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sacred character of ambassadors, had endeavoured to excite the seeds of civil war. The United States resolved to army by land and by sea.

The command of the army was bestowed on general Washington, which he accepted, because he said he was convinced “ that every thing they held dear and sacred was threatened ; though he had flattered himself that he had quitted for ever the boundless field of public action, incessant trouble, and high responsibility in which be had so long acted so conspicuous a part." In this office he continued during the short period of his life which still remained. On the 12th day of December

A.D. 1799, he was seized with an inflammation

1799. in his throat, attended with fever, which notwithstanding the efforts of his physicians, termi nated his valuable life in two days, in the 68th year of his age and in the 23d year of American independence, of which he may be regarded as the founder. He died fully impressed with those sentiments of piety which had given vigour and consistency to his virtue, and had adorned every part of his blameless and illustrious life.

The precautions which the American States took against the injustice of the French government preserved their independence, without coming to an open rupture, and all differences were at length composed by a treaty of amity and

A D. commerce, which was signed at Paris, on

1800. the 30th of September, by plenipotentiaries from the two republics. Early in the following year intelligence was received in London, that

A. D. a ratification of the treaty between France

1801. and America had taken place. About the same period came on the election for a new president in the United States. Mr. Jefferson, 2 c3

vice

vice-president, and Mr. Burr, were candidates for this irnportant office. The election was carried on with great warmth by both sides. The ballotting was renewed thirty-one times during three successive days. The thirty-second time decided the contest in favour of Mr. Jefferson. Since this period the contending parties that, during the former periods of the French revolution, had greatly divided the people in the United States, have considerably subsided : and there is every reason to hope and believe that the peace and prosperity of the United States are fixed on a permanent basis.

At the time of the completion of the new constitution, and the first sitting of the new congress in 1789, the Union consisted of no more than thirteen states; but since that period seven others have been added, in the manner prescribed by the constitution. Kentucky, which was formerly a district dependent on the state of Virginia ; and Vermont; which was a part of New Hampshire, were raised into states in the year 1791 : and in 1796 Tennessee, formerly part of North Carolina, was admitted as an independent state. Since that period the Maine, the territory north west of Ohio, the Indian territory, and Mississippi territory • liave been recognized as states belonging to the Federal Government: and very lately Louisiana has A. D.

been ceded by Spain to the United States

of America. Louisiana was discovered by 1803.

Juan Ponce de Leon in 1512, it afterwards came into the possession of the French, who about the middle of last century claimed and possessed, as Louisiana, all that part of the new continent which was bounded on the south by the gulf of Mexico, on the north by Canada, and on the east and west indefinitely, comprehending a greater extent than the United States. In 1752 she nearly completed a chain of forts from New Orleans to Quebec, by which the then English colonies were hemmed in, and would eventually have been-confined to the country on this side the Allegany mountains. These gigantic projects were defeated by the energies of Mr. Pitt in the war of 1756. And, by the succeeding treaty of peace in 1763, all the possessions lying east of Mississippi, and including the Floridas, were ceded to Great Britain : France reserved New Orleans and the island on which it is built. All that part of the country lying east of the Mississippi was, before the late cession, comprehended as one of the United States, under the name of the Mississippi territory.

According to the return of the whole number of persons within the several districts of the United States in the year 1801, the population amounted to more than five millions and a quarter*, of which nearly nine hundred thousands are slaves, a circumstance which cannot be sufficiently deplored by the friends of real humanity. And no inconsistency can be greater than that the slave trade should be tolerated by people who struggled so many years against oppression and tyranny in defence of their own rights.

The expenditure of the government of the United States for the year 1800 was estimated at fifteen millions of dollars, and the revenue for that year was but ten millions; leaving five millions to be provided for by new taxes. But in this estimate was included a sum of six hundred thousand dollars for building six ships of the line, and the sum appropriated to raising twelve regiments of infantry

* See table III. at the end of the volume."

and

and six troops ; these expenses were incurred by the preparations made to resist the aggressions of the French, and cannot be regarded as part of the usual expenditure of the government of the United States; and every mean is taken to reduce the national debt, which, on the 1st of January 1792, amounted to about seventeen millions and a-half sterling, as will be seen in the fourth table at the end of the volume.

CHAP

CHAP. XII.

British Possessions in North America. Canada. Its

Legislature. Governor. Revenue. Manners of its Inhabitants. Climate. Produce. New Brunswick. Nova Scotia. Cape Breton. Newfoundland. Its Fishery. Hudson's Bay.

When discovered. Settled. Its Produce. Its Climate.

IN giving a connected account of the history of pend that part of our plan which relates to the British possessions in North America. These are still extensive, and of considerable importance, though so thinly inhabited, and in such a disadvantageous climate, that they sink into a kind of insignificance when compared with the great and flourishing coIonies belonging to Spain, or with the territories of the United States. The inhabitants of the former have been estimated at seven millions, and those of the latter at more than five; while the population of the British possessions does not exceed two hundred thousand souls, of whom the greater párt are French, or of French origin.

The chief of these possessions is Canada, now divided into two parts, Upper and Lower Canada, the former being the western division on the north of the great lakes or sea of Canada, while the lower division is on the river St. Lawrence, towards the east, and contains Quebec the capital, and chief city of our remaining settlements. On the east of Canada,

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