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Judge Story, in a lecture before the Boston Mechanic's Lyceum, gave the annexed interesting sketch of the first memorable voyage of Fulton, with the Clermont:
“I myself have heard the illustrious inventor relate, in an animated and affecting manner, the history of his labors and discouragements. When, said he, I was building my first steamboat at New York, the project was viewed by the public either with indifference or with contempt, as a visionary scheme. My friends, indeed, were civil, but they were shy. They listened with patience to my explanations, but with a settled cast of incredulity on their countenances. I felt the force of the lamentation of the poet,
Truths would you teach to save a sinking land,
All shun, none aid you; and few understand. "As I had occasion to pass daily to and from the building yard, while my boat was in progress, I have often loitered unknown near the idle groups of strangers, gathering in little circles, and heard various inquiries as to the object of this new vehicle. The language was uniformly that of scorn, or sneer, or ridicule. The loud laugh often rose at my expense; the dry jest, the wise calculation of losses and expenditures; the dull but endless repetition of the "Fulton Folly.” Never did a single encouraging remark, a bright hope, or a warm wish, cross my path. Silence itself was but politeness, vailing its doubts or hiding its reproaches. At length the day arrived when the experiment was to be put into operation. To me it was a most trying and interesting occasion. I invited my friends to go on board to witness the first successful trip. Many of them did me the favor to attend as a matter of personal respect, but it was manifest that they did it with reluctance, fearing to be the partners of my mortification and not of my triumph. I was well aware that in my case there were many reasons to doubt of my own success. The machinery was new and ill made; many parts of it were constructed by mechanics unaceustomed to such work, and unexpected difficulties might reasonably be presumed to present themselves from other causes. The moment arrived in which the word was to be given for the vessel to move; my friends were in groups upon deck; they were silent, and sad, and weary. I read in their looks nothing but disaster, and almost repented of my efforts. The signal was given, and the boat moved a short distance, and then stopped and became immovable. To the silence of the preceding moment now succeeded murmurs of discontent, and agitations, and whispers, and shrugs. I could hear distinctly repeated: 'I told you it would be so—it is a foolish scheme-I wish we were well out of it. I elevated myself upon a platform, and addressing the assembly, stated that I knew not what was the matter; but if they would be quiet, and indulge me for a half an hour, I would either go on or abandon the voyage for that time. This short respite was conceded to without objection. I went below, examined the machinery, and discovered that the cause was a slight mal-adjustment of some of the works. The boat was put in motion. She continued to move on. All were still incredulous. None seemed willing to trust the evidence of their own senses. We left the fair city of New York; we passed through the romantic and ever-varying scenery of the highlands; we descried the clustering houses of Albany; we reached its shores; and then, even then, when all seemed achieved, I was the victim of disappointment. Imagination superseded the influence of fact. It was then doubted if it could be done again; or, if done, it was doabted if it could be made of any great value.
"Such was the history of the first experiment as it fell, not in the very language which I have used but in substance, from the lips of the inventor. He did not live, indeed, to enjoy the full glory of his invention."
Joseph Hopkinson, the author of Hail Columbia, was the son of Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the declaration of independence. He was born at Philadelphia in 1770, and was educated for the bar. He was a member of Congress from 1815 to 1819, and Judge of the U. S. District Court from 1828 until his death, in 1842. He was a fine public speaker, and, in addition to his professional duties, Judge Hopkinson filled the office of Vice President of the American Philosophical Society, and President of the Philadelphia Academy of the Fine Arts, an institution which owes its foundation to his exertions.
Hail Columbia was written in the summer of 1798, when a war with France was thought to be inevitable, acts of hostility having actually occurred. It was intended by the author
to arouse an American spirit which should unite all parties. The occasion which brought it forth is thus given by him. Congress was then in session in Philadelphia :
“The theater was then open in our city; a young man whose talent was as a singer, was about to take his benefit. I had known him when he was at school. On this acquaintance, he called on me on Saturday afternoon, his benefit being announced for the following Monday. He said he had twenty boxes taken, and his prospect was that he should suffer a loss instead of receiving a benefit from the performance, but that if he could get a patriotic song adapted to the tune of the "President's March," then the popular air, he did not doubt of a full house; that the poets of the theatrical corps had been trying to accomplish it but were satisfied that no words could be composed to suit the music of that march. I told him I would try for him. He came the next afternoon, and the song, such as it is, was ready for hin. It was announced on Monday morning, and the theater was crowded to excess, and so continued night after night for the rest of the whole season, the song being encored and repeated many times each night, the audience joining in the chorus. It was also sung at night in the streets by large assemblies of citizens, including members of Congress. The enthusiasm was general, and the song was heard, I may say, in every part of the United States."
