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The Hudson River

and the

Hudson River Railroad—1851

Published by Bradbury and Guild

 

HUDSON RIVER, in many points of view, may be considered one of the most important streams in the world. It cannot vie with the Mississippi, or the Ohio, and other rivers, either in size or extent; but, in all other respects, it is altogether their superior. For steamboat and sloop navigation, stretching as it does for one hundred and sixty miles inland, through a rugged chain of Highlands, and carrying tide water the entire distance, it is certainly unsurpassed.

The Hudson rises in a marshy tract in Essex county, east of Long Lake. Its head waters are nearly four thousand feet above the level of the sea. After receiving the waters of the Scroon on the north, and the Sacondaga, which flows from Hamilton county, on the west, it turns eastward until it reaches the meridian of Lake Champlain, where it suddenly sweeps round to the southward, and continues in a direct course to New York. One mile above Troy it receives the Mohawk River on the west, the latter being the largest stream of the two at their junction.

The entire length of the Hudson is three hundred and twenty-five miles. The picturesque beauty of its banks,—forming gentle grassy slopes, or covered with forests to the water's edge, or crowned by neat and thriving towns, now overshadowing the water with tall cliffs, and now rising in mural precipices,—and the legendary and historical interests associated with numerous spots, combine to render the Hudson the classic stream of the United States.

Ships can ascend the river as far as Hudson, one hundred arid fifteen miles, and steamboats and sloops to Albany and Troy. During the summer months, the water is covered with vessels of all sorts and sizes, ascending or descending the stream, from the canal boat,—of which great numbers, from the line of the Erie canal, and entering the river at Albany, are daily towed to and from New York,—to the magnificent steamers, for which this river for years has been famous.

The width of the river, for twenty-five miles above New York, is about one mile. Its west bank, for nearly this whole distance, is bounded by abrupt precipices of trap rock, termed the PALISADES. Beyond these there is an expansion of the river to the width of three miles, termed Tappan and Haverstraw bays, with mountains upon the western shore seven hundred feet in height. Passing these at Verplanck's Point, forty miles above New York, the Highlands commence. Here the river is contracted into narrow limits, and the water becomes of greater depth. This mountainous region, about sixteen miles in length, may be considered the most remarkable feature in the Hudson River scenery. The course of the stream is exceedingly tortuous, and the hills upon both sides rocky and abrupt. Above these Highlands the country subsides into but a fertile hilly region, which continues for one hundred miles.

Hudson River is named after Henry Hudson, by whom it was discovered in 1609. He entered the southern waters of New York on the 3d of September. Tradition says that he landed upon Long Island and traded with the natives. He spent a week south of the Narrows before he entered the bay. On the 14th, he proceeded up the river. As he went along, he all the way found the natives on the west shore more affable and friendly than those on the east, and discovered that those on one side were at war with those on the other. In his journal he gives the following account of his reception upon landing at Hudson, the place which now bears his name:

"I went on shore in one of the canoes with an old Indian, who was a chief of forty men and seventeen women, and whom I found in a house made of the bark of trees, which was exceedingly smooth and well finished within and all round about. I found there a great quantity of Indian corn and beans; indeed; there lay to dry, near the house, of these articles, as much as would load three ships, besides what was growing in the field. When we came to the house, two mats were spread to sit on; and immediately eatables were brought to us on red wooden bowls, well made; and two men were sent off with their bows and arrows to kill wild fowl, who soon returned with two pigeons. They also killed immediately a fat dog, and in a very little time skinned it with shells, which they got out of the water. They expected I would have remained with them through the night; but this I did not care to do, and therefore went on board the ship again. It is the finest land for tilling my feet ever trod upon, and bears all sorts of trees fit for building vessels. The natives here were extremely kind and good-tempered; for when they saw that I was making ready to return to the ship, and would not stay with them, judging it proceeded from my fear of their bows and arrows, they took and broke them to pieces, and then threw them into the fire. I found grapes growing here also, and plums, pumpkins, and other fruit."

It must not be forgotten that the Hudson River was the theatre of the first successful attempt to apply steam power to the propelling of vessels, by Fulton, in 1808, less than half a century ago! Let the sceptic stand upon the banks of the river now, and see the superb and swift palaces of motion shoot past, one after the other, like gay and chasing meteors; and then read poor Fulton's account of his first experiment, and never throw discouragement on the kindling fire of genius.

"When I was building my first steamboat," said he to Judge Story, "the project was viewed by the public at New York either with indifference or contempt, as a visionary scheme. My friends, indeed, were civil, but they were shy. They listened with patience to my explanations, but with a settled east of incredulity on their countenances. As I had occasion to pass daily to and from the building yard while the boat was in progress, I often loitered, unknown, near the idle groups of strangers gathered in little circles, and heard various inquiries as to the object of this new vehicle. The language was uniformly that of scorn, sneer, or ridicule. The loud laugh rose at my expense; the dry jest, the wise calculation of losses and expenditure; the dull but endless repetition of 'The Fulton Folly.' Never did a single encouraging remark, a bright hope, or a warm wish, cross my path.

"At length the boat was finished, and the day arrived when the trial was to be made. To me it was a most trying and interesting occasion. I invited many friends to go on board and witness the first successful trip. Many of them did me the honor to attend, as a matter of personal respect; but it was manifest they did it with reluctance, feigning to be partners of my mortification, and not of my triumph. I was well aware that, in my case, there were many reasons to doubt my success. The machinery was new, and ill made; and many parts of it were constructed by mechanics unacquainted with such work; and unexpected difficulties might reasonably be presumed to present themselves from other causes. The moment arrived in which the word was to be given for the vessel to move. My friends stood in groups on the deck. I read in their looks nothing but disaster, and almost repented of my efforts. The signal was given, and the boat moved on a short distance, and then stopped and became immovable. To the silence of the preceding moment, now succeeded murmurs of discontent and agitation, and whispers, and shrugs. I elevated myself on a platform, and stated that I knew not what was the matter; but if they would be quiet, and indulge me for half an hour, I would either go on, or abandon the voyage. I went below, and at once discovered that a slight mal-adjustment was the cause of the stopping. It was obviated, and the boat went on; we left New York; we passed through the Highlands; we reached Albany. Yet, even then, imagination superseded the force of fact. It was doubted if it could be done again, or if it could be made, in any case, of any great value."

What an affecting picture of the struggles of a great mind, and what a vivid lesson of encouragement to genius, are contained in this simple narrative! If Fulton and his then doubting friends could witness now the triumphs of steam on the Hudson and the Mississippi, the Ganges, the Indus, the Thames, the Tigris, the Nile, and across the broad bosoms of the three great oceans, how different would be the sensations of both from those by which they were animated on the first experimental voyage !

HUDSON RIVER RAILROAD

THE project of building a railroad along the banks of Hudson River, from New York to Albany, was, for a long time, deemed visionary, and unworthy of consideration. It was argued and believed that, even if a road could be built through the Highlands, at anything like a reasonable expense, it could never compete with the river steamboats, noted as they were for elegance, safety, and speed. But the fallacy of this belief has been plainly shown.

Two important considerations, above all others, have tended to convince the public that a railroad along the Hudson was necessary, and ought to be built. One, and by far the greatest, is found in the fact that during the winter months, averaging from 90 to 100 days of each year, the river is closed by the ice; and it proved a serious inconvenience, to say the least, for a channel, through which from one and a half to two millions of passengers were conveyed in the summer months, to be closed for the remainder of the year. The other was the simple saving of time upon the way. The comparative merits of the two modes of conveyance it does not become us to discuss. Both will have their supporters and favorites, and both will unquestionably be forever open to the public during two thirds of each year. In the winter, when the river is closed, the railroad must do all the business, both in passengers and freights, and no person can doubt, that, although it is now immense, the superior facilities of transit opened by the railroad will tend to increase it beyond all precedent.

THE ENTIRE LENGTH of the Hudson River Railroad, from Chamber street to Albany, is one hundred and forty-three miles and a quarter. As a general feature, the road is constructed directly along the banks of the river, five feet above high tides. A proper degree of directness is maintained, and the sinuosities of the stream avoided, by cutting through the projecting points of land, and, when necessary, throwing the line a short distance into shallow water; protecting the embankment from the action of the waves by a secure wall. Nearly one half of the whole length of the road is thus protected. At Verplanck's Point, forty miles from New York, the track is nearly two miles from the river, but in no other place does it vary as much as one mile from the water's edge.

