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houses; 5 years old; houses built about 100 yards from first bank, which is frequently overflowed; growth of cypress prodigious.  Country poor and sickly; grows nothing but corn.  This can never be much of a place.  Numerous flocks of geese seen on the shores.  No human dwellings beyond the size of a wood-cutter's shanty.  The water has a very muddy appearance, but is pleasant to the taste, and said to be more salubrious than that of the Ohio.  The water of the Ohio always disagrees with Southern people.  I hope that has been the cause of my bad feelings.  Passed several remarkable bends, twists, islands and shoals in the river.  Had to heave the lead and slacken the speed of the boat.  Another glorious day.  The sun very warm about dinner time; turns cool towards night.  The foliage becoming greener as we go down.  No hard frosts here yet.  Came to for the night soon after nightfall.  I played drafts with the ladies.  Mrs. Satterfield and myself, vs. Mrs. Dunning and Mr. S.  We beat them 3 games.  Mr. S. a merchant of Alexandria, and lady, formerly of Edenton, N. C., just married -- his wife pretty, modest, new.  Ate no supper -- stomach still weak.

Thursday, Octo. 22nd, 1835

Under steam again at early day.  Passage a slow one; passengers grumble.  Fare becoming every day worse.  Much disturbed last night from the noise, blackguardism and profanity of a few passengers -- evidently shameless and abandoned blacklegs.  Conversed with Mr. Satterfield about Alexandria; says there is a fine opening for lawyers.  C. died there this summer.  Mr. Dunbar living there; might have made a fortune if he had kept sober.  About 1000 population; seat of Justice -- not increasing.  Inhabitants obliged to leave it for 3 to 4 months every summer -- from June to October.

Weather is very warm today.  Stopt at the Town of Randolph, situated on the 2nd Chickasaw Bluff, in Tipton County, Tennessee.  A new place -- great anticipations entertained by its inhabitants of its future growth.  Marshall thinks it can never be great.  Too far north for cotton.  Make 1000 to 1200 lbs. per acre.  Sometimes destroyed by frost -- bit this fall.  About 400 inhabitants, wretched looking, sit about the wharfs.  We are now opposite the northern part of Arkansas.  Large flocks of wild geese, swans and pelicans to be seen on the sand flats.

At 10 o'clock, came to at Memphis, in Tennessee.  A place of some note.  Here many emigrants from Virginia and North Carolina cross into Arkansas.  It is situated on a high bluff, very inconvenient to reach from the river.  Went ashore for half an hour to look at the town by star light.  Appearance not favourable.  Hudgins being very unwell and anxious to get on shore, and Scott having business there, they two and Farish left the boat, intending to wait for my company at that place.  Major Flournoy of Lexington, Ky., who has purchased and settled

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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