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Carolina; they will start some of their friends also, and probably many will follow them into the Mississippi bottom.

Wednesday, Nov. 25, 1835

Left Mr. White's after an early breakfast.  Our road lay all day through the Yazoo swamp; very low and wet; almost always over the horses' feet in mud; some deep sloughs; passed some very heavy cane brakes.  In the middle of the swamp met Dr. Lee and his overseer riding (learned afterwards that he and his overseer had quarrelled, and overseer had just left the plantation).  He is going to Manchester to take steamboat for Vicksburg, to charter a boat to come up for his cotton.  A Negro was walking with him to bring back his horse.  His plantation lies exactly in our path; did not ask us to call, but told us he had left a skiff on this side of Panther Creek, which we might use if we would direct one of his slaves to come tomorrow and bring it back to the east side, for the use of the Negro who accompanied him, and who would return with the horse.  At Panther Creek we found the skiff, by means of which we passed it dry, and swam the horses.  Creek about 100 feet wide, and now full and rapid.  Just before night came to Lee's plantation.  Inquired for other houses, as we could not stop here.  Informed that a Mr. Browner had a plantation two miles lower down the creek.  I knew at once that this was my friend, H. B., of Port Tobacco, who settled a plantation last winter and I had not been able before to ascertain where.  Resolved to go there, but our guide said it would put us four miles out of our way, and there was another plantation across the creek, where we once more determined to ask quarter.  Again in luck; this plantation is owned by Mr. Hughes, cashier of the Br. Pl. Bank, Manchester.  His overseer, Mr. Geo. Callahan, received us politely, and entertained us kindly in a plain bachelor's style.  Found here also Mr. Browner, the nephew of H. Browner, who is his overseer.  Said his uncle is expected here daily.

Thursday, Nov. 26, 1835

Left Callahan's after breakfast.  His (Hughes') plantation is in T 12 R 4; also Lee's and Browner's (Browner bought of Lee).  After a ride along the side of the creek, or bayou, of about four hours, came to where our guide had formerly encamped, and at his suggestion halted to examine some land in T 13 R 3, which he had partially examined some months ago.  Pitched our tent, hobbled the horses, and turned them loose.  Our guide, who is a kind of Leather Stocking, rides a small, thick-set Indian pony, which was unmercifully loaded, and the two make a singular and grotesque appearance.  Pony was belled, by which we could always tell when they were near.  After taking a snack, crossed the creek,

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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