Mr. Matkin continues this letter with a history of Bermuda,
and speculates upon the dockyard's usefulness in the now unlikely seeming
event of war with America.
The Bermuda islands all belong to
Great Britain, and are about 300 in number, but the whole lot are
no larger than S. Thomas. Bermuda itself is the largest, and Hamilton
the chief town is built on it, the whole population is about 12,000
and the greater portion are colored people. The islands were discovered
in 1527 by Bermudez a Spaniard, who named them after himself. In
1609, Admiral Sir George Somers, was wrecked on the islands and
founded the Colony; and have belonged to the British ever since.
There is a fine fortified Dockyard, on one of the islands, and an
immense iron floating dock, for the convenience of re-fitting the
Fleet stationed in North American waters, without sending them home.
This immense dock was built at Woolwich, and towed across the Atlantic
a few years ago, by four of our largest Ironclads. This place would
be of great importance as a rendezvous for the Fleet &c in case
of a war with America; it is 5 days sail from New York, and 800
miles from the nearest land, Cape Hatteras in North America.
A Bermuda travellogue continues....
on shore yester afternoon, & had a fine walk on 5 or 6 different
islands, which are connected either by a Bridge or Ferry Boat, and
have some splendid walks on them. The flowers here are beautiful,
and there are plenty of English singing birds, as well as native
ones of most brilliant plumage. The walks are shaded by trees on
each side, and there are several Churches, schools &c on the
islands. Hamilton, the chief town is 8 miles from here, I walked
nearly there yesterday and intend going all the way before we leave,
about the 20th inst.