« הקודםהמשך »
waters, to wit, Petersburg on Appamattox, Richmond on James River, Newcastle on York River, Alexandria on Patomak, and Baltimore on the Patapsco. From these the distribution will be to subordinate situations of the country. Accidental circumstances, however, may controul the indications of nature, and in no instances do they do it more frequently than in the rise and fall of towns.'
To the foregoing general account, we add the following more paticalar descriptions.
ALEXANDRIA stands on the south bank of Patomak river. Its fitua. tion is elevated and pleasant. The soil is clay, and the water so bad, that the inhabitants are obliged to send nearly a mile for that which is drinkable. The original settlers, anticipating its future growth and importance, laid out the streets upon the plan of Philadelphia. It contains upwards of 300 houses, many of which are handsomely built. This town, upon the opening of the navigation of Patomak river, will probably be one of the most thriving commercial places on the continent.
MOUNT VERNON, the celebrated seat of GENERAL WASHINGTON, is pleasantly situated on the Virginia bank of the river Patomak, where it is nearly two miles wide, and is about 280 miles from the sea. It is
9 miles below Alexandria, and 4 above the beautiful feat of the late Col. Fairfax, called Bellevoir. The area of the mount is 200 feet above the surface of the river, and, after furnishing a lawn of five acres in front, and about the same in rear of the buildings, falls off rather abruptly on those two quarters. On the north end it subsides gradually into exten, five pasture-grounds; while on the south it sopes more steeply, in a shorter distance, and terminates with the coach-house, ftables vineyard, and nurseries. On either wing is a thick grove of different, flowering foreit trees.
Parallel with them, on the land fide, are two specious gardens, into which one is led by two ferpentine gravel-walks, planted with weeping willows and Mady fhrubs. The Mansion-House itself (though much embelliined by, yet not perfectly satisfactory to the chalte taste of the present posiefior) appears venerable and convenient. The superb banquetting room has been finished since he returned home from the army. A lofty portico, 26 feet in length, suported by eight pillars, has a pleasing effect when viewed from the water; and the tout ensemble, the whole assemblage, of the green-house, school-house, offices, and servants halls, when seen from the land fide, bears a resemblance to a rural village--especially as the lands on that side are laid out somewhat in the form of English gardens, in meadows and grass grounds, ornamented with little coples, circular clumps, and fingle trees. A small park on the margin of the river, where the English fallow-deer, and the American wild deer are seen through the thickets alternately with the vessels as they are failing along, add a romantic and picturesque appearance to the whole scenery. On the opposite side of a small creuk to the northward, an extenlive plain, exhibiting corn-fields and cattle grazing, aifords in summer a luxurious landscape to the eye ; w..ile the blended verdure of woodlands and cultivated declivities on the Maryland hore variegates the prospect in a charming manner. Such are the philosophic shades to which the late Commander in Chief of the American Armies has retired from the tumultuous scenes of a busy world,
FREDERICKSBURGH is situated on the south side of Rappahannok river, 110 miles from its mouth, and contains about 200 houses, principally on one ftreet, which runs nearly parallel with the river.
RICHMOND, the present seat of government, stands on the north side of James river, just at the foot of the falls, and contains about 300 houses; part of which are built upon the margin of the river, convenient for business; the rest are upon a hill which overlooks the lower part of the tovn, and commands an extensive prospect of the river and adjacent country. The new houses are well built. A large and elegant statehouse or capitol has lately been erected on the hill. The lower part of the town is dividei by a creek, over which is a bridge, that for Virginia, is elegant. A handsome and expenfive bridge, between 3 and 400 yards in length, constructed on boats, has lately been thrown across James river at the foot of the falls, by Col. John Mayo, a wealthy and respectable planter, whose feat is about a mile from Richmond. This bridge connects Richmond with Manchefter; and as the passengers pay toll, it produces a handsome revenue to Col. Mayo, who is the sole proprietor.
The falls, above the bridge, are 7 miles in length. A cannal is cutting on the north side of the river, which is to terminate in a bason of about two acres, in the town of Richmond. From this bafun to the wharfs in the river, will be a land carriage of about 400 yards. This canal is to be cut by a company, who have calculated the expence at 30,000 pounds, Virginia money. This they have divided into 500 shares of 60 pounds each. The opening of this canal promises the addition of much wealth to Richmond.
PETERSBURG, 25 miles southward of Richmond, stands on the south side of Appamatox river, and contains nearly 300 hou.es, in two divisions; one is upon a clay, cold foil, and is very dirty-the other upon a plain of sand or loam. There is no regularity, and very little elegance in Petersburg. It is merely a place of business. The Free Masons have a hall tolerably elegant; and the seat of the Bowling family is pleafant and well built. It is very unhealthy. About 2200 hog heads of tabacco are inspected here annually. Like Richmond, Williamsburg, Alexandria, and Norfolk, it is a corporation; and what is fingular, Peterburg city comprehends a part of three counties. The celebrated Indian queen, Pocahonta, from whom descended the Randolph and Bowling families, formerly resided at this place.
WILLIAMSBURG is 60 miles eastward of Richmond, situated between two creeks; one falling into James, the other into York river. The distance of each landing place is about a mile from the town, which, with the disadvantage of not being able to bring up large veilels, and want of enterprize in the inhabitants, are the reasons why it never flourishel It confits of about 200 housus, going fast to decay, and not more than goo or 1000 souls. It is regularly laid out in parallel streets, with a square in the center, through w ich runs the principal itreet, E. and W. about a mile in length, and more than 100 feet wide. At the ends of this street are two public buildings, the college and capitol. Bendes these there is an Episcopal church, a prison, a hospital for lunatics, and the palace; all of them extremely indifferent. In the capitol is a large marble ftatue, in the likeness of Narbone Berkley, lord Boterourt, a man
distinguished for his love of piety, literature and good government, and formerly governor of Virginia. It was erected at the expence of the state, since the year 1771. The capitol is little better than in ruins, and this elegant ftatue is exposed to the rudenes of negroes and boys, and is Thamefully defaced.
