* A Distributed Proofreaders Canada eBook *

This ebook is made available at no cost and with very few restrictions. These restrictions apply only if (1) you make a change in the ebook (other than alteration for different display devices), or (2) you are making commercial use of the ebook. If either of these conditions applies, please contact a FP administrator before proceeding.

This work is in the Canadian public domain, but may be under copyright in some countries. If you live outside Canada, check your country's copyright laws. IF THE BOOK IS UNDER COPYRIGHT IN YOUR COUNTRY, DO NOT DOWNLOAD OR REDISTRIBUTE THIS FILE.

Title: American scenery, or, Land, lake, and river illustrations of transatlantic nature Volume 2

Date of first publication: 1840

Author: N.P. (Nathaniel Parker) Willis 1806-1867

Date first posted: May 24, 2015

Date last updated: May 24, 2015

Faded Page eBook #20150560

This ebook was produced by: Marcia Brooks, Cindy Beyer & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net


































1The Catterskill Falls, from below1
2The Catterskill Falls, from above the Ravine2
3Winter Scene on the Catterskills4
4Rogers’ Slide, Lake George7
5The Gothic Church, Newhaven9
6Niagara Falls from the top of the Ladder on the American side11
7Saw-Mill at Centre Harbour, Lake Winnipiseogee12
8Little Falls, on the Mohawk14
9Bridge at Norwich, Connecticut16
10Undercliff, near Cold Spring18
11Boston, and Bunker Hill, from the East23
12Mount Jefferson, from Mount Washington25
13Mount Tom, and the Connecticut River27
14The Silver Cascade, in the Notch of the White Mountains29
15View of New York, from Weehawken30
16The President’s House from the River32
17View on the Susquehanna, at Liverpool34
18Desert Rock Light-house, Maine36
19Washington’s House, Mount Vernon38
20Village of Little Falls, Mohawk River40
21Harper’s Ferry, from the Blue Ridge42
22Barhydt’s Lake, near Saratoga43
23Fairmount Gardens, Philadelphia45
24Sing-Sing Prison, and Tappan Sea47
25Washington, from the President’s House49
26View of Baltimore51
27The Exchange and Girard’s Bank, Philadelphia53
28Principal Front of the Capitol, Washington55
29The Narrows, Lake George57
30Natural Bridge, Virginia59
31View of the Passaic Falls61
32View of Northumberland, on the Susquehanna63
33Pulpit Rock, White Mountains65
34View of Hudson City, and the Catskill Mountains67
35Scene among the Highlands on Lake George69
36Schuylkill Water Works, Philadelphia71
37The United States Bank, Philadelphia73
38Brock’s Monument, from the American Side75
39Village of Catskill77
40View from Gowanus’ Heights, Brooklyn79
41View on the Susquehanna, above Owago81
42Bridge at Glens Fall, on the Hudson84
43View from Mount Ida, near Troy85
44View from Glenmary Lawn, on the Owago87
45View near Anthony’s Nose, Hudson Highlands90
46Washington’s Monument, Baltimore92
47East Port, and Passamaquoddy Bay94
48Cemetery of Mount Auburn97
49Northampton, Massachusetts98
50Chapel of our Lady of Coldspring100
51The Mountain House, on the Catskills102
52Faneuil Hall, from the Water104


The Catterskill Falls, from below.



From the precipice whence our first view of this Fall is taken, the descent is steep and slippery to the very brink of the torrent, which it is necessary to cross on the wild blocks which lie scattered in its rocky bed. From thence, literally buried in forest foliage, the tourist will enjoy a very different, but, perhaps, more striking and picturesque view than the other. The stream, at a vast height above him, is seen leaping from ledge to ledge—sometimes lost, sometimes sparkling in sunshine, till it courses impetuously beneath the rock on which he is seated, and is lost in the deep unbroken obscurity of the forest. The rocky ledges above, worn by time, have the appearance of deep caverns, and beautifully relieve the fall of the light and silvery stream. In the winter, the vast icicles which are suspended from the ledges of rock, and shine like pillars against the deep obscurity of the caverns behind, afford a most romantic spectacle, one which has afforded a subject to Bryant for one of the most imaginative of his poems.


“Midst greens and shades the Catterskill leaps

  From cliffs where the wood-flower clings;

All summer he moistens his verdant steeps

  With the sweet light spray of the mountain springs;

And he shakes the woods on the mountain side,

When they drip with the rains of autumn-tide.

“But when, in the forest bare and old,

  The blast of December calls,

He builds, in the starlight clear and cold,

  A palace of ice where his torrent falls,

With turret, and arch, and fretwork fair,

And pillars blue as the summer air.

“For whom are those glorious chambers wrought,

  In the cold and cloudless night?

Is there neither spirit nor motion of thought

  In forms so lovely and hues so bright?

Hear what the grey-haired woodmen tell

Of this wild stream, and its rocky dell.

“ ’Twas hither a youth of dreamy mood,

  A hundred winters ago,

Had wandered over the mighty wood,

  When the panther’s track was fresh on the snow;

And keen were the winds that came to stir

The long dark boughs of the hemlock fir.

“Too gentle of mien he seemed, and fair,

  For a child of those rugged steeps;

His home lay low in the valley, where

  The kingly Hudson rolls to the deeps;

But he wore the hunter’s frock that day,

And a slender gun on his shoulder lay.

“And here he paused, and against the trunk

  Of a tall grey linden leant,

When the broad clear orb of the sun had sunk

  From his path in the frosty firmament,

And over the round dark edge of the hill

A cold green light was quivering still.

“And the crescent moon, high over the green,

  From a sky of crimson shone,

On that icy palace, whose towers were seen

  To sparkle as if with stars of their own;

While the water fell, with a hollow sound,

’Twixt the glistening pillars ranged around.

“Is that a being of life, that moves

  Where the crystal battlements rise?

A maiden, watching the moon she loves,

  At the twilight hour, with pensive eyes?

Was that a garment which seemed to gleam

Betwixt the eye and the falling stream?

“ ‘Tis only the torrent tumbling o’er,

  In the midst of those glassy walls,

Gushing, and plunging, and beating the floor

  Of the rocky basin in which it falls:

'Tis only the torrent—but why that start?

Why gazes the youth with a throbbing heart?

“He thinks no more of his home afar,

  Where his sire and sister wait;

He heeds no longer how star after star

  Looks forth on the night, as the hour grows late.

He heeds not the snow-wreath, lifted and cast

From a thousand boughs, by the rising blast.

“His thoughts are alone of those who dwell

  In the halls of frost and snow,

Who pass where the crystal domes upswell

  From the alabaster floors below,

Where the frost-trees bourgeon with leaf and spray,

And frost-gems scatter a silvery day.

“ ‘And oh that those glorious haunts were mine!’

  He speaks, and throughout the glen

Their shadows swim in the faint moonshine,

  And take a ghastly likeness of men,

As if the slain by the wintry storms

Came forth to the air in their earthly forms.

“There pass the chasers of seal and whale,

  With their weapons quaint and grim,

And bands of warriors in glimmering mail,

  And herdsmen and hunters huge of limb—

There are naked arms, with bow and spear,

And furry gauntlets the carbine rear.

“There are mothers—and oh, how sadly their eyes

  On their children’s white brows rest!

There are youthful lovers—the maiden lies

  In a seeming sleep on the chosen breast;

There are fair wan women with moon-struck air,

The snow-stars flecking their long loose hair.

“They eye him not as they pass along,

  But his hair stands up with dread,

When he feels that he moves with that phantom throng,

  Till those icy turrets are over his head,

And the torrent’s roar, as they enter, seems

Like a drowsy murmur heard in dreams.

“The glittering threshold is scarcely passed,

  When there gathers and wraps him round

A thick white twilight, sullen and vast,

  In which there is neither form nor sound;

The phantoms, the glory, vanish all,

With the dying voice of the waterfall.

“Slow passes the darkness of that trance,

  And the youth now faintly sees

Huge shadows and gushes of light that dance

  On a rugged ceiling of unhewn trees,

And walls where the skins of beasts are hung,

And rifles glitter on antlers strung.

“On a couch of shaggy skins he lies;

  As he strives to raise his head,

Hard-featured woodmen, with kindly eyes

  Come round him and smooth his furry bed,

And bid him rest, for the evening star

Is scarcely set, and the day is for.

“They had found at eve the dreaming one,

  By the base of that icy steep,

When over his stiffening limbs begun

  The deadly slumber of frost to creep;

And they cherished the pale and breathless form,

Till the stagnant blood ran free and warm.”—Bryant.


The great proportion of evergreen trees, shrubs, and creepers, in the American mountains, make the winter scenery less dreary than would be at first imagined; but even the nakedness of the deciduous trees is not long observable. The first snow clothes them in a dress so feathery and graceful, that, like a change in the costume of beauty, it seems lovelier than the one put off; and the constant renewal of its freshness and delicacy goes on with a variety and novelty which is scarce dreamed of by those who see snow only in cities, or in countries where it is rare.

The roads, in so mountainous a region as the Catterskills, are in winter not only difficult, but dangerous. The following extracts from a sleigh ride in a more level part of the country, will serve to give an idea of it. “As we got farther on, the new snow became deeper. The occasional farm-houses were almost wholly buried, the black chimney alone appearing above the ridgy drifts; while the tops of the doors and windows lay below the level of the trodden road, from which a descending passage was cut to the threshold, like the entrance to a cave in the earth. The fences were quite invisible. The fruit-trees looked diminished to shrubberies of snow-flowers, their trunks buried under the visible surface, and their branches loaded with the still falling flakes, till they bent beneath the burden. Nothing was abroad, for nothing could stir out of the road without danger of being lost; and we dreaded to meet even a single sleigh, lest, in turning out, the horses should ’slump’ beyond their depth in the untrodden drifts. The poor animals began to labour severely, and sank at every step over their knees in the clogging and wool-like substance; and the long and cumbrous sleigh rose and fell in the deep pits like a boat in a heavy sea. It seemed impossible to get on. Twice we brought up with a terrible plunge, and stood suddenly still; for the runners had struck in too deep for the strength of the horses; and with the snow-shovels, which formed a part of the furniture of the vehicle, we dug them from their concrete beds. Our progress at last was reduced to scarce a mile in the hour, and we began to have apprehensions that our team would give out between the post-houses. Fortunately it was still warm, for the numbness of cold would have paralyzed our already flagging exertions.

“We had reached the summit of a long hill with the greatest difficulty. The poor beasts stood panting and reeking with sweat; the runners of the sleigh were clogged with hard cakes of snow, and the air was close and dispiriting. We came to a standstill, with the vehicle lying over almost on its side; and I stepped out to speak to the driver and look forward. It was a discouraging prospect; a long deep valley lay before us, closed at the distance of a couple of miles by another steep hill, through a cleft in the top of which lay our way. We could not even distinguish the line of the road between. Our disheartened animals stood at this moment buried to their breasts; and to get forward, without rearing at every step, seemed impossible. The driver sat on his box, looking uneasily down into the valley. It was one undulating ocean of snow—not a sign of a human habitation to be seen—and even the trees indistinguishable from the general mass by their whitened and overladen branches. The storm had ceased, but the usual sharp cold that succeeds a warm fall of snow had not yet lightened the clamminess of the new-fallen flakes, and they clung around the foot like clay, rendering every step a toil.”

“We heaved out of the pit into which the sleigh had settled, and for the first mile it was down hill, and we got on with comparative ease. The sky was by this time almost bare, a dark slaty mass of clouds alone settling on the horizon in the quarter of the wind; while the sun, as powerless as moonlight, poured with dazzling splendour on the snow; and the gusts came keen and bitter across the sparkling waste, rimming the nostrils as if with bands of steel, and penetrating to the innermost nerve with their pungent iciness. No protection seemed of any avail. The whole surface of the body ached as if it were laid against a slab of ice. The throat closed instinctively, and contracted its unpleasant respiration. The body and limbs drew irresistibly together, to economize, like a hedge-hog, the exposed surface. The hands and feet felt transmuted to lead; and across the forehead, below the pressure of the cap, there was a binding and oppressive ache, as if a bar of frosty iron had been let into the skull. The mind, meantime, seemed freezing up; unwillingness to stir, and inability to think of any thing but the cold, becoming every instant more decided.

“From the bend of the valley our difficulties became more serious. The drifts often lay across the road like a wall, some feet above the heads of the horses; and we had dug through one or two, and had been once upset, and often near it, before we came to the steepest part of the ascent. The horses had by this time begun to feel the excitement of the rum given them by the driver at the last halt, and bounded on through the snow with continuous leaps, jerking the sleigh after them with a violence that threatened momently to break the traces. The steam from their bodies froze instantly, and covered them with a coat like hoar-frost; and spite of their heat, and the unnatural and violent exertions they were making, it was evident, by the pricking of their ears, and the sudden crouch of the body when a stronger blast swept over, that the cold struck through even their hot and intoxicated blood.

“We toiled up, leap after leap; and it seemed miraculous to me that the now infuriated animals did not burst a blood-vessel, or crack a sinew, with every one of those terrible springs. The sleigh plunged on after them, stopping dead and short at every other moment, and reeling over the heavy drifts like a boat in a surging sea. A finer crystallization had meanwhile taken place upon the surface of the moist snow; and the powdered particles flew almost insensibly on the blasts of wind, filling the eyes and hair, and cutting the skin with a sensation like the touch of needle-points. The driver, and his maddened but almost exhausted team, were blinded by the glittering and whirling eddies; the cold grew intenser every moment, the forward motion gradually less and less; and when, with the very last effort apparently, we reached a spot on the summit of the hill, which from its exposed situation had been kept bare by the wind, the patient and persevering whip brought his horses to a stand, and despaired, for the first time, of his prospects of getting on.”

The description, which is too long to extract entire, details still severer difficulties; after which the writer and driver mounted on the leaders, and arrived, nearly dead with cold, at the tavern. Such cold as is described here, however, is what is called “an old-fashioned spell,” and occurs now but seldom.


This is an almost perpendicular precipice of great height, abutting directly upon the romantic waters of Lake George, and remarkable for the escape of an American officer, Major Rogers, who, pursued closely by a party of Indians when the lake was frozen over, descended this bluff, and escaped upon the ice. To look at it, the feat seems incredible; and so thought the pursuing Indians, who, arriving at the brow of the precipice, and not seeing his body at the bottom, attributed his disappearance to supernatural agency.

Much as we are in the habit of extolling the athletic make and superior physical qualities of the Indians of our country, the early annals prove the superiority in strength, and even in address, which was their strong point, to have been oftenest on the side of the white settlers. There are two or three very stirring examples in the annals of a small town in New Hampshire:—

“Early in the morning of the 23d April, Ephraim Dorman left the fort to search for his cow. He went northwardly, along the borders of what was then a hideous and almost impervious swamp, lying east of the fort, until he arrived near to the place where the turnpike now is. Looking into the swamp, he perceived several Indians lurking in the bushes. He immediately gave the alarm, by crying, “Indians! Indians!” and ran towards the fort. Two, who were concealed in the bushes between him and the fort, sprang forward, aimed their pieces at him, and fired; but neither hit him. They then, throwing away their arms, advanced towards him: one he knocked down by a blow, which deprived him of his senses; the other he seized, and being a strong man, an able wrestler, tried his strength and skill in his favourite mode of ‘trip and twitch.’ He tore his antagonist’s blanket from his shoulders, leaving him nearly naked. He then seized him by the arms and body, but, as he was painted and greased, he slipped from his grasp. After a short struggle, Dorman quitted him, ran towards the fort, and reached it in safety.

“Mrs. Clark was at a barn, near the Todd-house, about fifty rods distant. Leaving it, she espied an Indian near her, who threw away his gun, and advanced to make her prisoner. She gathered her clothes around her waist, and started for the fort. The Indian pursued: the woman, animated by cheers from her friends, out-ran her pursuer, who skulked back for his gun. Nathan Blake was at his barn, near where his son’s house now stands. Hearing the cry of Indians, and presuming his barn would be burnt, he determined that his cattle should not be burnt with it. Throwing open his stable door, he let them loose, and presuming his retreat to the fort was cut off, went out at a back door, intending to place himself in ambush at the only place where the river could be crossed. He had gone but a few steps, when he was hailed by a party of Indians, concealed in a shop between him and the street. Looking back, he perceived several guns pointed at him, and at this instant several Indians started up from their places of concealment near him; upon which, feeling himself in their power, he gave himself up. He was then conducted to Lucbee, and thence to an Indian village, several miles north of that place, called Conissadawga. He was a strong, athletic man, and possessed many qualities which procured him the respect of the savages. He could run with great speed; and in all the trials to which he was put, (and they were many and severe,) he beat every antagonist.

“Not long after his arrival at the village, the tribe lost a chief by sickness. As soon as his decease was made known, the women repaired to his wigwam, and with tears, sobs, and clamorous lamentations, mourned his death. The funeral ceremonies performed, the men sought Blake, dressed him in the Indian costume, and invested him with all the authority and privileges of the deceased, as one of the chiefs of the tribe, and as husband of the widow. In the family to which he now stood in the relation of father, there were, as he had often remarked, several daughters of uncommon beauty. Yet notwithstanding this good fortune, he still had difficulties to encounter. The tribe was divided into two parties, his friends and his enemies. The former consisted of the great mass of the tribe, who respected him for qualities to which they had not equal pretensions; the latter, of those who were envious of his success, and had been worsted in their contests with him. These, to humble his pride, sent far into the northern wilderness, and procured a celebrated Indian runner, to run against him. At the time assigned, the whole tribe assembled to witness the race; and a Frenchman, from Quebec, happened to be present. Perceiving the excitement among them, he advised Blake to permit himself to be beaten, intimating that fatal consequences might ensue if he did not. The race was run; and Blake, as advised by the Frenchman, permitted his antagonist to reach the goal a moment before he did. He persisted, however, after his return from captivity, in declaring that he might have beaten him, if he had tried. The event of the race restored harmony to the tribe, and Blake was permitted to live in peace.”


The area occupied by the town of New Haven is estimated to be six times as great as that of a European town with the same number of inhabitants. It was originally laid out in parallelograms, and the houses are built upon the outer sides of the squares, with large gardens meeting in the centre. Almost every house stands separate, and surrounded by shrubbery and verdure; and it is the great peculiarity of the town, that all its streets are planted with rows of elms, grown at this day to remarkable size and luxuriance. It has the appearance of a town roofed in with leaves; and it is commonly said, that, but for the spires, a bird flying over would scarce be aware of its existence. Nothing could be more beautiful than the effect of this in the streets; for, standing where any of the principal avenues cross at right angles, four embowered aisles extend away as far as the eye can follow, formed of the straight stems and graceful branches of the drooping elm, the most elegant and noble of the trees of our country. The roads below are kept moist and cool with the roof overhead; the side-walks, between the trees and the rural dwellings, are broad and shady; the small gardens in front of most of the houses are bright with flowering shrubs; and the whole scene, though in the midst of a city, breathes of nature.

The style of domestic architecture in New Haven favours the rural character of the town. Built, as was remarked before, in the midst of a garden, each house looks like what would be termed in England a cottage, or, in streets where a more ambitious style prevails, like the sort of white villa common at watering places. The green Venetian blind is universal; the broad, open hall extends through the house, showing the gay alley of a garden in the rear; and, living in the midst of a primitive and friendly community, the inhabitants sit at their low windows along the street, or promenade, without fear of rude observation, on the shady pavement before their dwellings, preserving for the place altogether that look of out-of-doors life and gaiety which, with less elegance, distinguishes Naples and other cities of southern Europe. The prettiest of English rural towns have a general resemblance to it.

In the centre of New Haven were originally laid out two open squares, divided by a street kept sacred from private buildings. The upper green is a beautiful slope, edged with the long line of the college edifices. Between the two squares stand three churches, at equal distances; two of the common order of architecture for places of public worship in this country (immense brick buildings, with tall white spires); and a third, which is presented in the drawing, a Gothic episcopal church, of singular purity and beauty. Behind and before it, spread away the verdant carpets of the two enclosed “greens;” above its turret and windows hang the drooping fans of elms, half disclosing and half concealing its pointed architecture; and to its door, from every direction, tend aisles of lofty trees, overhanging the paths with shadow, as if the first thought of the primitive settlers had been to create visible avenues to the house of God. There is scarce a more beautiful place of worship, take it all in all, in the whole of Christendom.

The trees in the magnificent avenue in front of these churches were planted by a single individual, the Hon. James Hillhouse. His example decided the character of the town, for it was followed in every street. To the enterprise of the same public-spirited gentleman, New Haven owes one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. The square in the rear of the churches was formerly, according to the English custom, used as a churchyard, and encumbered with graves, which soon threatened to overrun its limits. Mr. Hillhouse, some years since, purchased a field in the western skirt of the town, laid it out and planted it, and subsequently removed to it all the tombstones and remains from the Green; among them the headstone of the regicide Goffe. It is now one of the most beautiful of burial-places. The monuments are of white marble, or of a very rich verd antique found in the neighbourhood; and the natural elegance of the place has induced a taste and elegance into these monuments for the dead, found in no other spot of the same character.

The interior of the episcopal church is purely Gothic, and esteemed in the best taste. The material of the exterior is a brownish trap-rock from the neighbouring mountains, which, from its colour, resembles a very weather-beaten and time-worn stone, and gives a look of antiquity to the edifice. The cornices and abutments are of what a distinguished writer on the subject calls a sprightly freestone.



This is often the first near and general view of the Falls, and it is well calculated to produce the most astonishing impression on any one suddenly introduced to it. Supposing him to have arrived from Lockport, by a tedious progress through the forests, the visitor is conducted through a beautiful wood, presenting scenery of the softest character. But, with the roar of the cataract in his ear, he hurries rapidly through, till he stands on the very verge of the Fall, at the point where its mighty waters descend in one solemn unbroken mass into a gulf of spray, rising in clouds from the tortured waves beneath, and driven about by the gusts, till sometimes the whole river beneath, and the opposite shores, are momentarily concealed. As this misty curtain is withdrawn, the whole scene is disclosed. Beyond the American fall, which is immediately before him, and the wooded steeps of Goat Island, he sees the sublime curve of the Horse-shoe Fall; from below the centre of which, where the greatest mass of water descends, arises a tall and beautiful column of silvery vapour far into the sky.

At this spot is the entrance of the long covered ladder by which the descent to the ferry is accomplished. At an opening in it, half way down the precipice, people usually stop (in spite of their hurry, and that absorbing matter, the care of their baggage) to enjoy the only view, perhaps, which brings them near to the falling column in the midst of its descent. It is, indeed, “horribly beautiful.” No one has better described the effect sometimes produced on the mind at Niagara, than Basil Hall.

“On Sunday night, the 8th of July, we returned to the Falls, and walked down to the Table Rock, to view them by moonlight. Our expectations, as may be supposed, were high, but the sight was more impressive than we had expected. It possessed, it is true, what may be called a more sober kind of interest than that belonging to the wild scene behind the sheet of water above described. I may mention one curious effect:—it seemed to the imagination not impossible that the Fall might swell up, and grasp us in its vortex. The actual presence of any very powerful moving object is often more or less remotely connected with a feeling that its direction may be changed; and when the slightest variation would evidently prove fatal, a feeling of awe is easily excited. At all events, as I gazed upon the cataract, it more than once appeared to increase in its volume, and to be accelerated in its velocity, till my heated fancy became strained, alarmed, and so much over-crowded with new and old images,—all exaggerated; and in spite of the conviction that the whole was nonsense, I felt obliged to draw back from the edge of the rock; and it required a little reflection, and some resolution, to advance again to the brink.

“During the delightful period that the Falls formed our head-quarters, we made various excursions to several interesting objects in the neighbourhood. Of these, the most amusing were, a trip to Buffalo, a flourishing American town at the eastern end of Lake Erie, where the great New York canal commences; and a visit to the Welland canal, which joins Lake Erie with Lake Ontario.”



In the early records of the first settlement of Keene, in this state, on the river Asduelot, (in the Indian language, a collection of many waters,) is an account of some of their difficulties; among which was the establishment of a saw-mill. “A vote was passed,” says the record, “offering one hundred acres of middling good land, and twenty-five pounds, to any person or persons who would engage to build a saw-mill, and saw boards for the proprietors at twenty shillings per thousand.” The next year “another meeting was appointed at the house lot of Joseph Fisher, but was adjourned to the house of Nathan Blake, the first erected in the township.” A committee was here appointed, “to agree with a man to build a great mill, and they were authorized to offer not exceeding forty pounds encouragement therefor.” These early annals are highly interesting, and we cannot better associate drawings of scenes of cultivated life at the present day, than by portraying some of the steps by which the comfort and civilization of the state have been attained.

