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The following Notes were written in Virginia in the year 1781, and
somewhat corrected and enlarged in the winter of 1782, in answer to Queries
proposed to the Author, by a Foreigner of Distinction, then residing among
us. The subjects are all treated imperfectly; some scarcely touched on. To
apologize for this by developing the circumstances of the time and place of
their composition, would be to open wounds which have already bled enough.
To these circumstances some of their imperfections may with truth be
ascribed; the great mass to the want of information and want of talents in
the writer. He had a few copies printed, which he gave among his friends:
and a translation of them has been lately published in France, but with such
alterations as the laws of the press in that country rendered necessary.
They are now offered to the public in their original form and language.

Feb. 27, 1787.

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"Boundaries of Virginia"
An exact description of the limits and boundaries of the state of Virginia?

Virginia is bounded on the East by the Atlantic: on the North by a line
of latitude, crossing the Eastern Shore through Watkins's Point, being about
37o.57' North latitude; from thence by a streight line to Cinquac, near the
mouth of Patowmac; thence by the Patowmac, which is common to Virginia and
Maryland, to the first fountain of its northern branch; thence by a meridian
line, passing through that fountain till it intersects a line running East
and West, in latitude 39o.43'.42.4" which divides Maryland from
Pennsylvania, and which was marked by Messrs. Mason and Dixon; thence by
that line, and a continuation of it westwardly to the completion of five
degrees of longitude from the eastern boundary of Pennsylvania, in the same
latitude, and thence by a meridian line to the Ohio: On the West by the Ohio
and Missisipi, to latitude 36o.30'. North: and on the South by the line of
latitude last-mentioned. By admeasurements through nearly the whole of this
last line, and supplying the unmeasured parts from good data, the Atlantic
and Missisipi, are found in this latitude to be 758 miles distant, equal to
13o.38'. of longitude, reckoning 55 miles and 3144 feet to the degree. This
being our comprehension of longitude, that of our latitude, taken between
this and Mason and Dixon's line, is 3o.13'.42.4" equal to 223.3 miles,
supposing a degree of a great circle to be 69 m. 864 f. as computed by
Cassini. These boundaries include an area somewhat triangular, of 121525
square miles, whereof 79650 lie westward of the Allegany mountains, and
57034 westward of the meridian of the mouth of the Great Kanhaway. This
state is therefore one third larger than the islands of Great Britain and
Ireland, which are reckoned at 88357 square miles.

These limits result from, 1. The antient charters from the crown of
England. 2. The grant of Maryland to the Lord Baltimore, and the subsequent
determinations of the British court as to the extent of that grant. 3. The
grant of Pennsylvania to William Penn, and a compact between the general
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assemblies of the commonwealths of Virginia and Pennsylvania as to the
extent of that grant. 4. The grant of Carolina, and actual location of its
northern boundary, by consent of both parties. 5. The treaty of Paris of
1763. 6. The confirmation of the charters of the neighbouring states by the
convention of Virginia at the time of constituting their commonwealth. 7.
The cession made by Virginia to Congress of all the lands to which they had
title on the North side of the Ohio.

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A notice of its rivers, rivulets, and how far they are navigable?
Rivers and

An inspection of a map of Virginia, will give a better idea of the
geography of its rivers, than any description in writing. Their navigation
may be imperfectly noted.

Roanoke, so far as it lies within this state, is no where navigable, but
for canoes, or light batteaux; and, even for these, in such detached parcels
as to have prevented the inhabitants from availing themselves of it at all.

James River, and its waters, afford navigation as follows.

The whole of Elizabeth River, the lowest of those which run into James
River, is a harbour, and would contain upwards of 300 ships. The channel is
from 150 to 200 fathom wide, and at common flood tide, affords 18 feet water
to Norfolk. The Strafford, a 60 gun ship, went there, lightening herself to
cross the bar at Sowell's point. The Fier Rodrigue, pierced for 64 guns, and
carrying 50, went there without lightening. Craney island, at the mouth of
this river, commands its channel tolerably well.

Nansemond River is navigable to Sleepy hole, for vessels of 250 tons; to
Suffolk, for those of 100 tons; and to Milner's, for those of 25.

Pagan Creek affords 8 or 10 feet water to Smithfeild, which admits
vessels of 20 ton.

Chickahominy has at its mouth a bar, on which is only 12 feet water at
common flood tide. Vessels passing that, may go 8 miles up the river; those
of 10 feet draught may go four miles further, and those of six tons burthen,
20 miles further.

Appamattox may be navigated as far as Broadways, by any vessel which has
crossed Harrison's bar in James river; it keeps 8 or 9 feet water a mile or
two higher up to Fisher's bar, and 4 feet on that and upwards to
Petersburgh, where all navigation ceases.

James River itself affords harbour for vessels of any size in Hampton
Road, but not in safety through the whole winter; and there is navigable
water for them as far as Mulberry island. A 40 gun ship goes to James town,
and, lightening herself,
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may pass to Harrison's bar, on which there is only 15 feet water. Vessels of
250 tons may go to Warwick; those of 125 go to Rocket's, a mile below
Richmond; from thence is about 7 feet water to Richmond; and about the
center of the town, four feet and a half, where the navigation is
interrupted by falls, which in a course of six miles, descend about 80 feet
perpendicular: above these it is resumed in canoes and batteaux, and is
prosecuted safely and advantageously to within 10 miles of the Blue ridge;
and even through the Blue ridge a ton weight has been brought; and the
expence would not be great, when compared with its object, to open a
tolerable navigation up Jackson's river and Carpenter's creek, to within 25
miles of Howard's creek of Green briar, both of which have then water enough
to float vessels into the Great Kanhaway. In some future state of
population, I think it possible, that its navigation may also be made to
interlock with that of the Patowmac, and through that to communicate by a
short portage with the Ohio. It is to be noted, that this river is called in
the maps James River, only to its confluence with the Rivanna; thence to the
Blue ridge it is called the Fluvanna; and thence to its source, Jackson's
river. But in common speech, it is called James river to its source.

The Rivanna, a branch of James river, is navigable for canoes and
batteaux to its intersection with the South West mountains, which is about
22 miles; and may easily be opened to navigation through those mountains to
its fork above Charlottesville.

York River, at York town, affords the best harbour in the state for
vessels of the largest size. The river there narrows to the width of a mile,
and is contained within very high banks, close under which the vessels may
ride. It holds 4 fathom water at high tide for 25 miles above York to the
mouth of Poropotank, where the river is a mile and a half wide, and the
channel only 75 fathom, and passing under a high bank. At the confluence of
Pamunkey and Mattapony, it is reduced to 3 fathom depth, which continues up
Pamunkey to Cumberland, where the width is 100 yards, and up Mattapony to
within two miles of Frazer's ferry, where it becomes 2 1/2 fathom deep, and
holds that about five miles. Pamunkey is then capable of navigation for
loaded flats to Brockman's bridge, 50
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miles above Hanover town, and Mattapony to Downer's bridge, 70 miles above
its mouth.

Piankatank, the little rivers making out of Mobjack bay and those of the
Eastern shore, receive only very small vessels, and these can but enter

Rappahanock affords 4 fathom water to Hobb's hole, and 2 fathom from
thence to Fredericksburg.

Patowmac is 7 1/2 miles wide at the mouth; 4 1/2 at Nomony bay; 3 at
Aquia; 1 1/2 at Hallooing point; 1 1/4 at Alexandria. Its soundings are, 7
fathom at the mouth; 5 at St. George's island; 4 1/2 at Lower Matchodic; 3
at Swan's point, and thence up to Alexandria; thence 10 feet water to the
falls, which are 13 miles above Alexandria. These falls are 15 miles in
length, and of very great descent, and the navigation above them for
batteaux and canoes, is so much interrupted as to be little used. It is,
however, used in a small degree up the Cohongoronta branch as far as Fort
Cumberland, which was at the mouth of Wills's creek: and is capable, at no
great expence, of being rendered very practicable. The Shenandoah branch
interlocks with James river about the Blue ridge, and may perhaps in future
be opened.

The Missisipi will be one of the principal channels of future commerce
for the country westward of the Alleghaney. From the mouth of this river to
where it receives the Ohio, is 1000 miles by water, but only 500 by land,
passing through the Chickasaw country. From the mouth of the Ohio to that of
the Missouri, is 230 miles by water, and 140 by land. From thence to the
mouth of the Illinois river, is about 25 miles. The Missisipi, below the
mouth of the Missouri, is always muddy, and abounding with sand bars, which
frequently change their places. However, it carries 15 feet water to the
mouth of the Ohio, to which place it is from one and a half to two miles
wide, and thence to Kaskaskia from one mile to a mile and a quarter wide.
Its current is so rapid, that it never can be stemmed by the force of the
wind alone, acting on sails. Any vessel, however, navigated with oars, may
come up at any time, and receive much aid from the wind. A batteau passes
from the mouth of Ohio to the mouth of Missisipi in three weeks, and is from
two to three months getting up again. During its floods, which are
periodical as those of the
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Nile, the largest vessels may pass down it, if their steerage can be
ensured. These floods begin in April, and the river returns into its banks
early in August. The inundation extends further on the western than eastern
side, covering the lands in some places for 50 miles from its banks. Above
the mouth of the Missouri, it becomes much such a river as the Ohio, like it
clear, and gentle in its current, not quite so wide, the period of its
floods nearly the same, but not rising to so great a height. The streets of
the village at Cohoes are not more than 10 feet above the ordinary level of
the water, and yet were never overflowed. Its bed deepens every year.
Cohoes, in the memory of many people now living, was insulated by every
flood of the river. What was the Eastern channel has now become a lake, 9
miles in length and one in width, into which the river at this day never
flows. This river yields turtle of a peculiar kind, perch, trout, gar, pike,
mullets, herrings, carp, spatula fish of 50 lb. weight, cat fish of an
hundred pounds weight, buffalo fish, and sturgeon. Alligators or crocodiles
have been seen as high up as the Acansas. It also abounds in herons, cranes,
ducks, brant, geese, and swans. Its passage is commanded by a fort
established by this state, five miles below the mouth of Ohio, and ten miles
above the Carolina boundary.

The Missouri, since the treaty of Paris, the Illinois and Northern
branches of the Ohio since the cession to Congress, are no longer within our
limits. Yet having been so heretofore, and still opening to us channels of
extensive communication with the western and north-western country, they
shall be noted in their order.

The Missouri is, in fact, the principal river, contributing more to the
common stream than does the Missisipi, even after its junction with the
Illinois. It is remarkably cold, muddy and rapid. Its overflowings are
considerable. They happen during the months of June and July. Their
commencement being so much later than those of the Missisipi, would induce a
belief that the sources of the Missouri are northward of those of the
Missisipi, unless we suppose that the cold increases again with the ascent
of the land from the Missisipi westwardly. That this ascent is great, is
proved by the rapidity of the river. Six miles above the mouth it is brought
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the compass of a quarter of a mile's width: yet the Spanish Merchants at
Pancore, or St. Louis, say they go two thousand miles up it. It heads far
westward of the Rio Norte, or North River. There is, in the villages of
Kaskaskia, Cohoes and St. Vincennes, no inconsiderable quantity of plate,
said to have been plundered during the last war by the Indians from the
churches and private houses of Santa Fé, on the North River, and brought to
these villages for sale. From the mouth of Ohio to Santa Fé are forty days
journey, or about 1000 miles. What is the shortest distance between the
navigable waters of the Missouri, and those of the North River, or how far
this is navigable above Santa Fé, could never learn. From Santa Fé to its
mouth in the Gulph of Mexico is about 1200 miles. The road from New Orleans
to Mexico crosses this river at the post of Rio Norte, 800 miles below Santa
Fé: and from this post to New Orleans is about 1200 miles; thus making 2000
miles between Santa Fé and New Orleans, passing down the North river, Red
river and Missisipi; whereas it is 2230 through the Missouri and Missisipi.
From the same post of Rio Norte, passing near the mines of La Sierra and
Laiguana, which are between the North river and the river Salina to
Sartilla, is 375 miles; and from thence, passing the mines of Charcas,
Zaccatecas and Potosi, to the city of Mexico is 375 miles; in all, 1550
miles from Santa Fé to the city of Mexico. From New Orleans to the city of
Mexico is about 1950 miles: the roads, after setting out from the Red river,
near Natchitoches, keeping generally parallel with the coast, and about two
hundred miles from it, till it enters the city of Mexico.

The Illinois is a fine river, clear, gentle, and without rapids; insomuch
that it is navigable for batteaux to its source. From thence is a portage of
two miles only to the Chickago, which affords a batteau navigation of 16
miles to its entrance into lake Michigan. The Illinois, about 10 miles above
its mouth, is 300 yards wide.

The Kaskaskia is 100 yards wide at its entrance into the Missisipi, and
preserves that breadth to the Buffalo plains, 70 miles above. So far also it
is navigable for loaded batteaux, and perhaps much further. It is not rapid.

The Ohio is the most beautiful river on earth. Its current
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gentle, waters clear, and bosom smooth and unbroken by rocks and rapids, a
single instance only excepted.

It is 1/4 of a mile wide at Fort Pitt:

500 yards at the mouth of the Great Kanhaway:

1 mile and 25 poles at Louisville:

1/4 of a mile on the rapids, three or four miles below Louisville:

1/2 a mile where the low country begins, which is 20 miles above Green

1 1/4 at the receipt of the Tanissee:

And a mile wide at the mouth.

Its length, as measured according to its meanders by Capt. Hutchings, is
as follows:

From Fort Pitt
"column" 1
To Log's town 18 1/2 Big Beaver creek 10 3/4 Little Beaver cr. 13 1/2 Yellow
creek 11 3/4 Two creeks 21 3/4 Long reach 53 3/4 End Long reach 16 1/2
Muskingum 25 1/2 Little Kanhaway 12 1/4 Hockhocking 16 Great Kanhaway 82 1/2
Guiandot 43 3/4 Sandy creek 14 1/2 Sioto 48 3/4
"column" 2
Little Miami 126 1/4 Licking creek 8 Great Miami 26 3/4 Big Bones 32 1/2
Kentuckey 44 1/4 Rapids 77 1/4 Low country 155 3/4 Buffalo river 64 1/2
Wabash 97 1/4 Big cave 42 3/4 Shawanee river 52 1/2 Cherokee river 13 Massac
11 Missisipi 46 ____ 1188

In common winter and spring tides it affords 15 feet water to Louisville,
10 feet to La Tarte's rapids, 40 miles above the mouth of the great
Kanhaway, and a sufficiency at all times for light batteaux and canoes to
Fort Pitt. The rapids are in latitude 38o.8'. The inundations of this river
begin about the last of March, and subside in July. During these a first
rate man of war may be carried from Louisville to New Orleans, if the sudden
turns of the river and the strength of its current will admit a safe
steerage. The rapids at Louisville descend about 30 feet in a length of a
mile and a half. The bed of the
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river there is a solid rock, and is divided by an island into two branches,
the southern of which is about 200 yards wide, and is dry four months in the
year. The bed of the northern branch is worn into channels by the constant
course of the water, and attrition of the pebble stones carried on with
that, so as to be passable for batteaux through the greater part of the
year. Yet it is thought that the southern arm may be the most easily opened
for constant navigation. The rise of the waters in these rapids does not
exceed 10 or 12 feet. A part of this island is so high as to have been never
overflowed, and to command the settlement at Louisville, which is opposite
to it. The fort, however, is situated at the head of the falls. The ground
on the South side rises very gradually.

The Tanissee, Cherokee or Hogohege river is 600 yards wide at its mouth,
1/4 of a mile at the mouth of Holston, and 200 yards at Chotee, which is 20
miles above Holston, and 300 miles above the mouth of the Tanissee. This
river crosses the southern boundary of Virginia, 58 miles from the
Missisipi. Its current is moderate. It is navigable for loaded boats of any
burthen to the Muscleshoals, where the river passes through the Cumberland
mountain. These shoals are 6 or 8 miles long, passable downwards for loaded
canoes, but not upwards, unless there be a swell in the river. Above these
the navigation for loaded canoes and batteaux continues to the Long island.
This river has its inundations also. Above the Chickamogga towns is a
whirlpool called the Sucking-pot, which takes in trunks of trees or boats,
and throws them out again half a mile below. It is avoided by keeping very
close to the bank, on the South side. There are but a few miles portage
between a branch of this river and the navigable waters of the river Mobile,
which runs into the gulph of Mexico.

Cumberland, or Shawanee river, intersects the boundary between Virginia
and North Carolina 67 miles from the Missisipi, and again 198 miles from the
same river, a little above the entrance of Obey's river into the Cumberland.
Its clear fork crosses the same boundary about 300 miles from the Missisipi.
Cumberland is a very gentle stream, navigable for loaded batteaux 800 miles,
without interruption; then intervene some rapids of 15 miles in length,
after which it is again navigable 70 miles upwards, which brings you within
10 miles
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of the Cumberland mountains. It is about 120 yards wide through its whole
course, from the head of its navigation to its mouth.

The Wabash is a very beautiful river, 400 yards wide at the mouth, and
300 at St. Vincennes, which is a post 100 miles above the mouth, in a direct
line. Within this space there are two small rapids, which give very little
obstruction to the navigation. It is 400 yards wide at the mouth, and
navigable 30 leagues upwards for canoes and small boats. From the mouth of
Maple river to that of Eel river is about 80 miles in a direct line, the
river continuing navigable, and from one to two hundred yards in width. The
Eel river is 150 yards wide, and affords at all times navigation for
periaguas, to within 18 miles of the Miami of the lake. The Wabash, from the
mouth of Eel river to Little river, a distance of 50 miles direct, is
interrupted with frequent rapids and shoals, which obstruct the navigation,
except in a swell. Little river affords navigation during a swell to within
3 miles of the Miami, which thence affords a similar navigation into lake
Erié, 100 miles distant in a direct line. The Wabash overflows periodically
in correspondence with the Ohio, and in some places two leagues from its

Green River is navigable for loaded batteaux at all times 50 miles
upwards; but it is then interrupted by impassable rapids, above which the
navigation again commences, and continues good 30 or 40 miles to the mouth
of Barren river.

Kentucky river is 90 yards wide at the mouth, and also at Boonsborough,
80 miles above. It affords a navigation for loaded batteaux 180 miles in a
direct line, in the winter tides.

The Great Miami of the Ohio, is 200 yards wide at the mouth. At the
Piccawee towns, 75 miles above, it is reduced to 30 yards; it is,
nevertheless, navigable for loaded canoes 50 miles above these towns. The
portage from its western branch into the Miami of Lake Erié, is 5 miles;
that from its eastern branch into Sandusky river, is of 9 miles.

Salt river is at all times navigable for loaded batteaux 70 or 80 miles.
It is 80 yards wide at its mouth, and keeps that width to its fork, 25 miles

The Little Miami of the Ohio, is 60 or 70 yards wide at its mouth, 60
miles to its source, and affords no navigation.

The Sioto is 250 yards wide at its mouth, which is in latitude
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38o.22'. and at the Saltlick towns, 200 miles above the mouth, it is yet 100
yards wide. To these towns it is navigable for loaded batteaux, and its
eastern branch affords navigation almost to its source.

Great Sandy river is about sixty yards wide, and navigable sixty miles
for loaded batteauo.

Guiandot is about the width of the river last mentioned, but is more
rapid. It may be navigated by canoes sixty miles.

The Great Kanhaway is a river of considerable note for the fertility of
its lands, and still more, as leading towards the headwaters of James river.
Nevertheless, it is doubtful whether its great and numerous rapids will
admit a navigation, but at an expence to which it will require ages to
render its inhabitants equal. The great obstacles begin at what are called
the great falls, 90 miles above the mouth, below which are only five or six
rapids, and these passable, with some difficulty, even at low water. From
the falls to the mouth of Greenbriar is 100 miles, and thence to the lead
mines 120. It is 280 yards wide at its mouth.

Hock-hocking is 80 yards wide at its mouth, and yields navigation for
loaded batteaux to the Press-place, 60 miles above its mouth.

The Little Kanhaway is 150 yards wide at the mouth. It yields a
navigation of 10 miles only. Perhaps its northern branch, called Junius's
creek, which interlocks with the western of Monongahela, may one day admit a
shorter passage from the latter into the Ohio.

The Muskingum is 280 yards wide at its mouth, and 200 yards at the lower
Indian towns, 150 miles upwards. It is navigable for small batteaux to
within one mile of a navigable part of Cayahoga river, which runs into lake

At Fort Pitt the river Ohio loses its name, branching into the
Monongahela and Alleghaney.

The Monongahela is 400 yards wide at its mouth. From thence is 12 or 15
miles to the mouth of Yohoganey, where it is 300 yards wide. Thence to
Redstone by water is 50 miles, by land 30. Then to the mouth of Cheat river
by water 40 miles, by land 28, the width continuing at 300 yards, and the
navigation good for boats. Thence the width is about 200 yards to the
western fork, 50 miles higher, and the navigation
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frequently interrupted by rapids; which however with a swell of two or three
feet become very passable for boats. It then admits light boats, except in
dry seasons, 65 miles further to the head of Tygarts valley, presenting only
some small rapids and falls of one or two feet perpendicular, and lessening
in its width to 20 yards. The Western fork is navigable in the winter 10 or
15 miles towards the northern of the Little Kanhaway, and will admit a good
waggon road to it. The Yohoganey is the principal branch of this river. It
passes through the Laurel mountain, about 30 miles from its mouth; is so far
from 300 to 150 yards wide, and the navigation much obstructed in dry
weather by rapids and shoals. In its passage through the mountain it makes
very great falls, admitting no navigation for ten miles to the Turkey foot.
Thence to the great crossing, about 20 miles, it is again navigable, except
in dry seasons, and at this place is 200 yards wide. The sources of this
river are divided from those of the Patowmac by the Alleghaney mountain.
From the falls, where it intersects the Laurel mountain, to Fort Cumberland,
the head of the navigation on the Patowmac, is 40 miles of very mountainous
road. Wills's creek, at the mouth of which was Fort Cumberland, is 30 or 40
yards wide, but affords no navigation as yet. Cheat river, another
considerable branch of the Monongahela, is 200 yards wide at its mouth, and
100 yards at the Dunkard's settlement, 50 miles higher. It is navigable for
boats, except in dry seasons. The boundary between Virginia and Pennsylvania
crosses it about three or four miles above its mouth.

The Alleghaney river, with a slight swell, affords navigation for light
batteaux to Venango, at the mouth of French creek, where it is 200 yards
wide; and it is practised even to Le B;oeuf, from whence there is a portage
of 15 miles to Presque Isle on Lake Erié.

The country watered by the Missisipi and its eastern branches,
constitutes five-eighths of the United States, two of which five-eighths are
occupied by the Ohio and its waters: the residuary streams which run into
the Gulph of Mexico, the Atlantic, and the St. Laurence water, the remaining

Before we quit the subject of the western waters, we will take a view of
their principal connections with the Atlantic.
Page 139

These are three; the Hudson's river, the Patowmac, and the Missisipi itself.
Down the last will pass all heavy commodities. But the navigation through
the Gulph of Mexico is so dangerous, and that up the Missisipi so difficult
and tedious, that it is thought probable that European merchandize will not
return through that channel. It is most likely that flour, timber, and other
heavy articles will be floated on rafts, which will themselves be an article
for sale as well as their loading, the navigators returning by land or in
light batteauo. There will therefore be a competition between the Hudson and
Patowmac rivers for the residue of the commerce of all the country westward
of Lake Erié, on the waters of the lakes, of the Ohio, and upper parts of
the Missisipi. To go to New-York, that part of the trade which comes from
the lakes or their waters must first be brought into Lake Erié. Between Lake
Superior and its waters and Huron are the rapids of St. Mary, which will
permit boats to pass, but not larger vessels. Lakes Huron and Michigan
afford communication with Lake Erié by vessels of 8 feet draught. That part
of the trade which comes from the waters of the Missisipi must pass from
them through some portage into the waters of the lakes. The portage from the
Illinois river into a water of Michigan is of one mile only. From the
Wabash, Miami, Muskingum, or Alleghaney, are portages into the waters of
Lake Erié, of from one to fifteen miles. When the commodities are brought
into, and have passed through Lake Erié, there is between that and Ontario
an interruption by the falls of Niagara, where the portage is of 8 miles;
and between Ontario and the Hudson's river are portages at the falls of
Onondago, a little above Oswego, of a quarter of a mile; from Wood creek to
the Mohawks river two miles; at the little falls of the Mohawks river half a
mile, and from Schenectady to Albany 16 miles. Besides the increase of
expence occasioned by frequent change of carriage, there is an increased
risk of pillage produced by committing merchandize to a greater number of
hands successively. The Patowmac offers itself under the following
circumstances. For the trade of the lakes and their waters westward of Lake
Erié, when it shall have entered that lake, it must coast along its southern
shore, on account of the number and excellence of its harbours, the
northern, though
Page 140

shortest, having few harbours, and these unsafe. Having reached Cayahoga, to
proceed on to New-York it will have 825 miles and five portages: whereas it
is but 425 miles to Alexandria, its emporium on the Patowmac, if it turns
into the Cayahoga, and passes through that, Bigbeaver, Ohio, Yohoganey, (or
Monongalia and Cheat) and Patowmac, and there are but two portages; the
first of which between Cayahoga and Beaver may be removed by uniting the
sources of these waters, which are lakes in the neighbourhood of each other,
and in a champaign country; the other from the waters of Ohio to Patowmac
will be from 15 to 40 miles, according to the trouble which shall be taken
to approach the two navigations. For the trade of the Ohio, or that which
shall come into it from its own waters or the Missisipi, it is nearer
through the Patowmac to Alexandria than to New-York by 580 miles, and it is
interrupted by one portage only. There is another circumstance of difference
too. The lakes themselves never freeze, but the communications between them
freeze, and the Hudson's river is itself shut up by the ice three months in
the year; whereas the channel to the Chesapeak leads directly into a warmer
climate. The southern parts of it very rarely freeze at all, and whenever
the northern do, it is so near the sources of the rivers, that the frequent
floods to which they are there liable break up the ice immediately, so that
vessels may pass through the whole winter, subject only to accidental and
short delays. Add to all this, that in case of a war with our neighbours the
Anglo-Americans or the Indians, the route to New-York becomes a frontier
through almost its whole length, and all commerce through it ceases from
that moment. -- But the channel to New-York is already known to practice;
whereas the upper waters of the Ohio and the Patowmac, and the great falls
of the latter, are yet to be cleared of their fixed obstructions.

Page 141

"Sea Ports"
A notice of the best sea-ports of the state, and how big are the vessels
they can receive?

Having no ports but our rivers and creeks, this Query has been answered
under the preceding one.

Page 142

"Mountains"A notice on its Mountains?

For the particular geography of our mountains I must refer to Fry and
Jefferson's map of Virginia; and to Evans's analysis of his map of America
for a more philosophical view of them than is to be found in any other work.
It is worthy notice, that our mountains are not solitary and scattered
confusedly over the face of the country; but that they commence at about 150
miles from the sea-coast, are disposed in ridges one behind another, running
nearly parallel with the sea-coast, though rather approaching it as they
advance north-eastwardly. To the south-west, as the tract of country between
the sea-coast and the Mississipi becomes narrower, the mountains converge
into a single ridge, which, as it approaches the Gulph of Mexico, subsides
into plain country, and gives rise to some of the waters of that Gulph, and
particularly to a river called the Apalachicola, probably from the
Apalachies, an Indian nation formerly residing on it. Hence the mountains
giving rise to that river, and seen from its various parts, were called the
Apalachian mountains, being in fact the end or termination only of the great
ridges passing through the continent. European geographers however extended
the name northwardly as far as the mountains extended; some giving it, after
their separation into different ridges, to the Blue ridge, others to the
North mountain, others to the Alleghaney, others to the Laurel ridge, as may
be seen in their different maps. But the fact I believe is, that none of
these ridges were ever known by that name to the inhabitants, either native
or emigrant, but as they saw them so called in European maps. In the same
direction generally are the veins of lime-stone, coal and other minerals
hitherto discovered: and so range the falls of our great rivers. But the
courses of the great rivers are at right angles with these. James and
Patowmac penetrate through all the ridges of mountains eastward of the
Alleghaney; that is broken by no watercourse. It is in fact the spine of the
country between the Atlantic on one side, and the Missisipi and St. Laurence
on the other. The passage of the Patowmac through the Blue ridge is perhaps
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one of the most stupendous scenes in nature. You stand on a very high point
of land. On your right comes up the Shenandoah, having ranged along the foot
of the mountain an hundred miles to seek a vent. On your left approaches the
Patowmac, in quest of a passage also. In the moment of their junction they
rush together against the mountain, rend it asunder, and pass off to the
sea. The first glance of this scene hurries our senses into the opinion,
that this earth has been created in time, that the mountains were formed
first, that the rivers began to flow afterwards, that in this place
particularly they have been dammed up by the Blue ridge of mountains, and
have formed an ocean which filled the whole valley; that continuing to rise
they have at length broken over at this spot, and have torn the mountain
down from its summit to its base. The piles of rock on each hand, but
particularly on the Shenandoah, the evident marks of their disrupture and
avulsion from their beds by the most powerful agents of nature, corroborate
the impression. But the distant finishing which nature has given to the
picture is of a very different character. It is a true contrast to the
fore-ground. It is as placid and delightful, as that is wild and tremendous.
For the mountain being cloven asunder, she presents to your eye, through the
cleft, a small catch of smooth blue horizon, at an infinite distance in the
plain country, inviting you, as it were, from the riot and tumult roaring
around, to pass through the breach and participate of the calm below. Here
the eye ultimately composes itself; and that way too the road happens
actually to lead. You cross the Patowmac above the junction, pass along its
side through the base of the mountain for three miles, its terrible
precipices hanging in fragments over you, and within about 20 miles reach
Frederic town and the fine country round that. This scene is worth a voyage
across the Atlantic. Yet here, as in the neighbourhood of the natural
bridge, are people who have passed their lives within half a dozen miles,
and have never been to survey these monuments of a war between rivers and
mountains, which must have shaken the earth itself to its center. -- The
height of our mountains has not yet been estimated with any degree of
exactness. The Alleghaney being the great ridge which divides the waters of
the Atlantic from those of the Missisipi, its summit
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is doubtless more elevated above the ocean than that of any other mountain.
But its relative height, compared with the base on which it stands, is not
so great as that of some others, the country rising behind the successive
ridges like the steps of stairs. The mountains of the Blue ridge, and of
these the Peaks of Otter, are thought to be of a greater height, measured
from their base, than any others in our country, and perhaps in North
America. From data, which may found a tolerable conjecture, we suppose the
highest peak to be about 4000 feet perpendicular, which is not a fifth part
of the height of the mountains of South America, nor one third of the height
which would be necessary in our latitude to preserve ice in the open air
unmelted through the year. The ridge of mountains next beyond the Blue
ridge, called by us the North mountain, is of the greatest extent; for which
reason they were named by the Indians the Endless mountains.

A substance supposed to be Pumice, found floating on the Missisipi, has
induced a conjecture, that there is a volcano on some of its waters: and as
these are mostly known to their sources, except the Missouri, our
expectations of verifying the conjecture would of course be led to the
mountains which divide the waters of the Mexican Gulph from those of the
South Sea; but no volcano having ever yet been known at such a distance from
the sea, we must rather suppose that this floating substance has been
erroneously deemed Pumice.

Page 145

Its Cascades and Caverns?

The only remarkable Cascade in this country, is that of the Falling
Spring in Augusta. It is a water of James river, where it is called
Jackson's river, rising in the warm spring mountains about twenty miles
South West of the warm spring, and flowing into that valley. About three
quarters of a mile from its source, it falls over a rock 200 feet into the
valley below. The sheet of water is broken in its breadth by the rock in two
or three places, but not at all in its height. Between the sheet and rock,
at the bottom, you may walk across dry. This Cataract will bear no
comparison with that of Niagara, as to the quantity of water composing it;
the sheet being only 12 or 15 feet wide above, and somewhat more spread
below; but it is half as high again, the latter being only 156 feet,
according to the mensuration made by order of M. Vaudreuil, Governor of
Canada, and 130 according to a more recent account. Madison's

In the lime-stone country, there are many caverns of very considerable
extent. The most noted is called Madison's Cave, and is on the North side of
the Blue ridge, near the intersection of the Rockingham and Augusta line
with the South fork of the southern river of Shenandoah. It is in a hill of
about 200 feet perpendicular height, the ascent of which, on one side, is so
steep, that you may pitch a biscuit from its summit into the river which
washes its base. The entrance of the cave is, in this side, about two thirds
of the way up. It extends into the earth about 300 feet, branching into
subordinate caverns, sometimes ascending a little, but more generally
descending, and at length terminates, in two different places, at basons of
water of unknown extent, and which I should judge to be nearly on a level
with the water of the river; however, I do not think they are formed by
refluent water from that, because they are never turbid; because they do not
rise and fall in correspondence with that in times of flood, or of drought;
and because the water is always cool. It is probably one of the many
reservoirs with which the interior parts of the earth are supposed to
Page 146

An Eye-draught of Madison's cave, on a scale of 50 feet to the inch. The
arrows shew where it descends or ascends.
Page 147

and which yield supplies to the fountains of water, distinguished from
others only by its being accessible. The vault of this cave is of solid
lime-stone, from 20 to 40 or 50 feet high, through which water is
continually percolating. This, trickling down the sides of the cave, has
incrusted them over in the form of elegant drapery; and dripping from the
top of the vault generates on that, and on the base below, stalactites of a
conical form, some of which have met and formed massive columns.

Another of these caves is near the North mountain, in the county of
Frederick, on the lands of Mr. Zane. The entrance into this is on the top of
an extensive ridge. You descend 30 or 40 feet, as into a well, from whence
the cave then extends, nearly horizontally, 400 feet into the earth,
preserving a breadth of from 20 to 50 feet, and a height of from 5 to 12
feet. After entering this cave a few feet, the mercury, which in the open
air was at 50o. rose to 57o. of Farenheit's thermometer, answering to11o. of
Reaumur's, and it continued at that to the remotest parts of the cave. The
uniform temperature of the cellars of the observatory of Paris, which are 90
feet deep, and of all subterranean cavities of any depth, where no chymical
agents may be supposed to produce a factitious heat, has been found to be
10o. of Reamur, equal to 54 1/2o. of Farenheit. The temperature of the cave
above-mentioned so nearly corresponds with this, that the difference may be
ascribed to a difference of instruments. Blowing

At the Panther gap, in the ridge which divides the waters of the Cow and
the Calf pasture, is what is called the Blowing cave. It is in the side of a
hill, is of about 100 feet diameter, and emits constantly a current of air
of such force, as to keep the weeds prostrate to the distance of twenty
yards before it. This current is strongest in dry frosty weather, and in
long spells of rain weakest. Regular inspirations and expirations of air, by
caverns and fissures, have been probably enough accounted for, by supposing
them combined with intermitting fountains; as they must of course inhale air
while their reservoirs are emptying themselves, and again emit it while they
are filling. But a constant issue of air, only varying in its force as the
weather is drier or damper, will require a new hypothesis. There is another
blowing cave in the Cumberland
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mountain, about a mile from where it crosses the Carolina line. All we know
of this is, that it is not constant, and that a fountain of water issues
from it. Natural

The Natural bridge, the most sublime of Nature's works, though not
comprehended under the present head, must not be pretermitted. It is on the
ascent of a hill, which seems to have been cloven through its length by some
great convulsion. The fissure, just at the bridge, is, by some
admeasurements, 270 feet deep, by others only 205. It is about 45 feet wide
at the bottom, and 90 feet at the top; this of course determines the length
of the bridge, and its height from the water. Its breadth in the middle, is
about 60 feet, but more at the ends, and the thickness of the mass at the
summit of the arch, about 40 feet. A part of this thickness is constituted
by a coat of earth, which gives growth to many large trees. The residue,
with the hill on both sides, is one solid rock of lime-stone. The arch
approaches the Semi-elliptical form; but the larger axis of the ellipsis,
which would be the cord of the arch, is many times longer than the
transverse. Though the sides of this bridge are provided in some parts with
a parapet of fixed rocks, yet few men have resolution to walk to them and
look over into the abyss. You involuntarily fall on your hands and feet,
creep to the parapet and peep over it. Looking down from this height about a
minute, gave me a violent head ach. If the view from the top be painful and
intolerable, that from below is delightful in an equal extreme. It is
impossible for the emotions arising from the sublime, to be felt beyond what
they are here: so beautiful an arch, so elevated, so light, and springing as
it were up to heaven, the rapture of the spectator is really indescribable!
The fissure continuing narrow, deep, and streight for a considerable
distance above and below the bridge, opens a short but very pleasing view of
the North mountain on one side, and Blue ridge on the other, at the distance
each of them of about five miles. This bridge is in the county of Rock
bridge, to which it has given name, and affords a public and commodious
passage over a valley, which cannot be crossed elsewhere for a considerable
distance. The stream passing under it is called Cedar creek. It is a water
of James river, and sufficient
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in the driest seasons to turn a grist-mill, though its fountain is not more
than two miles above
Note: Don Ulloa mentions a break, similar to this, in the province of
Angaraez, in South America. It is from 16 to 22 feet wide, 111 feet deep,
and of 1.3 miles continuance, English measures. Its breadth at top is not
sensibly greater than at bottom. But the following fact is remarkable, and
will furnish some light for conjecturing the probable origin of our natural
bridge. `Esta caxa, 6 cauce est cortada en péna viva con tanta precision,
que las desigualdades del un lado entrantes, corresponden las del otro lado
salientes, como si aquella altura se hubiese abierto expresamente, con sus
bueltas y tortuosidades, para darle transito los aguas por entre los dos
murallones que la forman; siendo tal su igualdad, que si llegasen juntarse
se endentar!an uno con otro sin dexar hueco.' Not. Amer. II. (symbol
omitted). 10. Don Ulloa inclines to the opinion, that this channel has been
affected by the wearing of the water which runs through it, rather than that
the mountain should have been broken open by any convulsion of nature. But
if it had been worn by the running of water, would not the rocks which form
the sides, have been worn plane? or if, meeting in some parts with veins of
harder stone, the water had left prominences on the one side, would not the
same cause have sometimes, or perhaps generally, occasioned prominences on
the other side also? Yet Don Ulloa tells us, that on the other side there
are always corresponding cavities, and that these tally with the prominences
so perfectly, that, were the two sides to come together, they would fit in
all their indentures, without leaving any void. I think that this does not
resemble the effect of running water, but looks rather as if the two sides
had parted asunder. The sides of the break, over which is the Natural bridge
of Virginia, consisting of a veiny rock which yields to time, the
correspondence between the salient and re-entering inequalities, if it
existed at all, has now disappeared. This break has the advantage of the one
described by Don Ulloa in its finest circumstance; no portion in that
instance having held together, during the separation of the other parts, so
as to form a bridge over the Abyss.

