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Kingston is the county town of Ulster. Before it was burnt by the British, in 1777, it contained about 200 houses, regularly built, on an elevated dry plain, at the mouth of a little pleasant stream, called Eufopus Kill or creek, that empties into the Hudson, but is nearly two miles west from the river. The town has been rebuilt.
Skenectady is fixteen miles north-west of Albany, in Albany county, situated on the banks of the Mohawks river. The town is compact and regular, built principally of brick, on a rich flat of low land, surrounded with bills. The windings of the river through the town and the fields, which are often overflowed in the spring, afford a beautiful prospect about harvest time.
As it is at the foot of navigation on a long river, which passes through a very fertile country, and is the medium of all the western trade through the lakes, that comes down the Hudson, it must grow rich in proportion as the country west of it populates.
Agriculture and Manufaftures.] New-York is at least half a century behind her neighbours in New-England, New-Jersey, and Pennsylvania, in point of improvement in agriculture and manufa&tures. Among other reasons for this deficiency, that of want of enterprize in the inhabitants is not the leaft. Indeed their local advantages have been such, as that they have grown rich without enterprize. Besides, lands have hitherto been cheap, and farms of course large, and it requires much less ingenuity to raise 1000 bushels of wheat upon 60 acres of land, than to raise the same quantity upon 30 acres. So long, therefore, as the farmer in New-York can have 60 acres of land to raise 1000 bushels of wheat, he will never trouble himself to find out how he can raise the same quantity upon half the land. It is population alone that stamps a value upon lands, and lays a foundation for high improvements in agriculture. When a man is obliged to maintain a family upon a finali farm, his invention is exercised to find out every improvement that may render it more productive, This
appears to be the great reason why the lands on Delaware and Connecticut river produces to the farmer twice as much clear profit, as lands in equal quantity and of the fame qualizy upon the Hudson. If the preceding observations be just, improvements will keep apace with population and the increasing value of lands. Another cause which has heretofore operated in preventing agricultural improvements in this state, has been their government, which, in the manner it was conducted until the revolution, was extremely unfavourable to improvements of almost every kind, and particularly in agriculture. The governors were many of then land-jobbers, bent on making their fortunes; and being inverted with power to do this, they either engroffed for themselves, or patented away to their particular favourites, a very great proportion of the whole province. This, as has been observed, proved an effectual bar to population, and of course, according to our present hypothesis, has kept down the price of lands, and to prevented improvements in agricul
It ought to be observed, in this connection, that these overgrown estates could be cultivated only by the hands of tenants, who, having no right in the soil, and no certain prospect of continuing upon the farm, which they hold at the will of their landlord, had no motives to make those expensive improvements, which, though not immediately productive, would prove very profitable in some future period. The tenant, depen
dent on his landlord for his annual support, confines his views and imProvements to the present year; while the independent freeholder, fecure of his estate for himself and his successors, carries his views into futurity, and early lays the foundation for growing improvement. But these obstacles have been removed, in a measure, by the revolution. The fine fertile country of the Mohawks, in Montgomery county, which was formerly possessed by Sir William Johnson, and other land-jobbers, who were enemies to their country, has been forfeited to the statę, and is now split up into freehold estates, and settling with astonishing rapidity.
The foregoing observations will, in a great measure, account for the great neglect of nanufactural improvements. Șmith, whom I have so often quoted, thirty years ago observed,' . It is much owing to the difproportion between the number of our inhabitants, and the vast tracts Hill remaining to be settled, that we have not as yet entered upon scarcely any other manufactures, than such as are indispensībly necessary for our home convenience. This fame cause has operated ever since, in the same way.
Great improvements in agriculture cannot be expected (unless they are made by a few individuals who have a particular genius for that byfiness) so long as lands are plenty and cheap ; and improvements in manufactures never precede, but invariably follow improvements in agriculiure. These observations apply more particularly to the country. The city of New-York contains a great number of people, who are employed in the various branches of manufactures.. Among many othes articles manufactured in this city are the following: wheel-carriages of all kinds, Joaf-sugar, bread, beer, shoes and boots, sadlery, cabinet-work, cutlery, hats, clocks, watches, potters ware, umbrellas, all kinds of mathematical and musical instruments, ships, and every thing necessary for their equipment. A glass-work and feyeral iron-works have been established in different parts of the country, but they never have been very productive, owing solely to the want of workmen, and the high price of labour, its necessary consequence; for the internal resources and advantages for these manufactories, such as ore, wood, water, hearth-stone, proper situations for bloomerięs, forges, and all kinds of water-works, are immense. There are several paper-mills in the state, which are worked to advantage.