THE GRADES of the road, considering the obstacles surmounted, are astonishingly regular. Of the whole distance, one hundred and fourteen miles are upon a dead level, five miles from one to five feet per mile, thirteen miles of ten feet per mile, and five miles of thirteen feet per mile inclination, which is the heaviest grade upon the road. The total rise and fall is two hundred and thirteen feet only. The shortest curve is at Peekskill station. This is of one thousand feet radius. Besides this, there are no curves less than two thousand feet radius, while more than one half of the whole number are from four to ten thousand feet radius. The whole number of curves is two hundred and seventy-nine, there being fifty-eight and a half miles of curved line.

The ROCK EXCAVATION upon the road, as the fact of its following the banks of the river so closely would lead anyone to suppose, has been immense. The total amount of rock-cuttings will not vary much from two millions of cubic yards. On the "Highland" division alone, (Peekskill to Fishkill, a distance of sixteen miles,) over four hundred and twenty-five thousand cubic yards of rock were excavated.

There are EIGHT TUNNELS upon the line, between New York and Poughkeepsie, as follows:—

 Name / Place

 Feet in Length

 1. At Oscawana, or Peg's Island

 225

 2. Abbott's Point, (Bridge Tunnel)

 100

 3. Flat Rock

 70

 4. St. Anthony's Nose

 400

 5. Garrison's, at Phillips' Hill

 900

 6. Breakneck Hill

 400

 7. New Hamburg

 1400

 8. Milton Ferry

 100

 TOTAL

 3595

All the above tunnels are through solid rock, and are twenty-four feet wide, and eighteen feet high. The rock is so hard that it forms the arch of the tunnels in all cases except for a part of the one at Breakneck Hill. Here the appearance of the rock rendered it probable, in the mind of the engineer, that it might crumble on being exposed to the atmosphere, and a brick lining was constructed for the purpose of preventing the loose stone from falling upon the track. Besides the above tunnels, of natural rock, there are two constructed of brick at the Sing Sing prison yard.

The whole cost of the Hudson River Railroad, when entirely finished, will not vary much from nine millions of dollars. Of this sum the original stock subscription was for 30,165 shares, amounting to 3,016,500 dollars. The balance is obtained from other sources. The road was opened on the 29th of September, 1849, for the transportation of passengers between New York and Peekskill, a distance of forty miles. On the 6th day of December following, an additional section of twenty-three miles was opened, extending to New Hamburg; and on the 31st of the same month, the remaining distance of nine miles to Poughkeepsie was brought into use.

One characteristic of this road deserves especial mention. We refer to the system of signal flags, introduced to secure safety from accidents in running the trains. Flag men are stationed upon every mile of the road, generally at the curves, or upon a slight acclivity, where a view of the track for some distance can be had. Upon the approach of a train, if all is clear ahead, the flagman displays a white signal. If there be any obstruction in sight, or a diminished speed be required for any cause, a red flag is displayed. During the intervals between the trains, these men daily examine the road, to see that all is secure. If a chair be broken, a rail loose, or a spike drawn, the evil is at once corrected, and thus the road is kept in perfect repair. This is a very important improvement. It may be true that more caution is necessary upon this road, in consequence of the great number of curves; yet there would be a less number of accidents, were this system adopted upon other roads, where a high degree of speed is desirable.

Commencing at the principal city station, at the junction of Chamber and Hudson streets, the track is laid through Hudson, Canal, and West streets, to Tenth avenue, which it follows to the upper city station, at Thirty-fourth street. Over this part of the route the rails are laid even with the streets, and the cars are drawn by what is called a "dumb engine." This is considered a great improvement over the use of horses, for drawing the cars through the streets, where, by the corporation regulations, locomotives are not allowed to run. This engine appears very much like an ordinary freight car. The machinery is entirely out of sight, and it is made to consume its own smoke. While passing through the city, it is preceded by a man on horseback, who gives notice of its approach by blowing a horn. At Thirty-fourth street, the line curves into Eleventh avenue, the dumb engine is detached, and the regular locomotive takes the train. As far as Sixtieth street, the track is laid upon the street grades, which are somewhat undulating. At this point the regular grades of the road begin.

Passing Manhattanville and Carmansville, the first obstacle of any importance was the heavy rock-cutting at Fort Washington Point, nine miles above the city. This excavation is in solid rock, fifty-six feet deep at the highest point, and one hundred rods in length. The rock taken from this cut amounted to nearly fifty thousand cubic yards. It was used to construct the protection wall near this place. From this point, suspended from high poles, to the high ground on the opposite side of the river, are the various telegraph lines which extend south from New York. These were at first sunk in the stream, but they received so much damage from the anchors of vessels navigating the river, that it was found necessary to suspend them, in this manner, out of the reach of danger.

Twelve miles from the city, the line crosses Spuyten Duyvel Creek. Here is a draw-bridge to allow vessels which navigate the river to pass into the creek, and also several hundred feet of pile bridge to allow the free passage of water in and out of the bay. Spuyten Duyvel Creek falls into what is called Harlem River, and separates Manhattan, or New York Island, from the main land.

From this point the line proceeds along close to the river, passing Yonkers, Hastings', Dobbs' Ferry, Tarrytown, to Sing Sing. This part of the line is level. At Sing Sing the road passes through the yard of the State Prison, directly in rear of the main building. The track is several feet below the yard. Two arches of brick, of twenty-four feet span and six hundred feet in length, are here constructed, one upon each side of the yard, for the purpose of rendering it secure.

A short distance above Sing Sing, the road crosses the bay formed by the junction of the Croton and Hudson rivers. The distance across is about one mile. A draw-bridge is here constructed; the remaining part of the distance being partly well protected embankments, and partly pile bridge.

The line now crosses Teller's Point, a narrow neck of land extending more than half way across the river, and dividing Tappan and Haverstraw Bays, so called; the former being below, and the latter above, this point. Here there is an extensive excavation through sand and gravel for nearly half a mile. More than four hundred thousand cubic yards of earth were removed from this cutting. Passing this, the track follows again close upon the banks of the river to Oscawana Island, where the first tunnel through solid rock is passed. Half a mile above this, the road takes a curve inland, to avoid Verplanck's Point. Here there is some heavy rock cutting, and, to accommodate the road to a brick-yard near at band, another short tunnel was made.

Between this point and Peekskill station the road makes its greatest divergence from the river; and, at the highest point, passes over a summit of 34 feet, by a rising and falling inclination of 13 feet per mile.

At Peekskill, between the 42d and 43d miles, the line curves to the left more than a quarter of a circle. A little north of the village it is carried across the bay, at the mouth of Peekskill Creek, a distance of three quarters of a mile; part of the distance by a pile bridge eight hundred feet in length, with draw for vessels, &c., and the remainder by embankment. At this point the Highland division commences. Two miles north of Peekskill is the third tunnel upon the line, which is denominated Flat Rock tunnel; and within another mile the line passes through the projecting point of Anthony's Nose, by a fourth tunnel, with heavy and extensive rock cutting at each exit.

For a considerable distance along the Highlands, the mountains have an elevation of from one thousand to fifteen hundred feet, and shut down close to the water's edge. In many places the road is formed by cutting a large portion or even the whole of its width into the rock, leaving a perpendicular natural wall upon the east side, from ten to thirty, and even forty, feet high. In one case, six miles above Peekskill, where the road is formed across the outlet of a small brook, much trouble was occasioned by the sinking of the embankment. Several months after this portion was graded and ready for the rails, and a portion of the track was laid, while passing over it with a horse and car-load of rails, the embankment for more than a hundred feet went down so suddenly that the horse, car, and rails were overwhelmed, and two men on the car escaped with difficulty. It is now constructed upon piles, and probably secure. Similar difficulties, though less important, occurred at five different points between Peekskill and West Point.

The elevated ground opposite West Point, at Phillips' Hill, is passed by a tunnel nine hundred feet long, being the fifth upon the road. Emerging from this, to avoid a sudden bend in the river, the line is carried across a sort of bay, by a pile bridge nearly a mile in length, and extending more than one third of the distance across the stream. On reaching the shore it intersects a short branch built for the accommodation of the iron works at Cold Spring. The road passes directly through the village of Cold Spring, where two formidable rock cuts were encountered.

From this point to Breakneck Hill the road is nearly straight, notwithstanding the numerous bays in the river, and the rocky projections from the hills, presenting obstacles which seem to bid defiance to the skill of the engineer.

