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was, little more than two centuries ago, a forest, inhabited by tribes of untutored Indians. It was in 1609 that the island of Manhattan was first discovered by an English navigator, Henry Hudson, then in the service of the Dutch West India Company; and he found the tribes inhabiting it so inhospitable, that they refused to hold any intercourse with him, even for trade or barter. The Indians of the continent, on the opposite shore of New Jersey, were more accessible; and, encouraged by his friendly relations with them, he sailed up the great north river for one hundred and fifty miles, and gave it the name which it now bearsthe Hudson. The Dutch availed themselves of this discovery, to make a settlement for trading purposes high up the river, on an island near the present town of Albany, where furs were to be obtained abundantly; but the hostility of the tribes inhabiting the islands near the sea, on which New York now stands, was not overcome till three years afterwards; the first fort built there by the Dutch being in 1612.

It was not until 1623 that the Indians could be prevailed upon to part with the land on which New York is built; and even then, the settlement formed here was confined to an enlarged fort, where the confluence of the two rivers, the north and east, swept round the southern point of the island, and made it a suitable place for a fortification to command the harbour, as the battery of the present city, which occupies the same locality, does at the present time. From this point, the town extended from the fort northwards, and was then called New Amsterdam.

In 1664, the city was taken by the British, from whom, however, it was rescued by the Dutch, in 1673. After remaining in their possession for a year only, it was restored again to the English; and being then granted by Charles the Second to his brother James, the Duke of York, its name was changed to New York.



895. When was independence proclaimed in New York?

In 1776. In 1765, when the famous Stamp Act produced such excitement in the American colonies as to lead to the meeting of a Congress at New York, composed of delegates from other parts of the colonies. Early in 1776 the American army entered New York, and, on the 8th of July, the celebrated declaration, signed at Philadelphia only four days before, by the founders of the American republic, was read to the inhabitants, and at the head of each brigade of the army. In the same year, however, the British obtained a victory over the American troops in the battle of Long Island, and repossessed themselves of New York. This was in August, 1776; and in September of the same eventful year, a dreadful conflagration occurred, which destroyed nearly five hundred houses, the whole number being then only four thousand, and the inhabitants, reckoned in round numbers, thirty thousand.

896. When was New York finally evacuated by the British?

In 1783; when the American army, led by General Washington, entered and took possession of it; and the anniversary of this event is celebrated every year, with military pomp and festivity, under the name of Evacuation Day, which happens on the 25th of November.

897. When was the first American Congress held in New York?

The members met after the revolutionary war, in the year 1785, in the old city hall; and in April, 1789, General Washington was inaugurated, in the gallery of the same building, as the first President of the United States.



898. Is the site of New York advantageous?

The island of Manhattan, on which the city of New York stands, is a long narrow slip, projecting southwards from the point where it is separated from the main land; its length from north to south being about fourteen miles, and its average breadth not exceeding a mile, the area containing fourteen thousand acres. The east river (in reality an arm of the sea) flows down to the Atlantic, along the eastern edge of this long and narrow island, and the Hudson river flows down to the harbour of New York, along the western margin of the same piece of land, so that throughout the whole of the island, the breadth is nowhere greater than two miles across, and in many places it is not more than half a mile, the average being about a mile throughout.

It is impossible to conceive a more advantageous site for the foundation of a maritime city than this; as it furnishes two lines of river frontage, one on the east and the one on the west, each of fourteen miles in length; and from the central parts of the city, where the streets are open towards the water, the two rivers may be seen, one on each side, from the same point of view, with ships and smaller vessels sailing, or at anchor, in each. Along these river fronts, east and west, so far as the town at present extends, which is about four miles from north to south, the shores are lined with wharfs, for the accommodation of vessels of every size and description, from the sloop of fifty tons. to the London or Liverpool packet of one thousand tons; and from the smallest steam ferry-boat to the largest steam-vessels that sail from New York to other ports, north and south of it.

899. How is the New York battery situated?

At the southern extremity of the island of Manhattan,



where the eastern and western rivers have their confluence, and mingle their waters with those of the sea, is an open grassy plot of eleven acres, planted with trees, and laid out in gravel-walks, under the name of the battery; projecting beyond which is a castellated edifice, built on a ledge of rocks, and now called the castle gardens, from its containing within its limits a public garden and promenade, and being a place where fireworks are often exhibited for the gratification of the visitors.

900. Are the Camanché Indians skilful in the management of horses?

In training horses, and dexterity in riding, they equal the Arabs, or Mamelukes of the East; they hang over one side of their horses, and shoot their arrows over the saddle towards their enemies, while they are themselves completely sheltered from their attack, by the interposing body of the horse covering their whole person, which is coiled or gathered up so as to fill only the space between the hanging stirrup and the upper part of the saddle.

901. Describe the Sauks and Foxes.

They are a noble race of men, tall, stout, and muscular, and as hardy and robust as they are large and wellformed. Their costume is almost entirely composed of skins, and furs, and feathers, with the occasional addition of a woollen blanket, of a bright scarlet, saturated with the vermilion paint with which they so copiously bedaub the body. Their head-dresses are mostly feathers differently arranged. They wear leather coverings for the legs, like long gaiters, but loose over the foot, with innumerable strips of leather trailing after them at considerable length behind the heel. To these gaiters are attached a number of silver bells; and whenever they move or walk, it is an evident delight to them to



hear the tinkling of these bells, and the rattle of various plates of metal placed at different points about their garments.

Their weapons are the tomahawk, the heavy-headed and spiked iron mace, and the bow and arrow. Their demeanour is characterised by a dignified reserve, and their aim appears to be not to manifest the least feeling of admiration or surprise. The Sioux and Ioway tribes are not so fine or athletic as the Sauks and Foxes, nor yet so well dressed; but they are far more communicative.

902. Are the American Indians supposed to be descendants of some of the lost tribes of Israel?

So recently as the year 1837, Major Noah, a Jew, delivered some lectures before the Mercantile Literary Association of New York, at Clinton Hall, intended to establish this fact. He mentioned the latest notice given of the dispersed tribes of Israel, in the sacred writings, being in the book of Esdras, where the following verses occur: "Whereas thou sawest another peaceable multitude: these are the ten tribes which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea, whom Salmanazar, king of Assyria, led away captive; and he carried them over the waters, so that they came unto another land."- They took counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go into a far country, wherein mankind never dwelt, that they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land (Assyria), and there was a great way to go, namely, a year and a half."

It is supposed that these tribes marched from the banks of the Euphrates to the north-east of Asia, some remaining by the way in Tartary and China; in proof of which, Benjamin of Tudela, who travelled in the eleventh century through Persia, mentions, that in

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