Journal of Dr GFW
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Bethania, North Carolina
We left Germanton soon this morning for Hausertown, properly called Bethania, distance nine miles, and arrived there at nine o'clock. I suffered much for a short time this morning from a slight return of those symptoms that had caused me so much pain and suffering for the few preceding days. We stopped in Hausertown at Christian Lash's store. here we made many inquiries of a young man in the store, dressed in a long surtout coat. He would say nothing positively but appeared quite careless and indifferent, indeed such was his general appearance. He would always refer us to Dr. Shuman near Salem. I immediately judged that he was afraid of offending this Doctor or else was connected and wished him to retain his practice. I have one observation to make in relation to this man and that is, he is close, has a counterance of deep deception, a mild disposition to the beholder, calculated to draw confidence and gain friends, but all from selfish motives. He will never do a good act when he cannot be detected. Self-interest binds him. All this I drew from his looks and way of answering Tyler, who talked some time with him. I felt too feeble for interrogations. I now really wish someone would now give me a history of this man that I could see how well I had guessed.
At this place we inquired if there was a tavern and was answered in the affirmative; then we asked how long before we could get breakfast, and was told we could have it in two or three hours. This, we concluded, was longer than our distance would sanction, so we went and finished our conversation in the store and started for Salem, distance nine miles. The singularity and the indefinite answers of Lash occupied my attention considerably. To hear a man when asked a simple, plain question, involving no one, respecting his ideas of the place where he resides and the situation of the country for a few miles around, and then refer us to Doctor Shuman when he, without any more words, could have given us all the information required. But every man has a way and this seems to be his, and if he acts it to suit himself, he will ahve none else to reproach.
This is a place of Germans and I suppose every family in it are of German origin. This place looks old and the houses have the appearance of decay and require repairing or rebuilding. Some few will do very well. It contains, agreeable to lash, about one hundred and seventy-five inhabitants. I suppose when we ask Doctor Shuman we shall have it completely. From here we went to Salem and took dinner at Warner's Tavern in the place. This also is a German town, full of Moravians. It has more the appearance of business than any we have visited in Stokes County. Houses are low but have the appearance of comfort. Here is a Moravian Church and here also is located the far-famed Female Academy of North Carolina. We visited several of the curiosities of the place and also the graveyard. This to me appeared quite singular as all memorials were placed horizontal. The Potter's garden, or the Cedar Tree in it, was curious and pleasant. By the extensive and perfect shade it produces, at a distance it looks like a well-make stack of hay. The boughs are all running through each other, and the internal limbs have been cut away so that it forms a most beautiful dome. It must be a most delightful place in a warm summer day.
After spending a few hours in this place we left for Guilford, Captain Saunders's, distance twenty-two miles. We arrived a little after dark. Tyler was in good spirits and full of his natural turn of mind, jocularity. As for myself, I declare I felt as though the world had no charms for me. i could see no favorable prospect with all powers of discernment I possessed. I could see no favorable prospect to obtain the necessary products the hungry wants of man solicit. I never did, to my recollection, see everything in reference to myself in so unfavorable a light. I reflected and re-reflected, endeavored to change my thoughts, and place them in every form, yet the same dark side would always appear foremost and plainest. After having exhausted my mind in these unpleasant musings, sweet sleep came to my relief and closed the unpropitious scene with the conclusion that I would the next day go to Hausertown and there wait until my health should indicate a continuance of my search for a location more permanent and favorable.