Page 150

"Productions mineral, vegetable and animal"
A notice of the mines and other subterraneous riches; its trees, plants,
fruits, &c.
1. Minerals

I knew a single instance of gold found in this state. It was interspersed
in small specks through a lump of ore, of about four pounds weight, which
yielded seventeen pennyweight of gold, of extraordinary ductility. This ore
was found on the North side of Rappahanoc, about four miles below the falls.
I never heard of any other indication of gold in its neighbourhood. Lead

On the Great Kanhaway, opposite to the mouth of Cripple creek, and about
twenty-five miles from our southern boundary, in the county of Montgomery,
are mines of lead. The metal is mixed, sometimes with earth, and sometimes
with rock, which requires the force of gunpowder to open it; and is
accompanied with a portion of silver, too small to be worth separation under
any process hitherto attempted there. The proportion yielded is from 50 to
80 lb. of pure metal from 100 lb. of washed ore. The most common is that of
60 to the 100 lb. The veins are at sometimes most flattering; at others they
disappear suddenly and totally. They enter the side of the hill, and proceed
horizontally. Two of them are wrought at present by the public, the best of
which is 100 yards under the hill. These would employ about 50 labourers to
advantage. We have not, however, more than 30 generally, and these cultivate
their own corn. They have produced 60 tons of lead in the year; but the
general quantity is from 20 to 25 tons. The present furnace is a mile from
the ore-bank, and on the opposite side of the river. The ore is first
waggoned to the river, a quarter of a mile, then laden on board of canoes
and carried across the river, which is there about 200 yards wide, and then
again taken into waggons and carried to the furnace. This mode was
originally adopted, that they might avail themselves of a good situation on
a creek, for a pounding mill: but it would be easy to have the furnace and
pounding mill on the same side of the river, which would yield water,
without any dam, by a canal of about half a mile in length. From the furnace
the lead is transported 130 miles
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along a good road, leading through the peaks of Otter to Lynch's ferry, or
Winston's, on James river, from whence it is carried by water about the same
distance to Westham. This land carriage may be greatly shortened, by
delivering the lead on James river, above the blue ridge, from whence a ton
weight has been brought on two canoes. The Great Kanhaway has considerable
falls in the neighbourhood of the mines. About seven miles below are three
falls, of three or four feet perpendicular each; and three miles above is a
rapid of three miles continuance, which has been compared in its descent to
the great fall of James river. Yet it is the opinion, that they may be laid
open for useful navigation, so as to reduce very much the portage between
the Kanhaway and James river.

A valuable lead mine is said to have been lately discovered in
Cumberland, below the mouth of Red river. The greatest, however, known in
the western country, are on the Missisipi, extending from the mouth of Rock
river 150 miles upwards. These are not wrought, the lead used in that
country being from the banks on the Spanish side of the Missisipi, opposite
to Kaskaskia. Copper

A mine of copper was once opened in the county of Amherst, on the North
side of James river, and another in the opposite country, on the South side.
However, either from bad management or the poverty of the veins, they were
discontinued. We are told of a rich mine of native copper on the Ouabache,
below the upper Wiaw. Iron

The mines of iron worked at present are Callaway's, Ross's, and
Ballendine's, on the South side of James river; Old's on the North side, in
Albemarle; Miller's in Augusta, and Zane's in Frederic. These two last are
in the valley between the Blue ridge and North mountain. Callaway's, Ross's,
Millar's, and Zane's, make about 150 tons of bar iron each, in the year.
Ross's makes also about 1600 tons of pig iron annually; Ballendine's 1000;
Callaway's, Millar's, and Zane's, about 600 each. Besides these, a forge of
Mr. Hunter's, at Fredericksburgh, makes about 300 tons a year of bar iron,
from pigs imported from Maryland; and Taylor's forge on Neapsco of Patowmac,
works in the same way, but to what extent I am not informed. The indications
of iron in other places are numerous, and dispersed through all the middle
Page 152

country. The toughness of the cast iron of Ross's and Zane's furnaces is
very remarkable. Pots and other utensils, cast thinner than usual, of this
iron, may be safely thrown into, or out of the waggons in which they are
transported. Salt-pans made of the same, and no longer wanted for that
purpose, cannot be broken up, in order to be melted again, unless previously
drilled in many parts.

In the western country, we are told of iron mines between the Muskingum
and Ohio; of others on Kentucky, between the Cumberland and Barren rivers,
between Cumberland and Tannissee, on Reedy creek, near the Long island, and
on Chesnut creek, a branch of the Great Kanhaway, near where it crosses the
Carolina line. What are called the iron banks, on the Missisipi, are
believed, by a good judge, to have no iron in them. In general, from what is
hitherto known of that country, it seems to want iron. Black lead

Considerable quantities of black lead are taken occasionally for use from
Winterham, in the county of Amelia. I am not able, however, to give a
particular state of the mine. There is no work established at it, those who
want, going and procuring it for themselves. Pit coal

The country on James river, from 15 to 20 miles above Richmond, and for
several miles northward and southward, is replete with mineral coal of a
very excellent quality. Being in the hands of many proprietors, pits have
been opened, and before the interruption of our commerce were worked to an
extent equal to the demand.

In the western country coal is known to be in so many places, as to have
induced an opinion, that the whole tract between the Laurel mountain,
Missisipi, and Ohio, yields coal. It is also known in many places on the
North side of the Ohio. The coal at Pittsburg is of very superior quality. A
bed of it at that place has been a-fire since the year 1765. Another
coal-hill on the Pike-run of Monongahela has been a-fire ten years; yet it
has burnt away about twenty yards only. Precious

I have known one instance of an Emerald found in this country. Amethysts
have been frequent, and chrystals common; yet not in such numbers any of
them as to be worth seeking.

There is very good marble, and in very great abundance, on
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James river, at the mouth of Rockfish. The samples Marble

I have seen, were some of them of a white as pure as one might expect to
find on the surface of the earth: but most of them were variegated with red,
blue, and purple. None of it has been ever worked. It forms a very large
precipice, which hangs over a navigable part of the river. It is said there
is marble at Kentucky. Limestone

But one vein of lime-stone is known below the Blue ridge. Its first
appearance, in our country, is in Prince William, two miles below the Pignut
ridge of mountains; thence it passes on nearly parallel with that, and
crosses the Rivanna about five miles below it, where it is called the
South-west ridge. It then crosses Hardware, above the mouth of Hudson's
creek, James river at the mouth of Rockfish, at the marble quarry before
spoken of, probably runs up that river to where it appears again at Ross's
iron-works, and so passes off south-westwardly by Flat creek of Otter river.
It is never more than one hundred yards wide. From the Blue ridge westwardly
the whole country seems to be founded on a rock of lime-stone, besides
infinite quantities on the surface, both loose and fixed. This is cut into
beds, which range, as the mountains and sea-coast do, from south-west to
north-east, the lamina of each bed declining from the horizon towards a
parallelism with the axis of the earth. Being struck with this observation,
I made, with a quadrant, a great number of trials on the angles of their
declination, and found them to vary from 22x to 60x but averaging all my
trials, the result was within one-third of a degree of the elevation of the
pole or latitude of the place, and much the greatest part of them taken
separately were little different from that: by which it appears, that these
lamina are, in the main, parallel with the axis of the earth. In some
instances, indeed, I found them perpendicular, and even reclining the other
way: but these were extremely rare, and always attended with signs of
convulsion, or other circumstances of singularity, which admitted a
possibility of removal from their original position. These trials were made
between Madison's cave and the Patowmac. We hear of lime-stone on the
Missisipi and Ohio, and in all the mountainous country between the eastern
and western waters, not on the mountains themselves, but occupying the
vallies between them.
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Near the eastern foot of the North mountain are immense bodies of Schist,
containing impressions of shells in a variety of forms. have received
petrified shells of very different kinds from the first sources of the
Kentucky, which bear no resemblance to any I have ever seen on the
tide-waters. It is said that shells are found in the Andes, in
South-America, fifteen thousand feet above the level of the ocean. This is
considered by many, both of the learned and unlearned, as a proof of an
universal deluge. To the many considerations opposing this opinion, the
following may be added. The atmosphere, and all its contents, whether of
water, air, or other matters, gravitate to the earth; that is to say, they
have weight. Experience tells us, that the weight of all these together
never exceeds that of a column of mercury of 31 inches height, which is
equal to one of rain-water of 35 feet high. If the whole contents of the
atmosphere then were water, instead of what they are, it would cover the
globe but 35 feet deep; but as these waters, as they fell, would run into
the seas, the superficial measure of which is to that of the dry parts of
the globe as two to one, the seas would be raised only 52 1/2 feet above
their present level, and of course would overflow the lands to that height
only. In Virginia this would be a very small proportion even of the
champaign country, the banks of our tide-waters being frequently, if not
generally, of a greater height. Deluges beyond this extent then, as for
instance, to the North mountain or to Kentucky, seem out of the laws of
nature. But within it they may have taken place to a greater or less degree,
in proportion to the combination of natural causes which may be supposed to
have produced them. History renders probable some instances of a partial
deluge in the country lying round the Mediterranean sea. It has been often
Note: 2. Buffon Epoques, 96. supposed, and is not unlikely, that that sea
was once a lake. While such, let us admit an extraordinary collection of the
waters of the atmosphere from the other parts of the globe to have been
discharged over that and the countries whose waters run into it. Or without
supposing it
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a lake, admit such an extraordinary collection of the waters of the
atmosphere, and an influx of waters from the Atlantic ocean, forced by long
continued Western winds. That lake, or that sea, may thus have been so
raised as to overflow the low lands adjacent to it, as those of Egypt and
Armenia, which, according to a tradition of the Egyptians and Hebrews, were
overflowed about 2300 years before the Christian aera; those of Attica, said
to have been overflowed in the time of Ogyges, about 500 years later; and
those of Thessaly, in the time of Deucalion, still 300 years posterior. But
such deluges as these will not account for the shells found in the higher
lands. A second opinion has been entertained, which is, that, in times
anterior to the records either of history or tradition, the bed of the
ocean, the principal residence of the shelled tribe, has, by some great
convulsion of nature, been heaved to the heights at which we now find shells
and other remains of marine animals. The favourers of this opinion do well
to suppose the great events on which it rests to have taken place beyond all
the aeras of history; for within these, certainly none such are to be found:
and we may venture to say further, that no fact has taken place, either in
our own days, or in the thousands of years recorded in history, which proves
the existence of any natural agents, within or without the bowels of the
earth, of force sufficient to heave, to the height of 15,000 feet, such
masses as the Andes. The difference between the power necessary to produce
such an effect, and that which shuffled together the different parts of
Calabria in our days, is so immense, that, from the existence of the latter
we are not authorised to infer that of the former.

M. de Voltaire has suggested a third solution of this difficulty (Quest.
encycl. Coquilles). He cites an instance in Touraine, where, in the space of
80 years, a particular spot of earth had been twice metamorphosed into soft
stone, which had become hard when employed in building. In this stone shells
of various kinds were produced, discoverable at first only with the
microscope, but afterwards growing with the stone. From this fact, I
suppose, he would have us infer, that, besides the usual process for
generating shells by the elaboration of earth and water in animal vessels,
nature may have
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provided an equivalent operation, by passing the same materials through the
pores of calcareous earths and stones: as we see calcareous dropstones
generating every day by the percolation of water through lime-stone, and new
marble forming in the quarries from which the old has been taken out; and it
might be asked, whether it is more difficult for nature to shoot the
calcareous juice into the form of a shell, than other juices into the forms
of chrystals, plants, animals, according to the construction of the vessels
through which they pass? There is a wonder somewhere. Is it greatest on this
branch of the dilemma; on that which supposes the existence of a power, of
which we have no evidence in any other case; or on the first, which requires
us to believe the creation of a body of water, and its subsequent
annihilation? The establishment of the instance, cited by M. de Voltaire, of
the growth of shells unattached to animal bodies, would have been that of
his theory. But he has not established it. He has not even left it on ground
so respectable as to have rendered it an object of enquiry to the literati
of his own country. Abandoning this fact, therefore, the three hypotheses
are equally unsatisfactory; and we must be contented to acknowledge, that
this great phaenomenon is as yet unsolved. Ignorance is preferable to error;
and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, then he who
believes what is wrong. Stone

There is great abundance (more especially when you approach the
mountains) of stone, white, blue, brown, &c. fit for the chissel, good
mill-stone, such also as stands the fire, and slate-stone. We are told of
flint, fit for gun-flints, on the Meherrin in Brunswic, on the Missisipi
between the mouth of Ohio and Kaskaskia, and on others of the western
waters. Isinglass or mica is in several places; load-stone also, and an
Asbestos of a ligneous texture, is sometimes to be met with. Earths

Marle abounds generally. A clay, of which, like the Sturbridge in
England, bricks are made, which will resist long the violent action of fire,
has been found on Tuckahoe creek of James river, and no doubt will be found
in other places. Chalk is said to be in Botetourt and Bedford. In the latter
county is some earth, believed to be Gypseous. Ochres are found in various
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In the lime-stone country are many caves, the earthy floors of which are
impregnated with nitre. On Rich creek, a branch of the Great Kanhaway, about
60 miles below the lead mines, is a very large one, about 20 yards wide, and
entering a hill a quarter or half a mile. The vault is of rock, from 9 to 15
or 20 feet above the floor. A Mr. Lynch, who gives me this account,
undertook to extract the nitre. Besides a coat of the salt which had formed
on the vault and floor, he found the earth highly impregnated to the depth
of seven feet in some places, and generally of three, every bushel yielding
on an average three pounds of nitre. Mr. Lynch having made about 1000 lb. of
the salt from it, consigned it to some others, who have since made 10,000
lb. They have done this by pursuing the cave into the hill, never trying a
second time the earth they have once exhausted, to see how far or soon it
receives another impregnation. At least fifty of these caves are worked on
the Greenbriar. There are many of them known on Cumberland river. Salt

The country westward of the Alleghaney abounds with springs of common
salt. The most remarkable we have heard of are at Bullet's lick, the Big
bones, the Blue licks, and on the North fork of Holston. The area of
Bullet's lick is of many acres. Digging the earth to the depth of three
feet, the water begins to boil up, and the deeper you go, and the drier the
weather, the stronger is the brine. A thousand gallons of water yield from a
bushel to a bushel and a half of salt, which is about 80 lb. of water to one
lb. of salt; but of sea-water 25 lb. yield one lb. of salt. So that
sea-water is more than three times as strong as that of these springs. A
salt spring has been lately discovered at the Turkey foot on Yohogany, by
which river it is overflowed, except at very low water. Its merit is not yet
known. Duning's lick is also as yet untried, but it is supposed to be the
best on this side the Ohio. The salt springs on the margin of the Onondago
lake are said to give a saline taste to the waters of the lake. Medicinal

There are several Medicinal springs, some of which are indubitably
efficacious, while others seem to owe their reputation as much to fancy, and
change of air and regimen, as to their real virtues. None of them having
undergone a chemical analysis in skilful hands, nor
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been so far the subject of observations as to have produced a reduction into
classes of the disorders which they relieve, it is in my power to give
little more than an enumeration of them.

The most efficacious of these are two springs in Augusta, near the first
sources of James river, where it is called Jackson's river. They rise near
the foot of the ridge of mountains, generally called the Warm spring
mountain, but in the maps Jackson's mountains. The one is distinguished by
the name of the Warm spring, and the other of the Hot spring. The Warm
spring issues with a very bold stream, sufficient to work a grist-mill, and
to keep the waters of its bason, which is 30 feet in diameter, at the vital
warmth, viz. 96x of Farenheit's thermometer. The matter with which these
waters is allied is very volatile; its smell indicates it to be sulphureous,
as also does the circumstance of its turning silver black. They relieve
rheumatisms. Other complaints also of very different natures have been
removed or lessened by them. It rains here four or five days in every week.

The Hot spring is about six miles from the Warm, is much smaller, and has
been so hot as to have boiled an egg. Some believe its degree of heat to be
lessened. It raises the mercury in Farenheit's thermometer to 112 degrees,
which is fever heat. It sometimes relieves where the Warm spring fails. A
fountain of common water, issuing within a few inches of its margin, gives
it a singular appearance. Comparing the temperature of these with that of
the Hot springs of Kamschatka, of which Krachininnikow gives an account, the
difference is very great, the latter raising the mercury to 200x which is
within 12x of boiling water. These springs are very much resorted to in
spite of a total want of accommodation for the sick. Their waters are
strongest in the hottest months, which occasions their being visited in July
and August principally.

The Sweet springs are in the county of Botetourt, at the eastern foot of
the Alleghaney, about 42 miles from the Warm springs. They are still less
known. Having been found to relieve cases in which the others had been
ineffectually tried, it is probable their composition is different. They are
different also in their temperature, being as cold as common water: which is
not mentioned, however, as a proof of a distinct impregnation. This is among
the first sources of James river.
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On Patowmac river, in Berkeley county, above the North mountain, are
Medicinal springs, much more frequented than those of Augusta. Their powers,
however, are less, the waters weakly mineralized, and scarcely warm. They
are more visited, because situated in a fertile, plentiful, and populous
country, better provided with accommodations, always safe from the Indians,
and nearest to the more populous states.

In Louisa county, on the head waters of the South Anna branch of York
river, are springs of some medicinal virtue. They are not much used however.
There is a weak chalybeate at Richmond; and many others in various parts of
the country, which are of too little worth, or too little note, to be
enumerated after those before-mentioned.

We are told of a Sulphur spring on Howard's creek of Greenbriar, and
another at Boonsborough on Kentuckey. Burning

In the low grounds of the Great Kanhaway, 7 miles above the mouth of Elk
river, and 67 above that of the Kanhaway itself, is a hole in the earth of
the capacity of 30 or 40 gallons, from which issues constantly a bituminous
vapour in so strong a current, as to give to the sand about its orifice the
motion which it has in a boiling spring. On presenting a lighted candle or
torch within 18 inches of the hole, it flames up in a column of 18 inches
diameter, and four or five feet height, which sometimes burns out within 20
minutes, and at other times has been known to continue three days, and then
has been left still burning. The flame is unsteady, of the density of that
of burning spirits, and smells like burning pit coal. Water sometimes
collects in the bason, which is remarkably cold, and is kept in ebullition
by the vapour issuing through it. If the vapour be fired in that state, the
water soon becomes so warm that the hand cannot bear it, and evaporates
wholly in a short time. This, with the circumjacent lands, is the property
of his Excellency General Washington and of General Lewis.

There is a similar one on Sandy river, the flame of which is a column of
about 12 inches diameter, and 3 feet high. General Clarke, who informs me of
it, kindled the vapour, staid about an hour, and left it burning. Syphon

The mention of uncommon springs leads me to that of Syphon fountains.
There is one of these
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near the intersection of the Lord Fairfax's boundary with the North
mountain, not far from Brock's gap, on the stream of which is a grist-mill,
which grinds two bushel of grain at every flood of the spring. Another, near
the Cow-pasture river, a mile and a half below its confluence with the
Bull-pasture river, and 16 or 17 miles from the Hot springs, which intermits
once in every twelve hours. One also near the mouth of the North Holston.

After these may be mentioned the Natural Well, on the lands of a Mr.
Lewis in Frederick county. It is somewhat larger than a common well: the
water rises in it as near the surface of the earth as in the neighbouring
artificial wells, and is of a depth as yet unknown. It is said there is a
current in it tending sensibly downwards. If this be true, it probably feeds
some fountain, of which it is the natural reservoir, distinguished from
others, like that of Madison's cave, by being accessible. It is used with a
bucket and windlass as an ordinary well. Vegetables

A complete catalogue of the trees, plants, fruits, &c. is probably not
desired. I will sketch out those which would principally attract notice, as
being 1. Medicinal, 2. Esculent, 3. Ornamental, or 4. Useful for
fabrication; adding the Linnaean to the popular names, as the latter might
not convey precise information to a foreigner. I shall confine myself too to
native plants.

1. Senna. Cassia ligustrina. Arsmart. Polygonum Sagittatum. Clivers, or
goose-grass. Galium spurium. Lobelia of several species. Palma Christi.
Ricinus. James-town weed. Datura Stramonium. Mallow. Malva rotundifolia.
Syrian mallow. Hibiscus moschentos. Hibiscus virginicus. Indian mallow. Sida
rhombifolia. Sida abutilon. Virginia Marshmallow. Napaea hermaphrodita.
Napaea dioica. Indian physic. Spiraea trifoliata.
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Euphorbia Ipecacuanhae. Pleurisy root. Asclepias decumbens. Virginia
snake-root. Aristolochia serpentaria. Black snake-root. Actaea racemosa.
Seneca rattlesnake-root. Polygala Senega. Valerian. Valeriana locusta
radiata. Gentiana, Saponaria, Villosa & Centaurium. Ginseng. Panax
quinquefolium. Angelica. Angelica sylvestris. Cassava. Jatropha urens. 2.
Tuckahoe. Lycoperdon tuber. Jerusalem artichoke. Helianthus tuberosus. Long
potatoes. Convolvulas batatas. Granadillas. Maycocks. Maracocks. Passiflora
incarnata. Panic. Panicum of many species. Indian millet. Holcus laxus.
Holcus striosus. Wild oat. Zizania aquatica. Wild pea. Dolichos of Clayton.
Lupine. Lupinus perennis. Wild hop. Humulus lupulus. Wild cherry. Prunus
Virginiana. Cherokee plumb. Prunus sylvestris fructu majori. } Wild plumb.
Prunus sylvestris fructu minori. } Clayton. Wild crab-apple. Pyrus
coronaria. Red mulberry. Morus rubra. Persimmon. Diospyros Virginiana. Sugar
maple. Acer saccharinum. Scaly bark hiccory. Juglans alba cortice squamoso.
Clayton. Common hiccory. Juglans alba, fructu minore rancido. Clayton.
Paccan, or Illinois nut. Not described by Linnaeus, Millar, or Clayton. Were
I to venture to describe this, speaking of the fruit from memory, and of the
leaf from plants of two years growth, I should specify it as the Juglans
alba,foliolis lanceolatis, acuminatis, serratis, tomentosis, fructu minore,
ovato, compresso, vix insculpto, dulci, putamine,
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tenerrimo. It grows on the Illinois, Wabash, Ohio, and Missisipi. It is
spoken of by Don Ulloa under the name of Pacanos, in his Noticias
Americanas. Entret. 6. Black walnut. Juglans nigra. White walnut. Juglans
alba. Chesnut. Fagus castanea. Chinquapin. Fagus pumila. Hazlenut. Corylus
avellana. Grapes. Vitis. Various kinds, though only three described by
Clayton. Scarlet Strawberries. Fragaria Virginiana of Millar.
Whortleberries. Vaccinium uliginosum? Wild gooseberries. Ribes grossularia.
Cranberries. Vaccinium oxycoccos. Black raspberries. Rubus occidentalis.
Blackberries. Rubus fruticosus. Dewberries. Rubus caesius. Cloud-berries.
Rubus chamaemorus. 3. Plane-tree. Platanus occidentalis. Poplar.
Liriodendron tulipifera. Populus heterophylla. Black poplar. Populus nigra.
Aspen. Populus tremula. Linden, or lime. Tilia Americana. Red flowering
maple. Acer rubrum. Horse-chesnut, or Buck's-eye. Aesculus pavia. Catalpa.
Bignonia catalpa. Umbrella. Magnolia tripetala. Swamp laurel. Magnolia
glauca. Cucumber-tree. Magnolia acuminata. Portugal bay. Laurus indica. Red
bay. Laurus borbonia. Dwarf-rose bay. Rhododendron maximum. Laurel of the
western country. Qu. species? Wild pimento. Laurus benzoin. Sassafras.
Laurus sassafras. Locust. Robinia pseudo-acacia. Honey-locust. Gleditsia. 1.
a. Dogwood. Cornus florida.
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Fringe or snow-drop tree. Chionanthus Virginica. Barberry. Berberis
vulgaris. Redbud, or Judas-tree. Cercis Canadensis. Holly. Ilex aquifolium.
Cockspur hawthorn. Crataegus coccinea. Spindle-tree. Euonymus Europaeus.
Evergreen spindle-tree. Euonymus Americanus. Itea Virginica. Elder. Sambucus
nigra. Papaw. Annona triloba. Candleberry myrtle. Myrica cerifera.
Dwarf-laurel. Kalmia angustifolia.} called ivy Kalmia latifolia } with us.
Ivy. Hedera quinquefolia. Trumpet honeysuckle. Lonicera sempervirens.
Upright honeysuckle. Azalea nudiflora. Yellow jasmine. Bignonia
sempervirens. Calycanthus floridus. American aloe. Agave Virginica. Sumach.
Rhus. Qu. species? Poke. Phytolacca decandra. Long moss. Tillandsia
Usneoides. 4. Reed. Arundo phragmitis. Virginia hemp. Acnida cannabina.
Flao. Linum Virginianum. Black, or pitch-pine. Pinus taeda. White pine.
Pinus strobus. Yellow pine. Pinus Virginica. Spruce pine. Pinus foliis
singularibus. Clayton. Hemlock spruce fir. Pinus Canadensis. Abor vitae.
Thuya occidentalis. Juniper. Juniperus virginica (called cedar with us).
Cypress. Cupressus disticha. White cedar. Cupressus Thyoides. Black oak.
Quercus nigra. White oak. Quercus alba. Red oak. Quercus rubra. Willow oak.
Quercus phellos. Chesnut oak. Quercus prinus.
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Black jack oak. Quercus aquatica. Clayton. Query? Ground oak. Quercus
pumila. Clayton. Live oak. Quercus Virginiana. Millar. Black Birch. Betula
nigra. White birch. Betula alba. Beach. Fagus sylvatica. Ash. Fraxinus
Americana. Fraxinus Novae Angliae. Millar. Elm. Ulmus Americana. Willow.
Salio. Query species? Sweet Gum. Liquidambar styraciflua.

The following were found in Virginia when first visited by the English;
but it is not said whether of spontaneous growth, or by cultivation only.
Most probably they were natives of more southern climates, and handed along
the continent from one nation to another of the savages.

Tobacco. Nicotiana. Maize. Zea mays. Round potatoes. Solanum tuberosum.
Pumpkins. Cucurbita pepo. Cymlings. Cucurbita verrucosa. Squashes. Cucurbita

There is an infinitude of other plants and flowers, for an enumeration
and scientific description of which I must refer to the Flora Virginica of
our great botanist Dr. Clayton, published by Gronovius at Leyden, in 1762.
This accurate observer was a native and resident of this state, passed a
long life in exploring and describing its plants, and is supposed to have
enlarged the botanical catalogue as much as almost any man who has lived.

Besides these plants, which are native, our Farms produce wheat, rye,
barley, oats, buck wheat, broom corn, and Indian corn. The climate suits
rice well enough wherever the lands do. Tobacco, hemp, flax, and cotton, are
staple commodities. Indico yields two cuttings. The silk-worm is a native,
and the mulberry, proper for its food, grows kindly.

We cultivate also potatoes, both the long and the round, turnips,
carrots, parsneps, pumpkins, and ground nuts (Arachis.) Our grasses are
Lucerne, St. Foin, Burnet, Timothy,
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ray and orchard grass; red, white, and yellow clover; greenswerd, blue
grass, and crab grass.

The gardens yield musk melons, water melons, tomatas, okra, pomegranates,
figs, and the esculent plants of Europe.

The orchards produce apples, pears, cherries, quinces, peaches,
nectarines, apricots, almonds, and plumbs. Animals

Our quadrupeds have been mostly described by Linnaeus and Mons. de
Buffon. Of these the Mammoth, or big buffalo, as called by the Indians, must
certainly have been the largest. Their tradition is, that he was
carnivorous, and still exists in the northern parts of America. A delegation
of warriors from the Delaware tribe having visited the governor of Virginia,
during the present revolution, on matters of business, after these had been
discussed and settled in council, the governor asked them some questions
relative to their country, and, among others, what they knew or had heard of
the animal whose bones were found at the Saltlicks, on the Ohio. Their chief
speaker immediately put himself into an attitude of oratory, and with a pomp
suited to what he conceived the elevation of his subject, informed him that
it was a tradition handed down from their fathers, `That in antient times a
herd of these tremendous animals came to the Big-bone licks, and began an
universal destruction of the bear, deer, elks, buffaloes, and other animals,
which had been created for the use of the Indians: that the Great Man above,
looking down and seeing this, was so enraged that he seized his lightning,
descended on the earth, seated himself on a neighbouring mountain, on a
rock, of which his seat and the print of his feet are still to be seen, and
hurled his bolts among them till the whole were slaughtered, except the big
bull, who presenting his forehead to the shafts, shook them off as they
fell; but missing one at length, it wounded him in the side; whereon,
springing round, he bounded over the Ohio, over the Wabash, the Illinois,
and finally over the great lakes, where he is living at this day.' It is
well known that on the Ohio, and in many parts of America further north,
tusks, grinders, and skeletons of unparalleled magnitude, are found in great
numbers, some lying on the surface of the earth, and some a little below it.
A Mr. Stanley, taken prisoner by the Indians near the mouth of the Tanissee,
relates, that, after being transferred
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through several tribes, from one to another, he was at length carried over
the mountains west of the Missouri to a river which runs westwardly; that
these bones abounded there; and that the natives described to him the animal
to which they belonged as still existing in the northern parts of their
country; from which description he judged it to be an elephant. Bones of the
same kind have been lately found, some feet below the surface of the earth,
in salines opened on the North Holston, a branch of the Tanissee, about the
latitude of 36 1/2x North. From the accounts published in Europe, suppose it
to be decided, that these are of the same kind with those found in Siberia.
Instances are mentioned of like animal remains found in the more southern
climates of both hemispheres; but they are either so loosely mentioned as to
leave a doubt of the fact, so inaccurately described as not to authorize the
classing them with the great northern bones, or so rare as to found a
suspicion that they have been carried thither as curiosities from more
northern regions. So that on the whole there seem to be no certain vestiges
of the existence of this animal further south than the salines last
mentioned. It is remarkable that the tusks and skeletons have been ascribed
by the naturalists of Europe to the elephant, while the grinders have been
given to the hippopotamus, or river-horse. Yet it is acknowledged, that the
tusks and skeletons are much larger than those of the elephant, and the
grinders many times greater than those of the hippopotamus, and essentially
different in form. Wherever these grinders are found, there also we find the
tusks and skeleton; but no skeleton of the hippopotamus nor grinders of the
elephant. It will not be said that the hippopotamus and elephant came always
to the same spot, the former to deposit his grinders, and the latter his
tusks and skeleton. For what became of the parts not deposited there? We
must agree then that these remains belong to each other, that they are of
one and the same animal, that this was not a hippopotamus, because the
hippopotamus had no tusks nor such a frame, and because the grinders differ
in their size as well as in the number and form of their points. That it was
not an elephant, I think ascertained by proofs equally decisive. I will not
avail myself of the authority of the
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Note: Hunter. anatomist, who, from an examination of the form and structure
of the tusks, has declared they were essentially different from those of the
elephant; because another
Note: D'Aubenton. anatomist, equally celebrated, has declared, on a like
examination, that they are precisely the same. Between two such authorities
I will suppose this circumstance equivocal. But, 1. The skeleton of the
mammoth (for so the incognitum has been called) bespeaks an animal of five
or six times the cubic volume of the elephant, as Mons. de Buffon has
admitted. 2. The grinders are five times as large, are square, and the
grinding surface studded with four or five rows of blunt points: whereas
those of the elephant are broad and thin, and their grinding surface flat.
3. I have never heard an instance, and suppose there has been none, of the
grinder of an elephant being found in America. 4. From the known temperature
and constitution of the elephant he could never have existed in those
regions where the remains of the mammoth have been found. The elephant is a
native only of the torrid zone and its vicinities: if, with the assistance
of warm apartments and warm clothing, he has been preserved in life in the
temperate climates of Europe, it has only been for a small portion of what
would have been his natural period, and no instance of his multiplication in
them has ever been known. But no bones of the mammoth, as I have before
observed, have been ever found further south than the salines of the
Holston, and they have been found as far north as the Arctic circle. Those,
therefore, who are of opinion that the elephant and mammoth are the same,
must believe, 1. That the elephant known to us can exist and multiply in the
frozen zone; or, 2. That an internal fire may once have warmed those
regions, and since abandoned them, of which, however, the globe exhibits no
unequivocal indications; or, 3. That the obliquity of the ecliptic, when
these elephants lived, was so great as to include within the tropics all
those regions in which the bones are found; the tropics being, as is before
observed, the natural limits of habitation for the elephant. But if it be
admitted that this obliquity has
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really decreased, and we adopt the highest rate of decrease yet pretended,
that is, of one minute in a century, to transfer the northern tropic to the
Arctic circle, would carry the existence of these supposed elephants 250,000
years back; a period far beyond our conception of the duration of animal
bones left exposed to the open air, as these are in many instances. Besides,
though these regions would then be supposed within the tropics, yet their
winters would have been too severe for the sensibility of the elephant. They
would have had too but one day and one night in the year, a circumstance to
which we have no reason to suppose the nature of the elephant fitted.
However, it has been demonstrated, that, if a variation of obliquity in the
ecliptic takes place at all, it is vibratory, and never exceeds the limits
of 9 degrees, which is not sufficient to bring these bones within the
tropics. One of these hypotheses, or some other equally voluntary and
inadmissible to cautious philosophy, must be adopted to support the opinion
that these are the bones of the elephant. For my own part, I find it easier
to believe that an animal may have existed, resembling the elephant in his
tusks, and general anatomy, while his nature was in other respects extremely
different. From the 30th degree of South latitude to the 30th of North, are
nearly the limits which nature has fixed for the existence and
multiplication of the elephant known to us. Proceeding thence northwardly to
36 1/2 degrees, we enter those assigned to the mammoth. The further we
advance North, the more their vestiges multiply as far as the earth has been
explored in that direction; and it is as probable as otherwise, that this
progression continues to the pole itself, if land extends so far. The center
of the Frozen zone then may be the Achmé of their vigour, as that of the
Torrid is of the elephant. Thus nature seems to have drawn a belt of
separation between these two tremendous animals, whose breadth indeed is not
precisely known, though at present we may suppose it about 6 1/2 degrees of
latitude; to have assigned to the elephant the regions South of these
confines, and those North to the mammoth, founding the constitution of the
one in her extreme of heat, and that of the other in the extreme of cold.
When the Creator has therefore separated their nature as far as the extent
of the scale of animal life allowed to this planet would
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permit, it seems perverse to declare it the same, from a partial resemblance
of their tusks and bones. But to whatever animal we ascribe these remains,
it is certain such a one has existed in America, and that it has been the
largest of all terrestrial beings. It should have sufficed to have rescued
the earth it inhabited, and the atmosphere it breathed, from the imputation
of impotence in the conception and nourishment of animal life on a large
scale: to have stifled, in its birth, the opinion of a writer, the most
learned too of all others in the science of animal history, that in the new
world, Buffon.
xviii. 122. ed.
Paris. 1764.

`La nature vivante est beaucoup moins agissante, beaucoup moins forte:'
that nature is less active, less energetic on one side of the globe than she
is on the other. As if both sides were not warmed by the same genial sun; as
if a soil of the same chemical composition, was less capable of elaboration
into animal nutriment; as if the fruits and grains from that soil and sun,
yielded a less rich chyle, gave less extension to the solids and fluids of
the body, or produced sooner in the cartilages, membranes, and fibres, that
rigidity which restrains all further extension, and terminates animal
growth. The truth is, that a Pigmy and a Patagonian, a Mouse and a Mammoth,
derive their dimensions from the same nutritive juices. The difference of
increment depends on circumstances unsearchable to beings with our
capacities. Every race of animals seems to have received from their Maker
certain laws of extension at the time of their formation. Their elaborative
organs were formed to produce this, while proper obstacles were opposed to
its further progress. Below these limits they cannot fall, nor rise above
them. What intermediate station they shall take may depend on soil, on
climate, on food, on a careful choice of breeders. But all the manna of
heaven would never raise the Mouse to the bulk of the Mammoth. xviii. 100

The opinion advanced by the Count de Buffon, is 1. That the animals
common both to the old and new world, are smaller in the latter. 2. That
those peculiar to the new, are on a smaller scale. 3. That those which have
been domesticated in both, have degenerated in America: and 4. That on the
whole it exhibits fewer species. And the reason he thinks is, that the heats
of America are less; that more
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waters are spread over its surface by nature, and fewer of these drained off
by the hand of man. In other words, that heat is friendly, and moisture
adverse to the production and developement of large quadrupeds. I will not
meet this hypothesis on its first doubtful ground, whether the climate of
America be comparatively more humid? Because we are not furnished with
observations sufficient to decide this question. And though, till it be
decided, we are as free to deny, as others are to affirm the fact, yet for a
moment let it be supposed. The hypothesis, after this supposition, proceeds
to another; that moisture is unfriendly to animal growth. The truth of this
is inscrutable to us by reasonings a priori. Nature has hidden from us her
modus agendi. Our only appeal on such questions is to experience; and I
think that experience is against the supposition. It is by the assistance of
heat and moisture that vegetables are elaborated from the elements of earth,
air, water, and fire. We accordingly see the more humid climates produce the
greater quantity of vegetables. Vegetables are mediately or immediately the
food of every animal: and in proportion to the quantity of food, we see
animals not only multiplied in their numbers, but improved in their bulk, as
far as the laws of their nature will admit. Of this opinion is the Count de
Buffon himself in another part of his work: viii. 134.

`en general il paroit que les pays un peu froids conviennent mieux à nos
boeufs que les pays chauds, et qu'ils sont d'autant plus gros et plus grands
que le climat est plus humide et plus abondans en paturages. Les boeufs de
Danemarck, de la Podolie, de l'Ukraine et de la Tartarie qu'habitent les
Calmouques sont les plus grands de tous.' Here then a race of animals, and
one of the largest too, has been increased in its dimensions by cold and
moisture, in direct opposition to the hypothesis, which supposes that these
two circumstances diminish animal bulk, and that it is their contraries heat
and dryness which enlarge it. But when we appeal to experience, we are not
to rest satisfied with a single fact. Let us therefore try our question on
more general ground. Let us take two portions of the earth, Europe and
America for instance, sufficiently extensive to give operation to general
causes; let us consider the circumstances peculiar to each, and observe
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effect on animal nature. America, running through the torrid as well as
temperate zone, has more heat, collectively taken, than Europe. But Europe,
according to our hypothesis, is the dryest. They are equally adapted then to
animal productions; each being endowed with one of those causes which
befriend animal growth, and with one which opposes it. If it be thought
unequal to compare Europe with America, which is so much larger, I answer,
not more so than to compare America with the whole world. Besides, the
purpose of the comparison is to try an hypothesis, which makes the size of
animals depend on the heat and moisture of climate. If therefore we take a
region, so extensive as to comprehend a sensible distinction of climate, and
so extensive too as that local accidents, or the intercourse of animals on
its borders, may not materially affect the size of those in its interior
parts, we shall comply with those conditions which the hypothesis may
reasonably demand. The objection would be the weaker in the present case,
because any intercourse of animals which may take place on the confines of
Europe and Asia, is to the advantage of the former, Asia producing certainly
larger animals than Europe. Let us then take a comparative view of the
Quadrupeds of Europe and America, presenting them to the eye in three
different tables, in one of which shall be enumerated those found in both
countries; in a second those found in one only; in a third those which have
been domesticated in both. To facilitate the comparison, let those of each
table be arranged in gradation according to their sizes, from the greatest
to the smallest, so far as their sizes can be conjectured. The weights of
the large animals shall be expressed in the English avoirdupoise pound and
its decimals: those of the smaller in the ounce and its decimals. Those
which are marked thus *, are actual weights of particular subjects, deemed
among the largest of their species. Those marked thus +, are furnished by
judicious persons, well acquainted with the species, and saying, from
conjecture only, what the largest individual they had seen would probably
have weighed. The other weights are taken from Messrs. Buffon and
D'Aubenton, and are of such subjects as came casually to their hands for
dissection. This circumstance must be remembered where
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their weights and mine stand opposed: the latter being stated, not to
produce a conclusion in favour of the American species, but to justify a
suspension of opinion until we are better informed, and a suspicion in the
mean time that there is no uniform difference in favour of either; which is
all pretend.

"A comparative View of the Quadrupeds of Europe and of America."

I. Aboriginals of both.
Europe. America. lb. lb. Mammoth Buffalo. Bison *1800 White bear. Ours blanc
Caribou. Renne Bear. Ours 153.7 *410 Elk. Elan. Orignal, palmated Red deer.
Cerf 288.8 *273 Fallow deer. Daim 167.8 Wolf. Loup 69.8 Roe. Chevreuil 56.7
Glutton. Glouton. Carcajou Wild cat. Chat sauvage +30 Lyno. Loup cervier 25.
Beaver. Castor 18.5 *45 Badger. Blaireau 13.6 Red Foo. Renard 13.5 Grey Foo.
Isatis Otter. Loutre 8.9 +12 Monao. Marmotte 6.5 Vison. Fouine 2.8 Hedgehog.
Herisson 2.2 Martin. Marte 1.9 +6 oz. Water rat. Rat d'eau 7.5 Wesel.
Belette 2.2 oz. Flying squirrel. Polatouche 2.2 +4 Shrew mouse. Musaraigne
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II. Aboriginals of one only.
Europe. America. lb. lb. Sanglier. Wild boar 280. Tapir 534. Mouflon. Wild
sheep 56. Elk, round horned +450. Bouquetin. Wild goat Puma Lievre. Hare 7.6
Jaguar 218. Lapin. Rabbet 3.4 Cabiai 109. Putois. Polecat 3.3 Tamanoir 109.
Genette 3.1 Tamandua 65.4 Desman. Muskrat oz. Cougar of N. Amer. 75.
Ecureuil. Squirrel 12. Cougar of S. Amer. 59. Hermine. Ermin 8.2 Ocelot Rat.
Rat 7.5 Pecari 46.3 Loirs 3.1 Jaguaret 43.6 Lerot. Dormouse 1.8 Alco Taupe.
Mole 1.2 Lama Hamster .9 Paco Zisel Paca 32.7 Leming Serval Souris. Mouse .6
Sloth. Unau 27 1/4 Saricovienne Kincajou Tatou Kabassou 21.8 Urson. Urchin
Raccoon. Raton 16.5 Coati Coendou 16.3 Sloth. Aï 13. Sapajou Ouarini Sapajou
Coaita 9.8 Tatou Encubert Tatou Apar Tatou Cachica 7. Little Coendou 6.5
Opossum. Sarigue Tapeti Margay Crabier Agouti 4.2 Sapajou Saï 3.5 Tatou
Cirquinçon Tatou Tatouate 3.3
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II. TABLE continued.
Europe. America. Mouffette Squash Mouffette Chinche Mouffette Conepate.
Scunk Mouffette. Zorilla Whabus. Hare. Rabbet Aperea Akouchi Ondatra.
Muskrat Pilori Great grey squirrel +2.7 Fox squirrel of Virginia +2.625
Surikate 2. Mink +2. Sapajou. Sajou 1.8 Indian pig. Cochon d'Inde 1.6
Sapajou. Saïmiri 1.5 Phalanger Coquallin Lesser grey squirrel +1.5 Black
squirrel +1.5 Red squirrel 10. oz. Sagoin Saki Sagoin Pinche Sagoin Tamarin
oz. Sagoin Ouistiti 4.4 Sagoin Marikine Sagoin Mico Cayopollin Fourmillier
Marmose Sarigue of Cayenne Tucan Red mole oz. Ground squirrel 4.
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III. Domesticated in both.
Europe. America. lb. lb. Cow 763. *2500 Horse *1366 Ass Hog *1200 Sheep *125
Goat *80 Dog 67.6 Cat 7.

Note: It is said, that this animal is seldom seen above 30 miles from shore,
or beyond the 56th degree of latitude. The interjacent islands between Asia
and America admit his passing from one continent to the other without
exceeding these bounds. And, in fact, travellers tell us that these islands
are places of principal resort for them, and especially in the season of
bringing forth their young.

I have not inserted in the first table the Phoca nor leather-winged bat,
because the one living half the year in the water, and the other being a
winged animal, the individuals of each species may visit both continents.

Of the animals in the 1st table Mons. de Buffon himself informs us,
[XXVII. 130. XXX. 213.] that the beaver, the otter, and shrew mouse, though
of the same species, are larger in America than Europe. This should
therefore have corrected the generality of his expressions XVIII. 145. and
elsewhere, that the animals common to the two countries, are considerably
less in America than in Europe, `& cela sans aucune exception.' He tells us
too, [Quadrup. VIII. 334. edit. Paris, 1777] that on examining a bear from
America, he remarked no difference, `dans la forme de cet ours d'Amerique
comparé a celui d'Europe.' But adds from Bartram's journal, that an American
bear weighed 400 lb. English, equal to 367 lb. French: whereas we find the
European bear examined by Mons. D'Aubenton, [XVII. 82.] weighed but 141 lb.
French. That the palmated Elk is larger in America than Europe we are
informed by Kalm, a Naturalist who visited the I. 233. Lond.

former by public appointment for the express
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purpose of examining the subjects of Natural history. In this Ib. 233.

fact Pennant concurs with him. [Barrington's Miscellanies.] The same Kalm
tells us that the Black Moose, or I. xxvii.

Renne of America, is as high as a tall horse; and Catesby, that it is
about the bigness of a middle sized oo. The XXIV. 162.

same account of their size has been given me by many who have seen them.
But Mons. D'Aubenton says that the Renne of Europe is but about the size of
a Red-deer. XV. 42.

The wesel is larger in America than in Europe, as may be seen by
comparing its dimensions as reported by Mons. D'Aubenton and Kalm. The
latter tells us, that the I. 359. I. 48.
221. 251. II.

lynx, badger, red fox, and flying squirrel, are the same in America as in
Europe: by which expression I understand, they are the same in all material
circumstances, in size as well as others: for if they were smaller, II. 78.

they would differ from the European. Our grey fox is, by Catesby's
account, little different in size and shape from the European foo. I presume
he means the red fox I. 220.

of Europe, as does Kalm, where he says, that in size `they do not quite
come up to our foxes.' For proceeding next to the red fox of America, he
says `they are entirely the same with the European sort.' Which shews he had
in view one European sort only, which was the red. So that the result of
their testimony is, that the American grey fox is somewhat less than the
European red; which is equally true of the XXVII. 63.
XIV. 119.
Quad. IX. 1.

grey fox of Europe, as may be seen by comparing the measures of the Count
de Buffon and Mons. D'Aubenton. The white bear of America is as large as
that of Europe. The bones of the Mammoth which have been found in America,
are as large as those found in the old world. It may be asked, why I insert
the Mammoth, as if it still existed? I ask in return, why I should omit it,
as if it did not exist? Such is the oeconomy of nature, that no instance can
be produced of her having permitted any one race of her animals to become
extinct; of her having formed any link in her great work so weak as to be
broken. To add to this, the traditionary testimony of the Indians, that this
animal still exists in the northern and western parts of America, would be
adding the light of a taper to that of the meridian sun. Those parts still
remain in their aboriginal state, unexplored and undisturbed
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by us, or by others for us. He may as well exist there now, as he did
formerly where we find his bones. If he be a carnivorous animal, as some
Anatomists have conjectured, and the Indians affirm, his early retirement
may be accounted for from the general destruction of the wild game by the
Indians, which commences in the first instant of their connection with us,
for the purpose of purchasing matchcoats, hatchets, and fire locks, with
their skins. There remain then the buffalo, red deer, fallow deer, wolf,
roe, glutton, wild cat, monax, vison, hedge-hog, martin, and water rat, of
the comparative sizes of which we have not sufficient testimony. It does not
appear that Messrs. de Buffon and D'Aubenton have measured, weighed, or seen
those of America. It is said of some of them, by some travellers, that they
are smaller than the European. But who were these travellers? Have they not
been men of a very different description from those who have laid open to us
the other three quarters of the world? Was natural history the object of
their travels? Did they measure or weigh the animals they speak of? or did
they not judge of them by sight, or perhaps even from report only? Were they
acquainted with the animals of their own country, with which they undertake
to compare them? Have they not been so ignorant as often to mistake the
species? A true answer to these questions would probably lighten their
authority, so as to render it insufficient for the foundation of an
hypothesis. How unripe we yet are, for an accurate comparison of the animals
of the two countries, will appear from the work of Mons. de Buffon. The
ideas we should have formed of the sizes of some animals, from the
information he had received at his first publications concerning them, are
very different from what his subsequent communications give us. And indeed
his candour in this can never be too much praised. One sentence of his book
must do him immortal honour. `J'aime Quad. IX.

autant une personne qui me releve d'une erreur, qu'une autre qui
m'apprend une verité, parce qu'en effet une erreur corrigée est une verité.'
He seems to have XXV. 184.

thought the Cabiai he first examined wanted little of its full growth.
`Il n'etoit pas encore tout-a-fait adulte.' Yet he weighed but 46 1/2 lb.
and he found Quad. IX.

afterwards, that these animals, when full grown,
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weigh 100 lb. He had supposed, from the examination of a XIX. 2.

jaguar, said to be two years old, which weighed but 16 lb. 12 oz. that,
when he should have acquired his full growth, he would not be larger than a
middle sized dog. Quad. IX. 41.

But a subsequent account raises his weight to 200 lb. Further information
will, doubtless, produce further corrections. The wonder is, not that there
is yet something in this great work to correct, but that there is so little.
The result of this view then is, that of 26 quadrupeds common to both
countries, 7 are said to be larger in America, 7 of equal size, and 12 not
sufficiently examined. So that the first table impeaches the first member of
the assertion, that of the animals common to both countries, the American
are smallest, `et cela sans aucune exception.' It shews it not just, in all
the latitude in which its author has advanced it, and probably not to such a
degree as to found a distinction between the two countries.

Proceeding to the second table, which arranges the animals found in one
of the two countries only, Mons. de Buffon observes, that the tapir, the
elephant of America, is but of the size of a small cow. To preserve our
comparison, I will add that the wild boar, the elephant of Europe, is little
more than half that size. I have made an elk with round or cylindrical
horns, an animal of America, and peculiar to it; because I have seen many of
them myself, and more of their horns; and because I can say, from the best
information, that, in Virginia, this kind of elk has abounded much, and
still exists in smaller numbers; and I could never learn that the palmated
kind had been seen here at all. suppose this confined to the more Northern
Note: The descriptions of Theodat, Denys and La Hontan, cited by Mons. de
Buffon under the article Elan, authorize the supposition, that the
flat-horned elk is found in the northern parts of America. It has not
however extended to our latitudes. On the other hand, I could never learn
that the round-horned elk has been seen further North than the Hudson's
river. This agrees with the former elk in its general character, being, like
that, when compared with a deer, very much larger, its ears longer, broader,
and thicker in proportion, its hair much longer, neck and tail shorter,
having a dewlap before the breast (caruncula gutturalis Linnaei) a white
spot often, if not always; of a foot diameter, on the hinder part of the
buttocks round the tail; its gait a trot, and attended with a rattling of
the hoofs: but distinguished from that decisively by its horns, which are
not palmated, but round and pointed. This is the animal described by Catesby
as the Cervus major Americanus, the Stag of America, le Cerf de l'Amerique.
But it differs from the Cervus as totally, as does the palmated elk from the
dama. And in fact it seems to stand in the same relation to the palmated
elk, as the red deer does to the fallow. It has abounded in Virginia, has
been seen, within my knowledge, on the Eastern side of the Blue ridge since
the year 1765, is now common beyond those mountains, has been often brought
to us and tamed, and their horns are in the hands of many. I should
designate it as the `Alces Americanus cornibus teretibus.' It were to be
wished, that Naturalists, who are acquainted with the renne and elk of
Europe, and who may hereafter visit the northern parts of America, would
examine well the animals called there by the names of grey and black moose,
caribou, orignal, and elk. Mons. de Buffon has done what could be done from
the materials in his hands, towards clearing up the confusion introduced by
the loose application of these names among the animals they are meant to
designate. He reduces the whole to the renne and flat-horned elk. From all
the information have been able to collect, I strongly suspect they will be
found to cover three, if not four distinct species of animals. I have seen
skins of a moose, and of the caribou: they differ more from each other, and
from that of the round-horned elk, than I ever saw two skins differ which
belonged to different individuals of any wild species. These differences are
in the colour, length, and coarseness of the hair, and in the size, texture,
and marks of the skin. Perhaps it will be found that there is, 1. the moose,
black and grey, the former being said to be the male, and the latter the
female. 2. The caribou or renne. 3. The flat-horned elk, or orignal. 4. The
round-horned elk. Should this last, though possessing so nearly the
characters of the elk, be found to be the same with the Cerf d'Ardennes or
Brandhirtz of Germany, still there will remain the three species first
enumerated. I have made our hare or rabbet peculiar,
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believing it to be different from both the European animals of those
denominations, and calling it therefore by its Algonquin Kalm II.
340.I. 82.

name Whabus, to keep it distinct from these. Kalm is of the same opinion.
I have enumerated the squirrels according to our own knowledge, derived from
daily sight of them, because I am not able to reconcile with that the
European appellations and descriptions. I have heard of other species, but
they have never come within my own notice. These, I think, are the only
instances in which I have departed from the authority of Mons. de Buffon in
the construction of this table. I take him for my ground work, because I
think him the best informed of any Naturalist who has ever written. The
result is, that there are 18 quadrupeds peculiar to Europe; more than four
times as many, to wit 74,
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peculiar to America; that the
Note: The Tapir is the largest of the animals peculiar to America. I collect
his weight thus. Mons. de Buffon says, XXIII. 274. that he is of the size of
a Zebu, or a small cow. He gives us the measures of a Zebu, ib. 94. as taken
by himself, viz. 5 feet 7 inches from the muzzle to the root of the tail,
and 5 feet 1 inch circumference behind the fore legs. A bull, measuring in
the same way 6 feet 9 inches and 5 feet 2 inches, weighed 600 lb. VIII. 153.
The Zebu then, and of course the Tapir, would weigh about 500 lb. But one
individual of every species of European peculiars would probably weigh less
than 400 lb. These are French measures and weights. first of these 74 weighs
more than the whole column of Europeans; and consequently this second table
disproves the second member of the assertion, that the animals peculiar to
the new world are on a smaller scale, so far as that assertion relied on
European animals for support: and it is in full opposition to the theory
which makes the animal volume to depend on the circumstances of heat and

The IIId. table comprehends those quadrupeds only which are domestic in
both countries. That some of these, in some parts of America, have become
less than their original stock, is doubtless true; and the reason is very
obvious. In a thinly peopled country, the spontaneous productions of the
forests and waste fields are sufficient to support indifferently the
domestic animals of the farmer, with a very little aid from him in the
severest and scarcest season. He therefore finds it more convenient to
receive them from the hand of nature in that indifferent state, than to keep
up their size by a care and nourishment which would cost him much labour.
If, on this low fare, these animals dwindle, it is no more than they do in
those parts of Europe where the poverty of the soil, or poverty of the
owner, reduces them to the same scanty subsistance. It is the uniform effect
of one and the same cause, whether acting on this or that side of the globe.
It would be erring therefore against that rule of philosophy, which teaches
us to ascribe like effects to like causes, should we impute this diminution
of size in America to any imbecility or want of uniformity in the operations
of nature. It may be affirmed with truth that, in those countries, and with
those individuals of America, where necessity or curiosity has produced
equal attention as in Europe to the nourishment of animals, the horses,
cattle, sheep, and hogs of the one continent are as
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Page 181

large as those of the other. There are particular instances, well attested,
where individuals of this country have imported good breeders from England,
and have improved their size by care in the course of some years. To make a
fair comparison between the two countries, it will not answer to bring
together animals of what might be deemed the middle or ordinary size of
their species; because an error in judging of that middle or ordinary size
would vary the result of the comparison. Thus Monsieur D'Aubenton considers
a VII. 432.

horse of 4 feet 5 inches high and 400 lb. weight French, equal to 4 feet
8.6 inches and 436 lb. English, as a middle sized horse. Such a one is
deemed a small horse in America. The extremes must therefore be resorted to.
The same anatomist dissected a horse of 5 feet 9 inches height, French
measure, VII. 474.

equal to 6 feet 1.7 English. This is near 6 inches higher than any horse
I have seen: and could it be supposed that I had seen the largest horses in
America, the conclusion would be, that ours have diminished, or that we have
bred from a smaller stock. In Connecticut and Rhode-Island, where the
climate is favorable to the production of grass, bullocks have been
slaughtered which weighed 2500, 2200, and 2100 lb. nett; and those of 1800
lb. have been frequent. I have seen a
Note: In Williamsburg, April, 1769. hog weigh 1050 lb. after the blood,
bowels, and hair had been taken from him. Before he was killed an attempt
was made to weigh him with a pair of steel-yards, graduated to 1200 lb. but
he weighed more. Yet this hog was probably not within fifty generations of
the European stock. I am well informed of another which weighed 1100 lb.
gross. Asses have been still more neglected than any other domestic animal
in America. They are neither fed nor housed in the most rigorous season of
the year. Yet they are larger than those measured VIII. 48. 35.

by Mons. D'Aubenton, of 3 feet 7 1/4 inches, 3 feet 4 inches, and 3 feet
2 1/2 inches, the latter weighing only 215.8 lb. These sizes, I suppose,
have been produced by the same negligence in Europe, which has produced a
like diminution here. Where care has been taken of them on that side of the
water, they have been raised to a size bordering on that of the horse; not
by the heat and dryness of the climate,
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Page 182

but by good food and shelter. Goats have been also much neglected in
America. Yet they are very prolific here, bearing twice or three times a
year, and from one to five kids XVIII. 96.

at a birth. Mons. de Buffon has been sensible of a difference in this
circumstance in favour of America. But what are their greatest weights I
cannot say. A large IX. 41.

sheep here weighs 100 lb. I observe Mons. D'Aubenton calls a ram of 62
lb. one of the middle size. But to say what are the extremes of growth in
these and the other domestic animals of America, would require information
of which no one individual is possessed. The weights actually known and
stated in the third table preceding will suffice to shew, that we may
conclude, on probable grounds, that, with equal food and care, the climate
of America will preserve the races of domestic animals as large as the
European stock from which they are derived; and consequently that the third
member of Mons. de Buffon's assertion, that the domestic animals are subject
to degeneration from the climate of America, is as probably wrong as the
first and second were certainly so.

That the last part of it is erroneous, which affirms that the species of
American quadrupeds are comparatively few, is evident from the tables taken
all together. By these it appears XXX. 219.

that there are an hundred species aboriginal of America. Mons. de Buffon
supposes about double that number existing on the whole earth. Of these
Europe, Asia, and Africa, furnish suppose 126; that is, the 26 common to
Europe and America, and about 100 which are not in America at all. The
American species then are to those of the rest of the earth, as 100 to 126,
or 4 to 5. But the residue of the earth being double the extent of America,
the exact proportion would have been but as 4 to 8.

Hitherto I have considered this hypothesis as applied to brute animals
only, and not in its extension to the man of America, whether aboriginal or
transplanted. It is the opinion of Mons. de Buffon that the former furnishes
no exception to XVIII. 146.

it. `Quoique le sauvage du nouveau monde soit à-peu-près de même stature
que l'homme de notre monde, cela ne suffit pas pour qu'il puisse faire une
exception au fait général du rapetissement de la nature vivante dans tout
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ce continent: le sauvage est foible & petit par les organes de la
génération; il n'a ni poil, ni barbe, & nulle ardeur pour sa femelle;
quoique plus léger que l'Européen parce qu'il a plus d'habitude à courir, il
est cependant beaucoup moins fort de corps; il est aussi bien moins
sensible, & cependant plus craintif & plus lche; il n'a nulle vivacité,
nulle activité dans l'ame; celle du corps est moins un exercice, un
mouvement volontaire qu'une nécessité d'action causée par le besoin; otez
lui la faim & la soif, vous détruirez en meme temps le principe actif de
tous ses mouvemens; il demeurera stupidement en repos sur ses jambes ou
couché pendant des jours entiers. Il ne faut pas aller chercher plus loin la
cause de la vie dispersée des sauvages & de leur éloignement pour la
société: la plus précieuse étincelle du feu de la nature leur a été refusée;
ils manquent d'ardeur pour leur femelle, & par consequent d'amour pour leur
semblables: ne connoissant pas l'attachement le plus vif, le plus tendre de
tous, leurs autres sentimens de ce genre sont froids & languissans; ils
aiment foiblement leurs p res & leurs enfans; la société la plus intime de
toutes, celle de la même famille, n'a donc chez eux que de foibles liens; la
société d'une famille à l'autre n'en a point du tout: d s lors nulle
réunion, nulle république, nulle tat social. La physique de l'amour fait
chez eux le moral des moeurs; leur coeur est glacé, leur société froide, &
leur empire dur. Ils ne regardent leurs femmes que comme des servantes de
peine ou des bêtes de somme qu'ils chargent, sans ménagement, du fardeau de
leur chasse, & qu'ils forcent sans pitié, sans reconnoissance, à des
ouvrages qui souvent sont audessus de leurs forces: ils n'ont que peu
d'enfans; ils en ont peu de soin; tout se ressent de leur premier défaut;
ils sont indifférents parce qu'ils sont peu puissans, & cette indifférence
pour le sexe est la tche originelle qui flétrit la nature, qui l'empêche de
s'épanouir, & qui détruisant les germes de la vie, coupe en même temps la
racine de la société. L'homme ne fait donc point d'exception ici. La nature
en lui refusant les puissances de l'amour l'a plus maltraité & plus
rapetissé qu'aucun des animauo.' An afflicting picture indeed, which, for
the honor of human nature, I am glad to believe has no original. Of the
Indian of South America I know nothing; for I would not honor with the
appellation of knowledge, what I derive from the fables published
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Page 184

of them. These I believe to be just as true as the fables of Aesop. This
belief is founded on what I have seen of man, white, red, and black, and
what has been written of him by authors, enlightened themselves, and writing
amidst an enlightened people. The Indian of North America being more within
our reach, I can speak of him somewhat from my own knowledge, but more from
the information of others better acquainted with him, and on whose truth and
judgment I can rely. From these sources I am able to say, in contradiction
to this representation, that he is neither more defective in ardor, nor more
impotent with his female, than the white reduced to the same diet and
exercise: that he is brave, when an enterprize depends on bravery; education
with him making the point of honor consist in the destruction of an enemy by
stratagem, and in the preservation of his own person free from injury; or
perhaps this is nature; while it is education which teaches us to
Note: Sol Rodomonte sprezza di venire Se non, dove la via meno sicura.
Ariosto. 14. 117. honor force more than finesse: that he will defend himself
against an host of enemies, always chusing to be killed, rather than to
Note: In so judicious an author as Don Ulloa, and one to whom we are
indebted for the most precise information we have of South America, I did
not expect to find such assertions as the following. `Los Indios vencidos
son los mas cobardes y pusilanimes que se peuden vér: -- se hacen inocentes,
se humillan hasta el desprecio, disculpan su inconsiderado arrojo, y con las
súplicas y los ruegos d n seguras pruebas de su pusilanimidad. -- " lo que
resieren las historias de la Conquista, sobre sus grandes acciones, es en un
sentido figurado, " el caracter de estas gentes no es ahora segun era
entonces; pero lo que no tiene duda es, que las Naciones de la parte
Septentrional subsisten en la misma libertad que siempre han tenido, sin
haber sido sojuzgados por algun Principe extrano, y que viven segun su
régimen y costumbres de toda la vida, sin que haya habido motivo para que
muden de caracter; y en estos se vé lo mismo, que sucede en los del Peru, y
de toda la América Meridional, reducidos, y que nunca lo han estado.'
Noticias Americanas. Entretenimiento XVIII. 1. Don Ulloa here admits, that
the authors who have described the Indians of South America, before they
were enslaved, had represented them as a brave people, and therefore seems
to have suspected that the cowardice which he had observed in those of the
present race might be the effect of subjugation. But, supposing the Indians
of North America to be cowards also, he concludes the ancestors of those of
South America to have been so too, and therefore that those authors have
given fictions for truths. He was probably not acquainted himself with the
Indians of North America, and had formed his opinion of them from hear-say.
Great numbers of French, of English, and of Americans, are perfectly
acquainted with these people. Had he had an opportunity of enquiring of any
of these, they would have told him, that there never was an instance known
of an Indian begging his life when in the power of his enemies: on the
contrary, that he courts death by every possible insult and provocation. His
reasoning then would have been reversed thus. `Since the present Indian of
North America is brave, and authors tell us, that the ancestors of those of
South America were brave also; it must follow, that the cowardice of their
descendants is the effect of subjugation and ill treatment.' For he
observes, ib. 27. that `los obrages los aniquilan por la inhumanidad con que
se les trata. surrender, though it be to the
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whites, who he knows will treat him well: that in other situations also he
meets death with more deliberation, and endures tortures with a firmness
unknown almost to religious enthusiasm with us: that he is affectionate to
his children, careful of them, and indulgent in the extreme: that his
affections comprehend his other connections, weakening, as with us, from
circle to circle, as they recede from the center: that his friendships are
strong and faithful to the uttermost
Note: A remarkable instance of this appeared in the case of the late Col.
Byrd, who was sent to the Cherokee nation to transact some business with
them. It happened that some of our disorderly people had just killed one or
two of that nation. It was therefore proposed in the council of the
Cherokees that Col. Byrd should be put to death, in revenge for the loss of
their countrymen. Among them was a chief called Silòuee, who, on some former
occasion, had contracted an acquaintance and friendship with Col. Byrd. He
came to him every night in his tent, and told him not to be afraid, they
should not kill him. After many days deliberation, however, the
determination was, contrary to Silòuee's expectation, that Byrd should be
put to death, and some warriors were dispatched as executioners. Silòuee
attended them, and when they entered the tent, he threw himself between them
and Byrd, and said to the warriors, `this man is my friend: before you get
at him, you must kill me.' On which they returned, and the council respected
the principle so much as to recede from their determination. extremity: that
his sensibility is keen, even the warriors weeping most bitterly on the loss
of their children, though in general they endeavour to appear superior to
human events: that his vivacity and activity of mind is equal to ours in the
same situation; hence his eagerness for hunting, and for games of chance.
The women are submitted to unjust drudgery. This I believe is the case with
every barbarous people. With such, force is law. The stronger sex therefore
imposes on the weaker. It is civilization alone which replaces women in the
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enjoyment of their natural equality. That first teaches us to subdue the
selfish passions, and to respect those rights in others which we value in
ourselves. Were we in equal barbarism, our females would be equal drudges.
The man with them is less strong than with us, but their woman stronger than
ours; and both for the same obvious reason; because our man and their woman
is habituated to labour, and formed by it. With both races the sex which is
indulged with ease is least athletic. An Indian man is small in the hand and
wrist for the same reason for which a sailor is large and strong in the arms
and shoulders, and a porter in the legs and thighs. -- They raise fewer
children than we do. The causes of this are to be found, not in a difference
of nature, but of circumstance. The women very frequently attending the men
in their parties of war and of hunting, child-bearing becomes extremely
inconvenient to them. It is said, therefore, that they have learnt the
practice of procuring abortion by the use of some vegetable; and that it
even extends to prevent conception for a considerable time after. During
these parties they are exposed to numerous hazards, to excessive exertions,
to the greatest extremities of hunger. Even at their homes the nation
depends for food, through a certain part of every year, on the gleanings of
the forest: that is, they experience a famine once in every year. With all
animals, if the female be badly fed, or not fed at all, her young perish:
and if both male and female be reduced to like want, generation becomes less
active, less productive. To the obstacles then of want and hazard, which
nature has opposed to the multiplication of wild animals, for the purpose of
restraining their numbers within certain bounds, those of labour and of
voluntary abortion are added with the Indian. No wonder then if they
multiply less than we do. Where food is regularly supplied, a single farm
will shew more of cattle, than a whole country of forests can of buffaloes.
The same Indian women, when married to white traders, who feed them and
their children plentifully and regularly, who exempt them from excessive
drudgery, who keep them stationary and unexposed to accident, produce and
raise as many children as the white women. Instances are known, under these
circumstances, of their rearing a dozen children. An inhuman practice once
prevailed in this country of making slaves of the
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Indians. It is a fact well known with us, that the Indian women so enslaved
produced and raised as numerous families as either the whites or blacks
among whom they lived. -- It has been said, that Indians have less hair than
the whites, except on the head. But this is a fact of which fair proof can
scarcely be had. With them it is disgraceful to be hairy on the body. They
say it likens them to hogs. They therefore pluck the hair as fast as it
appears. But the traders who marry their women, and prevail on them to
discontinue this practice, say, that nature is the same with them as with
the whites. Nor, if the fact be true, is the consequence necessary which has
been drawn from it. Negroes have notoriously less hair than the whites; yet
they are more ardent. But if cold and moisture be the agents of nature for
diminishing the races of animals, how comes she all at once to suspend their
operation as to the physical man of the new world, whom the Count
acknowledges to be `à peu près de mème stature que l'homme de notre monde,'
and to let loose their influence on his moral XVIII. 145.

faculties? How has this `combination of the elements and other physical
causes, so contrary to the enlargement of animal nature in this new world,
these obstacles to the developement and formation of great germs,' been
arrested and suspended, so as to permit the human body to acquire its just
dimensions, and by what inconceivable process has their action been directed
on his mind alone? To judge of the truth of this, to form a just estimate of
their genius and mental powers, more facts are wanting, and great allowance
to be made for those circumstances of their situation which call for a
display of particular talents only. This done, we shall probably find that
they are formed in mind as well as in body, on the same module with the
Note: Linn. Syst. Definition of a Man. `Homo sapiens Europaeus.' The
principles of their society forbidding all compulsion, they are to be led to
duty and to enterprize by personal influence and persuasion. Hence eloquence
in council, bravery and address in war, become the foundations of all
consequence with them. To these acquirements all their faculties are
directed. Of their bravery and address in war we have multiplied proofs,
because we have been the subjects on which they were exercised.
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Of their eminence in oratory we have fewer examples, because it is displayed
chiefly in their own councils. Some, however, we have of very superior
lustre. I may challenge the whole orations of Demosthenes and Cicero, and of
any more eminent orator, if Europe has furnished more eminent, to produce a
single passage, superior to the speech of Logan, a Mingo chief, to Lord
Dunmore, when governor of this state. And, as a testimony of their talents
in this line, I beg leave to introduce it, first stating the incidents
necessary for understanding it. In the spring of the year 1774, a robbery
and murder were committed on an inhabitant of the frontiers of Virginia, by
two Indians of the Shawanee tribe. The neighbouring whites, according to
their custom, undertook to punish this outrage in a summary way. Col.
Cresap, a man infamous for the many murders he had committed on those
much-injured people, collected a party, and proceeded down the Kanhaway in
quest of vengeance. Unfortunately a canoe of women and children, with one
man only, was seen coming from the opposite shore, unarmed, and unsuspecting
an hostile attack from the whites. Cresap and his party concealed themselves
on the bank of the river, and the moment the canoe reached the shore,
singled out their objects, and, at one fire, killed every person in it. This
happened to be the family of Logan, who had long been distinguished as a
friend of the whites. This unworthy return provoked his vengeance. He
accordingly signalized himself in the war which ensued. In the autumn of the
same year, a decisive battle was fought at the mouth of the Great Kanhaway,
between the collected forces of the Shawanees, Mingoes, and Delawares, and a
detachment of the Virginia militia. The Indians were defeated, and sued for
peace. Logan however disdained to be seen among the suppliants. But, lest
the sincerity of a treaty should be distrusted, from which so distinguished
a chief absented himself, he sent by a messenger the following speech to be
delivered to Lord Dunmore.

`I appeal to any white man to say, if ever he entered Logan's cabin
hungry, and he gave him not meat; if ever he came cold and naked, and he
clothed him not. During the course of the last long and bloody war, Logan
remained idle in his cabin, an advocate for peace. Such was my love for the
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whites, that my countrymen pointed as they passed, and said, `Logan is the
friend of white men.' I had even thought to have lived with you, but for the
injuries of one man. Col. Cresap, the last spring, in cold blood, and
unprovoked, murdered all the relations of Logan, not sparing even my women
and children. There runs not a drop of my blood in the veins of any living
creature. This called on me for revenge. I have sought it: I have killed
many: I have fully glutted my vengeance. For my country, I rejoice at the
beams of peace. But do not harbour a thought that mine is the joy of fear.
Logan never felt fear. He will not turn on his heel to save his life. Who is
there to mourn for Logan? -- Not one.'

Before we condemn the Indians of this continent as wanting genius, we
must consider that letters have not yet been introduced among them. Were we
to compare them in their present state with the Europeans North of the Alps,
when the Roman arms and arts first crossed those mountains, the comparison
would be unequal, because, at that time, those parts of Europe were swarming
with numbers; because numbers produce emulation, and multiply the chances of
improvement, and one improvement begets another. Yet I may safely ask, How
many good poets, how many able mathematicians, how many great inventors in
arts or sciences, had Europe North of the Alps then produced? And it was
sixteen centuries after this before a Newton could be formed. I do not mean
to deny, that there are varieties in the race of man, distinguished by their
powers both of body and mind. I believe there are, as I see to be the case
in the races of other animals. I only mean to suggest a doubt, whether the
bulk and faculties of animals depend on the side of the Atlantic on which
their food happens to grow, or which furnishes the elements of which they
are compounded? Whether nature has enlisted herself as a Cis or
Trans-Atlantic partisan? I am induced to suspect, there has been more
eloquence than sound reasoning displayed in support of this theory; that it
is one of those cases where the judgment has been seduced by a glowing pen:
and whilst I render every tribute of honor and esteem to the celebrated
Zoologist, who has added, and is still adding, so many precious things to
the treasures of science, I must doubt whether in this instance he has not
cherished error also, by
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lending her for a moment his vivid imagination and bewitching language.

So far the Count de Buffon has carried this new theory of the tendency of
nature to belittle her productions on this side the Atlantic. Its
application to the race of whites, transplanted from Europe, remained for
the Abbé Raynal. `On doit etre etonné (he says) que l'Amerique n'ait pas
encore produit un bon poëte, un habile mathematicien, un homme de genie dans
un seul art, ou une seule science.' 7. Hist. Philos. p. 92. ed. Maestricht.
1774. `America has not yet produced one good poet.' When we shall have
existed as a people as long as the Greeks did before they produced a Homer,
the Romans a Virgil, the French a Racine and Voltaire, the English a
Shakespeare and Milton, should this reproach be still true, we will enquire
from what unfriendly causes it has proceeded, that the other countries of
Europe and quarters of the earth shall not have inscribed any name in the
roll of poets
Note: Has the world as yet produced more than two poets, acknowledged to be
such by all nations? An Englishman, only, reads Milton with delight, an
Italian Tasso, a Frenchman the Henriade, a Portuguese Camouens: but Homer
and Virgil have been the rapture of every age and nation: they are read with
enthusiasm in their originals by those who can read the originals, and in
translations by those who cannot. But neither has America produced `one able
mathematician, one man of genius in a single art or a single science.' In
war we have produced a Washington, whose memory will be adored while liberty
shall have votaries, whose name will triumph over time, and will in future
ages assume its just station among the most celebrated worthies of the
world, when that wretched philosophy shall be forgotten which would have
arranged him among the degeneracies of nature. In physics we have produced a
Franklin, than whom no one of the present age has made more important
discoveries, nor has enriched philosophy with more, or more ingenious
solutions of the phaenomena of nature. We have supposed Mr. Rittenhouse
second to no astronomer living: that in genius he must be the first, because
he is self-taught. As an artist he has exhibited as great a proof of
mechanical genius as the world has ever produced. He has not indeed made a
world; but he has by imitation approached nearer its Maker than any man who
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lived from the creation to this day
Note: There are various ways of keeping truth out of sight. Mr.
Rittenhouse's model of the planetary system has the plagiary appellation of
an Orrery; and the quadrant invented by Godfrey, an American also, and with
the aid of which the European nations traverse the globe, is called Hadley's
quadrant. As in philosophy and war, so in government, in oratory, in
painting, in the plastic art, we might shew that America, though but a child
of yesterday, has already given hopeful proofs of genius, as well of the
nobler kinds, which arouse the best feelings of man, which call him into
action, which substantiate his freedom, and conduct him to happiness, as of
the subordinate, which serve to amuse him only. We therefore suppose, that
this reproach is as unjust as it is unkind; and that, of the geniuses which
adorn the present age, America contributes its full share. For comparing it
with those countries, where genius is most cultivated, where are the most
excellent models for art, and scaffoldings for the attainment of science, as
France and England for instance, we calculate thus. The United States
contain three millions of inhabitants; France twenty millions; and the
British islands ten. We produce a Washington, a Franklin, a Rittenhouse.
France then should have half a dozen in each of these lines, and
Great-Britain half that number, equally eminent. It may be true, that France
has: we are but just becoming acquainted with her, and our acquaintance so
far gives us high ideas of the genius of her inhabitants. It would be
injuring too many of them to name particularly a Voltaire, a Buffon, the
constellation of Encyclopedists, the Abbé Raynal himself, &c. &c. We
therefore have reason to believe she can produce her full quota of genius.
The present war having so long cut off all communication with Great-Britain,
we are not able to make a fair estimate of the state of science in that
country. The spirit in which she wages war is the only sample before our
eyes, and that does not seem the legitimate offspring either of science or
of civilization. The sun of her glory is fast descending to the horizon. Her
philosophy has crossed the Channel, her freedom the Atlantic, and herself
seems passing to that awful dissolution, whose issue is not given human
foresight to scan.
Note: In a later edition of the Abbé Raynal's work, he has withdrawn his
censure from that part of the new world inhabited by the Federo-Americans;
but has left it still on the other parts. North America has always been more
accessible to strangers than South. If he was mistaken then as to the
former, he may be so as to the latter. The glimmerings which reach us from
South America enable us only to see that its inhabitants are held under the
accumulated pressure of slavery, superstition, and ignorance. Whenever they
shall be able to rise under this weight, and to shew themselves to the rest
of the world, they will probably shew they are like the rest of the world.
We have not yet sufficient evidence that there are more lakes and fogs in
South America than in other parts of the earth. As little do we know what
would be their operation on the mind of man. That country has been visited
by Spaniards and Portugueze chiefly, and almost exclusively. These, going
from a country of the old world remarkably dry in its soil and climate,
fancied there were more lakes and fogs in South America than in Europe. An
inhabitant of Ireland, Sweden, or Finland, would have formed the contrary
opinion. Had South America then been discovered and seated by a people from
a fenny country, it would probably have been represented as much drier than
the old world. A patient pursuit of facts, and cautious combination and
comparison of them, is the drudgery to which man is subjected by his Maker,
if he wishes to attain sure knowledge.
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Having given a sketch of our minerals, vegetables, and quadrupeds, and
being led by a proud theory to make a comparison of the latter with those of
Europe, and to extend it to the Man of America, both aboriginal and
emigrant, I will proceed to the remaining articles comprehended under the
present query.

Between ninety and an hundred of our birds have been described by
Catesby. His drawings are better as to form and attitude, than colouring,
which is generally too high. They are the following.


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Besides these, we have
"column" 1
The Royston crow. Corvus cornio. Crane. Ardea Canadensis. House swallow.
Hirundo rustica. Ground swallow. Hirundo riparia. Greatest grey eagle.
Smaller turkey buzzard, with a feathered head. Greatest owl, or nighthawk.
Wethawk, which feeds flying. Raven. Water pelican of the Missisipi, whose
pouch holds a peck. Swan. Loon.
"column" 2
The Cormorant. Duck and Mallard. Widgeon. Sheldrach, or Canvas back. Black
head. Ballcoot. Sprigtail. Didapper, or Dopchick. Spoon billed duck.
Water-witch. Water-pheasant. Mow-bird. Blue peter. Water wagtail.
Yellow-legged snipe. Squatting snipe. Small plover. Whistling plover.
Woodcock. Red bird, with black head, wings and tail.

And doubtless many others which have not yet been described and classed.

To this catalogue of our indigenous animals, I will add a short account
of an anomaly of nature, taking place sometimes in the race of negroes
brought from Africa, who, though black themselves, have in rare instances,
white children, called Albinos. I have known four of these myself, and have
faithful accounts of three others. The circumstances in which all the
individuals agree are these. They are of a pallid cadaverous white, untinged
with red, without any coloured spots or seams; their hair of the same kind
of white, short, coarse, and curled as is that of the negro; all of them
well formed, strong, healthy, perfect in their senses, except that of sight,
and born of parents who had no mixture of white blood. Three of these
Albinos were sisters, having two other full sisters, who were black. The
youngest of the three was killed by lightning, at twelve years of age. The
eldest died at about 27 years of age, in child-bed, with her second child.
The middle one is now alive in health, and has issue, as the eldest
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had, by a black man, which issue was black. They are uncommonly shrewd,
quick in their apprehensions and in reply. Their eyes are in a perpetual
tremulous vibration, very weak, and much affected by the sun: but they see
better in the night than we do. They are of the property of Col. Skipwith,
of Cumberland. The fourth is a negro woman, whose parents came from Guinea,
and had three other children, who were of their own colour. She is freckled,
her eye-sight so weak that she is obliged to wear a bonnet in the summer;
but it is better in the night than day. She had an Albino child by a black
man. It died at the age of a few weeks. These were the property of Col.
Carter, of Albemarle. A sixth instance is a woman of the property of a Mr.
Butler, near Petersburgh. She is stout and robust, has issue a daughter, jet
black, by a black man. I am not informed as to her eye sight. The seventh
instance is of a male belonging to a Mr. Lee, of Cumberland. His eyes are
tremulous and weak. He is tall of stature, and now advanced in years. He is
the only male of the Albinos which have come within my information. Whatever
be the cause of the disease in the skin, or in its colouring matter, which
produces this change, it seems more incident to the female than male seo. To
these I may add the mention of a negro man within my own knowledge, born
black, and of black parents; on whose chin, when a boy, a white spot
appeared. This continued to increase till he became a man, by which time it
had extended over his chin, lips, one cheek, the under jaw and neck on that
side. It is of the Albino white, without any mixture of red, and has for
several years been stationary. He is robust and healthy, and the change of
colour was not accompanied with any sensible disease, either general or

Of our fish and insects there has been nothing like a full description or
collection. More of them are described in Catesby than in any other work.
Many also are to be found in Sir Hans Sloane's Jamaica, as being common to
that and this country. The honey-bee is not a native of our continent.
Marcgrave indeed mentions a species of honey-bee in Brasil. But this has no
sting, and is therefore different from the one we have, which resembles
perfectly that of Europe. The Indians concur with us in the tradition that
it was brought from
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Europe; but when, and by whom, we know not. The bees have generally extended
themselves into the country, a little in advance of the white settlers. The
Indians therefore call them the white man's fly, and consider their approach
as indicating the approach of the settlements of the whites. A question here
occurs, How far northwardly have these insects been found? That they are
unknown in Lapland, infer from Scheffer's information, that the Laplanders
eat the pine bark, prepared in a certain way, instead of those things
sweetened with sugar. `Hoc comedunt pro rebus saccharo conditis.' Scheff.
Lapp. c. 18. Certainly, if they had honey, it would be a better substitute
for sugar than any preparation of the pine bark. Kalm tells us the honey bee
I. 126.

cannot live through the winter in Canada. They furnish then an additional
proof of the remarkable fact first observed by the Count de Buffon, and
which has thrown such a blaze of light on the field of natural history, that
no animals are found in both continents, but those which are able to bear
the cold of those regions where they probably join.

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A notice of all what can increase the progress of human knowledge?

Under the latitude of this query, I will presume it not improper nor
unacceptable to furnish some data for estimating the climate of Virginia.
Journals of observations on the quantity of rain, and degree of heat, being
lengthy, confused, and too minute to produce general and distinct ideas, I
have taken five years observations, to wit, from 1772 to 1777, made in
Williamsburgh and its neighbourhood, have reduced them to an average for
every month in the year, and stated those averages in the following table,
adding an analytical view of the winds during the same period.

The rains of every month, (as of January for instance) through the whole
period of years, were added separately, and an average drawn from them. The
coolest and warmest point of the same day in each year of the period were
added separately, and an average of the greatest cold and greatest heat of
that day, was formed. From the averages of every day in the month, a general
average for the whole month was formed. The point from which the wind blew
was observed two or three times in every day. These observations, in the
month of January for instance, through the whole period amounted to 337. At
73 of these, the wind was from the North; at 47, from the North-east, &c. So
that it will be easy to see in what proportion each wind usually prevails in
each month: or, taking the whole year, the total of observations through the
whole period having been 3698, it will be observed that 611 of them were
from the North, 558 from the North-east, &c.

Though by this table it appears we have on an average 47 inches of rain
annually, which is considerably more than usually falls in Europe, yet from
the information I have collected, I suppose we have a much greater
proportion of sunshine here than there. Perhaps it will be found there are
twice as many cloudy days in the middle parts of Europe, as in the United
States of America. I mention the middle parts of Europe, because my
information does not extend to its northern or southern parts.


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In an extensive country, it will of course be expected that the climate
is not the same in all its parts. It is remarkable that, proceeding on the
same parallel of latitude westwardly, the climate becomes colder in like
manner as when you proceed northwardly. This continues to be the case till
you attain the summit of the Alleghaney, which is the highest land between
the ocean and the Missisipi. From thence, descending in the same latitude to
the Missisipi, the change reverses; and, if we may believe travellers, it
becomes warmer there than it is in the same latitude on the sea side. Their
testimony is strengthened by the vegetables and animals which subsist and
multiply there naturally, and do not on our sea coast. Thus Catalpas grow
spontaneously on the Missisipi, as far as the latitude of 37o. and reeds as
far as 38o. Perroquets even winter on the Sioto, in the 39th degree of
latitude. In the summer of 1779, when the thermometer was at 90o. at
Monticello, and 96 at Williamsburgh, it was 110o. at Kaskaskia. Perhaps the
mountain, which overhangs this village on the North side, may, by its
reflexion, have contributed somewhat to produce this heat. The difference of
temperature of the air at the sea coast, or on Chesapeak bay, and at the
Alleghaney, has not been ascertained; but cotemporary observations, made at
Williamsburgh, or in its neighbourhood, and at Monticello, which is on the
most eastern ridge of mountains, called the South West, where they are
intersected by the Rivanna, have furnished a ratio by which that difference
may in some degree be conjectured. These observations make the difference
between Williamsburgh and the nearest mountains, at the position before
mentioned, to be on an average 6 1/8 degrees of Farenheit's thermometer.
Some allowance however is to be made for the difference of latitude between
these two places, the latter being 38o.8'.17". which is 52'.22". North of
the former. By cotemporary observations of between five and six weeks, the
averaged and almost unvaried difference of the height of mercury in the
barometer, at those two places, was .784 of an inch, the atmosphere at
Monticello being so much the lightest, that is to say, about 1/37 of its
whole weight. It should be observed, however, that the hill of Monticello is
of 500 feet perpendicular height above the river which washes its base. This
position being nearly central between our northern
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and southern boundaries, and between the bay and Alleghaney, may be
considered as furnishing the best average of the temperature of our climate.
Williamsburgh is much too near the South-eastern corner to give a fair idea
of our general temperature.

But a more remarkable difference is in the winds which prevail in the
different parts of the country. The following table exhibits a comparative
view of the winds prevailing at Williamsburgh, and at Monticello. It is
formed by reducing nine months observations at Monticello to four principal
points, to wit, the North-east, South-east, South-west, and North-west;
these points being perpendicular to, or parallel with our coast, mountains
and rivers: and by reducing, in like manner, an equal number of
observations, to wit, 421. from the preceding table of winds at
Williamsburgh, taking them proportionably from every point. N.E. S.E. S.W.
N.W. Total. Williamsburgh 127 61 132 101 421 Monticello 32 91 126 172 421

By this it may be seen that the South-west wind prevails equally at both
places; that the North-east is, next to this, the principal wind towards the
sea coast, and the North-west is the predominant wind at the mountains. The
difference between these two winds to sensation, and in fact, is very great.
The North-east is loaded with vapour, insomuch, that the salt makers have
found that their crystals would not shoot while that blows; it brings a
distressing chill, is heavy and oppressive to the spirits: the North-west is
dry, cooling, elastic and animating. The Eastern and South-eastern breezes
come on generally in the afternoon. They have advanced into the country very
sensibly within the memory of people now living. They formerly did not
penetrate far above Williamsburgh. They are now frequent at Richmond, and
every now and then reach the mountains. They deposit most of their moisture
however before they get that far. As the lands become more cleared, it is
probable they will extend still further westward.

Going out into the open air, in the temperate, and in the
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warm months of the year, we often meet with bodies of warm air, which,
passing by us in two or three seconds, do not afford time to the most
sensible thermometer to seize their temperature. Judging from my feelings
only, I think they approach the ordinary heat of the human body. Some of
them perhaps go a little beyond it. They are of about 20 or 30 feet diameter
horizontally. Of their height we have no experience; but probably they are
globular volumes wafted or rolled along with the wind. But whence taken,
where found, or how generated? They are not to be ascribed to Volcanos,
because we have none. They do not happen in the winter when the farmers
kindle large fires in clearing up their grounds. They are not confined to
the spring season, when we have fires which traverse whole counties,
consuming the leaves which have fallen from the trees. And they are too
frequent and general to be ascribed to accidental fires. I am persuaded
their cause must be sought for in the atmosphere itself, to aid us in which
I know but of these constant circumstances; a dry air; a temperature as warm
at least as that of the spring or autumn; and a moderate current of wind.
They are most frequent about sun-set; rare in the middle parts of the day;
and do not recollect having ever met with them in the morning.

The variation in the weight of our atmosphere, as indicated by the
barometer, is not equal to two inches of mercury. During twelve months
observation at Williamsburgh, the extremes were 29, and 30.86 inches, the
difference being 1.86 of an inch: and in nine months, during which the
height of the mercury was noted at Monticello, the extremes were 28.48 and
29.69 inches, the variation being 1.21 of an inch. A gentleman, who has
observed his barometer many years, assures me it has never varied two
inches. Cotemporary observations, made at Monticello and Williamsburgh,
proved the variations in the weight of air to be simultaneous and
corresponding in these two places.

Our changes from heat to cold, and cold to heat, are very sudden and
great. The mercury in Farenheit's thermometer has been known to descend from
92o. to 47o. in thirteen hours.

It is taken for granted, that the preceding table of averaged
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Page 205

heat will not give a false idea on this subject, as it proposes to state
only the ordinary heat and cold of each month, and not those which are
extraordinary. At Williamsburgh in August 1766, the mercury in Farenheit's
thermometer was at 98o. corresponding with 29 1/3 of Reaumur. At the same
place in January 1780, it was at 6o. corresponding with 11 1/2 below 0. of
Reaumur. I believe
Note: At Paris, in 1753, the mercury in Reaumur's thermometer was at 30 1/2
above 0, and in 1776, it was at 16 below 0. The extremities of heat and cold
therefore at Paris, are greater than at Williamsburgh, which is in the
hottest part of Virginia. these may be considered to be nearly the extremes
of heat and cold in that part of the country. The latter may most certainly,
as, at that time, York river, at York town, was frozen over, so that people
walked across it; a circumstance which proves it to have been colder than
the winter of 1740, 1741, usually called the cold winter, when York river
did not freeze over at that place. In the same season of 1780, Chesapeak bay
was solid, from its head to the mouth of Patowmac. At Annapolis, where it is
5 1/4 miles over between the nearest points of land, the ice was from 5 to 7
inches thick quite across, so that loaded carriages went over on it. Those,
our extremes of heat and cold, of 6o. and 98o. were indeed very distressing
to us, and were thought to put the extent of the human constitution to
considerable trial. Yet a Siberian would have considered them as scarcely a
sensible variation. At Jenniseitz in that country, in latitude 58o. we are
told, that the cold in 1735 sunk the mercury by Farenheit's scale to 126o.
below nothing; and the inhabitants of the same country use stove rooms two
or three times a week, in which they stay two hours at a time, the
atmosphere of which raises the mercury to 135o. above nothing. Late
experiments shew that the human body will exist in rooms heated to 140o. of
Reaumur, equal to 347o. of Farenheit, and 135o. above boiling water. The
hottest point of the 24 hours is about four o'clock, P. M. and the dawn of
day the coldest.

The access of frost in autumn, and its recess in the spring, do not seem
to depend merely on the degree of cold; much less on the air's being at the
freezing point. White frosts are frequent when the thermometer is at 47o.
have killed young plants of Indian corn at 48o. and have been known at 54o.
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Black frost, and even ice, have been produced at 38 1/2o. which is 6 1/2
degrees above the freezing point. That other circumstances must be combined
with the cold to produce frost, is evident from this also, that on the
higher parts of mountains, where it is absolutely colder than in the plains
on which they stand, frosts do not appear so early by a considerable space
of time in autumn, and go off sooner in the spring, than in the plains. have
known frosts so severe as to kill the hiccory trees round about Monticello,
and yet not injure the tender fruit blossoms then in bloom on the top and
higher parts of the mountain; and in the course of 40 years, during which it
has been settled, there have been but two instances of a general loss of
fruit on it: while, in the circumjacent country, the fruit has escaped but
twice in the last seven years. The plants of tobacco, which grow from the
roots of those which have been cut off in the summer, are frequently green
here at Christmas. This privilege against the frost is undoubtedly combined
with the want of dew on the mountains. That the dew is very rare on their
higher parts, may say with certainty, from 12 years observations, having
scarcely ever, during that time, seen an unequivocal proof of its existence
on them at all during summer. Severe frosts in the depth of winter prove
that the region of dews extends higher in that season than the tops of the
mountains: but certainly, in the summer season, the vapours, by the time
they attain that height, are become so attenuated as not to subside and form
a dew when the sun retires.

The weavil has not yet ascended the high mountains.

A more satisfactory estimate of our climate to some, may perhaps be
formed, by noting the plants which grow here, subject however to be killed
by our severest colds. These are the fig, pomegranate, artichoke, and
European walnut. In mild winters, lettuce and endive require no shelter; but
generally they need a slight covering. I do not know that the want of long
moss, reed, myrtle, swamp laurel, holly and cypress, in the upper country,
proceeds from a greater degree of cold, nor that they were ever killed with
any degree of cold in the lower country. The aloe lived in Williamsburgh in
the open air through the severe winter of 1779, 1780.

A change in our climate however is taking place very sensibly.
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Page 207

Both heats and colds are become much more moderate within the memory even of
the middle-aged. Snows are less frequent and less deep. They do not often
lie, below the mountains, more than one, two, or three days, and very rarely
a week. They are remembered to have been formerly frequent, deep, and of
long continuance. The elderly inform me the earth used to be covered with
snow about three months in every year. The rivers, which then seldom failed
to freeze over in the course of the winter, scarcely ever do so now. This
change has produced an unfortunate fluctuation between heat and cold, in the
spring of the year, which is very fatal to fruits. From the year 1741 to
1769, an interval of twenty-eight years, there was no instance of fruit
killed by the frost in the neighbourhood of Monticello. An intense cold,
produced by constant snows, kept the buds locked up till the sun could
obtain, in the spring of the year, so fixed an ascendency as to dissolve
those snows, and protect the buds, during their developement, from every
danger of returning cold. The accumulated snows of the winter remaining to
be dissolved all together in the spring, produced those overflowings of our
rivers, so frequent then, and so rare now.

Having had occasion to mention the particular situation of Monticello for
other purposes, I will just take notice that its elevation affords an
opportunity of seeing a phaenomenon which is rare at land, though frequent
at sea. The seamen call it looming. Philosophy is as yet in the rear of the
seamen, for so far from having accounted for it, she has not given it a
name. Its principal effect is to make distant objects appear larger, in
opposition to the general law of vision, by which they are diminished. I
knew an instance, at York town, from whence the water prospect eastwardly is
without termination, wherein a canoe with three men, at a great distance,
was taken for a ship with its three masts. I am little acquainted with the
phaenomenon as it shews itself at sea; but at Monticello it is familiar.
There is a solitary mountain about 40 miles off, in the South, whose natural
shape, as presented to view there, is a regular cone; but, by the effect of
looming, it sometimes subsides almost totally into the horizon; sometimes it
rises more acute and more elevated; sometimes it is hemispherical; and
sometimes its sides are perpendicular, its top
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Page 208

flat, and as broad as its base. In short it assumes at times the most
whimsical shapes, and all these perhaps successively in the same morning.
The Blue ridge of mountains comes into view, in the North East, at about 100
miles distance, and, approaching in a direct line, passes by within 20
miles, and goes off to the South-west. This phaenomenon begins to shew
itself on these mountains, at about 50 miles distance, and continues beyond
that as far as they are seen. I remark no particular state, either in the
weight, moisture, or heat of the atmosphere, necessary to produce this. The
only constant circumstances are, its appearance in the morning only, and on
objects at least 40 or 50 miles distant. In this latter circumstance, if not
in both, it differs from the looming on the water. Refraction will not
account for this metamorphosis. That only changes the proportions of length
and breadth, base and altitude, preserving the general outlines. Thus it may
make a circle appear elliptical, raise or depress a cone, but by none of its
laws, as yet developed, will it make a circle appear a square, or a cone a

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Page 209

The number of its inhabitants?

The following table shews the number of persons imported for the
establishment of our colony in its infant state, and the census of
inhabitants at different periods, extracted from our historians and public
records, as particularly as I have had opportunities and leisure to examine
them. Successive lines in the same year shew successive periods of time in
that year. I have stated the census in two different columns, the whole
inhabitants having been sometimes numbered, and sometimes the tythes only.
This term, with us, includes the free males above 16 years of age, and
slaves above that age of both sexes. A further examination of our records
would render this history of our population much more satisfactory and
perfect, by furnishing a greater number of intermediate terms. Those however
which are here stated will enable us to calculate, with a considerable
degree of precision, the rate at which we have increased. During the infancy
of the colony, while numbers were small, wars, importations, and other
accidental circumstances render the progression fluctuating and irregular.
By the year 1654, however, it becomes tolerably uniform, importations having
in a great measure ceased from the dissolution of the company, and the
inhabitants become too numerous to be sensibly affected by Indian wars.
Beginning at that period, therefore, we find that from thence to the year
1772, our tythes had increased from 7209 to 153,000. The whole term being of
118 years, yields a duplication once in every 27 1/4 years. The intermediate
enumerations taken in 1700, 1748, and 1759, furnish proofs of the uniformity
of this progression. Should this rate of increase continue, we shall have
between six and seven millions of inhabitants within 95 years. If we suppose
our country to be bounded, at some future day, by the meridian of the mouth
of the Great Kanhaway, (within which it has been before conjectured, are
64,491 square miles) there will then be 100 inhabitants for every square
mile, which is nearly the state of population in the British islands.


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Page 210

Here I will beg leave to propose a doubt. The present desire of America
is to produce rapid population by as great importations of foreigners as
possible. But is this founded in good policy? The advantage proposed is the
multiplication of numbers. Now let us suppose (for example only) that, in
this state, we could double our numbers in one year by the importation of
foreigners; and this is a greater accession than the most sanguine advocate
for emigration has a right to expect. Then I say, beginning with a double
stock, we shall attain any given degree of population only 27 years and 3
months sooner than if we proceed on our single stock. If we propose four
millions and a half as a competent population for this state, we should be
54 1/2 years attaining it, could we at once double our numbers; and 81 3/4
years, if we rely on natural propagation, as may be seen by the following

In the first column are stated periods of 27 1/4 years; in the second are
our numbers, at each period, as they will be if we proceed on our actual
stock; and in the third are what they
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Page 211

would be, at the same periods, were we to set out from the double of our
present stock. Proceeding on Proceeding on our present stock. a double
stock. 1781 567,614 1,135,228 1808 1/4 1,135,228 2,270,456 1835 1/2
2,270,456 4,540,912 1862 3/4 4,540,912

I have taken the term of four millions and a half of inhabitants for
example's sake only. Yet I am persuaded it is a greater number than the
country spoken of, considering how much inarrable land it contains, can
clothe and feed, without a material change in the quality of their diet. But
are there no inconveniences to be thrown into the scale against the
advantage expected from a multiplication of numbers by the importation of
foreigners? It is for the happiness of those united in society to harmonize
as much as possible in matters which they must of necessity transact
together. Civil government being the sole object of forming societies, its
administration must be conducted by common consent. Every species of
government has its specific principles. Ours perhaps are more peculiar than
those of any other in the universe. It is a composition of the freest
principles of the English constitution, with others derived from natural
right and natural reason. To these nothing can be more opposed than the
maxims of absolute monarchies. Yet, from such, we are to expect the greatest
number of emigrants. They will bring with them the principles of the
governments they leave, imbibed in their early youth; or, if able to throw
them off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licentiousness, passing,
as is usual, from one extreme to another. It would be a miracle were they to
stop precisely at the point of temperate liberty. These principles, with
their language, they will transmit to their children. In proportion to their
numbers, they will share with us the legislation. They will infuse into it
their spirit, warp and bias its direction, and render it a heterogeneous,
incoherent, distracted mass. I may appeal to experience, during the present
contest, for a verification of these conjectures. But, if they be not
certain in event, are they not
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Page 212

possible, are they not probable? Is it not safer to wait with patience 27
years and three months longer, for the attainment of any degree of
population desired, or expected? May not our government be more homogeneous,
more peaceable, more durable? Suppose 20 millions of republican Americans
thrown all of a sudden into France, what would be the condition of that
kingdom? If it would be more turbulent, less happy, less strong, we may
believe that the addition of half a million of foreigners to our present
numbers would produce a similar effect here. If they come of themselves,
they are entitled to all the rights of citizenship: but I doubt the
expediency of inviting them by extraordinary encouragements. I mean not that
these doubts should be extended to the importation of useful artificers. The
policy of that measure depends on very different considerations. Spare no
expence in obtaining them. They will after a while go to the plough and the
hoe; but, in the mean time, they will teach us something we do not know. It
is not so in agriculture. The indifferent state of that among us does not
proceed from a want of knowledge merely; it is from our having such
quantities of land to waste as we please. In Europe the object is to make
the most of their land, labour being abundant: here it is to make the most
of our labour, land being abundant.

It will be proper to explain how the numbers for the year 1782 have been
obtained; as it was not from a perfect census of the inhabitants. It will at
the same time develope the proportion between the free inhabitants and
slaves. The following return of taxable articles for that year was given in.
53,289 free males above 21 years of age. 211,698 slaves of all ages and
sexes. 23,766 not distinguished in the returns, but said to be titheable
slaves. 195,439 horses. 609,734 cattle. 5,126 wheels of riding-carriages.
191 taverns.

There were no returns from the 8 counties of Lincoln, Jefferson, Fayette,
Monongalia, Yohogania, Ohio, Northampton, and York. To find the number of
slaves which should
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Page 213

have been returned instead of the 23,766 titheables, we must mention that
some observations on a former census had given reason to believe that the
numbers above and below 16 years of age were equal. The double of this
number, therefore, to wit, 47,532 must be added to 211,698, which will give
us 259,230 slaves of all ages and sexes. To find the number of free
inhabitants, we must repeat the observation, that those above and below 16
are nearly equal. But as the number 53,289 omits the males between 16 and
21, we must supply them from conjecture. On a former experiment it had
appeared that about one-third of our militia, that is, of the males between
16 and 50, were unmarried. Knowing how early marriage takes place here, we
shall not be far wrong in supposing that the unmarried part of our militia
are those between 16 and 21. If there be young men who do not marry till
after 21, there are as many who marry before that age. But as the men above
50 were not included in the militia, we will suppose the unmarried, or those
between 16 and 21, to be one-fourth of the whole number above 16, then we
have the following calculation: 53,289 free males above 21 years of age.
17,763 free males between 16 and 21. 71,052 free males under 16. 142,104
free females of all ages. -- -- -- -284,208 free inhabitants of all ages.
259,230 slaves of all ages. -- -- -- -543,438 inhabitants, exclusive of the
8 counties from which were no returns. In these 8 counties in the years 1779
and 1780 were 3,161 militia. Say then, 3,161 free males above the age of 16.
3,161 ditto under 16. 6,322 free females. -- -- -- 12,644 free inhabitants
in these 8 counties. To find the number of slaves, say, as 284,208 to
259,230, so is 12,644 to 11,532. Adding the third of these numbers to the
first, and the fourth to the second, we have, 296,852 free inhabitants.
270,762 slaves. -- -- -- -567,614 inhabitants of every age, sex, and
condition. But
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Page 214

296,852, the number of free inhabitants, are to 270,762, the number of
slaves, nearly as 11 to 10. Under the mild treatment our slaves experience,
and their wholesome, though coarse, food, this blot in our country increases
as fast, or faster, than the whites. During the regal government, we had at
one time obtained a law, which imposed such a duty on the importation of
slaves, as amounted nearly to a prohibition, when one inconsiderate
assembly, placed under a peculiarity of circumstance, repealed the law. This
repeal met a joyful sanction from the then sovereign, and no devices, no
expedients, which could ever after be attempted by subsequent assemblies,
and they seldom met without attempting them, could succeed in getting the
royal assent to a renewal of the duty. In the very first session held under
the republican government, the assembly passed a law for the perpetual
prohibition of the importation of slaves. This will in some measure stop the
increase of this great political and moral evil, while the minds of our
citizens may be ripening for a complete emancipation of human nature.


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Page 215

"Military force"
The number and condition of the militia and regular troops, and their pay?

The following is a state of the militia, taken from returns of 1780 and
1781, except in those counties marked with an asterisk, the returns from
which are somewhat older.
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Page 216

Every able-bodied freeman, between the ages of 16 and 50, is enrolled in
the militia. Those of every county are formed into companies, and these
again into one or more battalions, according to the numbers in the county.
They are commanded by colonels, and other subordinate officers, as in the
regular service. In every county is a county-lieutenant, who commands the
whole militia of his county, but ranks only as a colonel in the field. We
have no general officers always existing. These are appointed occasionally,
when an invasion or insurrection happens, and their commission determines
with the occasion. The governor is head of the military, as well as civil
power. The law requires every militia-man to provide himself with the arms
usual in the regular service. But this injunction was always indifferently
complied with, and the arms they had have been so frequently called for to
arm the regulars, that in the lower parts of the country they are entirely
disarmed. In the middle country a fourth or fifth part of them may have such
firelocks as they had provided to destroy the noxious animals which infest
their farms; and on the western side of the Blue ridge they are generally
armed with rifles. The pay of our militia, as well as of our regulars, is
that of the Continental regulars. The condition of our regulars, of whom we
have none but Continentals, and part of a battalion of state troops, is so
constantly on the change, that a state of it at this day would not be its
state a month hence. It is much the same with the condition of the other
Continental troops, which is well enough known.

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Page 217

"Marine force"
The marine?

Before the present invasion of this state by the British under the
command of General Phillips, we had three vessels of 16 guns, one of 14,
five small gallies, and two or three armed boats. They were generally so
badly manned as seldom to be in condition for service. Since the perfect
possession of our rivers assumed by the enemy, believe we are left with a
single armed boat only.


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Page 218

A description of the Indians established in that state?

When the first effectual settlement of our colony was made, which was in
1607, the country from the sea-coast to the mountains, and from Patowmac to
the most southern waters


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Page 219

of James river, was occupied by upwards of forty different tribes of
Indians. Of these the Powhatans, the Mannahoacs, and Monacans, were the most
powerful. Those between the sea-coast and falls of the rivers, were in amity
with one another, and attached to the Powhatans as their link of union.
Those between the falls of the rivers and the mountains, were divided into
two confederacies; the tribes inhabiting the head waters of Patowmac and
Rappahanoc being attached to the
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Page 220

Mannahoacs; and those on the upper parts of James river to the Monacans. But
the Monacans and their friends were in amity with the Mannahoacs and their
friends, and waged joint and perpetual war against the Powhatans. We are
told that the Powhatans, Mannahoacs, and Monacans, spoke languages so
radically different, that interpreters were necessary when they transacted
business. Hence we may conjecture, that this was not the case between all
the tribes, and probably that each spoke the language of the nation to which
it was attached; which we know to have been the case in many particular
instances. Very possibly there may have been antiently three different
stocks, each of which multiplying in a long course of time, had separated
into so many little societies. This practice results from the circumstance
of their having never submitted themselves to any laws, any coercive power,
any shadow of government. Their only controuls are their manners, and that
moral sense of right and wrong, which, like the sense of tasting and
feeling, in every man makes a part of his nature. An offence against these
is punished by contempt, by exclusion from society, or, where the case is
serious, as that of murder, by the individuals whom it concerns. Imperfect
as this species of coercion may seem, crimes are very rare among them:
insomuch that were it made a question, whether no law, as among the savage
Americans, or too much law, as among the civilized Europeans, submits man to
the greatest evil, one who has seen both conditions of existence would
pronounce it to be the last: and that the sheep are happier of themselves,
than under care of the wolves. It will be said, that great societies cannot
exist without government. The Savages therefore break them into small ones.

(Tables on pages 218 and 219 omitted)

The territories of the Powhatan confederacy, south of the Patowmac,
comprehended about 8000 square miles, 30 tribes, and 2400 warriors. Capt.
Smith tells us, that within 60 miles of James town were 5000 people, of whom
1500 were warriors. From this we find the proportion of their warriors to
their whole inhabitants, was as 3 to 10. The Powhatan confederacy then would
consist of about 8000 inhabitants, which was one for every square mile;
being about the twentieth part of our present population in the same
territory, and the hundredth of that of the British islands.
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Page 221

Besides these, were the Nottoways, living on Nottoway river, the
Meherrins and Tuteloes on Meherrin river, who were connected with the
Indians of Carolina, probably with the Chowanocs.

The preceding table contains a state of these several tribes, according
to their confederacies and geographical situation, with their numbers when
we first became acquainted with them, where these numbers are known. The
numbers of some of them are again stated as they were in the year 1669, when
an attempt was made by the assembly to enumerate them. Probably the
enumeration is imperfect, and in some measure conjectural, and that a
further search into the records would furnish many more particulars. What
would be the melancholy sequel of their history, may however be augured from
the census of 1669; by which we discover that the tribes therein enumerated
were, in the space of 62 years, reduced to about one-third of their former
numbers. Spirituous liquors, the small-pox, war, and an abridgment of
territory, to a people who lived principally on the spontaneous productions
of nature, had committed terrible havock among them, which generation, under
the obstacles opposed to it among them, was not likely to make good. That
the lands of this country were taken from them by conquest, is not so
general a truth as is supposed. I find in our historians and records,
repeated proofs of purchase, which cover a considerable part of the lower
country; and many more would doubtless be found on further search. The upper
country we know has been acquired altogether by purchases made in the most
unexceptionable form.

Westward of all these tribes, beyond the mountains, and extending to the
great lakes, were the Massawomecs, a most powerful confederacy, who
harrassed unremittingly the Powhatans and Manahoacs. These were probably the
ancestors of the tribes known at present by the name of the Six Nations.

Very little can now be discovered of the subsequent history of these
tribes severally. The Chickahominies removed, about the year 1661, to
Mattapony river. Their chief, with one from each of the tribes of the
Pamunkies and Mattaponies, attended the treaty of Albany in 1685. This seems
to have been the last chapter in their history. They retained however their
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Page 222

separate name so late as 1705, and were at length blended with the Pamunkies
and Mattaponies, and exist at present only under their names. There remain
of the Mattaponies three or four men only, and they have more negro than
Indian blood in them. They have lost their language, have reduced
themselves, by voluntary sales, to about fifty acres of land, which lie on
the river of their own name, and have, from time to time, been joining the
Pamunkies, from whom they are distant but 10 miles. The Pamunkies are
reduced to about 10 or 12 men, tolerably pure from mixture with other
colours. The older ones among them preserve their language in a small
degree, which are the last vestiges on earth, as far as we know, of the
Powhatan language. They have about 300 acres of very fertile land, on
Pamunkey river, so encompassed by water that a gate shuts in the whole. Of
the Nottoways, not a male is left. A few women constitute the remains of
that tribe. They are seated on Nottoway river, in Southampton county, on
very fertile lands. At a very early period, certain lands were marked out
and appropriated to these tribes, and were kept from encroachment by the
authority of the laws. They have usually had trustees appointed, whose duty
was to watch over their interests, and guard them from insult and injury.

The Monacans and their friends, better known latterly by the name of
Tuscaroras, were probably connected with the Massawomecs, or Five Nations.
For though we are
Note: Smith. told their languages were so different that the intervention of
interpreters was necessary between them, yet do we also
Note: Evans. learn that the Erigas, a nation formerly inhabiting on the
Ohio, were of the same original stock with the Five Nations, and that they
partook also of the Tuscarora language. Their dialects might, by long
separation, have become so unlike as to be unintelligible to one another. We
know that in 1712, the Five Nations received the Tuscaroras into their
confederacy, and made them the Sixth Nation. They received the Meherrins and
Tuteloes also into their protection: and it is most probable, that the
remains of many other of the tribes, of whom we find no particular account,
retired westwardly in
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Page 223

like manner, and were incorporated with one or other of the western tribes.

I know of no such thing existing as an Indian monument: for would not
honour with that name arrow points, stone hatchets, stone pipes, and
half-shapen images. Of labour on the large scale, I think there is no remain
as respectable as would be a common ditch for the draining of lands: unless
indeed it be the Barrows, of which many are to be found all over this
country. These are of different sizes, some of them constructed of earth,
and some of loose stones. That they were repositories of the dead, has been
obvious to all: but on what particular occasion constructed, was matter of
doubt. Some have thought they covered the bones of those who have fallen in
battles fought on the spot of interment. Some ascribed them to the custom,
said to prevail among the Indians, of collecting, at certain periods, the
bones of all their dead, wheresoever deposited at the time of death. Others
again supposed them the general sepulchres for towns, conjectured to have
been on or near these grounds; and this opinion was supported by the quality
of the lands in which they are found, (those constructed of earth being
generally in the softest and most fertile meadow-grounds on river sides) and
by a tradition, said to be handed down from the Aboriginal Indians, that,
when they settled in a town, the first person who died was placed erect, and
earth put about him, so as to cover and support him; that, when another
died, a narrow passage was dug to the first, the second reclined against
him, and the cover of earth replaced, and so on. There being one of these in
my neighbourhood, I wished to satisfy myself whether any, and which of these
opinions were just. For this purpose determined to open and examine it
thoroughly. It was situated on the low grounds of the Rivanna, about two
miles above its principal fork, and opposite to some hills, on which had
been an Indian town. It was of a spheroidical form, of about 40 feet
diameter at the base, and had been of about twelve feet altitude, though now
reduced by the plough to seven and a half, having been under cultivation
about a dozen years. Before this it was covered with trees of twelve inches
diameter, and round the base was an excavation of five feet
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depth and width, from whence the earth had been taken of which the hillock
was formed. first dug superficially in several parts of it, and came to
collections of human bones, at different depths, from six inches to three
feet below the surface. These were lying in the utmost confusion, some
vertical, some oblique, some horizontal, and directed to every point of the
compass, entangled, and held together in clusters by the earth. Bones of the
most distant parts were found together, as, for instance, the small bones of
the foot in the hollow of a scull, many sculls would sometimes be in
contact, lying on the face, on the side, on the back, top or bottom, so as,
on the whole, to give the idea of bones emptied promiscuously from a bag or
basket, and covered over with earth, without any attention to their order.
The bones of which the greatest numbers remained, were sculls, jaw-bones,
teeth, the bones of the arms, thighs, legs, feet, and hands. A few ribs
remained, some vertebrae of the neck and spine, without their processes, and
one instance only of the
Note: The os sacrum. bone which serves as a base to the vertebral column.
The sculls were so tender, that they generally fell to pieces on being
touched. The other bones were stronger. There were some teeth which were
judged to be smaller than those of an adult; a scull, which, on a slight
view, appeared to be that of an infant, but it fell to pieces on being taken
out, so as to prevent satisfactory examination; a rib, and a fragment of the
under-jaw of a person about half grown; another rib of an infant; and part
of the jaw of a child, which had not yet cut its teeth. This last furnishing
the most decisive proof of the burial of children here, I was particular in
my attention to it. It was part of the right-half of the under-jaw. The
processes, by which it was articulated to the temporal bones, were entire;
and the bone itself firm to where it had been broken off, which, as nearly
as I could judge, was about the place of the eye-tooth. Its upper edge,
wherein would have been the sockets of the teeth, was perfectly smooth.
Measuring it with that of an adult, by placing their hinder processes
together, its broken end extended to the penultimate grinder of the adult.
This bone was white, all the others of a sand colour. The bones of
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infants being soft, they probably decay sooner, which might be the cause so
few were found here. I proceeded then to make a perpendicular cut through
the body of the barrow, that I might examine its internal structure. This
passed about three feet from its center, was opened to the former surface of
the earth, and was wide enough for a man to walk through and examine its
sides. At the bottom, that is, on the level of the circumjacent plain, I
found bones; above these a few stones, brought from a cliff a quarter of a
mile off, and from the river one-eighth of a mile off; then a large interval
of earth, then a stratum of bones, and so on. At one end of the section were
four strata of bones plainly distinguishable; at the other, three; the
strata in one part not ranging with those in another. The bones nearest the
surface were least decayed. No holes were discovered in any of them, as if
made with bullets, arrows, or other weapons. I conjectured that in this
barrow might have been a thousand skeletons. Every one will readily seize
the circumstances above related, which militate against the opinion, that it
covered the bones only of persons fallen in battle; and against the
tradition also, which would make it the common sepulchre of a town, in which
the bodies were placed upright, and touching each other. Appearances
certainly indicate that it has derived both origin and growth from the
accustomary collection of bones, and deposition of them together; that the
first collection had been deposited on the common surface of the earth, a
few stones put over it, and then a covering of earth, that the second had
been laid on this, had covered more or less of it in proportion to the
number of bones, and was then also covered with earth; and so on. The
following are the particular circumstances which give it this aspect. 1. The
number of bones. 2. Their confused position. 3. Their being in different
strata. 4. The strata in one part having no correspondence with those in
another. 5. The different states of decay in these strata, which seem to
indicate a difference in the time of inhumation. 6. The existence of infant
bones among them.

