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great valley of the Mississippi came also chiefly through Baltimore, and were transported from thence across the Alleghany Mountains, as the opening of the channel by NewOrleans and the use of steamboats on the great Western rivers had not then begun.
In 1812 the war with Great Britain affected Baltimore in common with all the seaports of the United States; but Baltimore suffered less than any other, because nearly all her large ships were abroad, engaged in the carrying trade between nations at peace with each other, while their fastsailing "clippers" eluded the blockade of the Chesapeake by the British squadron, not a vessel of which could ever overtake them.
In 1814 the British forces landed at the mouth of the Patapsco, close to Baltimore, when a battle was fought between the British and Americans, which ended in the repulse of the former, and the death of their commander, General Ross; after which the British retreated to their ships, and did not again renew the attack.
When the peace of 1815 came, the change operated most favourably on Baltimore; and for the few years next imme. diately succeeding to this, its shipping and its population greatly increased. Its commercial operations abroad were extended to India, Batavia, and China in the East, and to the islands of the Pacific in the South and West; while to almost every large port of Europe vessels from Baltimore found their way. Imports of British and French, as well as German manufactures, increased in an equal degree; the value of land and houses rose in each succeeding year; and this state of constantly-accumulating wealth has gone on, with slight and occasional reverses, till the present time, when, instead of twenty-five houses and a population of about one hundred persons, which it possessed in the year 1752, it has now nearly 10,000 houses, and a population of 100,000 souls; and, instead of the brig and the schooner which were then the only two vessels belonging to the port, it has now about 1500 vessels of various kinds, amounting at least to 100,000 tons. Such is the brief but instructive history of Baltimore; a history which, like that of New-York, shows what can be achieved by the industry and energy of man, when placed under the protection of equal laws and liberal institutions.
Topographical Situation of Baltimore.-Finest Points of View in the Panorama.-Form and Plan of the City.-Private Residences and public Buildings.-Exchange, Cus tom-house, City Hall.-Courthouse, Jail, and Penitentiary.-Separation of the Sexes in the latter.-Night-cells open to constant Supervision.-Workshops for the daily Labour of the Convicts.-Produce of their Work sustains the Institution.-Pian of Government and internal Economy.-Places of public Worship in Baltimore.-The Catholic Cathedral, Beauties and Defects.-Pictures of the Interior, presented by France.-Unitarian Church, Exterior and Interior.-Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and Baptist Churches.-Medical College for Students.-Benevolent Institutions of Baltimore.-Asylum at Calverton, Plan and Condition.--The Hospital under the Catholic Sisters of Charity.-The Infirmary, Illustration of Catholic Zeal.-Dispensary, Orphan Asylum, Marine Society-Penitent Female Refuge Society, and others.-Baltimore characterized as the "Monumental City."-Washington Monument, Column and Statue.-The Battle Monument, in Monument Square.-The Armistead Monument, near the City Spring.-Fountains or enclosed Springs in Baltimore.-The City Spring-The Western Fountain.-The Eastern Fountain, the Centre Fountain. Places of public Amusement.-Theatre, Circus, Concert and Ball Room.-Museum, public Gardens, Racecourse.-Municipal Government, Commerce, and Shipping.Capacities for Trade, Banks, and Insurance-offices.
THE topographical situation of Baltimore is, like that of all the American cities we had yet seen, extremely well chosen and advantageous. The town is built around the skirts of an inlet on the north side of the Patapsco River, which discharges itself into the Chesapeake at a distance of about fifty miles from the northeastern extremity of that long gulf or bay, and about 120 miles above the entrance to it, between the Capes of Virginia, as Cape Henry and Cape Charles are called. A finer situation for a seaport it is therefore difficult to imagine; and the number and size of the various rivers that flow from the east and west, but especially from the latter quarter, into this great estuary, give it the advantage of water communication with extensive tracts of country in the interior; while the path for its ships from their docks to the Atlantic Ocean is perfectly clear, and unobstructed by any impediment in the way of navi gation.
The finest views of the city are obtained from the following points, each of which we visited in succession. The first is from the Federal Hill, which lies to the south of the city, and across an arm of the water, which runs up like an inlet or creek, below the hill and the town. This hill is about 100 feet in elevation, and on its summit are a stationhouse for look-out down the Chesapeake Bay, and a telegraph for communicating the arrival of ships while they are yet at a distance in the offing. From it the view is exten
sive and beautiful. To the north, the whole city is spread out like a picture, and every one of the principal buildings can be seen; but the view embraces too many objects for any picture except a panorama. To the south and southeast the eye extends down the Patapsco into the Chesapeake, the distant horizon being the long level line of the sea; and in the same direction, but nearer at hand, are the projecting points by which the entry to the harbour of Baltimore is guarded, and on one of which stands Fort M'Henry.
