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further measures in regard to the separation of the distriet of Maine."
In consequence of the above decision, this important section of the Union still remains annexed to Massachusetts; the people of which are by no meaus friendly to a separation, as they possess between eight and nine millions of acres in the district, which brings annually into their treasury about £270,000 currency; but from the great extent of Maine, its increasing population, (which, before the last census, had doubled in sixteen years,) and general improvement, there is no doubt of its shortly becoming an independent state, with a separate government.
History. In the year 1607, an endeavour was made to settle a colony in this country, under captain Popham; but the measure having failed, no further attempts were made until between the years 1620 and 1630. Six years after this, courts were held at Saco and other places, of which some records are extant; from these it appears, that the courts acted both in a legislative and a judicial capacity. They proceeded in a summary method, attending more to substance than form, making the laws of England their general rule.
In 1635, sir Ferdinando Gorges obtained a grant from the council of Plymouth, of the tract of country between the rivers Piscataqua and Sagadahok, which is the mouth of Kennebeck; and up Kennebeck, so far as to form a square of 120 miles: it is supposed that sir. Ferdinando first instituted government in this province. Four years afterwards, he obtained from the crown a charter of the soil and jurisdiction, containing as ample powers, perhaps, as the king of England ever granted to any subject. In the same year, he appointed a governor and council, and they administered justice to the settlers until about the year 1647, when, hearing of the death of Gorges, they supposed their authority at an end, and the people on the spot unanimously combined, and agreed to be under civil government, and to select their officers annually. Governinent was administered in this form until 1652, when the inhabitants submitted to the authority of Massachusetts ; the people of which, by a new construction of their charier, granted to Rosswell and others, in 1628, claimed the soil and jurisdiction of the province of Maine, as far as. the middle of Casco-bay. Maine then first took the name of Yorkshire, county courts were held in the same manner as in Massachusetts, and the towns had liberty to, send their deputies to the general court at Boston.
In 1664, Charles II. granted to his brother, the duke of York, all that part of New England which lies between St. Croix and Pemaquid rivers, on the sea-coast, and up Pemaquid river, and from the head thereof tỏ Kennebeck river, and thence the shortest course to the St. Lawrence; this was called the duke of York's property, and annexed to the government of New York. The duke, on the death of his brother, became James II. and upon James's abdication, these lands reverted to the crowd. Upon the restoration of Charles II., the heirs of sir Ferdinando Gorges complained to the British government of the Massachusetts usurpation; and in 1665 the king's commissioners, who visited New England, came to the province of Maine, and appointed magistrates and other officers, independent of Massachusetts. The magistrates, thus appointed, administered government until about the year 1668, when the Massachusetts general court sent down commissioners, and opposed the authority of the king's officers. At this time public affairs were in great cop fusion, some declaring for the heirs of Gorges and the king's magistrates, and others for Massachusetts; the latter, however, prevailed, and courts of" pleas and criminal matters were held as in other parts of Massachusetts.
About the year 1674, the heirs of Gorges complained again to the king and council of the usurpation of Massachusetts, and the rulers of that province were called upon to answer for their conduct. The result was, they ceased for a time to exercise their jurisdiction, and Gorges, grandson of Ferdinando, sent over instructions. But in 1677, the people of Massachusetts, by their agent, John Usher, Esq. purchased the right and interest of the patent for £1,200 sterling. They now supposed that they had both the jurisdiction and the soil, and therefore governed according to the charter of Maine until 1684, when the Massachusetts charter was vacated. In 1691, by charter from William and Mary, the province of Maine, and the large territory eastward, bordering on Nova Scotia, was incorporated with Massachusetts.
This country, from its first settlement, has been greatly harassed by the Indians; in the year 1675, all the settlements were in a manner broken up and destroyed. From about 1692 till 1702, was one continued scene of killing, burning, and destroying; and the inhabitants suffered much for several years preceding and following the year 1724. Even so late ás 1748, persons were killed and captivated by the Indians in many of the towns next the sea. Since this period, the inhabitants have lived unmolested,
and all danger of Indian warfare is for ever at an end. Few parts of the Union are in a more rapid state of improvement than the district of Maine; public roads have been opened throughout the country, agriculture is well attended to, and cattle are raised in great numbers. The population has increased so rapidly within the last thirty years, and such is the growing importance of the people, that their political separation from Massachusetts is an event that may be daily expected.
STATE OF RHODE ISLAND.
Situation, Boundaries, and Extent. RHODE ISLAND, the smallest of the United States, is situated between 41° 22' and 42° N. lat. and 5° and 5° 50' E. long. It is bounded on the north and east by Massachusetts; south, by the Atlantic ocean; and west, by Connecticut; these limits comprehend what is called Rhode Island and Providence plantations, which together constitute the state of Rhode Island. Its greatest length from north to south is forty-eight, and its greatest breadth from east to west forty-two miles; forming an area of 1,500 square miles, or 960,000 acres.
Bays, harbours, islands, and rivers.--Narraganset-bay ruus up from south to north between the main land on the east and west, and encompasses many beautiful and fertile islavds; the principal of which are Rhode Island, Canonicut, Prudence, Patience, Hope, Dyer's, and Hog islands. The chief harbours of this state are Newport, Wickford, Warren, Bristol, and Greenwich, besides Providence and Patuxet, the latter is near the mouth of Patuxet river, which falls into Providence river. This fiue bay, which affords a great variety of fish, with abundance of oysters and lobsters, is thirty-three miles in length, and, towards Newport, about twelve in breadth ; its banks are covered with handsome settlements, and there are a number of pretty little towns, the view of which from the water has a most pleasing effect. Rhode Island is thirteen miles long and four miles wide, and is divided into three townships, Newport, Portsmouth, and Middleton. Perhaps no island in the world exceeds this in point of soil, climate, and situation, and it is celebrated for its beautiful women. In
its most flourishing state, it was called by travellers the Eden of America; but the change which the revolutionary war, and a subsequent decrease of trade have effected, is great indeed. Canonicut lies about three miles west of Newport, and is seven miles in length avd ope in breadth ; the soil is luxuriant, producing grain and grass in abundance. Prudence island is nearly as large as Canonieut, and lies north of it in Narraganset-bay; it belongs to the town of Portsmouth, in Newport county, Rhode Island. Patience island, also in the same bay, lies a mile south-east of Warwick Neck, and is about two miles long and one broad. Hope, Dyer's, and Hog islands are too small to merit a particular description.
Providence river, which falls into Narraganset-bay, rises by several branches, part of which come from Massachusetts. It is payigable as far as Providence, thirty miles from the sea, for vessels of 900 tons burden, and affords fine fish, oysters, and lobsters. Taynton river is formed by several streams which rise in Plymouth county, Massachusetts; it falls into Narraganset-bay at Tiverton, after a course of about fifty miles, and is navigable for small ves. sels as far as Taunton. Patucket, or Blackstone's river, empties into Şeekhonk river, four miles from Providence ; over it are two bridges, connecting Rhode Island with the state of Massachusetts. In this river is a beautiful fall of water, which in its whole length is upwards of fifty feet; the water passes through several chasms in a rock which runs directly across the bed of the stream, and serves as a dam: several mills have been erected upon these falls. Wanaspatucket river falls into the bay a mile and a half north-west of Weyboşset bridge, and Moshasuck river flows into the same bay, three quarters of a mile north of the bridge; these rivers united form Providence river, which, a few miles below the town, receives the name of Narraganset-bay.
There is but one mountain in this state, and this is in the county of Bristol, called Mount Hope; there is nothing in the appearance of this mountain to claim particular attention. Iron ore is found here in great plenty, and the country abounds with limestone and marble ; large quan. tities of Jime are made and exported. Some copper ore and loadstone have also been found, and there are several mineral springs, but of no great importance; though there is one near Providence to which many people resort.
Climate, face of the country, soil, and produce. The climate is in many respects similar to that of Massachusetts, NO. XV.
The winters, in the maritime parts of the state, are milder than in the inland country ; the air being softened by a sea vapour, which also enriches the soil. The summers are delightful, especially on Rhode Island, where the extreme heats which prevail in other parts of the Atlantic states are allayed by cool and refreshing breezes from the sea. The face of the country is finely variegated by hill and dale, and the state is intersected in all directions by rivers and bays, which swarm with fish, to the amount of seventy different kinds, so that the markets may be said to be alive with them.
The soil is various, and a great part of it good; though better adapted for grazing than for grain. The northwestern parts of the state are but thinly inhabited, being rocky and barren; but the tract of land lying between North and South Kingston on the east, and Connecticut on the west, is excellent pasture land, and is inhabited by a number of wealthy farmers, who raise some of the finest neat cattle in America. They keep large dairies, and make butter and cheese of superior quality, and in large quantities for exportation; the cheese is sold from 5d. to 6 d. a pound, wholesale. Farms contain from ten to 200 acres, and as the inhabitants of the country are generally proprietors of the farms they cultivate, and having neither landlord to grind them, nor rent to pay, they live independent and happy. The lands are not entailed, and hence there is no aristocracy; but independence is easily obtained by labour. The ground is well cultivated, and produces Indian corn, rye, barley, oats, wheat (though not enough for home consumption) fruits in great abundance, and a profusion of vegetables.
Narraganset has been long celebrated for a fine breed of pacing horses, remarkable for their speed and hardiness, and for enduring the fatigues of a journey. The people of this state, and indeed throughout New England, are for the most part native Americans; emigrants from Europe scarcely ever think of settling in the eastern parts of the Union: indeed, that portion of the country which we are now describing has been so long inhabited, and is so well occupied, as to offer little encouragement to foreigners.
Civil divisions, towns, population, religion, &c.—This state is divided into five counties, which are subdivided into thirty-one townships, containing 76,931 inhabitants, being about fifty-one to each square mile.