A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 172 pages of information about A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America.
as up to that period, and for some years afterwards, there does appear to have been no relaxation of ship-building, and little diminution of mercantile speculations.  At present the ship-owners are realizing little beyond the expenses of their vessels, and in many cases the bottoms are actually in debt.  The frequent failures in the Atlantic cities, of late, are mainly to be attributed to unsuccessful ship speculations; and I am myself aware of more than one instance, where the freight was so extremely low, as to do little more than cover the expenditure of the voyage.  On my return to Europe, while staying at Marseilles, twelve American vessels arrived in that port within the space of two months; and before my departure, nine of these returned to the United States with ballast (stones), and I believe only two with full cargos.

In a national point of view, the difficulty of obtaining employment for the shipping of America may not have been so injurious as at first view it appears to be; on the contrary, I am of opinion that it has been advantageous.  Whilst a profitable trade could with facility be carried on with and in Europe, the merchants seldom thought of extending their enterprises to any other parts of the world; but since the decline of that trade, communications have been opened with the East Indies, Africa, all the ports of the Mediterranean, and voyages to the Pacific, and to the Austral regions, are now of common occurrence.  The museums in the Atlantic cities bear ample testimony to the enterprising character of the American merchants, which by their means are filled with all the curious and interesting productions of the East.  This has encouraged a taste for scientific studies, and for travelling; which must ultimately tend to raise the nation to a degree of respectability little inferior to the oldest European state.

FOOTNOTES: 

[23] An Irish viceroy lately paid his physician by conferring on him a baronetcy, and a pension of two hundred pounds a year, of the public money.

CHAPTER XI.

Having sojourned for more than three weeks at Philadelphia, I departed for New York.  The impressions made on my mind during that time were highly favourable to the Philadelphians and their city.  It is the handsomest city in the Union; and the inhabitants, in sociability and politeness, have much the advantage of any other body of people with whom I came in contact.

The steamer takes you up the Delaware river to Bordentown, in New Jersey, twenty-four miles from Philadelphia.  The country at either side is in a high state of cultivation.  It is interspersed with handsome country seats, and on the whole presents a most charming prospect.  There is scarcely a single point passed up the windings of the Delaware, but presents a new and pleasing variety of landscape—­luxuriant foliage—­gently

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A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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