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in North America, after Philadelphia and New York. The streets cross each other at right angles : the principal one is wide and handsome. Most of the houses are built of brick, and, being modern, are well constructed. On the south side of the town is a harbour, called the bason, which is capa. ble of containing two thousand sail of merchant. men; the shore is lined with wharfs and store. houses. English, Scotch, French, and a great many Irish are to be found amongst the inha. bitants, who are very sociable between themselves, and hospitable to strangers. Dancing is a favou. rite amusement; the young people frequently make parties at each other's houses, where they merrily dance away the evening.
Roads that would have been deemed impassable in England, and a country distinguished neither for fertili; nor beauty brought us to Washington, the new federal city, where we are now staying, at the house of a member of congress, who entertains us kindly. My hand grows tired; so you must forgive me for adding only, that I am your dutiful son,
Mr. Henry Franklin to Edwin Middleton.
Washington. DEAR Edwin,
THE affection I feel for you is not diminished by having crossed the Atlantic ; and as I have an inclination to assure you of my regard, I begin a correspondence, without fear of intruding on the province of your brother; since the coun. try we are in abounds sufficiently in novelty and variety, to supply us both with materials for our letters.
I date this from Washington, a city formed upon a vaat plan, though not very far from being compieted, and designed to be the capital of the whole empire. Before the separation of the American States from Great Britain, Philadelphia was the seat of government; but the other provinces growing jealous that Pennsylvania should enjoy this privilege, it was agreed that a fæderal city, subject to the laws and regulations of congress alone, should be built in an independent district, where the congress should assemble for the purpose of making laws, and managing the concerns of government.
The chuice of situation was left to General Washington, at that time president; and the new city bears his name, as a testimony of the gratitude
of his fellow citizens for his patriotism and wise administration. It was desirable to fix upon a spot that should be central, removed from all danger of disturbance from a foreign enemy, in a situation favourable to commerce and health, and having the means of an ample supply of provisions. These advantages are combined in the place where Washington stands, besides that of an extensive communication, by water, to the most distant parts of the empire. Take your map, and trace with me the course of the rivers, that you may be able to form a clear idea of the amazing extent of navigation from this city. The Patowmac river, on which it is built, takes its rise on the north-west side of the Allegany Mountains, and, after many windings, for four hundred miles, falls into the Chesapeak Bay. The navigation of this river, from the city to the Chesapeak, is safe and easy. In its course it receives several large streams, one of which falls into it at Washington, and is called the Eastern Branch of the Patowmac. From the Great Fall of the Patowmac there is a free navigation, one hundred and ninety miles above the city, to Fort Cumberland. In an oppo. site direction, the prodigious extent of communication is more astonishing. By ascending the Allegany river, from Pittsburgh, as far as French Creek, you reach Fort le Bæut, distant from Presqu'isle, a town situated upon Lake Erie, only fifteen miles; whence goods may be conveyed by. C4
land carriage. Lake Erie is three hundred miles long, and ninety broad, and communicates with Lake Huron and Lake Michigan; the former one thousand miles in circumference, the latter not quite so large. Many noble rivers fall into these lakes, after having watered immense tracts of country in various directions, and supplied the means of communication to a vast distance. From Presqu'isle, across Lake Erie to the Falls of Nia. gara, where nine miles must be passed over land, the navigation of Lake Ontario, and the great river St. Lawrence, is opened on one side; and on the other, that of Lake Superior, by a still shorter land passage, at the Falls of St. Mary. This last lake is fifteen hundred miles in circumference, and is supplied-by forty rivers. Beyond this, the water communication extends to a prodigious distance, through the Lake of the Woods to Lake Winni. peg, which is still larger than that of Lake Supe. rior. Compared with these, what are the lakes and rivers of the old world ? But how I have wandered from Washington; it is time to return to it.
The city is laid out on a neck of land, enclosed between the Eastern Branch and the main stream of the Patowmac; a territory called Columbia, subject to congress only. A magnificent plan was drawn by Monsieur L'Enfant, a Frenchman, and approved; but so few parts of it are yet finished, and so many trees remain growing within the
boundaries, that it has more the appearance of a number of villages, scattered in a wood, than one great city.
According to Monsieur L'Enfant's plan, it is in. tended to be divided into squares, or grand divi. sions, by streets running from north to south, intersected by others from east to west. Besides these, are very broad streets or avenues, running from some of the most important squares and public buildings, in an oblique direction, which pro. duce a variety of-fine prospects. These avenues are bordered with broad gravel walks, planted with trees, and are named after the states of the union, The squares are very numerous, and are designed for the reception of statues, columns, or other mémorials of heroes and memorable transactions.
The houses are all to be of brick or stone, though some wooden ones have been erected for present use. Near the centre, on an eminence, stands the Capitol, commanding a complete view of the city and adjacent country. It contains spacious apartments for the accommodation of the congress, and public offices for the executive department of the government, with the courts of justice, &c. Near it is a fine statue of that great man, General Washington, on horseback.
The house designed for the president is a handsome stone edifice, in which the principal apartment is of an oval form. Between this building and the Capitol is erected a large hotel, which is