Imágenes de página

In the mean time the United States are profiting by the convulsed situation of Europe, and increasing, in a degree hitherto unparalleled in the history of nations, in population and opulence. Their power, commerce and agriculture, are rapidly on the increase, and the wisdom of the federal government has hitherto been such as to render the prospect of a settlement under its fostering influence truly inviting to the merchant, the manufacturer, the mechanic, and the industrious labourer: nor have thele alone found the United States advantageous; the persecuted in France or England have there found an asylum, where their lives, property and liberty are secure ; where they may almost say, the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest. Nor can any doubt be entertained, but in a short period the man of science, as well as the contemplative and experimental philosopher, will find the shores of Columbia equally propitious to their wishes. Education is sending forth its illuminating rays, and its influence on the rising generation will aid the Americans in all their other pursuits.

The inhabitants of Europe are not insensible of these favoura. ble circumstances. The charms of civil and religious liberty, the advantages of an extensive and fertile, but uncultivated country, of an increasing commerce, unshackled and unencumbered by heavy and impolitic duties and impofts, have already invited numbers to leave its bosom---numbers, which the iron hand of persecution and the awful prospects of intestine division or abject Savery, will continue to increase.

The attention of Europe in general, and of Great-Britain in particular, being thus drawn to the new world, the Editor, at the sequest of some particular friends, undertook the task, which he hopes he has in some degree accomplished in the following vo

lumes, of affording his countrymen an opportunity of becoming better acquainted with its settlement by Europeans--the events that led to the establishment and independence of the United Stateso--the nature of their government---their present situation and advantages, together with their future profpeâs in commerce, manufactures and agriculture. This formed the principal design of the work ; but he farther wished with this to conncct a genetal view of the situation of the remaining European possessions in America and the West-India islands; this has been therefore afişmpted, and nearly a volume is dedicated alone to this subject. Connected with the above, one object has been constantly kept in view, namely, to afford the emigrator to America a summary of general information, that may in some measure serve as a directory to him in the choice of a residence, as well as in his after pursuits. This will be a sufficient excuse for the miscellaneous matter introduced in the third volume, at the close of the history of the States,

W. W.

[ocr errors]


T is believed by many, that the ancients had some imperfect notion of a new world; and several ancient authors are quoted in confirmation of this opinion. In a book ascribed to the philosopher Aristotle, we are told that the Carthaginians discovered an island far beyond the pillars of Hercules, large, fertile, and finely watered with navigable rivers, but uninhabited. This island was distant a few days failing from the continent; its beauty induced the discoverers to settle there ; but the policy of Carthage dislodged the colony, and laid a strict prohibition on all the subjects of the state not to attempt any future establishment. This account is also confirmed by an historian of no mean credit, who relates, that the Tyrians would have settled a colony on the new-discovered island, but were opposed by the Carthaginians for state reasons. Seneca, and other authors are also quoted in support of this belief. But however this

may nobody ever believed the existence of this continent so firmly as to go in quest of it; at least there are no accounts well supa ported that America received any part of its first inhabitants from Europe prior to the 15th century. The Welsh fondly imagine, that their country contributed, in 1170, to people the New World, by the adventure of Madoc, son of Owen Gwynedd, who, on the death of his father, failed there, and colonized part of the country. All that is advanced in proof is, a quotation from one of the British Poets, which proves no more than that he had distinguished himself by sea and land, It is pretended that he made two voyages; that failing West, he left Ireland so far to the North, that he came to a land unknown, where he saw many strange things; that he returned home, and, making a report of the fruitfulness of the new-difcovered country, prevailed on numbers of the Welsh of each lex to accompany him on a second voyage, from which he never returned. The favourers of this opinion assert, that several Welsh words, such as gwrando, “to hearken or listen;" the ifle of Creafo, or “ welcome;" Cape Breton, from the name of Britain; gwynndwr, or, “the white water;" and pengæin, or "the * bird with a white head;" are to be found in the American


[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »