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She was a woman of elegant manners, and gave me much satisfactory information on the subjects of my pur suits. Had she not been in the stage, I should have crossed a floating bridge without knowing it to be such. This bridge lles on the bosom of one of those rivers or inlets of the sea, and being fastened at each end, rises and falls with the tide. The weight of our horses and carriages sunk it under water in several places.
Salem.-Salem is the oldest town in New-England except Plymouth, and the second in trade. It is finely situated for commerce, having one of the best harbors on the Atlantic; it is likewise strongly fortified both by art and nature. It is the wealthiest town. for its population, in the United States, and carries on an extensive trade with Canton and the East Indies. The town lies level and compact, has some splendid houses of brick, though the most of the buildings are of wood; most of the streets are wide and handsomely paved, and though the site may be called low, it commands an extensive view of the harbor and the adjacent country. Like all the New-England towns, it is planted with shadowy tress it has a large square of ground in the centre of the town, likewise shaded with trees. This square is or namented with two massy gates opposite to each other, which are adorned with lofty arches, emblazoned with the emblems of liberty. These sylvan shades give it an appearance of much rural sweetness. It contains a court-house, alms-house, a market-house, 3 banks, the East-India museum, an atheneum of 6,000 volumes, or phan's asylum, and 12 churches, mostly congregationalists, and 12,830 inhabitants. Most of the churches, both here and at Boston, are very erroneously called congregationalists, whereas, one half, at least, of the citizens are Unitarians. Like all the towns in New-England, it is governed by selectmen. All matters relating to the town are regulated by the citizens themselves, at what they call a town meeting. The people of New-England (for what reason I have not understood,) seem to be op posed to corporations; I was surprised to learn that it has been not more than four or five years since Boston was incorporated!
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Prison. The prison is a large handsome brick building, in which the jailor resides; there were only four felons, and three debtors in the jail. The cells were small, grated windows, which scarcely admit the light, though they were well white-washed, and in good order. These were on the lower story. The debtors apartments were on the second story, large and airy. The debtors were the merriest fellows in the town; one of them was singing yankee-doodle when I entered, the other two were singing Miss M'Claud, and playing cards. They laughed and sang by turns, and regarding me with some attention, asked me "what news from Alabama." Bidding those cheering fellows adieu, I called a carriage, and set out to the alms-house, which stands about half a mile from the town, fro.n which, however, it is seen very plain. It stands on an elevated situation, and is one of the finest buildings in New-England. This establishment may justly be held a pattern of imitation. It has a large farm and gardens like that of Boston, but still better regulated; instead of being an expence to the citizens, it has the town in debt to it. Salem is the first town in the United States that introdaced the laudable plan of furnishing paupers with the comfortable means of maintaining themselves. It is nothing more than an amusement for them to cultivate those fields and gardens. They work at their ease, and just as much as they think proper to perform. Their farms, but especially their gardens present the best specimens of taste and skill to be found any where. Besides the farm a number of mechanics are furnished with tools and work in doors. The cost of the paupers last year was $11,450 25. Balance in favor of the alms-house, $1,886 11.
Museum. It has already been observed, that Salem carries on an extensive trade with Canton and the East Indies. This trade has been prosecuted with great spirit and enterprize for many years, and has been a source of much wealth to the citizens. Salem owns 34,454 tons of shipping, which is nearly all employed in the India and Canton trade. A society of gentlemen was formed in Salem in 1799, and incorporated in 1801,
by an act of the legislature, with a fund, the chief object of which was, first, to assist the widows and or phans of deceased members; econd, to collect such facts and observations as may tend to the improvement and security of navigation. For this purpose, every member bound to sea must carry with him a blank Journal, in which he is to insert every thing worthy of notice during his voyage, and upon his return deposit the Journal with the society. Third-to form a museum of natural and artificial curiosities, particularly such as are found beyond the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn. The funds arise from fees of admission, voluntary donations, and annual assessments.
No gentleman can be a member of this society who has not navigated the seas beyond Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, either as masters or factors, or su percargoes of vessels belonging to Salem. The name of the society is "The Salem East India Marine Society." The society at this period, (1825) consists of 236 members, under a president, a committee of observation, a recording secretary, a corresponding secretary, an inspector, distributor, superintendent, and treasurer, with a fund of $6,829 49. The officers are elected annually by ballot. The society meet six times in every year; one rule is, that "politics, en no account, shall be in troduced into the society." Every member is bound, during his voyage, to notice the variation of the com pass, bearings and distances of capes and head lands, the latitude and longitude of ports, islands, rocks and shoals; also, soundings, tides, and currents, enter them on his journal, and, on his return, deposit the same with the society. It is their duty also, to collect all useful publica tions, curiosities, and donations, for the benefit of the society.
