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Wednesday, Octo. 28, 1835

Breakfasted at Turnball's.  Road up the lake on the eastern side.  Saw the plantations of Major Ely, Dunbar, Julius Ward, the Johnstons, etc.  Dined at Johnston's, with Morris, the overseer.   Gave us the best milk I have drank since I left home.  Crossed the swamp at the head of the lake; near getting swamped; horrible travelling.  Tobacco growing spontaneously along the lake and in fence corners.  Saw the palmetto growing for the first time.  Saw numerous canebrakes.  Returned to Princeton about 2 o'clock, having left the Major at his mill.  The steamboat Iberia went down yesterday, and the Chariton today, about one hour before my return.  I must now wait for another, which I fear will not come speedily.  I have, in the last two days, witnessed the operation of picking, ginning and packing cotton, on a large scale.  I have seen fields of it growing, of two, three and four hundred acres.  This I suppose is a fair sample of cotton growing, and the life of a planter.  It is worth the trip.  Between 9 and 10 retired to bed.  At half past 10 was roused with the notice that a boat was coming down.  It proved to be the Chief Justice Marshall.  I got on board, and found Dr. Cantwell, J. M. Macor, and Mr. Newman, of Orange, and Mr. Nalle; the latter about to settle at Vicksburg.  He brought on my umbrella from Guyandotte, and gave it to me.  Bill at Princeton, $1.62 1/2.

Thursday, Octo. 29, 1835

Arrived at Vicksburg at 10 o'clock.  Passed several very fine plantations above Vicksburg, with fine, neat looking houses.  Vicksburg beautifully situated on the Walnut Hills.  High and rugged hills, much resembling old Stafford.  Scott, Hudgins and Farish not yet arrived.  Saw Drs. Jackson and the Crump, and Barnett, Chewning, the two Skinkers, Horace Carter, J. M. Smith, Ben Crump, Morehead, and Wm. Moss; was urged by the latter to accompany him to Clinton.  Would have gone, but wish to await here the arrival of my party, who may be expected by every boat.  Borrowed Dr. Crump's horse and rode with Jackson all around the town, and to the old Spanish Fort, on the highest point of the Walnut Hills, about one mile above Vicksburg.  The main city of Vicksburg exceedingly rugged and picturesque, buildings going up on every side.  No letter from home.  Fare from Princeton, $4.  Porterage, 50 cents.  Barber, 37 1/2 cents.

Friday, Octo. 30, 1835

Bad night's rest; room dirty and dark; much annoyed by mosquitoes; no bars to my bed; got room changed.  Chewning says all the good lands in Mississippi that are subject to entry have been taken up, except some in the interior, which are hard to find; must pay the hunters well for finding them.[ 4]

Hudgins, Farish and Archer arrived about noon in steamboat Rob Roy.  Hudgins


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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