Obrázky stránek


the same building e, the city on library.

the capi

d high in

and here

of these is and a ordinate

general and the nd view a large

e other



-o for

ith a cap and the

are on the

t from it.

rtment of





d of









common labourer gets but 75 cents per day, and finds
himself. The whole interior of the yard exhibits one
continual thundering of hammers, axes, saws, and bel-
lows, sending forth such a variety of sounds and smells,
from the profusion of coal burnt in the furnaces, that it
requires the strongest nerves to sustain the annoyance.
The workmen are as black as negroes, and the heat of
the furnaces at this season of the year, (June,) is insup-
portable to one not accustomed to it. The whole is one
scene of activity, not one is idle.

After amusing myself with those sons of thunder, I
was gratified with a sight equally new to me ;-this was
an inspection of a forty-four gun frigate. It was lying
up, under cover, completely out of water. This was
really a curiosity to me, having never seen a ship of any
sort, with the exception of a small merchant ship, at Al-
exandria. Its amazing length, its great height from the
bottom to the top, afforded sufficient matter of wonder.
I had a very indistinct idea of a ship, till seeing this;
but I lost half the pleasure, in the total absence of the
rigging, as they were unable to draw her under cover,
without divesting her of this incumbrance. The great-
est disappointment to me was the width: I had expected
to find those vessels not so narrow in proportion to the
length; but until I can see one properly rigged for sea,
I shall never have an accurate idea of a ship of war.-
I saw one more on the stocks, at which men were at
work. I found in the yard three hundred cannon, thir-
ty-four and forty-two pounders, with two brass pieces;
and was told there was a large quantity of arms in the
armory, which were kept in excellent order. After
several unsuccessful attempts, I was unable to get into it.
Of them, therefore, I can say nothing.

[ocr errors]

The navy-yard is enclosed with a very high wall, and no one can be admitted without the permission of the commandant: I found some difficulty, although furnished with a letter, through the politeness of Mr. Seaton, editor of the National Intelligencer. The interior is guarded by a centinel, who parades before the gate, day and night, with his gun erect in his arms. Besides himself, a large cagle, cut out of solid stone, guards the

[ocr errors][merged small]

outside: it looks down from the top of a magnificeat gate, which opens for the admission of strangers, as well as the workmen who may have occasion to pass. While beholding this eagle, I could not help upbraiding him for his cowardice, in suffering.the British to pass unmolested under him, and his ostensible bunch of arrows, telling him, at the same time, that he deserved to be disfranchised for this dastardly conduct of his.

Directly fronting the gate, on the inside, stands the monument erected to perpetuate the memory of the brave men who fell at Tripoli. This monument, which is of marble, was executed in Italy, by eminent artists. It is a small Doric column, embellished with suitable emblems, crowned with an eagle in the act of flying. The pillar rests on a base, sculptured in basso relievo, rep. resenting Tripoli, its fortress, the Mediterranean, and our fleet, in the fore ground. On each corner stands an appropriate figure, elegantly executed; one representing Columbia directing the attention of her children to History, who is recording the daring and intrepid actions of the American heroes. The third represents Fame, with a wreath of laurel in one hand, and a pen in the other. The fourth represents Mercury, or the god of Commerce, with his cornucopia and caduceses. This is all the trophy Potomac can boast. Besides this part of the navy-yard which is enclosed, there are a great number of houses on the outside, which likewise take the name of the "navy-yard." These con tain stores, shops, and private families. In the midst of them stand the barracks.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]








Barracks. The barracks are enclosed by a handsome brick wall, 400 feet in length, 50 wide, and 20 in height; the ground within is level, and neatly gravel. led, while the apartments for the marines, line the wall; the Colonel's house stands at the head of the barracks, surrounded with a neat shrubbery, and a handsome spot of ground in which he keeps the marines at work, when sin not on duty. These inen are mustered twice in the day, accompanied by an elegant band. Col. Henderson, the present commandant, waited upon me through the establishment, ordered the men to parade, and the band port




est. Ί der





gnificent to play. He is of middling age, and a man of genteel


The Poor-House.-This wretched establishment only exists to disgrace Washington. I found several wretched children in this dreary and comfortless asylum, without one cheering voice, or hand of kindness to comfort or cherish them. Some were stretched on straw, unable to rise, others were bedecked with crocus, (I think they call it) the coarsest stuff I ever saw. The whole

evo, rep. ean, and

stands ap epresent. ildren to

repid acepreschts la pen in in r the god

group had a squalid appearance, which filled me with disgust, and the smell of the place was insupportable. I asked one of the unfortunate women whose business it was to attend to these sufferers, what made the rooms smell so ill; but she was too simple to understand me. The intendant and his wife are Irish; he appeared to me to be wholly unfit for the place, and his wife a perfect she dragon. It is much to be lamented, that in such cases care is not taken to select persons of humanity, who are capable of administering comfort and consolation to affliction. The house is large and beautiful, and in the finest situation in the city, but death would be mercy compared to the situation of the unfortunate inmales. I was told that a part of the house was approaduceses. priated to a work-house, for the punishment of disor Besides derly persons, but I had neither the courage nor the inclination to see more of a place so replete with human wo! and with an aching heart I turned my back upon those cheerless, friendless sufferers.* Three thousand dollars are appropriated annually for the support of this establishment!

