Down the Alabama River in 1814 Day six
Amazing journal helps us visualize this historic journey down the Alabama River on August 16, 1814 Day six (Continued)
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Over the next few days, we will follow the day by day journey of the first survey of the Alabama River which started on August 11, 1814. With this journal, we will be able to visualize the sites and experience how long this historic journey took back in 1814.
(Transcription from Transactions of the Alabama Historical Society, Volume 2, 1898)
August 16, 1814
Proceeded 20 minutes after 5 o’clock A. M.
Nº 45 Wt. 3 miles—Excellent lands on both sides a small creek from the left at 1 m 60 ch—another creek from the right at the end of this distance
North 1 m—A low rocky bluff1 of good land to the left—rich lands on the right—passed an Island at 40 ch—a spring branch from the left at 20 ch
Nº 10 Et. 2 miles—Bluff, ends on the left and good lands on both sides succeeds—Shoal water at 40 ch—shoal again at 1 m 40 ch to 2 miles—left shore the deepest—Spring on the right near the end.
Nº 20 Wt 40 ch—Piney, high lands on the right at 40 ch from the river—The margin good—lands on the left rich.
Nº 35 Wt. 40 ch—Pine high lands on the right as on last course—rich on the left—Spring on the right, near end.
Nº 55 Wt 40 ch—lands continue on the right, the same as before stated.—rich bottom on the left.
Nº 85 Wt. 1 m 20 ch—lands continue the same on the right the pine growth receding from the river—2 springs on the right near the begining—lands goods on the left—good lands on both sides, the last 30 ch.
Nº 85 Wt. Contd. 1 m 40 ch—passed to the left of an Island at 60 ch.—rocky banks on the left opposite the Island—Lands rich on both sides—small creek from the right, near the end
S°. 65 Wt. 40 ch—High, piney land to the right for 30 ch and appears better from thence—good bottom on the left.
S°. 35 Wt. 20 ch—Along a handsome low bluff on the right, rising ground 100 yds back from the river—rich, high bottom on the left
Nº 10 Wt. 1 mile—Bluff continues on the right with breaks of lower land this whole distance—Pine, back from the river— Excellent, rich land on the left.
S°. 15 Et. 1 m 40 ch—Bluff contd. & high lands on the right— good high land on the left—a good spring on the left at 20 ch in the river bank—good settlements on the same side, below the spring,—the lands a mixture of Pine & other timber—a good creek from the right at 1 mile.
South 2 Miles—rich bottom on the right—very good lands on the left—bottom commences on the left at 40 ch high & rich for 40 ch further where it descends to lower land—low bottom on the right & rich at 1 m and continues the balance of this distance— a branch on the left at 1 m 40 ch
S°. 10 E1. 2 m 40 ch—lands higher & rich on the right—Tolerable low bottom on the left—spring on the right, near the begining—lands on the left rise higher on descending and continues rich & good the whole distance
S°. 5 Wt. 1 mile—rich lands of tolerable height on the left— rich Bottom on the right
So. 15 Wt 60 ch—lands rich on both sides—the right a lower bottom than on the left—a creek from the left.
S°. 35 Wt. 40 ch—Prime lands on both sides
S°. 60 Wt. 20 ch—Excellent lands on both sides—rocky shore and high lands at 10 ch—a spring on the left, near the end.
Nº 80 Wt. 60 ch—High lands on the left of indifferent quality mixed with Pine & a rocky shore—rich bottom on the right— lands on the left, lower & rich for the last 30 chains.
S°. 60 NW. 40ch—Rocky shore, for part of this distance, on the right—Good lands on both sides.
S°. 35 Wt. 60 ch—good lands on both sides—high on the left for half the distance and contains a few pine mixed with other growth—a branch from the right at 40 ch
S°. 55 Wt. 1 m. 20 ch—High, rich 1ands on the left—Bottom lower on the right for half distance below which it is higher; containing a mixture of pine—It is apparently good farming land— a bluff near the lower end on the right.
S°. 15 W. 1 mile—Along a rock, bluff on the right covered principally with pine—lands on the left rich & fine
S°. 20 Et. 1 mile—Bluff on the right continues 20 ch—good lands succeed for the balance of the distance—Rich bottom continues on the left—passed to the left of an Island from 30 ch nearly the whole distance—A large creek2 from the right, opposite the uper end of this Island which is high & timbered at its lower end.
S°. 25 Et. 1 m 20 ch—good on both sides—a narrow channel to the left of a shoal which extends from the lower end of the Island—lands on the right appear high a small distance from the river and contains some pine mixture—a rocky bluff on the right for the last 20 ch.
S°. 50 Et. 1 m 20 ch—Bluff contd. on the right—bottom on the left—lands to the right, lower the last half of this distance—Improvt. on the left.
Nº 85 Et. 20 ch—Bluff on the right & bottom on the left.
Nº 85 Et. 1 m 60 ch—Bluff contd. on the right—passed an Island from 30 to 50 ch—bluff ends at 20 ch & good lands succeeds—Prime land on the left
S°. 80 Et. 1 mile—Prime lands on both sides—a fine spring on the right at 60 ch rocky banks on the right.
