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would feast a regiment, and camp-fires at which all flesh and fowl is roasting, including a

whole hog,' that constitutes the barbacue which gives name to this feast. When the banquet is ready, you devote yourself to the constellations, as the first course is for the ladies, upon whom the gentlemen attend, as the genius waited upon Aladdin. The second course is for the lords, upon whom the managers and slaves attend. After all, the managers dine also, and they have servants no less exalted than the ladies. A barbacue has from 300 to 800 people, and it is only where a very social life is led, that this feast could be so well filled. But sometimes a candidate or an officer invites the whole county, and the number is then greater. The master of the feast, on this occasion, ascends the rostrum, made by the woodman, and which is that part of a tree that is immediately above the roots. From this elevation, he harangues the people in good Virginian, which is generally choice English, always excepting toting, which I find in no classic author.”

In the elections there are some peculiarities. The candidates frequently nominate themselves, or offer their service through the newspapers ; a favor to the electors, that would not in New England be acknowledged by a single vote. As it is established by custom, however, it does not indicate any undue share of ambition. The candidates at the South come into more immediate contact with the electors than at the North, where the canvass is chiefly confined to the newspapers. They sometimes (though this is rare) go the rounds of the district, and visit the families before an election. The barbacue offers the best means of communicating with the electors themselves ; sometimes the constituents invite their representative to this sylvan feast, and at other times, the friends of a candidate make the festival. On these occasions, a display is made of that natural gift of eloquence, which is called stump oratory, from the rostrum, which is sometimes a stump. Here, when the heart is opened by conviviality, the speaker can the more effectually adapt himself to the character and prejudices of his auditors. It is related of an eminent statesman, that on one occasion he met his constituents at a barbacue, where there was much dissatisfaction expressed at one of his votes in the national council. He addressed the people, and closed bis speech by thus adverting to the vote :-“I have been told, that you are not pleased that I should have given such a vote, though it was given in accordance with my judgment and conscience; it may have been wrong, but I think it right. My friends, I have been your servant for 15 years, and in all that time I have not failed to satisfy you until now. It is not easy to say which side is wrong ; but I am content to grant, for the present, that I was mistaken. Now suppose one of you had an old rifle, which for 15 years had never missed fire, or failed to hit the mark; but at length, for once, it fails and disappoints you! what then would you do with it? would you throw the old rifle away, or would you ‘peck the flint, and try it again ?"

“ Huzza for Č.,” was the shout, “ peck the flint, and try it again.” 20. Education. In the southern section of the Union, there are generally provisions for

. schools, but the population is so thin, that many have few advantages for education. Among the slaves, few can read, and among the whites there are a few who cannot. The number who cannot read, however, is larger than in New England. Some of the colleges are well endowed, and have many scholars, though numbers of the youth are still sent for their education to New England.

21. Religion. The sects are numerous ; they contain every denomination of Christians, and many Jews. The Sabbath is less strictly observed than in New England, and in a great

. part of the section, the pulpits are supplied by traveling preachers, principally Methodists and Baptists.

CHAPTER XVIII. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. 1. Extent. Population. This is a territory of 10 miles square, under the immediate government of Congress. It is divided into two counties, and three cities; the counties and cities being separate. The cities are Washington, Alexandria, and Georgetown ; the counties, Washington and Alexandria. This District lies on both sides of the Potomac, 120 miles from its mouth, between Maryland and Virginia, and was ceded to the general government by those States in 1790. The seat of government of the United States, was established within its limits in 1800. It has never been represented in Congress. The capitol at Washington, from which American geographers often compute their meridian, is in 38° 53' N. latitude, and 77° 24 W. longitude from Greenwich, 79' 22 W. longitude from Paris, and 58° 45' W. longitude from Ferro. The population of the District is 50,000.

