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makes the Mordecais and Daniels tremble at the gong-sound of trumpet-tongued ridicule. Not only the vain and giddy, the thoughtless and rattlebrained, dance attendance upon her, but many a statesman and philosopher, moralist and Christian, more or less from all classes, pay tythes, at least, into the treasury of this transatlantic, Americanized, aristocratic, brazen-faced goddess; who is constantly importing the trappings and extravagances of European courts, to smother republican simplicity. Fashion is the foster mother of vanity, the offal of pride, and has nursed her pet, until it is as fat as a sea turtle, is quite as wicked to bite, and harder to kill; but, unlike that inhabitant of the herring pond, instead of keeping in a shell, it is mounted on a shell, adorned with every flummery that the old fickle minded, ever changing, never tiring, ignis fatuus nurse can invent, intruding into all the avenues of life, scattering misery far and wide—faithless, fearless, uncompromising, and tyrannical. Reader, if you love freedom more than slavery, liberty more than thraldom, happiness more than misery, competence more than poverty; never bow your knee to the goddess Fashion.
By referring to history, we find the Great Fires of our country scarcely deserve the name, either on land or water, in the amount of property destroyed, or in the destruction of human life.
In the years 982, 1087, 1132, and 1136, nearly the whole of the city of London was destroyed by fire. On the 10th of July, 1212, the London bridge was burnt, and two thousand persons perished. On the 2d of September, 1666, a fire commenced near the monument, and continued four days and nights, spreading over four hundred and thirty-six acres of ground, four hundred streets, and consuming one hundred and thirteen thousand houses, and eighty-six churches. In 1676, this city was again threatened, for a time, with a similar fire, six hundred houses being destroyed before the flames were arrested. The next large fire in London, occurred July 22 and 23, 1794, when near seven hundred houses were destroyed, including an East India warehouse, in which were thirty-five thousand bags of saltpetre, but history says nothing of its "explosion."
On the 21st of March, 1824, a dreadful fire occurred at Cario, Egypt, when six thousand persons lost their lives by the explosion of the magazine—gunpowder, not saltpetre! In January, 1823, a great fire occurred in Canton, which consumed fifteen thousand houses, and occasioned the loss of five hundred lives.
On the 4th of September, 1778, a fire occurred in Constantinople, which consumed two thousand houses. On the 22d of October, 1782, another occurred in the same city, which consumed forty thousand dwellings and fifty mosques. In July of the next year, seven hundred houses were burnt. August 5, 1784, another fire occurred there, which destroyed ten thousand houses. During the year 1791, at different fires, thirty thousand houses were destroyed in that ill-fated city. On the 2d of August, 1816, this city lost twelve hundred and five houses and three thousand shops. In 1818-20, several thousand more houses were destroyed. In February, 1813, a great fire occurred there, destroying twelve thousand houses, four hundred boats, and four .hundred lives.
On the 21st of June, 1821, Paramaribo, the chief city of the Dutch colonies in South America, was almost entirely destroyed by fire—damage estimated at twenty millions of guilders. On the 26th of August, 1780, St. Petersburgh, in Russia, sustained great damage by fire; and on the 28th of November, of the same year, eleven thousand houses were destroyed by fire, communicated by lightning. On the 7th of June, 1796, another fire occurred there, destroying a large magazine of naval stores, and one hundred vessels.
Moscow, in Russia, founded, in 1147, was fired by the Tartars, in 1383, and almost entirely consumed. It was rebuilt, and, in 1571, again laid in ashes by the Tartars. It was again rebuilt, and, in 1611, destroyed by the Poles. From that time, this city enjoyed uninterrupted prosperity up to the 14th of September, 1812, when Bonaparte entered it with his victorious army. It was then fired by the Russians, and continued burning for several days, destroying more than three quarters of the city proper, then twenty miles in circumference, compelling the French army to retreat from the flames, causing the ruin of the army and the downfall of Bonaparte. Thirty thousand sick and wounded perished in the flames.
At Brest, in France, on the 4th of December, 1776, the marine hospital was consumed, with a large number of sick persons, and fifty galley slaves.
On the 14th of February, 1807, the British ship Ajax was consumed off Tenedos, an island in the Grecian Archipelago, when three hundred and fifty men perished.
On the 6th of April, 1800, the British man-of-war, Queen Charlotte, was consumed by fire off Leghorn, when seven hundred lives were lost.
Many other fires have occurred at different times, in other countries, of greater magnitude, than any that have taken place in our country.
New York has suffered by fire, at different periods, more in amount, than any city in the United States. On the 29th of December, 1773, the government house in that city was consumed. Trinity church, the Charity school house, the Lutheran church, and one thousand houses, were consumed by fire in that city, on the 21st of September, 1776. On the 7th of August, 1778, another fire occurred, which destroyed three hundred houses. Many other fires occurred at different periods, consuming from twenty to sixty houses at a time, previous to 1835, when greater damage was done than at any former fire. The destruction was estimated at over ten millions of dollars. The fire of last summer, in that city, is fresh in the minds of all, as also that of Quebec in Canada.
On the 21st of March, 1788, the greater portion of New Orleans was reduced to ashes. In Charleston, S. C, on the 15th of July, 1815, a fire occurred, which destroyed two hundred houses.
On the 18th of January, 1827, a destructive fire occurred in Alexandria, D. C, which, owing to the inclement season, caused great distress. Congress appropriated twenty thousand dollars towards the relief of the sufferers.
On the 17th of December, 1786, Richmond, Va., was visited by a fire, which destroyed one hundred houses. On the 26th of December, 1811, the theatre at that place was burnt, when seventy lives were lost, among them, the governor of the state.
Raleigh, N. C, was nearly destroyed by fire, on the 2d of October, 1832. Wilmington, in the same state, suffered greatly by fire in November, 1798.
On the 26th of December, 1802, Portsmouth, N.H., had three hundred houses destroyed by fire.—August 24, 1814, Washington city was fired by order of Gen. Ross, who commanded the British troops. The capitol, containing the national library, the house of the President, and many private dwellings, were consumed, as also the dock yard and the bridge over the Potomac.
Petersburg, Va., was visited by a destructive fire on the 26th of April, 1761; since which, it has been almost totally destroyed twice, by this destructive element.
The first fire found on record, worthy of note, that occurred in Philadelphia, took place on the 24th of March, 1790, when a calico manufactory was burnt on the south west corner of Market and Ninth streets. On the 27th of January, 1797, the printing office and dwelling" of Andrew Brown were consumed; his wife and three children perished in the flames; and, on the 4th of February following, he died, from injuries received in endeavoring to rescue them. The most melancholy fire that ever occurred in this city, was the burning of the Orphan Asylum, on the 23d of January, 1822, when twenty-three of the poor orphans perished. Fire engines and hose were in use here as early as 1803.
I now proceed to speak of the destructive fire which occurred in Pittsburg, on the 10th of April last. I not only witnessed, but felt deeply, the disastrous consequences of that fire, in the loss of nearly all of my property.