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A DAY ON COOPER RIVER.
“ Now there is nothing gives a man such spirits,
(Leavening his blood as cayenne doth a curry,) As going at full speed no matter where its Direction be, so 'tis but in a hurry."
Byron's Don Juan.
THERE is no more agreeable mode of passing a day, and thereby breaking in upon the tedium of a long summer's residence in Charleston, than taking advantage occasionally of the opportunity now afforded for a weekly excursion on Cooper River.
A Steamboat departs from the city every Tuesday morning at 5 o'clock for Fair Lawn, the highest convenient landing for steamboats on the western branch of Cooper River, and (thanks to those efforts of genius and of science, which the public has derived from the application of the powers of steam in accelerating the progress and convenience of travelling) it returns to town the same evening.
This arrangement so advantageous to the owners of property on the river, and its vicinity, constitutes a close connexion between the city and neighboring plantations, affording to the planter great facilities for visiting his property, and for acquiring that knowledge and experience, which alone is to be obtained by personal inspection. The order and regularity, with which the Steamer performs her trips, will be best exhibited by a succinct detail of a few of the circumstances, connected with her periodical trips up and down the river. These details we will proceed to give, from observations made during several successive trips.
On quitting the wharf a fine view is obtained of the city, and its many spires, peering like spirits in the air, as the awakening sun, reluctantly, as it were, rising from his ocean bed, dissipates with his red and struggling beams the dim grey light of the early dawn: at intervals a little smoke hovering gracefully over a building proclaims that there is life within that not only nature, but man is awake : whilst the lofty masts of the vessels in the harbor, give the promise of active business, as the young day spreads more and more its widening glow, and advances to maturity. Innumerable little boats may also be seen dotting the river in all directions—some beavily laden bearing provisions to the city from the neighboring islands; whilst others, like birds, which had just left their mother's nest for the first time, appear to stretch their tiny wings tremblingly to the breeze, as if fearful to trust their airy flight too far.
In proceeding up the river by the steamboat, moving steadily along as the current of a brook in summer, there is very soon presented to the eye of the visitor, luxuriant fields, bearing on their ample bo
soms, the rich staples of our country. On the left, as we ascend, several well settled farms, under high cultivation, are studded along the margin of the river. Among the most striking and conspicuous objects, are the white buildings of the State Arsenal, “ embowered in greenery;" and the Belvidere Mill, and next to it, with a rich drapery of verdure round it, lying amid green fields and mcadows, the former abode of Col. THOMAS SHUBRICK, but now the property of Capt. EDWARD C. RUTLEDGE, having, as we understand, been presented to this gentleman by those exemplars of patriotism and beneficence, the daughters of the late Gen. CHARLES COTESWORTH PINCKNEY.
Previously to leaving these places behind, Daniel's Island is passed on the right, formed by the junction of the Wando and Cooper Rivers at its southern extremity, and by Berresford's Creek, dividing it from the main land on the north. The river here expands considerably, so that we only catch a glimpse on the opposite shore of the old ferry house at Clement's Ferry, or, as it was named by Mr. HENRY LAURENS, Calais Tavern: whilst on the left side of the river, we glide by the ruins of the Old Dover's Tavern, and its dilapidated landing.
The next spot of interest that presents itself is the “ Marshlands," formerly the property of Mr. JOHN Ball, senior, but now belonging to Mr. NATHANIEL HEYWARD. This place has been in a state of high and successful culture for many years. It contains a large quantity of very valuable rice land, and annually sends good crops to market.
Adjoining the last mentioned place is the “Retreat," famous in story as the residence of Sir EDGERTON LEIGH, during the war of the Revolution. It was once owned by Major John HUGER, who, after cultivating it for many seasons, sold it to Mr. GEORGE CHISOLM.
“ Oak Grove,” the property of Dr. F. Y. PORCHER is next seen—it has on it, like many of the plantations in its neighborhood, a fine boily of rice land.
Judge JOHNSON's former residence is next to Oak Grove, now owned by Mr. NATHAN NATHANS. The fine brick residence of the late Mr. CHARLES T. Brown, called the Palmettoes, stands immediately on the river. During the war of the Revolution, a party of the British landed there, when Mr. Smith, the great grandfather of Mrs. Brown, defended the place, and shot the officer in command—the portrait of Mr. Smith hangs in the hall of the old house.
Above the “ Palmettoes" is Goose Creek, a narrow but navigable stream for small craft, leading to the former elegant abodes of some of the most distinguished families in the State-the MIDDLETONS—the IZARDS—the SMITHS, and many others.
The Methodist Camp Meeting ground is not far from the mouth of Goose Creek. The landing is a convenient one, a small bluff on lands of John H. TUCKER, Esq.
In this neighborhood is “ My Lady's Bush"-a clump of shrubbery, which derived its name from the following remarkable incident. Some years back a boat in descending the river, had on board a female traveller-in travail. As the accommodations were not then, as now, calculated to afford privacy in the hour of utmost need, it was proposed that the lady should be put on shore with her female attendant, an
experienced plantation nurse. No sooner was the sufferer comfortably lodged “sub tegmine fagi," than she
gave birth to as fine a babe as ever comforted the longing eyes of a joyful parent. The mother and child, both, “as well as could be expected,” were removed the following day in safety to the boat, and the place named, in rememberance of the event, My Lady's Bush.
A little higher up, is a spot, called the Cut; it is worthy the attention of the stranger. The original course of the river was very peculiar at this point.-The stream used abruptly to change its direction, making a circumbendibus, something like a horse-shoe much contracted at the heel, until a negro fellow, who was in the habit of paddling his canoe to town, tired of going round, a distance of eight miles, got into the habit of shoving his boat over the marsh, between the two nearest points of the river. This baving been done repeatedly, in a short time the whole force of the current set in that direction, and commenced opening the wide channel, which is now used and has been used for many years. Opposite to the Cut, but higher up, Back River may be seen running round the Cotebas track. At the Cotebas landing, the boat touches in order to land several gentlemen. Mr. T'ENNENT is here brought within a short distance of his plantation, Mount Parnassus, in St. James' Goose Creek. Mr. PETER GOURDIN also gets out at this place.
About twenty miles from the city, the boat passes Bushy park, the late residence of CLARENCE CochRAN, Esq.-then the boat touches at Red Bank, formerly owned by Colonel LAVAL, but now the proper