« ZurückWeiter »
in Berwick, Sacofalls, in Biddeford, and Pepperillborough, Prefumscut falls, in Falmouth, and Amera scoggin falls in Brunswick. The rivers abound with salmon in the spring sealun. On the sea-coaft fish of various kinds, are caught in plenty. Of these the cod-fill are the principal. Dried fish furnilhes a capital article of export.
In this country are deer, moose, beaver, otters, fables, brown squirrels white rabbits; bears, which have frequently destroyed corn-fields ; wolves, which are deftructive to sheep ; mountain-cats, porcupines or hedgehogs ; parıridges, but no quails. Wild-geese and ducks, and other water-fowls, abound on the sea coast in their seasons. No venomous serpents are found caft of Kennebek-river
Character and Religion.
I HE inhabitants are a hardy robust set of people. The males are early taught the use of she musquet ; and, from their frequent use of it in fowling, are expert marksmen. The people are in general humane and benevolent. The common people ought by law, to have the advantage of a school education, but this law has not hitherto been attended to, so much as its importance undoubtedly requires.
lo March 1788, the general court ordered that a tract of land fix miles Square, should be laid out between Kennebeck and Penobscot rivers, to the Dorthward of Waldo patent, to be appropriated for the foundation of a college.
As to religion, the prevailing denominations, are Congregationalists and Baptifts, there are also some Friends, Epifcopalians, Methodists, and Roman Catholics.
1 He remains of the Penobscot tribe are the only Indians, who tilide in this district. They consift of about one hundred families, and live together in a civilized manner at Indian old Town on a sinall island of about 200 acres, a litle above the great falls in Penobscot river. They profess themselves to be Roman Catholics, and have a priest, who administers regularly the ordinances of religion. They have a decent church and allo another public building, in which they meet 10 transaĉt the business of the tribe, which is now said to be encrealing in numbers, in consequence of an obligation laid by the Sachems, on the young people to marry early,
In the allemblies of these people, all things are conducted with the greatel order and decorum, indeed the utmost harmony universally prevails amongst them.
In a former war the lands belonging to these people were taken from them, but at the commencement of the late war, they were restored by the Continental Congress, who allowed them a cract of land from the bead of the tide, in Penobscot river, included in lines drawo lix miles from the river on each side, that is a tract twelve miles wide, interfered in the Vol. IV,
middle by the river. They, however, in addition to this, claim the right
of hunting and thing as far as the mouth of the bay of Penobfcot extends i which privilege originally belonged to them, in preference to any other
tribe, and it is not at present denied them. ,'
1 HE first attempt to settle this country was made in 1607, on the west side of Kennebeck, near the sea, but little progrefs towards a per manent sectlement till between the years 1620, and 1630.
Sir Fernando Georges, who, in the year 1735, obtained a grant from the Plymouth company, of the trade of country lying between the riyers Pifcataqua, and Sagadahock, or Kennebeck, and up Kennebeck so far as to form a square of one hundred and twenty miles, is suppofed to have been the first, who instituted government in this country.
In 1639 Gorges obtained from the king of England, a charter of the * whole foil and jurisdiction, and in the very fame year, appointed a go vernor and council, who administered justice in the settlers, till about the year 1646, when hearing of the death of Gorges, the people formedia plan of government for themselves, and ele&ted their own officers. A ta '. In the year 1652, however, the people of Main relinquished the mode of government which they had adopred, and submitted to Mafachusetts, since which time the towns have had the liberty of sending their representatives to the general court of Boston, and ihe government has ever linge been the same as in that commonwealth. of which they had now become a 'parr.
Since the first settlement of this district, its increase in population his been exceedingly rapid, and as it contains at least double the number of inhabitants as the small fate of Delaware, the period is very, probably not far, diftant, when it will become, by itself, a member of the Federal Union,
The propriety of this measure, was some time ago discussed by the ihbabicants assembled in town meetings by the appointment of the legislature and was then rejected by no great anajority. Should it agair core under consideration, it probably would be carried.
To those, who wish for more particular information, with respea to this district we would recommend the history of the district of Alain lately published by Janes Sullivan Esg. Attutney General of Majachusetts.
CHA P. VIII.
Situation, Extent Boundaries, and Population.
· Miles Greatest length, 46 p 23° u' and 4° East long. 2. Greatest breadth 40'}"
} 1300 fq. miles. 11° 22' and 42° 2 N lat. 3° q: mules.
T HODE-ISLAND is bounded on the North and East, by the Commonwealth of Mafachusettsy on the South by the Atlantic, and on the
E Lo: from Philad!
Fingraved por Paines Groumphr Published ! Ilow, V.York.
11: Barker, soulr Philad?"
i Weft, by the state of Connecticut. These limits comprehend what is called
Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. • This fate is divided into five counties, viz. Newport, Providence, Washington, Bristol and Kent, which are sub-divided into thirty town. ships.
The population of this state in 1783 was 48,538 whites, and 3,361 blacks, in all 51,899 : Agreeably to the cenfus of 1790, the whites amounted in : 67,877, and the blacks to 948. In all 68,825. Thus in a period of 7
years from 1783 to 1790, the popularion had encreased po less than 16.926; and if we suppose, that the augmentation had for the 7 years immediately succeeding 1790, progressed in the same proportion, the number of inhabitants would in the year 1798 amount to 91,264 ; but we have feveral reafons for fuppofing that the population is now considerably greater than what we have above fated; in particular the iniquitous laws, which were passed in this flate in the year 1783, and which continued to operate for several years thereafter, with respect to a paper currency, of which we shall speak more Jargely hereafter,occafioned the removal of a great number of its most weal. thy and respectable inhabitants. Since the year 1790, however, no such evül can have exifted, as by the constitution of the United States, “ no flate can coin money ; emir bills of credit ; or make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.” From the above consideration, therefore, we cannot be wrong, in fuppofing that the inhabitants of Rhode Island, in the present year (1799) amount at least to one hundred thousand.
Climate, Soil and Productions.
R HODE ISLAND, in respect to the falubrity of its climate is certainly' equal to any country in North-America. The cold of the winters, particularly on the sea coaft, is by no means fo severe as in several of the other lates; whill the exireme heat of summer which is experienced in all other parts of this continent is greatly mitigated, by cool and refreshing sea breezes. i A native of England viz. Mr. Cooper who has lately published a work, entitled, “ Some informations refpeting America," in speaking of the clie mate of this flate expresses himself thus, ** Rhode Islands in point of climate and productions, as well, as in appearance, is perhaps the most similar to Great Britain in any state of the Union. The winiers are somewhat longer and more severe ; the summers, perhaps a little warmer; but it par ticipates with Great Britain, in some measure in the defects of climate, be. ing from its situation subject to a moister atmosphere than many of the other ftates"*. ! The disea'cs, most prevalent here, are consumptions and the dylentery ; but these most probably are not so much owing to the climate as to the in. temperance and imprudence of the inhabitants.
The soil of Rhode Island in genvral is much better adopted for a graz. ing, than a corn country. It, however in general, produces a fufficiency o grain for its own consumption, and greatly abounds in grall.s of various foriss fruits and in roots and plants for the use of the kitchen. In making cider
* This observation is equally applicable to the vicinity of New-York. the remark will cvidcotly apply to the whole sea coat of America.