Obrázky stránek



I la






ng it





e, to

Le aid











ch a that



, be


e en


[blocks in formation]

ble size, and have much trade. Hudson river is navigable for large ships to the town of Hudson.

Our road lay through that part of the country, the scenery of which is so much extolled by travellers; even at this dreary season it is not without its charms. The snow resting on the icy bosom of the sleeping Hudson, which is hardly ever out of sight, the eye, aided by the absence of vegetation, can see this noble river for several miles each way at once; it stretches itself directly north, in an unbroken line; in this it differs from all other rivers, which constitutes its superior beauty. This, added to the capricious figures of the swelling hills on the opposite shore, sometimes rounding off into domes, suddenly sinking into a curve, now running in a smooth, unbroken line, all clothed in one uniform dress of lucid white, seems to compensate the traveller for the absence of summer. A voyage on the Hudson in summer must be delightful, diversified as its borders are with hill and dale, farms, towns, and country seats, mingled with wild rocks and mountains, added to the numerous vessels, which pass up and down the river, it must be one of the greatest treats to the admirer of landscape. Of all the towns, Hudson is the handsomest: it sits on a plane on the river, while you approach it from a lofty eminence which overlooks the town; it is built of brick, which are painted deep red. The vivid tints of the houses, contrasted with the snowy plain, gave it a romantic appearance. It 30 miles below Albany, and contains about 6000 inhabitants. We spent the night (the only one we spent on the road) at Poughkeepsie, where I found the best accommodation I have met with, during my travels! I never sat down to a better supper in any country. We had oysters, chickens, game, and fish, cooked in various ways; beef steak, veal, hash, all sorts of pies and sweetmeats, with the best tea, coffee, cream, and butter: what was my astonishment upon taking my seat at the table, to find myself joined by two persons only! The northern and southern stages both met there that night: there could not have been less than twenty travellers in the house. Some went out to the eating houses, and eat their suppers for a trifle, others had the meanness to go

out, purchase cheese and crackers, and made a meal of it before our faces!-I was truly sorry for the landlady, who had put herself to so much trouble; she remarked "that it was mostly the case with oppositions, that the meanest people travelled in them; but she never (she said,) had seen them behave so mean before." If it took the last cent I had in the world, I would not have acted as they did; nor did I ever see a house more wor thy of patronage: my bill next morning was only 75 cents!-If people were to do so in the western country, they would be put in the papers.

Owing to the present situation of the country, I had no opportunity of forming an opinion of the quality of the soil; nor would it be material, as what I should call indifferent land, would be called good by the people of these states. I was told that Dutchess county, through which we passed, was the richest in land in the state. Much of the tillable land I have seen, resembles the meadows in Greenbriar, Va. though it is impossible to be any thing like correct. The Livingstons have seated themselves along the banks of the Hudson, presenting to the eye of the traveller (particularly by water,) some of the finest specimens of taste and industry, in the elegance of their houses, and the management of their farms.

On my way to Albany, I had an opportunity of seeing many Dutch families, for the first time: what are called Dutch where I came from, are from Germany, and form a distinct people from the Hollanders: they are as remarkable for sluttishness, as the Hollanders are for neatness. This I had heard, but now I had occular proof. Every utensil in their house, even the stoves shine like silver; their apparel and furniture correspond with these in neatness. These country Dutch are mild and simple in their manners, particularly the young fe males; these have a sweetness and innocence in their countenance which is peculiar. Both men and women are slow in their movements; the females are better shap ed than the men; a broad face is common in both, and a middling complexion. When we arrived at Albany, (at least in the neighbourhood,) we have the Hudson to cross, it being on the opposite side from N. Y. city.

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

and ter street, These the ma leads!

and r

city ris


end o

you v

finest : the cal

You h

the ba

gently kill, a

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

Some doubts were suggested as to the strength of the ice, and to be upon the safe side, the passengers got out of the stage, and walked over the river on the ice, leaving the Trojan and I, to sink or swim together; being a man of unwieldy size, the other passengers insisted very hard upon him to join them, lest his weight might cause the stage to break through; but no entreaty could prevail with cuffy, and finally he and the driver mutually growled at each other, during the drive over the river.

Upon gaining the western shore of the Hudson, you are in Albany. A few paces brought us to Palmer's, where a comfortable stove, a good supper, and a kind landlady, added to the thoughts of seeing one of the greatest men of the age, De Witt Clinton, together with the legislature, then sitting, consoled me for the fatigue and cold I underwent during my journey.

