Sunday, 11 May, 1828

Faquire County, Virginia

Beautiful Morning and glorious sun. How clear and serene are the beams of thy radiant counterance, which should teach us Mortals to live in peace and harmony and adore the beneficent creator for the many blessings we continually receive from thy regular return at the appointed hours set by the all wise director and creator.

I must really admire the house. It is the best conducted I have ever seen in any place. A servant came into our room and awoke us stating that as we wished to be soon traveling, the breakfast would soon be ready. At the same time giving us the necessary directions for washing, immediately across. And, having finished washing, in steps a second equipped with brushes and dust broom and completely cleans our clothes, and retires without saying a word. Now comes a third with our boots like mirrors, and he had scarcely set down his load before the fourth with all the necessary apparatus of shaving enters and dispatches our beards with ease and elegance. And not half a dozen words were spoken during the whole time. Thus there was no time lost and for all this no extra charge. And as we went into the room, the morning repast was spread with elegance on the table. Everything was plain and neat; all was done with no noise or confusion, a thing so frequent in public houses. All was order and regularity. It was really a pleasure to be here among so much purity and impressed me very forcibly with the idea that more could be done by less hands in the same time with double the number of servants in the common ordinary confused way. When one-half the time is spent in finding things mislaid, unclean, or in improper state for use. Much may be accomplished by adopting a good regular system, by learning every one to know and be in his place and understand his business - and having a place for everything and everything in its proper place and in order for use. I now went to the other public Inns to see if Gage had arrived, but he was not to be heard of. It was now conduced that one of us should go and learn what had become of him, as I was sure he had not the means with which to defray his expenses for one night, and I did not know but he might bave been retained in consequence of it. His money was with us in the trunk and that was in the carriage. As I was retracing the road I had traveled the preceding day, I found the road completely lined with blacks going to meeting. I pitied the poor degraded creatures. From my soul I abhorred slavery and thought, Is there any Christianity here? Can that Parson, a holder of slaves himself, teach the Gospel as it was taught by Christ? If he can articulate the words, his acts must condemn him. Can these people here who assume the name of Christians be any other but hypocrites? One poor African who walked as fast as I rode said he was badly treated, his master was cruel, that he had a wife and small children whom he had to support by working nights and Sundays, as his Master would not find the small children any clothes until they became old enough to labour. Such was the story this man told. How true it may be, time will convince me. I declare I never had my feelings more hurt at the relation of any tale that I had ever heard than at this of the Virginia slave. it appeared at the moment that had I been in affluent circumstances I should have purchased the fellow and family and set them at liberty. Such is my horror at the idea of slavery.

I rode back twelve miles and met Gage coming on. He looked rather frightened and melancholy. He said he had been in trouble. His horse had been sick and that he had no money with him to pay for his own living or that of his horse, yet had found plenty for both. I was glad to meet him so soon, as I was apprehensive he would take the road back in order to learn our course. We now rode on in a steady motion and arrived at Warrenton at noon. Now fed our horses prepared for starting, determined not to part again until we parted to stay apart. Warrenton is situated in Faquire County and is the County Seat. It contains about thirty houses or buildings not very good if we except the Widow Morrises' where we stayed. There are three Lawyers, three Doctors, three Taverns, four stores, and one Druggist Shop, and No schoolhouse or Meeting House. Here we left the "Pike" and started for Jefferson in Culpepper County, a distance of ten miles. The road for the first seven or eight miles was very good and the appearance of the land much the same. In the whole distance we saw but one white person and that was a Young Lady, attending by three female slaves, and if it shall be my fortune to live in a Slave State, I hope time and custom will efface such impressions as I now feel at the sight of slaves. But few buildings are in sight of the road and those few are at considerable distance from the highway. it seems to be the fashion in this State to build from the road, the reason I do not comprehend. And not only this oddity may be seen, but there is another equally as singular to me; that is, all chimneys are turned out of doors, built on the outside of the house. There are but few exceptions, let it be for good or poor house, all the same. They have no ovens here neither; their bread is warm biscuit mixed with milk or water, before baked, and eaten immediately. They have no pickled meat in this country that is not smoked and then called Bacon.

In our most prosperous moments and when everything around appears to be free from all danger are we assailed with misfortune; and it has been observed that we felt this security and to all appearance were free from any apprehension. It is then the greatest and most severe calamity often befalls us. Thus it was with us this evening. While riding along anticipating the pleasures of the tomorrow and within two miles of Jefferson, the place we expected to stay during the night, our carriage broke and that just as we were going to descend a steep hill. How sudden in the change from pleasure to pain in the course of life. Well, here we are. And unless some contrivance is resorted to, our wagon must stay here. As soon as difficulties arise, we then must think of a remedy and tax our ingenuities to produce the plan of reparation. So it was with us. After various propositions ad been investigated we at last hit the proper one, and that was to have a small pole fastened underneath. But how could we get it as we had no implement to cut it. Believing that one could be cut with a knife by proper management, we tried the experiment and succeeded in accomplishing our object and, with this and our halters, we so repaired our broken carriage as to be able to drive to Jefferson by a little after dark. It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention, and in our present case it produced its legitimate effect. We put up at Wood's Tavern, engaged a Negro smith to mend our carriage soon in the morning, got acquainted with a Doctor Helm, a young and intelligent Physician just started in the world to establish his reputation and procure a living. It was with much satisfaction I learned from him that he was doing well and, if no unforeseen occurrence should intervene, he in a short time would establish a reputation not easily to be shaken by the location of other medical gentlemen in this vicinity.