Imagens das páginas

state and Philadelphia, and also between New York and that city, enjoys a considerable inland trade. The streets are very commodious, and the houses neatly built. The public buildings are, the state-house, an episcopal church, a presbyterian church, a quaker, and a methodist meetinghouse. In the neighbourhood of this pleasant town are a number of gentlemen's seats, finely situated on the banks of the river, and ornamented with taste and elegance. Trenton bridge, over the Delaware, is perhaps the most beautiful structure of the kind in the United States. It consists of five arches of 194 feet span each, built of white pine timber, and supported on strong stone piers: the whole length is 970 feet, the breadth thirty-six. The arches are elevated over-head by substantial rafters, and the platform, or carriage-way, is suspended by these arches, and forms a plane the whole length of the bridge. Above the top of the arches the roof is covered in, so as to secure the whole from the weather; and the carriageway is divided into two sections, each of which is appropriated to travellers in one direction. At the entrance, passengers are directed to take the road on the right hand. Brunswick is an incorporated city, on the south-west bank of the Raritan river, in a low situation, and not very handsome; but it seems to be improving. This town was originally settled by Dutch people, who still compose one half of the inhabitants ; and have here three Dutch churches: the other public buildings worthy of notice, are the court-house and academy, which last is a very thriving seminary. One of the most elegant and expensive bridges in the United States has been built over the river opposite to this city. The lands in the neighbourhood appear rough and rocky; nevertheless very good crops are raised, particularly of grass, in conse. quence of applying plaster of Paris as a manure. The inhabitants have a considerable inland trade, and a number of small vessels belong to the port. Newark, the capital of Essex county, is a beautiful town, ten miles from the city of New York, pleasantly situated at a small distance from Passaic river, near its mouth in Newark-bay. It is regularly laid out in broad streets, on a fine plain, and contains a great number of excellent houses. The public buildings are, an episcopal church, two presbyterian churches, one of which is the largest and most elegant building of the kind in the state, a court-house, and an academy. It is a manufacturing town of considerable importance: carriages and chairs are

made on a very extensive scale; but the principal manufacture is shoes, of which above 200 pairs are made daily throughout the year. The inhabitants have a pretty extensive inland trade, and a bank to assist their commercial operations. The adjacent country is highly cultivated, and it produces excellent cider; of which large quantities are made here annually. Burlington city stands on the banks of the Delaware, eighteen miles north-east from Philadelphia, and eleven South-west from Trenton. The main streets are conveniently spacious, and mostly ornamented with rows of trees in the fronts of the houses, which are regularly arranged. The river opposite the town is about a mile wide, and under shelter of two islands, affords a safe and convenient harbour; but, though well situated for trade, Burlington is too near the opulent city of Philadelphia to admit of any considerable increase of foreign commerce. The societies of friends, episcopalians, methodists, and baptists have spacious and meat buildings for public worship; there are also two academies, a free school, a city hall, public library, a jail, a large brewery, and an excellent distillery; if that can be called excellent which produces a poison both of health and morals. Princeton is handsomely situated on elevated ground, partly in Middlesex and partly in Somerset counties, fiftythree miles from New York, and forty from Philadelphia. It contains about 100 houses, a presbyterian church, and a celebrated college, which has produced a great number of eminent scholars. This institution is well endowed, and once possessed a valuable philosophical apparatus and a library; both of which were almost entirely destroyed by the British army during the revolutionary war. Besides the towns already mentioned, there are Elizabethtown, Perth-Amboy, Shrewsbury, Middleton, &c.; none of which merit a particular description. The principal religious denominations in this state are presbyterians and quakers, which are nearly equal in numher; the other sects are baptists, episcopalians, Dutch reformed, methodists, and a settlement of Moravians. All these live together in peace and harmony, and worship the Almighty agreeably to the dictates of their consciences; they are not compelled to attend or support any worship *ontrary to their own faith and judgment. All protestant inhabitants of peaceable behaviour, are eligible to the oivil offices of the state. Learning has not been attended * in this state according to its importance; for though "ere are numerous seminaries for the higher branches of

education, yet there is a lamentable deficiency of common
schools. Besides the college at Princeton, there is an-
other at Brunswick called Queen's college, and academies
at Freehold, Trenton, Hackinsack, Orangedale, Elizabeth-
town, Burlington, and Newark; and grammar schools at
Springfield, Morristown, Bordentown, and Amboy. The
usual mode of education throughout the country has
hitherto been, for the inhabitants of a village or neigh-
bourhood to join in affording a temporary support for a
schoolmaster. But the encouragement which these occa-
sional teachers meet with is generally such, as that no
person of abilities adequate to the business will under-
take it; and of course little advantage has been derived
from these schools: the improvement of the scholars being
generally in proportion to the pay of the teacher.
The character of the inhabitants is by a concurrence of
circumstances, rendered various in different parts of the
state. The country in general is settled with frugal and
industrious farmers, who, except in the towns, make the
greater part of their own clothing. The population is
composed of Dutch, Germans, English, Scottish, Irish,
and New Englanders, or their descendants. National
attachment, and mutual convenience, have for the most
part induced these several kinds of people to settle toge-
ther in a body; and in this way their peculiar national
manners, customs, and character, are still preserved;
especially among the working classes, who have little
intercourse with any but those of their own nation. Reli-
gion also, though it never produces any controversies in
this free and happy country, yet occasions wide differ-
ences as to habits, usages, and even morals. There is like-
wise another very perceptible difference, which arises from
the intercourse of the inhabitants with different states.
The people of West Jersey trade to Philadelphia, and of
course imitate their fashions, and imbibe their manners.
The citizens of East Jersey trade to New York, and regulate
their fashions and manners according to those of that great
mercantile city: so that the difference in regard to cus-
toms and fashions between East and West Jersey is nearly
as great as between New York and Philadelphia. It may,
however, in truth be said, that the people of New Jersey
are generally industrious, frugal, friendly, and hospitable.

