« PreviousContinue »
at each end by pillars, and held up in the middle by braces on the top, in the nature of an arch.
Eaft, or North Haven river rifes in Southington, not far from a bend in Farmington river, and paffing through Wallingford and North Haven, falls into New-Haven harbour. It has been meditated to connect the fource of this river with Farmington river.
Mill river and Weft river are inconfiderable ftreams, bounding the city of New-Haven on the east and west.
Weft of the Houfatonik, are a number of fmall rivers which fall into the found. Among thefe is Byram river, noticeable as forming a part of the boundary between New-York and Connecticut. But neither this, nor any of the others, are confiderable enough to merit particular descriptions.
Harbours.] The two principal harbours are at New-London and New Haven. The former opens to the fouth. From the light-house, which ftands at the mouth of the harbour, to the town, is about three miles; the breadth is three quarters of a mile, and in fome places more. The harbour has from five to fix fathom water-a clear bottom-tough ooze, and as far as one mile above the town is entirely fecure, and commodious for large fhips.
New-Haven harbour is greatly inferior to that of New-London. It is a bay which fets up northerly from the found, about four miles. Its entrance is about half a mile wide. It has very good anchorage, and two and an half fathom at low water, and three fathom and four feet at common tides.
The whole of the fea coaft is indented with harbours, many of which are fafe and commodious, but are not fufficiently used to merit a defcription.
Climate, Soil, and Produ&ions.] Connecticut, though fubject to the extremes of heat and cold in their feafons, and to frequent fudden changes, is very healthful. As many as one in forty-fix of the inhabitants of Connecticut, who were living in 1774, were upwards of seventy years old. From accurate calculation it is found that about one in eight live to the age of feventy years and upwards, one in thirteen to the age of eighty years, and one in about thirty to the age of ninety *.
In the maritime towns the weather is variable, according as the wind blows from the fea or land. As you advance into the country, the fea breezes have lefs effect upon the air, and confequently the weather is lefs: variable. The shortest day is eight hours and fifty-eight minutes, and
* The following was extracted from the minutes of the Rev. Dr. Wales, formerly minifter of Milford, now professor of divinity in Yale College.
From January 1, 1771, to January 1, 1777, 239 perfons died at Milford; of which 33, ar about onee-feventh part, were upwards of. 70 years 84, or about one-third part of the whole, were under 10 years.
From January 1, 1771, to June 3, 1782, died at Milford, 417 pers fons of which 31, or about one-thirteenth part of the whole number, were 80 years old and upward."
Other calculations of a femilar kind, made in different parts of the flate from the bills of mortality, confirm the justness of the above proportion.
the longest fifteen hours. The northwest winds, in the winter season, are often extremely fevere and piercing, occafioned by the great body of fnow which lies concealed from the diffolving influence of the fun in the immenfe forefts north and northweft. The clear and ferene temperature of the fky, however, makes amends for the feverity of the weather, and is favourable to health and longevity. Connecticut is generally broken land, made up of mountains, hills, and vallies; and is exceedingly well watered. Some fmall parts of it are thin and barren. It lies in the fifth and fixth northern climates, and has a ftrong, fertile foil. Its principal productions are Indian corn, rye, wheat in many parts of the ftate, oats and barley, which are heavy and good, and of late buck-wheat-flax in large quantities-fome hemp, potatoes of feveral kinds, pumpkins, turnips, peas, beans, &c. &c. fruits of all kinds, which are common to the climate. The foil is very well calculated for pafture and mowing, which enables the farmers to feed large numbers of neat cattle and horfes. Actual calculation has evinced, that any given quantity of the beft mowing land in Connecticut, produces about twice as much clear profit, as the fame quantity of the best wheat land in the ftate of New-York. Many farmers, in the eastern part of the ftate, have lately found their advantage in raifing mules, which are carried from the ports of Norwich and NewLondon, to the Weft-India islands, and yield a handsome profit. The beef, pork, butter, and cheese of Connecticut are equal to any in the world.