“No person,” says the record, “had hitherto attempted to remain through the winter on the township. Those who came in the summer to clear their lands, brought their provisions with them, and erected temporary huts to shelter them from the weather. In the summer of 1736, at least one house was erected; and three persons, Nathan Blake, Seth Heaton, and William Smeed, (the two first from Wrentham, and the last from Deerfield,) made preparations to pass the winter in the wilderness. Their house was at the lower end of the street. Blake had a pair of oxen and a horse, and Heaton a horse. For the support of these, they collected grass in the open spots; and in the first part of the winter they employed them in drawing logs to the saw-mill, which had just been completed. Blake’s horse fell through the ice of Beaver-brook, and was drowned. In the beginning of February their own provisions were exhausted, and, to obtain a supply of meal, Heaton was despatched to Northfield. There were a few families at Winchester, but none able to furnish what was wanted. Heaton procured a quantity of meal; but before he left Northfield, the snow began to fall; and when, on his return, he arrived at Winchester, it was uncommonly deep, and covered by a sharp crust. He was told ‘that he might as well expect to die in Northfield and rise again in Upper Ashnelot, as ride thither on horseback.’ Recollecting the friends he had left there, he nevertheless determined to make the attempt; but had proceeded only a short distance when he found that it would be impossible to succeed. He then returned, and directed his course towards Wrentham. Blake and Smeed, hearing nothing from Heaton, gave the oxen free access to the hay, left Ashnelot, and, on snow-shoes, proceeded either to Deerfield or Wrentham. Anxious for their oxen, they returned early in the spring. They found them near the Branch, south-east of Carpenter’s, much emaciated, but feeding upon twigs and such grass as was bare. The oxen recognised their owner, and exhibited such pleasure at the meeting as drew tears from his eyes.

“About this time, John Andrews came from Boxford to settle in Upper Ashnelot. He sent back Ephraim Donnan and Joseph Ellis with a team of eight oxen and a horse, to bring up his furniture. The route they came, which was probably then the best, if not the only one, led through Concord, Worcester, Brookfield, Belchertown, Hadley, Hatfield, Deerfield, Northfield, Winchester, Swanzey, and on the banks of the Ashnelot, to the house lots. When they passed through Swanzey, it rained hard, and they did not reach the station until night. As it continued to rain, was very dark, and as the water, which already covered the meadows, rose rapidly, they, apprehensive of being drowned, unyoked their oxen, chained their cart to a tree, and hastened to the settlement, then a mile distant. As soon as day-light appeared, the next morning, a boat was despatched in search of the cattle and furniture; when, passing over Bullard’s Island, a man cried to them for help. It was Mark Ferry, the hermit. Wearied with the noise and bustle of the settlement, he had retired to a cave, which he had dug into the bank of the river, where he constantly resided. The water had now driven him from his dwelling, and compelled him to seek refuge on a stump, where he then sat, with a calf in his arms, over which he had drawn a shirt. The boatman answered, “we must take care of the neat cattle first,” and passed on. They soon came to the cart, which was afloat. Proceeding further, and guided by the sound of the bells, which the cattle as usual wore, they found them on several little hillocks—some with only their heads out of water. They forced them into the water, and guided them, swimming, to high land, where they left them until the flood subsided. Hearing cries for help below them, they proceeded to Crissen’s House, in the borders of Swanzey, to the chamber and to the top of which the family had been driven. These they took off, and, on their return home, took Ferry and his calf into the canoe. This, which was known by the name of Andrew’s flood, was the highest ever known in the township. The water came within a few feet of the street north of Captain Blake’s old house.”


The cavities worn in the rocks about these Falls, afford great matter of speculation to the geologist. The rock is gneiss, and these circular pots are worn evidently by the attrition stones kept in agitation by the current of a river. The astonishing part of it is, that these cavities are, some of them, more than a hundred feet above the present level of the Mohawk, proving that river to have been thus much higher in former times, and of course a lake, whose waters must have extended far and wide over the broad interval above. The narrow passage which it makes through the hills just below, shut in by perpendicular precipices on each side, would be sufficient to have made the theory probable without the assistance of these appearances.

These cavities are very numerous, and the largest are about eight feet deep, and fifteen in diameter. The rocks exhibit evidences of having been washed by water still higher. There are analogous traces of lakes on the Connecticut and Hudson rivers, which break through the mountains in a similar manner, the first between Mount Tom and Mount Holyoke, and the latter at the Highlands; but the depth and number of these rock-worn cavities are peculiar to Little Falls.

In approaching this part of the Mohawk from the east, the stranger is first delighted with the bold abutments on the river of two dark precipices, whose summits are laden with foliage, and which rise so abruptly from the undulating banks of the Mohawk, that they seem designed as barriers to the pass. The river glides between, darkened by their shadow; and close under the face of one precipice shoots the rail-car, while as close under the opposing one glides the silent passage-boat of the canal. Emerging to the sunshine beyond, the river spreads out in its thousand windings, as if rejoicing in the space of which it is so soon to be deprived, and in a moment or two (if you are travelling by steam) your course is arrested amid the foaming and busy scenery of the Falls, the picturesque and the hideous, the wildly beautiful and the merely useful, so huddled together that the artist who would draw either the architecture or the scenery by itself, would scarce find a bit large enough for a vignette.

Alluring as the picturesque and fertile valley of the Mohawk must have been, it was not till after the revolution that it was sought by white men with a view to settle. For some years after the war, it was still the beaver country of the aborigines, or the place of their wigwams; and the country round about, now stocked with villages, and without a red-face to be seen, was a hunting-ground, in which ranged bears, foxes, wolves, deer, and other game, the Indians themselves calling it couxsachraga, or the dismal wilderness. The town of Mohawk, where the tribe dwelt up to the year 1780, is but thirty-six miles west of Albany.

General Sir William Johnson lived not many miles below Little Falls, and from this spot to Canada Creek a tract of fourteen miles was given to him on his marriage with a Mohawk girl, by King Hendricks, the faithful Indian ally of the whites. It is a curious fact, that, during the war of the revolution, a son of Sir William Johnson, in the English service in Canada, made an incursion at the head of a party of hostile Indians on the very lands once owned by his father.

The Mohawks contended very fiercely for the honour of original descent. The Iroquois, who were more powerful, they considered as interlopers; and, in the following tradition, give the basis of their pedigree:—

“Before man existed, there were three great and good spirits; of whom one was superior to the other two, and is emphatically called the Great and Good Spirit. At a certain time, this exalted being said to one of the others, ‘Make a man!’ He obeyed; and taking chalk, formed a paste of it, and moulding it into the human shape, infused into it the animating principle and brought it to the Great Spirit. He, after surveying it, said, ‘It is too white!

“He then directed the other to make a trial of his skill. Accordingly, taking charcoal, he pursued the same process, and brought the result to the Great Spirit; who, after surveying it, said, ‘It is too black!’

“Then said the Great Spirit, ‘I will now try myself.’ And, taking red earth, he formed a human being in the same manner, surveyed it and said, ‘This is a proper man!’ ”

It is possible that this is traditionary, but it is more probable that it was invented after the arrival of whites, and the introduction of blacks into the country, neither of which races the Indians had before seen.


Two Indian rivers, the Shetucket and Yautick, unite at this place to form the Thames, and in the fork of the junction lies the picturesque and prosperous town of Norwich. From the hilly nature of the ground, the buildings have a remarkably fine appearance, the streets rising one above the other, and the style of the houses denoting taste and opulence. In the rear of the hill on which the town stands is a level plain, on which are laid out several handsome streets, planted with avenues of trees. The prospects are extensive and various; and, altogether, there are few towns in the world which have so many advantages and attractions.

The Thames is navigable for large vessels as high as Norwich, and its trade with the West Indies was once considerable. That has declined, and the capital of the inhabitants is now invested principally in manufactories, for which the fine water-power of the neighbourhood furnishes peculiar facilities. As a birth-place of distinguished individuals, Norwich has produced Mrs. Sigourney, the sweetest of American poetesses; and it stands upon the natal ground and possessions of the celebrated Uncas, chief of the Mohegans. The burial-place of the kings of this warlike tribe is still to be seen here.

No spot could have been selected with more felicity than that on which Uncas formerly lived. It is a high point of land, commanding a noble and extensive view of the Thames, here a large river, and of the country on both sides. It was, therefore, well fitted for the discovery of an enemy’s approach, and furnished every convenience to hostile excursions. At the same time, it bordered on a never-failing supply of provisions, furnished by the scale and shell-fish, with which both the river and the neighbouring ocean have ever been richly stored.

Uncas was originally a petty sachem; a Pequod by birth; a subject and a tributary to Sassacus. When the English made war upon the Pequods, Uncas was unfriendly to this chieftain, and would have quarrelled with him, had he not been kept in awe by the talents and prowess of this formidable warrior. Of the English he appears to have entertained, from the first, a very respectful opinion; and, when he saw them determined upon a war with his master, concluded to unite his forces and his fortune with theirs. His dread of Sassacus was, however, so great, that when Captain Mason marched against the Pequods, he did not believe him to be serious in his professed design of attacking that terrible nation, nor did he even engage in the conflict, until after Mason and his little band of heroes had stormed the Pequod fortress.

Upon the death of Sassacus, Uncas became the sachem of the remaining Pequods, as well as of the Mohegans. In this character he claimed, perhaps rightfully enough, as there was no other acknowledged heir, all the territory which had been possessed by that tribe. This tract included almost the whole of the eastern division of Connecticut, from the middle of the Syno range. He understood his own interest too well to quarrel with the English, and had a sufficient share of cunning to support his claims with very plausible reasons. They were, therefore, very generally allowed.

From this time he became the most formidable, and altogether the most prosperous Indian chieftain in Southern New England. Over his subjects he exercised a more efficacious and unresisted government than perhaps was ever exercised by any other sachem. Nor was his control confined to them; but extended, in a considerable degree, to several of the tribes on the western side of the Connecticut. To his enemies he became scarcely less formidable than Sassacus had been before him. At the head of four or five hundred men, he met Miantonomoh, a brave and sagacious chief of the Narrhagansetts, coming to attack him with twice the number; and, after having in vain challenged him to single combat, defeated his army, took him prisoner, and put him to death. On this occasion he cut a piece of flesh from his shoulder, roasted and eat it, and, with the true spirit of a savage, declared that it was the sweetest meat which he had ever tasted in his life.

The avarice, ambition, and restlessness of this man, frequently embroiled him with his neighbours, and were sometimes troublesome to his English allies. The natives considered them as the friends of Uncas, and implicated them more or less in his mischievous conduct. When he found the English resentful, and himself severely censured, he made such submissions, promises, and presents as he thought necessary to restore their good-will, and secure his future peace. But he was not indebted for these advantages to his address alone. On several occasions he rendered them real and important assistance; and to their interests he adhered faithfully and uniformly. No Indian among the New England tribes, except Massasait, exhibited an equally steady attachment to the Colonists, or so regular an adherence to his engagements. Hence he enjoyed their public friendship, and the good-will of individuals among them, until the day of his death.

Uncas died at an advanced age, in his own house, and left his power and his property to his children. Onecho, his eldest son, commanded a party of Mohegans in a war which the English carried on against the Narrhagansetts in 1676. The family, however, soon declined in their importance by the general declension of their tribe, and the sale of their property to the English. Some years since, a man, descended from Uncas, came from North Carolina, or Tennessee, where he was settled, and obtained permission of the Connecticut legislature to sell his patrimonial share in this tract. This man had received a military commission from the British government; and it is said, was well dressed, well informed, sensible, and gentlemanly in his deportment. He was probably the only respectable descendant of Uncas then living.



The pen of the poet and the pencil of the artist have so frequently united to record the grandeur and sublimity of the Hudson, and with such graphic fidelity, that little of interest remains unsaid or unsketched. But when every point of its bold and beautiful scenery might be made the subject of a picture, and every incident of its past history the theme of a poem, it requires no great research to discover new and prominent objects of attraction. Perhaps there is no portion of this beautiful river which partakes more of the picturesque, or combines more of the wild and wonderful, than the vicinity of the present View; and when time shall touch the history of the present with the wand of tradition, and past events shall live in the memory of the future as legends, romance will never revel in a more bewitching region. Fiction shall then fling its imaginative veil over the things we have seen—covering, but not concealing them—and, in the plenitude of poetic genius, people the drama of futurity with a thousand exquisite creations, clothed in the venerated garb of antiquity.

Undercliff, the mansion of General George P. Morris, which forms the principal object in the engraving, is situated upon an elevated plateau, rising from the eastern shore of the river; and the selection of such a commanding and beautiful position at once decides the taste of its intellectual proprietor. In the rear of the villa, cultivation has placed her fruit and forest trees with a profuse hand, and fertilized the fields with a variety of vegetable products. The extent of the grounds is abruptly terminated by the base of a rocky mountain, that rises nearly perpendicular to its summit, and affords in winter a secure shelter from the bleak blasts of the north. In front, a circle of greensward is refreshed by a fountain in the centre, gushing from a Grecian vase, and encircled by ornamental shrubbery; from thence a gravelled walk winds down a gentle declivity to a second plateau, and again descends to the entrance of the carriage road, which leads upwards along the left slope of the hill, through a noble forest, the growth of many years, until suddenly emerging from its sombre shades, the visitor beholds the mansion before him in the bright blaze of day. A few openings in the wood afford an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the water, sparkling with reflected light; and the immediate transition from shadow to sunshine is peculiarly pleasing.

Although the sunny prospects from the villa, of the giant mountains in their eternal verdure—the noble stream, when frequent gusts ruffle its surface into a thousand waves—the cluster of white cottages collected into the distant village, are glorious; it is only by the lovely light of the moon, when nature is in repose, that their magic influence is fully felt. We were fortunate in having an opportunity to contemplate the scene at such an hour: the moon had risen from a mass of clouds which formed a line across the sky so level that fancy saw her ascending from the dark sea, and her silvery light lay softened on the landscape; silence was over all, save where the dipping of a distant oar was echoed from the deep shadows of the rocks. Sometimes the white sail of a sloop would steal into sight from the deep gloom, like some shrouded spirit gliding from the confines of a giant’s cavern, and recalled the expressive lines by Moore:—

“The stream is like a silvery lake,

  And o’er its face each vessel glides

 Gently, as if it feared to wake

  The slumber of the silent tides.”

In the view of Undercliff, the artist has been peculiarly happy in producing an effect at once brilliant and chaste. The broken foreground is agreeably relieved by the sparkling transparency of the water: the receding figures on the shore are judiciously introduced to mark the perspective. The projecting bluff in the middle distance is thrown into shadow, and stands out in fine contrast from the light horizon, while the lights upon the solitary rock, the entrance gate, the mansion, and the vessels, produce the effect of a setting sun; and the whole subject is treated with masterly skill. We only regret that art has not power to convey the kindly hospitalities hourly exercised in the interior of the mansion.

To enumerate the matchless and minute beauties of Undercliff, would occupy more space than the limits of our descriptive pages will permit. Its superiority, however, may be summed up in one expressive sentence, to which it is justly entitled, and which has been conceded to it by common consent—“The Gem of the Hudson River.” To the belles-lettres reader the “Gem” will acquire additional value by reflecting the light of literature: it is the home of a fine poet, and graceful prose writer. General Morris has been for many years the editor of the “New York Mirror,” a weekly journal, which circulates more extensively among the élite than any other periodical in the country. The typographic neatness of its execution, the talent of its original contributions, and the elegance of its embellishments, have placed upon it a permanent seal of popularity, and seem to have given a tone to taste, and a refinement to fashion.

General Morris has recently published a volume of lyrical effusions, called “The Deserted Bride, and other Poems.” Many of them have been written among the fairy beauties of Undercliff, and under the inspiration of that true poetic feeling which such enchanting scenes are so likely to elicit. Where so many gems of genius enrich a work, it becomes difficult to decide upon that most worthy of selection. It is not our province or intention to review the volume, but we cannot resist the inclination to make a few extracts, because they seem as beautiful accessories to the subject, and create an added interest in the engraving. Where scenes are so replete with the poetry of nature, they are best illustrated by the poetry of numbers; but we were particularly delighted with the following lines, addressed to his young daughter. The natural simplicity of the subject is well expressed by the purity of its poetic images, and breathes the refinement of paternal affection.


“Where Hudson’s wave, o’er silvery sands,

  Winds through the hills afar,

 Old Cro’nest like a monarch stands,

  Crowned with a single star:

 And there, amid the billowy swells

  Of rock-ribbed, cloud-capt earth,

 My fair and gentle Ida dwells,

  A nymph of mountain birth.

“The snow-curl that the cliff receives,

  The diamonds of the showers,

 Spring’s tender blossoms, buds and leaves,

  The sisterhood of flowers:

 Morn’s early beam, eve’s balmy breeze,

  Her purity define;

 But Ida’s dearer far than these,

  To this fond breast of mine.

“My heart is on the hills. The shades

  Of night are on my brow:

 Ye pleasant haunts and silent glades,

  My soul is with you now!

 I bless the star-crowned islands where

  My Ida’s footsteps roam:

 Oh for a falcon’s wing to bear

  Me onward to my home!”—Morris.

General Morris is not less successful in the lighter and livelier freaks of poetic fancy, as we hope to prove by a quotation from “The New York Mirror,” in which the moral of the lines is not their least merit. The melodies of the various birds which roost among the wild recesses of the rocks, or haunt the mountain forest, or sweep along the waters, are sent forth hourly in sounds of “unwritten music.” But the cry “most musical, most melancholy,” comes at the twilight hour from the clear throat of the whip-poor-will, at intervals, through the summer’s night: nor is it ever heard or seen by day; it may be called the sad unknown. The words, “whip-poor-will,” are divided into three shrill, distinct notes, and express the sounds as perfectly as if uttered by the human voice. The poetry annexed, is equally expressive of the melancholy mystery which seems to mark the mourning burden of its lonely song.


“Why dost thou come at set of sun,

  Those pensive words to say?

 Why whip poor Will?—What has he done?

  And who is Will, I pray?

“Why come from you leaf-shaded hill,

  A suppliant at my door?—

 Why ask of me to whip poor Will?

  And is Will really poor?

“If poverty’s his crime, let mirth

  From out his heart be driven:

 That is the deadliest sin on earth,

  And never is forgiven!

“Art Will himself?—It must be so—

  I learn it from thy moan,

 For none can feel another’s woe

  As deeply as his own.

“Yet wherefore strain thy tiny throat,

  While other birds repose?

 What means thy melancholy note?

  The mystery disclose.

“Still ‘whip-poor-will!’—Art thou a sprite,

  From unknown regions sent

 To wander in the gloom of night,

  And ask for punishment?

“Is thine a conscience sore beset

  With guilt—or, what is worse,

 Hast thou to meet writs, duns, and debt—

  No money in thy purse?

“If this be thy hard fate indeed,

  Ah well may’st thou repine:

 The sympathy I give, I need—

  The poet’s doom is thine.

“Art thou a lover, Will?—Hast proved

  The fairest can deceive?

 Thine is the lot of all who’ve loved

  Since Adam wedded Eve.

“Hast trusted in a friend, and seen

  No friend was he in need?

 A common error—men still lean

  Upon as frail a reed.

“Hast thou, in seeking wealth or fame,

  A crown of brambles won?

 O’er all the earth ’tis just the same

  With every mother’s son!

“Hast found the world a Babel wide,

  Where man to mammon stoops?

 Where flourish arrogance and pride,

  While modest merit droops?

“What, none of these?—Then, whence thy pain,

  To guess it who’s the skill?

 Pray have the kindness to explain

  Why I should whip poor Will?

“Dost merely ask thy just desert?

  What, not another word?—

 Back to the woods again, unhurt—

  I will not harm thee, bird!

“But treat thee kindly—for my nerves,

  Like thine, have penance done;

 Treat every man as he deserves—

  Who shall ’scape whipping?’—None.

“Farewell, poor Will—not valueless

  This lesson by thee given:

 ‘Keep thine own counsel, and confess

  Thyself alone to heaven!’ ”—Morris.

We cannot close our description without one more extract from the delightful volume before us.


“Woodman, spare that tree!

  Touch not a single bough!

 In youth it sheltered me,

  And I’ll protect it now.

 ’Twas my forefather’s hand

  That placed it near his cot;

 There, woodman, let it stand,

  Thy axe shall harm it not!

“That old familiar tree,

  Whose glory and renown

 Are spread o’er land and sea,

  And wouldst thou hack it down?

 Woodman, forbear thy stroke!

  Cut not its earth-bound ties;

 Oh spare that aged oak,

  Now towering to the skies!

“When but an idle boy

  I sought its grateful shade;

 In all their gushing joy

  Here, too, my sisters played.

 My mother kissed me here;

  My father pressed my hand—

 Forgive this foolish tear,

  But let that old oak stand!

“My heart-strings round thee cling,

  Close as thy bark, old friend!

 Here shall the wild-bird sing,

  And still thy branches bend.

 Old tree! the storm still brave!

  And, woodman, leave the spot;

 While I’ve a hand to save,

  Thy axe shall harm it not.”—Morris.



This view is taken from a long cape, sometimes cut off by water overflowing the marshes, and called William’s Island. Five or six years ago, it was a thinly cultivated and neglected spot, scarce known, except to adventurous boys, who pulled across from the city wharfs, and to the one or two farmers who inhabited it. Now, with the suddenness which attends speculation in our country, it is grown suddenly into a consequential suburb, with a showy hotel and steam ferry, and citizens and strangers resort to it to eat French dinners, and pass the hot weeks of the summer.

Boston, from this point of view, is very picturesque. The town rises gradually from the water’s edge to the height surmounted by the State House, whose lofty cupola brings to a point all the ascending lines of the picture; Dorchester Heights rise gracefully on the left limit of the bay, and Bunker-Hill, famous in American story, breaks the horizon on the right. In the centre lie the forest of shipping, and the fine ranges of commercial buildings on the water side; and, turning from this view, the harbour, with its many small islands, stretches away behind to the sea, tracked by steamers, and sprinkled by craft of every size and nation. Like every other bay in the world, that of Boston has been compared to Naples; but it has neither its violet sky, nor its volcano, yet it may be mentioned in the same day.

Close under the eye of the spectator here, lies that part of the town formerly the fashionable quarter, but now very much what Red Lion Square, and its precincts, are to London. There is still existing (or there was, some six or eight years since,) the house of Governor Hutchinson, of which the mouldings were brought from London, and in which the drawing-room panels were portraits of his family, in their youth. This is still a very roomy and well-built, and must once have been a rather luxurious house. We are apt to fancy that our strait-laced ancestors from England lived parsimoniously, and denied themselves the elegances of modern luxury; but antiquarian researches exhibit a different state of things. “In the principal houses,” says the discourse of a learned gentleman on this subject, “there was a great hall, ornamented with pictures and a great lantern, and a velvet cushion in the window-seat which looked into the garden. On either side was a great parlour, a little parlour, or study. These were furnished with great looking-glasses, Turkey carpets, window curtains and valance, pictures, and a map, a brass clock, red leather-back chairs, and a great pair of brass andirons. The chambers were well supplied with feather beds, warming-pans, and every other article that would now be thought necessary for comfort or display. The pantry was well filled with substantial fare and dainties—prunes, marmalade, and Madeira wine. Silver tankards, wine-cups, and other articles of plate, were not uncommon; and the kitchen was completely stocked with pewter, iron, and copper utensils. Very many families employed servants, and in one we see a Scotch boy valued among the property, and invoiced at 14l.

In the matter of dress, our grandames seem to have pushed the ruling passion of the sex even through the rigid crust of Puritanism. In a tract, called the “Simple Cobler of Agawam,” some righteous round-head thus expresses his indignation at their fashions:—

“Methinks it should break the hearts of Englishmen to see so many goodly Englishwomen imprisoned in French cages, peering out of their hood-holes for some men of mercy to help them with a little wit, and nobody relieves them. We have about five or six of them in our colony; if I see any of them accidentally, I cannot cleanse my phansie of them for a month after.