Between the Federal Hill and the city, and at the foot of the spectator on the north, is the Basin, as this inlet of water is called, in which twenty or thirty steamboats of various forms and sizes, with a large number of schooners and other small craft, are crowded along the wharves; while at Fell's Point on the east, and the city-dock in the same direction, the larger vessels are moored in tiers and groups in great numbers.
The second view is from the gallery at the top of Washington's Monument, which gives you a complete map of the city laid out at your feet, and enables you to see the direc tion of almost every street, and the position of all the public buildings, with Federal Hill, Fort M'Henry, and the Chesapeake in the distance to the south and southeast, this monument being on the northern extremity of the city.
The third view is from the Medical College and from the hill beyond it, which, being on the east, gives you a new and equally interesting view in the opposite direction, and thus completes the series.
The form of Baltimore is irregular, but approaches nearer to a square than to any other shape. As now built upon, it is about two miles in length from east to west, and a mile and a half from north to south; but the ground is marked off for new buildings, and streets are mapped and planned for a considerable distance in each direction beyond these limits. The site is not level, like that of New-York or Philadelphia, but the ground has many risings and declivities, which give it a picturesque appearance. The number of the elevations and depressions exceeds fifty; and the highest of the former, on which the monument of Washington is placed, is at least 150 feet above the harbour.
This inequality of surface is favourable to the cleanliness of the streets, and to the exercise and health of the popula tion. It gives also great variety of views to the several openings through the streets towards the surrounding coun
try, and affords many charming prospects of the distance, as well as of the immediate environs.
The plan, or laying out of the city, is characterized by the same uniformity and regularity which mark the other cities of the United States. The streets are generally broad, few being under 50 feet, and some 80 and 100. These cross each other mostly at right angles; the few deviations that here and there appear being but exceptions to the general rule. The centres of all the streets are paved, strongly though roughly, and are kept remarkably clean. There are side pavements to each, mostly made of red bricks placed in a diagonal interlacing, which is agreeable to the eye, and dry and comfortable to the feet.
The business part of the city is in the neighbourhood of the water, along the wharves, from Light-street, at the head of the basin, west, to Thames-street, at the extremity of Fell's Point, to the east. The north end of the town is the fashionable quarter, in the vicinity of the Washington Monument, and all around it east and west; and the principal promenade of the gay pedestrians is Baltimore-street, which runs nearly east and west through the centre of the city, having about an equal portion of it north and south. This being the great thoroughfare and place for stores, was originally called Market-street, but it is now called Baltimorestreet. It is at least two miles in length, and corresponds to the Broadway of New-York, the Pennsylvania Avenue of Washington, and the Regent-street of London; though in length, breadth, and general style or character, it is more like Oxford-street in London than either.
A small muddy stream, called Jones's Falls, runs from north to south through the eastern part of the city, but, instead of contributing either to its beauty or its advantage, it is a source of considerable expense and vexation, from the great quantities of alluvial mud which it brings down every year from the rich lands of the Patapsco, over which it flows, and which requires the constant use of many expensive machines to prevent its filling up the harbour, into which it runs.
The private residences of the more wealthy inhabitants of Baltimore are handsome and commodious, without being imposing or ostentatious. There are no great squares that can compare with Washington Square in New-York, nor any terraces or rows of houses equal to those of Lafayette Place or Waverley Place in that city, or some of the large old private mansions near the Battery, at the lower end of the Broadway; but, taken as a whole, there is a greater uniformity of neatness, taste, and substantial comfort in the dwellings of the first class in Baltimore than in New-York.
Of the residences of the middle classes the greater number are also excellent; and even those of the mechanics and artisans are such as in England would be deemed com. fortable abodes for persons far above that condition. There is not nearly so large an admixture of mean wooden houses with the better kind of brick and stone dwellings as in Washington and New-York; and the whole air and aspect of Baltimore is that of a city of substantial wealth and general prosperity, without the least semblance of ostentation or attempt at display.
The houses are chiefly built of fine red bricks, which are manufactured of excellent quality, and beautifully worked here; and as in the neighbourhood of the town there are fine quarries of granite and marble, these two materials are used for surbasements and flights of steps, and both are of the finest colour and quality.
Of the public buildings of Baltimore it may be said that they are fully equal to the size and wants of the city, and are each well adapted to the purposes for which they were designed.
The first in order of importance is perhaps the Exchange, which is situated nearly in the centre of the business part of the city, in Gay-street, near the water. It was built in 1815 by an incorporated company, from the design and under the superintendence of the city architect, Mr. B. H. Latrobe. The front of this building in Gay-street is 255