Every thing in Williamsburg appears dull, forsaken, and melancholyno tradi
no amusements, but the infamous one of gaming---no industry, and very little appearance of religion. The unproiperous flate of the college, but principally the removal of the seat of government, have con. tributed much to the decline of this city.
YORK-TOWN, 13 miles eastward from Williamsburg, is a place of about 100 houies, situated on the south side of York river. It was rendered famous by the capture of Lord Cornwallis and his army, on the 19th of October, 1781, by the united forces of France and America.
Colleges, Academies, &c.].' The college of William and Mary is the only public seminary of learning in this state. It was founded in the time of king William and queen Mary, who granted to it 20,000 acres of land, and a penny a pound duty on certain tobaccoes exported from Vir. ginia and Maryland, which had been levied by the statute of 25 The afembly also gave it, by temporary laws, a duty on liquors imported, and skins and furs exported. From these resources it received upwards of £•3000 communibus annis. The buildings are of brick, sufficient for an indiferent accommodation of perhaps 100 students. By its charter it was to be under the government of 20 visitors, who were to be its le. gillators, and to have a president and fix profcffors, who were incorporated. It was allowed a representative in the general assembly. Under this charter, a profefforihip of the Greek and Latin languages, a profefforship of mathematics, one of moral philosophy, and two of divinity, were eitablished. To these were annexed, for a fixth professorihip, a considerable donation by a Mr. Bəyle, of England, for the instruction of the Indians, and their conversion to christianity. This was called the professorship of Brafferton, from an eitate of that name in England, purchased with the monies given. The admission of the learners of Latin and Greek filled the college with children. This rendering it disagreeable and degrading to young gentlemen already prepared for entering on the sciences, they were discouraged from resorting to it, and thus the schools for mathemaa tics and moral philosophy, which might have been of some service, became of very little. The revenues too were exhausted in accommodating those who came only to acquire the rudiments of science. After the prea fent revolution, the visitors, having no power to change those circumstances in the constitution of the college which were fixed by the charter, and being therefore confined in the number of profefforihips, undertook to change the objects of the professorships. They excluded the two schools for divinity, and that for the Greek and Latin languages, and substituted others; fo that at present they itand thus :--A profefiorship for Law and Police-Anatomy and Medicine Natural Pinilosophy and Mathematics --Moral Philosophy, the Law of Nature and Nations, the Fine Arts Modern Language: For the Braiferton.
• And it is proposed, so foon as the legislature shall have leisure to take up this subject, to desire authority from them to increase the number of
professorships, as well for the purpose of fubdividing those already instituted, as of adding others for other branches of science. To the professorships usually established in the universities of Europe, it would seem
prod per to add one for the ancient languages and literature of the North, on account of their connection with our own languages, laws, customs, and history. The purposes of the Brafferton institution would be better anfwered by maintaining a perpetual mission among the Indians tribes, the object of which, besides instructing them in the principles of christianity, as the founder requires, should be to collect their traditions, laws, customs, languages, and other circumstances which might lead to a discovery of their relation with one another, or descent from other nations. When these objects are accomplished with one tribe, the missionary might pass on to another.'
The college edifice is a huge misshapen pile, 'which, but that it has a roof, would be taken for a brick-kiln.' In 1787, there were about 30 young gentlemen members of this college, a large proportion of which were law-fiudents.
There are a number of flourishing academies in Virginiamone in Prince Edward county-one at Alexandria--one at Norfolk-one at Hanover, and others in other places.
Since the declaration of independence, the laws of Virginia have been revised by a committee appointed for the purpose, who have reported their works to the assembly. One object of this revisal was to diffuse knowledge more generally through the mass of the people. The bill for this purpose • proposes to lay off every county into small districts of five or fix miles square, called hundreds, and in each of them to cstablish a school for teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic. The tutor to be supported by the hundred, and every person in it entitled to send their chil. dren 3 years gratis, and as much longer as they please, paying for it. These schools to be under a visitor, who is annually to choose the boy, of best genius in the school, of those whose parents are too poor to give them further education, and to send him forward to one of the grammar schools of which twenty are proposed to be erected in differett parts of the country, for teaching Greek, Latin, geography, and the higher branches of numerical arithmetic. Of the boys thus sent in any one year, trial is to be made at the grammar schools one or two years, and the best genius of the whole selected, and continued six years, and the residue dismissed. By this means twenty of the best geniusses will be raked from the rubbish annually, and be instructed at the public expence, so far as the grammar schools go. At the end of fix years inItruction, one half are to be discontinued (from among whom the mar schools will probably be supplied with future masters); and the other half, who are to be chosen for the superiority of their parts and dispofition, are to be sent and continued three years in the study of such sciences as they shall choose, at William and Mary college, the plan of which is proposed to be enlaged, as will be hereafter explained, and extended to all the useful sciences. The ultimate result of the whole scheme of edu. cation would be the teaching all the children of the state reading, writing, and common arithmetic: turning out ten annually of fuperior genius, well taught in Greek, Latin, geography, and the higher branches of
arithmetic: turning out ten others annually, of still superior parts, who,