Imagens das páginas

In every township is a reserve of two rights of land, of 850 acres each, one to be appropriated to the use of public schools, the other to be given in fee to the first minister who settles in the township. A part of the townships was granted by the government of New Hampshire, and the other by that of Vermopt. In those granted by the former, a right of land is reserved for the support of the gospel in foreign parts; in those given by the latter, a college right, and a right for the support of country grammar schools, are reserved. In these reservations liberal provision is made for the support of the gospel, and for the promotion of common and collegiate education. Indeed it appears that the chief object of the legislature of this state has been to provide for the general diffusion of knowledge, by having common schools in every township; a plan highly praiseworthy, and which every community ought to imitate.

The principal body of the people are congregationalists and baptists; the other denominations are for the most part presbyterians and episcopalians. All the inhabitants are hardy, robust, full-featured, and florid in their complexions ; and as they are chiefly husbandmen and mechanics, they are independent in their sentiments, liberal in their ideas, and hospitable to strangers. Their wants being mostly supplied among themselves, they are not subject to great changes of fortune; but are generally wealthy in proportion as they are industrious. With the exception of one settlement of Scotch people, the great bulk of the inhabitants are emigrants from Connecticut and Massachusetts, and their descendants; an active, industrious, hardy, and. frugal race. The military strength of this state is truly respectable; the number of citizens enrolled in the militia being no less than 26,000; and the bravery of the “ Greenmountain Boys” has long been proverbial.

Trade and manufactures.-Vermont being an inland country, at a considerable distance from the sea, or as it is sometimes termed, far from a market, contains no large cominercial cities; but there are a great number of small towns, besides those already enumerated, most of which are in a state of progressive improvement. Montpelier, in Jefferson county, 531 miles distant from Washington, is the seat of government for the state ; it is situated on the north-east side of Onion.river, forty-three miles west from Lake Champlain, and promises to be a place of importance. The only external trade of Vermont is with Canada; but by means of its riyers, it carries on an extensive commerce with New York, Hartford, and Boston. The articles sent to those places are principally beef, pork, butter, cheese, wheat, flour, iron, nails, pot and pearl ashes, and lumber: the total amount of exports in the year 1917 was 913,000 dollars.

Naturę seems to have designed this part of the United Ştates to be the seat of flourishing manufactures of every thing that can be made of iron or steel. Immense quantities of iron ore are found in several of the towns on the west side of the Green mountains. Rutland, Pittsford, and Tiomouth, in the county of Rutland, and Shoreham, in Addison county contain inexhaustible mines of that metal. This ore is easily melted, and produces from one-fourth to one-seventh of iron, which is mostly of the coldshire kind, works without difficulty, and makes excellent nails. A great number of forges and furnaces have been erected, particularly in Rutland, Addison, and Bennington coundies, from which bar iron and nails are manufactured to a great amount. Most families manufacture the chief part of their own clothing, which is handsome and durable. Yast quantities of pot and pearl ashes are made in every part of the state; but one of the most important manufac. tories is that of maple sugar. It has been estimated that every family situated on Connecticut river, makes 200 pounds a year; and that one man in four weeks can make upwards of five hundred weight, of a quality equal to imported brown sugar. The planting of maple trees is now becoming general, and in many places the roads are lined with them; so that in a short time there will be sugar enough not only for home consumption, but also some for exportation, Besides the vast quantity of grain exported, a considerable portion has been lately manufactured into çorn spirits; and many stills have been erected, to the great emolument of the owners and injury of the working people.

Nothing in the history of Vermont being of sufficient importance to require a separate article, the account of this state shall be closed with a view of its constitution and government.

Constitution, &c.—The inhabitants of Vermont, by their representatives, at Windsor, on Christmas day, 1777, declared that the territory called Vermont was, and of right ought to be, a free and independent state; and for the



purpose of maintaining regular government in the same, they made a solemn declaration of their rights, and ratified a constitution, of which the following is an abstract:

The declaration, which makes a part of their constitution, asserts, that all men are born equally free, with equal rights, and ought to enjoy liberty of conscience, freedom of the press, trial by jury, power to form new states in vacant countries, and to regulate their own internal police; that all elections ought to be free, that all power is originally in the people; that government ought to be instituted for the common benefit of the community, and that the people have a right to reform or abolish government; that every member of society has a right to protection of life, liberty, and property, and in return is bound to contribute his proportion of the expence of that protection, and yield his personal service when necessary; that he shall not be obliged to give evidence against himself; that the people have a right to bear arms, but no standing armies shall be maintained in time of peace; that the people have a right to hold themselves, their houses, papers, and possessions, free from search and seizure, and therefore warrants without oaths first made, affording sufficient foundation for them, are contrary to that right, and ought not to be granted ; that no person shall be liable to be transported out of this state for trial for any offence committed within this state, &c.

