Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

The plan of the city is regular, and opens beautiful pros. pects; but many of the streets are too marrow for so large a place and so warm a climate. The houses are partly built of brick and partly of wood, many of which are elegant, and most of them are meat, airy, and well furnished. The public buildings are a court-house, an exchange, college, armoury, three banks, alms-house, orphan's-house, &c. and eighteen places for public worship, belonging to episcopalians, independents, Scotch presbyterians, baptists, German Lutherans, quakers, French protestants, methodists, Roman catholics, unitarians, and Jews. The mar: kets are tolerably well attended to, but provisions are by no means so good as they are in the northern states, though much higher in price. The following were the rates in Charleston market, at the latter end of April, 1819: Beef pork, and mutton, 10d. sterling per lb.; lamb and weal, 13}d. ; fowls, 6s. 9d. per pair; ducks, 4s. 6d. each; turkeys, 1 1s. 3d. : there were no geese on sale, and fish were very scarce and dear. The people of Charleston have been long celebrated for politeness and hospitality; and, in:

deed, no where can unaffected kindness, affability, and

good manners, be found in a greater degree than in this city. - - - Here are no manufactures of importance, but there is a very active commerce, particularly in the winter season; and a great number of ships are constantly arriving and departing, which causes the city to be very lively. The principal foreign trade is to Europe and the West Indies; of which Great Britain occupies a large share, and a con. siderable portion is confined to Glasgow. The great articles for exportation are cotton and rice, particularly the former; and the imports consist of East and West India goods, groceries, and British manufactures. Nearly all the shipping of South Carolina belong to the port of Charleston; the tonnage of which amounted to 52,888 tons, when that of the whole state was no more than 53,926 tons. Besides the foreign commerce of this city, it has an extensive inland trade with the Upper Carolinas and Georgia; the inhabitants of those districts preferring Charleston to Wilmington and Savannah, because in the former place commerce is more active, and the sales more easy. The articles they carry there consist chiefly in short cotton, tobacco, hams, salt butter, wax, stag and bear skins, and cattle. They take in return, coarse iron ware, tea, coffee, powder sugar, coarse cloths, and fine linen. Charleston is 62 miles distant from Georgetown, 114 from Savannah, 580 from Nashville, Tennessee, 544 from the city of Washington, and 686 from Philadelphia. N. lat. 32° 44'. Georgetown, the only seaport in South Carolina, except Charleston, is situated at the confluence of Pedee and Black rivers, twelve miles from the sea. Its situation connects it with an extensive back country of both the Carolinas, and it would be a place of great importance, were it not for a bar at the entrance of the bay, which prevents the admission of large vessels. It has nevertheless a considerable trade, particularly in rice, of which it is said that the lands in its neighbourhood produce 30,000 tierces annually. The houses are chiefly built of wood, and are but indifferent. The public buildings are a courthouse, academy, and jail; four places for worship, of which the episcopalians, baptists, presbyterians, and methodists have one each. In the academy, orphans and indigent children are educated gratis. Columbia, on the Congeree river, l 13 miles from Charleston, and 507 from Washington, is the seat of government for this state, and is a place of considerable trade. - The streets are regular, but the number of houses yet built does not exceed 200; they are almost all of wood, and painted gray and yellow; and though there are few of them more than two stories high, they have a very respectable appearance. The public offices have, in some measure, been divided, for the accommodation of the inhabitants of the lower counties, and a branch of each retained in Charleston. The South Carolina college is established in this town, and was incorporated in 1801. The inhabitants of the upper country, who do not approve of sending their provisions to Charleston, stop at Columbia, where they dispose of them at several respectable stores established in the town. Beaufort, the chief town of the district of that name, is situated at the mouth of Coosawatchie river, is a pleasant little place of about 200 houses, an episcopal and a baptist church, four school houses, and 1,000 inhabitants, who are distinguished for their hospitality and politeness. It is a thriving town, in a healthy situation, 71 miles northwest of Charleston, and bids fair to become a place of consideration. Camden, the principal town of Kershaw county, stands on the east side of Wateree river, 35 miles north-east of Columbia, and 121 north-west of Charleston. It is regularly laid out, and contains about 200 houses, an episcopal church, a court-house and jail. The navigable river on which the town stands, enables the inhabitants to carry