5, as well

While cing him

ss unmo

arrows, ed to be

tands the "y of the nt, which

nt artists.

table emng. 5. The

there are ich like

cse con

e midst of

a handfound 20 in

y gravel

the wall; barracks, Some spot rk, when e in the aderson, ough the the band

The Prison.-I found the prison of Washington under very different regulations from that of the poor house. Here I found health, cleanliness, and plenty of wholesome food; the prisoners cheerful and happy. I examined every cell that contained a criminal, which was twenty-four, and found neither desponcency nor complaint. They were severally laughing, talking, and singing; and but for reality it would not appear that they were confined. The debtors apartments are spa

*Warden, speaking of this, says. "No friendly shade appears to support the feeble convalescent."



cious and airy and in no part of the prison did I witness any thing but the greatest tenderness and humanity toward those unfortunate beings. Much credit is due to the keeper, whoever he be, who thus does honor to himself, and to human nature. The prison is supported by the county, whereas the poor-house is sup ported by the corporation.

Orphan Asylum.-But the glory of Washington is the Orphan Asylum. This Asylum, which reflects the highest honor upon its promoters, is supported by private contribution, under the care and direction of a number of ladies. It is truly interesting to see those destitute and forlorn little creatures amply supplied with every comfort. I found fifteen female children in the asylum, from five to twelve years of age, who bear every mark of the tenderest treatment ; they wore neat, and well clad, and had a healthy appearance. They were furnished with clean and comfortable bedding, disposed in suitable chambers. The Intendant, (Mrs M'Kenny,) is a lady, apparently well calculated to fulfil the high trust committed to her care. Unlike the ti gress of the poor-house, she is mild, sweet, and compassionate. To these amiable qualities, she joins a highly cultivated mind, which enables her to teach those little orphans the rudiments of useful instruction. They are taught reading, writing, and needle-work. No male children are admitted. When they arrive at an age sufficient to procure a livelihood, they are dischar ged. Of all institutions which ennobles human nature, those which have for their object the alleviation of hu man misery, are certainly the most so; but no institution combines in one such a number of distinguished and laudable objects, or affords a greater instance of enlarged kindness and charity, thun those established for the benefit of orphans. To cherish and protect their infant state; to sweeten their cup of sorrow; to now the seeds of virtue, and "teach the young idea how to shoot," to draw out those hidden beauties of the mind, which gain our admiration, and fit them for the various duties of life, are certainly the most gud-like acts of which our nature is capable. This establishment might







It is



enter found the inter


parts. adher

are a

about tomb cease




of G


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]



be rendered more convenient by enlarging the buildbut as it is, it is the brightest ornament of Wash


The Bridge.-The Potomac bridge, at Washington, is a mile in length, and wholly constructed of wood. It contains draw-bridges for the passage of vessels; these bridges are raised by a pulley, and by a single individual. This bridge cost ninety-six thousand dollars, and belongs to a company. At the end of sixty years the company is to be dissolved, and the bridge becomes the property of the United States. The profit of this bridge is nothing, except when the river is frozen, as the toll is abominably high. The numerous boats which ply the river, save the people a vast expense in travelling, and this among the rest. Besides this bridge, there are two others over the Eastern branch; opposite to one of these stands the magazine, on the Eastern branch, upwards of a mile from its mouth; and still higher up the river is the public burying-ground.

Public Grave-Yard.-The grave-yard is among the principal ornaments of Washington: it is two miles from the capitol, and makes a very handsome appearance. It is seen at a great distance. The white points of those beautiful monuments glitter in the sunbeams with refulgent brightness. It is enclosed with a wall, which you enter by a stile; we (the party who accompanied me) found a number of tonibs and monuments scattered over the ground, which, however, bear no proportion to those interred in simple graves. These tombs (the first I had ever seen) are of solid freestone, and consist of five parts, viz. the top, the two ends, and sides-the whole adheres closely together, resembling a huge chest. They are about three feet in height, the lid or top projecting about one inch over the whole. On the top of these tombs are written or cut, whatever the friends of the deceased think proper, with the age, &c. The monuments differ very widely from the tombs, inasmuch as they are square at the bottom, high, and terminate in a pyramid. The most conspicuous are those erected to the memory of George Clinton and Elbridge Gerry, late vice-presidents of the United States. That erected in honour of


« PředchozíPokračovat »