2. Cities. Washington, the seat of government of the United States, stands in the centre

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of the District, upon the north bank of the Potomac, between the river and one of its tributaries, called the East Branch. The actual city occupies a spot about a mile and a half above the junction of the two streams, although the original plan embraces the whole extent below. The plan of the city combines regularity with variety, and is adapted to the variations of the surface, so that the spaces allotted to public buildings, occupy commanding positions, and the monotonous sameness of a rectangular

design is avoided, while all its advantaWashington City.

ges are secured. The minor streets run at right angles, but the larger avenues diverge from several centres, intersecting the streets with various degrees of obliquity, and opening spaces, for extensive squares. The smaller streets run north and south or east and west, and are from 90 to 110 feet wide. The grand avenues are from 130 to 160 feet in width, and are planted with trees. Several of the largest unite at the hill on which the capitol is situated. These bear the names of the several States oi the Union. Such is the outline of the city of Washington, according to its original plan, although its tardy growth has yet filled up but a small portion of

this great skeleton of a national metroThe Capitol.

polis. The buildings which it contains

are in three distinct parts, one portion being in the neighborhood of the navy-yard, another in that of the capitol, and another in the Pennsylvania Avenue, which extends from the capitol to the President's house. The city presents the appearance of a group of villages, the spaces between the inhabited parts not being occupied or marked out.

The Capitol is a large and magnificent building of freestone, painted white, 352 feet long, in the shape of a cross, with the Representatives Hall and the Senate Chamber in the two wings, and a spacious rotunda in the centre. The Representatives Hall is semicircular, 95

feet in length, and 60 in height, lighted from the top, and adorned with a colonnade of pillars of breccia, beautifully polished ; it is one of the most elegant halls in the world. The Senate Chanber is of the same shape, and 74 feet long. The Rotunda is 96 feet in diameter, and 96 feet high, to the top of the dome within. It is all of marble, and the floor is beautifully paved ; the whole has a most grand and imposing effect. Several pieces of sculpture and a series of national paintings by Trumbull, are placed

in the niches in the walls, repreRepresentatives Hall

senting events in American histo

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ry. The sound of a single voice uttered in this apartment, is echoed from the dome above, with a rumbling like distant thunder. On the west front is the Library of Congress, and below are the rooms of the Supreme Court of the United States. In the court of the west front stands a rostral column erected in honor of those officers who fell at Tripoli. The President's House is a handsome structure of freestone, 170 feet in front, and two

stories in height, ornamented with an Ionic portico. It stands about a mile west of the capitol. It is surrounded with the offices of the heads of departments. At the patent office, is kept a collection of all the models of patent inventions in the country. The Navy Yard is on the East Branch. There are few other buildings worthy of notice for their architecture. The offices of the Department of State, War, &c., are large edifices of brick, with a portico. There are two public free schools in the city. Two bridges cross the Eastern Branch, and one the main stream of the Potomac

at Washington. Washington numbers President's House.

20,000 inhabitants. During the session of Congress, it is thronged with visiters from all parts of the country, and the levees and entertainments given by the officers of government and foreign ambassadors, render it a scene of much gayety and bustle. In summer, the public buildings draw occasionally a few visiters, but the society of the place has small attractions during that season. The country around is thinly inhabited, and the soil sandy and unproductive. The Potomac is navigable for ships of the line, but Washington has no commerce.

Notwithstanding its preëminence as

the national metropolis, Washington will Department of State.

probably never be a great city. The more substantial part of its population is migratory ; the machinery of government is too simple, and the points of its operation are too widely dispersed, to bring any great and constant expenditure of the public revenues within its limits. The general state of society, too, must prevent the population of our country from concentrating in any spot deficient in permanent natural advantages. A fertile territory, or a convenient seaport, will combine more attractions than the artificial establishments of a metropolis. The true capitals of the United States, are, and always will be, the great commercial cities.

Georgetown may be considered a suburb, or part of the metropolis, being separated only by a narrow creek. It is about 3 miles west of the capitol, and is pleasantly situated ; commanding a prospect of the river, the neighboring city, and a diversified country in the vicinity. The houses are chiefly of brick, and there are many elegant villas in different parts. The Catholic monastery occupies a delightful situation, upon an eminence overlooking the town; this institution contains about 60 nuns, and embraces a high school for females, and a charity school of 100 pupils. Georgetown is a thriving place, and has a considerable commerce ; but the navigation of the river is obstructed by a bar just below the town; here is also a cannon foundery. The Chesapeake and Ohio canal leaves the Potomac at this place, and a bridge crosses the river. Population, 8,600.

