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The fountain reservoir is forty miles from New York. The dam built at this place is about six miles from the junction of the Croton River with the Hudson, and is 250 feet long, 40 feet high, 70 feet wide at the bottom and 7 feet at the top. It is built of stone and cement, in a vertical form on the upstream side, with occasional offsets, and the lower face has a curved form, so as to pass the water over without giving it a direct fall
the the foot; this apron is formed of timber, stone and concrete, and extends some distance from the toe of the masonry, giving security at the point where the water has the greatest action. A secondary dam has been built at the distance of three hundred feet from the masonry, in order to form a basin of water setting back over the apron at the toe of the main dam, so as to break the force of the water falling upon it. This secondary dam is formed of round timber, brushwood and gravel; it may be seen in the picture directly under the bridge which extends across below the main structure.
Pine's Bridge, the place where Major Andre crossed the Croton River, on his return from his interview with Arnold, occupied a position which is now about the middle of this reservoir, and there is at that place a bridge over the reservoir, resting upon piers and abutments.
The hills which bound the Croton valley, where the reservoir is formed, are so bold as to confine it within narrow limits ; for about two miles above the dam the average width is about one eighth of a mile. At this distance from the dam the valley opens, so that, for the length of two miles more, the width is about a quarter of a mile; here the valley contracts again, and diminishes the width until the flow line reaches the natural width of the river at the head of the lake. The country immediately contiguous to the shore has been cleared up, and all that would be liable to impart any impurity to the water has been removed. This gives a pleasing aspect to the lake, showing where the hand of art has swept along the shores, leaving a clean margin.
The surface of the fountain reservoir is 166 feet above the level of mean tide at the city of New York; and the difference of level between that and the surface of the receiving reservoir on the island of New York, (a distance of thirty-eight miles,) is 47 feet, leaving the surface of this reservoir 119 feet above the level of the mean tide. From the receiving reservoir the water is conducted a distance of two miles in iron pipes to the distributing reservoir, where the surface of the water is 115 feet above the level of mean tide. This last is the height to which the water may generally be made available in the city.
From this dam the aqueduct proceeds, sometimes by tunnelling through solid rocks, crossing valleys by embankments, and brooks and rivers by bridges and culverts, until it reaches Harlem River. It is built of stone, brick, and cement, arched over and under. It is 8 feet 5 inches high, and the water has a descent of 134 inches per mile, discharging, when running two thirds full, 60,000,000 gallons per day. The aqueduct is carried over Harlem river upon a magnificent bridge of hewn granite, termed the “ High Bridge,” 1450 feet long, with 14 piers and 15 arches ; eight of them 80 feet span, and seven of 50 feet span, 114 feet above tide-water to the top, and which cost nearly a million of dollars.
Previous to the completion of this bridge, the water was carried under the river in two lines of iron pipe of 36 inches in diameter. In the progress of preparing the foundations for the piers of the bridge, an embankment was formed across the river, and the pipe, leaving the aqueduct on the north side of the valley, followed down the slope of the hill, and, crossing over the river upon this embankment, ascended on the south side again to the aqueduct. At the bottom or lowest point in this pipe a branch pipe of one foot diameter was connected, extending a distance of 80 feet from it at right angles and horizontally; the end of this pipe was turned upwards to form a jet, and iron plates fastened upon it, so as to give any form that might be desired to the water issuing. The level of this branch pipe is about 120 feet below the bottom of the aqueduct on the north side of the valley, affording an opportunity for a beautiful jet d'eau, — such an one as cannot be obtained at the fountains in the city. From an orifice of 7 inches in diameter, the column of water rises to a height of 115 feet, when there is but two feet of water in the aqueduct.
Visitors to the “High Bridge” can pass and repass upon the top with the most perfect security. It is a splendid structure, richly worth the notice of the traveller. Persons wishing to visit it from the city of New York can take the cars of the Hudson River Railroad to CARMANSVILLE, which is short of one mile distant from the Bridge.
After crossing Harlem River, the aqueduct continues to the receiving reservoir at 86th street, covering 35 acres, and containing 150 millions of gallons. From this point the line proceeds to the distributing reservoir
at 40th street, and from thence the water is distributed over the city by means of iron pipes.
Haverstraw, on the west side of the river, thirty-six miles from New York, is a neat village, pleasantly situated upon a plateau overlooking the river. It has constant communication with the city by steamboats. Three miles above Haverstraw is Stony Point, the site of a fort during the Revolution. Directly opposite, on the east side of the river, is Verplanck's Point. The river between these two points is only half a mile across, and here was established what was called King's Ferry, the great highway between the eastern and the middle states. The ferry was commanded by the points of land on the two shores. Both these forts were captured by the British in May, 1779, and their occupation by the enemy was a great annoyance to the surrounding country; besides which, a tedious circuit through the Highlands became necessary, in order to keep up the communication between the two divisions of the army. Stony Point was re-taken by a body of Americans, under Gen. Wayne, on the 15th of July following, and the works destroyed, though Washington did not retain possession of it. Both forts were, however, evacuated by the British in October of the same year. A light-house now stands upon the extremity of Stony Point, a considerable height above the river.
