Kaskaskia, Ills. September 4th 
I arrived here on the 1st instant, tired and fatigued in consequence
of walking from Shawanee Town a distance of 114 miles. Although
the road was generally good, the accomodations were miserably bad.
We walked it in 4 1/2 days. This town was first settled by the French
in 1685 & soon became a place of consequence; it is said to have contained
8 or 10,000 inhabitants, however it has been on the decline
till within a few years. The town covers considerable ground, but
is laid out irregularly. Many of the old French houses are standing
with their pickets around them. Most of the houses are built of
wood; brick and stone are but little used on account of the frequent
occurrence of earthquakes. A severe shock was felt here on the 1st
instant at night. The Town is situated on one of those delightful
Prairies, that enliven the western country, on the bank of the Kaskaskia
river and about a mile & a half from the Mississippi, the Father
of Rivers. I have seen very little of the adjacent country. The
country here and about, at present is very unhealthy, owing, I suppose
to the extreme heat by day and the heavy dews at night.
Sidney, I found in good health, and very glad to see me. Mr.
Kane I find a fine, cleve fellow (not as old as myself) in whose family
I board. I have been introduced to the principal men in the place.
His excellency, the Governor, is a plain, sensible man, polite and attentive.
My prospects here are highly flattering, although there are
three practioners; with one of them it is possible I may form a partnership.
He is considered the most eminent, and whose practice is
worth about $3,000 a year (cash). Mr. Kane advises the Partnershipk
but thinks I should obtain the most respectable practice in Town,
were I to commence business alone - he appears very much my friend.
This is certainly the finest country in the world. The people
live easy and grow rich. For the farmer and mechanic, no country
exceeds it. As for myself, nothing would tempt me to return & attempt
making a fortune at home; it can be done here in half the time
and half the labour.
This country abounds in cattle, hogs and horses. Hundreds and
hundreds of the latter are in a state of nature & as wild as deer.
At night hundreds of them come up to lick the salt in the streets of
our village. Fruit is not by any means plenty. Game we have in the
greatest abundance, such as deer, raccoon, wild turkies, heath hens -
they are almost as large as a dunghill fowl - quails in the greatest
profusion, squirrels, foxes &c.
Tell Judge paterson this is the country for him. I know he'll
like it - as also Dr. Schenck, tell him he must come out - delay no longer
than next spring. He will get rich; its the best business that's
followed here - mercantile and other business may fail, but the people
will get sick.
Remember me to all my friends & particularly to Uncle Mitchell
and family & at the river.
Chas. P. Livingston.
P.S. I wish you would send me one of the Po'keepsie papers weekly,
and the Spectator after you have read it, If you please.
C. P. L.
Henry Livingston, Esq.,
Po'keepsie, N. Y.