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Title: A Book of the United States - Exhibiting its geography, divisions, constitution, and - government ... and presenting a view of the Republic - generally, and of the Individual States
Author: Various
Language: English
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                     A Book of the United States.



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  Illustration: Hall of Representatives ... Washington.

  Illustration: Bridge and Rapids near Falls of Niagara.

  Illustration: (‡ U.S. Presidents)



                                   A
                      BOOK OF THE UNITED STATES.


                            EXHIBITING ITS
          GEOGRAPHY, DIVISIONS, CONSTITUTION, AND GOVERNMENT;

              INSTITUTIONS,           MANNERS AND CUSTOMS,
              AGRICULTURE,            FINE ARTS,
              COMMERCE,               ANTIQUITIES,
              MANUFACTURES,           LITERATURE,
              RELIGION,               MINERALOGY,
              EDUCATION,              BOTANY,
              POPULATION,             GEOLOGY,
              NATURAL CURIOSITIES,    NATURAL HISTORY,
              RAILROADS,              PRODUCTIONS,
              CANALS,                 &c. &c. &c.
              PUBLIC BUILDINGS,


                            AND PRESENTING
                   A VIEW OF THE REPUBLIC GENERALLY,
                              AND OF THE
                          INDIVIDUAL STATES;


                Illustration: View on the Mississippi.


                       TOGETHER WITH A CONDENSED
                         HISTORY OF THE LAND,
             FROM ITS FIRST DISCOVERY TO THE PRESENT TIME.

                             THE BIOGRAPHY
               OF ABOUT TWO HUNDRED OF THE LEADING MEN:

                         A DESCRIPTION OF THE
                      PRINCIPAL CITIES AND TOWNS;
                                 WITH
                          STATISTICAL TABLES,
           RELATING TO THE RELIGION, COMMERCE, MANUFACTURES,
                       AND VARIOUS OTHER TOPICS.


                               EDITED BY
                           GRENVILLE MELLEN


           WITH ENGRAVINGS OF CURIOSITIES, SCENERY, ANIMALS,
                 CITIES, TOWNS, PUBLIC BUILDINGS, &c.


                               HARTFORD:
                   PUBLISHED BY A. C. GOODMAN & CO.
                                 1852.



      Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1839, by
                           GRENVILLE MELLEN,
     in the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.



                               PREFACE.


IN presenting this volume to the American public, the introductory
remarks in which we shall indulge will be few and general, as the book
is one of that kind that speaks with singular plainness for itself,
and seems to us to require little upon the prefatory page in the way
of explanation, either with reference to its character considered
collectively, or in detail.

The chief object in preparing this work has been to furnish something
which should be found to embrace those subjects which are of abiding
interest and importance to all classes. It has been a wish to present
such matters, as well as could be done in the compass allowed, as are
of interest to all classes of readers, and an acquaintance with which
is desirable for our own citizens especially.

Directed by these intentions, it is hoped that the efforts to bring
a valuable and attractive volume before the public may have proved
successful; and that, viewed with reference to the subjects of which
it treats, this may be called, emphatically, a book for this country,
exhibiting, at one view, a picture of the Republic in its physical,
political, and social conditions, so drawn and colored as to present
in pleasant relief its most striking and peculiar features.

Simplicity was a leading object in the preparation of the work. By
such object it was natural to be guided, when it was remembered that
the pages were designed for the general eye and for all classes. This
quality was allowed to govern, in a great degree, both in the thought
and style; and if, in any case, it may have been carried to a point
beyond the fortunate one, it will be believed, we presume, that the
fault, if it be such, is upon the better side.

In some instances interesting historical accounts are retained
and enlarged upon, from a consideration of the universally popular
character which such accounts generally possess. It is not known,
however, that they are referred to or dwelt upon in such a manner as
to induce the charge of credulity beyond that very pardonable degree
which all well disposed and good natured, and we may add, well informed,
writers and readers are ever ready to meet.

Frequent references are made to able and prominent writers, in
connection with the several important subjects which are here
introduced; and such extracts are given, as, it is thought, will best
illustrate and enforce them. This course, with most readers, is an
acceptable one, and in a work of this nature it is the best that can
be pursued, frequently, to accomplish, within reasonable limits, the
design of the undertaking.

To enlarge would seem to be useless. The volume must speak for
itself, and bear its recommendation within. It is hoped, with the
several sketches of the Republic which it intends to present, under
its different aspects, it may prove an agreeable and instructive one
to the community.

We had intended to have annexed a list of the writers consulted
and extracted from in the course of the volume; but we believe
the references in the pages will supersede the necessity of a more
particular notice. It would be unjust, however, not to mention our
especial obligation to the excellent View of the United States by
Mr. Hinton, of which we have made the freest use throughout the volume.

New York, June, 1839.



                               CONTENTS.


                                PART I.
                          PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.

  CHAP. I. Mountains
  CHAP. II. Valleys
  CHAP. III. Prairies and Plains
  CHAP. IV. Rivers
  CHAP. V. Cataracts and Cascades
  CHAP. VI. Lakes
  CHAP. VII. Springs
  CHAP. VIII. Caverns
  CHAP. IX. Islands
  CHAP. X. Capes and Peninsulas
  CHAP. XI. Bays, Harbors, Sounds, and Gulfs
  CHAP. XII. Oceans
  CHAP. XIII. Soil
  CHAP. XIV. Climate
  CHAP. XV. Minerals
  CHAP. XVI. Animals
  CHAP. XVII. Botany
  CHAP. XVIII. Geology
  CHAP. XIX. Natural Curiosities


                               PART II.
                         POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY.

  CHAP. I. Political and Geographical Division
  CHAP. II. Cities and Towns
  CHAP. III. Agriculture
  CHAP. IV. Manufactures
  CHAP. V. Commerce
  CHAP. VI. Rail-roads
  CHAP. VII. Canals
  CHAP. VIII. Government
  CHAP. IX. Convention
  CHAP. X. Indian Tribes
  CHAP. XI. American Antiquities
  CHAP. XII. Religion
  CHAP. XIII. Manners and Amusements
  CHAP. XIV. Penitentiary System
  CHAP. XVI. Literature and Education
  CHAP. XVII. Fine Arts
  CHAP. XVIII. Banking System
  CHAP. XIX. Biographical Sketches
  CHAP. XX. History



                      BOOK OF THE UNITED STATES.


                                PART I.
                          PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.



                        CHAPTER I.――MOUNTAINS.


THOUGH embracing in its extent several elevated ranges of great length
and breadth, the territory of the United States cannot be considered
as a mountainous country. The land along the whole line of the seacoast
is level for a considerable distance into the interior. The breadth of
this level tract expands from fifty miles in the north-east extremity,
gradually, as we advance to the south-west, till in the state of
Georgia, it has attained an extent of near two hundred miles. Beyond
this the land gradually rises into mountains, which are much more
remarkable for their length and breadth, than their height. They
sometimes consist of numerous parallel ridges rising successively
behind each other; at other times they run into knots; and sometimes
they recede from their parallel direction into what are called spurs.
These ranges or belts of mountainous country, though receiving a vast
number of different appellations, are most usually known by the name
of the _Alleghanies_. The long continuity of this chain has obtained
it the name of the _Endless Mountains_, from the northern savages. The
French and Spaniards, who first became acquainted with it in Florida,
applied to it through its whole extent the name of _Apalachian_, which
is still retained by a considerable river of that country.

The general course of the Alleghanies is about north-east and
south-west; east of the Hudson they are scattered in irregular groups,
without any very marked direction.

The range of the _Rocky or Chippewan Mountains_ divides the waters
which flow east into the Missouri and Mississippi, from those which
flow west into the Pacific Ocean, and are a continuation of the
Cordilleras of Mexico. Their longitude is about one hundred and twelve
west, and they terminate in about seventy north latitude. Along the
coast of the Pacific is another range which seems to form a step to
the Rocky Mountains. It extends from the Cape of California along
the coast to Cook’s Inlet, generally rising to no great height in the
southern portion. In the northern part, La Perouse states that it is
ten thousand feet high, and at its northern extremity is Mount Elias,
eighteen thousand feet high, and the loftiest peak of North America.

The _White Mountains_ in New England, largely considered, are the
principal ranges running north-east and south-west, projecting from
the main ridge that forms the boundary of the United States, and
separates the waters of the St. Lawrence from those that run south
through the Northern States. The highest ridge is that called the
White Mountain Ridge in New Hampshire, running from south to north,
the loftiest summits of which are Monadnock, a hill of an abrupt
and striking character, Sunapee, Kearsarge, Carr’s Mountain, and
Moosehillock. Towards the north of the state, these eminences rise
to a much higher elevation, and are known specifically by the name of
the White Mountains.

  Illustration: White Mountains.

  Illustration: White Mountains.

These are the loftiest mountains in the United States, east of the
Mississippi. They lie between the Connecticut and Androscoggin rivers
on the north-east and west, and the head-waters of the Merrimack on the
south sixty or seventy miles from the coast; yet their white summits
are visible from many miles at sea. They extend about twenty miles from
south-west to north-east, and their base is eight or ten miles broad.

Mount Washington is the highest of all the White Mountains, being six
thousand two hundred and thirty-four feet above the level of the sea.
Next to Mount Washington in height is Mount Adams, then Jefferson,
then Madison, all more than five thousand feet high; there are several
besides these, though none so elevated. The country around and among
the mountains is very wild and rough, and the mountains themselves
are difficult of access. The east side of Mount Washington rises at an
angle of forty-five degrees. The lower part of the mountain is covered
with thick woods of spruce and fir trees, with deep beds of moss
beneath. Heavy clouds of vapor often rest upon the mountain, and fill
the moss with water, which cannot be exhaled or dried up by the sun
on account of the woods, and therefore it breaks out in numerous
springs which feed the streams from the mountain. The trees are short
and stunted higher up the mountain; soon there are only bushes; then
instead of bushes are vines; the last thing that grows is winter grass
mixed with moss; the summit is entirely bare of vegetation. There is
a plain from which the last height of Mount Washington rises to the
height of fifteen hundred feet. This elevation or pinnacle is composed
of huge grey rocks. Reaching the top much fatigued and out of breath,
the traveller is instantly master of a boundless prospect, noble enough
to pay him for his labor. The Atlantic dimly seen through a distance of
sixty-five miles, the Vermont Mountains on the west, the southern and
northern mountains of New Hampshire, Lake Winnipiseogee, ponds, streams,
and towns, without number, all form a great impressive picture.

The road from the seacoast to the mountains passes along the head
stream of the Saco, which rises among these mountains, and breaks
through them at a place known by the name of the Notch, a narrow defile
extending two miles in length between two large cliffs, apparently rent
asunder by some vast convulsion of nature.

‘The sublime and awful grandeur of this passage baffles all description.
Geometry may settle the heights of the mountains; and numerical figures
may record the measure; but no words can tell the emotions of the soul,
as it looks upward, and views the almost perpendicular precipices which
line the narrow space between them; while the senses ache with terror
and astonishment, as one sees himself hedged in from all the world
besides. He may cast his eye forward or backward, or to either side;
he can see only upward, and there the diminutive circle of his vision
is cribbed and confined by the battlements of nature’s ‘cloud-capped
towers,’ which seem as if they wanted only the breathing of a zephyr,
or the wafting of a straw against them, to displace them, and crush
the prisoner in their fall. Just before our visit to this place, on the
26th of June, 1826, there was a tremendous avalanche, or slide, as it
is there called, from the mountain which makes the southern wall of the
passage. An immense mass of earth and rock, on the side of the mountain,
was loosened from its resting place, and began to slide towards the
bottom. In its course, it divided into three portions, each coming down,
with amazing velocity, into the road, and sweeping before it shrubs,
trees, and rocks, and filling up the road, beyond all possibility
of its being removed. With great labor, a pathway has been made over
these fallen masses, which admits the passage of a carriage. The place
from which the slide, or slip, was loosened, is directly in the rear
of a small, but comfortable dwelling-house, owned and occupied by
a Mr. Willey, who has taken advantage of a narrow, a very narrow
interval,――where the bases of the two mountains seem to have parted
and receded, as if afraid of coming into contact,――to erect his lone
habitation: and, were there not a special Providence in the fall of a
sparrow, and had not the finger of that Providence traced the direction
of the sliding mass, neither he, nor any soul of his family, would ever
have told the tale. They heard the noise, when it first began to move,
and ran to the door. In terror and amazement, they beheld the mountain
in motion. But what can human power effect in such an emergency? Before
they could think of retreating, or ascertain which way to escape, the
danger was passed. One portion of the avalanche crossed the road about
ten rods only from their habitation; the second, a few rods beyond
that; and the third, and much the largest portion, took a much more
oblique direction. The whole area, now covered by the slide, is nearly
an acre; and the distance of its present bed from its former place on
the side of the mountain, and which it moved over in a few minutes,
is from three quarters of a mile to a mile. There are many trees of
large size that came down with such force as to shiver them in pieces;
and innumerable rocks, of many tons’ weight, any one of which was
sufficient to carry with it destruction to any of the labors of man.
The spot on the mountain, from which the slip was loosened, is now
a naked, white rock; and its pathway downward is indicated by deep
channels, or furrows grooved in the side of the mountain, and down one
of which pours a stream of water, sufficient to carry a common saw-mill.

‘From this place to the Notch, there is almost a continual ascent,
generally gradual, but sometimes steep and sudden. The narrow pathway
proceeds along the stream, sometimes crossing it, and shifting from
the side of one mountain to the other, as either furnishes a less
precarious foothold for the traveller than its fellow. Occasionally it
winds up the side of the steep to such a height, as to leave, on one
hand or the other, a gulf of unseen depth; for the foliage of the trees
and shrubs is impervious to the sight. The Notch itself is formed by a
sudden projection of rock from the mountain on the right or northerly
side, rising perpendicularly to a great height,――probably seventy or
eighty feet,――and by a large mass of rock on the left side, which has
tumbled from its ancient location, and taken a position within _twenty
feet_ of its opposite neighbor. The length of the Notch is not more
than three or four rods. The moment it is passed, the mountains seem
to have vanished. A level meadow, overgrown with long grass and wild
flowers, and spotted with tufts of shrubbery, spreads itself before
the astonished eye, on the left, and a swamp or thicket, on the right,
conceals the ridge of mountains which extend to the north: the road
separates this thicket from the meadow. Not far from the Notch, on the
right hand side of the road, several springs issue from the rocks that
compose the base of the mountain, unite in the thicket, and form the
Saco river. This little stream runs across the road into the meadow,
where it almost loses itself in its meandering among the bogs, but
again collects its waters and passes under the rock that makes the
southerly wall of the Notch. It is here invisible for several rods, and
its presence is indicated only by its noise, as it rolls through its
rugged tunnel. In wet seasons and freshets, probably a portion of the
water passes over the fragments of rock, which are here wedged together,
and form an arch or covering for the natural bed of the stream.

‘The sensations which affect the corporeal faculties, as one views
these stupendous creations of Omnipotence, are absolutely afflicting
and painful. If you look at the summits of the mountains, when a cloud
passes towards them, it is impossible for the eye to distinguish, at
such a height, which is in motion, the mountain, or the cloud; and this
deception of vision produces a dizziness, which few spectators have
nerve enough to endure for many minutes. If the eye be fixed on the
crags and masses of rock, that project from the sides of the mountains,
the flesh involuntarily quivers, and the limbs seem to be impelled
to retreat from a scene that threatens impendent destruction. If the
thoughts which crowd upon the intellectual faculties are less painful
than these sensations of flesh and blood, they are too sublime and
overwhelming to be described. The frequent alterations and great
changes, that have manifestly taken place in these majestic masses,
since they were first piled together by the hand of the Creator, are
calculated to awaken “thoughts beyond the reaches of the soul.” If the
“everlasting hills” thus break in pieces, and shake the shaggy covering
from their sides, who will deny that

       “This earthly globe, the creature of a day,
        Though built by God’s right hand, shall pass away?――
        The sun himself, by gathering clouds oppressed,
        Shall, in his silent, dark pavilion rest;
        His golden urn shall break, and, useless, lie
        Among the common ruins of the sky;
        The stars rush headlong, in the wild commotion,
        And bathe their glittering foreheads in the ocean?”

‘Reflection needs not the authority of inspiration to warrant a
belief, that this anticipation is something more than poetical. History
and philosophy teach its truth, or, at least, its probability. The
melancholy imaginings which it excites are relieved by the conviction
that the whole of God’s creation is nothing less

            “Than a capacious reservoir of means,
             Formed for his use, and ready at his will;”

and that, if this globe should be resolved into chaos, it will undergo
a new organization, and be re-moulded into scenes of beauty, and abodes
of happiness. Such may be the order of nature, to be unfolded in a
perpetual series of material production and decay――of creation and
dissolution――a magnificent procession of worlds and systems, in the
march of eternity.’[1]

A few weeks after the slide mentioned in the above description, a
disaster occurred which occasioned the destruction of the interesting
family to which allusion is there made.

The afternoon had been rainy, and the weather continued so till
eleven o’clock in the evening, when it cleared away. About the same
hour, a great noise was heard, at the distance of several miles like
the rushing down of rocks and much water from the mountains. The next
morning, the people, at Conway, could perceive that some disaster, of
no ordinary character, had happened, by the appearance of the mountains
on each side of the road. On repairing to the spot, they found the
house of Mr. Willey, standing near the Notch, unhurt, but destitute of
any of the family. It is supposed that they left it in their fright,
and were instantly swept away, and buried under the rocks and earth
which were borne down by the freshet. This family consisted of Mr.
Willey, his wife, five children, and two hired men, all of whom were
suddenly swept from time to eternity, by this lamentable disaster. Had
they remained in the house, they would probably have been safe.

The central and western parts of Maine are mountainous. The highest
mountains are the Katahdin, situated near the centre of the state, the
Speckled, Bald, Bigelow, and Ebeeme mountains. The range between the
rivers Hudson and Connecticut, and this last and lake Champlain, is
called the _Green Mountains_, an appellation which it has received
from its perpetual verdure, being covered on its western side with
hemlock, pine, spruce, and other evergreens. These mountains are from
ten to fifteen miles wide, much intersected with valleys, and abounding
in springs and streams. Vegetation decreases on approaching their
summits; the trees diminish in size, and frequently terminate in a
shrubbery of spruce and hemlock, two or three feet high, with branches
so interwoven as to prevent all passage through them. The sides of the
mountains are generally rugged and irregular; some of them have large
apertures and caves. Their tops are coated with a compact and firm moss,
which lies in extensive beds, and is sometimes of a consistency to bear
the weight of a man without being broken through. These mosses absorb a
great deal of moisture, and afford wet and marshy places, which in the
warm season are the constant resort of water fowl. The loftiest summits
are Killington Peak, near Rutland; Camel’s Rump, between Montpelier
and Burlington, and Mansfield Mountain, a few miles farther north, all
which are more than three thousand five hundred feet above the level
of the sea. Ascutney, a single mountain near Windsor, is three thousand
three hundred and twenty feet in height.

The range called Green Mountains in Vermont, enters the west part of
Massachusetts from the north, and forms the Hoosac and Tagkannuc Ridges,
which run nearly parallel to each other south, into Connecticut. The
most elevated peaks of the Tagkannuc Ridge are Saddle Mountain in the
north, four thousand feet high, and Tagkannuc Mountain in the south,
three thousand feet. No summits of the Hoosac Ridge much exceed half
these elevations. Mount Holyoke, in the neighborhood of Northampton,
commands a prospect of the highest beauty; the waters of the
Connecticut wind about its base, giving fertility and wealth of
vegetation to the surrounding country. On its top a shanty is erected,
in which refreshments are kept for the visitors who at favorable
seasons make this excursion in great numbers.

There are two distinct chains belonging to the Alleghany range in the
state of New York, the Catskill and the Wallkill. The Catskill, which
is the most northern, is the continuation of the proper Alleghany or
western chain; the eastern is called, by some geographers, Wallkill.

A visit to the Catskill is a favorite excursion of northern travellers,
and several days may be spent very agreeably in examining the grand and
romantic scenery of the neighborhood. Pine Orchard is a small plain,
two thousand two hundred and fourteen feet above the Hudson, scattered
with forest trees, and furnished with an elegant house of great
size. Immediately below is seen a wild and mountainous region, finely
contrasting with the cultivated country beyond, which presents every
variety of hill and valley, interspersed with town, hamlet, and cottage.

The hills of _Weehawken_ are on the west side of the Hudson, nearly
opposite the city of New York.

  Illustration: Weehawken.

The _Highlands_ of the Hudson, or Fishkill Mountains, which first
appear about forty miles from New York, are marked for their sublimity
and grandeur, and interesting from their connection with many great
events of the revolution. This chain is sixteen miles in width, and
extends twenty miles along both sides of the Hudson. The height of
the principal has been estimated at one thousand five hundred and
sixty-five feet. The _Peruvian Mountains_ consist of a lofty tract
in the northern part of New York, being round the sources of the
Hudson, and separating the waters of Lake Champlain from those of the
St. Lawrence. They received their name from the supposition that they
contained mineral treasures. Their loftiest summit, called Whiteface,
is about three thousand feet above the level of Lake Champlain.

  Illustration: Highlands.

The Apalachian chain in Pennsylvania spreads to its widest limits, and
covers with its various ranges more than one half of the state. The
greatest width of the chain equals two hundred miles. It consists of
parallel ridges sometimes little distant from each other, and at other
times with valleys twenty or thirty miles broad lying between them.
The range nearest the coast is called the South Mountain, and is a
continuation of the Blue Ridge of Virginia. This, however, is hardly a
distinct ridge, but only an irregular series of rocky, broken eminences,
sometimes disappearing altogether, and at others spreading out several
miles in breadth. These eminences lie one hundred and fifty or two
hundred miles from the sea, and their height does not exceed one
thousand two hundred feet above the surrounding country. Beyond these
are the Kittatinny or Blue Mountains, which extend from Maryland to New
Jersey across the Susquehanna and Delaware. Farther westward are the
ridges bearing the names of the Sideling Hills, Ragged Mountains, Great
Warrior Mountain, East Will’s Mountain, till we come to the Alleghany
Ridge, the highest range, and from which this whole chain has in common
language received the name of the Alleghany Mountains. The highest
summits are between three and four thousand feet above the level of the
sea. West of the Alleghany are the Laurel and Chesnut Ridges.

These mountains are in general covered with thick forests. The Laurel
Mountains are overgrown on their eastern front with the tree from which
they are named. The wide valleys between the great ridges are filled
with a multitude of hills, confusedly scattered up and down. The tops
of the ridges sometimes exhibit long ranges of table land, two or three
miles broad; some of them are steep on one side, and extend with a long
slope on the other. These mountains are traversed by the great streams
of the Susquehanna chain, and the head-waters of the Ohio.

The _Wallkill_, which crosses the Hudson at West Point, forty miles
below the Catskill, is the continuation of the Blue Ridge, or _Eastern
Chain_, which is the most general appellation for the extensive ridge
which fronts the Atlantic. The eastern and western ranges run parallel
to each other, south-west, till on the frontiers of North Carolina
and Virginia they unite in a knot which has been called the Alleghany
Arch, because the principal chain embraces there in a curve all its
collaterals from the east. A little farther to the south, but still
in North Carolina, a second knot unites all the collateral ridges from
the west, and forms a culminating point of heads of rivers. The second
bifurcation stretches south-west and then west, and the name of the
[2]Cumberland Mountains through the whole state of Tennessee, while
the proper _Alleghany Chain_, left almost alone, continues its course
to the south-west, and completes the boundary of Georgia and the two
Carolinas. From the Alleghany Arch, there are three principal ridges or
ramifications of the Alleghany, running north-east and nearly parallel
to each other, namely, the _Alleghany Proper_, the _North Mountain_,
and the _Blue Ridge_. Of the last ridge the highest summits are the
Otter Peaks. The elevated district of South Carolina presents seven or
eight mountains running in regular directions, the most distinguished
of which is the [3]Table Mountain. Mr. Jefferson, with peculiar
felicity of illustration, called the range of the Alleghanies the spine
of the United States separating the eastern from the western waters,
and the whole of the territory from the Mississippi to the Atlantic
into three natural divisions, materially differing from each other
in climate, configuration, soil, and produce; namely, the coast, the
mountains, and the western territory.

In extent, in elevation, and in breadth, the _Rocky Mountains_ far
exceed the Alleghanies of the Eastern States. Their mean breadth is
two hundred miles, and where broadest, three hundred. Their height must
be very great, since, when first seen by Captain Lewis, they were at
least one hundred and fifty miles distant. On a nearer approach, the
sublimity of the prospect is increased, by the appearance of range
rising behind range, each yielding in height to its successor, till
the most distant is mingled with the clouds. In this lofty region the
ranges are covered with snow in the middle of June. From this last
circumstance, these ranges have been sometimes denominated the _Shining
Mountains_――an appellation much more appropriate than that of the
_Rocky_ or _Stony Mountains_, a property possessed by all mountains,
but peculiar to none. The longitudinal extent of this great chain is
immense, running as far north-west as sixty degrees north latitude,
and perhaps to the Frozen Ocean itself. The snows and fountains of this
enormous range, from the thirty-eighth to the forty-eighth degree of
northern latitude, feed, with never-failing supplies, the Missouri and
its powerful auxiliary streams.

  Illustration: Table lands at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.

In endeavoring to explore these Alpine heights, and the sources of the
Red and Arkansaw rivers, Captain Pike and his party were bewildered
amidst snows, and torrents, and precipices. The cold was so intense,
that several of the party had their limbs frostbitten, and were obliged
to be abandoned to their fate, by Pike and his surviving companions. In
a lateral ridge, separating the valley of the Arkansaw from that of the
Platte river, in north latitude forty-one degrees, is a remarkable peak,
called the _Great White Mountain_; so remarkable, indeed, as to be
known to all the savage tribes for hundreds of miles round, and spoken
of in terms of admiration by the Spaniards of New Mexico, and which
formed the boundary of their knowledge to the north-west. The altitude
of this peak was taken on the base of a mile by Pike, and found to
be ten thousand five hundred and eighty-one feet above the level of
the meadow at its foot; and the height of this latter was estimated
at eight thousand feet above the level of the sea; in all, eighteen
thousand five hundred and eighty-one feet of absolute elevation; being
six thousand feet higher than the peak of Teneriffe, by Humboldt’s
measurement; or two thousand eight hundred and ninety-one feet short
of that of Chimborazo, admitting the elevation of this last to be
twenty-one thousand four hundred and seventy-two feet. Captain Pike
and his companions never lost sight of this tremendous peak, unless in
a valley, for the space of ten weeks, wandering amongst the mountains.
What is the elevation at the sources of the Missouri can only be matter
of mere conjecture. The level of the river, where they left their
canoes, could not be less than six thousand feet above the sea; but how
high the mountains rose above this point the narrative does not inform
us, and hardly gives us any data to decide. The central chain, as usual,
is marked in the map as highest, and covered with snow during the
whole year. The latitude is between forty-five and forty-seven degrees;
and between these parallels, in Europe, the lower limit of perpetual
congelation is fixed at from nine to ten thousand feet above the level
of the sea; and it can hardly be supposed that the summits of this
snowy range were less than eight thousand five hundred or nine thousand
feet high, making a reasonable allowance for the greater coldness of
the American continent. Captain Clarke allows this central range to
be sixty miles across, and that the shortest road across the different
ranges is at least one hundred and forty miles, besides two hundred
miles more, before we can reach a navigable river. In their first
passage across these tremendous mountains, the American party suffered
every thing which hunger, cold, and fatigue, could impose, during three
weeks. They were compelled to melt the snow for their portable soup;
many of their horses (which they used for conveying their baggage, or
for riding,) were foundered by falls from precipices; the men became
feeble through excessive toil, and sickly from want of food, as there
are no wild animals in these inhospitable regions; and, but for an
occasional meal of horse flesh, the whole party must have perished. In
returning home from the mouth of the Columbia, their state was little
better. Having again come in sight of the mountains, in the middle
of May, they attempted to pass them but in vain, on account of the
snow, which lay from six to ten feet deep, and were obliged to return,
and rest in the plains to the twenty-fourth of June. These mountains
are, therefore, a far more formidable barrier to the Pacific, than
the Alleghanies to the back country, and can be passed with great
difficulty only for three months in the year, namely, from the latter
end of June to the latter end of September.

We are indebted to the Missouri Advocate for the following account
of General Ashley’s discoveries in this quarter. He considers it
quite possible to form a route across this formidable barrier to the
Pacific Ocean. The route proposed, after leaving St. Louis, and passing
generally on the north side of the Missouri river, strikes the river
Platte, a short distance above its junction with the Missouri; then
pursues the waters of the Platte to their sources, and, in continuation,
crosses the head-waters of what General Ashley believes to be the
Rio Colorado of the west, and strikes, for the first time, a ridge or
single connecting chain of mountains, running from north to south.
This however presents no difficulty, as a wide gap is found apparently
prepared for the purpose of a passage. After passing this gap, the
route proposed falls directly on a river, called by George Ashley the
Buenaventura, and runs from that river to the Pacific Ocean. The face
of the country, in general, is a continuation of high, rugged, and
barren mountains; the summits of which are either timbered with pine,
quaking-asp, or cedar; or, in fact, almost entirely destitute of
vegetation. Other parts are hilly and undulating; and the valleys and
table-lands (except on the borders of water-courses, which are more
or less timbered with cotton-wood and willows,) are destitute of wood;
but this indispensable article is substituted by an herb, called by
the hunters wild sage, which grows from one to five feet high, and is
found in great abundance in most parts of the country. The sterility of
the country generally is almost incredible. That part of it, however,
bounded by the three ranges of mountains, and watered by the sources
of the supposed Buenaventura, is less sterile; yet the proportion of
arable land, even within those limits, is comparatively small; and
no district of the country visited by General Ashley, or of which he
obtained satisfactory information, offers inducements to civilized
people, sufficient to justify an expectation of permanent settlement.
The river visited by General Ashley, and which he believes to be the
Rio Colorado of the west, is, at about fifty miles from its most
northern source, eighty yards wide. At this point, General Ashley
embarked and descended the river, which gradually increased in width
to one hundred and eighty yards. In passing through the mountains, the
channel is contracted to fifty or sixty yards, and so much obstructed
by rocks as to make its descent extremely dangerous, and its ascent
impracticable. After descending this river about four hundred miles,
General Ashley shaped his course northwardly, and fell upon what he
supposed to be the sources of the Buenaventura; he represents those
branches as bold streams, from twenty to fifty yards wide, forming a
junction a few miles below where he crossed them, and then emptying
into a lake (called Grand Lake,) represented by the Indians as being
forty or fifty miles wide, and sixty or seventy miles long. This
information is strengthened by that of the white hunters, who have
explored parts of the lake. The Indians represent, that at the extreme
west end of this lake, a large river flows out, and runs in a westward
direction. General Ashley, when on those waters, at first thought it
probable they were the sources of the Multnomah: but the account given
by the Indians, supported by the opinion of some men belonging to the
Hudson Bay Company, confirms him in the belief, that they are the
head-waters of the river represented as the Buenaventura. To the north
and north-west from the Grand Lake, the country is represented as
abounding in salt. The Indians west of the mountains are remarkably
well disposed towards the citizens of the United States; the Eutaws
and Flatheads are particularly so, and express a great wish that the
Americans should visit them frequently.

A large number of lateral ranges project to the south-east, east, and
north-east of the main range. Where the Missouri enters the plains,
is the most eastern projection; and from where the Jaune leaves the
snowy range, there is a lateral range, running more than two hundred
miles south-east, which is intersected by the Bighorn river. As these
mountains have not yet been explored by the eye of geological science,
it is impossible to say any thing respecting their component parts;
but, from every thing that we can learn from Pike and Clarke, they seem
to be chiefly granitic. No volcanoes have yet been discovered amongst
them; but strange unusual noises were heard from the mountains, by the
American party, when stationed above the falls of the Missouri. These
sounds seemed to come from the north-west. ‘Since our arrival at the
falls,’ says the narrative, ‘we have repeatedly heard a strange noise
coming from the mountains, a little to the north of west. It is heard
at different periods of the day and night: sometimes when the air is
perfectly still and unclouded, and consists of one stroke only, or of
five or six discharges in quick succession. It is loud, and resembles
precisely the sound of a six pounder at the distance of three miles.
The Indians had before mentioned this noise like thunder, but we had
paid no attention to it. The watermen also of the party say, that the
Pawnees and Ricaras give the same account of a similar noise made in
the Black Mountains, to the westward of them.’ Again, near the same
place, it is afterwards said: ‘They heard, about sunset, two discharges
of the tremendous mountain artillery.’ Not a word more occurs upon the
subject; but we know that similar explosions take place among the
mountains near the head of the Washita, and among the mountains of
Namhi, near the sources of the Red river.

In our present state of ignorance respecting these mountains, it is
impossible to give a solution of this phenomenon, though it may proceed
from some distant volcano, which, like Stromboli, may be in a state
of constant activity, but more irregularly. It is well known that the
sounds of volcanoes are heard at very great distances, as at Guatimala,
where the sound of the volcano of Cotopaxi was distinctly heard, though
more than two hundred and twenty miles distant. Some indications of
volcanoes had been seen by the American party, when ascending the river,
about sixty miles below the mouth of the Little Missouri, where they
passed several very high bluffs on the south side, one of which had
been lately a burning volcano, as the pumice stones lay very thick
around it, and emitted a strong sulphureous smell. Similar appearances
are mentioned by Mackenzie, as taking place among the Rocky Mountains
on their eastern side, in north latitude fifty-six and one hundred and
twenty degrees west longitude. ‘Mr. Mackay,’ says he, ‘informed me,
that in passing over the mountains, he observed several chasms in the
earth that emitted heat and smoke, which diffused a strong sulphureous
stench.’ From all these circumstances combined, it is natural to infer
that the sound proceeds from some very distant and unknown volcano.

On the west side of the Mississippi, and about midway between the Rocky
Mountains and the Alleghanies, lies a broad range of mountains, called
the Ozarks, six or seven hundred miles in length, about one hundred
broad, and having an elevation varying from one to two thousand feet
above the sea. This range of low mountains, which is penetrated by two
branches of the Mississippi, the Arkansas and Red river, was nearly
altogether unknown till within these few years. It is parallel with
the range of the Alleghanies, making an angle of about forty degrees
with the great range of the Andes. As far as the Ozarks have yet been
explored, the granites and older primitive rocks are found at the
lowest part, being surmounted by those of more recent formation. The
reverse of this is observed in the Rocky Mountains. A similar range of
broken and hilly country commences on the Ouisconsin river and extends
north to Lake Superior. It is called the Wisconsin or Ouisconsin Hills.


                     GENERAL REMARKS ON MOUNTAINS.

  Mountains are supposed by naturalists to have different origins,
  and to date their commencement from various periods. Those which
  form a chain, and are covered with snow, are accounted primitive,
  or antediluvian. They greatly exceed all other mountains in
  height; in general their elevation is very sudden, and their
  ascent steep and difficult. They are composed of vast masses of
  quartz, destitute of shells, and of all organized marine matter;
  and appear to descend almost perpendicularly into the body of
  the earth. Of this kind are the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Himmaleh
  ranges, the Atlas, and the Andes. Another class are of volcanic
  origin. These are either detached or surrounded with groups of
  lower hills, the soil of which is heaped up in disorder, and
  consists of gravel and other loose substances. Among these are
  Mount Ætna and Vesuvius. A third class of mountains, whether
  grouped or isolated, are such as are composed of stratified
  earth or stone, consisting of different substances of various
  colors. The interior consists of numerous strata, almost
  horizontally disposed, containing shells, marine productions,
  and fish bones in great quantities. The strata of mountains
  which are lower and of more recent date, sometimes appear to
  rise from the side of primitive mountains which they surround,
  and of which they form the first step in the ascent.

  The mountains in Asia are the most elevated and imposing in
  the world. Of these the Himmaleh chain is the highest; one of
  its peaks, Dhawalaghiri, reaching the altitude of twenty-eight
  thousand and ninety-six feet, and several exceeding twenty-four
  thousand. Africa has some extensive chains of mountains, but
  the altitudes of only a few have been ascertained. Mont Blanc
  is the highest summit of Europe, reaching an elevation of
  fifteen thousand seven hundred and thirty-five feet. The Andes
  of South America present the most striking and stupendous
  features; cataracts, volcanoes, and immense chasms of an almost
  perpendicular descent. Chimborazo, the highest point of the
  Andes, reaches twenty-one thousand four hundred and sixty-four
  feet; in many places the peaks rise to upwards of twenty
  thousand feet, though in others they sink to less than one
  thousand.

  In general, all the chains of mountains in the same continent,
  seem to have a mutual connection more or less apparent; they
  form a sort of frame-work to the land, and appear in the origin
  of things to have determined the shape which it was to assume;
  but this analogy, were we to generalize too much, would lead us
  into error. There are many chains, which have very little, or,
  rather, no affinity to each other. Such are the mountains of
  Scandinavia and of Scotland, mountains as independent as the
  character of the nations who inhabit them.


        TABLE OF THE PRINCIPAL ELEVATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES.

   1. Long’s Peak, the highest of the Rocky Mountains,
      Missouri Territory                                        12,000

   2. James’s Peak, of the Rocky Mountains, Missouri Territory  11,500

   3. Inferior peaks of the Rocky Mountains, varying from
      10,700 to                                                  7,200

   4. Mt. Washington, the highest of the White Hills,
      New Hampshire                                              6,234

   5. Inferior peaks of the White Hills, varying from 5,328 to   4,356

   6. Moosehillock Mt., Grafton County, New Hampshire            4,636

   7. Mansfield or Chin Mt., Chittenden County, Vermont          4,279

   8. Camels’ Rump, Chittenden County, Vermont                   4,188

   9. Shrewsbury Peak, Rutland County, Vermont                   4,034

  10. Saddleback Mt., Berkshire County, Massachusetts            4,000

  11. Table Mountain, Pendleton District, South Carolina         4,000

  12. Peaks of Otter, Bedford County, Virginia                   3,955

  13. Killington Peak, Rutland County, Vermont                   3,924

  14. Round Top, the highest of the Catskill Mountains,
      New York                                                   3,804

  15. High Peak, one of the highest of the Catskill Mountains,
      New York                                                   3,718

  16. Grand Monadnock, Cheshire County, New Hampshire            3,718

  17. Manchester Mountain, Bennington County, Vermont            3,706

  18. Ascutney Mountain, Windsor County, Vermont                 3,320

  19. Ozark Mountains, Arkansas Territory, average height        3,200

  20. Wachuset Mountain, or Mount Adams, Worcester County,
      Mass.                                                      2,990

  21. Whiteface Mountain, Essex County, New York                 2,690

  22. Kearsarge Mountain, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire     2,460

  23. Alleghany Mountains, average height                        2,400

  24. Porcupine Mountains, Chippeway County, south of Lake
      Superior                                                   2,200

  25. Cumberland Mountains, average height                       2,200

  26. Moose Mountain, New Hampshire                              2,008

  27. New Beacon, the highest of the Highlands, New York         1,658



                         CHAPTER II.――VALLEYS.


THE _Valley of the Mississippi_ is the largest in the world;
and differs from any other of very great extent, in the peculiar
distinctness of its outline. It is bounded south by the gulf of Mexico,
west by the Rocky Mountains, north by the great lakes of British
America, and east by the Apalachian Mountains. Its general surface
may be classed under three distinct aspects; the thickly timbered,
the barren, and the prairie country. This valley extends from the
twenty-ninth to the forty-ninth parallel of north latitude, and
exhibits every variation of temperature from the climate of Canada to
that of Louisiana. It is a wide extent of level country, in which the
various rivers, inclosed between two chains of mountains three thousand
miles apart, find a common centre, and discharge their waters into the
sea by a single channel. Geologically considered, this immense valley
presents every where the aspect of what is called secondary formation.
Its prevailing rocks are carbonate of lime, disposed in the most
regular lamina, masses of limestone, in which seashells or organic
remains are imbedded, retaining their distinct and original form. At
every step, is presented the aspect of a country once covered by lakes
or seas. The soil, stones, and exuviæ of lake or river formation, are,
to all appearance, of comparatively recent origin. In the alluvial
soils, to the depth of from twenty to an hundred feet, are found
pebbles, smoothed by the evident attrition of waters, having the
appearances of those masses of smoothed pebbles that are thrown on
the seashore by the dashing of the surge. Leaves, branches, and logs
are also found at great distances from the points where wood is seen
at present, and at great depths below the surface. In the most solid
blocks of limestone, split for building, deers’ horns and other animal
exuviæ are found incorporated in the solid stone.

‘From its character of recent formation,’ says Mr. Flint, ‘from the
prevalence of limestone every where, from the decomposition which it
has undergone, and is constantly undergoing, from the prevalence of
decomposed limestone in the soil, probably, results another general
attribute of this valley――its character generally for uncommon
fertility. We would not be understood to assert, that the country is
every where alike fertile. It has its sterile sections. There are here,
as elsewhere, infinite diversities of soil, from the richest alluvions,
to the most miserable flint knobs; from the tangled cane brakes, to the
poorest pine hills. There are, too, it is well known, towards the Rocky
Mountains, wide belts that have a surface of sterile sands, or only
covered with a sparse vegetation of weeds and coarse grass. But of
the country in general, the most cursory observer must have remarked,
that, compared with lands, apparently of the same character in other
regions, the lands here obviously show marks of singular fertility.
The most ordinary, third rate, oak lands, will bring successive crops
of wheat and maize, without any manuring, and with but little care of
cultivation. The pine lands of the southern regions are in many places
cultivated for years, without any attempts at manuring them. The same
fact is visible in the manner in which vegetation in this country
resists drought. It is a proverb on the good lands, that if there
be moisture enough to bring the corn to germinate, and come up, they
will have a crop, if no more rain falls until the harvest. We have a
thousand times observed this crop continuing to advance towards a fresh
and vigorous maturity, under a pressure of drought, and a continuance
of cloudless ardor of sun, that would have burned up and destroyed
vegetation in the Atlantic country.

‘We have supposed this fertility to arise, either from an uncommon
proportion of vegetable matter in the soil; from the saline
impregnations mixed with the earth, as evidenced in the numberless
licks, and springs of salt water, and the nitrous character of the
soil, wherever, as in caves, or under buildings, it is sheltered
from moisture; or, as we have remarked, from the general diffusion
of dissolved limestone, and marly mixtures over the surface. In some
way, spread by the waters, diffused through the soil, or the result
of former decomposition, there is evidently much of the quickening and
fertilizing power of lime mixed with the soil.’

The greatest length of the _Valley of the Missouri_ is twelve hundred
miles, its greatest breadth seven hundred. In the direction of the
western rivers, the inclined plain of the Missouri extends eight
hundred miles from the Chippewayan Mountains, and rather more than
that distance from south to north, from the southern branches of the
Kansas, to the extreme heads of the northern confluents of the valley.
Ascending from the lower verge of this widely extended plain, wood
becomes more and more scarce, until one naked surface spreads on all
sides. Even the ridges and chains of mountains partake of these traits
of desolation.

The celebrated valley called the _American Bottom_ extends along the
eastern bank of the Mississippi to the Piasa Hills, four miles above
the mouth of the Missouri. It is several miles in width, and has a soil
of astonishing fertility. It has all the disadvantages attending tracts
of recent alluvion, the most valuable parts of it being liable to be
swept away by the current of the Mississippi. ‘But the inexhaustible
fertility of its soil,’ says Major Long, ‘makes amends for the
insalubrity of the air, and the inconvenience of a flat and marshy
situation, and this valley is undoubtedly destined to become one of
the most populous parts of America. We were formerly shown here a
field that had been cultivated, without manure, one hundred years in
succession, and which when we saw it, (in August, 1816,) was covered
with a very luxuriant growth of corn.’

The _Ohio Valley_ is divided by the river into two unequal sections,
leaving on the north-west side eighty thousand, and on the south-east
one hundred and sixteen thousand square miles. The river flows in a
deep ravine five hundred and forty-eight miles long in a straight line,
and nine hundred and ninety-eight by the windings of the stream. In its
natural state the Ohio valley, with the exception of the central plain,
was covered with a dense forest. Open savannahs commence as far east
as the sources of the Muskingum. Like the plain itself, those savannahs
expand to the westward, and on the Illinois open into immense prairies.
This valley may be regarded as a great plain inclining from the
Apalachian system of the north-west, obliquely and deeply cut by the
Ohio and its numerous confluents, into chasms from an elevation of four
hundred feet to nearly the level of the streams. On the higher parts of
the valley, the banks of the river rise by bold acclivities which wear
almost a mountainous aspect. This boldness of outline imperceptibly
softens in descending the Ohio, and on approaching the Mississippi, an
extent of level woodland bounds the horizon. Ascending the rivers of
the south-east slope, the scenery becomes more and more rugged, until
it terminates in the ridges of the Apalachian chains: if the rivers
of the north-west slope are followed, on the contrary, we find the
landscape broken and varied near the Ohio, but around their sources
flat and monotonous.

The _Valley of the Hudson_ varies extremely in its width, being in
some places contracted to the immediate neighborhood of the stream;
in others extending forty miles. On the borders of the river the land
is generally elevated. The _Mohawk_ is bordered by two long ranges of
hills presenting little variety of aspect. In the early part of its
course it flows through extensive flats. The valleys of the Susquehanna
and its branches are remarkably irregular. These streams traverse the
whole width of the Apalachian chain of mountains, sometimes flowing
in wide valleys between parallel ranges for fifty or sixty miles in a
direct course, and at other times breaking through the mountain ridges.
The valleys between the different ranges of the great chain extending
throughout Pennsylvania are often twenty or thirty miles in width with
a hilly or broken surface.

  Illustration: Valley of the Mohawk.

The only large valley in North Carolina lies between the Blue Ridge,
and a parallel range called the Iron, Bald, and Smoky Mountains. It
runs north-east and south-west, is one hundred and eighty miles in
length, and from ten to forty in width.

The valleys of the small rivers of Tennessee are singularly beautiful
and fertile, surpassing all others of the same description in the
Western States. The valleys of the Cumberland and Tennessee differ
little from the alluvions of the other great rivers of the west.

The _Valley of the Connecticut_ is one of the most celebrated valleys
of the United States for its fertility and beauty. It is a large tract
of land extending from Long Island sound to Hereford Mountains in
Canada, five miles beyond the forty-fifth degree of latitude. In the
largest sense, it is from five to forty-five miles in width, and its
surface is composed of a succession of hills, valleys and plains. The
interval lands begin about twelve or fourteen miles from the mouth
of the river. These are formed by a long and continued alluvion. The
tributary streams of the Connecticut run every where through a soft and
rich soil, considerable quantities of which, particularly the lighter
and finer particles, are from time to time washed into their channels,
by occasional currents springing from rains and melted snows. Wherever
the stream moves with an uniform current these particles are carried
along with it; but where the current is materially checked, they
are in greater or less quantities deposited. In this manner a shoal
is formed at first, which afterwards rises into dry land; this is
almost invariably of good quality, but those parts which are lowest
are commonly the best, as being the most frequently overflowed, and
therefore most enriched by successive deposits of slime. Of these parts,
that division which is farthest down the river is the most productive,
consisting of finer particles, and being more plentifully covered with
this manure. In the spring these grounds are almost annually overflowed.
In the months of March and April, the snows, which in the northern
parts of New England are usually deep, and the rains, which at this
time of the year, are generally copious, raise the river from fifteen
to twenty feet, and extend the breadth of its waters in some places
a mile and a half or two miles. Almost all the slime conveyed down
the current at this season, is deposited on these lands, for here,
principally, the water becomes quiescent, and permits the earthy
particles to subside; this deposit is a rich manure; the lands dressed
with it are preserved in their full strength, and being regularly
enriched by the hand of nature, cannot but be highly valuable. Nor are
these grounds less distinguished by their beauty. The form of most of
them is elegant; a river passing through them becomes, almost of course,
winding; the earth of which they are composed is of a uniform texture,
the impressions made by the stream upon the border are also nearly
uniform; hence this border is almost universally a handsome arch, with
a neat margin, frequently ornamented with a fine fringe of shrubs and
trees.

Nor is the surface of these grounds less pleasing; their terraced
forms and undulations are eminently handsome, and their universal
fertility makes a cheerful impression on every eye. A great part of
them is formed into meadows which are here more profitable, and every
where more beautiful than lands devoted to any other culture; here
they are extended from five to five hundred acres, and are every where
covered with a verdure peculiarly rich and vivid. The vast fields also
which are not in meadow, exhibit all the productions of the climate,
interspersed in parallelograms, divided only by mathematical lines,
and mingled in a charming confusion. In many places, large and thrifty
orchards, and every where forest trees standing singly, of great height
and graceful figures, diversify the landscape. Through its whole extent
this valley is almost a continual succession of delightful scenery.
The Connecticut is one of the most beautiful rivers in the world;
the purity, salubrity and sweetness of its waters, the frequency and
elegance of its meadows, its absolute freedom from aquatic vegetables,
the enchanting elegance and grandeur of its banks, sometimes consisting
of a smooth and winding beach, here covered with rich verdure, there
fringed with bushes, now crowned with lofty trees, and now formed by
the intruding hill, the rude bluff, and the shaggy mountain; these are
objects which no description can equal.


                      GENERAL REMARKS ON VALLEYS.

  Valleys are formed by the separation of chains of mountains or
  of hills. Those which are formed between high mountains, are
  commonly narrow and long, as if they had originally been only
  fissures dividing their respective chains, or for the passage
  of extensive torrents. The angles of their direction sometimes
  exhibit singular symmetry. In the Pyrenees there are said to
  be valleys whose salient and re-entrant angles so perfectly
  correspond, that if the force which separated them were to act
  in a contrary direction, and bring their sides together again,
  they would unite so exactly that even the fissure would not be
  perceived. There are some highly situated valleys containing
  rivers and lakes which have no outlets or streams. Most high
  valleys have their surface upon a level with the summits of the
  secondary mountains in the neighborhood. The lower valleys widen
  as they recede from the secondary mountains from which they
  originate, and gradually lose themselves in the plains. Their
  opposite angles correspond regularly, but are very obtuse.

  The sort of narrow passage by which we enter into these high
  valleys is called a pass or defile. Between Norway and Sweden
  is one of these passes, formed by several masses of rock cut
  by nature into the shape of long parallelograms, and which have
  between them a passage shut in by perpendicular walls. This
  pass is near Skiærdal; another of the same kind is at Portfeld,
  or the Mountain of the Gate. These openings exactly resemble
  those by which the Hudson passes through successive chains
  of mountains, which seem desirous of checking its course. The
  Cordilleras of the Andes present the most stupendous passes of
  this kind that are known; they are from four to five thousand
  feet deep.

  The valleys of the Hudson and Connecticut are equalled by few
  in the old world for natural beauty and romantic scenery. Of
  the valleys of Europe, that of the Rhine is most celebrated;
  and is only more interesting than the Hudson on account of
  its old historical associations, its populous cities, and the
  picturesque ruins and massive monuments of architecture which
  frown upon its banks.



                  CHAPTER III.――PRAIRIES AND PLAINS.


ONE of the most remarkable features of the western country consists
in its extensive prairies or savannahs, which prevail in all the vast
region between the Alleghany and the Rocky Mountains, and also to the
west of the Rocky Mountains. When seen from the summits of the Mexican
and the Rocky Mountains, they seem absolutely boundless to the view.
They are not to be considered merely as dead flat, but undulating into
gentle swelling lawns, and expanding into spacious valleys, in the
centre of which is always found a little timber, growing on the banks
of the brooks and rivulets of the finest water. Pike, who viewed them
from the summit of the Blue Mountain, under the source of the Arkansaw,
says, ‘the unbounded prairie was overhung with clouds, which seemed
like the ocean in a storm, wave piled on wave, and foaming; while the
sky over our heads was perfectly clear, and the prospect was truly
sublime.’ In these vast prairies the soil is dry, sandy, with gravel;
but the moment we approach a stream, the land becomes more humid,
with small timber. It is probable that these steppes or prairies were
never well wooded, as, from the earliest ages, the aridity of the
soil, having so few water-courses running through it, and these being
principally dry in summer, no sufficient nourishment has been afforded
to the growth of timber. In all timbered land, the annual discharge of
the leaves, with the continual decay of old trees and branches, creates
a manure and moisture, which are preserved from the heat――the sun not
being permitted to direct his rays perpendicularly, but to shed them
only obliquely through the foliage. But in Upper Louisiana, a barren
soil, dried up for eight months in the year, presents neither moisture
nor nutriment for the growth of wood.

These vast plains of Louisiana, near the upper courses of the
Arkansaw, with its tributary streams, and the head-waters of the
Kanzas, White and Grand Osage rivers, may become in time like the sandy
deserts of Africa; ‘for,’ says Pike, ‘I saw in my route, in various
places, tracts of many leagues, where the wind had thrown up the sand
in all the fancied forms of the ocean’s rolling waves, and on which
not a single speck of vegetation appeared.’ From this circumstance Pike
deduces the following remark: ‘From these immense prairies may arise
a great advantage to the United States, namely, the restriction of
our population to some certain limits, and thereby a continuation
of the Union. Our citizens being so prone to rambling, and extending
themselves on the frontiers, will, through necessity, be compelled
to limit their extent on the west to the borders of the Missouri and
Mississippi; while they leave the prairies, incapable of cultivation,
to the wandering and uncivilized aborigines of the country.’ These
prairies, from the borders of the Mississippi, on the east, to the base
of the Mexican Alps on the west, rise with a continually increasing
acclivity for many hundred miles, till, at the base of the mountains,
they attain an elevation of eight thousand feet, as we are informed
by Pike, which is greater than the elevated level of the great desert
of Gobi, on the north-west of China, estimated by Du Halde to be five
thousand five hundred and eleven feet above the level of the sea, or
the great arid desert, to the north of the cape of Good Hope, traversed
by the Orange river, and lately visited by the Rev. Mr. Campbell, the
elevation of which is estimated by Colonel Gordon at six thousand five
hundred and sixty-one feet above the level of the sea. In addition to
the aridity of the Louisiana prairies, they are so impregnated with
nitre, and other salts, as to taint the waters that flow in various
directions. Pike says, that for leagues together, they are covered
with saline incrustations; and a number of tributary streams descending
into the Arkansaw and Kanzas rivers are perfect salines; and beyond the
river Platte, as we are informed by Colonel Lewis, the lands are not
only destitute of timber, but even of good water, of which there is
but a small quantity in the creeks, and even that is brackish. The
same saline incrustations pervade the prairies on the Upper Missouri;
and the same want of timber, little or no dew, with very little rain,
continues till the neighborhood of the mountains.

The calcareous districts, which form the great portion of the region
west of the Alleghanies, present certain tracts entirely divested of
trees, which are called _barrens_, though capable of being rendered
productive. The cause of this peculiarity has not been accurately
examined. Those parts of this region which are elevated three or
four hundred feet, and lie along deeply depressed beds of rivers, are
clothed with the richest forests in the world. The Ohio flows under the
shade of the plane and the tulip tree, like a canal dug in a nobleman’s
park; while the _lianas_, extending from tree to tree, form graceful
arches of flowers and foliage over branches of the river. Passing to
the south, the wild orange tree mixes with the odoriferous and the
common laurel. The straight silvery column of the papaw fig, which
rises to the height of twenty feet, and is crowned with a canopy of
large indented leaves, forms one of the most striking ornaments of
this enchanting scene. Above all these, towers the majestic magnolia,
which shoots up from that calcareous soil to the height of more than
one hundred feet. Its trunk, perfectly straight, is surmounted with
a thick and expanded head, the pale green foliage of which affects a
conical figure. From the centre of the flowery crown which terminates
its branches, a flower of the purest white rises, having the form of a
rose, and to which succeeds a crimson cone. This, in opening, exhibits
rounded seed of the finest coral red, suspended by delicate threads six
inches long. Thus, by its flowers, its fruit, and its gigantic size,
the magnolia surpasses all its rivals of the forest.

The following excellent description of the prairie country is from
the pen of Mr. James Hall. ‘That these vast plains should be totally
destitute of trees, seems to be an anomaly in the economy of nature.
Upon the mind of an American, especially, accustomed to see new lands
clothed with timber, and to associate the idea of damp and silent
forests with that of a new country, the appearance of sunny plains,
and a diversified landscape, untenanted by man, and unimproved by art,
is singular and striking. Perhaps if our imaginations were divested
of those associations, the subject would present less difficulty; and
if we could reason abstractly, it might be as easy to account for the
existence of a prairie as of a forest.

‘It is natural to suppose that the first covering of the earth would
be composed of such plants as arrived at maturity in the shortest
time. Annual plants would ripen, and scatter their seeds many times
before trees and shrubs would acquire the power of reproducing their
own species. In the mean time, the propagation of the latter would be
likely to be retarded by a variety of accidents――the frosts would nip
their tender stems in the winter――fire would consume, or the blasts
would shatter them――and the wild grazing animals would bite them off,
or tread them under foot; while many of their seeds, particularly such
as assume the form of nuts or fruits, would be devoured by animals.
The grasses, which are propagated both by the root and by seed, are
exempt from the operation of almost all these casualties. Providence
has, with unerring wisdom, fitted every production of nature to sustain
itself against the accidents to which it is most exposed, and has given
to those plants which constitute the food of animals, a remarkable
tenacity of life; so that although bitten off, and trodden, and even
burned, they still retain the vital principle. That trees have a
similar power of self protection, if we may so express it, is evident
from their present existence in a state of nature. We only assume that
in the earliest state of being, the grasses would have the advantage
over plants less hardy, and of slower growth; and that when both are
struggling together for the possession of the soil, the former would at
first gain the ascendancy; although the latter, in consequence of their
superior size and strength, would finally, if they should ever get
possession of any portion of the soil, entirely overshadow and destroy
their humble rivals.

‘We have no means of determining at what period the fires began to
sweep over these plains, because we know not when they began to be
inhabited. It is quite possible they might have been occasionally fired
by lightning, previous to the introduction of that element by human
agency. At all events, it is very evident that as soon as fire began to
be used in this country by its inhabitants, the annual burning of the
prairies must have commenced. One of the peculiarities of this climate
is the dryness of its summers and autumns. A drought often commences
in August, which, with the exception of a few showers towards the
close of that month, continues throughout the season. The autumnal
months are almost invariably clear, warm, and dry. The immense mass
of vegetation with which this fertile soil loads itself during summer,
is suddenly withered, and the whole surface of the earth is covered
with combustible materials. This is especially true of the prairies
where the grass grows to the height of from six to ten feet, and being
entirely exposed to the sun and wind, dries with great rapidity. A
single spark of fire, falling any where upon these plains at such a
time, would instantly kindle a blaze, which would spread on every side,
and continue its destructive course as long as it should find fuel.
Travellers have described these fires as sweeping with a rapidity which
renders it hazardous to fly before them. Such is not the case; or it
is true only of a few rare instances. The flames often extend across a
wide prairie, and advance in a long line. No sight can be more sublime
than to behold in the night a stream of fire of several miles in
breadth, advancing across these wide plains, leaving behind it a black
cloud of smoke, and throwing before it a vivid glare which lights
up the whole landscape with the brilliancy of noonday. A roaring and
cracking sound is heard like the rushing of a hurricane. The flame,
which in general rises to the height of about twenty feet, is seen
sinking and darting upwards in spires, precisely as the waves dash
against each other, and as the spray flies up into the air; and the
whole appearance is often that of a boiling and flaming sea, violently
agitated. The progress of the fire is so slow, and the heat so great,
that every combustible object in its course is consumed. Wo to the
farmer whose ripe cornfields extend into the prairie, and who suffers
the tall grass to grow in contact with his fences! The whole labor
of the year is swept away in a few hours. But such accidents are
comparatively unfrequent, as the preventive is simple, and easily
applied.

‘It will be readily seen, that as soon as these fires commenced, all
the young timber within their range must have been destroyed. The whole
state of Illinois, being one vast plain, the fires kindled in different
places, would sweep over the whole surface, with a few exceptions, of
which we are now to speak. In the bottom-lands, and along the margins
of streams, the grass and herbage remain green until late in the autumn,
owing to the moisture of the soil. Here the fire would stop for want of
fuel, and the shrubs would thus escape from year to year, and the outer
bark acquire sufficient hardness to protect the inner and more vital
parts of the tree. The margins of the streams would thus become fringed
with thickets, which, by shading the ground, would destroy the grass,
while it would prevent the moisture of the soil from being rapidly
evaporated, so that even the fallen leaves would never become so
thoroughly dry as the grass of the prairies, and the fire here would
find comparatively little fuel. These thickets grow up into strips of
forests, which continue to extend until they reach the high table-land
of the prairie; and so true is this, in fact, that we see the timber
now, not only covering all the bottom-lands and hill sides, skirting
the streams, but wherever a ravine or hollow extends from the low
grounds up into the plain, these are filled with young timber of more
recent growth. But the moment we leave the level plane of the country,
we see the evidences of a continual struggle between the forest and the
prairie. At one place, where the fire has on some occasion burned with
greater fierceness than usual, it has successfully assailed the edges
of the forest, and made deep inroads; at another, the forest has pushed
out long points or capes into the prairie.

