods if you won’t all be wetter uns.
Now I hope you-uns ‘ill visit my lately born “Bald”;
It ‘taint like the “Blood Camp’s,” a mere “fire scall’d,”
Nor like “the Humps” “deadening.”
Though thickening, you saw
Leagues of leafage from “Poga” to shy “Shonnyhaw”
In woodlands extending just–drop up; let your eyes
See my bonny bare “Bald” spread itself to the skies,
Like a garden from Eden just recently snatched,
Aand with all of the “latest improvements attached.”
See!, from “cloud-land’s” white walls on the dark “Rainy Roan”
To where the “BLACK’S “Mitchell” as monarch enthrone;
Nay, further,–to where “CRAGGY’S” far tilted crest,
And dim “Yeates” and domed “Ogle” shine pale in the west.
From “Chimney-top” over fair Tennessee’s lines
To where “WHITE TOP’S long “bald” like a scimitar shines;
Prom “IRON,” less distant, rising softly by inches
Beyond Abingdon look where the gate of the “CLINCH” is!
Prom the “SNAKE” and the “ELK” and the “BLUFF’S” dimmer blue,
To “BLOWING ROCK’S” crags, and Boone almost in view!
Mark the “DEVIL’S CLAW” under the bold “HANGING ROCK,”
And the “CLOVEN CLIFF’S” crags, that seem almost to mock
The “GRANDFATHBR,” jutting up under his “Nose.”
(Ah! when he “catches cold,” you can look out for blows.”)
Then see “FLAT TOP,” “SUGAR’S bluff, and the “NEEDLES” not far,
And the “TABLE’S” dark cliff and the “HAWKBILL’S” dim scar.
Yonder’s “Jonas’ Bald Ground,” and the “North Cove” slopes there
With his marble cliffs under the wild, “Winding Stair.”
Par distant, lifting southward his faded blue cap,
See “Old Bald,” once the “Shaky” of “HICKORY-NUT GAP”;
Nay, even beyond these, blue as some distant Zion,
Mark “SALUDA’S” soft slopes ‘neath the blue tent of “TRYON.”
From the “Clinch” to where “Chuckey” and Tennessee” meet,
There lies a broad, beautiful world at your feet;
Extending from where eastward rises “PILOT’S” dim crest
To the “CUMBERLANDS” fading afar in the west
No fairer land surely than this, where the hills
Are feathered with forests and braided with sills,
See! under us “Shonnyhaw” dances and dallies,
And “Elk” in white arms holds a score of my valleys,
Oh, come! from my laurel-crown’d throne, feast your eyes
On the greenest of lands, ‘neath the bluest of skies!
Where “Enohia’s” white cascades flash out like a mist,*
There are blooms to be cull’d-there are maids to be kissed;
And “BANNER’S ELK” bravely and broadly extends
A summery Welcome to hosts of warm friends.
*Enohla in Cherokee is black fox. Martin L. Banner’s son’s killed a black fox near the cascades of Elk, below Lees-McRae College. The author told Mr. Huger of this, and he named the cascades Enohla.
BY THE “PATHFINDER”
Seenoyabs, or the Mountains of Night, are “The Blacks.”
The Great Estetoe Mountain is in the Vulgate, “Bright’s Yaller.”
Kaunayrock (Panther Skin, Tusc.) is White Top Virga.
Yonahlossee (the Passing Bear) is the Grandfather Mountain.
Yanasse (Buffalo) is the Iron Mountain Range, long and unlovely.
The Wahaw are the South Mountains, south of Morganton, North Carolina.
Chotab is the Peak (Dunveagan) or Cloven Cliff
Wanteska (Level Land) is Flat Top of Linville.
Kullahsayja (Sugar) is Sugar Mountain of Banner’s Elk, North Carolina.
Zebleeka is the French Broad River.
Yonawayah (Bear Paw) is the Hanging Rock of Banner’s Elk.
Kionteska (Pheasant is Big Beecb of Banners’ Elk.
The Sakonegas (Blue) is the Blue Ridge Range.
Skolanetta is the Hump, near Cranberry, North Carolina.
Ottaray is the Cherokee (now obsolete) name of old
for their Highlands in North Carolina.
The Eseeola Mountains, follow the left bank of the
Linville Rivet, south of Linville City, ending
with Short Off, below the Table.
At Banner Elk are too good cafes, and plenty of family boarding houses. Banner Elk Hotel is open all the year, and the stone buildings of the Lees-McRae College are converted into the Pinnacle Inn throughout the summer.
Banner Elk has every thing to eat that is found at Grove Park Inn in Asheville except one. We have never had the distinction to dine there, but we are reliably informed that one invariably finds at the foot of the Bill of Fare “Fried Rattlesnake $2.90 extra.”
The people of Banner Elk have been so destructive to the rattlesnakes that it is impossible for the hotel and boarding-house people to keep on hand a reliable supply. But they have fried chicken, mountain trout, ham and eggs, beef, mutton, pork, jars of sweet milk, firkins of butter, caidrons of butter-milk, great squares of comb-honey gathered from mountain flowers; and among other dishes, turnip salad, of which the Irishman said “that he had come all the way from ‘Auld Ireland’ just to eat broad grass like a cow.”
Six miles on the way, as the train glides from Cranberry up Toe River, you come to “Old Fields of Toe” (now Newland), a muster-ground before the Civil War, when the men in all the states were required to meet, at given intervals, on certain nice plots of ground, to muster as a standing readiness in case of war against a foreign foe.
Estatoe, a chief’s daughter, was engaged to a young man of the tribe, and, when her father objected to the marriage, she drowned herself in the clear stream, which the Indians afterwards called by her name; but the whites, being too indolent to hinge their tongues upon the silvery accents, changed the euphonious word to “Toe,” which can mean no more than one of those miserable corn-bearing extremities which had all the rhetoric frozen out of them before the discovery by Columbus.
At the Jessie Hotel, the Calloway Inn, or Mrs. Dr. B. B. McGuire’s Shady Lawn, you can get a square dinner, an oblong supper, a good bed and a breakfast fashioned after any geometrical figure in the higher mathematics. If you go to the table with a flat stomach, be careful when you get up to not sneeze, lest an eye be put out by a button from the waistband of your dress or trousers. Two and a half miles from Newland is Montezuma, named for the Aztec Emperor of Mexico when Cortez invaded the country in 1519. Here Uncle John Carpenter, deceased, and his good wife, Mary, kept a hotel where nothing touched the hungry feelings of man more gladly
It is five miles from Newland to Linville, through Montezuma and seven through Pineola. Howard Camp, a fine young man of Chicago, named Pineola by combining pine (tree) with Ola (Penland), a favorite little girl whom he loved as a child.
In 1919 Mr. Howard C. Marmon, a wealthy gentleman of Indianapolis, bought a handsome estate at Pineola. Subsequently he moved his home there, and established the beautiful Anthony Lake in the Linville River. The cut looks across the lake and fish hatchery to Grandfather Mountain in the distance.
Near to and equidistant from Pineola and Montezuma is Linville, where champion games of golf are played, and the floors in Eseeola Inn being as hard as lignumvitae and as slick as a peeled onion furnish the finest facilities for tripping the fantastic toe.
Three thousand years ago Solomon said: “There is nothing new under the sun”; but if he could come back and engage board at Bseeola Inn, he would find that something new has been invented; for he could halba “hello” in a telephone and receive an answer from a social-minded fellow in the telephone office over at Cranberry, and he could chalk his cue and try his luck on a billiard-ball, like which no rotary object ever revolutionized across a rectangular game-table in the city of Jerusalem.
Such is the variety and flavor of the food that, when you place your foot on the threshold of the masticating department, your nasal probiscis is greeted with the aroma of roasted mutton or beef, and the alimentary pupils of your orbicular instruments are fixed upon large slabs of comb honey, consisting of the gathered sweets from mountain flowers, and rivalling in delicacy the nectar of the gods.
An object of attraction two miles from Linville is the gardens of the Blue Ridge, or Mr. E. C Robbins’ expansive nursery of native ornamental shrubs, plants and trees which not only furnishes a large percentage of the shrubbery set in America, but gardens and boulevards in England, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Belgium and other foreign countries are now variegated with flora from this new and highly commendable enterprise on the banks of the jubilant Linville.
Linville and Blowing Rock are connected by the Yonahlossee Road, which is a twenty-mile section of the “Park to Park” highway. It is the most scenic drive in the South, traversing the entire south slope of Grandfather Mountain, a region as rugged as if Vulcan’s mighty anvils had been thrown from the throttles of a volcano and lodged on the mountain-side. High up the imposing crags the eye is diverted into great dark holes and hollows that Sol’s rays have never penetrated; but in the opposite direction, the expansive view is extended far into the blue haze of the sunny South.
Five miles from Linville, and just above the elegant highway where it is crossed by a brook, is the Leaning Rock, about one hundred feet high, consisting of three truncated blocks of stone set one upon another, the first tapering gradually upward from its broad, square base to fit the bottom of the second, and the top of the second being patterned in like manner to the bottom of the third. Up and down through the center of the crowning section is a rent, and at the point where its lower extremity touches the top of the middle division is a little soil formed by the mixture of lodged leaves and disintegrated rock, and supporting a flourishing bunch of rhododendron, which, in June, hangs out its scarlet flora like a beautiful bouquet upon the bosom of a Colossus.
The great Appian Way, leading from Rome by way of Naples to Brundusium, was probably not more interesting than the Yonahlossee Road, Statius called that ancient thoroughfare the Regina Vairum, which, being of the Latin tongue, means Queen of Roads. It was projected and partly built, B.C. 312, by Appius Claudius, the author of the famous dictum, “Every one is the architect of his own fortune.” Its width was from fourteen to eighteen feet, and the large, well-fitted stones with which it was laid looked up through the flying wheels of Titus’s chariot and saw Vesuvius shoot his fires at the stars and pour down the cinders under which Pompeii slept for two thousand years before the tops of its houses were discovered piercing the volcanic debris with which it had been covered. High over the Regina Viarum were the inverted images of ships reflected from the fluorescent waters of the Mediterranean, and sailing on the fleecy waves of the sky. Even the beautiful islands of that sea were apparently inverted above the horizon, presenting the observer with the tinted images of trees with their tops downward, mountains projecting from the sky, fat cattle grazing upon the ver- dure of the heavens, and the con tending armies of different nations and creeds intrenching themselves in the clouds.
Such were the wonders of earth, sea, and sky as seen from the “Queen of Roads”; such the exquisite glimpses from which Cicero caught the glorious inspiration that filled Rome with eloquence, and the world with classic recollections. But with the fall of the Western Empire, the Regina Viarum went to decay, and, during the many centuries that have since elapsed, the Yonahlossee Road, around the south side of the great evergreen Grandfather, is one of the few public highways that have again associated the ease and elegance of travel with the most ecstatic delights of the mind.