“It is a more common than convenient saying, that ‘nine taylors make a man:’ it were well if nineteen could make a woman to her mind. If taylors were men, indeed, well furnished but with mere moral principles, they would disdain to be led about like asses by such mymick marmosets. It is a most unworthy thing for men that have bones in them, to spend their lives in making fiddle-cases for women’s phansies.

“It is known more than enough that I am neither niggard nor cynic to the true bravery of the true gentry. I am not much offended if I see a trimme far trimmer than she that wears it; but when I hear a nugiperous gentle dame inquire what dress the queen is in, with egge to be in it in all haste, whatever it be, I look to her as the very gizzard of a trifle, the product of a quarter of a cypher, the epitome of nothing, fitter to be kickt, if she were of a kickable substance, than either honoured, or humoured.”



In looking in this direction from the elevated summit of Mount Washington, the eye drops upon a region of climate entirely different from that on its south-eastern side. The towns of Lancaster and Jefferson, though something north of the White Mountains, enjoy a benign, tranquil atmosphere, such as is not known for two or three hundred miles farther south, and with the beauty of the scenery and the number of water-courses, it is a little Arcadia in the bosom of the north. The peculiar climate felt here, is owing to the proximity of the White Mountains, which form a wall of thirty miles from north to south, either checking entirely the easterly winds, or elevating them into a region far above the surface. The westerly winds, again, impinging against the mountains, (but in an elevated part,) are arrested, leaving the towns below in the same tranquillity as is felt by a person coming near a large building in a high wind.

The snow rarely lies permanently here until after the tenth or fifteenth of December, and generally leaves it about the middle of March: at this time the earth is usually free from frost. A stick forced through the snow in the month of February enters the earth without difficulty, the snow falling so early as to prevent the frost from penetrating to any depth, and dissolving the little which had previously existed. Hence the pastures become suddenly green, and cattle are safely turned into them in the middle of April; the time of pasturage is, therefore, as long here as in Connecticut. In this manner that tedious period, known as the breaking up of the frost, is here chiefly prevented; and the warm season is annually lengthened, so far as the purposes of gardening and agriculture are concerned, about a month every year.

There is a broad tract running across the State at this point, embracing both sides of the mountains, which is generally called Upper Coos. What the meaning of this term is, would be difficult to say; but Dwight supposes, from its application to places where there are remarkable alluvial intervals, and where there are no distinguishing objects, except a peculiar winding of rivers, that one or the other of these must be denoted by the term.

In the year 1776, a farmer planted himself on the richest and most beautiful of these lands, a large share of which he left to his descendants. Valuable as his acquisition has since become, however, his first step required uncommon enterprise, industry, and perseverance. His separation from society may be understood from the fact, that, for several years after he came here to live, he carried all his corn one hundred and twenty-four miles to be ground. There was not a single road in the neighbourhood. All his communication with the world was either through the wilderness, or down the channel of the Connecticut; and this he was obliged to enter at the distance of twenty miles from his house. When any member of his family was ill, he had neither physician nor nurse, nor other medicine than his own limited stock.

Rains and snows, in this part of the country almost universally come from the western side of the heavens, and chiefly from the north-west. Snow falls here in a singular manner. A light fleecy shower descends frequently for a few minutes in the morning, when the sky becomes perfectly clear, and the day perfectly fine. In this manner it has been known to fall thirty successive days, and yet to cover the ground scarcely to the depth of six inches. By this gradual accumulation, it has sometimes arisen in the forests to the height of thirty inches; commonly it has not exceeded eighteen. Travelling in the winter, therefore, is easy and pleasant in this neighbourhood, and the weather generally delightful.

The imperfect state of settlements in a country still comparatively new, prevents many persons from forming just views of the splendour of the scenery. In a landscape of any great extent, the proportion of wild forest throws a gloom over the whole, and the eye, accustomed to the haunts of man, demands instinctively a more smiling scene of cultivation and habitation. In a more limited view, the appearance of girdled trees, of drowned woods, burnt or fallen stumps, rough enclosures, and stony land, are blemishes which an unaccustomed eye can with difficulty overcome. It requires the prospective glance of an American to see the form of nature, which is now in dishabille, restored to her neat drapery, glowing with vegetation, and decked with flowers. The outline of her fair proportions is enough for him; and so that is beautiful, as in this country it almost every where is, he can finish the portrait to his fancy, and make a flowery Tempe of a prostrate wilderness.


This fine mountain rises nobly from the fertile Interval of the Connecticut, giving a character of boldness and majesty to scenery that were else merely soft and lovely. The river at this point broke down the barrier that evidently at one time held it back from the sea; and the broad lands that were then left bare by the liberated waters, were destined to form a strip of verdure and fertility, extending the whole length of New England.

The expansions of the Valley of the Connecticut on either side of Mount Tom, are landscapes of great beauty. The word interval, which describes the wide-spreading meadows extending from the banks of the river in these expansions, has a peculiar use in America, and seems to define a formation of alluvial land not seen to the same extent in other countries. In the Southern States the same description of land is called a flat, or a bottom. They are formed by the deposit of particles of soil brought down into the main river by its tributaries, or by occasional streams created by the melting of the snow, or heavy rains. A shoal is first formed, which, as it accumulates, rises gradually above the ordinary surface, while the stream itself, if it flows like the Connecticut through a soft soil, is continually deepening its bed, and leaving these newly-formed banks out of the reach of accidental floods.

The existence of some cause to check the current, is absolutely necessary to the formation of intervals. Wherever such cause is found, intervals are found proportioned to the room furnished on the side of the stream for their formation, and the lightness of the soil about the tributary streams. These causes exist on the Connecticut in falls and points of land, and in the narrowness of the channel at particular parts shut in by mountains.

These lands are subject to many changes. Every new obliquity of the current wears away some part of the Interval, against which its force is directed. In the progress of such changes, the inhabitants of the Connecticut have already seen large tracts gradually removed from one side to the other. The former channel in the mean time has been filled up, so as, in many instances, to leave no trace of its existence, and a new one has been made through the solid ground.

The soil of the intervals is, of course, of the richest quality: there is, however, a material difference in their fertility. The parts which are lowest are commonly the best, as being the most frequently overflowed, and therefore most enriched by the successive deposits of slime. Of these parts, that division which is farthest down the river is the most productive, as consisting of finer particles, and being more plentifully covered with this manure. In the spring, these grounds are regularly overflowed. In the months of March and April, the snows, which in the northern parts of New England are usually deep, and the rains, which at this time of the year are generally copious, raise the river from fifteen to twenty feet, and extend the breadth of its waters in some places a mile and a half, or two miles. Almost all the slime conveyed down the current at this season is deposited on these lands; for here, principally, the water becomes quiescent, and permits the earthy particles to subside. This deposit is a rich manure. The lands dressed with it are preserved in their full strength, and being regularly enriched by the hand of nature, cannot but be highly valuable.

The form of these lands is naturally beautiful. A river passing through them becomes almost, of course, winding. The border is necessarily curved, from the evenness of the impression of the river on a soft soil; and the edge is fringed with shrubs. A great part of them are formed into meadows, which are more profitable, and, at the same time, more agreeable to the eye than any other mode of culture. The magnificent elms, for which this country is remarkable, stand singly in the fields; while orchards and groves serve to break the uniformity. As they are seldom enclosed for miles together, there is a look also of extent and wildness about them, as if they produced their vegetation, “ploughed only by the sunbeams,” like a paradise spontaneously verdant and fertile.

Valuable as these intervals on the Connecticut have become, they were bought cheaply enough by the first proprietors. One of the first settlers of the neighbourhood of Mount Tom, was a tailor, who, for a trifling consideration, purchased a tract on the river, forming a square of three miles on a side. A carpenter came to settle in the valley, and having constructed a rude wheelbarrow, the tailor offered him for it, either a suit of clothes, or the whole of his land! He accepted the latter, and became the possessor of one of the finest farms on the bank of the Connecticut.



For a mountainous region, usually fertile in such accidents of nature, the neighbourhood of the “White Hills” has few waterfalls; of those that are met with in the “Notch,” the Silver Cascade is by far the most beautiful; but to be seen to advantage it should be visited after heavy rains. The stream is scanty, but its course from among the deep forest, whence its springs issue into the light, is one of singular beauty. Buried beneath the lofty precipices of the gorge, after ascending towards the Pulpit Rock, by the side of the turbulent torrent of the Saco, the ear is suddenly saluted by soft dashings of this sweetest of cascades; and a glance upwards reveals its silver streams issuing from the loftiest crests of the mountain, and leaping from crag to crag, or spread in a broad thin sheet of liquid light over the edge of some projecting ledge, till it reaches the road, across which it passes, forming a still and transparent pool immediately beneath, before it joins the Saco in the depths of the gorge. It is a beautiful vision in the midst of the wildest and most dreary scenery; and its sudden appearance—for nothing of it is seen till the tourist is immediately under it—is a moment of deep delight to him from the suddenness of the contrast. The lover of nature loves to linger among the wild beauties of this region; and some of the finest ideas of the American painters have been gleaned amongst its solitudes. We believe that the engraving, from a painting by Doughty, will be very interesting to our subscribers.


Weehawken is slighted by the traveller ascending to the bolder and brighter glories of the Highlands above; and few visit it except—

“The prisoner to the city’s pent-up air,”

who, making a blest holiday of a summer’s afternoon, crosses thither to set his foot on the green grass, and mount the rocks for a view of our new-sprung Babylon and its waters. There is no part of “the country” which “God made” so blest in its offices of freshening the spirit, and giving health to the blood, as the rural suburb of a metropolis. The free breath drawn there, the green herb looked on before it is trodden down, the tree beautiful simply for the freedom of its leaves from the dust of the street, the humblest bird or the meanest butterfly, are dispensers of happiness in another measure than falls elsewhere to their lot. Most such humble ministers of large blessings have their virtue for “its own reward;” but it has fallen to the lot of Weehawken to find a minstrel, and no mean one, among those for whose happiness and consolation it seems made to bloom. A merchant-poet, whose “works” stand on shelves in Wall Street, but whose rhymes for pastime live in literature, and in the hearts of his countrymen, thus glorifies his suburban Tempe:—

“Weehawken! in thy mountain scenery yet,

  All we adore of Nature in her wild

 And frolic hour of infancy, is met,

  And never has a summer morning smiled

 Upon a lovelier scene than the full eye

 Of the enthusiast revels on—when high

“Amid thy forest-solitudes he climbs

  O’er crags that proudly tower above the deep,

 And knows that sense of danger, which sublimes

  The breathless moment—when his daring step

 Is on the verge o the cliff, and he can hear

 The low dash of the wave with startled ear,

“Like the death music of his coming doom,

  And clings to the green turf with desperate force,

 As the heart clings to life; and when resume

  The currents in his veins their wonted course

 There lingers a deep feeling, like the moan

 Of wearied ocean when the storm is gone.

“In such an hour he turns, and on his view

  Ocean, and earth, and heaven, burst before him;

 Clouds slumbering at his feet, and the clear blue

  Of summer’s sky in beauty bending o’er him;

 The city bright below; and far away

 Sparkling in light, his own romantic bay.

“Tall spire, and glittering roof, and battlement,

  And banners floating in the sunny air,

 And white sails o’er the calm blue waters bent,

  Green isle, and circling shore, are blended there

 In wild reality. When life is old,

 And many a scene forgot, the heart will hold

“Its memory of this; nor lives there one

  Whose infant breath was drawn, or boyhood’s days

 Of happiness were passed beneath that sun,

  That in his manhood’s prime can calmly gaze

Upon that bay, or on that mountain stand,

Nor feel the prouder of his native land.”[1]

Weehawken is the “Chalk Farm” of New York, and a small spot enclosed by rocks, and open to observation only from the river, is celebrated as having been the ground on which Hamilton fought his fatal duel with Aaron Burr. A small obelisk was erected on the spot, by the St. Andrew’s Society, to the memory of Hamilton, but it has been removed. His body was interred in the churchyard of Trinity, in Broadway, where his monument now stands.

It is to be regretted that the fashion of visiting Haboken and Weehawken has yielded to an impression among the “fashionable” that it is a vulgar resort. This willingness to relinquish an agreeable promenade because it is enjoyed as well by the poorer classes of society, is one of those superfine ideas which we imitate from our English ancestors, and in which the more philosophic continentals are so superior to us. What enlivens the Tuileries and St. Cloud at Paris, the Monte-Pincio at Rome, the Volksgarten at Vienna, and the Corso and Villa Reale at Naples, but the presence of innumerable “vulgarians?” They are considered there like the chorus in a pantomime, as producing all the back-ground effect as necessary to the ensemble. The place would be nothing—would be desolate, without them; yet in England and America it is enough to vulgarize any—the most agreeable resort, to find it frequented by the “people!”

“Fanny,” a poem, by Fitz-Greene Halleck.



The residence of the Chief Magistrate of the United States resembles the country-seat of an English nobleman, in its architecture and size; but it is to be regretted that the parallel ceases when we come to the grounds. By itself it is a commodious and creditable building, serving its purpose without too much state for a republican country, yet likely, as long as the country exists without primogeniture and rank, to be sufficiently superior to all other dwelling-houses to mark it as the residence of the nation’s ruler.

The President’s House stands near the centre of an area of some twenty acres, occupying a very advantageous elevation, open to the view of the Potomac, and about forty-four feet above high water, and possessing from its balcony one of the loveliest prospects in our country—the junction of the two branches of the Potomac which border the district, and the swelling and varied shores beyond of the States of Maryland and Virginia. The building is one hundred and seventy feet front, and eighty-six deep, and is built of white freestone, with Ionic pilasters, comprehending two lofty stories, with a stone balustrade. The north front is ornamented with a portico, sustained by four Ionic columns, with three columns of projection—the outer intercolumniation affording a shelter for carriages to drive under. The garden-front on the river (presented in the drawing) is varied by what is called a rusticated basement-story, in the Ionic style, and by a semi-circular projecting colonnade of six columns, with two spacious and airy flights of steps leading to a balustrade on the level of the principal story.

The interior of the President’s House is well disposed, and possesses one superb reception-room, and two oval drawing-rooms, (one in each story,) of very beautiful proportions. The other rooms are not remarkable; and there is an inequality in the furniture of the whole house, (owing to the unwillingness and piecemeal manner with which Congress votes any monies for its decoration,) which destroys its effect as a comfortable dwelling. The oval rooms are carpeted with Gobelin tapestry, worked with the national emblems; and are altogether in a more consistent style than the other parts of the house. It is to be hoped that Congress will not always consider the furniture of the President’s House as the scape-goat of all sumptuary and aristocratic sins, and that we shall soon be able to introduce strangers, not only to a comfortable and well-appointed, but to a properly-served and neatly-kept, presidential mansion.

At the present moment (the last month of General Jackson’s administration) the venerable President is confined to his room, and occupies a small chamber in the second story, near the centre of the house, on the front presented in the drawing. In a visit made to him by the writer a few days since, he was sitting at a table by the side of his bed, with a loose dressing-gown drawn over his black coat, and a sheet of half-written paper before him. He rose, with the pen in his hand, to receive a lady from another country, whose introduction to him was the principal object of the visit, and entered into conversation with that grace and dignified ease which mark his manners so peculiarly. He spoke of his approaching retirement, and the route he should pursue to reach the Hermitage, (his seat in Tennessee,) and expressed a strong wish to avoid all publicity in his movements, and to be suffered to pass tranquilly to his retreat. General Jackson is much changed since a reception given to the writer six years ago. He was then thin and spare, but stood erect and firm, and had a look of iron vigour—the effect, perhaps, of his military attitude, and the martial expression of face which belongs to him. He has since lost several of his front teeth, and though the bold and full under lip still looks as if it could hold up the world on its firm arch, it is the mouth of an old man, and in any other face would convey an idea of decrepitude. The fire still burns in the old warrior’s eye, however, and his straight and abundant white hair, which has been suffered to grow untrimmed during his illness, adds to the stern energy which is never wanting even to his most quiet expression. Peace and veneration go with him to his retirement!


The musical Indian name of this lovely river, spite of the canals, rail-roads, and county towns, that have supplanted the wild forest, and the rude wigwam in its valley, recalls irresistibly to the fancy the associations of aboriginal life, and the swift but bloody transit from an Indian hunting-ground to European civilization. In the county-town of Liverpool may be found, at this day, all the transcendental marks of national refinement—such as milliners who get the fashions from Paris, farmers who drink champagne, lawyers who dream of the presidency, and young ladies who read Shelley and Chateaubriand; but it is only forty-five or fifty years ago that the Susquehanna and the head waters of the Ohio were ranged by the warlike Shawanee; and there was scarce a white man’s house west of Wyoming which had not been the scene, to a greater or less extent, of the barbarities we now find it so difficult to realize.

Among the authentic records of this region of country is a story of the captivity and escape of two children, which seems to me one of the most curious, and shows at the same time of what stuff the early settlers of these borders were made.

The names of these boys were John and Henry Johnson, the former thirteen years of age, the latter eleven. They had been rambling in the woods at a short distance from home, and getting tired, sat down to rest upon a log. After sitting a few minutes, two Indians approached, whom they took for whites, till they were too close upon them to admit of escape, and they were made prisoners. The sun set after they had followed their captors for an hour, and the Indians kindled a fire, and sharing with them their roasted meat and parched corn, lay down to sleep, each with one of the boys folded in his arms.

Henry, the youngest, had abandoned himself to his grief as they travelled on over the hills, but the elder kept a stout heart, and encouraged him with the hope of yet eluding the vigilance of the savages. The practice of terrifying children by threats of the red man with his tomahawk and scalping-knife had filled the mind of the younger, however, and he was only pacified when fatigue made the coarse food welcome, and the heat of the fire and the accustomed hour for repose overcame him with sleep. He lay down with the red arms of the savage around him, and was soon lost in the deep slumbers of childhood.

John, too, lay down, and pretended to sleep; and in a few minutes, the Indian, who had locked him in his arms, relaxed his hold. He disengaged himself softly and walked to the fire; and to try the soundness of their sleep, he stirred the half-burnt faggots, and rekindled the blaze. Not a limb stirred, and not a breathing was interrupted. He gently pulled his brother and awoke him, and they both stood by the fire, with their captors sleeping soundly at their feet. “I think,” said John, smiling, “we may go home now.” “They will catch us again,” said the younger, despairingly. “Then, before we go, we’ll kill them,” said the other.

The Indians had one gun, which rested against a tree, with their tomahawks on the ground beside it. John reflected a moment, and then, getting a rest for the gun upon a decayed log near the head of one of the savages, he cocked it, took aim at the ear of the sleeping man, and then calling to Henry, placed his hand on the trigger. Ordering him to pull without moving the gun when he gave him a sign, he took the tomahawk, and stood astride the Indian in whose arms he had been encircled. At the given signal he struck, and the gun was discharged. The blow of the tomahawk descended on the back of his victim’s neck, and he attempted to rise; but the bold boy repeated his blows, while the younger one cried out, “Lay on!—I’ve done for this one!” and both the savages were, in the next moment, lying motionless before them. The discharge of the gun had carried away the jaw of the other, and stunned him.

They started on their way back, taking with them the gun and tomahawk as trophies, and arrived at home just before day-break. The neighbours had all been in search for them, and when they told their tale, it was at first disbelieved. John, however, had hung up his hat as a mark to find the place, and led them back the way he had come, where they found the tomahawked Indian lying in his blood. The other had disappeared, but was tracked to a short distance, where, as the chronicle quietly expresses it, “they agreed to leave him, as he must die at any rate.”


Very much the same sort of incredulity with which one reads a traveller’s account of the deliciousness of the Russian summer comes over him, (malgré all the information to the contrary,) when it is proposed to him to admire any thing so near the cradle of the east wind as Penobscot River. We know, indeed, that spring visits that region of the world—as far, at least, as the British boundary line. We could be made, upon reflection, to presume that the grass grows, and the sun shines there—the farmers are warm in haying-time, and the flowers come to maturity in season for the bees to provide against winter; but, in point of fact, when Penobscot River is mentioned, we shudder at our remembrance of the acrid blasts that have swept over us from that quarter, and image the scenery forth-drest in the drapery so well described by the captain of the Penobscot whaler—a fog so thick, that having driven his jack-knife into it on the eve of sailing for the Pacific, he found it sticking in the same spot on his return from a three years’ cruise.

There is beautiful scenery in Maine, however; and Mr. Doughty, from one of whose pictures the accompanying drawing was taken, made a tour in search of it, and filled a portfolio with sketches which (the most of them) might belong to any Tempo for their summer look. They were taken from the neighbourhood of Desert Rock, and within view of Mount Desert, (shown in the drawing,) though the names of their neighbours sound unpromising.

Such spots as this are expected, like the knife-grinder, to have a story to tell, and this, unlike the knife-grinder, answers to expectation. The Light-house in the foreground stands upon a rock, about twelve miles from land; and near it lies a low reef, hidden at high tides, with a channel between it and the loftier rock. Some years before the erection of the Light-house, a homeward-bound vessel ran upon the breakers in a storm, and went to pieces. The storm having just commenced, and the sea not running as yet very high, several of the crew succeeded in getting upon the rock, where they found a partial shelter under a projecting shelf to leeward. The storm increased in violence, and after three days of unintermitted fury, during which they had seen no friendly sail even in the distance, the miserable survivors, perishing with hunger, abandoned themselves to despair. On the fourth night, they were crowded together in their narrow place of shelter, their eyes fixed on the black darkness covering the sea, when a vivid flash of lightning revealed to them a large ship careering straight for the rock, and apparently in complete ignorance of the danger. In the same instant all was black again, and they waited in the most breathless agony for the shock. A minute elapsed, and simultaneously, with a gleam that made the whole sea as bright as day, the ship appeared on the crest of a mountain-wave bounding over the reef, and with one cry from the man at the helm, as he discovered the rock before him, she launched into the channel on the breaking wave, and they heard her no more. They spoke of her to each other as lost, and betook themselves again to their silent despair. The tempest stilled toward morning, and the sun rose clear, and till noon again they bore the gnawings of despairing hunger, and watched the desolate sea in vain for a passing sail. Soon after noon a boat suddenly pulled into the channel between the rocks, friendly voices hailed the exhausted mariners, and with daring humanity they were successfully taken off. The ship they had seen in the night was lying-to not far from the opposite side of the rock, and they were soon on board of her, where, with proper treatment, they recovered from their exhaustion, and arrived safe in port. The pilot had seen them by the same gleam which revealed to him his danger, and after being saved by the recoil of the wave, which threw the ship into the current of the channel between the reefs, he lay-to till morning, when finding the vessel had drifted far south of the rock, he returned upon her course, and with the first abatement of the waves, manned his boat for the dangerous service he succeeded in.

Successful as Mr. Doughty is in sketches of this description, his forte lies in scenery of a softer and inland character—in the lonely forest-brook, the misty wood-lake, the still river, the heart of the quiet wilderness. In painting these features of Nature, he has (in his peculiar style) no rivals among American painters—perhaps none in England. His landscapes can scarcely be appreciated by those who have not seen the untouched and graceful wilderness of America; but of travellers who have, they touch the heart and fill the memory afresh. He is a most sweet and accomplished artist; and when the time comes for America to be proud of her painters, Doughty will be remembered among the first.


The house erected on this consecrated spot is of wood, cut in imitation of freestone. The centre part was built by Lawrence Washington, brother to the General. The wings were added by General Washington. It is named after Admiral Vernon, in whose expedition the former served. The house is two stories high, and ninety-six feet in length, with a portico fronting the river, extending the whole length of the house, surmounted with a cupola. The grounds are in the same state as left by General Washington.

The house contains on the ground floor, six rooms, and a spacious passage: four of these are of the ordinary size. At the north-east is a large room, with a handsomely sculptured ceiling, which contains a marble mantel-piece, sent to General Washington from Italy, and a very fine organ, on which instrument Mrs. Washington was an accomplished performer. The room at the south-east end of the house is used as a family dining-room, and contains busts of Necker, Paul Jones, and General Washington; also a handsome library, fitted in the wall, with glass cases. The books were chiefly collected by General Washington.

The house fronts north-west, the rear looking to the river. In front of the house is a lawn, containing five or six acres of ground, with a serpentine walk around it, fringed with shrubbery, and planted with poplars. On each side of the lawn stands a garden; the one on the right is a flower-garden, and contains two green-houses, (one built by General Washington, the other by Judge Washington,) a hothouse, and a pinery. It is laid out in handsome walks, with boxwood borders, remarkable for their beauty. It contains also a quantity of fig-trees, producing excellent fruit. The other is a kitchen-garden, containing only fruit and vegetables.

