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The name of Union, including its terminations, is found to occur thirty-nine times; but as these notes were made a year ago, since when the mania for building towns and cities in the West has raged to an alarming extent, it would not be unreasonable to add some half dozen more Unions to the list. As it is, several states must contain two towns of the same name.
Liberty, so closely connected with Union, appears not to have been as attractive as the latter, ten towns only bearing the name, and Independence still less so, as it occurs but six times.
The name of the brave and lamented Perry has not been forgotten; nor would it be, if alone confined to him. Twenty-one towns now bear his name. Clinton is deservedly another favorite with his countrymen. His great work in the state of New-York has immortalized his name.
Fourteen towns of the name are known in the country. Centreville is found seventeen times; Springfield, sixteen; Richmond, sixteen; Brownsville, fourteen; Fairfield, fourteen; Concord, twelve; Manchester, sixteen; Kingston, twelve ; Middleborough, Middlebrook, Middlebury, Middlefield, Middleford, Middleport, Middleser, Middletown, Middleville, and Middleway, collectively, occur fifty times.
Native animals have contributed their part in furnishing appellations for our towns, as Elkhill, Elkhart, Elkhorn, Elkland, Elklick, Elkmarsh, Elkridge, Elkrun, Elkcreek, Elkgrove, Elkton, and Elkville. Twenty-three places have names derived from Buck, nine Buffaloes, six Bulls, ten Beavers, including those with dam, kill, creek, valley, etc., affixed : Raccoon, Wolf, Swan, Sunfish, Eagle, Doe-Run, Crab-Run, Butterfly, and other choice selections from animated nature, may be found.
Our noble forest trees have generously lent their names, and constitute no inconsiderable part of the innumerable array we have attempted to describe. The oak, in particular, is prolific with its appendages, occurring thirty-six times, in the following names : Oakdale, Oakhill, Oakgrore, Oakham, Oakfiat, Oakfield, Oakland, Oakorchard, and Oakville. There are also places named after the Cedar, Chestnut, Hickory, Locust, Maple, Mulberry, Cherry, Pine, Hazle, Poplar, Elm, Laurel, Butternut, Sycamore, Walnut, and Willow trees, with and without terminations.
The name of Greene has contributed largely in furnishing appellations for our towns, both singly and with its numerous terminations. It occurs no less than eighty-five times, in Greenfield, Greenford, Greenhill, Greenville, Grecnock, Greenbush, Greenport, Greenriver, Greenboro', Greenbury, Greenfork, Greenstone, Greenvalley, Greenwich, Greenwood, Greenmont, Greenland, Greenbay, and Greenbank.
The name of Smith, as in Smithfield, Smithford, Smithdale, and with similar terminations to the name previously mentioned, occurs twenty-six times. Sandwich, Sandhill, Sandplains, Sandbluff, and names commencing with sand, are found forty times. Pleasant, with Pleasant Valley, hill, mount, ridge, plain, vale, view, and ville, occurs forty-three times. Williams, with its terminations, thirty-five times. Fairhaven, Fairplay, Fairport, Fairtoun, Fairview, Fairgrore, Fairmont, eighteen times. Brown, with the common terminations, thirty-nine times. Wood, with the usual terminations of
land, lawn, bury, etc., and the unusual names of Woodpecker and Woodcock, forty-four times. Belleville, Bellefonte, Belleview, etc., twentyeight times. White, with the terminations of creek, deer, field, hall, haven, lake, house, land, ville, town, river, and White Horse, White Eyes, White Pigeon, White Post, etc., occurs fifty times. Bloomingdale, Bloomfield, and words beginning with Bloom, twenty-two times. Clarksville, Clarksboro', Clarkson, twenty-nine times.
Towns and villages situated on hills or mountains are frequently named after celebrated mountains, but this class of names are equally used to designate places situated on plains. They seem to have been favorite names with those whose privilege it was to apply them. One hundred and twenty-six towns are found in the United States with names commencing with Mount. Mount Vernon occurs sixteen times. As specimens of others, may be selected Mount Zion, Mount Pleasant, Mount Olympus, Mount Hope, Mount Jackson, Mount Washington, Tabor, Pizgah, Carmel, Gilead, Horeb, Lebanon, Israel, etc.
The most prolific source, however, of American names, is that of old and foreign names, prefixed by the word New — as New-Lordon and New-York. Of towns with this class of names,
there are two hundred and fifty-seven. The following are examples of them : Newark, Newport, Newton, Newcastle, Newcomb, Newbury, Newburg, New-Haven : also, New Egypt, New Paris, New Troy, New Jerusalem, New Sweden, New Britain, New Canaan, etc. The latter few which are but specimens of about two hundred certainly in very bad taste, and exhibit a want of information on the part of those by whom they were named.
The attempt to Grecianize modern names, has not been attended with success, and is the most ridiculous method yet resorted to. Jackson-opolis, Perry-opolis, and a few others, are all that exist.
There is another variety of names which, for their cii. qularity, should not be omitted in this list. Many may doubt their existence : all we know is, that there are places of these names, and that they are of sufficient importance to contain a Post Office. The same remark will apply to every place here mentioned. To designate the states where the following towns or villages are situated, would be useless; it is sufficient to say that they may be found. They are : Horse-shoe, Split-Rock, Horse-head, Hat, Long-a-coming, One-Leg, Painted Post, Spread-Eagle, Thoroughfare, Traveler's-Rest, Wild. Cat, English Neighbor, Good Intent, Good-Luck, White-Horse, HalfMoon, Temperance, Economy, Harmony, Industry, Trinity, and Unity.
The most singular thing connected with the subject, is, that our country itself is destitute of a name, and our countrymen cannot assume to themselves the distinctive appellation which the natives of all other countries in the world are enabled to. Our country is called the United States but there are the United States of Mexico, the South American States, and, in Europe, the German and Italian States. All of these, save the former, have a name
for we can say Mexico, Columbia, Guatemala, Germany, Italy, etc.; but by what name shall we call the United States of North America ? What its natives? It is true, they are generally called Americans, but this is coming no nearer the mark, than to call an Irishman a European : for persons born in Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, or Peru, are equally entitled to the name of American in addition to which, they have a distinctive appellation, which designates the country of their birth.
Natives of this country, when in foreign parts, are only known as Americans, or natives of the United States of North America. It is true they are sometimes called Yankees, but this is a nickname, which only belongs to the people of New-England - a name given them by the aborigines. A few of the states are so named that their inhabitants may be designated -as a Virginian, a Vermonter, a Kentuckian, etc. Others it would be extremely difficult so to classify; but nicknames have been invented as a substitute. For instance, natives of New England are called Yankees, those of Ohio, Buckeyes, etc.
In addition to the several varieties of names mentioned, there is another class which is deserving of notice. It originated from an intermixture between the French and Indian, and subsequently becoming Anglicized, is very difficult to analyze. In the northwestern parts of our country, and on the northern frontier, where colonies were first planted by the French, these names are found. They spelt the Indian names according to the value of their own alphabet, and to accord with their pronunciation, which did very well while they employed them; but when the Americans used the French words, with an English pronunciation, the Indian names were of course metamorphosed into words which neither people would acknowledge as belonging to their language.
In this class of names, may be included those of Dutch origin in the states of New-York and New-Jersey. Many, it is true, retain their original pronunciation ; but to these we do not refer. Our remarks only apply to those which, from their similarity to English names, have become so by use.
Indian names, so frequently referred to in these remarks, we have purposely avoided mentioning, as they compose a class which requires a close analysis, and which is of sufficient importance to form the subject of another paper.
There is a bud in life's dark wilderness,
THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH. That very singular man, old Dr. Heidegger, once invited four venerable friends to meet him in his study. There were three whitebearded gentlemen, Mr. Medbourne, Colonel Killigrew, and Mr. Gascoigne, and a withered gentlewoman, whose name was the Widow Wycherly. They were all melancholy old creatures, who had been unfortunate in life, and whose greatest misfortune it was, that they were not long ago in their graves. Mr. Medbourne, in the vigor of his
age, had been a prosperous merchant, but had lost his all by a frantic speculation, and was now little better than a mendicant. Colonel Killigrew had wasted his best years, and his health and substance, in the pursuit of sinful pleasures, which had given birth to a brood of pains, such as the gout, and divers other torments of soul and body. Mr. Gascoigne was a ruined politician, a man of evil fame, or at least had been so, till time had buried him from the knowledge of the present generation, and made him obscure instead of infa
As for the Widow Wycherly, tradition tells us that she was a great beauty in her day ; but, for a long while past, she had lived in deep seclusion, on account of certain scandalous stories, which had prejudiced the gentry of the town against her. It is a circumstance worth mentioning, that each of these three old gentlemen, Mr. Medbourne, Colonel Killigrew, and Mr. Gascoigne, were early lovers of the Widow Wycherly, and had once been on the point of cutting each other's throats for her sake. And, before proceeding farther, I will merely hint, that Dr. Heidegger and all his four guests were sometimes thought to be a little beside themselves; as is not unfrequently the case with old people, when worried either by present troubles or woful recollections.
My dear old friends,' said Dr. Heidegger, motioning them to be seated, 'I am desirous of your assistance in one of those little experiments with which I amuse myself here in my study.'
If all stories were true, Dr. Heidegger's study must have been a very curious place. It was a dim, old-fashioned chamber, festooned with cobwebs, and besprinkled with antique dust. Around the walls stood several oaken book-cases, the lower shelves of which were filled with rows of gigantic folios, and black leather quartos, and the upper with little parchment duodecimos. Over the central bookcase was a bronze bust of Hippocrates, with which, according to some authorities, Dr. Heidegger was accustomed to hold consultations, in all difficult cases of his practice. In the obscurest corner of the room stood a tall and narrow oaken closet, with its door ajar, within which doubtfully appeared a skeleton. Between two of the book-cases hung a looking-glass, presenting its high and dusty plate within a tarnished gilt frame. Among many wonderful stories related of this mirror, it was fabled that the spirits of all the doctor's deceased patients dwelt within its verge, and could stare him in the face whenever he looked thitherward. The opposite side of the chamber was ornamented with the full length portrait of a young lady, arrayed in the faded magnificence of silk, satin, and brocade, and with a visage as faded as her dress. Above half a century ago, Dr. Heidegger had been on the point of marriage with this young