At Breakneck, the road passes the sixth tunnel, and follows along close to the water, crossing Fishkill Creek, in rear of Dennings' Point. Here the Highlands end. North of the creek is a cutting in blue clay, more difficult to excavate, in some respects, than the hard rock cuts.

North of Wappinger's Creek, which is crossed by a pile bridge at the village of New Hamburg, the road encounters a ridge of limestone rock, very hard and compact. Here it was necessary to construct a tunnel of considerable length, the seventh upon the line. To expedite the work, two shafts were sunk, one seventy-two feet from the surface of the ground, the other to the depth of fifty-three feet. A large portion of the tunnel excavation was drawn up through these shafts by steam power; and the water, which at some periods was troublesome, was disposed of in the same way. The eighth tunnel was about one mile north of Milton Ferry.

At Poughkeepsie the line passes through the lower part of the place, all the roads leading to the river being carried over the railroad. North of this station are two heavy sections. Indeed, of the twenty-six miles extending from Poughkeepsie to Tivoli, the north line of Duchess county, seven are rock cuttings. A line was originally surveyed from Poughkeepsie to Albany, passing through the country away from the river, in some places being as much as seven miles distant; but, for various reasons, it was abandoned.

Above Tivoli, with one or two inconsiderable exceptions, the road follows close to the river the whole remaining distance to Greenbush. As a general thing, the track is five feet above high tide-water, and very few excavations or other works are of sufficient importance to deserve especial notice. At Greenbush the track is united to that of the "Troy and Greenbush" road, six miles in length, which has been leased to the Hudson River Company for a term of years.

The Hudson River Railroad is probably one of the very best constructed roads in America. The road bed, generally, is thirty feet wide at the top; the protection wall three feet in thickness, and carried five feet above ordinary high tides; the rails weigh seventy pounds per yard, and the outer rail, in all cases of exposure to the river, is ten feet from the top of the wall, affording a wide margin for the washing of the bank, and ample security against running the cars into the water in cases of accident. The time proposed for running the trains between New York and Albany is four to four and a half hours. This will be likely to vary somewhat with the season, though it is believed that it will never exceed the longest time named. This will be a saving of at least four hours to each passenger, over what would have been occupied on board a steamboat,—an important consideration, certainly. By the terms of the charter, the fare through is not to exceed three dollars at any season. This will unquestionably be the fixed price during the winter, and must be considered very reasonable. Whether the competition of the boats, during open river navigation, will be such as to induce the company to reduce the fare in the summer, time will determine. Considering the great obstacles surmounted in constructing the road, and the saving of time passing over it, three dollars, at all seasons, cannot be called an unreasonable fare, while, for the winter months, none will deny that it is extremely low.

 

CITIES, TOWNS, AND VILLAGES UPON
HUDSON'S RIVER

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. — St. 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 squares further 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 Tim 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 Paterson Railroad station, are in Jersey City. The passengers over the Erie Railroad take the cars of the Paterson 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 WEEHAWKEN. 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, 7½ 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, affords a cheap and pleasant way to visit that noble structure. Trinity Church Cemetery is located here, upon the side hill, overlooking the river.

One mile above Carmansville, upon the top of a projecting point, stands Fort Washington. It occupies a commanding situation. It was held by General Washington for some time after New York was occupied by the British, in 1776; but on the 16th of November, in that year, it fell into the hands of the enemy, after a violent assault,—during which the assailing party lost eight hundred men,—with two thousand Americans, under Col. Magaw, as prisoners of war.

Opposite Fort Washington, upon the brow of the Palisades, and three hundred feet above the river, is the site of Fort Lee. Soon after Fort Washington was captured, this also was given up, the Americans retiring to the Highlands.

At Fort Lee the Palisade rocks begin, presenting, all along on the west margin of the river, for many miles, a perpendicular wall of rock, varying from two to five hundred feet in height. These are sometimes covered with brushwood, sometimes capped with stunted trees, and sometimes perfectly bare; but always showing the upright cliff, which constitutes the most striking feature. At the foot of this curious wall is a pile of broken rocks and debris; all or most of which has evidently crumbled away from the face of the precipice. Much of this is removed every year, and used for building purposes. In many places there is hardly room for a foot-path on the shore of the river; while here and there the space is considerable; and, occasionally, a fisherman's but is seen, built upon the very margin of the stream.

The name Palisades is given to this curious cliff, probably, from the ribbed appearance of some portions of it, which seem like rude basaltic columns, or huge trunks of old trees, placed close together in an upright form, for a barricade or defence. The water, a very few feet from the shore, is deep, being what is termed a "bold shore," and vessels run quite close to the cliffs. Any one who has visited the celebrated West Rock, at New Haven, Conn., will at once associate its general appearance with the Palisades, though the character and extent of their formation are entirely different

TUBBY HOOK, eleven miles. This station is situated on a romantic and secluded spot, near the northern extremity of New York Island. The proximity of this location to the city, and the facilities afforded by railroad for passing to and from New York, must, in time, make this a very pleasant and desirable country residence, though at present there are very few dwellings in the neighborhood.

SPUYTEN DUYVEL, twelve miles. The Creek of the same name, which branches from the Hudson at this point, flows into Harlem River, and forms Manhattan Island. There is a draw here, but very few vessels ever pass it.

YONKERS, in the town of the same name, sixteen miles from New York, is situated at the mouth of Sawmill River, which here falls into the Hudson. This village is a favorite summer retreat from the city, and is rapidly increasing in population. The pleasantest locations are upon a narrow plateau, a short distance from the river. The line of the Croton Aqueduct bends towards the Hudson at this place, and for seventeen miles follows along within about half a mile of the river. In one or two places it is less than one hundred rods distant. Fordham Heights and Tetard's Hill, noted in the war of the Revolution, are in this town.

HASTINGS', twenty miles, situated upon the line between Yonkers and Greensburg, is the next station. There are some fine country seats here, and a thriving village. Two miles above Yonkers, the Palisade rocks are highest, and about opposite Hastings' they recede from the river and disappear. One mile and a half beyond this station is

DOBBS' FERRY, an important point during the Revolution, when a ferry was established here. It is a place of considerable resort during the summer. Four miles above Dobbs' Ferry, near Tarrytown, is "Sunnyside," the beautiful residence of Washington Irving. The villa is built upon the margin of the river, with a neat lawn and embellished grounds surrounding it. It can be seen from the steamboats in passing up or down the river.

Piermont, on the west bank of the Hudson, is the starting-point of the New York and Erie Railroad, now completed. A pier nearly one mile in length extends into navigable water, and a ferry connects it with the Hudson River Railroad, at DEARMAN station. Three miles and a half west is the village of Tappan, celebrated as the head-quarters of Washington during the Revolution, and as the place where Major Andre was executed, October 2, 1780. [See Peekskill.]

TARRYTOWN, twenty-six miles from New York, is a thriving place, situated near the northern boundary of Greensburg. The railroad here cuts off quite a point of land and divides the village, leaving a considerable part of it on the side next to the river. The newly built portion is on a slight eminence east of the railroad, and partly hid from view.

Tarrytown is famed, in the history of the American war, as the place where Andre was arrested by Paulding and his associates. The spot, which is well known, is about half a mile north of the village, on the west side of the road, near a small stream which falls into the Hudson, near at hand. The remains of Isaac Van Wart, one of the three captors, are deposited under a monument to his memory, at a little hamlet of Greensburg, three miles east of Tarrytown. He died in 1828, aged 69 years.

About two miles or so up the valley of the small stream above mentioned, sometimes called Mill River, is the place known as Sleepy Hollow, the scene of Ichabod Crane's encounter with the "Galloping Hessian," so graphically described by Irving, in his Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It is a retired spot, partly overgrown by trees, where the perfect stillness is broken only by the warbling of the brook which runs through it. Like the story of Rip Van Winkle, which has clothed the rugged sides of the Kaatskill Mountains with such mysterious interest, this legend will find a place at the neighboring firesides for all time to come.

Nearly opposite Tarrytown, on the west side of the river, is the village of Nyack, once celebrated for its quarries of red sandstone. The village is prettily built at the foot of a high cliff, and makes a picturesque appearance from the eastern shore.

SING SING, thirty-two miles from New York, is situated partly upon elevated ground, and commands a beautiful view of the river and the surrounding country. At this place are several extensive marble quarries. A mineral spring, some three miles east of the village, has some reputation for its medicinal qualities, and a large boarding-house was erected there some years since.