Benjamin West, the eminent painter, was born of Quaker parentage, in Springfield, Chester county, in 1738. At seven years of age he showed fondness for art, and with such materials for colors as his mother's indigo-bag and other like sources
could supply, he proceeded to make pic tures—using hair twitched from the tail of the unwilling house cat for brushes. Emigrating first to Italy, and then to England, he was patronized by the no bility, and became painter to his majesty" King George Ill. For more than thirty years he ruled "King of Art" in England. He completed 28 grand pictures, illustrative of the progress of Revealed Religion, beside a number of other admirable works, principally of a histor
ical character. He died in 1820, in his 82d year. The house in which West was born is yet standing; it is on the Chadsford road, about five miles north of Chester, one half a mile south of what was once Gibbon's tavern.
Dr. Elisha Kent Kane was the son of Judge Kane, and was born in Philadelphia, in 1822. He graduated at the University of Virginia, and then studied med. icine, and graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1843. Soon after, he was appointed surgeon to the American mission to China, and traveled extensively in the East and in Egypt, and traversed Greece on foot; served next on the western coast of Africa, was in the Mexican war, then on the coast survey: was sur geon in the first American expedition in search of Sir John Franklin, and published on his return a narrative of the expedition. He commanded the second American expedition on the same errand. The history of this is the noblest monument to his memory. Few Americans ever acquired fame so suddenly as he, by his intrepid and wise conduct of this expedition. He died, soon after his return, at Havana, of consumption, Feb. 16, 1857, at the early age of 34 years, leaving this lesson to his countrymen: “By acts, not years, is the work of life to be measured."
Isaac C. Strain, lieutenant in the navy, and celebrated as an explorer, was a native of Pennsylvania. While a midshipman, he led a party to explore the interior of Brazil; in 1848 he explored the peninsula of California; in 1849 he crossed South America from Valparaiso to Buenos Ayres, and wrote a narrative called the "Cordillera and Pampa." He was afterward attached to the Mexican Boundary Commission, and later conducted the noted exploration across the Isthmus of Darien. The sufferings of the party, and the heroism of their leader, are vividly told by Headley, in Harper's Magazine. He died at Aspinwall, May 15, 1857.
Persifer F. Smith, Major General U. S. Army, was born in Pennsylvania about 1790, but removed to New Orleans, where he became eminent as a lawyer. He entered the army in the Mexican war, in which he gained distinction. At the time of his death, in 1858, be was in command of the military department which embraces Utah.
DE LA WA R E.
ARMS OF DELAWARE.
LORD DE LA WAR, governor of Virginia, appears to have been the first who entered the bay since known by his name. This was in 1610; the Dutch
visited it soon afterward, but the date of their arrival is uncertain. In 1627, by the influence of William Usseling, an eminent Swedish merchant, a colony of Swedes and Finns, under the sanction of Gustavus Adolphus, came over to America. They first landed at Cape Henlopen, the site of which gave them such pleasure that they called it “ Paradise Point." Sometime after, they bought of the natives the land from that cape to the Falls
of Delaware, and thus obtaining peaceLIBERTY O INDEPENDENCE.
able possession, called the country New Sweden, and the River Delaware, New-Swedeland Stream. They seated themselves at the mouth of Christiana
creek, near Wilmington. The Swedes being molested by the Dutch, who laid a claim to the country, built forts at Christiana, Chester and Tinicum. This latter place, now in the limits of Pennsylvania, was their seat of government, and their governor (Printz) erected a strong fort of Hemlock logs, and a splendid mansion for himself, called Printz Hall." In 1651, the Dutch, who had never relinquished their claim to this region, built Fort Cassimir, on the site of New Castle, and in 1655, sent a small force from New Amsterdam, with which they reduced the Swedish settlements, which they incorporated with New Netherlands. About thirty Swedes took the oath of fidelity to the States General—the rest, with few exceptions, returned to Sweden.
In 1664, New Netherlands was taken from the Dutch by the English, and the settlements on the Delaware fell into their hands. In 1674, Charles II granted to his brother, the duke of York, all that country called by the Dutch New Netherlands, of which the counties of New Castle, Kent and Sussex were a part. In 1683 the duke of York sold to William Penn the town of New Castle, with the district twelve miles around it; and by another deed of the same date, granted him the remainder of the territory, which, until the revolution, was called the "Three Lower Counties.' These tracts, which constitute the present state of Delaware, were for twenty years governed as a part of Pennsylvania. In 1703, the delegates from this section, dissatisfied with the last charter prepared by Penn, seceded, and, liberty being given,
formed a distinct and separate assembly. The two portions of the province were never afterward united, but the proprietor continued to possess the same jurisdiction, and the same person uniformly acted as governor over both.