PEEKSKILL, forty-two miles from New York, is one of the most romantic places upon Hudson River. The village stands close to the water, near the mouth of Annsville Creek, which falls into the Hudson a short distance above. The river here takes a sharp turn to the westward. On the opposite shore is Caldwell's Landing, which stands at the base of the venerable Dunderburg, or Thunder Mountain. From the top of this mountain a most lovely view of the river below is obtained ; and, in clear weather, the city and bay of New York may
be seen. Peekskill is the birth-place of John Paulding, the master spirit and leader of the trio who arrested Andre at Tarrytown. Paulding died in 1818, in the 60th year of his age. A monument has been erected over his remains, which are deposited about two miles north of tủe village. It is of marble, a pyramid about fifteen feet high, enclosed by an iron railing.
Two miles east of the village stands the dwelling occupied by Washington while the American army were encamped here. This, too, was the place where Palmer was executed, by order of General Putnam, whose memorable reply to Gov. Tryon, who wrote a letter, threatening vengeance if he were executed, deserves an enduring record. It briefly and emphatically unfolds the true character of that distinguished hero. The note ran thus :
Sir, — Nathan Palmer, a lieutenant in your service, was taken in my camp as a spy; he was tried as a spy; he was condemned as a spy; and, you may rest assured, sir, he shall be hanged as a spy.
“I have the honor to be, &c.,
• ISRAEL PUTNAM. “P. S. — Afternoon. He is hanged.”
It was in this township, some miles south of the village of Peekskill, where the train of circumstances commenced, by which Major Andre was placed in the hands of the Americans, in 1780. The story is one which will never grow old. It will be remembered as a reminiscence of the Revolution as long as the memory of Washington is cherished.
At the time of which we write, West Point was, without question, the most important post in the United States. Its almost impregnable strength had been increased by great expense and labor ; and it was an object upon which General Washington perpetually kept his eye. And perhaps it is not too much to say that the possession of that fort, by the Americans, was the turning point of success.
It seems that Arnold, who was a spendthrift, notwithstanding his previous brilliant reputation as an officer, had been appointed commander in Philadelphia, after the British evacuated that city. Here he adopted a style of living altogether beyond his means; and he soon found himself loaded with debt. To retrieve himself he had recourse to fraud and peculation. His conduct soon rendered him odious to the citizens, and gave offence to government. At length complaints were made against him; he was tried by a court martial and sentenced to be reprimanded by the commander-in-chief. This sentence General Washington, as gently as the circumstances of the case would admit, carried into execution. Mortified and soured, and complaining of public ingratitude, Arnold attempted to effect a loan from the French minister, but without success.
Several months before this, under the assumed name of “ Gustavus," he had opened a correspondence with Sir Henry Clinton, then at the head of the British army at New York. There is every reason to believe that his extreme want of money, and those various public rebukes, hurried him to the fatal determination to sell his country for gain. This was early in the year, and it only remained for him to settle in his mind the manner in which this could so be done as to produce the greatest advantage to himself. He thought of West Point, and, his resolution being taken, all his views and efforts thenceforward were directed to that single object.
Cautiously, so as not to awaken the slightest suspicion, he hinted to Washington his willingness to assume the command at West Point. He further prevailed upon Robert R. Livingston, then a member of Congress from New York, to write to the general, and suggest the expediency of appointing him to that station. Various other insidious means were taken by Arnold to gain his object, and he was at length successful; as, on the third of August, we find him in full command, ripe for treason and revenge.
Sir Henry Clinton now saw a prospect before him which claimed his whole attention. To get possession of West Point and its dependent posts, with garrison, military stores, cannon, vessels, boats, and provisions, appeared to him an object of such vast importance, that in attaining it no reasonable expense ought to be spared. The maturing of this plot was entrusted to Major Andre, an Adjutant General in his command ; and, to facilitate measures for its execution, the sloop of war VULTURE conveyed him up the Hudson as far as Teller's Point, where she dropped anchor. The place, as also that of Andre's landing, is indicated upon the map. During the night of September 21st, 1780,— while General Washington was absent at Hartford, — with a surtout thrown over his regimentals, Andre was put ashore in a boat and had an interview with Arnold, upon the banks of the river without the American lines. Daylight the next morning found their arrangements incompleted, and Andre was induced to go to the house of one Smith, a pliant tool of Arnold's, near Stony Point and within the American lines, and remain concealed during the day. Here they had time to mature their designs.
During the day a gun was brought to bear upon the Vulture, which obliged her to change her position; and at night, the boatmen refused to carry Andre on board the sloop. To return to New York, therefore, by land, was the only alternative left. To render his situation more safe, Andre laid aside his uniform, and, in a plain coat, upon horseback, he began his journey. He