But on whatever occasion they may have been made, they are of
considerable notoriety among the Indians: for a party passing, about thirty
years ago, through the part of the
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country where this barrow is, went through the woods directly to it, without
any instructions or enquiry, and having staid about it some time, with
expressions which were construed to be those of sorrow, they returned to the
high road, which they had left about half a dozen miles to pay this visit,
and pursued their journey. There is another barrow, much resembling this in
the low grounds of the South branch of Shenandoah, where it is crossed by
the road leading from the Rock-fish gap to Staunton. Both of these have,
within these dozen years, been cleared of their trees and put under
cultivation, are much reduced in their height, and spread in width, by the
plough, and will probably disappear in time. There is another on a hill in
the Blue ridge of mountains, a few miles North of Wood's gap, which is made
up of small stones thrown together. This has been opened and found to
contain human bones, as the others do. There are also many others in other
parts of the country.

Great question has arisen from whence came those aboriginal inhabitants
of America? Discoveries, long ago made, were sufficient to shew that a
passage from Europe to America was always practicable, even to the imperfect
navigation of ancient times. In going from Norway to Iceland, from Iceland
to Groenland, from Groenland to Labrador, the first traject is the widest:
and this having been practised from the earliest times of which we have any
account of that part of the earth, it is not difficult to suppose that the
subsequent trajects may have been sometimes passed. Again, the late
discoveries of Captain Cook, coasting from Kamschatka to California, have
proved that, if the two continents of Asia and America be separated at all,
it is only by a narrow streight. So that from this side also, inhabitants
may have passed into America: and the resemblance between the Indians of
America and the Eastern inhabitants of Asia, would induce us to conjecture,
that the former are the descendants of the latter, or the latter of the
former: excepting indeed the Eskimaux, who, from the same circumstance of
resemblance, and from identity of language, must be derived from the
Groenlanders, and these probably from some of the northern parts of the old
continent. A knowledge of their several languages would be the most certain
evidence of their derivation which could be produced.
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In fact, it is the best proof of the affinity of nations which ever can be
referred to. How many ages have elapsed since the English, the Dutch, the
Germans, the Swiss, the Norwegians, Danes and Swedes have separated from
their common stock? Yet how many more must elapse before the proofs of their
common origin, which exist in their several languages, will disappear? It is
to be lamented then, very much to be lamented, that we have suffered so many
of the Indian tribes already to extinguish, without our having previously
collected and deposited in the records of literature, the general rudiments
at least of the languages they spoke. Were vocabularies formed of all the
languages spoken in North and South America, preserving their appellations
of the most common objects in nature, of those which must be present to
every nation barbarous or civilised, with the inflections of their nouns and
verbs, their principles of regimen and concord, and these deposited in all
the public libraries, it would furnish opportunities to those skilled in the
languages of the old world to compare them with these, now, or at any future
time, and hence to construct the best evidence of the derivation of this
part of the human race.

But imperfect as is our knowledge of the tongues spoken in America, it
suffices to discover the following remarkable fact. Arranging them under the
radical ones to which they may be palpably traced, and doing the same by
those of the red men of Asia, there will be found probably twenty in
America, for one in Asia, of those radical languages, so called because, if
they were ever the same, they have lost all resemblance to one another. A
separation into dialects may be the work of a few ages only, but for two
dialects to recede from one another till they have lost all vestiges of
their common origin, must require an immense course of time; perhaps not
less than many people give to the age of the earth. A greater number of
those radical changes of language having taken place among the red men of
America, proves them of greater antiquity than those of Asia.

I will now proceed to state the nations and numbers of the Aborigines
which still exist in a respectable and independant form. And as their
undefined boundaries would render it difficult to specify those only which
may be within any certain
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limits, and it may not be unacceptable to present a more general view of
them, I will reduce within the form of a Catalogue all those within, and
circumjacent to, the United States, whose names and numbers have come to my
notice. These are taken from four different lists, the first of which was
given in the year 1759 to General Stanwix by George Croghan, Deputy agent
for Indian affairs under Sir William Johnson; the second was drawn up by a
French trader of considerable note, resident among the Indians many years,
and annexed to Colonel Bouquet's printed account of his expedition in 1764.
The third was made out by Captain Hutchins, who visited most of the tribes,
by order, for the purpose of learning their numbers in 1768. And the fourth
by John Dodge, an Indian trader, in 1779, except the numbers marked *, which
are from other information.


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The following tribes are also mentioned:

But, apprehending these might be different appellations for some of the
tribes already enumerated, I have not inserted them in the table, but state
them separately as worthy of further inquiry. The variations observable in
numbering the same tribe may sometimes be ascribed to imperfect information,
and sometimes to a greater or less comprehension of settlements under the
same name.

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Page 233

"Counties and towns"
A notice of the counties, cities, townships, and villages?
Counties, Towns

The counties have been enumerated under Query IX. They are 74 in number,
of very unequal size and population. Of these 35 are on the tide waters, or
in that parallel; 23 are in the Midlands, between the tide waters and Blue
ridge of mountains; 8 between the Blue ridge and Alleghaney; and 8 westward
of the Alleghaney.

The state, by another division, is formed into parishes, many of which
are commensurate with the counties: but sometimes a county comprehends more
than one parish, and sometimes a parish more than one county. This division
had relation to the religion of the state, a Parson of the Anglican church,
with a fixed salary, having been heretofore established in each parish. The
care of the poor was another object of the parochial division.

We have no townships. Our country being much intersected with navigable
waters, and trade brought generally to our doors, instead of our being
obliged to go in quest of it, has probably been one of the causes why we
have no towns of any consequence. Williamsburgh, which, till the year 1780,
was the seat of our government, never contained above 1800 inhabitants; and
Norfolk, the most populous town we ever had, contained but 6000. Our towns,
but more properly our villages or hamlets, are as follows.

On James river and its waters, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Hampton, Suffolk,
Smithfield, Williamsburgh, Petersburg, Richmond the seat of our government,
Manchester, Charlottesville, New London.

On York river and its waters, York, Newcastle, Hanover.

On Rappahannoc, Urbanna, Portroyal, Fredericksburg, Falmouth.

On Patowmac and its waters, Dumfries, Colchester, Alexandria, Winchester,

On Ohio, Louisville.

There are other places at which, like some of the foregoing, the laws
have said there shall be towns; but Nature has said
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there shall not, and they remain unworthy of enumeration. Norfolk will
probably be the emporium for all the trade of the Chesapeak bay and its
waters; and a canal of 8 or 10 miles will bring to it all that of Albemarle
sound and its waters. Secondary to this place, are the towns at the head of
the tidewaters, to wit, Petersburgh on Appamattox, Richmond on James river,
Newcastle on York river, Alexandria on Patowmac, and Baltimore on the
Patapsco. From these the distribution will be to subordinate situations in
the country. Accidental circumstances however may controul the indications
of nature, and in no instances do they do it more frequently than in the
rise and fall of towns.

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Page 235

The constitution of the state, and its several charters?

Queen Elizabeth by her letters-patent, bearing date March 25, 1584,
licensed Sir Walter Raleigh to search for remote heathen lands, not
inhabited by Christian people, and granted to him, in fee simple, all the
soil within 200 leagues of the places where his people should, within 6
years, make their dwellings or abidings; reserving only, to herself and her
successors, their allegiance and one fifth part of all the gold and silver
ore they should obtain. Sir Walter immediately sent out two ships which
visited Wococon island in North Carolina, and the next year dispatched seven
with 107 men, who settled in Roanoke island, about latitude 35o.50'. Here
Okisko, king of the Weopomeiocs, in a full council of his people, is said to
have acknowledged himself the homager of the Queen of England, and, after
her, of Sir Walter Raleigh. A supply of 50 men were sent in 1586, and 150 in
1587. With these last, Sir Walter sent a Governor, appointed him twelve
assistants, gave them a charter of incorporation, and instructed them to
settle on Chesapeak bay. They landed however at Hatorask. In 1588, when a
fleet was ready to sail with a new supply of colonists and necessaries, they
were detained by the Queen to assist against the Spanish Armada. Sir Walter
having now expended 40,000 l. in these enterprizes, obstructed occasionally
by the crown, without a shilling of aid from it, was under a necessity of
engaging others to adventure their money. He therefore, by deed bearing date
the 7th of March 1589, by the name of Sir Walter Raleigh, Chief Governor of
Assamàcomòc, (probably Acomàc), alias Wingadacoia, alias Virginia, granted
to Thomas Smith and others, in consideration of their adventuring certain
sums of money, liberty of trade to his new country, free from all customs
and taxes for seven years, excepting the fifth part of the gold and silver
ore to be obtained; and stipulated with them, and the other assistants, then
in Virginia, that he would confirm the deed of incorporation which he had
given in 1587, with all the prerogatives, jurisdictions, royalties and
privileges granted to him by the Queen. Sir
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Page 236

Walter, at different times, sent five other adventures hither, the last of
which was in 1602: for in 1603 he was attainted, and put into close
imprisonment, which put an end to his cares over his infant colony. What was
the particular fate of the colonists he had before sent and seated, has
never been known: whether they were murdered, or incorporated with the

Some gentlemen and merchants, supposing that by the attainder of Sir
Walter Raleigh the grant to him was forfeited, not enquiring over carefully
whether the sentence of an English court could affect lands not within the
jurisdiction of that court, petitioned king James for a new grant of
Virginia to them. He accordingly executed a grant to Sir Thomas Gates and
others, bearing date the 9th of March 1607, under which, in the same year a
settlement was effected at James-town and ever after maintained. Of this
grant however no particular notice need be taken, as it was superseded by
letters-patent of the same king, of May 23, 1609, to the Earl of Salisbury
and others, incorporating them by the name of `the Treasurer and Company of
adventurers and planters of the City of London for the first colony in
Virginia,' granting to them and their successors all the lands in Virginia
from Point Comfort along the sea coast to the northward 200 miles, and from
the same point along the sea coast to the southward 200 miles, and all the
space from this precinct on the sea coast up into the land, West and
North-west, from sea to sea, and the islands within one hundred miles of it,
with all the commodities, jurisdictions, royalties, privileges, franchises
and pre-eminences within the same, and thereto and thereabouts, by sea and
land, appertaining, in as ample manner as had before been granted to any
adventurer: to be held of the king and his successors, in common soccage,
yielding one fifth part of the gold and silver ore to be therein found, for
all manner of services; establishing a council in England for the direction
of the enterprise, the members of which were to be chosen and displaced by
the voice of the majority of the company and adventurers, and were to have
the nomination and revocation of governors, officers, and ministers, which
by them should be thought needful for the colony, the power of establishing
laws and forms of government and magistracy, obligatory not
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Page 237

only within the colony, but also on the seas in going and coming to and from
it; authorising them to carry thither any persons who should consent to go,
freeing them for ever from all taxes and impositions on any goods or
merchandize on importation into the colony, or exportation out of it, except
the five per cent. due for custom on all goods imported into the British
dominions, according to the ancient trade of merchants; which five per cent.
only being paid, they might, within 13 months, re-export the same goods into
foreign parts, without any custom, tax, or other duty, to the king or any
his officers or deputies: with powers of waging war against those who should
annoy them: giving to the inhabitants of the colony all the rights of
natural subjects, as if born and abiding in England; and declaring that
these letters should be construed, in all doubtful parts, in such manner as
should be most for the benefit of the grantees.

Afterwards, on the 12th of March 1612, by other letters-patent, the king
added to his former grants, all islands in any part of the ocean between the
30th and 41st degrees of latitude, and within 300 leagues of any of the
parts before granted to the Treasurer and company, not being possessed or
inhabited by any other christian prince or state, nor within the limits of
the northern colony.

In pursuance of the authorities given to the company by these charters,
and more especially of that part in the charter of 1609, which authorised
them to establish a form of government, they on the 24th of July 1621, by
charter under their common seal, declared that from thenceforward there
should be two supreme councils in Virginia, the one to be called the council
of state, to be placed and displaced by the treasurer, council in England,
and company, from time to time, whose office was to be that of assisting and
advising the governor; the other to be called the general assembly, to be
convened by the governor once yearly or oftener, which was to consist of the
council of state, and two burgesses out of every town, hundred, or
plantation, to be respectively chosen by the inhabitants. In this all
matters were to be decided by the greater part of the votes present;
reserving to the governor a negative voice; and they were to have power to
treat, consult, and conclude all emergent occasions concerning the public
weal, and
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Page 238

to make laws for the behoof and government of the colony, imitating and
following the laws and policy of England as nearly as might be: providing
that these laws should have no force till ratified in a general quarter
court of the company in England, and returned under their common seal, and
declaring that, after the government of the colony should be well framed and
settled, no orders of the council in England should bind the colony unless
ratified in the said general assembly. The king and company quarrelled, and,
by a mixture of law and force, the latter were ousted of all their rights,
without retribution, after having expended 100,000 l. in establishing the
colony, without the smallest aid from government. King James suspended their
powers by proclamation of July 15, 1624, and Charles I. took the government
into his own hands. Both sides had their partisans in the colony: but in
truth the people of the colony in general thought themselves little
concerned in the dispute. There being three parties interested in these
several charters, what passed between the first and second it was thought
could not affect the third. If the king seized on the powers of the company,
they only passed into other hands, without increase or diminution, while the
rights of the people remained as they were. But they did not remain so long.
The northern parts of their country were granted away to the Lords Baltimore
and Fairfax, the first of these obtaining also the rights of separate
jurisdiction and government. And in 1650 the parliament, considering itself
as standing in the place of their deposed king, and as having succeeded to
all his powers, without as well as within the realm, began to assume a right
over the colonies, passing an act for inhibiting their trade with foreign
nations. This succession to the exercise of the kingly authority gave the
first colour for parliamentary interference with the colonies, and produced
that fatal precedent which they continued to follow after they had retired,
in other respects, within their proper functions. When this colony,
therefore, which still maintained its opposition to Cromwell and the
parliament, was induced in 1651 to lay down their arms, they previously
secured their most essential rights, by a solemn convention, which having
never seen in print, I will here insert literally from the records.
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Page 239

`ARTICLES agreed on & concluded at James Cittie in Virginia for the
surrendering and settling of that plantation under ye obedience & goverment
of the common wealth of England by the Commissioners of the Councill of
state by authoritie of the parliamt. of England & by the Grand assembly of
the Governour, Councill & Burgesses of that countrey.

`First it is agreed and consted that the plantation of Virginia, and all
the inhabitants thereof shall be and remaine in due obedience and subjection
to the Comon wealth of England, according to ye lawes there established, and
that this submission and subscription bee acknowledged a voluntary act not
forced nor constrained by a conquest upon the countrey, and that they shall
have & enjoy such freedomes and priviledges as belong to the free borne
people of England, and that the former government by the Comissions and
Instructions be void and null.

`2ly, Secondly that the Grand assembly as formerly shall convene &
transact the affairs of Virginia wherein nothing is to be acted or done
contrarie to the government of the Comon wealth of England & the lawes there

`3ly, That there shall be a full & totall remission and indempnitie of
all acts, words, or writeings done or spoken against the parliament of
England in relation to the same.

`4ly, That Virginia shall have & enjoy ye antient bounds and Lymitts
granted by the charters of the former kings, and that we shall seek a new
charter from the parliament to that purpose against any that have intrencht
upon ye rights thereof.

`5ly, That all the pattents of land granted under the collony seale by
any of the precedent governours shall be & remaine in their full force &

`6ly, That the priviledge of haveing ffiftie acres of land for every
person transported in that collonie shall continue as formerly granted.

`7ly, That ye people of Virginia have free trade as ye people of England
do enjoy to all places and with all nations according to ye lawes of that
common wealth, and that Virginia shall enjoy all priviledges equall with any
English plantations in America.
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Page 240

`8ly, That Virginia shall be free from all taxes, customs & impositions
whatsoever, & none to be imposed on them without consent of the Grand
assembly, And soe that neither ffortes nor castles bee erected or garrisons
maintained without their consent.

`9ly, That noe charge shall be required from this country in respect of
this present ffleet.

`10ly, That for the future settlement of the countrey in their due
obedience, the Engagement shall be tendred to all ye inhabitants according
to act of parliament made to that purpose, that all persons who shall refuse
to subscribe the said engagement, shall have a yeare's time if they please
to remove themselves & their estates out of Virginia, and in the mean time
during the said yeare to have equall justice as formerly.

`11ly, That ye use of the booke of common prayer shall be permitted for
one yeare ensueinge with referrence to the consent of ye major part of the
parishes, provided that those things which relate to kingshipp or that
government be not used publiquely, and the continuance of ministers in their
places, they not misdemeaning themselves, and the payment of their
accustomed dues and agreements made with them respectively shall be left as
they now stand dureing this ensueing yeare.

`12ly, That no man's cattell shall be questioned as ye companies unles
such as have been entrusted with them or have disposed of them without

`13ly, That all ammunition, powder & armes, other then for private use,
shall be delivered up, securitie being given to make satisfaction for it.

`14ly, That all goods allreadie brought hither by ye Dutch or others
which are now on shoar shall be free from surprizall.

`15ly, That the quittrents granted unto us by the late kinge for seaven
yeares bee confirmed.

`16ly, That ye commissioners for the parliament subscribeing these
articles engage themselves & the honour of the parliament for the full
performance thereof: and that the present governour & ye councill & the
burgesses do likewise subscribe & engage the whole collony on their parts.
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Page 241

RICH. BENNETT. -- -- Seale. Wm. CLAIBORNE. -- -- Seale. EDMOND CURTIS. -- --

`Theise articles were signed & sealed by the Commissioners of the
Councill of state for the Commonwealth of England the twelveth day of March

Then follow the articles stipulated by the governor and council, which
relate merely to their own persons and property, and then the ensuing

`An act of indempnitie made att the surrender of the countrey.

`Whereas by the authoritie of the parliament of England wee the
commissioners appointed by the councill of state authorized thereto having
brought a fleete & force before James cittie in Virginia to reduce that
collonie under the obedience of the commonwealth of England, & findeing
force raised by the Governour & countrey to make opposition against the said
ffleet whereby assured danger appearinge of the ruine & destruction of ye
plantation, for prevention whereof the Burgesses of all the severall
plantations being called to advise & assist therein, uppon long & serious
debate, and in sad contemplation of the greate miseries & certaine
destruction which were soe neerely hovering over the whole countrey; Wee the
said Comissioners have thought fitt & condescended and granted to signe &
confirme under our hands, seales, & by our oath, Articles bearinge date with
theise presents, and do further declare that by ye authoritie of the
parliament & commonwealth of England derived unto us theire Comissioners,
that according to the articles in generall wee have granted an act of
indempnitie and oblivion to all the inhabitants of this colloney from all
words, actions, or writings that have been spoken acted or writt against the
parliament or commonwealth of England or any other person from the beginning
of the world to this daye. And this wee have done that all the inhabitants
of the collonie may live quietly & securely under the comonwealth of
England. And wee do promise that the parliament and commonwealth of England
shall confirme & make good all those transactions of ours.
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Page 242

Wittnes our hands & seales this 12th of March 1651. Richard Bennett --
Seale. Wm. Claiborne -- Seale. Edm. Curtis -- Seale.'

The colony supposed, that, by this solemn convention, entered into with
arms in their hands, they had secured the
Note: Art. 4. antient limits of their country,
Note: Art. 7. its free trade, its exemption from
Note: Art. 8. taxation but by their own assembly, and exclusion of
Note: Art. 8. military force from among them. Yet in every of these points
was this convention violated by subsequent kings and parliaments, and other
infractions of their constitution, equally dangerous, committed. Their
General Assembly, which was composed of the council of state and burgesses,
sitting together and deciding by plurality of voices, was split into two
houses, by which the council obtained a separate negative on their laws.
Appeals from their supreme court, which had been fixed by law in their
General Assembly, were arbitrarily revoked to England, to be there heard
before the king and council. Instead of four hundred miles on the sea coast,
they were reduced, in the space of thirty years, to about one hundred miles.
Their trade with foreigners was totally suppressed, and, when carried to
Great-Britain, was there loaded with imposts. It is unnecessary, however, to
glean up the several instances of injury, as scattered through American and
British history, and the more especially as, by passing on to the accession
of the present king, we shall find specimens of them all, aggravated,
multiplied and crouded within a small compass of time, so as to evince a
fixed design of considering our rights natural, conventional and chartered
as mere nullities. The following is an epitome of the first fifteen years of
his reign. The colonies were taxed internally and externally; their
essential interests sacrificed to individuals in Great-Britain; their
legislatures suspended; charters annulled; trials by juries taken away;
their persons subjected to transportation across the Atlantic, and to trial
before foreign judicatories; their supplications for redress thought beneath
answer; themselves
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Page 243

published as cowards in the councils of their mother country and courts of
Europe; armed troops sent among them to enforce submission to these
violences; and actual hostilities commenced against them. No alternative was
presented but resistance, or unconditional submission. Between these could
be no hesitation. They closed in the appeal to arms. They declared
themselves independent States. They confederated together into one great
republic; thus securing to every state the benefit of an union of their
whole force. In each state separately a new form of government was
established. Of ours particularly the following are the outlines. The
executive powers are lodged in the hands of a governor, chosen annually, and
incapable of acting more than three years in seven. He is assisted by a
council of eight members. The judiciary powers are divided among several
courts, as will be hereafter explained. Legislation is exercised by two
houses of assembly, the one called the house of Delegates, composed of two
members from each county, chosen annually by the citizens possessing an
estate for life in 100 acres of uninhabited land, or 25 acres with a house
on it, or in a house or lot in some town: the other called the Senate,
consisting of 24 members, chosen quadrennially by the same electors, who for
this purpose are distributed into 24 districts. The concurrence of both
houses is necessary to the passage of a law. They have the appointment of
the governor and council, the judges of the superior courts, auditors,
attorney-general, treasurer, register of the land office, and delegates to
congress. As the dismemberment of the state had never had its confirmation,
but, on the contrary, had always been the subject of protestation and
complaint, that it might never be in our own power to raise scruples on that
subject, or to disturb the harmony of our new confederacy, the grants to
Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the two Carolinas, were ratified.

This constitution was formed when we were new and unexperienced in the
science of government. It was the first too which was formed in the whole
United States. No wonder then that time and trial have discovered very
capital defects init.

1. The majority of the men in the state, who pay and fight for its
support, are unrepresented in the legislature, the roll
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of freeholders intitled to vote, not including generally the half of those
on the roll of the militia, or of the tax-gatherers.

2. Among those who share the representation, the shares are very unequal.
Thus the county of Warwick, with only one hundred fighting men, has an equal
representation with the county of Loudon, which has 1746. So that every man
in Warwick has as much influence in the government as 17 men in Loudon. But
lest it should be thought that an equal interspersion of small among large
counties, through the whole state, may prevent any danger of injury to
particular parts of it, we will divide it into districts, and shew the
proportions of land, of fighting men, and of representation in each.
"column" 1
Between the sea-coast and falls of the rivers Between the falls of the
rivers and the Blue ridge of mountains Between the Blue ridge and the
Alleghaney Between the Alleghaney and the Ohio Total
"column" 2
Square Fighting Delegates Senators miles. men. 11,205
Note: Of these, 542 are on the Eastern shore. 19,012 71 12 18,759 18,828 46
8 11,911 7,673 16 2 79,650
Note: Of these, 22,616 are Eastward of the meridian of the mouth of the
Great Kanhaway. 4,458 16 2 121,525 49,971 149 24

An inspection of this table will supply the place of commentaries on it.
It will appear at once that nineteen thousand men, living below the falls of
the rivers, possess half the senate, and want four members only of
possessing a majority of the house of delegates; a want more than supplied
by the vicinity of their situation to the seat of government, and of course
the greater degree of convenience and punctuality with which their members
may and will attend in the legislature. These nineteen thousand, therefore,
living in one part of the country, give law to upwards of thirty thousand,
living in another, and appoint all their chief officers executive and
judiciary. From the difference of their situation and circumstances, their
interests will often be very different.

3. The senate is, by its constitution, too homogeneous with the house of
delegates. Being chosen by the same electors, at
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the same time, and out of the same subjects, the choice falls of course on
men of the same description. The purpose of establishing different houses of
legislation is to introduce the influence of different interests or
different principles. Thus in Great-Britain it is said their constitution
relies on the house of commons for honesty, and the lords for wisdom; which
would be a rational reliance if honesty were to be bought with money, and if
wisdom were hereditary. In some of the American states the delegates and
senators are so chosen, as that the first represent the persons, and the
second the property of the state. But with us, wealth and wisdom have equal
chance for admission into both houses. We do not therefore derive from the
separation of our legislature into two houses, those benefits which a proper
complication of principles is capable of producing, and those which alone
can compensate the evils which may be produced by their dissensions.

4. All the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judiciary,
result to the legislative body. The concentrating these in the same hands is
precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation
that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a
single one. 173 despots would surely be as oppressive as one. Let those who
doubt it turn their eyes on the republic of Venice. As little will it avail
us that they are chosen by ourselves. An elective despotism was not the
government we fought for; but one which should not only be founded on free
principles, but in which the powers of government should be so divided and
balanced among several bodies of magistracy, as that no one could transcend
their legal limits, without being effectually checked and restrained by the
others. For this reason that convention, which passed the ordinance of
government, laid its foundation on this basis, that the legislative,
executive and judiciary departments should be separate and distinct, so that
no person should exercise the powers of more than one of them at the same
time. But no barrier was provided between these several powers. The
judiciary and executive members were left dependant on the legislative, for
their subsistence in office, and some of them for their continuance in it.
If therefore the legislature assumes executive and judiciary powers, no
opposition is likely to be made; nor, if made, can it be
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effectual; because in that case they may put their proceedings into the form
of an act of assembly, which will render them obligatory on the other
branches. They have accordingly, in many instances, decided rights which
should have been left to judiciary controversy: and the direction of the
executive, during the whole time of their session, is becoming habitual and
familiar. And this is done with no ill intention. The views of the present
members are perfectly upright. When they are led out of their regular
province, it is by art in others, and inadvertence in themselves. And this
will probably be the case for some time to come. But it will not be a very
long time. Mankind soon learn to make interested uses of every right and
power which they possess, or may assume. The public money and public
liberty, intended to have been deposited with three branches of magistracy,
but found inadvertently to be in the hands of one only, will soon be
discovered to be sources of wealth and dominion to those who hold them;
distinguished too by this tempting circumstance, that they are the
instrument, as well as the object of acquisition. With money we will get
men, said Caesar, and with men we will get money. Nor should our assembly be
deluded by the integrity of their own purposes, and conclude that these
unlimited powers will never be abused, because themselves are not disposed
to abuse them. They should look forward to a time, and that not a distant
one, when corruption in this, as in the country from which we derive our
origin, will have seized the heads of government, and be spread by them
through the body of the people; when they will purchase the voices of the
people, and make them pay the price. Human nature is the same on every side
of the Atlantic, and will be alike influenced by the same causes. The time
to guard against corruption and tyranny, is before they shall have gotten
hold on us. It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to trust to
drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered. To render these
considerations the more cogent, we must observe in addition,

5. That the ordinary legislature may alter the constitution itself. On
the discontinuance of assemblies, it became necessary to substitute in their
place some other body, competent to the ordinary business of government, and
to the calling forth the powers of the state for the maintenance of our
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to Great-Britain. Conventions were therefore introduced, consisting of two
delegates from each county, meeting together and forming one house, on the
plan of the former house of Burgesses, to whose places they succeeded. These
were at first chosen anew for every particular session. But in March 1775,
they recommended to the people to chuse a convention, which should continue
in office a year. This was done accordingly in April 1775, and in the July
following that convention passed an ordinance for the election of delegates
in the month of April annually. It is well known, that in July 1775, a
separation from Great-Britain and establishment of Republican government had
never yet entered into any person's mind. A convention therefore, chosen
under that ordinance, cannot be said to have been chosen for purposes which
certainly did not exist in the minds of those who passed it. Under this
ordinance, at the annual election in April 1776, a convention for the year
was chosen. Independance, and the establishment of a new form of government,
were not even yet the objects of the people at large. One extract from the
pamphlet called Common Sense had appeared in the Virginia papers in
February, and copies of the pamphlet itself had got into a few hands. But
the idea had not been opened to the mass of the people in April, much less
can it be said that they had made up their minds in its favor. So that the
electors of April 1776, no more than the legislators of July 1775, not
thinking of independance and a permanent republic, could not mean to vest in
these delegates powers of establishing them, or any authorities other than
those of the ordinary legislature. So far as a temporary organization of
government was necessary to render our opposition energetic, so far their
organization was valid. But they received in their creation no powers but
what were given to every legislature before and since. They could not
therefore pass an act transcendant to the powers of other legislatures. If
the present assembly pass any act, and declare it shall be irrevocable by
subsequent assemblies, the declaration is merely void, and the act
repealable, as other acts are. So far, and no farther authorized, they
organized the government by the ordinance entitled a Constitution or Form of
government. It pretends to no higher authority than the other ordinances of
the same session; it does
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not say, that it shall be perpetual; that it shall be unalterable by other
legislatures; that it shall be transcendant above the powers of those, who
they knew would have equal power with themselves. Not only the silence of
the instrument is a proof they thought it would be alterable, but their own
practice also: for this very convention, meeting as a House of Delegates in
General Assembly with the new Senate in the autumn of that year, passed acts
of assembly in contradiction to their ordinance of government; and every
assembly from that time to this has done the same. I am safe therefore in
the position, that the constitution itself is alterable by the ordinary
legislature. Though this opinion seems founded on the first elements of
common sense, yet is the contrary maintained by some persons. 1. Because,
say they, the conventions were vested with every power necessary to make
effectual opposition to Great-Britain. But to complete this argument, they
must go on, and say further, that effectual opposition could not be made to
Great-Britain, without establishing a form of government perpetual and
unalterable by the legislature; which is not true. An opposition which at
some time or other was to come to an end, could not need a perpetual
institution to carry it on: and a government, amendable as its defects
should be discovered, was as likely to make effectual resistance, as one
which should be unalterably wrong. Besides, the assemblies were as much
vested with all powers requisite for resistance as the conventions were. If
therefore these powers included that of modelling the form of government in
the one case, they did so in the other. The assemblies then as well as the
conventions may model the government; that is, they may alter the ordinance
of government. 2. They urge, that if the convention had meant that this
instrument should be alterable, as their other ordinances were, they would
have called it an ordinance: but they have called it a constitution, which
ex vi termini means `an act above the power of the ordinary legislature.' I
answer that constitutio, constitutum, statutum, lex, are convertible terms.
`Constitutio dicitur jus quod a principe conditur.' `Constitutum, quod ab
imperatoribus rescriptum statutumve est.' `Statutum, idem quod leo.' Calvini
Lexicon juridicum. Constitution and statute
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were originally terms of the
Note: To bid, to set, was the antient legislative word of the English. Ll.
Hlotharii & Eadrici. Ll. Inae. Ll. Eadwerdi. Ll. Aathelstani. civil law, and
from thence introduced by Ecclesiastics into the English law. Thus in the
statute 25 Hen. 8. c. 19. (symbol omitted). 1. `Constitutions and
ordinances' are used as synonimous. The term constitution has many other
significations in physics and in politics; but in Jurisprudence, whenever it
is applied to any act of the legislature, it invariably means a statute,
law, or ordinance, which is the present case. No inference then of a
different meaning can be drawn from the adoption of this title: on the
contrary, we might conclude, that, by their affixing to it a term synonimous
with ordinance, or statute, they meant it to be an ordinance or statute. But
of what consequence is their meaning, where their power is denied? If they
meant to do more than they had power to do, did this give them power? It is
not the name, but the authority which renders an act obligatory. Lord Coke
says, `an article of the statute 11 R. 2. c. 5. that no person should
attempt to revoke any ordinance then made, is repealed, for that such
restraint is against the jurisdiction and power of the parliament.' 4. inst.
42. and again, `though divers parliaments have attempted to restrain
subsequent parliaments, yet could they never effect it; for the latter
parliament hath ever power to abrogate, suspend, qualify, explain, or make
void the former in the whole or in any part thereof, notwithstanding any
words of restraint, prohibition, or penalty, in the former: for it is a
maxim in the laws of the parliament, quod leges posteriores priores
contrarias abrogant.' 4. inst. 43. -- To get rid of the magic supposed to be
in the word constitution, let us translate it into its definition as given
by those who think it above the power of the law; and let us suppose the
convention instead of saying, `We, the ordinary legislature, establish a
constitution,' had said, `We, the ordinary legislature, establish an act
above the power of the ordinary legislature.' Does not this expose the
absurdity of the attempt? 3. But, say they, the people have acquiesced, and
this has given it an authority superior to the laws. It is true, that the
people did not rebel against it: and was that a time for the people to rise
in rebellion? Should a prudent acquiescence, at a critical time, be
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into a confirmation of every illegal thing done during that period? Besides,
why should they rebel? At an annual election, they had chosen delegates for
the year, to exercise the ordinary powers of legislation, and to manage the
great contest in which they were engaged. These delegates thought the
contest would be best managed by an organized government. They therefore,
among others, passed an ordinance of government. They did not presume to
call it perpetual and unalterable. They well knew they had no power to make
it so; that our choice of them had been for no such purpose, and at a time
when we could have no such purpose in contemplation. Had an unalterable form
of government been meditated, perhaps we should have chosen a different set
of people. There was no cause then for the people to rise in rebellion. But
to what dangerous lengths will this argument lead? Did the acquiescence of
the colonies under the various acts of power exercised by Great-Britain in
our infant state, confirm these acts, and so far invest them with the
authority of the people as to render them unalterable, and our present
resistance wrong? On every unauthoritative exercise of power by the
legislature, must the people rise in rebellion, or their silence be
construed into a surrender of that power to them? If so, how many rebellions
should we have had already? One certainly for every session of assembly. The
other states in the Union have been of opinion, that to render a form of
government unalterable by ordinary acts of assembly, the people must
delegate persons with special powers. They have accordingly chosen special
conventions to form and fix their governments. The individuals then who
maintain the contrary opinion in this country, should have the modesty to
suppose it possible that they may be wrong and the rest of America right.
But if there be only a possibility of their being wrong, if only a plausible
doubt remains of the validity of the ordinance of government, is it not
better to remove that doubt, by placing it on a bottom which none will
dispute? If they be right, we shall only have the unnecessary trouble of
meeting once in convention. If they be wrong, they expose us to the hazard
of having no fundamental rights at all. True it is, this is no time for
deliberating on forms of government. While an enemy is within our bowels,
the first object is to expel him.
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But when this shall be done, when peace shall be established, and leisure
given us for intrenching within good forms, the rights for which we have
bled, let no man be found indolent enough to decline a little more trouble
for placing them beyond the reach of question. If any thing more be
requisite to produce a conviction of the expediency of calling a convention,
at a proper season, to fix our form of government, let it be the reflection,

6. That the assembly exercises a power of determining the Quorum of their
own body which may legislate for us. After the establishment of the new form
they adhered to the Lex majoris partis, founded in
Note: Bro. abr. Corporations. 31.34. Hakewell, 93. common law as well as
common right. It is the
Note: Puff. Off. hom. l. 2. c. 6. 12. natural law of every assembly of men,
whose numbers are not fixed by any other law. They continued for some time
to require the presence of a majority of their whole number, to pass an act.
But the British parliament fixes its own quorum: our former assemblies fixed
their own quorum: and one precedent in favour of power is stronger than
anhundred against it. The house of delegates therefore have
Note: June 4, 1781. lately voted that, during the present dangerous
invasion, forty members shall be a house to proceed to business. They have
been moved to this by the fear of not being able to collect a house. But
this danger could not authorize them to call that a house which was none:
and if they may fix it at one number, they may at another, till it loses its
fundamental character of being a representative body. As this vote expires
with the present invasion, it is probable the former rule will be permitted
to revive: because at present no ill is meant. The power however of fixing
their own quorum has been avowed, and a precedent set. From forty it may be
reduced to four, and from four to one: from a house to a committee, from a
committee to a chairman or speaker, and thus an oligarchy or monarchy be
substituted under forms supposed to be regular. `Omnia mala exempla ex bonis
orta sunt: sed ubi imperium ad ignaros aut minus bonos pervenit, novum illud
exemplum ab dignis et idoneis ad indignos et non idoneos fertur.' When
therefore it is considered, that there is no legal obstacle to the
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assumption by the assembly of all the powers legislative, executive, and
judiciary, and that these may come to the hands of the smallest rag of
delegation, surely the people will say, and their representatives, while yet
they have honest representatives, will advise them to say, that they will
not acknowledge as laws any acts not considered and assented to by the major
part of their delegates.

