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Savannah, October 1, 1804. Ten o'clock A.M., arrived in a storm (northeast). They had last evening a minor hurricane here, for the special use of this city. It overset some canoes, drowned a few negroes, unroofed some houses, and forced in a few windows. It was the affair of a few minutes, confined to a small space, and did no other mischief that I learn.
My last letter to you was from St. Simon's, about the 27th ult., the day previous to my departure. My voyage hither was full of variety, and not of the most pleasant kind, but no accident to affect health. My first reflection on landing was that I was one hundred miles nearer to you; but my inquiries since my arrival afford no prospect of getting on by land, except by the purchase of horses, to which there is one insuperable objection. The condition of the roads has not yet admitted of travelling northward or westward in a carriage. The mail goes on horseback.
Not a line from any creature north of this place since I left Philadelphia,. I hear, however, that the Darien mail, which I passed at Frederica, as mentioned with vexation in my last, had letters for me, doubtless from you.
I was kindly interrupted in these idle regrets by visitors, who continued in succession till dinner was announced. At the lodging-house, where rooms were provided for me, were the governor, a Scotch merchant, and a sea captain. In the evening a band of music came under the window, which I supposed to be a compliment to the governor, till one of the gentlemen who accompanied it came in and said that a number of citizens at the door wished to see the vice-president. Interrupted again.
Tuesday, October 2.
Firstly, your pardon is craved for this torn sheet; it was entire when I commenced, but one half went last night to answer a note, there being no paper in the house, and Peter abroad with my key. You have not, I think, been introduced to Peter, my 'now' valet. It is a black boy purchased last fall. An intelligent, good-tempered, willing fellow, about fifteen; a dirty, careless dog, who, with the best intentions, is always in trouble by sins of omission or commission. The latter through inadvertence, and often through excess of zeal. About three times a day, sometimes oftener, I get angry enough to choke him, but his honesty and good-nature prevail. In my will, made about the 10th of July, I recommend him to you as valet to A.B.A.
I have been this morning scouring the town and the docks in quest of ways and means to get on. There is a packet which will sail for Charleston, on Saturday; a great way off to one so impatient as the writer of this. No stage nor a horse to be hired. Finding that the mail does not close till seven this evening, this letter shall be kept open till the last moment, and shall not be closed till I have settled some plan of getting forward, either to Statesburgh or New-York,. It will, I think, be Statesburgh. Six hours hence you shall know. Have patience, my dear child, for six hours.
Lest I should forget it, let me now tell you that I am received with the warmest hospitality. Notwithstanding the desolation occasioned by the hurricane (and it is truly distressing), I have invitations which it would require weeks to satisfy. These attentions are almost exclusively from republicans.
Four o'clock P. M.
_Io triumphe!' A letter; two, three letters. Two from you and one from your husband. Since writing I have had other good luck; 'viz'., two gentlemen have offered me each an excellent horse to go as far as Statesburgh by any route I may please. Another horse, and I am made. Note, my young friend Swartwout is with me, and I cannot well part with him. If another horse shall be found, I shall take the route through Orangeburgh, as being the most direct to Statesburgh. If the land route shall for any reason be found impracticable, I shall take possession of a Charleston, packet, and perhaps take it on to Georgetown. By one way or the other you shall see me within ten or twelve days. Tell Mari that his letter being received this afternoon, and the postmaster having just now sent me word that the mail is about to close, I can only answer him thus.
You are now to keep your ground and expect me at the hills. Pray let A.B.A. know that 'gamp' is a black man, otherwise he may be shocked at the appearance of A.B., who is now about the colour of Peter Yates. Not brown, but a true quadroon yellow; whether from the effects of climate, or travelling four hundred miles in a canoe, is no matter.
- Aaron Burr
- Project Gutenberg's Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Volume 2., by Matthew L. Davis, 1836