About two hundred yards from the house, in a southerly direction, stands a summer-house, on the edge of the river-bank, which is here lofty and sloping, and clothed with wood to the water’s edge. The summer-house commands a fine prospect of the river and the Maryland shore; also of the White House, at a distance of five or six miles down the river, where an engagement took place with the British vessels which ascended the river during the last war.

The estate, as owned by Judge Washington, consisted of between three and four thousand acres, since divided between his nephews. The timber of the woods, in which the fallow deer once abounded, is composed of white and black oak, with dog-wood, hickory, ash, cedar, &c. The soil is thin and rather poor, cultivated chiefly in Indian corn, rye, barley, &c. There are two fisheries on the place, where shad and herring are caught in large quantities. Mount Vernon is healthy during all the year except the autumn, when bilious fevers and agues prevail.

A distinguished writer visited Mount Vernon some years since, and gave a more particular account of the grounds than is to be found elsewhere. “We were conducted,” he says, “over long gravel walks, bordered with box, which is arranged and trimmed into the most fanciful figures, and which, at the age of twenty years and upwards, still possesses the vigour and freshness of youth. At the extremity of these extensive alleys and pleasure-grounds, ornamented with fruit-trees and shrubbery, and clothed in perennial verdure, stands two hot-houses, and as many green-houses, situated in the sunniest part of the garden, and shielded from the northern winds by a long range of wooden buildings for the accommodation of servants. From the air of a frosty December morning, we were suddenly introduced into the tropical climate of these spacious houses, where we long sauntered among groves of the coffee-tree, lemons and oranges, all in full bearing, regaling our senses with the flowers and odours of spring.

“One of the hot-houses is appropriated entirely to rearing the pine-apple, long rows of which we saw in a flourishing and luxuriant condition. Many bushels of lemons and oranges, of every variety, are annually grown, which, besides furnishing the family with a supply of these fruits at all seasons, are distributed as delicacies to their friends, or used to administer to the comfort of their neighbours in cases of sickness. The coffee-plant thrives well, yields abundantly, and, in quality, is said to be equal to the best Mocha. The branches under which we walked were laden with the fruit, fast advancing to maturity. Among the more rare plants we saw the night-blowing cereas, the guava, aloes of a gigantic growth, the West India plantain, the sweet cassia in bloom, the prickly pear, and many others.

“At every step in these pleasure-grounds, the thought occurred that the illustrious projector is no more. In passing the house, the chamber in which he died was pointed out to us; and imagination, aided by these memorials, soon presented the scene in such distinct and vivid colours, that we seemed almost to follow his remains to the grave.”


This thriving town sits above the north bank of the Mohawk, amid some of the most exquisite scenery of the world. The falls afford great facilities for manufactures of all kinds, and the Erie canal and rail-road both pass through it, up the Valley of the Mohawk, making it altogether the busiest spot, as it is the loveliest on the great route westward. It is impossible to conquer the wildness of the scenery here, however; and spite of mills and aqueducts, and smoking steam-engines, the soul of the banished Mohawk might return and haunt with comfort the bold precipices and impassive rocks that frown down upon his ancient abode, and still find the water untamed, and the mountains beautiful.

Of the small relics of Indian history that exist, there is a scrap which proves the supremacy of the Mohawk over even the far-off tribes of Connecticut. In the year 1656, a Podunk Indian, named Weaseapano, murdered a Sachem, who lived near Mattabeseck, (now Middletown.) Seaquassin, the existing Sachem of his tribe, complained of the outrage to the magistracy of Connecticut, and said that the Podunk Indians entertained the murderer, and protected him from the merited punishment. Seaquassin, at the same time, engaged Uncas in his cause, who also complained that Tontonimo enticed away many of his men, and protected an Indian who had murdered a Mohegan. Upon these complaints, the magistrates summoned the parties before them. Seaquassin and Uncas, after observing that the murderer was a mean fellow, and that the man murdered was a great Sachem, insisted that ten men, friends of Weaseapano, should be delivered up to be put to death, as a satisfaction for the crime. Tontonimo insisted that the satisfaction demanded was excessive; particularly as the murdered Sachem had killed Weaseapano’s uncle. The governor endeavoured to convince the complainants that the demand was excessive, observing that the English, in cases of murder, punished only the principal, and such as were accessary to the crime.

Tontonimo then proposed to make satisfaction by the payment of wampum, but it was refused. They fell, however, in their demands from ten men to six. The proposition was rejected by Tontonimo. The magistrates then urged him to deliver up the murderer: this he promised to do. But while the subject was in agitation, he privately withdrew from the court with the rest of the Podunk Sachems, and retired to the fortress belonging to his nation. Both the magistrates and the complainants were offended at this behaviour of Tontonimo. However, the magistrates appointed a committee to persuade the Indians to continue at peace with each other. At their solicitation, Uncas at length consented to accept the murderer, and promised to be satisfied if he should be delivered up; but the Podunk Indians told the English that they could not comply with this condition, because the friends of Weaseapano were numerous and powerful, and would not agree to the proposal.

The governor then addressed them in form, urging them to continue in peace, and endeavouring to persuade the complainants to accept of wampum. This they again refused, and withdrew; after it had been agreed on all hands that the English should not take any part in the controversy, and after the Indians had promised that they would not injure the persons or possessions of the English on either side the river.

Soon after, Uncas assembled an army for the purpose of avenging his wrongs; but being met near Hoccanum river by an equal number of the Podunks, and considering the issue of a battle as doubtful, he prudently retired, after having sent a message to Tontonimo, in which he declared, that if the Podunk Sachem persisted in withholding the murderer from justice, he would send to the Mohawks to come and destroy both him and his people.

Not long after, the crafty Mohegan accomplished his purpose in the following manner. He sent a trusty warrior, furnished with some Mohawk weapons, to Podunk, directing him to set fire in the night to a house near the fort, and then to leave the weapons on the ground in the vicinity, and immediately return. The warrior executed his commission. When the Podunks came in the morning to examine the ruins they found the weapons, and knowing them to belong to the Mohawks, were so alarmed with the apprehension that Uncas was about to execute his threat, that they delivered up the murderer, and sued for peace.



The scenery at Harper’s Ferry is, perhaps, the most singularly picturesque in America. The Views already given display its beauties, as seen from below. To attain that given in the present number, it was necessary to climb the Blue Ridge, by a narrow winding path, immediately above the bank of the Potomac. The view from this lofty summit amply repays the fatigue incurred by its ascent. The junction of the two rivers is immediately beneath the spectator’s feet; and his delighted eye resting first upon the beautiful and thriving village of Harper’s Ferry, wanders over the wide and woody plains, extending to the Alleghany mountains. President Jefferson, who has given the name to a beautiful rock immediately above the village, has left a powerful description of the scenery of Harper’s Ferry, which we shall give to our readers.

“The passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge, is, perhaps, one of the most stupendous scenes in nature. You stand on a very high point of land; on your right comes up the Shenandoah, having ranged along the foot of the mountain a hundred miles to seek a vent. On your left approaches the Potomac, in quest of a passage also; in the moment of their junction, they rush together against the mountain, rend it asunder, and pass off to the sea. The first glance of this scene hurries our senses into the opinion that this earth has been created in time; that the mountains were formed first, that the rivers began to flow afterwards, that in this place particularly they have been dammed up by the Blue Ridge of mountains, and have formed an ocean which filled the whole valley; that, continuing to rise, they have at length broken over at this spot, and have torn the mountain down from its summit to its base. The piles of rock on each hand, but particularly on the Shenandoah—the evident marks of their disrupture and avulsion from their beds by the most powerful agents of nature, corroborate the impression. But the distant finishing which nature has given to the picture, is of a very different character; it is a true contrast to the foreground; it is as placid and delightful as that is wild and tremendous; for the mountain being cloven asunder, she presents to your eye, through the cleft, a small catch of smooth blue horizon, at an infinite distance in the plain country, inviting you, as it were, from the riot and tumult roaring around, to pass through the breach and participate of the calm below. Here the eye ultimately composes itself; and that way, too, the road happens actually to lead. You cross the Potomac above the junction, pass along its side through the base of the mountain for three miles, its terrible precipices hanging in fragments over you, and, within about twenty miles, reach Fredericktown, and the fine country round that. This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic; yet here, as in the neighbourhood of the Natural Bridge, are people who have passed their lives within half a dozen miles, and have never been to survey these monuments of a war between rivers and mountains, which must have shaken the earth itself to its centre.”


I drove to Barhydt’s Lake, with the accomplished artist whose name is at the bottom of the drawing, on one of the finest days of early September. With a pair of crop ponies, whose going, simply, we acknowledged we had never seen beaten on the smooth roads of England, and a day over our heads of the most inspiriting freshness, we dashed through the pine woods of Saratoga in a light waggon, and pulled up at Barhydt’s door in twenty minutes from leaving the Springs.

The old man sat under his Dutch stoup, smoking his pipe, and suffered us to tie our ponies to his fence without stirring; and in answer to our inquiries if there was a boat on the lake, simply nodded an assent, and pointed to the water’s edge. Whether this indifference to strangers is indolence merely, or whether Herr Barhydt does not choose to be considered an inn-keeper, no one is enough in his secrets to divine. He will give you a dram, or cook you a dinner of trout, and seems not only indifferent whether you like his fish or his liquor, but quite as indifferent whether and what you pay him. In his way, Herr Barhydt is kind and courteous.

We descended to the lake, and after pulling up to the upper extremity where the view is taken, we returned to partake of the old Dutchman’s hospitality, and have a little conversation with him. Among other things, we asked him if he was aware that he had been put in a book.

“I’ve hearn tell on’t,” said he; “a Mr. Wilkins, or Watkins, has writ something about me, but I don’t know why. I never did him no harm as I know on.

We had not the book to show the injured old gentleman his picture, but as it happens to lie by us now, and really contains a very literal description of the spot, we will copy out the extract:—

“Herr Barhydt is an old Dutch settler, who, till the mineral springs of Saratoga were discovered some four miles from his door, was buried in the depth of a forest unknown to all but the prowling Indian. The sky is supported above him, (or looks to be,) by a wilderness of straight columnar pine-shafts, gigantic in girth, and with no foliage except at the top, where they branch out like round tables spread for a banquet in the clouds. A small ear-shaped lake, sunk as deep into the earth as the firs shoot above it, and clear and unbroken as a mirror, save the pearl-spots of the thousand lotuses holding up their cups to the blue eye of heaven, sleeps beneath his window; and around him in the forest, lies, still unbroken, the elastic and brown carpet of the faded pine-tassels, deposited in yearly layers since the continent first rose from the flood, and rotted a foot beneath the surface to a rich mould that would fatten the Symplegades to a flower-garden. With his black tarn well stocked with trout, his bit of a farm in the clearing near by, and an old Dutch Bible, Herr Barhydt lived a life of Dutch musing, talked Dutch to his geese and chickens, sung Dutch psalms to the echoes of the mighty forest, and, except on his far-between visits to Albany, which grew rarer and rarer as the old Dutch inhabitants dropped faster away, saw never a white human face from one maple-blossoming to another.

“A roving mineralogist tasted the waters of Saratoga, and, like the work of a lath-and-plaster Aladdin, up sprung a thriving village around the fountain’s lip; and hotels, tin-tumblers, and apothecaries, multiplied in the usual proportion to each other, but out of all precedent with every thing else for rapidity. Libraries, newspapers, churches, livery-stables, and lawyers, followed in their train; and it was soon established, from the plains of Abraham to the Savannahs of Alabama, that no person of fashionable taste or broken constitution could exist through the months of July and August without a visit to the chalybeate springs and populous village of Saratoga. It contained seven thousand inhabitants before Herr Barhydt, living in his forest seclusion only four miles off, became aware of its existence. A pair of loons, philandering about the forest on horseback, popped in upon him one June morning, and thenceforth there was no rest for the soul of the Dutchman. Everybody rode down to eat his trout, and make love in the dark shades of his mirrored lagoon; and, at last, in self-defence, he added a room or two to his shanty, enclosed his cabbage-garden, and set a price on his trout dinners. The traveller, now-a-days, who has not dined at Barhydt’s, with his own champagne cold from the tarn, and the white-headed old settler ‘gargling’ Dutch about the house in his maniform vocation of cook, ostler, and waiter, may as well not have seen Niagara.”


The walks here, though not extensive, are delightful, from the views they command over the Schuylkill. In the early days of William Penn, this side of the river was covered by a thick wood; and so late as Franklin’s time, (who “frequented it,” says the annalist, “with his companions, Osborne, Watson, and Ralph,”) the banks afforded a secluded and rural retreat, much resorted to by swimmers. The name of Schuylkill, given it by the Dutch, is said to express “Hidden River,” as its mouth is not visible in ascending the Delaware. The Indians called it by a name, meaning “The Mother;” and a small branch of the Schuylkill, higher up, called “Maiden Creek,” was named by them, Ontelaunee, meaning “the little daughter of a great mother.”

The Schuylkill and Delaware, in former days, were the scenes of feats in swimming and skaiting, which are not emulated in these graver times. The colonial annals record the achievements of George Tyson, a fat broker, weighing one hundred and ninety pounds; and “Governor Mifflin, and Joe Claypoole,” descend on the page of history as the best skaiters of Pennsylvania. The annalist enters on this theme with great unction. “During the old-fashioned winters, when about New-year’s day every one expected to see or hear of an ox-roast on the river, upon the thick-ribbed ice, which, without causing much alarm among the thousands moving in all directions upon its surface, would crack and rend itself by its own weight without separating, in sounds like thunder, among the then multitudinous throngs of promenaders, sliders, and skaiters, visible all about the river, as far as the eye could reach. Of the many varieties of skaiters of all colours and sizes mingled together, and darting about here and there, upward and downward, mingled and convolved, a few were at all times discernible as being decidedly superior to the rest for dexterity, power, and grace; namely, Governor Mifflin, Joe Claypoole, and others, not forgetting, by the way, a black Othello, who, from his apparent muscle and powerful movement, might have sprung, as did the noble Moor, from “men of royal size.” In swiftness he had no competitor; he outstripped the wind; the play of his elbows in alternate movement with his low-gutter skaites, while darting forward and uttering occasionally a wild scream peculiar to the African race while in active exertion of body, was very imposing in appearance and effect. Of the gentlemen skaiters before enumerated, George Heyl took the lead in graceful skaiting, and in superior dexterity in cutting figures and High Dutch within a limited space of ice. On a larger field of glass he might be seen moving about elegantly, and at perfect ease, in curve lines, with folded arms, being dressed in a red coat, as was the fashion, and buckskin tights, his bright broad skaites in an occasional turn flashing upon the eye. Then, again, to be pursued by others, he might be seen suddenly changing to the back and heel-forward movement, offering them his hand, and, at the same time, eluding their grasp by his dexterous and instantaneous deviations to the right and left, leaving them to their hard work of striking out after him with all their might and main.”

Among the recorded amusements of Philadelphia, however, the “Meschianza” is the most remarkable. This was a tilt and tournament, with other entertainments, given to Sir William Howe, by the officers of his army, on quitting his command to return to England. The company were embarked on the Delaware, in a grand regatta of three divisions; and with a band of music to each, and an outer line of barges to keep off the crowd of the uninvited, they proceeded to the neighbouring country-seat of Mr. Wharton. The tilting-ground was a lawn of one hundred and fifty yards on each side, lined with troops, and faced with several pavilions; and in front of each sat seven young ladies, dressed in Turkish costume, and wearing on their turbans the prizes for the victors. At the sound of a trumpet, “seven white knights, habited in white and red silk, and mounted on grey chargers, richly caparisoned,” made their appearance, followed by seven esquires, and a herald in his robe. After saluting the ladies, the herald proclaimed their challenge in the name of the “Knights of the blended Rose.” At the third repetition of the challenge, a black herald made his appearance, and accepted the challenge in the name of the “Knights of the Burning Mountain.” Immediately after entered the black knights, with tunics representing a mountain in flames, and the motto, “I burn for ever;” and the tournament began. They fought with spears, pistols, and swords, and the contest was long and desperate; but whether the white or black knights had the victory is not recorded.

After the tilt, the company ascended a flight of steps to a banqueting-room, and after the banquet, a ball-room was flung open, “decked with eighty-five mirrors, festoons of flowers, and a light and elegant style of painting.” Four drawing-rooms on the same floor contained sideboards with refreshments. The knights and their ladies opened the ball, and at twelve o’clock followed fireworks, and a supper, which was spread in a saloon of two hundred and ten by forty feet, ornamented with fifty-six large pier glasses, and containing alcoves with side-tables. There were one hundred branch lights, eighteen lustres, three hundred wax tapers on the supper tables, four hundred and thirty covers, and twelve hundred dishes. They were waited on by a great number of black slaves in oriental dresses, with silver collars and bracelets.

The queen of the “Meschianza,” concludes the annalist, with a remark which contains a moral, “was a once beautiful Mrs. L——, now blind and fast waning from the things that be.”


An American prison is not often a picturesque object, and, till late years, it suggested to the mind of the philanthropist only painful reflections upon the abuses and thwarted ends of penitentiary discipline. To the persevering humanity of Louis Dwight, and to the liberal association that sustained him, we owe the change in these institutions which enables us to look on them without pain and disgust as places of repentance and reformation, rather than as schools for vice, and abodes of neglect and idleness. It is a creditable thing to our country to have led the way in these salutary changes; and there are many who have felt their patriotism more flattered by the visits of persons from Europe sent out by their governments to study our systems of prison discipline, than by many an event sounded through the trumpet of national glory.

The Tappan Sea spreads its broad waters at this part of the Hudson, looking, like all scenes of pure natural beauty, as if it was made for a world in which there could neither exist crime nor pain. Yet there stands a vast and crowded prison on its shores to remind us of the first—and for the latter, who ever entered upon these waters without a recollection of poor André? It may be doubted whether in the history of our country the fate of an individual has ever excited more sympathy than his. The rare accomplishments which he possessed, the natural elegance of his mind, the unfitness of his open character for the degrading circumstances under which he was taken, and his mild constancy at the approach of his melancholy fate, endear him, without respect to party, to the memories of all who read his story. André was taken on the eastern shore of the river at Tarrytown, and executed on the opposite side, at Tappan.

The story of Captain Hale has been regarded as parallel to that of Major André. This young officer had received a university education, and had but recently taken his degree when the war of the revolution commenced. He possessed genius, taste, ardour, was a distinguished scholar, and to all this was added, in an eminent degree, the winning address and native grace of a gentleman. No young man of his years put forth a finer promise of usefulness and celebrity.

Upon the first news of the battle of Lexington, he obtained a commission in the army, and marched with his company to Cambridge, where his promptness, activity, and assiduous attention to discipline, were early observed. After considerable service, the theatre of action was changed, and the army was removed to the southward. The battle of Long Island was fought, and the American forces were drawn together in the city of New York. At this moment it became extremely important for Washington to know the situation of the British army on the heights of Brooklyn, its numbers, and the indications as to its future movements. Having expressed a wish to this effect, Colonel Knowlton called together the younger officers, stated to them the wish of the General, and left it to their reflections, without naming any individual for the service. The undertaking was particularly hazardous; but it was immediately determined upon by Hale, who resisted all opposition on the part of his friends, and crossed over the river to the enemy’s ground. His disguise was well contrived, and he had obtained all necessary information, when he was arrested in the boat by which he was attempting to return. He was taken before the British commander, was condemned as a spy, and hanged the following morning. The circumstances of his death, however, were widely different from those of André. The Provost-marshal was a refugee, and behaved towards him in the most unfeeling manner, refusing him the attendance of a clergyman, and the use of a Bible in his last moments, and destroying the letters he had written to his mother and friends. In the midst of these barbarities Hale was collected and calm. To the last he displayed his native elevation of soul, and his dignity of deportment.

“But,” says a distinguished writer of biography, “whatever may have been the parallel between these two individuals while living, it ceased with their death. A monument was raised and consecrated to the memory of André by the bounty of a grateful sovereign. His ashes have been removed from their obscure resting-place, transported across the ocean, and deposited with the remains of the illustrious dead in Westminster Abbey. Where is the memento of the virtues, the patriotic sacrifice, the early fate of Hale?”



Distance lends more enchantment to a view of Washington than to most other views. Covering a good deal of ground, possessing two or three very fine points in itself, and lying in the centre of a superb outer circle of scenery, it has all the qualities which a draftsman could desire for his sketch. Thus much was seen or anticipated by the sagacious eye of the great patriot whose name it bears. Every one knows, however, that the location of the President’s House was the result of after speculation, or rather the result of a dispute between the owners of estates, two miles distant from each other, each desirous of locating all the public buildings on his own land, but who, like children quarrelling for a sugar-toy, pulled the subject of dispute in two. The Capitol was already placed on one elevation, and the President’s House carried off two miles to another. The consequence is, that the town itself, which, being a merely legislative metropolis, could never be very large, stretches and straddles between these two distant points, trying in vain to grow into compactness, and form the continuous and close-built street of a city.

The common sagacity acquired by travel is of little use to the stranger arriving for the first time in Washington. Visiting it during the session of Congress, he thinks himself very safe in requesting to be set down at the hotel nearest the Capitol, presuming, naturally, that this must be the great centre of convenience, as well as of interest. He accordingly takes a pigeon-hole at Gadsby’s Hotel, a vast white wooden caravanserai, accommodating many hundreds of people; and on the first day, walks half a mile to the Capitol, and wonders why the deuce the hotel was not built on some of the waste lots immediately at the foot of the hill. In a day or two, however, the secretaries and diplomatists begin to call on him, and the party-giving inhabitants shower upon him the “small rain” of pink billets. He sets apart a day for returning his visits; and, inquiring the addresses of his friends, is told that it is impossible to direct him, but the hackney coachmen all know. He calls a carriage, and the first thing is a drive of two miles directly away from the Capitol. He passes the President’s House, and getting off the Macadamized road, begins to pitch and plunge through miry lanes and waste lots, passing occasionally a house which lacks nothing of being in the country but trees, garden, and fences. It looks as if it had rained naked brick houses upon an open plain, and every man had made a street with reference to his own front door. The much shaken and more bewildered victim consumes his morning and his temper, and has made by dinner-time but six out of forty calls, all imperatively due, and all to be traced through the same irregular and ill-defined geography. He pays a price for his hackney coach which would keep a chariot and two posters for twice the time in London, and the next day moves into the disjointed settlement on the other side of President’s Square, abandons the Capitol, except on great occasions, and makes all visits by proxy that are not for a dance, or a dinner.

Malgré all these inconveniences, however, Washington is by much the most agreeable place in the United States for winter society. The great deficiency in all our cities, the company of highly cultivated and superior men, is here supplied. Female society, in any city or village, is seldom wanting in interest or cultivation; for women refine and elevate themselves with or without the advantages of metropolitan intercourse. But the men of our cities, devoted usually to one engrossing and depressing pursuit, have little time and less inclination to form themselves for intellectual intercourse. The ordeal through which a legislator must have come who finds himself at Washington, however, implies force of character at least, and oftenest, high talent; while the leaders and principal opposers of the ruling party, are, more necessarily than in any other country, men of exalted abilities and great experience of men and the world. The smaller lines which define polished society in May Fair, and the Faubourg St. Germain, may be wanting, but the stamen and spirit of high and cultivated intercourse, such as may well please the most fastidious, is seen in all the society in which the stranger would mingle during the session.


The hospitable and wealthy metropolis of Maryland owes its location to the principle, that “second thoughts are best.” The two brothers of Lord Baltimore, one of whom, Leonard Calvert, had been appointed governor of the province, landed with his two hundred colonists on the north side of the Potomac, and there founded the town of St. Mary’s, the intended capital of Maryland. Little remains of St. Mary’s now, though it enjoyed its prospective honours for several years; and, as the historian says, “the worthy burghers cleared the adjacent lands, lived at peace with their Indian neighbours, and dozed away life, amid their tobacco-fields, with a comfortable and satisfactory sense of their own mark and importance.” The principal event in its history, is an attack upon it by a certain Captain Ingle, who, in the course of a rebellion, seized upon the public records, and drove the governor over the Potomac into Virginia.

The first settler within the limits of the present capital, was a Mr. Gorsuch, who, twenty-eight years after the founding of St. Mary’s, patented some land on Whetstone Point, the present review-ground for the Baltimore militia. Among the earliest who followed, was Charles Carroll, of Carrollton, whose descendant and namesake signed the Declaration of Independence. It is recorded that Charles and Daniel Carroll sold the sixty most eligible acres in the town for forty shillings an acre, which the commissioners paid for in tobacco, at a penny a pound. It was then surrounded with a board-fence, with two gates for carriages, and one for foot passengers; and “provision was made to keep this notable rampart in repair.” Thus Baltimore grew and prospered, till at this day it is one of the most enlightened and agreeable capitals of the United States, the third in size, and with a population rising eighty thousand. A humorous antiquarian gives the following sketchy account of it in one of its phases.

“It was a treat to see this little Baltimore town just at the termination of the war of Independence—so conceited, bustling, and débonair—growing up like a saucy chubby boy, with his dumpling cheeks and short grinning face, fat and mischievous, and bursting, incontinently, out of his clothes in spite of all the allowance of tucks and broad selvages. Market Street had shot, like a Nuremberg snake out of its toy-box, as far as Congress Hall, with its line of low-browed, hipped-roofed, wooden houses, in disorderly array, standing forward and back, after the manner of a regiment of militia, with many an interval between the files;—some of these structures were painted blue and white, and some yellow; and here and there sprang up a more magnificent mansion of brick, with windows like a multiplication table, and great wastes of wall between the stories, with occasional court-yards before them, and reverential locust-trees, under whose shade bevies of truant school-boys, ragged little negroes, and grotesque chimney-sweeps, shyed coppers, and disported themselves at marbles.

“This avenue was enlivened with apparitions of grave matrons and stirring damsels, moving erect in stately transit, like the wooden and pasteboard figures of a puppet-show; our present grandmothers, arrayed in gorgeous brocade and taffeta, luxuriantly displayed over hoops, with comely bodices, laced around that ancient piece of armour, the stay, disclosing most perilous waists; and with sleeves that clung to the arm as far as the elbow, where they took a graceful leave, in ruffles that stood off like the feathers of a bantam. And such faces as they bore along with them!—so rosy, so spirited, and sharp!—with the hair all drawn back over a cushion, until it lifted the eyebrows, giving an amazingly fierce and supercilious tone to the countenance, and falling in cataracts upon the shoulders. Then they stepped away with such a mincing gait, in shoes of many colours, with formidable points to the toes, and high and tottering heels, fancifully cut in wood; their tower-built hats garnished with tall feathers that waved aristocratically backward at each step, as if they took a pride in the slow paces of the wearer.

“In the train of these goodly groups came the beaux and gallants, who upheld the chivalry of the age; cavaliers of the old school, full of starch and powder, most of them the iron gentlemen of the revolution, with leather faces—old campaigners, renowned for long stories, fresh from the camp, with their military erectness and daredevil swagger; proper roystering blades, who had just got out of the harness, and began to affect the manners of civil life. Who but they!—jolly fellows, fiery, and loud!—with stern glances of the eye, and a brisk turn of the head, and a swashbuckler strut of defiance, like game cocks; all in three-cornered hats and wigs, and light-coloured coats, with narrow capes and marvellous long backs, with the pockets on each hip, and small-clothes that hardly reached the knee; and striped stockings, with great buckles in their shoes, and their long steel chains that hung conceitedly, half way to the knee, with seals in the shape of a sounding board to a pulpit. And they walked with such a stir, striking their canes so hard upon the pavement, as to make the little town ring again. I defy all modern coxcombry to produce any thing like it. There was such a relish about it—and particularly when one of these weather-beaten gallants accosted a lady in the street, with a bow that required a whole side pavement to make it in, with the scrape of his foot, and his cane thrust with a flourish under his left arm till it projected behind, along with his cue, like the pallisades of a chevaux-de-frize; and nothing could be more piquant than the lady, as she reciprocated the salutation with a curtsey that seemed to carry her into the earth, with her chin bridled to her breast—and such a volume of dignity!”



The most accomplished architect of the United States, William Strickland, Esq., is a citizen of Philadelphia; and to his excellent taste is the city in a great measure indebted for its superiority over the other capitals of our country in the architecture of public buildings. The view seen in the drawing is taken from Third Street, in the business-part of the city, and presents the rear of the Exchange, a new structure by Mr. Strickland, and the façade of a much older building, a chaste and beautiful specimen of the Corinthian order, occupied many years by the United States Bank. It has since been appropriated to the uses of a bank, of which the entire capital was furnished by Stephen Girard, the wealthiest citizen of Philadelphia, lately deceased. The Exchange (of which a minute description is given in another part of the work) is a copy of the choragic monument at Athens, commonly called the Lantern of Demosthenes.

Philadelphia is, and ever has been, fortunate in her citizens; and it may be said with truth that there is not a metropolis in the world where the effects of a liberal and enterprising public spirit are so clearly manifest. This is particularly true of all that ministers to the comfort of the inhabitant—such as excellence of markets, abundance of water, cleanliness of streets, baths, public conveyances, &c. The wooden, or block pavement, common in Russia, is now under experiment in the principal street, and promises to add another to the luxuries of the city; and among the later instances of liberal and refined taste, is the purchase by the city of a beautiful estate on the banks of the Schuylkill, and its appropriation to the purposes of a cemetery. It occupies very high ground, of an uneven surface, plentifully shaded with venerable trees, and is already, perhaps, the most lovely burial-place in the world, after the Necropolis of Scutari.

Philadelphia is the favourite residence of foreigners among us; and though, in all its features, unlike foreign capitals, it possesses more than all other cities of the United States, the advantage of highly educated and refined society. I speak here of that which is constant and resident; as Washington, during the Session of Congress, and Boston, during one or two of the hot months, become in turn the focus of the foreign and floating society of the country. Perhaps the climate of Philadelphia may have had its effect in making it the home of those accustomed to the equable temperatures of the continent; for Boston, nine months of the year, is uninhabitable from its acrid winds and clammy cold; and Washington, on the other hand, is unhealthy during a considerable part of the summer. New York, though the metropolis of the country, is more a place of transit than residence, to those not engaged in its business or commerce—a result partly of the unhealthfulness of its water and the effluvia of its streets, but partly, too, of the unsettled and shifting character of its society.

The commercial prospects of Philadelphia have brightened lately with the success of Atlantic steam navigation. Hitherto the delay in getting up the Delaware to a city so far from the sea, has made competition with New York in the sailing-packet lines impossible; but with vessels independent of winds and tides, the difficulty is obviated, and the enterprise of her merchants is already at work—companies formed and capital advanced for building steam-ships—and Philadelphia promises fair to vie with New York as a grand commercial emporium. The vast internal improvements of Pennsylvania, which have gone on nobly for the last few years, will now have double value, and aptly meet the wants of the new accession of trade.

It has always been a subject of regret that the noble design of William Penn to extend a broad pier along the Delaware, the length of the city, was never carried into effect: it is the one objection to the admirable arrangement of Philadelphia. It is to be hoped that, in the new need for wharf-room, the liberal spirit of the merchants will remember the wish of the great founder, and remove the unsightly edifices which now crowd into the river. With a man like Mr. Biddle in the municipality, no good or great change need be despaired of.



The Capitol presents a very noble appearance, as the spectator advances to it in the point of view taken by the artist; and from what is shown of the proportions and size of the building, a very imposing effect is produced. Its height, the ascending terraces, the monument and its fountain, the grand balustrade of freestone which protects the offices below, and the distinct object which it forms, standing alone on its lofty site, combine to make up the impression of grandeur, in which its architectural defects are lost or forgotten.

The waste lands which lie at the foot of Capitol Hill might be marshes in the centre of a wilderness for any trace of cultivation about them; but they are appropriated for a botanical garden, when Congress shall find time to order its arrangement and cultivation. This, however, and other features of desolation which belong to so thinly settled a metropolis, are said, by the defenders of Washington’s foresight, to answer one of his chief ends, in the location of the Capitol far from any commercial centre—that to prevent intimidation or interference from the people, the legislative capital should be thinly peopled, and in the power exclusively of the legislators themselves. The district of Columbia, accordingly, which was presented and set apart to the General Congress, by the different states, has a sort of civic government, of which the President of the United States held, in the first instance, the office of Mayor, and by its distance from the sea, and the natural independence of its position, it is impossible it should ever become a commercial or a thickly populated mart.

In a little volume written by a descendant of Washington, an account is given of the first survey of the Potomac, by the great patriot, with reference to the navigation above tide-water.

“The canoe, or pirogue,” says the author, “in which General Washington and a party of friends first made the survey of the Potomac, was hollowed out of a large poplar tree, on the estate of Colonel Johnson, of Frederick county, Maryland. This humble bark was placed upon a waggon, hauled to the margin of the Monocacy river, launched into the stream, and there received its honoured freight. The General was accompanied by Governor Johnson, one of the first commissioners for the location of the city of Washington, and several other gentlemen. At nightfall, it was usual for the party to land and seek quarters of some of the planters, or farmers, who lived near the banks of the river, in all the pride and comfort of old-fashioned kindliness and hospitality. Putting up for a night at a respectable farmer’s, the General and the two Johnsons were shown into a room, having but two beds. ‘Come, gentlemen!’ said Washington, ‘who will be my bedfellow?’ Both declined. Colonel Johnson often afterwards declared, that greatly as he should have felt honoured by such intimacy, the awe and reverence with which the chief had—inspired him, even in their daily and unreserved intercourse, would have made the liberty seem little short of profanation.

“While the party were exploring in the vicinity of Harper’s Ferry, news arrived of the burning at the stake of Colonel Crawford, by the Indians at Sandusky. Washington became excited to tears at hearing the recital, for Crawford had been one of the companions of his early life, and had often been his rival in athletic exercises. The unfortunate man was brave as a lion, and had served with great distinction in the war of the revolution. Tears soon gave way to indignation, and Washington, pointing to a lofty rock which juts over the stream, at its remarkable passage through the mountain, exclaimed, with a voice tremulous from feeling, ‘By Heaven, were I the sole judge of these Indians, it would be slight retaliation to hurl every spectator of his death from that height into the abyss.’ ”

To the reader who venerates the name of the great Patriot, no anecdote, however trifling, told in connexion with the monuments of his greatness, can be unappropriate or uninteresting.


Between some of its beautiful islands, and between the islands and the main, Lake George assumes the character of calm river scenery. From the undisturbed state of the vegetation on the shore, however, and the absence of the deposit left by the freshets, to which running streams are liable, the scenery is lovelier than that of most rivers, and differs from them, as the shores of the tideless Mediterranean differ from those of the disturbed Atlantic. There is scarce one of these beautiful islands that has not some association or legend of interest, and this story is recorded of Diamond Island, the one most visited and admired:—A party of pleasure had been visiting the island on a little sailing excursion, and having lingered longer upon that beautiful spot than they were conscious of, as night drew on, concluded to encamp for the night,—it being already too late to return to the fort. “From the shore where we lay hid,” said Cane, “it was easy to watch their motions; and perceiving their defenceless situation, as soon as it was dark we set off for the island, where we found them asleep by their fire, and discharged our guns among them. Several were killed, among whom was one woman, who had a sucking child, which was not hurt. This we put to the breast of its dead mother, and so we left it. But Major Hopkins was only wounded, his thigh-bone being broken; he started from his sleep to a rising posture, when I struck him,” said Barney Cane, “with the butt of my gun, on the side of his head; he fell over, but caught on one hand; I then knocked him the other way, when he caught with the other hand; a third blow, and I laid him dead. These were all scalped except the infant. In the morning, a party from the fort went and brought away the dead, together with one they found alive, although he was scalped, and the babe, which was hanging and sobbing at the bosom of its lifeless mother.”

Even this tale of barbarity to a mother, yields in horror to the sufferings of Massy Harbisson, from whose journal of captivity, take for example the following passages;—“The Indians, when they had flogged me away along with them, took my oldest boy, a lad of about five years of age, along with them, for he was still at the door by my side. My middle little boy, who was about three years of age, had by this time obtained a situation by the fire in the house, and was crying bitterly to me not to go, and making bitter complaints of the depredations of the savages.

“But these monsters were not willing to let the child remain behind them; they took him by the hand to drag him along with them, but he was so very unwilling to go, and made such a noise by crying, that they took him up by the feet, and dashed his brains out against the threshold of the door. They then scalped and stabbed him, and left him for dead. When I witnessed this inhuman butchery of my own child, I gave a most indescribable and terrific scream, and felt a dimness come over my eyes next to blindness, and my senses were nearly gone. The savage then gave me a blow across my head and face, and brought me to my sight and recollection again. During the whole of this agonizing scene, I kept my infant in my arms.

“As soon as their murder was effected, they marched me along to the top of the bank, about forty or sixty rods, and there they stopped and divided the plunder they had taken from our house; and here I counted their number, and found them to be thirty-two, two of whom were white men, painted as Indians.

“Here I beheld another hard scene, for as soon as we had landed, my little boy, who was still mourning and lamenting about his little brother, and who complained that he was injured by the fall in descending the bank, was murdered.

“One of the Indians ordered me along, probably that I should not see the horrid deed about to be perpetrated. The other then took his tomahawk from his side, and with this instrument of death killed and scalped him. When I beheld this second scene of inhuman butchery, I fell to the ground senseless, with my infant in my arms, it being under, and its little hands in the hair of my head. How long I remained in this state of insensibility, I know not.

“The first thing I remember was my raising my head from the ground, and my feeling myself exceedingly overcome with sleep. I cast my eyes around, and saw the scalp of my dear little boy, fresh bleeding from his head, in the hand of one of the savages, and sunk down to the earth again, upon my infant child. The first thing I remember after witnessing this spectacle of woe, was the severe blows I was receiving from the hands of the savages, though at this time I was unconscious of the injury I was sustaining. After a severe castigation, they assisted me in getting up, and supported me when up.

“In the morning one of them left us, to watch the trail or path we had come, to see if any white people were pursuing us. During the absence of the Indian, who was the one that claimed me, the other, who remained with me, and who was the murderer of my last boy, took from his bosom his scalp, and prepared a hoop, and stretched the scalp upon it. Those mothers who have not seen the like done by one of the scalps of their own children, (and few, if any, ever had so much misery to endure,) will be able to form but faint ideas of the feelings which then harrowed up my soul!”


The description of Jefferson first attracted the attention of travellers to this remarkable spot, unequalled probably in the world. Of recent descriptions the best is that by Miss Martineau, which is so characteristic and interesting, that we can add nothing to it.

“At a mile from the bridge, the road turns off through a wood. While the stage rolled and jolted along the extremely bad road, Mr. L—— and I went prying about the whole area of the wood, poking our horses’ noses into every thicket, and between any two pieces of rock, that we might be sure not to miss our object; the driver smiling after us, whenever he could spare attention from his own not very easy task, of getting his charge along. With all my attention, I could see no precipice, and was concluding to follow the road without any more vagaries, when Mr. L——, who was a little in advance, waived his whip, as he stood beside his horse, and said, ‘Here is the bridge!’ I then perceived that we were nearly over it, the piled rocks on either hand forming a barrier, which prevents a careless eye from perceiving the ravine which it spans. I turned to the side of the road, and rose in my stirrup to look over; but I found it would not do. I went on to the inn, deposited my horses and returned on foot to the bridge.

“With all my efforts, I could not look down steadily into what seemed the bottomless abyss of foliage and shadow. From every point of the bridge I tried, and all in vain. I was heated and extremely hungry, and much vexed at my own weakness. The only way was to go down and look up; though where the bottom could be, was past my imagining, the view from the top seeming to be of foliage below foliage for ever.

“The way to the glen is through a field opposite the inn, and down a steep, rough, rocky path, which leads under the bridge, and a few yards beyond it. I think the finest view of all is from this path, just before reaching the bridge. The irregular arch of rock, spanning a chasm of one hundred and sixty feet in height, and from sixty to ninety in width, is exquisitely tinted with every shade of grey and brown; while trees encroach from the sides, and overhang from the top; between which and the arch there is an additional depth of fifty-six feet. It was now early in July; the trees were in their brightest and thickest foliage; and the tall beeches under the arch contrasted their verdure with the grey rock, and received the gilding of the sunshine, as it slanted into the ravine, glittering in the drip from the arch, and in the splashing and tumbling waters of Cedar Creek, which ran by our feet. Swallows were flying about under the arch. What others of their tribe can boast of such a home?

“We crossed and re-crossed the creek on stepping-stones, searching out every spot to which any tradition belonged. Under the arch, thirty feet from the water, the lower part of the letters G. W. may be seen, carved in the rock. When Washington was a young man, he climbed up hither, to leave this record of his visit. There are other inscriptions, of the same kind; and above them a board, on which are painted the names of two persons, who have thought it worth while thus to immortalize their feat of climbing highest. But their glory was but transient, after all. They have been outstripped by a traveller, whose achievement will probably never be rivalled; for he would not have accomplished it, if he could by any means have declined the task. Never was a wonderful deed more involuntarily performed. There is no disparagement to the gentleman in saying this: it is only absolving him from the charge of foolhardiness.

“This young man, named Blacklock, accompanied by two friends, visited the Natural Bridge; and, being seized with the ambition appropriate to the place, of writing his name highest, climbed the rock opposite to the part selected by Washington, and carved his initials. Others have perhaps seen what Mr. Blacklock had overlooked—that it was a place easy to ascend, but from which it is impossible to come down. He was forty feet or more from the path; his footing was precarious; he was weary with holding on, while carving his name, and his head began to swim when he saw the impossibility of getting down again. He called to his companions that his only chance was to climb up upon the bridge, without hesitation or delay. They saw this, and with anguish agreed between themselves that the chance was a very bare one. They cheered him, and advised him to look neither up nor down. On he went, slanting upwards from under the arch, creeping round a projection, on which no foothold is visible from below, and then disappearing in a recess filled up with foliage. Long and long they waited, watching for motion, and listening for crashing among the trees. He must have been now one hundred and fifty feet above them. At length their eyes were so strained that they could see no more; and they had almost lost all hope. There was little doubt that he had fallen while behind the trees, where his body would never be found. They went up to try the chance of looking for him from above. They found him lying insensible on the bridge. He could just remember reaching the top, when he immediately fainted. One would like to know whether the accident left him a coward, in respect of climbing, or whether it strengthened his confidence in his nerves.”


A description of these beautiful Falls having been given in another page of the work, it may be worth while to step a little aside from the immediate subject of the drawing, in search of historic incident. The annals of New Jersey present nothing more interesting than the military operations of Washington, within its border; and among these stands conspicuous the battle at Monmouth Court House. On the news of the alliance between America and France, the British Government ordered its forces to be concentrated at New York. The royal army, in consequence, evacuated Philadelphia, and took up their march through New Jersey, where Washington resolved to hazard a battle. “The British army,” says the historian, “marched in two divisions,—the van commanded by General Knyphausen, and the rear by Lord Cornwallis; but the British commander-in-chief, judging that the design of the American General was to make an attempt on his baggage, put it under the care of General Knyphausen, that the rear division, consisting of the flower of the British army, might be ready to act with vigour. This arrangement being made, General Knyphausen’s division marched, in pursuance of orders, at break of day, on the 28th of June; but the other division, under Lord Cornwallis, attended by the Commander-in-chief, did not move until eight, that it might not press too closely on the baggage. General Lee appeared on the heights of Freehold, soon after the British had left them; and, following them into the plain, made dispositions for intercepting their covering party in the rear. While he was advancing to the front of a wood, adjoining the plain, to reconnoitre the enemy in person, Sir Henry Clinton was marching back his whole rear division, to attack the Americans. Lee now perceived that he had mistaken the force which formed the rear of the British; but he still proposed to engage on that ground. While both armies were preparing for action, General Scott, mistaking an oblique march of an American column for a retreat, left his position, and repassed a morass in his rear. Lee, dissatisfied with the ground on which the army was drawn up, did not correct the error of Scott, but directed the whole detachment to repass the morass, and regain the heights. During this retrograde movement, the rear of the army, which at the first firing had thrown off their packs, and advanced rapidly to the support of the front, approached the scene of action; and General Washington, riding forward, met the advanced corps, to his extreme mortification and astonishment, retiring before the enemy. On coming up to Lee, he spoke to him in terms of disapprobation; but, though warm, he lost not for a moment that self-command, than which, at so critical a moment, nothing could be more essential to the command of others. He instantly ordered Colonel Stewart’s and Lieutenant-Colonel Ramsay’s battalions to form on a piece of ground, which he judged suitable for giving a check to the enemy; and, having directed General Lee to take proper measures with the residue of his force to stop the British columns on that ground, he rode back himself to arrange the rear division of the army. His orders were executed with firmness. A sharp conflict ensued; and though Lee was forced from the ground on which he had been placed, he brought off his troops in good order, and was then directed to form in the rear of Englishtown. The check which he had given to the enemy procured time to make a disposition of the left wing, and second line of the American army, in the wood, and on the eminence to which Lee was retreating. Lord Stirling, who commanded the left wing, placed some cannon on the eminence, which, with the cooperation of some parties of infantry, effectually stopped the advance of the British in that quarter. The enemy attempted to turn the left flank of the Americans, but were repulsed. They also made a movement to the right, but were there repelled by General Greene, who had taken a very advantageous position. Wayne, advancing with a body of troops, kept up so severe and well-directed a fire, that the British soon gave way, and took the position which Lee had before occupied, where the action commenced immediately after the arrival of General Washington. Here the British line was formed on very strong ground. Both flanks were secured by the woods and morasses, and their front could only be reached through a narrow pass. The day had been intensely hot, and the troops were greatly fatigued; yet General Washington resolved to renew the engagement. He ordered Brigadier-General Poor, with his own and the Carolina brigade, to gain the enemy’s right flank, while Woodford, with his brigade, should turn their left. The artillery was ordered at the same time to advance and play on them in front. These orders were promptly obeyed; but there were so many impediments to be overcome, that before the attack could be commenced, it was nearly dark. It was therefore thought most advisable to postpone further operations until morning; and the troops lay on their arms in the field of battle. General Washington, who had been exceedingly active through the day, and entirely regardless of personal danger, reposed himself at night in his cloak, under a tree, in the midst of his soldiers. His intention of renewing the battle was frustrated. The British troops marched about midnight, in such profound silence, that the most advanced posts, and those very near, knew nothing of their departure until morning.”



The comfort and prosperity of the towns on this and other central rivers, in the middle states, have been dearly bought by the sacrifices of the pioneers, who went in advance of civilization, and over whose graves the grass is hardly yet matted with time. It is necessary to look back constantly to the recent date of the chronicles of those border contests, to realize that centuries have not elapsed since these flourishing fields were contended for, hand to hand, by the white and the red man.

It was only in 1778, that the increasing inroads on the settlements in this part of the country compelled many of the inhabitants to abandon their farms, and congregate at the rude forts scattered along the frontier, where they could resist, to more advantage, the dangers which threatened them. An exciting tale is recorded of a contest between an old man and two Indians, under the following circumstances.

David Morgan, the hero of the story, was upwards of sixty years of age. He owned a small farm about a mile from one of the forts; and on the day of the adventure, not feeling very well, he had sent his son and daughter to feed the cattle, at the deserted barn, and had gone to bed, in the fort. As he slept, he dreamed that he saw his children making towards him, scalped. The fancy was so vivid, that he started from his sleep, and, finding they had not returned, took his gun, and walked out rapidly to find them. He reached the farm in great agitation, but the children were there, and he sat down on a log to recover his composure. He had not sat long, before two Indians came out of the house, and made towards his son and daughter, who were at a little distance, preparing the ground for melons. Fearing to alarm them too much, and thus deprive them of the power of escaping, he kept his seat; and, in his usual tone of voice, apprised them of their danger, and told them to run towards the fort. The savages raised a terrific cry, and started in pursuit: but the old man showing himself at the same instant, they took to the shelter of the trees. Morgan then attempted to follow his children; but in a minute or too, finding that the savages gained upon him, he turned to fire. They instantly sprang behind trees, and the old man did the same, taking aim at one of the Indians, whose refuge, a small sapling, did not entirely cover his body. As he was on the point of firing, the savage felt his exposure, and dropped behind a prostrate log, close at his feet. The next instant the reserved shot took effect, beneath the log, and the Indian rolled over, stabbing himself twice in the breast.