‘It has been suggested that the prairies were caused by hurricanes,
which had blown down the timber and left it in a condition to be
consumed by fire, after it was dried by laying on the ground. A single
glance at the immense region in which the prairie surface predominates,
must refute this idea. Hurricanes are quite limited in their sphere of
action. Although they sometimes extend for miles in length, their track
is always narrow, and often but a few hundred yards in breadth. It is
a well known fact, that wherever the timber has been thus prostrated,
a dense and tangled thicket shoots up immediately, and, protected by
the fallen trees, grows with uncommon vigor.

‘Some have imagined that our prairies have been lakes; but this
hypothesis is not tenable. If the whole state of Illinois is imagined
to have been one lake, it ought to be shown that it has a general
concavity of surface. But so far from this being true, the contrary
is the fact; the highest parts of the state are in its centre. If we
suppose, as some assert, that each prairie was once a lake, we are met
by the same objection; as a general rule, the prairies are highest in
the middle, and have a gradual declivity towards the sides; and when
we reach the timber, instead of finding banks corresponding with the
shores of a lake, we almost invariably find valleys, ravines, and
water-courses depressed considerably below the general level of the
plain.

‘Wherever hills are found rising above the common plane of the country,
they are clothed with timber; and the same fact is true of all broken
lands. This fact affords additional evidence in support of our theory.
Most of the land in such situations is poor; the grass would be short,
and if burned at all, would occasion but little heat. In other spots,
the progress of the fire would be checked by rocks and ravines; and
in no case would there be that accumulation of dry material which is
found on the fertile plain, nor that broad, unbroken surface, and free
exposure, which are necessary to afford full scope to the devouring
element.

‘By those who have never seen this region, a very tolerable idea may
be formed of the manner in which the prairie and forest alternate, by
drawing a colored line of irregular thickness, along the edges of all
the water-courses laid down on the map. This border would generally
vary from one to five or six miles, and often extend to twelve. As
the streams approach each other, these borders would approach or come
in contact; and all the intermediate spaces not thus colored would be
prairie. It would be seen that in the point formed by the junction of
the Ohio and Mississippi, the forest would cover all the ground; and
that, as these rivers diverge, and their tributaries spread out, the
prairies would predominate.’

Between the Platte river, and the head-waters of the Colorado and
Sabine rivers, there is an extensive desert tract, which has been
called the _Great American Desert_, stretching from the Ozark Mountains
to the Chippewan. Over this desert the members of Long’s expedition
travelled nearly a thousand miles. The intense reflection of light and
heat, from this tract, added much to the fatigue and suffering of their
journey. ‘We often met with extensive districts covered entirely with
loose and fine sand, blown from the adjacent hills. In the low plains
along the river where the soil is permanent, it is highly impregnated
with saline substances, and too sterile to produce any thing except
a few stinted carices and rushes. As we approached the mountains, we
felt or fancied a very manifest change in the character of the weather,
and the temperature of the air. Mornings and evenings were usually calm,
and the heat more oppressive than in the middle of the day. Early in
the forenoon, a light and refreshing breeze often sprung up, blowing
from the west or south-west, which again subsided on the approach of
night. This phenomenon was so often observed, that we were induced
to attribute it to the operation of the same local cause, which in
the neighborhood of the sea produces a diurnal change in the winds,
which blow alternately to and from the shore. The Rocky Mountains
may be considered as forming the shore of that sea of sand, which is
traversed by the Platte, and extends northward to the Missouri above
the great bend. The rarefaction of the air over this great plain, by
the reverberation of the sun’s rays during the day, causes an ascending
current, which is supplied by the rushing down of the condensed air
from the mountains. * * * * For several days the sky had been clear,
and in the morning we had observed an unusual degree of transparency in
every part of the atmosphere. As the day advanced, and the heat of the
sun began to be felt, such quantities of vapor were seen to ascend from
every part of the plain, that all objects at a little distance appeared
magnified, and variously distorted. An undulating and tremulous
motion in ascending lines was manifest over every part of the surface.
Commencing soon after sunrise it continued to increase in quantity
until the afternoon, when it diminished gradually, keeping an even
pace with the intensity of the sun’s heat. The density of the vapor
was often such as to produce the perfect image of a pool of water in
every valley upon which we could look down at an angle of about ten
degrees. This aspect was several times seen so perfect and beautiful
as to deceive almost every one of our party. A herd of bisons, at the
distance of a mile, seemed to be standing in a pool of water, and what
appeared to us the reflected image was as distinctly seen as the animal
itself.[4] Illusions of this kind are common in the African and Asiatic
deserts, as we learn from travellers and from the language of poets.’

The _Pine Plains_ are a district of sandy alluvion, bounded by the
gravelly soil of Guilderland and Duanesburgh on the south-west, and by
the river alluvions of Niskayuna and Watervliet, on the north-east, and
covering an area of about seventy square miles. This tract is included
in a triangle formed by the junction of the Mohawk with the Hudson,
and of which the Helleberg, a lofty chain of highlands, visible from
the plains at the distance of twenty miles, forms the south-western
boundary. Situated near the centre of a state, computed at forty
thousand square miles, and containing a population of nearly two
million souls, this tract presents the topographical novelty of an
unreclaimed desert, in the heart of one of the oldest counties in the
state, and in the midst of a people characterized for enterprise and
public spirit. Several attempts have lately been made to bring this
tract into cultivation, and from the success which has attended the
introduction of gypsum, and other improved modes of agriculture,
it is probable the whole will, at some future period, be devoted to
the cultivation of the various species of grasses, fruit trees, and
esculent roots; three branches of agriculture to which its sandy soil
seems admirably adapted.


                GENERAL REMARKS ON PLAINS AND PRAIRIES.

Plains like valleys are of two classes; the high plains, which are
found between two chains of mountains, are frequently of great extent,
and are placed as it were upon the shoulders of secondary mountains;
such are the elevated plains of Tartary, of Persia, and probably of the
interior of Africa. The plains of Quito are twelve thousand feet above
the level of the sea; those of Karakorum, in Chinese Mongolia, are
probably as elevated. The low plains, whose soil is composed of sand,
gravel and shells, seem formerly to have been the basins of interior
seas. Such are the plains on the north side of the Caspian, the large
plain to the south of the Baltic, and that through which the river of
the Amazon flows; the Tehama of Arabia, the Delta of Egypt, and others
of a similar nature, which seem to have been once covered by the waters
of the ocean and its gulfs. The immense plains covered with grass,
called _prairies_ in the United States, are the _steppes_ of Asia, and
the _pampas_ of South America.



                         CHAPTER IV.――RIVERS.


ALL the rivers of the United States, of the first magnitude, have their
sources, either in the Rocky Mountains, or in elevated spurs projecting
from the sides of that range. Many of the rivers which descend from the
western sides of the Alleghanies are of inconsiderable volume, and by
no means remarkable for the rapidity or the directness of their course.
Those which flow from the eastern and southern sides of these mountains
are worthy of extended description, even in the same pages with the
great tributaries of the Mississippi. They afford the advantages of a
good inland navigation to most parts of the states.


              I. RIVERS WHICH FLOW INTO THE MISSISSIPPI,
                        AND THE GULF OF MEXICO.

The _Mississippi_ with its branches drains the great central basin
which lies between the Alleghany and the Rocky Mountains. This river
has its rise in the table-lands within the territories of the United
States, in north latitude forty-seven degrees and forty-seven minutes,
at an altitude of thirteen hundred and thirty feet above the Atlantic,
though the country at its source appears like a vast marshy valley.
Mr. Schoolcraft fixes it in Cassina Lake, which is situated seventeen
degrees north of the Balize on the gulf of Mexico, and two thousand
nine hundred and seventy-eight miles, pursuing the course of the river.
Estimating the distance to Lake La Beesh, its extreme north-western
inlet at sixty miles, we have a result of three thousand and
thirty-eight miles as the entire length of this wonderful river.
Mr. Schoolcraft, in his very interesting Journal of Travels observed
that he believed there was no one then living, beside himself who had
visited both the sources and the mouth of this celebrated stream. As
the description furnished by this gentleman is the clearest and most
complete that we find, we have taken the liberty to transfer it to our
pages, without mutilation:――

‘In deciding upon the physical character of the Mississippi, it
may be advantageously considered under four natural divisions, as
indicated by the permanent differences in the color of its waters――the
geological character of its bed and banks,――its forest trees and other
vegetable productions,――its velocity,――the difficulties it opposes to
navigation,――and other natural appearances and circumstances.’

‘Originating in a region of lakes, upon the table-lands, which
throw their waters north into Hudson’s Bay,――south into the gulf of
Mexico,――and east into the gulf of St. Lawrence――it pursues its course
to the falls of Peckagama, a distance of two hundred and thirty miles,
through a low prairie, covered with wild rice, rushes, sword grass, and
other aquatic plants. During this distance, it is extremely devious as
to course and width, sometimes expanding into small lakes, at others,
narrowing into a channel of about eighty feet. It is about sixty feet
wide on its exit from Red Cedar or Cassina Lake, with an average depth
of two feet; but from the junction of the Leech Lake fork, increases
to a hundred feet in width, with a corresponding increase of depth.
Its current, during this distance is still and gentle; and its mean
velocity may be estimated at a mile and a half per hour, with a descent
of three inches per mile. This is the favorite resort of water-fowl,
and amphibious quadrupeds.

‘At the falls of Peckagama, the first rock stratum, and the first
wooded island, is seen. Here the river has a fall of twenty feet; and
from this to the falls of St. Anthony, a distance of six hundred and
eighty-five miles, exhibits its second characteristic division. At
the head of the falls of Peckagama, the prairies entirely cease; and
below, a forest of elm, maple, birch, oak, and ash, overshadows the
stream. The black walnut is first seen below Sandy Lake river, and the
sycamore below the river De Corbeau. The river, in this distance, has
innumerable well wooded islands, and receives a number of tributaries,
the largest of which is the river De Corbeau, its great south-western
fork. The Pine, Elk, Sac, and Crow rivers, also enter on the west,
and the St. Francis and Missisawgaiegon, on the east. The course of
the river, although serpentine, is less so, than above the falls of
Peckagama, and its bends are not so short and abrupt. Its mean width
may be estimated at three hundred feet until the junction of the De
Corbeau, and below that at two hundred and fifty yards. Its navigation
is impeded, agreeably to a memorandum which I have kept, by thirty-five
rapids, nineteen ripples, and two minor falls, called the Little and
the Big Falls, in all of which the river has an aggregate descent
of two hundred and twenty-four feet in fourteen thousand six hundred
and forty yards, or about eight miles. The mean fall of the current,
exclusive of the rapids, may be computed at six inches per mile, and
its velocity at three miles per hour. In the course of this distance it
receives several small turbid streams, and acquires a brownish hue, but
still preserves its transparency, and is palatable drink-water. A few
miles above the river Corbeau, on the east side, we observe the first
dry prairies, or natural meadows, and they continue to the falls of
St. Anthony. These prairies are the great resort of the buffalo, elk,
and deer, and are the only parts of the banks of the Mississippi where
the buffalo is now to be found. Granite rocks appear at several of the
rapids, in rolled pieces, and in beds; and in some places attain an
elevation of one or two hundred feet above the level of the water, but
the banks of the river are generally alluvial.

‘At the falls of St. Anthony, the river has a perpendicular pitch of
forty feet, and from this to its junction with the Missouri, a distance
of eight hundred and forty-three miles, it is bounded by limestone
bluffs, which attain various elevations from one to four hundred feet,
and present a succession of the most sublime and picturesque views.
This forms the third characteristic change of the Mississippi. The
river prairies cease, and the rocky bluffs commence precisely at the
falls of St. Anthony. Nine miles below it receives the St. Peter’s from
the west, and is successively swelled on that side by the Ocano, Iowa,
Turkey, Desmoines, and Salt rivers, and on the east by the St. Croix,
Chippeway, Black, Ouisconsin, Rock, and Illinois. One hundred miles
below the falls of St. Anthony, the river expands into a lake, called
Pepin, which is twenty-four miles long and four in width. It is, on
issuing from this lake, that the river first exhibits, in a striking
manner, those extensive and moving sandbars, innumerable islands and
channels, and drifts and snags, which continue to characterize it to
the ocean. Its bends from this point onward are larger, and its course
more direct; and although its waters are adulterated by several dark
colored and turbid streams, it may still be considered transparent. The
principal impediments to navigation in this distance are the Desmoines,
and Rock river rapids. The latter extends six miles, and opposes an
effectual barrier to steam-boat navigation, although keel-boats and
barges of the largest classes, may ascend. This rapid is three hundred
and ninety miles above St. Louis.

‘The fourth change in the physical aspect of this river is at the
junction of the Missouri, and this is a total and complete one,
the character of the Mississippi being entirely lost in that of the
Missouri. The latter is, in fact, much the larger stream of the two,
and carries its characteristic appearances to the ocean. It should
also have carried the name, but its exploration took place too long
after the course of the Mississippi had been perpetuated in the written
geography of the country, to render an alteration in this respect,
either practicable or expedient. The waters of the Mississippi at its
confluence with the Missouri, are moderately clear, and of a greenish
hue. The Missouri is turbid and opake, of a grayish white color, and
during its floods, which happen twice a year, communicates, almost
instantaneously, to the combined stream its predominating qualities,
but towards the close of the summer season, when it is at its lowest
stage of water, the streams do not fully incorporate for twenty or
thirty miles, but preserve opposite sides of the river; and I have
observed this phenomenon at the town of Herculaneum, forty-eight miles
below the junction.

‘The water in this part of the river cannot be drank until it has
been set aside to allow the mud to settle. The distance from the mouth
of the Missouri to the gulf of Mexico is one thousand two hundred and
twenty miles, in the course of which it receives from the west, the
Merrimac, St. Francis, White, Arkansas, and Red rivers; and from the
east, the Kaskaskia, Great Muddy, Ohio, Wolf, and Yazoo. This part
of the river is more particularly characterized by snags and sawyers,
falling-in banks and islands, sand-bars and mud-banks; and a channel
which is shifting by every flood, and of such extreme velocity, that
it was formerly thought it could not be navigated by vessels propelled
with sails. Subsequent experience has shown this conjecture to be
unfounded, although a strong wind is required for its ascent. It is
daily navigated in ships of from four hundred to eight hundred tons
burden, from the Balize to New Orleans, a distance of one hundred
miles, and could be ascended higher were it necessary; but the commerce
of the river above New Orleans is now carried on, in a great measure,
by steam-boats. The width of the river opposite St. Louis is one mile;
it is somewhat less at New Orleans, and still less at its disembochure.
A bar at its mouth prevents ships drawing more than eighteen feet
water from entering. This river is occupied by different bands of
the Chippeway Indians from its sources, to the Buffalo Plains in the
vicinity of the upper St. Francis, the precise limit being a matter
of dispute, and the cause of the long war between them and the Sioux.
The Sioux bands claim from thence to the Prairie des Chiens, and the
Foxes and Sacs to the river Desmoines. From this vicinity to the gulf
of Mexico the Indian title has been extinguished by the United States’
government, either through purchase, treaty, or conquest, and we have
now the complete control of this river and all its tributary streams,
with the exception of the upper part of Red river. The wild rice is
not found on the waters of the Mississippi south of the forty-first
degree of north latitude, nor the Indian reed, or cane, north of the
thirty-eighth. These two productions characterize the extremes of
this river. It has been observed by McKenzie, that the former is
hardly known, or at least does not come to maturity, north of the
fiftieth degree of north latitude. The alligator is first seen below
the junction of the Arkansas. The paroquet is found as far north as
the mouth of the Illinois, and flocks have occasionally been seen as
high as Chicago. The name of this river is derived from the Algonquin
language, one of the original tongues of our continent, which is
now spoken nearly in its primeval purity by the different bands of
Chippeways.’

The navigation upon this river is very great. Ships seldom ascend
higher than Natchez. It is navigable for boats of the largest size
as far as the Ohio. The number of steam-boats upon the Mississippi
is about three hundred. Their size is from five hundred and forty
tons downwards. The passage from Cincinnati to New Orleans and back
has been made in nineteen days. From New Orleans to Louisville the
shortest passage has been eight days and two hours, the distance being
one thousand six hundred and fifty miles, and against the current.
The steam-boats have generally high-pressure power, and many fatal
explosions have happened upon these waters. The first steam-vessel
here was built in 1810.[5]

The _Missouri_ rises in the Rocky Mountains in nearly the same parallel
with the Mississippi, and about a mile distant from the head-waters
of the Columbia. The most authentic information we have yet had of
the sources of this mighty river is from its first intrepid American
discoverers, Lewis and Clarke. What may properly be called the Missouri,
seems to be formed by three considerable branches, which unite not
far from the bases of the principal ranges of the mountains. To the
northern they gave the name of Jefferson, to the middle Gallatin, and
to the southern Madison. All these streams run with great velocity,
throwing out large volumes of water; their beds are formed of smooth
pebble and gravel, and their waters are perfectly transparent. One
hundred and a half miles beyond the forks of the Missouri are the
forks of Jefferson river; two subordinate branches of which are called
Wisdom and Philanthropy, one coming from the north-west, and the former
from the south-east. Wisdom river is fifty yards wide, cold, rapid,
and containing a third more water than the Jefferson; it seems to be
the drain of the melting snows on the mountains, but is unnavigable
on account of its rapidity. One hundred and forty-eight miles farther
up is the extreme navigable point of the river in north latitude
forty-three degrees thirty minutes and forty-three seconds. Two
miles beyond this is a small gap or narrow entrance, formed by the
high mountains which recede on each side, at the head of an elevated
valley, ten miles long and five broad, so as to form a beautiful cove
several miles in diameter. From the foot of one of the lowest of these
mountains, which rises with a gentle ascent of half a mile, issues the
remotest water of the Mississippi. At the source, we are told that the
weather is so cold at the end of August, that water standing in vessels
exposed in the night air has been frozen to the depth of a quarter of
an inch.

After the junction of the three branches before mentioned, the river
continues a considerable distance to be still a foaming mountain
torrent. It then spreads into a broad and comparatively gentle stream
full of islands. Precipitous peaks of blackish rock frown above the
river in perpendicular elevations of a thousand feet. The mountains
whose bases it sweeps are covered with pines, cedars and firs; and
mountain sheep are seen bounding on their summits where they are
apparently inaccessible. In this distance the mountains have an aspect
of inexpressible loneliness and grandeur. In the meadows and along the
shore the tree most common is the cotton-wood, which with the willow
forms almost the exclusive growth of the Missouri.

About forty-seven miles below the spot where the Missouri issues
from the mountains to the plains, a most sublime and extraordinary
spectacle presents itself, emphatically denominated the _Gates of the
Rocky Mountains_. In ascending the stream it increases in rapidity,
depth, and breadth, to the mouth of this formidable pass. Here the
rocks approach it on both sides, rising perpendicularly from the edge
of the water to the height of one thousand two hundred feet. Near
the base they are composed of black granite; but above, the color is
of a yellowish, brown, and cream color. Nothing can be imagined more
tremendous than the frowning darkness of these rocks, which project
over the river, and menace the passenger with instant destruction.
For the space of five miles and three quarters, the rocks rise to the
above degree of elevation, and the river, three hundred and fifty yards
broad, seems to have forced its channel down the solid mass; or, to
use Volney’s expression respecting the falls of Niagara, literally to
have sawed a passage through this body of hard and solid rock, near six
miles in length, being incased as it were, during all this distance,
between two walls of one thousand and two hundred feet high. During
the whole distance the water is very deep, even at the edges; and
for the first three miles, there is not a spot, except one of a few
yards, in which a man could stand between the water and the towering
perpendicular precipice of the mountain.

The river, for the distance of about seventeen miles, becomes almost
a continued cataract. In this distance its perpendicular descent is
three hundred and sixty-two feet. The first fall is ninety-eight feet;
the second, nineteen; the third, forty-seven; the fourth, twenty-six.
Next to the Niagara these falls are the grandest in the world. The
river continues rapid for a long distance beyond, but there is not
much variation in its appearance till near the mouth of the Platte.
That powerful river throws out vast quantities of coarse sand, which
contribute to give a new face to the Missouri, which is now much more
impeded by islands. The sand, as it is drifted down, adheres in time
to some of the projecting points from the shore, and forms a barrier
to the mud which at length fills to the same height with the sand-bar
itself. As soon as it has acquired a consistency, the willow grows
there the first year, and by its roots gives solidity to the whole;
with further accumulations the cotton-wood tree next appears, till the
soil is gradually raised to a point above the highest freshets. Thus
stopped in its course, the water seeks a passage elsewhere, and as
the soil on each side is light and yielding, what was only a peninsula
becomes gradually an island, and the river compensates the usurpation
by encroaching on the adjacent shore. In this way the Missouri, like
the Mississippi, is continually cutting off the projections of the
shore, and leaving its ancient channel, which may be traced by the
deposits of mud and a few stagnant ponds.[6]

During the whole length of the Missouri below the Platte, the soil
is generally excellent, and although the timber is scarce, there is
still sufficient for the purpose of settlers. But beyond that river,
although the soil is still rich, yet the almost total absence of
timber, and particularly the want of good water, of which there is
but a small quantity in the creeks, oppose very powerful impediments
to its occupancy. The prairies for many miles on each side of the river
produce abundance of good pasturage.

Above the mouth of the Osage, the immediate valley of the Missouri
gradually expands, embracing some wide bottoms in which are many
settlements gradually increasing in the number of inhabitants. The
Manito Rocks, and some other precipitous cliffs, are the terminations
of low ranges of hills, running in quite to the river. These hills
sometimes occasion rapids, and opposite the Manito rocks a small group
of islands stretches obliquely across the river, separated by narrow
channels in which the current is stronger than below. This group is
called the Thousand Islands. Some of the channels are obstructed by
collections of floating trees, which usually accumulate about the heads
of islands, and are here called rafts. After increasing to a certain
extent, portions of these rafts become loosened, and float down the
river, covering nearly its whole surface, and greatly impeding and
endangering the progress of the ascending boats.

Council Bluffs, the seat of an important military establishment of the
United States, about six hundred miles up the Missouri, is a remarkable
bank, rising abruptly from the brink of the river to an elevation of
one hundred and fifty feet. From the hill tops, a mile in the rear
of the Bluffs, is presented a most extensive and beautiful landscape.
On the east side of the river, the Bluffs exhibit a chain of peaks,
stretching as far as the eye can reach. The river is here and there
seen meandering in serpentine folds along its broad valley, chequered
with woodlands and prairies, while, at a nearer view, you look down on
an extensive plain, interspersed with a few scattered copses or bushes,
and terminated at a distance by the Council Bluffs.

Taken in connection with the Mississippi into which it flows, this
river is the longest on the globe.[7] Its whole course, from its mouth
in the gulf of Mexico to its source in the Rocky Mountains, is four
thousand four hundred and twenty-four miles, including its windings;
and for four thousand three hundred and ninety-six miles of this course
it is navigable. From the point of its confluence with the Mississippi
to fort Mandan, it is one thousand six hundred and nine miles; to
the foot of the rapids at Great Falls two thousand five hundred and
seventy-five miles; two thousand six hundred and sixty-four to where it
issues from the mountains; two thousand six hundred and ninety to the
Gates of the Mountains; three thousand and ninety-six to the extreme
navigable point of Jefferson river; and three thousand one hundred
and twenty-four miles to its remotest source. In this immense course
it receives upwards of fifty large rivers, and one hundred and fifty
smaller streams. Its principal tributaries are the Roche Jaune, or
Yellowstone, the Kansas, Platte, Osage, Gasconade, Little Missouri,
Running Water, Charaton, White, and Milk rivers.

The _Yellowstone_ is the largest of these tributaries. Its sources are
in the Rocky Mountains, near those of the Missouri and the Platte, and
it may be navigated in canoes almost to its head. It runs first through
a mountainous country, but in many parts fertile and well timbered; it
then waters a rich, delightful land, broken into valleys and meadows,
and well supplied with wood and water, till it reaches near the
Missouri open meadows and low grounds, sufficiently timbered on its
borders. In the upper country its course is said to be very rapid,
but during the two last and largest portions, its current is much
more gentle than that of the Missouri. On the sand-bars and along the
margin of this river grows the small leafed willow; in the low grounds
adjoining are scattered rose bushes three or four feet high, the
red-berry, service-berry and redwood. The higher plains are either
immediately on the river, in which case they are generally timbered,
and have an undergrowth like that of the low grounds, with the addition
of the broad leafed willow, gooseberry, purple currant and honeysuckle;
or they are between the low grounds and the hills, and for the most
part without wood, or any thing except large quantities of wild hyssop,
a plant which rises to the height of about two feet, and, like the
willow of the sand-bars, is a favorite food of the buffalo, elk, deer,
grouse, porcupine, hare, and rabbit.[8]

The _Platte_ is in fact much more rapid than the Missouri, and
drives the current on the northern shore, on which it is constantly
encroaching. At some distance below the confluence, the Missouri is two
miles wide, with a rapid current of ten miles an hour in some parts,
the rapidity increasing as we approach the mouth of the Platte; the
velocity of which, combined with the vast quantity of rolling sands
which are drifting from it into the Missouri, renders it completely
unnavigable, unless for flats or rafts, though the Indians pass it in
small flat canoes made of hides, and the Americans have contrived to
navigate it by means of keel-boats, which, being constructed to draw
but little water, and built upon a small keel, are remarkably well
adapted for sailing up rapid and shallow streams. The Platte runs a
course of fifteen degrees of longitude, from west to east, or more than
eight hundred miles.

The _Kansas River_ has a considerable resemblance to the Missouri,
but its current is more moderate, and its water less turbid, except
at times of high floods. Its valley, like that of the Missouri, has a
deep and fertile soil, bearing forests of cotton-wood, sycamore, and
other trees, interspersed with meadows; but in ascending, trees become
more and more scattered, and at length disappear almost entirely, the
country at its sources being one immense prairie.

The _River Osage_, so called from the well known tribe of Indians
inhabiting its banks, enters the Missouri one hundred and thirty-three
miles above its confluence with the Mississippi. Its sources are in
the Ozark Mountains. Flowing along the base of the north-western slope
of a mountainous range, it receives from the east several rapid and
beautiful tributaries. In point of magnitude this river ranks with
the Cumberland and Tennessee. It has been represented as navigable
for six hundred miles, but this Major Long considers an exaggeration,
on account of the great number of shoals and sand-bars in its current.
In the lower part of its course it traverses broad and fertile
bottom-lands, bearing heavy forests of sycamore and cotton trees.

_Charaton River_ is seventy-five yards wide at its mouth, and
navigable at high water one hundred and fifty miles. Half a mile from
its confluence with the Missouri, it receives the _Little Charaton_,
also a considerable stream, and navigable for many miles. The Charaton
has its source near the De Moyen river of the Mississippi, and
traverses a country which is of great importance, both on account
of the fertility of its soil, and its inexhaustible mines of gold.

The _Arkansas River_ rises in the Rocky Mountains in north latitude
forty-two degrees, near the borders of the territory of the United
States and Mexico. It is about two thousand miles in length, running
in a direction east south-east. Tributary streams are little known;
they are remarkable for being deeply impregnated with salt. That part
of Arkansas that traverses the Missouri territory is skirted, in great
part, by extensive prairies. Spurs of the Masserne Mountains often
reach the river. It may be remarked as singular, that to the extent of
upwards of three hundred miles in the lower part of the Arkansas, its
valley is confined merely to the stream of the river; the waters of the
Washita on one side, and White river on the other, rising almost from
the very margin of the Arkansas. The land upon the Arkansas, in the
Missouri territory, is in great part alluvial; and where not subject to
overflow, excellent. The timber corresponds nearly to that of the state
of Mississippi, in similar relative situations.

_Red River_ rises about one hundred miles north-east of Santa Fé, in
Mexico, at the base of a range of the Rocky Mountains, called the Caous,
and after a very serpentine course of about two thousand five hundred
miles, enters the Mississippi in thirty-one degrees fifteen minutes
north latitude. There are many streams rising in the same mountains,
flowing separately for three or four hundred miles, and then uniting to
form the Red river. Of the regions in which the upper waters of these
streams lie, but little is known. They are principally inhabited by
the Pawnees. When the river enters Louisiana, its south bank is for
a long distance the boundary between the United States and Texas. A
great part of its course is through delightful prairies of a rich red
soil, covered with grass and vines which bear delicious grapes. About a
hundred miles above Natchitoches commences what is called the _Raft_; a
swampy expansion of the alluvion to the width of twenty or thirty miles.
The river divides into a great number of channels, many of them shallow;
and for ages these channels have been becoming clogged with a mass of
fallen timber carried down from the upper parts of the river.

At this place its navigation is effectually obstructed, except in a
high stage of water, when keel-boats of ten or fifteen tons burden
may pass it through devious channels, or bayoux, and ascend several
miles above. That part of the river situated above the Raft is rendered
impassable for boats of burden, by shoals and sand-bars in a moderate
stage of water.[9]

The _Washita_, tributary to Red river, is navigable many miles.
That portion of it situated within the valley of the Mississippi,
denominated Black river, admits of constant navigation for boats of
burden. White river is navigable in a moderate stage of water between
three and four hundred miles. Of the rivers tributary to the Missouri,
it is remarkable, that their mouths are generally blocked up with mud,
after the subsiding of the summer freshet of that river, which usually
takes place in the month of July. The freshets of the more southerly
tributaries are discharged early in the season, and wash from their
mouths the sand and mud previously deposited therein, leaving them free
from obstructions. These freshets having subsided, the more northerly
branches discharge their floods, formed by the melting of the snow, at
a later period. The Missouri being thus swollen, the mud of its waters
is driven up the mouth of its tributaries. These streams having no more
freshets to expel it, their mouths remain thus obstructed till the
ensuing spring.[10]

The _St. Peter_ has its rise in a small lake about three miles in
circumference, at the base of a remarkable ridge, distinguished by the
name of Coteau des Prairies. It enters the Mississippi nine miles below
the falls of St. Anthony. Its length in all its windings is about five
hundred miles. Its course is exceedingly serpentine, and is interrupted
by several rocky ridges, extending across the bed of the river and
occasioning falls of considerable descent. During the times of spring
freshets and floods, this river is navigable for boats from its mouth
to the head of Big Stone Lake about fifteen miles from its sources.
For a distance of about forty miles on the lower part of the river,
it is from sixty to eighty yards only wide, and navigable for pirogues
and canoes in all stages of the water; higher up, its navigation is
obstructed in low water by numerous shoals and rapids. The aggregate
descent of the St. Peter may be estimated at about one hundred and
fifty feet, the general level of the country at its source having
an elevation of about fifty feet above the river. The chief of its
tributaries is the Blue-earth river, which flows in from the south a
hundred miles west of the Mississippi by a mouth fifty yards in width.
It is chiefly noted for the blue clay which the Indians procure upon
its banks, and which is much employed in painting their faces and other
parts of their bodies. The river St. Peter’s enters the Mississippi
behind a large island, which is probably three miles in circumference,
and is covered with the most luxuriant growth of sugar-maple, elm,
ash, oak, and walnut. At the point of embouchure it is one hundred and
fifty yards in width, with a depth of ten or fifteen feet. Its waters
are transparent, and present a light blue tint on looking upon the
stream. From this circumstance the Indians have given it the name of
Clear-water river.

