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ed remarkably healthy, and the view The river opposite to the town is a from the City is very fine. The town mile in breadth, and varies from 34 is situated in the bottom of a valley to 52 feet in depth, in the ship chanwhich to the eye of an observer is nel, which here washes the shore, terminated in every direction by lofty of course the harbor is naturally very and verdant hills. To the north he fine. and it has been much improved sees the City of Washington,--the by the erection of large and commoCapitol with its beautiful columns, dious wharves. white walls and towering dome, form COMMERCE. - Alexandria carries ing a most conspicuous object; to the on an extensive trade in flour, tobac south, the broad translucent expanseco, sumach, fish, lumber and other of the Potomac opens upon him, with articles, with the Southern states; Fort Washington, lying like a white West Indies and Europe, line on its distant margin, opposite to Mount Vernon.
Barrels. Half Barrels.
1830, 166,386, 6,385
1831, 206,294, 6,001 Besides an extensive trade with the eastern ports of the United States, the exports to foreign countries for the last 3 years, were in amount as follows: 1829,
864,484 On the 31st of December 1831 the clear revenue from the town of Alex. tonnage belonging to the town was andria, during the period above men8,230 tons, and it is still increasing. tioned, to upwards of four millions of There are 3 Banks in Alexandria dollars. with an aggregate capital of one mil. RELIGIOUS AND MORAL ASSOCIAlion, seven hundred thousand dollars.
&o.and 3 incorporated insurance compa- There are in this town 9 houses of nies. The amount of real estate is public worship, 2 Episcopalian, 2 assessed at two millions seven hundred Presbyterian, i Friends', 2 Metha: thousand dollars; and according to dist, 1 Catholic and 1 Baptist. There authentic information from the treasu- is also a philosophical society, and ry department of the United States, an incorporated Library, containing the town paid into the treasury from about 4,000 volumes, a Library instithe 31st of December 1791 to the 31st tuted by an association of apprentices December 1829 inclụsive, on account and other minors, a savings fund in: of customs, three millions, seven hun-stitution, an orphan asylum, a poor dred and thirty seven thousand, one house and dispensary, a bible, mishundred and sixty one dollars and sionary and temperance society, a twenty seven cents,-on account of the colonization society, a benevolent sopost office, one hundred and seventy ciety for improving the condition of three thousand, seventy three dollars the people of color, a society for furand thirty four cents,—for direct tax nishing employment to the indusin the years 1815–16, eleven thou-trious, indigeni, and several for supsand, one hundred and fifty dollars plying food, clothing and fuel to the and seventy cents. The amount of poor in winter. There are several internal revenue which cannot be ac baking establishments, where ship curately ascertained would swell the bread and crackers are made equal to
any manufactured in the United States (ries of lectures on astronomy, chemisor elsewhere, 2 ship yards, an exten-try, &c. in which the principles of the sive brewery, and several tanneries, a sciences treated of are illustrated by foundry upon a large scale, with a experiments with suitable apparatus. manufactory of steam engines and va- There are also boarding schools for rious machinery for cotton factories, young ladies, conducted by ladies, in &c. and several manufactories of se- which are taught all the branches of gars, on an extensive scale. Alexan- polite and fashionable education, and dria contains a handsome market a boarding school for young ladies house, at which a market is held eve under the charge of Four Sisters of ry morning. It is generally well Charity from Emmittsburg; in the supplied with meats, fish, fruits and state of Maryland. This institution, vegetables in their season. In the though but lately established, and not latter part of the spring, wild straw- yet completed, is in a flourishing conberries abound in the adjacent coun- dition. When finished it will have try, and are brought in great quanti- connected with it an orphan asylum. ties to market. Over the market There are also in Alexandria, free house is the Court-house, clerk's of schools for children of both sexes, and fice, council chamber, town hall and about 30 other schools, exclusive of library; and in the upper story of the Sunday schools. In the vicinity of same building an extensive and well Alexandria is established a Protestant arranged Museum. Over the centre Episcopal Theological Seminary on of this building is a steeple in which an elevated situation, commanding an an excellent clock tells the hours on extensive and delightful view of the a bell, that weighs fifteen hundred District of Columbia, the river Potopounds.
mac and the surrounding country. There is a boarding school for This institution at present occupies young men, in which the languages, two large four story buildings, havmathematics, philosophy, and every ing space enough between them for useful branch of education is taught. the erection of a centre structure. A part of the course consists of a se.
Population of Alexandria at different periods.
INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS.-Amay appear almost incredible. The canal is now in progress, which will number of shad frequently obtained at probably bring a great accession of a haul is 4,000 and upwards, and of business to this town. This canal is herrings from 1 to 300,000.. In the designed to continue the Chesapeake spring of 1832, there were taken in and Ohio Canal to - Alexandria; -and one seine at one. draught, a few more will -be connected with that great than 950,000 accurately. counted. work by a magnificent aqueduct The prosecution of the numerous fishthrown across the river Polomae, im-series gives. employment to a large mediately above Georgetown. The number of laborers, and affords an opperpendicular descent from the sur-portunity to the poor 10 lay in at very face of the river, above the Little reduced prices, food enough to last Falls-to tide water, is about 36 feet, their families during the whole year. and as the canal-will be brought on a The shad and herrings of the Potolevel from the head of the Falls to mac are transported by land, to all Alexandria; it is obvious that at the parts of the country, to which there is latter-place, it will afford water power a convenient access from the river; for inanufactories to a very great ex. and they are also shipped to various tent." Towards the construction of ports in the United States and West the Alexandria-canal, the government Indies. The lowest prices at which of the United Statós have appropriat- these fish sell when just taken, are ed $100,000. This city is connected 25 cents per thousand for herrings, with the interior of the state of Vir- and $1 50 per hundred for shad, but ginia by several turnpike roads, they generally bring higher prices, down which the principal part of the often $1 50 per thousand for the formfour is brought that comes to market; er, and from $3-10-4 per hundred for and there are 8 steamboats that regu- the latter,-in the height of the sealarly ply between this and other ports, son a single shad-weighing from 6 to several of which arrive and depart 8 pounds, is sold in the market of the daily.
District for 6 cents. Herrings, howF1SHERIES.--As Alexandria is the ever, are sometimes taken so plenti. shipping port of the District of Co-fully, that they are given away, or lumbia, and one of the principal martshauled on the land as manure for for the immense fisheries of-the Poto want of purchasers. Some idea may mac, it may be well to mention, that he formed of the importance of these in the spring of the year quantities of disheries from the following stateshad and herrings are taken, which)ment:Number of fisheries on the Potomac, about
150 of laborers required at the Landing,
Number of vessels employed,
450 of men to navigate these vessels,
1,350 of shad taken in good season, which lasts only
22,500,000 about 6 weeks, of herrings under similar circumstances,
750,000,000 Quantity of salt required to cure the fish,- Busbels,
995,000 Number of barrels to contain the fish,
595,000 The herring is not eaten at the best supply is abundant indeed. In the tables when fresh, but cured, they are latter part of the winter and early in admired by all, keep remarkably well, spring, great numbers of large rock and are most highly flavored when fish, weighing from 25 to 120 lho. they have been for 2 years in salt. are taken in seines, just above the The Potomac river can boast of the salts and brought to the markets in largest shad fisheries in the United the District of Columbia. About 8 States. The advantages of the her. years since there were taken at one ring fisheries, she divides with some of the fisheries on the Virginia side other rivers of the south, but it is of the river, about 3 miles below equalled by none, unless it be the Washington,* at one draught of the Susquehanna.
seine, four hundred and fifty rock fish Should the Chesapeake and Ohio averaging sixty pounds each, as is canal be continued to the Ohio river, well attested, and was recorded in the it is obvious that the fisheries of the newspapers of the day. Sturgeon Potomac will be of great advantage also abounds in the Potomac, and are to the country west of the Alleghany of enormous size weighing from 75 mountains, in supplying in great to 150 pounds, in some places they abundance a delicious and valuable are considered a great delicacy, as in article of food of which its waters the James, the Potomac, and the Hud. are entirely destitute. Taken into son rivers, while on the Delaware view the vast number of fish annu- they are considered worthless and ally caught, and the probable in- scarcely eaten. The sturgeon comes crease in the demand, one might be up the Potomac twice a year, which led to fear that the supply will at is in the months of May and August, hength beexhausted, --however ample --presses up to the very foot of the at the present time, but when we re- first falls, and is taken in the greatflect that the spawn from an exceed- est quantity within the District, in ing small number will generate into times of freshets in the strong water myriads and myriads of fish, such a between Georgetown and those falls. fear is at once done away; the quan. They are taken either in floating nets. tity is now very great and increas with large meshes, or by an inge. ing,—it is admitted that next to the niously contrived hook, not haited, small and delicate Nova Scotia her- but by a curious device, prepared to ring, that of the Potomac is by far more pierce him on the body so certainly nutricious than any found elsewhere and so deeply, as to hold him and in the waters of North America. bring him in, notwithstanding his During the summer, the fall, and great size and strength; this latter winter months, the variety of good mode of taking the sturgeon is befish is small, consisting principally lieved to be peculiar to the Potomac. of the large white perch and rock fish of moderate size, taken with the
