part of Cape Diamond, 350 feet above the river, and is very strong;
and the whole works have, of late years, been much improved.
Quebec, on the north, north-east, and south sides, is so strongly
fortified by the nature of the ground, that little has been left for the
engineer to do. By the latest accounts it appears, that what was
necessary, has been done ; and as the great river St. Lawrence, and
the liver St. Charles, surround the fortifications in these directions,
and in some places come very near the bottom of the rocks, no ene-
my, if a common degree of vigilance be observed, can hope to suc-
ceed in that quarter. The least defensible part of Quebec is towards
the south-west, where the line of fortifications extends from one side
of the peninsula to the other, enclosing the city, and the highest part
of cape Diamond. There a cavalier battery has lately been erected,
which commands the ground to a considerable distance from the
walls : and Martello towers have been projected, to sweep the plains
of Abraham, and endeavour to prevent the approach of a military
force from that quarter. There is no question, however, but an in-
vadmg force, if strong enough, could approach so as to make a
breach, and a breach once made, a daring general would find no diC-
ficulty in entering the city.
* See the map of Qjieijec and adjacent country, just published.
. The heights above Point des Peres, on the opposite side of the
river, command tlie town, and an army of expert engineers could,
from that quarter, destroy it. Quebec is a position of great natural
strengtli, but its strong side, as we have seen, is towards the water,
while its weak side is towards the United States. Britain having a
superior power by sea, could unquestionably defend it against any
power from that quarter, but as an army of sufficient strength from
the United States could have access to it on the weak side, it is be-
lieved that it would not stand before thena a single campaign.
The lower town occupies the ground at the basis of the promon-
tory, which has been gained from the cliffs, on one side, by mining,
and from the river, on the other, by the construction of wharves ; and
this is the principal place of commerce.
In consequence of the peculiarity of situation, the streets are ge-
nerally irregular and uneven; many of them very narrow, and but
few of them are paved. The houses are generally built of stone,
and are very rough and unsightly, the interior being plain and void
of taste. The public buildings are numerous, but the greater part
of them are equally void of taste and elegance with the private build-
ings; though much labour and expense must have been bestow-ed on
the construction. The principal public buildings are the Catholic
cathedral church, the Jesuit's college, the seminary, the protestant
metropolitan church, the court-house, the hotel Dieu, convent of Ur-
sulines, library, general hospital, &c. The monastery, once a build-
ing of considerable importance, was destroyed by fire, in 1796; and
the order became extinct.
The population appears, by the most recent accounts, to be about
15,000. About two-thirds of the inhabitants are of French extrac-
tion, who are gay and lively; and the inhabitants generally, are re-
presented as being polite and hospitable.
Before the present war Quebec was a great emporium of com-
merce, and the city was remarkably well supplied with provisions.
The country round Quebec is pretty fertile ; but the stoppage of the
supplies from the United States must have a considerable effect,
both on the trade and markets.
The river, opposite the city, is from 900 to 1000 yards broad, and
its greatest depth, at high watcr» ij; thirty fathoms, the anchorage be-
in^ every where safe and good. The flow of the tide is very strong,
rising usually to eighteen feet, and at spring-tides to twenty -four.
The river, in winter, is frequently frozen over, when the scene
becomes very amusing and interesting, affording the country peo-
ple, on the south side, an opportunity of bringing their produce
to market over the ice; and presenting a field for the exercise of
the citizens, who are frequently seen driving their horses and car-
riages on the frozen surface of the river. Below the town the ri-
ver widens out into a spacious basin, capable of containing a vast
quantity of shipping. Immediately below this it is divided by the
island of Orleans into two streams, from whence it widens out to 10
or 1 2 miles, continuing to encrease till it reaches the gulph of St.
Lawrence, where it is 170 miles wide, and discharges one of the
largest collections of fresh water on the surface of the globe. It is
navigable with ships of the largest burden to Quebec, and with mer-
chant vessels to Montreal. The tide flows to Three Rivers, about
70 miles above Quebec.
The view round Quebec is beautiful. To the west are the heights
and plains of Abraham, rendered memorable by the battle between
the French and English, in 1759. To the north is the river St.
Charles, of which the windings present a picturesque appearance.
To the south and south-east is the river and high-lands above Point
des Peres. To the east is the basin. Point Levi, Isle of Orleans, with
the north and south channels. To the north-east are the mountains
of Beauport, stretching beyond the river Montmorenci, remarkable
as exhibiting one of the most wonderful falls in the world, a de-
scription of which shall close this account.
The river Montmorenci rises in the north-east, and passes through
d. course of considerable extent. On its approach to the St. Law-
rence the channel is bounded by precipitous rocks, its breadth be-
comes much contracted, and the rapidity of the current is aug-
mented. On the east side the bank is about 50 feet high, and
nearly perpendicular ; the opposite bank being of a shigular shape,
resembling the ruins of a lofty wall. The river descends between
them with a foaming current, broken by huge masses of stone in its
bottom. It continues to augment in velocity, and forms several cas-
cades before reaching the great fall ; when it is precipitated, in an al-
most perpendicular direction, over a rock 246 feet high, forming one
of the most sublime views in the world.
The breadth of the fall is 100 feet. The basin is bounded by-
steep cliffs, composed of grey limestone. An advantageous view of
the fall may be obtained from the beach of the St. Lawrence, when
it is low water.
The River St. Lawrence^ immediately below Quebec, widens out
into a spacious bay called the basin, below which, about six miles
from the city, it is divided into two streams, each about three miles
broad, by the island of Orleans, and at the lower end of the island,
distant from Quebec about 30 miles, it is 16 miles broad. It con-
tinues to widen gradually as it advances, receiving in its progress
several streams, but none very considerable befere it reaches Ta-
dousac, 160 miles from Quebec, when it receives the Seguenai, a
large river, from the west. The St. Lawrence is here about 30
miles broad, and continuing gradually to widen, till it reaches the
Bald Mounts on the north, and the paps of Matane south, about 300
miles from Quebec ; here it is about 40 miles wide. It then sud-
denly stretc es out to the breadth of 80 miles, and, being divided by
the Island of Anticosti^ it falls into the gulph of St. Lawrence by
two channels, each about 45 miles wide, the island of Anticosti in
the middle being 30 miles wide, and 1 30 miles long.
The spacious guljih of Si. Lawrence extends from the mouth of
the river to the sea, between Cape Ray and North Cape, 250 miles,
and from the coast of Nova Scotia to the coast of Labrador, 320
miles. The straits of Belleisle proceed from the north-east. To
the south and west are many important bays (see the map), and it
contains, besides Anticosti, many important islands, the chief of
which is St. John's, and the Magdalen islands.
Having now given a description of the most important places
along the lakes and the St. Lawrence, from west to east, we shall
©lose the subject by a
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE BRITISH
Mr. Pinkerton remarks, that those parts of North America which
still belong to Britain are extensive and of considerable importance.
though so thinly peopled, and in such a disadvantageous climate,
that they sink into insignificance when compared with the great and
flourishing territories of the United States."
The British lay claim to a vast extent of territory, comprehending
from the boundary of the United States to the north pole, and across,
the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean ; but as there
are no settlements except those bordering on the St. Lawrence, it is
unnecessary to take a view of any other than those near that river,
comprehending Newfoundland, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, New
Brunswick, Lower and Upper Canada. The most important of
these are the Canadas, and of these Upper Canada is an object of
the greatest importance to the United States, on account of the great
extent to which it stretches along the American territory.
Is an island situated on the east side of the gulph of St. Lawrence,
between north latitude 46° 50' and 51« 50'; and between 52° 20'
and 59° 12' west longitude. It is 347 miles long, and about 300
broad ; bat both length and breadth are very unequal. It is subject
to dreadful storms, and is almost constantly enveloped in fogs,
clouds, and darkness; and having a barren soil, the inhabitants are
few, and chiefly devoted to the fisheries. The chief towns are St.
John's, Placentia, and Bonavista.
Is situated between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland ; and is divided
from the former by a very narrow strait.' It is 100 miles long, by
about 30 broad. Some valuable beds of coal have been found in it,
and the island is well watered with small streams ; but the soil is
represented is a mei^ moss, and unfit for cultivation. The climate
is cold and foggy. The settlements are very thin, and the inhabitants
few in number. The principal towns arc Sidney and Louisburgh.
The trade consists almost wholly of furs and the produce of the
The island of St. John is 60 miles long and 30 broad, and contains
some good soil upon the banks of the streams. The chief town is
Is a large peninsula, extending from New Brunswick to tlie
Atlantic, and is about 250 miles long by 110 broad. The country
along the coast is rugged and stony, but there are some good spots
of land in the interior; and there are valuable mines of coal, lime-
stone, plaster of Paris, and iron ore. The climate is pretty similar
to New Brunswick, but being farther south, the winters are more
mild, though the vicinity to the banks of Newfoundland causes it to
be much exposed to fogs. The province is settled by French, New
Englanders, and British people; but except the sea-board, the
settlements are very thin, the whole population probably not exceed-
Halifax is the capital, and is advantageously situated on the
west side of a spacious and commodious liarbour, having an easy
and safe entrance. It is built on a declivity of a hill, the summit of
which is about 320 feet above the level of the sea, and it is laid out
into squares, the streets crossing one another at right angles. U
contains about 1000 houses and 8000 inhabitants. The country
round the town is quite sterile, the land being rocky, and the soil
generally unlit for cultivation ; but its convenience as a port causes
it to be pretty well supplied with provisions. It is occupied by the
the British as a naval station, which renders it an object of great
importance to the United States.
LiverfiooL is built on Liverpool bay, and is a commercial settle-
ment of very considerable importance, containing about 200 houses and
1000 inhabitants, the greater part of whom are from the United States.
The other principal towns are Annapolis, which has of late carried
on a great trade with Eastport in the district of Maine, Onslow,
Truro, Windsor, Yarmouth, and Shelburn ; which last was remarka-
ble as being the great resort of the tories during the revolutionary
war. In 1783 it contained 600 families ; but it has of late declined,
the greater part of its inhabitants having returned to the United States.
Extends from Nova Scotia to Lower Canada, and from the gulpli
of St. Lawrence to the district of Elaine, being about 200 miles lonc^-
Hiid 120 broad. This province being united with Nova Scotia, Cap(^
Breton, and St. John's, in one military command, subject to the
governor of Lower Canada, it excites no great attention cither in a
civil or military point of view. The soil and climate are somewhat
assimilated to those of the district of Maine contiguous to it. There
are a number of very cntensive rivers in the interior, of which St.
John's is the chief; and the soil is represented as being fertile,
producing grain and grass in plenty. The inhabitants probably
amount to about 45,000. St. Andrew's and St. John's are the only
towns worth notice.
Is situated upon both sides of the St. Lawrence river, and extends
from N. lat. 45° to 52'; and from W. long. 61° to 74° 30'. Its
greatest length from east to west is about 870 miles, and breadth
from north to south about 486. Seventy miles of this pro-
vince border on New York, 90 on Vermont, 33 on New Hamp-
ahire, and 245 on the District of Maine.
The face of the country is rather hilly, and in some places moun-
tainous ; but it contains a great deal of good soil, producing grain,
and grass in abundance ; and a little tobacco is raised for private use.
The settlements are mostly confined to the banks of the rivers, and
the greater part of the interior of the country is covered with
forests ; but, except in the meadows, the trees are generally of
The climate is very severe, and the heat and cold go to great
extremes. The theirmometer rises sometimes in summer to 98°,
and in >vinter the mercury freezes. The winter sets in early in
November, and continues till April, during which the ground is
entirely covered with snow, often from 4 to 6 feet deep. In January
and February the frost is so intense, that there is danger of being
frost-bitten, and to guard against it the inhabitants cover the whole
body with furs, except the eyes and nose.
The population is computed at about 150,000: and they carry on
a very considerable commerce, which chiefly centres in the two,
great Canadian towns, Quebec and Montreal,
A very considerable portion of the trade of this province^
is derived from Upper Canada and the northern parts of the
United States; and the exports, consisting chiefly of gi*ain, flour,
provisions, potash, timber, naval stores, furs, &c. have of late been
very great. The Imports are chiefly British goods, with which,
before the war, the inhabitants contrived to supply a considerable
part of the United States, by S7nuggli7ig.