From this splendid drive which has been built at greater cost than any other of the same length in the South, aged persons, and those otherwise unable to endure the fatigue of climbing can sit in the carriage, at elevations of over five thousand feet above level of the sea, and enjoy as fine views as region in the eastern half of America affords.
Chuckey Joe, in “The Ballad of the Beech,” calls a shelving rock a “rain-roost,” because under these, persons often perch themselves in times of rain. On our North Carolina mountains is a number of delightful “rain-roosts” and those who have been ducked by the aid of a cloud instead of a minister, can readily realize the great comfort that these rock-sheds must add to a summer resort, for it has been no uncommon thing, in Western North Carolina, to see a party come in from a mountain clamber as wet as drowned rats with their garments flapped about them, and their persons so stooped over, to conceal their faces from view until they could get to their rooms, that it was impossible for an observer to tell which end of an individual was up.
At Linville, where the august drive along the side of the Grandfather is met by the beautiful road from Cranberry, the Western Carolina Stage-Coach Company have, among their many handsome conveyances, an elegant Concord Stage called the Awahili, which, being of the Indian vernacular, means Eagle; and when this is drawn back and forth, along the Yonahlossee Road, by four splendid horses prancing; between ornamental mazes of laurel and pine, passing mirthful falls and crossing streams like “liquid silver,” the passengers are met by new and beautiful objects of entertainment at every revolution of the flying wheels that bear them onward to the sumptuous entertainments of Blowing Rock, or to the cheerful accommodations of Eseeola Inn.
All around Linville are flowers for the botanist, rocks for the geologist, trout for the angler, landscapes for the artist, sublimity for the poet, recreation for the tired business man, invigoration for the weak, retreats for young lovers, and rest for the old.
Linville and the fine mountain stream that flows through it were named from this circumstance: “In the later part of the summer of 1766 William Linville, his son, and another young man, had gone from the lower Yadkin to this river to hunt, where they were surprised by a party of Indians, the two Linvilles were killed, the other person, though badly wounded, effecting his escape. The Linvilles were related to the famous Daniel Boone.” (This is a foot note in Draper’s Kings Mountain and its Heroes, pages 183 and 184.)
From Linville to Blowing Rock there is a choice of ways. If you want to take it leisurely and catch trout as you go, you will loiter up the stream, for the distance of four miles, by the feather-bed road, to Linville Gap, where a beautifully pinnacled mountain on the left is Dunvegan, which Chuckey Joe, in “The Ballad of the Beech,” calls “Cloven Cliffs.” A Merry Andrew named this road feather-bed because it was so unlike a feather-bed that after one drove over it he needed a bottle of liniment.
It is now less than a mile down the gurgling brooks of the Watauga to Grandfather Hotel and post-office, a white house nestling so near the evergreens that the sweet odor of the balsams is wafted in at the doors, and, sweeping through the commodious hall-ways, cures hay-fever and bronchitis, and prolongs the lives of consumptives. It was destroyed by fire and there is no improved road to the place.
About fifty yards in front of the building, at the foot of a declivity, flows the prattling infant Watauga, teeming with speckled beauties, and although most of them, at this point, are too small for the osier basket, yet plenty of nice ones are found, only a mile below, where crystal tributaries have swollen the stream.
Along the opposite bank, from the hotel, is a narrow strip of bottom, about twenty yards wide, from whose farther side, rises a precipitous hill, so profusely grown over with rhododendron, that in the blooming season, from about June 20 to August 1, it presents the veranda-sitting tourist with a perfect wilderness of the gayest flowers.
This is the blooming base of Grandfather Mountain, whose highest point, only three miles away, and just a few degrees south of the zenith, is reached by a winding path that passes by the coldest perennial spring, isolated from perpetual snow, in the United States; its highest temperature being only forty-two degrees.
The neighborhood of Banner Elk, which is five miles northwest, is reached by a rough road that is being made better, while one mile in the rear of the hotel Dunvegan rears its head so high as to obscure the North star, and can be surmounted only by an almost pathless clamber through its rocky defiles.
It is said that a drummer once dined in a hotel where the dinner was brought in individual dishes and after he had it all up, he said to the waiter, “Well, I have enjoyed your samples very much, so you will please bring in the dinner.” But Mr. J.Ervin Calloway, the proprietor of Grandfather, and his good wife, Josephine, do not bring the meals in mussel-shell dishes; they put a good meal in capacious vessels on the table and then tell you that “fingers were made before forks, and that if you would rather use them than the tripronged instrument, to just crack your whip.”
From Grandfather, your objective point is Shulls Mills, six miles down the Watauga, and as you travel along a good road between blooming buckwheat on one side, and waving corn on the other, you pass the village of Foscoe, and arrive at your destination, where J. C. Shull and G. W. Robbins each keeps a first-class country hotel, surrounded by a large lawn.
Around this place on the Watauga and its tributaries, is good trout fishing; and it was here that a man, who thought himself wise, once said to a lad, who was casting his line upon the waters, “Adolescens, art thou trying to decoy the piscatorial tribe with a bicurved barb on which thou hast affixed a dainty allurement?”
Ten miles north of Blowing Rock is Boone, the county-seat of Watauga. In a bottom not far from the court-house, Daniel Boone, for whom the place is named, once had a hunting cabin, and the pile of stones that still marks the place of his chimney, together with the location and name of the town, has furnished Mr. A. M. Dougherty, author of “The Iron Horse is Coming,” with sufficient material for the following elegant poem:
Among Watauga’s fertile hills,
Where music flows from crystal rills,
Aand health is victor o’er disease
And vigor lurks in ev’ry breeze,
And all the forests and the fields
A growth of richest verdure yields.
And fruits and flowers profusely grow;
A land where mlik and honey flow.
Mountains promiscuous, heaped and piled,
And landscapes wrapt in grandeur wild,
And beauty lingers all around
And reigns in majesty profound.
Within this mountain solitude
There stands a village, small and rude,
Hard by the base of Howard’s Knob,
A mountain prince, a proud nabob,
Whose rocky bluffs forever frown.
With dread severeness on the town,
As independent, bold, and free
As promontory on the sea.
This mountain wears a look austere,
But should excite no hate or fear;
He has a mission, noble, grand,
Born more to serve than to command;
And owns a mission more to shield
Than arbitrary power to wield;
He courts our rapture and delight,
And not suspicion or our fright.
So many blessings from him flow,
We crown him friend and not a foe;
He guards the town as kind and mild
As the fond mother guards her child:
And when the town is wrapt in sleep,
His nightly vigils faithful keep,
And holds communion with the stars,
And talks with Venus and with Mars,
And fain would shield from ev’ry harm,
He checks the fury of the storm,
And tempts the thunderbolt to lurch
And spare the steeple of the church,
And waste all its electric fires
On his defiant rocky spires;
And all may quench their raging thirst
Where fountains from his bosom burst,
And roll through various gorges down
And waters furnish for the town.
This mountain sage is old in age
And has a fame for hist’ry’s page;
He is as old as Eden’s lawn,
And he beheld Creation’s dawn.
Man’s life is like the flowers or grass.
But he lives on while ages pass;
A thousand years ago he saw
The planets roll with perfect law,
And on his head the stars did shed
Their light. and. from her Eastern bed,
The moon rose up and made her bow,
And smiled the same as she does now.
He notes the actions of mankind,
Whether for good or bad inclined;
He saw depart a savage race,
And saw another take its place.
A hundred years or more ago
The Indian bent his deadly bow,
The well-aimed arrow quickly sped.
A deer did bdund and then was dead.
No village then, no glittering spires.
The stars looked down on Indian fires;
No golden fields, no Sabbath bells,
The hills echoed with savage yells,
The red man owned the vast domain
From mountain crag to fertile plain;
He thought his title was in fee,
And oh, how happy, wild, and free!
But stop, 0 savage stop and think;
You’re standing on destruction’s brink;
Let all your hopes be turned to feats
And deep despair instead of cheers.
“The die is cast,” your fate is sealed;
What dreadful foe is that concealed
In yonder copse? with flashing eyes
And heart that knows no compromise;
With such a bold, determined look
That death he could undaunted brook;
An iron purpose that fairly mocks
A thousand savage tomahawks.
Oh, savage, now thy woe bewail,
For Daniel Boone is on thy trail,
A hero, grand, immortal, brave,
Whose fame grows brighter from the grave.
A hardy yeoman, warrior bold,
Enduring heat, defying cold.
Before whose awe-inspiring tread
The savage further westward fled
Towards the sunset’s russet glow,
To bend again his deadly bow;
A woodsman, artful, cunning, keen,
A foe could see, himself unseen,
And win a battle in retreat,
And bring out victory from defeat.
Nor Roman arm was e’er so strong,
Nor Spartan valor set in song,
That could eclipse our hero grand
Who gave us this, our Switzerland.
This John the Baptist sought a place
For the great Anglo-Saxon race;
And soon the land was occupied
By civilization’s rushing tide.
What meed of praise could be too great
Our hero’s name to celebrate?
What honors could our race confer
Too great for such a pioneer?
What village would not, boasting, claim
To wear the mighty hero’s name?
And such is ours, ‘mid babbling rills,
Among Watauga’s fertile hills,
Where crags and stars communicate
The highest court-house in the State.
What sacred memories hover ’round
This solitary spot of ground,
Where stood the flue of Daniel’s tent;
A pile of stones, now heaped and blent,
Some of them taken rough, unhewn,
That laid the corner-stone of Boone,
And others, from the ashes swept,
Are now by relic-seekers kept;
And still a mound of stones remain
Upon a richly-studded plain.
(The last ten lines of this poem were added by the author of this book.)
Zionsville is fifteen miles from Boone and Rich Mountain rises at one and ends at the other.
On top of this mountain is a knoll, called “Taber Hill,” which is like a wart on top of a bald head.
Some years ago the owner of this mountain, Congressman R. Z. Linney, employed our bard, Mr. A. M. Dougherty to write up, verse, the panorama from “Tater Hill” at recite it at a barbecue which he gave on of this mountain.
The mountain, the Congressman, the barbecue and the bard have furnished the author with material for the following poem:
THE TATER HILL
Between old Boone and Zionsville
There is a knoll, Potato Hill,
Located on a mountain high,
That all may see who passes by.
A house of stone beneath its feet
A lawyer built that he might beat
From lower climes a cool retreat.
This house of stone the clouds imbibe:
Its owner I will thus describe:
In public speech so much he rushes
They aptly call him Bull o’ the Brushies.
His figure stout, not tall and slim,
With strength of speech, protruding chin,
He wears a tall, black, silken hat,
In politics be “stands pat”;
His nasal horn in blowing strenth
By far exceeds the common length.
He asked a bard in words that chime
To set the Tater-Hill in rhyme,
If bard would rhyme his mountain bobbies,
Then he would print ten thousand copies,
That all the maids might lisp their name,
And they would have eternal fame.
The bard he rhymed of rippling rills,
Of tints that blue the distant hills,
Of clouds that fleck the azure sky,
Of flitting meteors passing by,
Of corn that grows in vernal showers,
Of rainbows arching lovely bowers,
Of gaudy butterflies that play
In odorous pinks and roses gay,
Of pied-frogs piping from their bogs,
Of pheasants drumming on their logs,
Of warbling birds and roaring falls,
Then paid his compliments to owls.