Having disposed of one of his foes, Morgan abandoned the shelter of his tree, and took to flight. The Indian pursued, and the race was continued about sixty yards, when, looking over his shoulder, the old man saw the gun raised, within a few paces of him. He sprang aside, and the ball whizzed harmlessly by. It was now a more equal contest; and Morgan struck at the Indian with his gun, receiving at the same instant a blow from a tomahawk, which severed one of the fingers from his left hand. They closed immediately, and the Indian was thrown; but overturned the old man, with a powerful effort; and, sitting on his breast, uttered his yell of victory, and felt for his knife. A woman’s apron, which he had stolen from the farm-house, and tied around his waist, embarrassed him; and Morgan seized one of his hands between his teeth, and, getting hold, himself, of the handle of the knife, drew it so sharply through the Indian’s fingers, as to wound him severely. In the struggle, they regained their feet, and still retaining his hold on the fingers in his mouth, Morgan gave him a stab, which decided the contest. The savage fell, and, afraid that others of the tribe might be lurking near, the exhausted old man made the best of his way to the fort.

A party immediately went out to the spot where the struggle had taken place, but the fallen Indian was not to be seen. They tracked him by his blood to a fallen tree, where he was endeavouring to stanch his wounds with the stolen apron. On their approaching him, he affected to smile, and endeavoured to conciliate them, crying out, in his broken English, “How do, broder? how do, broder?” There was little mercy in store for him, however. To the shame of our white race, it is recorded that “they tomahawked and scalped him: and afterwards flaying both him and his companion, they converted their skins into saddle-seats and pouches!”


The name given to this fine fragment of the White Mountains, indicates very fairly the favourite vein of association in the minds of the first Puritan settlers of New Hampshire; but it looks as much like a pulpit as many other rocks in the bold scenery of New England, of which we know at least a dozen by the same name. Settled by the same class of stern religionists as Massachusetts, New Hampshire has not upon its history the same blot of fanaticism. The tragical era of persecution for witchcraft in Massachusetts had no corresponding abomination in New Hampshire. The two or three cases on record are rather amusing—particularly that inserted in the historical collections, under the title of “The Complaint of Susan Trimmings, of Little Harbour, Piscatagua.” The complaint and evidence were as follows:—

“On Lord’s-day, 30th of March, at night, going home with Goodwife Barton, she separated from her at the freshet next her house. On her return, between Goodman Evens’s and Robert Davis’s, she heard a rustling in the woods, which she at first thought was occasioned by swine; and presently after, there did appear to her a woman, whom she apprehended to be old Goodwife Walford. She asked me where my consort was; I answered, I had none. She said, thy consort is at home by this time: lend me a pound of cotton. I told her I had but two pounds in the house, and I would not spare any to my mother. She said I had better have done it; that my sorrow was great already, and it should be greater; for I was going a great journey, but should never come there. She then left me; and I was struck as with a clap of fire on the back, and she vanished towards the water-side, in my apprehension, in the shape of a cat. She had on her head a white linen hood tied under her chin, and her waistcoat and petticoat were red, with an old green apron, and a black hat upon her head.”—Taken upon oath, 18th April, 1656.

“Her husband (Oliver) says, she came home in a sad condition. She passed by me with her child in her arms, laid the child on the bed, sat down on the chest, and leaned upon her elbow. Three times I asked her how she did. She could not speak. I took her in my arms and held her up, and repeated the question. She forced breath, and something stopped in her throat as if it would have stopped her breath. I unlaced her clothes, and soon she spake and said, ‘Lord, have mercy upon me, this wicked woman will kill me.’ I asked her what woman? she said, Goodwife Walford. I tried to persuade her it was only her weakness. She told me no; and related as above, that her back was as a flame of fire, and her lower parts were as it were numb, and without feeling. I pinched her, and she felt not. She continued that night, and the day and night following, very ill, and is still bad of her limbs, and complains still daily of it.

“A witness deposed, June 1656, that he was at Goodman Walford’s, 30th March, 1656, at the time mentioned by Mrs. Trimmings, and that Goodwife Walford was at home till quite dark, as well as she ever was in her life.

Nicholas Rowe testified that Jane Walford, shortly after she was accused, came to the deponent in bed in the evening, and put her hand upon his breast, so that he could not speak, and was in great pain till the next day. By the light of the fire in the next room it appeared to be Goody Walford, but she did not speak. She repeated her visit about a week after, and did as before, but said nothing.

Eliza Barton deposed that she saw Susannah Trimmings at the time she was ill, and her face was coloured and spotted with several colours. She told the deponent the story, who replied, that it was nothing but her fantasy; her eyes looked as if they had been scalded.

John Puddington deposed that three years since, Goodwife Walford came to his mother’s. She said that her own husband called her an old witch; and when she came to her cattle, her husband would bid her begone, for she did overlook the cattle; which is as much as to say, in our country, bewitching.

Agnes Puddington deposes, that, on the 11th of April, 1656, the wife of W. Evens came to her house, and lay there all night; and a little after sun-set, the deponent saw a yellowish cat; and Mrs. E. said she was followed by a cat wherever she went. John came and saw a cat in the garden—took down his gun to shoot her; the cat got up on a tree, and the gun would not take fire, and afterwards would not stand cocked. She afterwards saw three cats; the yellow one vanished away on a plain ground; she could not tell which way they went.

John Puddington testifies to the same effect.

“Three other deponents say they heard Eliza, the wife of Nicholas Rowe, say, that there were three men witches at Strawberry Bank; one was Thomas Lurpin, who was drowned; another, old Hans; and the third should be ‘nameless,’ because he should be blameless. Goodwife Walford was bound over to the next Court.

Court of Associates, June, 1656.

“Jane Walford being brought to this court upon suspicion of being a witch, is to continue bound until the next court, to be responsive.

“This complaint was probably dropped at the next term. Goodwife Walford brought an action of slander in the County Court, 22d of March, 1669, against one Robert Coutch, and laid her damages at one thousand pounds.

“Declaration in an action of slander for saying that the said Jane was a witch, and he could prove her one, which is greatly to her damage.

“Verdict for plaintiff, Walford, five pounds, and costs of court.”


A wedge-shaped promontory, or bluff, pushes forward to the river at this spot; and on its summit, which widens into a noble plain, stands the city of Hudson. The business of the place is chiefly done in a simple street, which runs at eight angles from the river. Its growth at first was remarkably rapid; but the resources of the surrounding country were found inadequate to second its prosperity, and its trade has accordingly been nearly stationary for a number of years. The enterprise of the citizens, however, has found a new source of wealth in the whale fishery.

It is supposed that the Halve-Mane, the vessel in which the great discoverer made his first passage up the Hudson, reached no farther than two leagues above the city which bears his name, and that the remainder of the exploring voyage was made in the shallop. His reception here was in the highest degree hospitable. “He went on shore in one of their canoes, with an old Indian, who was the chief of forty men, and seventeen women; these he saw in a house made of the bark of trees, exceedingly smooth and well-finished within and without. He found a great quantity of Indian corn and beans, enough of which were drying near the house to have loaded three ships, besides what was growing on the fields. On coming to the house, two mats were spread to sit on, eatables were brought in, in red bowls, well made; and two men were sent off with bows and arrows, who soon returned with two pigeons. They also killed a fat dog, and skinned it with shells. They expected their visitors would remain during the night, but the latter determined to return on board. The natives were exceedingly kind and good-tempered; for when they discovered Hudson’s determination to proceed on board, they, imagining it proceeded from fear of their bows and arrows, broke them to pieces, and threw them into the fire.”

On his return down the river, Hudson stopped again for four days opposite the site of the future city. The historical collections give a very particular account of every day’s movements in this interesting voyage. “On the report of those whom he had sent to explore the river,” says the historian, “Hudson found that it would be useless to proceed with his ship any farther, or to delay his return. He had passed several days in a profitable traffic, and a friendly intercourse with the natives; among whom were probably those from each side of the river—the Mahicanni, as well as the Mohawks. At noon of the 23d of September, he therefore went down six miles to a shoal: having but little wind, the tide laid his ship on the bar until the flood came, when she crossed it, and was anchored for the night.

“The next day, after proceeding seven or eight leagues, she grounded on a bank of ooze in the middle of the river, where she was detained till the ensuing morning, when the flood, at ten o’clock, enabled Hudson to anchor her in deep water. Thus the ship once more was interrupted in her passage opposite the spot where a city now commemorates the name of Hudson.

“Here he remained, by reason of adverse winds, four days. On the day of his arrival, ‘they went on land and gathered good store of chestnuts;’ but whether on the east or west side of the river, is not mentioned. But the day following they went on land, ‘to walk on the west side of the river, and found good ground for corn, and other garden herbs, with good store of goodly oaks and walnut-trees, and chestnut-trees, yew-trees, and trees of sweet wood, in great abundance, and great store of slate for houses, and other good stones.’ Nothing is said of any inhabitants while they were thus visiting the site, which is now that of the village of Athens, opposite Hudson. But, next morning (26th), after the carpenter, mate, and four of the company, had gone on shore to cut wood, while the vessel lay at anchor, two canoes came up the river from the place where they first found ‘loving people,’ (Catskill landing,) and in one of them was the old chief whom Hudson had caused to be made intoxicated at Albany. He had followed our strange visitors thirty miles, to the base of the Catskill mountains, with the double view of again testifying to Hudson the sincerity of his friendship, and of gratifying the love of the marvellous, by relating his own adventures to the mountaineers, and drawing them from their retreat to witness the floating phenomenon. The old chief now introduced with him ‘an old man, who brought more stropes of beads, and gave them to our master, and showed him all the country thereabout, as though it were at his command!’ They tarried, greatly pleased with the unaccountable curiosities they discovered on board. Hudson ‘made the two old men dine with him, and the old man’s wife; for they brought two old women, and two young maidens of the age of sixteen or seventeen years with them, who behaved themselves very modestly.’

“After dinner, and upon exchange of presents, the guests retired, inviting Hudson by signs to come down to them; for the ship was within two leagues of the place where they dwelt.”

The concluding circumstances of this interesting return down the Hudson, will accompany another view in the series.



Having dwelt upon the scenery of this celebrated Lake in other pages of this work, let us glance here at the events which took place upon its borders during the war between the French and the British colonies, in 1755.

The Baron de Dieskau had arrived from France, in company with De Vaudreuil, Governor General of Canada, bringing with him three thousand regular troops, destined to make war on the English colonies. Landing at Quebec, his first instructions were to reduce Osnego, but intelligence reaching the Governor that a considerable force was collecting at Lake Sacrament (now Lake George) with the probable intention of invading Canada, Baron Dieskau changed his route, and proceeded up Lake Champlain.

The provincial army was commanded by Colonel, afterwards Sir William, Johnson; and it was in alliance with a considerable body of Indians, under the command of the celebrated chief Hendrick, the great Mohawk Sachem. In Johnson’s official report he is called “a valiant warrior, and a faithful friend.”

After a fruitless attempt to surprise and take Fort Edward, Dieskau advanced toward the head of Lake George. On the first intimation of his approach, a council of war was called by Colonel Johnson, and it was determined that a party should go out to meet him. The number of men fixed upon was mentioned by Johnson to Hendrick. The Sachem replied, “If they are to fight, they are too few; if they are to be killed, they are too many.” The number was accordingly increased. General Johnson, also, proposed to divide them into three parties. Hendrick took three sticks, and putting them together, said to him, “Put these together, and you cannot break them; take them one by one, and you will break them easily.” The hint succeeded, and Hendrick’s sticks probably saved the whole army from destruction.

The detached party consisted of twelve hundred, commanded by Colonel Williams. He met the enemy about four miles from Lake George. Dieskau had been informed of his approach by scouts, and arranged his men on both sides of the road in a half-moon, to receive him. The whole country was a forest, and Williams impetuously marched directly into the hollow. At the same instant, a tremendous fire was opened on him in front, and on both his flanks; and Johnson and Hendrick fell among the heaps of the slain, the latter displaying the highest courage and valour. His death was embittered by the disgrace of receiving the mortal wound in his back, and his last breath was spent in lamenting it.

The overpowered detachment fell back in good order upon the entrenchments, and the enemy advanced to the position of General Johnson, which was upon the shore of Lake George. They began the engagement by firing in platoons upon the centre, but did little injury. After an hour or two of manœuvering and skirmishing, the English leaped over their breast-works, and charged upon the enemy. They broke, and fled in every direction; and Dieskau was found by a soldier, resting on a stump, with scarcely an attendant. As he was feeling for his watch to give it to the soldier, the man, thinking he was feeling for a pistol, discharged his musket through his hips. He was carried into camp in a blanket by eight men, with the greatest care and tenderness, but in extreme agony. For some reason or other, the flying enemy was not pursued, and few were taken prisoners. They had fought with great bravery, and had kept the field till one-third of their number was cut down—a thousand being left dead on the field.

On their retreat, the French army was met by a party of provincial militia, amounting in all to a hundred and fifty men. With the loss of only six men, (among whom was the second in command, Captain M’Ginnes,) this small body of men succeeded in driving the French from their ground, and possessing themselves of all the ammunition and baggage of the flying army. His Majesty was so well pleased with the result of this battle, that he created General Johnson a baronet, and Parliament voted him a present of 5000l.

The Sachem Hendrick had lived a life of unsullied bravery, and died fighting gallantly. He was at this time from sixty to seventy years of age. His head was covered with white locks, and, what is uncommon among Indians, he was corpulent. Immediately before the march, he mounted a rock and addressed his people. He had a voice of great depth and power, and could be heard distinctly half a mile. His eloquence is represented as fiery and impressive to a degree, unusual even among this nation of orators. It is said, that when his death was announced to his son, the young chief gave a single groan; but immediately recovered himself, and striking his hand on his breast, rose with great dignity and said, his father was still alive in his son’s bosom.

Dieskau was conveyed from Albany to New York, and thence to England, where he soon after died.


The Water-works of Philadelphia rank among the most noble public undertakings of the world. The paucity of water in the city first set to work the sagacious mind of Dr. Franklin, who, by will, bequeathed a portion of a long accumulated legacy to bring a greater supply of this necessary element from Wissahiccon Creek. This was found, after a while, to be insufficient; and a plan was proposed, and carried into operation, to form a reservoir on the east bank of the Schuylkill, from which water was to be thrown by a steam-engine into a tunnel, conveyed to a central position, and raised by a second engine to a higher reservoir, which supplied all the pipes in the city. An experience of ten years satisfied the corporation that a sufficient supply could not be obtained by this method. The steam-engines were liable to frequent accidents, and the derangement of one stopped the supply of the whole city. After several other futile experiments, the present extensive yet simple water-works were proposed, and three hundred and fifty thousand dollars voted at once by the city corporation for the commencement of the undertaking.

The Schuylkill opposite Philadelphia, is about nine hundred feet in breadth. It is subject to sudden freshets, (an American word, unknown in this use in England, and meaning an overflow of a river current,) but its average depth is thirty feet at high water. It was necessary to back the river up about six miles; and a dam was then created by cribs and masonry, running diagonally across, with several ingenious contrivances to prevent damage by ice and spring freshets. A overfall of one thousand two hundred and four feet, forming a beautiful feature of the scenery, is thus created, and a water-power upon the wheels sufficient to raise eleven millions of gallons in twenty-four hours. The reservoirs, elevated above the top of the highest house in the city, crown the ornamental hill which overhangs the river at this place; and water can thus be conveyed to every quarter of Philadelphia, and made to spring, as if by a magic touch, in the highest chamber of the inhabitant. It is of a deliciously soft and pleasant quality; and those who are habituated to wash in the “city of brotherly love,” are spoiled for the less agreeable lavations afforded by other towns in America.

Fair Mount is a beautiful spot; and standing, as it does, just on the skirt of the town, it serves the additional use of a place of pleasant and healthful public resort. The buildings containing the pump-rooms have considerable pretensions to architecture; and the façades and galleries extend along the river, forming a showy object from every point of view, but from the absence of any grand design in the whole, failing of a general fine effect, and presenting what a Londoner would call rather a teagardenish appearance. Steps and terraces conduct to the reservoirs, and thence the view over the ornamented grounds of the country seats opposite, and of a very picturesque and uneven country beyond, is exceedingly attractive. Below, the court of the principal building is laid out with gravel walks, and ornamented with fountains and flowering trees; and within the edifice there is a public drawing-room, of neat design and furniture; while in another wing are elegant refreshment-rooms—and, in short, all the appliances and means of a place of public amusement.

It may as well be remarked here, that this last advantage is less improved in America than it would be in any other country. The Water-works of Fair Mount, though within fifteen minutes’ walk of every citizen’s dwelling in Philadelphia, are (comparatively to its capacities) unfrequented. In several visits made to them in fine weather, we scarce saw more than three or four persons in the grounds; and those seemed looking for other company, more than enjoying the refreshing fountains and lovely prospects around them. As a people, we have no habit of amusement in America. Business and repose are the only two states of existence we know. How far Europeans have the better of us in this respect—how much our morals improve, or our health suffers, from the distaste for places of public relaxation and resort, are questions the political economists have not yet condescended to settle.



This is one of those chaste and beautiful buildings which have given the public architecture of Philadelphia a superiority over that of every other city of our country. It needs but that its fair marble should be weather-fretted and stained, to express perfectly to the eye the model of one of the most graceful temples of antiquity. The severe simplicity of taste which breathes through this Greek model, however, is not adapted to private buildings; and in a certain kind of simplicity, or rather of want of ornament, lies the fault found by every eye in the domestic architecture of this city. The chess-board regularity of the streets, so embarrassing to a stranger, as well as tiresome to the gaze, require a more varied, if not a more ornate style. The hundreds of houses that resemble each other in every distinguishable particular, occasion a bewilderment and fatigue to the unaccustomed eye, which a citizen of Philadelphia can scarcely comprehend.

The uniformity and plainness which William Penn has bequeathed in such an abiding legacy to Philadelphia, however, is seen but by a faint penumbra in the dress of the inhabitants, or in their equipages, style of living, and costliness of furniture and entertainment. A faint shadow of original simplicity there still certainly exists, visible through all the departures from the spirit of Quakerism; and it is a leaven of taste and elegance in the ferment of luxury which has given Philadelphia emphatically a character for refinement. A more delightful temper and tone of society, a more enjoyable state of the exercise and mode of hospitality, or a more comfortable metropolis to live in, certainly does not exist this side the water. A European would prefer Philadelphia to every other residence in the United States.

Is it possible to realize, that, on the site of this refined capital, only a hundred and fifty years ago, lived a people in such strong contrast to the above, (save only in hospitality,) as are described by William Penn in the following terms!—

“The natives I shall consider in their persons, language, manners, religion, and government, with my sense of their original. For their persons, they are generally tall, straight, well-built, and of singular proportion; they tread strong and clever, and mostly walk with a lofty chin. Of complexion, black, but by design, as the gypsies in England: they grease themselves with bear’s fat, clarified; and using no defence against sun or weather, their skins must needs be swarthy. Their eye is little and black, not unlike a straight-looked Jew. The thick lip and flat nose, so frequent with the East Indians and Blacks, are not common to them; many of them have fine Roman noses.

“Their language is lofty, yet narrow; but like the Hebrew, in signification full. Like short-hand in writing, one word serveth in the place of three, and the rest are supplied by the understanding of the hearer; imperfect in their tenses, wanting in their moods, participles, adverbs, conjunctions, and interjections.

“Of their customs and manners there is much to be said: I will begin with children. So soon as they are born, they wash them in water; and while very young, and in cold weather, they plunge them in the rivers, to harden and embolden them. The children will go very young—at nine months, commonly: if boys, they go a fishing till ripe for the woods, which is about fifteen; then they hunt, and after having given some proofs of their manhood by a good return of skins, they may marry; else it is a shame to think of a wife. The girls stay with their mothers, and help to hoe the ground, plant corn, and carry burdens: and they do well to use them to that young, which they must do when they are old; for the wives are the true servants of the husbands, otherwise the men are very affectionate to them.

“When the young women are fit for marriage, they wear something upon their heads for an advertisement, but so as their faces are hardly to be seen but when they please. The age they marry at, if women, is about thirteen and fourteen; if men, seventeen and eighteen; they are rarely elder.

“Their houses are mats, or barks of trees, set on poles, in the fashion of an English barn, but out of the power of the winds, for they are hardly higher than a man: they lie on reeds, or grass. In travel, they lodge in the woods, about a great fire, with the mantle of duffils they wear by day wrapt about them, and a few boughs stuck round them.

“Their diet is maize, or Indian corn, divers ways prepared; sometimes roasted in the ashes; sometimes beaten and boiled with water, which they call homine; they also make cakes not unpleasant to eat. They have likewise several sorts of beans and peas that are good nourishment; and the woods and rivers are their larder.”



Lewiston is seldom seen to advantage by the traveller, who, in his eagerness to reach Niagara, if going thither, or in the fulness of his recollections, if returning, pays it very little attention. The village itself is as dull and indifferent-looking a place as one would chance to see; but it stands at the outlet of Niagara river into Lake Ontario, and its neighbourhood on all sides is picturesque and beautiful.

Across the river, on the heights of Queenstown, stands the Monument of General Brock, who died fighting very gallantly on this spot. A slight resumer of the hard-fought battle of Queenstown, which was creditable to the courage and spirit of both countries, will be in place accompanying this view.

The American forces on the Niagara river consisted of about five thousand eight hundred men, under the command of Colonel Van Rensselaer. Eighteen hundred of these were at Black Rock, twenty-eight miles distant, and the remainder at Fort Niagara, under the General’s personal command. Several skirmishes on the St. Lawrence had resulted in favour of the Americans, and the forces at Lewiston were very anxious to have an opportunity for action.

Directly opposite to the camp, on the other side of the river, lay Queenstown, strongly fortified, and garrisoned by a large force, waiting the orders of General Brock, then in Michigan. It was supposed that preparations were making for a general attack on the frontier. The possession of this place was considered very important to the Americans, as it was the port for all the merchandise of the country above, and a depôt of public stores for the line of English posts on Niagara and Detroit rivers. It has besides, an excellent harbour, and good anchorage.

An attack on Queenstown was projected for the night of the 11th of October. It failed, however, in consequence of a tremendous storm, and of the loss of a boat containing all the oars for the ferriage. Better arrangements were completed by the night of the 12th, and on the morning of the 13th, three hundred regular troops, and three hundred militia, were ready at dawn of day to cross to the attack.

The river here is one sheet of violent eddies, and the boating very difficult and laborious. A battery, mounting two eighteen-pounders and two sixes, protected the embarkation, and the boats put off. The enemy had been apprised of these preparations, and a brisk fire of musquetry immediately opened along the shore, on the Canada side, which, from the slow progress of the boats, did great execution. One of the boats was hit by a grape shot, which threw the pilot and oarsmen into such confusion, that they were carried down by the stream and obliged to return, and two others dropped below the landing, and fell into the hands of the enemy. Colonel Van Rensselaer, however, succeeded in landing with about a hundred men, under a tremendous fire, and immediately ascended the precipitous bank of the river. Before reaching the summit, he received four balls, and two of his officers were killed, and three wounded. Retiring under the shelter of the bank, Colonel Van Rensselaer had still sufficient strength to give the order for storming the fort; and about sixty men, commanded by Captain Ogilvie, seconded by Captain Wool, who was previously wounded, mounted the rocks on the right of the fort, gave three cheers, and with three desperate charges obtained entire possession; they then carried the heights, and spiked the cannon.

Reinforcements had by this time crossed the river, and the Americans formed on the heights, under the command of Colonel Christie. General Brock, who was on his way to Queenstown, having been met by an express, arrived with a reinforcement of regulars from Fort George, and immediately led his men into the rear of the captured battery. Captain Wool detached one hundred and sixty men to meet him, but the detachment was driven back. It was reinforced once more, and driven again to the brow of the precipice overhanging the river. An American officer at this time, despairing of the attempt, was about raising a white handkerchief on a bayonet, when Captain Wool tore it off, and ordered the men once more to charge. At this moment, Colonel Christie came up with a reinforcement, and repeating Captain Wool’s orders, the American force, amounting then to about three hundred, pushed forward and entirely routed the British 49th, who were aided by the 41st, and who had hitherto been called the Egyptian Invincibles. General Brock was attempting to rally these two regiments, when he received three balls, and died almost immediately.

The British formed again in an hour or two, and were reinforced by several hundred Indians from Chippeway, and other regiments of their own from other posts. Attempting to re-embark and retreat before a force so much superior, the boats were found insufficient, and the American regiments, after fighting nearly twelve hours, surrendered prisoners of war, to the number of seven hundred.