Trade.] The trade of Connecticut is principally with the Weft-India iflands, and is carried on in veffels from fixty to one hundred and forty tons. The exports confift of horfes, mules, oxen, oak ftaves, hoops, pine boards, oak plank, beans, Indian corn, fish, beef, pork, &c. Horfes, live cattle and lumber, are permitted in the Dutch, Danish, and French ports. Beef and fish are liable to fuch heavy duties in the French iflands, as that little profit arifes to the merchant who fends them to their ports. Pork and flour are prohibited. As the ordinance making free ports in the French Weft-India iflands extends to all foreigners, the price of molaf fes and other articles, has been greatly enhanced by the English purchases for Canada and Nova-Scotia; fo that the trade of Connecticut with the French Weft-India islands is not profitable. Cotton, cocoa, indigo, and fugars are not permitted to be brought away by Americans. The fererity with which thefe prohibitory laws are adminiftered is fuch, as that thefe articles cannot be fmuggled
Connecticut has a large number of coafting veffels employed in carrying the produce of the ftate to other ftates.-To Rhode-lfland, Maffachusetts, and New-Hamphire they carry pork, wheat, corn, and rye.-To North and South Carolinas and Georgia, butter, checle, falted beef, cyder, apples, potatoes, hay, &c. and receive in return, rice, indigo, and money. But as New-York is nearer, and the state of the markets always well known, much of the produce of Connecticut, efpecially of the weltern parts, is carried there; particularly pot and pearl afhes, flax-feed, beef, pork, cheese, and butter, in large quantities. Moit of the produce of Connecticut river from the parts of Mafiachusetts, New-Hampshire, and Vermont, as well as of Connecticut, which are adjacent, goes to the fame market. Confiderable quantities of the produce of the eastern parts of the state are marketted at Bofton and Providence,
The value of the whole exported produce and commodities from this ftate, before the year 1774, was then estimated at about £.200,000 lawful money, annually. Since this time no accurate estimate has been made, fo that it is impoffible to tell whether the amount has fince been increased or diminished.
In 1774, the number of fhipping in Connecticut, was 180; their tonnage 10,317; feafaring men 1162; befides upwards of twenty fail of coafting veffels, which employed about ninety feamen. This ftate has not yet fully recovered the confufion in which it was involved by the late war; fo that the number of fhipping, &c. has not, at any period fince 1774, been ascertained with accuracy. It is probable, however, confidering the loffes fuftained by the war, the decay of the fhip-building bufinefs, and the number of unfortunate shipwrecks, and loffes by hurricanes in the Weft-Indies, that the shipping and feamen are not now fo numerous as in 1774.
The number of fhipping from the port of New-London employed laft year in the European and Weft India trade, was four fhips, one fnow, fifty-four brigantines, thirty-two fchooners, and forty-five floops. The number of horfes and cattle exported from the district round New-London, from the 10th of January, 1787, to the 10th of January, 1788, was 6917; befides jack-affes imported and exported, not included. From 1786 to 1787, the number was 6671, fo that the last year exceeded the other 246. From March, 1787, to January, 1788, 1454 horses, 700 oxen, and 23 cows, were exported from the port of Middleton.
Manufactures.] The farmers in Connecticut and their families are mostly clothed in plain, decent, homefpun cloth. Their linens and woollens are manufactured in the family way; and although they are generally of a coafer kind, they are of a stronger texture, and much more durable than thofe imported from France and Great-Britain. Many of their cloths are fine and handfome.
