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ON the left bank of the Ashly River, in the State of South Carolina, and a few miles from its principal city, is a plantation once the property of Hugh Marston. It was near this spot, the brave Huguenots, fleeing religious and political persecution, founded their first American colony-invoked Heaven to guard their liberties-sought a refuge in a new world! And it was here the pious Huguenot forgot his appeals to high heaven-forgot what had driv cheap nike air max en him from his fatherland, and-unlike the pilgrim fathers who planted their standard on “New England’s happy shore,”-became the first to oppress. It was here, against a fierce tyranny, the gallant Yamassee,
A tribe of faithful and heroic Indians. loyal to his professed friend, struggled and died for his liberty. It was here the last remnant of his tribe fought the fierce battle of right nike air max 90 over might! It was here, in this domain, destined to be the great and powerful of nations-the asylum of an old world’s shelter seeking poor, and the proud embodiment of a people’s sovereignty,-liberty was first betrayed! It was here men deceived themselves, and freedom proclaimers became freedom destroyers. And, too, it was here Spanish cupidity, murderous in its search for gold, turned a deaf ear to humanity’s cries, slaughtered the friendly Indian, and drenched the soil with his innocent blood. And it is here, at this moment, slavery-fierce monster, threatening the peace of a happy people-runs riot in all its savage vicissitudes, denying man his commonest birthright.
If history did but record the barbarous scenes yet enacted on the banks of this lovely stream, the cont cheap nike air max trainers rast with its calm surface sweeping gently onward to mingle its waters with the great deep, would be strange indeed. How mellowed by the calm beauty of a summer evening, the one!-how stained with scenes of misery, torment, and death, the other!
Let us beg the reader to follow us back to the time when Marston is found in possession of the plantation, and view it as it is when his friends gather round him to enjoy his bounteous hospitality.
We have ascended the Ashly on a bright spring morning, and are at a jut covered with dark jungle, where the river, about twenty rods wide, sweeps slowly round ;-flowering brakes, waving their tops to and fro in the breeze, bedeck the river banks, and far in the distance, on the left, op nike air max classic ens the broad area of the plantation. As we near it, a beautifully undulating slope presents itself, bounded on its upper edge by a long line of sombre-looking pines. Again we emerge beneath clustering foliage overhanging the river; and from out this-sovereign of a southern clime-the wild azalia and fair magnolia diffuse their fragrance to perfume the air. From the pine ridge the slope recedes till it reaches a line of jungle, or hedge, that separates it from the marshy bottom, extending to the river, against which it is protected by a dyke. Most of the slope is under a high state of cultivation, and on its upper edge cheap air max is a newly cleared patch of ground, which negroes are preparing for the cotton-seed.
Smoking piles burn here and there, burned stumps and trees point their nike air max black peaks upward in the murky atmosphere, half-clad negroes in coarse osnaburgs are busy among the smoke and fire: the scene presents a smouldering volcano inhabited by semi-devils. Among the sombre denizens are women, their only clothing being osnaburg frocks, made loose at the neck and tied about the waist with a string: with hoes they work upon the “top surface,” gather charred wood into piles, and waddle along as if time were a drug upon life.
Far away to the right the young corn shoots its green sprouts in a square plat, where a few negroes are quietly engaged at the first hoeing. Being tasked, they work with system, and expect, if they never receive, a share of the fruits. nike air max All love and respect Marston, for he is generous and kind to them; but system in business is at variance with his nature. His overseer, however, is just the reverse: he is a sharp fellow, has an unbending will, is proud of his office, and has long been reckoned among the very best in the county. Full well he knows what sort of negro makes the best driver; and where nature is ignorant of itself, the accomplishment is valuable. That he watches Marston’s welfare, no one doubts; that he never forgets his own, is equally certain. From near mid-dis tance of the slope we see him approaching on a bay-coloured horse. The sun’s rays are fiercely hot, and, though his features are browned and haggard, he holds a huge umbrella in one hand and the inseparable whip in the other. The former is his protector; the latter, his sceptre. John Ryan, for such is his name, is a tall, athletic man, whose very look excites terror. Some say he was born in Limerick, on the Emerald Isle, and only left it because his proud spirit would not succumb to the unbending rod England held over his poor bleeding country.
