« הקודםהמשך »
The one east, is Long-Iland, which is 140 miles long, and narrow, and furrounded by the sea. The one extending north is about forty miles in breadth, and bisected by the Hudson. And such is the intersection of the whole state, by the branches of the Hudson, the Delaware, the Sufquehannah, and other rivers which have been mentioned, that there are few places, throughout its whole extent, that are more tnan fifteen or twenty miles from some boatable or navigable stream.
Bays and lakes.] York bay, which is nine miles long, and four broad, spreads to the southward before the city of New-York. It is formed by the confluence of the East and Hudson's river, and embosoms several finall ilands, of which Governor's Nand is the principal. It communicates with the ocean through the Narrows, between Staten and Long-hands, which are scarcely two miles wide. The passage up to New-York, from Sandy-Hook, the point of land that extends farthest into the sea, is safe, and not above twenty miles in length The common navigations is beļween the east and west banks, in about twenty-two feet water. There is a light-house at Sandy-Hook, on Jersey shore.
South-Bay, is the southern branch or head of Lake Champlain. It commences at the falls of a creek, which is navigable feveral miles into the country, and forms most excellent meadows. From the falls to Ticonderoga, is thirty miles. The bay is generally half a mile wide near the head, but in several places below, à mile. Its banks are steep hills or. cliffs of rocks, generally inaccesible, At Ticonderoga, this bay unites with Lake George, which comes from the south-west, towards the Hudfon, and is about thirty-five miles long, and one mile broad. After their union, they are contracted to a finall breadth, between Ticonderoga, on the west, and Mount Independance, on the east. They then, open into Lake Champlain before described.
Oneida Lake lies about twenty miles west of Fort Stanwix, and extends westward about 25 miles.
Salt Lake is small, and empiies in to Seneca river, soon after its junction with the Onandago river. This lake is strongly impregnated with faline particles, which circumstance gave rise to its name. The Indians make their falt from it.
Lake Otsego, at the head of Susquehannah river, is about nine miles long, and narrow.'
Caniaderago Lake is nearly as large as Lake Otsego, and fix miles west of it. - A stream, by the name of Oaks Creek, issues from it, and falls into the Susquehannah river, about five miles below Otsego. The best cheese in the state of New-York is made upon this, creek.
Chatoque Lake is the source of Conawongo river, which empties into the Allegany. The lower end of it, whence the river proceeds, is in latitude 42° 10'; from thence to its head, is about twenty-five miles. From the north-west part of this lake to Lake Erie, is nine miles, and was once á conimunication used by the French :
On the north fide of the nountains, in Orange county, is a very valuable tra& called the Drowned Lands, containing about 40 or 50,000 acres. The waters, which descend from the surrounding hills, being but slowly discharged by the river issuing from it, cover these vast meadows every winter, and render them extremely fertile ; but they expose the inhabi
tants in the vicinity to intermittents. The Walkill river, which passes through this extensive amphibious tract, and empties into Hudson's river, is, in the spring, ftored with very large eels in great plenty.
The bottom of this river is a broken rock; and it is supposed, that for £ 2000, the channel might be deepened fo as to let of all the waters from the meadows, and thereby redeem from the floods a large tract of rich land, for grass, henip, and Indian porn.
Face of the country, soil and productions.] The state, to speak generally, is intersected by ridges of mountains running in a north-east and southweit direction. Beyond the Allegany mountains, however, the country is a dead level, of a fine, rich foil, covered in its natural state, with maple, beach, birch, cherry, black walnut, locust, hickory, and some mulberry trees. On the banks of Lake Erie, are a few chesnut and oak ridges. Hemlock swamps are interspersed thinly through the country. All the creeks that empty into Lake Erie, have falls, which afford many excellent mill-feats,
East of the Allegany mountains, the country is broken into hills with rich intervening vallies. The bills are clothed thick with timber, and when cleared afford fine pasture--the vallies, when cultivated, produce wheat, hemp, fax, peas, grass, oats, Indian porn.
Besides the trees already mentioned, there are, in various parts of the ftate, the several kinds of oak, such as white, red, yellow, black and chesnut oak; white, yellow, spruce and pitch pines ; cedar, balfam, or fir-tree, butternut, aspin, commonly called poplar, white wood, which in Pennsylyania is called poplar, and in Europe the tulip tree, sugar and rock maple, and linden tree, which, with the whitehood, grows on the low rich ground, the buttonwood or sycamore, shrub cranberry, the fruit of which hangs in clusters like grapes as large as cherries ; this fhrub, too, grows on low ground.
Befides there is the fumach, which bears clusters of red berries, the Indians chew the leaves instead of tobacco; the berries are used in dyes. Of the commodities produced from culture, wheat is the ftaple, of which inmense quantities are raised, and exported. Indian corn and peas are likewise raised for exportation, and rye, cats, barley, &c. for home comfumption.
In some parts of the state large dairies are kept, which furnish for the market butter and cheese. The best lands in this state, which lie along the Mohawks river, and west of the Allegany mountains, are yet in a ftate of nature, or are just beginning to be settled.
Civil Divisions, Populatian, Character, &c.] This state, agreeably to an act of their legiflature, passed in March, 1788, is divided into fixteen counties ; which, by another act paffed at the same time, were divided into townships, as in the following table.
* These two counties were not constituted in 1786, when the above enumeo ration
was made, and were included in some of the other counties. + These counties are claimed by New-York, but are within the limits, and Pader the jurisdictions of Vermont. Not menfioned in the acl.
