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duty on mines,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
President Monroe has, this season, been performing a tour into the southern and middle states, for the purpose of surveying the situation of the country, inspecting the condition of public works, already in existence, and of selecting proper sites for the erection of others. He has been uniformly greeted with the respect and attention due to the chief magistrate of the United States.
The Seminole war is nearly brought to a close by the vigour of general Jackson, who has entered Pensacola, of which place he now has possession.
The frigate United States has been repaired and fitted out at Boston, for the purpose of taking Mr. Campbell, our minister, to Russia.
ART. 14. DOMESTIC OCCURRENCES.
IT is said a very large proportion of the veteran claimants of military pensions under the late law of the United States are of Massachusetts. Of 283,137 men, regulars and militia, engaged in the glorious war of independence, 83,162 were furnished by Massachusetts-making nearly three-tenths of the whole army.
A gentleman of Boston has purchased and presented to the University in Cambridge, the very large and valuable library of the late professor Ebeling, of Hamburg. Besides being very full and rich, in other departments, it is said to contain the best collection in the world, of American works, and works relating to America.
An Egyptian Mummy has been recently brought to Boston, taken from the catacombs of Saccara.
A law passed during the last session of the legislature of this state, granting the right of suffrage to all who pay taxes, and do military duty. By a resolution, during the same session, it is recommended "to
City Hospital-patients 175, maniacs 72 247 Debtor's prison
Total last year 3249, decrease 228
there had been inspected at Petersburg, this season 12,000 hhds. of tobacco, that more were arriving daily, and that sales were brisk.
75 The rice fields in Georgetown District, 268 have been assailed, within the last few 650 weeks, by a new and heretofore unknown enemy-the rats-who have made serious inroads upon this important staple of our country in its infant state. It appears that they have taken up their habitations in the adjacent banks, from whence they sally out at night, and commit the most destructive ravages. No effectual expedient has yet been devised for destroying them; it is said that they are so numerous in some fields, that thirty have been destroyed by a single discharge of a musket.
It must be recollected, however, that the above statement does not give the exact proportion of paupers and convicts for the city, there being very many transient persons and foreigners included in the above number. The proportion of those, dependent upon public charity in the city, is estimated at oneeightieth of the population.
The comptroller of the city of New-York, reports the accounts of the corporation, for the year ending May 11, 1818, to amount In receipts, to $862,128 77 860,278 43
In expenditures, to Leaving balance in treasury of
$1,850 34 The commissioners of the sinking fund, report for the same period, a balance in favour of the corporation, of $4,636 45
In 1804 the county of Genesee, then including Niagara, Chatauque and Cattaraugus, gave only 300 votes for governor. This year it has, though much reduced in extent, given more senatorial votes than any other County in this state, exceeding by 500 the votes of Ontario, and by 800 those of the eity of New-York. The number of votes which it gives for members of congress, 4391, is also greater than that of any other county, or of any single congressional district. In 1804, the counties composing the 21st congressional district, gave 1781 votes for governor; this year they gave 6445, and more than 10,000 for members of congress. Again, in 1790, the present counties, Ontario, Steuben, and Genesee, contained only 960 souls, according to Morse: in 1814, the same territory contained a population of 91,986-and at this day it probably exceeds 130,000.
By order from the navy department, the keels of two seventy-four gun-ships have been laid at Philadelphia.
A draught horse belonging to Mr. Hesler, of Easton, after having taken a powerful cathartic, voided a stone weighing one pound. The figure of this stone was that of a kidney bean, with a smooth surface, its colour that of a common gray lime stone, which abounds in this neighbourhood. On fracturing it transversely, it was found to contain a crooked piece of iron, probably a horse shoe nail, its centre surrounding this iron nucleus, appeared to be less solid than its circumference, interspersed here and there with particles of straw, oats, hay, &c.
The following curious publication in a Louisville paper, will doubtless amuse many of our readers.
North-America, April 10, A. D. 1818. TO ALL THE WORLD!
I declare the earth is hollow, and habi
table within, containing a number of solid concentric spheres, one within the other, and that it is open at the poles 12 or 16 degrees; I pledge my life in support of this truth, and I am ready to explore the hollow, if the world will support and aid me in the undertaking.
JNO. CLEEVES SYMMES,
Of Ohio, late Captain of Infantry. N. B. I have ready for the press, a treatise on the principles of matter, wherein I show proofs of the above positions, account for various phenomena, and disclose Doctor
Darwin's Golden Secret.
My terms are the patronage of this and the new worlds.
I dedicate to my wife and her ten chil dren.