Said he: “Look yonder at the Beech,
A mountain where the owl doth screech,
And in a voice hoarse and bleak
Pours floods of music from his beak,
And claims to have exclusive right
To contemplate the orbs of night.”
Now I’ll relate, since I’ve begun,
This lovely romance of my own
About this bird of monstrous eyes.
This litle story may suffice
To entertain you in a corner
When your scowl you need to humor.
An owl that perched upon a hill,
Seeing a maiden by a rill,
As if to know whom she would woo,
Ask the question, “Whoo, whoo, whoo?”
This girl had heard the Lord of All
Unto the pulpit preachers call;
So now she thought he called her, too,
To know whom she would wed and woo,
And, as she could not hope for riches,
Replied; “Anybody, Lord, who wears breeches.”
As I sat by a brook that sung,
Watching robins feed their young,
An owl that did the woods infest
Now perched himself beside the nest.
The old ones screamed to rend the skies,
And, fluttering, sputtering, ’round him
He gazed upon their plumage gay,
Then snatched a young and flew away.
The parent birds in silent flight
Followed their darling out of sight.
As backwards thence their memory
Their hearts so hurt, their voice hushed
I thought of God, the thought absurd,
That He had said through Christ the Lord
“No sparrow falls without His word.”
If He from off His throne in Heaven
Hath birds to earth in mercy given,
If He His wisdom did extend,
From the beginning saw the end,
Why made He this accipitrine
For rending living birds in twain?
One miracle I rehearse,
The miracle of the Universe,
The owl a bird that giveth pain.
But him for this I’ll not disdain,
In Nature’s ways he fills his place.
In woodland’s choir he plays the bass.
Seven miles west of Boone, eight miles east of Banner Blk, and twelve miles northwest of Blowing Rock is Valle Crucis (Vale of the Cross), a summer resort, where there is bass-fishing in the Watauga, and the Mary Etta Falls of Dutch Creek have a leap of eighty feet into a foaming pool, that is bordered with an evergreen selvage of laurel and pine.
At this place, the hospitable H. Taylor and his descendants have built handsome estates on the ruins of Valle Crucis Abbey, which flourished under Bishop Ives in about 1845, and fell with his apostasy to Rome in 1852. His assistant, Rev. William West Skiles, stayed with the people he had learned to love and died at the home of Colonel Palmer on the Linville, December 8, 1862. The Abbey has been rebuilt in modern style by the church, under management of the good Bishop Homer, deceased.
The name, Valle Crucis, is said to have been suggested by the fact that two mountain tributaries, flowing towards each other and emptying into Dutch Creek form a cross with that crystal stream, in the center of the beautiful valley where the Abbey was located.
A large rustic arm-chair, made and occupied by Mr. Skiles during his missionary work at Valle Crucis, now sits in the Episcopal church at that place and shoots up its fabric of rhododendron and kalmia boughs in the most beautiful style of the Gothic architecture.
Many summer resorters board at Valle Crucis with farmers, including Mr. F. P. Mast, whose industrious wife runs weaving looms and enjoys a good trade on their fabrics. Persons interested in “Old Time” weaving should not fail to call on Mrs. Mast.
Three miles from Linville on the Yonahlossee Road live the descendants of Alexander MacRae, the Scotchman of the Grandfather, who was born at Glenelg, Inverness County in beautiful Caledonia. In 1885 he gathered his little family to his side and said:
“Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North!
The birthplace of valor, the country of worth:
Wherever I wander, wherever I rove,
The hills of the Highlands forever I love.
Farewell to the mountains high covered with snow!
Farewell to the straths and green valleys below!
Farewell to the forest and wild-hanging woods!
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods!”
Mr. MacRae was a loyal American citizen; he visited Scotland twice before he died in America, at 87, July 22, 1929; and yet he never saw the day when he could not sing:
(My heart’s in the Higlands, my heart is not here;
My heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer;)
Chasing the wild 4eer and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands wherever I go.”
Charles Lamb tells us that the Scotch are so ardent, in truth, that they do not know what figurative expression means. He says that he showed a fine print of a graceful female to a Scotchman, and then said to him: “How do you like my beauty?” (meaning the picture). The reply was: “I have considerable respect for your character and talents, but have given much thought to your personal pretensions.” He says also that when he was in formed, at a party of North Britons, that son of Burns was expected, he remarked: wish it were the father instead of the son. To this four Scotchmen answered at once “That is impossible, sir, because he is dead.’ Such was their esteem for rational conversation (so this author suggests) that they could not conceive the meaning of an impractical wish. Mr. Lamb informs us that he did like the Scotch; and he might have added that they did not like him. It is quite probable that these were witty gentlemen, who, feeling piqued by their subjugation to the British crown, intentionally perverted the Englishman’s language into ridicule.
At any rate, Mr. Alexander MacRae and his good Scotch wife like a joke, and they possess such a soul-winning simplicity as to be favorites wherever known. He enjoys his bag-pipe, which he plays at entertainments, and on the cliffs of the Grandfather; the people enjoy it, both for its entertainment and for the reflection that such is the music of a land that has enriched the world with poetry and heroic deeds.
If you would have the best substitute for a visit to Scotland, stop at the MacRae House, where you can see pictures made in Glasgow,
“And harmless shepherds tune their pipes to love,
And Amaryllis sounds in ev’ry grove.
THE LONE CHIMNEY
A lone Chimney stood in the valley,
It had a sad story to tell;
Of the children that warmed by its fires,
And the house wherein they dwelled.
A cabin surrounded its hearth-stone,
Lighted by the fire’s glow;
The children came in warmed their feet,
From their play in the drifted snow.
Billy my boy, the mother said,
You’ll take the croup and die;
If you don’t stay in out of the snow,
Then your mother will more than cry.
They’ll place you down in the deep dug grave,
And cover you over secure;
Your mother will never see you again,
Till we meet on that beautiful shore.
But Billy slipped out and played in the snow,
In spite of his mother’s alarms;
He took the croup, he struggled for breath,
And died in his mother’s arms.
No doctor then, they were pioneers,
In a winter of snows so large;
They buried him down by a falling creek,
That roared his funeral dirge.
Another brother went the same way,
And is buried by his side;
But a third one between is still to be seen,
In the mountains to abide.
But the chimney is gone, the place is forlorn,
To him who the mountains still plods;
For brotherless he has fronted the lee,
Against an army of odds.
Our mother is gone, no more can she mourn,
For their deaths and my lonely sea;
Forever at rest in eternity blest,
From all earthly cares set free.
And there lies old dad, we though he was hard,
With switches he made us obey;
We squirmed in our britches, we ripped mama’s stitches,
And danced to the lashe’s relay.
And soon I shall go to the dear ones marooned,
In sepulchers under the clay;
And silent the songs by fires I sang,
To loved ones beside me that lay.
Our chemical elements fully set free,
That rise from our dust to the air;
Absorbed by the flowers, may color the rose,
That’s worn in the ladies’ hair.
Expanded we’ll fly in the new bye and bye,
We’ll call it the City of Gold;
We’ll tincture in bloom enriching perfume,
In the land where we’ll never grow old.
We’ll meet one another in lightning and rain
In thunder and clouds we’ll embrace;
If ladies we’ll wink at the man in the moon,
If men we’ll envy his grace.
These elements building in human food,
In a maiden’s blood may blend;
And a young man kissing his sweetheart’s cheek,
May kiss a departed friend.
In brooks you hear my mother’s voice,
Their laughing waters have beguiled;
And in the roses by the door,
You see her friendly, loving smile.
Although we die, we live again,
In songs of birds and baby smiles;
In all the pretty flowers of spring,
And waterfalls in fragrant wilds.
Journal of Andre Michaux
[The following sketch of the history of Andre Michaux’s career is condensed from the memoir prepared by Professor Charles S. Sargent, of Brookline, Massachusetts, as an introduction to the journal published by the American Philosophical Society at Philadelphia.]
The younger Michaux, in the year 1824, presented to the American Philosophical Society the the manuscript diary kept by his father during his travels in America. The first parts had been unfortunately lost in the wreck of the vessel in which Michaux returned to France from America, and no record is preserved of his travels in this country from the time of his arrival in New York in October, 1785, until his first visit to South Carolina in 1787.
The first notice of the journal which appeared in this country is found in a paper, by Professor Asa Gray, entitled “Notes of a Botancial Excursion to the Mountains of North Carolina,” published in the American Journal of Science, in 1841 This brief extract, together with a more detailed accoun of those parts of Michaux’s document which relate to Canada, published in 1863, by the Abbe Ovide Brunet, directed the attention of botanists to this record of the travels of one of the most interesting and picturesque figures in the annals of botanical discovery in America, and for many years the feeling has existed among them that the journal which furnishes an important chapter in the history of the development of American botany should be published. The American Philosophical Society having shared in these views, a copy of the manuscript has been placed in my hands for publication. It is now printed as Michaux wrote it, by the light of his lonely camp-fires, during brief moments snatched from short hours of repose, in the midst of hardships and often surrounded with dangers. The character of the man appears in this record of his daily life, and any attempt to correct or extend his words would destroy their individuality and diminish the historical value of his diary.
The journal is something more than a mere diary of travel and botanical discovery. The information which it contains in regard to various plants first detected by Michaux is valuable even now, and his remarks upon the condition and the remote settlements which he visited in the course of his wanderings are interesting and often amusing. They record the impressions of a man of unusual intelligence-a traveler in many lands, who had learned by long practice to use his eyes to good advantage, and to write down only what he saw.
He was the first botanist who ever traveled extensively in this country, although it must not be forgotten that John and William Bartram, his predecessors by several years in the same field, did much to prepare the way for his wider and more detailed explorations. The first connected and systematic work upon the flora of North America was based upon his collections, and bears the impresss of his name, while it was by his efforts many American plants were first made known in the gardens of Europe.
Michaux was born at Salory. in the neighborhood of Versailles, on March 7, 1746, early became interested in the cultivation and study of plants. He left Paris, in 1782, for Aleppo and Bagdad. and, after traveling extensively and mastering the Persian language he returned to Paris early in 1785, bring with him a valuable herbarium and a 1arge collection of seeds.
At this time the French government was anxious to introduce into the royal plantations the most valuable trees of eastern North America, and Michaux was selected for undertaking. He was instructed to explore the territory of the United States, to gather seeds of trees, shrubs and other plants, and to establish a nursery near New York for their reception, and afterwards to send them to France, where they were to be planted in the Park of Rambouillet. He was directed also to send game birds from America, with a view to their introduction into the plantations of American trees.
Michaux, accompanied by his son, then fifteen years old, arrived in New York in October, 1785. Here, during two years, he made his principal residence, established a nursery, of which all trace has now disappeared and making a number of short botanical journeys into New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The fruits of these preliminary explorations, including twelve boxes of seeds, five thousand seedling trees, and a number of live partridges, were sent to Paris at the end of the first year.
