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natural strength, and well fortified; but the lower town towards the river is open to every attack. A large garrison is maintained, but to man the works five thousand soldiers would be necessary. The houses are commonly built of stone; but they are small and inconvenient. There are three nunneries. The markets are well supplied, and provisions remarkably cheap. The vicinity of Quebec presents a most sublime and beautiful scenery; and the falls of the River Montmorenci are paticularly celebrated. To the honour of Canada, a solemn act of the assembly declares all negroes to be free as soon as they arrive in that province.
The climate of this part of America is very severe, but the atmosphere is generally clear.
The extremes of heat and cold are astonishing; in July and August the thermometer is often as high as 96 degrees, while the mercury freezes in the depth of winter. The snow begins in November, and in January the frost is so intense, that it is impossible to be long out of doors without risk of serious injury to the extremities. But winter, as at Peters. burg, is the season of amusement, and the sledges afford a pleasant and speedy conveyance. In large houses sloves are placed in the hall, whence flues pass to the otherapartments; and there are always double doors and windows. On going abroad the whole body is covered with furs except the eyes and nose.
In May the thaw generally comes suddenly, the ice on the river bursting with the noise of cannon, and its passage to the sea is terrific, especially when it crashes against a rock. The heat of summer speedily succeeds the frosts, and vegetation is instantaneous. September is the most pleasant month.
The face of the country is mountainous and
woody ; but there are savannas and plains of great beauty, chiefly towards Upper Canada. In the year 1663, an earthquake is said to have overwhelmed a chain of free-stone mountains more than 300 miles long. In the lower province the soil consists of loose blackish earth ten or twelve inches thick, incumbent on a cold clay. This thin mould is however very fertile, and manure was sel. dom or never used by the French settlers; but since Canada has come into our possession, marle has been used with considerable success; and of this, considerable quantities are found on the shores of the river St. Lawrence.
The produce of Canada is a little tobacco cultivated for private use ; vegetables of almost all kinds, and considerable crops of grain ; wheat be. ing reckoned among their exports. maple tree abounds here, and the
is generally used in the country. Both the Canadas are in. fested with rattle-snakes. Coal abounds in Cape Breton, but has never been discovered in Canada. The chief natural curiosities are the lakes, rivers, and cataracts: among the latter the celebrated falls of Niagara are chiefly on the side of Upper Canada, the river being at that part six hundred yards wide, and the fall one hundred and forty-two feet. A small island lies between the falls : and that on the side of the States is three hundred and fifty yards wide, while the height is one hundred and sixtythree feet : from the great fall a constant cloud as. cends, which may be seen at an incredible distance; and the whole scene is truly tremendous.
The ancient province of Nova Scotia was granted by James I. to his secretary sir William Alexander. It was afterwards seized by the French, who Vol. XXIV.
were probably the first possessors, and by whom it was called Arcadia ; but it was surrendered to England by the treaty of Utrecht in 1713. In 1784 it was divided into New-Brunswick and Nova Scotia. There are two considerable bays in the former, and a river of some length called St. John's; while that of St.Croix divides New-Brunswick from the province of Maine, belonging to the United States. The river St. John is navigable for vessels of fifty tons, about sixty miles ; and for boats more than two hundred : it affords a common and near route to Quebec.
The grand lake is thirty miles long, and nine broad. The great chain of Apalachian mountains passes northwest of this province, and probably expires at the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The capital is Frederictown. The chief products are timber and fish.
Nova Scotia is three hundred miles long, and eighty broad; the capital is Halifax, well situated for the fishery, with communications by land and water with the other parts of the province, and with New-Brunswick. The town is intrenched with forts of timber, and is said to contain fifteen thousand inhabitants. During a great part of the year the air is foggy and unhealthy, and for four or five months intensely cold. Britain sends to these provinces linen and woollen cloths, and other articles to the amount of 80,0001. and receives timber and fish to the amount of 50,0001. The chief fishery is that of cod on the Cape-Sable coast. About 23 leagues from that cape is the Isle de Sable, or of sand, consisting wholly of that substance, mixed with white transparent stones; the hills being milk-white cones, and some of them a hundred and forty-six feet above the sea. This, strange isle has ponds of fresh water; with junipers
and cranberries, and some grass and vetches, which serve to support a few horses, cows, and hogs.
The island of Cape-Breton is said to have been discovered by the Normans and Brelons, about the year 1500; from the latter it took its name, but they did not take possession of it till 1713. Louisburg was built in 17:20; and in 1745 the island was taken by some troops from New-England, and has ever since remained subject to the crown of Great Britain. The climate is cold and foggy on account of the numerous lakes and forests. The soilis chiefly covered with moss, and is unfit for the purposes of agriculture. The inhabitants do not exceed a thousand. The fur trade is inconsiderable, but the fishery is very important; the value of this trade while in the French possession, was estimated at a million sterling. There is a very extensive bed of coal in the island, not more than six feet below the surface; but it has been chiefly used as ballast. In one of the pits a fire was kindled by accident, and it remains unextinguished.
The island of St. John, at no great distance from Cape-Breton, is attached to the province of Nova Scotia. It surrendered with Cape-Breton, in 1745. A lieutenant resides at Charlotte-town; and the inhabitants of the island are computed at five thou. sand.
Newfoundland was discovered by Sebastian Ca. bot in 1496. It is about three hundred and twenty miles long, and two hundred broad in the widest part, sorming the eastern boundary of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. This island after various disputes was ceded to England by the treaty of Utrecht. From the soil we reap no great advantages, for the cold is long continued, and very intense ; and the summer heat, though violent does not warm it
sufficiently to produce any thing valuable. It has many large and safe harbours, and several considerable rivers. The great quantity of timber that grows here, may hereafter afford copious supplies of masts, yards, and all sorts of lumber for the West-India trade.
At present it is chiefly valuable for the fishery of cod that is carried on upon those shoals which are called the Banks of Newfoundland. The great fishery begins the 10th of May, and continues till the end of September. The cod is either dried for the Mediterranean, or barrelled up in a pickle of salt for the English market. These banks and the island are enveloped in a constant fog, or snow, and sleet. The fishery is computed to yield about 300,000l. a year from the cod sold in Roman Ca. tholic countries. By the treaty in 1713 the French were allowed to dry their nets on the northern shores ; and in 1763 it was stipulated that they might fish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence; and the small isles of St. Pierre, and Miquelon were ceded to them *. By the treaty in 1783, the French were to enjoy their fisheries on the northern and western coasts; the inhabitants of the United States having the same privileges as they enjoyed before their independence. And the peace of 1801, confirms the privileges granted to the French.
The chief towns are St. John's, Placentia, and Bonavista, but not more than a thousand families remain during the winter. In the spring a small squadron is sent to protect the fisheries and set. tlements, the admiral being also governor of the
* These have been captured during the present war ; an account of which arrived while the article was transeribing.