Imatges de pàgina

• The chapter containing a description of the white mountains, is a copy, with some enlargements, of a memoir presented to the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, and published in the second volume of their transactions. This memoir was quoted in the London Monthly Review, for February, 1787. p. 139 ; and the word freshet occurring in it, the Reviewers added this note, “ We are not acquainted with this word.” In the next number, a correspondent kindly attempted to correct, what he imagined to be an error of the • press,' by substituting the word fresh in its place; meaning a tide or flowing of fresh in distinction from falt water. But the Reviewers were not satisfied that there was any error of the press ; and in fact there was not; the word freshet is a term familiar to the people of New England, as it was to their fore-fathers, who brought it from England, where it was equally familiar in the last century.

From the following authorities it may be seen how the nouns freshet and freshes, were used by writers of the lait, and beginning of the present, century.

The former is found in Milton's Paradise Regain. ed, Book II. line 345.

- All fish from sea or shore, Freshet or purling brook, of shell or fin, It seems this Author, by a freshet, meant a spread. įng collection of fresh water, distinguished from a brook.

In a description of New-England, written and published in England, 1658, by Ferdinando Gorges, the word is uled precisely in the sense in which it is now understood in New-England.

p. 29. • Between Salem and Charlestown, is situated the town of Lynn, near to a river, whose

Atrong Arong freshet at the end of winter filleth all her banks, and with a violent torrent vents itself in. to the sea.

In a letter written by Williain Penn, 1683, and printed in his works, he speaks of the freshes of the Delaware, thus, · The Dutch inhabit those parts of the Province that lie on or near the Bay, and the Swedes the freshes of the Delaware.' N.B. All the Swedish settlements were situate below the City of Philadelphia,

In Oldmixon's British Empire in America, vol, I. p. 151, printed at London in 1708, it is faid,

The firft town below the falls is Newton, and next to it is Pennsbụry over against Burlington. This part of the Delaware is called the freshes.' .

N.B. Burlington is twenty miles above Phila, delphia,

In Beverley's Hisory of Virginia, printed at London, 1720, we find the same word, p. 105. • The damage occasioned by the worms in the rivers of Virginia, inay, be ayoided by running [the Ihips) up into the freshes during five or fix weeks that the worin is above water.' . From these authorities, I conclude that the noun freshes, was understood to distinguish those parts of a river, below all the falls, where the fresh water which comes down from above is stopped by the flowing of the sea, and at the ebb, resumes its natu, Tal course; and which therefore, rises and falls with the tide. But the word freshet has another signification ; it means a river swollen by rain or melted snow, in the interior country, rising above its usual level, spreading over the adjacent lowlands, and rushing with an accelerated current to the sea. In this is understood in New England, and as it is. a. part of the language of the age and country

in which I write, it is frequently used in this vol. ume. If some of the words which our fathers brought from Britain, and which were in vogue a century ago, be there lost or forgotten, it is no reafon that they should be disused here, especially when they convey a definite sense.

I know not whether as much can be said in vindication of another word, which I have frequently used, and which perhaps is not more known in England, viz. intervale. I can cite no very ancient authority for it ; but it is well understood in all parts of New-England to distinguish the low-land adjacent to the fresh rivers, which is frequently overflowed by the freshets; and which is accounted some of our most valuable soil, because it is rendered permanently fertile, by the bountiful hand of nature, without the labour of man.

There is another deviation from the strict letter of the English dictionaries ; which is found extremely convenient in our discourses on population. From the verb migro are derived emigrate and IMMIGRATE; with the same propriety as from energo are derived emerge and IMMERGE. Accord, ingly the verb IMMIGRATE and the nouns IMMIGRANT and IMMIGRATION are used without scruple in some parts of this volume.

In the 235th page, the number of inhabitants taken by the census of 1790, is said to be 142,018, This number was given to me in May, 1791, by the late Marshall John Parker, Esq. Afterward it was discovered that a mistake had been made by one of his assistants in returning the town of Burton twice, viz, in the County of Strafford and the County of Grafton. In the foriner it was set down as containing 133, in the latter 141. The latter is retained ; and the former being deducted from


coled with moren thrown by: a. met with fro...

142.018, leaves the sum total 141,885, which is the number returned to Congress and published by authority.

Twenty years have now elapsed since this work was first undertaken ; during which time it has struggled with many embarrassments, and has, more than once, been thrown by, as impracticable; but the favourable reception it has met with from the public and the continual importunity of its friends, have prevailed on me to complete it ; for which purpose no pains have been spared. The receipt on the sale of the volumes hitherto falls short of the actual expense of the impression. How productive it may prove in future is uncertain. As fome encouragement to the work, the Legislature of New-Hampshire have granted fifty pounds, which I have received and for which they again have my thanks.

In the course of my historical researches I have found some materials for an AMERICAN BiograPHY ; and have entertained thoughts of pursuing my inquiries, with a view to present such a work to the public ; if gentlemen in different parts of the American Continent and Islands, will favour me with suitable communications. The object is to delineate the characters and actions of remarkable persons deceased, and the events connected with them. Among those persons will be ranked Statel. men, Literary Persons, Warriors, Inventors, Navigators and Travellers, whether among the European Nations who have possessions in America and their descendants, or the original Natives. The names will be disposed alphabetically ; but how voluminous or expensive the work will be, or how long time will be required to complete it, cannot at present be ascertained.

Boston, April 23, 1792.

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