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called Alexandria. It is a very handsome town, the streets cross each other at right angles, running north and south, east and west, the former cutting the river at right angles. There are no squares in Alexandria, except the market-square, which is very small, and enclosed or surrounded with buildings, independent of the market-house itself, which takes the form of the letter L, and makes two sides of the square. In the opposite corner of the square, stands a fish-market, the upper story of which is destined for the city guards, and called the watch house. Besides these market houses, the other public buildings are, two churches for Episcopalians, two for Presbyterians, one for Methodists, (white) one for Methodists, (black) one for Baptists, (black) one for Baptists, (white) one for Friends, one for Catholicsten in all-a court-house, a museum, a town-hall, a library, an insurance office, a theatre, and six banks, a collectors office, and a post office. There are two printing offices in Alexandria. Besides the manufactory of tin and leather, a great quantity of sugar is refined in Alexandria. Great attention seems to be paid to education there are academies and several schools.

Manners and Appearance. The people of Alexandria are mild and unassuming. They have not that eclat and splendor, of which many of the towns in Alabama. and the western states are so vain. They are rather distant, when compared with the people of the west, tho1 friendly and unreserved upon an acquaintance; they are said to be hospitable; but my opportunity was such, that I am unable to give an opinion. They have none of that bold assurance, that distinguishes the appearance of the people between it and the Blue Ridge. They are, on the contrary, remarkably diffident. The young people are handsome, and well formed of both sexes, particularly the young men, they have very expressive countenances, and noted for black sparkling eyes. Both young men and ladies, have beautiful complexions, but as to size, they are not to compare to the people of the west, nor are they so dressy or fashionable. Labouring men and women, however, are stouter than


those who do not work. Married ladies look pale, and have for the most part a bloated appearance, for want, I suspect, of proper exercise. Viewing Alexandria in a relative view, it does not seem to progress much in wealth, and so far from improving, it is losing ground. It used to reckon twelve thousand inhabitants, whereas, it now contains only eight thousand and eight, with the exception, however, of two thousand houses in Fairfax county, which, though without the limits of the district, is a continuation of Alexandria. Alexandria has not recovered the loss she sustained by the late war, and from every thing I have seen respecting this town, it has seen its most prosperous days. It is a matter of some surprise, that with the same advantages, as to situation for trade, it should be so far behind Baltimore, which is only two years older. In some respects it has the advantage of Baltimore, having power to furnish all the western part of Virginia, and east Tennessee, who freight their groceries in Philadelphia vessels to Alexandria, which is some distance, and waggon them from thence. Why the people of Alexandria have not seized this advantage, has been owing, perhaps, to want of capital or system. One great cause, I am told, is want of union amongst themselves. Alexandria exports little else than flour, though heretofore, it is said, that twelve thousand weight of tobacco was shipped in one year from that port. Besides ware-houses, it has commodious wharfs for the lading and unlading of vessels. These are built in the river on piles, differing in width, length, and heighth, to suit vessels of all sizes. They extend in a right angle, from the shore to a vast distance in the river, which comprises their length, and sufficiently asunder to admit vessels between them. They are perfectly level on the top, being filled up with gravel and earth, of such heighth as to be even with the decks of the vessels, which draw up close to them, side by side, and roll out the cargo, and the same, when going to lade. The first ship I ever saw was in Alexandria, and though a very small merchant ship, it had enough of curiosity in it, to engage my admiration. The greatest disappointment to me, was the heighth of the deck from the


water, and the quantity of rope. I had expected these decks were at least five times as far from the surface of the water, nor had I an accurate idea of the extent of deck, it embracing the extreme heighth of the ship, with the exception of the masts. It is nothing more than a flat floor, from one end of the vessel to the other, with a balustrade on the extremity, of from two to three feet in height: the deck is the covering of the ship.* The mast, that is the main-mast, was another matter in which I was extremely out, as to height and thickness, it is as large as a common tree; and as for the rope, I should be at a great loss myself, how to dispose of the one half of it, my knowledge of navigation notwithstanding. found only the mate on board, who, with a great deal of patience, answered the thousand queries I put to him, while the sailors who were hard by on the wharf, testified at once their surprise and ridicule, by a loud peal of laughter.


