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and the houses well built. William-street is also elevated and convenient, and is the principal market for retailing of dry goods. Many of the other streets are pleasant, but most of them are irregular and narrow.
The houses are generally built of brick, and the roofs tiled. There are remaining a few houses built after the old Dutch manner, but the Eng. lish taste has prevailed almost a century.
Upon the south-west point of the land stands the fort, which is a square with four bastions; within the walls of which the governors used formerly to reside. Below the fort, near the water, there is a line of fortifications of confiderable extent, designed to command the entrance into both rivers. But it is questionable, whether any number of cannon would prevent ships from paffing with a favourable wind and ride ; and indeed whe: ther New-York is capable of defence by land against a powerful marine force. The battery, however, in the summer season furnishes the citizens with an agreeable walk, which is open to refreshing breezes from the bay.
The city-hall is a brick building, more strong than elegant. It is three ftories in height, with wings at each end, and fronts Broad-street, which affords an extensive prospect. The first floor is an open walk, except two fmall apartments for the door-keeper and city-watch. In the second story of the eastern wing is the assembly chamber, now occupied by Congress, and adorned with the following paintings : The portrait of the great Columbus, belonging to the assembly of this state ; a painting valuable only for its antiquity and the character of the nan—The likenesses of the King and Queen of France, as large as the life, execnted in a masterly manner, and presented to Congress by his Moft Chriftian Majelly; equally valuable for the richness of the paintings, the dignity of the personages whom they represent, and as pledges of royal friendship-The likeness of General Washington, presented by a gentleman in England; a likeness dear to every American, and destined to grace the walls of every councilchamber in the New World.
The weftern wing contains a room for the council or fenate, now occupied by the secretary of Congress, and another for the Mayor's court. In the body of the house is a ipacious hall for the supreme judicial court. Large additions are now making to this building for the accommodation of Congress, under the direction of the ingenious Mon. Le Enfant.
There are three houses of public worship belonging to the reformed Protestant Dutch Church, one is called the Old Dutch Church, which was built in the year 1693, and rebuilt in the year 1766; another is called the North Church, which was founded in the year 1767, and dedicated to the service of God in the year 1769. This last church being ruined by the British during the late war, was repaired in the year 1784, and has since been used with the old church for the performance of divine service. The middle church, generally called the New Dutch Church, was built. in the year 1729; it is the most spacious of the three, but was also ruined in the war, and is not yet fully repaired.
The people of this denomination were the first settlers of this state, and make a respectable part of the citizens. The church in the city is confidered as one church or congregation, though worshipping in different places. The charter, or act of incorporation, was granted by William
the Third, in the year 1696, when Benjamin Fletcher, Esq; was governor of the province. The ministers, elders, and deacons are the body corporate, and hold considerable property. Many years before the war, they found it necessary, by reason of the decline of the Dutch language, to have service performed in English, and had then two Dutch and two English ministers. Since the war it has been performed chiefly in English, and they have at present only two ministers.
There are four Presbyterian churches in the city of New-York. The first was erected in the year 1719, built of ttone, and rebuilt and enlarged in the year 1748—it is eighty feet long and fixty wide, with a cupola and bell; and stands in the upper end of Wall-ftreet, the north side of the street, near the Broadway. The second was erected in the year 1767, is a genteel brick building, eighty-three feet long, and fixty-five feet wide, with a steeple not finished; it stands on the ealt side of the green, at the head of Beekman and Nallau-streets.
The congregations worshipping in these churches are connected with cach other, under the care of the same ministers, who preach alternately in them, and having the fame elders and deacons; their temporalities also are managed by the same trustees, incorporated under the law of the state, passed in April, 1784, capacitating religious focieties of every denomination to incorporate themselves, for the purposes therein mentioned.
The third Presbyterian Church was erected in the year 1768, is a genteel stone building, fixty-five and an half feet long, and fifty-five and an half feet wide, and stands in Little Queen-itreet, not far from the Broadway. This church is also incorporated agreeably to the same law.
These three churches were occupied by the British troops during the late war, as hospitals and barracks, and were left by them in a moft ruinous situation—and have been repaired with great neatness, and at a very great expence, by their respective congregations, since the peace.