In the above mentioned acts the limits of the counties and townships are defined. These townships are corporations invested with certain privileges. The act directs, that the freeholders in the several townships shall assemble in town meetings, on the first Tuesday in April, annually, and choose their town officers, viz. one supervisor, one town clerk, and three to seven affessors, one or more collectors, two overseers of the poor, commissioners of highways, conftables, fence viewers, pound-mafters, &c, These are to hold their respective offices one year, or until others be chosen. This act, which appears to have originated from a spirit of pure republicanism, is to be in force after the first day of April, 1789. I cannot but notice, with pleasure, the happy tendency of this act, to diffeminate through the state such information and such principles as are calculated to cherish the spirit of freedom, and to support our republican government. The frequent recollection of people in town-meetings makes them acquainted with each other, and assimilates their ideas and their manners : Their being invested with power, makes them feel their importance, and rouses their ambition-Their town-meetings will be a school, in which all the free citizens in the state may learn how to transact public business with propriety, and in which they may qualify themselves for the higher offices of the state. - The number of public offices will be encréased, without increasing the expences of the state ; and as the desire of promotion is innate in human nature, and as ambition to possess the requisite qualifications commonly accompanies this defire, the probability is, that the number of persons qualified for public office will be increased, and of course the number of good citizens proportionably multiplied, and the subordinate civil affairs of the state more faithfully and more regularly transacted. The number of inhabitants in this state, in 1786, was 238,897 ;
of which 18,889 were negroes. In 1756, there were 83,233 whites, and 13,543 blacks, 96,775 in the whole. In 1771, there were 148,124 whites, and 19,883 blacks, total 168,007. The blacks, fince this enumeration, have decreased 1000, which is a happy circumstance. From the humane exertions that are making in this itate, for their emancipation it is probable that they will continue to decrease. From the above enumerations it appears, that the average increase of inhabitants, from 1756 to 1786, has been 4554. A considerable part of these, however, have emigrated from Europe and the New-England states. These emigrations have been very numerous, particularly from Rhode-Iland, Connecticut, and Maffachusetts, fince the peace of 1783.
The population for every square mile, including the whole ftate, is only five, so that this state is but a ninth part as populous as Connecticut. But is to be considered that Connecticut has no waste lands, and not half the state of New-York is settled. The itate of Connecticut, however, throughout, is at least three times as thickly populated as the settled parts of New-York. For if we suppose only one-third of the state settled, the population for every square mile will then be only fixteen from these calculations, one of these conclusions will follow, either first, 'That tne soil of Connecticut is preferable to that of New-York; or secondly, That the settled parts of New-York would su a number of inhabitants treble to their present number ; or, thirdly, that the people in Conneclicut are better farmers and economists, or are less affluent and live poorer than the
people of New York. The reader is left to adopt which of these conclu. fiuns he pleases.
Previous to the year 1756, Mr. Smith, the historian of New York, obferves, that the colony met with many discouragements, in regard to its fentement. · The · French and Indian irruptions,' said he,
to which we have always been exposed, bave driven many families into New Jersey. At home, the British acts for the transportation of felons, have brought all the Anterican colonies into discredit with the industrious and honest poor, both in the kingdoms of Great-Britain and Ireland.' The bigotry and tyranny of Tome of our governors, together with the great extent of their grants, may also be considered anjong the discouragements against the full settlement of this province. Most of ihese gentlenen, coming over with no other view than to raise their own fortunes, issued extravagant patents, charged with fmall quit-rents, to such as were able to serve them in the assembly; and these patentees, being generally men of ellales, have raied their lands so exorbitantly high, that very few poor perfons could either purchase or lease them. Add to all these, that the New-England planters have always been disaffected to the Dutch ; nor was there, after the surrender, any foreign acceflion froin the Netherlands.'t Such were the discouragements which this ttate had to encounter, in regard to its fettlement, so long as it remained a British province. But the revolution has removed most of these obstructions, and produced effential alterations in favor of this state. The few Indians who remain are, in general, friendly.. Cargoes of thieves, buglars, pick-pockets, cut-purses, and other villains and Aagitious banditti, from Great-Britain, who had forfeited their lives to society, are not now forced upon this or any of the other states, as they were before the revolution. They have no royal governors, independent of the people, to tyrannize over, and cppress their subjects, and to enrich themselyes and their particular friends at the expence of the effential interests of the state. The overgrown estates, which have hitherto proved an effectual bar to population, and are opposed to every principle of democracy, are diminishing, or are put upon such a footing as in some measure to prevent these inconveniencies. The unhappy spirit of disaffection and jealousy, which formerly subsiited, in a high degree, between the province of New-York, and the New-England colonies, has, since the revolution, in a great meafure subsided, and would perhaps have now been extinct, had it not been unfortunately revived, of late, by fome political and commercial differences. But the growing i berality of both parties, and a wife and harmonizing government, will, it is hoped, soon rite fuperior to all local prejudices, compose all differences whether they are of a political, commercial, or national kind, and furun the whole into one band of atlectionate BROTHERS.
The effects of the revolution have been as greatly, and as happily felç by this, as by any of the United-ştateş.' The accellion of inhabitants wiihin a te w years, has been great, and fo long as New-York is the fear of the general government, will continue to increase. The new settlements ihat are torining in the northern and weitern parts of the statę, are prin cipally by people from New England. It is remarkable that the Dutch
+ Smith's Hift. New York, p. 207. 210.