East 40 ch—good lands on both sides—The lands on the left immediately above this, may be said to be one large bend containing 20 or 30,000 acres, the greater part (if not the whole) of which, from every appearance must be said to be a body of prime land, equal to any body, of the same extent, in any part of the United States
S°. 70 Et. 1 mile 40 ch—good lands on both sides—but on the right bottom—high on the left—a spring branch on the left at 20 ch—The margin on the left contains rich bottom for 100 to 120 yds back to the high land before named—passed to the right of an Island at about 1 mile—An old Improvt. on the right, opposite the Island.
South 1 m. 40 ch—Improvt. continues on the right—a bluff of rock on the left, with high lands mixed with pine—Bottom on the right—Passed to the right of an Island3 which commences at half & continues nearly the balance of this distance— good lands on left, the last half of this course—The bluff still continued.
S°. 35 W. 40 ch—good lands on both sides—Bluff on the right near the end & rocky—lands descend to a good bottom on the left.
South 40 ch—A rocky bluff & rich land continued on the right—Bottom on the left—A prime spring or creek4 in the bluff on the right, near the end of distance.
S°. 35 Et. 60 ch. Bluff & good lands continue on the right,— bottom on the left—lands thin on the right the last 40 ch.
S°. 70 Et. 2 Miles—Bluff continues on the right of thin pine lands & other growths, affording a handsome situation but poor—rich lands on the left—A fine spring 300 yds above the end, on the left.
S°. 30 Et. 40 ch—good lands on both sides—rocky banks contd. on the left—A large creek5 from the left.
S°. 5 Wt. 20 ch lands high on the left below the creek—Rich on the right
S°. 40 Wt. 20 ch. to the uper end of a high bluff6 of poor pine land on the left—rich bottom on the right—A spring branch on the left at the commencement.
S°. 65 Wt. 20 ch along the sd. bluff.—Rich bottom on the right—Bluff 80 feet high.
West 1 m. 40 ch—Bluff contd. on the left—rich bottom on the right—passed to the right of an Island7—2 springs on the left.
Nº 60 Wt. 1 mile—A spring to the left at the commencement —passed to the right of an Island—prime lands on both sides.
Nº 30 Wt. 20 ch—good lands on both sides 3 springs near each other on the right.
Nº 70 Wt 2 Miles—lands good on both sides
Nº 55 Wt. 1 m. 40 ch.—good lands on both sides—passed to the right of a large Island at 40 ch—A handsome bluff of rich land on the right, opposite the lower end of the Island.—High piney hills on the right for 30 ch near the end—a spring branch from the right at 60 ch
Nº 80 Wt. 20 ch—Pine land contd. on the right good lands on the left.
Nº 85 Wt. 1 mile—Pine lands ceased at a branch on the right at 20 ch—good lands then on both sides
S°. 35 Wt. 1 m 40 ch—good lands on both sides—rocky banks to the right—a branch from the right at 30 ch—a spring branch from the left 40 ch above the end of this distance
S°. 75 Wt. 1 m 60 ch—Lands good on both sides—spring on the left at 40 ch—Creek from the right at 1 m 20 ch—3 springs opposite, in the left bank—High lands mixed with pine, on the right for the last 20 ch—a spring at the uper end of the hill.
S°. 45 Wt. 20 ch—Along a poor, piney bluff on the right with a spring—good lands on the left.
S°. 15 Wt. 20 ch—Bluff contd. on the right & good lands on the left.
S°. 10 Et. 1 m 40 ch—The bluff ends & High lands contd. on the right of better quality—Bottom on the left, and a spring at 60 ch—Spring on the left at 1 m 20 ch.
S°. 20 Wt. 1 m 40 ch—A rocky bank on the left—good lands on both sides with a branch from the right at 1 mile.
S°. 5 Wt. 2 m 40 ch—good lands on both sides—passed to the right of an Island at 40 to 60 ch—A creek8 from the right, opposite the lower end of the Island—passed to the right of another Island at 1 m 20 ch to 1 m 60 ch
Encamped on the left shore at 58 Miles—
2 Turkey Creek. Brewer, in his Alabama, p. 579. says that De Soto is believed to have crossed to the western side of the river just below Clinton, situated North of the mouth of this Creek.
4“Probably Dunn’s Creek.
5Pursley Creek . It was at the sand bar at the mouth of this creek that Lt. Joseph M. Wilcox and a companion were mortally wounded by Indians Feb. 14, 1814. Lt. Wilcox was a native of Conn., a West Pointer of June. 1808, 2d Lt. 3 U. S. Inf., and 1st Lt. Jan. 3, 1812. He died on the 15th. and on the 17th of Feb., 1814, he was interred at Ft. Claiborne, with military honors. Wilcox County is so named in memory of his gallant services and his untimely death. Pickett, pp. 326-8, says his body was found on the river betwen Canton and Prairie Bluff; but Brewer, p. 579, a later authority, says it was at the mouth of Pursley Creek.