Mr. Charles Lodwick, his acct. of New York, in a Letterto his Uncle, Mr. Francis Lodwick, and Mr. Hooker,
Members of ye Royal Society, dated from New York, May
20, 1692. Read Sept. 5, A. D. 1692, and read before the
Royal Society, Nov. 26, 1713.
Hon. Gentlemen :
I have sufficient reasons to beg your pardons for myneglect; it is now full 4 years since I rec'd your commands
to give you what [acct.] I was capable, of the Constitutionof this Country, which indeed had been much sooner
obeyed, had not the Confusion and Disturbance here amongourselves wholly impeded even our common Affairs, that for
almost 3 years, we had enough to do to exercise allour brains to secure our ps'ons, and that little we had,
from the Cruelty and Tyranny of an ungovernable mobb ;which by the peculiar mercy of God, and the extended Fa-
vor of our Prince, we are in part released from.
Sages here, where my young experience would not lett meconclude, and tho' it be far from what it ought, for here
Makers of ships are the chiefest Mathematicians, and the Na-tive Geographers, with such tools you must not expect a
good Fabric, especially by the hands of so unskillfull a work-man. But I shall wholly forbear makeing any farther ex-
cuses for the great faults and many impertinencies you willfind ; and since it is only design'd for the private diver-
sions, I doubt not but you will read, and pardon, and in fullassurance of your Generosities, I take leave to subscribe my-
The Citty New York lies in America, in the Lat of 40Degr: 40 Min: North, on an Island, distant from the open
Sea about 7 leagues northward, scituated between 2 Riv-ers, one called Hudson's river, running North by East,
navigable by great ships, near 40 leagues up ; the otherRiver runs East by North nearest, and is made by Long
Island, and in a passage to the Sea betwixt that and the mainLand. This Island of New York was formerly called by ye
Natives, Manhattens, is abt 5 leagues in extent, and is anIsland by a runn of water fordable att Low water between
the 2 forementioned rivers ; before the Town is an excellentHarbor, Land-Lokt on all sides; the country woody, but
very pleasant. Our chiefest unhappyness here is toogreat a mixture of nations, and English is least part ; ye
French Protestants have in the late King's reign resortedhither in great numbers proportionably to the other nation's
inhabitants. Ye Dutch, generally the most frugall andlaborious, and consequently the richest ; whereas most of
ye English are the contrary, especially the trading part.As to Religion, we run so high into all Opinions, that here
is, (I fear,) but little reall ; and how justly might the Right-eous God pour down his impending Judgments on us ; yet
God hath blest us with a healthy Climate, a fruitful Soil,plenty of all sorts of provisions needful for the support of
Mankind. We are the chief granary to most of the WestIndia islands. Boston was formerly famous for excellent
Wheat, whereas now the whole Massatusetts colony canscarce produce one hundred Bushells, and peas the same ;
it grows up as fair as any can do, and when it begins to
ear, black spotts abt the middle of the stalk, which hindersthe sap ascending, the ear withers and produces nothing
but chaff. None of our wise men here can assign anynatural reason for this, when but just out of the Massatu-
setts, in Conecticut colony, grows as fair corn as any inAmerica. A small worm does often destroy our peas here
while they grow, tho' seldom any other grain. It is [in] myOpinion wholly uncertain if not improbable, that this Main
of America should have overflowed since the Deluge, byreason of the extrea high land generally, nor have I been
able to observe any signs of a second Deluvium ; manyShells of Oysters and other shell fish are found upon high
hills as well as valleys, and sometimes two or three footwithin ye Earth, but are supposed to have been brought
there by ye Natives, the fish having served them for food,
and ye shells rotting, serve for dung to thier land, which iscommon in these parts now among ye Christians.
tho' the Country before the discovery was not known to haveproduced any of those usual sorts of Beasts, as horses, cows,
sheep, hoggs, or goats ; Sheep would increase here and dovery much, — English or clover grass agreeing very well
with the land, yet the stature of the cattle seem rather todecrease here, which might doubtless in a great measure
be helpt by care and good husbandry ; An Ox shall ordi-narily wiegh here six hundred wieght, rarely one thousand ;
whither it be occasioned by the use of too young bulls, onecan scarce keep a bull till 2 years old without cutting,
they grow so fierce and mischievous, or whither the pier-cing heat and sometimes great drought in the summer, may
not be instrumental to hinder thier growth, besides here isa mischievous insect call'd a musqueta, or small little fly,
which extreamly vexes the cattle, and is often observ'd tomake them grow lean, hindering thier feeding.
as in Europe, which without doubt be much mended by in-dustry ; they commonly turn thier spare horses into the woods,
where they breed and become wild ; and as they have occa-sion they catch up the colts, and break them for thier use ; all
sorts of cattle are now in aboundance and increase dayly ;a horse is sold from 2 to 6 pound, an ox or cow from 2 to
5 pound, this country money, which is [OCR unreadable] 25 per cent worsethan sterling.
Pears, Cherries and Peaches, &c. Of the last the countryabounds of most sorts usual in England ; they grow com-
monly along ye high ways, and in such quantity that theybecome fruit to ye hoggs ; Apricocks are very rare, they not
being able so well to endure our sharp frosts as the othersdo, and no doubt all vegetables will grow here if not of
too tender a root ; all garden herbs are here in aboundance,and will grow in half the time they do in England, tho'
our Spring beginns here not so soon as in England, yetwhen it beginns goes on with greater vigour ; we generally
observe most fruits lessen in bigness every year ; a largebean planted here shall bear a bean scarce half so big as
ye seed was.
and Colly flowers will grow, but are very tender, and beara fruit no bigger than a good apple.
try are Elks, Deer, Bears, Bevers, Otters, Foxes, Racoons,Maters, Minks, Woodshocks, Waterratts or Musquash, and
Wolves, which latter prove very mischievous to our cattle,are in aboundance, and are supposed to increase dayly ; here
are also most sorts of birds usual in England, except theMagpye and house-sparrow, tho' several of differing col-
ours from any in England; the most rare is a small bird wecall a humming bird, which is not so bigg as the first joint
of an ordinary man's little finger, but of a curious change-able colour ; it has a long bill or trunk as long as its body,
with which it sucks its nourishment from blossoms andflowers, and is supposed to have no other sustenance ;
where it generates I could never be informed, it being onlyvisible here in the Summer; we have also the mocking bird,
tho' rare', I never observ'd the nightingales, tho' someaffirm they are here ; we have most sorts of hawks wild ;
they are not yet so genteel to tame any for our use ;wild pidgeons are here in aboundance ; they breed up the
country some hundreds of miles of from us Northward,and come flying in great quantity in ye Spring, and pass
to ye Southward, and return to us about the time our cornis ripe, and settle in ye Trees and on ye corn Lands in
great numbers ; here are several sorts of venemous snakes ;ye most rare is ye rattle snake, whose poyson is not in
its toungue, but in a small bladder within ye teeth, whichbreaks when it bites ; a wound from this snake cause ex-
quisite Torments and raving madness, and has been thoughtincurable till ye Natives informed us of an herb call'd
thence snake root, of which there are two sorts, one white,ye other red ; it grows in many places, and mostly where
these snakes haunt most ; it bears a leaf like this ;ye other sort like a strawberry ; a piece of this root,
ye white ye best, if taken within an hour or 2 afterye hurt, and bruised and applyed outwardly to ye wound,
expells presently ye pain, and ye patient is well in a day'stime ; ye Indians make nothing of a bite from these snakes ;
they will not willingly hurt a man or beast, but fly fromthem, unless accidentally trod on. I have killed several ;
they have a sort of a scarf that grows on their tails, and isdivided sometimes into 8 or 9 parts, abt a :^ [OCR unreadable] of an inch
broad, which they shedd, (probably with their skinns,) andbeing loose makes a noise like a rattle, as they move
their bodyes, from whence they take ye name of Rattle-Snake.
a small body not much bigger than ye head of a pin, 6long leggs, and a trunk almost ^ [OCR unreadable] of an inch long, by which
it sucks blood from Man and Beast, and wherever it bites,that part swells immediately itching extreamly, which by
scratching often proves a venemous sore, but if lett aloneit vanishes quickly.
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