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Beyond Penn's Treaty

Journal of a Journey

Page out of 37
Ninth month 19th, [1799].

It being likely for a fair
day, we set off, though the bushes were very wet, and
rode to Lake Erie, 27 miles, and pitched our tent on
the margin thereof. We passed some very bad,
swampy road in the morning. The timber and land
much as yesterday and almost all the way, so far as
I have come through the New York State, there ap-
pear to be very few stones. But after riding 8 or 10
miles this day, we came to abundance of the most
beautiful poplar trees I have ever seen; and about
one mile before we crossed Cattaraugus River we
came into a bottom of very rich land, wherein abun-
dance of black walnut stand, many of them three,
four, five, and perhaps some six feet in diameter, and
sixty or severty feet to the first limb. Crossed Cat-
taraugus, being ten miles from our lodging, and rode
ten more to an Indian village. Stopped awhile with
them, but as their chief was not at home we soon
left them, and rode seven miles through a low piece
of land heavily timbered with hemlock, sugar ma-
ple, etc., to the lake aforesaid, which, to be sure, at
first view exhibited a grand prospect here in the
wilderness, appearing both as to motion and sound
like the ocean. Had a good supper of chocolate,
cooked by Halliday

, who is yet with us; got a com-
fortable night's sleep, and early in the morning, for
the first time, heard a wolf howl.


Rode 28 miles down the lake on the beach
or margin thereof to the mouth of Buffalo Creek.
Crossed it in a boat and swam our horses over, it be-
ing a very deep channel, about 30 or 40 yards wide.
Lodged at Joseph Elliot

's headquarters, he being the
principal surveyor or superintendent of the Holland
Company's business. Were kindly entertained free
of cost. This day's ride down the lake was a de-
lightful journey, affording such a variety of prospect
of the wonderful works of nature. Some places the
land at the margin of the lake appeared to be pretty
level; in most others there was a wall on our right
hand, in many places 50, some 60, and some near, if
not quite, 100 feet high and almost perpendicular;
the beach or margin from the water to the wall,
very diverse for width, some of 20 yards, some 10,
some 5, and in several places the wall butted into the
water, where we several times had to ride in round
the points of rocks knee-deep and sometimes belly-
deep; and in one or two places between a large pyra-
mid of rock and the wall on the right, the pyramind
appearing conical or in the form of a sugar loaf about
ten feet in diameter at its base, and about twelve
feet high. These cones, I believe, are made by the
dashing of waves, together with the freezing of
the water in the winter, in the smooth joints of the
rocks, whereby abundance of them fall down, parting
off from their fellows in smooth, perpendicular
points. The high, perpendicular wall exhibits a curi-
ous view; the stone appears to be principally com-
posed of slate and limestone in different regular
strata of layers. The bottom or lowermost rocks that
I discovered in most places are limestone, curiously
laid in a horizontal form and nicely jointed in
squares of eight, ten, or twelve feet in diameter, the