Michaux’s first visit to South Carolina was made in September, 1786. He found Charleston a more suitable place for his nurseries, and made that city his headquarters during the rest of his stay in America. Michaux’ s journeys in this country after his establishment in Charleston covered the territory of North America from Hudson’s Bay to Indian River, in Florida, and from the Bahama Islands the banks of the Mississippi River.
In 1788 he was called upon by the minister of the French Republic, lately arrived New York, to proceed to Kentucky, to some business growing out of the relations be tween France and Spain with regard to the transfer of Louisiana. This political journey, and a second one made into the far West, occupied long intervals of Michaux’s time, covering a period of about seven years, at the end of which he returned finally to Charleston in the spring of 1796. His nurseries were in a most flourishing condition; they were stocked with the rarest American plants collected during years of labor and hardship and with many of those plants of the old world which Michaux was first to introduce in the United States. The tallow tree (Stillingia sebifera), now often cultivated and somewhat naturalized in the southern states, beautiful albizzia Julibrissin, were planted in the United States by him. He taught the settlers in the Alleghany Mountains the value of the ginseng, and showed them how to prepare it for the Chinese market–a service which gained for him a mei ship in the exclusive Agricultural Society Charleston.
His movements for several years had been impeded and the success of his journeys interferred with by the lack of financial support from the French government, and Michaux found, on his return to South Carolina, that his resources were entirely exhausted. An obscure botanical traveler, almost forgotten it a distant land, had little hope of recognition from Paris during the closing years of th last century, and it was now evident that I could depend no longer on support and assistance from France. He determined, therefore, rather than sell the trees which he longed see flourishing on French soil, to return to Paris.
Michaux sailed from Charleston on 13th of August, 1796. The voyage was tempestuous; and on the 18th of September the vessel was wrecked on the coast of Holland where the crew and passengers, worn out by exposure and fatigue, would have perished but for the assistance of the inhabitants of tI- little village of Egmont. Michaux fastened himself to a piece of plank, and was finally washed ashore unconscious, and more dead than alive. His baggage was lost; but his precious packages of plants which were stored in the hold of the vessel, were saved, though saturated with salt water. He remained in Egmont for several weeks to regain his strength and to dry and rearrange his plants, and did not reach Paris until January. He was received with great distinction and kindness by the botanists of the Museum, but a bitter disappointment awaited him. An insignificant number only of the six thousand trees which he had sent to France during the eleven years he had passed in America remained alive. The storms of the Revolution and of the Empire had swept through the nurseries of Rambouillet, and Michaux’s American trees were destroyed or hopelessly scattered.
This was the greatest disappointment of his life, but he was not discouraged. His longings were to return to America, but the French government would not supply the necessary means, and on the 18th of October, 1800, he sailed with Baudin on his voyage of discovery to New Holland; and on the 19th of February, the following year, the expedition reached the Isle of France. Here, after a stay of six months, in which Michaux made his first acquaintance with the vegetation of the real tropics, he left the party for the purpose of exploring the island of Madagascar, which seemed to offer a more useful field than New Holland for his labors.
He landed on the east coast, and at once set about laying out a garden, in which he hoped to establish, provisionally, the plants he intended to bring back from his journeys in the interior. Impatient of the delays caused by the indolence of the natives, he had employed to prepare the ground, Michaux, in spite of the warnings of persons familiar with the danger of exposure and over-exertion under a tropical sun, insisted upon working himself day after day. He was soon prostrated with fever, but his vigorous constitution and indomitable will enabled him to resist the at- tack, and his health being partly restored at the end of four months, he was ready to start for the mountains. His preparations were all made, but on the eve of his departure, late in November 1802, he was attacked again with fever and died suddenly. He was only fifty-six years old, still in the prime of life, and possessed all of his powers when his useful career was thus suddenly brought to an end.
EXTRACT FROM THE JOURNAL OF ANDRE MICHAUX.-Translated.
[The Journal of Andre’ Michaux from the time he passed Charlotte, on his way to the mountains of Western North Carolina, until he returned to Charleston, from which point he had started.]
July 22.-Passed through Charlotte in Mecklenburg. Red Clay soil; quartz rocks; clear waters formerly: the waters have the color of dead leaves or dry tobacco. Vegetation, red-oaks, black-oaks, and white-oaks, etc. Actea spicata. . . . Slept six miles from Tuck-a-Segee ford.
July 23.-Passed through Ben Smith, twenty miles from Charlotte. Two or three miles before arriving there saw the Magnolia tomentoso-glauca fol. cordatis longiorib. Slept six miles from B. Smith.
July 24.-Passed through Lincoln and dined with Reinhart. Calamus aromaticus. Slept at the old shoemaker’s.
July 25.-Came to Henry Watner, now Robertson.
July 26.-Arrived at Morganton, Burke Court-House, thirty miles from Robertson. Frutex Cal ycantha facies, etc.
July 27.-Stayed at Morganton on account of the rain and swollen creeks, which could not be passed except by swimming.
July 28.-Remained at Morganton.
July 29.-Left Morganton, and slept at John Rutherford’s, near whose house I went over a bridge across Muddy Creek.
July 30.-Came back into the usual road which leads to Turkey Cove, and arrived at the house of a man named Ainsworth.
July 31 -Herborized on the Linville mountains, southeast at Ainsworth’s residence; and on the rocks and mountains denuded of trees collected a little shrub (Leiophyllum buxifolium).
August 1 -Herborized on mountains of very rich soil, situated to the northeast. Measured a tulip-tree twenty-three French feet in circumference.
August 2.-Herborized toward the mountains to the northward.
August 3 ,-Herborized among Cyperoides and other aquatic plants.
August 4.-Prepared for the journey to the Black Mountain.
August 5.-Deferred the journey on account of the lack of provisions.
August 6.-Set out and reached the place called Crab-tree.
August 7.-Herborized on the mountains in the vicinity of Crab-tree.
August 9.-Continued my herborizations.
August 10.-Arrived at the foot of Black Mountain.
August 11.-Arrived on the side of Black Mountain. (Among the plants collected he names “fox-grapes, fruit good to eat.”)
August 12.-Returned from the mountain.
August 13.-Arrived at the house of Mr. Ainsworth.
August 14.-A thick fog made it difficult to explore the high mountains. Herborized the valleys.
August 16.-Journeyed toward the Yellow Mountain and Roun (Roan) Mountain. Reached Towe (Toe) River, Bright’s Settlement. The principal inhabitants of this place are Davinport, Wiseman. Collected herbs Azalea coccinea, lutea, flava, alba, and rosea; all these varieties of the Azalea nudifiora found in this region.
August 17.-Agreed with a hunter (Davinport) to go to the mountains.
August 18.-Herborized and described several plants.
August 19.-Started to go toward the high mountains.
August 20.-Herborized in the mountains.
August 21.-Reached the summit of (Roan) Mountain; found in abunda small shrub with boxwood-like leaves I formerly designated as Leiophullum folium, but the capsule of which has three and opens at the top.*
[It is strange that Michaux did not mention the abundanceof this shrub growing on the bare rocks of Grandfather Mountain.]
August 22.-Reached the summit of the Yellow Mountain.
August 23.-Returned to Davinport’s house.
August 24.-Put my collections in order.
August 26. Started for Grandfather Mountain, the most elevated of all those which form the chain of the Alleghanies and the Appalachians.
August 27.-Reached the foot of the highest mountain.
August 28.-Climbed as far as the rocks.
August 29.-Continued my herborizations.
August 30.-Climbed to the summit of the highest mountain of all North America, and, with my companion and guide, sang the Marseillaise Hymn, and cried, “Long live America and the French Republic! long live Liberty! etc.” Le 30 Monte au sommet de la plus haute montagne de toute l’Am. Sept. et avec mon compagnon Guide, chante’ l’hymne des Marseillais et Crie’ Vive l’Ame’rique et Ia Re’pubh’q. Fran~aise, Vive la Liberte’, etc., etc.
August 31.-Rain all day. Staid in camp.
September 1,-Came back to the house of my guide Davinport.
September 2.- Rain. Herborized.
September 3.-Arranged my collections.
September 4.-The same work.
September 5.-Started for Table Mount.
September 6.-Visited the cliffs of the mountain Hock-bill (Hawk-bill) and of Table Mountain. These mountains are very barren, and the new shrub (Leiophyllum) is the only rare plant found there. It is there in abundance. Slept at a distance of six at Park’s.
September 7. Started for Burke Court House or Morganton. Slept at the house of General MacDowal. Saw near his house Spirea tomentosa in abundance. From Burke to John Wagely’s house, about twelve miles. From John Wagely’s to Thomas Young’s _____. From Thomas Young’s to Davinport’s, eight miles.
September 8.-Arrived at Burke Court–House or Morganton. Visited Colonel Avery and stayed at his house.
September 9.Started in the evening from Morganton; slept three miles distant from it. Met an inhabitant of Stateborough, Mr. Atkinson, who invited me to his house.
September 10.-Reached Robertson, thirty miles from Morganton.
September 11. Slept at Reinhart’s, Lincoln Court-House, fifteen miles from Robertson.
September 12.-Started for Yadkin River and Salisbury. Slept at Catawba Springs eighteen miles from Lincoln.
September 13.-Went to Betty’s Ford or the Catawba River, twenty miles from Lincoln. Slept at a farm eight miles before coming to Salisbury, where the three roads from Philadelphia, from Charleston, and from Kentucky meet.
September 14.-Passed through Salisbury, a town of better appearance than the other towns of North Carolina. Fifty miles from Lincoln to Salisbury. Continued my way to Fayetteville; crossed Yadkin River and slept fourteen miles from Salisbury.
September 15.-Passed several creeks and low, but very stony hills.
September 16.-Part of the road very stony. Saw the Magnol. acuminata florib. luteis; Collinsonia tuberosa. Came then upon sandy ground. Slept at the house of Martin, store-keeper.
September 17.-Continued my way across the sand-hills.
September 18.-Reached a place six miles from Fayeteville. Lost my two horses.
September 19 and 20.-Employed these two days in searching for my horses.
September 21.-Found one of the two and…
September 22.-Arrived again at Fayetteville, formerly Cross Creek. The river Cape Fear flows past that town. Saw in my herborizations swamps which surround the Cupressus disticha, thyoides, often together.
September 23.-Started from Fayetteville after having had the satisfaction to read the news, arrived the evening before, from Philadelphia, concerning the glorious victories of the Republic. Slept at the house of old (?) MacCay, fifteen miles from Fayetteville on the road from Salisbury.
September 24.-Took the road from Charleston on the left and passed Drowned Creek at MacLawchland bridge. But the more direct route from Fayetteville to Charleston is by way of Widow Campbell Bridge, forty (?) miles from Fayetteville. From Widow Campbell Bridge to ( Swamp, ten miles from the line that separates North Carolina and South Carolina.
