Diary in America: With Remarks on Its Institutions

By Frederick Marryat | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
New York City

Fifty years ago, New York was little more than a village; now, it is a fine city with three hundred thousand inhabitants. I have never seen any city so admirably adapted for commerce. It is built upon a narrow island, between Long Island Sound and the Hudson River, Broadway running up it like the vertebrae of some huge animal, and the other streets diverging from it at right angles, like the ribs; each street running to the river, and presenting to the view a forest of masts.

There are some fine buildings in this city, but not many. Astor House, although of simple architecture, is, perhaps, the grandest mass; and next to that is the City Hall, though in architecture very indifferent. In the large room of the latter are some interesting pictures and busts of the Presidents, mayors of the city, and naval and military officers, who have received the thanks of Congress and the freedom of the city. Some are very fair specimens of art; the most spirited is that of Commodore Perry,1 leaving his sinking vessel, in the combat on the Lakes, to hoist his flag

____________________
1
Oliver Hazard Perry ( 1785- 1819), American naval officer who gained fame as a result of his memorable victory at the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813.

-35-

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