on a lively trade with the back country. This town, or near it, was the scene of two battles during the revolutionary war. On the 16th of August, 1780, between general Gates and lord Cornwallis, in which the Americans were defeated. The other on the 25th April, 1781, when lord Rawdon (now marquis of Hastings) sallied out of the town with 800 men, and attacked the American camp under general Green. The Americans had 126 men killed, and 100 taken prisoners, and the British had 100 killed. About a fortnight afterwards the town was evacuated, after lord Rawdon had burned the jail, all the mills, many private houses, and a part of his own baggage.—Besides these towns, are Purysburgh, Cambridge, Orangeburgh, Newbury, Pendleton, Winnsborough, Fairfield, &c. all inconsiderable villages, of from 40 to 80 dwelling-houses. Since the revolution, by which all denominations of Christians were put upon an equal footing, there have been no disputes between different religious sects. They all agree to differ. The upper parts of the state are settled chiefly by presbyterians, baptists, and methodists. From the most probable calculations, it is supposed that the religious classes of this state, as to numbers, may be ranked as follows: presbyterians, including the congregational and independent churches, episcopalians, baptists, methodists, &c. In the character and manners of the people of South Carolina there is no peculiarity, except what arises from the mischievous influence of slavery; which, of course, produces the same effects here as in other places. This pernicious system, by exempting great numbers from the necessities of labour, leads to luxury, dissipation, and extravagance; but notwithstanding, the people have considerably improved in education and morals since the revolution. The Carolinians sooner arrive at maturity, both in their bodies and minds, than the natives of colder climates. They possess a natural quickness and vivacity superior to the inhabitants of the north; but too generally want their enterprise and perseveranee. The wealth produced by the labour of slaves, furnishes their proprietors with the means of hospitality; and no people in the world use their means with more liberality: they are generally affable and easy in their manners, and polite and attentive to strangers. It was customary for a long time, for the more wealthy planters to send their sons to Europe for education; and even now they frequently send them to the northern states; but the practice is gradually declining, and the desire has

become general to have respectable seminaries in the state. The South Carolina college at Columbia, already noticed, is very liberally endowed ; and there are several other colleges and academies throughout the state, particularly at Beaufort, Winnsborough, Cambridge, and Charleston. The towns are pretty well supplied with common schools, but they are defective in the country; and this branch of education being the basis of the morality of the state, deserves, and will no doubt receive, the early attention of the legislature.

Trade, manufactures, &c.—The foreign trade of South Carolina is with Europe and the West Indies. To these countries are exported rice, indigo, cotton, tobacco, tar, itch, turpentine, timber, skins, ludian corn, leather, &c. he imports chiefly consist of British manufactures, wines, spirits, groceries, salt, cordage, mahogany, &c. The exports, in 1791, amounted to 2,693,267 dollars; in 1796, to 7,620,049; in 1799, to 8,729,015; in 1805, to 9,060,625; and in 1817, to 10,372,613 dollars, of which 9,944,343 was domestic produce. The little attention that has hitherto been paid to manufactures, occasions a vast consumption of foreign imported articles; but the quantity and quality of the article exported generally leave a balance in favour of the state. Charleston is by far the most considerable city on the sea-coast for an extent of 600 miles. The average annual amount of exported native oommodities from this port alone, is not less than 4,000,000 dollars. Besides supplying nearly all the inhabitants of South Carolina with imported goods, it is also the great emporium for most of the people of North Carolina and Georgia. The harbour continues open all the winter, and its contiguity to the West India islands gives the merchants superior advantages for carrying on a peculiarly lucrative COmmerce. The manufactures of this state are mostly of the domestic kind, for family use. In the middle, and especially in the upper country, the inhabitants manufacture their own cotton and woollen cloths, and most of their husbandry tools; but in the lower districts, for these articles, the people depend almost entirely upon their merchants. In the interior parts of the state, cotton, flax, and hemp, are in great abundance, with a large stock of good sheep, and great improvements have been made in family manufactures: the women perform the weaving, and leave the men to attend to agriculture. There are several considerable iron works in this state, particularly in York county, near Catabaw river, where within two miles of the furnace an inexhaustible quantity of excellent ore may be found. The manufacture of indigo is also arrived at tolerable perfection, and bids fair to rival that of France, or even Spain. The forests furnish timber of the very best kind for ship-building ; the live oak, and the pitch and yellow pines being of a superior quality. But it must be acknowledged, that manufactures of all kinds in South Carolina are still in a state of infancy.

Constitution.—The civil government is, like that of the other states, legislative, executive, and judiciary. The legislative power is vested in a general assembly, consist. ing of a senate and house of representatives. The senators are chosen for four years, and one half vacate their seats every two years. They must be thirty-five years of age, and possessed of a freehold estate of the value of £300 sterling, clear of debt. Every free white man of the age of twenty-one years, being a citizen of the state, and having resided therein two years previous to the election, votes for the members of both branches of the legislature, in the place where he resides, or where he has his freehold. The representatives must be twenty-one years of age, and be possessed of a freehold estate of £150, clear of debt. The executive government is vested in a governor, chosen for two years, by the legislature; and the qualifications to fill that office are, that he be thirty years of age, and be possessed of £1,500 sterling. The judges of the superior courts, commissioners of the treasury, secretary of state, and surveyor general, are all elected by the legislature. The liberty of the press is for ever to be preserved inviolate. All religious societies, who acknowledge that there is one God, a future state of rewards and punishments, and that God is to be publicly worshipped, are freely tolerated. Ministers of the gospel are ineligible to any of the civil offices of the state.—The laws of this state have nothing in them of a particular nature, excepting what arises from the permission of slavery. The evidence of a slave cannot be taken against a white man; and the master who kills his slave is not punishable, otherwise than by a pecuniary fine, and twelve months imprisonment.

History.—An account of the first British settlement in Carolina has been already given, page 13; but nothing was effectually done towards the final establishment of the colony before the year 1669. At this time the proprietors,

« AnteriorContinuar »