Слике страница

small hole to allow the escape of the air, which would otherwise prevent the lead from completely filling the cavity. A small strip of lead, somewhat thicker than the diameter of a musket-bullet, is introduced between the circumferences of the wheels, which nearly touch one another, and which by revolving force it into the cups, from whence it afterwards falls out on the opposite side in the shape of complete spheres. There are two very great advantages in the bullets formed by this machine. First, they have not that small cavity in their interior, which cannot be got rid of in those that are cast, and which varies according to the heat of the lead. Secondly, the compressed bullets are heavier than those of a larger size made in the common manner. Moreover, from both these reasons, the flight of the bullet is rendered much more accurate.

On observing the annexed diagram it will immediately strike the reader that the machine acts upon the same principle as the cylinders employed in our Dock-yards for rolling copper.


A. A. the two steel wheels. B. B. the cups in the circumferences of the wheels. C. the small bar of lead.

The musket barrels are all browned like those of the English, as are also the bayonets, with the exception of a few inches from the point. Experiments are making to ascertain whether locks on the percussion principle cannot be applied to small arms, and it seems probable that these locks will soon be adopted.

6 It is estimated that the cost of muskets this year will be about two dollars per stand less than in 1817. The quality of the arms, now manufactured, is greatly superior to those made in 1817.“ The introduction of labour-saving-machinery has effected, not only a reduction of expense, but more perfect workmanship, and a more exact system of uniformity.”

“ The arms now made are considered to be worth at least 20 per cent. more than those made in

66 The muskets manufactured at the national armouries in 1817, were then estimated to have cost 13 dollars 90 cents.

“ The contract-price at that period was 14 dollars.

6 In 1821 the arms made are estimated at 12 dollars 51} cents.

“ Difference between average of 1817 and 1821 1 dollar 39 cents.

“ The average cost of the arms made this year, it is believed, will not exceed 12 dollars.” *


* Documents accompanying the President's Message of 1822, pages 36 and 37.

The Militia being the force on which the United States chiefly rely for defence, every citizen is obliged to be enrolled in it from the age of eighteen to forty-five, and to go armed to the musters in order to be drilled. These musters take place four or five times a-year, for a day at a time; and

every one who is not present, and cannot give a satisfactory reason for his absence, is fined five dollars. Of course all persons holding offices under the Government, or having rank in the army or navy, are exempt. In consequence of this admirable institution, every individual is armed, and is sufficiently a soldier, to turn out at a moment's warning, and defend his country from an enemy. More over, it is a circumstance well worthy of remark, and perhaps of imitation, that each regiment of Militia chooses its own officers.

As the officers are the only persons obliged to be in uniform at the Militia Musters, the rest of the soldiers are in their ordinary dresses, and the long coats, short coats, and jackets, being all mixed together present a motley and laughable appearance. Of course however this does not diminish the utility of the institution : for as Napoleon said, when speaking of the King of Prussia : “ I soon convinced him, that the fate of a battle did not depend on the cut of a jacket, or on the arrangement of a row of buttons.” The Militiamen of the Western States generally appear in their hunting shirts, a dress that is very becoming.

In addition to the Militia, there are in every State and town, and particularly in every large town, a great many volunteer or independent companies. A number of young men of the better class form themselves into a corps, choose their officers, and meet at different times for the purpose of drilling, according as their captains may order. Whoever belongs to one of these corps is exempt from serving in the militia. Their uniforms, which they choose themselves, are in general very handsome, and each individual is always remarkably well appointed. These corps are generally Rifle companies, or artillery, though there is here and there a corps of cavalry; and I can say from my own observation that some of the light infantry manoeuvre uncommonly well.



Í LEFT West Point with no little regret. From thence I ascended the Hudson to Albany, a town of antiquated appearance, and which the Dutch founded, when they possessed the State of New York. The houses, which are neatly painted, have generally their gable ends turned towards the street; some of them moreover are constructed with small Dutch bricks.

Albany continues to thrive and increase, by carrying on an extensive trade with the interior of the State; and as it is here that the great Canal, reaching from Lake Erié, enters the Hudson, it will soon become a place of great importance.

This stupendous Canal, which, like the great wall of China, forms a visible line on the terrestrial globe, has raised the State of New York to the highest rank in the Union.

“* No one need inquire what are the advantages of the State of New York for internal commerce. The map

of our State will answer the question, and put curiosity at rest. Neither do we want ability to improve those advantages which Provi

Considerations on the Great Western Canal, its advanages, &c. Brooklyn, 1818.

« ПретходнаНастави »