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party, and I was a decided partisan of tributed to make them better acquaintpaper. Now it is well known, that a ed with themselves it excited new regular argumentation on paper and enterprises-it educed latent talentsmetal money, unless abruptly termi- it stimulated to exertions unknown to nated by a quarrel or a duel, -to say our people before. nothing of disturbing all around us. A long extent of coast was exposed with our noise,-seldom, on a mode to an enemy, powerful above every rate calculation, abates in its violence other on the ocean. His commanders in less than two hours and a half. threatened to lay waste our country But I wished to retire to bed early, with fire and sword, and, actually, in and therefore I did not offer battle. various instances, carried their menaces
My bed-room was just under a per- into execution. It became necessary, pendicular cliff of chalk, say, from 150 for our defence, to resist, by every to 200 feet high. Suppose now, thought practicable method, such a formidable I to myself, this cliff should tumble foe. down in the night. However, thought It was conceived, by a most ingeI to myself again, this perpendicular nious and enterprising citizen, that cliff has stood during the nights of the power of steam could be employed several thousand years, and why should to propel a floating battery, carrying it, of all nights, fall down on the very heavy guns, to the destruction of any night that I sleep at Dover? -And hostile force that should hover on the sleep there I did, and very soundly shores, or enter the ports of our Atlana" too. In three minutes I was uncon- tic frontier. The perfect and admirscious of existence, and dreamt neither able success of his project, for moving of Jews changing money for mere boats containing travellers and bagamusement, metal nor paper, bullion gage by the same elastic agent, opened committees, nor yet perpendicular cliff's the way to its employment for carryof chalk.
ing warriors and the apparatus for And now, sir, with your permission, fighting I shall postpone my invasion of France The plan was submitted to the contill next month.
sideration of the executive of an en
lightened government. Congress, inACCOUNT OF THE AMERICAN STEAM
fluenced by the most liberal and FRIGATE.
patriotic spirit, appropriated money MR EDITOR,
for the experiment; and the navy deAs the following account of the
partment, then conducted by the How steam frigate lately built in America,
nourable William Jones, appointed has, so far as I know, not yet been
commissioners to superintend the conpublished in this country, I have
struction of a convenient vessel under taken the liberty of transmitting it for
the direction of Robert Fulton, Esq.
the inventor, as engineer, and of your Magazine. It was communi
Messrs Adam and Noah Brown, as cated to me some time ago by Samuel L. Mitchill, M. D. F.R.S. E. of New
naval constructors. The enterprise, York, one of the commissioners who
from its commencement, and during
a considerable part of its preparatory superintended its construction.-I am, Sir, yours, &c. D. BREWSTER.
operations, was aided by the zealous
co-operation of major-general DearEdinburgh, March 4th, 1817.
born, then holding his head-quarters Report of Henry Rutgers, Samuel L.
at the city of New York, as the offiMitchill, and Thomas Morris, the
cer commanding the third military discommissioners superintending the
trict. The loss of his valuable counsel, construction of a Steam Vessel of
of in conducting a work which he had War, to the secretary of the navy.
maturely considered, and which he
strongly recommended, was the conNew York, December 28, 1815. sequence of his removal to another Sir,--The war which was terminated section of the union, where his proby the treaty of Ghent, afforded, during fessional talents were specially requirits short continuance, a glorious dis- ed. play of the valour of the United States The keels of this steam frigate were by land and by sea--it made them better laid on the 20th day of June, 1814, known to foreign nations, and, what The strictest blockade the enemy could is of much greater importance, it con- enforce, interrupted the coasting trade,
and greatly enhanced the price of tim- the strength of horses. Carriages of ber. The vigilance with which he the most approved model were conguarded our coast against intercourse structed, and every thing done to with foreign nations, rendered difficult bring her into prompt action, as an the importation of copper and iron, efficient instrument of war. The same impediment attended the About this time, an officer, presupplies of coal, heretofore brought to eminent for bravery and discipline, New York from Richmond and Li- was commissioned by the government verpool. Lead, in like manner, was to her command. Prior to this event, procured under additional disadvan- it had been intended by the commiss tages. These attempts of the enemy sioners to finish her conformably to the to frustrate the design were vain and plan originally submitted to the execuimpotent. All the obstacles were sure tive. She was a structure resting upon mounted. Scarcity of the necessary two boats, and keels separated from end Foods and metals was overcome by to end by a canal 15 feet wide, and 156 strenuous exertions; and all the block- long. One boat contained the cauldrons ading squadron could achieve, was not of copper to prepare her steam. The a disappointment in the undertaking, vast cylinder of iron, with its piston, but merely an increase of the expense. lever, and wheels, occupied a part of its
So, in respect to tradesmen and la- fellow; the great water-wheel revolved bourers, there was an extraordinary dif- in the space between them; the main ficulty. Ship-wrights had repaired to or gun deck supported her armament, the lakes for repelling the enemy, in and was protected by a bulwark 4 feet such numbers, that comparatively 10 inches thick, of solid timber. This speaking, few were left on the sea- was pierced by 30 port holes, to enable board. A large portion of the men as many 32 pounders to fire red hot who had been engaged in daily work, balls; her upper or spar deck was plain, hal enlisted as soldiers, and had march- and she was to be propelled by her ed under the banners of the nation to enginery alone. the defence of its rights-yet, amidst It was the opinion of Captain Porter the scarcity of hands, a sufficient num- and Mr Fulton, that the upper deck ber was procured for the purpose ought to be surrounded with a bulwhich the commissioners had in charge. wark and stanchions—that two stout An increase of wages was the chief masts should be erected to support impediment, and this they were ena- latteen sails—that there should be bled practically to overcome.
bowsprits for jibs, and that she should By the exemplary combination of be rigged in a corresponding style. diligence and skill, on the part of the Under authorities so great, and with engineer and the constructors, the the expectation of being able to raise business was so accelerated, that the the blockade of New London, by deVessel was launched on the 29th day of stroying, taking, or routing the eneOctober, amidst the plaudits of an my's ships, all these additions were unusual number of citizens.
adopted, and incorporated with the Measures were immediately taken vessel. to complete her equipment; the boiler, It must here be observed, that, durthe engine, and the machinery, were ing the exhaustion of the treasury, put on board with all possible expedi- and the temporary depression of pubtion. Their weight and size far sur- lic credit, the commissioners were expassed any thing that had been wit ceedingly embarrassed ;-their paynessed before among us.
ments were made in treasury notes, The stores of artillery in New York which they were positively instructed not furnishing the number and kind to negotiate at par. On several occaof cannon which she was destined to sions even these were so long withCarry, it became necessary to transport held, that the persons who had adguns from Philadelphia. A prize vanced materials and labour were imtaken from the enemy, put some fit portunate for payment, or silently disand excellent pieces at the disposition contented. To a certain extent, the of the navy department. To avoid the commissioners pledged their private danger of capture by the enemy's credit. Notwithstanding all this, the cruizers, these were carried over the men, at one time, actually broke off. miry roads of New Jersey. Twenty The work was retarded, and her comheary cannon were thus conveyed by pletion was unavoidably deferred, to
the great disappointment of the com- tion. These were devised and exe.
Suitable arrangements having been Under all this pressure, they never- made, a third trial of her powers was theless persevered in the important attempted on the 11th day of Septemobject confided to them. But their ber, with the weight of twenty-six of exertions were further retarded, by the her long and ponderous guns, and a premature and unexpected death of considerable quantity of ammunition the engineer. The world was de- and stores on board ; her draft of water prived of his invaluable labours, before was short of eleven feet. She changed he had completed this favourite under- her course, by inverting the motion of taking. We will not inquire, where the wheels, without the necessity of fore, in the dispensations of Divine putting about. She fired salutes as Providence, he was not permitted to she passed the forts, and she overcame realize his grand conception. His dis- the resistance of wind and tide in her coveries, however, survive for the bene- progress down the bay. She performed fit of mankind, and will extend to un- beautiful manoeuvres around the Unite born generations.
ed States frigate, Java, then at anchor At length all matters were ready for near the light-house. She moved a trial of the machinery to urge such with remarkable celerity, and she was a bulky vessel through the water. perfectly obedient to her double helm. This essay was made on the first day It was observed, that the explosions of June, 1815. She proved herself of powder produced very little con. capable of opposing the wind, and of cussion. stemming the tide, of crossing cur- The machinery was not affected by rents, and of being steered among ves- it in the smallest degree. Her prosels riding at anchor, though the wea- gress, during the firing, was steady ther was boisterous and the water and uninterrupted. On the most acrough. Her performance demonstrat- curate calculations, derived from heaved, that the project was successful ing the log, her average velocity was no doubt remained that a floating five and one-half miles per hour. Notbattery, composed of heavy artillery, withstanding the resistance of currents, could be moved by steam. The com- she was found to make head way at missioners returned from the exercise the rate of two miles an hour against of the day, satisfied that the vessel the ebb of the East River, running would answer the intended purpose, three and one-half knots. The day's and consoled themselves that their care exercise was satisfactory to the rehad been bestowed upon a worthy ob- spectable company who attended, be
yond their utmost expectations. It But it was discovered that various was universally agreed, that we now alterations were necessary. Guided possessed a new auxiliary against every by the light of experience, they caused maritime invader. The city of New some errors to be corrected, and some York, exposed as it is, was considered defects to be supplied. She was pre- as having the means of rendering itself pared for a second voyage with all invulnerable. The Delaware, the practicable speed.