Alexandria is 6 miles below Washington, on the opposite side of the Potomac. The river is here a mile wide, and 30 feet deep. The city rises considerably from the river and is regularly built, with clean and handsome streets, neatly paved. A row of wharves extends along the river, the whole length of the city, where ships of the largest size may lie. Alexandria has a great trade in flour, tobacco, lumber, and fish, by means of communication with the back country, and its situation as a seaport. Population, 10,000.* 3. Education. Columbian College is situated in Washington. It was founded in 1821,


. . and has 8 professors, and 100 students, with a library of 4,000 volumes. The college edifice stands on a high spot of ground, a little more than a mile north of the President's house. The Georgetown College in Georgetown, was established in 1799, and is under the direction of the incorporated Catholic clergy of Maryland. It has 19 instructers, and 140 students, with a library of 12,000 volumes.

4. Religion. The Baptists have 5 churches; the Presbyterians 14 ; the Catholics 6; the Episcopalians 8; the Unitarians 1. There are also some Methodists and Friends.


PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY. 1. Boundaries and Extent. Virginia is bounded N. by Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland; E. by Maryland and the sea ; S. by South Carolina and Tennessee ; W. by Ohio and Kentucky. It lies between 36° 30' and 40° 38' N. latitude, and 75° 10and 83° 30' W. longi

It is the largest State in the Union as to territory, being 370 miles in length, and 200 in breadth. It comprises 70,000 square miles.

2. Mountains. The Appalachian chain comes from Pennsylvania, and passes through the State, southwesterly into North Carolina and Tennessee. The most easterly ridge is known by the name of the Blue Ridge. On the west, the Laurel Mountains and Chestnut Ridge

extend from Pennsylvania, and terminate in this State. The Cumberland Mountains lie between Virginia and Kentucky. The Alleghany ridge is continued from Pennsylvania, and there are several other ridges, as Greenbriar, North Mountain, Broad Mountain, Back Bone, Jackson River Mountain, Iron Mountain, and Great Flat Top. The loftiest summits of the Blue Ridge are the Peaks of Otter, which are 4,300 feet above the level of the sea; but some mountains in the Alleghany ridge, in the southwestern part, reach the height of 6,000 feet.

The passage of the Potomac, through the Blue Ridge, at Harper's Ferry, presents the appearance of an immense rent, three quarters of a mile wide, through a stupendous wall of rocks. The broken fragments of the mountain which lie scattered around, and its craggy front, torn down to the base, attest the violence of the disruption, and forcibly remind the spectator of the period,

when the mountain ridge opposed a barrier to the Jefferson's Rock.

stream, and when its collected waters swelled to

such a mass as to tear away the mountain from its * Potomac Fisheries. It is an animating and gratifying general hilarity. Passing over the Long Bridge, where spectacle, to behold so much life and spirit as the fish most probably one meets with a train of fish wagons, we wharves in Alexandria, Georgetown, and Washington. reach the opposite shore of the Potomac, and repair to the At the Long Bridge in this city, one may constantly wit- nearest fishing landing, to observe the hardy fishermen ness a number of fine teams waiting both by night and hauling in their seines, and displaying on the sandy banks day to be filled up with the produce of our majestic river. of the river the fruits of their skill and industry. Thou. On the margin of the river may be seen the spacious sands of gratified spectators have visited the proximate booths and shanties of those who are either directly or shores of Alexandria county during the last week, all of indirectly engaged in the shad and herring fisheries. It whom seem to have been delighted with the interesting indeed resembles not only a business but a pleasure fair, scene before them. Who indeed can look upon the abonas at night one does not unfrequently hear the footsteps dant supplies of wholesome and excellent food which of the merry dancers keeping time to the tune of the vi- are brought within their reach, without feeling grateful to qin, while refreshments of every kind are placed within an all-bountiful Providence for his care and kindness in the reach of the joyful and gratified company who flock sending forth these plentiful shoals in their proper sea. in from the boats moored along side, 10 participate in the son!” – National Intelligencer

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foundation. Jefferson's description of this scene must be familiar to every reader. A lofty crag, upon the margin of the river, has received the name of Jefferson's Rock, and is represented in the subjoined cut.