From the Alexandria side of the Potomac, you have a fine view of the Maryland shore, which is elevated and beautifully diversified with farins and elegant buildings. The first sight of my much loved native state, since I left it at three years of age, filled me with sensations, for which language wants expression. Nor have I indeed a distant recollection of my feelings. The first glimpse, vibrated upon every fibre of my heart, and seemed to fill that vestal void, long locked up by Polina's care.


ecstacy resulting from the full fruition of this new affec tion, absorbed every power of my mind; it was amongst the sweetest moments I ever tasted. Every creature loves the place of its nativity, but those only are susceptible of its highest pleasure, who have, like myself, been long absent from it. I would not exchange the pleasure I felt on beholding my ever dear country, for any earthly consideration.

Alexandria has a gradual ascent from the river back to the utmost limits; the streets are spacious, and paved with stone, and the side-walks with brick; these streets are kept very clean, not a particle of any sub

* Since this was written, I have seen war ships at Boston with five decks.

stance or rubbish whatever, is suffered to lie or be seen in the streets; they are lighted every dark night. A man, or perhaps more, goes round at dusk with a light ladder in their hands, by which they ascend the lamp post, and set fire to the lamps. These lamps are at every corner where the streets cross. The lamp is placed in a large glass lantern, such as taverns use; and this is tenaciously fixed on the top of a high post, out of reach, so that disorderly persons may not have it in their power to extinguish them. The houses in Alexandria are built of brick mostly, three stories high, they are comfortable and convenient, but not very splendid. Instead of wooden cornice, the top of the house walls are ornamented with from one to three rows of pointed brick, (in the form of a wedge ;) these brick project beyond the wall, and gives it a handsome appearance; most of the houses are covered with slate and tile. The banks are very handsome buildings; but the greatest piece of architecture is the markethouse. From the centre of the north end, arises a splendid cupola of a hexigon figure, ornamented with a lofty steeple. The squares of the cupola present six faces of a single clock, which shows the hour of the day to a vast distance. The mechanism of the clock is contained within the body of the cupola and strikes so leud as to be heard over the town.* Alexandria is an incorporated town, under the government of a Mayor and Aldermen; the police is under the best regulation; no disturbance, not the least noise, interrupt the repose of the citizens. Instead of bells, the watch is preceded by a number of loud trumpets, which blow a tremend ous peal at the hour of ten at night, when the watch goes out. They go the rounds, crying the hour till day. If any person, either black or white, be found in the streets after ten, who cannot give an account of him or herself, they are taken by the watch, and put in the guard-house till morning, when they are taken before the Mayor, and thereupon fined; if they are not able to pay the fine, they are sent to the work-house

*These are common in the Atlantic states, being in almost every church,

for a certain time. The market of Alexandria is abundant and cheap, though much inferior to any in any part of the western country, except beef and fish, which are by far superior to that of the western markets. But vegetables, fowls, lamb, and veal, are very indifferent indeed. Nor is their bread equal to ours in whiteness or taste. But their exquisite fish, oysters, crabs, and foreign fruits, upon the whole, bring them upon a value with us. Besides these delicacies, they have several sorts of wild duck, the greatest luxury I found in the market. Vegetables of every description are small; what they call cabbage, with us would not be gathered except to feed cattle; their potatoes are large enough, but not well tasted. They have no greens in the winter, owing to the excessive cold of the climate. Their fish differ from ours, even the same species. Their cat-fish is the only sort in which we excel; they have none that answers to our blue-cat, either in size or flavor, and nothing like our mud-cat. Their cat-fish is from ten to fifteen inches in length, with a wide mouth, like the mud-cat of the western waters; but their cat differ from both ours in substance and color; they are soft, pied black and white. They are principally used to make soup, which is much esteemed by the inhabitants. All their fish are small compared with ours. Besides the cat-fish, which they take in the latter part of the winter, they have the rock, winter shad, mackerel, and perch, shad and herring. The winter shad is very fine indeed. They are like our perch, but infinitely smaller. These fish are sold very low; a large string, enough for a dozen persons, may be purchased for a few cents. No fish, however, that I have tasted, equal our trout. I often went through the market; in doing so, I would address those who had things to sell. It was laughable enough to see with what total disregard I wastreated, when they discovered my object was not to buy. Upon my first approach I was met with a smile, and "will you have a piece of nice veal this morning?" "No sir, I am a traveller, I only call from curiosity; I am just looking at the market your veal is very thin sir, do you not feed them in this country?" Not a word!

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