September 25.-Passed through Gum Swamp and slept eight miles from Fayetteville. Saw the Cupressus thyoides and pressus disticha in several swamps. Saw the Andromeda Wilmingt. in abundance in swamps. Liquid-ambar pere grin um, etc. Two miles from Gum Swamp we reach South Carolina.
September 26.-Passed through Long Bluff, a small hamlet, two miles south river Big Pedee, seventy-four miles from Fayetteville.
September 27.-Passed through Black Swamp, twenty-two miles from Long Bluff Col. Benton, twelve miles from L. Bluff. Black Creek, ten miles from L. Bl. Jeffe Creek, ten miles fro L. Bl. September 28.-Passed Lynch’s Creek forty miles from L. Bl.
September 29.-Passed Black River, thirty miles from Lynch Creek. A certain Lorry keeps the ferry of Black River.
September 30.-Arrived at Maurice Ferry, on the Santee River, fifteen miles from Black River, and twenty miles from Monck’s Corner. The passage of the ferry was dangerous, and I was obliged to go to Lenew Ferry. It is twenty-five miles from Maurice Ferry to Lenew or Lenew’s Ferry.
October 1.-Left Lenew’s Ferry and passed through Strawberry’s Ferry, twenty-five miles from Lenew’s Ferry, and twenty-eight miles from Charleston. Reached the dwelling-house near Ten M. House.
October 2. Left for Charleston.
A CONDENSED MEMOIR OF REV. ELISHA MITCHELL, D.D.
Elisha Mitchell, D.D., was born in Washington, Litchfield County, Connecticut, on the 19th of August, 1793.
He graduated at Yale College in 1813, was appointed to the chair of mathematics in the University of North Carolina in 1817, and, after rendering thirty-nine and a half years of the most valuable service in the scientific departments of that institution, he perished the 27th of June, 1857, in the sixty-fourth year of his age, and was buried in Asheville the 10th of the following July. “But at the earnest solicitation of many friends, and especially of the mountain men of Yancey, his family allowed his body to be removed and deposited on the top of Mt. Mitchell. This was done on the 16th of June, 1858. There he shall rest till the judgment day in a mausoleum such as no other man has ever had. Reared by the hands of Omnipotence, it was assigned to him by those to whom it was given thus to express their esteem, and it was consecrated by the lips of eloquence warmed by affection, amidst the rites of our holy religion. Before him lies the North Carolina he loved so well and served so faithfully. From his lofty couch its hills and valleys melt into its plains as they stretch away to the shores of the eastern ocean, whence the dawn of the last day stealing quietly westward, as it lights the niountain-tops first shall awake him earliest to hear the greeting of “Well done, good and faithful sevvant.”
THE SEARCH FOR PROFESSOR MITCHELL’S BODY
(From the Asheville Spectator.)
Messrs. Editors,-Having spent a week at the scene of this memorable calamity, in search if body of Dr. Mitchell, and assisting in its after it was found, I have been requested by sun citizens to give to the public a sketch of the delplorable event. In accordance with their request, I take my pen to give you all I know of the accident, which has caused so much sorrowful excitement in this region, and which I doubt not will unnerve the public feeling to its centre throughout the State when the sad tiding shall be generally known.
It is known to all who have felt interested in our State geography, that there lately sprung up a dispute between the Hon. T. L. Clingman and Dr. Mitchell in regard to one of the high peaks of the Black Mountain put down in Cook’s map as Mt. Clingman. The former alleging that he was first to measure and ascertain its superior height to any other point on the range, and the latter gentleman asserting that he was on that same peak and measured it in the year 1844. After several letters, pro and con through the newspapers, Dr. Mitchell announced last fall his intention of visiting the mountain again for the purpose of remeasuring the peak in dispute, taking the statements of some gentlemen who had acted as his guides on his former visits, etc. Some time since, about the middle of June, I think, he came in company with his son, Chas. A. Mitchell, his daughter, and a servant boy, established his headquarters at Jesse Stepp’s, at the foot of the mountain, and began the laborious task of ascertaining height of the highest peak by an instrumental survey, which, as the former admeasurements were only barometrical, would fix its altitude with perfect acuracy. He had proceeded with his work nearly two weeks, and had reached to some quarter of a mile above Mr. Wm. Patton’s Mountain House, by Saturday evening, half-past two o’clock, the 27th of June, at which time he quit work and told his son that he was going to cross the mountain to the settlement on Caney River for the purpose of seeing Mr. Thomas Wilson, Wm. Biddle, and, I believe, another Mr. Wilson, who had guided him up to the top on a former visit. He promised to return to the Mountain House on Monday at noon. There was no one with him. This was the last time he was seen alive. On Monday his son repaired to the Mountain House to meet his father, but he did not come. Tuesday the same thing occurred, and though considerable uneasiness was felt for his safety, yet there were so many ways to account for his delay that it was scarcely thought necessary to alarm the neighborhood; but when Wednesday night came and brought no token of him, his son and Mr. John Stepp immediately started on Thursday morning to Caney River in search of him. On arriving at Mr. Thos. Wilson’s. what was their astonishment and dismay to learn that he had neither been seen nor heard of in that settlement! They immediately returned to Mr. Stepp’s, the alarm was given, and before sundown on Friday evening companies of the hardy mountaineers from the North Fork of the Swannanoa were on their way up the mountain. The writer, happening to be present on a visit to the Black, joined the first company that went up. About eighteen persons camped at the Mountain House that evening, and continued accessions were made to our party during the night by the good citizens of that neighborhood, who turned out at the call of humanity as fast as they heard the alarm. some from their fields, some from working on the road, and all without a moment’s hesitation. Early on Saturday morning our party, unJer the command of Mr. Fred. Burnett and his sons, all experienced hunters, and Jesse Stepp and others who were familiar with the mountains. struck out for the main top, and began the search by scouring the woods on the left-hand, or Caney River side of the trail that runs along the top. We continued on this way to the highest peak without discovering any traces whatever of his passage, when our company became so scattered into small parties that no further systematic search could be made that day. But directly in our rear as we came up the mountain was Mr. Bldridge Burnett with some more of his neighbors, who had come from their houses that morning; and hearing a report that Dr. Mitchell had expressed his intention of striking a bee-line from the top for the settlements without following the blazed trail way to Caney River. they searched for signs in that direction, and soon found a trail in the soft moss and fern that was believed to have been made by him, and followed it until it came to the first fork of Caney, where it was lost. Nothing doubting but they were on his track, and that he had continued down the stream, they went several miles along the beat of the river, over inconceivably rough and dangerous ground until dark, when they threw themselves upon the earth and rested till morning. Mr. Stepp, Mr. Fred. Burnett and others made their” to Wilson’s on Caney River to join the company was coming up from the Yancey side, and the writer and many others returned, gloomy and disappointed, to the Mountain House. Thus ended the first day’s search. During almost the entire day the rain had poured down steadily, the air was cold and chilling, the thermometer indicating about forty-four degrees at noon, whilst the heavy clouds wrapped the whole mountain in such a dense fog that it was impossible to see any distance before us. It seemed as if the genii of those vast mountain solitudes were angered at our unwanted intrusion, and had invoked the Storm-God to enshroud in deeper gloom the sad and mysterious fate of their noble victim.
Sabbath morning came, but its holy stillness sacred associations were all unregarded, and the camping in the Mountain House, now largely mented by constant arrivals from the settleme plunged again into the gloomy forest of gigantic firs and filing through the dark and deep gorges struck far down into the wilds of Caney River. Mr. Eldridge Burnett’s party returned about two o’clock bringing no tidings and seeing no further trace whatever of the wanderer’s footsteps. Still later in day Messrs. Fred. Burnett and Jesse Stepp and party returned with some twelve or fifteen of the citizens of Caney River, having traversed a large scope of country and finding still no trace of the lost one. The rain still continued to pour down and gloomy and ill-omened fog still continued to wrap the mountain’s brow in its rayless and opaque shroud. Just before dark the remaining party came in, unsuccessful. tired, hungry. and soaking with water. A general gloom now overspread the countenances of all, as the awful and almost undeniable fact was proclaimed that Dr. Mitchell was surely dead, and our only object in making the search would be rescue his mortal remains from the wild beasts and give them Christian sephulchre! It could not be possible we thought. that he was alive, for cold, and hunger. and fatigue. if nothing worse had happened to him, would ere this have destroyed him. Alas! we reasoned too well. By this time the alarm had spread far and near, and many citizens of Asheville and other parts of the country were flocking to the mountains to assist in the search for one so universally beloved and respected. On Monday the company numbered some sixty men. New routes were projected new ground of search proposed and the hunt conducted throughout the day with renewed energy and determination, but still without avail. On Tuesday the company of Buncombe men separated into three squads and took different routes, whilst Mr. Thomas Wilson and his neighbors from Caney River took a still more distant route, by going the top of the highest peak and searching down toward the Cat-tail fork of the river. They were to take this route by the suggestion of Mr. Wilson that Dr. Mitchell had gone up that way in hw.. to the high peak in 1844, and that perhaps he had undertaken to go down by the same route. They accordingly struck out for that point, and turning to the left to strike down the mountain in the prairie near the top, at the very spot where it is alleged that the Doctor entered it thirteen years ago, they instantly perceived the impression of feet upon the yielding turf, pointing down the mountain in the direction indicated of his former route. After tracing it some distance with that unerring woodcraft which is so wonderful to all but the close observing hunter, they became convinced that it was his trail, and sent a messenger back some five miles to inform the Buncombe men, and telling them to hurry on fast as they could. The writer, with Mr. Charles Mitchell and many others, was in a deep valley on the head-waters of another fork of the river, when the blast of a horn and the firing of guns on a distant peak made us aware that some discovery was made. Hurrying with breathless haste up the steep mountain side in the direction of the guns, we soon came up, and found the greater part of our company watching for us, with the news that the Yancey company were upon the trail we had been so earnestly seeking so many days. After a brief consultation, two or three of our party returned to the Mountain House for provisions, and the balance of us started as fast as we could travel along the main top toward our -Yancey friends, and reached the high peak just before dark. Here we camped in a small cabin built by Mr. Jesse Stepp, ate a hasty supper, and threw ourselves upon the floor, without covering, to rest.
About one o’clock in the night, just as the writer was about closing his eyes in troubled and uneasy slumber, a loud halbo was heard from the high bluff that looms over the cabin. It was answered from within, and in a moment every sleeper was upon his feet. Mr. Jesse Stepp, Capt. Robert Patton and others, then came down and told us that the body was found. Mournfully then indeed those hardy sons of the mountain seated themselves around the smouldering cabin-fire, and on the trunks of the fallen firs, and then, in the light of a glorious full moon, whose rays pencilled the dark, damp forest with liquid silver seven thousand feet above the tidewashed sands of the Atlantic, the melancholy tale was told. Many a heart was stilled with sadness as the awful truth was disclosed, and many a rough face glittered with a tear in the refulgent moonlight as it looked upon the marble pallor and statue-stillness of the stricken and bereaved son, and thought of those far away whom this sudden evil would so deeply afflict.