Mount Pleasant Academy, for boys, is at Sing Sing. The building is of Sing Sing marble, and stands upon one of the most retired streets of the village, commanding an extensive prospect of the river and adjacent country. There is also a boarding-school for young ladies at Sing Sing, elegantly located.

The principal object of interest here is the State Prison. It is situated upon the bank of the Hudson River, ten feet above high water mark. The railroad runs directly through the prison yard. The prison grounds comprise one hundred and thirty acres, and may be approached by vessels drawing twelve feet of water. The keeper's house, workshop, &c., are built of rough "Sing Sing marble," quarried from lands owned by the state in the vicinity. The main building is four hundred and eighty-four feet in length, running parallel with the river, and forty-four feet in width. It is five stories high, with two hundred cells upon each floor; in all, one thousand cells.

The system and discipline of this prison owe their origin to Elam Lynds, for many years agent of the Auburn prison. The convicts are shut up in separate cells at night, and on Sundays, except when attending religious services in the chapel. While at work, they are not allowed to exchange a word with each other, under any pretence whatever; nor to communicate any intelligence to each other in writing; nor to exchange looks, or winks, or to make use of any signs, except such as are necessary to convey their wants to the waiters. The plan of confining each convict in a separate cell during the night, or the "Auburn system," as it is called, was adopted at the Auburn prison in 1824. The prison at that time contained but five hundred and fifty cells. Being, therefore, totally insufficient to accommodate all the convicts of the state, an act was passed by the Legislature, authorizing the erection of a new one. Sing Sing was selected as the location, and Captain Lynds as agent to build it. He was directed to take from the Auburn prison one hundred convicts; to remove them to the ground selected for the site of the new prison; to purchase materials, employ keepers and guards, and to commence the construction of the building. The reasons for taking the convicts from Auburn, and transporting them so great a distance, instead of from New York, were, that the convicts at the former place had been more accustomed to cutting and laying stone, and had been brought by Capt. Lynds into the perfect and regular state of discipline he had established there, and which was indispensably necessary to their safe-keeping in the open country, and the successful prosecution of the work.

The party arrived at Sing Sing, without accident or disturbance, in May, 1825, without a place to receive them, or a wall to enclose them. A temporary barrack was erected to receive the convicts at night, and they were then set at work building the prison, each one working at his trade,—one a carpenter, another a mason, &c.,—all the time having no other means to keep them in obedience but the rigid enforcement of the strict discipline adopted at the Auburn prison. For four years the convicts, whose numbers were gradually increased, were engaged in building their own prison, and finally completed it in 1829. The prisoners, since the building was completed, have been engaged considerably in quarrying marble from the extensive ledges in this town.

Opposite Sing Sing, across Tappan Bay, which is widest at this point, is Verdritege's Hook, a bold headland, rising majestically from the river. On this mountain there is a crystal lake, about two miles in circumference, which forms the source of Hackensack River, and which, though not half a mile from the Hudson, is elevated three hundred feet above it. This is called Rockland Lake, from whence large quantities of the very clearest ice are annually sent to New York. The ice, cut into large square blocks, is slid down to the level of the river, and, upon the opening of the spring, it is transported in boats to the city. The Hackensack River falls into Newark Bay, near Jersey City.

Two miles above Sing Sing, the road crosses the mouth of Croton River, and Teller's Point, a narrow neck of land extending into the river about a mile, and dividing Tappan and Haverstraw Bays. This neck of land, which is almost entirely light and sandy, has probably been formed by the earth and stones washed down by the Croton River during the spring freshets, when a large volume of water is poured into the Hudson at its mouth. The entire length of the river is about forty miles.

CROTON, thirty-five miles from New York, is a short distance above Teller's Point, in the southern part of Peekskill township. It is a small but thriving village, and the nearest station to the fountain reservoir, the head of the far-famed CROTON WATERWORKS, by which the city of New York is supplied with pure water. It is a place well worth visiting. Although not strictly within our plan, a brief sketch of this great project may not be uninteresting to the reader.

The building of the Croton Aqueduct was commenced in 1835. At the charter election of that year, the citizens of New York were required to vote for or against the project. There were 17,330 votes thrown; 11,367 of which were in favor of, and 5,963 against the act of incorporation. On the 4th of July, 1842, the water was let into the reservoir, and on the 14th of October following, it was brought into the city in the distributing pipes. The whole cost, including the high bridge across Harlem River, was about fourteen millions of dollars.

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 upon the apron at 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 13¼ 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 a 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 the 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 was furnished with a passport in the name of John Anderson, signed by Arnold, "to go to White Plains, or lower, if he thought proper, he being upon public business by my direction." He was accompanied by the aforesaid Smith. They crossed the river at King's Ferry, from Stony Point to Verplanck's, and passed the American works at those places without suspicion. It was now quite dark, and they were induced, from the representation of danger which they received from a patrolling party which they met, to stop for the night at the house of Andreas Miller, near Crompond, about eight miles from Verplanck's Point. At the first dawn of light, Andre, who, according to Smith's testimony, spent a "restless night," roused his companion, and ordered their horses to be prepared for an early departure. They took the road towards Pine's Bridge, and pressed forward without interruption. Here they breakfasted at the house of a good Dutch woman; and here Andre and Smith separated; the former pursuing his way toward Tarrytown, while the latter returned to his home.

Andre was now upon the "Neutral Ground," as it was called. This part of the country was greatly infested with a set of robbers from the "Lower " or British party, denominated "Cow Boys." They lived within the British lines, and stole or bought a supply of cattle for the army. It happened that the same morning on which Andre crossed Pine's Bridge, seven persons, who resided near Hudson's River, on the neutral ground, agreed voluntarily to go out in company, watch the road, and intercept any suspicious stragglers, or droves of cattle, that might be seen passing towards New York. Four of this party were stationed on a hill, where they had a view of the road for some distance. The other three, named John Paulding, David Williams, and Isaac Van Wart, were concealed in the bushes about half a mile north of the village of Tarrytown. [See Tarrytown.] As Andre, who had met with no interruption from Pine's Bridge, approached this spot, Paulding stepped out and seized his horse by the bridle. The surprise of the moment put Andre off his guard, and, instead of showing his pass, he hastily asked, "Where do you belong?" They answered, "Down below," meaning New York, a true Yankee reply. Elated with the belief that he was once more among friends, after so much danger, Andre instantly replied, "So do I" He then foolishly declared himself to be a British officer, upon urgent business, and begged that the men would not delay him. But his mistake was soon apparent. He was taken into the bushes and searched. In his boots they found six papers, as Paulding observed, "of a dangerous tendency." Andre now proceeded to offer his watch, his horse, and large amounts of money, to be set free. But he pleaded in vain. The nearest military post was at North Castle, where Lieut. Colonel Jameson was stationed. To this place Andre was taken.

Andre still passed for John Anderson, and requested permission to write to General Arnold to inform him that he was detained. Col. Jameson thoughtlessly permitted the letter to be sent, and forwarded to General Washington the papers found upon the prisoner, with a statement of the manner in which he was taken. The General was then on his return from Hartford, and the express took a road different from that on which he was travelling, and passed him. This occasioned so great a loss of time, that Arnold, having received Andre's letter, made his escape on board the Vulture before the order for his arrest arrived at West Point.

As soon as Andre learned that Arnold was safe, he flung off all disguise, and assumed his true character as a British officer. General Washington referred his case to a board of fourteen general officers, of which Generals La Fayette and Steuben were members. They were to determine in what character he was to be considered, and what punishment ought to be inflicted. They treated Andre with great delicacy and tenderness, desiring him to answer no questions that embarrassed his feelings. But, concerned only for his honor, he frankly confessed that he did not come on shore under a flag, and stated so fully all facts respecting himself, that it became unnecessary to examine a single witness. The board, after due consideration, gave it as their opinion that Andre was a spy; and that, agreeably to the laws and usages of nations, he ought to suffer death. His execution took place the following day. See Tappan.]

Andre was reconciled to death, but not to the mode of dying. He wrote to Gen. Washington, soliciting that he might be shot, rather than to die on a gibbet. But the stern maxims of justice forbade a compliance with this request.

Great, but unavailing, endeavors were made by Sir Henry Clinton to save Andre. Even Arnold had the presumption to write a threatening letter to Washington on the subject. An exchange for Arnold was suggested in an indirect manner, but Clinton would not listen to the proposal. Arnold was subsequently appointed Major General in the British army, and served out the war in that capacity. He was also paid the sum of fifty thousand dollars. After the war was finished he returned to England, where he died, in 1801, at the age of sixty-one years. He lived to be despised as well by those he served as those he attempted to betray; and his name is held in execration by the whole civilized world.