*The noted fishery called the SYCAMORE
LANDING, belonging to Gen. Mason. line, and of carp and winter shad; +“ The hook is made of stout, well-teinbut at certain seasons of the year the pered iron, keenly pointed and barbed. Water Fowc. --The celebrity of necessary. In the following account the water fowl of the Potomac, and we have availed ourselves largely the scarcity of information upon the of the information contained under subject, render an article upon them the “Water Fowl," in a useful little with steel, is about thirty inches in length, the line touching the fish, consequently hent at the lower end, and much in the that part of the stem of the hook attached way with ordinary fish-hooks, in propor- to the line reaches the fish, with the barb tionately larger dimensions, and so as to part turned from it, and as the back of the place the barb on the inside of the curva- stem is drawn on, being circular, only iure; but the stem, or that part to which small part of it at a time is in contact with the line is attached, and which is about the fish; but at a certain point of this con twenty-four inches long, instead of being tact, near the middle of the entrance of straight, is bent nearly as the segment of the curve, the weight; from its position a circle, the diameter of which would be below, and the facility with which the equal to the length of the hook--ho this stem plays in the open loop, so operates as circular part is attached an iron weight to cause a sudden turn in the hook and to cylindriacally, formed of three or four reverse the position of the barbed end, pounds weight by a stiff loop, but roomy and throw it directly, under the fish, with enough to allow the weight to slide up or so smart a tug, that it at once designates down the stem, to which the hook is to the practised hand of the wary fisherthrown into the water, this weight not on- man, the critical instant at which be is to ly answers the end ot the common sinker make his last effort; and he sticceeds the to keep the line stretched at the depth re- more readily in the thrust, because from quired, but by its superior gravity, so soon the position of the barb, it is brought up as it has reached the point prescribed by directly against the belly of the fish, which the length of the line given out, it draws is of soft skin, unprotected by the bony the hook down in a perpendicular position shields dispersed over the back and sides. in the direction of the line, and by its So soon as the sturgeon is hung, he makes power of sliding on the stem of the book, off with great strength and swiftness, the adjusts itself just at the bottom of this, line is plaid out to give him play, and the and where the curvature in the opposite little boat, if before stationary, is cast direction, that forms the hook proper, be- loose, so that when the line is out, the gins, by the instrumentality of this weight boat, to which one end was secured, is for so placed, and operating on the peculiar a time darted so rapidly through the waform of the hook-while suspended by a ter that her bows are brought almost under; light line, the hook remains, with the back his speed however presently slackens, dis of the circular stem turned towards the strength exhausted,' and he yields himself hand of the fisherman that holds the other up.to be drawn in and hoisted on board. end of the line, and of course with the An instance occurred near the Little Falls þarbed end turned from him, whether held some years ago, of the strength and power still, or kept in motion.
of this fish. A noted fisherman, whose Thus prepared the fisherman, some- name is well known, had incautiously times drags, as it is termed, for the stur-made fast one end of the line to his leg, geon; that is, he rows his light little boat and having hung a sturgeon, was dragged slowly backwards and forwards, with his over board and drawn off by it, to a conline suspended from the stem at a given siderable distance in the river, sometimes depth; or, sometimes at anchor he lays in above and sometimes under water, but wait, his "hine stretched perpendicularly from his intrepidity and skill in swimụnder him, with the hook near the bottom ming, he was enabled to get through this
when the fish strikes against any paro perilous conflict safely, and to conquer of the line, it is so stirred by its great the sturgeon and tow him on shore, with weight as to be sensibly felt by the fisher- out the aid of his boat. It remains to acman, who then hauls rapidly but steadily count, as to this interesting fishing, by up, until he feels that the book bas come which the amateurs for sport, as well as in contact, and has turned suddenly in the more humble, for gain, are much atward, the barbed part towards the fish; tracted, how it happens that the stugeon when by an instantaneous and strong jerk, would seem to seek, rather than avoid the he buries the barb in its body Here is line put out for bis destruction, when there the development of the contrivance of is no bait about it to invite him, this hook, and here too is exerted all the Sportsmen and fishermen, to be good in tact of the fisherman--the hook is drawn their way, as is known, must be well ac. up as before described with the convex quainted with the habits of the animal part of the stem towards the fisherman, they would circumvent and bring within