Running along the centre of the slope is a line of cotton-fields, in which the young plants, sickly in spots, have reached a stage when they require much nursing. Among them are men, women, and children, crouched on the ground like so many sable spectres, picking and pulling at the roots to give them strength. John Ryan has been keeping a sharp eye on them. He will salute you with an air of independence, tell you how he hated oppression and loved freedom, and how, at the present day, he is a great democrat. Now, whether John left his count nike air max 1 ry for his country’s good, is a question; but certain it is he dearly delights to ply the lash,-to whip mankind merely for amusement’s sake. In a word, John has a good Irish heart within him, and he always lays particular emphasis on the good, when he tells us of its qualities; but let us rather charge to the State that spare use he makes of its gentler parts.
John Ryan, his face indicating tyranny stereotyped, has just been placing drivers over each gang of workmen. How careful he was to select a trustworthy negro, nike air max 90 sale whose vanity he has excited, and who views his position as dearly important. Our driver not unfrequently is the monster tyrant of his circle; but whether from inclination to serve the interests of his master, or a knowledge of the fierce system that holds him alike abject, we know not. At times he is more than obedient to his master’s will.
Excuse, reader, this distant view of the plantation at early spring, and follow us back to the Ashly. Here we will still continue along the river-bank, pass borders of thick jungle, flowering vines, and rows of stately pines, their tops moaning in the wind,-and soon find we have reached Marston’s landing. This is situated at the termination of an elevated plat extending from thence to the mansion, nearly a mile distant. Three negroes lay basking on the bank; they were sent to wait our coming. Tonio! Murel! Pompe!-they ejaculate, calling one another, as we surprise them. They are cheerful and polite, are dressed in striped shirts and trousers, receive us with great suavity of manner, present m nike air max sale aster’s compliments, tell us with an air of welcome that master will be “right glad” to see us, and conclude by making sundry inquiries about our passage and our “Missuses.” Pompe, the “most important nigger” of the three, expresses great solicitude lest we get our feet in the mud. Black as Afric’s purest, and with a face of great good nature, Pompe, in curious jargon, apologises for the bad state of the landing, tells us he often reminds Mas’r how necessary it nike air max 95 is to have it look genteel. Pompe, more than master, is deeply concerned lest the dignity of the plantation suffer.
Planks and slabs are lain from the water’s edge to the high ground on the ridge, upon which we ascend to the crown, a piece of natural soil rising into a beautiful convex of about six rods wide, extending to the garden gate. We wend our way to the mansion, leaving Pompe and his assistants in charge of our luggage, which they will see safely landed. The ridge forms a level walk, sequestered by long lines of huge oaks, their massive branches forming an arch of foliage, with long trailing moss hanging like mourning drapery to enhance its rural beauty. At the extreme of this festooned walk the mansion is seen dwindling into an almost imperceptible perspective. There is something grand and impressive in the still arch above us-something which revives our sense of cheap nike air max the beauty of nature. Through the trunks of the trees, on our right and left, extensive rice fields are seen stretching far into the distance. The young blades are shooting above the surface of the water, giving it the appearance of a frozen sheet clothed with green, and protected from the river by a serpentine embankment. How beautiful the expanse viewed from beneath these hoary-headed oaks!
On the surface and along the banks of the river aligators are sporting; moccason snakes twist their way along, and scouring kingfishers croak in the balmy air. If a venerable rattlesnake warn us we need not fear-being an honourable snake partaking of the old southerner’s affected chivalry;-he will not approach disguised;-no! he will politely give us warning. But we have emerged from the mossy walk and reached a slab fence, dilapidated and broken, which encloses an area of an acre of ground, in the centre of which stands the mansio cheap nike air max n: the area seems to have been a garden, which, in former days, may have been cultivated with great care. At present it only presents a few beds rank with weeds. We are told the gardener has been dismissed in consideration of his more lucrative services in the corn-field. That the place is not entirely neglected, we have only to add that Marston’s hogs are exercising an independent right to till the soil according to their own system. The mansion is a quadrangular building, about sixty feet long by fifty wide, built of wood, two stories high, having upper and lower verandas. ③

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