“From the head of the southern branch of Savannah river it does not exceed half
a mile to a head spring of the Missisippi water that runs through the middle and
upper parts of the Cheerake (Cherokee) nation about a northwest course, and, joining other
rivers, they empty themselves into the great Missisippi. The above fountain is
called ‘Herbert’s spring,’ so named from an early commissioner of Indian
affairs, and it was natural for strangers to drink thereof, to quench thirst, gratify
their curiosity, and have it to say they had drank of the French waters. Some of
our people, who went only with the view of staying a short time, but some
allurement or other exceeded the time appointed, at their return reported, either
through merriment or superstition, that the spring had such a natural bewitching
quality that whosoever drank of it could not possibly quit the nation during the
tedious space of seven years. All the debauchees readily fell in with this
superstitious notion as an excuse for their bad method of living, when they had
no proper call to stay in that country; and in process of time it became as
received a truth as any ever believed to have been spoken the Delphic oracle.
One cursed, because its enchantment had marred his good fortune; another
condemned his weakness for drinking down witchcraft, against his own secret
suspicions; one swore he would never taste another such dangerous poison, even
though he should be forced to go down to the Missisippi for water; and another
comforted himself that so many years out of the seven were already passed, and
wished that if ever he tasted it again, though under the greatest necessity, he
might be confined to the Stygian waters. Those who had their minds more
enlarged diverted themselves much at their cost, for it was a noted favorite place,
on account of the name it went ; and, being a well situated and good spring,
there all travelers commonly drank a bottle of choice. But now most of the pack-
horse men, though they be dry, and also matchless sons of Bacchus, on the most
pressing invitations to drink there, would swear to forfeit sacred liquor the better
part of their lives rather than basely renew or confirm the loss of their liberty,
which that execrable fountain occasions.”—Adair, American Indians, p. 231,