On Penn's arrival in the Delaware, in 1682, the Swedes at New Castle joined the other inhabitants in demonstrations of joy. Shortly after his landing he called his first legislature, which met at Upland, now Chester. On this occasion the Swedes, as a distinct people, deputed Capt. Lessé Cock to address the proprietor on their behalf. Two or more members of the first assembly were Swedes. Their writers speak of their situation under the proprietary government, in terms of affection and gratitude. In William Penn's account. in 1683, he says: “The first planters in these parts were the Dutch, and soon after them, the Swedes and Fins. The Dutch applied themselves to traffic—the Swedes and Fins to husbandry. The Dutch inhabit mostly those parts of the province that lie upon or near the bay; the Swedes the freshes of the River Delaware .... As they are a people proper and strong of body, so they have fine children, and almost every house full...... And I must do them the right to say, I see few young men more sober and laborious."
In 1776, Delaware declared herself an independent state, and a constitution was framed by her inhabitants. In 1792, a new constitution was formed, which several times since has been modified. In the revolutionary war the Delaware regiment was considered the most efficient in the continental army. At the disastrous battle of Camden, this regiment went into the action eight hundred strong, but at its close could not muster one hundred men—the rest being either killed or wounded.
Delaware, next to Rhode Island, is the smallest state in the Union, and the least in population. It is bounded N. by Pennsylvania (from which the arc of a circle, drawn with a radius of 12 miles from New Castle as a center, di. vides it), on the east by Delaware Bay and the ocean, and on the W. and S. by Maryland. The length of the state N. and S. is about 92 miles, and its width varies from 36 miles at the S. to 10 at the N. Nearly the whole of Delaware lies on the Atlantic plain. The northern part N. from Christiana creek is hilly and somewhat rugged. South of this creek the surface is almost perfectly level. The central and southern part of the state has a sandy soil, which becomes more unproductive as the south is approached. At the southern extremity of the state is a cypress swamp, about 12 miles long and 6 wide. The most fertile part is in the northern section. There are three counties in the state-New Castle, Kent and Sussex. The population in 1790, was 59,096; in 1840, 78,085; in 1850, 91,535, of whom 17,957 were free colored, and 2,289 slaves. In 1860, 112,347.
WILMINGTON, the largest place in Delaware, is situated between Brandywine and Christiana creeks, 1 mile above their junction and 2 miles from the Delaware. It is 36 miles N. from Dover, by railroad from Philadelphia 28, from Washington 108, from Baltimore 70, and from New York 115 miles. Its site is pleasant and healthy—on ground gradually rising above tide-water to the hight of 112 feet. It is regularly laid out, having broad and airy streets, crossing each other at right angles. Wilmington has 5 banks, about 20 churches, St. Mary's College (a Catholic institution), and several academies. Population is about 22,000. The hospital is located upon a fine eminence, and is 126 feet long and 3 stories high. The manufactures of Wil
mington are varied and extensive. Great water-power is afforded by the falls of Brandywine, in the immediate vicinity, which is improved by mills
South-western view of Wilmington. The above shows the appearance of the principal part of Wilmington, as seen from the New Castle road. Christiana creek, which bounds the city on the south-west, is quite narrow, but deep. Market-street, the principal business street, ascends from the bridge to the summit of the elevation, and is thickly studded with shops, stores, etc. The city hall, custom house, and soveral churches, are on the elevated ound. The car-house of the Philadelphia and Baltimore Railroad is seen on the right. and factories of almost every kind. The flouring mills, at the northern extremity of the city, are numerous, and among the most extensive in the Union. The making of gun-powder has been carried on here very extensively for a long time. Within 10 miles of Wilmington there are a large number of important manufactories, rendering it one of the greatest manufacturing districts in the United States, south of Philadelphia.
The first settlement at Wilmington was made by a colony of Swedes, under the direction of Peter Minuet, who had been governor of New Netherlands, but then in the service of Sweden. The colonists came over in two shipsone called the “Key of Calmai,” the other the “Griffin." These vessels sailed from Gottenburg, on the west coast of Sweden, and arrived near Wilmington in the spring of 1638. They anchored off the mouth of Minquas River, which was named by them Christiana, in honor of the young queen of Sweden. They then passed up the creek about two miles, until they came to a point long known by the name of “The Rocks," which here form a natural wharf of stone, where they built Fort Christiana; and there, behind the fort, they founded the town of Christiana Harbor, or Christianaham. Lindstrom, who came out in 1652, left a plan of the town and fort, by which it appears that on the easterly side of the fort, and immediately under its walls, was a small cove or basin, called “the harbor," in which their vessels might lie out of the current of the Christiana, and without danger from the floating ice on the breaking up of winter. This basin is now filled up, and cattle are browsing where their ships were once moored. “The first colonists,” says Collin, in his history, "lived near together, about Christiana creek, and had their public worship in the fort there. This was the first place dedicated to Christian worship on the banks of the Delaware."
In August, 1655, Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor of New Amsterdam, with