One mile above Peekskill, the cars pass along close to the base of Anthony's Nose. This mountain is a complete mass of rock, partly covered in some places with stunted trees. It rises very abruptly from the river to the height of 1128 feet. On the opposite shore of the river is the Dunderburg, presenting a romantic spectacle. Between these two elevations is that part of Hudson River termed the "Horse Race," a name derived from the rapidity of the current at this point at ebb tide.

Various stories are told concerning the manner in which one of these mountains obtained its name. The following is generally believed to be "genuine." Before the Revolution, a vessel was passing up the river, under the command of Captain Hogans. He had an enormous nose, which was frequently the subject of joking among the crew. When immediately opposite this mountain, the mate looked rather quizzically, first at the mountain and then at the captain's nose. "What," said Captain Hogans, " does that look like my nose? Well, then, let us call it Anthony's Nose." The story was repeated on shore, and the mountain thenceforward assumed the name, becoming an everlasting monument to the memory of Captain Anthony Hogans and his nose.

About opposite the second tunnel, above Peekskill, stand the two forts, Clinton and Montgomery, one upon each side of the mouth of a small stream which falls into the Hudson at this point. These forts were the main defences of the Highlands during the Revolution. They were too high to be battered from the water, and surrounded by steep and rugged bills, which made the approach to them on the land side very difficult. To stop the ascent of the enemy's ships, frames of timber, with projecting beams shod with iron, were sunk in the river. A boom, formed of large trees fastened together, extended from bank to bank; and in front of this boom was stretched a huge iron chain. Higher up the river, upon a small island, was Fort Constitution, and here was another boom and chain. Forts Montgomery and Clinton, having been left with a force of only eight hundred men, under the belief that they were secure, were captured by the British, October 6, 1777. At that time General Burgoyne was closely hemmed in near Saratoga, by General Gates. Sir Henry Clinton, anxious to afford General Burgoyne an opportunity to force his way to Hudson River, left New York on the fifth of October with four thousand troops, and landed at Verplanck's Point. While a part of this force led General Putnam, who was at Peekskill, to believe that Fort Independence was the object of the expedition, a stronger party crossed the river to Stony Point, and, pushing inland through the mountain defiles, approached in rear of Forts Clinton and Montgomery, of which the entire garrison did not exceed six hundred men, and both were captured. Immediately after the news of the surrender of Burgoyne's army, which took place October 16, the forts were evacuated by the captors.

 

GARRISON'S, fifty miles from New York, is the station at which West Point passengers leave the trains. A ferry connects the two places. Two miles below this station, on the western shore of the river, are the BUTTERMILK FALLS. These present a very beautiful appearance, especially when the stream is swollen by heavy rains. The water descends, for more than a hundred feet, in two successive cascades, spreading out in sheets of milk-white foam.

West Point, fifty-one miles from New York, is unquestionably the most romantic place upon the Hudson River. The approach to it is highly interesting. The village is placed upon the top of a promontory one hundred and eighty-eight feet above the river, where there is spread out a level plateau or terrace, more than a mile in circumference. The declivity is very steep on all sides, and the surrounding craggy hills seem to be nothing but masses of rocks, fantastically heaped by nature, crowding the stream below into a channel less than half a mile in width.

West Point is chiefly noted as the seat of the Military Academy, established here in 1802. The land—about two hundred and fifty acres—was ceded to the United States by New York in 1826. The buildings are two stone barracks occupied by two hundred and fifty cadets, the limited number; a large stone building, for military exercises in the winter, and as a depository for models of fortifications, &c.; a two-story stone building, with three towers, for astronomical purposes; a chapel, hospital, mess-rooms, &c., &c., and a number of other dwelling-houses for the officers of the institution.

The number of applications for admission to the West Point Academy is so great that the candidate must feel his claims to be transcendent who can calculate upon admission with any degree of certainty. The ratio of appointments is about three for every congressional district in four years. In selecting candidates for admission, the descendants of revolutionary officers, and of those who served in the last war, are considered as having peculiar claims to notice. There is no other distinction between the candidates, save their accredited talents and abilities to be of public service. The age of admission is from sixteen to twenty-one.

The months of July and August of each year are devoted solely to military exercises; for which purpose the cadets leave the barracks and encamp in tents on the plain, under the regular police and discipline of an army in time of war. For this purpose, the cadets are organized into a battalion of four companies, under the command of the chief instructor of tactics and his assistants. The corporals are chosen from the third class, or cadets who have been present one year; the sergeants from the second class, who have been present two years; and the commissioned officers, or captains, lieutenants, &c., from the first class, or highest at the academy. All the other cadets fill the ranks as private soldiers, although necessarily acquainted with the duties of officers. In rotation they have to perform the duty of sentinels, at all times, day or night, storm or sunshine. The drills, or military exercises, consist in the use of the musket, rifle, cannon, mortar, howitzer, sabre and rapier, or broad-sword; fencing, firing at targets, &c., evolutions of troops, including those of the line; and the preparation and preserving of all kinds of ammunition and materials of war. The personal appearance of the corps of cadets cannot fail to attract admiration, especially when on parade. The uniform is a gray coatee, with gray pantaloons in winter, and white linen in summer. The dress cap is of black leather, bell-crowned, with plate, chain. &c.

The cadets return from camp duty to the barracks on the last of August, and the remaining part of the year is devoted to study. The ceremony of striking the tents and marching out of camp is so imposing as to be well worth an effort of the visitor to be present on that occasion. On the previous evening the camp is brilliantly illuminated; and, enlivened with music, dancing, and crowds of strangers, it presents quite an interesting and pleasant scene.

Near the north-east extremity of the ground, at the projecting point formed by an abrupt bend of the river, is a monument of white marble, consisting of a base and a short column, on the former of which is the simple inscription, "KOSCIUSKO—erected by the corps of Cadets, 1828." It cost $5,000. Another monument, on a gentle hillock at the north-west extremity of the plain, was erected to the memory of Col. E. D. Wood, a pupil of the institution, who fell leading a charge at the sortie of Fort Erie, on the 17th of September, 1814. On the river bank, near the parade-ground, upon a lower level, is Kosciusko's garden, whither he was accustomed to retire for study or reflection. Near this spot is a clear boiling spring, enclosed in a marble reservoir, with durable and ornamental steps leading down from the plain above, with seats upon a projection of the rock for visitors.

There is a splendid hotel on the brow of the hill, which is approached by a good carriage-road from the landing; or the pedestrian may reach it by the foot-path, much shorter and more difficult. The view from the observatory of this hotel is very fine, especially on the north, looking towards Newburg. The dim outlines of the Shawangunk Mountains may be distinctly seen in fine weather.

Near the steamboat landing is the rock from which a chain was stretched across the river during the Revolution. It was broken by the British vessels in their passage up the river, after the capture of Forts Clinton and Montgomery; and some links of it, near three feet long, made of bar iron two inches square, are still preserved as a revolutionary relic.

At this time West Point was not fortified. In April, 1778, General Gates proceeded up the river, accompanied by several eminent engineers, to erect such impediments as should effectually prevent the ascent, above the Highlands, of the enemy's ships. The new fortifications were zealously prosecuted, under the direction of Kosciusko, the Polish chieftain, at whose suggestion the works at West Point were commenced. The principal work was Fort Clinton, which stood upon the plateau on which the Military Academy has since been built. This fort, in turn, was protected by several redoubts higher up the cliff, the most important of which was Fort Putnam, 598 feet above the river. These covered each other, and the main garrison and ammunition stores were under bomb-proof casements. The works were partly hewn in rock, and impregnable. Fort Putnam and most of the others are now in ruins; but the important situation suggests how easily and effectually the post could be again armed, should occasion require. The ascent to the site of Fort Putnam is tedious and difficult; but the visitor will be repaid tenfold for his labor by the view from that elevation.

And it may be proper here to state, that the traveller who merely passes up through this region,—unquestionably the grandest and most picturesque upon this continent,—either by steamboat or by railroad, without stopping, knows nothing at all about the beauty of the Highlands of Hudson River. He who possesses a vivid fancy might imagine what a wonderful view would open, before him from the side or summit of Anthony's Nose, or old Cro' Nest, or Bull Hill; but it would be naught else but imagination. He must see for himself, from reality, or he loses a picture which be would never forget. He must ramble over this almost barren region, and do it at his leisure, or he will have no adequate conception of the enchanting prospect which will at every step meet his eyes.