In enumerating the defects of the constitution, it would be wrong to
count among them what is only the error of particular persons. In December
1776, our circumstances being much distressed, it was proposed in the house
of delegates to create a dictator, invested with every power legislative,
executive and judiciary, civil and military, of life and of death, over our
persons and over our properties: and in June 1781, again under calamity, the
same proposition was repeated, and wanted a few votes only of being passed.
-- One who entered into this contest from a pure love of liberty, and a
sense of injured rights, who determined to make every sacrifice, and to meet
every danger, for the re-establishment of those rights on a firm basis, who
did not mean to expend his blood and substance for the wretched purpose of
changing this master for that, but to place the powers of governing him in a
plurality of hands of his own choice, so that the corrupt will of no one man
might in future oppress him, must stand confounded and dismayed when he is
told, that a considerable portion of that plurality had meditated the
surrender of them into a single hand, and, in lieu of a limited monarch, to
deliver him over to a despotic one! How must we find his efforts and
sacrifices abused and baffled, if he may still by a single vote be laid
prostrate at the feet of one man! In God's name, from whence have they
derived this power? Is it from our ancient laws? None such can be produced.
Is it from any principle in our new constitution, expressed or implied?
Every lineament of that expressed or implied, is in full opposition to it.
Its fundamental principle is, that the state shall be governed as a
commonwealth. It provides a republican organization, proscribes under the
name of prerogative the exercise of all powers undefined by the laws; places
on this basis the whole system of our laws; and, by consolidating them
together, chuses that they shall be left to stand or fall together,
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never providing for any circumstances, nor admitting that such could arise,
wherein either should be suspended, no, not for a moment. Our antient laws
expressly declare, that those who are but delegates themselves shall not
delegate to others powers which require judgment and integrity in their
exercise. -- Or was this proposition moved on a supposed right in the movers
of abandoning their posts in a moment of distress? The same laws forbid the
abandonment of that post, even on ordinary occasions; and much more a
transfer of their powers into other hands and other forms, without
consulting the people. They never admit the idea that these, like sheep or
cattle, may be given from hand to hand without an appeal to their own will.
-- Was it from the necessity of the case? Necessities which dissolve a
government, do not convey its authority to an oligarchy or a monarchy. They
throw back, into the hands of the people, the powers they had delegated, and
leave them as individuals to shift for themselves. A leader may offer, but
not impose himself, nor be imposed on them. Much less can their necks be
submitted to his sword, their breath be held at his will or caprice. The
necessity which should operate these tremendous effects should at least be
palpable and irresistible. Yet in both instances, where it was feared, or
pretended with us, it was belied by the event. It was belied too by the
preceding experience of our sister states, several of whom had grappled
through greater difficulties without abandoning their forms of government.
When the proposition was first made, Massachusets had found even the
government of committees sufficient to carry them through an invasion. But
we at the time of that proposition were under no invasion. When the second
was made, there had been added to this example those of Rhode-Island,
New-York, New-Jersey, and Pennsylvania, in all of which the republican form
had been found equal to the task of carrying them through the severest
trials. In this state alone did there exist so little virtue, that fear was
to be fixed in the hearts of the people, and to become the motive of their
exertions and the principle of their government? The very thought alone was
treason against the people; was treason against mankind in general; as
rivetting for ever the chains which bow down their necks, by giving to their
oppressors a proof, which they
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would have trumpeted through the universe, of the imbecility of republican
government, in times of pressing danger, to shield them from harm. Those who
assume the right of giving away the reins of government in any case, must be
sure that the herd, whom they hand on to the rods and hatchet of the
dictator, will lay their necks on the block when he shall nod to them. But
if our assemblies supposed such a resignation in the people, I hope they
mistook their character. I am of opinion, that the government, instead of
being braced and invigorated for greater exertions under their difficulties,
would have been thrown back upon the bungling machinery of county committees
for administration, till a convention could have been called, and its wheels
again set into regular motion. What a cruel moment was this for creating
such an embarrassment, for putting to the proof the attachment of our
countrymen to republican government! Those who meant well, of the advocates
for this measure, (and most of them meant well, for I know them personally,
had been their fellow-labourers in the common cause, and had often proved
the purity of their principles), had been seduced in their judgment by the
example of an ancient republic, whose constitution and circumstances were
fundamentally different. They had sought this precedent in the history of
Rome, where alone it was to be found, and where at length too it had proved
fatal. They had taken it from a republic, rent by the most bitter factions
and tumults, where the government was of a heavy-handed unfeeling
aristocracy, over a people ferocious, and rendered desperate by poverty and
wretchedness; tumults which could not be allayed under the most trying
circumstances, but by the omnipotent hand of a single despot. Their
constitution therefore allowed a temporary tyrant to be erected, under the
name of a Dictator; and that temporary tyrant, after a few examples, became
perpetual. They misapplied this precedent to a people, mild in their
dispositions, patient under their trial, united for the public liberty, and
affectionate to their leaders. But if from the constitution of the Roman
government there resulted to their Senate a power of submitting all their
rights to the will of one man, does it follow, that the assembly of Virginia
have the same authority? What clause in our constitution has substituted
that of Rome,
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by way of residuary provision, for all cases not otherwise provided for? Or
if they may step ad libitum into any other form of government for precedents
to rule us by, for what oppression may not a precedent be found in this
world of the bellum omnium in omnia? -- Searching for the foundations of
this proposition, I can find none which may pretend a colour of right or
reason, but the defect before developed, that there being no barrier between
the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments, the legislature may
seize the whole: that having seized it, and possessing a right to fix their
own quorum, they may reduce that quorum to one, whom they may call a
chairman, speaker, dictator, or by any other name they please. -- Our
situation is indeed perilous, and I hope my countrymen will be sensible of
it, and will apply, at a proper season, the proper remedy; which is a
convention to fix the constitution, to amend its defects, to bind up the
several branches of government by certain laws, which when they transgress
their acts shall become nullities; to render unnecessary an appeal to the
people, or in other words a rebellion, on every infraction of their rights,
on the peril that their acquiescence shall be construed into an intention to
surrender those rights.

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The administration of justice and description of the laws?

The state is divided into counties. In every county are appointed
magistrates, called justices of the peace, usually from eight to thirty or
forty in number, in proportion to the size of the county, of the most
discreet and honest inhabitants. They are nominated by their fellows, but
commissioned by the governor, and act without reward. These magistrates have
jurisdiction both criminal and civil. If the question before them be a
question of law only, they decide on it themselves: but if it be of fact, or
of fact and law combined, it must be referred to a jury. In the latter case,
of a combination of law and fact, it is usual for the jurors to decide the
fact, and to refer the law arising on it to the decision of the judges. But
this division of the subject lies with their discretion only. And if the
question relate to any point of public liberty, or if it be one of those in
which the judges may be suspected of bias, the jury undertake to decide both
law and fact. If they be mistaken, a decision against right, which is casual
only, is less dangerous to the state, and less afflicting to the loser, than
one which makes part of a regular and uniform system. In truth, it is better
to toss up cross and pile in a cause, than to refer it to a judge whose mind
is warped by any motive whatever, in that particular case. But the common
sense of twelve honest men gives still a better chance of just decision,
than the hazard of cross and pile. These judges execute their process by the
sheriff or coroner of the county, or by constables of their own appointment.
If any free person commit an offence against the commonwealth, if it be
below the degree of felony, he is bound by a justice to appear before their
court, to answer it on indictment or information. If it amount to felony, he
is committed to jail, a court of these justices is called; if they on
examination think him guilty, they send him to the jail of the general
court, before which court he is to be tried first by a grand jury of 24, of
whom 13 must concur in opinion: if they find him guilty, he is then tried by
a jury of 12 men of the county where the offence was committed, and
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by their verdict, which must be unanimous, he is acquitted or condemned
without appeal. If the criminal be a slave the trial by the county court is
final. In every case however, except that of high treason, there resides in
the governor a power of pardon. In high treason, the pardon can only flow
from the general assembly. In civil matters these justices have jurisdiction
in all cases of whatever value, not appertaining to the department of the
admiralty. This jurisdiction is twofold. If the matter in dispute be of less
value than 4 1/6 dollars, a single member may try it at any time and place
within his county, and may award execution on the goods of the party cast.
If it be of that or greater value, it is determinable before the county
court, which consists of four at the least of those justices, and assembles
at the court-house of the county on a certain day in every month. From their
determination, if the matter be of the value of ten pounds sterling, or
concern the title or bounds of lands, an appeal lies to one of the superior

There are three superior courts, to wit, the high-court of chancery, the
general court, and court of admiralty. The first and second of these receive
appeals from the county courts, and also have original jurisdiction where
the subject of controversy is of the value of ten pounds sterling, or where
it concerns the title or bounds of land. The jurisdiction of the admiralty
is original altogether. The high-court of chancery is composed of three
judges, the general court of five, and the court of admiralty of three. The
two first hold their sessions at Richmond at stated times, the chancery
twice in the year, and the general court twice for business civil and
criminal, and twice more for criminal only. The court of admiralty sits at
Williamsburgh whenever a controversy arises.

There is one supreme court, called the court of appeals, composed of the
judges of the three superior courts, assembling twice a year at stated times
at Richmond. This court receives appeals in all civil cases from each of the
superior courts, and determines them finally. But it has no original

If a controversy arise between two foreigners of a nation in alliance
with the United States, it is decided by the Consul for their State, or, if
both parties chuse it, by the ordinary
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courts of justice. If one of the parties only be such a foreigner, it is
triable before the courts of justice of the country. But if it shall have
been instituted in a county court, the foreigner may remove it into the
general court, or court of chancery, who are to determine it at their first
sessions, as they must also do if it be originally commenced before them. In
cases of life and death, such foreigners have a right to be tried by a jury,
the one half foreigners, the other natives.

All public accounts are settled with a board of auditors, consisting of
three members, appointed by the general assembly, any two of whom may act.
But an individual, dissatisfied with the determination of that board, may
carry his case into the proper superior court.

A description of the laws.

The general assembly was constituted, as has been already shewn, by
letters-patent of March the 9th, 1607, in the 4th year of the reign of James
the First. The laws of England seem to have been adopted by consent of the
settlers, which might easily enough be done whilst they were few and living
all together. Of such adoption however we have no other proof than their
practice, till the year 1661, when they were expressly adopted by an act of
the assembly, except so far as `a difference of condition' rendered them
inapplicable. Under this adoption, the rule, in our courts of judicature
was, that the common law of England, and the general statutes previous to
the 4th of James, were in force here; but that no subsequent statutes were,
unless we were named in them, said the judges and other partisans of the
crown, but named or not named, said those who reflected freely. It will be
unnecessary to attempt a description of the laws of England, as that may be
found in English publications. To those which were established here, by the
adoption of the legislature, have been since added a number of acts of
assembly passed during the monarchy, and ordinances of convention and acts
of assembly enacted since the establishment of the republic. The following
variations from the British model are perhaps worthy of being specified.

Debtors unable to pay their debts, and making faithful delivery of their
whole effects, are released from confinement, and their persons for ever
discharged from restraint for such
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Page 259

previous debts: but any property they may afterwards acquire will be subject
to their creditors.

The poor, unable to support themselves, are maintained by an assessment
on the titheable persons in their parish. This assessment is levied and
administered by twelve persons in each parish, called vestrymen, originally
chosen by the housekeepers of the parish, but afterwards filling vacancies
in their own body by their own choice. These are usually the most discreet
farmers, so distributed through their parish, that every part of it may be
under the immediate eye of some one of them. They are well acquainted with
the details and ;oeconomy of private life, and they find sufficient
inducements to execute their charge well, in their philanthropy, in the
approbation of their neighbours, and the distinction which that gives them.
The poor who have neither property, friends, nor strength to labour, are
boarded in the houses of good farmers, to whom a stipulated sum is annually
paid. To those who are able to help themselves a little, or have friends
from whom they derive some succours, inadequate however to their full
maintenance, supplementory aids are given, which enable them to live
comfortably in their own houses, or in the houses of their friends.
Vagabonds, without visible property or vocation, are placed in workhouses,
where they are well cloathed, fed, lodged, and made to labour. Nearly the
same method of providing for the poor prevails through all our states; and
from Savannah to Portsmouth you will seldom meet a beggar. In the larger
towns indeed they sometimes present themselves. These are usually
foreigners, who have never obtained a settlement in any parish. I never yet
saw a native American begging in the streets or highways. A subsistence is
easily gained here: and if, by misfortunes, they are thrown on the charities
of the world, those provided by their own country are so comfortable and so
certain, that they never think of relinquishing them to become strolling
beggars. Their situation too, when sick, in the family of a good farmer,
where every member is emulous to do them kind offices, where they are
visited by all the neighbours, who bring them the little rarities which
their sickly appetites may crave, and who take by rotation the nightly watch
over them, when
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their condition requires it, is without comparison better than in a general
hospital, where the sick, the dying, and the dead are crammed together, in
the same rooms, and often in the same beds. The disadvantages, inseparable
from general hospitals, are such as can never be counterpoised by all the
regularities of medicine and regimen. Nature and kind nursing save a much
greater proportion in our plain way, at a smaller expence, and with less
abuse. One branch only of hospital institution is wanting with us; that is,
a general establishment for those labouring under difficult cases of
chirurgery. The aids of this art are not equivocal. But an able chirurgeon
cannot be had in every parish. Such a receptacle should therefore be
provided for those patients: but no others should be admitted.

Marriages must be solemnized either on special licence, granted by the
first magistrate of the county, on proof of the consent of the parent or
guardian of either party under age, or after solemn publication, on three
several Sundays, at some place of religious worship, in the parishes where
the parties reside. The act of solemnization may be by the minister of any
society of Christians, who shall have been previously licensed for this
purpose by the court of the county. Quakers and Menonists however are
exempted from all these conditions, and marriage among them is to be
solemnized by the society itself.

A foreigner of any nation, not in open war with us, becomes naturalized
by removing to the state to reside, and taking an oath of fidelity: and
thereupon acquires every right of a native citizen: and citizens may divest
themselves of that character, by declaring, by solemn deed, or in open
court, that they mean to expatriate themselves, and no longer to be citizens
of this state.

Conveyances of land must be registered in the court of the county wherein
they lie, or in the general court, or they are void, as to creditors, and
subsequent purchasers.

Slaves pass by descent and dower as lands do. Where the descent is from a
parent, the heir is bound to pay an equal share of their value in money to
each of his brothers and sisters.

Slaves, as well as lands, were entailable during the monarchy:
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but, by an act of the first republican assembly, all donees in tail, present
and future, were vested with the absolute dominion of the entailed subject.

Bills of exchange, being protested, carry 10 per cent. interest from
their date.

No person is allowed, in any other case, to take more than five per cent.
per annum simple interest, for the loan of monies.

Gaming debts are made void, and monies actually paid to discharge such
debts (if they exceeded 40 shillings) may be recovered by the payer within
three months, or by any other person afterwards.

Tobacco, flour, beef, pork, tar, pitch, and turpentine, must be inspected
by persons publicly appointed, before they can be exported.

The erecting iron-works and mills is encouraged by many privileges; with
necessary cautions however to prevent their dams from obstructing the
navigation of the water-courses. The general assembly have on several
occasions shewn a great desire to encourage the opening the great falls of
James and Patowmac rivers. As yet, however, neither of these have been

The laws have also descended to the preservation and improvement of the
races of useful animals, such as horses, cattle, deer; to the extirpation of
those which are noxious, as wolves, squirrels, crows, blackbirds; and to the
guarding our citizens against infectious disorders, by obliging suspected
vessels coming into the state, to perform quarantine, and by regulating the
conduct of persons having such disorders within the state.

The mode of acquiring lands, in the earliest times of our settlement, was
by petition to the general assembly. If the lands prayed for were already
cleared of the Indian title, and the assembly thought the prayer reasonable,
they passed the property by their vote to the petitioner. But if they had
not yet been ceded by the Indians, it was necessary that the petitioner
should previously purchase their right. This purchase the assembly verified,
by enquiries of the Indian proprietors; and being satisfied of its reality
and fairness, proceeded further to examine the reasonableness of the
petition, and its
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consistence with policy; and, according to the result, either granted or
rejected the petition. The company also sometimes, though very rarely,
granted lands, independantly of the general assembly. As the colony
increased, and individual applications for land multiplied, it was found to
give too much occupation to the general assembly to enquire into and execute
the grant in every special case. They therefore thought it better to
establish general rules, according to which all grants should be made, and
to leave to the governor the execution of them, under these rules. This they
did by what have been usually called the land laws, amending them from time
to time, as their defects were developed. According to these laws, when an
individual wished a portion of unappropriated land, he was to locate and
survey it by a public officer, appointed for that purpose: its breadth was
to bear a certain proportion to its length: the grant was to be executed by
the governor: and the lands were to be improved in a certain manner, within
a given time. From these regulations there resulted to the state a sole and
exclusive power of taking conveyances of the Indian right of soil: since,
according to them, an Indian conveyance alone could give no right to an
individual, which the laws would acknowledge. The state, or the crown,
thereafter, made general purchases of the Indians from time to time, and the
governor parcelled them out by special grants, conformed to the rules before
described, which it was not in his power, or in that of the crown, to
dispense with. Grants, unaccompanied by their proper legal circumstances,
were set aside regularly by scire facias, or by bill in Chancery. Since the
establishment of our new government, this order of things is but little
changed. An individual, wishing to appropriate to himself lands still
unappropriated by any other, pays to the public treasurer a sum of money
proportioned to the quantity he wants. He carries the treasurer's receipt to
the auditors of public accompts, who thereupon debit the treasurer with the
sum, and order the register of the land-office to give the party a warrant
for his land. With this warrant from the register, he goes to the surveyor
of the county where the land lies on which he has cast his eye. The surveyor
lays it off for him, gives him its exact description, in the form of a
certificate, which certificate he returns to the land-office,
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where a grant is made out, and is signed by the governor. This vests in him
a perfect dominion in his lands, transmissible to whom he pleases by deed or
will, or by descent to his heirs if he die intestate.

Many of the laws which were in force during the monarchy being relative
merely to that form of government, or inculcating principles inconsistent
with republicanism, the first assembly which met after the establishment of
the commonwealth appointed a committee to revise the whole code, to reduce
it into proper form and volume, and report it to the assembly. This work has
been executed by three gentlemen, and reported; but probably will not be
taken up till a restoration of peace shall leave to the legislature leisure
to go through such a work.

The plan of the revisal was this. The common law of England, by which is
meant, that part of the English law which was anterior to the date of the
oldest statutes extant, is made the basis of the work. It was thought
dangerous to attempt to reduce it to a text: it was therefore left to be
collected from the usual monuments of it. Necessary alterations in that, and
so much of the whole body of the British statutes, and of acts of assembly,
as were thought proper to be retained, were digested into 126 new acts, in
which simplicity of stile was aimed at, as far as was safe. The following
are the most remarkable alterations proposed:

To change the rules of descent, so as that the lands of any person dying
intestate shall be divisible equally among all his children, or other
representatives, in equal degree.

To make slaves distributable among the next of kin, as other moveables.

To have all public expences, whether of the general treasury, or of a
parish or county, (as for the maintenance of the poor, building bridges,
court-houses, &c.) supplied by assessments on the citizens, in proportion to
their property.

To hire undertakers for keeping the public roads in repair, and indemnify
individuals through whose lands new roads shall be opened.

To define with precision the rules whereby aliens should become citizens,
and citizens make themselves aliens.

To establish religious freedom on the broadest bottom.
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To emancipate all slaves born after passing the act. The bill reported by
the revisors does not itself contain this proposition; but an amendment
containing it was prepared, to be offered to the legislature whenever the
bill should be taken up, and further directing, that they should continue
with their parents to a certain age, then be brought up, at the public
expence, to tillage, arts or sciences, according to their geniusses, till
the females should be eighteen, and the males twenty-one years of age, when
they should be colonized to such place as the circumstances of the time
should render most proper, sending them out with arms, implements of
houshold and of the handicraft arts, feeds, pairs of the useful domestic
animals, &c. to declare them a free and independant people, and extend to
them our alliance and protection, till they shall have acquired strength;
and to send vessels at the same time to other parts of the world for an
equal number of white inhabitants; to induce whom to migrate hither, proper
encouragements were to be proposed. It will probably be asked, Why not
retain and incorporate the blacks into the state, and thus save the expence
of supplying, by importation of white settlers, the vacancies they will
leave? Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand
recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new
provocations; the real distinctions which nature has made; and many other
circumstances, will divide us into parties, and produce convulsions which
will probably never end but in the extermination of the one or the other
race. -- To these objections, which are political, may be added others,
which are physical and moral. The first difference which strikes us is that
of colour. Whether the black of the negro resides in the reticular membrane
between the skin and scarf-skin, or in the scarf-skin itself; whether it
proceeds from the colour of the blood, the colour of the bile, or from that
of some other secretion, the difference is fixed in nature, and is as real
as if its seat and cause were better known to us. And is this difference of
no importance? Is it not the foundation of a greater or less share of beauty
in the two races? Are not the fine mixtures of red and white, the
expressions of every passion by greater or less suffusions of colour in the
one, preferable to that eternal monotony, which reigns in the countenances,
that immoveable
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veil of black which covers all the emotions of the other race? Add to these,
flowing hair, a more elegant symmetry of form, their own judgment in favour
of the whites, declared by their preference of them, as uniformly as is the
preference of the Oranootan for the black women over those of his own
species. The circumstance of superior beauty, is thought worthy attention in
the propagation of our horses, dogs, and other domestic animals; why not in
that of man? Besides those of colour, figure, and hair, there are other
physical distinctions proving a difference of race. They have less hair on
the face and body. They secrete less by the kidnies, and more by the glands
of the skin, which gives them a very strong and disagreeable odour. This
greater degree of transpiration renders them more tolerant of heat, and less
so of cold, than the whites. Perhaps too a difference of structure in the
pulmonary apparatus, which a late ingenious
Note: Crawford. experimentalist has discovered to be the principal regulator
of animal heat, may have disabled them from extricating, in the act of
inspiration, so much of that fluid from the outer air, or obliged them in
expiration, to part with more of it. They seem to require less sleep. A
black, after hard labour through the day, will be induced by the slightest
amusements to sit up till midnight, or later, though knowing he must be out
with the first dawn of the morning. They are at least as brave, and more
adventuresome. But this may perhaps proceed from a want of forethought,
which prevents their seeing a danger till it be present. When present, they
do not go through it with more coolness or steadiness than the whites. They
are more ardent after their female: but love seems with them to be more an
eager desire, than a tender delicate mixture of sentiment and sensation.
Their griefs are transient. Those numberless afflictions, which render it
doubtful whether heaven has given life to us in mercy or in wrath, are less
felt, and sooner forgotten with them. In general, their existence appears to
participate more of sensation than reflection. To this must be ascribed
their disposition to sleep when abstracted from their diversions, and
unemployed in labour. An animal whose body is at rest, and who does not
reflect, must be disposed to sleep
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of course. Comparing them by their faculties of memory, reason, and
imagination, it appears to me, that in memory they are equal to the whites;
in reason much inferior, as I think one could scarcely be found capable of
tracing and comprehending the investigations of Euclid; and that in
imagination they are dull, tasteless, and anomalous. It would be unfair to
follow them to Africa for this investigation. We will consider them here, on
the same stage with the whites, and where the facts are not apocryphal on
which a judgment is to be formed. It will be right to make great allowances
for the difference of condition, of education, of conversation, of the
sphere in which they move. Many millions of them have been brought to, and
born in America. Most of them indeed have been confined to tillage, to their
own homes, and their own society: yet many have been so situated, that they
might have availed themselves of the conversation of their masters; many
have been brought up to the handicraft arts, and from that circumstance have
always been associated with the whites. Some have been liberally educated,
and all have lived in countries where the arts and sciences are cultivated
to a considerable degree, and have had before their eyes samples of the best
works from abroad. The Indians, with no advantages of this kind, will often
carve figures on their pipes not destitute of design and merit. They will
crayon out an animal, a plant, or a country, so as to prove the existence of
a germ in their minds which only wants cultivation. They astonish you with
strokes of the most sublime oratory; such as prove their reason and
sentiment strong, their imagination glowing and elevated. But never yet
could I find that a black had uttered a thought above the level of plain
narration; never see even an elementary trait of painting or sculpture. In
music they are more generally gifted than the whites with accurate ears for
tune and time, and they have been found capable of imagining a small catch.
Note: The instrument proper to them is the Banjar, which they brought hither
from Africa, and which is the original of the guitar, its chords being
precisely the four lower chords of the guitar. Whether they will be equal to
the composition of a more extensive run of melody, or of complicated
harmony, is yet to be proved. Misery is often the parent of
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the most affecting touches in poetry. -- Among the blacks is misery enough,
God knows, but no poetry. Love is the peculiar ;oestrum of the poet. Their
love is ardent, but it kindles the senses only, not the imagination.
Religion indeed has produced a Phyllis Whately; but it could not produce a
poet. The compositions published under her name are below the dignity of
criticism. The heroes of the Dunciad are to her, as Hercules to the author
of that poem. Ignatius Sancho has approached nearer to merit in composition;
yet his letters do more honour to the heart than the head. They breathe the
purest effusions of friendship and general philanthropy, and shew how great
a degree of the latter may be compounded with strong religious zeal. He is
often happy in the turn of his compliments, and his stile is easy and
familiar, except when he affects a Shandean fabrication of words. But his
imagination is wild and extravagant, escapes incessantly from every
restraint of reason and taste, and, in the course of its vagaries, leaves a
tract of thought as incoherent and eccentric, as is the course of a meteor
through the sky. His subjects should often have led him to a process of
sober reasoning: yet we find him always substituting sentiment for
demonstration. Upon the whole, though we admit him to the first place among
those of his own colour who have presented themselves to the public
judgment, yet when we compare him with the writers of the race among whom he
lived, and particularly with the epistolary class, in which he has taken his
own stand, we are compelled to enroll him at the bottom of the column. This
criticism supposes the letters published under his name to be genuine, and
to have received amendment from no other hand; points which would not be of
easy investigation. The improvement of the blacks in body and mind, in the
first instance of their mixture with the whites, has been observed by every
one, and proves that their inferiority is not the effect merely of their
condition of life. We know that among the Romans, about the Augustan age
especially, the condition of their slaves was much more deplorable than that
of the blacks on the continent of America. The two sexes were confined in
separate apartments, because to raise a child cost the master more than to
buy one. Cato, for a very restricted indulgence
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to his slaves in this particular,
Note: {Tos dolos etaxen orismeno nomismatos omilein tais therapainisin.} --
Plutarch. Cato. took from them a certain price. But in this country the
slaves multiply as fast as the free inhabitants. Their situation and manners
place the commerce between the two sexes almost without restraint. -- The
same Cato, on a principle of ;oeconomy, always sold his sick and
superannuated slaves. He gives it as a standing precept to a master visiting
his farm, to sell his old oxen, old waggons, old tools, old and diseased
servants, and every thing else become useless. `Vendat boves vetulos,
plaustrum vetus, ferramenta vetera, servum senem, servum morbosum, & si quid
aliud supersit vendat.' Cato de re rustic. c. 2. The American slaves cannot
enumerate this among the injuries and insults they receive. It was the
common practice to expose in the island Suet. Claud.

of Aesculapius, in the Tyber, diseased slaves, whose cure was like to
become tedious. The Emperor Claudius, by an edict, gave freedom to such of
them as should recover, and first declared, that if any person chose to kill
rather than to expose them, it should be deemed homicide. The exposing them
is a crime of which no instance has existed with us; and were it to be
followed by death, it would be punished capitally. We are told of a certain
Vedius Pollio, who, in the presence of Augustus, would have given a slave as
food to his fish, for having broken a glass. With the Romans, the regular
method of taking the evidence of their slaves was under torture. Here it has
been thought better never to resort to their evidence. When a master was
murdered, all his slaves, in the same house, or within hearing, were
condemned to death. Here punishment falls on the guilty only, and as precise
proof is required against him as against a freeman. Yet notwithstanding
these and other discouraging circumstances among the Romans, their slaves
were often their rarest artists. They excelled too in science, insomuch as
to be usually employed as tutors to their master's children. Epictetus,
Terence, and Phaedrus, were slaves. But they were of the race of whites. It
is not their condition then, but nature, which has produced the distinction.
-- Whether further observation will or will not verify the conjecture, that
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nature has been less bountiful to them in the endowments of the head, I
believe that in those of the heart she will be found to have done them
justice. That disposition to theft with which they have been branded, must
be ascribed to their situation, and not to any depravity of the moral sense.
The man, in whose favour no laws of property exist, probably feels himself
less bound to respect those made in favour of others. When arguing for
ourselves, we lay it down as a fundamental, that laws, to be just, must give
a reciprocation of right: that, without this, they are mere arbitrary rules
of conduct, founded in force, and not in conscience: and it is a problem
which give to the master to solve, whether the religious precepts against
the violation of property were not framed for him as well as his slave? And
whether the slave may not as justifiably take a little from one, who has
taken all from him, as he may slay one who would slay him? That a change in
the relations in which a man is placed should change his ideas of moral
right and wrong, is neither new, nor peculiar to the colour of the blacks.
Homer tells us it was so 2600 years ago.
{'Emisy, gaz t' aretes apoainylai eyrythpa Zeys
Aneros, eyt, an min kata dolion emaz elesin.} Od. 17. 323.

Jove fix'd it certain, that whatever day
Makes man a slave, takes half his worth away.

But the slaves of which Homer speaks were whites. Notwithstanding these
considerations which must weaken their respect for the laws of property, we
find among them numerous instances of the most rigid integrity, and as many
as among their better instructed masters, of benevolence, gratitude, and
unshaken fidelity. -- The opinion, that they are inferior in the faculties
of reason and imagination, must be hazarded with great diffidence. To
justify a general conclusion, requires many observations, even where the
subject may be submitted to the Anatomical knife, to Optical glasses, to
analysis by fire, or by solvents. How much more then where it is a faculty,
not a substance, we are examining; where it
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eludes the research of all the senses; where the conditions of its existence
are various and variously combined; where the effects of those which are
present or absent bid defiance to calculation; let me add too, as a
circumstance of great tenderness, where our conclusion would degrade a whole
race of men from the rank in the scale of beings which their Creator may
perhaps have given them. To our reproach it must be said, that though for a
century and a half we have had under our eyes the races of black and of red
men, they have never yet been viewed by us as subjects of natural history.
advance it therefore as a suspicion only, that the blacks, whether
originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are
inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind. It is not
against experience to suppose, that different species of the same genus, or
varieties of the same species, may possess different qualifications. Will
not a lover of natural history then, one who views the gradations in all the
races of animals with the eye of philosophy, excuse an effort to keep those
in the department of man as distinct as nature has formed them? This
unfortunate difference of colour, and perhaps of faculty, is a powerful
obstacle to the emancipation of these people. Many of their advocates, while
they wish to vindicate the liberty of human nature, are anxious also to
preserve its dignity and beauty. Some of these, embarrassed by the question
`What further is to be done with them?' join themselves in opposition with
those who are actuated by sordid avarice only. Among the Romans emancipation
required but one effort. The slave, when made free, might mix with, without
staining the blood of his master. But with us a second is necessary, unknown
to history. When freed, he is to be removed beyond the reach of mixture.

The revised code further proposes to proportion crimes and punishments.
This is attempted on the following scale. I. Crimes whose punishment extends
to Life. 1. High treason. Death by hanging. Forfeiture of lands and goods to
the commonwealth. 2. Petty treason. Death by hanging. Dissection. Forfeiture
of half the lands and goods to the representatives of the party slain.
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3. Murder. 1. by poison. Death by poison. Forfeiture of one-half as before.
2. in Duel. Death by hanging. Gibbeting, if the challenger. Forfeiture of
one-half as before, unless it be the party challenged, then the forfeiture
is to the commonwealth. 3. in any other way. Death by hanging. Forfeiture of
one-half as before. 4. Manslaughter. The second offence is murder. II.
Crimes whose punishment goes to Limb. 1. Rape, } Dismemberment. 2. Sodomy, }
3. Maiming, } Retaliation, and the forfeiture of half the 4. Disfiguring }
lands and goods to the sufferer. III. Crimes punishable by Labour. 1.
Manslaughter, 1st offence. Labour VII. years Forfeiture of for the public.
half as in murder. 2. Counterfeiting money. Labour VI. years. Forfeiture of
lands and goods to the commonwealth. 3. Arson. } Labour V. years. 4.
Asportation of vessels. } Reparation three-fold. 5. Robbery. } Labour IV.
years. 6. Burglary. } Reparation double. 7. Housebreaking. } Labour III.
years. 8. Horse-stealing. } Reparation. 9. Grand Larcency. Labour II.
years.Reparation. Pillory. 10. Petty Larcency. Labour I. year. Reparation.
Pillory. 11. Pretensions to witch-craft, &c. Ducking. Stripes. 12. Excusable
homicide. } to be pitied, not punished. 13. Suicide. } 14. Apostacy. Heresy.

Pardon and privilege of clergy are proposed to be abolished; but if the
verdict be against the defendant, the court in their discretion, may allow a
new trial. No attainder to cause a corruption of blood, or forfeiture of
dower. Slaves guilty of offences punishable in others by labour, to be
transported to Africa, or elsewhere, as the circumstances of the time admit,
there to be continued in slavery. A rigorous regimen proposed for those
condemned to labour.

Another object of the revisal is, to diffuse knowledge more
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generally through the mass of the people. This bill proposes to lay off
every county into small districts of five or six miles square, called
hundreds, and in each of them to establish a school for teaching reading,
writing, and arithmetic. The tutor to be supported by the hundred, and every
person in it entitled to send their children three years gratis, and as much
longer as they please, paying for it. These schools to be under a visitor,
who is annually to chuse the boy, of best genius in the school, of those
whose parents are too poor to give them further education, and to send him
forward to one of the grammar schools, of which twenty are proposed to be
erected in different parts of the country, for teaching Greek, Latin,
geography, and the higher branches of numerical arithmetic. Of the boys thus
sent in any one year, trial is to be made at the grammar schools one or two
years, and the best genius of the whole selected, and continued six years,
and the residue dismissed. By this means twenty of the best geniusses will
be raked from the rubbish annually, and be instructed, at the public
expence, so far as the grammer schools go. At the end of six years
instruction, one half are to be discontinued (from among whom the grammar
schools will probably be supplied with future masters); and the other half,
who are to be chosen for the superiority of their parts and disposition, are
to be sent and continued three years in the study of such sciences as they
shall chuse, at William and Mary college, the plan of which is proposed to
be enlarged, as will be hereafter explained, and extended to all the useful
sciences. The ultimate result of the whole scheme of education would be the
teaching all the children of the state reading, writing, and common
arithmetic: turning out ten annually of superior genius, well taught in
Greek, Latin, geography, and the higher branches of arithmetic: turning out
ten others annually, of still superior parts, who, to those branches of
learning, shall have added such of the sciences as their genius shall have
led them to: the furnishing to the wealthier part of the people convenient
schools, at which their children may be educated, at their own expence. --
The general objects of this law are to provide an education adapted to the
years, to the capacity, and the condition of every one, and directed to
their freedom and happiness. Specific details were not proper for the law.
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must be the business of the visitors entrusted with its execution. The first
stage of this education being the schools of the hundreds, wherein the great
mass of the people will receive their instruction, the principal foundations
of future order will be laid here. Instead therefore of putting the Bible
and Testament into the hands of the children, at an age when their judgments
are not sufficiently matured for religious enquiries, their memories may
here be stored with the most useful facts from Grecian, Roman, European and
American history. The first elements of morality too may be instilled into
their minds; such as, when further developed as their judgments advance in
strength, may teach them how to work out their own greatest happiness, by
shewing them that it does not depend on the condition of life in which
chance has placed them, but is always the result of a good conscience, good
health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits. -- Those whom either
the wealth of their parents or the adoption of the state shall destine to
higher degrees of learning, will go on to the grammar schools, which
constitute the next stage, there to be instructed in the languages. The
learning Greek and Latin, I am told, is going into disuse in Europe. I know
not what their manners and occupations may call for: but it would be very
ill-judged in us to follow their example in this instance. There is a
certain period of life, say from eight to fifteen or sixteen years of age,
when the mind, like the body, is not yet firm enough for laborious and close
operations. If applied to such, it falls an early victim to premature
exertion; exhibiting indeed at first, in these young and tender subjects,
the flattering appearance of their being men while they are yet children,
but ending in reducing them to be children when they should be men. The
memory is then most susceptible and tenacious of impressions; and the
learning of languages being chiefly a work of memory, it seems precisely
fitted to the powers of this period, which is long enough too for acquiring
the most useful languages antient and modern. I do not pretend that language
is science. It is only an instrument for the attainment of science. But that
time is not lost which is employed in providing tools for future operation:
more especially as in this case the books put into the hands of the youth
for this purpose may be such as will at the same
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time impress their minds with useful facts and good principles. If this
period be suffered to pass in idleness, the mind becomes lethargic and
impotent, as would the body it inhabits if unexercised during the same time.
The sympathy between body and mind during their rise, progress and decline,
is too strict and obvious to endanger our being misled while we reason from
the one to the other. -- As soon as they are of sufficient age, it is
supposed they will be sent on from the grammar schools to the university,
which constitutes our third and last stage, there to study those sciences
which may be adapted to their views. -- By that part of our plan which
prescribes the selection of the youths of genius from among the classes of
the poor, we hope to avail the state of those talents which nature has sown
as liberally among the poor as the rich, but which perish without use, if
not sought for and cultivated. -- But of all the views of this law none is
more important, none more legitimate, than that of rendering the people the
safe, as they are the ultimate, guardians of their own liberty. For this
purpose the reading in the first stage, where they will receive their whole
education, is proposed, as has been said, to be chiefly historical. History
by apprising them of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it
will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will
qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable
them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to
defeat its views. In every government on earth is some trace of human
weakness, some germ of corruption and degeneracy, which cunning will
discover, and wickedness insensibly open, cultivate, and improve. Every
government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The
people themselves therefore are its only safe depositories. And to render
even them safe their minds must be improved to a certain degree. This indeed
is not all that is necessary, though it be essentially necessary. An
amendment of our constitution must here come in aid of the public education.
The influence over government must be shared among all the people. If every
individual which composes their mass participates of the ultimate authority,
the government will be safe; because the corrupting the whole mass will
exceed any private resources of
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wealth: and public ones cannot be provided but by levies on the people. In
this case every man would have to pay his own price. The government of
Great-Britain has been corrupted, because but one man in ten has a right to
vote for members of parliament. The sellers of the government therefore get
nine-tenths of their price clear. It has been thought that corruption is
restrained by confining the right of suffrage to a few of the wealthier of
the people: but it would be more effectually restrained by an extension of
that right to such numbers as would bid defiance to the means of corruption.

Lastly, it is proposed, by a bill in this revisal, to begin a public
library and gallery, by laying out a certain sum annually in books,
paintings, and statues.

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"Colleges, buildings, and roads"
The colleges and public establishments, the roads, buildings, &c.?
Colleges, Buildings, Roads, &c.

