Page:Audubon and His Journals.djvu/60

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32
AUDUBON

and the shores of the Mississippi suffered severely by earthquakes. I felt their effects between Louisville and Henderson, and also at Dr. Rankin's. I have omitted to say that my second son, John Woodhouse, was born under Dr. Rankin's roof on November 30, 1812; he was an extremely delicate boy till about a twelvemonth old, when he suddenly acquired strength and grew to be a lusty child.

Your uncle, Thomas W. Bakewell, had been all this time in New Orleans, and thither I had sent him almost all the money I could raise but notwithstanding this, the firm could not stand, and one day, while I was making a drawing of an otter, he suddenly appeared. He remained at Dr. Rankin's a few days, talked much to me about our misfortunes in trade, and left us for Fatland Ford.

My pecuniary means were now much reduced. I continued to draw birds and quadrupeds, it is true, but only now and then thought of making any money. I bought a wild horse, and on its back travelled over Tennessee and a portion of Georgia, and so round till I finally reached Philadelphia, and then to your grandfather's at Fatland Ford. He had sold my plantation of Mill Grove to Samuel Wetherell, of Philadelphia, for a good round sum, and with this I returned through Kentucky and at last reached Henderson once more. Your mother was well, both of you were lovely darlings of our hearts, and the effects of poverty troubled us not. Your uncle T. W. Bakewell was again in New Orleans and doing rather better, but this was a mere transient clearing of that sky which had been obscured for many a long day.

Determined to do something for myself, I took to horse, rode to Louisville with a few hundred dollars in my pockets, and there purchased, half cash, half credit, a small stock, which I brought to Henderson. Chemin faisant, I came in contact with, and was accompanied by, General Toledo, then on his way as a revolutionist to South America. As our flatboats were floating one clear moonshiny night lashed together, this individual opened his views to me, promising me wonders of wealth should I decide to accompany him, and he went so far as to offer me a colonelcy