COLD SPRING, two miles above Garrison's, fifty-four miles from New York, is a romantic place, and owes much of its prosperity to the iron foundery established here by Gouverneur Kemble. The works are situated about a mile west of the village, upon a small stream which tumbles rapidly down the mountains, affording considerable water power. It is the largest, establishment of its kind in the country, employing nearly five hundred hands constantly.

Undercliff, the country-seat of General George P. Morris, is near the village of Cold Spring. It is situated upon an elevated plateau, rising from the eastern shore of the river; and the selection of such a commanding and beautiful position at once decides the taste of its, intellectual proprietor. In the rear of the villa, cultivation has placed her fruit and forest-trees with a profuse hand, and fertilized the fields with a variety of vegetable products. The extent of the grounds is abruptly terminated by the base of a rocky mountain, that rises nearly perpendicular to its summit, and affords in winter a secure shelter from the bleak blasts of the north, in front, a circle of greensward is refreshed by a fountain in the centre, gushing from a Grecian vase, and encircled by ornamental shrubbery; from thence a gravelled walk winds down a gentle declivity to a second plateau, and again descends to the entrance of the carriage road, which leads upwards along the left slope, of the hill, through a noble forest, the growth of many years, until, suddenly emerging from its sombre shades, the visitor beholds the mansion before him in the bright blaze of day. A few openings in the wood afford an opportunity to catch, a glimpse of the water, sparkling with reflected light; and the immediate transition from shadow to sunshine is peculiarly pleasing.

Immediately opposite Cold Spring, rising almost perpendicular from the water, stands the old Cro' Nest, one of the most beautiful elevations in America. This mountain is the scene of Rodman Drake's exquisite poem of "The Culprit Fay;" and the description of the place is so natural and striking, that it will be quite in place here.

" 'T is the middle watch of a summer's night,—
The earth is dark, but the heavens are bright;
Nought is seen in the vault on high,
But the moon, and the stars, and the cloudless sky,
And the flood which rolls its milky hue,
A river of light on the welkin blue.
The moon looks down on old Crow Nest,
She mellows the shade on his shaggy breast,
And seems his huge gray form to throw
In, a silver cone on the wave below;
His sides are broken by spots of shade,
By the walnut boughs and the cedar made,
And through their clustering branches dark
Glimmers and dies the firefly's spark,—
Like starry twinkles that momently break
Through the rifts of the gathering tempest rack.

The stars are on the moving stream,
And fling, as its ripples gently flow,
A burnished length of wavy beam,
In an eel-like, spiral line below.
The winds are whist, and the owl is still,
The bat in the shelvy rock is hid;
And nought is heard on the lonely hill
But the cricket's chirp and the answer shrill
Of the gauze-winged katy-did;
And the plaints of the mourning whip-poor-will,
Who mourns unseen, and ceaseless sings
Ever a note of wail and woe,
Till morning spreads her rosy wings,
And earth and skies in her glances glow.

'Tis the hour of fairy ban and spell:
The wood-tick has kept the minutes well;
She has counted them all with click and stroke,
Deep in the heart of the mountain-oak;
And he has awakened the sentry-elve,
Who sleeps with him in the haunted tree,
To bid him ring the hour of twelve,
And call the fays to their revelry."

Above Cold Spring we have Bull Hill, 1586 feet, Breakneck Hill, upon the extremity of which so many steamboat passengers have tried to imagine the profile of a human face, or "Turk's face," 1187 feet; and Beacon Hill, the last of the range of Highlands upon the eastern shore, 1685 feet high. On the western shore, Butter Hill, 1529 feet, closes the range. This latter elevation forms a more impressive sight to the traveller than the others, from its immense masses of towering rock, its sudden rise from the river, and its great height. The village of Cornwall lies directly at the foot of Butter Hill, on the north.

FISHKILL, sixty miles from New York, is a busy, thriving town. The station is at Fishkill Landing, the centre of the town being some miles back from the river. The manufacturing village of Matteawan lies about a mile from the Landing near the north of Matteawan Creek, which supplies its water-power. The situation of this village is romantic in the highest degree. The stream falls rapidly, affording constant power for several factories of the largest class. The village is completely hemmed in by steep and rugged hills, rendering the scene picturesque and pleasing.

A railroad from Providence, R. I., to Fishkill, by way of Hartford, Conn., has been projected, and partly built. As the Newburg branch of the Erie Railroad has its terminus directly opposite, this would make a direct line to Buffalo and the great West.

The stranger, who wishes to carry away a distinct impression of this section of the Hudson, will not fail to visit Beacon Hill, just back of the village, the last summit of the Highlands of any considerable altitude as the range dips off to the north-east; and, it may be added, the highest one upon the river. An hour's ride, partly through the fine arable lands of Dutchess, and partly through the thick overhanging foliage of the mountain road, brings you to the summit. A few occasional glimpses through the trees, with now and then a broader opening at some curve of the road, beautiful though they be, give you but a slight foretaste of the magnificent prospect reserved for you upon the summit. This summit—a rounded peak of primitive granite, bare, or only tufted here and there with a few groups of small trees, with no habitations or traces of cultivation upon it—affords a view at once one of the grandest and most beautiful that can be found in America. Rising, as it does, rather abruptly from the plain, on the east bank, the spectator, gazing from its height upon the scene before him to the west and north, is placed, as it were, upon the boundary of a vast picture, which is continued by the Highlands in the south, the summits of Shawangunk range in the west, and the Catskill in the north, quite round the entire view. Within this circle the materials of the beautiful and the picturesque are arranged with all the grandeur, the softness, the beauty of detail, that the most fastidious connoisseur of fine scenery can desire. Before you lies the Hudson, swollen into a lovely expanse or bay, meandering to the north until it is lost in the distance, sprinkled through its whole course with the white sails of the numberless vessels that float upon its surface. Sloping away from its banks rise the fine cultivated fields; the clustered villages, the elegant villas, and the neat cottages gleaming through the tufts of foliage that surrounds them. As the distance intervenes, these all gradually mingle into one indistinct and undulating carpet of green, colored with various tints by the ripe and ripening grain. It was early in the autumn when we climbed the summit of this mountain on foot. The foliage had been changed to many gaudy hues by the frost, and to us, used as we are to ascend every eminence in our wanderings, where the beauties of nature can be seen to advantage, this view appeared to surpass all others, not in grandeur, but in beauty.

Beacon Hill was a station for the display of bonfires during the Revolution, which, from its elevated position, denoted the movements of the enemy to the inhabitants for a great distance through the surrounding counties.

Newburg, directly opposite Fishkill, and with which place there is a constant communication by means of a ferry, is one of the largest and most important towns upon Hudson River. The village stands upon a pretty acclivity, rising with a sharp ascent from the river. The view from the steamboats, as they approach the landing, is surpassingly beautiful.

Newburg was originally settled by emigrant Palatines, in 1798. The present population is about ten thousand. A large amount of business is transacted here by the surrounding towns; the main street, upon market days, presenting the thronged and busy appearance of a city, being crowded with teams, and lively with the bustle of traders. Two or three steamboats ply constantly with New York, during the summer months, to do the freighting and other local business of the place. A large part of this must unquestionably be hereafter done by the Hudson River Railroad.

A branch of the Erie Railroad, leaving the main line at Chester, twenty miles distant, has its termination at Newburg. This branch furnishes a direct line to Buffalo and the great West.

From the top of the hill, in the rear of the village, there is a very fine and extensive prospect. The villages of Fishkill and Matteawan, upon the east bank of the river, especially, make a very graceful appearance.

A short distance south of Newburg village still stands the old stone mansion in which General Washington held his head-quarters when the army was encamped here during the Revolution. It is visited by many as a spot rendered sacred by its former occupant, and by the cause in which he fought. Americans will not soon forget the noble answer of Gen. Washington, written from this place, to Lewis Nicola, who had, as the head of a party of officers, suggested to him the propriety of establishing a monarchy and making him a king. His reply, considering that at that time the war was literally at an end, and the independence of his country established, is worthy of record. It ran as follows:—

"Newburg, 22d May, 1782.

"Sir,—With a mixture of great surprise and astonishment, I have read with attention the sentiments you have submitted to my perusal. Be assured, sir, no occurrence in the course of the war has given me more painful sensations than your information of there being such ideas existing in the army apt you have expressed, and which I must view with abhorrence and reprehend with severity. For the present, the communication of them will rest in my own bosom, unless some further agitation of the matter shall make a disclosure necessary.

