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Clinton, Saturday, Nov. 14, 1835

Left Jackson at 12 o'clock yesterday; called to see Wm. Morson, who lives about two miles from Clinton.  Not at home; gone to seek for a place to purchase.  He only rents this, at $1,000.  Chinn, the overseer, received me very joyfully, and gave me a good dinner, a thing seldom met with in Mississippi.  The Negroes, also, that I met, knew me, and seemed delighted to see me.  Returned to Clinton and adjusted my business at the land office.  It was then too late to proceed on towards Vicksburg, as I had intended.  I therefore called on Capt. Geo. House, to whom I had a letter of introduction from Chewning.  He was absent when I arrived in Clinton, having gone to Vicksburg.  I passed him on the road.  He had now just returned from drilling the Clinton Guards, of which he is Captain.  He is the partner of Mr. Geo. Bierne, the son of Col. Bierne, of the Vicksburg senate, in a store at Clinton.  Very polite and agreeable.  Sat with him an hour.

At supper, introduced by Dabney to Mr. Rives, a lawyer of Clinton, formerly of Virginia, who Dabney said knows more of Virginia and Virginians than any man in the State.  Lodged at the Spring Hotel, a dirty house, with vile bedding, and extortionate charges, $3 per day for man and horse.  Broke crystal of my watch, and was charged $1 for a very common one.

Tavern bill at Clinton $4 50 
Tavern bill at Jackson 2 00 
Ferry at Big Black 25 
Apples and hostler 25 
Tavern bill at Cowan's 1 50 
Tavern bill at Peebles, B. and horse 75 
Ferry, recrossing Big Black 12 1/2
Crystal to watch 1 00 
Six new township maps 9 00 
Examining and correcting 30 maps 5 00 
Two and one-eighth sections land,  
----- acres, at $1.25 1,700 65 

Saw a man making tar.  He could get none in Clinton to put on the axletree of his wagon, so he split up some pine knots in an old yellow pine plank, and placed them on a board two feet square, which had been previously scooped, and a drip made on one side, in the manner of a cider press.  Over these he placed a common iron pot, and having stopt up with dirt all the apertures around, except a small one at the drip, he built a fire over the pot, and the heat distilled the turpentine from the pine knots, which ran out in the shape of tar.  The fixture was on the ground.  He dug a little pit under the drip deep enough

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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