BLTC Press Titles

available for Kindle at

The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois

The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting

The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Carlyle, Rudolf Steiner

Letters from Alabama on various subjects

by Anne Newport Royall


Yours, &c.


Lexington, Kentucky, 9th Dec. 181?.

Deak Matt,

I Shall leave Lexington after breakfast. In the mean time, you will expect to hear something of this town. Although I have been here two davs, I have learned but little concerning it, having been confined most of the time. In size and population, it is surh as it has been described; and is the largest town I ever saw. The first thing that strikes the eye of a stranger, is its white houses, gates, and posts (which last are very large) and the great activity in the streets—many people, carriages, &c. moving in all directions. Here are, also, very extensive Rope Walks. I have not visited any of the manufacturing houses in Lexington, but I have been told they are in a flourishing condition. Of the market, I say nothing, as the cheapness, variety, and abundance of its supplies have been so often proclaimed by others.

I am informed that the citizens of Lexington are remarkable for their benevolence and humanity to the distressed of all descriptions, particularly to poor emigrants, who pass through their town In no part of the United States, perhaps, do the unfortunate meet with more compassion than in Lexington. This is a noble trait in their character. I found, however, one exception in the person of Mr. Keen ([ think his name is,) a vain, impertinent upstart. It contains about 5,000 inhabitants, vyho are genteel and hospitable. But my horses are ready, and I must conclude abruptly.

Yours, &c.


Bowling Green, Kentucky, 13th Dec. 1817".

Dear Matt,

We arrived here without meeting with any accident. This place is situate in the barrens of Kentucky, and is a handsome village. These barrens are almost destitute of timber. The soil, however, is very rich, and produces crops equal to any in the state: it is of a black color, tinged with red. Black Jack abounds on these barrens, and serves the inhabitants for fire wood; but it is not sufficient to defend them against the beams of the sun in summer, nor shield them from the cold blasts

of winter—neither can it furnish rails for fencing; and the inhabitants are obliged to procure timber for this purpose, and also for building elsewhere at considerable expense. These barrens are but poorly watered, being destitute of springs; and the inhabitants have to supply the deficiency by digging wells. I am informed that the scenery, in summer^ is beautiful, being varigated with flowers of the richest hue, and clothed with a coat of most luxuriant grass.

I was considerably amused this evening, in listening to a conversation which took place in the room where I was sitting. There were present five persons—I made the sixth: two doctors of physic, one lawyer, one old farmer, and one of your dandies. For myself, I sat a silent spectator. The subject of disputation arose from the circumstance of a burning coal of fire flying, by accident, into Doctor E's bosom, as the servant threw a log of wood with much force on the fire. This instantly called up the two great properties of all bodies, de<nominated by philosophers the power of attraction and repulsion. After dwelling some time on these points, they glided, imperceptibly, into the proofs of chymical affinity,* by exhibiting in full array the different experiments—such as exposure of phosporus to the action of the atmosphere, muriate of ammonia and carbonate of magnesia, muriate of soda and sulphate of magnesia, ardent spirits and a solution of salt and water, the attraction between mercury and oxygen gas upon being exposed to the common temperature of the atmosphere.

The conversation (which was all Greek to me) was interrupted by the old farmer, who exclaimed, " Oh, d—n your oxen and grass, Dick; its all nonsense—better come and take some grog, gentlemen, and let us go to supper. What do you think your aunt Patty will do to night, Dick; hey!" " I suppose, sir, she will guess at the truth, and conclude that you could not accomplish your business in time to return home.— I think you may make yourself easy, uncle, and enjoy yourself with your friends." We discovered that one of the young champions was the old gentleman's nephew; and that modest and respectful deportment, which he manifested towards him, inspired the guests with an exalted opinion of his merit.

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