The college of William and Mary is the only public seminary of learning
in this state. It was founded in the time of king William and queen Mary,
who granted to it 20,000 acres of land, and a penny a pound duty on certain
tobaccoes exported from Virginia and Maryland, which had been levied by the
statute of 25 Car. 2. The assembly also gave it, by temporary laws, a duty
on liquors imported, and skins and firs exported. From these resources it
received upwards of 3000 l. communibus annis. The buildings are of brick,
sufficient for an indifferent accommodation of perhaps an hundred students.
By its charter it was to be under the government of twenty visitors, who
were to be its legislators, and to have a president and six professors, who
were incorporated. It was allowed a representative in the general assembly.
Under this charter, a professorship of the Greek and Latin languages, a
professorship of mathematics, one of moral philosophy, and two of divinity,
were established. To these were annexed, for a sixth professorship, a
considerable donation by Mr. Boyle of England, for the instruction of the
Indians, and their conversion to Christianity. This was called the
professorship of Brafferton, from an estate of that name in England,
purchased with the monies given. The admission of the learners of Latin and
Greek filled the college with children. This rendering it disagreeable and
degrading to young gentlemen already prepared for entering on the sciences,
they were discouraged from resorting to it, and thus the schools for
mathematics and moral philosophy, which might have been of some service,
became of very little. The revenues too were exhausted in accommodating
those who came only to acquire the rudiments of science. After the present
revolution, the visitors, having no power to change those circumstances in
the constitution of the college which were fixed by the charter, and being
therefore confined in the number of professorships, undertook to change the
objects of the professorships. They
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excluded the two schools for divinity, and that for the Greek and Latin
languages, and substituted others; so that at present they stand thus: A
Professorship for Law and Police: Anatomy and Medicine: Natural Philosophy
and Mathematics: Moral Philosophy, the Law of Nature and Nations, the Fine
Arts: Modern Languages: For the Brafferton.

And it is proposed, so soon as the legislature shall have leisure to take
up this subject, to desire authority from them to increase the number of
professorships, as well for the purpose of subdividing those already
instituted, as of adding others for other branches of science. To the
professorships usually established in the universities of Europe, it would
seem proper to add one for the antient languages and literature of the
North, on account of their connection with our own language, laws, customs,
and history. The purposes of the Brafferton institution would be better
answered by maintaining a perpetual mission among the Indian tribes, the
object of which, besides instructing them in the principles of Christianity,
as the founder requires, should be to collect their traditions, laws,
customs, languages, and other circumstances which might lead to a discovery
of their relation with one another, or descent from other nations. When
these objects are accomplished with one tribe, the missionary might pass on
to another.

The roads are under the government of the county courts, subject to be
controuled by the general court. They order new roads to be opened wherever
they think them necessary. The inhabitants of the county are by them laid
off into precincts, to each of which they allot a convenient portion of the
public roads to be kept in repair. Such bridges as may be built without the
assistance of artificers, they are to build. If the stream be such as to
require a bridge of regular workmanship, the court employs workmen to build
it, at the expence of the whole county. If it be too great for the county,
application is made to the general assembly, who authorize individuals to
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build it, and to take a fixed toll from all passengers, or give sanction to
such other proposition as to them appears reasonable.

Ferries are admitted only at such places as are particularly pointed out
by law, and the rates of ferriage are fixed.

Taverns are licensed by the courts, who fix their rates from time to

The private buildings are very rarely constructed of stone or brick; much
the greatest proportion being of scantling and boards, plaistered with lime.
It is impossible to devise things more ugly, uncomfortable, and happily more
perishable. There are two or three plans, on one of which, according to its
size, most of the houses in the state are built. The poorest people build
huts of logs, laid horizontally in pens, stopping the interstices with mud.
These are warmer in winter, and cooler in summer, than the more expensive
constructions of scantling and plank. The wealthy are attentive to the
raising of vegetables, but very little so to fruits. The poorer people
attend to neither, living principally on milk and animal diet. This is the
more inexcusable, as the climate requires indispensably a free use of
vegetable food, for health as well as comfort, and is very friendly to the
raising of fruits. -- The only public buildings worthy mention are the
Capitol, the Palace, the College, and the Hospital for Lunatics, all of them
in Williamsburg, heretofore the seat of our government. The Capitol is a
light and airy structure, with a portico in front of two orders, the lower
of which, being Doric, is tolerably just in its proportions and ornaments,
save only that the intercolonnations are too large. The upper is Ionic, much
too small for that on which it is mounted, its ornaments not proper to the
order, nor proportioned within themselves. It is crowned with a pediment,
which is too high for its span. Yet, on the whole, it is the most pleasing
piece of architecture we have. The Palace is not handsome without: but it is
spacious and commodious within, is prettily situated, and, with the grounds
annexed to it, is capable of being made an elegant seat. The College and
Hospital are rude, mis-shapen piles, which, but that they have roofs, would
be taken for brick-kilns. There are no other public buildings but churches
and court-houses, in which no attempts are made at elegance.
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Indeed it would not be easy to execute such an attempt, as a workman could
scarcely be found here capable of drawing an order. The genius of
architecture seems to have shed its maledictions over this land. Buildings
are often erected, by individuals, of considerable expence. To give these
symmetry and taste would not increase their cost. It would only change the
arrangement of the materials, the form and combination of the members. This
would often cost less than the burthen of barbarous ornaments with which
these buildings are sometimes charged. But the first principles of the art
are unknown, and there exists scarcely a model among us sufficiently chaste
to give an idea of them. Architecture being one of the fine arts, and as
such within the department of a professor of the college, according to the
new arrangement, perhaps a spark may fall on some young subjects of natural
taste, kindle up their genius, and produce a reformation in this elegant and
useful art. But all we shall do in this way will produce no permanent
improvement to our country, while the unhappy prejudice prevails that houses
of brick or stone are less wholesome than those of wood. A dew is often
observed on the walls of the former in rainy weather, and the most obvious
solution is, that the rain has penetrated through these walls. The following
facts however are sufficient to prove the error of this solution. 1. This
dew on the walls appears when there is no rain, if the state of the
atmosphere be moist. 2. It appears on the partition as well as the exterior
walls. 3. So also on pavements of brick or stone. 4. It is more copious in
proportion as the walls are thicker; the reverse of which ought to be the
case, if this hypothesis were just. If cold water be poured into a vessel of
stone, or glass, a dew forms instantly on the outside: but if it be poured
into a vessel of wood, there is no such appearance. It is not supposed, in
the first case, that the water has exuded through the glass, but that it is
precipitated from the circumambient air; as the humid particles of vapour,
passing from the boiler of an alembic through its refrigerant, are
precipitated from the air, in which they were suspended, on the internal
surface of the refrigerant. Walls of brick or stone act as the refrigerant
in this instance. They are sufficiently cold to condense and precipitate the
moisture suspended in the air of the room, when it is
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heavily charged therewith. But walls of wood are not so. The question then
is, whether air in which this moisture is left floating, or that which is
deprived of it, be most wholesome? In both cases the remedy is easy. A
little fire kindled in the room, whenever the air is damp, prevents the
precipitation on the walls: and this practice, found healthy in the warmest
as well as coldest seasons, is as necessary in a wooden as in a stone or a
brick house. I do not mean to say, that the rain never penetrates through
walls of brick. On the contrary I have seen instances of it. But with us it
is only through the northern and eastern walls of the house, after a
north-easterly storm, these being the only ones which continue long enough
to force through the walls. This however happens too rarely to give a just
character of unwholesomeness to such houses. In a house, the walls of which
are of well-burnt brick and good mortar, I have seen the rain penetrate
through but twice in a dozen or fifteen years. The inhabitants of Europe,
who dwell chiefly in houses of stone or brick, are surely as healthy as
those of Virginia. These houses have the advantage too of being warmer in
winter and cooler in summer than those of wood, of being cheaper in their
first construction, where lime is convenient, and infinitely more durable.
The latter consideration renders it of great importance to eradicate this
prejudice from the minds of our countrymen. A country whose buildings are of
wood, can never increase in its improvements to any considerable degree.
Their duration is highly estimated at 50 years. Every half century then our
country becomes a tabula rasa, whereon we have to set out anew, as in the
first moment of seating it. Whereas when buildings are of durable materials,
every new edifice is an actual and permanent acquisition to the state,
adding to its value as well as to its ornament.

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"Proceedings as to Tories"
The measures taken with regard of the estates and possessions of the rebels,
commonly called Tories?

A Tory has been properly defined to be a traitor in thought, but not in
deed. The only description, by which the laws have endeavoured to come at
them, was that of non-jurors, or persons refusing to take the oath of
fidelity to the state. Persons of this description were at one time
subjected to double taxation, at another to treble, and lastly were allowed
retribution, and placed on a level with good citizens. It may be mentioned
as a proof both of the lenity of our government, and unanimity of its
inhabitants, that though this war has now raged near seven years, not a
single execution for treason has taken place.

Under this query I will state the measures which have been adopted as to
British property, the owners of which stand on a much fairer footing than
the Tories. By our laws, the same as the English in this respect, no alien
can hold lands, nor alien enemy maintain an action for money, or other
moveable thing. Lands acquired or held by aliens become forfeited to the
state; and, on an action by an alien enemy to recover money, or other
moveable property, the defendant may plead that he is an alien enemy. This
extinguishes his right in the hands of the debtor or holder of his moveable
property. By our separation from Great-Britain, British subjects became
aliens, and being at war, they were alien enemies. Their lands were of
course forfeited, and their debts irrecoverable. The assembly however passed
laws, at various times, for saving their property. They first sequestered
their lands, slaves, and other property on their farms, in the hands of
commissioners, who were mostly the confidential friends or agents of the
owners, and directed their clear profits to be paid into the treasury: and
they gave leave to all persons owing debts to British subjects to pay them
also into the treasury. The monies so to be brought in were declared to
remain the property of the British subject, and, if used by the state, were
to be repaid, unless an improper conduct in Great-Britain should render a
detention of it reasonable. Depreciation had at that
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time, though unacknowledged and unperceived by the Whigs, begun in some
small degree. Great sums of money were paid in by debtors. At a later
period, the assembly, adhering to the political principles which forbid an
alien to hold lands in the state, ordered all British property to be sold:
and, become sensible of the real progress of depreciation, and of the losses
which would thence occur, if not guarded against, they ordered that the
proceeds of the sales should be converted into their then worth in tobacco,
subject to the future direction of the legislature. This act has left the
question of retribution more problematical. In May 1780 another act took
away the permission to pay into the public treasury debts due to British

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The different religions received into that state?

The first settlers in this country were emigrants from England, of the
English church, just at a point of time when it was flushed with complete
victory over the religious of all other persuasions. Possessed, as they
became, of the powers of making, administering, and executing the laws, they
shewed equal intolerance in this country with their Presbyterian brethren,
who had emigrated to the northern government. The poor Quakers were flying
from persecution in England. They cast their eyes on these new countries as
asylums of civil and religious freedom; but they found them free only for
the reigning sect. Several acts of the Virginia assembly of 1659, 1662, and
1693, had made it penal in parents to refuse to have their children
baptized; had prohibited the unlawful assembling of Quakers; had made it
penal for any master of a vessel to bring a Quaker into the state; had
ordered those already here, and such as should come thereafter, to be
imprisoned till they should abjure the country; provided a milder punishment
for their first and second return, but death for their third; had inhibited
all persons from suffering their meetings in or near their houses,
entertaining them individually, or disposing of books which supported their
tenets. If no capital execution took place here, as did in New-England, it
was not owing to the moderation of the church, or spirit of the legislature,
as may be inferred from the law itself; but to historical circumstances
which have not been handed down to us. The Anglicans retained full
possession of the country about a century. Other opinions began then to
creep in, and the great care of the government to support their own church,
having begotten an equal degree of indolence in its clergy, two-thirds of
the people had become dissenters at the commencement of the present
revolution. The laws indeed were still oppressive on them, but the spirit of
the one party had subsided into moderation, and of the other had risen to a
degree of determination which commanded respect.

The present state of our laws on the subject of religion is this. The
convention of May 1776, in their declaration of
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rights, declared it to be a truth, and a natural right, that the exercise of
religion should be free; but when they proceeded to form on that declaration
the ordinance of government, instead of taking up every principle declared
in the bill of rights, and guarding it by legislative sanction, they passed
over that which asserted our religious rights, leaving them as they found
them. The same convention, however, when they met as a member of the general
assembly in October 1776, repealed all acts of parliament which had rendered
criminal the maintaining any opinions in matters of religion, the forbearing
to repair to church, and the exercising any mode of worship; and suspended
the laws giving salaries to the clergy, which suspension was made perpetual
in October 1779. Statutory oppressions in religion being thus wiped away, we
remain at present under those only imposed by the common law, or by our own
acts of assembly. At the common law, heresy was a capital offence,
punishable by burning. Its definition was left to the ecclesiastical judges,
before whom the conviction was, till the statute of the 1 El. c. 1.
circumscribed it, by declaring, that nothing should be deemed heresy, but
what had been so determined by authority of the canonical scriptures, or by
one of the four first general councils, or by some other council having for
the grounds of their declaration the express and plain words of the
scriptures. Heresy, thus circumscribed, being an offence at the common law,
our act of assembly of October 1777, c. 17. gives cognizance of it to the
general court, by declaring, that the jurisdiction of that court shall be
general in all matters at the common law. The execution is by the writ De
haeretico comburendo. By our own act of assembly of 1705, c. 30, if a person
brought up in the Christian religion denies the being of a God, or the
Trinity, or asserts there are more Gods than one, or denies the Christian
religion to be true, or the scriptures to be of divine authority, he is
punishable on the first offence by incapacity to hold any office or
employment ecclesiastical, civil, or military; on the second by disability
to sue, to take any gift or legacy, to be guardian, executor, or
administrator, and by three years imprisonment, without bail. A father's
right to the custody of his own children being founded in law on his right
of guardianship, this being taken away, they may of course be
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severed from him, and put, by the authority of a court, into more orthodox
hands. This is a summary view of that religious slavery, under which a
people have been willing to remain, who have lavished their lives and
fortunes for the establishment of their civil freedom.
Note: Furneaux passim. The error seems not sufficiently eradicated, that the
operations of the mind, as well as the acts of the body, are subject to the
coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have authority over such natural
rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never
submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The
legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to
others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty
gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. If it be
said, his testimony in a court of justice cannot be relied on, reject it
then, and be the stigma on him. Constraint may make him worse by making him
a hypocrite, but it will never make him a truer man. It may fix him
obstinately in his errors, but will not cure them. Reason and free enquiry
are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will
support the true religion, by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to
the test of their investigation. They are the natural enemies of error, and
of error only. Had not the Roman government permitted free enquiry,
Christianity could never have been introduced. Had not free enquiry been
indulged, at the aera of the reformation, the corruptions of Christianity
could not have been purged away. If it be restrained now, the present
corruptions will be protected, and new ones encouraged. Was the government
to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such
keeping as our souls are now. Thus in France the emetic was once forbidden
as a medicine, and the potatoe as an article of food. Government is just as
infallible too when it fixes systems in physics. Galileo was sent to the
inquisition for affirming that the earth was a sphere: the government had
declared it to be as flat as a trencher, and Galileo was obliged to abjure
his error. This error however at length prevailed, the earth became a globe,
and Descartes declared it was whirled round its
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axis by a vorteo. The government in which he lived was wise enough to see
that this was no question of civil jurisdiction, or we should all have been
involved by authority in vortices. In fact, the vortices have been exploded,
and the Newtonian principle of gravitation is now more firmly established,
on the basis of reason, than it would be were the government to step in, and
to make it an article of necessary faith. Reason and experiment have been
indulged, and error has fled before them. It is error alone which needs the
support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Subject opinion to
coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors? Fallible men; men governed by
bad passions, by private as well as public reasons. And why subject it to
coercion? To produce uniformity. But is uniformity of opinion desireable? No
more than of face and stature. Introduce the bed of Procrustes then, and as
there is danger that the large men may beat the small, make us all of a
size, by lopping the former and stretching the latter. Difference of opinion
is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a
Censor morum over each other. Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent
men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been
burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch
towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half
the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error
all over the earth. Let us reflect that it is inhabited by a thousand
millions of people. That these profess probably a thousand different systems
of religion. That ours is but one of that thousand. That if there be but one
right, and ours that one, we should wish to see the 999 wandering sects
gathered into the fold of truth. But against such a majority we cannot
effect this by force. Reason and persuasion are the only practicable
instruments. To make way for these, free enquiry must be indulged; and how
can we wish others to indulge it while we refuse it ourselves. But every
state, says an inquisitor, has established some religion. No two, say I,
have established the same. Is this a proof of the infallibility of
establishments? Our sister states of Pennsylvania and New York, however,
have long subsisted without any establishment at all. The experiment was new
and doubtful when they made it. It has
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answered beyond conception. They flourish infinitely. Religion is well
supported; of various kinds, indeed, but all good enough; all sufficient to
preserve peace and order: or if a sect arises, whose tenets would subvert
morals, good sense has fair play, and reasons and laughs it out of doors,
without suffering the state to be troubled with it. They do not hang more
malefactors than we do. They are not more disturbed with religious
dissensions. On the contrary, their harmony is unparalleled, and can be
ascribed to nothing but their unbounded tolerance, because there is no other
circumstance in which they differ from every nation on earth. They have made
the happy discovery, that the way to silence religious disputes, is to take
no notice of them. Let us too give this experiment fair play, and get rid,
while we may, of those tyrannical laws. It is true, we are as yet secured
against them by the spirit of the times. I doubt whether the people of this
country would suffer an execution for heresy, or a three years imprisonment
for not comprehending the mysteries of the Trinity. But is the spirit of the
people an infallible, a permanent reliance? Is it government? Is this the
kind of protection we receive in return for the rights we give up? Besides,
the spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become
corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may commence persecutor, and
better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated, that the time
for fixing every essential right on a legal basis is while our rulers are
honest, and ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war we shall be
going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the
people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights
disregarded. They will forget themselves, but in the sole faculty of making
money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their
rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the
conclusion of this war, will remain on us long, will be made heavier and
heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion.

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The particular customs and manners that may happen to be received in that

It is difficult to determine on the standard by which the manners of a
nation may be tried, whether catholic, or particular. It is more difficult
for a native to bring to that standard the manners of his own nation,
familiarized to him by habit. There must doubtless be an unhappy influence
on the manners of our people produced by the existence of slavery among us.
The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the
most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part,
and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to
imitate it; for man is an imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all
education in him. From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do what he
sees others do. If a parent could find no motive either in his philanthropy
or his self-love, for restraining the intemperance of passion towards his
slave, it should always be a sufficient one that his child is present. But
generally it is not sufficient. The parent storms, the child looks on,
catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of
smaller slaves, gives a loose to his worst of passions, and thus nursed,
educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with
odious peculiarities. The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners
and morals undepraved by such circumstances. And with what execration should
the statesman be loaded, who permitting one half the citizens thus to
trample on the rights of the other, transforms those into despots, and these
into enemies, destroys the morals of the one part, and the amor patriae of
the other. For if a slave can have a country in this world, it must be any
other in preference to that in which he is born to live and labour for
another: in which he must lock up the faculties of his nature, contribute as
far as depends on his individual endeavours to the evanishment of the human
race, or entail his own miserable condition on the endless generations
proceeding from him. With the morals of the people, their industry also is
destroyed. For in a warm climate, no
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man will labour for himself who can make another labour for him. This is so
true, that of the proprietors of slaves a very small proportion indeed are
ever seen to labour. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure
when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the
people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be
violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when reflect
that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever: that considering
numbers, nature and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of
fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events: that it may
become probable by supernatural interference! The Almighty has no attribute
which can take side with us in such a contest. -- But it is impossible to be
temperate and to pursue this subject through the various considerations of
policy, of morals, of history natural and civil. We must be contented to
hope they will force their way into every one's mind. I think a change
already perceptible, since the origin of the present revolution. The spirit
of the master is abating, that of the slave rising from the dust, his
condition mollifying, the way I hope preparing, under the auspices of
heaven, for a total emancipation, and that this is disposed, in the order of
events, to be with the consent of the masters, rather than by their

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The present state of manufactures, commerce, interior and exterior trade?

We never had an interior trade of any importance. Our exterior commerce
has suffered very much from the beginning of the present contest. During
this time we have manufactured within our families the most necessary
articles of cloathing. Those of cotton will bear some comparison with the
same kinds of manufacture in Europe; but those of wool, flax and hemp are
very coarse, unsightly, and unpleasant: and such is our attachment to
agriculture, and such our preference for foreign manufactures, that be it
wise or unwise, our people will certainly return as soon as they can, to the
raising raw materials, and exchanging them for finer manufactures than they
are able to execute themselves.

The political oeconomists of Europe have established it as a principle
that every state should endeavour to manufacture for itself: and this
principle, like many others, we transfer to America, without calculating the
difference of circumstance which should often produce a difference of
result. In Europe the lands are either cultivated, or locked up against the
cultivator. Manufacture must therefore be resorted to of necessity not of
choice, to support the surplus of their people. But we have an immensity of
land courting the industry of the husbandman. Is it best then that all our
citizens should be employed in its improvement, or that one half should be
called off from that to exercise manufactures and handicraft arts for the
other? Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God, if ever
he had a chosen people, whose breasts he has made his peculiar deposit for
substantial and genuine virtue. It is the focus in which he keeps alive that
sacred fire, which otherwise might escape from the face of the earth.
Corruption of morals in the mass of cultivators is a phaenomenon of which no
age nor nation has furnished an example. It is the mark set on those, who
not looking up to heaven, to their own soil and industry, as does the
husbandman, for their subsistance, depend for it on the casualties and
caprice of customers. Dependance begets subservience and venality,
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the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.
This, the natural progress and consequence of the arts, has sometimes
perhaps been retarded by accidental circumstances: but, generally speaking,
the proportion which the aggregate of the other classes of citizens bears in
any state to that of its husbandmen, is the proportion of its unsound to its
healthy parts, and is a good-enough barometer whereby to measure its degree
of corruption. While we have land to labour then, let us never wish to see
our citizens occupied at a work-bench, or twirling a distaff. Carpenters,
masons, smiths, are wanting in husbandry: but, for the general operations of
manufacture, let our work-shops remain in Europe. It is better to carry
provisions and materials to workmen there, than bring them to the provisions
and materials, and with them their manners and principles. The loss by the
transportation of commodities across the Atlantic will be made up in
happiness and permanence of government. The mobs of great cities add just so
much to the support of pure government, as sores do to the strength of the
human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a
republic in vigour. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the
heart of its laws and constitution.

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"Subjects of commerce"

A notice of the commercial productions particular to the state, and of
those objects which the inhabitants are obliged to get from Europe and from
other parts of the world?
Commercial productions

Before the present war we exported, communibus annis, according to the
best information I can get, nearly as follows: ARTICLES. Quantity. Price Am.
in dollars. in dollars. Tobacco 55,000 hhds at 30 d. per 1,650,000 of 1000
lb. hhd. Wheat 800,000 at 5/6 d. per 666,666 2/3 bushels bush. Indian corn
600,000 at 1/3 d. per 200,000 bushels bush. Shipping -- -- -- -- - -- -- --
100,000 Masts, planks, -- -- -- -- - -- -- -- 66,666 2/3 skantling,
shingles, staves Tar, pitch, turpentine 30,000 at 1 1/3 d. per 40,000
barrels bar. Peltry, viz. 180 hhds. at 5/12 d. 42,000 skins of deer, of 600
lb. per lb. beavers, otters, muskrats, racoons, foxes Pork 4,000 at 10 d.
per 40,000 barrels bar. Flax-seed, -- -- -- -- - -- -- -- 8,000 hemp, cotton
Pit-coal, -- -- -- -- - -- -- -- 6,666 2/3 pig-iron Peas 5,000 at 2/3 d. per
3,333 1/3 bushels bush. Beef 1,000 at 3 1/3 d. 3,333 1/3 barrels per bar.
Sturgeon, -- -- -- -- - -- -- -- 3,333 1/3 white shad, herring Brandy from
-- -- -- -- - -- -- -- 1,666 2/3 peaches and apples, and whiskey Horses --
-- -- -- - -- -- -- 1,666 2/3 This sum is equal to 850,000 l. Virginia
money, 607,142 guineas. 2,833,333 1/3 D.
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In the year 1758 we exported seventy thousand hogsheads of tobacco, which
was the greatest quantity ever produced in this country in one year. But its
culture was fast declining at the commencement of this war and that of wheat
taking its place: and it must continue to decline on the return of peace. I
suspect that the change in the temperature of our climate has become
sensible to that plant, which, to be good, requires an extraordinary degree
of heat. But it requires still more indispensably an uncommon fertility of
soil: and the price which it commands at market will not enable the planter
to produce this by manure. Was the supply still to depend on Virginia and
Maryland alone, as its culture becomes more difficult, the price would rise,
so as to enable the planter to surmount those difficulties and to live. But
the western country on the Missisipi, and the midlands of Georgia, having
fresh and fertile lands in abundance, and a hotter sun, will be able to
undersell these two states, and will oblige them to abandon the raising
tobacco altogether. And a happy obligation for them it will be. It is a
culture productive of infinite wretchedness. Those employed in it are in a
continued state of exertion beyond the powers of nature to support. Little
food of any kind is raised by them; so that the men and animals on these
farms are badly fed, and the earth is rapidly impoverished. The cultivation
of wheat is the reverse in every circumstance. Besides cloathing the earth
with herbage, and preserving its fertility, it feeds the labourers
plentifully, requires from them only a moderate toil, except in the season
of harvest, raises great numbers of animals for food and service, and
diffuses plenty and happiness among the whole. We find it easier to make an
hundred bushels of wheat than a thousand weight of tobacco, and they are
worth more when made. The weavil indeed is a formidable obstacle to the
cultivation of this grain with us. But principles are already known which
must lead to a remedy. Thus a certain degree of heat, to wit, that of the
common air in summer, is necessary to hatch the egg. If subterranean
granaries, or others, therefore, can be contrived below that temperature,
the evil will be cured by cold. A degree of heat beyond that which hatches
the egg, we know will kill it. But in aiming at this we easily run into that
which produces putrefaction. To produce putrefaction, however, three
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agents are requisite, heat, moisture, and the external air. If the absence
of any one of these be secured, the other two may safely be admitted. Heat
is the one we want. Moisture then, or external air, must be excluded. The
former has been done by exposing the grain in kilns to the action of fire,
which produces heat, and extracts moisture at the same time: the latter, by
putting the grain into hogsheads, covering it with a coat of lime, and
heading it up. In this situation its bulk produces a heat sufficient to kill
the egg; the moisture is suffered to remain indeed, but the external air is
excluded. A nicer operation yet has been attempted; that is, to produce an
intermediate temperature of heat between that which kills the egg, and that
which produces putrefaction. The threshing the grain as soon as it is cut,
and laying it in its chaff in large heaps, has been found very nearly to hit
this temperature, though not perfectly, nor always. The heap generates heat
sufficient to kill most of the eggs, whilst the chaff commonly restrains it
from rising into putrefaction. But all these methods abridge too much the
quantity which the farmer can manage, and enable other countries to
undersell him which are not infested with this insect. There is still a
desideratum then to give with us decisive triumph to this branch of
agriculture over that of tobacco. -- The culture of wheat, by enlarging our
pasture, will render the Arabian horse an article of very considerable
profit. Experience has shewn that ours is the particular climate of America
where he may be raised without degeneracy. Southwardly the heat of the sun
occasions a deficiency of pasture, and northwardly the winters are too cold
for the short and fine hair, the particular sensibility and constitution of
that race. Animals transplanted into unfriendly climates, either change
their nature and acquire new fences against the new difficulties in which
they are placed, or they multiply poorly and become extinct. A good
foundation is laid for their propagation here by our possessing already
great numbers of horses of that blood, and by a decided taste and preference
for them established among the people. Their patience of heat without
injury, their superior wind, fit them better in this and the more southern
climates even for the drudgeries of the plough and waggon. Northwardly they
will become an object only to persons of taste and fortune, for the
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Page 295

saddle and light carriages. To these, and for these uses, their fleetness
and beauty will recommend them. -- Besides these there will be other
valuable substitutes when the cultivation of tobacco shall be discontinued,
such as cotton in the eastern parts of the state, and hemp and flax in the

It is not easy to say what are the articles either of necessity, comfort,
or luxury, which we cannot raise, and which we therefore shall be under a
necessity of importing from abroad, as every thing hardier than the olive,
and as hardy as the fig, may be raised here in the open air. Sugar, coffee
and tea, indeed, are not between these limits; and habit having placed them
among the necessaries of life with the wealthy part of our citizens, as long
as these habits remain, we must go for them to those countries which are
able to furnish them.

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"Weights, Measures and Money"
The weights, measures, and the currency of the hard money? Some details
relating to the exchange with Europe?
Weights, Measures, Money

Our weights and measures are the same which are fixed by acts of
parliament in England. -- How it has happened that in this as well as the
other American states the nominal value of coin was made to differ from what
it was in the country we had left, and to differ among ourselves too, I am
not able to say with certainty. I find that in 1631 our house of burgesses
desired of the privy council in England, a coin debased to twenty-five per
cent: that in 1645 they forbid dealing by barter for tobacco, and
established the Spanish piece of eight at six shillings, as the standard of
their currency: that in 1655 they changed it to five shillings sterling. In
1680 they sent an address to the king, in consequence of which, by
proclamation in 1683, he fixed the value of French crowns, rixdollars and
pieces of eight at six shillings, and the coin of New-England at one
shilling. That in 1710, 1714, 1727, and 1762, other regulations were made,
which will be better presented to the eye stated in the form of a table as
follows: 1710. 1714. 1727. 1762. Guineas -- -- 26s British gold coin not
milled, -- -- 5s the coined gold of Spain and France, dwt. chequins, Arabian
gold, moidores of Portugal Coined gold of the empire -- -- 5s the -- -- 4s3
the dwt. dwt. English milled silver money, in -- -- 5s10 6s3 proportion to
the crown, at Pieces of eight of Mexico, Seville, 3 3/4 -- -- 4 d. and
Pillar, ducatoons of Flanders, d.the the French ecus, or silver Louis, dwt.
dwt. crusados of Porrtugal Peru pieces, cross dollars, and 3 1/2 -- -- 3 3/4
old rixdollars of the empire d. the d. the dwt. dwt. Old British silver coin
not milled -- -- 3 3/4 d. the dwt.
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Page 297

The first symptom of the depreciation of our present paper-money, was
that of silver dollars selling at six shillings, which had before been worth
but five shillings and ninepence. The assembly thereupon raised them by law
to six shillings. As the dollar is now likely to become the money-unit of
America, as it passes at this rate in some of our sister-states, and as it
facilitates their computation in pounds and shillings, & e converso, this
seems to be more convenient than it's former denomination. But as this
particular coin now stands higher than any other in the proportion of 133
1/3 to 125, or 16 to 15, it will be necessary to raise the others in the
same proportion.

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"Public revenue and expences"
The public income and expences?

The nominal amount of these varying constantly and rapidly, with the
constant and rapid depreciation of our paper-money, it becomes impracticable
to say what they are. We find ourselves cheated in every essay by the
depreciation intervening between the declaration of the tax and its actual
receipt. It will therefore be more satisfactory to consider what our income
may be when we shall find means of collecting what the people may spare. I
should estimate the whole taxable property of this state at an hundred
millions of dollars, or thirty millions of pounds our money. One per cent on
this, compared with any thing we ever yet paid, would be deemed a very heavy
tao. Yet I think that those who manage well, and use reasonable ;oeconomy,
could pay one and a half per cent, and maintain their houshould comfortably
in the mean time, without aliening any part of their principal, and that the
people would submit to this willingly for the purpose of supporting their
present contest. We may say then, that we could raise, and ought to raise,
from one million to one million and a half of dollars annually, that is from
three hundred to four hundred and fifty thousand pounds, Virginia money.

Of our expences it is equally difficult to give an exact state, and for
the same reason. They are mostly stated in paper money, which varying
continually, the legislature endeavours at every session, by new
corrections, to adapt the nominal sums to the value it is wished they should
bear. I will state them therefore in real coin, at the point at which they
endeavour to keep them. Dollars. The annual expences of the general assembly
are about 20,000 The governor 3,333 1/3 The council of state 10,666 2/3
Their clerks 1,166 2/3 Eleven judges 11000 The clerk of the chancery 666 2/3
The attorney general 1,000
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Three auditors and a solicitor 5,333 1/3 Their clerks 2,000 The treasurer
2,000 His clerks 2,000 The keeper of the public jail 1,000 The public
printer 1,666 2/3 Clerks of the inferior courts 43,333 1/3 Public levy: this
is chiefly for the expences of criminal justice 40,000 County levy, for
bridges, court houses, prisons, &c. 40,000 Members of congress 7000 Quota of
the Federal civil list, supposed 1/6 of about 78,000 dollars 13,000 Expences
of collection, 6 per cent. on the above 12,310 The clergy receive only
voluntary contributions: suppose them on an average 1/8 of a dollar a tythe
on 200,000 tythes 25,000 Contingencies, to make round numbers not far from
truth 7,523 1/3 -- -- -- -- -- 250,000

Dollars, or 53,571 guineas. This estimate is exclusive of the military
expence. That varies with the force actually employed, and in time of peace
will probably be little or nothing. It is exclusive also of the public
debts, which are growing while I am writing, and cannot therefore be now
fixed. So it is of the maintenance of the poor, which being merely a matter
of charity, cannot be deemed expended in the administration of government.
And if we strike out the 25,000 dollars for the services of the clergy,
which neither makes part of that administration, more than what is paid to
physicians or lawyers, and being voluntary, is either much or nothing as
every one pleases, it leaves 225,000 dollars, equal to 48,208 guineas, the
real cost of the apparatus of government with us. This, divided among the
actual inhabitants of our country, comes to about two-fifths of a dollar,
21d sterling, or 42 sols, the price which each pays annually for the
protection of the residue of his property, that of his person, and the other
advantages of a free government. The public revenues of Great Britain
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Page 300

in like manner on its inhabitants would be sixteen times greater. Deducting
even the double of the expences of government, as before estimated, from the
million and a half of dollars which we before supposed might be annually
paid without distress, we may conclude that this state can contribute one
million of dollars annually towards supporting the federal army, paying the
federal debt, building a federal navy, or opening roads, clearing rivers,
forming safe ports, and other useful works.

To this estimate of our abilities, let me add a word as to the
application of them, if, when cleared of the present contest, and of the
debts with which that will charge us, we come to measure force hereafter
with any European power. Such events are devoutly to be deprecated. Young as
we are, and with such a country before us to fill with people and with
happiness, we should point in that direction the whole generative force of
nature, wasting none of it in efforts of mutual destruction. It should be
our endeavour to cultivate the peace and friendship of every nation, even of
that which has injured us most, when we shall have carried our point against
her. Our interest will be to throw open the doors of commerce, and to knock
off all its shackles, giving perfect freedom to all persons for the vent of
whatever they may chuse to bring into our ports, and asking the same in
theirs. Never was so much false arithmetic employed on any subject, as that
which has been employed to persuade nations that it is their interest to go
to war. Were the money which it has cost to gain, at the close of a long
war, a little town, or a little territory, the right to cut wood here, or to
catch fish there, expended in improving what they already possess, in making
roads, openingrivers, building ports, improving the arts, and finding
employment for their idle poor, it would render them much stronger, much
wealthier and happier. This I hope will be our wisdom. And, perhaps, to
remove as much as possible the occasions of making war, it might be better
for us to abandon the ocean altogether, that being the element whereon we
shall be principally exposed to jostle with other nations: to leave to
others to bring what we shall want, and to carry what we can spare. This
would make us invulnerable to Europe, by offering none of our property to
their prize, and would turn all
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Page 301

our citizens to the cultivation of the earth; and, I repeat it again,
cultivators of the earth are the most virtuous and independant citizens. It
might be time enough to seek employment for them at sea, when the land no
longer offers it. But the actual habits of our countrymen attach them to
commerce. They will exercise it for themselves. Wars then must sometimes be
our lot; and all the wise can do, will be to avoid that half of them which
would be produced by our own follies, and our own acts of injustice; and to
make for the other half the best preparations we can. Of what nature should
these be? A land army would be useless for offence, and not the best nor
safest instrument of defence. For either of these purposes, the sea is the
field on which we should meet an European enemy. On that element it is
necessary we should possess some power. To aim at such a navy as the greater
nations of Europe possess, would be a foolish and wicked waste of the
energies of our countrymen. It would be to pull on our own heads that load
of military expence, which makes the European labourer go supperless to bed,
and moistens his bread with the sweat of his brows. It will be enough if we
enable ourselves to prevent insults from those nations of Europe which are
weak on the sea, because circumstances exist, which render even the stronger
ones weak as to us. Providence has placed their richest and most defenceless
possessions at our door; has obliged their most precious commerce to pass as
it were in review before us. To protect this, or to assail us, a small part
only of their naval force will ever be risqued across the Atlantic. The
dangers to which the elements expose them here are too well known, and the
greater dangers to which they would be exposed at home, were any general
calamity to involve their whole fleet. They can attack us by detachment
only; and it will suffice to make ourselves equal to what they may detach.
Even a smaller force than they may detach will be rendered equal or superior
by the quickness with which any check may be repaired with us, while losses
with them will be irreparable till too late. A small naval force then is
sufficient for us, and a small one is necessary. What this should be, I will
not undertake to say. I will only say, it should by no means be so great as
we are able to make it. Suppose the million of dollars, or 300,000 pounds,
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Virginia could annually spare without distress, to be applied to the
creating a navy. A single year's contribution would build, equip, man, and
send to sea a force which should carry 300 guns. The rest of the
confederacy, exerting themselves in the same proportion, would equip in the
same time 1500 guns more. So that one year's contributions would set up a
navy of 1800 guns. The British ships of the line average 76 guns; their
frigates 38. 1800 guns then would form a fleet of 30 ships, 18 of which
might be of the line, and 12 frigates. Allowing 8 men, the British average,
for every gun, their annual expence, including subsistence, cloathing, pay,
and ordinary repairs, would be about 1280 dollars for every gun, or
2,304,000 dollars for the whole. I state this only as one year's possible
exertion, without deciding whether more or less than a year's exertion
should be thus applied.

The value of our lands and slaves, taken conjunctly, doubles in about
twenty years. This arises from the multiplication of our slaves, from the
extension of culture, and increased demand for lands. The amount of what may
be raised will of course rise in the same proportion.

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"Histories, memorials, and state-papers"

The histories of the state, the memorials published in its name in the
time of its being a colthe pamphlets relating to its interior or exterior
affairs present or antient? Histories, &c.

