Imágenes de página

greater than

property, in proportion to the population and wealth of the State, was

any other of the thirteen States. When General Washington was retreating through the Jerseys, almost forsaken by all others, her militia were at all times obedient to his orders; and for a considerable length of time, composed the strength of his army. There is hardly a town in the State that lay in the progress of the British army, that was not rendered signal by some enterprize or exploit. At Trenton the enemy received a check, which may be said with justice to have turned the tide of war. At Prince toivn, the seat of the muses, they reccived another, which, united, obliged them to retire with precipitation, and take refuge in disgraceful winter quarters. But whatever honour this State might derive from the relation, it is not our business to enter upon an otherwise unprofitable description of battles or fieges; we leave this to the pen of the hiltorian, whose object is to furnish a minute detail of every occurring circumstance, and only observe in general, that the many military achievements performed by the Jersey soldiers, give this State one of the first ranks among her fisters in a military view, and entitle her to a fare of praise in the accomplishment of the late glorious revolution, that bears no proportion to her fize.

Vol. II.




SITUATION AND BOUNDARIES. THIS State is situated between 0° 20' east, and 500 west longitude ; and between 39° 43', and 42° north latitude. Its length is two hundred and eighty-eight miles, and its breadth one hundred and fifty-fix. It is bounded east by Delaware river, which divides it from New-Jersey; north, by New-York, and a territory of about two hundred and two thousand acres, on lake Erie, purchased of Congress by this State ; north-west, by a part of lake Erie, where there is a good port; welt, by the western territory, and a part of Virginia ; south, by a part of Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. The State lies in the form of a parallelogram.

FACE OF THE COUNTRY, &c. This part of the Union is well watered, here are fix confiderable rivers, which, with their numerous branches, peninsulate the whole State, viz. The Delaware, Schuylkill, Susquehannah, Youghiogeny, Monongahela, and Allegany. The bay and river Delaware are navigable from the sea up to the great or lower falls at Trenton, one hundred and fifty-five miles; and are accommodated with a light house, on cape Henlopen, and with buoys and piers for the direction and safety of ships. The distance of Philadelphia from the sea is about fixty miles across the land in a south-west course, to the New-Jersey coast, and one hundred and twenty miles by the ship channel of the Delaware. So far it is navigable for a seventy-four gun fhip. Sloops go thirty-five miles farther, to Trenton falls. The river is navigable for boats that carry eight or nine tons, an hundred miles farther, and for Indian capoes, except feveral small falls or portages, one hundred and fifty miles. At Easton it receives the Lehigh from the weft, which is navigable thirty miles. The tide sets up as high as Trenton falls, and at Philadelphia 3


rises generally about five or fix feet. A north-east and east wind raises it higher.

Between cape Henlopen and cape May is the entrance into the Delaware bay. The entrance into the river is twenty miles farther up, at Bombay Hook, where the river is four or five miles wide, from Bombay Hook to Reedy-Island is twenty miles. This island is the rendezvous of outward-bound ships in autumn and spring, waiting for a favourable wind. The course from this to the sea is 5. S. E. so that a N. W. wind, which is the prevailing wind in these seasons, is fair for vessels to put out to sea. This river is generally frozen one or two months in the year at Philadelphia, so as to prevent navigation, but vessels may at all times make a secure harbour at port Peon, at Reedy-Idland, where piers have been erected by the State. Vessels are generally from twelve to twenty-four hours in ascending this beautiful river to Philadelphia ; and the navigation is safe, and in the milder seasons, especially in the summer, is indescribably pleasant.

From Chester to Philadelphia, twenty miles by water, and fifteen by land, the channel of the river is narrowed by islands of marsh, which are generally banked and turned into rich and immensely valuable meadows.

Billinsport, twelve miles below Philadelphia, was fortified in the late war for the defence of the channel. Opposite this fort, several large frames of timber, headed with iron spikes, called chevaux de frizes, were sunk to prevent the British ships from parling. Since the 'peace, a curious machine has been invented in Philadelphia to raise them.

The Schuylkill rises north-west of the Kittatinny mountains, through which it passes, into a fine champaign country, and runs, from its source, upwards of one hundred and twenty miles in a southcast direction, and passing through the limits of the city of Philadelphia, falls into the Delaware opposite Mud-Island, fix or feven miles below the city. It is navigable from above Reading, eighty-five or ninety miles to its mouth. There are four floating bridges thrown across it, made of logs fastened together, and lying upon the water, in the vicinity of Philadelphia.

The north-east branch of the Susquehannah river rises in lakes Ote sego and Otego, in the State of New York, and runs in such a winding course as to cross the boundary line between New-York and Pennsylvania three times. It receives Tyoga river, one of its prin

E 2


cipal branches, in latitude 41° 57', three miles fouth of the boundary line. The Susquehannah branch is navigable for batteaux to its source, whence to Mohawk river is but twenty miles. The Tyoga branch is navigable fifty miles for batteaux; and its source is but a few miles from the Chenessee, which empties into lake Ontario. From Tyoga point, the river proceeds fouth-east to Wyoming without any obstruction by falls, and then south-east, over Wyoming falls, till at Sunbury, in about latitude 41°, it meets the west branch of Susquehannah, which is navigable ninety miles from its mouth, and some of the branches of it are navigable fifty miles, and approach very near fome of the boatable branches of the Allegany river. This noble river is passable to Middletown, below Harris' ferry, with boats, carrying several hundred bufhels, and with rafts of boards, &c. from the State of New York, as well as down the Tyoga, and Juniata branches, several hundred miles, in their different windings, but it is attended with difficulty and danger on account of the numerous falls below Middletown, About fifteen miles above Harrisburg, it receives the Juniata from the north-west, proceeding from the Allegany mountains, and flowing through a moun tainous, broken, yet cultivable country. This river is navigable one hundred and twenty miles from its mouth.

The Swetara, which falls into the Susquehannah from the northeast, is navigable fifteen miles. About half a mile from the mouth of this river, and a mile from Middletown, is a grift mill, which merits particular notice. It is a very large and handsome stone building, has four pair of stones, and is, perhaps, in every respect one of the most complete in the State. But the most remarkable circumstance relative to it, is the race, which is a canal from twenty to thirty feet wide, and carried with such a degree of boldness to a length of four hundred and seventy-fix rods or perches, through rocks and hills, and every obstacle in its course, as cannot fail to ex, cite a very high idea of the enterprize and persevering industry of Mr. George Frey, the undertaker and owner.

From Swetara to the Tulpehoken branch of Schuylkill, a canal and lock navigation is undertaken, and the works commenced, by an incorporated company whose capital is four hundred thousand dollars. This leads through the Schuylkill to Philadelphia. When this shall be effected, a passage will be open to Philadelphia from the Juniata, the Tyoga, and the east and west branches of the Susque, hannah, which waters at least fifteen millions of acres. From

« AnteriorContinuar »