The fourth Presbyterian Church 'vas erected in the year 1787, is a neat frame building, fifty feet long and twenty-four wide, and stands in Nasfau-street,
The clergy of the Presbyterian Churches in this city are maintained by the revenues arising from the rents of their pows.
There are three Episcopal Churches in New York, under one charter, which was granted the 6th of May, 1697. Trinity church was built in the year 1696, and at several times afterwards improved and enlarged. It was situated on the west side of Broadway, in view of the Hudsoll, with a spacious cemetery on each side; including the tower and chance, it was about 148 feet in length, and 72 in breadth and the tteeple 173 feet in height. This was supposed to be the most stately building of the kind in America, but was destroyed in the fire which happened just after the British troops entered the city in 1776.- It is now rebuilding, and Several thousand pounds have already been subscribed for that purpose.
St. George's Chapel, in Beekman-Street, was finished in 1750. This is a neat building, formed with hewn stone, and the roof tiled.
St. Paul's Chapel, in Broadway, was completed in 1766. This build. ing, which is in itself elegant, is embellished with a superb monument, erected by order of Congress, and at the expence of the United States, to
of the brave General Montgomery, who fell in the attaek of Quebec, December 31, 1775.
To the foregoing may be added the following churches :
Jews Synagogue, Baptifts,
French Protestant Church, (ont
of repair) ! The gorernment of the city (which was incorporated in 1656) is now in the hands of a Mayor, Aldermen, and Common-Council. The city is divided into seven wards, in each of which there is chosen annually by the people an Alderman and an asliftant, who, together with the Mayor and Recorder, form the Common-Council. The Mayor and Recorder are appointed annually by the council of appointment.
The Mayor's court, which is held from time to time by adjournment, is in high reputation as a court of law.
A court of sessions is likewise held for the trial of criminal causes. The fituation of the city is both healthy and pleasant. Surrounded on all sides by water, it is refreshed with cool breezes in summer, and the air in winter is more temperate than in other places under the same parallel. York island is fifteen miles in length, and hardly one in breadth. It is joined to the main by a bridge called King's bridge. The channels beiween Long and Staten islands, and between Long and York islands are so narrow as to occasion an unusual rapidity of the tides, which is increased by the confuence of the waters of ihe Hudson and East River. This rapidity in general prevents the obstruction of the channel by ice-so that the navigation is ciear, except for a few days in seasons when the weather is uncommonly severe. There is no balon or bay for the reception of Thips, but the road where they lie in East River is defended from the violence of the sea by the islands which interlock with each other; so that except that of Rhode Inland, the larbour of New-York, which admits ships of any burthen, is the beit in the United States.
This city is efteemed the most eligible fituation for commerce in the United States. It almost necessarily commands the trade of one-half NewJersey, most of that of Connecticut, and part of that of Massachusetts ; besides the whole fertile interior country, which is penetrated by one of the largest rivers in America. This city imports most of the goods consumed between a line of thirty miles east of Connecticut river, and twenty miles west of the Hudson, which is 130 miles, and between the ocean and the confines of Canada, about 250 miles ; a considerable portion of which is the best peopled of any part of the United States, and the whole territory contains at least half a million of people, or one-fixth of the inhabitants of the union. Besides, some of the other states are partially supplied with goods from New-York. But in the staple cominodity flour, Pennsylvania and Maryland have rivalled it-the superfine flour of those ftates commanding a higher price than that of New York.
In the manufacture likewise of iron, paper, cabinet works, &c. Pennfylvania exceeds not only New-York, but all her sitter states. In times of peace, however, New-York will command more commercial business than any town in the United States. In time of war it will be
In fecure, without a marine force; but a small number of ships will be able to defend it from the most formidable attacks by sea.
A want of good water is a great inconvenience to the citizens, there being few wells in the city. Most of the people are supplied every day with fresh water, conveyed to their doors in casks, from a pump near the head of Queen-street, which receives it from a spring, almost a mile from the city. Several proposals have been made by individuals to supply the citi. zens by pipes, but none have yet been accepted.
New-York is the gayest place in America. The ladies, in the richness and brilliancy of their dress, are not equalled in any city in the United States; not even in Charleston, (S. C.) which has heretofore been called the centre of the Beau Monde. The ladies, however, are not solely employed in attentions to dress. There are many who are ftudious to add to their brilliant external accomplishments, the more brilliant and lasting accomplishments of the mind. Nor have they been unsuccessful; for NewYork can boast of great numbers of refined taste, whose minds are highly improved, and whose conversation is as inviting as their personal charms. Tinctured with a Dutch education, they manage their families with good @conomy and fingular neatness.
In point of sociability and hospitality, New-York is hardly exceeded by any town in the United States. . If, however, in regard to these agreeable characteristics, the preference must be given to any one place, it decidedly belongs to Charleston. Some travellers have, in these respects, given Boston and Newport the preference to New-York. Several causes have operated to diminish the sociability of the citizens of New-York-particularly the change of inhabitants, by emigrations from Europe--the lofs of property during the ravages of the war and the unfavourable state of business a great part of the time since the peace. These causes have operated equally unfavourable in some other parts of the union.
An enquirer, who would wish to acquaint himself with the true state of the people of New-York, their manners and government, would naturally ask the citizens for their societies for the encouragement of sciences, arts, manufactures, &c. ? For their public libraries ? For the patrons of literature? Their well regulated academies ? For their female academy for inAtructing young ladies in geography, history, belles lettres, &c. ? Such enquiries might be made with propriety, but could not, at present, be anfwered satisfactorily.
On a general view of this city, as described thirty years ago, and in its present state, the comparison is flattering to the present age; particularly the improvements in taste, elegance of manners, and that cafy unaffected civility and politeness, which form the happiness of social intercourse.
It is found, by a memorandum in one of the old registers, that the number of inhabitants in the city, taken by order of the king in the year 1697, was as follows: Men
Young men and boys 864
Number of inhabitants in the city and county of New York, in 1756, 10,881–1771, 21,863-1786, 23,614 *.
The city of Albany is situated upon the west side of Hudson's river, 160 miles north of the city of New-York, in latitude 42° 36', and is by charter + one mile upon the river, and fixteen miles back. It contains about 600 houses, built mostly by trading people on the margin of the river. The houses stand chiefly upon Pearl, Market and Water-streets, and fix other streets or lanes, which cross them nearly at right angles: Thiey are built in the old Dutch Gothic stile, with the gable end to the ftreet, which custom the first settlers brought with them from Holland. The gable end is commonly of brick, with the heavy moulded ornament of llanting with notches, like ftairs, and an iron horse, for a weather-cock, on the top. There is one little appendage to their houses, which the people, blind to the inconveniences of it, still continue, and that is the watergutters or fponts, which project from every house, rendering it almost dangerous to walk the streets in a rainy day. Their houses are seldom more than one story and an half high, and have but little convenience, and less elegance; but they are kept very neat, being rubbed with a mop almoft every day, and scoured every week. The fame neatness, however, is not observed in the streets, which are very muddy most of the year, except those which are paved; and these are seldom fwept, and very sough.
The city of Albany .contains about 4000 inhabitants, collected from almost all parts of the northern world. As great a variety of languages are spoken in Albany, as in any town in the United States. AdventuTers, in pursuit of wealth, are led here by the advantages for trade which this place affords. Situated on one of the finest rivers in the world, at the head of floop navigation, surrounded with a rich and extensive back country, and the store-house of the trade to and from Canada and the lakes, it must flourish, and the inhabitants cannot but grow rich. Hudfon, however, is their rival; other rivals may spring up.
Albany is said to be an unfociable place. This is naturally to be ex: pected. A heterogeneous .collection of people, invested with all their national prejudices, eager in the pursuit of gain, and jealous of a rivalfhip, cannot expect to enjoy the pleasures of social intercourse, or the fweets of an intimate and refined friendfhip.
A gentleman of obfervation and discernment, who resided fome time in Albany, has made the following observations, which, though of general application, I beg leave to introduce under this particular head. • To form a just idea of the manners and customs of the inhabitants, we must confine ourselves to the Dutch, who being much the most numerous, give the tone to the manners of the place. Two things unite more par. ticularly to render these disagreeable to foreigners; first, a natural preju. dice which we all pofless in favour of our own, and against the manners of another place or nation : seeondly, their close union, like the Jews of old, to prevent the innovation of foreigners, and to keep the balance of interest always in their own hands.
* This account of the city of New York, is taken principally from Mr. Webster's valuable Magazine for March 1788. + Albany was incorporated by Colonel Dangan, in 1686. Smith.