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than 500 houses, should possess above 200 fail of veffels, con ftantly employ upwards of 2000 seamen, feed more than 15,000 Theep, 500 cows, 200 horfes; and has several citizens worth 20,000l. sterling? Yet all these facts are uncontroverted. Who's would have imagined that any people fhould have abandoned a fruitful and extensive continent, filled with the riches which the : molt ample vegetation affords; replete with good foil, enamelled meadows, rich pastures, every kind of timber, and with all other materials necessary to render life happy and comfortable ; to : come and inhabit a little fand-bank, to which natore had refused those advantages; to dwell on a spot where there fcarcely grew a shrub to announce, by the budding of its leaves, the arrival of the spring, and to warn by their fall the proximity of winter ?
Had this island been contiguous to the shores of Comé antient monarchy, it would only have been occupied by a few wretched fishermen, who, oppressed by poverty, would hardly have been able to purchase or build little fishing barks; always dreading the weight of taxes, or the fervitude of men of war. Inftead of that boldness of speculation for which the inhabitants of this iland are so remarkable, they would fearfully have confined themselves within the narrow limits of the most trilling attempts : timid in their excursions, they never could have extricated themselves from their firit difficulties. This island, on the contrary, contains sooo hardy people, who boldly derive their riches from the element that surrounds them, and have been compelled, by the sterility of the soil, to seek abroad for the means of subsistence
From this first sketch, I hope my partiality to this island will be juflified. Perhaps you hardly know that fuch a one exifts in the neighbourhood of Cape Cod. What has happened here, has and will happen every where else. Give mankind the full rewards of their industry, allow them to enjoy the fruit of their labour under the peaceable shade of their vines and fig-crees, leave their native activity unshackled and free, like a fair stream without dams or other obstacles ; the firfe will fertilize the very fand on which they tread, the other exhibit a navigable river, spreading plenty and chearfulness wherever the declivity of the ground leads it. If these people are not famous for tracing the fragrant furrow on the plain, they plow the rougher ocean ; they gather from its surface, at an immense distance, and with Herculean labours, tire riches it affords; they goto hunt and catch that huge fith, which, by its strength and velocity, one would imagine ought to be beyond the reach of man.
The island of Nantucket lies in lat. 41 degrees 10 minutes, 100 miles N. E. from Cape Cod ; 27 N. from Barntable, #
towa on the most contiguous part of the great peninsula ; 21 miles W. by N. from Cape Pog, on the vineyard ; 50 W. by N. from Wood's Hole, on Elizabeth Island ; 80 miles N. from Bofton ; 120 from Rhode Island ; 800 S. from Bermudas. . • Sherborn is the only town on the island, which consists of about 530 houfes, that have been framed on the main ; they are lathed and plaistered within, handsomely painted and boarded without ; each bas a cellar underneath, built with stones fetched also from the main : they are all of a fimilar construction and appearance ; plain, and entirely devoid of exterior or interior ornament. I observed but one which was built of bricks ; but, like the reft, it is unadorned.
The town fands on a rifing fand-bank, on the west side of the harbour, which is very safe from all winds. There are two places of worship, one for the society of friends, the other for that of presbyterians ; and in the middle of the town, near the markel-place, ftands a fimple building, which is the county coort-house. The town regularly ascends towards the country, and in its vicinage they have several small fields and gardens, gearly manured with the dung of their cows, and the soil of their streets. There are a good many cherry and peach-trees planted in their ftreets, and in many other places. The appletree does not thrive well, they have therefore planted but few. :
The island contains no mountains, yet is very uneven ; and th: many rifing grounds and eminences with which it is filled, have formed in the several vallies a great variety of swamps, where the Indian grafs and the blue bent, peculiar to such soil, thrive with tolerable luxuriancy. Some of the swamps abound with peat, which ferves the poor instead of fire-wood.
There are tourteen ponds on this island, all extremely useful, some lying transversely, almost across it, which greatly helps to divide it into partitions for the use of their cattle; others abound with peculiar fish and fea-fowis.
. Their streets are not paved ; but this is attended with little inconvenience, as they are never crouded with country carriages ; and those they have in the town, are seldom made use of hur inthe time of the coming in, and before the sailing of their fleets.
At my firf landing, I was much furprised at the disagreeable imell which ftruck me in many parts of the town ; it is caused by the whale oil, and is unavoidable; the neatness peculiar to these people, can neither remove or prevent it. There are near the wharts a great many store-houses, where their staple commodity is deposited, as well as the innumerable inaterials which are always wanted to repair and fit out so many whalemen. They have three docks, each three hundred feet long, and ex
days in peace. A council of proprietors always exits in this island, who decide their territorial differences; their titles are recorded in the books of the country, which this town repre. Sents, as well as every conveyance of lands and other sales. .
-". AN AFFECTING STORY..
A Gentleman, walking one evening in Edinburgh, observed H a girl, meanly dressed, coming along the pavement at à Now pace. When he had passed her, the turned a little towards him, and made a sort of halt, but said nothing. “. I am fo aukward (says the gentleman who relates this story) at looking any body in the face, that I went on a few steps before I turned my eyes to observe her. She had by this time resumed her former pace. I remarked a certain elegance in her form, wbich the poorness of her dress could not entirely overcome. Her person was thin and genteel, and there was something not ungrace ful in the stoop of her head, and the seeming feeblepels with which the walked. I could not resist the degre which her appearance excited of knowing somewhat of her situation and circumstances. I therefore walked back, and re-passed her with such a look (for I could bring myself to nothing more) as might induce her to speak what the seemed desirous to say at Grft. This had the effect I wished. • Pity a poor orphan !' said the, in a voice tremulous and weak. I stopped, and put my hand in my pocket. I had now a better opportunity of observing her, Her face was chin and pale ; part of it was shaded by her hair, of a light brown colour, which was parted, in a disordered manner, at her forehead, and hung loose upon her shoulders ; round them was cast a piece of cattered cloak, which, with one hand, she held across her bosom, while the other was half out. stretched to receive the bounty I intended for her. Her large blue eyes were cast on the ground : she was drawing back her hand as I put a trifle into it; on receiving which, the turned her eyes up to me, muttered something which I could not bear, and then letting go her cloak, and pressing her hands together, burst into tears.
« This was not the action of an ordinary beggar, and my çuriosity was strongly excited by it. I desired her to follow me to the house of a friend hard by, whose beneficence I have often had occasion to know. When she arrived there, she was so fa. tigued and worn out, that it was not, 'till after some means used to restore her, that she was able to give an account of her mis. fortunes."
*** My name (faid she) is Colling. I was born at
, in the county of Cumberland. My father, who died several years ago, left my mother with the charge of me, then a child, and one brother, a lad of seventeen. By his industry, however, joined to that of my mother, we were tolerably supported, my father having died possessed of a small farm, with the right of pasturage on an adjoining common, and we thought ourselves happy; but, last summer, my brother having become acquainted with a recruiting Terjeant, who was quartered in a neighbouring village, was enticed to enlift as a soldier, and soon after was marched off, along with some other recruits, to join his regi. ment. This broke my poor mother's heart, who never after had a day's health ; and, Oh ! Sir, she died about three weeks ago. Immediately after her death, the steward cook poffeffion of every thing for our arrears of rent.
"I had heard that my brother's regiment was in Scotland when he enlifted, and I wandered thither in quest of him, for I had no other relation in the world to own me. When I came there, they told me that the regiment had been embarked fevea ral months before. It is now a great way off-I know not where. Ah ! Sir, this news laid hold of my heart ; and I have had something wrong here (putting her hand to her bofom) ever fince. I got a bed and some victuals in the house of a woman here in town, to whom I told my story, and who seemed to pity me. I had then a little bundle of things, which I was allowed to take with me after my mother's death, bur, the night before laft, some-body stole it from me while I Nept; and so the woman said she would keep me no longer, and turned me out into the treet, where I have face remained, and am almost fa. mished for want."
She was now in better hands; but our assistance had come too late. A frame, naturally delicate, had yielded to the fa. tigues of her journey, and the hardships of her situation. She declined by flow, but uninterrupted degrees, and soon breached her last. A short time before the expired, she asked to see me ; and taking from her bosom a little filver locket, which she told me had been her mother's, and which all her distresses could not make her part with, begged I would keep it for her dear bro. ther, and give it him, if ever he should return home, as a token of her remembrance,
" I felt this poor girl's very unhappy fate strongly ; and there are many, I fear, from whom this country has called brothers, fons, or fathers, to bleed in her service, forlorn like poor Nancy Collins, with no relation in the world to own them. Their sufferings are often unknown, when they are such as most Vol. 1. 11.
tremely convenient; at the head of which there are ten feet of water. These docks are built like those in Boston, of logs fetched from the Continent, filled with stones, and covered with sand. Between these docks and the town, there is room fuffie cient for the landing of goods, and for the passage of their nu. merous carts ; for almost every man here has one. The wharts to the north and south of the docks are built of the same mate rials, and give a stranger, at his first landing, an high idea of the prosperity of these people ; and there is room around thele three docks for 300 sail of vessels. When their fleets have been fuccessful, the bustle and hurry of business on this spot, for some days after their arrival, would make you imagine that Sherborn is the capital of a very opulent and large province.
On that point of land which forms the west-side of the har. bour, stands a very neat light-house; the opposite peniosola, called Coitou, fecures it from the most dangerous winds.
There are but few gardens and arable fields in the neigh. bourhood of the town, for nothing can be more sterile and sandy than this part of the island : they have, however, with unwearied perseverance, by bringing a variety of manure, and by cow-penning, enriched several spots, where they raile India corn, potatoes, pumpkins, turnips, 8c.
On the highest part of this fandy eminence, four wind-mills grind the grain they raise or import ; and contiguous to them their rope-walk is to be seen, where full half of their cordage 18 manufactured. Between the shores of the harbour, the docks, and the town, there is a most excellent piece of meadow, en. closed and manured with such cost and pains, as shew how necel. sary and precious grass is at Nantucket. Towards the point of Shemah the island is more level, and the soil better ; and there they have considerable lots, well fenced and richly manured, where they diligently raise their yearly crops.
There are but very few farms on this island, because there are but very few spots that will admit of cultivation without the alfiftance of dung and other manure, which is very expentive to fetch from the main
This island was patenteed in the year 1671, by twenty-seven proprietors, under the province of New-York'; which then claimed all the islands from the Neway Sink to Cape Cod. They found it fo universally barren, and so unfit for cultivation, that they mutually agreed not to divide it, as each could neither live on, nor improve that lot which might fall to his fare. They then caft their eyes on the sea; and finding themselves obliged to become fishermen, they looked for a harbour, and having found one, they determined to build a town in its neighbour