On the burial of General Brock the succeeding day, the batteries on the American side fired during the ceremony, as a tribute of respect to a gallant soldier.


Catskill is more known as the landing-place for travellers bound to the mountains above, than for any remarkable events in its own history, or any singular beauties in itself. It is a thrifty little village, in which the most prosperous vocations are those of inn-keeper and stage-proprietor, and, during the summer months, these two crafts at Catskill entertain and transport to the hotel on the mountain half the population of the United States—more or less. The crowded steamers stop at the landing on their way up and down; and a busier scene than is presented on the wharf twice in the day, for a minute and a half, could not easily be found.

I have often thought in passing, of the contrast between these numerous advents and the landing of Hendrick Hudson on this very spot, in his voyage of discovery up the river. He found here, he says, “a very loving people, and a very old man,” by whom he and his crew were very kindly entertained. From the first step of a white man’s foot on the soil to the crowded rush of passengers from a steam-boat—from a savage wilderness to the height of civilization and science, it is but a little more than two hundred years of rapid history. Compare the old Indian canoe in which Hudson went from his vessel to the land, with a steamer carrying on its deck near a thousand souls; compare the untutored population which then swarmed upon the shore to the cultivated and refined crowds who come and go in thousands on the same spot, and the contrast is as astonishing as the extinction of the aboriginal race is melancholy.

It is surprising how few details connected with the races that inhabited the older settlements of our country are reached even by the researches of Historical Societies. The materials for the future poets and historians of America, are, in this department, singularly meagre, though it might almost be supposed that the very tracks of the retreating tribes might at this early day be still visible on the soil. Wherever any particulars of the intercourse between the first settlers and the Indians are preserved, they are highly curious, and often very diverting. In a book on the settlements of this country, written by Capt. Nathaniel Uring, who visited it in 1709, there is an amusing story connected with the history of one of the forts, built, by permission of the Indians, to secure the settlers against sudden incursion.

“It happened one day,” says the Captain, relating the story as it was told him by the Governor, “as the carpenter was cutting down a large timber-tree for the use of the fort, that great numbers of Indians stood round it, gazing, and admiring the wonderful dexterity of the carpenter, and greatly surprised at the manner of cutting it; having, before the arrival of the Europeans, never seen an axe, or any such like tools. The carpenter, perceiving the tree ready to fall, gave notice to the Indians by language or signs to keep out of its reach when it fell; but either for want of understanding the carpenter, or by carelessness of the Indians, a branch of the tree, in its fall, struck one of them, and killed him; upon which they raised a great cry. The carpenter, seeing them much out of humour at the accident, made his escape into the fort; and soon after, the Indians gathered together in great numbers about it, and demanded justice of the Europeans for the death of their brother, and desired to have the man who was the occasion of his being killed, that they might execute him, and revenge their brother’s death. The governor endeavoured to excuse the carpenter, by representing to them that he was not to blame, and told them that if their brother had observed the notice given him by the carpenter, he had not been hurt; but that answer would not satisfy the Indians; they increased their numbers about the fort, and nothing less than the execution of the carpenter would content them.

“The Europeans endeavoured to spin out the time by treaty, and thought to appease them by presents, hoping those, and time together, might make them easy; but finding that would not do, and not being able longer to defend themselves against such numbers as besieged them, they consulted how to give the Indians satisfaction.

“The carpenter being a useful man, they considered that they could not spare him without the greatest inconvenience; but seeing there was an absolute necessity of doing something, they found out an expedient, which was this:—there was in the fort an old weaver who had been bed-rid a long time; they concluded to hang up the weaver, and make the Indians believe it was the carpenter.

“Having come to this resolution, the governor let the Indians know, that, since nothing else would satisfy them, though their demand was unjust, yet, to show them how ready they were to live in amity and friendship with them, that in the morning they should see the carpenter hanging upon a certain tree in their view.

“In the night they carried the poor old weaver and hanged him in the room of the carpenter, which gave full satisfaction to the Indians, and they were again good friends.”


The Bay of New York and Staten Island, are, from this elevated point of view, laid out beautifully beneath the eye, but the picturesque interest of the spot yields to the historic. Directly below these heights was fought the battle so disastrous to the revolutionary forces, between the detachments commanded by Sullivan and Putnam, and the English army, under Generals Howe and Clinton. As the defence of Long Island was intimately connected with that of New York, Washington had stationed a brigade at Brooklyn; and an extensive camp had been marked out and fortified, fronting the main land of Long Island, and stretching quite across the peninsula occupied by the village of Brooklyn. When the movements of General Howe threatened an immediate attack on this position, Major-General Putnam was directed to take the command, with a reinforcement of six regiments; and the day previous to the action Washington passed entirely at Brooklyn, inspecting the works, and encouraging the soldiers.

The Hessians, under General De Heister, composed the centre of the British army at Flatbush. Major-General Grant commanded the left wing, which extended to the coast, and the greater part of the forces under General Clinton. Earl Percy and Lord Cornwallis turned short to the right, and approached the opposite coast of Flatland.

On the night previous to the action, General Clinton was successful in seizing a pass through the heights, leading into the level country between them and Brooklyn. Before this movement was completed, General Grant advanced along the coast, at the head of the left wing, with ten pieces of cannon. As his first object was to draw the attention of the Americans from their left, he moved slowly, skirmishing as he advanced, with the light parties stationed on that road.

This movement was soon communicated to General Putnam, who reinforced the parties which had been advanced in front; and as General Grant continued to gain ground, still stronger detachments were employed in this service. About three in the morning, Brigadier-General Lord Stirling was directed to meet the enemy, with the two nearest regiments, on the road leading from the Narrows. Major-General Sullivan, who commanded all the troops without the lines, advanced at the head of a strong detachment on the road leading directly to Flatbush; while another detachment occupied the heights between that place and Bedford.

About the break of day, Lord Stirling reached the summit of the hills, where he was joined by the troops which had been already engaged, and were retiring slowly before the enemy, who almost immediately appeared in sight. A warm cannonade was commenced on both sides, which continued for several hours; and some sharp but not very close skirmishing took place between the infantry. Lord Stirling being anxious only to defend the pass he guarded, could not descend in force from the heights; and General Grant did not wish to drive him from them until that part of the plan which had been entrusted to Sir Henry Clinton should be executed.

About half-past eight, the British right having then reached Bedford, in the rear of Sullivan’s left, General De Heister ordered Colonel Donop’s corps to advance to the attack of the hill, following himself with the centre of the army. The approach of Clinton was now discovered by the American left, which immediately endeavoured to regain the camp at Brooklyn. While retiring from the woods by regiments, they encountered the front of the British. About the same time the Hessians advanced from Flatbush, against that part of the detachment which occupied the direct road to Brooklyn. Here General Sullivan commanded in person; but he found it difficult to keep his troops together long enough to sustain the first attack. The firing heard towards Bedford had disclosed the alarming fact that the British had turned their left flank, and were getting completely into their rear. Perceiving at once the full danger of their situation, they sought to escape it by regaining the camp with the utmost possible celerity. The sudden rout of this party enabled De Heister to detach a part of his force against those who were engaged near Bedford. In that quarter, too, the Americans were broken, and driven back into the woods; and the front of the column led by General Clinton continuing to move forward, intercepted and engaged those who were retreating along the direct road from Flatbush. Thus attacked both in front and rear, and alternately driven by the British on the Hessians, and by the Hessians back again on the British, a succession of skirmishes took place in the woods, in the course of which, some part of the corps forced their way through the enemy and regained the lines of Brooklyn, and several individuals saved themselves under cover of the woods; but a great proportion of the detachment was killed, or taken. The fugitives were pursued up to the American works; and such is represented to have been the ardour of the British soldiers, that it required the authority of their cautious commander to prevent an immediate assault.

The fire towards Brooklyn gave the first intimation to the American right that the enemy had gained their rear. Lord Stirling perceived the danger, and that he could only escape it by retreating instantly across the creek. After one other gallant attempt, however, upon a British corps under Lord Cornwallis, the brave men he commanded were no longer able to make opposition, and those who survived were, with their general, made prisoners of war.

The British army were masters of the field, but before morning, Washington had won one of his brightest military laurels in the safe withdrawal, unperceived by the enemy, of his defeated and dispirited troops to the opposite shore of New York.



The spectator in this view looks up the Susquehanna, with the river behind as well as before him; for the mountain on which he stands is almost encircled by the bend with which it turns downward to Owago. It is, perhaps, the best view that could be taken to express the etymology of its name, (Crooked River,) besides being one of singular beauty. I regretted only when the artist was there, that the rafts and arks with which the river is for a great part of the year enlivened, were, from the low state of the water, entirely wanting. The wild navigation of these crafts gives the Susquehanna a picturesque character, which, to do it pictorial justice, should not be omitted in the drawing. Perhaps the amends may be.


Few of our readers who will not consider this subject as one of the most picturesque in our collection, and yet many of them we fear have passed over the bridge in our View unconscious of the proximity of so extraordinary a scene as the Falls of the Hudson at this spot.

This was, at least, our own case when first visiting Lake George, from Saratoga; and we would counsel every one to steal a few moments, even if travelling by the stage, to descend from the covered bridge to the rocky bed of the river. Miss Martineau observes—“We were all astonished at the splendour of Glen’s Falls. The full, though narrow Hudson, rushes along amidst enormous masses of rock, and leaps sixty feet down the chasms and precipices which occur in the passage, sweeping between dark banks of shelving rocks below, its current speckled with foam. The noise is so tremendous, that I cannot conceive how people can fix their dwellings in the immediate neighbourhood. There is a long bridge over the roaring floods, which vibrates incessantly; and clusters of saw-mills deform the scene. There is stone-cutting as well as planking done at these mills. The fine black marble of the place is cut into slabs, and sent down to New York to be polished. It was the busiest scene that I saw near any water-power in America.”

Her description is excellent, but, as regards the mills, we cannot agree with her; they certainly add much to the picturesque effect of the scene.



The scenery in this neighbourhood is exceedingly beautiful. The junction of the Mohawk and Hudson, the Falls of the Cohocs, the gay and elegant town of Troy, Albany in the distance, and a foreground of the finest mixture of the elements of landscape, compose a gratification to the eye equalled by few other spots in this country. “Think,” says one of our noblest and best writers, speaking of a similar scene—“think of the country for which the Indians fought! Who can blame them? As the river chieftains, the lords of the waterfalls and the mountains, ranged this lovely valley, can it be wondered at that they beheld with bitterness the forest disappearing beneath the settler’s axe—the fishing-place disturbed by his saw-mills? Can we not fancy the feelings with which some strong-minded savage, who should have ascended the summit of the mountain in company with a friendly settler, contemplating the progress already made by the white man, and marking the gigantic strides with which he was advancing into the wilderness, should fold his arms and say, ‘White man, there is eternal war between me and thee! I quit not the land of my fathers but with my life! In those woods where I bent my youthful bow, I will still hunt the deer; over yonder waters I will still glide unrestrained in my bark canoe. By those dashing waterfalls I will still lay up my winter’s food; on these fertile meadows I will still plant my corn. Stranger, the land is mine! I understand not these paper rights; I gave not my consent when, as thou sayest, those broad regions were purchased for a few baubles of my fathers. They could sell what was theirs; they could sell no more. How could my father sell that which the Great Spirit sent me into the world to live upon? They knew not what they did. The stranger came, a timid suppliant, few and feeble, and asked to lie down on the red man’s bear-skin, and warm himself at the red man’s fire, and have a little piece of land to raise corn for his women and children; and now he is become strong, and mighty, and bold, and spreads out his parchment over the whole, and says, ‘It is mine.’ Stranger, there is not room for us both. The Great Spirit has not made us to live together. There is poison in the white man’s cup; the white man’s dog barks at the red man’s heels. If I should leave the land of my fathers, whither shall I fly? Shall I go to the south, and dwell among the groves of the Pequots? Shall I wander to the west? the fierce Mohawk—the man-eater—is my foe. Shall I fly to the east?—the great water is before me. No, stranger, here have I lived, and here will I die! and if here thou abidest, there is eternal war between me and thee! Thou hast taught me thy arts of destruction, for that alone I thank thee; and now take heed to thy steps; the red man is thy foe. When thou goest forth by day, my bullet shall whistle by thee; when thou liest down at night, my knife is at thy throat. The noon-day sun shall not discover thy enemy, and the darkness of midnight shall not protect thy rest. Thou shalt plant in terror, and I will reap in blood! thou shalt sow the earth with corn, and I will strew it with ashes! thou shalt go forth with the sickle, and I will follow after with the scalping-knife! thou shalt build, and I will burn, till the white man or the Indian shall cease from the land. Go thy way for this time in safety, but remember, stranger, there is eternal war between me and thee!’ ”

As the same writer afterwards observes, however, the Pilgrim Fathers “purchased the land of those who claimed it, and paid for it—often, more than once. They purchased it for a consideration, trifling to the European, but valuable to the Indian. There is no overreaching in giving but little for that which, in the hands of the original proprietors, is worth nothing.”




The Owaga here is scarce a quarter of a mile from its junction with the Susquehanna, and the lawn of Glenmary is the western limit of the star of interval land formed by the union of two broad valleys. The river here is a secluded stream, shadowed originally with dark forest trees, and running deep and still. The farm of Glenmary, part of which is presented in the drawing, was once an Indian burial-place—warrant enough for its possessing the highest rural beauty. The plough has turned up many skeletons in the fields above, and a small museum of Indian weapons and domestic implements was collected by the gentleman from whom the land was bought by the writer. Off to the left of the drawing, (too far off to be brought into the sketch,) a bright and brawling brook comes leaping down from the hills, and passing by the cottage door crosses the meadow to pay tribute to the Owaga; and back from the meadow, by broad and easy terraces, the land rises to the summit of a mountain ridge, crowned with primeval and gigantic forest trees. Having possessed the reader thus of the principal features of the spot, I may be excused for filling a page from an epistle to a friend, descriptive of the artist’s visit, to Glenmary.

“This is not a very prompt answer to your last, my dear doctor, for I intended to have taken my brains to you bodily, and replied to all your ‘whether-or-noes’ over a broiled oyster at Downing’s. Perhaps I may bring this in my pocket. A brace of ramblers, brothers of my own, detained me for a while, but are flitting to-day; and Bartlett has been here a week, to whom, more particularly, I wish to do the honours of the scenery. We have climbed every hill-top that has the happiness of looking down on the Owaga and Susquehanna, and he agrees with me that a more lovely and habitable valley has never sat to him for its picture. Fortunately, on the day of his arrival, the dust of a six-weeks’ drought was washed from its face, and, barring the wilt that precedes Autumn, the hill-sides were in holiday green, and looked their fairest. He has enriched his portfolio with four or five delicious sketches, and if there were gratitude or sense of renown in trees and hills, they would have nodded their tops to the two of us. It is not every valley and pine-tree that finds painter and historian, but these are as insensible as beauty and greatness were ever to the claims of their trumpeters.

“How long since was it that I wrote to you of Bartlett’s visit to Constantinople? Not more than four or five weeks, it seems to me; and yet here he is, on his return from a professional trip to Canada, with all its best scenery snug in his portmanteau! He steamed to Turkey and back, and steamed again to America, and will be once more in England in some twenty days—having visited and sketched the two extremities of the civilized world. Why, I might farm it on the Susquehanna, and keep my town-house in Constantinople, (with money.) It seemed odd to me to turn over a drawing-book, and find on one leaf a freshly pencilled sketch of a mosque, and on the next a view of Glenmary—my turnip-field in the foreground. And then the man himself—pulling a Turkish para and a Yankee shin-plaster from his pocket with the same pinch—shuffling to breakfast in my abri on the Susquehanna, in a pair of peaked slippers of Constantinople, that smell as freshly of the bazaar as if they were bought yesterday—waking up with “pekke! pekke! my good fellow!” when William brings him his boots—and never seeing a blood-red maple (just turned with the frost), without fancying it the sanguine flag of the Bosphorus or the bright jacket of a Greek! All this unsettles me strangely. The phantasmagoria of my days of vagabondage flit before my eyes again. This, ‘By-the-by, do you remember, in Smyrna?’ and, ‘The view you recollect from the Seraglio!’ and such like slip-slop of travellers, heard within reach of my corn and pumpkins, affects me like the mad poet’s proposition,

‘To twitch the rainbow from the sky,

And splice both ends together.’

“I have amused my artist friend since he has been here, with an entertainment not quite as expensive as the Holly Lodge fireworks, but quite as beautiful—the burning of log-heaps. Instead of gossipping over the tea-table these long and chilly evenings, the three or four young men who have been staying with us, were very content to tramp into the woods, with a bundle of straw and a match-box; and they have been initiated into the mysteries of ‘picking and piling,’ to the considerable improvement of the glebe of Glenmary. Shelly says,

‘Men scarcely know how beautiful fire is,’

and I am inclined to think that there are varieties of glory in its phenomena which would make it worth even your metropolitan while to come to the west and ‘burn fallow.’ At this season of the year—after the autumn droughts, that is to say—the whole country here is covered with a thin smoke, stealing up from the fires on every hill, in the depths of the woods, and on the banks of the river; and what with the graceful smoke-wreaths by day, and the blazing heavens all around the horizon by night, it adds much to the variety, and I think, more to the beauty of our western October. It edifies the traveller who has bought wood by the pound in Paris, or stiffened for the want of it in the disforested Orient, to stand off a rifle-shot from a crackling wood, and toast himself by a thousand cords burnt for the riddance. What experience I have had of these holocausts on my own land, has not diminished the sense of waste and wealth with which I first watched them. Paddy’s dream of ‘rolling in a bin of gould guineas,’ could scarcely have seemed more luxurious.

“Bartlett and I, and the rest of us, in our small way, burnt up enough, I dare say, to have made a comfortable drawing-room of Hyde Park in January, and the effects of the white light upon the trees above and around were glorious. But our fires were piles of logs and brush—small beer of course to the conflagration of a forest. I have seen one that was like the Thousand Columns of Constantinople, ignited to a red heat, and covered with carbuncles and tongues of flame. It was a temple of fire—the floor living coals—the roof a heaving drapery of crimson—the aisles held up by blazing and innumerable pillars, and sometimes swept by the wind till they stood in still and naked redness, while the eye could see far into their depths, and again covered and wreathed and laved in ever-changing billows of flame. We want an American Tempesta or ‘Savage Rosa’ to ‘wreak’ such pictures on canvass; and perhaps the first step to it would be the painting of the foliage of an American Autumn.”



This mountain, “known to fame,” serves as a landmark to the industrious craft plying upon the Hudson, and thus fulfils a more useful destiny than is commonly awarded to spots bright in story. It stands amid a host of interesting localities, marked with the events of the Revolution, and has witnessed, with less damage than other noses, many a conflict by land and water.

On the opposite side of the river from the base of the mountain, lie the two forts Montgomery and Clinton, taken by the British in October, 1777. The commander-in-chief at New York was prompted to this expedition by two objects: to destroy a quantity of military stores which the Americans had collected in this neighbourhood, and to make a diversion in favour of General Burgoyne. For these purposes Sir Henry Clinton embarked between three and four thousand troops at New York, and sailed with them up the Hudson. On the 5th of October they landed at Verplank’s Point, a few miles below the entrance to the Highlands. The next morning, a part of the force landed on Stony Point, which projects into the river on the western side, just below the mountains; hence they marched into the rear of the fortresses.

General Putnam commanded at that time in this quarter. He had one thousand continental troops, a part of which only were effective, and a small body of militia. He believed the principal design of the enemy to be the destruction of the stores; and when he was informed of their main purpose, it was too late for him to resist with success. He supposed that they were aiming at Fort Independence, and directed his attention to its defence; the heavy firing on the other side of the river gave him the first decisive information of their real intentions. Mr. Clinton, at that time governor of the state, placed himself at this post on the first notice that he received of the enemy’s advancing. Having made the best disposition for the defence of the forts, he despatched an express to General Putnam to acquaint him with his situation; but when it reached his head quarters, that officer and General Parsons were reconnoitring the position of the enemy on the east side of the river.

Lieut.-Col. Campbell, in the mean time, proceeded with nine hundred men by a circuitous march to the rear of Fort Montgomery; while Sir Henry Clinton, with Generals Vaughan and Tryon, moved onwards towards Fort Clinton. Both fortresses were attacked at once, between four and five in the afternoon: they were defended with great resolution. This will be readily admitted, when it is remembered that the whole garrison consisted of but six hundred men. The conflict was carried on till dark, when the British had obtained absolute possession, and such of the Americans as were not killed or wounded had made their escape. The loss of the two garrisons amounted to about two hundred and fifty. Among the killed on the enemy’s side was Lieut.-Col. Campbell.

It has been thought that an addition of five or six hundred men to these garrisons would have saved the works; the correctness of this opinion may be doubted. Fifteen hundred soldiers would have been barely sufficient completely to man Fort Montgomery alone. The works themselves were imperfect, and the ground was probably chosen rather for the defence of the river, than because it was itself defensible.

Governor Clinton and his brother, General James Clinton, escaped after the enemy had possession of the forts; the former by crossing the river. The latter had been wounded in the thigh by a bayonet.

On the 8th, the English forces proceeded to the eastern side, where they found Fort Independence evacuated. A party then burnt the continental village, as it was called, a temporary settlement raised up by the war for the accommodation of the army. Here had been gathered a considerable number of those artisans, whose labours are particularly necessary for military purposes; and a considerable quantity of military stores. They then removed a chain which was stretched across the river at Fort Montgomery, and advancing up the river, removed another which was extended from Fort Constitution to the opposite shore at West Point. General Vaughan then advanced still further up the Hudson, and on the 13th reached the town of Kingston, which he burnt. On the 17th, took place the surrender of Burgoyne, and he returned down the Hudson with his fleet to New York.

Count Grabouski, a Polish nobleman, was killed in the assault on Fort Clinton, while acting as aid-de-camp to the British commander. He was buried on the spot, but his grave is now undiscoverable.


This fine monument stands at the end of a long street, forming an ascending perspective; and as its base crowns the summit of a considerable hill, it is fully relieved against the sky, and shows very nobly. The square which immediately surrounds it is newly divided into building-lots, and is becoming the “west end” of Baltimore. The Monument and the handsome buildings which are going up around are a mutual improvement of appearance.

The design of this monument was conceived in 1809, when a company obtained leave of the legislature to raise 100,000 dollars for the purpose by a lottery. By the year 1815, funds sufficient to authorize the commencement of the work had been raised, and a plan had been furnished by Mr. Robert Mills. On the 4th of July, the corner stone was laid upon ground presented by Col. John E. Howard. The monument is a Doric column upon a square base, surmounted by a pedestal, upon which is placed a colossal statue of Washington. The base is fifty feet square, and is elevated twenty feet; the column, to the feet of the statue, is one hundred and sixty feet, and the statue is thirteen feet in height. The statue is the work of Causici, an Italian, and represents Washington at the instant when he resigned his commission after the Revolution.

There were three periods in Washington’s life, and either of the two first would alone have placed him in the highest roll of the names of great men. The close of his military life (here represented) terminated the first period. His civil career in the presidency terminated the second; and here all comparison between Washington and any other man that ever lived ceases entirely. With a fame as complete as his, on his second retirement to Mount Vernon, a sincere and ardent wish to pass the remainder of his days in peaceful seclusion, and domestic ties and attachments of the strongest character; with all this around him, to come out once more from his tent of glory, and at his country’s call to expose his bright name again to the hazards of failure, and to the eagerness of human envy and misconstruction,—this seems to me the sublimest moment of the life of Washington.

“You know, Sir,” he says in his letter to the President, accepting the office of commander-in-chief of the army, “what calculations I had made relative to the probable course of events on my retiring from office, and the determination with which I had consoled myself of closing the remnant of my days in my present peaceful abode. You will, therefore, be at no loss to conceive and appreciate the sensations I must have experienced to bring my mind to any conclusion that would pledge me, at so late a period of life, to leave scenes I sincerely love to enter upon the boundless field of public action, incessant trouble, and high responsibility.”

It is singular how all the contemporaneous judgments of Washington’s character unite in ascribing the difficulty of drawing his portrait to the unity, harmony, and perfectability of his character. Chastellux says very forcibly, “If you are presented with medals of Cæsar, of Trajan, or Alexander, on examining their features you will still be led to ask, what was their stature and the form of their persons; but if you discover in a heap of ruins the head or a limb of the Apollo, be not curious about the other parts, but rest assured that they were all conformable to those of a god. Let not this impression be attributed to enthusiasm. I wish only to express the impression that Washington has left on my mind: the idea of a perfect whole, that cannot be the produce of enthusiasm, which rather would reject it, since the effect of proportion is to diminish the idea of greatness.”

