Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

Supposing the account of 1782 to have been taken correct, the increase for eight years, ending in 1790, will be twenty-eight thousand seven hundred and ninety-fix; on the most moderate calculation we may, therefore, rate the present number of inha. bitants in Connc&ticut at two hundred and seventy-three thouAnd, or about fifty-cight persons to every square mile.

RELIGION AND CHARACTER.

The religion of this state is happily adapted to a republican government ; for as to the mode of exercising church government and discipline, it might not improperly be called a republican religion. Each church has a separate jurisdiction, and claims authority to choofe their own miniftcr, to exercile judgment, and to enjoy gospel ordinances within itfelf. The churches, how. ever, though independent of cach other, are affociated for mutual benefit and convenience. The affociations have power to license candidates for the ministry, to consult for the general welfare, and to recommend measures to be adopted by the churches, but have no authority to enforce them. When disputes arise in churches, counfels are called by the parties to lettle them; but their power is only advisory. There are eleven associations in the State, and they meet twice in a year. These are all combined in one general a Tociation, who meet annually.

All men in this State are upon a footing of equality with refpcét to religion ; disqualifications for offices in the State on account of religious opinions are unknown. Every lect whole principles do not militate againit the peace of society, enjoy here the full liberty of conscience; and a spirit of liberality and catholicifın is increasing. There are, however, very few religious fects in this State. The bulk of the people are Congregationa. lists, the rest are Episcopalians and Baptists, Formerly there was a society of Sandiinonians at New-Haven; but they are now reduced to a very small number.

The clergy, who are numerous, and, as a body, very refpeétaable, have hitherto preserved a kind of aristocratical balance in the very democratical government of this State, which has operated in fome instances as a check upon the, perhaps, overbearing fpirit of republicanism. The unhappy religious disputes which llave too much prevailed ainong some of them, and an inattention to the qualifications of thote who have been admitted to the sacred fice, have, however, heretofore considerably dimin:hed their infiuence, It is a pleasing circumstance that the rage

for theological disputation is abating, and greater strictness is obler. ved in the admillion of candidates to the ministry. Their infiuence is on the increase, and it is, in part, to their exertions ihat an evident reformation in the manners of the people of this State has taken place fince the perce,

At the anniversary election of the governor and other public officers, which is held yearly at Har:ford on the second Thuilday in May, a fermon is preached, which is published at the expense of the State.* On these occasions a vait concourse of res.

а

* It would answer many valuable purpoécs, if the gentlemen who are annually appointed to preach thefe eledion fermons, would furnish a sketch of the history of the State for the current year, to be published at the cloie of their sermons. sich a sketch, which might easily be made, would render election sermons much more valuable. They would then be a very authentic repository of facts for future historians of the State---they would be more generally and more eagerly purchafed and read---they would lerve to diteminate the important knowledge of the internal atlairs of the State, which every citizen ought to be acquainted wijhe and might, if judiciauily executed, operate as a check upon party spirit, and upon ambitious and designing men.

The Rev. Mr. Benjamin Trumball, of North-Haven, has for several years, with indefatigable industry, been making collections for a history of Connecticut Hu abilities as a writer, and bis accuracy as an historian, the public already know. 1: is hoped the public will shortly be favoured with his history. Throug's hea indulgence in permitting selections to be made from his manuscripts, we are Loubled to publish ma ly of the facts in the history of this Stare

a

pectable citizens, particularly of the clergy, are colle&ted from every part of the State: and while they add dignity and folemnity to the important and joyful transactions of the day, serve to exterminate party spirit, and to harmonize the civil and religious interests of the State.

The inhabitants are almost entirely of English defcent. There are no Dutch, French, or Gei mans, and very few Scotch or Irish in any part of the State.

In addition to what has been already said it may be observed, that the people of Connecticut are remarkably fond of having all their disputes, even those of the most trivial kind, settled according to law.---The prevalence of this litigious fpirit affords employment and support for a numerous body of lawyers. The number of actions entered annually upon the several dockets in the State justifies the above oblervations.

That party spirit, however, which is the bane of political happinels, has not raged with such violence in this State as in Massachusetts and Rhode-Isand. Public proceedings have been conducted generally, and efpecially of late, with much calmneis and candour, The inhabitants are well informed in regard to their rights, and judicious in the methods they adopt to secure them. The State enjoys a great share of political tranquility; the people live under a free government, and have no fear of a dignified tyrant, There are no overgrown estates with rich and ambitious landlords, to have an undue and pernicious influence in the clection of civil officers, Property is equally enough divided, and muit continue to be so as long as the citatcs dcfcend as ihcy now do. No person qualified by law is prohibited from voting. He who has the most merit, not he who has the most money, is generally chosen into public office, As instances of this, it is to be observed, that many of the citizens of Connecticut, from the humble walks of life, have arisen to the first offices in the State, and filled them with dignity and reputation. That bale business of electioneering, which is the cuile of England, and directly calcuLuted to introduce the most wicked and dengning men into office, is yet but liuele known in Connecticut. A man who wishes to be choien into office, afts wile';, for the end, when he keeps his dfires to himicis.

A thirst for learning prevails among all ranks of people in the State. More of the young men in Connecticut, in proportion to their numbers, receive a public educatici., than in any of the Suics of the l'niun belide.

Some have believed, and perhaps with reason, that the food. ness for academic and collegiate education is too great-!"31 it induces too many to leave the plough. If men of liberal educa. tion would return to the farm, and use their knowledge in improving agriculture and encouraging manutadures, there could not be too many men of learning in the Siate; but this is too Icidom the cule.

Connecticut had but a sınall proportion of citizens who did not join in oppuling the oppreffive meatures of Grea-Britain, and was aâive and influentiat, both in the field and in the cibie net, in bringing abo:it the revolution. Her Loldiers were ap. plauded by the commander in chief for their bravery and fidelity.

that has been taid in favour of Corneäicut, though true when geneally applied, needs to be qualified with fome excep. tions. Dr. Desugias spoke the truth when he said, that "Home of the meaner fort are villains." To many are idle and dili. ed, and much time is unprofitably and wickedly spent at taverns, in law suits and petty arbitrations. The public schools, in lite parts of the Siate, have been too much negle&ted, and in procuring instructors, too littic attention has been paid to their in 3ral and literary qualifications.

IRIDE AND VINTACTURES.

The trade of Connecticut is principally with the West India find, and is carried on in velle's of iron fixty to an hundred und forty tons burien. The exports confit of horses, mules, exen, ok stavcs, hoops, pine boars, oak plank, beans, Indian corn, fill, bees, pork, &c. Ioules, live cattle and lumber, are permitted in the Durch, Daniih, and French

ports. Connecticut has a large number of cvatting vaffels employed in carrying her produce to other States. To Rhode Island, Alafiachutis, and low-llampshire, they carry pork, wheat, corn and ne ; to ch and South Caroimas and Georgia, batter, checie, lied beef, cyder, appics, potatoes. hay, &c. and receive in reourn rice, indigo and moner. But as lew-Yuik is neaier, and the state of the inarkets always well known, much of the produce of Connecticut, cipecially of the weitern paris, is carried there, particularly pot and pearl aih, flux feed, becf, pork, ehers and buiter, in large quantities. Most of the proeduce of Columéticut river, froin the ports of Mullachutelis, New-Nam thus, and Vermont, as well as of Connccticut,

which are adjacent, goes to the same market. Considerable quantities of the produce of the eastern parts of the State are markcted at Boston and Providence.

The value of the whole exported produce and commodities from this State, before she year 1774, was then cstimated at about two hundred thousand pounds lawful money annually. In the year ending September 30th, 1791, the amount of foreign exports from this State was seven hundred and ten thousand three hundred and ten dollars, besides articles carried to different parts of the United States to a great amount. This State at present owns and employs in the foreign and coasting trade more than thirty-five thousand tons of thipping,

The farmers in Connecticut and their familes are molly clothed in plain, decent, honefpun cloth. The linens and woollens are manufactured in the family way, and although they are generally of a coarser kind, thcy are of a stronger texture, and much more durable than those imported from France and Great-Britain. Many of their cloths are fine and handsome,

A woollen manufactory has been established at Hartford, The legislature of the State have encouraged it, and it bids fair to grow into importance. In New Haven are linen and button mar

manufactories, which flourilh. In Hartford are glass works, a fnuff and powder mill, iron works, and a flitting mill. Iron works are established allo at Salisbury, Norwich, and other parts of the State. At Stafford is a furnace, at which are made large quantities of hollow ware and other ironmongery, fufficient to supply the whole State. Paper is manufactured at Norwich, Hartford, New-IIa. ven, and in Litchfield county. Nails of every size are made in almost every town and village in Connecticut, so that considera. ble quantities can be exported to the neighbouring States,

a better rate than they can be had from Europe. Ironmongery, hits, candles, leather, fhoes and boots, are manufuctured in this State. Oil mills, of a new and very ingerous construction, have been crcited in several parts of the State. A duck manuf.ctory has also been established at Stratford, and, it is faid, is doing well.

and at

LEARNING AND LITTERATURE.

In no part of the world is the education of all ranks of people more attended to than in Connecticut; alınoft every tonin in

« PreviousContinue »