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[Memo on inside front cover]

Col Jeremiah Strode.
David Imboden.
Northern mail arrives at Vicksburg, Sunday, Wed., Friday; closes same days at 4 p.m., Southern mail arrives Mon., Th., Sat.; closes at 9 p.m.

Tuesday, Octo. 20, 1835

This morning my uncomfortable symptoms are much mitigated, and I shall not take physic.  Fare is becoming very indifferent, and I eat but sparingly; made my breakfast on crackers, without butter, a small piece of fresh fish of the kind called here the Buffaloe -- inferior Perch or Pan Rock.  At half past 10 we grounded on a sand-bar, at the head of Cumberland Island.  The largest part of the stream (two-thirds) and the main channel formerly ran on the Illinois side.  Capt. Shreve threw a dam of rock across that, for the purpose of diverting the stream to the Kentucky side, believing that it would deepen the channel and open a direct route to the town of Smithland, at the mouth of Cumberland River, which now lies in sight.  It has not had the desired effect, but has increased the difficulty of the navigation at this place.  While we lay here had the mortification to see the steamboat Lady Byron, which we had passed in the morning, pass us on one side, and the Free Trader on the other.  About half past 2 o'clock, we got off by rocking, and rounded to at Smithland -- a small town just below the mouth of Cumberland River, in Kentucky.  Started at 4, and at lower point of Cumberland Island, passed the Free Trader, grounded on the bar, which we scraped, but passed over by putting all the passengers on board the keel, which is still lashed alongside.  Gave three cheers.  A fine afternoon.  Sun set gloriously as we approached the mouth of Tennessee River, 12 miles below Cumberland.  Rounded to at Paducah, a small town which has just sprung up below the mouth of Tennessee, in Kentucky.  Went ashore and walked over the town; all new; stumps of the forest still standing in the streets.  Free Trader has come up with us.  Our fare has become intolerable.  The steward execrable.  Servants dirty, lubberly fellows.  Here the captain discharged the steward and one waiter, and put a smart, active white man in his place.  Supplies, of fowls, etc., pigs, etc., obtained.  Left this place about dark, and soon after rounded to

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The Diary of William Fairfax Gray, from Virginia to Texas, 1835-1837
Copyright 1997 William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas