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REGISTER OF PENNSYLVANIA.
DEVOTED TO THE PRESERVATION OF EVERY KIND OF USEFUL INFORMATION RESPECTING THE STATE.
EDITED BY SAMUEL HAZARD, NO. 51, FILBERT STREET.
PHILADELPHIA, JANUARY 26, 1828.
men. The partridge whistles, and the reaper sings on
the spot where the cries of mortal anguish told the dread Messrs. Editors I have always been one of those who revelry of battle. 'Twas here the wild whoop of fierce have felt, with Dr. Dwight, the wish to know how our savages quelled the rallying cry of Europe's warriors. country appeared in its infant settlement; and have lis- 'Twas here that they drove the ruthless tomahawk deep tened with great interest to the description given me, by in the crushed skull of the vanquished, and with yelling a venerable narrator, who has told me, that when he joy tore the scalp from the head of the feeble and the first knew Philadelphia, he became acquainted with an wounded, the dead and the dying: old lady, who lived in Second street near the dock, The retreating survivers carried their wounded gene. which situation, she said, her family had pitched upon ral with them until he died. —He was buried about 40 of choice, as being most convenient for business, the ves- miles from the battle ground, in the centre of the road sels coming up the creek to their brew-house, and un- his advancing army had cut To prevent the discovery loading the malt, which they at first brought from Eng- of this, soldiers, horses and wagons, were passed over it, land. She related, that they came with William Penn, to save the body from savage dishonor, by thus conceal. in 1682, and that the fleet in which they came, passed ing the trace of its interinent. Some of Braddock's where Philadelphia now stands, and proceeded towards affectionate soldiers so marked the trees near the spot Burlington; but that one vessel, which had lagged be where he was laid, that the recollections of those who hind, came to at the dock, and securing the ship to a visited the west many years after could point to the exlarge tree, the Captain explored the situation, and found, act place of his interment, now emphatically termed with surprise, another large river close at hand, and in Braddock’s grave. It is close to the northern side of the the Delaware itself, a fine deep channel, running near national road, seven miles east of Uniontown. the shore; that he followed the feet, and immediately It has been rumoured for an early period, that Brad. communicated his discoveries to William Penn, who lost dock had been shot by his men.-More recently it has no time in visiting the spot, which he at once pitched been stated by one who could not be mistaken, that in upon, as the site of his future city.
the course of the battle, Braddock ordered the provincial The same authority I also have, for the story of Wil- troops to form a column. They, however, adhered to liam Penn offering to Anthony Duche, (father of the the Indian mode of firing severally from the shelter of late Jacob Duche) the square in Market between Third the trees. Braddock, in his vexation, rode up to a young and Fourth streets, with the exception of the Friend's man by the name of Fawcett, and with his sword rashly burial ground, and one other lot on the back of it, for cut him down. Thomas Fawcett, a brother of the killed, a trifling debt; his good will, he observed, was engaged soon learned his fate, and watching his opportunity, reto those who had adventured with him into this wilder-venged his brother's blood, by shooting Braddock ness-land, and he wished to do something for them. “I through the body, of which wound he died. Thomas am very much obliged to you Mr. Penn, and I do not at Fawcett is now, or was lately living near Laurel Hill. all doubt your kindness; but the money (not quite thirty He is now 97 years of age. pounds) would suit me the best now,” said Duche; and the proprietor, with more warmth than was usual, THE BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN. rejoined, “ Simpleton! canst thou not see that this will (Letter from the Hon. Timothy Pickering, published in be a great city in a little time, and that I offer thee a
the North American Review.] most advantageous bargain?-Well, well, thou shalt have
Salem, Aug. 23d 1826. “Accordingly," said the old gentleman, "Sir, nearly forty-nine years have elapsed since the to my informant, “I was paid, and have repented of my battle of Germantown; of course you may well suppose, folly' ever since.”- Nat. Gaz.
facts respecting it are beyond my power of
recollection; while a few are indelibly impressed on my BRADDOCK'S FIELD.
memory. Without repeating all your questions, I an"Nine miles above Pittsburg, and immediately upon swer them by the following statement. the north branch of the Monongahela river, is the cele. 61. I did not know at the time, nor do I recollect ever brated battle ground called Braddock's Field.' It is to have heard, that Pulaski was found asleep, until it famous for the destruction of an army intended to cap- was mentioned by Judge Johnson in his “Life of Gene. ture Fort Duquesne, crush the extending power of ral Greene.” Nor do I remember to have heard him France, and control the Indians on our western border. censured for any neglect of duty, in the case referred to, Here Washington fought and Braddock fell. On this the battle of Germantown. It was on the 15th of Sepspot fifty Frenchmen and 250 Indians nearly destroyed tember, 1777, as appears by the Journals of Congress, the forty-ninth and fifty-first regiments of British regu- that Count Pulaski was appointed commander of the lars, though aided by a number of provincial troops. horse, with the rank of brigadier-general. He must The battle was fought on the afternoon of the 9th of have brought with him from Poland the reputation of a July, 1765. Seventy years have passed away, and yet good officer, of which, vigilance when on duty, is an the crumbling bones of men and horses are seen in every essential characteristic, or, a perfect stranger as he was, field for a mile in circuit. Por many years they were he would not have received that honorable appointment. shrouded by a mourning wilderness of shadowy woods, The distance the army had to march from its encampbut this has yielded to the busy axe, and the plough, ment
on the Skippack road to Germantown, is estimated annually driven amongst the sculls of the slain and the to be about sixteen miles; and, therefore, (although I do bones of the brave. Rich harvests wave over fields fer- not recollect it) a very temporary halt might have taken tilized by the blood and bodies of a thousand unburied place, but certainly not long enough for an officer or
BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN.
private to have retired to indulge in sleep in a farm. ward and tell him to preserve it.” I do not know what house.
was the precise idea, which at that moment struck the 2. General Washington, in his letter to Congress of mind of the General. I can only conjecture that he was October the 5th, the day after the battle says, " that the apprehensive that Sullivan, after meeting the enemy in army marched about seven o'clock in the evening of the front, kept up his brisk and incessant fire, when the the 3d; and that General Sullivan's advanced party at- haziness of the air, and its increased obscurity, from the tacked the enemy's picket at Mount Airy, or Mr. Allen's burning of so much powder, prevented his troops having house, about sunrise the next morning, which presently such a distinct view of the enemy, as would render their gave way; and his main body, consisting of the right fire efficient. Be that as it may, the instant I received wing, following soon, engaged the light infantry and the General's orders, I rode forward, and in the road, other troops encamped near the picket, which they three or four hundred yards beyond Chew's house, met forced from their ground. Leaving their baggage, they Sullivan, and delivered to him the General's orders. retreated a considerable distance, having previously ‘At this time I had never heard of Chew's house; and thrown a party into Mr. Chew's house." The term here had no idea that an enemy was in my rear.-The first applied to these advanced corps of the enemy, that they notice I received of it was from the whizzing of the muswere "forced from the ground,” shows that they were ketballs, across the road, before, behind, and above me, in arms, and resisted the assailants; and the previous as I was returning, after delivering the orders to Sullivan. brush with the picket, a guard always posted in advance Instantly turning my eye to the right, I saw the blaze of on purpose to give notice of an enemy's approach, rous- the muskets, whose shot were still aimed at me, from ed “the light infantry and other troops,” who had time the windows of a large stone house, standing back about enough to take their arms and form for action. They a hundred yards from the road. This was Chew's house. retreated, of necessity, before the greatly superior force Passing on, I came to some of our artillery, who were of the whole right wing of our army. But the "leaving firing very obliquely on the front of the house. I reof their baggage" authorises the inference, that they marked to them that in that position their fire would be had no knowledge of the march of the American army, unavailing, and that the only chance of their shot making until the firing in the engagement with the picket guard any impression on the house, would be by moving down gave the aların. If then these advanced corps of the and firing directly on its front. Then immediately pasenemy were not, in the strict sense of the word surprised, sing on, I rejoined General Washington, who, with that is, “caught napping," unprepared for action, much General Knox and other officers, was in front of a stone less could the main body, posted in the centre of Ger. house (nearly all the houses in Germantown were of mantown, two miles farther off, have been surprised. stone) next northward of the open fields in which Chew's This distance gave them ample time to prepare for ac- house stood. I found they were discussing in Washingtion, in any manner which the attack of their enemy ton's presence this question: Whether the whole of our should require.