It was as they expected. The deceased had undertaken to go the same route to the settlements which he had formerly gone. They traced him rapidly down the precipices of the mountain, until they reached the stream (the Cat-tail fork). found his traces going down it-following on a hundred yards or so, they came to a rushing cataract some forty feet high, saw his footprints trying to climb around the edge of the yawning precipice, saw the moss torn up by the outstretched hand, and then-the solid, impressionless granite refused to tell more of his fate. But clambering hastily to the bottom of the roaring abyss, they found a basin worn out of the solid rock by the frenzied torrent, at least fourteen feet deep, filled with clear and crystal waters cold and pure as the winter snow that generates them. At the bottom of this basin, quietly reposing, with outstrerched arms, lay the mortal remains of the Rev. Elisha Mitchell, D.D., the good, the great. the wise, the simple-minded. the pure of heart, the instructor of youth. the disciple of knowledge and the preacher of Christianity! Oh, what friend to science and virtue, what youth among all the thousands that have listened to his teachings. what friend that has ever taken him by the hand, can think of this wild and awful scene unmoved by the humanity of tears! can think of those gigantic pyramidal firs, whose interlocking branches shut out the light of heaven, the many-hued rhododendrons that freight the air with their perfume and lean weepingly over the waters that crystal stream leaping down the great granites and hastening from the majestic presence of the mighty peak above, whilst in the deep pool below where the weary waters rest but a single moment, lies the inanimate body of his dear friend and preceptor apparently listening to the mighty requiem of the cataract! Truly “Man knoweth not his time and the sons of men are entrapped in the evil, when it cometh suddenly upon them.”
Upon consultation it was thought best to let the body remain in the water until all arrangements were completed for its removal and interment; judging rightly that the cold and pure waters would be better preserve it than it could be kept in any other way. At daylight a number of hands went to cutting out a trail from the top of the mountain to where the body lay a distance of three miles whilst others went to Asheville to make the necessary arrangements. Word was also sent to the coroner of Yancey and to the citizens generally to come and asist us in raising the body on Wednesday morning. At that time a number of persons assembled at Mr. Jesse Stepp’s and set out for the spot. bearing the coffin upon our shoulders up the dreary steeps. We had gone near ten miles in this way and had just turned down from the high peak toward the river. when we were met by Mr. Coroner Ayres. and about fifty of the citizen of Yancey. coming up with the body. They had impatient at our delay. and enveloping the body in a sheet and fastening it securely upon a long pole, laid it upon the shoulders of ten men and started up the mountain. And now became manifest the strength and hardihood of those noble mountaineers. For three miles above them the precipitous granites and steep mountain sides forbade almost the ascent of an unincumbered man. which was rendered doubly difficult by great trunks of trees. and the thick and tangled laurel which blocked up the way. The load was near two hundred and fifty pounds. and only two men could carry at once. But nothing daunted by the exertion before them, they step boldly up the way. fresh hands stepped in every few moments, all struggling without intermission and eager to assist in the work of humanity. Anon they would come to a place at which it was impossible for the bearers to proceed, and then they would form a line by taking one another’s hands, the uppermost man grasping a tree, and with shouts of encouragement heave up by main strength. In this way, after indescribably toiling for some hours. they reached the spot. Here was afforded another instance of the great affection and regard in which the deceased was held by all. These bold and hardy men desired to have the body buried there, and contended for it long and earnestly. They said that he had first made known the superior height of their glorious mountain and noised their fame almost throughout the Union; that he had died whilst contending for his right to that loftiest of all the Atlantic mountains, on which we then stood, and they desired to place his remains right there, and at no other spot. It would indeed have been an appropriate resting-place for him, and greatly was it wished for by the whole country before its being told them that his family wanted his remains brought down. They reluctantly yielded, and the Buncombe men proceeded to bring the body slowly down the valley of the Swannanoa. Before leaving the top, the writer took down the names of all present, and will ask you to publish them to the world, as men who have done honor to our common humanity by their generous and disinterested conduct on this melancholy occasion. I am no flatterer, Messrs. Editors, but I must confess that the labor which these mountain men expended and the sacrifice they so willingly and cheerfully madeis worthyof all praise and admiration. May God reward kindness! I feel sure the numerous friends and pupils of the dear deceased would rather read the list of these men’s names than the “ayes and nays” of Congressional vote that has been recorded in many a day.
Nathaniel B. Ray, I. M. Broyles, Joseph Shephard, Washington Broyles, Henry Wheeler, Thomas Wilson, Jas. M. Ray, D. W. Burleson, G. B. Silvers, J. O. Griffith, E. Williams, A. D. Allen, A. L. Ray, Thomas D. Wilson, B. A. Pyat, D. W. Howard, W. M. Astin, James H. Riddle, Dr. W. Crumley, G. D. Ray, Burton Austin, James Allen, Henry Ray, T. L. Randolph, John McPeters, W. B. Creasman, S. J. Nanney, Samuel Ray, B. W. Boren, Rev. W. C. Bowman, J. W. Bailey, Thomas Silvers, Jr., Thomas Calloway, Henry Allen, J. L. Gibbs, Jesse Ray, James Hensley, Robert Riddle, W. D. Williams, D. Young, William Rolen, G. W. Wilson, John Rogers, James Allen, Jr., J. W. Ayres, J. F. Presnell, R. A. Rumple, W. J. Hensley, D. H. Silvers, R. Don Wilson, Jas. Calloway.
S. C. Lambert, William Burnett, R. H. Burnett, R. J. Fortune, Ephraim Glass, J. H. Bartlett, B. F. Fortune, A. N. Alexander, James Gaines, J. E. Ellison, John F. Bartlett, F. F. Bartlett, Elijah Kearly, E. Clayton, A. Burgin, Jesse Stepp, D. F. Summey, T. J. Corpning, Harris Bilison, T. B. Boyd, A. J. Linsdey, Joshua Stepp, William Powers, R. P. Lambert, Tisdale Stepp, Daniel Burnett, Thaddeus C. Coleman, A. F. Harris, W. C. Fortune, Fletcher Fortune, Capt. Robert Patton, Cooper, servant of Wm. Patton, John, servant of Fletcher Fortune, Esq.
A. J. Bmerson, Chatham County, A. E. Rhodes, Jones County, H. H. Young, and Moses Dent, Franklin County; all students of Wake Forest College.
This list does not comprise all who assisted in search, as, much to my regret. I did not take a list of any but those present at the removal of the body. I believe, however, that the names of all are recorded on the register of Mr. Patton’s Mountain House, where the friends of Dr. Mitchell can see them they visit (as I have no doubt many will) the of his death.
This ends my brief sketch of this melanchcoly affair. As to any eulogy upon Dr. Mitchell’s char I feel myself unequal to the task. I trust that it will be appropriately pronounced by some one of his learned and devoted fellow-laborers of the University. My feeble pen could add nothing to his moral and intellectual stature. I will only say that I loved him as sincerely as any one in the State. I am gratified to be able to state that unusual kindness and respect was exhibited by every citizen of the country throughout the whole transaction.
Z. B. VANCE.
DICTIONARY OF ALTITUDES
(Above Sea Level)
In Western North Carolina
Revised frd in Latest Official Reports
Authorities differing, or otherwise doubt of accuracy is followed by the “?”
Watauga County Place Elevation Blowing Rock Village, highest town in the State 4,090 Green Park 4,300? Boone 3,332 Valle Crucis, at Dutch Creek Crossing 2,732 Shulls Mills 2,917 Cooks Gap in Blue Ridge 3,349 Pineola 3,700? Kelsey 4,500?. Bull Ruffin 4,100 Aho 3,900? Foscoe 3,100? Dark Ridge 3000? Sugar Grove 2,775? Watauga Falls 2,630 Amantha 2,820 Howard’s Knob, overlooking Boone 4,451 Bald of Rich Mountain 5,300 Sugarloaf 4,705 Snake Mountain 5,594 Elk Knob 5,555. Flat-Top, on Cone Estate 4,537 Mountain City, across Tennessee Line 2,418 Avery County Place Elevation Newland, County Seat 3,695 Montezuma 3,882 Linville 3,800 Pineola 3,700? Kawane, Harper’s Creek 2,400? Banner Elk 3,700 Elk Park 3,180 Cranberry 3,160 Heaton 3,130? Hunters Chapel 2,855 Minneapolis 3,400 Plumtree 2,839 Ingalls 2,800 Pisgah Church 3,437 Crossnore 3,400 Frank 3,100 Beech Creek 2,630? Spear 2,839 Senia 3,400? Valley 4,000? Dark Ridge 3000? Whaley 3,450? Gragg 2,890 Hughes 3,800? Beech Mountain 5,522 Hanging Rock Mountain 5,522 Sugar Mountain 5,289 Blood Camp Mountain, about 4,400 Grandfather Mountain 5,964 Eighteen miles of the Yonahlossee Road from 4,200 to 4,500 Linville Gap, head of Linville and Watauga Rivers 4,100 Dunveagan, sentinel of Linville Gap 4,924 Grandmother Mountain 4,686 Beacon Heights 4,650 McCandles Cabin Gap (Jim McCandles, father of Cob McCandles, had a hunting cabin here in about 1850) 4,285 Hump Mountain, rising from Elk Park 5,522 Big Yellow Mountain 5,500 Humpback Mountain, Avery-McDowell 4,179 Grassy Ridge Bald of Roan Mountain on line of Avery and Mitchell Counties 6,230
Though little visited it classes with Chimney Rock in its near views, but far out classes it in its panorama. Detesting the name “Humpback” for such a beautiful place, this writer named it Sunnalee and wrote the following poem in 1898:
The grandest view in Ottaray,*
Mid woodlands wild and free,
That tree-haired brow above the clouds
Sun glinted Sunnalee.
*”Ottaray,” the Indian name of old for the North Carolina mountains.
Sunnalee is the Cherokee word for morning, for a” the waves lash upon a lee-shore, so does the yellow glow of the rising sun floss the mountains.
Oh, Sunnalee, you woo the sun,
At morn to make a sally;
And glint a kiss upon your cheek,
While dawn is in the valley.
Rare Sunnalee, your breezes sweet,
At noon from heat distinguish,
While in yon field the sun does broil,
The grease from Jeahue English.
Ad own the cliffs a mile or so,
His fields in valleys lay;
You see him plough and hear the cock,
That crows him up for day.
You see him hiving of the bees
Or taking out their honey;
Or selling of his neighbor’s corn,
And changing of their money.
Wife Laura picking of the geese,
Aunt Jenny grabling ‘taters;
Miss Hettie by the garden-walk,
A-gathering of tomatoes.
At dusky eve, when Jeahue takes
His horses to the barn,
Sweet Sunnalee still holds the sun,
Upon her rosy arm.
Then drops him in that glaring fan,
Of saffron and of gold,
That fans him to his sweet repose,
Then gathers in its folds.
Good night, good night, dear Sunnalee,
Night’s bed shall give thee slumber
The rhododendrons in its folds,
Still bloom the darkness under.
Mitchell County Place Elevation Bakersville 2,471 Toecane 2,244 Huntdale 2,033 Altapass 2,830 Crabtree Mountain 4,100 Chalk Mountain 3,558 Clarissa, Postoffice 2,650 Cloudland, site of extinct hotel, top Roan Mountain 6,261 Indian Grave Gap 3,100 Iron Mountain Gap 3,725 Ivy Gap 3,150 Ledger 2,733 Magnetic City 2,800 Mica 2,657 Penland 2,500? Phenoy 2,850 ? Poplar 2,000? Pumpkin Patch Mountain 4,263 Redhill, village 2,424 Relief, postoffice 2,026 Roan High Bluff 6,287 Roan High Knob 6,313 Spruce Pine 2,511 The Peak (Mountain) 2,866 Toecane 2,244 Unake Mountain 5,253 Yellow Mountain 5,330 Woods Knob 4,248 Little Switzerland – Mitchell-McDowell (Entrance) 3,082 Switzerland Inn 3,470 Reservoir 3,630 Kilmichael Tower 4,000 Big Spring 3,582 Burke County Place Elevation Bridgewater 1,096 Brindletown 1,350 Burkernont 2,598 Connelly’s Springs 1,194 Devil Shoal Ford 945 Glen Alpine 1,210 Glen Alpine Springs 1,480 Hawkbill Mountain 4,090 Hildebran 1,148 Joy 1,091 Morganton Courthouse 1,181 Parks Mountain 4,066 Piedmont Springs 1,217 Shortoff Mountain 3,127 Table Rock Mountain 3,918 Valdese 1,202 Walker Top Mountain 2,919 Windingstair Knob 3,437 Pilot Mountain 2050? Linville Mountain, south end 3,766 Linville Falls, at Penland’s 3,250 Linville Falls, top of falls 3,100 Linville Falls, bottom of falls 3.000 McDowell County Place Elevation Marion Courthouse 1,437 Catawba River Bridge 1,018 Dysartville 1,262 Gillespie Gap, in the Blue Ridge 2,800 Glenwood 1,158 Greenlee 1,285 Nebo 1,297 Old Fort 1,437 Round Knob, railroad station 1,830 Woodlawn 1,394 Buck Creek Gap, on highway 3,200? Caldwell County Place Elevation Lenoir 1,186 Devil Shoal Ford, crossing Catawba 945 Globe 1,325 ? Granite Falls 1,211 Hartland 1,194 Hibriten Mountain 2,265 Hudson 1,272 Kings Creek 1,250 Lenoir courthouse 1,182 Lovelady 1,206 ? Patterson 1,307 Pilot Mountain 1,486 Yadkin Valley 1,300 ? Yancey County Place Elevation Burnsville, at Otway Burns’ Statue 2,840 Green Mountain 4,990 Bald Creek postoffice 2,555 Bee Log 2,400? Big Bald, Tennessee line 5,840 Boonford 2,382 Cane River, postoffice 2,485 Egypt 2,780 Daybook 2,350 Ivy Gap 3,150 Jacks Creek (mouth) 2,332 Celo, village 2,735 Micaville, postoffice 2,504. Paint Gap 3,000? Pensacola at Baptist Church 2,858 Yates’ Knob 6,001 Green Pond at Tom Wilson’s highest house 3,222 Tom Wilson’s new house 3,110 Wheeler’s, opposite Big Ivy Gap 2,942 Cat-tail Pork, junction with Caney River. 2,873 Mitchell’s Peak, highest point in United States east of the Mississippi River 6,711 Clingman’s Peak 6,611 Celo Mountain 6,351 Ogle Meadows Knob 5,315 Ashe County Place Elevation Jefferson Court-House 2,940 Sutherland 3,150? Negro Mountain 4,597 Nigger Mountain 4,600 Mulatto Mountain 4,687 Three-Top Mountain 4,950 Ore Knob 3,150? Paddy Mountain 4,300 Phoenix Mountain 4,673 Bluff Mountain 5,060 Peak Mountain 5,195 White-Top Mountain, across the Virginia line 5,530 Wilkes County Place Elevation Roaring Gap 2,914 Roaring Gap Village 1,400 Wilkesboro Court-House 950 Little Grandfather Mountain 3,783 Tompkins’ Knob 4,055 Deep Gap of the Blue Ridge 3,105 Moravian falls 1,250 Alleghany County Place Elevation Bald Knob 3,653 Bullhead 3,800 Cherry Lane 2,810 Edwards Crossroads 2,800 Fender Knob 3,600 Ferny Knob 4,150 Helena 553 Hooker 2,600 Laurel Springs 2,850 Norman 2,500 Sparta 2,850 Stone Mountain 3,879 Whitehead 2,800 ? Madison County Place Elevation Marshall Courthouse 1,645 Hot Springs 1,332 Bear Wallow Mountain 4,638 Paint Rock, State line 1,264 Mars Hill 3,300 Chestnut Mountain, highest in county 6,234
The following were grouped by State Geologist, W. C. Kerr in 1875 but heights revised by Gannett’s dictionary of altitudes in 1907.
HEIGHTS OF THE MOUNTAINS AROUND ASHEVILLE
Valley of the Swannanoa Place Elevation Junction of Flat Creek with Swannanoa Rivet 2,250 Joseph Stepp’s house 2,368 Burnett’s house 2,423 Lower Mountain house, Jesse Stepp’s floor of piazza 2,770 W. Patton’s cabins, end of carriage road. 3,244 Resting Place, brook behind last log-cabin. 3,955 Upper Mountain, house 5,246 Ascending to Toe River Gap, passage, main branch above Stepp’s 3,902 In The Blue Ridge Place Elevation Toe River Gap, between Potato Top and High Pinnacle 5,188 High Pinnacle, of Blue Ridge 5,690 Rocky Knob’s south peak 5,306 Big Spring, on Rocky Knob 5,080 Gray Beard 5,448 Craggy Chain Place Elevation Big Craggy 6,068 Bull Head 5,958 Craggy Pinnacle 5,945 Black Mountain, Main Chain Place Elevation Potato Knob 6,419 Clingman’s Peak 6,611 Mt. Gibbs 6,519 Stepp’s Gap, the cabin 6,103 Mt. Hall Back 6,403 Mitchell’s Peak 6,711 Dome Gap 6,352 Balsam Cone 6,645 Hairy Bear 6,681 Bear Gap 6,234 Black Brothers (N.Bro.) 6,620 Black Brothers (S. Bro.) 6,690 Cat-tail Peak 6,609 Potato Hill 6,487 Rocky Trail Peak 6,488 Celo Mt. 6,351 Bowlen’s Pyramid 4,962 North-Western Chain Place Elevation Blackstock’s Knob 6,386 Yeates’ Knob 5,975 Caney River Valley Place Elevation Green Ponds, at Tom Wilson’s highest house 3,222 Tom Wilson’s new house 3,110 Wheeler’s, opposite Big Ivy Gap 2,942 Cat-tail Fork, junction with Caney River 2,873 Sandofor Gap, or Low Gap, summit of road 3,176 Burnsville, Court-House Square 2,840 Green Mountain, near Burnsville, highest point 4,990 Group of the Roan Mountain Place Elevation Summit of the road from Burnsville to Toe River 3,139 Toe River Ford, on the road from Burnsville to Roan Mountain 2,131 Baily’s farm 2,379 Brigg’s house, foot of the Roan Mountain, valley of Little Rock Creek 2,757 Yellow Spot, above Brigg’s 5,158 Big Yellow 5,500 Little Yellow Mount, Highest 5,196 The Cold Spring, summit of Roan 6,132 Grassy Ridge Bald, northeast continuation of Roan Mountain 6,230 Roan High Bluff 6,287 Roan High Knob 6,313 From Burnsville to the Bald Mountain Place Elevation Sampson’s Gap 4,130 Egypt Cove, at Proflit’s 3,320 Wolf’s Camp Gap 4,359 Bald Mountain, summit 5,550 Valley of the Big Ivy Creek Place Elevation Dillingham’s house, below Yeates’ Knob, or Big Butte 2,568 Junction of the three forks 2,276 Solomon Carter’s house 2,215 Stocksville, at Black Stock’s 2,216 Mouth of Ivy River, by railroad survey 1,684 From Asheville to Mount Pisgah Place Elevation Asheville Court-House 1,985 Sulphur Springs, the spring 2,092 Hominy Cove, at Solomon Davies 2,542 Little West Pisgah 4,724 Great Pisgah 5,713 Biltmore estate 1,993 Big Pigeon Valley Place Elevation Forks of Pigeon, at Colonel Cathey’s . . 2,701 East fork of Pigeon, at Captain T. Lenoir’s 2,855 Waynesville Court-House 2,635 Sulphur Spring, Richland Valley, at James R.G. Love’s 2,716 Mr. Hill’s farm, on Crab Tree Creek 2,714 Crab Tree Creek, below Hill’s 2,524 Cold Mountain 4,627 Chain of the Richland Balsam Place Elevation Richland, between Richland Creek and the west fork of Pigeon Creek, and at E. Medford’s 2,938 E. Medford’s farm, foot of Lickston’s Mountain 3,000 Lickston Mountain 5,707 Deep Pigeon Gap 4,907 Cold Spring Mountain 5,915 Double Spring Mountain 6,380 Richland Balsam, or Caney Fork Balsam Divide 6,370 Chimney Top 4,606 Spruce Ridge Top 6,076 Lone Balsam 5,898 Old Bald 5,786 Chain of Westener’s Bald Place Elevation Western Bald, north peak 5,414 Pinnacle 5,692 Great Middle Chain of Balsam Mountains Between Scott’s Creek and Low Creek Place Elevation Enos Plott’s farm, north foot of chain 3,002 Old Field Mountain 5,100 Huckleberry Knob 5,484 Enos Plott’s Balsam, first Balsam, north end 6,097 Jones’ Balsam, north point 6,223 South end 6,055 Rock Stand Knob 6,002 Brother Plott 6,246 Amos Plott’s Balsam, or Great Divide 6,278 Rocky Face 6,031 White Rock Ridge 5,528 Black Rock 5,815 Panther Knob 4,376 Perry Knob 5,026 Valley of Scott’s Creek Place Elevation Love’s saw-mill 2,911 Maclure’s farm 3,285 Road Gap, head of Scott’s Creek 3,357 John Brown’s farm 3,049 Bryson’s farm 2,173 John Love’s farm 2,226 Webster Court-House 1,979 Sylva, New Court-House 2,063 Valley of Tukaseege and Tributaries Place Elevation Tuckaseege River, mill, below Webster, near the road to Quallatown 2,004 Junction of Savannah Creek 2,001 Junction of Scott’s Creek 1,977 Quallatown, main store 1,979 Soco River, ford to Oconaluftee 1,990 Soco Gap, road summit 4,341 Amos Plott’s farm, on Pigeon 3,084 Oconaluftee River, junction, Bradley Fork 2,203 Robert Collins’s highest house 2,500 Junction of Raven’s and Straight Fork 2,476 Junction of Bunch’s Creek 2,379 Chain of the Great Smoky Mountain, From Northeast to Southwest, From the of Haywood County to the Gap of Little Tennessee Place Elevation The Pillar, head of Straight Fork of Oconaluftee River 6,255 Thermometer Knob 6,157 Raven’s Knob 6,230 Tricorner Knob 6,188 Mt. Guyot, so named by Mr. Buckley, in common 6,636 Mt. Henry 6,373 Mt. Alexander 6,299 South Peak 6,299 The True Brother, highest or central peak 5,907 Thunder Knob 5,682 