Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 298

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This water is remarkable for the very small
quantity of solid matter which it contains, and its
great freedom from foreign substances. Indeed,
Professor Silliman remarks, it is
almost good
enough for any chemical purpose whatever." “ A
water," he adds, “ which will dissolve nitrate of
silver without cloudiness, and will produce no
precipitate with a salt of baryta, must be allowed,
on all hands, to be
very pure, although not abso-.
lutely so."

As a commercial port, and also as a place of
internal trade, especially since the completion of
her great lines of railroad communication, Boston
possesses preeminent advantages. Previous to
the revolution, and for a long time afterwards,
this was the most extensive mart of foreign com-
merce in the country; and, even to this day,
Boston has more than one half of the East India
trade carried on from the United States, and of
the Russia trade three quarters. She has also an
extensive trade with the Mediterranean the West
Indies, South America, and every part of the
commercial world. In 1851, the arrivals from
foreign ports were 2877, of which 75 were from
the Cape of Good Hope and beyond. Besides
these, a large number of the foreign vessels, be-
longing to Boston, arrive and discharge their
merchandise at New York, for the advantages of
a more central and extensive market.

The foreign commerce of this country may be
said to be controlled by the cities of Boston and
New York. The aggregate value of their imports
amounts to about $185,000,000, of which about
$35,000,000 comes direct to Boston. The im-
mense wealth of these two cities, amounting in
the aggregate 'to $500,000,000, enables them al-
most entirely to command those great branches
of commerce which require a heavy capital for
their operations. The East India and Pacific
trade, without 'including the vessels bound to
California, employs, at the present time, 338
ships and barks, which, with the exception of a
few vessels owned in Salem, is controlled entirely
by Boston and New York; New York having a
majority of the China trade, and Boston control-
ling nearly all the trade with Calcutta, Manilla,
Batavia, Sumatra, the Cape of Good Hope, Chili,
and Peru.

“ Those," says an early historian of Boston,
“ who were formerly forced to fetch most of the
bread they ate, and beer they drank, a thousand
leagues by sea, are, through the blessing of the
Lord, so increased, that they have not only fed
their elder sisters, Virginia, Barbadoes, and many
of the Summer Islands, that were preferred be-
fore them for fruitfulness, but also the grand
mother of us all, even the fertile isle of Great
Britain. Beside, Portugal hath had many a
mouthful of bread and fish from us in exchange
for their Madeira liquor, and also Spain; nor
could it be imagined that this wilderness should
turn a mart for merchants in so short a space.
Many a fair ship had her framing and finishing
here, besides lesser vessels, barks, and ketches.
Many a master, besides common seamen, had
their first learning in this colony. Boston,
Charlestown, Salem, and Ipswich, our maritime
towns, begin to increase roundly, especially Bos-
ton, the which, of a poor country village, in
twice seven years, is become like unto a small
city, and is in election to become a mayor town
suddenly, chiefly increased by trade by sea."
This quaint and lively sketch of the infant com-
merce of Boston, so interesting on other ac-
counts, reveals the early development of many
of those great sources of wealth which have
made it one of the richest cities of this country.
It has been the mother of the maritime intei'est
in America, has continued the training of “ many
a master, besides common seamen," not only for
her own, but for the other great ports of the
country, and is now a chief mart for the expor-
tation of “ bread and fish," in exchange for the
commodities of Europe.

But as other considerations besides the facili-
ties of trade had an influence, and even a con-
trolling influence, in the original settlement of
Boston, its situation was not selected upon the
principle which has generally governed the lo-
cation of our large cities, viz., the confluence of
some large navigable river with the sea, thus
uniting the greatest1 natural advantages for for-
eign and internal traffic. Consequently, for a
time after the vast resources of the country west
of the Alleghany Mountains began to be largely
developed, and to seek a channel to the. foreign
market, the trade of Boston suffered, relatively,
from the want of better communication with the
more remote interior, and her ships had to seek
freight in the southern ports. But, happily, in her
large accumulations of capital, and in the in-
domitable enterprise of her citizens, she found
the means of completely obviating this natural
disadvantage, through the construction of the
several great lines of railroad by which she has
become connected with the most distant sec-
tions of the country lying east, west, north, and
south. This great achievement of science, in-
dustry, and art has effected a most surprising
advancement in the commercial prosperity and
prospects of Boston. Her internal trade, which
was formerly limited to the coast, and to the
space circumscribed by the nearest ranges of ele-
vated mountains, is now opened to the farthest
boundaries of the valleys of the Mississippi and
the St. Lawrence; and her merchants now think
as lightly of extending their traffic beyond the
Rocky Mountains to Oregon and California, as
they once did of reaching the opposite slopes of
the Green Mountain and Alleghany ranges.

There are now seven great lines of railroad
diverging in different directions from Boston,
most of which are annually increasing in extent.
It will give some idea of the magnitude to which
this interest has grown, when it is stated that the
aggregate distance travelled to and from Boston
daily, upon the railroads now in operation, dis-
regarding many of the shorter trips of the nu-
merous accommodation trains around the city, is
over 12,000 miles, and that the number of per-
sons arriving and departing daily is upwards of

10,000. Another route is now nearly completed,
to meet the great Erie Railroad, by the way of
Hartford, Ct., and Fishkill on the Hudson River.
But the greatest further improvement now in
progress is the extension of the Fitchburg Rail-
road beyond its present terminus at Greenfield,
by tunnelling the Hoosic Mountain, and passing
to the city of Troy on the Hudson River oppo-
site the Erie Canal. As the highest grade on
this road between the Connecticut and Hudson
Rivers is only 31 feet to the mile, and the dis-
tance between the two cities only about 175
miles, this improvement, when completed, can-
not fail to give to Boston a large increase of the
almost boundless commerce of the west.

A Gazetteer of the United States of America by John Hayward.

Hartford, CT: Case, Tiffany and Company. 1853. Public domain image

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