The state of society admits of much improvement. Mr. Pinkei'*
ton says " the French women in Canada can generally read and write,
and are thus superior to the men ; but both are sunk in ignorance
and superstition ; and the English language is confined to the few
Extends from Lower Canada to Lake Winnipeg, in long. 97o, and
comprehends an immense and vast extent of territory, of which
that portion stretching between the great Lakes, and along the
banks of the St. Lawrence, is the best ; and, taken as a whole, it is
superior to any other part of the British possessions in North America.
The settlements are chiefly confined to the banks of the rivers
and lakes, and present a most extensive, and in some places a thickly
settled frontier to the United States. About 300 miles of this
province border on the rivers and lakes opposite the Michigan
territory ; 150 on Lake Erie opposite the state of Ohio; 45 oppo-
site the state of Pennsylvania ; and 380 on the state of New York.
The inhabitants are composed of French, English, and Scottish,
and a great many have emigrated from the United States within
these last 20 years, principally of Dutch and German extraction.
The whole inhabitants may be estimated at 8Cr,000 ; and as the dis-
trict along the lakes enjoys a pretty mild climate and good soil,
they are likely Xp increase.
That part of the province which stretches between the lakes,
lying between the 42d and 45th degree of north latitude, is by far
the most valuable, and enjoys a comparatively temperate climate,
the winters being generally more mild than at Philadelphia. The
banks of I^ake Erie and of the Niagara river between Lake Erie
and Lake Ontario are beautiful, and v.ill in all probability become a
tliickly-bcLiled counti'y> to ■which, and to the adjoining states, the in-
habitants of the lower provinces will be chiefly indebted for their
Agriculture is pretty well understood, and the produce is abun-
dant. A good deal of domestic manufacture is carried on, and there
arc some carding machines, and a few coarse woollens are made;
but they are not encouraged, the genius of the government being
dnected to secure as many importations as posssible from England.
The French, and it may be added the Dutch, settled here, are
very ignorant, and set little value upon education. Intelligence is
chiefly confined to the British merchants, and settlers from the
United States. There are a number of schools, but they are not
adapted to the mass of the people, nor does the genius of the leading
men seem directed to the laudable object of the general dissemina-
tion of information. There is a considerable desire to monopolize
knowledge, as well as riches and power, and the aristocracy being
backed by the military, have more power here probably than in
England. The laAvs ap/iear fair and equal, but there is a great
deal of underhand management and intrigue, and neither indepen-
dence of sentiment, nor freedom of speech or of the press, are
encouraged, indeed they arc hardly tolerated ; while many of the
military ofllcers are haughty and ovei-bearing in the highest
The great leading feature in the geography of the British posses-
•sions is the gulph and river St. Lawrence, connected with the great
lakes, and the navigable rivers that flow into them. They admit of
the greatest inland navigation in the world, and this to a maritime and
commercial nation, like Britain, is of such importance, that we cease
lo wonder at the high value she sets on her North American pos-
sessions. From the view that has been exhibited, it will be per-
ceived, that the gulph and river St. Lawrence is navigable with
ships of the largest size to Quebec, nearly 700 miles from the sea.
Merchant vessels ascend to Montreal, 170 miles above Quebec.
Batteaux of large size ascend to Kingston, about 200 mile* above
Montreal. Lake Ontario is navigable with ships of large burden,
170 miles, to the mouth of Niagara river, and that river is navigable
eight miles to Queeustown. Here there is an overland carriage to
Chippaway, distant ten miles, from whence the river is navigable in
large boats, 22 miles, to Fort Erie. Lake Erie is navigable with
ships of large burden to Maiden, 250 miles, and the navigation is
continued through Detroit river, 24 miles ; through Lake St. Clair
40 ; through Huron river 40 ; and through Lake Huron to the ra-
pids of St. Mary, 250 miles. There is a portage by a canal of
three miles at these rapids ; and then Lake Superior is navigable to
the grand portage leading to Lake Winnipeg, 300 miles, and to its
west end, 150 miles more. The whole of this extended navigation is
therefore 2337 miles ; and it is all navigable with ships except 213
miles, of which only 10 requires the use of land carriage.