Chesapeake, Long Island Sound, and : On the 4th day of July she was every other bay and harbour in the again put in action. She performed nation, may be protected by the same a trip to the ocean, eastward of Sandy- tremendous power. Hook, and back again, a distance of Among the inconveniencies observafifty-three miles, in eight hours and ble during the experiment, was the twenty minutes. A part of this time heat endured by the men who attendshe had the tide against her, and had ed the fires. To enable a correct judge no assistance whatever from sails. Of ment to be formed on this point, one the gentlemen who formed the com- of the commissioners (Dr Mitchill,) pany invited to witness the experi- descended, and examined by a therment, not one entertained a doubt of mometer the temperature of the hold her fitness for the intended purpose. between the two boilers. The quick
Additional experiments were, not- silver, exposed to the radiant heat of withstanding, necessary to be sought, the burning fuel, rose to one hundred for quickening and directing her mo- and sixteen degrees of Fahrenheit's
scale. Though exposed thus to its miliar by use. It is highly important intensity, he experienced no indisposi- that a portion of seamen and marines tion afterwards. The analogy of pot should be versed in the order and teries, forges, glass-houses, kitchens, economy of the steam frigate. They and other places where labourers are will augment, diffuse, perpetuate habitually exposed to high heats, is knowledge. When, in process of time, familiar to persons of business and of another war shall call for more stracreflection. In all such occupations, tures of this kind, men, regularly the men, by proper relays, perform trained to her tactics, may be distheir services perfectly well.
patched to the several stations where The government, however, well un-' they may be wanted. If, on any such derstand, that the hold of the present disposition, the government should vessel could be rendered cooler by desire a good and faithful agent, the other apertures for the admission of commissioners recommend Captain air, and that on building another steam Obed Smith to notice, as a person who frigate, the comfort of the firemen has ably performed the duties of inmight be provided for, as in the or spector from the beginning to the end dinary steam-boats.
of the concern. The commissioners congratulate the Annexed to the report, you will government and the nation on the find, sir, several statements explanaevent of this noble project. Honoura- tory of the subject. A separate reble alike to its author and its patrons, port of our colleague, the Honourable it constitutes an era in warfare and the Oliver Wolcott, whose removal from arts. The arrival of peace, indeed, New York precluded him from athas disappointed the expectations of tending to the latter part of the busiconducting her to battle. That last ness with his accustomed zeal and and conclusive act, of showing her su fidelity, is herewith presented. A periority in combat, it has not been in drawing of her form and appearance, the power of the commissioners to by Mr Morgan, as being likely to give make.
satisfaction to the department, is also If a continuance of tranquillity subjoined, as are likewise an inventory should be our lot, and this steam ves- of her furniture and effects, and an sel of war be not required for the pub- account of the timber and metals conlic defence, the nation may rejoice that solidated in her fabric. the fact we have ascertained is of in- It is hoped these communications calculably greater value than the ex- will evince the pains taken by the penditure,-and that if the present commissioners to execute the honourastructure should perish, we have the ble and responsible trust reposed in information never to perish, how, on them by the government. a future emergency, another may be
SAML. L. MITCHILL, built. The requisite variations will
THOMAS MORRIS, be dictated by circumstances.
HENRY RUTGERS. Owing to the cessation of hostilities, it has been deemed inexpedient to finish and equip her as for immediate
ON SITTING BELOW THE SALT. and active employ. In a few weeks MR EDITOR, every thing that is incomplete could It is very pleasing to observe with receive the proper adjustment.
what care the most popular writers of After so much has been done, and this age are obliged to guard against with such encouraging results, it be- introducing any circumstances, even comes the commissioners to recome in their works, of a nature entirely ficmend that the steam frigate be officer- titious, which do not harmonise with ed and manned for discipline and prac- the manners of the period wherein the tice. A discreet commander, with a scene of their story is laid. The examselected crew, could acquire experience ple of such authors as Scott, Southey, in the mode of navigating this peculiar and Byron, who display so much eruvessel. The supplies of fuel, the dition even in the most trifling mattending of the fire, the replenishing of ters of costume, must soon put an end the expended water, the management to the rage for historical poems and of the mechanism, the heating of shot, romances from the pens of such halfa the exercise of the guns, and various informed writers as Miss Porter, Miss other matters, can only become fa, Holford, and the like. The novels
founded on fact,' as they are called, their blood, was a mere invention of with which some of these female con. the facetious author, and entirely withnoisseurs have thought fit to present out any foundation in history,-or, as the world, abound every where in vio- one of them expressed it, totum merum lations of historical truth as gross, and sal. It struck me at the time, that in sins against costume as glaring, the usage was not so new to my ears as ever astounded the reader of a ro- as it seemed to be to theirs, and, on mance of the thirteenth century. As coming home, I looked into a volume in these productions of that dark age, of old English ballads, where I found Achilles and Hector are always painted the following verse : like true knights of Languedoc or Ar- “ Thou art a carle mean of degre, inorica, with saltires and fesses on Ye salte yt doth stande twain me and thee; their shields, with mottos, merry-inen, But an thou hadst been of ane gentyl strayne, pennons, gontalons, caps of main I wold have bitten my gante* againe.” tenance, close visiers, tabarts, trum. An instance of the importance at. peters, and all the trappings of Gothic tached to the circumstance of being chivalry,-so in the “ Scottish chiefs," seated above the salt, occurs in a much we find Sir William Wallace, “ that later work-" The Memorie of the stalwart knycht of Elderslee," meta- Somervilles," a curious book, edited morphosed into an interesting young last year by Mr Walter Scott.—“ It colonel, making love to a delicate lady, was," says Lord Somerville, (who with one arm in a sling, and a cam- wrote about the year 1680) “ as much bric handkerchief in his hand-quot out of peike as to give obedience to ing Ossian, warbling ballads, and re- this act of the assemblies, that Walcovered from a sentimental swoon byter Stewart of Allontoune, and Sir the application of a crystal smelling- James his brother, both heretors in bottle. It would have been cruel in the parish of Cambusnethen, the first, deed to have brought so fine a gentle froin some antiquity, a fewar of the man to the block on Tower-hill; so Earle of Tweddill's in Auchtermuire, Miss Porter contrives to smuggle Sir whose predecessors, until this man, William out of the way on the fatal never came to sit above the saltmorning, and introduces a dead porter foot, when at the Laird of Cambusto have his head chopped off in his nethen's (Somerville's) table; which stead.
for ordinary every Sabboth they dyned These observations were suggested to at, as did most of the honest men of me, by bearing some persons, in a com- the parish of any account.” Vol. II. pany where I was the other day, call in p. 394. question the accuracy of theauthor of the The same author is indeed so fami. * Tales of my Lanılloral,' in respect to an liar with this usage as one of every day antiquarian remark which he has intro- observance, that lie takes notice of it duced in two different parts of his again in speaking of a provost of Edine work. The first occurs in the descrip- burgh:-- He was a gentleman of very tion of the feast, in page 251 of the mean family upon Clyde, being bro* Black Dwarf.'~" Beneath the salt- ther gerinan to the Goodman of Allencellar," says he, “ (a massive piece of tone, whose predecessors never came plate which occupied the middle of to sit above the salt-foot." P. 380, ibil. the table,) sate the sine nomine turba, I have observed, in several houses of men whose vanity was gratified by oc- distinction, certain very large and massy cupying even the subordinate space at pieces of plate-of a globular forn, and the social board, while the distinction commonly with two handles, which, observed in ranking them, was a salvo although they go by a different name, to the priile of their superiors.” In I have at times suspected to be no the same manner, in the tale of old other than salt-foots," or, as it Mortality,' in the aclmirable picture should be written, salt-vats. To of the Laird of Nilnwood's dinner, the whatever uses these may be applied, I old butler, Cuddie, &c. sat “at a con- have always been inclined to say with siderable distance from the Lairl, and, Plautus; of course, below the salt." The critics, “ Nunquam ego te tum esse Matulam crewhose remarks it was my fortune to
didi." hear, were of opinion, that this usage of I shall endeavour to procure a draw. placing guests above or below the salt, according to the degree of nobility in
* i. e. glove