Captain Smith, who next to Sir Walter Raleigh may be considered as the
founder of our colony, has written its history, from the first adventures to
it till the year 1624. He was a member of the council, and afterwards
president of the colony; and to his efforts principally may be ascribed its
support against the opposition of the natives. He was honest, sensible, and
well informed; but his style is barbarous and uncouth. His history, however,
is almost the only source from which we derive any knowledge of the infancy
of our state.

The reverend William Stith, a native of Virginia, and president of its
college, has also written the history of the same period, in a large octavo
volume of small print. He was a man of classical learning, and very exact,
but of no taste in style. He is inelegant, therefore, and his details often
too minute to be tolerable, even to a native of the country, whose history
he writes.

Beverley, a native also, has run into the other extreme; he has comprised
our history, from the first propositions of Sir Walter Raleigh to the year
1700, in the hundredth part of the space which Stith employs for the fourth
part of the period.

Sir William Keith has taken it up at its earliest period, and continued
it to the year 1725. He is agreeable enough in style, and passes over events
of little importance. Of course he is short, and would be preferred by a

During the regal government, some contest arose on the exaction of an
illegal fee by governor Dinwiddie, and doubtless there were others on other
occasions not at present recollected. It is supposed, that these are not
sufficiently interesting to a foreigner to merit a detail.

The petition of the council and burgesses of Virginia to the king, their
memorial to the lords, and remonstrance to the commons in the year 1764,
began the present contest: and these having proved ineffectual to prevent
the passage of the
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Page 304

stamp-act, the resolutions of the house of burgesses of 1765 were passed,
declaring the independance of the people of Virginia on the parliament of
Great-Britain, in matters of taxation. From that time till the declaration
of independance by congress in 1776, their journals are filled with
assertions of the public rights.

The pamphlets published in this state on the controverted question were,
1766, An Enquiry into the Rights of the British Colonies, by Richard Bland.
1769, The Monitor's Letters, by Dr. Arthur Lee. 1774,
Note: By the author of these Notes. A summary View of the Rights of British
America. -- -- Considerations, &c. by Robert Carter Nicholas.

Since the declaration of independance this state has had no controversy
with any other, except with that of Pennsylvania, on their common boundary.
Some papers on this subject passed between the executive and legislative
bodies of the two states, the result of which was a happy accommodation of
their rights.

To this account of our historians, memorials, and pamphlets, it may not
be unuseful to add a chronological catalogue of American state-papers, as
far as I have been able to collect their titles. It is far from being either
complete or correct. Where the title alone, and not the paper itself, has
come under my observation, I cannot answer for the exactness of the date.
Sometimes I have not been able to find any date at all, and sometimes have
not been satisfied that such a paper exists. An extensive collection of
papers of this description has been for some time in a course of preparation
by a
Note: Mr. Hazard. gentleman fully equal to the task, and from whom,
therefore, we may hope ere long to receive it. In the mean time accept this
as the result of my labours, and as closing the tedious detail which you
have so undesignedly drawn upon yourself.

Pro Johanne Caboto et filiis suis super terra incognita investiganda. 12.
Ry. 595. 3. Hakl. 4. 2. Mem. Am. 409. 1496, Mar. 5. II. H. 7.
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Billa signata anno 13. Henrici septimi. 3. Hakluyt's voiages 5.

1498, Feb. 3. 13. H. 7.

De potestatibus ad terras incognitas investigandum. 13. Rymer. 37.

1502, Dec. 19. 18. H. 7.

Commission de François I. à Jacques Cartier pour l'establissement du
Canada. L'Escarbot. 397. 2. Mem. Am. 416.

1540, Oct. 17.

An act against the exaction of money, or any other thing, by any officer
for license to traffique into Iseland and Newfoundland, made in An. 2.
Edwardi sexti. 3. Hakl. 131.

1548, 2. E. 6.

The letters-patent granted by her Majestie to Sir Humphrey Gilbert,
knight, for the inhabiting and planting of our people in America. 3. Hakl.

1578, June 11, 20. El.

Letters-patents of Queen Elizabeth to Adrian Gilbert and others, to
discover the Northwest passage to China. 3. Hakl. 96.

1583, Feb. 6.

The letters-patents granted by the Queen's majestie to M. Walter Raleigh,
now knight, for the discovering and planting of new lands and countries, to
continue the space of 6 years and no more. 3. Hakl. 243.

1584, Mar. 25, 26 El.

An assignment by Sir Walter Raleigh for continuing the action of
inhabiting and planting his people in Virginia. Hakl. 1st. ed. publ. in
1589, p. 815.

Mar. 7. 31 El.

Lettres de Lieutenant General de l'Acadie & pays circonvoisins pour le
Sieur de Monts. L'Escarbot. 417.

1603, Nov. 8.

Letters-patent to Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers and others, for two
several colonies to be made in Virginia and other parts of America. Stith.
Append. No. 1.

1606 Apr, 10, 4 Jac. 1.

An ordinance and constitution enlarging the council of the two colonies
in Virginia
-------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Page 306

and America, and augmenting their authority, M. S.

1607, Mar. 9, 4. Jac. 1.

The second charter to the treasurer and company for Virginia, erecting
them into a body politick. Stith. Ap. 2.

1609, May 23. 7. Jac. 1.

Letters-patents to the E. of Northampton, granting part of the island of
Newfoundland. 1. Harris. 861.

1610, Apr. 10. Jac. 1.

A third charter to the treasurer and company for Virginia. -- Stith. App.

1611, Mar. 12. 9. Jac. 1.

A commission to Sir Walter Raleigh. Qu.?

1617, Jac. 1.

Commissio specialis concernens le garbling herbae Nicotianae. 17. Rym.

1620, Apr, 7. 18. Jac. 1.

A proclamation for restraint of the disordered trading of tobacco. 17.
Rym. 233.

1620, June 29. 18. Jac. 1.

A grant of New England to the council of Plymouth.

1620 Nov. 3. Jac. 1.

An ordinance and constitution of the treasurer, council and company in
England, for a council of state and general assembly in Virginia. Stith.
App. 4.

1621 July 24. Jac. 1.

A grant of Nova Scotia to Sir William Alexander. 2. Mem. de l'Amerique.

1621, Sep. 10-20. Jac. 1.

A proclamation prohibiting interloping and disorderly trading to New
England in America. 17. Rym. 416.

1622, Nov. 6. 20. Jac. 1.

De Commissione speciali Willielmo Jones militi directa. 17. Rym. 490.

1623, May 9. 21. Jac. 1.

A grant to Sir Edmund Ployden, of New Albion. Mentioned in Smith's
examination. 82.


De Commissione Henrico vice-comiti Mandevill & aliis. 17. Rym. 609.

1624, July 15. 22. Jac. 1.

De Commissione speciali concernenti gubernationem in Virginia. 17. Rym.

1624, Aug. 26. 22. Jac. 1.

A proclamation concerning tobacco. 17. Rym. 621.

1624, Sep. 29. 22. Jac. 1.
-------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Page 307

De concessione demiss. Edwardo Dichfield et aliis. 17. Rym. 633.

1624, Nov. 9. 22. Jac. 1.

A proclamation for the utter prohibiting the importation and use of all
tobacco which is not of the proper growth of the colony of Virginia and the
Somer islands, or one of them. 17. Rym. 668.

1625, Mar. 2. 22. Jac. 1.

De commissione directa Georgio Yardeley militi et aliis. 18. Rym. 311.

1625, Mar. 4. 1. Car. 1.

Proclamatio de herba Nicotian. 18. Rym. 19.

1625, Apr. 9. 1. Car. 1.

A proclamation for settlinge the plantation of Virginia. 18. Rym. 72.

1625, May 13. 1. Car. 1.

A grant of the soil, barony, and domains of Nova Scotia to Sir Wm.
Alexander of Minstrie. 2. Mem. Am. 226.

1625, July 12.

Commissio directa Johanni Wolstenholme militi et aliis. 18. Ry. 831.

1626, Jan. 31. 2. Car 1.

A proclamation touching tobacco. Ry. 848.

1626, Feb. 17. 2. Car. 1.

A grant of Massachuset's bay by the council of Plymouth to Sir Henry
Roswell and others.

1627, Mar. 19. qu.?

2. Car. 1.

De concessione commissionis specialis pro concilio in Virginia. 18. Ry.

1627, Mar. 26. 3. Car. 1.

De proclamatione de signatione de tobacco. 18. Ry. 886.

1627, Mar. 30. 3. Car. 1.

De proclamatione pro ordinatione de tobacco. 18. Ry. 920.

1627, Aug. 9. 3. Car. 1.

A confirmation of the grant of Massachuset's bay by the crown.

1628, Mar. 4. 3. Car. 1.

The capitulation of Quebec. Champlain part. 2. 216. 2. Mem. Am. 489.

1629, Aug. 19.

A proclamation concerning tobacco. 19. Ry. 235.

1630, Jan. 6. 5. Car. 1.

Conveyance of Nova Scotia (Port-royal excepted) by Sir William Alexander
to Sir Claude St. Etienne Lord of la Tour and of Uarre and to his son Sir
-------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Page 308

de St. Etienne Lord of St. Denniscourt, on condition that they continue
subjects to the king of Scotland under the great seal of Scotland.

1630, April 30.

A proclamation forbidding the disorderly trading with the salvages in New
England in America, especially the furnishing the natives in those and other
parts of America by the English with weapons and habiliments of warre. 19.
Ry. 210. 3. Rushw. 82.

1630-31, Nov. 24.

6. Car. 1.

A proclamation prohibiting the selling arms, &c. to the savages in
America. Mentioned 3. Rushw. 75.

1630, Dec. 5. 6. Car. 1.

A grant of Connecticut by the council of Plymouth to the E. of Warwick.

1630, Car. 1.

A confirmation by the crown of the grant of Connecticut [said to be in
the petty bag office in England].

1630, Car. 1.

A conveiance of Connecticut by the E. of Warwick to Lord Say and Seal and
others. Smith's examination, App. No. 1.

1631, Mar. 19. 6. Car. 1.

A special commission to Edward Earle of Dorsett and others for the better
plantation of the colony of Virginia. 19. Ry. 301.

1631, June 27. 7. Car. 1.

Litere continentes promissionem regis ad tradendum castrum et
habitationem de Kebec in Canada ad regem Francorum. 19. Ry. 303.

1631, June 29. 7. Car. 1.

Traité entre le roy Louis XIII. et Charles roi d'Angleterre pour la
restitution de la nouvelle France, la Cadie et Canada et des navires et
merchandises pris de part et d'autre. Fait a St. Germain. 19. Ry. 361. 2.
Mem. Am. 5.

1632, Mar. 29. 8. Car. 1.

A grant of Maryland to Caecilius Calvert, Baron of Baltimore in Ireland.

1632, June 20. 8. Car. 1.

A petition of the planters of Virginia against the grant to Lord

1633, July 3. 9. Car. 1.
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Page 309

Order of council upon the dispute between the Virginia planters and lord
Baltimore. Votes of repres. of Pennsylvania. V.

1633, July 3.

A proclamation to prevent abuses growing by the unordered retailing of
tobacco. Mentioned 3. Rushw. 191.

1633, Aug. 13. 9. Car. 1.

A special commission to Thomas Young to search, discover and find out
what parts are not yet inhabited in Virginia and America and other parts
thereunto adjoining. 19. Ry. 472.

1633, Sept. 23. 9. Car. 1.

A proclamation for preventing of the abuses growing by the unordered
retailing of tobacco. 19. Ry. 474.

1633, Oct. 13. 9. Car. 1.

A proclamation restraining the abusive venting of tobacco. 19. Rym. 522.

1634, Mar. 13. Car. 1.

A proclamation concerning the landing of tobacco, and also forbidding the
planting thereof in the king's dominions. 19. Ry. 553.

1634, May 19. 10. Car. 1.

A commission to the Archbishop of Canterbury and 11 others, for governing
the American colonies.

1634, Car. 1.

A commission concerning tobacco. M. S.

1634, June 19. 10. Car. 1.

A commission from Lord Say and Seal, and others, to John Winthrop to be
governor of Connecticut. Smith's App.

1635, July 18. 11. Car. 1.

A grant to Duke Hamilton.

1635, Car. 1.

De commissione speciali Johanni Harvey militi pro meliori regimine
coloniae in Virginia. 20. Ry. 3.

1636, Apr. 2. 12. Car. 1.

A proclamation concerning tobacco. Title in 3. Rush. 617.

1637, Mar. 14. Car. 1.

De commissione speciali Georgio domino Goring et aliis concess
concernente venditionem de tobacco absque licenti regi. 20. Ry. 116.

1636-7, Mar. 16.

12. Car. 1.

A proclamation against the disorderly transporting his Majesty's subjects
-------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Page 310

the plantations within the parts of America. 20. Ry. 143. 3. Rush. 409.

1637, Apr. 30. 13. Car. 1.

An order of the privy council to stay 8 ships now in the Thames from
going to New-England. 3. Rush. 409.

1637, May 1. 13. Car. 1.

A warrant of the Lord Admiral to stop unconformable ministers from going
beyond sea. 3. Rush. 410.

1637, Car. 1.

Order of council upon Claiborne's petition against Lord Baltimore. Votes
of representatives of Pennsylvania. vi.

1638, Apr. 4. Car. 1.

An order of the king and council that the attorney-general draw up a
proclamation to prohibit transportation of passengers to New-England without
license. 3. Rush. 718.

1638, Apr. 6. 14. Car. 1.

A proclamation to restrain the transporting of passengers and provisions
to New-England without licence. 20. Ry. 223.

1638, May 1. 14. Car. 1.

A proclamation concerning tobacco. Title 4. Rush. 1060.

1639, Mar. 25. Car. 1.

A proclamation declaring his majesty's pleasure to continue his
commission and letters patents for licensing retailers of tobacco. 20. Ry.

1639, Aug. 19. 15. Car. 1.

De commissione speciali Henrico Ashton armigero et aliis ad amovendum
Henricum Hawley gubernatorem de Barbadoes. 20. Ry. 357.

1639, Dec. 16. 15. Car. 1.

A proclamation concerning retailers of tobacco. 4. Rush. 966.

1639, Car. 1.

De constitutione gubernatoris et concilii pro Virginia. 20. Ry. 484.

1641, Aug. 9. 17. Car. 1.

Articles of union and confederacy entered into by Massachusets, Plymouth,
Connecticut and New-haven. 1. Neale. 223.

1643, Car. 1.

Deed from George Fenwick to the old Connecticut jurisdiction.

1644, Car. 1.

An ordinance of the lords and commons
-------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Page 311

assembled in parliament, for exempting from custom and imposition all
commodities exported for, or imported from New-England, which has been very
prosperous and without any public charge to this state, and is likely to
prove very happy for the propagation of the gospel in those parts. Tit. in
Amer. library 90. 5. No date. But seems by the neighbouring articles to have
been in 1644.

An act for charging of tobacco brought from New-England with custom and
excise. Title in American library. 99. 8.

1644, June 20. Car. 2.

An act for the advancing and regulating the trade of this commonwealth.
Tit. Amer. libr. 99. 9.

1644, Aug. 1. Car. 2.

Grant of the Northern neck of Virginia to Lord Hopton, Lord Jermyn, Lord
Culpeper, Sir John Berkely, Sir William Moreton, Sir Dudly Wyatt, and Thomas

1644, Sept. 18. 1. Car. 2.

An act prohibiting trade with the Barbadoes, Virginia, Bermudas and
Antego. Scoble's Acts. 1027.

1650, Oct. 3. 2. Car. 2.

A declaration of Lord Willoughby, governor of Barbadoes, and of his
council, against an act of parliament of 3d of October 1650. 4. Polit.
register. 2. cited from 4. Neale. hist. of the Puritans. App. No. 12. but
not there.

1650, Car. 2.

A final settlement of boundaries between the Dutch New Netherlands and

1650, Car. 2.

Instructions for Captain Robert Dennis, Mr. Richard Bennet, Mr. Thomas
Stagge, and Capt. William Clabourne, appointed commissioners for the
reducing of Virginia and the inhabitants thereof to their due obedience to
-------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Page 312

commonwealth of England. 1. Thurloe's state papers. 197.

1651, Sept. 26. 3. Car. 2.

An act for increase of shipping and encouragement of the navigation of
this nation. Scobell's acts. 1449.

1651, Oct. 9. 3. Car. 2.

Articles agreed on and concluded at James cittie in Virginia for the
surrendering and settling of that plantation under the obedience and
government of the commonwealth of England, by the commissioners of the
council of state, by authoritie of the parliament of England, and by the
grand assembly of the governor, council, and burgesse of that state. M. S.
[Ante. pa. 201.]

1651-2, Mar. 12.

4.Car. 2.

An act of indempnitie made at the surrender of the countrey [of
Virginia.] [Ante. p. 206.]

1651-2, Mar. 12.

4. Car. 2.

Capitulation de Port-Royal. mem. Am. 507.

1654, Aug. 16.

A proclamation of the protector relating to Jamaica. 3. Thurl. 75.

1655, Car. 2.

The protector to the commissioners of Maryland. A letter. 4. Thurl. 55.

1655, Sept. 26. 7. Car. 2.

An instrument made at the council of Jamaica, Oct. 8, 1655, for the
better carrying on of affairs there. 4. Thurl. 71.

1655, Oct. 8. 7. Car. 2.

Treaty of Westminster between France and England. 6. corps diplom. part
2. p. 121. 2. Mem. Am. 10.

1655, Nov. 3.

The assembly at Barbadoes to the Protector. 4. Thurl. 651.

1656, Mar. 27. 8. Car. 2.

A grant by Cromwell to Sir Charles de Saint Etienne, a baron of Scotland,
Crowne and Temple. A French translation of it. 2. Mem. Am. 511.

1656, Aug. 9.

A paper concerning the advancement of trade. 5. Thurl. 80.

1656, Car. 2.

A brief narration of the English rights
-------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Page 313

to the Northern parts of America. 5. Thurl. 81.

1656, Car. 2.

Mr. R. Bennet and Mr. S. Matthew to Secretary Thurloe. 5. Thurl. 482.

1656, Oct. 10. 8. Car. 2.

Objections against the Lord Baltimore's patent, and reasons why the
government of Maryland should not be put into his hands. 5. Thurl. 482.

1656, Oct. 10. 8. Car. 2.

A paper relating to Maryland. 5. Thurl. 483.

1656, Oct. 10. 8. Car. 2.

A breviet of the proceedings of the lord Baltimore and his officers and
compliers in Maryland against the authority of the parliament of the
commonwealth of England and against his highness the lord protector's
authority laws and government. 5. Thurl. 486.

1656, Oct. 10. 8. Car. 2.

The assembly of Virginia to secretary Thurlow. 5. Thurl. 497.

1656, Oct. 15. 8. Car. 2.

The governor of Barbadoes to the protector. 6. Thurl. 169.

1657, Apr. 4. 9. Car. 2.

Petition of the general court at Hartford upon Connecticut for a charter.
Smith's exam. App. 4.

1661, Car. 2.

Charter of the colony of Connecticut. Smith's examn. App. 6.

1662, Ap. 23. 14. Car. 2.

The first charter granted by Charles II. to the proprietaries of
Carolina, to wit, to the Earl of Clarendon, Duke of Albemarle, Lord Craven,
Lord Berkeley, Lord Ashley, Sir George Carteret, Sir William Berkeley, and
Sir John Colleton. 4. mem. Am. 554.

1662-3, Mar. 24. Apr. 4.15. Car. 2.

The concessions and agreement of the lords proprietors of the province of
New Caesarea, or New-Jersey, to and with all and every of the adventurers
and all such as shall settle or plant there. Smith's New-Jersey. App. 1.

1664, Feb. 10.
-------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Page 314

A grant of the colony of New-York to the Duke of York.

1664, Mar. 12.

20. Car. 2.

A commission to Colonel Nichols and others to settle disputes in
New-England. Hutch. Hist. Mass. Bay. App. 537.

1664, Apr. 26.

16. Car. 2.

The commission to Sir Robert Carre and others to put the Duke of York in
possession of New-York, New-Jersey, and all other lands thereunto

Sir Robert Carre and others proclamation to the inhabitants of New-York,
New-Jersey, &c. Smith's N. J. 36.

1664, Apr. 26.

Deeds of lease and release of New-Jersey by the Duke of York to Lord
Berkeley and Sir George Carteret.

1664, June 23, 24.

16. C. 2.

A conveiance of the Delaware counties to William Penn.

Letters between Stuyvesant and Colonel Nichols on the English right.
Smith's N. J. 37-42.

1664, Aug. 19-29,

20-30, 24.

Aug. 25. Sept. 4.

Treaty between the English and Dutch for the surrender of the
New-Netherlands. Sm. N. Jers. 42.

1664, Aug. 27.

Nicoll's commission to Sir Robert Carre to reduce the Dutch on Delaware
bay. Sm. N. J. 47.

Sept. 3.

Instructions to Sir Robert Carre for reducing of Delaware bay and
settling the people there under his majesty's obedience. Sm. N. J. 47.

Articles of capitulation between Sir Robert Carre and the Dutch and
Swedes on Delaware bay and Delaware river. Sm. N. J. 49.

1664, Oct. 1.

The determination of the commissioners of the boundary between the Duke
of York and Connecticut. Sm. Eo. Ap. 9.

1664, Dec. 1. 16. Car. 2.

The New Haven case. Smith's Eo. Ap. 20.

-------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Page 315

The second charter granted by Charles II. to the same proprietors of
Carolina. 4. Mem. Am. 586.

1665, June 13-24.

17. C. 2.

Declaration de guerre par la France contre l'Angleterre. 3. Mem. Am. 123.

1666, Jan. 26.

Declaration of war by the king of England against the king of France.

1666, Feb. 9. 17. Car. 2.

The treaty of peace between France and England made at Breda. 7. Corps
Dipl. part 1. p. 41. 2. Mem. Am. 32.

1667, July 31.

The treaty of peace and alliance between England and the United Provinces
made at Breda. 7. Cor. Dip. p. 1. p. 44. 2. Mem. Am. 40.

1667, July 31.

Acte de la cession de l'Acadie au roi de France. 2. Mem. Am. 292.

1667-8, Feb. 17.

Directions from the governor and council of New York for a better
settlement of the government on Delaware. Sm. N. J. 51.

1668, April 21.

Lovelace's order for customs at the Hoarkills. Sm. N. J. 55.


A confirmation of the grant of the northern neck of Virginia to the Earl
of St. Alban's, Lord Berkeley, Sir William Moreton and John Tretheway.

16 -- May 8. 21. Car. 2.

Incorporation of the town of Newcastle or Amstell.


A demise of the colony of Virginia to the Earl of Arlington and Lord
Culpeper for 31 years. M. S.

1673, Feb. 25. 25. Car. 2.

Treaty at London between king Charles II. and the Dutch. Article VI.


Remonstrances against the two grants of Charles II. of Northern and
Southern Virginia. Mentd. Beverley. 65.

Sir George Carteret's instructions to Governor Carteret.

1674, July 13.

Governor Andros's proclamation on
-------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Page 316

taking possession of Newcastle for the Duke of York. Sm. N. J. 78.

1674, Nov. 9.

A proclamation for prohibiting the importation of commodities of Europe
into any of his majesty's plantations in Africa, Asia, or America, which
were not laden in England: and for putting all other laws relating to the
trade of the plantations in effectual execution.

1675, Oct. 1. 27. Car. 2.

The concessions and agreements of the proprietors, freeholders and
inhabitants of the province of West-New-Jersey in America. Sm. N. J. App. 2.

1676, Mar. 3.

A deed quintipartite for the division of New-Jersey.

1676, July 1.

Letter from the proprietors of New-Jersey to Richard Hartshorne. Sm. N.
J. 80.Proprietors instructions to James Wasse and Richard Hartshorne. Sm. N.
J. 83.

1676, Aug. 18.

The charter of king Charles II. to his subjects of Virginia. M. S.

1676, Oct. 10. 28. Car. 2.

Cautionary epistle from the trustees of Byllinge's part of New-Jersey.
Sm. N. J. 84.


Indian deed for the lands between Rankokas creek and Timber creek, in

1677, Sept. 10.

Indian deed for the lands from Oldman's creek to Timber creek, in

1677, Sept. 27.

Indian deed for the lands from Rankokas creek to Assunpink creek, in

1677, Oct. 10.

The will of Sir George Carteret, sole proprietor of East-Jersey, ordering
the same to be sold.

1678, Dec. 5.

An order of the king in council for the better encouragement of all his
majesty's subjects in their trade to his majesty's plantations, and for the
better information of all his majesty's loving
-------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Page 317

subjects in these matters. Lond. Gaz No. 1596. Title in Amer. library. 134.

1680, Feb. 16.

Arguments against the customs demanded in New-West-Jersey by the governor
of New-York, addressed to the Duke's commissioners. Sm. N. J. 117.


Extracts of proceedings of the committee of trade and plantations; copies
of letters, reports, &c. between the board of trade, Mr. Penn, Lord
Baltimore and Sir John Werden, in the behalf of the Duke of York and the
settlement of the Pennsylvania boundaries by the L. C. J. North. Votes of
Repr. Pennsyl. vii.-xiii.

1680, June 14. 23. 25.

Oct. 16.

Nov. 4. 8. 11. 18. 20. 23.

Dec. 16.

1680-1, Jan. 15. 22.

Feb. 24.

A grant of Pennsylvania to William Penn. Votes of Represen. Pennsylv.

1681, Mar. 4. Car. 2.

The king's declaration to the inhabitants and planters of the province of
Pennsylvania. Vo. Rep. Penn. xxiv.

1681, Apr. 2.

Certain conditions or concessions agreed upon by William Penn,
proprietary and governor of Pennsylvania, and those who are the adventurers
and purchasers in the same province. Votes of Rep. Pennsylv. xxiv.

1681, July 11.

Fundamental laws of the province of West-New-Jersey. Sm. N. J. 126.

1681, Nov. 9.

The methods of the commissioners for settling and regulation of lands in
New-Jersey. Sm. N. J. 130.

1681-2, Jan. 14.

Indentures of lease and release by the executors of Sir George Carteret
to William Penn and 11 others, conveying East-Jersey.

1681-2, Feb. 1. 2.

The Duke of York's fresh grant of East-New-Jersey to the 24 proprietors.

1682, Mar. 14.

The Frame of the government of the province of Pennsylvania, in America.
Votes of Repr. Penn. xxvii.

1682, Apr. 25.
-------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Page 318

The Duke of York's deed for Pennsylvania. Vo. Repr. Penn. xxxv.

1682, Aug. 21.

The Duke of York's deed of feoffment of Newcastle and twelve miles circle
to William Penn. Vo. Repr. Penn.

1682, Aug. 24.

The Duke of York's deed of feoffment of a tract of land 12 miles south
from Newcastle to the Whorekills, to William Penn. Vo. Repr. Penn. xxxvii.

1682, Aug. 24.

A commission to Thomas Lord Culpeper to be lieutenant and
governor-general of Virginia. M. S.

1682, Nov. 27. 34. Car. 2.

An act of union for annexing and uniting of the counties of Newcastle,
Jones's and Whorekill's alias Deal, to the province of Pennsylvania, and of
naturalization of all foreigners in the province and counties aforesaid.

1682, 10th month, 6th day.

An act of settlement.

1682, Dec. 6.

The frame of the government of the province of Pennsylvania and
territories thereunto annexed in America.

1683, Apr. 2.

Proceedings of the committee of trade and plantations in the dispute
between Lord Baltimore and Mr. Penn. Vo. R. P. xiii-xviii.

1683, Apr. 17, 27. 1684, Feb. 12.

1685, Mar. 17.

May 30. July 2, 16, 23. Aug. 18. 26.

June 12. Sept. 30. Sept. 2.

Dec. 9. Oct. 8. 17, 31.

Nov. 7.

A commission by the proprietors of East-New-Jersey to Robert Barclay to
be governor. Sm. N. J. 166.

1683, July 17.

An order of council for issuing a quo warranto against the charter of the
colony of the Massachuset's bay in New-England, with his majesty's
declaration that in case the said corporation of Masschuset's bay shall
before prosecution had upon the same quo warranto make a full submission and
entire resignation
-------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Page 319

to his royal pleasure, he will then regulate their charter in such a manner
as shall be for his service and the good of that colony. Title in Amer.
library. 139. 6.

1683, July 26. 35. Car. 2.

A commission to Lord Howard of Effingham to be lieutenant and
governor-general of Virginia. M. S.

1683, Sept. 28. 35. Car. 2.

The humble address of the chief governor, council and representatives of
the island of Nevis, in the West-Indies, presented to his majesty by Colonel
Netheway and Captain Jefferson, at Windsor, May 3, 1684. Title in Amer.
libr. 142. 3. cites Lond. Gaz. No. 1927.

1684, May 3.

A treaty with the Indians at Albany.

1684, Aug. 2.

A treaty of neutrality for America between France and England. 7. Corps.
Dipl. part 2. p. 44. 2. Mem. Am. 40.

1686, Nov. 16.

By the king, a proclamation for the more effectual reducing and
suppressing of pirates and privateers in America, as well on the sea as on
the land in great numbers, committing frequent robberies and piracies, which
hath occasioned a great prejudice and obstruction to trade and commerce, and
given a great scandal and disturbance to our government in those parts.
Title Amer. libr. 147. 2. cites Lond. Gaz. No. 2315.

1687, Jan. 20.

Constitution of the council of proprietors of West-Jersey. Smith's N.
Jersey. 199.

1687, Feb. 12.

A confirmation of the grant of the northern neck of Virginia to Lord

1687, qu. Sept. 27.

4. Jac. 2.

Governor Coxe's declaration to the council of proprietors of West-Jersey.
Sm. N. J. 190.

1687, Sept. 5.

Provisional treaty of Whitehall concerning America between France and
England. 2. Mem. de l'Am. 89.

1687, Dec. 16.
-------------------------------------------------------------------- ----
Page 320

Governor Coxe's narrative relating to the division line, directed to the
council of proprietors of West-Jersey. Sm. App. N. 4.

The representation of the council of proprietors of West-Jersey to
Governor Burnet. Smith. App. No. 5.

The remonstrance and petition of the inhabitants of East-New-Jersey to
the king. Sm. App. No. 8.

The memorial of the proprietors of East-New-Jersey to the Lords of trade.
Sm. App. No. 9.

Agreement of the line of partition between East and West-New-Jersey. Sm.
N. J. 196.

1688, Sept. 5.

Conveiance of the government of West-Jersey and territories by Dr. Coxe,
to the West-Jersey society.


A charter granted by King William and Queen Mary to the inhabitants of
the province of Massachuset's bay in New-England. 2. Mem. de l'Am. 593.

1691, Oct. 7.

The frame of government of the province of Pennsylvania and the
territories thereunto belonging, passed by Governor Markham. Nov. 7, 1696.

1696, Nov. 7.

The treaty of peace between France and England, made at Ryswick. 7. Corps
Dipl. part. 2. p. 399. 2. Mem. Am. 89.

1697, Sept. 20.

The opinion and answer of the lords of trade to the memorial of the
proprietors of East-New-Jersey. Sm. App. No. 10.

1699, July 5.

The memorial of the proprietors of East-New-Jersey to the Lords of trade.
Sm. App. No. 11.

The petition of the proprietors of East and West-New-Jersey to the Lords
justices of England. Sm. App. No. 12.

1700, Jan. 15.
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Page 321

A confirmation of the boundary between the colonies of New-York and
Connecticut, by the crown.

1700, W. 3.

The memorial of the proprietors of East and West-Jersey to the king. Sm.
App. No. 14.

1701, Aug. 12.

Representation of the lords of trade to the lords justices. Sm. App. No.

1701, Oct. 2.

A treaty with the Indians.


Report of lords of trade to king William of draughts of a commission and
instructions for a governor of New-Jersey. Sm. N. J. 262.

1701-2, Jan. 6.

Surrender from the proprietors of E. and W. N. Jersey of their pretended
right of government to her majesty Q. Anne. Sm. N. J. 211.

1702, Apr. 15.

The Queen's acceptance of the surrender of government of East and
West-Jersey. Sm. N. J. 219.

1702, Apr. 17.

Instructions to lord Cornbury. Sm. N. J. 230.

1702, Nov. 16.

A commission from Queen Anne to Lord Cornbury, to be captain-general and
governor in chief of New-Jersey. Sm. N. J. 220.

1702, Dec. 5.

Recognition by the council of proprietors of the true boundary of the
deeds of Sept. 10 and Oct. 10, 1677. (New-Jersey). Sm. N. J. 96.

1703, June 27.

Indian deed for the lands above the falls of the Delaware in
West-Jersey.Indian deed for the lands at the head of Rankokus river in


A proclamation by Queen Anne for settling and ascertaining the current
rates of foreign coins in America. Sm. N. J. 281.

1704, June 18.

Additional instructions to Lord Cornbury. Sm. N. J. 235.

1705, May 3.
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Page 322

Additional instructions to Lord Cornbury. Sm. N. J. 258.

1707, May 3.

Additional instructions to Lord Cornbury. Sm. N. J. 259.

1707, Nov. 20.

An answer by the council of proprietors for the western division of
New-Jersey, to questions, proposed to them by Lord Cornbury. Sm. N. J. 285.


Instructions to Colonel Vetch in his negociations with the governors of
America. Sm. N. J. 364.

1708-9, Feb. 28.

Instructions to the governor of New-Jersey and New-York. Sm. N. J. 361.

1708-9, Feb. 28.

Earl of Dartmouth's letter to governor Hunter.

1710, Aug.

Premieres propositions de la France. 6. Lamberty, 669. 2. Mem. Am. 341.

1711, Apr. 22.

Réponses de la France aux demandes préliminaires de la Grande-Bretagne.
6. Lamb. 681. 2. Mem. Amer. 344.

1711, Oct. 8.

Demandes préliminaires plus particulieres de la Grande-Bretagne, avec les
réponses. 2. Mem. de l'Am. 346.

1711, Sept. 27.

-- -- -- --

Oct. 8.

L'acceptation de la part de la Grande-Bretagne. 2. Mem. Am. 356.

1711, Sept. 27.

-- -- -- --

Oct. 8.

The queen's instructions to the Bishop of Bristol and Earl of Strafford,
her plenipotentiaries, to treat of a general peace. 6. Lamberty, 744. 2.
Mem. Am. 358.

1711, Dec. 23.

A memorial of Mr. St. John to the Marquis de Torci, with regard to North
America, to commerce, and to the suspension of arms. 7. Recueil de Lamberty,
161. 2. Mem. de l'Amer. 376.

1712, May 24.

-- -- --

June 10.

Réponse du roi de France au memoire de Londres. 7. Lamberty, p. 163. 2.
Mem. Am. 380.

1712, June 10.

Traité pour une suspension d'armes entre Louis XIV. roi de France, &
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Page 323

reigne de la Grande-Bretagne, fait à Paris. 8. Corps Diplom. part. 1. p.
308. 2. Mem. d'Am. 104.

1712, Aug. 19.

Offers of France to England, demands of England, and the answers of
France. 7. Rec. de Lamb. 491. 2. Mem. Am. 390.

1712, Sept. 10.

Traité de paix & d'amitié entre Louis XIV. roi de France, & Anne, reine
de la Grande-Bretagne, fait à Utrecht. 15. Corps Diplomatique de Dumont,
339. id. Latin. 2. Actes & memoires de la pais d'Utrecht, 457. id. Lat. Fr.
2. Mem. Am. 113.

1713, Mar. 31.

-- -- -- -

Apr. 11.

Traité de navigation & de commerce entre Louis XIV. roi de France, &
Anne, reine de la Grande-Bretagne. Fait à Utrecht. 8. Corps. Dipl. part. 1.
p. 345. 2. Mem. de l'Am. 137.

1713, Mar. 31.

-- -- -- -

Apr. 11.

A treaty with the Indians.


The petition of the representatives of the province of New-Jersey, to
have a distinct governor. Sm. N. J. 421.

1728, Jan.

Deed of release by the government of Connecticut to that of New-York.

1732, G. 2.

The charter granted by George II. for Georgia. 4. Mem. de l'Am. 617.

1732, June 9-20. 5. G. 2.

Petition of Lord Fairfax, that a commission might issue for running and
marking the dividing line between his district and the province of Virginia.


Order of the king in council for Commissioners to survey and settle the
said dividing line between the proprietary and royal territory.

1733, Nov. 29.

Report of the lords of trade relating to the separating the government of
the province of New-Jersey from New-York. Sm. N. J. 423.

1736, Aug. 5.

Survey and report of the commissioners
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Page 324

appointed on the part of the crown to settle the line between the crown and
Lord Fairfao.

1737, Aug. 10.

Survey and report of the commissioners appointed on the part of Lord
Fairfax to settle the line between the crown and him.

1737, Aug. 11.

Order of reference of the surveys between the crown and Lord Fairfax to
the council for plantation affairs.

1738, Dec. 21.

Treaty with the Indians of the 6 nations at Lancaster.

1744, June

Report of the council for plantation affairs, fixing the head springs of
Rappahanoc and Patowmac, and a commission to extend the line.

1745, Apr. 6.

Order of the king in council confirming the said report of the council
for plantation affairs.

1745, Apr. 11.

Articles préliminaires pour parvenir à la paix, signés à Aix-la-Chapelle
entre les ministres de France, de la Grande-Bretagne, & des Provinces-Unies
des Pays-Bas. 2. Mem. de l'Am. 159.

1748, Apr. 30.

Declaration des ministres de France, de la Grande-Bretagne, & des
Provinces-Unies des Pays-Bas, pour rectifier les articles I. & II. des
préliminaires. 2. Mem. Am. 165.

1748, May 21.

The general and definitive treaty of peace concluded at Aix-la-Chapelle.
Lond. Mag. 1748. 503 French. 2. Mem. Am. 169.

1748, Oct. 7-18.

22. G. 2.

A treaty with the Indians.


A conference between Governor Bernard and Indian nations at Burlington.
Sm. N. J. 449.

1758, Aug. 7.

A conference between Governor Denny, Governor Bernard and others, and
Indian nations at Easton. Sm. N. J. 455.

1758, Oct. 8.
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Page 325

The capitulation of Niagara.

1759, July 25. 33. G. 2.

The king's proclamation promising lands to souldiers.

175 --

The definitive treaty concluded at Paris. Lond. Mag. 1763. 149.

1763, Feb. 10. 3. G. 3.

A proclamation for regulating the cessions made by the last treaty of
peace. Guth. Geogr. Gram. 623.

1763, Oct. 7. G. 3.

The king's proclamation against settling on any lands on the waters,
westward of the Alleghaney.


Deed from the six nations of Indians to William Trent and others for
lands betwixt the Ohio and Monongahela. View of the title to Indiana. Phil.
Styner and Cist. 1776.

1768, Nov. 3.

Deed from the six nations of Indians to the crown for certain lands and
settling a boundary. M. S.

1768, Nov. 5.

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