Bradbury's Travels in the Interior of America, 1809-1811,
(first published in 1817)
The remainder of our voyage to Natchez was very pleasant, with the exception of two very narrow escapes from planters in the river. Without any occurrence that would excite much interest, we arrived at the port of Natchez on the afternoon of the 5th of January, and went to the city, which is situated about three quarters of a mile from the river, on the level behind the bluffs. The port consists of thirty or forty houses, and some stores: for the size of it, there is not, perhaps, in the world a more dissipated place. Almost all the Kentucky men stop here on the way to Orleans, and as they now consider all the dangers and difficulties of their voyage as past, they feel the same inclination to dissipation as sailors who have been long out of port, and generally remain here a day or two to indulge it. I spent a pleasant evening in the city, in company with Dr. Brown, whom I found to be a very agreeable and intelligent man.
In the morning of the 6th instant I went on board the steam boat from Pittsburg: she had passed us at the mouth of the Arkansas, three hundred and forty-one miles above Natchez; she was a very handsome vessel, of four hundred and ten tons burden, and was impelled by a very powerful steam engine, made at Pittsburg, whence she had come in less than twenty days, although nineteen hundred miles distant.
[Note that the full text
of this book is available through the Library of Congress's American Notes:
Travels in America, 1750-1920.]