_Red River_ of the north rises near the sources of the St. Peter’s; and
by a northern and winding course runs nearly two hundred miles in our
territorial limits; and then passes into the British dominions of Upper
Canada, and empties into Lake Winnepeck. Its principal branches are Red
Lake river and Moose river, the latter of which streams rises within
a mile of fort Mandan on the Missouri. Red river is a broad, deep, and
very interesting stream, abounding with fish, and the country along its
banks with elk and buffaloes.

The name _Ohio_ is an Indian appellation, signifying ‘the beautiful
river.’ This epithet is not bestowed upon it for the whole of its
course, but commences at the confluence of the two principal streams,
at Pittsburg; above the junction it is called the _Alleghany_. The
remotest source of the _Alleghany_ is in the state of Pennsylvania,
in north latitude forty-one degrees and forty-five minutes, and west
longitude seventy-eight degrees. It is composed of two small streams.
At Pittsburg, the Alleghany being joined by the _Monongahela_, the
confluent stream receives the appellation of the Ohio. The Monongahela
is formed by the confluence of two streams, both rising from the
Alleghany chain, in the north-west angle of Virginia, and running
parallel to each other for sixty miles in a direct line. The absolute
course of the Monongahela is more than two hundred miles, but not above
one hundred and thirty in a direct line from south to north. It seems
a larger and deeper stream at Pittsburg than the Alleghany, which
in the dry season has not above seven feet water where deepest. The
waters of the Alleghany are always clear and limpid, while those of
the Monongahela, on the contrary, become muddy and turbid, whenever
there are a few days of successive rain in that part of the Alleghany
Mountains where it rises. Each of the streams is four hundred yards
wide at the conflux; and after the junction, the united stream is more
enlarged in depth than in breadth.

The Ohio, formed by the junction of the Monongahela and Alleghany,
appears to be rather a continuation of the former than the latter,
which arrives at the confluence in an oblique direction. From Pittsburg
to the mouth of the Ohio is one thousand and thirty-three miles by the
course of the stream. It receives a vast number of tributary streams on
both sides, in its progress to the Mississippi. For the space of three
hundred miles below Pittsburg, the Ohio runs between two ridges of
hills, rising from three hundred to four hundred feet in height. These
appear frequently undulated at their summits, but at other times seem
to be perfectly level. They sometimes recede, and sometimes approach
the banks of the river, and have their direction parallel to that of
the Alleghany chain. These ridges gradually recede farther down the
river, till they disappear from the view of those who descend the Ohio.
It is not till this river has burst its passage through a transverse
chain, at the rapids, near Louisville, that it rolls its waters,
through a level and expanded country, as far as the Mississippi.
The general appearance of the river is beautiful, placid, gentle and
transparent, except in the times of high water. There are two seasons
of periodical inundations; namely, winter and spring. According to
some, the vernal inundations of this river commence in the latter end
of March, and subside in July; and, according to others, they commence
early in February, and subside in May. It must be observed, however,
that this period is forwarded or retarded as the rivers thaw sooner or
later, which may reconcile these apparently discordant statements.

The Ohio is then swelled to a prodigious height, varying in different
places, as it is more or less expanded in breadth. It is a favorable
circumstance for the country in the upper course of the Ohio, that it
has very high and steep banks; having gradually hollowed out for itself
a deep and comparatively narrower bed, being, like all its southern
tributary streams, inclosed as it were in a groove between them, which
prevents the general level of the land from being overflowed for many
miles, and thereby rendered marshy and unwholesome, as in the lower
Missouri, and in the lower part of the Ohio. Yet high as these banks
are, the Ohio is both a dangerous and troublesome neighbor to the towns
which are not sufficiently far removed from them. That part of the town
of Marietta situated at the junction of the Muskingum with the Ohio,
though elevated forty-five feet above the ordinary level of the stream,
has been twice inundated, and consequently abandoned by the inhabitants.
The town of Portsmouth, at the mouth of the Great Sciota, and two
hundred and eighteen miles below Marietta by water, though elevated
sixty feet above the usual surface of the river, is also subjected to
the same misfortune, which has materially affected the prosperity of
the place. At Cincinnati, the breadth of the river is five hundred and
thirty-five yards, and the banks fifty feet in perpendicular height,
yet these are annually overflowed. The winter floods commence in
the middle of October, and continue to the latter end of December.
Sometimes, in the course of the summer, abundant rains fall among the
Alleghany Mountains, by which the Ohio is suddenly raised, but such
occurrences are rare. In the times of these two periodical floods,
which taken together last for near half the year, ships drawing twelve
feet water may sail with perfect ease from Pittsburg to New Orleans, a
distance of near two thousand and two hundred miles. In these seasons
the passage to the falls may be accomplished in nine or ten days, but
it is generally effected in twelve days. The difficulty of navigating
the Ohio during the dry season, is only confined to the upper part of
its course, or between Pittsburg and Limestone, a space of four hundred
and twenty-five miles by water; and this, not so much owing to the
shallowness of the stream, as to its being divided by islands; for
the depth of the Monongahela branch of the Ohio alone, at Pittsburg,
is twelve feet. Michaux counted no less than fifty of these islands
in the distance of three hundred and ninety miles; some of them only
containing a few acres, and others exceeding a mile in length.

The _Tennessee_ rises in the Alleghany Mountains, traverses East
Tennessee, and almost the whole northern limit of Alabama, re-enters
Tennessee, and crosses almost the whole width of it, into Kentucky,
and passes into Ohio, fifty-seven miles above its junction with
the Mississippi. It is near twelve hundred miles in length, and is
the largest tributary of the Ohio. It has numerous branches, and is
navigable for boats one thousand miles; most of the branches rise among
the mountains, and are too shallow for navigation, except during the
floods, which take place occasionally, at all seasons of the year, and
admit flat boats to be floated down to the main stream.

The Muscle Shoals are about three hundred miles from its entrance into
the Ohio. At this place the river spreads to the width of three miles,
and forms a number of islands. The passage by boats is difficult and
dangerous, except when the water is high.

From these shoals to the place called the _Whirl_ or _Suck_, two
hundred and fifty miles, the navigation all the way is excellent, to
the Cumberland Mountain; where the river breaks through. This mountain
is sometimes so steep, that even the Indians cannot ascend it on foot.
In one place, particularly, near the summit of the mountain, there is
a remarkable ledge of rocks, of about thirty miles in length, and two
hundred feet high, with a perpendicular front facing the south-east,
more noble and grand than any artificial fortification in the known
world, and apparently equal in point of regularity. The Whirl, as it
is called, is about latitude thirty-four degrees. It is considered a
greater curiosity than the bursting of the river Potomac through the
Blue Ridge.

The river, which above is half a mile wide, is here compressed to one
hundred yards, or eighteen rods. Just at the entrance of the mountain,
a large rock projects from the northern shore, in an oblique direction,
which renders the channel still narrower. This causes a sudden bend, by
which the waters are thrown with great force against the opposite shore.
From thence they rebound about the point of the rock, and produce a
whirl of eighty yards, or two hundred and forty feet in circumference.
By the dexterity of the rowers, canoes drawn into this whirl have
sometimes escaped without damage. In less than a mile below the whirl,
the river spreads to its common width, down to Muscle Shoals; and
thence runs in a regular and beautiful stream to its confluence with
the Ohio.

The _Wabash_ rises in the north-eastern part of Indiana, and flows
south-westerly nearly across the state, when it turns to the south, and
flows into the Ohio, forming towards its mouth the western boundary.
Its length, from its mouth to its extreme source, exceeds five hundred
miles. It is navigable for keel-boats, about four hundred miles, to
Ouitanon, where there are rapids. From this village small boats can
go within six miles of St. Mary’s river; ten of Fort Wayne; and eight
of the St. Joseph’s of the Miami-of-the-lakes. Its current is gentle
above Vincennes; below the town there are several rapids, but not of
sufficient magnitude to prevent boats from ascending. The principal
rapids are between Deche and White rivers, ten miles below Vincennes.
White river and Tippecanoe river are branches of the Wabash.

The _Cumberland_ rises in the Cumberland Mountains in Kentucky, and
after a course of nearly two hundred miles in that state, passes into
Tennessee, through which it makes a circuit of two hundred and fifty
miles, when it re-enters Kentucky and falls into the Ohio, about fifty
miles above the entrance of that river into the Mississippi. From the
source of this river to its conflux with the Ohio, the distance in a
direct line is three hundred miles, but by the course and windings of
the stream, it is near six hundred miles, five hundred of which it is
navigable for batteaux of fourteen or fifteen tons burthen.

The _Muskingum_ rises in the north-eastern part of Ohio, and flows
southerly into the Ohio river. It is two hundred miles in length, and
is navigable for boats one hundred miles. It is connected by a canal
with Lake Erie. The _Sciota_ rises in the western part, and flows
southerly into the Ohio. It is about two hundred miles long, and is
navigable one hundred and thirty. There are rich and beautiful prairies
on the river, and its valley is wide and fertile. A canal passes along
this valley, and extends north-easterly to Lake Erie. The _Licking_ and
_Kentucky_ rivers take their rise in the Cumberland Mountains, and flow
north-westerly into the Ohio. They are each about two hundred miles in
length. The latter is navigable for one hundred and fifty miles, and
has a width of one hundred and fifty yards at its mouth. The current
is rapid, and the shores are high. For a great part of its course, it
flows between perpendicular banks of limestone. The voyager passing
down this stream experiences an indescribable sensation on looking
upwards to the sky from a deep chasm hemmed in by lofty parapets. Among
the other tributaries of the Ohio are the Great and Little Miami,
Saline,[11] Green river, Big Sandy, Kanhawa.

The _Illinois_ rises in the north-eastern parts of the state of that
name, not more than thirty-five miles from the south-western extremity
of Lake Michigan, and interlocking by a morass with the river Chicago,
which empties into that lake. Its two main head-branches are Plein and
Kankakee. Thirty miles from the junction of these rivers, enters Fox
river from the north. Between this and the Vermilion, enter two or
three inconsiderable rivers. The Vermilion is a considerable stream,
which enters the Illinois from the south, two hundred and sixty miles
above the Mississippi. Not far below this river, and two hundred and
ten miles above the Mississippi, commences Peoria lake, which is no
more than an enlargement of the river, two miles wide on an average,
and twenty miles in length. Such is the depth and regularity of the
bottom, that it has no perceptible current whatever. It is a beautiful
sheet of water, with romantic shores, generally bounded by prairies;
and no waters in the world furnish finer sport for the angler.

On the north side of the Illinois, the rivers that enter on that shore
have their courses, for the most part, in mountainous bluffs, which
often approach near the river. For a great distance above its mouth,
the river is almost as straight as a canal; has in summer scarcely a
perceptible current, and the waters, though transparent, have a marshy
taste to a degree to be almost unfit for use. The river is wide and
deep; and, for the greater part of its width, is filled with aquatic
weeds, to such an extent, that no person could swim among them. Only
a few yards width, in the centre of the stream, is free from them. It
enters the Mississippi through a deep forest, by a mouth four hundred
yards wide. Perhaps no river of the western country has so fine a
boatable navigation, for such a great distance; or waters a richer and
more luxuriant tract of country.

_Rock River_ is one of the most clear and beautiful tributaries of the
Mississippi. It has its source beyond the northern limits of Illinois,
and in a ridge of hills that separates between the waters of the
Mississippi and those of Lake Michigan. On its waters are extensive
and rich lead mines. Its general course is south-west, and it enters
the Mississippi, not far above the commencement of the military bounty
lands. Opposite the mouth of this river, in the Mississippi, is the
beautiful island, called from the name of the river, and on which is a
military station of the United States.

_Kaskaskia River_ rises in the interior of Illinois, nearly
interlocking with the waters of Lake Michigan. It has a course, in a
south-west direction, of between two and three hundred miles, for the
greater part of which course, in high stages of water, it is boatable.
It runs through a fine and settled country, and empties into the
Mississippi a few miles below the town of the same name.

The _Ouisconsin_ is the largest river of the North-West territory
that flows into the Mississippi. It rises in the northern interior of
the country, and interlocks with the Montreal of Lake Superior. It has
a course of between three and four hundred miles, has a shallow and
rapid current, which is, however, navigable by boats in good stages
of the water, and is eight hundred yards wide at its mouth. There is
a portage of only half a mile between this and Fox river. It is over
a level prairie, across which, from river to river, there is a water
communication for periogues in high stages of the water. _Fox River_
has a course of two hundred and sixty miles. It runs through Winnebago
lake. It has a fine country on its banks, with a salubrious climate.
_Chippeway_ is a considerable river of the Mississippi, and enters it
just below Lake Pepin. It is half a mile wide at its mouth, and has
communications by a short portage with Lake Superior. The other chief
rivers of this territory, tributary to the ‘father of waters,’ are
St. Croix, Rum, St. Francis, and Savanna.

Among the smaller tributaries to the Mississippi are the Obian, Forked
Deer, Big Hatchet, and Wolf rivers, all of which flow into it from
Tennessee; and the Yazoo and Big Black, from the state of Mississippi.
The last named rivers are only navigable for boats.

Beside the rivers which flow into the Mississippi, and are thus emptied
into the Gulf of Mexico, there are a few small streams which disembogue
immediately into the gulf. The _Alabama River_ rises in the mountainous
parts of Georgia, in two head-streams named the Coosa and Tallapoosa,
and running south-westerly through the centre of the state of Alabama,
unites with the Tombeckbee; both the streams then take the name of
Mobile, and flowing south for a short distance fall into Mobile Bay.
The _Tombeckbee_ is formed of two main branches rising in the mountains
of the Mississippi. It has a boat navigation in the lower part of its
course. The Alabama has a boat navigation for one hundred and fifty
miles from the bay. _Pearl River_ rises near the centre of the state of
Mississippi. A number of branches unite to form the main river, which
is afterwards increased by the Chuncka and other streams. It passes
through a pleasant and fertile country, and derives much importance
from being one of the chief points of communication between the state
through which it flows and the Gulf of Mexico. The _Pascagoula_ rises
in latitude thirty three degrees, and after travelling for two hundred
and fifty miles a tract of pine country, broadens at its mouth into
an open bay, on which, at a town of its own name, is a resort for the
inhabitants of New Orleans during the sickly months. Most of the rivers
of Florida which flow into the gulf have their sources in Georgia. The
most important of these is the _Appalachicola_. The topography of this
country is as yet very imperfect, and the very numerous streams which
intersect it have borne a variety of names. Most of them are barred at
their mouth with sand.


               II. RIVERS WHICH FLOW INTO THE ATLANTIC.

The _River St. Croix_ forms a part of the eastern boundary of Maine,
and is little navigable except by rafts; most of it consists of a chain
of small lakes. From Calais to the sea, thirty miles, its navigation is
unobstructed.

The _River Penobscot_ is the largest in the state of Maine. It rises in
the highlands separating Maine from Lower Canada. Between the junction
of its two upper branches is Moosehead lake, about forty miles long,
and fifteen wide. From the _Forks_, as they are called, the Penobscot
Indians pass to Canada, up either branch, principally the west, the
source of which is said to be not more than twenty miles from the
waters which fall into the St. Lawrence. The whole navigable course of
the river for sloops, is forty-six miles from the head of the bay, to
near the head of the side; and from the Forks to the sea is one hundred
and thirty-four miles. This river has very numerous branches, navigable
by rafts and abounding in mill sites.

The _Saco_ rises in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, enters Maine
at Fryeburg, and flows in an irregular course south-east to the sea;
it is one hundred and sixty miles long, and has numerous falls which
afford excellent mill sites and manufacturing stations.

The _Androscoggin_ rises in Umbagog lake, among the highlands which
form the north-west boundary of Maine, and descending through a
succession of lakes enters New Hampshire at Errol; it re-enters Maine
at Gilead, and flows east and south till it joins the Kennebec at
Merrymeeting bay. Its length is one hundred and forty miles; the whole
course is broken by rapids and falls, which prevent the transportation
of any thing except timber and logs.

The _Kennebec_ also rises in the highlands, near the sources of the
Androscoggin, and flows nearly south to the sea; falls and rapids
render the navigation difficult above the tide at Augusta, from
which place it is navigable for vessels of one hundred tons, and from
Hallowell and Gardiner for ships to the sea. The country watered by the
Kennebec generally consists of excellent land; it is one of the best
grazing districts in New England; and there are upon the banks of the
river a number of flourishing and handsome towns.

The _Merrimack_ rises in New Hampshire, and has two principal branches:
one of them being the outlet of lake Winnipiseogee. The north or longer
branch is called the Pemigewasset, and has its source near the Notch of
the White Mountains. At its junction with the outlet of the lake this
stream takes the name of Merrimack, and flows south seventy-eight miles
to Chelmsford, where it enters Massachusetts, through which it runs
east to the sea. Its whole course is about two hundred miles. There are
numerous falls in the New Hampshire portion. Though not equal to the
Connecticut for fine scenery, the Merrimack is a noble and beautiful
stream. Its waters are pure and salubrious, and on its borders are
many flourishing towns. Its name in the Indian language signifies a
_sturgeon_. Its width varies from fifty to one hundred and twenty rods;
it receives many minor streams and rivers, which form the outlet of
several small lakes. Its obstructions have been partly remedied by
locks at different places, and there is a good navigation for vessels
of two hundred tons to Haverhill. Two chain bridges cross the river at
Newburyport, and Salisbury.

The _Piscataqua_ has its rise and its whole course in New Hampshire.
It is formed by the junction of several small streams in a wide and
deep bed; the longest of these streams is Salmon Fall river, which
forms part of the boundary between New Hampshire and Maine.

The _Connecticut_ is the largest river of the New England States.
It rises beyond the high-lands which separate the states of Vermont
and New Hampshire from Lower Canada. It has been surveyed to the head
spring of its northern branch, about twenty-five miles beyond the
forty-fifth degree of latitude, from which to its mouth it flows
upwards of three hundred miles through a well inhabited country. Its
navigation is much interrupted by falls. It receives several rivers, as
the Chicapee, Deerfield, Miller’s, and Farmington. At Hartford it meets
the tide, whence it passes on in a winding course, till it falls into
Long Island sound, between Saybrook and Lyme. This river is navigable
for sloops, as far as Hartford, fifty miles distant from its mouth; and
the produce of the country, for two hundred miles above it, is brought
thither in flat-bottomed boats, which are so light us to be portable in
carts.

The _Hudson_, or the _North River_, is formed by the confluence of
the _Hudson proper_ and the _Mohawk_, which unite below Waterford,
ten miles above Albany. The Hudson takes its rise in the forty-fourth
degree of north latitude, from the foot of the mountains which separate
the waters of the St. Lawrence from those of Lake Champlain, and the
Mohawk in the table-land surrounding Oneida lake. The Mohawk river
rises to the north-east of Oneida lake, about eight miles from Sable
Water, a stream of Lake Ontario. It runs first twenty miles south to
Rome; then south-east one hundred and thirty-four miles; and, after
receiving many tributary streams in its course, falls into the Hudson
by three mouths. It is a large stream of water; and is now navigable
for boats from Schenectady to Rome, one hundred and four miles distant.
From Albany to Schenectady is a portage of sixteen miles, on account of
the falls and rapids, which render the river unnavigable. These falls
and rapids, denominated the _Cohoes_, are three miles from the junction
of the Mohawk with the Hudson. The river is one thousand feet wide
at these falls; the rock over which the stream descends is forty feet
perpendicular height; and the whole height of the cataract, including
the descent above, is seventy feet. Properly speaking, the North river
is no other than a narrow gulf of the sea, entering inland at New York,
and penetrating across the double chain of the Alleghany Mountains, as
far as the confluence of the above mentioned streams, one hundred and
seventy miles from the sea. This is what distinguishes the Hudson from
all other rivers in the United States. In no other does the tide ascend
beyond the first range; but in the North river, it crosses the first
chain at West Point, sixty miles north of New York; and the second
at Catskill, after having burst the beds of granite which opposed
its passage, and cut them into a thousand different shapes. Hence the
deep valley of the Hudson has derived a most singular and magnificent
aspect; the western bank being, in some places, five hundred feet of
perpendicular height above the level of the river.[12]

Along the shore of the Hudson, a mural precipice extends twenty miles.
It commences at Weehawken, four miles north of the city of Jersey,
gradually rising towards the north, and mostly occupied by forests. It
is known by the name of the Palisadoes.

  Illustration: Palisadoe Rocks.

_Raritan River_, in the northern part of New Jersey, is formed by two
branches which unite about twenty miles above New Brunswick. It becomes
navigable two miles above that city, at a place called Brunswick
Landing. Flowing by New Brunswick, and gradually becoming broader and
deeper, it passes Amboy and then widens into Raritan bay, which is
immediately connected with the ocean. It is navigable for sloops of
eighty tons as far as New Brunswick, seventeen miles.

The _Delaware_ issues by two streams, called the _Coquago_ and the
_Rappadon_, the union of which, forty miles in a direct line from their
sources, form the Delaware, from the Katskill Mountains, in the county
of Delaware, state of New York. Running first south, it next turns to
the south-east, forming, for the space of sixty miles, the boundary
between Pennsylvania and New York; and thence, forms again the line of
separation between the former state and that of New Jersey, for upwards
of one hundred miles more to Trenton, where there are falls, but of no
great height. Thence, with increased breadth, it pursues a course of
thirty-six miles farther, to Philadelphia, where it is a mile broad.
Thence it proceeds to Newcastle, forty miles below Philadelphia, where
it is two miles broad. Thence it spreads out into a spacious bay, and
falls into the Atlantic seventy miles below Newcastle, by an outlet
of twenty-five miles. The whole course of the river, from the Atlantic
to its source, is three hundred and fifty miles; and two hundred
and eighty from the head of Delaware bay, including the windings. Its
two chief tributary streams are the _Lehigh_ and _Schuylkill_. The
navigation betwixt the Delaware and Chesapeak is now improved by means
of a canal.

The River _Susquehannah_, of all those of the eastern states, most
resembles the Mississippi and the St. Lawrence, on account of its
numerous and distant branches. The north-east branch, which is the
remotest source, is formed by the junction of two small streams that
issue from the lakes of Camadebago, Ustavantho, and Otsego, in the
state of New York. It runs south and south-west in such a winding
course, (receiving in its progress the _Unadilla_ and _Chenango_
rivers from the north,) that it crosses the boundary line between New
York and Pennsylvania no less than three times. It forms a junction
with the _Tioga_, in forty-one degrees and fifty-seven minutes north
latitude; and thence pursues a south-east course of seventy miles
to Wyoming; whence, making a sudden bend at a right angle, it runs a
south-west course of eighty miles, and unites with the west branch at
Northumberland. The river, now increased to the breadth of half a mile,
flows south through the mountains, a course of forty miles, to its
junction with the _Juniata_, when, turning to the east for ten miles,
it emerges from the mountains above Harrisburg, and after a south-east
course of eighty miles, falls into Chesapeak bay. The western branch
of the Susquehannah is formed by many streams, beyond the Alleghany
Mountains; and its most southern source is within a very few miles
of the _Conemaugh_, or _Kiskeminitas_, which falls into the Alleghany
a little above Pittsburg. After running a very winding course of two
hundred miles, principally among the mountains, it joins with the
east branch at Northumberland. The _Juniata_ rises in the Alleghany
Mountains, and, pursuing an eastern and very serpentine and mountainous
course, falls into the Susquehannah, after running two hundred miles.
The whole course of the Susquehannah, from Chesapeak bay to the head of
the north-east branch, is four hundred and fifty miles; and, including
all its branches, it waters a tract of forty thousand square miles.
Where it falls into the sea it is fully a mile broad; at Harrisburg it
is nearly of the same breadth, and from three to five feet deep. There
are seven falls in this river, which, with the numerous islands and
rocks, render it navigable only for a few miles by large vessels.

The _River Potomac_ rises on the north-west side of the Alleghany
Mountains, and after running a north-east course of sixty miles to
Cumberland, is joined eighteen miles below, by a branch coming from the
south-west. Thence fifty-four miles farther, it receives the waters of
_Licking Creek_, and passes the north mountain into a fine limestone
valley, which it waters in a very winding course of forty-five miles
in a south-east direction. Here it receives a considerable number of
tributary streams, particularly the _Conecocheague_ at Williamsport,
and the _Shenandoah_ at the extremity of the valley, and just above the
Blue Ridge, through which the combined stream has effected a singularly
magnificent passage. About thirty miles farther, it descends one
hundred and forty feet in the course of eight or ten miles, to the
level of tide-water, which it meets at Georgetown. It is here a quarter
of a mile wide; but expands to a mile opposite Washington, and enters
the Chesapeak bay by a passage seven and a half miles broad. This is
one of the most important of the Atlantic rivers. It is navigable for
vessels of any burden to Alexandria, one hundred miles distant; and
from thence, for ships of considerable burden, to Georgetown. A lock
navigation has been constructed round the first falls, of which there
are four in the whole. The largest of these falls is at Matilda, six
miles above Georgetown, where the stream, nine hundred feet broad,
after flowing through a valley skirted with hills wild as those of
the Rhone in Vivari, (says Volney,) falls at once, like the Niagara,
from the height of seventy-seven feet, into a deep chasm of solid
micaceous granite. From this it escapes, several miles farther down,
by a widening of the valley in the lower country. The whole course of
the Potomac is three hundred and forty miles.

  Illustration: Passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge.

_York River_ is formed by the junction of the _Mattapony_ and _Pamunky_.
Beyond the junction, the Mattapony is navigable for seventy miles; and
thirty miles higher up is its source in the Blue Mountains. The Pamunky
is formed by the junction of the _North_ and _South Anna_ rivers, which
rise in the north-west about fifty miles distant. The mouth of this
river is three miles wide; and at high tide there is four fathoms water,
twenty-five miles above Yorktown, where it is a mile and a half wide in
the wet season, but has a channel of only seventy-five fathoms in the
dry season.

_James’ River_ is one of the most important rivers in the state
of Virginia. It rises in the Alleghany Mountains, near two hundred
miles to the west of Richmond; and, after widening and contracting
alternately in a very winding course, it enters Chesapeak bay fifteen
miles west of Cape Henry; its whole length being three hundred miles.
Its principal tributary streams are the Rivanna, the Appomatox,
the Chickahomany, the Nansemond, and the Elizabeth, on which last
is situated the town of Norfolk. This river, anciently called the
_Powhatan_, affords harbor for vessels of any burden, in Hampton Road,
seventy miles below Richmond. Vessels of two hundred and fifty tons may
go up to Warwick; and those of one hundred and fifty to within a mile
of Richmond.

The _Roanoake_ is formed by the junction of the _Dan_ and _Staunton_.
It runs one hundred and twenty-five miles south-east till it enters
Albemarle sound. Its whole course is two hundred miles. It is navigable
by sloops sixty miles; the low lands on the banks are subjected to
annual inundations.

_Cape Fear River_ is the largest in North Carolina. It rises one
hundred miles above Fayetteville; and thence running two hundred miles
eastward, falls into the Atlantic ocean at Cape Fear, where it is three
miles wide, and eighteen feet deep at high tide. It is navigable by
vessels drawing ten feet water, up to Wilmington, a little below the
confluence of its two principal streams.

The _Great Pedee_ rises in the Blue Mountains, on the borders of North
Carolina and Virginia, where it has the name of _Yadkin_ river. Its
whole course is upwards of three hundred miles, half of which is in
North Carolina. It is navigable by ships to Georgetown; and for smaller
vessels, one hundred miles higher up.

The _Santee_ is the largest river in the state of South Carolina, and
is formed by the junction of the _Congaree_ and _Wateree_ rivers. The
whole course of the Santee, including that of the Catawbaw or Wateree,
is three hundred and fifty miles. It is navigable up to the point of
junction by ships of burden.

The _Savannah River_ which forms the boundary between South Carolina
and Georgia, is a bold and deep stream, and is formed by the junction
of the _Keowee_ and _Tugeloo_, two small streams issuing from the Blue
Ridge, two hundred and fifty miles from the sea. It runs in a straight
south-east course all the way to its mouth, seventeen miles below
Savannah. It is navigable for ships of any burden to within three miles
of Savannah; for vessels of two hundred and fifty tons to Savannah; and
for boats of one hundred feet keel, to Augusta, above which the rapids
commence; after passing them, the river can be navigated in small boats,
eighty miles higher, to the junction of the tributary rivers.


            III. RIVERS OF THE PACIFIC AND THE GREAT LAKES.

The waters that rise on the western declivities of the Rocky Mountains
flow into the Columbia, the Multnomah and the Lake Bueneventura.
_Columbia_ or _Oregon_ river rises within a mile of the head-waters
of the Missouri. It collects its tribute for a wide extent along the
western dividing ridges of the mountains, and on emerging from them
becomes at once a broad and deep stream. After receiving Clark’s and
Lewis’ rivers, each a large stream, from the east, it widens to nine
hundred and sixty yards, and forms a great southern bend through the
second chain of mountains. One hundred and thirty-six miles below, are
the great falls, where the river descends in one rapid, fifty-seven
feet. Below these falls, it winds first to the north-west and then to
the south-west, and passes through the third chain of mountains, where
it is again compressed to the width of one hundred and fifty yards.
Below this rapid, at one hundred and eighty miles from the sea, it
meets the tide, beyond which it has a broad estuary to the sea. Sixty
miles below the rapids, _Multnomah_, a very large and unexplored
tributary, falls in from the north-east. The mouth of the river is in
latitude forty-six degrees and twenty-four minutes, and the tide there
rises eight feet and a half. The Columbia and its tributaries abound
in the finest salmon, which is said to form the principal food of the
savages west of the Rocky Mountains. Seals and other aquatic animals
are taken in this river in great numbers, and the skins shipped to
China constitute the chief article of trade from this great river. A
number of the head streams of the Missouri interlock with the waters
of the Columbia. The whole course of the river is about one thousand
five hundred miles. As this river waters an immense territory which
has recently become a subject of great interest, we have subjoined, in
a note, a partial account of its navigation, from the interesting work
of Mr. Ross Cox.[13]

The rivers which flow into the great lakes are, for the most part,
small and unimportant. A permanent communication between their waters
and those of the Mississippi might be formed by means of a short canal
from the Fox or Chicago rivers, both of which empty into Lake Michigan.
The _Fox_ river rises near the _Ouisconsin_ branch of the Mississippi,
and afterwards flows within one and a half miles of its channel,
separated from it only by a short portage over a prairie. During the
season of high water, the intervening ground is overflowed, so that
loaded boats may pass over it.

