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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
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means: what was, but a short time ago, only attainable by the laborious and patient exertion of many weeks, and frequently of months, is now reduced by this extraordinary effort of man's genius, to the certainty of a comparatively few days. Nations, heretofore distant in their geographical position, have been brought into close affinity to each other, and a rapid and increased interchange of mind, as of merchandise, amongst the first of its beneficial consequences. Steam ships of the first class, with accommodations of a very superior order, now sail at stated periods, under the British flag, from the ports of Liverpool and Bristol, making the outward passage to New York in about sixteen or eighteen days; the return voyage in about thirteen or fourteen. Besides these opportunities, the emigrant, or traveller will find at Liverpool, regularly appointed sailing packets, clearing for New York, every six or eight days in succession, throughout the year, including the winter, as the summer months; the outward passage averaging from thirty, to thirty-five days; with several other vessels of a large class, increasing the opportunity to almost a vessel daily. Packets also leave this port for the city of Philadelphia, on the eighth and twentieth of every month; besides various traders, British, as well as American, to the ports of Boston, Baltimore, Charleston, New Orleans, as also in the summer season, to Quebec, and other parts of the British American possessions. Regular, and equally efficient, and well appointed packet ships, leave the port of London at stated periods for New
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York, touching at Portsmouth, from whence they usually make their departure, on the third day of their appointed sailing from London. There is also a regular succession of first class vessels sailing from Bristol and Hull in England; Greenock in Scotland; and Belfast and Londonderry in Ireland. These latter are mostly intended for steerage passengers, while the cabin accommodation, though not equal to the steam packets, or regular New York liners, is nevertheless good.
But the competition is now between the steamers, and the old established sailing packets; the former presenting inducements beyond all others to the merchant, or man of business, to whom the saving of time is essential above every other consideration. The line lately started by Mr. Cunard, and chartered by the British Government to convey the North American and United States mail, from Liverpool to Boston, calling at Halifax, Nova Scotia, to land and take up passengers, both going and coming, and for which this enterprising individual is paid fifty-five thousand pounds sterling per annum, are certainly very superior vessels, evidencing the superiority of British skill and workmanship in the construction of steam machinery, beyond any other nation in the world. The accommodations in both description of vessels are unquestionably of the highest order. Their cabins are fitted up with exceeding taste, and almost without reference to their original cost. The stores, and general living provided on board, is always of the best that can be had, and may be said to equal the accommodation of a first-rate English hotel. Were we, however, left to our own judgment to make choice of the description or class of vessel we should sail in, without control or limit as to time, we should unquestionably select the American liner or packet ship, above all others; though in this we speak against British enterprise, and the interest of our countrymen, who have lately and largely embarked in steam undertaking. We should certainly feel more satisfaction on board of one of these vessels, as appearing to our judgment by far the safest, and most sea-worthy, and from their construction and peculiar build, far better calculated to contend with the severe and boisterous weather generally met with, no matter at what season of the year, in a voyage across the Atlantic. Independent of the casualties incidental to machinery, however perfect its construction, or the dread contingency of fire, that on board ship will seldom admit of escape; superadded to this, the disagreeable tremulous motion, occasioned by the monotonous and ceaseless action of the engine—the offensive and nauseating smell of the steam, inducing sea-sickness in the stoutest heart, even with the fullest predetermination to resist its influence ; added to which, the generally murky and sooty condition of all on board, occasioned by the smoke, and other escape from the funnel, that with a head-wind, or without any wind, dispenses its favours on all around, precluding the enjoyment of the least satisfactory recreation on deck, or that necessary exercise, so essential to the preservation of