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vested in one supreme court, and in such superior courts as Congress from time to time establish. The present judicial establishment of the United States consists of one supreme court, of twentyeight district courts, and seven circuit courts, which are thus organised. The supreme court is composed of one chief justice and six associate justices, who hold a court in the city of Washington annually; besides which, each of these justices attends in a certain circuit, comprising two or more districts appropriated to each, and together with the judge of the district compose a circuit court, which is holden in each district of the circuit. The district courts are held respectively by the district judge alone. Appeals are allowed from the district to the circuit, and from the circuit to the supreme court; and in some cases, where the inconvenience of attending the court by a justice of a supreme court is very great, the district courts are invested with circuit court powers. Each State is one district, for the purpose of holding district and circuit courts therein, with the exception of New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Tennessee, each of which is divided into two districts."*
The supreme court is the highest tribunal of the United States, and decides in all cases in which the General Government is a party, as well as in those in which the parties concerned are of different States.
* National Calendar.
An oath is attested in all the courts of the United States, by holding up the hand, and not as with us by kissing the Evangelists.
Political eminence is coveted by the inhabitants of the United States, perhaps more than by any other people whatsoever; and as the practice of the law is the sure road to this, the study of jurisprudence generally constitutes part of a liberal education. Hence also the professors of this science are very numerous, and fill most of the public stations, near three-fourths of the Congress always consisting of lawyers.
JOURNEY ACROSS THE ALLEGHANIES. VOYAGE DOWN
After a short but agreeable time passed at Washington, I set off for the Western States.
The first place of any consequence that I passed through, was Fredericktown, which, with the exception of Baltimore, is the largest town in the state of Maryland.
The country through which we passed, though thickly settled, and mostly in a state of cultivation, appeared barren and stony; the only fertile spots occurring here and there in the low bottoms, until within a short distance of Fredericktown. On the right, just before entering, stand some old barracks, built by the English before the revolution. The town is neat, and contains many substantial and well-built houses. Its population is 3640, and has every appearance of being on the increase.
From this place to Hagerstown, the road was the worst I ever travelled over, in a wheeled carriage. It was so full of holes and large pieces of rocks, that I am convinced nothing but the lowness of the stage prevented our being upset. But a regular turnpike-road is begun, and will be completed in a year or two.
The American stage-coach on this road, and indeed upon all other roads on which there is no opposition, is constructed somewhat like the market-carts in the neighbourhood of London, being a long waggon upon springs, with canvass sides and a light wooden top. You enter it from the front, and find in the inside four rows of seats, one behind the other, the first of which is partly occupied by the driver, who is in some measure protected from the rain by the projection of the covering. This vehicle, although an uncomfortable one, seems to be better adapted for travelling on some of the bad stony roads, than any other four-wheeled carriage. The Americans always drive four-in-hand, with the pole very low, and not braced up to the collar as in England. The horses are in general good, and the usual rate of travelling from five to six miles an hour.
The road from Fredericktown is across the Catoctin and South Mountains, and the country on each side is rough and chiefly covered with forest.
Hagerstown is situated in a fine fertile valley, and is a neat though small place. There are two or three handsome churches, besides a very elegant one nearly finished, and intended for the Episcopalians. This sect, as well as that of the Methodists, is far inferior in number to the German Lutherans, and even to the Presbyterians. The Court House is an uncommonly elegant building, and would do credit to a city. There is also a hand
some Bank, end a large Town Hall. All these edifices are too magnificent ajid spacious for so small a town; but I suppose the inhabitants anticipate. its some day becoming a very considerable place.
One thing that particularly struck me in the. United States, and which cannot be sufficiently praised, is, that all the respectable inns, even in the little towns, contain a public reading-room} where the papers are fastened to a loiig sloping desk, by means of a small iron bar down the middle of each file, so as to prevent individuals from taking them away. In the reading-room of the Globe Tavern, at Hagerstown, I found no Jess than ten different files of papers from different States in the Union,
There were some excellent maps, by Arrowr smith and Melish, hanging on the walls, as I have found in almost all Taverns. Some of the maps which represented separate States, and which are always on a very large scale, deserve the highest praise for the beauty of their execution. There were also in this readingrrroom several Reviews and Magazines, and among others, a reprint of the last Edinburgh, which work has a great circulation in the United States.
The road from Hagerstown to Cumberland passes over a great number of small mountains, covered with forest, that have been very little cleared. These mountains abound with game, such as deer, wild turkies, pheasants, partridges,