"I am much at a loss to conceive what part of my conduct could have given encouragement to such an address, which to me seems big with the greatest mischiefs that can befall my country. If I am not deceived in the knowledge of myself, you could not have found a person to whom your schemes are more disagreeable. At the same tinge, to do justice to my own feelings, I must add, that no man possesses a more sincere wish to see ample justice done to the army than I do; and as far as my power and influence in a constitutional way extend, they shall be employed to the utmost of my abilities to effect it, should there be occasion. Let me conjure you then, if you have any regard for your country, concern for yourself or posterity, or respect for me, to banish these thoughts from your mind, and never communicate, as from yourself or any one else, a sentiment of the like nature.

"I am, sir, &c.,
"GEORGE WASHINGTON."

 

LOW POINT, sixty-four miles, is in the north part of the town of Fishkill. It is a small settlement.

NEW HAMBURG, sixty-seven miles, is situated directly at the mouth of Wappinger's Creek, a considerable stream, which has its rise in the northeast part of Dutchess county, near the Connecticut line. The village is situated upon both sides of the river's mouth, across which there is a good bridge. A ferry connects it with Hampton, across the river.

Hampton, opposite New Hamburg, is a small settlement, in the south part of the town of Marlborough. Two miles above is Milton, another village in the same town.

MILTON FERRY, or Barnegat, sixty-nine miles and a half from New York, in the township of Poughkeepsie, is noted for its great number of lime-kilns. A ferry connects it with Milton, on the west bank of the river.

POUGHKEEPSIE, seventy-four miles from New York, is the "half-way" station upon the Hudson River Railroad. It will justly rank with the first villages in New York or New England. Occupying an elevated position, it is seen conspicuously, both in ascending and descending the stream. The river bank is of considerable height, and projects into the stream, forming two promontories. The southern one, termed "Call Rock," so covers the landing that it is not seen from steamboats until they are quite near the wharf.

Poughkeepsie was settled by the Dutch in 1735. It is now the court town of Dutchess county, next to the richest in the state. The village is very compactly built, spacious, and well paved, the population about twelve thousand. Like Newburg, this place is a general trading depot for the large number of flourishing country villages in the immediate neighborhood. On a busy day, the throng upon Main-street would do no discredit to the principal thoroughfares of a large city.

The Collegiate School is pleasantly situated upon College Hill, half a mile north-east of the village. Its location is one of unrivalled beauty, commanding an extensive prospect of the river and surrounding country. Indeed, the stranger can hardly ascend any moderately elevated ground in the neighborhood,—and we may say the same of the entire distance upon the banks of the Hudson,—without witnessing a continual succession of fine landscape views. And herein consists the charm of Hudson River scenery.

A small creek, called "Fall Creek," after meandering over the plain back of the village, falls into the Hudson just above the railroad station, by a succession of rapids which furnish considerable water-power. This was one of the most difficult sections upon the road to build. Several ferry-boats ply between Poughkeepsie and the villages upon the opposite shore.

New Paltz, a small village directly opposite Poughkeepsie, is the landing for passengers for the town of the same name, lying some eight miles west. It has a ferry to Poughkeepsie.

HYDE PARK, eighty-one miles. Both the village and the landing are directly upon the river. There are several fine country-seats upon the banks north and south of the village. Near this place the Crumelbow Creek falls into the Hudson, and affords a considerable waterpower.

Pelham, nearly opposite Hyde Park, is connected with it by a ferry. It is partly in the town of Esopus.

STAATSBURG, eighty-four miles and a half. This is a small village. The station here is half a mile from the river, one of the greatest detours upon the line.

RHINEBECK, ninety miles, is a place of considerable size, situated upon a fertile plain, two miles from the river. The station is at Rhinebeck Landing, where the steamboats land and receive passengers.

Rondout, directly opposite, upon the mouth of Rondout Creek, or Wallkill River, is connected with it by a ferry. Two miles north-west is Kingston, a large and thriving village. Two miles above Rondout, upon the Wallkill, is the village of Eddyville, the termination of the Delaware and Hudson Canal. These villages are all in the town of Kingston, and are rapidly increasing in population and wealth.

The Delaware and Hudson Canal, beginning at Eddyville, ascends the valley of the Wallkill, and passes into the valley of the Nevisink River, which it follows to its junction with the Delaware, at Port Jervis. It then follows up this river to its junction with the Lackawaxen; thence up the latter river to its termination at Honesdale, Penn. Its length is 109 miles, with 950 feet of rise and fall, by 106 locks. It cost two millions two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. It is used chiefly for the transportation of coal. By using the railroad extending from Honesdale to the Wyoming coal-field, at Carbondale, sixteen miles, it affords a cheap and direct entrance for coal into the heart of the state.

After the taking of Forts Montgomery and Clinton, in 1777, [see Peekskill,] part of the British fleet ascended the Hudson to this place, where the commander, General Vaughan, caused the village to be burned, and great quantities of provisions and stores to be destroyed. Here his further progress was stayed by the appalling news of the surrender of Burgoyne's whole army, and he made a hasty retreat with his vessels to New York. Soon after, the Americans fortified West Point, and the towns above that fort were never afterwards troubled by the incursions of the enemy.

BARRYTOWN, or Lower Red Hook Landing, ninety-five miles and a half, and TIVOLI, or Upper Red Hook Landing, one hundred miles, are both within the town of Red Hook, some miles from the central village. Opposite Tivoli, upon the mouth of Esopus Creek, is the flourishing town of Saugerties. This is a place of quite recent and rapid growth. The creek has a fall of 47 feet, which furnishes a large amount of water-power. Several manufacturing establishments have been erected, besides which there are the Ulster iron works, white lead works, and an age manufactory. A handsome bridge has been thrown across the creek, uniting the two portions of the village, standing upon both sides of the stream. There is constant communication with Tivoli by means of a ferry.

GERMANTOWN, or East Camp, one hundred and four miles. This town was settled by the Palatines, in 1710.

OAK HILL, one hundred and eleven miles. This station is in the southern extremity of Greenport. Passengers for Catskill leave the cars at this station crossing the Hudson by a ferry-boat which plies between the two places.

Catskill, or Kaatskill, as the Dutch still call it, the seat of justice of Greene county, stands upon the banks of Catskill Creek, near its confluence with the Hudson. The mouth of the creek makes a fine harbor for sloops and boats; and a long, narrow dyke, walled with stone, connects the village with a small island near the middle of the river, affording a commodious landing for the steamboats. It is essentially a very Dutch appearing village; and here, as well as at many other Dutch towns upon the Hudson, the old inhabitants still retain their mother tongue, and the perpetual jabber, so easy to recognize, is frequently heard. It should be added that, besides the language, most of the descendants of tile Dutch retain also the frugality of their forefathers.

About a mile from the village is a limestone cave, said to have an extent of nearly half a mile.

From Catskill, stages run several times each day to the CATSKILL MOUNTAIN HOUSE, a distance of twelve miles. The time required for the ascent is four hours; half the time being sufficient to return. The journey up the mountain is safe, yet rather tedious and difficult. For a greater part of the way the road is very uneven, and the last portion of it a very steep ascent in a zig-zag direction. When once there, the traveller will be amply rewarded for his exertions.

"The Mountain House is a large, irregular building, but spacious, and comfortably furnished. It stands upon the table rock, a few yards from the sheer verge—an elevation of eighteen hundred feet above the apparent plain, and twenty-seven hundred above the level of the river. There is a narrow strip of green just in front, under the long and capacious piazza, beautifully ornamented with young fir and cedar trees, and a variety of shrubs. Then comes a strip of bare rock, overlooking the awful abyss.

"A sea of woods is at your feet, but so far below, that the large hills seem but slight heavings of the green billowy mass; before you lies a vast landscape, stretching far as the eye can take in the picture; a map of earth, with its fields, its meadows, its forests, and its villages and cities scattered in the distance; its streams and lakes diminished, like the dwellings of man, into insignificance. Through the midst winds the sweeping river, the mighty Hudson, lessened to a rill; or it might be likened to a riband laid over a ground of green. Still further on are the swelling uplands, and then far along the horizon mountains piled upon mountains, melting into the distance, rising range above range, till the last and loftiest fades into the blue of the sky. Over this magnificent panorama the morning sun pours a misty radiance, half veiling, yet adding to its beauty, and tinting the Hudson with silver. Here and there the bright river is dotted with sails, and sometimes a steamboat can be seen winding its apparently slow way along. The clouds, that fling their fitful shadows over the country below, are on a level with you—even the birds seldom soar higher than your feet; the resting—place of the songster, whose flight can no longer be traced from the plain, is still far below you."

