Page images
PDF
EPUB

these were so arranged, as to compose a finished whole. But the impression was immeasurably enhanced by the objects with which these waters were surrounded. The expansion was vast and noble. Several smaller and very beautiful lakes illumined, in spots, the dark ground of forest by which they were encircled. Subordinate bills, and intervening vallies, with houses, enclosures, and other proofs of cultivation, dispersed throughout the neighbouring region, added, though in a less degree than we could have wished, a pleasing variety to the ruder scenery. As these objects receded and vanished, the distant mountains began to ascend in misty and awful grandeur, and raised an insurmountable barrier between us and the rest of the world; while to the eye of imagination this vast array of magnificence was designed only to be the enclosure of the field of waters beneath our feet.

After we had feasted ourselves upon the prospect as long as our circumstances would permit, we descended the mountain, and returned to Mrs. Little’s. At three o'clock, bidding 'adieu to this worthy family, we resumed our journey. Passing through Holderness and Plymouth, we reached Romney that evening. The next morning we rode to Tarleton's to dinner. In the afternoon my companions proceeded to Newbury, and thence to Bradford. My horse having become suddenly lame, I directed my course the shortest way to Orford in a rain, which rendered the journey sufficiently disagreeable. The next morning my companions rejoined me. On Monday we rode to Windsor, and on Tuesday to Walpole. Here they left me again for Keene, whilst I, passing through Westmoreland, crossed the Connecticut to Putney, and again from Brattleborough to Hinsdale, and proceeded thence to Northfield. The next day we reached Northampton; and, having parted with our Charlestown companions at Springfield, arrived at New-Haven on Wednesday the 13th of October.

I am, Sir, &c.

LETTER II.

General Remarks upon New-Hampshire. Its Population,

Soil, and Agriculture. Form of Government. Support of Religion.

DEAR SIR;

PERMIT me now to make a few general observations on New Hampshire,

This state lies between 42° and 45° 11' north latitude, and between 72° 40% and 70° 28' west longitude. I am, however, of opinion, that, if the words of the treaty of peace, which terminated the revolutionary war, were to be exactly followed, its northern point would be found not far from 45° 30'. This state is of a triangular figure, about 170 miles in length from north to south, perhaps more truly 190. At the southern extremity it is 90 miles in breadth ; at the northern it comes almost to a point. Its area is 9,491 square miles, or 6,074,240

On the north it abuts upon Lower Canada. On the west it is bounded by the western bank of the Connecticut; on the east by Massachusetts’-Bay; on the north-east by the district of Maine ; and on the south by Massachusetts.

New Hampshire contains six counties.

acres.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Increase, during the first ten years .

41,973 Increase, during the second ten years

30,556 * By the census of 1820, New-Hampshire contained 244,161 inhabitants.-Pub.

It is difficult to distribute this state into obvious, and yet accurate divisions. The country along the Connecticut, until we ascend the mountains of Littleton, resembles that in Massachusetts. The valley, however, is generally narrower. The next division is formed by the range of Mount Washington; the only collection of mountains in this state, which, so far as I have observed, is of any great extent. The northern half, as will appear from observations heretofore made, is in the proper sense a mountainous country.

New Hampshire abounds in lakes. Umbagog, from such information as I have been able to obtain, is larger than the Wentworth, and there are several smaller ones, not mentioned in these Letters.

The soil is inferior to that of the other New-England states, Rhode Island excepted. In many places it is rich ; and under a superior husbandry would easily become rich in many others. Much of it is better fitted for grazing than for agriculture. The light and warm lands might easily be rendered productive by the use of gypsum. Those, which border the Merrimac, are extensively of this nature. The improvement of its navigation will easily and cheaply furnish the inhabitants on its borders as far up as Concord, or Boscawen, with this valuable manure ; while, on the Connecticut, it may be conveyed to Bath. When the reluctance to alter their modes of husbandry, so often and so unhappily prevalent in farmers, shall have been overcome, and the efficacy of gypsum shall be realized, such lands will possess a new value, and their produce be increased beyond what the proprietors could now be induced to believe.

