brick or stone houses, and owned large warehouses and stores of every description. Many of them had great gardens round their homes; for New York was still but a little country town. Nevertheless, as the years went by, its growth, sluggish at first, became more and more rapid. Coffee-houses were started; there were good inns for the wealthy, and taverns for the poorer; and there were schools, a poorhouse, and a jail.
Next to the merchants came the middle class,the small freeholders with whom the suffrage stopped short. They were the rank and file of the voters, and in political contests generally followed the banner of one or the other of the great families, from whom they were separated by a deep social gulf. Then came the class of free workmen; and below these,though as years went by, merging into them,the very distinct class of unfree whites, the imported bond-servants, redemptioners, apprentices, and convicts, who had been sent to the colonies. These were by no means all criminals and paupers, though very many such were included among them. Some were honest, poor men, who could not get a living at home, and had no money wherewith to go abroad; and these were regularly sold for a term of years to make good their passage money. They were of many nationalities,English, Irish, and Germans predominating, though there were some Scotch, Welsh,