The woollen manufactory at Hartford has already been mentioned. The legislature of the ftate have encouraged it, and it bids fair to grow into importance. We have alfo mentioned Mr. Chittendon's useful machine for bending and cutting card teeth. This machine is put in motion by a manderil twelve inches in length, and one inch in diameter. Connected with the manderil are fix parts of the machine, independent of each other; the first, introduces a certain length of wire into the chops of the corone; the fecond, fhuts the chops and holds faft the wire in the middle until it is finished; the third, cuts off the wire; the fourth, doubles the tooth in proper form; the fifth, makes the laft bend'; and the fixth, delivers the finished tooth from the machine. The manderil is moved by a band wheel, five feet in diameter, turned by a crank. One revolution of the manderil makes one tooth; ten are made in a fecond, and 36,000 in an hour, &c. as has been already obferved (P. 88.) With one machine like this, teeth enough might be made to fill cards fufficient for all the manufacturers in New-England. In New-Haven is a linen manufactory, which flourishes; and one for cotton is about to be established. In East Hartford is a glafs work, a fnuff and powder mill, and an iron work and flitting mill. Iron works are established alfo at Salisbury, Norwich, and other parts of the state. At Stafford is a furnace at which is made
large quantities of hollow ware, and other ironmongery, fufficient to fupply the whole ftate. Paper is manufactured at Norwich, Hartford, New-Haven, and in Litchfield county. Nails, of every fize, are made in almost every town and village in Connecticut; fo that confiderable quantities can be exported to the neighbouring states, and at a better rate than they can be had from Europe. Ironmongery, hats of the best kind, candles, leather, fhoes and boots, are manufactured in this state. We must not omit to mention wooden dishes, and other wooden-ware, which are made in vast quantities in Suffield, and fome few other places, and fold in almost every part of the eastern states. Oil-mills, of a new and very ingenious conftruction, have been erected in feveral parts of the ftate.
It appears from experiments made formerly in this ftate, that a bufhel of fun-flower feed yields a gallon of oil, aud that an acre of ground planted with the feed at three feet apart, will yield between forty and fifty bufhels of the feed. This oil is as mild as fweet oil, and is equally agreeable with fallads, and as a medicine. It may moreover be used with advantage in paints, varnishes, and ointments. From its being manufactured in our own country, it may always be procured and used in a fresh ftate. The oil is preffed from the feed in the fame manner that cold drawn linfeed oil is obtained from flax-feed, and with as little trouble. Sweet olive oil fells for fix fhillings a quart. Should the oil of the funflower fell for only two-thirds of that price, the produce of an acre of ground, fuppofing it to yield only forty bufhels of the feed, will be thirtytwo pounds, a fum far beyond the product of an acre of ground in any kind of grain. The feed is raifed with very little trouble, and grows in land of moderate fertility. It may be gathered and shelled, fit for the extraction of the oil, by women and children.
Civil divifions and population.] Connecticut is divided into eight counties, viz. Hartford, New-Haven, New-London, Fairfield, Windham, Litchfield, Middlesex and Tolland. The counties are fubdivided into upwards of eighty townships, each of which is a corporation, invefted with power to hold lands, choose their own town, officers, to make prudential laws, the penalty of tranfgreffion not to exceed twenty fhillings, and to choose their own reprefentatives to the general affembly. The townships are generally divided into two or more parishes, in each of which is one or more places for public worship.
The following table exhibits a view of the population, &c. of this ftate in 1782. Since this time the counties of Middlesex and Tolland have been conftituted, and a number of new townships, made up of divifions of the old ones, have impoliticly been incorporated.
*The multiplication of townships increases the number of reprefentatives, which is already too great for the most democratical government, and unnecef farily enhances the expence of maintaining civil government in the flate.
Connecticut is the most populous, in proportion to its extent, of any of the thirteen ftates. It is laid out in fmall farms, from fifty to three or four hundred acres each, which are held by the farmers in fee fimple; and are generally cultivated as well as the nature of the foil will admit. The ftate is chequered with innumerable roads or high ways, croffing each other in every direction. A traveller, in any of these roads, even in the moft unfettled parts of the ftate, will feldom pafs more than two or three miles without finding a houfe or cottage, and a farm under fuch improvements as to afford the neceffaries for the fupport of a family. The whole fate refembles a well cultivated garden, which, with that degree of induftry that is neceffary to happinefs, produces the neceffaries and conveniencies of life in great plenty.
In 1756 the number of inhabitants in Connecticut was 130,611, In 1774, there were 197,856 fouls. In 18 years the increase was 67,245. From 1774 to 1782, the increafe was but 11,294 perfons. This com paratively fmall increase of inhabitants may be fatisfactorily accounted for from the deftruction of the war, and the numerous emigrations to Vermont, the western parts of New-Hampshire, and other states.
* Middleton and Tolland, are now the hire towns of Middlefex and Tolland counties. Courts are also held at Haddam, which is the half hire town of Middlefex county