A great multitude of neat cattle, fed in the pastures of New Hampshire, are annually driven to the markets on the eastern shore. To sheep, a great part of the country is very well suited; and their numbers are fast increasing.

Few countries in the world are better furnished with millstreams and mill-seats than New Hampshire. Manufactures are begun in various places; and ere long will be an object of primary attention to the inhabitants. Iron is already made on a large scale at Franconia.

The trade of New Hampshire is principally carried on with Boston; and to some extent with Hartford, Newburyport, Portsmouth, and Portland. Connecticut river furnishes almost one hundred miles of water conveyance to the inhabitants on the western border. The central parts are beginning to de rive similar advantages from the Merrimac, aided by the Middlesex canal. The people in the north have begun to send cattle to Quebec. In 1810 and 1811, a road from the St. Lawrence, opposite to that city, was opened to the United States, near the place where the Connecticut crosses the 45th degree of north latitude. From Montreal to the same place the distance is less; but no road has hitherto been opened through the intervening wilderness. The trade of Portsmouth with the interior has, hitherto, fallen in a great measure into the hands of its rivals. Newburyport and Portland have engrossed a part, and Boston much more. Numerous turnpike roads have been cut from that capital in every direction, and particularly through a great part of the interior of NewHampshire. The trade from the country along the Connecticut, below Bath, has within a few years been turned towards Hartford ; and the business, done in this channel, is increasing

The agriculture of this state, particularly that in the central and eastern parts, is visibly inferior to that of their southern neighbours. The fruits, requiring a warm climate, either do not grow at all, or at least do not flourish. It is, however, doubtful whether sufficient efforts have been made to obtain them.

The manners of the inhabitants differ little from those of Massachusetts. The proper New-England character is, I think, more evident than in Vermont. The political constitution is altogether better. The government is obviously more stable. The inhabitants discover less propensity to disorder; and men, who are eagerly employed in seeking offices, seem less willing to countenance it.

The government of New Hampshire is founded upon the constitution of that state, established at Concord, September 5th, 1792. To this constitution is prefixed a bill of rights, consisting of thirty-eight articles, and containing in substance the declarations, which are found in most other American instruments of the same nature. To these are added, as you would conclude from their number, several others. In the

sixth article morality and piety, rightly grounded on evangelical principles, are declared to give the best and greatest security to government; and the legislature is accordingly empowered to authorise congregations to make adequate provision, at their own expense, for the maintenance of Protestant teachers of morality and religion. At the same time it is declared, that no person of any particular religious denomination shall be compelled to pay towards the support of a teacher, who is of a different one. It is also declared, that every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves as good subjects of the state, shall be equally under its protection, and entitled to equal privileges ; and that no sect shall ever be legally subordinated to another.

By the thirteenth article, persons, conscientiously scrupulous about the lawfulness of bearing arms, are exempted, on condition of paying an equivalent.

In the twenty-sixth it is declared, that in all cases, and at all times, the military ought to be under strict subordination to, and governed by the civil power.

In the twenty-seventh it is declared, that in time of peace no soldier shall be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner; nor in the time of war, but by the civil magistrate, in a manner ordained by the legislature.

In the thirty-third the magistracy is forbidden to demand excessive bail or sureties, impose excessive fines, or inflict cruel or unusual punishments.

In the nineteenth, general warrants are forbidden; and the right of the subject to be secure from all unreasonable searches and seizure of his person, houses, papers, and possessions

In the thirty-fifth, the independence of the judges of the supreme judicial court, “ quam diu bene se gesserint,” and honourable salaries, established by standing laws, are required.

In the thirty-sixth, pensions are forbidden, except in consideration of actual services; and grants for any pensions, except for more than one year at a time.

The legislature consists of a senate and house of representatives, chosen annually by ballot.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »