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fear of our friends, or the scarecrows of our enemies. For the greatest hardship we have suffered hath been salt meat; which by fowl in winter, and fish in summer, together with some poultry, lamb, mutton, veal, and plenty of venison, the best part of the year hath been made very passable. I bless God, I am fully satisfied with the country, and entertainment I got in it. For I find that particular content which has always attended me, where God
bis providence hath made it my place and service to reside, &c.”
'From this time the population, and the nuinber of houses, began to increase with great rapidity.
On the 12th of January, 1683, the first general assembly of representatives convened at Philadelphia ; and on the second day of the succeeding March, the first grand jury for the city was summoned. It is remarkable, that the first conviction, in a place of so much simplicity, was for counterfeiting the silver coin, an offence most generally the offspring of an advanced stage of society, and for the execution of which neither the materials nor the requisite privacy would seem likely to have been found.* Another trial was of one Margaret Mattson, indicted for witchcraft. The jury, with characteristic simplicity found her “guilty of having the common fame of being a witch, but not guilty in manner and form as she stands indicted.” The governor and his council presided as judges on this occasion ; and it was not until the end of the succeeding year, that persons were appointed to act in the judicial capacity.' pp. 3—5.
The first government is complained of as having been instituted on defective principles, and not well adapted to advance the prosperity of the city, or secure the liberty of the citizens. Several changes were introduced from time to time, but it was not till 1796, that the present system was established.
The mere enumeration of the public institutions of this city, established and supported for the diffusion of education, the relief of distress, the improvement of the human condition, the advancement of philosophy and literature, and similar purposes, will probably surprise even most of those in whose vicinity philanthropy has been so actively at work. In this labor of usefulness, it is right to say, that the members of the society of “Friends” have had their full share. A large proportion of the charities and comforts of Philadelphia has been derived from the unwearied philanthropy of this excellent sect, who have imparted something of their own love of solid usefulness, and their unostentatious benevolence, to the general character of the city. It is a subject of frequent reproach against the “ Friends,” that they are averse, or at least indifferent to the cultivation of human learning. How unfounded the aspersion is, at least as respects the Quakers of Philadelphia, will be seen in the account of their literary establishments in the following pages. Probably at least one half even of the est informed inhabitants of Philadelphia are ignorant that there are not less than fileen public schools established by this society in different parts of the city—that in the principal institution are taught the Latin, Greek and Hebrew languages, the mathematical sciences and natural philosophy, the public lectures are delivered in it on botany, mineralogy, &c. that it possesses an observatory, containing the most valuable astronomical instruments, a cabinet of minerals, and an extensive library of rare and useful books. It will equally surprise many Philadelphians, to learn that a public library foanded by the friends, has existed for many years in the central part of the city, containing several thousand volumes, and
* The punishment to which the offender was condemned, is no less remarkable, He was sentenced to pay a fine of forty pounds towards the buildiog of a court house! In the country from which the judges had just come, he would haze been hung. So much were their ideas already purified.
any charge once a week to all respectable applicants. These institutions, and the silence and modesty with which their operations are conducted, are characteristic of Philadelphia.' pp. 10, 11.
To the following short notice of the cominerce of the city, several valuable tables are attached, exhibiting the state of commerce in Philadelphia as compared with that of Baltimore, New York, and Boston.
* For a considerable period after the peace of 1783, Philadelphia stood at the head of the commercial cities of the Union. The
profitable carrying trade, and the great demand in Europe for bread stuffs, consequent upon the wars, which arose out of the French Revolution, caused great activity in commerce, and greatly enriched this city. The superior advantages of New York, however, arising from her proximity to the ocean, have gradually raised her to the first 'rank in commerce, and placed her at a great distance beyond the other ports of the United States. After the
peace of 1815, the commerce of Philadelphia declined to a very low ebh, in common with that of Boston, Baltimore, and other cities. The new state of things produced by general peace had closed many profitable avenues ; new channels were to be found ; large profits were no longer to be expected ; and it required some time for mercantile habits to adapt themselves to the change. Within the last four years, however, commerce and trade have again revived ; a steady though gradual improvement is taking place, and Philadelphia is evidently resuming her former elevated rank in commerce.'
The American Philosophical Society and the Academy of Natural Sciences, are thus described.
“The first was founded in 1743, principally by the exertions of Dr Franklin. In 1766 another institution for the same objects
pp. 31, 32.
was formed, called “The American Society for promoting useful Knowledge;" and these two Societies were united, in 1769, under the title of “ The American Philosophical Society held at Philadelphia for promoting useful knowledge.”
* About the year 1785, the society erected, for their accommodation, a large and commodious building, on a part of the State House square, granted to them by the legislature of Pennsylvania.
* The library of the Society consists of about 6000 volumes, of which a scientific catalogue has been recently printed, and is exceedingly valuable. The collection of the Transactions of foreign Academies is undoubtedly the most complete in this country.
“The society have also a collection of objects of natural history, consisting principally of minerals and fossil remains.
• The meetings of the society are held on the first and third Fridays of every month, from October to May, both inclusive ; and on the third Friday of the other four months. On the other Friday evenings, the rooms are opened for the purpose of reading and conversation, and strangers are introduced.
“The society have published seven volumes of Transactions in quarto, and have an eighth now in the press; the two last belong to a new series.
"The main object of this institution is the cultivation of the exact sciences. It was thought important, however, to extend its views to history, moral science, and general literature ; and a branch of the society, under the name of a standing committee, was formed for this purpose in 1815. The committee has been actively and successfully engaged in the collection of historical documents, principally those relating to the United States. They published, in 1819, a separate volume of transactions, in octavo.
* The presidents of the society have been, Benjamin Franklin, David Rittenhouse, Thomas Jefferson, Caspar Wistar, and Robert Patterson.
“The officers of the society are elected annually, except twelve counsellors, who are elected for three years, one third of whon vacate their seats annually. pp. 99, 100.
"The Academy of Natural Sciences, was formed in 1812, and incorporated in 1817. Without pretension or public encouragement, it has added largely to the stock of science, and gradually acquired a high power and well deserved reputation.
The officers are, a president, two vice presidents, a corresponding secretary, a recording secretary, a treasurer, a librarian, four curators, and three auditors. Each member pays an initiation fee of ten dollars, and a quarterly contribution of three dollars.
The library contains about 5000 volumes, among which is the most valuable and extensive collection of works on natural history in the United States. A very large and valuable herbarium, and collections of shells, fossils, mineral and geological specimens, birds, quadrupeds, &c. compose the cabinet. A great number of the most valuable of the works in this collection, have been bestowed by its munificent benefactor, William Maclure.
'In 1817, the Academy commenced the periodical publication of some of the valuable papers read before it. Under the unassuming title of " The Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences,” three volumes have appeared, the contents of which are honorable to the scientific men of Philadelphia.' pp. 100, 101.
The little volume, from which these facts are selected, contains a great fund of information respecting the present state of Philadelphia, its municipal regulations, topography, commerce, manufactures, religious institutions, charitable and humane societies, literature, education, courts of judicature, navigation, and innumerable other particulars. The design of the work is good, and although in some of its departments it is exceedingly well executed, in others it is defective. We instance manufactures as a very important subject, which is touched upon but slightly. There is a minute description of the celebrated Water Works on the Schuylkill, which may well be considered the pride of the city, as they might justly be of any city in the world. An extraordinary rhapsody is introduced into the first part of the volume, which makes an odd impression in contrast with the modest historical sketch that precedes it, and harmonises but awkwardly with the sober character of the work.
The plan of this publication is worthy of being imitated in all our cities. The information thus communicated would be highly beneficial; it would excite emulation and activity; it would mark the
progress of improvement, and show every citizen what has been done, and what still remains for future achievement.
2.-Florula Bostoniensis. A Collection of Plants of Boston
and its Vicinity, with their generic and specific characters, principal Synonyms, Descriptions, Places of Growth, and time of Flowering ; and occasional Remarks. By Jacob BIGELOW, M. D. &c. Second Edition, greatly enlarged ; to which is added a Glossary of the Botanical Terms employed in the Work. 8vo. Cummings, Hilliard, & Co. Boston.
1824. DR BIGELOW has at length given to the public the long wished for second edition of his Florula Bostoniensis, with such improvements as will account and well atone for the delay attending its publication. We have heretofore taken an extended of his valuable contributions to the study of American botany; and there is no occasion for us here to go beyond a brief critical notice of the present volume.
The first edition, published in 1814, appeared at a time when absolutely no facilities for the study of our botany existed, or at least none existed, which were generally accessible in the country. The knowledge of our plants was locked up in the Latin tongue, and in the short specific descriptions of Linnæus or Michaux. These were of no service, therefore, to any but the professed scholar. and to those who were already conversant with the science of botany, and practised in botanical inquiries. They were a sealed book to the great mass of the people, although botany is a study eminently attractive and popular, when presented in a proper shape. This deficiency Dr Bigelow supplied in sonie measure, by compiling, partly from books, but still more from personal observation, a description of the plants of Boston and its vicinity, which, as it included the University of Cambridge and the commercial emporium of New England, was calculated to be as widely beneficial as a local Flora of any part of the eastern states could well be rendered. And although the task of composing a local Flora may seemingly be more humble, than that of composing larger collections, yet for the purposes of accurate science, not less than for those of elementary instruction, the superior utility of the more Jimited works is now very generally appreciated and admitted. It is impossible that the Flora of a continent, or still more of the whole surface of the earth, should be otherwise than comparatively incomplete, superficial, and erroneous. The investigations of one man, nay of many men, are inadequate to perfect such a work with. out taking too much upon the faith of others, in a science where nething ought to be set down for certain, unless verified by the strictest scrutiny. But let the botanist confine his efforts within a narrower compass, and he will be enabled, as Dr Bigelow has been in the work before us, to obtain a more exact knowledge of his district, and to coinmunicate that knowledge in a fuller and more perspicuous form.
The plan adopted by Dr Bigelow is excellent in the main. He would perhaps have done better not to follow so closely the old sexual arrangement of the classes. How much soever we may admire the labors of the great regenerator of the science of natural history, we should not stop short with the improvements, which he himself introduced into this delightful study. The ingenious ideas of his disciples ought not to be lost sight of in the splendor of their great master's discoveries. This principle would, in our opinion, warrant the omission of the classes Dodecandria and Polyadelphia, if not the remodelling of the classes Monæcia, Diæcia, and Polygamia, agreeably to the suggestions of Smith.
Apart from this, the Florala is a model for works of this nature. Prefixed to the plants of each class are the short generic characters