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The Pestilence of 1793.-C. B. Broron,
The Blue Bird.--Alexander Wilson,
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PHILADELPHIA IN 17 32.
BY PETER S. DUPONCEAU.
HER population at that time is supposed to have amounted to about ten thousand inhabitants. The buildings parallel to the Delaware must have extended to Fourth street, and probably beyond it; history mentions a tavern situated at the corner of Third street at an earlier date. The northern parts of the town were chiefly inhabited by Germans. The streets were more or less filled with houses, which at that time occupied more ground than they do at present, many of them having large yards and gardens, as well as back buildings; for the fashion of having kitchens under ground had not yet been adopted: nor as the city advanced towards the west, were the buildings so compact as they are at present. Christ church existed as it now stands, except the steeple, of which the foundation only was laid. The Presbyterian church in High street, which was called Buttonwood, and was pulled down not many years ago, had existed nearly thirty years, as well as the Swedish church, which was of an older date, and is still standing. The Friends had their meeting houses, but these were plain buildings which did not attract attention. They had also their lovely alms-house in Walnut street, still existing and reminding us of an eastern edifice by the garden in the middle of the area, surrounded with modest but comfortable dwellings. The old Court House in Market street, once called the Great Town House, now in the possession of the watchmen and clerks of the markets, had had more than twenty years' existence; and the prison, with a work-house annexed to it, was situated at the corner of Third and High streets, to which the markets then extended. The immortal State House was in a course of building, but was not finished until the year 1735. Meanwhlie, the legislature of the province held its sittings in private houses. Between the Schuylkill and the improved parts of the town, there were gentlemen's country seats, and tracts of woodland, some of which existed so late as 1777, when the British took possession of our city, and cut down all the trees to serve as fuel for themselves and their army.
Such was the external appearance of our noble city in the year 1732. Peace and concord reigned within it, under the mild and wise administration of Governor Gordon, who had succeeded Sir William Keith. Our illustrious founder had now been dead fourteen years, but his spirit had not forsaken us. His able and faithful secretary, Logan, still had considerable influence in the affairs of the government. The manners of the people were simple, their morals pure, and literature and science were held in deserved esteem. Men of genius already appeared whose names were destined to go to posterity.
Observe that young man whom you see walking along Second street, his eyes fixed upon the ground and his mind absorbed in contemplation His name is Anthony Benezet. He is a native of France and a member of the Society of Friends. He resides at Germantown, where his time is devoted to the instruction of youth. Though only nineteen years of age, and though he has been but one year in this country, he is already distinguished for his sincere piety, his Christian humility, and above all, for his ardent desire for the happiness of mankind. He has seen with horror and indignation the effects of slavery, at this time existing in Pennsylvania, and is now meditating a plan for the emancipation of the African race. To that important object he will devote the unremitting labours of a long and useful life; he will live to see those labours crowned with success, and after his death his name will long be held in veneration by successive generations: he will be numbered among the benefactors of mankind.
Not far from him you see a plain looking man dressed in a grayish jacket, carrying in one hand a pot of white paint, and in the other a painter's brush. He is a poor glazier by trade, and his name is Thomas Godfrey. Don't trust to his mean appearance, he is one of nature's own nobility. He is a profound mathematician, and for his learning is indebted to himself alone. This evening, after his work is done, he will be studying the Principia of the great Newton, for the understanding of which he has taught himself the Latin language, having had no other than the most common school education. By the mere force of his genius, he has made an improvement in the quadrant commonly used for taking altitudes at sea, which will be adopted by all the maritime nations, and be the means of rendering navigation much easier and safer than it was before. His friend and patron, Logan, has communicated this discovery to a person in London, who, by his neglect, will suffer another to claim and obtain the honour of the invention; so that the improved instrument,