_Saganaw River_ is a large and deep stream, with bold shores, and
numerous tributaries, which water a large extent of very delightful
and fertile country. The banks of this stream are inhabited by detached
bands of Chippeway and Ottaway Indians, who have long derived an easy
subsistence from the abundance of game and fish to be found in their
neighborhood. The Saganaw empties into a fine bay of the same name,
which is by far the largest of the numerous inlets which indent the
very irregular shores of Lake Huron.

The _Gennessee_ rises in Pennsylvania, and runs north across the west
part of New York into Lake Ontario. Five miles from its mouth, at
Rochester, are falls of ninety-six and seventy-five feet in descent;
above these falls the stream is navigable for boats nearly seventy
miles, where two other falls occur, of sixty and ninety feet, one of
which is formed by the slope of land which extends from Lewiston on
Niagara river. _Black River_ receives its name from the color of its
water. It rises in the highlands, north of the Mohawk, and its branches
interlock with those of the Hudson; it pursues a northerly course
of one hundred and twenty miles, and falls into Lake Ontario, near
its outlet. It is a deep but sluggish stream, and the navigation is
interrupted by falls; a series of which, called the _Long Falls_,
extend fourteen miles. The land upon this stream is generally a rich,
dark colored mould. The _Oswegatchie_ consists of two branches, which
unite four miles above their entrance into the St. Lawrence. The east
branch is about one hundred and twenty miles long, and the west nearly
one hundred; they are very crooked streams. The _Oswego_ issues from
Oneida Lake, and runs north-westerly into Lake Ontario; it is about
forty miles long and is a rapid stream; its navigation is assisted
by locks and canals. The _Maumee_ rises in the north-eastern part of
Indiana, and flows through the north-western part of Ohio into Lake
Erie; it is broad and deep, but has an obstruction from shoals and
rapids thirty-three miles above its mouth. The _Sandusky_ rises in the
northern part of Ohio, and flows northerly into Lake Erie; it is one
hundred miles in length, and is navigable.


                      GENERAL REMARKS ON RIVERS.

  The beds of rivers are the lowest parts of great chasms, formed
  by the same revolutions which produced the mountains. Running
  waters unceasingly wear away their beds and banks in places
  where their declivity is very rapid; they hollow out and deepen
  their channels in mountains composed of rocks of moderate
  hardness; they draw along stones, and form accumulations of
  them in the lower part of their course; and thus their beds are
  often gradually elevated in the plains, while they are deepened
  and depressed in the mountains. But these changes, though
  continually going on for thousands of years, could only give
  form to the banks of rivers; they in no wise created the banks
  themselves. Many great rivers flow with an almost imperceptible
  declivity. The river of the Amazons has only ten feet and a
  half declivity upon two hundred leagues of its course, making
  one twenty-seventh of an inch for every thousand feet. When a
  river is obstructed in its course by a bank of solid rocks, and
  finds beneath them a stratum of softer materials, its waters
  wear away the softer substance, and thus open for themselves a
  subterraneous passage, more or less long. Such are the causes
  which have formed the magnificent Rock Bridge in Virginia, an
  astonishing vault uniting two mountains, separated by a ravine
  two hundred and seventy feet in depth, in which the _Cedar
  Creek_ flows. In Louisiana, trees, or rather whole forests,
  have been observed to fall on a river, covering it nearly with
  vegetable earth; and thus giving rise to a natural bridge which
  for leagues has hid the course of the river.

  Rivers in running into the sea present a great variety of
  interesting phenomena; many form _sand-banks_, as the Senegal
  and the Nile; others, like the Danube, run with such force into
  the sea, that one can for a certain space distinguish the waters
  of the river from those of the sea. The waters of the little
  river Syre in Norway are discernable for a considerable distance
  in the sea. It is only by a very large mouth, like that of
  the Loire, the Elbe, or the Plata, that a river can peacefully
  mingle with the sea. Rivers even of this nature, however,
  sometimes experience the superior influence of the sea, which
  repels the waters into their bed. Thus the Seine forms at its
  mouth a _bar_ of considerable extent; and the Garonne, unable
  to discharge with sufficient rapidity the waters which it
  accumulates in a kind of gulf between Bordeaux and its mouth,
  exhibits this aquatic mountain, stopped by the flow of the tide
  rolling backwards, inundating the banks, and stopping vessels
  in their progress both up and down. This phenomenon, termed the
  _Mascaret_, is only the collision of two bodies of water moving
  in opposite directions. The most sublime phenomenon of this kind
  which presents itself is that of the giant of rivers Orellana,
  called the river of the Amazons. Twice a day it pours out its
  imprisoned waves into the bosom of the ocean. A liquid mountain
  is thus raised to the height of one hundred and eighty feet;
  it frequently meets the flowing tide of the sea, and the shock
  of these two bodies of water is so dreadful that it makes all
  the neighboring islands tremble; the fishermen and navigators
  fly from it in the utmost terror. The next day, or the second
  day after every new or full moon, the time when the tides are
  highest, the river also seems to redouble its power and energy;
  its waters and those of the ocean rush against each other like
  the onset of two armies. The banks are inundated with their
  foaming waves; the rocks drawn along like light vessels, dash
  against each other, almost upon the surface of the water which
  bears them on. Loud roarings echo from island to island. It has
  been said that the Genius of the River and the God of the Ocean
  contended in battle for the empire of the waves. The Indians
  call this phenomenon _Pororoca_.


             COMPARATIVE VIEW OF THE RIVERS OF THE WORLD.

                            NORTH AMERICA.

                      _Names._        _Length._
                      Missouri            4,400
                      Mississippi         3,000
                      Arkansas            2,100
                      St. Lawrence        2,000
                      Mackenzie           2,000
                      Del Norte           2,000
                      Nelson              1,500
                      Columbia            1,500
                      Red River           1,500
                      Platte              1,500
                      Ohio                1,350
                      Kansas              1,200
                      White River         1,200
                      Tennessee           1,100
                      Alabama               650
                      Savannah              600
                      Potomac               550
                      Connecticut           410
                      Hudson                324
                      Delaware              300

                            SOUTH AMERICA.

                      Maranon             4,500
                      La Plata            3,000
                      Madeira             2,500
                      Orinoco             1,800
                      Tocantins           1,800
                      Ucayale             1,600
                      St. Francisco       1,500
                      Paraguay            1,400
                      Xingu               1,400
                      Topajos             1,300

                                EUROPE.

                      Volga               2,040
                      Danube              1,710
                      Don                 1,050
                      Dnieper             1,080
                      Kemi                  780
                      Rhine                 670
                      Elbe                  570
                      Loire                 540
                      Vistula               500
                      Dniester              480
                      Tagus                 580
                      Dwina                 480

                                AFRICA.

                      Nile                2,687
                      Senegal               950
                      Orange                900
                      Gambia                700

                                 ASIA.

                      Yangtse Kian        3,300
                      Lena                2,470
                      Amour               2,360
                      Obi                 2,260
                      Yenisei             2,150
                      Ganges              2,040
                      Burrampooter        2,040
                      Irrawaddy           2,040
                      Cambodia            2,000
                      Euphrates           1,820
                      Hoang Ho            2,900
                      Meinam              1,600



                  CHAPTER V.――CATARACTS AND CASCADES.


THE Falls of Niagara have been very frequently and minutely described,
though it must be acknowledged, as has been well said by the celebrated
Audubon, that all the pictures you may see, all the descriptions you
may read of these mighty falls, can only produce in your mind the faint
glimmer of a glow-worm compared with the overpowering glory of the
meridian sun. ‘What!’ said he, ‘have I come here to mimic nature in her
grandest enterprise, and add _my_ caricature of one of the wonders of
the world to those which I here see? No.――I give up the vain attempt.
I will look on these mighty cataracts, and imprint them where they
alone can be represented,――on my mind!’ The following very full and
accurate description by Mr. Schoolcraft, is the best with which we are
acquainted.

‘On the first of May, I visited the celebrated Falls of Niagara.[14]
Keeping the American shore, the road lies over an alluvial country,
elevated from ten to twenty feet above the water of the river, without
a hill or a ledge of rocks, and with scarce an undulation of surface,
to indicate the existence, or prepare the eye for the stupendous
prospect which bursts, somewhat unexpectedly, into view. The day was
clear and warm, with a light breeze blowing down the river. We stopped
frequently on our approach to listen for the sound of the Fall, but
at the distance of fifteen, ten, eight, and even five miles, could not
distinguish any, even by laying the ear to the ground. It was not until
within three miles of the precipice, where the road runs close to the
edge of the river, and brings the rapids in full view, that we could
distinctly hear the sound, which then, owing to a change in the wind,
fell so heavily upon the ear, that in proceeding a short distance, it
was difficult to maintain a conversation as we rode along. On reaching
the Falls, nothing struck me with more surprise, than that the Baron
La Hontan, who visited it in August, 1688, should have fallen into so
egregious a mistake, as to the height of the perpendicular pitch, which
he represents at seven or eight hundred feet. Nor does the narrator
of the discoveries of the unfortunate La Salle, Monsieur Tonti,
approach much nearer the truth, when he states it at six hundred feet.
Charlevoix, whose work is characterized by more accuracy, learning,
and research, than those who had preceded him, and who saw the Falls in
1721, makes, on the contrary, an estimate which is surprising for the
degree of accuracy he has attained. “For my own part,” he says, “after
examining it on all sides, where it could be viewed to the greatest
advantage, I am inclined to think we cannot allow it less than a
hundred and forty or fifty feet.” The latter, (one hundred and fifty,)
is precisely what the Fall on the Canadian side is now estimated at.
There is a rapid of two miles in extent above, and another of seven
miles, extending to Lewiston, below the Falls. The breadth across, at
the brink of the Fall, which is serrated and irregular, is estimated
at four thousand two hundred and thirty feet, or a little more than
three fourths of a mile. The Fall on the American shore is one hundred
and sixty-four feet, being the highest known perpendicular pitch of
so great a volume of water. The fall of the rapid above, commencing at
Chippewa, is estimated at ninety feet, and the entire fall of Niagara
river from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, a distance of thirty-five miles,
at three hundred feet. Goat Island, which divides the water into two
unequal sheets, has recently been called _Iris_, (in allusion to the
perpetual rainbows by which it is characterized) by the commissioners
for settling the boundaries of the United States, acting under the
treaty of Ghent.

‘In approaching this cataract from Lewiston, the elevated and rocky
description of country it is necessary to cross, together with the
increased distance at which the roar is heard in that direction, must
serve to prepare the mind for encountering a scene which there is
nothing to indicate on approaching from Buffalo; and this impression
unquestionably continues to exercise an effect upon the beholder,
after his arrival at the Falls. The first European visiters beheld it
under this influence. Following the path of the _Couriers de Bois_,
they proceeded from Montreal up the St. Lawrence, to Fort Caderacqui,
and around the shores of Lake Ontario, to the alluvial tract which
stretches from the mouth of Niagara river, to the site of Lewiston.
Here the Ridge, emphatically so called, commences, and the number of
elevations which it is necessary to ascend in crossing it, may, without
a proper consideration of the intermediate descents, have led those who
formerly approached that way into error, such as La Hontan and Tonti
fell into. They must have been deprived also of the advantages of the
view from the gulf at the foot of the Falls, for we are not prepared to
admit the possibility of a descent without artificial stairs, or other
analogous laborious and dangerous works, such, as at that remote period,
must have been looked upon as a stupendous undertaking; and could not,
indeed, have been accomplished, surrounded as the French then were, by
their enemies, the jealous and ever watchful Iroquois. The descent at
the present period, with every advantage arising from the labors of
mechanical ingenuity, cannot be performed without feeling some degree
of personal solicitude.

‘It is in this chasm that the sound of the water falls heaviest upon
the ear, and that the mind becomes fully impressed with the appalling
majesty of the Fall. Other views from the banks on both sides of the
river, and from the Island of Iris in its centre, are more beautiful
and picturesque; but it is here that the tremulous motion of the
earth, the clouds of irridescent spray, the broken column of falling
water, the stunning sound, the lofty banks of the river, and the wide
spreading ruin of rocks, imprint a character of wonder and terror upon
the scene, which no other point of view is capable of producing. The
spectator, who, on alighting at Niagara, walks hastily to the brink,
feels his attention imperceptibly riveted to the novel and striking
phenomenon before him, and at this moment is apt either to overrate
or to underrate the magnitude of the Fall. It is not easy to erect a
standard of comparison; and the view requires to be studied, in order
to attain a just conception and appreciation of its grandeur and its
beauties. The ear is at first stunned by the incessant roar, and the
eye bewildered in the general view. In proportion as these become
familiarized, we seize upon the individual features of the landscape,
and are enabled to distinguish between the gay and the sombre, the bold
and the picturesque, the harsh and the mellow traits, which, like the
deep contrasted shades of some high wrought picture, contribute to give
effect to the scene.

‘It was some time before I could satisfy myself of the accuracy of
the accredited measurements of the height of the Fall, and not until
after I had made repeated visits, and spent a considerable time in the
abyss below. There appears a great disproportion between the height
and the width of the falling sheet, but the longer I remained, the more
magnificent it appeared to me; and hence it is, that with something
like a feeling of disappointment, on my first arrival, I left the
Falls after a visit of two days, with an impression of the scene which
every thing I had previously read, had failed to create. At the time
of my visit, the wind drove the floating ice out of Lake Erie, with
the drift-wood of its tributary rivers, and these were constantly
precipitated over the Falls, but we were not able to discover any
vestiges of them in the eddies below. Immediately in front of the sheet
of falling water on the American side, there was also an enormous bank
of snow, of nearly an hundred feet in height, which the power of the
sun had not yet been fierce enough to dissolve, and which, by giving
an Icelandic character to the landscape, produced a fine effect. It
appeared to me to owe its accumulation to the falling particles of
frozen spray.

‘What has been said by Goldsmith, and repeated by others, respecting
the destructive influence of the rapids[15] above to ducks and other
water fowl, is only an effect of the imagination. So far from being
the case, a wild duck is often seen to swim down the rapid to the brink
of the Falls, and then fly out, and repeat the descent, seeming to take
a delight in the exercise. Neither are small land-birds affected on
flying over the Falls, in the manner that has been stated. I observed
the blue-bird and the wren, which had already made their annual visit
to the banks of the Niagara, frequently fly within one or two feet of
the brink, apparently delighted with the gift of their wings, which
enabled them to sport over such frightful precipices without danger.
We are certainly not well pleased to find that some of the wonderful
stories we have read of the Falls, during boyhood, do not turn out
to be the truth; but, at the same time, a little attention is only
necessary to discover that many interesting facts and particulars
remain unnoticed, which fully compensate for others that have been
over-strained or misstated. Among these, the crystalline appearances
disclosed among the prostrate ruins, and the geological character of
the Fall itself, are not the least interesting.

  Illustration: Bridge and Rapids above the Falls.

‘The scenes where nature has experienced her greatest convulsions, are
always the most favorable for acquiring a knowledge of the internal
structure of the earth. The peaks of the highest mountains, and the
depths of the lowest ravines, present the greatest attractions to the
geologist. Hence this cataract, which has worn its way for a number of
miles, and to a very great depth, through the stony crust of the earth,
is no less interesting for the geological facts it discloses, than for
the magnificence of its natural scenery. The chain of highlands, called
the Ridge, originates in Upper Canada, and running parallel with the
south shore of Lake Ontario, forms a natural terrace, which pervades
the western counties of New-York, from north to south, affording, by
its unbroken chain, and the horizontal position of its strata, the
advantages of a natural road, and terminates in an unexplored part
of the county of Oswego, or thereabout. It is in crossing this ridge,
that the falls of the Niagara, of the Gennessee, and of the Oswego
rivers, all running into Lake Ontario, are produced; together with
those of an infinite number of smaller streams and brooks. Through
this, the Niagara has cut its way for a distance of seven miles, and
to a depth of more than two hundred feet, disclosing the number, order
of stratification, and mineral character, of the different strata of
secondary rocks, of which it is composed.

‘These rocks, (sandstone, slate, and limestone,) however their
properties may be found modified by future discoveries, will probably
be found, with a proper allowance for local formations and disturbances,
to pervade all that section of country, which lies between the Niagara
and Seneca rivers, between lakes Ontario and Seneca, and between the
Alleghany river and the south shore of Lake Erie, as general boundaries.
All this section of country appears to be underlayed by a stratum of
red sandstone, such as appears at the Gennessee Falls, but which is
imbedded at various depths, as the country happens to be elevated
above, or depressed below the level of the Niagara stratum, in which
no inclination is visible. No order of stratification could have been
effected by nature, which would have afforded greater facilities to the
wasting effects of falling water, so visible as these Falls. The slate
which separates the calcareous from the sandstone rock, by a stratum
of nearly forty feet in thickness, is continually fretting away, and
undermining the superincumbent stratum of limestone, which is thus
precipitated in prodigious masses into the abyss below. The most
considerable occurrence of this kind, that has recently taken place,
is that of the _Table Rock_,[16] on the Canadian shore, which fell
during the summer of 1818, disclosing a number of those crystallized
substances, which have already been alluded to. By these means, the
Falls, which are supposed by the most intelligent visitors to have been
anciently seated at Lewiston, have progressed seven miles up the river,
cutting a trench through the solid rock, which is about half a mile
in width, and two hundred feet in depth, exclusive of what is hidden
by the water. The power, capable of effecting such a wonderful change,
still exists, and may be supposed to operate with undiminished activity.
The wasting effects of the water, and the yielding nature of the rocks,
remain the same, and manifest the slow process of a change, at the
present period, as to position, height, form, division of column,
and other characters, which form the outlines of the great scene; and
this change is probably sufficiently rapid in its operation, if minute
observations were taken, to imprint a different character upon the
falls, at the close of every century.’

The _Great Falls of the Missouri_ are the grandest in all North America,
those of Niagara excepted, and though inferior to these in volume of
water, depth of descent, and awful grandeur, yet they are far more
diversified and beautiful. These Falls are within sixty geographical
miles of the easternmost range of the Rocky Mountains. Here the river,
two hundred and eighty yards, or eight hundred and forty feet wide,
is pressed in by a perpendicular cliff on the left, one hundred feet
high, and extending for a mile up the river; on the right, the bluff,
or high steep bank, is also perpendicular for three hundred yards above
the falls. For ninety or one hundred yards from the left cliff, the
water falls in one smooth even sheet over a precipice of eighty-seven
feet eight inches, according to Captain Lewis; but ninety-eight feet,
according to Cass, and Captain Clarke. The remaining part of the river
precipitates itself with a more rapid current; but being received as
it falls by the irregular and projecting rocks below, forms a splendid
prospect of perfectly white foam, two hundred yards in length, and
eighty in perpendicular elevation. This spray is dissipated into a
thousand different shapes; sometimes flying up in columns of fifteen
or twenty feet, which are then oppressed by larger masses of the
white foam, on all which the sun impresses the brightest colors of the
rainbow. As it rises from the fall, it beats with fury against a ledge
of rocks extending across the river, at one hundred and fifty yards
from the precipice. From the perpendicular cliff on the north, to the
distance of one hundred and twenty yards, the rocks rise only a few
feet above the surface of the water; and when the river is high, the
stream finds a passage across them; but between the southern extremity
of this ledge and the perpendicular cliff on the south, the whole body
of water runs with great rapidity. At the distance of three hundred
yards is a second abutment of solid perpendicular rock, sixty feet high,
projecting at right angles from the small plain on the north for one
hundred and thirty-four yards into the river. Below this, the Missouri
regains its usual breadth of three hundred yards, but there is a
continued succession of rapids and cascades. At the second grand fall,
the river, four hundred yards wide, precipitates itself, for the space
of three hundred yards, to a depth of nineteen feet perpendicular, and
so irregularly, that Captain Lewis termed it the _Crooked Fall_.

Above this fall, the Missouri bends suddenly to the northward, where,
four hundred and seventy-three yards wide, it is suddenly stopped by
one shelving rock, which without a single niche, and with an edge as
straight and regular as if it had been formed by art, stretches itself
across from one side of the river to the other. Over this the Missouri
precipitates itself in one even, uninterrupted sheet, of four hundred
and seventy-three yards broad to the perpendicular depth of forty-seven
feet eight inches; whence, dashing against the rocky bottom, it rushes
rapidly down, leaving behind it a spray of the purest foam across the
river. At the distance of less than half a mile, another of a similar
kind is presented. Here a cascade stretches across the whole river,
for a quarter of a mile, with a descent of fourteen feet seven inches,
though the perpendicular pitch is only six feet seven inches. For the
space of one thousand one hundred and seventy-seven yards above this
cascade the river descends fifteen feet. Immediately above this, one
of the largest springs in America falls into the river. Its water
is cold, of the most perfect clearness, and of a bluish color, which
it preserves, even for half a mile after falling into the Missouri,
notwithstanding its rapidity. This fountain rises in the plain,
twenty-five yards from the river, on the south side. In its course to
the river, it falls over some steep, irregular rocks, with a sudden
descent of eight feet perpendicular, in one part of its progress.
The water boils up from among the rocks, and with such force near
the centre that the surface seems higher than the earth on the sides
of the fountain, which is a handsome turf of green grass. The water
is pleasant to the taste, not being impregnated with lime or any
adventitious substance. For the space of a mile and one thousand one
hundred and sixty-six yards above the mouth of this spring, the descent
of the river is thirteen feet six inches.

During the upper part of its course, this river is remarkable for
a succession of rapids, cascades, and cataracts, and in a course of
about three miles it has a descent of no less than three hundred and
fifty-two feet.

On the _Mississippi River_ are several sets of rapids. One called _Les
Rapides des Moines_, is eleven miles long, and consists of successive
ledges and shoals, extending from shore to shore across the bed of the
river. One hundred miles higher up is another, about eighteen miles in
length, and consisting of a continued chain of rocks, over which the
water flows with turbulent rapidity.

About thirty miles from its source, the Mississippi, after winding
through a dismal country, covered with high grass meadows, with pine
swamps in the distance, which appear to cast a deeper gloom on its
borders, is suddenly pent up in a channel about eighty feet wide, where
it has a descent of twenty feet in three hundred yards. This fall is
called _Peckagama_. Immediately at the head of the falls is the first
island noticed in the river. It is small, rocky, covered with spruce
and cedar, and divides the channel nearly in its centre.

_St. Anthony’s Falls_ are situated on the Mississippi river, more than
two thousand miles above its mouth. Above the falls, the river has a
width of five or six hundred yards. Immediately below, it contracts
to a width of two hundred yards; and there is a strong rapid for a
considerable distance below. This beautiful spot in the Mississippi is
not without a tale to hallow its scenery, and heighten the interest,
which, of itself, it is calculated to produce. In the narrative of
Long’s Second Expedition, we find the following romantic story, related
by an old Indian, whose mother was an eye-witness to the transaction:

  Illustration: St. Anthony’s Falls.

‘An Indian of the Dacota nation had united himself early in life to a
youthful female, whose name was Ampota Sapa, which signifies the _Dark
Day_; with her he lived happily for several years, apparently enjoying
every comfort which the savage life can afford. Their union had been
blessed with two children, on whom both parents doated with that depth
of feeling which is unknown to such as have other treasures besides
those that spring from nature. The man had acquired a reputation as a
hunter, which drew around him many families, who were happy to place
themselves under his protection, and avail themselves of such part of
his chase as he needed not for the maintenance of his family. Desirous
of strengthening their interest with him, some of them invited him to
form a connection with their family, observing, at the same time, that
a man of his talent and importance required more than one woman to wait
upon the numerous guests whom his reputation would induce to visit his
lodge. They assured him that he would soon be acknowledged as a chief,
and that, in this case, a second wife was indispensable.

‘Fired with the ambition of obtaining high honors, he resolved to
increase his importance by an union with the daughter of an influential
man of his tribe. He had accordingly taken a second wife without ever
having mentioned the subject to his former companion; being desirous to
introduce his bride into his lodge in the manner which should be least
offensive to the mother of his children, for whom he still retained
much regard, he introduced the subject in these words: “You know,” said
he, “that I can love no woman so fondly as I doat upon you. With regret
have I seen you of late subjected to toils which must be oppressive
to you, and from which I would gladly relieve you, yet I know no other
way of doing so, than by associating with you in the household duties,
one who shall relieve you from the trouble of entertaining the numerous
guests, whom my growing importance in the nation collects around me.
I have, therefore, resolved upon taking another wife, but she shall
always be subject to your control, as she will always rank in my
affections second to you.”

‘With the utmost anxiety, and the deepest concern, did his companion
listen to this unexpected proposal. She expostulated in the kindest
terms, entreated him with all the arguments which undisguised love and
the purest conjugal affections could suggest. She replied to all the
objections which his duplicity led him to raise. Desirous of winning
her from her opposition, the Indian still concealed the secret of
his union with another, while she redoubled all her care to convince
him that she was equal to the task imposed upon her. When he again
spoke on the subject, she pleaded all the endearments of their past
life; she spoke of his former fondness for her, of his regard for
her happiness and that of their mutual offspring; she bade him beware
of the consequences of this fatal purpose of his. Finding her bent
upon withholding her consent to this plan, he informed her that all
opposition on her part was unnecessary, as he had already selected
another partner, and that if she could not receive his new wife as a
friend, she must receive her as a necessary incumbrance, for he had
resolved that she should be an inmate in his house.

‘Distressed at this information, she watched her opportunity, stole
away from the cabin with her infants, and fled to a distance where her
father was. With him she remained until a party of Indians with whom he
lived, went up the Mississippi on a winter hunt. In the spring, as they
were returning with their canoes loaded with peltries, they encamped
near the Falls. In the morning as they left it, she lingered near the
spot, then launched her light canoe, entered into it with her children,
and paddled down the stream, singing her death-song. Too late did her
friends perceive it; their attempts to prevent her from proceeding
were of no avail; she was heard to sing in a doleful voice the past
pleasures which she had enjoyed, while she was the undivided object
of her husband’s affection; finally her voice was drowned in the
sound of the cataract; the current carried down her frail bark with an
inconceivable rapidity; it came to the edge of the precipice, was seen
for a moment enveloped in spray, but never afterwards was a trace of
the canoe or its passengers seen. Yet it is stated by the Indians, that
often in the morning a voice has been heard to sing a doleful ditty
along the edge of the fall, and that it dwells ever on the inconstancy
of her husband. Nay, some assert that her spirit has been seen
wandering near the spot with her children wrapped to her bosom. Such
are the tales or traditions which the Indians treasure up, and which
they relate to the voyager, forcing a tear from the eyes of the most
unrelenting.’

There are many other falls in the United States, which have been
the subject of no extended descriptions, but which would excite
admiration in any quarter of the world. In New York, the Great Falls
of the Genesee, about half a mile below Rochester, are ninety feet
perpendicular, and a few rods above is another of five feet, surmounted
by a rapid. On the same river are several other falls. _Trenton Falls_
are on West Canada Creek, a tributary of the Mohawk, fourteen miles
north of Utica; they consist of several grand and beautiful cascades,
some of them forty feet in descent. The river here passes through
a rocky chasm four miles in length, presenting the greatest variety
of cascades and rapids, boiling pools and eddies. The rock is a dark
limestone, and contains abundance of petrified marine shells. _Glen’s
Falls_ are upon the Hudson, eighteen miles above Saratoga, and are
a grand rapid, falling sixty-seven feet in a course of one hundred
and seventy yards. _Jessup’s Falls_ and _Hadley Falls_ are beautiful
cataracts on the same stream, a few miles above. _Claverack Falls_ are
upon a stream near the city of Hudson; they descend down a precipice
of dark rocks into a deep chasm shaded with forest trees. The cataracts
near _Ithaca_ comprise four hundred and thirty-eight feet of descent in
a mile; the fall of the Cohoes on the Mohawk is seventy feet.

At _Bellows Falls_, five miles from the town of Walpole, on the
Connecticut, the whole descent of the river, in the space of half a
mile, is forty-four feet; and it includes several pitches, one below
another, at the highest of which a large rock divides the stream into
two channels, each about ninety feet wide. When the water is low, the
eastern channel is dry, being crossed by a solid rock, and the whole
stream falls into the western channel, where, being contracted to the
breadth of sixteen feet, it flows with astonishing force and rapidity.
A bridge has been built over these falls, from which an advantageous
view is had of their interesting and romantic scenery. Some years
ago a canal, over half a mile long, was dug through the rocks
around the falls, for the passage of flat-bottomed boats and rafts.
Notwithstanding the velocity of the current, salmon used to pass up the
fall in great numbers. _Amoskeag Falls_, in the Merrimack, consist of
three successive pitches, falling nearly fifty feet. The _Housatonic
Falls_, in the north-west part of Connecticut, are the finest in New
England.

The _Passaic Falls_, in Paterson, New Jersey, twenty-two miles
north-west of New York, are highly picturesque and beautiful. The
river Passaic rises in the northern part of New Jersey, and after a
circuitous course, falls into Newark Bay. At the town of Paterson,
about twenty miles from its mouth, is the Great Fall, where the river,
about one hundred and twenty feet wide, and running with a very swift
current, reaches a deep chasm, or cleft, which crosses the channel, and
falls perpendicularly about seventy feet, in one entire sheet. One end
of the cleft is closed up, and the water rushes out at the other with
incredible rapidity, in an acute angle to its former direction, and is
received into a large basin. It thence takes a winding course through
the rocks, and spreads again into a very considerable channel. The
cleft is from four to twelve feet in breadth, and is supposed to have
been produced by an earthquake. When this cataract was visited by a
late British traveller, the spray refracted two beautiful rainbows,
primary and secondary, which greatly assisted in producing as fine a
scene as imagination can conceive. It was also heightened by the effect
of another fall, of less magnificence, about ninety feet above.

  Illustration: Source of Passaic Falls.

The spirit of utility, in its stern disregard of the picturesque,
has diverted the current of the Passaic into so many channels for the
supply of manufactories, that the cascade is now an object of interest
only during the wet season.

The Potomac, which forms the boundary between the states of Maryland
and Virginia, is navigable to the city of Washington; above which it is
obstructed by several falls, of which the most remarkable are _Little
Falls_, three miles above Washington, with a descent of thirty-seven
feet: _Great Falls_, eight and a half miles further up, with a descent
of seventy-six feet; which have been made navigable by means of
five locks: _Seneca Falls_, six miles above, descending ten feet:
_Shenandoah Falls_, sixty miles higher up the river, where the Potomac
breaks through the Blue Ridge at Harper’s Ferry: _Houre’s Falls_, five
miles above the Shenandoah.

