« ForrigeFortsæt »
CITIES, TOWNS, AND VILLAGES UPON
NEW YORK is the largest, most wealthy, most flourishing of American cities; the great commercial emporium of the United States, and one of the greatest in the world. The compact portion of the city is built upon
the southern end of Manhattan Island, and now extends to Thirteenth street, which is the first street, as you proceed northwardly, that runs in a straight line quite across the island. The distance from the Battery to this point is nearly three miles. Above this, for at least two miles further, the space is rapidly being filled up by elegant dwelling-houses.
No city in the world possesses greater advantages for foreign commerce and inland trade. In addition to the main sea approach through the Narrows to the harbor, the channel through East River to Long Island Sound, and the Hudson River, two long lines of canals have increased its natural advantages, and connected it with the remote west ; and have rendered it the great mart of a vast region, now occupied by industrious millions; while its railroad facilities of communication with every quarter have made it the great mercantile centre of the nation. Its progress in population, trade, and wealth, has probably never been equalled. In 1800, the population was but 60,000; while, by the late census, it was found to be about half a million.
Manhattan Island is fourteen miles in length, and averages, perhaps, one and a half miles in breadth. Its greatest breadth is at Eighty-sixth street, and is two miles and a quarter. Hudson River bounds it upon the west, East River on the east, while on the north it is separated from the main land by Harlem River and Spuyten Duyvel Creek. In its natural state the surface was somewhat hilly and marshy, but these inequalities have been reduced to an almost complete level in that portion occupied by the city, the ground having merely a gentle slope on each side towards the water. The highest point upon the island is near Fort Washington, being about 238 feet above the river.
The harbor, or bay of New York, as it is called, is one of the finest in the world ; safe, commodious, and rarely obstructed by the ice. It is twenty-five miles in circumference, easy of access, completely sheltered from storms, and of sufficient size and depth of water to contain the united navies of the world. The principal entrance between Staten and Long Islands is about half a mile wide, and well defended by strong fortifications. There are also batteries on several other islands, further up the bay. The variegated scenery upon its shores, together with the neatly built cottages, the country seats of opulent citizens, and the fine view of the city in approaching from the “ Narrows,' impart to this harbor a beauty probably unsurpassed by that of any other in the world.
Many of the streets at the southern extremity of the city are narrow and crooked. The greater part of those built latterly are laid out with more care. Broadway, the principal street, is eighty feet wide, entirely straight, and extends from the Battery to Union Square, a distance of nearly three miles. It is the great promenade of the city, being much resorted to by the gay and fashionable ; and few streets in the world exceed it in the splendor and bustle it exhibits. Here is a continued stream of carriages, wagons, drays, omnibuses, and all sorts of vehicles designed for business or pleasure ; on the side-walks, crowds of pedestrians saunter along or hurry by, while the sound of various languages meets the ear.
No person possessing a spark of curiosity should fail to look upon Broadway from the spire of Trinity church.
PUBLIC SQUARES, &c. — The Battery is situated at the extreme south end of the city. It contains eleven acres. It is neatly laid out with gravelled walks, and planted with trees. From this place is a fine view of the harbor, the islands, and of the shores of New Jersey and Staten Island. - The Park is a triangular area of about ten acres, enclosed by Broadway, Chatham, and Chamber streets, and surrounded by an iron fence. It contains the City Hall and other buildings. Besides a large number of fine trees, it is embellished by a fountain supplied by the Croton aqueduct. — The Bowling Green, situated near the Battery, is of an oval form, and also contains a neat fountain supplied as above. — $t. John's Park, in Hudson Square, is beautifully laid out in walks, with shade trees, and kept in excellent order. - Washington Square, or Parade Ground, in the north part of the city, contains about nine and a half acres, surrounded by a wooden fence. A portion of this square was formerly the Potter's Field. Union Square is situated at the termination of Broadway. It is of an oval form, enclosed by an iron fence, and its centre ornamented by a fountain. It is the neatest square in New York. There are other
up the city, which are extensive, but not yet laid out.