I select Dr. S. L. Mitchill, Sir H. Davy, and Baron Alex. de Humboldt, as my protectors. I ask one hundred brave companions, well equipped, to start from Siberia in the fall season, with reindeer and sleigh, on the ice of the frozen sea. I engage we find warm and rich land, stocked with thrifty vegetables and animals, if not men, on reaching one degree northward of lati
tude 82; we will return in the succeeding spring. J. C. S.
[Capt. Symmes is said to be a "very respectable man, a man of intelligence, and really sane in mind." He is diligently employed in forwarding his scheme, and it is reported that "upwards of twenty persons have actually engaged in the expedition."]
ART. 15. CABINET OF VARIETIES.
Those of our readers who delight in the eccentricities of nature, as well as those who profess to account for them, will be gratified with the following, " Meteorological Retrospect for the last Half of the Year 1817," translated from the Bibliothèque Physico-Economique, for Tilloch's Philosophical Magazine.
Storms and Hurricanes.
FEW years have been more distinguished for an extraordinary frequency of violent storms than the last. In the year 824, when, if we may believe the annals of that period, a hailstone fifteen feet in length fell upon the city of Autun;-in those of 1680, 1720, 1739, and 1740, when there were storm of hail of one foot in thickness; in 1767, when Potsdam was devastated by hailstones of the size of an ordinary gourd'; in 1771, when the environs of Namur were ravaged by others of nearly eight pounds weight; in 1788, and 1812, which were also remarkable for their storms, and the congelations which accompanied them; there was still nothing in point of extent of suffering to compare with 1817.
The city of Rheims will long remember the 19th of May. After having experienced on the day preceding an extraordinary and stifling heat, about half past one in the morning there appeared in the heavens an igneous meteor, the red light of which, reflected from all the houses, gave to this ancient Gallic city the semblance of a town involved in one vast conflagration; some strokes of thunder were followed with rain, which fell in extraordinary abundance for two hours; soon after, a large black cloud gathered over the city and burst upon it with a borrible crash. For five minutes the hail fell in torrents; whole roofs were broken; the trees of the gardens hashed, and some animals killed. The same day the hail ravaged with equal severity many communes of the department of the Upper Garonne ; and on the following day Semur (Côte-d'Or) and the rich vineyards in its environs were visited by another frightful storm, in which the rain and hail fell for a whole hour in one continued flood.
The month of June was especially remarkable for the number and severity of its storms. On the 7th, a part of the communes of Courcon, Beangas, Moulinet, and
Bondi, in the arrondissement of Villeneuve (Lot and Garonne) was laid entirely waste; not a stalk of corn was to be seen standing, nor a leaf remaining on a vine, in those places which the hail attacked: a heavy rain which fell on the night of that day did still more harm, the quantity of earth which it unsettled being so great as to cover all the meadows with san The same day a violent storm assailed the canton of Zurich in
Switzerland, the city of Pau (Lower Pyrenees) and some surrounding communes. Some hail fell of such a size that roofs were broken and animals killed. On the 8th, fourteen communes situated in the valley of the Loire, and on the 9th, twenty-seven in the arrondissement of Ambert, were nearly inundated by the quantity of rain which fell, accompanied with large hail. On the 10th, a storm of such severity swept over the canton of Saint Gall, in Switzerland, that a great number of houses were thrown down at Wittenbach, Berg, Horn, and Ober-Steinbach. On the 12th, the environs of Casan (Russia) were devastated; the ravages of the storm fell particularly upon the village of Oura, inhabited by Tartars living in a state of ease, and famous for their fabrics of redcoloured cotton; the rivulet which traverses this village formed all of a sudden an immense torrent, carrying along with it men, trees and habitations, to the distance of twenty versts. On the 14th, another storm still more horrible desolated Belgium: the thunder raged for three-quarters of an hour without intermission; the storm driven by a south-east wind was so violent, that it tore up a number of large trees, overturned many granaries and some houses, and shook all the houses for the space of a league. · On the 15th, a shower of hailstones fell upon the town of Lierre in the Low Countries, most of which were of the bulk of a pigeon's egg. The 22d, the 26th, the 27th, and 29th, were also distinguished by violent storms which committed great havoc.
In the same month the heat was more excessive in England than it had been for several years, and brought on storms which did every where a great deal of damage. At Tewkesbury they were accompanied with large hail; at Salisbury there was one attended with an extraordinary obscurity, and followed by torrents of rain and large pieces of ice, the ravages of which were frightful~
trees shattered-men and beasts woundedhouses overturned, &c.
On the 3d of July, a storm of the greatest violence, mixed with large hail, burst in the night-time upon the town of Agen and many communes of the department of Tarn. It continued till ten o'clock the next day, which was also distinguished by another tempest, which carried ruin and devastation into the valley between the two mountains of Lure and Leberon (the mouths of the Rhone) over a space of more than fifteen leagues. On the 4th, hail of the size of filberts fell at Munich and Lons Le Saulnier; and on the 10th, many leagues in the departments of the Yonne and Ain were in less than an hour laid entirely waste by another storm of hail as large as pigeon's eggs, and precipitated with astonishing impetuosity. The 11th was marked by a storm of still greater fury. Pforzheim in the duchy of Baden, and on the frontiers of Hungary and Lower Austria, bail-stenes were collected of the bulk of the largest hen's eggs; several men and beasts were killed, and the hopes of a fine harvest wholly destroyed. The night of the same day was most ruinous to the cartons of Chateauneuf and Eymoutiers in the department of Upper Vienne. The hail was of such force that even the chesnut-trees were destroyed, and in such abundance that two days afterwards it was found in heaps upon the ground. On the 31st, there fell at Manchester in England, and its environs, hail of such an extraordinary bulk that two persons were killed by it at Pendleton, and several others grievously wounded.
On the Sth of August, a thunder-storm burst on the town of St. Avold (Moselle,) and caused a fire which consumed thirtythree houses and thirty-eight barns. The 16th was a day cruelly memorable to the departments of the Aisne and Ardennes. The reapers were occupied in collecting one of the finest karvests which had been known for a long time; the heavens became suddenly obscured by thick and heavy clouds; and soon a storm of hail burst forth of such impetuous force, that in ten minutes the crops and fruits of every description in the territory of four villages were hashed in pieces. Some of the hail-stones found were three pounds in weight. These congelations resembled a bullet cut in two; the centre of each hemisphere was harder than the rest, and of a brownish colour. On the 22d, after two months of excessive dryness, Rome was the scene of another dreadful tempest: some vineyards were quite ruined, and more than thirty of the largest trees of the villa
*A popular error augments the evils occasioned by such storms at many places. When assistance should be run for, the women discourage the men with the greatest earnestness, say ing, that when the fire of bearen descends, it is in vin to seek for relief; and that water, far from alloying it, will only increase its force and activity.
Panfili were torn up by the roots. On the 26th, there was a hurricane at the estate of of Gourgivaux near Epernay, which, though it only lasted three minutes, tore up and shattered a number of trees, carried off several roofs, knocked the barn of a farm topsy-turvy, and scattered to the winds 300 well-bound sheaves. On the 27th, in the valley of Pia near Genoa, there was a similar hurricane, but of a longer duration; the damage occasioned by which it will take many years of prosperity to repair;—vines, trees of every kind, even garden walls, fell prostrate before it.
The 3d of September, at Liverpool; the 11th, at Paris; the 12th, at Antwerp, Brussels, and several other places in the Low Countries;-the 22d at Schaffhausen, &c. and the 28th at Memel, were distinguished by violent and destructive storms, in most of which the size and quantity of the hail was still the chiefly remarkable circumstance.
In the month of October, the place which suffered most from the elements was the old town Nocera, at the foot of the Appennines. For the third time in the course of five months, it was visited on the 4th by a hailstorm of such tremendous violence that all that had been spared by the previous tempests,—its superb olives, its fruit-trees, and its vines-were completely destroyed. A number of cattle were killed, owing chiefly, perhaps, to the very angular shape of the hail-stones in this instance, the largest of which were found to weigh about six ounces. The other places'visited by remarkable storms during this month, were the communes of Mesmes-sur-Yevre, Vasselay, and others in the department of Cher, on the first ;-the environs of Cahors on the 3d;-Foligno, Assisi, and Perugia, on the same day as Nocera;-and Alicant on the 13th. In one quarter of an hour this last town and its environs, which produced a great abundance of exquisite fruits and an excellent wine, presented the spectacle of one great wreck.*
For near half a century the people in the Maconnais (Saone et Loire) have been in the custom, for averting damage by hail, of firing mortars from the heights at the approach of storms. The first who introduced this scheme was M. de Chevriers, an old officer of marine, proprictor of Vaurenard. The experience of many years having convinced the inhabitants of the neighbouring country of the excellence of this practice, it has been adopted by the communes of Iger, Aze, Romaneche, Julnat, Le Torrins, Ponilly, Fleury, Saint Sorlin, Viviers, and many others, which have ever since been exempt from any ravages by hail. The size of the mortars, and the number of times they are fired, varies according to circumstances and localities. The commune of Fleury makes use of a mortar which carries a charge of one pound of powder at a time. It is ordinarily begun to be fired before the clouds have had time to ac cumulate in any great number, and the firing is kept up until the stormy clouds are wholly dispersed. The annual consumption for this pur