Laurel Peak 5,922 Reinhardt Gap 5,220 Top of Richland Ridge 5,492 Indian Gap 5,317 Peck’s Peak 6,232 Mt. Ocoana 6,135 Righthand, or New Gap 5,096 Mt. Mingus 5,694 Group of Bullhead, Tennessee Place Elevation Central Peak or Mt. Lecompte 6,612 West Peak or Mt. Curtis 6,568 North Peak or Mt Stafford 6,535 Cross Knob 5,931 Neighbor 5,771 Master Knob 6,013 Tomahawk Gap 5,450 Alum Cave 4.971 Alum Cave Creek, junction with Little Pigeon River 3,848 Great Smoky Mountain, Main Chain Place Elevation Road Gap 5,271 Mt. Collins 6,188 Collins’ Gap 5,720 Mt. Love 6,443 Clingman’s Dome 6,619 Mt. Buckley 6,599 Chimney Knob 5,588 Big Stone Mountain 5,614 Big Cherry Gap 4,838 Corner Knob 5,246 Forney Ridge Peak 5,087 Snaky Mountain 5,195 Thunderhead Mountain 5,520 Eagle Top 5,433 Spence Cabin 4,910 Turkey Knob 4,740 Opossum Gap 3,840 North Bald 4,711 The Great Bald’s central peak 4,922 South Peak 4,708 Tennessee River, at Hardin’s 899 Mt. Kephart, 3.4 miles from Newfound Gap 6,150 Newfound Gap 5,045 Hill House Mountain, summit road to Montvale Springs 2,452 Montvale Springs, Tennessee 1,293 Nantahala Mountains Place Elevation Franklin Court-House, Macon County 2,099 Burning Town Bald, 5,103 Rocky Bald, 5,822 Toketah, 5,373 Wayah, 5,492 Albert, 5,254 Picken’s Nose, 4,822 Hendersonville Court-House, Henderson Co. 2,128 Bear Wallow Mountain, 4,233 Bear Wallow Gap, 3,465 Bald Mountain, (or Pinnacle), 3,834 Miller Mountain 3,889 Sugarloaf Mountain, 3,978 Place Elevation Columbus Court House 1,145 Tyron Mountain 3,249 Tyron Station 1,090 Brevard Court House 2,228 Hymen’s Knob 6,084 Devil’s Court House 6,049 Caesar’s Heas, South Carolina 3,223 Pinnacle 5,436 Hayesville Court House 1,893 Tusquitta Bald 5,314 Medlock Bald 5,258 Standing Indian Mountain 5,495 Chunky Gal 4,985 Robinsville Court House 2,150 Joanna Bald 4,743 McDaniel Bald 4,653 Tatham’s Gap 3,639 Cheowah Maximum 4,996 Murphy Court House 1,580 Winfrey Gap 3,493 Peak 3,937 Konahetah Mountain 4,498
Among the peaks jointly possessed by Western North Carolina and East Tennessee there are twenty- three which surpass Mount Washington in height. In addition to these, there are twenty-three other mountains which exceed six thousand feet, but fall short of Mount Washington; and there are still seventy-nine others which exceed five thousand many of them closely approximating six thousand.
Area of North Carolina, 52,286 square miles.
Land surface, 48,666 square miles.
Water surface, 3,620 square miles.
PREFACE TO VOCABULARY OF INDIAN WORDS
Most of the Cheorkee names that follow this explanation have been more or less anglicized; that is, they have been changed in their syllabication so as to ease the euphony and speech of the English tongue. For instance, the word for rainbow is unuficalatufli, which tires our phonetic patience. But if we drop the first and last syllables, and put the “tu” before the “la,” we have nun-ca-tu-la, a beautiful word, which is uttered with four open vowels, retains the Indian lingo, and may be properly called a derivative from the Cherokee.
It is said that words and word-pronunciation of a savage people change more in fifty years than they do in an intelligently-written language in five hundred. A chief of the Cherokees told an American gentleman in 1884 that it was impossible for Indian children to understand fully the language of their grandfathers.
If this be true, the anglicized words have sustained no greater change since we first heard them than they would have undergone in the same length of time among the Indians themselves.
The word Ottaray, which signifies a mountain region, was written in the sixteenth century by the old Spanish explorers Qttari and John Adair in 1 775 wrote it Ottare. At present it would be Ottara, Ottalay, as modern Indians in the Piedmont sound “R” where those in the Altamont use “L,” and both have changed the ending to the sound of broad a.
Mr. A. M. Huger, who has spent much time in gathering Indian lore, says:
“I prefer the rich, rotund ‘R’ to the languid lisping ‘L’; and as the ‘Land of the Sky’ is a phrase, we could find no better word than this derivative from the Cherokee to give us pithily and poetically the name of our Appalachian Arcadia.”
The Cherokees invariably gave names to all water courses, even down to brooks; rarely to mountain summits, and still less often to ranges. As a rule, therefore, the only way to give a mountain a Cherokee name is to adopt that of a chief or warrior, or of something else that the moutain suggests:
Mr. A. M. Huger, of Hendersonville, N. C., has not only furnished the vocabulary below, but also the information from which we have drawn the preface above.
The Ethnological Bureau of Washington, D. C., has also been very kind in getting words about which we were in doubt.
The spelling in the following vocabularies is made very full to protect the reader in correct pronunciations. Should you wish to utilize a word that does not exactly suit you, you can drop a letter, substitute one, or do both, which necessary corruption has been engaged in by most persons who have adopted Indian names.
If a gentleman desires to give his bald head an Indian name, he need not write San-tah-wah-gah, but only Santawaga. If his girl wishes to communicate by letter the hope that his bare scalp may ever be arched by the rainbow she need not write Yoo-wah-na, but only Yuwana.
VOCABULARY OF INDIAN NAMES
Ag-i-ya-si’-ha or Ag-a-si’-yah=hunger.
Ah-chah’-yah=green fields. (Fresh or new.)
Ah-lis’-koh=she or it dances.
Ah-mah-chee’-1ah=fire water. (Whiskey.)
Ah-nah-kes’-tah=place of balsams.
Ah-no-wah=I (the Ego).
Chee-taw-gan-ay-kee=crowing chicken (rooster).
Chee-oh’-wah=place of otters (animal).
Chees-see-to’-ah=place of rabbits.
Chil’-toss or Ah-shil’-toss=falling blossom.
Chil-how’-we=fire deer (deer shot by torchlight?)
Chin-kan-nas-see’ -na=dragging game.
Chock-les’-tee=sit down (a command).
Cow-wee=beyond (on the other side).
El-see-toss’ and No-lah-wis’-sah=preacher.
Esee -0′ -lah=cliffy river.
Ey-sun-day’~ga=old name of upper waters of Savannah river (may be Tuscarora).
Gras-ka-law’=table or bench.
Ka-tal’-sta=the echo witch.
Kas-sah-no’-lah and KO-ah-no’-lah=swift.
Kaw-nay~rock=panther pelt (not Cherokee).
Kon-na-wes’-ka=it melts (thaws).
Kon-nas-say-wee’=bundle of arrows.
Loll-tee=witch of the waterfalls.
Nan-ta-hay’-leh-=sun in the middle, pouring down at noon-day.
No-mon’-da=Catawba (third in order of mountains, streams or territory).
Oh-was’-sah=place of God.
Os-ko’-lah=head or top.
Os-tee-no-lah=rocky bar (of a river).
Otta-no-lah-=lazy or slow.
Sag-i-naw’=Sauk place, or place of the Sauk Indians (not Cherokee).
Sah-too-lee’-tah=do you wish it?
Swan-na-no-a=the whiffing noise of wings, of swan or raven, as they pass overhead.
See-ah-no’-lah or Sass-ee-noh’-la=white man.
See-lah’-wah=sweet gum (tree).
See-qua-nee’-tah=little hog (pig).
See-yo’-kah=blue jay (bird); also crooked.
So-kas’-sah=bald (old field).
So-ko-tel’-lah-one dollar (money).
Syan-too-gah=bathing in water (swimming).
Ta-naw’-wha=a fabulous hawk or eagle.
Tan-no-wee’-tah=to jump over.
Te-nella-whis’-ta=let us stop.
To-kas’-sah=highland terrapin (tortoise).
To-wes-ko’-lah=breath, also hearth.
Tox’-ah-way or Tox-a-way=red bird.
Tus-quit’-tah=rafters, i.e,, the raftered ridges.
Wah-tee~yay’ leh=mocking bird.
Wah-toh-ree’=corn crib (may be Catawba, as those Indians formerly lived on the Wateree River, S. C.).
Wa-tau-ga =(river) probably river of beautifully tinted forests or river of reeds.
NAMES OF FEMALES
NAMES OF MALES
Juna-lus-ka–chief of the Cherokees, who aided General Jackson in defeating the Creek at the battle of Horseshoe Bend.
FROM THE TUSCARORA
Chee-on-on’-da–hills upon hills.
Coata’ra=cascade in a gorge.
Coataro’go–place of falls.
Conata’ra~tree in a gorge.
Dion’daroga–inflow of waters.
Isunda’ganame of a place.
Ossaro’ga=view of rocks and water.
Ossi’anac’=land of pebbles.
Ottaray–the over hills. (Cherokee.)
Ontaro’ga–place of rocks and hills.
Onteo’ra–hills of the sky.
Tarkoee’–Catawba Land. (Cherokee.)
Ta-lu’-la=falls in Georgia (the water that leaps or bounds).
Tiaro’ga=place of rocks and water.
Tico’a=falls in Georgia (the water that lightens or brightens).
From records of old Spanish Explorations in what is now the Southern States.
NAMES OF TOWNS, CHIEFS, Etc.
Axacon=of old Eastern Virginia (1570).
Chi-a-ha’-possibly same as Che’owa=now Graham County, North Carolina.
Chis’-co–Cheorkee Chief or town.
Jua’-da=place or town-written also Joara, Joa’na and Zoa’ra.
Pal-las-sa’ or Pal~las-see=probably name of Blue Ridge Mountains.
Sa-ta’-po, or Sa-tah’-po=place or town.
Sa-too-ree-o’-no or Sat-u-ri-o’ -na.
Tal-i-min’-co–Rock Chief (Creek).
To-cal’-ques=place or town, possibly now Toxaway.
X-ua’-la=town of De Soto’s Expedition.