But the life of the wagoner was not without its temptations, as well as hardships. The undue use of liquor often caused trouble. Dr. Speece was accustomed to say that some men who were staid church-members at home, left their religion on the Blue Ridge when they went east with their produce.
Probably three-fourths of the Augusta farmers drove their own teams to market. In Eastern Virginia the teamsters were always negro slaves, and the people of that section, associating something servile with the employment, imagined that the Cohees were generally rude and illiterate. But some of the Augusta wagoners were college-bred, many others were more or less educated, and most of them were men of sharp intellect. Moreover, they were accustomed to hear good sermons on Sunday, and good speeches at the bar on court days, and profited accordingly.
There was a marked difference between the speech and manners of the people of the two sections. The Tuckahoe carried himself rather pompously, and pronounced many words as his English forefathers did in the days of Queen Elizabeth.* The Cohee was plain and even blunt in his manners, and every now and then gave utterance to words which had come down to him from his Scotch-Irish ancestors, and which the Tuckahoe did not understand. Each thought the other spoke a mere jargon.†
*Such as whar and thar for where and there, and stars for stairs.
†An anecdote is told of Capt. John Bowyer, of Rockbridge, which illustrates the feeling of the people of the two sections. Capt. Bowyer was a man of wealth and aristocratic manners, but nevertheless was elected a member of the Legislature for many successive years. In reply to the inquiry how such a man received the popular support, a plain Rockbridge voter said: “We sent him to Richmond to sass the Tuckahoes.”
was born about the year 1758, and, it is presumed, somewhere in the bounds in Augusta county; possibly, however, in the lower Valley. His parents probably removed to the Holston region, near the Tennessee line, at an early day. He was educated at Lexington, and in 1785, some years after he left Liberty Hall, the degree of A. B. was conferred upon him by that institution, along with Moses Hoge, John McCue, William Wilson and others. He served more or less as a soldier in the Revolutionary war, and was at the battle of Guilford Courthouse. At the close of the war he became the principal teacher of an academy in Washington, Georgia. While thus employed, he prepared himself for the practice of law. In August, 1785, he married Ann Mathews, the oldest daughter of
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Edited Annals of Augusta County,Virginia, from 1726 to 1871 copyright © 2006-2017 by EagleRidge Technologies, Inc..