Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

factures are as follow: In Newhaven, are linen and button manufactories ; in Hartford, extensive woollen establishments, glass works, snuff and powder mills, iron works, slitting mills, &c. Iron works are also established at Salisbury, Norwich, and other parts of the state. At Stratford are made large quantities of hollow ware, and other ironmongery, sufficient to supply the whole state. At Stratford a duck manufactory has been long established, and is in a flourishing state ; and paper is made in great variety at Norwich, Hartford, Newhaven, and in the county of Litchfield,

Constitution.Connecticut sends two senators and seven representatives to congress. The state government is derived from the ancient charter granted by Charles II. in 1662; by which the legislative authority is vested in a governor, deputy.governor, twelve counsellors, and the representatives of the people, styled the general assembly. They are divided into two branches, of which the governor, deputy-governor, and counsellors, form one; and the representatives the other ; and no law can pass without the concurrence of both. The governors and coun. sellors are chosen annually, and the representatives, who must not exceed two for each town, are chosen twice every year. The suffrage is universal, every freeman who “ is of age having a vote, without regard to property.*

History.The present state of Connecticut, at the time of the first arrival of the English, was possessed by the Pequot, the Mohegan, Podunk, and many other smaller tribes of Indians. In 1774, there were of the descendants of the ancient natives, only 1363 persons; the greater part of whom lived at Mohegan, between New London and Norwich; and from the natural decrease of the Indians, it is imagined that their number in this state does not now amount to 400.

The first grant of Connecticut was made by the Plymouth council to the earl of Warwick, in 1630 ; and in the year following, the earl assigned this grant to lord Say and Sele, lord Brook, and nine others. In 1633, some Indian traders settled at Windsor, and the same year, a little before the arrival of the English, a few Dutch traders

• A new constitution is about to be established in Connecticut; for which purpose numerous town and district meetings were held in 1818. The people seem to be unanimous in condemning the charter, which they have so long suffered to be in force, as materially imperfect and defective ; and altogether untit for a republican form of government.

fixed themselves at Hartford, where the remains of the settlement are still visible, on the bank of Connecticut river. In 1634, lord Say and Sele, &c. sent over a small number of men, who built a fort at Saybrook, and made a treaty with the Pequot Indians for the lands on Con. necticut river. Mr. Haynes and Mr. Hooker left Massachusetts in 1634, and settled at Hartford; and the following year Mr. Eaton and Mr. Davenport seated themselves. at New haven. In 1644, the Connecticut adventurers purchased of Mr. Fenwick, agent to the proprietors, their right to the colony for £1,600.

For many years after this period, Newhaven and Connecticut continued two distinct governments; and from their first settlement, increased rapidly. Large tracts of land were purchased of the Indians, and new towns settled from Stamford to Stonington, and far back into the country; when, in 1661, major John Mason, as agent for the colonists, bought of the natives all lands which had not before been purchased by particular towns, and made a public surrender of them to the colony, in the presence of the general assembly. A petition was then presented to king Charles II., praying him to grant a charter; and in 1662 their request was complied with, and a charter granted, constituting the two colonies for ever one body corporate and politic, by the name of “ The governor and company of Connecticut.” Newhaven took this affair very ill, but in 1665 all difficulties were amicably adjusted; and, as has been already observed, this charter bas continued to be the basis of their government ever since.

In 1672, the laws of the colony were revised, and ordered to be printed ; and also that every family should buy one of the law books. Perhaps it is owing to this early and aniversal spread of “ law books” that the people of Connecticut are, to this day, so preposterously fond of law.

The years 1675 and 1676 were distinguished by the wars with king Philip and his Indians, by which the colony was thrown into great distress and confusion. The inroads of the enraged savages were marked with cruel murders, and with fire, and devastation, In 1684, the charter of Massachusetts and Plymouth were taken away, and the charter of Connecticut would have shared the same fate, had it not been for the vigilance of a Mr. Wandsworth, who, having very artfully procured it when it was on the point of being delivered up, buried it under an oak tree in Hartford, where it remained till all danger was over, and then was dug up and reassumed.

In 1750, the laws of Connecticut were again revised and

published; and Dr. Douglass observes, that they were “ the most patural, equitable, plain, and concise code of laws, for plantations, hitherto extant." There has been a revision of them since the peace of 1783, in which they were greatly, and very judiciously simplified.

STATE OF NEW YORK.

Situation, Boundaries, and Extent. This interesting state is situated between 40° 33' and 45° N. lat. and 3° 43' E, and 2° 43' W. long. It is bounded on the north by lake Ontario, which separates it from Upper Canada; south, by Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the Atlantic ocean; east, by Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut; and west, by Upper Canada, lake Erie, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. Its length from east to west is 256, and its breadth from north to south 198 miles ; but it is very irregular. The square contents amount to 46,000 square miles, or 28,440,000 acres; being 19,000 square miles larger than Scotland.