In a funereal eulogy pronounced by Mr. Ware at Hingham, occurs nearly the same sentiment.

“The image of this great man is not like that of most others who have shone with distinguished lustre in the annals of the world. It is not composed of some bright spots surrounded with dark shades, so as to dazzle without enlightening the beholder. His character is not an assemblage of great talents by the side of great defects, and splendid virtues contaminated by their vicinity to atrocious vices: he shone with a clear and steady lustre, which, if it seldom appeared with flashes of splendour to dazzle and astonish, was yet never mingled with shades, nor intercepted by clouds. The circumstance which seems to distinguish his name from that of all others, is not the pre-eminence of any one talent or virtue, but a unity of character resulting from the perfect combination and exact balancing of all those great and good qualities, which enter into the character of one who is to possess public esteem, guide public opinion, and command universal respect and confidence.”


The people of this beautiful State are just now enduring a double share of the evils of border location, having not only the ill-directed “sympathy” with the insurrectionists of Canada to repress, but the excitement of the newly-vexed question of boundary. As this last subject is one little understood, perhaps the history of the negotiations on the subject may not be unacceptable to the readers of the American Scenery.

“In their endeavours to bring about the settlement of another contested point, the two governments were less successful than they had been with respect to the commercial intercourse between America and the West India Island. This point related to the fixing the north-eastern boundary of the United States.

“By the treaty of 1783, which recognised their independence, it was declared that the eastern boundary of the United States, dividing them from Nova Scotia, should be ‘a line to be drawn along the middle of the river St. Croix, from its mouth in the bay of Fundy to its source, and from its source, directly north, to the highlands, which divide the rivers that fall into the Atlantic Ocean from those which fall into the river St. Lawrence.’ The northern line, separating Canada from the New States, was to commence ‘from the north-west angle of Nova Scotia; viz. that angle which is formed by a line drawn due north from the source of the St. Croix river to the highlands, along the said highlands, which divide those rivers that, empty themselves into the river St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic Ocean, to the north-westernmost head of Connecticut river; thence, descending along that river to the forty-fifth degree of latitude, thence due west on that latitude, until it strikes the river Iroquois or Cataruguy, thence along the middle of the said river into Lake Ontario,’ &c.

“Being for the most part marked out by mathematical, or by well-known natural lines, the frontier between the head of the Connecticut and Lake Ontario afforded but little ground for dispute. But such was not the case with the boundary from the head of the Connecticut to the sea. Untrodden, except perhaps by the foot of the hunter, all the northern division of the country between the Bay of Fundy and the St. Lawrence then consisted of a dense forest, scattered over with mountains and lakes, and intersected by streams of considerable magnitude. No survey of it appears ever to have been made, and the British ministers were, consequently, ignorant of its topographical features. Yet, even under these circumstances, they can scarcely be excused for having admitted such a vague description of the future limits, since, without much difficulty, sufficient information might have been obtained to prevent this defect. Their negligence gave birth to a controversy, which, after the expiration of half a century, yet remains undecided. Only a few years elapsed before a doubt arose respecting the river which was meant under the name of St. Croix; the Americans insisting that the St. John was the river which was intended. By the treaty of 1794, it was arranged that this point should be left to the decision of a joint commission. In 1798, the commission decided that the extreme source of the northern branch of the Scoodic river was the source of the St. Croix designated in the treaty; and a monument was erected there, to indicate the spot whence the line was to be drawn to the north. Thus far the question was satisfactorily set at rest. Not such, however, was the result of the subsequent proceedings. For some years, no further steps appear to have been taken by either of the governments. While the territory in question continued to be a wilderness, there was not much temptation to discuss its limits; but when the new state of Maine, and the British province of New Brunswick, began to extend their settlements into the interior, the case was materially altered. The line of demarcation claimed by the Americans would not only include an area of ten thousand square miles, but would entirely cut off all direct communication between New Brunswick and Lower Canada. From the source of the Scoodic river, they prolonged the line northward, as far as a chain of mountains distant less than thirty miles from the St. Lawrence; which chain, they contended, formed the highlands specified in the treaty of 1783.

“The British, on the contrary, maintained that the north-west angle of Nova Scotia was at Mars Hill, about forty miles from the source of the Scoodic; and that the northern frontier of Maine ought to pass from thence to the westward over a range of hills which lie at the sources of the Penobscot, Kennebec, and Androscoggin. Neither party would recede from its pretensions. In the treaty of Ghent, in 1814, it was agreed that two commissioners should be appointed to make surveys and settle the boundary. If they coincided in opinion, their decision was to be final; but if they disagreed, some friendly sovereign, or state, was to be chosen as umpire, and from his judgment there was to be no appeal.

“Affairs remained in this state till 1827, when the commissioners being unable to agree, and some disputes as to questions of jurisdiction having rendered it desirable to bring the frontier controversy to an issue, a convention was concluded between the British and American government, by which it was arranged that the king of the Netherlands should be requested to act as arbitrator. To this request his majesty assented; and their statements and surveys were accordingly laid before him. The award of the sovereign umpire was not delivered till the 10th of January, 1831. It was not calculated to satisfy either of the claimants. Considering the pretensions of the two powers to be equally balanced, it proceeded to lay down new limits, upon principles of mutual convenience. The British frontier was to commence at the spot where the line drawn due north from the source of the Scoodic intersects the St. John, and was to pass up the latter river and the St. Francis, to the highlands which run parallel with the St. Lawrence. Though this award assigned to the Americans seven-eighths of the district which was contended for by Great Britain, yet, as it gave a direct communication between New Brunswick and Lower Canada, it was accepted by the British government. The United States was not so yielding. The award was immediately protested against by the American ministers at the Hague, on the ground of the arbiter having exceeded his authority. The State of Maine also entered its protest, and denied the right of the federal government to cede any portion of the litigated territory. The matter was finally brought before the senate by the President, and that body decided that the umpire having gone beyond his powers, his award was not binding; and that a new negotiation must be opened with Great Britain. Since that period, however, no steps have been taken to accomplish an arrangement.”


This picturesque and beautiful burial-place occupies a grove, formerly an academic and sylvan retreat for the students of Harvard College, near by. It is about five miles from Boston, and presents naturally a most agreeable mixture of hill, valley, and water, forming altogether the beau-ideal of a site for the purpose to which it is at present devoted.

If we are not mistaken, the people of the United States owe the most creditable and delicate taste, newly awakened throughout the country on the subject of sepulture, to one of their most distinguished poets, the Rev. John Pierpoint, author of the “Airs of Palestine.” By his exertions, mainly, a society was formed for the purchase, appropriation, and improvement, of the beautiful spot represented in the drawing; and, at present, most of the wealthier citizens of the capital of New England are possessors of verdant and flowery enclosures, which are ornamented even more tastefully than the celebrated cemeteries of Père la Chaise. In doing away thus with the neglectfulness and dreariness of the outer aspect of the grave, death, it seems to us, is divested of half its terrors, while a refined and salutary feeling is awakened in the bosoms of the living.

The example of this cemetery has been followed in other cities; and at Philadelphia, particularly, there is a most sweet spot selected upon the banks of the Schuylkill, and appropriated to this purpose. The refinement has spread all over the country; and in a few years, probably, the burial of the dead will be associated in the minds of the people of the United States only with sylvan repose, and the sacred loveliness of consecrated natural beauty.


It is recorded of the first settlers of Northampton, that in the tenth year of their establishment in the wilderness, in 1663, they paid for the support of a clergyman one hundred and twenty pounds sterling. According to the change in the value of money, and the circumstances of the persons who formed the congregation, this sum was equal to at least six times the amount of the present valuation. In this one fact is to be found a leaven which has pervaded the town ever since, preserving for its inhabitants the rigid morality, the religious feeling, and almost the stern manners of the Puritan pilgrims.

The inflexible justice practised among such men had its effect on the Indians among whom they settled; and Northampton, in consequence, was one of the last towns affected by the general hostilities of Philip’s war.

In their first purchases, they secured no less their own rights than the rights of the natives; and the latter were always considered as having a right to dwell and hunt in the lands they had sold. In the year 1664, they requested leave of the settlers to build themselves a fort within the town; and leave was granted on the following conditions:—

“That the Indians do not work, game, or carry burdens within the town on the Sabbath; nor powow here, or anywhere else;

“Nor get liquor, nor cider, nor get drunk;

“Nor admit Indians from without the town;

“Nor break down the fences of the inhabitants;

“Nor let cattle or swine upon their fields; but go over a stile at one place;

“Nor admit among them the murderers, Calawane, Wuttowhan, and Pacquallant;

“Nor hunt, nor kill cattle, sheep, or swine, with their dogs.”

There is in these conditions an attention to the sobriety and morality of the Indians, which has been very seldom regarded in compacts with this injured race. The consequence was, a perpetual peace between them and the Indians of their immediate neighbourhood. On the breaking out of Philip’s war, however, they became liable to incursions from other tribes, and especially from the Canadians, French, and Indians. They fortified their “meeting-house;” and in every cluster of houses, one was fortified and pierced with holes for the discharge of muskets. The whole town was then enclosed with a palisado set up in a trench, and a guard of fifty persons perpetually kept.

It is scarcely possible to convey, to a mind that has not reflected on the subject, a fair idea of the difficulties, hazards, and horrors, that beset the first adventurers for religious liberty in New England. Beside all the usual evils of pioneering—the separation from friends, the hardships, the privations, the loss of all communication with the civilized world, these settlers had to encounter the most diabolical warfare recorded in history.

“The first announcement of an Indian war,” says a diffuse writer on this subject, “is its terrible commencement. In the hour of security and sleep, when your deadly enemies are supposed to be friends, quietly fishing and hunting—when they are believed to be far off, and thoughtless of you and yours, your sleep is suddenly broken by the war-whoop, your house and village set on fire, your family and friends butchered, and yourself escape only to be carried into captivity, and wrung with every species of torture. If you go out to the fields, you may be shot down by an unseen enemy in the woods, or return in the evening and find your house consumed to ashes, and your family carried into captivity.”

During the last part of what is called Philip’s war, to the Indians’ treachery, cruelty, and cunning, was added the instigation, the sustenance, and the wealth of the civilized French. A price was paid for English scalps; European officers planned and assisted to execute schemes of devastation and slaughter; and, in short, nothing was wanting to develop, in its fullest ferocity, the Indian’s love of blood.

It is curious to reflect how wide and immortal would have been the fame of the king of the Wampanoags, had he succeeded, (as he came very near doing,) in exterminating the Whites, and restoring the land of his forefathers to his subjects and children. The experiment of settlement would scarcely have been soon repeated; and, perhaps, to this day, the Indian, confident in his tried strength, would have possessed and defended the lands from which he has so utterly disappeared; while the name of Philip would justly have been associated with those of Gustavus Vasa, and Alfred of England. The difference between him and these great lights of history, is, that he failed.


The Hudson bends out from Crow-Nest into a small bay; and, in the lap of the crescent thus formed, lies snug and sheltered, the little village of Cold Spring. It is not much of a place for its buildings, history, or business; but it has its squire and post-master, its politics and scandal, and a long disappointed ambition to become a regular landing-place for the steamers. Then there are cabals between the rival ferrymen, on which the inhabitants divide; the vote for the president, on which they agree (for Van Buren); and the usual religious sects, with the usual schisms. The Presbyterians and Methodists, as usual, worship in very ugly churches; and the Catholics, as usual, in a very picturesque and beautiful one. (Vide the Drawing.)

It is a pity (picturesquely speaking) that the boatmen on the river are not Catholics; it would be so pretty to see them shorten sail off Our Lady of Cold Spring, and uncover for an Ave-Maria. This little chapel, so exquisitely situated on the bluff overlooking the river, reminds me of a hermit’s oratory and cross which is perched similarly in the shelter of a cliff on the desolate coast of Sparta. I was on board a frigate, gliding slowly up the Ægean, and clinging to the shore for a land-wind, when I descried the white cross at a distance of about half a mile, strongly relieved against the dark rock in its rear. As we approached, the small crypt and altar became visible; and, at the moment the ship passed, a tall monk, with a snow-white beard, stepped forth like an apparition upon the cliffs, and spread out his arms to bless us. In the midst of the intense solitude of the Ægean, with not a human dwelling to be seen on the whole coast from Moron to Napoli, the effect of this silent benediction was almost supernatural. He remained for five minutes in this attitude, his long cowl motionless in the still air, and his head slowly turning to the ship as she drew fast round the little promontory on her course. I would suggest to Our Lady of Cold Spring, that a niche under the portico of her pretty chapel, with a cross to be seen from the river by day, and a lamp by night, would make at least a catholic impression on the passer by, though we are not all children of St. Peter.

Half way between the mountain and our Lady’s shrine, stands, on a superb natural platform, the romantic estate of Undercliff, the seat of Colonel Morris. Just above it rises the abrupt and heavily wooded mountain, from which it derives its name; a thick grove hides it from the village at its foot; and, from the portico of the mansion, extend views in three directions unparalleled for varied and surprising beauty. A road, running between high-water mark and the park gate, skirts the river in eccentric windings for five or six miles; the brows of the hills descending to the Hudson in the west and north, are nobly wooded and threaded with circuitous paths, and all around lies the most romantic scenery of the most romantic river in the world.

The only fault of the views from West Point, is, that West Point itself is lost as a feature in the landscape. The traveller feels the same drawback which troubled the waiting-maid when taken to drive by the footman in her mistress’s chariot—“How I wish I could stand by the road side and see myself go by!” From Undercliff, which is directly opposite, and about at the same elevation, the superb terrace of the Military School is seen to the greatest advantage. The white barracks of Camptown, the long range of edifices which skirt the esplanade, the ruins half way up the mountain of old Fort Putnam, and the waving line of wood and valley extending to Mr. Cozzen’s estate of “Stoney Lonesome,” form a noble feature in the view from Undercliff.

I had forgotten that Cold Spring “plucks a glory on its head” from being honoured with the frequent visits of Washington Irving, Halleck, and other lesser stars in the literary firmament; when these first lights above the horizon shall have set, (Hesperus-like—first and brightest!) there will linger about this little village—by that time, perhaps, arrived at the dignity of a landing-place—many a tale of the days when Geoffrey Crayon talked in his gentle way with the ferryman who brought him to Cold Spring; or the now plethoric post-master, who, in his character of librarian to the village, enjoyed the friendship of Irving and Halleck, and received from their own hands the “authors’ copies,” since curiously preserved in the execrable print and binding then prevalent in America. Perhaps even old Lipsey the ferryman, and his rival Andrews, will come in for their slice of immortality, little as they dream now, pulling close in for the counter-current under our Lady’s skirts, of working at that slow oar for posthumous reputation.


In the following masterly description, by Miss Martineau, is said all, and the best that can be said, of the glorious view from the Mountain-House at Catskill.

“After tea, I went out upon the platform in front of the house, having been warned not to go too near the edge, so as to fall an unmeasured depth into the forest below. I sat upon the edge as a security against stepping over unawares. The stars were bright overhead, and had conquered half the sky, giving promise of what we ardently desired, a fine morrow. Over the other half, the mass of thunder-clouds was, I supposed, heaped together; for I could at first discern nothing of the champaign which I knew must be stretched below. Suddenly, and from that moment incessantly, gushes of red lightning poured out from the cloudy canopy, revealing, not merely the horizon, but the course of the river, in all its windings through the valley. This thread of river, thus illuminated, looked like a flash of lightning caught by some strong hand and laid along in the valley.

“All the principal features of the landscape might, no doubt, have been discerned by this sulphureous light; but my whole attention was absorbed by the river, which seemed to come out of the darkness, like an apparition, at the summons of my impatient will. It could be borne only for a short time—this dazzling, bewildering alternation of glare and blackness, of vast reality and nothingness. I was soon glad to draw back from the precipice, and seek the candle-light within.

“The next day was Sunday. I shall never forget, if I live to a hundred, how the world lay at our feet one Sunday morning. I rose very early, and looked abroad from my window, two stories above the platform. A dense fog, exactly level with my eyes, as it appeared, roofed in the whole plain of the earth—a dusky firmament, in which the stars had hidden themselves for the day. Such is the account which an antediluvian spectator would probably have given of it. This solid firmament had spaces in it, however, through which gushes of sun-light were poured, lighting up the spires of white churches, and clusters of farm-buildings, too small to be otherwise distinguished; and especially the river, with its sloops, floating like motes in the sun-beam. The firmament rose and melted, or parted off into the likeness of snowy sky-mountains, and left the cool Sabbath to brood brightly over the land. What human interest sanctifies a bird’s-eye view! I suppose this is its peculiar charm; for its charm is found to deepen in proportion to the growth of mind. To an infant, a champaign of a hundred miles is not so much as a yard square of gay carpet. To the rustic, it is less bewitching than a paddock with two cows. To the philosopher, what is it not? As he casts his eye over its glittering towns, its scattered hamlets, its secluded homes, its mountain ranges, church spires, and untrodden forests, it is a picture of life; an epitome of the human universe; the complete volume of moral philosophy for which he has sought in vain in all libraries. On the left horizon, are the green mountains of Vermont; and at the right extremity sparkles the Atlantic. Beneath lies the forest where the deer are hiding, and the birds rejoicing in song. Beyond the river, he sees spread the rich plains of Connecticut; there, where a blue expanse lies beyond the triple range of hills, are the churches of religious Massachusetts sending up their sabbath-psalms—praise which he is too high to hear, while God is not. The fields and waters seem to him to-day no more truly property than the skies which shine down upon them; and to think how some below are busying their thoughts this Sabbath-day about how they shall hedge in another field, or multiply their flocks on yonder meadows, gives him a taste of the same pity which Jesus felt in his solitude, when his followers were contending about which should be greatest. It seems strange to him now that man should call any thing his but the power which is in him, and which can create somewhat more vast and beautiful than all that this horizon encloses. Here he gains the conviction, to be never again shaken, that all that is real is ideal; that the joys and sorrows of men do not spring up out of the ground, or fly abroad on the wings of the wind, or come showered down from the sky; that good cannot be hedged in, nor evil barred out; even that light does not reach the spirit through the eye alone, nor wisdom through the medium of sound or silence only. He becomes of one mind with the spiritual Berkeley, that the face of nature itself, the very picture of woods, and streams, and meadows, is a hieroglyphic writing in the spirit itself, of which the retina is no interpreter. The proof is just below him, (at least, it came under my eye,) in the lady (not American) who, after glancing over the landscape, brings her chair into the piazza, and turning her back to the champaign, and her face to the wooden walls of the hotel, begins the study, this Sunday morning, of her lap-full of newspapers. What a sermon is thus preached to him at this moment from a very hackneyed text! To him that hath much—that hath the eye, and ear, and wealth, of the spirit, shall more be given—even a replenishing of this spiritual life from that which, to others, is formless and dumb; while, from him that hath little, who trusts in that which lies about him rather than in that which lives within him, shall be taken away, by natural decline, the power of perceiving and enjoying what is within his own domain. To him who is already enriched with large divine and human revelations, this scene is, for all its stillness, musical with divine and human speech; while one who has been deafened by the din of worldly affairs can hear nothing in this mountain solitude.”



Two noble streets, and a market, perhaps the finest in the world, have been projected in front of the old Faneuil Hall, which stood a very few years ago close to the water’s edge. The new land was made, and the plan carried into effect during the mayoralty of Josiah Quincy, Esq., to whose enterprise and sagacity the city is indebted for these great improvements.

Faneuil Hall, which in the view from the water stands in the rear of these fine structures of granite, is the dearest spot connected with American freedom. It was used as a town-hall in the time of the Revolution; and within its walls arose the first murmur, which, stirred by the daring eloquence of Adams and Otis, terminated in the Declaration of Independence. The name by which it is best known, is, “the Cradle of Liberty.”

In the year 1740, Peter Faneuil (a Huguenot) made an offer to build, at his own expense, “an edifice on the town’s land in Dock Square, to be improved for a hall and market, for the sole use, benefit, and advantage of the town, provided that the town would authorize it, and lay the same under such proper regulations as should be thought necessary, and support the same constantly for said use.” A vote of thanks was immediately passed to Mr. Faneuil, the work was commenced, and two years afterwards, “Mr. Samuel Ruggles, who was employed in building said house, waited on the select-men, by order of P. Faneuil, Esq., and delivered them the key of said house.” A meeting was then held in the hall, and a motion was made that the thanks of the town be given to Peter Faneuil, Esq., for his generous benefaction of the Market-House to the town; and resolutions were drawn up and passed to that effect. A large committee of the first citizens waited on him, “and, in the name of the town, rendered their most hearty thanks for so bountiful a gift, with their prayers that this and other expressions of his bounty and charity might be abundantly recompensed with the divine blessing.”

Another vote was then passed unanimously, “that, in testimony of the town’s gratitude to Peter Faneuil, Esq., and to perpetuate his memory, the hall over the market-place be named Faneuil Hall, and at all times hereafter be called by that name.” And as a further testimony of respect, it was voted “that Mr. Faneuil’s picture be drawn at full length, at the expense of the town, and placed in the hall; and the select-men were charged with the commission, which was accordingly executed.”

“The building was of brick, two stories in height, and measured one hundred feet by forty. It was esteemed one of the best pieces of workmanship, and an ornament to the town. The hall would contain one thousand persons; there were convenient apartments for the officers of the town, besides a room for the naval office, and a notary public.”

Mr. Faneuil did not long live to enjoy the gratitude of his townsmen. He died suddenly, a year after the completion of the building. His funeral oration, delivered by Mr. John Lovell, Master of the Grammar School, was the first specimen of eloquence uttered in the “Cradle of Liberty.” It was, in some of its sentiments, very unlike the orations which followed, and far from prophetic.

“What now remains,” he concludes, “but my ardent wishes (in which I know you will all concur with me) that this hall may be ever sacred to the interests of truth, of justice, of loyalty, and honour. May no private views nor party broils ever enter within these walls; but may the same public spirit that glowed in the breast of the generous founder influence all your debates, that society may reap the benefit of them.

“May liberty always spread its joyful wings over this place—liberty, that opens men’s hearts to beneficence, and gives the relish to those who enjoy the effects of it; and may loyalty to a king, under whom we enjoy this liberty, ever remain our character—a character always justly due to this land, and of which our enemies have in vain attempted to rob us.”

The family of Faneuil had been more than fifty years in America, and had fled from persecution in France to find a refuge in the wilderness. The Faneuil arms were subsequently placed in the hall, elegantly carved and gilt.

Eight or nine years after the erection of Faneuil Hall, it took fire from a neighbouring conflagration, and was nearly burnt to the ground. It was on one of the coldest nights of January, and the water froze so rapidly, that it was impossible to work the engines. The walls were left standing, and it was rebuilt and enlarged soon after.

Just against the end of Faneuil Hall, in a broad dock, now filled up and built upon, used to lie a cluster of oyster-boats, that were half house, half vessel, floating oyster-shops—in short, of the most canonical rudeness and simplicity. It was as necessary to go to them to eat oysters in perfection, as it is to go to Blackwall for white-bait; and no true gourmand pretended to have elsewhere found the relish. They are gone, alas! and with the old hulks are gone the amphibious venders—the rude, high-booted, superannuated oyster-openers, dressing, for years after they had given up the vocation, just as if they were embarking for the mud-bank, and talking in the same hoarse tone as if their words were meant to struggle, as of yore, with a nor’wester. So flee away before the advances of improvement all that reminded us of other days; and it is by this resolute plucking up of old associations, and resolute modernizing and improving, even upon the most sacred habits and usages of our forefathers, that this new nation keeps its unchecked headway, with neither rooted superstition nor cherished prejudice to restrain it. When it ceases to be so, we shall have the age of poetry; but adieu, then, to the age of improvement!




Misspelled words and printer errors have been corrected. Where multiple spellings of names occur, the majority spelling was used. Changes include:

— Renssellaer to Rensselaer

— and Susquehannah to Susquehanna.

Inconsistencies in punctuation have been maintained.

Some illustrations moved to facilitate page layout.

A cover was created for this eBook.


[The end of American scenery, or, Land, lake, and river illustrations of transatlantic nature Volume 2 by N.P. (Nathaniel Parker) Willis]