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It is very improper to go to sea in crowded vessels; as epidemic diseases are engendered, and the most dreadful mortality is the consequence. That law of Britain which allows only one passenger for every five tons of burden in American ships (including seamen) is a most beneficial regulation; and while, in American bottoms, the cabin passenger pays L.21, and the steerage passenger L.12, the expense cannot be complained of, while health and comfort are taken into consideration. It is much to be regretted that the government of England does not extend its humane restriction to its own Canadian settlers, and to emigrants who sail for the United States in British ships.
The 4th of July is celebrated by Americans as the anniversary of their independence, declared in 1776. The captain and seamen were disposed to be joyful in commemoration of this great event. The striped flag was displayed, guns and pistols were fired, accompanied with loud cheers. The passengers, no less enthusiastic, joined in the strongest expressions of their devotedness to the democratic form of government. They indulged in such sentiments as, a sincere wish that the United States may long continue exempt from that excessive corruption, as they thought, which has so long and so much degraded a large portion of the human race;-and their avowed satisfaction at the near prospect of becoming people of the Republic.
On the 8th we came in sight of Long Island, and the high lands of New Jersey; a welcome occurrence to people who had been so long at sea, In the afternoon a pilot came on board.
formed us that the city was in great bustle, as the inhabitants were assembled to deposit the bones of General Montgomery, who fell at Quebec, on the 31st of December, 1775. The remains of the pa
triotic leader were buried by the ministerialists without the fort, and were to-day interred by his grateful countrymen under the portico of St. Paul's church, New York. We were sorry that it' was not in our power to witness the solemnity.
In the evening we were off the point Sandyhook. The smell of the new hay on the adjacent fields regaled us very agreeably. All seemed
elated with joy. A bagpipe and two violins played by turns, and our young people danced on deck till a late hour. During this season of mirth, we were entertained by a sight, perhaps unequalled in the phenomena of an European climate. Some dense black clouds which hung over Long Island, were frequently illuminated by flashes of lightning. It is in vain to attempt a description. About midnight we passed through the Narrows, and soon afterwards anchored on the quarantine ground, about seven miles from New York.
On the morning of the 9th of July, the inspecting surgeon visited us, and allowed the anchor to be weighed. In this situation we had a full view of the shores of Staten and Long Islands. The wooden houses are neat, and the orchards and natural woods have a thriving appearance. It would seem that the people here have a partiality to the Lombardy poplar, which grows to a great height, shooting up its branches nearly perpendicularly; assuming something of the appearance of a spire. The straight rows of these trees, so common here, have an insipid regularity and sameness, more like a file of armed soldiery than an ornamental grove.
Some of the frame houses are painted red, those of the finer sort, white; ornamental railings are also painted white. To an European eye, these colours appear too glaring. The lands seen from the bay are sandy and poor.
The first glimpse of the city of New York is by no means a distinct one. The buildings are much obscured by the forest of masts in front of them; and as the site of the town rises but gently inland, the houses in front conceal, in a great measure, those in the rear, so that the shipping and the numerous spires are the objects most distinctly seen.
Before entering the port we were twice boarded by agents from the Newspaper offices. They inquired for British newspapers, and generally for the news of Europe; they noted down the namés of several of our passengers, which they intended to publish in the papers of the afternoon. There are no less than seven newspapers printed in New York daily; the competition of these Journalists is keen, and their industry seems to be great.
We have experienced much good treatment from Captain Stillman. Every passenger is so sensible of this, that a committee of their number was requested to make public testimony of their esteem for him.
We landed yesterday about noon, all in good health and spirits. During the voyage, passengers have experienced no kind of sickness, except that peculiarly incident to the sea.
This letter cannot come immediately into the hands of all my friends; most of them, I hope, will hear that I am arrived in this place in good health. Should you adopt any way of making this and any subsequent communications generally known to them, it will be very gratifying to me, and, besides, will relieve me of the labour of writing many letters; a labour, dictated by the strongest ties of gratitude and affection, but one which it is doubtful if I can accomplish to the satisfaction of my own mind.
Observations on New York-Removal to Long IslandMiscellaneous Remarks-Return to New York-Farther Observations on the City.
New York, August 4, 1818. On entering New York, I was struck with its appearance. Streets lined with lofty trees, most of them the Lombardy poplar, which affords a very agreeable shade in hot weather; indeed, they are so numerous, that the new comer, when he looks before him, is apt to suppose himself in the midst of a wood. The streets, with a few exceptions, are too narrow, and are deficient in sewers. ny parts of the town prevent me from thinking that it deserves the character of extreme cleanliness bestowed upon it. The greater part of the houses are of brick, neatly built; but, to eyes accustomed to towns of hewn stone, New York has, on the whole, what (for want of a more descriptive word) may be called a gingerbread appear
The markets here are amply supplied with fine vegetables, and an immense variety of excellent fish, a great proportion of which are sold alive. Beef and pork are good, but the mutton and veal that I have seen are of inferior quality. Marketing is carried on more after the manner in some English country towns. No servants, but masters, attend and carry home the provisions.
Beggars do not abound here as in some countries of Europe. I am told that every man who is
able to work can earn a dollar per day, and that his board costs two or three dollars per week; thus it is in his power to banish every appearance of poverty, and to save some money, provided he is disposed to economy. Mechanics have good encouragement. Joiners one and three quarters, and masons two dollars a-day. They usually pay three dollars, or upwards, a-week, for their board.
Many of the necessaries of life are here purchased at high prices. Woollen cloths, and most articles of wearing apparel imported, pay duties, varying, in different cases, from 25 to 33 per cent. In transacting with the merchant and the tailor, farther American enhancements may be calculated upon. Washing and dressing of shirts, neckcloths, &c. costs a dollar and a half per dozen. Every thing that an American does, must be liberally paid for. This tends to render living dear, even where provisions are cheap.
Some imported articles, as silks, wines, foreign spirituous liquors, teas, sugar, and coffee, are much cheaper than in Britain. The difference of custom-house duties is the cause of this.
The condition of animals bespeak the great plenty of food that falls to their share. horses employed in removing goods to and from the wharfs, and in stage coaches, are fat, and in high spirits. They are not so rough-legged, so broad, or so strong-limbed, as the draught horses of Britain; but they are better adapted for speed. Hogs, running in the streets, are numerous, but they are not starvelings. I have seen several of them that would yield upwards of 300 lbs. of pork without special feeding. Speaking of hogs, I would mention by the way, that they are allow ed to run at large for the purpose of cleaning the streets. An economical way of procuring scaven