Bays, lakes, and rivers.-York bay spreads to the southward before the city of New York, and is nine miles long and four broad. It is formed by the confluence of East and Hudson's rivers, and embosoms several small islands, of which Governor's island is the principal. It communicates with the ocean through the Narrows, between Staten and Long islands, which are scarcely two miles apart; the passage up to New York is safe, and not above twenty miles in length. South-bay is an arm of lake Champlain, (described in page 29) which from the south end of the lake extends itself in a south-westerly direction. At the strait where it unites with Champlain, it receives Wood creek from the south.

The lakes in this state are very numerous; there being no less than fifteen, from ten to forty miles in length, and many smaller ones, exhibiting as great an extent, variety, and beauty of inland water scenery as all the other states together. Lake George lies to the southward of lake Champlain, and its waters are about 100 feet higher. The portage between the two lakes is á mile and a half; but with a small expense might be reduced to sixty yards, and with one or two locks it might be made navigable through. It is a most clear, beautiful collection of water, thirty-six miles long, and from one to seven wide; it embosoms between 2 and 300 islands, which are in general little more than barren rocks, covered with heath, and a few trees and shrubs, with abundance of rattle-snakes. This fine lake is skirted by prodigious mountains, and is celebrated for the quantity and variety of its fish. The famous fort of Ticonderoga, which stood at the north side of the outlet of the lake, is now in ruins. The other principal lakes are Oneida, Onondago, Skaneateless, Owasca, Cayuga, Seneca, Canandagua, and Chataughqué.

Oneida lake, in Onondago county, is between twenty and thirty miles long and about five wide ; it is connected with lake Ontario on the west by Oswego river, and with fort Stanwix, on Mohawk river, by Wood creek. Onondago lake, in the county of the same name, is about six miles long and a mile broad, and sends its waters to Seneca river. It is strongly impregnated with saline particles, occasioned by salt springs a few yards from its banks, These springs are capable of producing immense quantities of salt, and are a great benefit to the country. Skaneateless lake, in the same county, is fourteen miles long and one broad; it waters the military townships of Marcellus and Sempronius, and sends its waters northerly into Seneca river.

Owasco lake, partly in the townships of Aurelius and Scipio, in Onondago county, is about eleven miles long and one broad, and communicates with Seneca river on the north by a stream which runs through the town of Brutus. Cayuga is a beautiful lake in Cayuga county, from thirtyfive to forty miles long, and from two to three miles wide; abounding with salmon, bass, cat-fish, eels, &c. During the spring of 1818 not less than 8,000 tons of gypsum, or plaster of Paris, were brought from the eastern side of this lake to the village of Ithaca, in Seneca county, and thence carried in waggons to Oswego, on Susquehanna river, a distance of twenty-nine miles; in this convey. ance more than 300 teams were at one time employed. From Oswego it was conveyed in arks and on rafts down the river, and sold to the farmers of Pennsylvania. At Ithaca the gypsum is worth four dollars a ton, at Oswego ter dollars, and in the Pennsylvania market eighteen dollars. A small quantity of it having been conveyed to the head of the Allegany, and down that river 260 miles to Pittsburgh, was there sold at fifty dollars a ton.

Seneca lake, in Ontario county, is a handsome piece of water nearly forty miles long and about two wide. At the north-west corner of the lake stands the town of Geneva, and on the east side, between it and Cayuga, are the towns of Romulus, Ovid, Hector, and Ulysses, in Onondago county. A quarry of very elegant marble, beautifully variegated, of an excellent quality, and proof against fire, has lately been discovered on the banks of this lake. Its outlet is Scayace river, which also receives the waters of Cayuga lake, eighteen miles below Geneva, Canandaigua lake and creek are also in Ontario county ; the lake is about twenty miles long and three broad, and sends its waters in a north-east direction thirty-five miles, to Seneca river. Chautaughque lake, in Genessee county, is twenty-two miles long and from two to six wide, at the head of which stands the pleasant village of Fredonia, possessing a good boat and raft navigation to Pittsburgh and New Orleans; the portage from Fredonia to lake Erie is only nine miles over a good road. Six or eight miles east of Chautaughque lake are the three Casdaga lakes, from one to five miles in circumference, and discharging their waters into the east branch of the river Conuewango.

There are many fiue rivers in this state ; the princi. pal of which are the Hudson, or North river, the Mohawk, the Oneida, and the Genessee; together with above twenty others navigable by boats and rafts. The Hudson passes its whole course in the state of New York, and is one of the largest and finest rivers in the United States. It rises in a mountainous country between lakes Ontario and Champlain, and from thence to its entrance into York bay is about 250 miles in length; the tide flows a few miles above Albany, which is 170 miles from New York. The river is navigable for sea vessels to Albany, and to Troy, five miles distant; but smaller vessels may proceed a considerable way further. The bed of this river, which is deep and smooth to an amazing distance, through a hilly, rocky country, and even through ridges of some of the highest mountains in the United States, must un. doubtedly have been produced by some mighty convulsion in nature; its passage through the highlands, which is about seventeen miles, affords a wild romantic scene.

The two celebrated canals which are to connect the Hudson with lakes Erie and Champlain are carrying on with great activity, and, in all probability, will be completed within the time appointed. The first of these, or Grand Western Canal, commenced in July, 1816; many

« AnteriorContinuar »