troops then behind should immediately advance, regard. 3: You ask, “at what distance from Chew's house the less of the enemy in Chew's house, or first summon attack commenced?” At that time I was a stranger to them to surrender? General Knox strenuously urged that part of the country. From my subsequent acquain the sending of a summons. Among other things he tance with it, during my residence in Pennsylvania, I said, “It would be unmilitary to leave a castle in our should estimate the distance of Mount Airy from Phila-rear.” I answered, “Doubtless that is a correct general delphia to be eight miles, Chew's house seven miles, maxim; but it does not apply in this case. We know the and the centre of Germantown six miles. And these 1 extent of this castle (Chew's house;) and to guard think are the distances, as I have occasionally heard them against the danger from the enemy's sallying, and falling mentioned.
on the rear of our troops, a small regiment may be post4. You ask, “how long a pause was made at Chew's ed here to watch them; and if they sally, such a regiment house; and what space of time probably intervened be will take care of them. “But,' i added, “to summon tween the beginning of the action, and the general en them to surrender will be useless. We are now in the gagement at the head of the village?” The pause at midst of the battle; and its issue is unknown. In this Chew's house in the manner I shall presently mention, state of uncertainty, and so well secured as the enemy probably delayed the advance of the rear division of our find themselves, they will not regard a summons; they army into action for half an hour. And taking the attack will fire at your flag.” However, a flag was sent with of the picket at Mount Airy, as the beginning of the ac a summons. Lieutenant Smith of Virginia, my assistant tion, it was probably near half an hour before it became in the office of adjutant general, volunteered his service general as to the whole of Sullivan's column; and this gen- to carry it. As he was advancing, a shot from the house eral engagement must have commenced after he had pas- gave him a wound of which he died. sed Chew's house; for I saw not one dead inan until I had "Whatever delay in the advance of the division in our passed it, and then but one, lying in the road where I rear, was occasioned by the pause at Chew's house, I am fell in with General Sullivan. I presume that, follow- satisfied that Sullivan's column did not halt there at all, ing close on the heels of the British battalion of light in- as mentioned by Judge Johnson. The column was cer. fantry, and the fortieth regiment, which were retiring tainly not in sight, when the General sent me with the before him, Sullivan, with his column, had passed Chew's orders already noticed; and it is alike certain that it was house without annoyance from it. For it must have ta- then beyond Chew's house. Nor were the enemy form. ken some time for Colonel Musgrave, who entered it ing under cover of the house, or I must have seen them. with six companies of the fortieth regiment, to barracade When the orders were sent to our troops in the rear to and secure the doors and windows of the lower story, advance, I do not know; but it must have been subse. before he would be ready to fire from the chamber win. quent to the sending of the flag; and, I should think, dows; and it was from them that the firing 1 saw pro- twenty minutes, at least, after it was found that an enemy ceeded.
was in the house. The general did not pass it at all. I *In the march of the army, Gencral Washington, fol. had remained near him until our troops were retreating; lowing Sullivan's column, kept in the road leading to when I rode off to the right, to endeavor to stop and and through Germantown to Philadelphia. When he rally those I met retiring in companies and squads; but had entered the northern part of the village, we heard it was impracticable; their ammunition, I suppose, had in advance of us, (I was riding by the General's side) a generally been expended. very heavy fire of musquetry. General Sullivan's dívi. 5. In the aforementioned letter from General Washing. sions, it was evident, were warmly engaged with the ene. ton to Congress, he says, "the attack from our left my; but neither was in sight. This fire, brisk and heavy column, under General Greene, began about three quar. continuing, Gen. Washington said to me; “I am afraid ters of an hour after that from the right." You ask the Gen. Sullivan is throwing a way his ammunition; ride for- cause of this. The answer is obvious. The right column,
under General Sullivan, which Washington accompanied, pen.” For these an estimate was made hy Wm. Jones, marched on the direct road to Germantown, Greene, esq. at the request of the Chamber of Commerce, and with his column, was obliged to make a circuit to the left, to gain the road which led to his point of attack in March 1822, Congress appropriated upwards of The columns being thus entirely separated, and at a $22,000 towards this object, to take effect, if upon a distance from each other, no calculations of their com- survey had, the Secretary of the Treasury should be samanders could have insured their arriving at the same tisfied as to the eligibility of the plan. But as in the time at their respective points of attack.
Judge Johnson, in his "Life of Greene,” has repre. opinion of W. Jones and the surveyors appointed under sented as “almost ludicrous' the 'scene' exhibited by the authority of the Secretary, piers constructed upon some writers, of the discussion near Chew's house, in the proposed plan would be soon demolished, either by the presence of General Washington, in which it is hint. the force of the surge or by worms, this plan was aban. ed that opinions were “obtruded;” and that even field officers may have expressed their opinions; but," he doned. In the mean time, W. Jones suggested the plan adds, “General Washington was listening to the counsels of substituting a section of a stone Breakwater to the ex. of his own mind and of his general officers.' I know, tent of the appropriation, which might be thereafter exhowever, that he did listen to the discussion: and Lee, tended until a secure aud capacious harbour should be commanding a troop of horse, on that day on duty near formed. The design and estimates were furnished, an the General's person, accounts for his determination to send the summons. * Knox,' he says, being always application was made to the Secretary of the Treasury high in the General's confidence, his opinion prevailed.' by the Chamber of Commerce, for an examination, and Further I must remark, that the general officers, whom in June 1823, Gen. S. Bernard, Lieut. Col. J. G. Totten the Judge supposes to have been present, and advising and Com. Bainbridge were appointed a board of Engi. the commander in chief, were then in their proper places, with their divisions and brigades. Knox alone of the neers for the purpose, whose report we now publish. general officers was present Commanding in the artil. In 1824 and 1825 memorials were presented to Congress lery department, and the field pieces being distributed by the Chamber, and in 1825 by the citizens, agreeably among the brigades of the army, he was always at liberty, in time of action, to attend the commander in chiet to resolutions of a town meeting held Dec. 28, at which Some two or three years since, I wrote to Judge John H. Binney, esq. presided and S. Jaudon acted as sec’ry. son, informing him of his mistakes in the matter noticed The attention of Congress was given to the subject, but in this paragraph. Others of his details of this battle, the application failed of success. The present one we which are inconsistent with the statements I have here given to you must be incorrect. The truth is, that Gen. cannot but hope will be more effectual, strengthened as Washington, not sanguine in his own opinions, and his it will be by new facts, evincing the importance of the diffidence being probably increased by a feeling sense trade of the Delaware, and the necessity of the adoption of high responsibility, as Commander in Chief, was of some plan to diminish the risk of property and sacri. ever disposed, when occasions occurred, to consult those officers who were near him, in whose discernment and fice of life, and supported by memorials from other fidelity he placed a confidence, and certainly his de- cities; which will share largely in its benefits. We will cisions were often influenced by their opinions. This hereafter publish the memorial and some other docu. is within my knowledge. I am, &c.
ments which have been collected by the committee of
the Chamber of Commerce on the subject. BREAKWATER.
REPORT As the subject of the Breakwater is about engaging of the Engineers of the United States, and of Captain the attention of Congress, and is one of great importance
Bainbridge, on the subject of
A BREAKWATER IN THE DELAWARE. to the commerce of this and the adjoining states, as well
Philadelphia, July 14th, 1823. as to that of every Atlantic state in the union, we this
In obedience to instructions from the War and Navy day publish the report of the Engineers, exhibiting the Departments of the 7th of June last, the undersigned,
plans proposed and the estimates made by them. In the having made such personal examinations as they found • year 1822 the attention of the Philadelphia Chamber of necessary, and collected all the information within their Commerce was called to the subject of the “perils and the magnitude, and the cost of a projected pier or break
reach, as to the utility, the practicability, the situation, difficulties of the winter navigation of the Delaware,” in water, near the Capes of the Delaware, for the protecan interesting communication by Wm. Jones, esq. late tion of vessels against ice, and against tempests, have the Secretary of the Navy, which was published in a pam.
honour to submit the following report.
1st. On the utility of a pier or breakwater near the phlet by directions of the Chamber. Four plans were Capes of the Delaware, which will protect vessels proposed by him at that time: "1st, the construction of against floating ice and wind. two ice-boats to be propelled by steam. 2d, the exca The Delaware bay is not only obstructed by fixed ice vating to the required depth, or otherwise improving the during a part of the winter, but it is without a harbour
near its mouth, in which vessels can secure themselves ice harbours formed by the existing public piers. 3d, either against winds blowing from the northwest to the the construction of new harbours at the confluence of southeast
, round by the north, or against floating ice. It the Christiana and Cohanzey creeks with the Dela- is frequently the case, that the navigation of the bay is ware. 4th, the construction of small intermediate har. impeded by the ice, as early as the month of December, bours in the channel side of the river where the tides are longer, between the 20th of December, and the 15th of
and it is often open for eight or ten days, and sometimes strong, and sweep alternately the same ground in a di. January, yet it closes again, and remains shut until the rection parallel to the shore." In the same year an ap- 20th of February, or even the 1st of March. For two plication was made to Congress for the erection of two March, vessels bound up the bay will be uncertain as to
months at least, therefore, between December and piers, to be framed of timber and filled in with stone, on their passage to the city; and, being without shelter the tail of the shoal called the shears, near Cape Henlo- ! when they arrive at the Čapes, will be exposed to the
greatest dangers, should they find the passage obstruct. ter, they would engage with enterprise and confidence, ed. As to the vessels departing from this port, it is true, in all the chances of commercial speculation. they can choose a favourable moment for descending the Although it is difficult to specify the amount of the river; but should they, be met by adverse winds at the losses sustained, although the annual amount has been capes, they also will be exposed to be driven ashore by decreasing with the reduction of the tonnage, and the the winds or destroyed by the ice.
greater precaution on the part of the merchants; still, These general considerations show how important it some idea may be formed of it from the circumstance, is, that something be done to secure, if possible, a safe that a single East India or China ship is often worth half anchorage near the mouth of this great communication a million of dollars; that is to say, two or three times as with the ocean; but it is proper by some details, to show much as would be the cost of a Breakwater near the more fully in how high a degree this subject merits the capes, to shelter a dozen vessels. attention of government.
We have thus far examined the advantages to result From information received through the Chamber of from an artificial harbour, with reference only to the Commerce, it appears that the tonnage exclusively be-commerce of the Delaware; but they will be found of longing to, and registered in the port of Philadelphia in scarcely less moment to the coasting navigation of the 1810, when the population of the city and county nation at large. The great number of shipwrecks upon amounted to 111,210, was 124,430; and in 1820, when the coasts of Jersey and Delaware proves that the winter the population amounted to 137,097, was 78,837. navigation of that coast is attended with imminent peril;
Now if the tonnage had increased in the same ratio as and we may safely affirm, that a project which shall place the population, it would have been in 1820, 153,394 in- a secure harbour at the mouth of the Delaware, lying as stead of 78,837: consequently the tonnage of the port it will, about midway between the distant harbours of of Philadelphia in 1820, may be said to have been but New York and the Chesapeake, and being always accesabout half of what it was in 1810.
sible, with the winds which are most dangerous, will Though this great diminution is to be ascribed to vari- produce a result of incalculable value, whether we cone ous causes, there is no doubt that the want of a good sider the saving of property, or of human life. harbour at the mouth of the bay, is one of very great in 2d. On the practicability of constructing a Pier or fluence. Owing to this want, many vessels postpone Breakwater, which will afford shelter for vessels, and their departure from foreign ports, thereby incurring have, in itself such stability as to resist the most violent very great expense; or arriving off the capes at the un- efforts of floating ice and gales of wind. propitious season, are obliged to bear away for some The commission have ascertained that the ravages of neighbouring port. As to those which run the risk of the worm, in the lower part of the bay, would soon dethe passage up the bay, many are much damaged, and stroy any wall in which timber entered as an essential others entirely lost. In the winter of 1809—10, a large part; and they are convinced, were it otherwise, as renumber of vessels in attempting this passage, were either spects timber, no dependence could be placed in the destroyed in the bay by the ice, or wrecked upon the stability of a work having an envelope of timber, unless shore, or lost at sea, while in pursuit of a harbour of such a form were given to it as would, in fact, make the safety. Since that period, the captains have orders not to envelope a very expensive, and at the same time a nearincur the like risk; and the winter arrivals are compara- ly useless appendage. The form here spoken of has tively few. The regular packet-ships which come upon reference to the profile or traverse section, and is one the coast in winter, are often obliged to bear away for in which the breadth at bottom, being very great comNew York, there to land their cargoes, the transporta pared with that at the top, the slopes of the sides are so tion of which, owing to the badness of the roads at that gentle, that the stones composing the mass are retained season, is both tedious and costly.
firmly in place by their own weight: to this form of If there were a harbour at the mouth of the bay, ves structure has been applied, in a memorable example, sels could drop anchor within it to wait for the first fa- where the objects in view were similar to the present, vourable chance to reach New Castle, whence they the term of Breakwater. could easily proceed to Philadelphia, by taking advan With the complete success which has attended the stutage of the openings in the river, between those two pendous works of the Jette of Cherbourgh and the Break places, which occur two or three times every winter. In water of Plymouth, (just alluded to,) the commission like manner, vessels despatched from Philadelphia would cannot hesitate as to the practicability of constructing a descend to New Castle, and thence to the mouth of the breakwater in the Delaware, which will be lasting in it. bay, there to wait, if necessary, until the proper mo- self, and secure permanently the advantages which are ment to proceed to sea.
sought. This confidence is founded on a comparison of Besides the embarrassment to commercial intercourse, the exposure of the works above cited, with the exposure the loss of time, and the increase of expense which are of the situation which may be selected in this bay, on a conscquent upon the present state of things, the premi- comparison of the nature of the bottom, and the direcum of insurance is greatly increased by the dangers to tion and force of the tide; and on the advantages we shall which vessels in winter are exposed at the mouth of the derive from a knowledge of the difficulties encountered, Delaware. This premium is from one-half to one and a the manner in which they were overcome, and the very half per centum above the customary rate; and in cases faults of design and execution in those great works. which become desperate from the casualties to which 3d. On the situation which the projected Breakwater vessels are exposed, in the attempt to enter the Dela- should have. ware, insurance is either refused, or an exorbitant pre As the dangers from which the breakwater is to be a mium demanded.
guard, are to be encountered at the very mouth of the As to the losses of vessels which have actually happen- Delaware, it is obvious that a situation for it must be se. ed for want of a proper shelter, it is difficult
, though lected as near the Capes as possible; and it must be here they have unquestionably heen numerous, to determine added, that its utility, as respects the coasting navigathe number, or to state the amount of property. They tion, depends on this condition. Over all the broad excan only be ascertained by research among the journals panse of water which separates the Capes of the Delaof the period, and amongst the records of the several in ware, but two situations occur where an artificial har. surance offices both in this city and elsewhere, to which bour could be constructed, with any hope of advantage; research the commission does not feel warranted to de- and the first of those, namely, the roadstead under Cape vote the time it would require: but this much appears to May, is too shallow; its access is attended with too much be certain, that the ship-owners in Philadelphia, in con- danger; and it is too much aside from the main channel, sideration of the trouble, risk, expense, and loss of the up and down the bay, to require further mention. navigation, do not order one in ten of their vessels to this The other situation is the roadstead between the Shears port in winter; and also, that if there were suitable shel- I and Cape. Henlopen; and referring to the chart herewith
to illustrate the subject more in detail, we will now de- properly situated there, to protect it against all enterscribe this roadstead.
prises of an enemy. A shoal called the Shears lies just within the Capes
In the selection which under all circumstances, the of Delaware, and about three miles from the Cape Hen- commission make of this last position B, for this artificial lopen shore though it is so delineated upon existing harbour, they adopt the hypothesis, that the expense, maps, it is by no means an insular shoal; but it is the thougla great, will not be disproportioned to the magniseaward part of an extensive bank, making out from the tude of the benefits to result in common to the commerce Delaware shore, at and near the mouth of Lewistown of the nation, and to that of the Delaware; and the comcreek. The ridge, or shoalest part of this bank, runs mission cannot hesitate as to the correctness of the hyfrom Low-Plumb-Point, first north-easterly two miles pothesis. But it often happens that works of the utmost and a half, then easterly two miles and a half, and lastly national importance, are necessarily postponed or nesouth-easterly three miles and a quarter, making the glected, for want of means in the government, or that length of the bank from Low-Plumb-Point, following the they are for the same reason, or because their success course of the ridge, about eight miles. Its breadth is is half problematical, carried on slowly, or attempted variable. Of that part called the Shears, the extreme but partially. breadth is nearly two miles; from the tail of the Shears From these considerations, in connection with the to Cape Henlopen is two miles and a half. Considering great expense of a complete Breakwater, the commisthe shoal limited, as in the chart herewith, by three fa- sion have been induced to seek for some mode of securthoms and a half at low water, the soundings upon it ing a partial benefit, at a cost so moderate, as, under any vary from that depth to one foot. South of the tail of circumstances, to warrant the undertaking. They the the Shears, and separated from it by a narrow channel of rather infer this to be their duty from the small approfour and a half to five fathoms, lies a small shoal, having priation to the object in view, in the law of Congress about eighteen feet water. It is between the great bank which accompanied their instructions: The commission or shoal and the Delaware shore, and having for its are not, however, to question the ability, nor to judge outline the opposite concavities of the shoal and the of the disposition of the nation, in this respect; but für. shore, that the roadstead above mentioned is found. The nishing the best information they can obtain, and their average depth within the road is about four fathoms and own deliberate opinion, in reference both to a complete a half, and at the mouth about six fathoms at low water. and a partial work, to lay the matter fairly before the
Though highly important and valuable in many re- government for its decision. Two projects will, therespects, this road is nevertheless much exposed to certain fore, be presented; one designed to afford a complete, winds, and entirely so to floating ice. On consulting the spacious and defensible harbour; the other intended to chart herewith, it will be seen that easterly winds blow protect, at a minimum of expense, a limited number of directly through the chaps of the roadstead, and that the vessels. direction of the ebb tide sweeps into and through it a The situation for the first has already been described. large part of the ice of the bay; it was to guard against On examining for a proper site for a small Breakwater, this latter danger chiefly, that the project now before the Commission found the conditions of security from the commission was first conceived.
ice and winds not easily reconcileable with that of seWe come now to the consideration of what particular curity from an enemy, there being no place near the part of this roadstead is most suitable for the creation, by shore in which a small Breakwater can be made, to means of a Breakwater, of an artificial harbour, whích, guard against both ice and wind. at a minimum expense, will fulfil all the essential condi The course of the ebb tide is there nearly parallel with tions of such an establishment. These conditions are, the shore; the Breakwater therefore, which should be 1st, security from winds; 2d, security from ice; 3d, se so placed as to arrest and deflect the floating ice, would curity from an enemy;
leave the vessels, intended to be covered, still exposed As to the first condition, if a position be taken at A, to the action of the north-easterly gales; consequently, on the southern margin of the Shears, it will be suffici- an equal length, at least, would be required against the ently under the lee of the main to be protected from all winds as against the ice. A harbour for three or four the winds from the south-east by south to west, (round vessels could not be made, under these circumstances, by the south,) and by the shoal off Low-Plumb-Point without a very considerable development of Breakwater. and the Shears proper, it will be so much protected Going to the opposite side of the roadstead, however, from winds blowing from west to east, (round by the we find that the Shears, being themselves a good Breaknorth,) that the profile of this part of the Breakwater water against the northerly, north-easterly and easterly may be made comparatively weak, and at a small ex. winds, with the help of certain means hereafter recompense; against wines from east to south-east by south, mended,) an embankment against the ice alone, will give the Breakwater alone must afford protection, and must a harbour of considerable capacity, which will be safe, be made proportionably strong. A Breakwater so con, as to both ice and winds. It is true, that, in resorting structed here as to guard against winds, will also afford to this position, we relinquish the condition of entire security against ice, and thereby fulfil the second condi- safety from an enemy, only to be attained near the shore; tion. As to the third condition, however, it would be but it is also true, so far as our judgment is correct, that defective: the distance from the main is too great for it there is no alternative. to be well defended by works upon the shore, and for. A few observations will be made, here, however, as tifications upon the spot itself would involve considera- tending to diminish the objection to this position. 1st.
A battery of heavy guns and sea-mortars upon the shore The condition of complete security from an enemy would make the situation of an enemy's vessels, even obliges us therefore to abandon this position, and to seek in the harbour, somewhat hazardous, and would bear, for one, not otherwise objectionable, nearer the shore. with much effect, upon his vessels, when attempting to
Referring now to the plan marked B, just within the enter or to leave the roadstead. 2d. Should an enemy pitch of Cape Henlopen, it will be seen that a harbour succeed in stationing his ships within the harbour, and there will be entirely sheltered from all winds from east not be molested while there, either by works on the to west-north-west, (round by the south,) but being dis- shore, or by the floating defences, which would, in time tant from the shears, will not be sensibly benefited by of war, be stationed near the mouth of the bay, he the lee of that shoal, and consequently will require a would not be able to enforce a blockade, without passing, strong Breakwater against all winds from the other thir- in every attempt, within range of the works. 3d. The teen points of the compass. In this position, as in the object of an enemy being to blockade the bay, he would other, the embankment against the winds and waves derive but little advantage from the harbour; because, may be so contrived as to give entire security from the during eight or ten months in the year, a man of war ice, while its proximity to the shore will enable a fort, I would find safe anchorage over every part of the sur