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confusion of moving from the town, had been left behind in considerable numbers, and formed at that time the only inhabitants of a great part of the city.
There is a considerable variety of opinion among the citizens with regard to the origin of this fever. Those who are anxious about the reputation of the town, pretend that the disease was imported; but by far the greater number maintain it was indigenous. This is also the opinion of most of the medical men to whom I have spoken on the subject, as well in other parts of the United States as at New York itself. They consider the question of the non-contagion of the Yellow Fever as completely decided, in spite of the report which was made by the French physicians, sent to Barcelona, and which indeed, as well as their visit, appears now to have been only a prelude to the Cordon Sanitaire. It would not of course have been right, in the dutiful and loyal subjects of Louis, to have affirmed that theCordon,as an army of observation against the yellow fever, was entirely useless; and that the malady, so far from crossing the Pyrenees to attack the French, would not even venture out of the infected district. An eminent medical man told me, that he should have no fear whatever of sleeping in the same bed with a person ill of the fever, provided he had been removed to a healthy place; but that he should not at all like even to walk through a part
of the town where the sickness prevailed. This opinion was so well established, that the friends of any person who was taken ill, and upon the first appearance of the disease, almost immediately removed either to Staten Island or up the country, had no more fear of sitting up with him than if he had been merely afflicted with a tooth-ache. Indeed not one of those employed to attend upon the sick, after they had been removed, were attacked by the fever. Even Monsieur Hyde de Neuville, a furious ultra (who had been French Minister in America for a number of years), stated in the Chamber of Deputies, that he was happy to add his own avowed experience to the now prevalent opinion of the non-contagion of this fever.*
For my own part, I wonder that the inhabitants are so seldom visited by this scourge. The town is very large, and is built on the flat point of the island, on a great deal of what was low marshy ground. There is no such thing in the whole place as a sink or common sewer. All the filth and soil is collected in pits, of which there is one in every house, and the very opening of which, when full, is enough to breed the plague itself.— Moreover, their contents, instead of being carried
* Nevertheless, since my return to England, I have seen a paper by Sir G. Blane, from which it appears that the yellow fever was carried from the coast of Africa to the island of Ascension; proving, apparently, that under certain circumstances it is contagious.
to some distance from the town, are conveyed to the nearest slip, or quay, and thrown into the water. As these slips, protruding from the quays, are very numerous, and are built of logs, the quantity of tilth that is retained, and which the tide does not wash away, causes, in hot weather,, a most abominable stench. i . .ii .ji
The streets in the lower part of the town are notoriously filthy, and the stranger is not a little surprised to meet the hogs walking about in them, for the purpose of devouring the vegetables and offal that are thrown into the gutter. . << ..n.
The corporation of New York, however, seem to have seriously turned their attention to the police of the city; and will no doubt dispossess the hogs of their accustomed walks, and oblige the inhabitants to keep the streets aud slips in a cleaner state. But what may also contribute to produce unhealthiness, is the very foolish and absurd practice of burying the dead within the town. Some of the church-yards have become so full, that they are raised several feet above the level of the neighbouring streets. Indeed the bodies;in many places have been buried three deep.
I found that the merchants and shopkeepers had all removed their offices and stores to Greenwich, where they had put up small wooden booths, exactly resembling those at an English fair. My first care on arriving at this town, was to look out for some place where I could sleep— an' almost hopeless task. At last, however, I found a lodging-house, in which I could be admitted. After settling the terms with my landlady, she said to me, "I suppose, Sir, you have no objection to having another gentleman in the same room with you?" I replied that I had a very great objection; but that, in the present state of things, I supposed I must endure it. I then asked her to let me have the bed that was there, and to move in another for my companion; but, answered she, "Oh! you are both to occupy the same bed!" I could, at first, hardly believe my ears; but upon repeating the question, whether she really meant we were both to sleep in one bed, and being answered in the affirmative, I made a precipitate retreat down stairs. I did not then know that, in many parts of the United States, this practice of sleeping double is very common.
This chance of having to sleep with some person, who, besides other amiable peculiarities, might, perhaps, be infected with the yellow fever, hindered me from looking any more for lodgings; and I was glad to accept the invitation of the cstptain of the vessel I came over in, who politely offered to allow me to sleep on board his ship until I left New York.
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Owing to the confusion occasioned at the Custom-house by the prevalence of the fever, I found some difficulty in getting my baggage passed, and consequently was detained till I had lost all patience. On the morning of the fourth day, at eleven o'clock, I quitted New York on board the Philadelphia steam-boat, and again descended the magnificent bay, for the distance of five miles. Turning to the west, we then entered the strait that separates Staten Island from New Jersey, after which we entered the Rariton river, and pro* ceeded to the little town of New Brunswick, which is forty miles from New York.
The scenery throughout the whole of this distance is, for the most part, that of a flat and uninteresting country, though there are here and there some thriving little villages. Great numbers of small schooners and sloops were sailing in the strait, carrying fish, wood, &c. to New York.
We landed at New Brunswick, which is ' a thriving place, containing some very good houses; and proceeded by land to Trenton, a distance of twenty-six miles, over a very bad road. All the passengers had previously booked themselves to