In addition to the cataracts above enumerated, we may notice the
_Falling Spring_, in Bath county, Virginia, which forms a beautiful
cascade, streaming from a perpendicular precipice, two hundred feet
high; and the _Tuccoa Fall_, in Franklin county, Georgia, which, though
one of the most beautiful that can be conceived, is scarcely yet known
to geographers. It is one hundred and eighty-seven feet in height, and
the water is propelled over a perpendicular rock. When the stream is
full, it pours over the steep in one expansive magnificent sheet, amid
clouds of spray, on which the prismatic colors are reflected with a
most enchanting effect.

The cascades of the Catskill Mountains are very romantic and beautiful.
The Kasterskill is formed by the union of two branches, one rising
in two lakes, about one and a half miles east of the western cascade,
the other about half the distance in a northerly direction. The best
view of the western fall is from below, the foliage above being so
thick as in a great measure to obscure it. Below the fall the banks
of the stream, which are nearly three hundred feet in height, rise
almost perpendicularly from the surface of the water. The following
description is from the pen of Mr. H. E. Dwight.

‘The rocks on each side of the stream project so as partially to
eclipse the sides of the fall. They have fallen from time to time,
in such a manner as to form seventeen natural steps, rising one above
another. We stationed ourselves on these steps, to enjoy the scenery
around us. Before us the stream fell in a beautiful sheet, exhibiting
its transparent waters, when, striking the inclined plane, it rushed
down with headlong fury, bearing on its surface a foam of silvery
whiteness. On the right and left, the banks rose over our heads in
silent grandeur, as if on the point of detaching their projecting
masses into the ravine where we were standing, while below us, the
water was visible for about thirty rods, descending in the form of a
rapid, when, bending around the point of a projection of the mountain,
it disappeared from our view. The spray was so thick as to make a
dense cloud, on which the sun, shining with great brilliancy, and being
nearly vertical, imprinted a perfect rainbow. This bow, which was not
more than eight feet in diameter, formed a circle around us slightly
elliptical, near the centre of which we stood. As we approached the
fall, the spray thickened, the splendor of the colors increased, and
the shrubs, the rocks, and the water, were tinged with its choicest
hues. To complete the view, a small rivulet, caused by the late
rains, fell about two hundred feet, in the form of a cascade, down the
precipice, on the southern bank of the stream, displaying its crystal
waters through the green foliage which adorned it. We remained here
enjoying the prospect for some minutes, when, drenched with spray, we
reluctantly bade it adieu, with all those emotions which the sublimity
and beauty of such a scene would naturally awaken.

  Illustration: Catskill Falls.

‘I visited the eastern cascade immediately after viewing the western
fall on the Kaaterskill, when the column of water was swollen to
eight or ten times its common size, and shall describe it, as it then
appeared. The rock over which the water descends, projects in such a
manner that the cascade forms part of a parabolic curve. After striking
a rock below, it runs down an inclined plane a few rods in length, when
it rushes over another precipice of one hundred feet. The column of
water remained entire for two thirds the descent, and its surface was
covered with a rich sparkling foam, which, as it fell, presented to the
eye a brilliant emanation. Here it was broken, and formed a continued
succession of showers. Large globules of water, of a soft, pearly
lustre, enriched with a prismatic reflection, shot off in tangents
to the curve of the cascade, and being drawn by the attraction of
gravitation, united again with the stream. The sun, shining through a
clear atmosphere, imprinted on it his glittering rays, appearing like
a moving column of transparent snow. The spray, rising to the height
of several hundred feet, was continually agitated by a strong wind,
which gave birth to a number of rainbows. They were elevated one above
the other, and increased in brilliancy towards the base of the cascade,
where, as well as at the lower fall, an iris spread its arch of glory,
tinging the rocks and foliage with its brightest colors.

‘The ground below these cascades continued descending at an angle of
forty-five degrees, forming a hollow like an inverted cone, of one
thousand feet in depth. This was lined with lofty trees, whose verdant
tops, varying from the dark hemlock to the light maple, were bending
with the wind. Through this waving forest the cascade appeared at
various distances, sparkling with the rays of the sun, and forming a
fine contrast to the sombre rocks which surrounded it. From this cavity,
at the distance of several miles, a peak rose to an elevation of two
thousand feet, while the mountains on the right and left, impressed
their bold outlines on the sky beyond them.

‘The best view of this scene, is a few rods from the base of the lower
fall. These cascades are both of them in a direct line, and by standing
in this position can be united in one. By raising your eyes, a fall
of four hundred feet appears precipitated from the precipices above,
apparently ready to overwhelm you, while the rocks above overhang the
abyss in wild sublimity, threatening you with destruction.

‘The appearance of the upper cascade, in the middle of winter, is very
interesting. The rock over which the stream descends, projects in such
a manner, that the icicles, which form in that season, meet with no
interruption in their descent towards the base of the fall. The water,
which strikes the rocks below, begins to congeal and rise (between the
column of water and the rock) towards the icicles above. These project
towards the base, increasing in magnitude from day to day, while the
column from below is greatly enlarged by the water and the spray,
which, immediately congealing, in a short time surround the stream. A
column of ice, resembling a rude cone, of between two and three hundred
feet, is thus formed, through the centre of which the stream pours
its current, dwindled, by the congelation of its waters, to one tenth
its common size. When illumined by the rays of the sun, it presents a
transparent column glowing with brilliancy, reflecting and refracting
its rays in such a manner as to present all the colors of the prism.
It remains some weeks, a striking example of the power of hoary
frost, when, partly dissolved by the genial warmth of spring, it falls,
scattering its thousand fragments on the rocks around it.’


              GENERAL REMARKS ON CATARACTS AND CASCADES.

  Rivers which descend from primitive mountains into the
  secondary lands often form _cascades and cataracts_. Such are
  the cataracts of the Nile, of the Ganges, and some other great
  rivers, which, according to Desmarets, evidently mark the limits
  of the ancient land. Cataracts are also formed by lakes, and
  of this description are the Falls of Niagara; but the most
  picturesque falls are those of rapid rivers, bordered by trees
  and precipitous rocks. Sometimes we see a body of water, which,
  before it arrives at the bottom, is broken and dissipated into
  showers, like the Staubach; sometimes it forms a watery arch,
  projected from a rampart of rock, under which the traveller may
  pass dry shod, as the Falling Spring of Virginia; in one place,
  in a granite district, we see the Trolhetta, and the Rhine not
  far from its source, urge on their foaming billows amongst the
  pointed rocks; in another, amidst lands of calcareous formation,
  we see the Czettina, and the Kerka, rolling down from terrace to
  terrace, and presenting sometimes a sheet and sometimes a wall
  of water. Some magnificent cascades have been formed, at least
  in part, by the hands of man: the cascades of Velino, near Terni,
  have been attributed to Pope Clement VIII.; other cataracts,
  like those of Tunguska in Siberia, have gradually lost their
  elevation by the wearing away of the rocks, and have now only a
  rapid descent. The Falls of Staubach are the highest ever known,
  being nine hundred feet according to trigonometrical measurement.



                          CHAPTER VI.――LAKES.


_Lake Superior_ is the largest body of fresh water in the world, being
four hundred miles in length, one hundred at its greatest breadth, and,
according to the most moderate computation, over twelve hundred miles
in circumference. Its shores are rocky and uneven, and it has a rocky
bottom. Its waters are pure and transparent, and it has been remarked,
that, although during the summer, the waters on its surface be warm,
nevertheless, by letting a cup down about a fathom, water may be taken
up nearly as cold as ice. It abounds in fish, particularly sturgeon and
long trout, many of which are from fifty to seventy pounds weight, and
constitute the principal food of the Algonquin Indians on its borders.
This lake has five large islands,[17] one of which, called _Isle Royal_,
is not less than a hundred miles in length, and in some places forty
in breadth. More than forty rivers discharge themselves into it, the
two largest called the Nipegon and the Michipicooton, from the north
and north-east sides. A small river which runs into it, not far from
the Nipegon, falls from the top of a mountain more than six hundred
feet perpendicular; appearing at a distance, to use Mr. Carver’s homely
comparison, like a white garter suspended in the air. On the banks of
one of the rivers which fall into its south side, virgin copper has
been found. The storms which occur on this lake are felt as severely
as on the Atlantic, the waves run equally high, and the navigation
is perhaps more dangerous.[18] When the wind blows from the east, the
waters are driven against the high rocks of the northern and western
shores, where they form a thick vapor resembling rain; and this action
of the wind creates an irregular ebb and flow. This never exceeds ten
or twelve inches; but the strong traces of the water on the rocks of
the shore show, that, at no very remote period, they were elevated six
feet above the present level. Mackenzie states, that some years ago the
waters suddenly withdrew near the Great Portage; then rushed back with
great velocity above the common mark; and, after rising and falling
during several hours, they settled at their usual level.

Notwithstanding its being fed by so many rivers, Lake Superior has
but one outlet by the Straits of St. Mary. At the upper end of these
straits, there is a rapid which cannot be ascended, but has sometimes
been descended, although the descent requires both skill and caution,
and perhaps not a little good fortune. A canal has been cut by the
North-West Company, along the northern banks, for the purpose of
facilitating their commerce, and they have here a considerable
establishment; but their chief fort and storehouses are situated at
Kamenestiquia, on the banks of a river which flows into Lake Superior,
on the north-west side, and affords an easy communication with the
interior. The Strait of St. Mary, it is supposed, does not discharge
one tenth of the waters which the lake receives from its numerous
rivers; part of the remainder escapes by evaporation, but how the
whole is discharged is yet a secret. It does not appear, however, that
an exact calculation has hitherto been made, either of the quantity
discharged or the quantity received. This lake lies between forty-six
and fifty degrees north latitude, and eighty-four and ninety-three
degrees west longitude.

_Lake Huron_, into which you enter by the Straits of St. Mary, is
next in magnitude to Lake Superior. It lies between forty-three and
forty-six degrees north latitude, and between eighty and eighty-five
degrees west longitude; in shape it is nearly triangular, and its
circumference is about a thousand miles. On the Canada side of this
lake is an island one hundred miles in length, and no more than eight
in breadth; it is called Manataulin, signifying a place of spirits,
and is considered as sacred by the native Indians. About the middle of
the south-west side of the lake is Saginaw Bay, about eighty miles in
length, and twenty broad; Thunder Bay, so called from the continual
thunder heard there, lies about half way between Saginaw Bay and the
north-west corner of the lake: it is about nine miles across either
way. The fish are the same as in Lake Superior. The promontory that
separates this lake from Lake Michigan is a vast plain, more than one
hundred miles long, and varying from ten to fifteen miles in breadth.
At the north-east corner, this lake communicates with Lake Michigan by
the Straits of Michilimackinac. It is very remarkable, that although
there is no daily flood or ebb to be perceived in the waters of these
straits, yet from an exact attention to their state, a periodical
alteration in them has been discovered. It has been observed that they
rise by gradual, but almost imperceptible degrees, till in seven years
and a half they had reached the height of about three feet; and in the
same space of time they gradually fell to their former state; so that
in fifteen years they had completed this revolution. This, however, is
not well established.[19]

_Lake Michigan_, formerly called _Lake Illinois_, and _Lake Dauphin_,
extends from the western angle of Lake Huron in a southerly direction,
and is separated from Lake Superior by the tongue of land which is
described above. It lies wholly within the territory of the United
States, between the parallels of forty-two and forty-six degrees.
Its waters are said to be unfathomable. At the southern extremity of
Lake Michigan is _Chicago Creek_, by which, in the rainy season, the
head-waters of the Illinois communicate with the lake; but the bar at
the mouth of the creek does not admit boats drawing above two feet of
water. A number of streams flow into the lake, on both the western and
the eastern sides. It abounds, like the others, with excellent fish.

‘Lake Michigan,’ says Mr. Schoolcraft, ‘from its great depth of water,
its bleak and unguarded shores――and its singular length and direction,
which is about four hundred miles from north to south, appears to be
peculiarly exposed to the influence of the currents of the atmosphere,
to whose agency we may attribute, at least in part, the appearances of
a tide, which are more striking upon the shores of this, than of any of
the other great lakes. The meteorological observations which have been
made, in the _Transalleghanian states_, indicate the winds to prevail,
either north or south, through the valley of the Mississippi; but
seldom across it, so that the surface of this lake would be constantly
exposed to agitation, from the atmosphere. These winds would almost
incessantly operate, to drive the waters through the narrow strait of
Michilimackinac, either into Lake Huron or Lake Michigan, until, by
their natural tendency to an equilibrium, the waters thus pent, would
react, after attaining a certain height, against the current of the
most powerful winds, and thus keep up an alternate flux and reflux,
which would always appear more sensibly in the extremities and bays of
the two lakes; and with something like regularity, as to the periods of
oscillation; the velocity of the water, however, being governed by the
varying degrees of the force of the winds.’

_Lake St. Clair_ lies about half way between Lakes Huron and Erie, and
is about ninety miles in circumference. It receives the waters of the
three great lakes, Superior, Michigan, and Huron, and discharges them
through the river or strait called Detroit, into Lake Erie. It is of
a circular form, and navigable for large vessels, except a bar of sand
toward the middle, which prevents loaded vessels from passing.

_Lake Erie_ is situated between forty-one and forty-three degrees of
north latitude, and between seventy-nine and eighty-three degrees west
longitude. It is two hundred and eighty miles long; opposite Cleveland,
in the state of Ohio, it is about sixty miles broad, to the eastward
it is above seventy. The average breadth is from fifty to sixty miles;
and its medium depth from forty to one hundred and twenty feet. The
water is pure and wholesome, and abounds with fish; such as sturgeon,
white-fish, trout, and perch. The lake does not freeze in the middle,
but is frequently frozen on both sides; and sometimes in winter, when
the wind is variable, the ice exhibits a singular phenomenon; a south
wind blows it all to the Canada shore, and a north wind again dislodges
it, and brings it back to the American side. There are a number of
islands in the west end of the lake, containing from eight hundred to
two thousand acres of land, and the scenery amongst them is charming;
but all these islands are so infested with snakes, that in the height
of summer it is really dangerous to land. This is the more to be
regretted, as the fine timber which grows upon them indicates that
the soil must be uncommonly fertile. But, in defiance of the snakes,
many of the islands are rapidly settling, and are found to be very
healthy and agreeable places of residence. This and the other lakes are
navigated by vessels of from seventy to eighty tons, which carry goods
and provisions as far as the head of Lake Superior, and bring back
furs and peltry. The navigation is good through the whole distance,
except in Lake St. Clair, where the water is shallow, and vessels are
sometimes obliged to lighten.

_Lake Ontario_ is situated between forty-three and forty-four degrees
of north latitude, and between seventy-six and eighty degrees west
longitude. It is about two hundred miles in length and forty in width;
its form nearly oval, and its circumference about six hundred miles.
It abounds with fish of an excellent flavor, among which are the
Oswego bass, weighing three or four pounds. Near the south-east part
it receives the waters of the Oswego river, and on the north-east it
discharges itself into the St. Lawrence. It is never entirely closed by
ice, and is computed from some soundings to be five hundred feet deep.
The _Ridge Road_, or _Alluvial Way_, is a remarkable ridge extending
along the south shore of this lake, from Rochester on the Gennessee
to Lewiston on the river Niagara, eighty-seven miles. It is composed
of common beach sand and gravel stones worn smooth, and these are
intermixed with small shells. Its general width is from four to eight
rods, and it is raised in the middle with a handsome crowning arch,
from six to ten feet. Its general surface preserves a very uniform
level, bring raised to meet the unevenness of the ground which it
covers. At the rivers Gennessee and Niagara, its elevation is about
one hundred and twenty or thirty feet; and this is its elevation above
Lake Ontario, from which it is distant between six and ten miles. There
seems to be no way of accounting for this ridge, without supposing that
the surface of Lake Ontario was one hundred and thirty feet higher at
some former period than it is at present. There is a similar ridge for
one hundred and twenty miles, on the south side of Lake Erie.

_Lake Champlain_ lies between the states of New York and Vermont,
and communicates with Lower Canada by the river Sorelle, which falls
into the St. Lawrence forty-five miles below Montreal. It is about one
hundred and twenty miles in length, and of various breadths: for the
first thirty miles, that is, from South river to Crown Point, it is
nowhere above two miles wide; beyond this, for the distance of twelve
miles, it is five or six miles across, it then narrows, and again
at the end of a few miles expands. That part called the Broad Lake,
commences about twenty-five miles north of Crown Point, and is eighteen
miles across in the widest part. Here the lake is interspersed with a
great number of islands, the largest of which, named _South Hero_, is
fifteen miles in length, and averages four in breadth. The soil of this
island is very fertile, and more than seven hundred people are settled
upon it. The Broad Lake is nearly fifty miles in length, and gradually
narrows till it terminates in the river Sorelle. Lake Champlain, except
at the narrow parts at either end, is in general very deep; in many
places sixty and seventy, and in some even a hundred fathoms. The
scenery along various parts of the lake is extremely beautiful, the
shores being highly ornamented with hanging woods and rocks, and the
mountains on the western side rise up in ranges, one behind the other,
in the most magnificent manner.

Remains of Forts Ticonderoga and Crown Point, important positions
during the old French wars, are found at two great bends of this lake.
On the 11th of September, 1814, Commodore McDonough, commander of the
American fleet, gained a complete victory over the British fleet in
Cumberland Bay, directly in front of the town of Plattsburg.

This lake opens a ready communication between New York and the country
bordering on the St. Lawrence. Through the town of Whitehall, which
stands at the head of the lake, a considerable trade is carried on
across Champlain with Lower Canada. On the British end of the lake,
one hundred and fifty miles from Whitehall, stands the garrison town
of St. John’s.

_Lake George_, which discharges itself into Lake Champlain, is the most
beautiful sheet of water in the whole country. It is thirty-six miles
long, and from two to four broad. It is situated in the eastern part of
the state of New-York. Its waters are deep and remarkably transparent,
and from their extreme limpidness, the French gave them the name of the
Lake of the Holy Sacrament. The shores consist of abrupt and shelving
points, and are bounded by two long ranges of mountains,[20] sometimes
rising boldly from the water, and at others ascending with a gentle
and graceful sweep, exhibiting naked and weather-beaten cliffs and wild
forests, intermixed with fine cultivated fields, lawns and pastures.
The village of Caldwell stands on the south-eastern side of the lake,
and is much visited by travellers who come to enjoy the fine scenery in
the neighborhood. A steam-boat plies upon the lake in summer.

The islands of the lake are said to be three hundred and sixty-five
in number. They are of every form and size, and contribute greatly
to the romantic beauty of its surface. Some of them are covered with
trees, others are thinly wooded, and others are abrupt and craggy rocks.
Diamond Island abounds in crystals of quartz. Long Island contains
one hundred acres, and is under cultivation. At a place called the
Narrows, the lake is contracted, and its surface is covered with a most
beautiful cluster of islands which extends for several miles. Some of
them are covered with trees, some show little lawns or spots of grass,
heaps of barren rocks, or gently sloping shores; and most of them are
ornamented with pines, hemlocks, and other tall trees, solitary or
in groups, and disposed with the most charming variety. Sometimes an
island will be found just large enough to support a few fine trees,
or perhaps a single one, while the next may appear like a solid mass
of bushes and wild flowers; near at hand, perhaps, is a third, with a
dark grove of pines, and a decaying old trunk in front of it; and thus,
through every interval between the islands, as you pass along, another
and another labyrinth is opened to view, among little isolated spots
of ground, divided by narrow channels, from which it seems impossible
for a man who has entered them ever to find his way out. Some of the
islands look almost like ships with their masts; and many have an air
of lightness, as if they were sailing upon the lake.

After passing the Narrows, the lake widens again, and the retrospect is
for several miles through that passage with ranges of rounded mountain
summits appearing at a great distance between them. The lake contains
abundance of the finest perch, bass, and other fish; trout are found
in a stream flowing into the southern part. Near the southern shore,
are the ruins of Fort William Henry and Fort George, celebrated in the
early wars of the French.

The state of New-York contains a vast number of small lakes. There
is scarcely a stream in the northern part of this state, but that has
its source in one of these, or runs through several in its progress,
whether to the great lakes or to Hudson’s river. _Seneca Lake_, in
the western part of the state, is about thirty-five miles in length,
from two to four in breadth, and of great depth. The water of this
lake has a gradual periodical rise and fall, once in several years, the
cause of which has never been ascertained. The view from the height of
land between Seneca and the adjacent lakes is extensive and agreeable.
_Cayuga Lake_ is thirty-eight miles long from north to south, and
from one to four miles wide; in some places the shore of this lake
is precipitous, but in general it is a gentle declivity from the
surrounding country to the water. The waters are somewhat shallow, but
sufficient for navigation. Several steam-boats ply upon them, and are
often crowded by water parties in the fine season. A bridge of a mile
in length crosses the north end of the lake.

_Oneida Lake_ is a beautiful sheet of water, twenty miles long and
four broad. It is famous for the abundance and excellence of its
fish. ‘I made a small excursion along the border of this lake,’ says
Mr. Schultz, ‘and although the shore was low, yet I found a firm, dry,
white, sandy beach to walk upon; some other parts of it, however, I
was informed, were low and swampy. I was much amused in the evening
by a singular illumination upon the lake, which I was at first wholly
unable to account for. The water at this part of the lake, it seems, is
very shallow for nearly half a mile from the shore, and being perfectly
transparent, and the bottom a white sand, the smallest object may be
readily distinguished. The Indians have a method of taking salmon and
other fish by means of an iron frame fixed in the bow of the canoe,
projecting forward three or four feet, and elevated about five; upon
this they kindle a bright fire of pine knots, and while one person sits
in the stern with a paddle to impel the boat forward, another stands
in the bow with a sharp spear ready to strike the fish who play about
the light. Ten or twelve of these canoes moving about irregularly on
the lake, on a fine calm evening, with the reflection of their lights,
like so many lines of fire, extending from each object to a centre on
which you stand, afford a most pleasing prospect, and far exceeds in my
opinion the most brilliant display of artificial fireworks.’

Among the smaller lakes of New York are _Onondago, Skeneatiles, Owasco,
Canandaigua, Otsego, Caniadebago, Oswegatchie, Cross, Hemlock, Hanyaga,
Canesus, Crooked, and Chatauque_. The latter is the most western of
all these lakes, near the north-east extremity of Lake Erie; it is only
eight miles distant from its shore, and the descent to Lake Erie is by
an easy slope. From this small lake issues one of the branches of the
Alleghany river, called Conewango, which is navigable for small craft
in all its extent.

New Hampshire contains several fine lakes, the largest of which
is Winnipiseogee, situated east of the centre of the state, and
towards the west side of Strafford county. It is a picturesque sheet
of water, of irregular form, twenty-two miles in length, and varying
in breadth from one to ten miles. Several long capes stretch into
it from both sides, almost dividing it into several parts. From the
southern extremity of this lake to the north-west corner, there is good
navigation in the summer, and generally a good road in the winter; the
lake is frozen about three months in the year, and many sleighs and
teams, from the surrounding towns, cross it on the ice.

Dr. Dwight has described this lake, as it appears from the top of
Red Mountain, with his usual felicity. ‘Immediately at the foot of
the height on which we stood, and in the bottom of the immense valley
below, spread south-eastward the waters of the Winnipiseogee in
complete view; except that one or two of its arms were partially
concealed by intervening peninsulas. A finer object of the same nature
was perhaps never seen. The lakes, which I had visited in my northern
and western excursions, were all of them undivided masses, bordered by
shores comparatively straight. This was, centrally, a vast column, if
I may be allowed the term, twenty-three miles in length, and from six
to eight in breadth, shooting out with inimitable beauty a succession
of arms, some of them not inferior in length to the whole breadth of
the lake. These were fashioned with every elegance of figure, bordered
with the most beautiful winding shores, and studded with a multitude of
islands. Their relative positions, also, could scarcely be more happy.

  Illustration: Winnipiseogee Lake

‘Many of the islands are large, exquisitely fashioned, and arranged
in a manner not less singular than pleasing. As they met the eye, when
surveyed from this summit, they were set in groups on both sides the
great channel, and left this vast field of water unoccupied between
them. Their length was universally at right angles to that of the lake;
and they appeared as if several chains of hills originally crossing the
country in that direction, had, by some convulsion, been merged in the
water so low, that no part of them was left visible, except the oblong
segments of their summits. Of those, which, by their size and situation,
were most conspicuous, I counted forty-five, without attempting to
enumerate the smaller ones, or such as were obscured. The points, which
intrude into this lake, are widely different from those of Lake George;
bold, masculine bluffs, impinging directly upon the water. These, in
several instances, were spacious peninsulas, fitted to become rich and
delightful residences of man, often elevated into handsome hills, and
sloping gracefully into the lake.’

_Umbagog Lake_ is situated partly in the north-east corner of the
state, and is next in size to Winnipiseogee; it lies chiefly in Maine.
The others of New Hampshire are _Ossipee_, _Sanapee_, _Squam_, and
_Newfound_.

There are several large, and a vast number of small lakes in the state
of Maine. _Moosehead Lake_, the largest in New England, is the source
of the east branch of the Kennebeck, and is fifty miles in length by
ten or fifteen in breadth. _Sebago Lake_, in Cumberland county, is
twelve miles long. _Chesuncook Lake_ is twenty miles long and three
broad. In Vermont, besides Lake Champlain, which separates this state
from New York on the west, there are other lakes of minor importance,
deserving of notice. _Lake Memphremagog_, thirty-five miles in length
and three wide, lies chiefly in Canada, and communicates with the
St. Lawrence by the river St. Francis. _Willoughby Lake_, six miles
long and one wide, discharges its waters into Memphremagog by the
river Barton. This lake furnishes fish resembling bass, of an excellent
flavor, weighing from ten to thirty pounds.

A number of small lakes occur towards the sources of the Mississippi.
_Lake Pepin_ is an expansion of this mighty river, about one hundred
miles below the Falls of St. Anthony. It has been very fully and
beautifully described by Mr. Schoolcraft.

‘It is twenty-four miles in length, with a width of from two to
four miles, and is indented with several bays, and prominent points,
which serve to enhance the beauty of the prospect. On the east shore,
there is a lofty range of limestone bluffs, which are much broken
and crumbled, sometimes run into pyramidal peaks, and often present a
character of the utmost sublimity. On the west, there is a high level
prairie, covered with the most luxuriant growth of grass, and nearly
destitute of forest trees. From this plain several conical hills
ascend, which, at a distance, present the appearance of vast artificial
mounds or pyramids, and it is difficult to reconcile their appearance
with the general order of nature, by any other hypothesis. This lake
is beautifully circumscribed by a broad beach of clean washed gravel,
which often extends from the foot of the surrounding highlands, three
or four hundred yards into the lake, forming gravelly points, upon
which there is a delightful walk, and scalloping out the margin of the
lake with the most pleasing irregularity. In walking along these, the
eye is attracted by the various colors of the mineral gems, which are
promiscuously scattered among the water-worn debris of granitic and
other rocks, and the cornelian, agate, and chalcedony, are met with at
every step. The size of these gems is often as large as the egg of the
partridge, and the transparency and beauty of color is only excelled
by the choicest oriental specimens. There is no perceptible current
in the lake, during calm weather, and the water partakes so little
of the turbid character of the lower Mississippi, that objects can be
distinctly seen through it, at the depth of eight or ten feet.

‘In passing though Lake Pepin, our interpreter pointed out to us a
high precipice, on the east shore of the lake, from which an Indian
girl, of the Sioux nation, had, many years ago, precipitated herself
in a fit of disappointed love. She had given her heart, it appears, to
a young chief of her own tribe, who was very much attached to her, but
the alliance was opposed by her parents, who wished her to marry an
old chief, renowned for his wisdom and his influence in the nation. As
the union was insisted upon, and no other way appearing to avoid it,
she determined to sacrifice her life in preference to a violation of
a former vow, and while the preparations for the marriage feast were
going forward, left her father’s cabin, without exciting suspicion, and
before she could be overtaken threw herself from an awful precipice,
and was instantly dashed to a thousand pieces. Such an instance of
sentiment is rarely to be met with among barbarians, and should redeem
the name of this noble-minded girl from oblivion. It was Oola-Ita.’

_Cassina_ or _Red Cedar Lake_ derives some importance from having been
designated as the true source of the Mississippi river. It is about
eight miles long and six in breadth, and presents a beautiful sheet of
transparent water. On its banks are elm, maple, and pine trees, fields
of Indian rice, rushes and reeds; in other places there is an open
beach of clean pebbles. Pike, carp, trout and cat-fish are caught in
its waters. Towards its western extremity is an island covered with
trees, from which it derives its name, though no red cedar is found
around its shores.

_Turtle Lake_, _Little Winnepeg Lake_, _Leech Lake_, _Swan Lake_,
_Sandy Lake_, _Muddy Lake_, _Lake Peckagama_, and _White Fish Lake_,
are all near the source of the Mississippi. A narrow belt of high land
separates Turtle Lake, the most northern source of the Mississippi,
from _Red River Lake_, one of the sources of the Red river which runs
into Hudson’s Bay. _Otter Tail Lake_ is the most southern source of Red
river; and from thence is a portage of only half a mile to a branch of
Raven river, which falls into the Mississippi. The whole tract of high
country, at the sources of the Mississippi and Red river, is full of
marshes, morasses, and small lakes, whose waters afford never failing
supplies to these streams.

The _Lake of the Woods_ is of a circular figure, with a cluster of
islands in the centre. The navigating course through the lake, is
seventy-five miles; but, in direct distance, it is not above two-thirds
of that extent in diameter. Its scenery is wild and romantic in a
high degree. Its surface is covered with islands. From this lake there
is a long succession of small lakes, and numerous portages, to the
north-west end of Lake Superior, the chief of which is _Rainy Lake_.
Two small lakes, _Lake Biddle_, which gives rise to the Big Horn river,
and _Lake Eustis_, which is the source of the Jaune, or Yellow Stone
river, are situated amongst the Rocky Mountains, in west longitude one
hundred and twelve degrees, and north latitude forty-two degrees.

In the state of Louisiana are the lakes of _Maurepas_ and
_Pontchartrain_. The first of these is of a circular figure, twelve
feet deep, and fourteen miles in diameter. In the time of high floods,
it has a communication with the Mississippi, by means of the river
Amité, or Ibberville; and this inundation, which lasts only four
months annually, occasions what is erroneously called the island of
New Orleans, to be then an island in fact, for at no other time is
it environed with water, the city of New Orleans being situated on a
peninsula.[21] Lake Maurepas communicates with Lake Pontchartrain, by
a stream seven miles long, and three hundred yards wide, and divided
by an island extending from the lake to within a mile of Pontchartrain,
into two branches, of which the southern is the safest and deepest.
Lake Pontchartrain is nearly of a circular form, forty miles in its
greatest length, and thirty miles in its greatest breadth, and eighteen
feet deep. From this lake to the sea is ten miles, by a passage called
the _Regolets_, four hundred yards wide, and lined with marshes on each
side.