3. Rivers. The Potomac, on the northern boundary, has already been described. James's River rises among the mountains, and flows southeast into Chesapeake Bay ; it is more than 600 miles long, and is navigable by sloops 120 miles, and by boats 230 miles further. At the point where this river breaks through the Blue Ridge, it receives a branch called North River ; afterwards it is joined by the Rivanna and at City Point by the Appomattor ; this branch is 120 miles long, and is for the most part navigable. The Rappahannock rises in the Blue Ridge, and runs into the Chesapeake, 25 miles south of the Potomac ; it is 130 miles long, and is navigable by vessels of 130 tons for 110 miles, York river is formed from two considerable branches, the Mattapony and Pamunky, and enters the Chesapeake, 30 miles below the Rappahannock; it is navigable for large ships 40 miles. The Shenandoah is a tributary of the Potomac, and unites with it just before that river bursts through the Blue Ridge. Dan and Staunton rise in this State and unite to form the Roanoke, which passes into North Carolina. All the preceding rivers belong to the Atlantic region. West of the mountain, the streams run into the Ohio, and are smaller. The Great Kanauha rises in North Carolina, and passes through this State ; it has a great cataract 100 miles above its mouth, but is navigable for the most of its course in summer. The Monongahela, one of the head branches of the Ohio, the Clinch and Holston, whose union forms the Tennessee, pass out of the State. The Little Kanawha, and Big Sandy, and Guyandotte, flow into the Ohio.

4. Bays and Harbors. The outer half of Chesapeake Bay lies in this State, and by its depth and extent, and the numerous fine rivers which it receives, is of the highest use for navigation. Most of the large towns are situated at a considerable distance up the rivers. Norfolk has a good harbor, in the southern part of the bay, near the mouth of the James. The embouchure of this river forms a spacious haven, called Hampton Roads. These roads were formerly open, but strong fortifications have rendered their entrance impracticable to an enemy.

5. Shores and Capes. The shores are low and flat. A peninsula about 60 miles long, and from 10 to 15 wide, lies on the eastern side of the Chesapeake, and is bordered toward the sea, by a string of low, sandy islets. The waters of the Chesapeake enter the sea, between

, Cape Charles and Cape Henry, forming a strait 15 miles in width.

6. Climate. From the vast extent of this State, and the varieties of its surface, we should of course be led to expect a great diversity of climate. In the Atlantic country, east of the mountains, the heats of summer are long and oppressive, the spring short and variable, and the winters extremely mild ; the snow seldom lying more than a day after it has fallen. Droughts in summer and autumn are frequent. The people have sallow complexions, from the heats of summer, and bilious diseases in autumn. In the mountains, the air is cool and salubrious, and the inhabitants are tall and muscular, with robust forms and healthy countenances. Fires are here used during five months of the year. The heat of summer during the day is considerable, but the nights are always cool. On the western side of the mountains, the climate is colder by some degrees than in the same parallel of latitude on the coast. The valley of the Obio is exceedingly hot in summer, while in winter, the river is frozen so as sometimes to be passable for 2 months together. The autumn is dry, temperate, and healthy, with the most beautiful weather.

7. Soil. There are 4 distinct divisions under which we may regard the surface of this State. From the Atlantic coast to the head of tide water on the rivers, the country is low, iat, and marshy, or sandy ; this meagre soil is covered with pines and cedars ; but the banks of the rivers are loamy and rich, and the vegetation in those parts luxuriant. This territory is alluvial, and exhibits marine shells and bones everywhere beneath the surface. From the head of tide water to Blue Ridge, the land begins to rise, and becomes stony and broken; the soil lies on a stratum of stiff, reddish clay, and is much superior to the lowland country. In the valley between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghany, we come to a limestone country ; here the soil lies upon a bed of that rock, and is very fertile, particularly in grain and clover. In some parts, the soil is chalky. The western part of the State, or that part which lies between the mountains and the Ohio, has a broken surface, with extensive fertile tracts; but the soil is occasionally lean.

8. Face of the Country. In general appearance, Virginia resembles Pennsylvania in the mountainous parts ; but the level plains toward the sea, are much more extensive.

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