Besides the direct navigation to the head of Lake Superior, there
are various minor branches, some of them of great extent and im-
portance ; and there are many portages to the head waters of the
western rivers. The Utawas or Grand river connects Montreal,
by an inland passage, with the upper lakes, and with James's bay; and
from the last, tJiere is a continued chain of water communication to
the Arctic ocean. The grand portage connects Lake Superior with
the Lake of the Woods, Lake Winnipeg, and the interior of the coun-
try, to a great extent ; and from the head of Lake Superior, there is
a short portage to the head waters of the Mississippi.
A most important part of the trade of these distant countries is iii.
furs, which has proved a source of wealth to the Canadian merchants,
and occasioned a great consumption of British manufactured goods.
The trade of Canada, by a late account, stood as follows :
Furs and skins - . - - ^.150,000
Wheat flour, biscuit, and grain - - 136,500
Lumber - - . - 556,500
Pot and pearl ashes - - . 223,000
Beef and pork - - . - - - 30,000
Sundries - - - 16,000
being nearly five millions of dollars.
The imports were about a million sterling, or 4^500,000 dollars.
This, however, did not comprehend all the commerce. A very
extensive smuggling trade has been carried on along the frontiers,
and the regular trade was annually increasing before the war. It is
believed, that at the declaration of war, the trade of Canada was
nearly double the amount stated.
Independent of this commerce, Canada is of much importance to
Britain as a naval and military station ; and of peculiar importance, as a
country from whence she can at all times draAv a supply of naval stores.
Keeping these objects in view, Ave are apt to wonder how the
ruling powers in Britain could be so blind to the interests of their
country, as to provoke a quarrel Avith the United States : — A quar-
rel in which they must depend upon the services of sailors to con-
tend against " sailors' rights," and sa-vages to contend against yree-
men. But Ave knoAv that the court of Britain has for many years
cultivated a spirit of deadly enmity towards the United States, and
acting under that impulse, they have courted delusion, and reAvarded
the deiuders ; Avhile they have persecuted all Avho attempted to pro-
mote harmony between the two countries, by giving correct infor-
mation regarding the United States. They have uniformly under-
rated the power and resources, and valour and public spirit, of the
free citizens of America, and they have overrated the valour and at-
tachment of their savage allies, the Indians.
No nation Avas ever more disposed for peace than the United
States ; and her friendship Avas of more importance to Britain,
than that of any other power in the Avorld. No sacrifice was requi-
site to keep the peace. Bare justice only Avas required ; Avhile
large sacrifices Avere necessary to bribe, to arm, and to feed the sa-
vages. It is the greatest of all misfortunes for countries, as well as
for individuals, Avhen, forgetful of the unerring rule, " Whatever ye
would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them," they sub-
stitute cunning and intrigue for justice and integrity. From the
moment they do so, the hand of heaven is against them, and nothing
but a return to the paths of virtue can save them from perdition.
The British cabinet have persevered in injustice, until they have
brought on the aAvful crisis, Avhich both nations deplore. The die
is noAv cast, and He, Avho holds in his hands the destinies of nations,
will direct the issue. We know that the cause is just, and Ave can
Avith confidence look forAvard to a favourable result for our beloA-^ed
country, and to a period of peace, that Avill secure the rights and
safety of all the members of the community of the United States.
JPhUadelphia^ j^'ovember^ 1813.
EAST AND WEST FLORIDA
Is situated between 25° and 30° 43' north latitude, and 3° 26'
and 8° west longitude from Washington. Its extreme length is 610
miles; its extreme breadth 200 ; its area is about 50,457 square miles,
or 32,292,480 acres.
The whole of the sea coast is low and level; and though in the inte-
rior there is a ridge of sandy hills of inconsiderable height, there is no
bold scenery ; while the country abounds with swamps and marshes,
to a degree that renders it in many places very unhealthy. On the
east coast there are numerous inlets, and there are passages from one
to another, which admit of an inland navigation from St. Augustine to
The largest river is S(. John's. It rises in an extensive s\<femp, or