Other misfortunes not less diastrous sig. nalized the period under our review. The inundations of rivers and lakes desolated almost all the countries of Europe, particularly Switzerland, the west of Germany, the Low Countries, Holland, the north of Spain; and in the United States, the two provinces of Kentucky and New-York. In the first days of June, the Rhone tumultuously burst its banks, at the same moment that the waters of the Rhine and the Aar attained a prodigious height;*—that the lakes, the rivers and the torrents of Switzerland, the Grand. Lake of Constance, the Necker, the Mein, the Meuse, the Wahl, &c. overflowed upon all points. The detail of the disasters which they caused is fearful. During three months their waters covered whole countries, menaced the foundations of the most solid edifices, and scarcely left in some places the roofs of the houses to be seen, while they kept constantly sweeping away trees and flocks, and a vast wreck of things of all sorts. Fields cultivated with the greatest care were converted into morasses; large tracts were turned into deserts of mire; the finest harvests were every where destroyed. On the 26th, 27th, and 28th of August, a south wind which had prevailed for more than a month was followed by a hot rain, which melted the glaciers in such a manner that the Rhine rose anew beyond all former example, and presented, until the 23d of September, the appearance of a vast lake: the torrents of the Tyrol were swollen higher than their greatest height in 1789; and the Sill, which falls into the Inn near Inspruck, burst its banks and carried away several bridges,
pose is from 4 to 500 kilogrammes (820 to 1022 lbs.) of coarse powder. This practice, which costs little, which is attended with no in convenience, which is so simple in execution as to be practicable every where, and which is supported not only by theory, but by the experience of a great many years, ought to be generally substituted for the ruinous system of conjuring storms by the sound of the church bells. The misfortunes which every year befall those who have recourse to the clocks, may in the end des troy a prejudice which originated in an era when the laws of physics were unknown; and when fanaticism attributed to the sound of the bells a supreme power, in virtue of the benedictions and unctions which they received from the hands of the priests. At the same time that the villages of Maconnais adopted the practice of firing mortars, Guenaut-de-Montbelliard, the celebrated co-operator and friend of Buffon, having observed that the hail never formed itself till after violent claps of thunder, proposed to withdraw the electric matter, so as to prevent at the same time both the explosion of the thunder, and the formation of the hail. (Journal de Physique, tom. xxi. p. 146.) Guyton-de-Morveau has further demonstrated the accuracy of this theory. (Journal de Physique tom. ix. p. 60–67.)
*The Rhine rose on the 7th of July, thirtytwo centimetres (one foot) above its greatest theight in 1770.
with a vast quantity of trees, houses, cattle, &c. On the 9th of November, a very violent storm burst upon the department of Ardeche, the waters rose to a prodigions height, and committed great havoc in the arondissements of Tournon, Privas, and Argentiere.
June 30th. After a storm, accompanied with a hot rain, two shocks, very violent, were felt at Inverness and in the environs of Loch Ness in Scotland. At Barcelona. Porentruy and Schaffhausen. Saanen, canton of Bern.
14. Rougemont, and the valleys of
Inverness-the fifth since Au
21. St. Helena. The oscillation lasted two minutes, and was felt throughout the whole island and neighbouring sea; also at Saanen, Rothenberg, and environs of Rublihorn.
Angouleme (Charente-Inferieure), followed immediately by a loud detonation.
Oct. 17. Pays de Vaud, particularly at Yvonaud and its environs.
Oct. 18. Messina.
23. Vostizza in the Morea :-The most violent that has occurred this year. It lasted about a minute and a half. The sea was thrown back to a great distance, so that the ships in the roads of Vostizza were left quite dry: it immediately returned with great fury, rose five metres above its ordinary level, and inundated a considerable space of ground: soon afterwards it subsided into its original position. But the cape which formed the mouth of the river Gaidouroupneiti, after ejecting a very thick smoke, precipitated itself into the sea, and carried along with it the town of Vostizza, the villages of Mourla Dimitropoulu, Loumari, Temeni, and part of their inhabitants. For eight succeeding days shocks, less strong, but very frequent, continued to be felt.
Nov. 11 and 12. At Geneva, and the two sides of the lake, the shocks were stronger than were ever experienced in this quarter before.
In the early part of this year the south of Europe was almost desolated by a severe drought, which still continued in a manner truly distressing. In June it dried up the lake of Ouveillan in the arrondissement of Narbonne, and drained the fountains and wells in the greater part of the departments of the mouths of the Rhone, the Var, and the Lower Alps. In July, such was its intensity in the department of the Eastern Pyrenees, that it converted into salt a great part of the waters of the lakes of Saint Nazaire and Villeneuve. At Marseilles and Mon'pelier the