On the west side of the Mississippi are the lakes of _Great_ and
_Little Barataria_. The _Catahoola Lake_, sixteen miles long, and four
broad, is the source of a stream of the same name, which, uniting with
the Washita and Bayou Tenza rivers, form the Black river. This lake,
during the dry months, is covered with the most luxuriant herbage;
and is then the residence of immense herds of deer, and water-fowl,
which feed on the grass and grain. The other lakes of Louisiana are
_Calcasin_, _Borgne_, and _Bistineau_.


                       GENERAL REMARKS ON LAKES.

  Extensive accumulations of water, surrounded on all sides by the
  land, and having no direct communication with the ocean, or with
  any sea, are called lakes. Lakes are of four distinct kinds. The
  first class comprehends those which have no issue, and which do
  not receive any running water. These are generally very small,
  and do not merit much attention. The second class comprises those
  lakes which have an outlet, but which do not receive any running
  water. These lakes are fed by a multitude of springs; they are
  naturally on great elevations, and are sometimes the sources
  of great rivers. The third class of lakes is very numerous,
  consisting of all such as receive and discharge streams of water.
  Each of the lakes of this class may be looked upon as forming a
  basin for receiving the neighboring waters; they have in general
  only one opening, which almost always takes its name from the
  principal river which flows into it. These lakes have often
  sources of their own, either near the borders, or in their bottom.
  The great lakes of North America are of this class, which in point
  of extent resemble seas, but which, by the flow of a continual
  stream of fresh river water, preserve their clearness and
  sweetness. The fourth class of lakes present phenomena much more
  difficult to explain. We mean those lakes which receive streams of
  water and often great rivers, without having any visible outlet.
  The most celebrated of these is the Caspian Sea; Asia contains
  a great many others besides. South America contains the Lake
  Titicaca, which has no efflux, though it is the receiver of
  another lake. These collections of water appear to belong to the
  interior of great continents; they are placed on elevated plains,
  which have no sensible declivity towards the sea, and thus afford
  no outlet. With respect to those situated in a hot climate,
  evaporation is sufficient to carry off their excess of water.

  The physical phenomena which certain lakes present, have
  always excited the astonishment of the multitude. Those of
  the _periodical lakes_ are the most common. In Europe these are
  nothing but pools, but between the tropics these pools sometimes
  cover spaces of several hundred leagues in length and breadth.
  Such are the famous lakes of Xarages and Paria, inscribed on maps
  of America, and expunged from them by turns; it is probable that
  Africa contains a great many of this description. The depth of
  lakes varies infinitely, and cannot form a subject of general
  physical geography. The popular opinion, however, that there
  are lakes without a bottom, is erroneous. Those which have been
  considered as such, owe this character solely to the existence
  of currents which carry along with them the lead attached to the
  sounding line. The waters of lakes, being derived from springs and
  rivers, partake of their different qualities. There are some lakes,
  whose waters are extremely limpid, such as the lake of Geneva,
  and that of Wetter in Sweden; in the latter, a farthing may be
  perceived at the bottom of the lake, at one hundred and twenty
  feet depth; but the lakes whose waters are motionless, saline, or
  bituminous, may be looked upon as equally unwholesome with those
  of marshes.

            COMPARATIVE VIEW OF THE MOST CELEBRATED LAKES.

                          WESTERN HEMISPHERE.

                                                 _Square
                        _Surface._               miles._
              Lake Superior                       22,400
              Lake Michigan                       12,600
              Lake Huron                          15,800
              Lake Erie                            4,800
              Lake Ontario                         4,450
              Great Slave Lake                    12,000
              Great Bear Lake                      4,000
              Winnepeg Lake                        7,200
              Lake Maracaibo                       6,000
              Athabasca Lake                       3,200
              Lake Titicaca                        5,400
              Lake St. George                        340
              Lake Champlain                         350
              Lake of the Woods                    1,600


                          EASTERN HEMISPHERE.

              Lake Tchad, Africa                  11,600
              Lake Ladoga, Russia                  5,200
              Lake Onega, Russia                   3,300
              Wetter Lake, Sweden                    945
              Lake of Constance, Switzerland         456
              Geneva Lake, Switzerland               400
              Loch Lomond, Scotland                   27
              Windermere Lake, England                11
              Killarney Lake, Ireland                 14
              Loch Leven, Scotland                     6



                        CHAPTER VII.――SPRINGS.


                           I. SALT SPRINGS.

IN the United States, salt springs are very numerous. They sometimes
flow naturally, but are generally formed by sinking wells in those
places where salt is known to exist, as in marshes, salt licks, and
other similar places. The country on the Arkansas river furnishes some
salt; it differs however, from most other places in the United States,
by existing in pools, and forming incrustations on the soil of plains
and prairies. There is no salt obtained in Arkansas by boring, the
usual mode of procuring it in other localities. There are numerous salt
springs in Missouri; the working of many of them, however, has been
suspended or relinquished, on account of the reduced price of salt.
Large quantities of the article are still made at Boon’s Lick, and near
St. Genevieve and Herculaneum.

Salt springs are worked at Sciota; the quantity yielded, however, is
comparatively small. There are no salt-works on the Tennessee river;
but on the Holston, one of its tributaries, are extensive salt springs,
situated near Abingdon, Virginia, and known by the name of King’s and
Preston’s salt-works. These springs yield a considerable quantity of
salt. Preston’s works have been rendered less productive, by being
diluted by a spring of fresh water flowing into the midst of the salt.

Salt springs are very numerous in Kentucky, Ohio, and Virginia. Springs
holding salt in solution are common in various parts of the bituminous
coal region of Pennsylvania. They are generally weak near the surface,
but deep springs, disclosed by boring, are often strong. One of these,
which contains as much salt as the ordinary water of Salina, was
discovered by boring, about twenty miles from Montrose, bordering on
the state of New-York. The most considerable saline springs are on
the banks of the Conemaugh and Kiskeminitas, about thirty miles east
of Pittsburg. These rivers for many miles wind through rocky ravines,
bordered by hills of three and four hundred feet in height, that rise
with steep acclivities, presenting mural precipices of grey sand-stone,
in places jutting over the road and torrent. Large quantities of salt
are made at these springs.

In the town of Salina, in the state of New-York, about one hundred
and thirty miles west of Albany, are situated the most extensive works
in the United States for the manufacture of salt from natural brine.
The indications of that substance along the margin of Onondaga Lake
are supposed to have been similar to those found on the salt licks,
so common in the interior of the country, and the knowledge of their
existence was derived from the aborigines.

‘One of the earliest settlers in the county of Onondaga,’ says a
writer in Silliman’s Journal, ‘has informed me, that to procure salt
for his family, about forty years since, he, with an Indian guide in
a canoe, descended a small river that discharges into the lake at its
south-eastern termination, along the shore of which he passed, a short
distance to the right, and, ascending a rivulet (now Mud Creek) a few
rods, arrived at the spring or natural discharge of salt water, which
was obtained by lowering to the bottom, then four or five feet beneath
the surface of the fresh water of the lake, an iron vessel, which,
filling instantly with the heavier fluid, was drawn up and the brine
poured out. In this way, he got enough to make on the spot, by boiling,
and without any separation of the earthy impurities that were held with
the salt in solution, a small quantity of brownish colored and very
impure salt. Since that time other springs have been discovered at
various and almost opposite points on the shores of the lake, and many
wells have been sunk to procure brine for the manufactories at the
villages of Liverpool, Salina, Syracuse, and Geddesburg. The wells
did not exceed eighteen feet in depth, and in the strength of the
water which they respectively afforded there was great difference,
which varied much with the seasons, with this remarkable circumstance,
that it sometimes diminished fifteen to twenty per cent., and in some
instances, one third, as the adjoining lands, on the advance of summer,
became drained; and the lake, which in the spring overflowed the wells,
had subsided six or eight feet.’ The salt springs of Salina are found
on the margin of an extensive marsh.[22]


                         II. MINERAL SPRINGS.

The mineral springs in the state of New York, in excellence and
variety, are unsurpassed in any part of the world. The most famous are
called by the general name of the _Saratoga_ and _Ballston Springs_,
and are embraced in an extent of about twelve miles in the county
of Saratoga. The first spring discovered in the neighborhood of
Ballston stands on a flat. It formerly flowed out of a common barrel,
sunk around it, without any other protection from the invasion of
cattle, who often slacked their thirst in its fountain. Afterwards the
liberality of the citizens was displayed in a marble curb and flagging,
and a handsome iron railing. The curb and flagging were finally removed,
leaving the railing, which still serves the purposes of ornament and
protection. The spring flows now, probably from the place where it
originally issued, some feet below the surrounding surface, which has
been elevated by additions of earth, for the purpose of improving the
road in which it stands.

Near this spring, in boring about six or eight years ago, an excellent
mineral fountain was discovered at a considerable depth beneath the
surface. Its qualities are said to be superior to those of the spring
already mentioned, and, by many, its waters are preferred to any other
in the village.

The _United States’ Spring_ is situated at the east end of the
village. Near this fountain, a large and commodious bathing-house has
been erected, to which, not only the waters of this, but of a number
of other adjacent springs, are tributary, for the purpose of bathing.
Between the springs already mentioned, there was discovered in the
summer of 1817, a mineral spring, called the Washington Fountain. This
latter spring rose on the margin of the creek in front of the factory
building; it flowed through a curb twenty-eight feet in length, sunk
to the depth of twenty-three feet, and was liberated at the top in the
form of a beautiful _jet d’eau_; but the spring disappeared in 1821.
Numerous attempts have since been made to recover it, but they have
proved fruitless. The principal ingredients of these waters consist
of muriate of soda, carbonate of soda, carbonate of lime, carbonate
of magnesia, and carbonate of iron; all of which, in a greater or less
degree, enter into the composition of the waters, both here and at
Saratoga.

The justly celebrated springs of Saratoga are about six miles
north-east of Ballston Spa. They are situated on the border of a
valley, which bounds the village on the east, and form the continuation
of a series of springs which first appear in Ballston about twelve
miles to the south, and extend easterly in a semicircular line to the
Quaker village. In the immediate neighborhood are about a dozen springs,
the most celebrated of which are the Congress, the High Rock, the Flat
Rock, the Hamilton, the Washington, the Columbian and the President. A
cluster, known by the name of the Ten Springs, is found at the distance
of a mile to the eastward.

The _Congress Spring_ is situated at the south end of the village. It
was first discovered about thirty years since, issuing from a crevice
in the rock, a few feet from its present location. Here it flowed for
a number of years, until an attempt to improve the surface around it
produced an accidental obstruction of its waters, which afterwards made
their appearance at the place where they now flow. It is inclosed by
a tube sunk into the earth to the distance of twelve or fourteen feet,
which secures it from the water of the stream, adjoining to which it
is situated. Besides a handsome inclosure and platform for promenading,
the proprietor has thrown an awning over the spring for the convenience
of visitors.

The _High Rock_ is situated on the west side of the valley, skirting
the east side of the village, about half a mile north of the Congress.
The rock inclosing this spring is in the shape of a cone, nine feet
in diameter at its base, and five feet in height. It seems to have
been formed by a concretion of particles thrown up by the water, which
formerly flowed over its summit, through an aperture of about twelve
inches in diameter, regularly diverging from the top of the cone to its
base. This spring was visited in the year 1767 by Sir William Johnson,
but was known long before by the Indians, who were first led to it,
either by accident or by the frequent footsteps of beasts, attracted
thither by the saline properties of the water. A building was erected
near the spot previous to the revolutionary war, afterwards abandoned,
and again resumed; since which, the usefulness of the water has, from
time to time, occasioned frequent settlements within its vicinity.
The water now rises within two feet of the summit, and a common notion
prevails that it has found a passage through a fissure of the rock,
occasioned by the fall of a tree; since which event, it has ceased to
flow over its brink.

Between the Red spring in the upper village, and the Washington in
the south part of the lower village, are situated most of the other
mineral springs in which this place abounds. At three of the principal
springs, the Hamilton, Monroe and Washington, large and convenient
bathing-houses have been erected, which are the constant resort for
pleasure as well as health, during the warm season.

The mineral waters, both at Ballston and Saratoga, are supposed to be
the product of the same great laboratory, and they all possess nearly
the same properties, varying only as to the quantity of the different
articles held in solution. They are denominated acidulous saline and
acidulous chalybeate. Of the former, are the Congress, (which holds
the first rank,) the Hamilton, High Rock, and President, at Saratoga;
and of the latter, are the Columbian, Flat Rock, and Washington,
at Saratoga, and the Old Spring and United States, at Ballston. The
waters contain muriate of soda, hydriodate of soda, carbonate of soda,
carbonate of lime, carbonate of magnesia, oxide of iron, and some of
them a minute quantity of silica alumina. Large quantities of carbonic
acid gas are also contained in the waters, giving to them a sparkling
and lively appearance. The Congress, in particular, the moment it is
dipped, contains nearly one half more than its bulk of gas; a quantity
unprecedented in any natural waters elsewhere discovered.

Doctor Steel, in his geological report of the county of Saratoga,
published a few years since, remarks, that ‘the temperature of the
water in all these wells is about the same, ranging from forty-eight
to fifty-two degrees on Fahrenheit’s scale; and they suffer no sensible
alteration from any variation in the temperature of the atmosphere;
neither do the variations of the seasons appear to have much effect
on the quantity of water produced.

‘The waters are remarkably limpid, and when first dipped sparkle with
all the life of good champaigne. The saline waters bear bottling very
well, particularly the Congress, immense quantities of which are put up
in this way and transported to various parts of the world; not, however,
without a considerable loss of its gaseous property, which renders its
taste much more insipid than when drank at the well. The chalybeate
water is likewise put up in bottles for transportation, but a very
trifling loss of its gas produces an immediate precipitation of its
iron; and hence this water when it has been bottled for some time,
frequently becomes turbid, and finally loses every trace of iron; this
substance fixing itself to the walls of the bottle.

‘The most prominent and perceptible effects of these waters, when
taken into the stomach, are _cathartic_, _diuretic_, and _tonic_. They
are much used in a great variety of complaints; but the diseases in
which they are most efficacious, are, jaundice and bilious affections
generally, dyspepsia, habitual costiveness, hypochondriacal complaints,
depraved appetite, calculous and nephritic complaints, phagedenic or
ill-conditioned ulcers, cutaneous eruptions, chronic rheumatism, some
species or states of gout, some species of dropsy, scrofula, paralysis,
scorbutic affections and old scorbutic ulcers, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea,
and chlorosis. In phthisis, and indeed all other pulmonary affections
arising from primary diseases of the lungs, the waters are manifestly
injurious, and evidently tend to increase the violence of the disease.

‘Much interest has been excited on the subject of the source of
these singular waters; but no researches have as yet unfolded the
mystery. The large proportion of common salt found among their
constituent properties, may be accounted for without much difficulty;
all the salt springs of Europe, as well as those of America, being
found in geological situations exactly corresponding to these. But
the production of the unexampled quantity of carbonic acid gas, the
medium through which the other articles are held in solution, is yet,
and probably will remain, a subject of mere speculation. The low and
regular temperature of the water seems to forbid the idea, that it is
the effect of subterranean heat, as many have supposed, and the total
absence of any mineral acid, excepting the muriatic, which is combined
with soda, does away the possibility of its being the effect of any
combination of that kind. Its production is therefore truly
unaccountable.’[23]

At Albany, in the summer of 1826, in boring for pure water for a
brewery, a mineral spring was accidentally opened. The sensible
qualities of this water have a great resemblance to those of the
Congress Spring at Saratoga, but those who are acquainted with it,
think it by no means so stimulating. Its temperature is uniformly
from fifty-one to fifty-two degrees of Fahrenheit, at all seasons
of the year; its specific gravity, when taken with great care, and
after repeated trials, was found to be as one thousand and ten to one
thousand. The taste of the water is purely saline, somewhat pungent,
and not at all disagreeable; it has no sensible chalybeate taste, and
no perceptible smell, which could lead to the suspicion of its holding
sulphuretted hydrogen gas in solution.

_New Lebanon Spring_ is situated in Columbia county, New-York about
twenty-four miles south-east of Albany. It is a very remarkable
fountain, issuing from a high hill. The water boils up in a space of
ten feet wide by three and a half deep, and is so perfectly clear that
the smallest objects may be seen at the bottom of the spring. Much
gas issues from the pebbles and sand, and keeps the water in constant
and pleasing agitation. The fountain is very copious, and more than
eighteen barrels of water are discharged in a minute. This supply is
not only sufficient to furnish the baths abundantly, but turns the
wheels of several mills. The quantity of water does not perceptibly
vary at any season; its temperature is uniformly seventy-three degrees
of Fahrenheit. The water is without taste or odor, is very soft, is
used for all culinary and domestic purposes, and differs but little
from pure mountain water, except in its remarkable temperature. It is
found very useful in salt rheums, and other cutaneous affections; it
augments the appetite, and sometimes acts as a cathartic. For those who
wish to enjoy fine rural scenery, bold, picturesque, and beautiful, and
such advantages to health as this copious fountain presents, nothing
can be better in its kind than New Lebanon.

The _Bedford Springs_ rise near a romantic and frequented village
of that name, situated among the mountains in the southern part of
Pennsylvania. They rise from a limestone rock at the base of a hill.
The water is pleasant and cold, and without any perceptible odor;
the iron, lime, and magnesia, with which it is impregnated, render it
useful in chronic and cutaneous disorders. Mineral springs abound among
the mountains in the central parts of Virginia. The _Yellow Springs_,
near the falls of the Little Miami, in Ohio, are esteemed for their
medicinal properties; the water is a strong chalybeate. The country
about them possesses much attraction in point of scenery, and is
unusually salubrious.

Florida is remarkable for the large number of its springs; a substratum
of soft and cavernous stone appearing to extend over the whole country,
admitting the courses of subterraneous brooks, which burst out at
frequent intervals in the form of springs. The most remarkable of these
is the fountain of Walkulla river, twelve miles from Tallahassee. It is
so large as to be navigable by boats directly below its sources. About
a mile from its head-waters the channel becomes choked with weeds, but
suddenly breaks on our view in the shape of a circular lake, that has
been sounded with a line of two hundred and fifty fathoms. It is clear
as crystal, and has the cerulean tinge which mark the waters of the
gulf. This hue is attributed to the presence of the sulphuret of lime.

‘To a person placed in a skiff,’ says Mr. Flint, ‘in the centre
of this splendid fountain basin, the appearance of the mild azure
vault above, and the transparent depth below, on which the floating
clouds and the blue concave above are painted, and repeated with an
indescribable softness, create a kind of pleasing dizziness, and a
novel train of sensations, among which the most distinguishable is a
feeling, as if suspended between two firmaments. The impression only
ceases, when the boat approaches the edge of the basin near enough to
enable you to perceive the outlines of the neighboring trees pictured
on the margin of the basin. It has been asserted, that limestone
water, in its utmost purity, has less refractive powers for light, than
freestone water. The water of this vast spring, even in this sultry
climate, has a coldness almost like ice-water. The water, probably
from the pressure of the sulphuret of lime, is slightly nauseous to
the taste. Beautiful hammock lands rise from the northern acclivity of
this basin. It was the site of the English factory in former days. Here
resided the famous Ambrister. The force, which throws up this vast mass
of waters from its subterranean fountains, may be imagined, when we
see this pellucid water swelling up from the depths, as though it were
a cauldron of boiling water. It is twelve miles from St. Marks, and
twenty from the ocean.’


                         III. BURNING SPRINGS.

Burning springs, or springs of water charged with inflammable gas,
are found in many places in the western part of the state of New-York,
chiefly near Canandaigua Lake. Their positions are known by little
hillocks of a dark bituminous mould, through which an inflammable
gas escapes to the surface. The following description is taken from
a Canandaigua Journal.

‘These springs are found in Bristol, Middlesex, and Canandaigua. The
former are situated in a ravine on the west side of Bristol Hollow,
about half a mile from the north Presbyterian meeting-house. The ravine
is formed in clay slate, and a small brook runs through it. The gas
rises through fissures of the slate, from both the margin and the
bed of the brook. Where it rises through the water, it is formed into
bubbles, and flashes only when the flame is applied; but where it rises
directly from the rock, it burns with a steady and beautiful flame,
which continues until extinguished by storms, or by design.

‘The springs in Middlesex are situated from one to two miles
south-westerly from the village of Rushville, along a tract of nearly
a mile in length, partly at the bottom of the valley called Federal
Hollow, and partly at an elevation of forty or fifty feet on the south
side of it.

‘The latter have been discovered within a few years, in a field which
had been long cleared, and are very numerous. Their places are known
by little hillocks of a few feet in diameter, and a few inches high,
formed of a dark bituminous mould, which seems principally to have been
deposited by the gas, and through which it finds its way to the surface,
in one or more currents. These currents of gas may be set on fire, and
will burn with a steady flame. In winter they form openings through
the snow, and being set on fire, exhibit the novel and interesting
phenomenon of a steady and lively flame in contact with nothing
but snow. In very cold weather, it is said, tubes of ice are formed
round these currents of gas, (probably from the freezing of the water
contained in it,) which sometimes rises to the height of two or three
feet, the gas issuing from their tops; the whole, when lighted in a
still evening, presenting an appearance even more beautiful than the
former.

‘Experiments made with the gas seem to prove, that it consists
principally of a mixture of the light and heavy carburetted hydrogen
gases, the former having greatly the preponderance; and that it
contains a small proportion of carbonic acid gas. It seems also to hold
a little oily or bituminous matter in solution. It burns with a lambent,
yellowish flame, scarcely inclining to red, with small scintillations
of a bright red at its base. It has the odor of pitcoal. It produces
no smoke, but deposits, while burning, a small quantity of bituminous
lampblack. It is remarkable that the hillocks, through which the
gas rises, are totally destitute of vegetation. Whether the gas is
directly deleterious to vegetable life, or indirectly, by interrupting
the contact of the air of the atmosphere, it is certain that no plant
can sustain life within the circle of its influence.

‘It is well known that this gas is found abundantly in coal mines; and
being accidentally set on fire, mixed as it is in those mines with the
air of the atmosphere, has many times caused terrible and destructive
explosions. The writer cannot learn that it has ever been known to be
generated in the earth, except in the presence of coal; and hence the
inference is strong that it proceeds from coal.’

There is a burning spring much resorted to by travellers, at the
distance of about two miles from Niagara Falls. At Dunkirk, on Lake
Erie, there are marshy spots which emit gas, that has been used for
lighting some of the houses in the village.


                       IV. WARM AND HOT SPRINGS.

The _Warm Springs_ of Arkansas territory are among the most interesting
curiosities of the country. They are in great numbers. One of them
emits a vast quantity of water. The ordinary temperature is that of
boiling water. When the season is dry, and the volume of water emitted
somewhat diminished, the temperature of the water increases. The waters
are remarkably limpid and pure; and are used by the people, who resort
there for health, for culinary purposes. They have been analyzed,
and exhibit no mineral properties beyond common spring water. Their
efficacy then, for they are undoubtedly efficacious to many invalids,
that resort there, results from the shade of adjacent mountains, and
from the cool and oxygenated mountain breeze; the conveniences of warm
and tepid bathing; the novelty of fresh and mountain scenery; and the
necessity of temperance, imposed by the poverty of the country, and
the difficulty of procuring supplies. The cases in which the waters are
supposed to be efficacious, are those of rheumatic affection, general
debility, dyspepsia, and cutaneous complaints. The common supposition,
that they are injurious in pulmonary complaints, seems to be wholly
unfounded. It is a great and increasing resort for invalids from the
lower country, Arkansas, and the different adjoining regions. During
the spring floods of the Washita, a steam-boat can approach within
thirty miles of them. At no great distance from them is a strong
sulphur spring, remarkable for its coldness. In the wild and mountain
scenery of this lonely region, there is much of grandeur and novelty,
to fix the curiosity of the lover of nature.

The _Warm Springs_ near Green Valley, in Virginia, are used for bathing,
and are esteemed valuable in rheumatic complaints. The temperature of
these springs is about ninety-six degrees, and sufficient water issues
from them to turn a mill. The _Bath_, or _Hot Spring_, is about five
miles distant. The stream is small, but the temperature is much greater
than that of the Warm Springs, being one hundred and twelve degrees.
These springs flow into the Jackson, a source of the James river.

The Warm Springs of Buncome county, in North Carolina, are found upon
the margin of a river called the French Broad, about thirty-two miles
from Ashville, and five and a half miles from the Tennessee line.
Several springs have already been discovered, at various distances from
each other, within the extent of a mile. They are generally so near the
bank, that in moderate freshets the river enters them, and it is said
that at a particular spot in the bed of the stream, about ten yards
from the usual bank, there is a constant jet of warm water. The depth
of the river varies from ten to fifteen feet, and in some places it is
even shoaler. The supply of water in all of them is very abundant.

‘The original proprietor of these springs,’ says a writer in the
Journal of Science, ‘informed me, that he supposed the first discovery
of them to have been made about forty years since, at which time this
part of the country was altogether uninhabited, and the persons who
resorted to the waters, had to encamp in their vicinity. He has been
personally acquainted with them, for upwards of twenty years, and made
the first and lowest establishment for bathing, near to a ferry, which
is opposite to his residence. Mr. Nelson further states, that he has
known sundry cases of palsy, rheumatism, and cutaneous affections, &c.
greatly benefited by the internal and external use of the waters. The
large establishment, and the one that is now principally visited, is
seated about half a mile higher up the river, and has at the present
time two large baths, whose temperature at the boils of the springs
is one hundred and four degrees of Fahrenheit; but at the surface the
temperature of the old bath, which is very near to the river, is one
hundred degrees, while that of the new, which is higher up the bank, is
but ninety-four degrees. I was informed that this temperature was much
increased when there was a considerable swell in the river, but I had
no opportunity of witnessing the fact.

‘A smaller stream of water, which is usually limpid and shallow, comes
into the French Broad on its southern side, and separates the first
bathing establishment from that which is now used. The stream affords
the conveniences of a saw, and grist-mill, within a very short distance
of the establishment, and without the necessity of a mill-pond. The
whole are situated in a beautiful and romantic spot upon a large flat,
contiguous to the water, and embosomed in lofty mountains, among which
the river winds, while the valley in this spot appears not to exceed a
mile in width, and is much narrower in all others, both above and below.

‘These mountains seem to consist principally of rocks, of which a
considerable proportion in the immediate vicinity are compact limestone,
both blue and gray. About six miles above the springs there is said to
be a vein of the sulphate of barytes, a specimen of which was given me;
and in the vicinity of the ferry below, there is a cavern of limestone,
which may be penetrated with convenience for thirty yards, and from
the roof of which stalactites are pendant. Near to this cave there is
another, containing a large quantity of yellow ochre.

‘There are said to be mines of cobalt, copper, and iron in the
neighboring mountains, but these are lofty and not very accessible. I
found that there was, from the local circumstances of the establishment,
considerable humidity during the mornings and evenings, and a pretty
high temperature for several hours of the day. There were also sudden
and frequent thunder showers, but these were generally of short
duration. These meteorological observations will perhaps lead to the
conclusion, that this watering-place would not be advisable for persons
laboring under pulmonic or dropsical affections, and I did not learn
that any such had been benefited by their residence.

‘Persons using these waters, are in the habit of drinking from three
to four quarts in a day, and also of bathing twice. They generally
remain in the bath from a half hour to an hour, and find it so pleasant
they are loth to leave it. It was stated to me by a very respectable
gentleman, who has resorted to this watering-place for several summers
past, that after drinking the water freely for several days, it
generally had a brisk cathartic effect for a day or two, and after that
produced no sensible result. This gentleman is afflicted with chronic
rheumatism, and has always obtained decided relief from the long
continued use of the waters, both internally and externally. Upon the
record book of the establishment there are sundry interesting cases
of benefit, imparted to persons laboring under rheumatism, palsy, or
loss of motion from other causes. I am inclined to believe that long
continued bathing in water of such an elevated and constant temperature,
must produce some effect in such cases as have been alluded to,
independent of the mineral ingredients, and, conjoined with them, it
will probably be more efficacious. The healthy, cheap, and plentiful
country, in which the Buncome Springs are situated, the novel and
mountainous scenery and variety of company, present many attractions
to the invalid, the idler, and the curious.’


                      GENERAL REMARKS ON SPRINGS.

  The most common ingredient of mineral and medicinal springs,
  is iron under a variety of forms. But they also often contain
  magnesia, glauber salt, carbonic acid gas, and other substances,
  which, from their combinations, give great diversity to the waters.
  Springs impregnated with sulphur are also common in the vicinity
  of volcanoes, and in countries subject to earthquakes. They are
  usually warm, and the heat is sometimes accompanied by a violent
  ebullition which frequently projects the water to a great height.
  Iceland, the Azores, and various other places, afford striking
  examples of this kind. The celebrated fountain called the _Geyser_,
  in the first of these islands, often propels its contents the
  height of one hundred feet, and sometimes to double that height.

  There are also springs which are inflammable without being hot.
  This generally arises from a quantity of inflammable gas, or
  oily matter, which floats on the surface of the water; as in the
  instance of a brook in the vicinity of _Bergerac_, in the south
  of France, the surface of which may be set on fire by a lighted
  straw. Others, being mixed with bitumen, which often floats on the
  surface, will easily take fire, as at _Baku_, and other places in
  Persia.

  The waters of some springs and lakes have a petrifying, and
  others an incrusting quality. The former is impregnated with
  extremely fine silicious particles, which penetrate the pores of
  the substances immersed in them, and change their nature. This
  property is possessed by Lough Neagh. The Danube and the Pregel
  have also the same quality, but in a less degree. The waters
  which possess the incrusting property operate in a more rapid and
  manifest manner, by depositing the earthy particles they hold in
  solution, on the surfaces of bodies submitted to their action.
  This effect is produced by both hot and cold springs, particularly
  by the former. The matter deposited is usually calcareous, but in
  the instance of the Great Geyser it is silicious.

  Waters holding salt in solution, or muriated waters, as they
  are commonly called, are perhaps the most common of all; but
  they are rarely found in a state of purity. Among the Uralian
  and Carpathian mountains, they are frequent, and in general in
  the zone comprised between the parallels fifty and thirty north
  latitude. More to the north they are rarely found; farther toward
  the south crystallized salt is abundant in certain regions, as in
  the great desert of Africa; but we find only a few salt springs
  there.



                        CHAPTER VIII.――CAVERNS.


