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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 re-
covered 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 sur-
prise, that with the same advantages, as to situation for
trade, it should be so far behind Baltimore, which is on-
ly two years older. In some respects it has the advan-
tage of Baltimore, having power to furnish all the west-
ern 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 ad-
vantage, 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 thou-
sand 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 ri
ver, which comprises their length, and sufficiently a-
sunder to admit vessels between them. They are per
fectly 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 disap
pointment to me, was the heighth of the deck from the






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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 a 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.




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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. The ecstacy resulting from the full fruition of this new affeclength, tion, absorbed every power of my mind; it was amongst love tend in the sweetest moments I ever tasted. Every creature til the riloves the place of its nativity, but those only are susceploatly atible of its highest pleasure, who have, like myself, been I would not exchange the pleasure el and le per- long absent from it. I felt on beholding my ever dear country, for any earthly y side, ecks of consideration.




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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


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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 loud 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 smal 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 til day. If any person, either black or white, be found in the streets after ten, who cannot give an account o him or herself, they are taken by the watch, and put in the guard-house till morning, when they are taken be fore the Mayor, and thereupon fined; if they are not able to pay the fine, they are sent to the work-house

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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 Tayor and winter, they have the rock, winter shad, mackerel, and perch, shad and herring. The winter shad is very repose o fine indeed. They are like our perch, but infinitely preceded smaller. These fish are sold very low; a large string, tremend enough for a dozen persons, may be purchased for a few he watch 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 was treated, 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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Another," will you take a nice stake piece this morn-
ing, here's a charming piece;" thank you sir, I am
only viewing the market; I don't keep house; this is
really fine beef indeed, how long may it have been
fed ?" Might as well address a post. "Will you buy
some bread this morning? here's some very nice."
"How do you sell it?" "Six cents, take two?" (hand-
ing out the bread ;) "I dont wish to buy, I only wish to
ascertain the prices; what profit do you make ?”
Could not get another glimpse of his eye. All the in-
formation obtained was from the buyers. The bench-
es and stalls are kept remarkably neat and clean, being
washed every day. Market is held every day in the
week, not excepting Sunday, which accounts for its thin-
ness. The constables attend to prevent riot or distur
bance. Several attempts have been made to suppress
Sunday markets in Alexandria, by those "outrageous"
religious people, but without effect. It is alledged by
them that it is a henious sin thus to violate the Sab-
bath; while those who advocate the measure, contend
that the greater crime would be to debar poor slaves
from the only opportunity they have to sell their pro-
duce, the hard acquired pittance of many a weary night's
labor.* Besides, they have a number of labourers and
mechanics, who cannot spare time to provide for Sun-
day. These motives operate conclusively upon the ma-
jority, to continue Sunday market. Market begins at
day-light and usually ends at ten o'clock every day, ex-
cept Sunday, which is out an hour sooner. At nine o'-
clock A. M. on Sunday, you hear a small bell ring for
about a minute, this is succeeded by a peal from the
great market bell. The first is to give notice to those
in market, to pick up his or her unsold articles, and be
off; by the ring of the great bell, all who fail to do this,
forfeit what they have to the constables; whose busi-
ness it is to take those articles so forfeited, to the poor
house, for the benefit of the poor. The poor house is
supported by the corporation; it is nothing more than
a house where cooks are employed to prepare soup and

* Many of those people own slaves, and yet make a merit of enjoin ing the observance of the Sabbath.







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