PUBLIC BUILDINGS, &c. The city of New York can boast of many splendid public buildings. It has about two hundred and fifty churches, many of which are magnificent and costly structures. Trinity Church, standing in Broadway, at the head of Wall street, may be considered the most splendid edifice of the class in the city. It is built throughout of sandstone, without galleries, and cost nearly half a million of dollars. The height of its spire is 283 feet. Visitors have access to the tower at all times, except when the building is occupied for religious purposes. A small fee is expected by the person in attendance. This tower affords the most splendid panoramic view to be seen on this continent. Ascending the stairway, you reach a landing on a level with the ceiling of the church, from which there is a view of the elegant interior. You next reach the belfry, where the chime bells are hung, which so frequently ring out their solemn peal. Upon reaching the highest landing, a most superb view meets your gaze. The city, busy
with life and animation, lies at your feet, spread out like a map; while, far and wide, in every direction, the country, rivers, villages, and islands, are scattered before you, arrayed in all the attractions with which nature and art have invested them.
The City Hall, one of the finest buildings in New York, has a commanding situation in the centre of the Park, and shows to great advantage. It is built of white marble, with the exception of the rear wall, which is of brown freestone. The corner-stone was laid in 1803, and it was ten years in building. In the structure are twenty-eight offices, and other public rooms, the principal of which is the Governor's room, a splendid apartment appropriated to the use of that functionary on his visiting the city, and occasionally to that of other distinguished individuals. The walls of this room are embellished with a fine collection of portraits of men celebrated in the naval, military, or civil history of the country. In the Common Council room is the identical chair occupied by Washington when President of the first American Congress, which assembled here.
The Exchange, on Wall street, is a noble building, constructed of Quincy granite, well worth a visit from the stranger. It is built upon the spot occupied by the old Exchange, which was consumed by the great fire in December, 1835. No wood, except for the window-frames and doors, is used in this structure.
The Custom House is also upon Wall street. It is built of white marble, similar to the model of the Parthenon at Athens. It is, like the Exchange, fire-proof.
Besides many other objects within the city worthy of notice, visitors will find much to interest them in the immediate vicinity. New York is connected with the neighboring cities and villages by a great number of ferries, on some of which boats run the entire night. Of these, no less than five connect New York with Brooklyn.
GREENWOOD CEMETERY is in the south part of Brooklyn, at Gowanus, three miles from the Fulton ferry. Stages run from nearly every boat during the day to this charming spot, carrying passengers at a trifling charge.
This cemetery was incorporated in 1838, and contains two hundred and forty-two acres of ground, about one half of which is covered with wood of a natural growth. It originally contained but one hundred and seventy-two acres; but recently seventy more have been purchased and brought within the enclosure. Free entrance is allowed to persons on foot during week days, but on the Sabbath none but proprietors and their families are admitted. The grounds have a varied surface of hills and valleys. The elevations afford beautiful and extensive views of New York, Brooklyn, the harbor, Staten Island, and the distant New Jersey highlands.
Greenwood is traversed by winding avenues and paths, and visitors, by keeping the main avenue, called The Tour, as indicated by the guide-boards, will obtain the best view of the grounds and the most interesting monuments. Unless this caution is observed, they may not easily find the place of exit. This delightful spot now attracts much attention, and has become a place of great resort.
The UNITED STATES NAVY YARD, at Brooklyn, will attract the notice of visitors to that city. It is situated upon the south side of Wallabout Bay, in the north-east part of the city. It occupies about forty acres of ground, enclosed by a high wall. There are here two large ship-houses for vessels of the largest class, with workshops, and every requisite necessary for an extensive naval depot.
A dry dock constructed here cost about one million of dollars. At the Wallabout were stationed the prison-ships of the English during the Revolutionary war, in which so many American prisoners perished from bad air, close confinement, and ill-treatment.
RockAWAY BEACH, a celebrated and fashionable watering place, on the Atlantic sea-coast, is about twenty miles south-east of New York. The Marine Pavilion, a splendid hotel erected here upon the beach, a short distance from the ocean, is furnished in a style befitting its object as a place of summer resort. The best route to Rockaway is by railroad to Jamaica, thence by stage.
Fort Hamilton, one of the fortifications for protecting the entrance to the bay of New York, is situated at the “Narrows,” seven miles from the city. There is an extensive hotel here for the accommodation of visitors. The Coney Island steamboat stops to land and receive passengers here.
CONEY ISLAND is situated at the extreme south-west point of Long Island, four miles below Fort Hamilton. A narrow inlet separates it from the town of Gravesend, to which it belongs. It has a fine beach, fronting the ocean, and is much visited during the hot summer months for sea-bathing. A steamboat plies regularly between the city and Coney Island during the summer.
Two railroads only extend directly into New York, — the Hudson River, and the Harlem, — both of which have their passenger stations in Chamber street. The Harlem road extends across Manhattan island, crossing the river at Harlem, and thence follows the Bronx River to Williams' Bridge, and in that direction to White Plains, Croton Falls, and Dover. When completed, it will unite with the Western (Massachusetts) road at Chatham Corners. At Williams' Bridge the New Haven road begins, extending through New Haven, Hartford, Springfield, and Boston, eastwardly.
YORKVILLE, upon the Harlem road, five miles from City Hall, is a small village, one of the suburbs of New York. The receiving reservoir is about one quarter of a mile from this place. A tunnel through Prospect Hill, a distance of five hundred feet, was necessary to enable the cars to run to Harlem.
HARLEM, eight miles from City Hall, is quite a manufacturing place. It was founded by the Dutch in 1658, with a view to the amusement and recreation of the citizens. What was then a rural and retired spot, will soon be but a part of the city.
JERSEY CITY, west side of Hudson River, and opposite New York, is connected with it by a ferry over a mile in length, the boats on which are constantly plying. Population, 6856. It is important principally as a diverging point between the north and the south. The Philadelphia Railroad station, the dock for the Cunard steamers, and the Patterson Railroad station, are in Jersey City. The passengers over the Erie Railroad take the cars of the Patterson road at Sufferns' Junction, thirty-four miles from New York. This route is 13 miles shorter than that by way of Piermont and the Hudson River.
The Morris Canal, uniting the Delaware River at Philipsburg with the Hudson, terminates here. This canal is one hundred and one miles in length, and cost $2,650,000.
HOBOKEN, directly above Jersey City, on the west side of the river, is a popular place of resort by the citizens of New York. The walks, which are shaded by large trees, extend for two miles along the banks of the Hudson, terminating with the Elysian Fields. From the heights, a short distance from the stream, there is a beautiful and picturesque view of New York, the bay, and the hills of Long Island, in the distance. Scattered over these gentle acclivities are many fine villas and country-seats of opulent citizens, which give the place an air of rural comfort not often met with in such close proximity to a large city. A little above this, on the same side, is WEE
It is close by the water's edge, and screened in from the land view by a precipitous ledge of rocks, which gives it the privacy usually sought for in such places. Here it was that the well-known General Hamilton fell in a duel with the notorious Colonel Burr. Their quarrel was strictly a political one, arising from some expressions used by the former, which resulted in a challenge. The parties met on the 11th of July, 1804. At the first shot, Hamilton fell, mortally wounded. He was taken to New York, where he died the following day, aged forty-seven years. There was formerly a monument standing upon the spot where he fell, but it is now removed. MANHATTANVILLE, 71 miles from New York, is the first station upon
the Hudson River Railroad. It is, in fact, but a part of the city. It is a small but thriving village, pleasantly situated, surrounded by hills. About half a mile distant, upon the high ground, occupying a commanding situation, stands the Lunatic Asylum. Attached to it are forty acres of land, neatly arranged into gardens and pleasure-grounds. The view of Hudson River and the surrounding country from this place, is very fine.
CARMANSVILLE, or 152D STREET, nine miles, is the next station. Like the last-mentioned place, it is merely one of the suburbs of New York. The High BRIDGE, SO called, carrying the Croton Aqueduct across Harlem River, is only one mile from this station; and, it being an easy and retired walk,