Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

Productions. 359

dence, in Rhode Island; and New London, New Haven, and Black Rock in Fairfield, in Connecticut. Burlington Bay is the most considerable harbour in Lake Charnplain, on the. Vermont shore.

The produce of the fields in New England is of every kind suited to the climate. In the western half, and in various parts of the eastern, wheat, before the ravages of the Hessian fly, grew abundantly; but that inseft has not a little discouraged the culture of this grain. Indian corn is a most abundant and useful grain, furnishing a very healthful and pleasing food to the inhabitants, and yielding also the best means of fattening their numerous herds of cattle and swine. The kind, frequently called sweet corn, is perhaps the most delicious of all culinary vegetables, if eaten young, and one of the most salubrious. The juice of the corn stalk yields a rich molasses, and a spirit not inferior to that of the sugar cane. No cultivated vegetable makes so noble an appearance in the field. Fruits of every kind, which suit a temperate climate, abound, or may be easily made to abound here! The heat of the summer brings to high perft ftion the peach, apricot, and ne&aiine. The orchards of apple trees, cover a considerable part of the whole country, except the new settlements. Cider is the common drink of the inhabitants of every class, and may often be obtained, in the interior country, by paying for the labour of gathering 360 Productions*

the apples, and making the cider. Pears, plums, cherries, currants, gooseberries, whortleberries, blackberries, bilberries, &x. abound. Perry is made in some pares of the country, but not in great quantities. Butternuts, shagbarks and various other fruits of the different species of the hickory and hazle nuts, are plentifully furnished by the southern half of New England. Madeira nuts and black walnuts are rarely cultivated, although the last grow very easily and rapidly. Hortnline productions are also abundant, of every kind found in this climate, and grow with very little care or culture. Gardening is much improved, and still advancing; many good gardens are seen in almost every quarter of New England. But the most important production of New England is grass. This not only adorns the face of the country, with a beauty unrivalled in the new world, but also furnishes more wealth and property to its inhabitants, than any other kind of vegetation. A farm of two hundred acres of the best grazing land, is worth, to the occupier, as much as a farm of three hundred acres of the best tillage land. The reason is obvious. Far less labour is necessary to gather the produce, and convey it to market.

The beef and pork of New England are abundant and excellent, and feed the inhabitants of many other countries. The mutton is also exquisite, when well fed, and of the proper age; but it must be confessed, that, except in a part of the ■Sheep. , 361

eastern half of this country, it is very often brought to market too young and indifferently fed, to the injury of both the farmer and the consumer. The lamb is universally fine, but is most excellent in the states of New Hampshire and Vermont; and particularly in the parts of these states which border on Connecticut river* A great discouragement to the raising of sheep, exists in a kind of enclosure which is extensive, the stone wall: over this wall sheep pass with great ease, and cannot, without much difficulty and labour, be prevented from intruding into all the parts of a farm, whereever this kind of fence is in use. This evil, which is not a small one, will, however, be probably removed by increasing the new breed of sheep, called the Otter breed. These sheep, which, it is said, began in an extraordinary manner, at Mendon, in Massachusetts (of which a sufficiently correal account to be inserted here has not been received,) have legs somewhat resembling those of a hare; and while they are not inferior to the common breed, in flesh or wool, are unable to climb any fence; a circumstance which, in New England, confers on them a peculiar value. The wool of the New England sheep is of a good staple, and may be improved, (as it often h:>s been by attentive farmers) to a high, but indefinite degree.. The best wool, and the best mutton also are furnished by-short and sweet pastures, and in dry seasons.

G g

362 Forests.

The veal of New England is extremely rich and fine when well fed, as it is to a great extent.

Butter and cheese, in this country, are made in vast quantities, and of various goodness. The butter is very generally excellent, but is still very commonly rendered sensibly worse in the firkin, by the imperfect manner in which it is prepared, A great quantity of ordinary cheese is shipped yearly, to the disadvantage of both the maker and the merchant. There is also a great quantity of cheese of a superior quality made throughout the country. The dairies in Fomfret and Brooklyn^ and a few of die neighbouring towns in the eastern p..;t of Connecticut, are probably more generally of the first class, than in any other quarter.

Of the forests of New England, and not improbably of the world, the white pine is the first ornament: the greatest diameter of this extraordinary tree does not exceed six feet, but its height, in some instances, exceeds two hundred and sixty. This vast stem is often exactly straight, and tapering, and without a limb, to the height of more than one hundred and fifty feet. The colour and form of the foliage are exquisite; and the whole crown is noble beyond any thing of this kind, and perfe£Uy suited to the stem, which it adorns. The murmurs of the wind in a grove of white pines, is one of the first poetical objects in the field of nature. This tree is of vast importance for build Ins, The white oak of New England is a noble Population, 353

and most useful tree. It is less enduring than the live, or the English oak; but the early decay of ships, built of the white oak, so generally complained of, is less owing to the nature of the tree, than to the haste and carelessness of the builders, When the timber has been v/ell selected and seasoned, ships, formed of this material, have come near to the age of those built of the English oak. The chesnut is also of incalculable importance as a material in the construdtion of buildings, and for fencing. A fence composed of gcod rails of this tree, will endure seventy or eighty years.. The chesnut is very common throughout the southern half of New England, and is of no small value,, on-account of the nourishment it affords to swine during their growth.

The country likewise abounds in a very great variety of flowering shrubs and plants, many of which are not only beautiful but highly useful*

CHAP. XXVIII.

Population, Character, Amusements, Learning,. Religion.

NEW ENGLAND is the mostpopulous

part of the United States. It contained, in 1790, 1,009,522.. fouls, and in 1800, 1,233,011. The great body of these are landholders and cultivators of the soil. As they possess, in fee simple, the

« PoprzedniaDalej »