Trade, manufactures, agriculture, &c.—This state has hardly any foreign commerce, nearly the whole being carried on through the medium of those two great com

[ocr errors]

mercial cities, Philadelphia on the one side, and New York on the other. The principal sea-ports are Amboy and Burlington; but the direct exports amount to only a few thousand dollars annually, as may be seen by referring to page 83. The articles exported are wheat, flour, horses, live cattle, hams, (which are celebrated for their excellence,) lumber, flax seed, leather, iron in great quantities, in pigs and bars; and formerly copper ore was reckoned among their most valuable exports; but the mines have not been worked to any advantage for several years. The imports consist chiefly of dry and West India goods, with teas, &c. from the East Indies; all of which are supplied through the large cities already meutioned. The manufactures of this state were for many years greatly neglected, and very inconsiderable, before the establishment of the extensive works on the Passaic river in 1791, already described. But the iron manufacture is of all others the greatest source of wealth to the state; and is carried on to a vast extent in Gloucester, Burlington, Morris, Sussex, and other counties. The mountains in the county of Morris give rise to a number of streams, necessary and convenient for these works, and at the same time furnish a copious supply of wood, and ore of a superior quality. In this county alone iron ore might be raised sufficient to supply all the United States; there are now eight or ten rich mines in operation, and to work the ore into iron there are furnaces, rolling and slitting-mills, and many forges, containing from two to four fires each. These works produce annually about 600 tons of bar iron, and 1,000 tons of pigs; besides large quantities of hollow ware, sheet iron, and nail rods. In the whole state it is supposed there is yearly made about 1,500 tons of bar iron, the same quantity of pigs, and 100 tons of nail rods, exclusive of hollow ware, and various other castings, of which vast quantities are produced. Besides the iron manufacture, there are those of leather, glass, and paper to a considerable amount. In Trenton, Newark, and Elizabethtown, are several very valuable tan-yards, where much leather, and of an excellent quality, is made and exported to the neighbouring markets. Glass is manufactured in Gloucester county; and in several parts of the state paper-mills and nail manufactories are established, and worked to good account. In the western counties, wheat is made into flour, and Indian corn into meal, and both are sold to great advantage, particularly the former, wheat being the staple come modity of those districts.

The produce of the state is wheat, rye, barley, oats, Indian corn, potatoes, and other vegetables, with a vast quantity of fruit; and butter and cheese to a great amount, for the supply of the New York and Philadelphia markets. But though the bulk of the inhabitants are farmers, yet agriculture has not been improved to that degree, which the fertility of the soil, in many places, seems to encourage. A great proportion of the people are Dutch, who, although they are neat and industrious in the management of their farms, have very little taste for improvements: because through habits, and want of education, they think their old modes of husbandry the best. This has long been the case with the great body of the common people, and has hitherto proved a powerful obstacle to the progress of agriculture; but of late years, the example of the more intelligent occupiers of land have had a most bene: ficial influence on their less enterprising neighbours, and a spirit of agricultural improvement seems to prevail amongst farmers of every description throughout the state of New Jersey.

Constitution.—The government of this state is vested in a governor, legislative council, and general assembly. The governor is chosen annually by the council and assembly jointly. The legislative council is composed of one member from each county, chosen annually by the people; they must be worth £1,000 in real and personal estate within the county, and have been freeholders and inhabitants of the counties they represent for one year. The general assembly is composed of three members from each county, chosen as above: each of them must be worth #500 in real and personal estate within the county, and have been freeholders and inhabitants for a year. All these, on taking their seats in the legislature must swear, “that they will not assent to any law, vote, or proceeding, which shall appear to them injurious to the public welfare of the state, or that shall annul or repeal that part of the constitution which establishes annual elections, nor that part respecting trial by jury, nor that part which secures liberty of conscience.” None of the judges, sheriffs, nor any person holding a post of profit under the governor, except justices of the peace, is entitled to a seat in the assenbly. All inhabitants of full age, worth £50, who have resided for twelve months in any county before the election, may vote in that county for representatives in both houses of assembly, and for all public officers.

« AnteriorContinuar »