The collection is one of the richest in the United States, and worthy the attention of all lovers and friends of science. The accumulation since the date of the society has been surprising. They have 67 Journals, that is, of voyages which embrace the transactions of one ship: say the ship sails from Salem to Liverpool, London, Madeira, Columbo, Pondichery, Madras, and
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back to Salem, perhaps absent a year, or as it may happen. These long voyages afford opportunities of acquir ing a great deal of useful and interesting information. Besides the subjects mentioned, they contain sailing directions, the manner of transacting business at the EastIndia ports, with the weights, coins, imports, exports, &c. besides a vast fund of observations on the inhabit ants of that country and the Islands in the Indian Ocean.
The articles in the inuseum at this time, amount to 2,269: consisting of almost every production of the terraqueous globe, both natural and artificial, but principally from the southern part of both hemispheres. The artificial curiosities mostly consist of the implements of war used by the rude Islanders of the Indian Ocean and the southern seas, with their domestic utensils, dresses, and ornaments. Particularly the Island of Japan, the Celebs, the Philippines, Borneo, and the Sundy Isles, the Islands of Africa, with the Polynesia. To which we may add, the different coins, medals, and coats of arms of the known world, both ancient and modern; cloth wove from the bark of trees; paper bills of currency; curious manuscripts; views, portraits, and alphabets of different languages, and a variety of other interesting objects.
The natural curiosities consist of birds, fish, animals, serpents, shells, insects, coral, gems, ores, and petrifac tions. The whole is scientifically arranged, and presents truly an intellectual feast to the naturalist. This museum is worth all the cabinets and museums put together in the United States, at least all that I have seen. Here I saw a candle made of the tallow of the tallow-tree of Japan, (croton subiferum,) it was sticking in a candle-stick made of coloured beads! Gold and silver ore, with the pure platina of South America; the camelion, (they, however, are common in Alabama.) An instrument to find the two chief corrections of a lunar observation, a glass brush, magnetic ore, a specimen of oriental writing on palm leaves, branches of cocoa and cinnamon trees, pine of Norfolk Island, busts of Cicero and Shakspeare, sword of the sword-fish, which
was about four (perhaps more) feet long, as hard as iron, and precisely in the shape of, a sword; a saw of the saw-fish, like the other, except having teeth on both edges the whole length. Gold and silver thread, earth. en pottery, found in Herculaneum, two china tureens in the form of a swan, four blocks of the giant's causeway in Ireland; a beautiful shawl, made of red and yellow feathers from Owyhee, a complete glass ship, gypsum from Smyrna, &c. carbonate of lime, from Gibraltar, petrified clams from Sicily, found 100 feet deep in a mountain, a humming-bird, with nest and eggs! coffee plants and fruit, sulphuret of tin, from Madagascar. The green viper, from China, the bite of which is mortál, unicorn fish, (acanthurus unicornis,) horns of an ox from Sicily, these were amazing both for length and thickness. Cro codile of the Ganges, 136 specimens of Italian marble, 100 different views of Rome, 4to. engraved by Pronti; lava from Mount Vesuvius and Etna, and gems of all colours. A drawing of the Ado Nulli Cone, in the Brit ish Museum, an extremely rare shell. But a repetition of any one specimen in the museum is useless, the whole is equally interesting, particularly portraits of the prin cipal Chinese merchants, and the most beautiful variety of coral and pearl.
But the greatest curiosity is an ancient carved box: this wonderful work of art was presented to the museum by the Hon. Elias Derby, formerly of Salem. It was given to him several years since, by a gentleman of Westphalia, (Mr. Muller,) who obtained it in Italy. It was executed in the 14th century, and supposed to be the work of a monk. It is in the form of a globe 2 inches in diameter. The upper hemisphere, or celestial region, contains 58 whole length human figures! The other hemisphere is intended to represent the day of judgment, and hell and purgatory; in which may be seen various Roman Catholic figures. In this hemisphere there are 28 whole length figures, and 19 half 'length, and 5 heads, making in the whole 110! A most extraordinary piece of ingenuity indeed. The figures are complete, and so small that you have to look through a magnifying glass to see them; and there appears, in