Two miles from the hotel are the Kaaterskill Falls, upon a stream flowing from two lakes, each about a mile and a half in circumference, and about half a mile in the rear of the house. After a west course of about a mile and a half, the waters fall perpendicularly 175 feet, and, pausing momentarily upon a ledge of rock, precipitate themselves 85 feet more, making the whole descent of the cataract 260 feet. Below this point the current is lost in a dark ravine, through which it seeks the valley of the Catskill. The water-fall, with all its boldness, forms, however, but one of the interesting features of the scene. From the edge of the falls is beheld a dreary chasm, whose steep sides, covered with dark ivy and thick summer foliage, seem like a green bed formed for the waters. Making a circuit from this spot, and descending about midway of the first falls, the spectator enters an immense natural amphitheatre behind the cascade, roofed by a magnificent ceiling of rock, having in front the falling torrent, and beyond it the wild mountain dell, over which the clear blue sky is visible. The falls on the west branch of the Kaaterskill have a perpendicular descent of more than 120 feet, and the stream descends in rapids and cascades 400 feet in 100 rods. The Kaaterskill has a devious and very rapid course, of about eight miles, to the Catskill, near the town. The falls are best seen from below, and the view from the Pine Orchard is better between three o'clock and sunset than in the middle of the day.

HUDSON, one hundred and fifteen miles, a city, port of entry, and capital of Columbia county, stands at the head of ship navigation. The main portion of the town is built upon a bold promontory, sixty feet above the river, commanding a fine view of the surrounding country.

The city is regularly laid out, the streets crossing each other at right angles, with the exception of two near the river, which follow the direction of the shore. The main street extends south-east more than a mile, to Prospect Hill, which is 200 feet high.

Near the station and steamboat landing are several warehouses, which, with the steamboats and shipping at the wharves, afford ample evidence of the enterprise of the inhabitants. The Hudson and Berkshire Railroad, thirty-three miles in length, extending, to West Stockbridge, Mass., where it unites with the Western and Housatonic roads, terminates at Hudson. Distance to Boston by this route, 193 miles. Passengers for Lebanon Springs take this route as far as Edwards' Depot, which is but eight miles from the Springs. From thence they are taken by stage.

Athens, opposite Hudson, is connected with it by a ferry. The village is built along the shore about a mile and a half. The ground rises gradually from the shore, affording some fine sites for country-seats. The shore is bold and rocky, and the channel close to the village.

STOCKPORT, one hundred and twenty miles, lies at the mouth of Kinderhook Creek, a stream of considerable size, having its rise in Hancock, Mass. Within three miles of the Hudson, this stream falls 160 feet, affording, to a limited extent, water-power for several mills. At Columbiaville, at the mouth of Claverack Creek, which falls into the Kinderhook near Stockport, there are several large manufactories, and quite a village.

STUYVESANT, one hundred and twenty-five miles, is a flourishing village, that sends large quantities of produce annually to the New York market. Kinderhook passengers land at this place. Kinderhook is the birth-place of Ex-President Martin Van Buren, who now resides about two miles south of the village. It is six miles from the river.

Coxsackie, one mile south of Stuyvesant, on the opposite shore, is a place of business. Nutter Hook, directly opposite, is a bustling little place, and has some shipping.

New Baltimore, four miles above Coxsackie, is a thriving village, a landing for the river boats. Above this place the river is dotted with a large number of small islands, which, when covered with foliage, present a fine prospect.

SCHODACK, one hundred and thirty-one miles, and Coeyman's directly opposite, are small villages.

CASTLETON, one hundred and thirty-five miles. There is a bar forming in the river, near this place, that threatens considerable injury to navigation. Indeed, the river, at several points above, at low water, is difficult to ascend, in consequence of sand-bars which are continually changing. A large amount of money has been expended in deepening the channel, but it soon fills up again.

GREENBUSH, one hundred and forty-three miles, is the northern terminus of the Hudson River Railroad. The Troy and Greenbush road, six miles in length, is run by the former company under a lease. Passengers can cross the ferry here to Aibany, or continue on to Troy, trains being run every hour, and immediately upon the arrival of the New York trains. The western terminus of the Albany and Boston is also at Greenbush. Extensive depot accommodations have already been erected here, which will soon be increased, and the vast business in freighting done by the various roads will tend to render this village a very important point.

Albany city, the capital of New York, is directly opposite Greenbush, with which there is constant communication by means of a ferry. The city is built upon a flat alluvial tract of land, along the margin of the river, from 15 to 100 rods wide, back of which it rises abruptly, attaining, within the space of half a mile, an elevation of 153 feet, and in one mile 220 feet above the river. Beyond this the surface is level. The older portions of the city are laid out very irregularly, and some of them are very narrow. The streets recently built are more spacious and regular. State street is from 150 to 170 feet wide, and has a steep ascent to the top of the hill. Many of the private, and more especially the public, buildings of Albany have fine situations, and overlook an extensive and a beautiful prospect.

The Capitol, which stands at the head of State street, on the hill, is a large stone edifice, 115 feet long, and 90 feet broad, fronting east, on a fine square. It contains spacious and richly furnished apartments for the accommodation of the Senate and Assembly, and various rooms for other public purposes. From the observatory at the top, which is accessible to visitors, a fine view of the city and surrounding country is obtained. The City Hall is on the east side of the same square, facing west, and is constructed with marble, with a gilded dome. The Albany Academy, built of freestone, adjoining the square, has a park in front of it; and both squares are surrounded by an iron fence, and constitute a large and beautiful public ground, laid out with walks, and ornamented with trees. The Exchange, at the foot of State street, is a commodious building of granite, constructed a few years since. The Post-office is in this building. It has also an extensive reading-room, supplied with papers and periodicals, both American and foreign, to which strangers are admitted without charge.

The situation of Albany for trade and commerce can hardly be surpassed. Besides its natural advantages, railroads now centre here from each of the four cardinal points; and the Erie and Champlain Canals add immensely to her resources.

TROY city is situated on the east bank of the river, at the head of tide water. It is a port of entry, and capital of Rensselaer county. It is celebrated for its beauty and healthiness; most of its streets are wide, laid out at right angles, and planted with trees. Mount Ida, directly in the rear of the south part of the city, and Mount Olympus in the north, are distinguished eminences, affording fine views of the country. The city is abundantly supplied with water, by iron pipes, from a basin in Lansingburg, 75 feet above the city. It has numerous hotels, some of which are admirably kept.

WEST TROY, a suburb of Troy, on the opposite side of the river, is a manufacturing village, rapidly increasing in business and importance. A fine macadamized road extends from this place to Albany, a distance of six miles. Coaches run hourly over the road.

Like her rival, Troy has her morning and evening line of steamboats to New York, which are in no degree behind the Albany boats in comfort, speed or elegance. The fare to New York is usually the same from both cities.

Saratoga Springs are easily reached from either Albany or Troy. From Albany, by the Albany and Schenectady Railroad, sixteen miles; thence, by the Saratoga and Schenectady Railroad, twenty-one miles,—total, thirty-seven miles. From Troy there are two routes, viz., one by way of the Troy and Schenectady Railroad, twenty miles, and thence as by Albany route,—forty-one miles; the other by the Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad, terminating at Balston Spa, twenty-four miles, thence by Saratoga Railroad, seven miles, total, thirty-one miles.

The traveller to Buffalo has the choice of two routes. The first is by a continuous line of railroads, viz., the Mohawk and Hudson Railroad, sixteen miles in length; the Utica and Schenectady Railroad, seventy-seven; the Syracuse and Utica, fifty-four; the Auburn and Syracuse, twenty-six; the Auburn and Rochester, seventy-seven; the Tonawanda, extending from Rochester to Attica, forty-two miles, and the Attica and Buffalo Railroad, to Buffalo, thirty-three miles; whole distance, three hundred and twenty-five miles. There are usually three through trains daily, one starting in the morning, and another in the evening, after the arrival of the eastern cars and the morning steamboats from New York. This is the shortest and decidedly the most expeditious and agreeable route.


New York | Early Railroad | Contents Page

 

This page originally appeared on Thomas Ehrenreich's Railroad Extra Website

 


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