Albany.-Albany stands on the west side of the Hudson, 150 miles from New-York city. The compact part of the city lies on two principal streets, viz. Market and State-streets, which, in relation to Hudson river, takes the form of the capital letter T, reversed thus, L. The base is Market-sreet, near the shore of the Hudson, and the perpendicular is State-street. Market-street is handsome, and two miles in length; State-street is quite short, and terminates at the capitol: it is, however, a beautiful street, as wide as any of the avenues in Washington.These streets are crossed by others at right angles, but the main body of the town lies on these, and one which leads back from the capitol. Market-street is on a level, and runs parallel with the Hudson, but from this, the city rises up till it gains the top of a considerable eminence, upon which stands the capitol, precisely at the end of State-street. The capitol, from whatever point you view it, is strikingly handsome, being one of the finest edifices in the United States. But the view from the capitol, for beauty of scenery, baffles all description. You have the whole city, the Hudson, the grand canal, the basin, the villages on the opposite shore, with the gently swelling hills, peeping up behind them, the Catskill, and the distant mountains of Vermont, all under


of the

I att

and w

their le appear they a in life, ever, v

was at: Croliu

manly his lon the tun


their se presen

Speake jures th vanced

your eye at once! Between Market-street and the riv er, there is another street running the same way, called Dock-street; Pearl-street is also considerable, and runs the same way above. Albany, though it does much business, falls far behind New-York, in bustle and activity-manife not a fourth so many people in the streets-it is hand somely built, mostly of brick, and covered with slate and tile. Many of the houses, either for size or beauty, are not inferior to any in New-York, take away the marble fronts. It is the seat of government for the state of New York, and the principal officers of the government, with the governor, reside in Albany. Its public buildings are a capitol, a state-house, a prison, an alms-house and hos pital, an arsenal, 2 theatres, a muscum, an academy, a city powder-house, a chamber of commerce, a lancaste rian school, a library, 4 banks, Knickerbocker hall, a mechanics' hall, a Uranian hall, a post-office, and 2 mar ket-houses: it also contains 12 places for public worship, viz. 3 Presbyterian, 1 Baptist, 1 Methodist, 1 Lutheran, 1 Apostolic, 1 Cameronian, 2 Dutch Calvinists, 1 Roman Catholic, 1 African. The capitol stands upon an ele vation of 130 feet above the level of the Iludson; it is built of stone, and has a portico on the east front, facing the Hudson, of the lonic style, tetrastile, adorned with stucco. The east front is 90 feet in length, the north front 115; the wall is 50 feet high; the whole is finished in a style of the first architecture; it cost $120,000. It has a farge square of ground in front, which is neatly enclosed and planted with troos. The judiciary and the mayor of the city, as well as the legislature, hold their sittings in the capitol, the building bring laid off into suitable halls, lobbies, and offices, The representative hall is a splendid apartment, yielding nothing to congress hall in the richness of the furniture and drapery; it is nearly the same, excepting only the size, marble columns, and the speaker's chair. Their clerks stand up at a superb desk, on the left of the speaker. The hall is heated by fire places, one on the right and the other on the left of the speaker, called north and south. When the speaker takes the chair, which he never doctorney till after prayers, he cries with an audible voice, "the

the hou

the mi





very h


were m

from t


but wa



State brick!


it the S

have t

in the:

he riv gentlemen of the north will please take their seats, those called of the south will," &c.

d runs




te and

, with

gs are d bosemy, a

I attended the debates toward the close of the session, and was much surprised at the facility and dispatch manifested in their proceedings, although worn out by their long session. I never saw finer looking men, as to appearance, stout, well made, and fine complexions; Ey, are they appeared to be all nerve, some were far advanced marble in life, as their gray hairs bespoke; most of them, howNew. ever, were in the prime of manhood. But my attention was attracted from them to the Hon. speaker, Clarkson Crolius, a most interesting man, modest, dignified and manly; he strove to rally his broken spirits, exhausted by his long and arduous duties-serene and unmoved amidst caste the tumult of an 130 members, (besides the officers of the all, a house,) all in commotion and disorder, about to take 2 mar their seats, yet each unwilling to forego the liberty of the rship,present moment. Loath to interpose his prerogative, the heran, speaker, in accents of the most winning sweetness, conRoman jures them to be seated; "Gentlemen, the day is far adan ele-vanced and we have much to do, take your seats, and let ; it is the house come to order." But his voice is drowned by facing the mingled sound of doors, foot-steps, and the hum of with human voices. He strikes the desk with his mace and north allures them by looks of anxious solicitude to come to nished order.

-0. It ly end the


ff into

The senate chamber is a small apartment, though very handsomely ornamented; here I found a very thin house, not more than a dozen members present; they were men of mature age, differing little, in other respects, from the representives. I waited some time in each tative house, to hear a specimen or their abilities, as speakers, O con- but was very sadly disappointed, their proceedings being pery; confined to examining bills and matters no way interestmarble ing.


State-House.-The state-house is a large three story The brick building in State-street; occupying a place in ad the common with the other buildings near the capitol. In south. it the Secretary of State, the Surveyor General, the Atr does torney General, and other officers of the government "the have their offices; the records of the state are also kept in the state-house.

« PředchozíPokračovat »