Page images
PDF
EPUB

Banks.—Nine in number, of which the capital, in 1812, amounted to 2,500,000 dollars. Another, the Phoenix bank, since incorporated in May 1814, has a capital of a million of dollars, payable by instalments of twelve dollars and a half on a share, at the expiration of every ninety days.

There are no canals in this state.

Bridges.—Across the Connecticut river, at Hartford, there is a fine wooden bridge, with three arches, supported by stone piers. The expence amounted to 100,000 dollars. At the mouth of the Shetucket river, a branch of the Thames, there is another wooden bridge, 124 feet in length, and a third has been lately thrown across the Housatonic, at Statford.

The state prison in the mountains at Simsbury, about fifteen miles from Hartford, is inclosed with iron pales, about fourteen feet high. The criminals sleep in a dungeon, ninety feet below the surface, which was dug by a company of copper miners, who having exhausted the ore, or finding their labours unprofitable, sold the place to the legislature of the state. *

Roads.—The first American turnpike roads were made in this state. In 1808 there were fifty turnpike companies for the establishment of the same number of roads, thirty-nine of which, measuring 770 miles, were then completed. That from Hartford to Newhaven, thirty-four miles, cost 80,000 dollars.

* From Mr Martin Stanley.

Inventions claimed by Citizens of this State.

Chittendom's (of Newhaven) machine for bending and cutting card teeth, invented in 1784, and afterwards greatly improved. The machine is put in motion by a mandaril twelve inches in length and one in diameter, by one revolution of which one tooth is made, and 36,000 in an hour. *

Miller and Whitney's (of Newhaven) saw-gin, or machine for separating cotton from its seed. Before this invention it was performed with the hand; and so slow was the operation, that one pound aday, by one person, was the usual produce ; and the quantity by this process is more than 1000 pounds daily. The patent right of this machine was purchased by the legislature of the state for the sum of 50,000 dollars.

Bushnel's (David, of Saybrook) various machines for annoying the British vessels during the revolutionary war.

Culver's (of Norwich) machine for the clearing of docks and removing bars in rivers, by means of which the channel of the Thames has been considerably deepened.

Humphrey's (William) machine for spinning wool by water, by means of which twelve spindles will perform as much as a jenny of forty spindles. The right of construction may be purchased at a dollar a spindle.

Works relating to the History of this State.

1. Douglas's Summary, article Connecticut. 2. Morse's Geography, article Connecticut.

3. Trumbull's (Rev. Benj. D. D.) History of this State.

4. Dwight's (Dr) Statistical Account of Newhaven, 1798.

5. Holt's (Charles) Short Account of the Yellow Fever, as it appeared in New London, in August, September, and October, 1798, pp. 24. New London.

Morse's Geography.

CHAPTER XIV.

NEW JERSEY.

Situation And Boundaries.—New Jersey is situated between 38° 56' and 41° 20' north latitude, and 1° 3 -V and 5' east longitude. It is bounded on the north by New York; south, by Delaware Bay; east, by New York and the Atlantic Ocean; west, by Pennsylvania and Delaware. Its length, from north to south, is 160 miles. From the Hudson river on the east, to the Delaware on the west, its least breadth, near the middle, is 42 miles; its greatest breadth towards the north is 70, and towards the south 75 miles. Area 6600 square miles, or 4,224,000 acres.

Aspect of the Country, and Nature of the Soil.— The southern parts, extending 100 miles along the sea coast, are generally level, except the hills of Neversink, in Monmouth county, which rise 281 feet above the level of the ocean. On leaving the Pennsylvania shore, the whole country is so flat that it is difficult to distinguish the ridge which separates the waters that fall into the ocean from those which fall into the Delaware. The South mountain, a ridge of the Alleghany, crosses the state near the parallel of 41°, and to the north is another ridge called Kittatinny, from both of which several spurs project in a south direction. Schooley's mountain rises 600 feet above its base, which is 500 feet above tide water.* Among the mountains, and in the interior parts, the soil is very fertile; in other places it is almost barren, being composed of a loose sand and small rounded pebbles; and it is in general very inferior to that of New York or Pennsylvania. On the Jersey side of the river Delaware it is all sandy; on the opposite side it is all loam and clay. Along the river Rariton, about New Brunswick and Amboy, the country is in general beautifully variegated, and the soil is uncommonly rich.

Salt meadows stretch along the lower parts of Delaware river and bay. Towards the north the country swells into high hills, which are covered with woods, and well adapted to grazing. The banks of the rivers and creeks of the interior country are of a stiff clay, and the soil of the vallies is loamy and fertile. It has been calculated that nearly one fourth of the surface of the state is barren. The soil, to the distance of twenty or thirty miles from the sea, is evidently of recent formation. Shells and bones of an enormous size have been found in different places, at the depth of fifty feet, where the water is of a brackish taste.

Temperature.—The climate resembles that of the southern parts of New York; but near the sea it is much warmer than in the mountains, where the cold of winter is as great as in Massachusetts and Vermont. Kalm, when he visited this country, remarked, that

* Geological Observations by Professor Mitchill, in Bruce's Mineralogies Journal, Vol. I. p. 70. VOL. II. C

the cattle remained in the fields during the whole winter, (Travels, Vol. II.) The summer season is very regular. The vegetable productions are seldom injured by drought, rains, or frosts. Rudyard, the deputygovernor, speaking of the climate in 1683, says, "As for the temperature of the air, it is wonderfully suited to the humours of mankind; the wind and weather rarely holding in one point, or one kind, for ten days together. It is a rare thing for a vessel to be wind bound for a week together, the wind seldom holding in a point more than forty-eight hours ; and in a short time we have wet and dry, warm and cold weather; yet this variation creates not cold, nor have we the tenth part of the colds we have in England; I never had any since I came." *

Earthquakes.—A shock of an earthquake was felt in November 1726, between the hours of ten and eleven at night, t A slight shock was felt about noon, on the 5th of September 1732; and in 1737, on the 7th of December, there was a considerable shock, accompanied with a remarkable rumbling noise. It shook the chimneys and doors, and awakened persons who were asleep, without occasioning any great injury, t The last was felt in 1755, on the 18th of November, at four in the morning.

Bays.Delaware Bay forms the south-western boundary. 2. New York Bay lies to the east of Bergen Neck. 3. Newark Bay, which lies west of the latter, is five miles in length, and two in breadth.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »