Monday, February 7, 2011

The Trip Home

Levi Pigott was born in Beaufort, Carteret County, N. C. on April 21, 1831. His father was a shipbuilder and a sailor.
Levi became a preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. He traveled from N.C. to Kentucky and Arkansas, back to North Carolina and to Virginia. The following story is taken from his book about his life and describes a journey from Arkansas to Beaufort, North Carolina about 1870:

"While in Arkansas, I learned of the critical illness of my mother in Beaufort, N. C., and I at once started for home. There were no public conveyances of any kind, and wagons and mules were scarce; but we obtained one to take our beds and baggage, and, there being no room for us to ride, we went in company with others who were carrying their cotton to market, to the town of Camden, Arkansas, twenty miles distant, from which town we were to take a steamer down the Onchita.

"On the road to Camden it began to rain. My son and I had to walk about ten miles over this road, which was undulating and of red clay, making it bad for pedestrians like us; and my wife had to ride lying flat on the top of a cotton bale, which was under cover, the old-time way of traveling, and it was an extremely rough ride.

"My son and I were soaking wet; but on reaching Camden we found a ''Jewel" —the presiding elder of the district, and a Jewel by both name and nature—who received us very cordially and entertained us all night right royally with brotherly love and affection.

"Well, we lodged with Brother Jewel that night, and next day took a steamer down the Onchita river; then into the Black river; then into the Bed river; next into the Mississippi; thence to New Orleans, a distance of eight hundred miles. It took us four days to make the trip, having to stop at many landings to take on cotton, until we had nine hundred bales.

"We arrived at New Orleans about daylight, and remained until five o'clock that evening. As we passed through the city on the train we saw many oranges growing in the yards. At the same time snow was falling fast in large flakes; and the snow falling and the oranges growing seemed to be a contradiction; but so it was.

"From New Orleans we went on to Mobile, Alabama, traveling over some long trestles — one was twenty-five or thirty miles, if I recollect rightly — across the bays that made in from the Gulf of Mexico.

"We arrived home safe and found my dear, precious mother in bed; but she was so overjoyed at seeing us that she got up and never was sick after that until her death sickness — about five vears afterwards."

[Taken from Scenes and incidents in the life of a home missionary by Levi Woodbury Pigott: 1901. The entire book can be found at]

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