The frame of government is legislative, executive, and judiciary. The legislative power is vested in representatives chosen annually, every free male of twenty-one years and upwards, who pays taxes, having a vote. The executive is confided to a governor, lieut.-goverror, and coud, cil of twelve, chosen annually in like manner. And in order “ that the freedom of the commonwealth may be kept inviolate for ever,” once in every seven years a cooncil of censors is chosen (none of whom are to be of the executive council or assembly) whose duty it is to see that the constitution has been preserved in its original purity; whether the taxes have been paid, and the public monies properly disposed of; whether the public servants have done their duty, and the laws been duly executed ; and they are empowered, if they judge it necessary, to call a convention, to meet within two years after their sitting, to revise and amend the constitution: the proposed alterations to be published, for the inspection of the people, at least six months previous to the election of delegates to such convention.


Siluation, Boundaries, and Extent.

MASSACHUSETTS Proper, (which, with the district of Maine, constitutes one of the United States of America,) is situated between 41° 13' and 42° 52' N. lat. and 3° 20' and 6° 55' E. long. It is bounded on the north by New Hampshire and Vermont; on the south by Connecticut, Rhode Island, and the Atlantic ocean; on the east by the Atlantic ocean and Massachusetts-bay; and west by the state of New York. From east to west it is 140 miles in length, and from north to south seventy miles in breadth. \ts square contents is 8,500 miles, being 5,440,000 acres.

Rivers, sea-coast, capes, and islands.-Connecticut river, which has been noticed in the description of New Hampshire, passes through the interior of this state, and at Hadley, eighty-seven miles west of Boston, is obstructed by falls, around which canals and locks have been completed. This beautiful river, which rises in the high lands that separates Vermont and New Hampshire from Lower Canada, runs through a thickly settled country, having upon its banks a great number of the most flourishing and plea.. sant towns in the United States. The rivers or streams which fall into the Connecticut are numerous; such of them as are worthy of notice will be found under their re.. spective names. The Merrimack river, before mentioned, has its course through the north-eastern part of this state, and is navigable for vessels of burden about twenty miles from its mouth at Newbury-port. Charles river rises from a pond near Hopkinton, in this state, and passing through Holliston and Bellingham, the former twenty-eight, the latter thirty miles from Boston, divides Medway from Medfield, Wrentham, and Franklin, all in Norfolk county, thence flows on to Dedham, where, by a curious, bend. it.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

forms a peninsula of 900 acres of land. From Dedham it runs northerly through Newton, passing over romantic falls, and taking its course by Watertown and Cambridge, empties into Boston harbour between Charlestown and Boston. Taunton river is formed by several streams which rise in Plymouth county, and after running a south-west course of about fifty miles, falls into Narraganset-bay, at Tiverton, opposite the north end of Rhode Island. It is navigable for small vessels to the town of Taunton, thirtysix miles from Boston. Concord river is formed of three branches, one rising from a pond in Middlesex county, the other two from the mountains near Marlborough; it takes its course throngh Bedford and Bellerica, boih in Middlesex, and discharges itself into Merrimack river, at Tewksbary, twenty-four miles north of Boston. Medford and Mystic rivers run from north to south into Boston harbour; the latter is navigable three miles to the town of Medford. Ipswich river rises from several springs in Middlesex county, and passing through Reading, Middleton, and Topsfield, enters the ocean at Ipswich, thirty miles north-east of Boston. Westfield river rises in Berkshire county, and runs a south-east course through Middlefield and Westfield to West Springfield, where it falls into the Connecticut by a mouth about thirty yards wide. Deerfield river takes its rise in Bennington county, Vermont, and after receiving a number of streams, runs southwardly through Wilmington, Charlemont, and between Shelburn and Conway, passiog through a large tract of the finest meadow in the world. Among these meadows it receives Green river, which is about twenty yards wide; hence they flow together in a broad smooth stream, and enter Connecticut river between the towns of Greenfield and Deerfield, by a month eighty yards broad. Nepopset river rises from ponds in Norfolk county, and after uniting with other streams, forms a constant supply of water for the numerous mills situated on the river below, until it meets the tide at Milton, seven miles south of Boston, from whence it is navigable for vessels of 150 tons to Boston-bay.

The only capes of note on the coast of this state are Cape Ann on the north side of Massachusetts-bay, and Cape Cod on the south. The latter; so called from the amazing quantity of cod-fish which are found on its coast, extends far into the sea, and is remarkable for being the first land which was made by the first settlers of Plymouth on the American coast, in the year 1620. This cape forms Barnstable county, between seventy and eighty miles in

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »