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the Cape Fear River or the fortifications of Charleston, of tappy work, a mixture of concrete and shells. / Brick walls were often built very thick; those of St. Philip's Church, Brunswick, still show three feet in depth. Chimneys were heavy, often in stacks, and windows as a rule were small. The bonding was English, Flemish, or "running,” according to the taste of the builder, and many of the houses had stone trimming, which had to be brought from England, if it were of freestone as was suggested for King's Chapel, Boston, or of marble as in Governor Tryon's palace in New Bern.
Buildings of stone were not common and were confined chiefly to the North, where this material could be easily and cheaply obtained. As early as 1639 Henry Whitfield erected a house of stone at Guilford, Connecticut, to serve in part as a place of defense, and in other places, here and there, were to be found stone buildings used for various purposes. It has been said that King's Chapel, Boston, built in 1749-54, was the first building in America to be constructed of hewn stone, but this is not the case. Some of the early houses in New York as well as the two Anglican churches were of hewn stone. The Malbone country house near Newport, built before 1750, was also “of hewn
stone and all the corners and sides of the windows painted to represent marble.” There were many houses in the colonies painted to resemble stone, and some in which only the first story or the basement was of this material, while in many instances there were broad stone steps leading up to a house otherwise constructed of wood or brick. Stone for building purposes was therefore well known and frequently used.
Travelers who visited the leading towns in the period from 1750 to 1763 have left descriptions which help us to visualize the external features of these places. Portsmouth, the most northerly town of importance, had houses of both wood and brick, “large and exceeding neat,” we are told, “generally 3 story high and well sashed and glazed with the best glass, the rooms well plastered and many wainscoted or hung with painted paper from England, the outside clapboarded very neatly.” Salem was “a large town well built, many genteel large houses (which tho’ of wood) are all pland and painted on the outside in imitation of hewn stone." By 1750 Boston had about three thousand houses and twenty thousand inhabitants; two-thirds of the houses were of wood, two or three stories high, mostly sashed, the remainder of brick,
substantially built and in excellent architectural taste. The streets were well paved with stone, a thing rare in New England, but those in the North End were crooked, narrow, and disagreeable. Worcester was “one of the best built and prettiest inland little towns” that Lord Adam Gordon had seen in America. The houses in Newport, with one or two exceptions, were of wood, making “a good appearance and also as well furnished as in most places you will meet with, many of the rooms be ing hung with printed canvas and paper, which looks very neat, others are well wainscoted and painted.” New London with its one street a mile long by the river side and its houses built of wood, seemed in 1750 to be “new and neat.” New Haven, which covered a great deal of ground, was laid out in nine squares around a green or market place, and contained many houses in wood, a few in brick or stone, a brick statehouse, a brick meetinghouse, and Yale College, which was being rebuilt in brick. Middletown, though one of the most important commercial centers between New York and Boston and the third town in Connecticut, had only wooden houses. Hartford, "a large, scattering town on a small river” (the Little River not the Connecticut is meant), was
built chiefly of wood, with here and there a brick dwelling house.
New York, with two or three thousand buildings and from sixteen to seventeen thousand people in 1760, was very irregular in plan, with streets which were crooked and exceedingly narrow but generally pretty well paved, thus adding “much to the decency and cleanness of the place and the advantage of carriage.” Many of the houses were built in the old Dutch fashion, with their gables to the street, but others were more modern, “many of 'em spacious, genteel houses, some being 4 or 5 stories high, others not above two, of hewn stone, brick, and white Holland tiles, neat but not grand.” A round cupola capping a square wooden church tower rising above a few clustering houses was all that marked the town of Brooklyn, while a ferry tavern and a few houses were all that foreshadowed the future greatness of Jersey City. Albany was as yet a town of dirty and crooked streets, with its houses badly built, chiefly of wood, and unattractive in appearance.
Southward across the river from New York were Elizabeth, New Brunswick, and Perth Amboy, the last with a few houses for the “quality folk," but “a mean village,” albeit one of the capitals of the
province of New Jersey. Burlington, the other capital, consisted “of one spacious large street that runs down to the river,” with several cross streets, on which were a few “tolerable good buildings, with a courthouse which made “but a poor figure, considering its advantageous location.” Trenton, or Trent Town, was described in 1749 as “a fine town and near to Delaware River, with fine stone buildings and a fine river and intervals medows, etc.”
Philadelphia had 2100 houses in 1750 and 3600 in 1765, built almost entirely of brick, generally “three stories high and well sashed, so that the city must make (take it upon the whole) a very good figure.” The Virginia ladies who visited the city were wont to complain of the small rooms and monotonous architecture, every house like every other. The streets were paved with flat footwalks on each side of the street and well illumined with lamps, which Boston does not appear to have had until 1773. Wilmington on the Delaware was a very young town in 1750, "all the houses being new and built of brick.” Newcastle, the capital, was a poor town of little importance. There were but few towns in Maryland. Annapolis, the capital, was "charmingly situated on a peninsula, falling different ways to the water . . . built in an