Trade.] The situation of New York, with respect to foreign markets, has decidedly the preference to any of the states. It has, at all seasons of the year, a short and easy access to the ocean. We have already mentioned, that it commands the trade of a great proportion of the best settled and best cultivated parts of the United States. It has been supposed, by gentlemen well informed, that more wealth is conveyed down Connecticut river, and through the Sound to New-York, ihan down the Hudson. This is not improbable, as the banks of the Connecticut are more fertile, and much thicker and more extensively settled than the banks of the Hudson. New-York has not been unmindful of her superior local adyantages, but has availed herself of them to their full extent. Some of her commercial regulations have been viewed as oppressive and injurious
to the interests of her neighbours, and been productive of many heavy complaints and unhappy jealousies, which have proved unfriendly to that political union which ever fought to fubfiit between confederate fitter states
. But as it is expected that the new government will remedy these evils, a bare mention of them is sufficient.
There appears to be a secrecy in the commercial policy of this state. An accurate account of their annual exports and iinports, if known at all, is known to few. All therefore that can be expected under this head, in addition to what has already been observed, is simply an enumeration of the several articles exported and imported, without pretending to fix their amount.
Mr. Smith + observes, • In our traffic with other places, the balance is almost constantly in our favour.' This I believe has generally been the case. Their exports to the West-Indies are, biscuit, peale, Indian corn, apples, onions, boards, ftaves, horses, fheep, butter, cheese, pickled oysters, beef and pork. But wheat is the staple commodity of the state, of which no less than 677,700 bushels were exported in the year 1775, besides 2,555 tons of bread, and 2,828 tons of four. Inspectors of four are appointed to prevent impositions, and to see that none is ported but that which is deemed by them merchantable. West India goods are received in return for these articles. Besides the above mentioned articles, are exported flax-seed, cottou-wool, farsaparilla, coffee, indigo, rice, pig iron, bar iron, pot asha, pearl ash, furs, deer skins, log wood, fustic, mahogany, bees wax, oil, Madeira wine, rum, tar, pitch, turpentine, whale fins, fish, sugar, molaffes, falt, tobacco, lard, &c. but most of these articles are imported from re-exportation. In the year 1774, there were employed, in the trade of this state, 1075 vessels, whose tonnage amounted to 40,812.
Mountains.] The long range of Allegany mountains commences with the Katts Kill mountain upon Hudson's river. This range, which Mr. Jefferson calls the Spine of the United States, spreads through this state, in a north-east and fouth-wett direction, in several diftinct ridges, with different names.
Medicinal Springs.] The most noted springs in this state are those of Saratoga. They are eight or nine in number, situated in the margin of a marsh, formed by a branch of Kayadarossora Creek, about twelve miles west from the confluence of Fish-Creek and Hudson's River. They are furrounded by a rock of a peculiar kind and nature, formed by the petrefaction of the water. One of them, however, more particularly attracts the attention ; it rises above the surface of the earth five or six feet, in the form of a pyramid. The aperture in the top, which discovers the water, is perfectly cylindrical, of about nine inches diameter. In this the water is about twelve inches below the top, except at the time of its annual discharge, which is commonly in the beginning of summer. At all times it appears to be in as great agitation as if boiling in a pot, although it is extremely cold. The same appearances obtain in the other springs, except that the surrounding rocks are of different figures, and the water flows regularly froin them.
+ Hift. New-York, p. 213.
By observation and experiment, the principal impregnation of the water is found to be a fotfile acid, which is predominant in the taste.' It is also strongly impregnated with a faline substance, which is very discernible in the taste of the water, and in the taste and smell of the petrified water about it. From the corrofive and diffolving nature of the acid, the water acquires a chalybeate property, and receives into its composition a portion of calcareous earth, which, when separated, resembles an impure magnesia. As the different springs have no effential variance in the nature of their waters, but the proportions of the chalybeate impregnation, it is rendered probable that they are derived from one common source, but flow in separate channels, where they have connection with metallic bodies, in greater or less proportions.
