"Before giving you any details on my trip, I think, dear Mother, that I ought to tell you what place it is that I find myself in at this moment. Sandy Bridge is nothing but a small inn, built of logs placed one on top of the other, and situated on the road which leads from Nashville (capital of Ten[n]essee) to Memphis, a small town on the banks of the Mississip[p]i between the 34th and 35th degrees of latitude, just about on the boundary separating Ten[n]essee from the State of Mississip[p]i. In the room where I write there are three beds, on which stopping travelers throw themselves, whatever their numbers or sex. An immense fire burns in a chimney like those of the ancient chateaux. It's big enough to contain ten logs, each three feet around. Despite this fire, which would roast an ox, one freezes in the room. Just a little while ago I wanted to take a glass of water that had been brought me, but having been so imprudent as to leave it five minutes without drinking it, I found it entirely frozen. This is accounted for by two things: the first is that outside it is at 8 or 10 degrees; and the second is that between the different logs that make up the walls of the house there are cracks wide enough to allow the air to circulate freely. This rigorous cold is quite extraordinary, when you consider our latitude, which is that of Egypt; but such is the climate of America that in the southern States, where during the summer the heat is excessive, you die of cold in the winter.
To come back to my small lodging, you know that it is situated on the road from Nashville to Memphis, but I haven't told you its real geographic position. I can't give you an altogether clear indication, because there is on the said road not a single town, not a single place marked on the map. But imagine a straight line starting from Nashville and ending at the spot where my preceeding explanations have enabled you to place Memphis. That line represents a stretch of about 100 leagues. Well, I am 35 leagues from Nashville and 60 leagues from Memphis. You see now quite clearly where I am.
Beaumont, letter to his mother, 12/15 (Pierson 572-573)