Life on the Border



hawk, running, jumping, wrestling, dancing,
and horse-racing; they were also fond, as
they gathered around one another's great
fireplaces in the long winter evenings, of
story-telling and dramatic recitation. Some
of the wealthier members of this primitive
society owned negro slaves, to whom, some-
times, they were cruel, freely using the whip
upon both women and men. Indeed, in their
own frequent quarrels fierce brutality was
sometimes used, adversaries in a fist-fight
being occasionally maimed or otherwise dis-
figured for life.
   There was, for a long time, " neither law
nor gospel " upon this far-away frontier.
Justices of the peace had small authority.
Preachers were at first unknown. Many of
the borderers were Presbyterians, and others
Quakers; but under such social conditions
these were little else than names. Never-
theless, there was a sound public sentiment
among these rude, isolated people, who were
a law unto themselves. They respected and
honored candor, honesty, hospitality, regular
habits, and good behavior generally; and
very severe were the punishments with which
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