« PreviousContinue »
ITS REALITIES AND RESOURCES:
CONNECTED WITH THE
PRESENT SOCIAL, POLITICAL, AGRICULTURAL, COMMERCIAL,
LAWS AND CUSTOMS,
A REVIEW OF THE POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES THAT I.ED TO
THE TEXAS AND OREGON QUESTIONS,
FRANCIS WYSE, ESQ.
"Amicus Plato, amicus Socrates, s*d mogis arnica veritaa."
Notwithstanding the variety of works of travel, the journals of tourists, and published narratives of the numerous other parties who have visited the United States, assuming to present a correct delineation of the American character, the habits and customs of the American people—but little has transpired, amidst these various records, to convey to the discriminating and impartial reader, much less to the British emigrant, any real, solid, or useful information, or beyond the mere detail of the varied incidents in which their respective authors may have been themselves engaged, or the observations resulting from an imperfect or hurried intercourse with a people, who are ever apprehensive of a discovery of their individual and national character, with the imperfections, and many eccentricities by which they are distinguished.
To supply the void that thus exists—to present the British public with some correct data on which to ground its opinions, and to furnish the emigrant of all grades, and professions, with every useful instruction to assist and guide him in his hazardous undertaking, are the objects which the author contemplates in the present work. The real character of the Americans of the United States— their habits,
and social organization, as well their political influence and power, he believes to be but imperfectly known or understood in this country; much less the complex nature of their laws—their uncertain influence, with the slender protection that they afford to either property or human life.
The experience acquired by a considerable sojourn in the country, improved by observation and inquiry, has enabled the author to cast some additional light upon these matters,—to explain more fully the peculiar working of the Government and institutions of the country, and to present the citizens of these States to the British public, not, perhaps, in the outward clothing in which they would themselves wish to be represented, but in that plain and intelligible garb, that a scrupulous adherence to truth and fact, and a regard for strict impartiality, has demanded at his hands.
Facilities of communication and of transport to America—Advantages of Steam navigation—New York and Philadelphia packet ships—The several Liners leaving Liverpool, London, &c.—Transient vessels to America and British Provinces—Instructions in the choice of a vessel, and other preliminary arrangements before going on board—Monotony of a life on ship board—Particulars of our voyage across the Atlantic— Clearing the river Mersey—British Channel—Western Islands —Mother Carey's Chickens—A calm, its distressing consequences—Northern and Southern passage—Great Bank of Newfoundland — Gulf stream—Strange sail — Icebergs—Entanglement amongst them—Extreme danger—Soundings— The land—Anchor at Staten Island—Arrival at New York.
The facilities of communication with the continent of North America, are now so frequent, and afford such varied accommodation, that the emigrant, or traveller, can at all times consult his personal convenience, as well as his pecuniary means, in selecting such description of vessel, as also such port in England as he would wish to sail from. The great and extraordinary improvements in steam navigation, that have marked the last three or four eventful years, in the naval history of the world, have determined, within this period, the long doubted question of the practicability of navigating the Atlantic by this
VOL. I. B