The prodigious quantity of air contained in this water, makes another diftinguishing property of it. This air, striving for enlargement, produces the fermentation and violent action of the water before described. After the water has stood a small time in an open vessel (no tight one will contain it) the air escapes, becomes vapid, and loses all that life and pungency which distinguish it when first taken from the pool. The particles of dissolved earth are deposited as the water flows off, which, with the combination of the salts and fixt air, concrete and form the rocks about the springs
The effects it produces upon the human body are various ; the natural operation of it, when taken, is cathartick, in some instances an emetic. As it is drank, it produces an agreeable sensation in pafling over the organs of taste, but as soon as it is Twallowed, there succeeds an unpleasant taste, and the eructations which take place afterwards, cause a pungency very similar to that produced by a draught of cyder or beer, in a state of fermentation,
The following curious experiments made on these waters, were extracted from Dr. Mitchell's Journal.
• A young turkey held a few inches above the water in the crater of the lower spring, was thrown into convulsions in less than half a minute, and gasping shewed signs of approaching death ; but on removal from that place, and exposure to the fresh air, revived, and became lively. On immersion again for a minute in the gas, the bird was taken out languid and motionless.
A fmall dog put into the same cavity, and made to breathe the contained air, was, in less than one minute, thrown into convulfive motions-made to pant for breath, and lastly, to lose entirely the power to cry or move ; when taken out, he was too weak to ftand, but soon, in the common air, acquired strength enough to rise and stagger away,
A trout recently caught, and briskly swimming in a pail of brook water, was carefully put into a vessel just filled from the spring; the fish was inftantly agitated with violent convulsions, gradually lost the capacity to inove and poise itself, grew stupid and insensible, and in a few minutes was dead.
". A candle repeatedly lighted and let down near the surface of the water, was suddenly extinguished, and not a veftige of light on fire remained on the wick,
These experiments nearly correspond with those usually made in Italy, at the famous GROTTO DEL CANT, for the entertainment of travellers; as mentioned by Keysler, Addison, and others.
A bottle filled with the water and flaken, emits suddenly a large quantity of aërial matter, that either forces out the cork, or makes a way beside or through it, or bursts the vessel.
A quantity of wheaten flour, moistened with this water, and kneaded into dough, when made into cakes, and put into a baking pan, rose, during the application of heat, into light and spongy bread, without the aid of yeast or leaven. From which it appears, that the air extricated from the water is
precisely similar to that produced by ordinary fermentation.
Sonie line-water, made of abalactiles brought from the subterranean cave at Rhinebec, became immediately turbid on mixture with the spring water, but when the water had been lately drawn, the precipitate was quickly re-diffolved.
Sonie of the rock surrounding the spring, on being put into the fire, calcined to quick lime, and flacked very well.
When the aèrial matter has evaporated, the water loses its transparency and lets fall a calcareous fediment.
Whence it is true, that the gas is aérial acid, that the rock is limestone, and that by means of the fornier, the water becomes capable of diffolving and conveying the latter.'
Minerals nnd fossils.] This state embosoms vaft quantities of iron ore. Nacuralitts have observed that ore in swamps and pondy ground, vegetates and increases. There is a silver mine at Philipíburg, which produces virgin filver. Spar, zink or spelter, a semi-metal, magnez, uscat in glazing, peritus, of a golden hue, various kinds of copper ore, and lead and coal mines are found in this state. Also petrified wood, plaster of Paris, ising-glass in sheets, talks and chrystals of various kinds and colours, afbeltos, and several other fossils. A small black stone has allo been found, which vitrifies with a finall heat, and makes excellent glass.
Literary and Humane Societies.] There are very few societies for improvement in knowledge or humanity in this state ; and these few are in the city of New York. The first is “ The society for proinoting useful knowledge' This society is upon an establishment similar to other philosophical societies in Europe and America, but is not incorporated. The members meet once a month. Secondly, • 'The fociety for the manumission of Naves, and protecting such of them as have been or may be liberated.' This society meets once a quarter. Both these focieties confilt of gentlemen of the first character in the city, and of some in other parts of the state. Besides these, there is the . Philological focieiy, instituted in 1988. This growing fociety has for its principal object the improvement of the English language,
Literature, Colleges, Academies, &c.] Until the year 1754, there was no college in the province of New York. The state of literature, at that time, I fhall give in the words of their historian, . Our schools are in