THE most celebrated cave in the United States, is that in Rockingham
county, Virginia, known by the name of _Madison’s Cave_. It is in the
heart of a mountain, about two hundred feet high, which is so steep
on one side, that a person standing on the top, might easily throw a
pebble into the river which flows round the base; the opposite side of
it is, however, very easy of ascent, and on this side the path leading
to the cavern runs, excepting for the last twenty yards, when it
suddenly turns along the steep part of the mountain, which is extremely
rugged, and covered with immense rocks and trees from top to bottom.
The mouth of the cavern, on this steep side, about two thirds of the
way up, is guarded by a huge pendant stone, which seems ready to fall
every instant; it is impossible to stoop under it and not reflect with
a degree of awe, that, were it to drop, nothing could save you from
perishing within the dreary walls of that mansion to which it affords
an entrance. The description which follows, is from the Travels of
Mr. Weld.

‘Preparatory to entering, the guide, whom I had procured from a
neighboring house, lighted the ends of three or four splinters of pitch
pine, a large bundle of which he had brought with him: they burn out
very fast, but while they last are most excellent torches. The fire he
brought along with him, by the means of a bit of green hickory wood,
which, when once lighted, will burn slowly without any blaze, till the
whole is consumed.

‘The first apartment you enter is about twenty-five feet high, and
fifteen broad, and extends a considerable way to the right and left,
the floor ascending toward the former; here it is very moist, from the
quantity of water continually trickling from the roof. Fahrenheit’s
thermometer, which stood at sixty-seven degrees in the air, fell to
sixty-one degrees in this room. A few yards to the left, on the side
opposite to you on entering, a passage presents itself, which leads
to a sort of anti-chamber, from whence you proceed to the sound room,
so named from the prodigious reverberation of the sound of a voice
or musical instrument on the inside. This room is about twenty feet
square; it is arched at the top, and the sides of it as well as of
the apartment which you first enter, are beautifully ornamented with
stalactites. Returning from hence into the anti-chamber, and afterwards
taking two or three turns to the right and left, you enter a long
passage about thirteen feet wide, and, perhaps, about fifteen feet
in height, perpendicularly; but if it was measured from the floor to
the highest part of the roof obliquely, the distance would be found
much greater, as the walls on both sides slope very considerably, and
finally meet at the top.

‘This passage descends very rapidly, and is, I should suppose,
about sixty yards long. Towards the end it narrows considerably, and
terminates in a pool of clear water, about three or four feet deep.
How far this pool extends, it is impossible to say. A canoe was once
brought down by a party for the purpose of examination, but they said,
that after proceeding a little way the canoe would not float, and they
were forced to return. Their fears most probably led them to fancy so.
I fired a pistol with a ball over the water, but the report was echoed
from the after part of the cavern, and not from the part beyond the
water, so that I should not suppose the passage extended much farther
than could be traced with the eye. The walls of this passage consist
of a solid rock of limestone on each side, which appears to have been
separated by some convulsion. The floor is of a deep sandy earth, and
it has repeatedly been dug up for the purpose of getting salt-petre,
with which the earth is strongly impregnated. The earth, after being
dug up, is mixed with water, and when the grosser particles fall to
the bottom, the water is drawn off and evaporated; from the residue
the salt-petre is procured. There are many other caverns in this
neighborhood; and also farther to the westward in Virginia; from all
of them great quantities of salt-petre are thus obtained. The gunpowder
made with it, in the back country forms a principal article of commerce,
and is sent to Philadelphia in exchange for European manufactures.

‘About two thirds of the way down this long passage just described, is
a large aperture in the wall on the right, leading to another apartment,
the bottom of which is about ten feet below the floor of the passage,
and it is no easy matter to get down into it, as the sides are very
steep and extremely slippery. This is the largest and most beautiful
room in the whole cavern; it is somewhat of an oval form, about sixty
feet in length, thirty in breadth, and in some parts nearly fifty feet
high. The petrifactions formed by the water dropping from above are
most beautiful, and hang down from the ceiling in the form of elegant
drapery, the folds of which are similar to what those of large blankets
or carpets would be, if suspended by one corner in a lofty room. If
struck with a stick, a deep hollow sound is produced, which echoes
through the vaults of the cavern.

‘In other parts of this room the petrifactions have commenced at the
bottom, and formed in pillars of different heights; some of them reach
nearly to the roof. If you go to a remote part of this apartment, and
leave a person with a lighted torch moving about amidst these pillars,
a thousand imaginary forms present themselves, and you might almost
fancy yourself in the infernal regions, with spectres and monsters on
every side. The floor of this room slopes down gradually from one end
to the other, and terminates in a pool of water, which appears to be on
a level with that at the end of the long passage; from their situation,
it is most probable that they communicate together. The thermometer
which I had with me stood in the remotest part of this chamber, at
fifty-five degrees. From hence we returned to the mouth of the cavern,
and on coming to the light it appeared as if we had really been in the
infernal regions, for our faces, hands, and clothes were covered with
soot from the smoke of the pine torches which are so often carried in.
The smoke from the pitch-pine is particularly thick and heavy. Before
this cave was much visited, and the walls blackened with smoke, its
beauty, I was told by some of the old inhabitants, was great indeed;
for the petrifactions on the roof and walls are all of a dead white
kind.’

_Wyer’s Cave_ is situated in the same county with the preceding, and
is equally remarkable. Its entrance is narrow and difficult, and when
first discovered was impeded by perpendicular columns of stalactites,
which have since been removed. After advancing at first in a horizontal
course, we descend into an echoing cavern, by a ladder fifteen or
twenty feet in length. Over our heads hang silvery white stalactites,
while we are surrounded by pillars of stalagmites, and rugged walls
incrusted with a beautiful brown spar. The floor is composed of ledges
of rocks, and presents rather an uneven pathway.

Advancing through a narrow passage in the rocks, we enter still other
apartments, resembling the first in the beauty of their formations,
but of different shape and extent. The sparry incrustations assume a
thousand fantastic figures, sparkling with light, and more like the
wonders of fairy land, than the original productions of nature. This
cave is a mile and a half in extent, varying in perpendicular height
from three to forty feet, and in breadth from two to thirty. Its
dividing branches are numerous. Blue limestone is the base of the
whole cave; every where covered with incrustations of carbonates.
In some places the uneven sides of the rocks are quite covered with
white crystals of the carbonate of lime, and appear like banks of salt.
Sometimes the pavement sparkles as a floor of diamonds; and again the
pathway is pebbled, and resembles the deserted bed of a river. It is
impossible to convey any idea of the number and variety of shapes which
the stalactites assume; resembling every thing in nature, and in the
worlds of imagination, they are still unlike every thing but themselves.

The _Nicojack Cave_ is situated in the Cherokee country, at Nicojack,
the north-western angle in the map of Georgia. We believe it was first
fully described by the Rev. E. Cornelius. It is twenty miles south-west
of the Look-Out Mountain, and half a mile from the south bank of the
Tennessee river. The Raccoon Mountain, in which it is situated, here
fronts to the north-east. Immense layers of horizontal limestone form a
precipice of considerable height. In this precipice the cave commences;
not however with an opening of a few feet, as is common; but with a
mouth fifty feet high, and one hundred and sixty wide. Its roof is
formed by a solid and regular layer of limestone, having no support
but the sides of the cave, and as level as the floor of a house. The
entrance is partly obstructed by piles of fallen rocks, which appear
to have been dislodged by some great convulsion. From its entrance,
the cave consists chiefly of one grand excavation through the rocks,
preserving for a great distance the same dimensions as at its mouth.

What is more remarkable than all, it forms for the whole distance
it has yet been explored, a walled and vaulted passage for a stream
of cool and limpid water, which, where it leaves the cave, is six
feet deep and sixty feet wide. A few years since, Col. James Ore, of
Tennessee, commencing early in the morning, followed the course of this
creek in a canoe, for three miles. He then came to a fall of water, and
was obliged to return, without making any further discovery. Whether
he penetrated three miles of the cave or not, it is a fact he did not
return till the evening, having been busily engaged in his subterranean
voyage for twelve hours. He stated that the course of the cave, after
proceeding some way to the south-west, became south; and south-east by
south, the remaining distance.

There is a remarkable cave or grotto, situated on a bluff of limestone,
on the south bank of the Holston river, in East Tennessee, which has
been well described by Mr. Kain, in an article in Silliman’s Journal.
The bluff is perhaps one hundred feet high, and fifty wide. The grotto
is a large natural excavation of the rock, sixty feet high and thirty
feet wide. It is very irregular, and to the very top bears marks of the
attrition of waves. The river to have been so high, must have covered
the valley through which it now winds its quiet way. The excavation
gradually diminishes in size as you proceed backward, till one hundred
feet from the entrance it terminates. A remarkable projection of the
rock divides the back part into two stories.

This grotto, whose walls are hung with ivy, and the bluff crowned with
cedars, and surrounded by an aged forest, on which the vine clambers
most luxuriantly, viewed from the river which winds slowly around it,
and reflects its image, is more than beautiful: it is even venerable.
But what renders it most interesting to many visitors, is a number of
rude paintings, which were, as tradition reports, left on it by the
Cherokee Indians. These Indians are known to have made this cave a
resting place as they passed up and down the river Holston. These
paintings are still distinct, though they have faded somewhat within
my remembrance. They consist of representations of the sun and moon, of
a man, of birds, fishes, &c. They are all of red paint, and resemble,
in this respect, the paintings on Paint Rock, near the warm springs.

_Mammoth Cave_ is situated near the Green river in Kentucky, the
entrance to which is by a pit forty feet deep, and one hundred and
twenty in circumference. At the bottom of this pit is the mouth of
the cave, which is open to the north, and is from forty to fifty feet
in height, and thirty in width, for upwards of forty rods, when it
becomes not more than ten feet wide and five feet high. ‘However,’
says Dr. Wood, ‘this continues but a short distance, when it expands to
thirty or forty feet in width, and is about twenty feet in height, for
about one mile, until you come to the first _hopper_, where salt-petre
is manufactured. Thence it is about forty feet in width, and eighty in
height, till you arrive at the second hopper two miles from the mouth.
The loose limestone has been laid up into handsome walls on either side,
almost the whole distance from the entrance to the second hopper. The
road is hard, and as smooth as a flag pavement. The walls of the cavern
are perpendicular in every passage that I traversed; the arches are
regular in every part, and have bid defiance even to earthquakes. As
you advance into the cave, the avenue leads from the second hopper west
one mile, then south-west to the chief city, which is six miles distant
from the entrance. This avenue is from sixty to one hundred feet high,
and about the same broad, the whole distance from the second hopper,
until you come to the cross-roads or chief city; and is nearly upon
a level, the floor or bottom being covered with loose limestone and
salt-petre earth. When I reached the immense area, (chief city,)
containing upward of eight acres, without a single pillar to support
the arch, which is entire over the whole, I was struck dumb with
astonishment, and can give but a very faint idea of its splendor.
Nothing under heaven can be more sublime and grand than this place,
covered with one solid arch, at least one hundred feet in height, and
to all appearance entire. After entering the chief city, I perceived
five avenues leading out of it from sixty to one hundred feet in width,
and from forty to eighty in height. The walls (all of stone) are arched,
being from forty to eighty feet of perpendicular height, before the
arch commences.

‘The next avenue which I traversed, after cutting arrows on the
stones under our feet, pointing to the mouth of the cave, was one that
led us in a southerly direction for more than two miles. We then left
it, and took another that led us east, then north, more than two miles
farther; and at last, in our windings, were brought out by another
avenue into the chief city again, after having traversed more than
five miles through different avenues. We rested ourselves for a few
minutes on some limestone strata near the centre of this gloomy area,
and having refreshed ourselves, and trimmed our lamps, again took our
departure through an avenue almost due north, and parallel with the
avenue leading from the chief city to the mouth of the cave, which
we continued for more than two miles, when we entered the second city.
This is covered with one arch nearly two hundred feet high in the
centre, and very similar to the chief city, except in the number of
avenues leading from it, this having but two. We passed through it over
a very considerable rise in the centre, and descended through an avenue
bearing to the east about three hundred rods, when we came upon a third
area, about one hundred feet square and fifty in height, which had a
pure and delightful stream of water, issuing from the side of the wall,
about thirty feet high, and which fell upon some broken stones, and
was afterwards entirely lost to our view. After passing this beautiful
sheet of water a few yards, we came to the end of this passage.

‘We then returned about one hundred yards, and entered an avenue
(over a considerable mass of stone) to our right, which led us south,
through an uncommonly black avenue, something more than a mile, when
we ascended a very steep eminence, about sixty yards, which carried us
within the walls of a fourth city, which is not inferior to the second
city, having an arch that covers at least six acres. In this last
avenue, the farther end of which must be at least four miles from the
chief city, and ten from the mouth of the cave, are twenty large piles
of saltpetre earth on one side of the avenue, and broken limestone
heaped up on the other, evidently the work of human hands. I had
expected, from the course of my needle, that this avenue would have
carried us round to the chief city; but was sadly disappointed, when I
found the end a few hundred yards from the fourth city, which caused us
to retrace our steps; and not having been so particular in marking the
different entrances as I ought, we were very much bewildered, and once
completely lost for fifteen or twenty minutes.

‘At length we found our way, and, weary and faint, entered the chief
city at ten at night; however, much fatigued as I was, I determined to
explore the cavern as long as my lights held out. We now entered the
fifth and last avenue from the chief city, which carried us south-east
about nine hundred yards, when we entered the fifth city, whose arch
covers upwards of four acres of level ground, strewed with broken
limestone. Fire beds of uncommon size, with brands of cane lying around
them, are interspersed throughout this city. We crossed over to the
opposite side, and entered an avenue that carried us east about two
hundred and fifty rods; when, finding nothing remarkable in this
passage, we turned back, and crossed a massy pile of limestone in the
mouth of a large avenue, which I noticed but a few yards from this
last-mentioned city as I came out of it. After some difficulty in
passing over this mass of limestone, we entered a large avenue, whose
walls were the most perfect of any that we had seen, running almost due
south for five hundred rods, and very level and straight. When at the
end of this avenue, and while I was sketching a plan of the cave, one
of my guides, who had been some time groping among the broken stones,
called out, requesting me to follow him. I gathered up my papers and
compass, and also giving the guide who sat with me orders to remain
where he was, until we returned, and moreover to keep his lamp in
good order, I followed after the first, who had entered a vertical
passage just large enough to admit his body. We continued to step
from one stone to another, until at last, after much difficulty, from
the smallness of the passage, which is about forty feet in height,
we entered upon the side of a chamber eighteen hundred feet in
circumference, and whose arch is one hundred and fifty feet high in
the centre. After having marked arrows, pointing downwards, upon the
slate-stones around the little passage through which we had winded, we
walked nearly to the centre of this area. It was past midnight when I
entered this chamber of eternal darkness, where “all things are hushed,
and nature’s self lies dead.” I must acknowledge I felt a shivering
horror at my situation, when, I looked back upon the different avenues
through which I had passed, since I entered the cave at eight in
the morning; and “at time of night, when church-yards groan,” to be
buried several miles in the dark recesses of this awful cavern, the
grave, perhaps, of thousands of human beings――gave me no very pleasant
emotions. With the guide who was now with me, I took the only avenue
leading from this chamber, and traversed it for the distance of a mile
in a northerly direction, when my lamps forbade me going any farther,
as they were nearly exhausted. The avenue, or passage, was as large as
any that we had entered; and how far we might have entered, had our
lights held out, is unknown.

‘It is supposed that Green river, a stream navigable several hundred
miles, passes over three branches of this cave. It was nearly one
o’clock in the morning, when we descended the passage of the chimney,
as it is called, to the guide who sat on the rocks. He was quite
alarmed at our long absence, and was heard by us a long time before we
reached the passage to descend to him, hallooing with all his might,
fearing we had lost our track in the ruins above. Very near the
vertical passage, and not far from where I had left my guide sitting,
I found some very beautiful specimens of soda, which I brought out with
me. We returned over piles of saltpetre earth and fire beds, out of one
avenue into another, until at last, with great fatigue and a dim light,
we entered the walls of the chief city; where, for the last time, we
trimmed our lamps, and entered the spacious avenue that lends to the
second hopper. I found, when in the last-mentioned large avenue, or
upper chamber, many curiosities; such as Glauber salts, Epsom salts,
flint, yellow ochre, spar of different kinds, and some petrifactions,
which I brought out together with the mummy, which was found at the
second hopper. We happily arrived at the mouth of the cave at five
in the morning, nearly exhausted and worn down with nineteen hours’
continued fatigue. I have described to you hardly one half of the cave,
as the avenues between the mouth of the cave and the second hopper
have not been named. There is a passage in the main avenue, about sixty
rods from the entrance, like that of a trap-door. By sliding aside a
large flat stone, you can descend sixteen or eighteen feet into a very
narrow defile, where the passage comes upon a level, and winds about
in such a manner us to pass under the main passage, without having
any communication with it; and at last opens into the large passages,
just beyond the second hopper. It is called the Glauber salt room, from
salts of that kind being found there. There is also the sick room, the
bat room, and the flint room, all of which are large, and some of them
quite long. The last that I shall mention is a very winding avenue,
which branches off at the second hopper, running west, and south-west,
for more than two miles. This is called the haunted chamber, from
the echo of the sound made in it. The arch of this avenue is very
beautifully incrusted with limestone spar; and in many places the
columns of spar are truly elegant, extending from the ceiling to the
floor. I discovered in this avenue a very high dome, in or near the
centre of the arch, apparently fifty feet high, hung in rich drapery,
festooned in the most fanciful manner for six or eight feet above the
hangings, and in colors the most rich and brilliant. The columns of
spar, and the stalactites in this chamber, are extremely romantic in
their appearance, with the reflection of one or two lights. There is a
cellar formed of this spar, called Wilkins’s armed chair, which is very
large, standing in the middle of the avenue, and is encircled with many
smaller ones. Columns of spar, fluted and studded with knobs of spar
and stalactites, drapery of various colors, superbly festooned and hung
in the most graceful manner, are shewn with the greatest brilliancy
from the reflection of lamps.

‘A part of the haunted chamber lies directly over the bat room,
which passes under it, without having any connection with it. I was
led into a very narrow defile on the left side of this chamber, and
about a hundred yards from Wilkins’s armed chair, over the side of
a smooth limestone rock, ten or twelve feet, which we passed with
much precaution, for had we slipped from our hold, we had gone to that
“bourne whence no traveller returns,” if I may judge from a cataract of
water, whose dismal sound we heard at a very considerable distance in
this pit, and nearly under us. However, we crossed in safety, clinging
fast to the wall, and winding under the haunted chamber, and through
a very narrow passage for thirty or forty yards, when our course was
west, and the passage twenty or thirty feet in width, and from ten
to eighteen feet high, for more than a mile. The air was pure and
delightful in this, as well as in other parts of the cave. At the
farther end of this avenue, we came upon a reservoir of water, very
clear and delightful to the taste, apparently having neither inlet
nor outlet. Within a few yards of this reservoir of water, on the
right hand of the cave, there is an avenue leading to the north-west.
We had entered it but forty feet, when we came to several columns of
the most brilliant spar, sixty or seventy feet in height, and almost
perpendicular, which stand in basins of water, that comes trickling
down their sides, then passes off silently from the basin, and enters
the cavities of stone, without being seen again. These columns of spar,
and the basins they rest in, for splendor and beauty, surpass every
similar work of art I ever saw. We passed by these columns, and entered
a small but beautiful chamber, whose walls were about twenty feet apart,
and the arch not more than seven feet high, white as white-wash could
have made it; the floor was level as far as I could see, which was not
a great distance, as I found many pit-holes in my path, that appeared
to have been lately sunk, and which induced me to return. We returned
by the beautiful pool of water, which is called the pool of Clitorius,
after the _Fons Clitorius_ of the classics, which was so pure and
delightful to the taste, that, after drinking of it, a person had no
longer a taste for wine. On our way back to the narrow defile, I found
some difficulty in keeping my lights, for the bats were so numerous
and continually in our faces, that it was next to impossible to get
along in safety. I brought this trouble on myself, by my own want
of foresight, for as we were moving on, I noticed a large number of
these bats hanging by their hind legs to the arch, which was not a foot
higher than my head. I took my cane and gave a sweep the whole length
of it, when down they fell; but soon, like so many imps, they tormented
us until we reached the narrow defile, when they left us. We returned
by Wilkins’s armed chair, and back to the second hopper, where I found
the mummy before-mentioned, and which had been placed there by Mr.
Wilkins, for preservation in another cave.’

_Indiana Cave._――In the southern part of Indiana there is a remarkable
cave, which abounds in Epsom Salts, and which is thus described by
Mr. Adams.――‘The hill in which it is situated, is about four hundred
feet high, from the base to the most elevated point, and the prospect
to the south-east, in a clear day, is exceedingly fine, commanding an
extensive view of the hills and valleys bordering on Big Blue river.
The top of the hill is covered principally with oak and chesnut.
The side to the south-east is mantled with cedar. The entrance is
about midway from the base to the summit, and the surface of the cave
preserves in general about that elevation; although I must acknowledge
this to be conjectural, as no experiments have been made with a view
to ascertain the fact. It is probably owing to this middle situation
of the cave, that it is much drier than is common.

‘After entering the cave by an aperture twelve or fifteen feet wide,
and in height, in one place, three or four feet, you descend with easy
and gradual steps into a large and spacious room, which continues about
a quarter of a mile pretty near the same in appearance, varying in
height from eight to thirty feet, and in breadth from ten to twenty. In
this distance the roof is in some places arched, in others a plane, and
in one place, particularly, it resembles an inside view of the roof of
a house. At the distance above-named the cave forks, but the right hand
fork soon terminates, while the left rises by a flight of rocky stairs
nearly ten feet high, into another story, and pursues a course at this
place nearly south-east. Here the roof commences a regular arch, the
height of which from the floor varies from five to eight feet, and the
width of the cave from six to twelve feet――which continues to what is
called the Creeping Place, from the circumstance of having to crawl
ten or twelve feet into the next large room. From this place to the
Pillar, a distance of about one mile and a quarter, the visitor finds
an alternate succession of large and small rooms variously decorated;
sometimes mounting elevated points by gradual or difficult ascents,
and again descending as far below; sometimes travelling on a pavement,
or climbing over huge piles of rocks, detached from the roof by some
convulsion of nature, and thus continues his route until he arrives at
the _Pillar_.

‘The aspect of this large and stately white column, as it heaves in
sight from the dim reflection of the torches, is grand and impressive.
Visitors have seldom pushed their inquiries further than two hundred
or three hundred yards beyond this pillar. This column is about fifteen
feet in diameter, from twenty to thirty feet in height, and regularly
reeded from the top to the bottom. In the vicinity of this spot are
some inferior pillars of the same appearance and texture.

‘I have thus given you an imperfect sketch of the mechanical structure
and appearance of the cave. It only remains to mention its productions.

‘The first in importance is sulphate of magnesia, or Epsom salts,
which, as has been before remarked, abounds throughout this cave in
almost its whole extent, and which, I believe, has no parallel in the
history of that article. This neutral salt is found in a great variety
of forms, and in many different stages of formation, sometimes in lumps,
varying from one to ten pounds in weight. The earth exhibits a shining
appearance, from the numerous particles interspersed through the huge
piles of dirt collected in different parts of the cave. The foregoing
remark applies with truth, not only to the surface, but to three feet
below it. This is the greatest distance hitherto examined. The walls
are covered in different places with the same article, and reproduction
goes on rapidly. With a view to ascertain this fact, I removed from a
particular place every vestige of the salt, and in four or five weeks
the place was covered with small needle-shaped crystals, exhibiting the
appearance of frost.

‘The quality of the salt in this cave is inferior to none, and, when
it takes its proper stand in regular and domestic practice, must be
of national utility. With respect to the resources of this cave, I
will venture to say that every competent judge must pronounce them
inexhaustible. The worst earth that has been tried will yield four
pounds of salt to the bushel, and the best from twenty to twenty-five
pounds.

‘The next production is the nitrate of lime, or saltpetre earth. There
are vast quantities of this earth, and equal in strength to any that
I have ever seen; and when potassium can be more conveniently obtained
than at present, the manufacture of saltpetre must be a lucrative
pursuit. There are also large quantities of the nitrate of allumina
or nitrate of argyl, which will yield as much nitrate of potassium or
saltpetre, in proportion to the quantities of earth, as the nitrate of
lime.

‘The three articles above enumerated are first in quantity and
importance; but there are several others, which deserve notice as
subjects of philosophical curiosity. The sulphate of lime, or plaster
of Paris, is to be seen variously formed; ponderous, crystallized, and
impalpable, or soft, light, and rather spongy. Vestiges of the sulphate
of iron, are also to be seen in one or two places. Small specimens of
the carbonate, and also the nitrate of magnesia, have been found. The
rocks in the cave principally consist of carbonate of lime, or common
limestone.

‘I had almost forgotten to state, that near the forks of the cave are
two specimens of painting, probably of Indian origin. The one appears
to be a savage, with something like a bow in his hand, and furnishes
the hint that it was done when that instrument of death was in use.
The other is so much defaced, that it is impossible to say what it was
intended to represent.’

_Carver’s Cave._――‘About twelve miles below the new garrison at
St. Peter’s,’ says Mr. Schoolcraft, ‘we stopped to examine a remarkable
cavern, on the east banks of the Mississippi, called _Wakon-teebe_, by
the Narcotah or Sioux Indians, but which, in compliment to the memory
of its first European visitor, should be denominated Carver’s Cave.
It is situated in a rock of the most beautiful white sand-stone, at
the head of a small valley about four hundred yards from the banks of
the river. Its mouth is about sixty or seventy feet wide and twenty
in height, but the former soon decreases to about twenty feet, and the
latter to seven. This width gradually lessens as you advance during the
first hundred yards, but the height remains nearly the same, so that
a man can walk without stooping. Then it tapers into a narrow passage,
where it is necessary to creep, which suddenly opens into a spacious
chamber. From this a narrow crevice continues as far as it has been
explored. Some of our party pursued it four hundred yards by the light
of wax candles. It is very damp and chilly. There is a handsome stream
of pure water running from its mouth. The temperature of the air in
the cave was fifty-four degrees, that of the water forty-seven. As it
is situated in sand-stone rock, it affords no stalactites, or spars.
Some parts of the rock at the mouth are colored green, probably by the
carbonate of copper. The bed of the brook is composed of a crystalline
sand of the most snowy whiteness, originating from the disintegration
of the surrounding walls. Scattered over this are a number of small
pebbles, of so intensely black a color, as to create a pleasing
contrast, when viewed through the medium of a clear stream. These, on
examination, proved to be masses of limestone, granite, and quartz,
colored externally by a thin deposit of earthy matter, and I conclude
the color to proceed from the gallic acid, with which the water,
percolating into the cavern, through the beds of oak leaves of the
superincumbent forest, may be partially saturated. This cave has been
visited by most persons who have passed up the Mississippi, if we may
judge from the number of names found upon the walls. Among them, we
were informed, was that of Captain Carver, who visited it in 1768, but
we did not observe it. His grant of land from the Indians is dated in
this cave, but the cave itself appears to have undergone a considerable
alteration since that period, for he says that “about twenty feet from
the entrance begins a lake, the water of which is transparent, and
extends to an unsearchable distance.” As the rock is of a very friable
nature, and easily acted upon by running water, it is probable that the
lake has been discharged, thus enlarging the boundaries of the cave.
He also remarks, “at a little distance from this dreary cavern, is
the burying-place of several bands of the Nawdowessie (Sioux) Indians.
Though these people have no fixed residence, living in tents, and
abiding but a few months in one spot, yet they always bring the bones
of their dead to this place; which they take the opportunity of doing
when the chiefs meet to hold their councils, and to settle the public
affairs for the ensuing summer.” We noticed no bones or traces of
interment about the cave, but perhaps a further examination of the
adjacent region would have led to a discovery.’

In Kentucky and Tennessee, caves are numerous, which appear to have
been used for burial-places. In the county of Ulster, in New York, is
a cave three quarters of a mile in length, caused by a stream running
under ground. The rock which constitutes the roof and sides of the
cave is a dark colored limestone, containing impressions of shells,
calcareous spar, and beautiful white and yellow stalactites. At one
end is a fall of water, the depth of which has not been fathomed. At
Rhinebeck, near the Hudson, is a cave in which a narrow entrance leads
to several spacious rooms, abounding with columns of stalactites.
At Chester, in Warren county, there is a stream which passes under
a natural bridge, and among many deep caverns; the waters enter in
two streams, unite in the subterranean passage, and issue in a single
current under a precipice sixty feet in height.

In the Laurel Mountain, in Pennsylvania, is a cavern with a very narrow
entrance, and various winding passages, which has been traversed two
miles. It is formed of a soft sandstone, and its roof is covered with
millions of bats. At Durham in Bucks county, on the Delaware, is a cave
in the limestone rock, abounding with pools and rivulets of water. At
Carlisle is another somewhat similar, in which human bones have been
discovered.


                       GENERAL REMARKS ON CAVES.

  Caves or grottoes are natural fissures in the solid crust of
  the earth, with walls and a natural roof. They are sometimes of
  immense extent and depth, and frequently the first excavation
  is only the vestibule to another much larger and deeper. Eldon
  Hole, in Derbyshire, has been sounded with a line of more than
  nine thousand six hundred feet, but without reaching its bottom.
  A cavern near Frederickshall, Norway, has been estimated at eleven
  thousand feet in depth. Many caverns are remarkable for various
  natural curiosities. The most interesting are those in which the
  dropping of water has caused the formation of stalactites, either
  suspended from the vaults of the caverns in the shape of long
  crystals, or assuming fantastic forms on the floor and along
  the wall. Antiparos and Peak caves in Derbyshire, England, owe
  their celebrity to those formations. Other caves are strewed with
  petrified bones, and have evidently been the burial-places of
  generations of human beings.

  There are caverns which contain deep pits of water, or wells,
  of such an extent as to acquire the name of subterranean lakes.
  In some are the sources, and in others the receptacles, of
  large streams. In Norway you may sometimes walk upon an arched
  calcareous floor, and hear the roar of torrents under your feet.
  In Russia, many caverns have been evidently formed by means of
  water, and even masses of ice.

  Fingal’s Cave in the Isle of Staffa, on the western coast of
  Scotland, is the grandest in the known world. Its sides are formed
  of majestic columns of basalt, which are almost as regular as if
  they had been formed by art. These columns support a lofty roof,
  under which the sea rolls its waves, while the vastness of the
  entrance admits the light of day to the recesses of the cave. The
  origin of these basaltic formations is uncertain.

  The caves of Kirkdale, in England, and Gailenreuth, in Germany,
  are remarkable for the quantities of bones of the elephant,
  rhinoceros, and hyena found in them. The mine of fluor spar, in
  Castleton, Derbyshire, passes through several stalactic caverns.
  Other caverns in England contain subterraneous cascades. In the
  Rock of Gibraltar there are a number of stalactic caverns, of
  which the principal is called St. Michael’s, and is one thousand
  feet above the sea. The most famous caves of Germany are those of
  Bauman and Bielstein, in the Hartz.

  Caves sometimes exhale poisonous vapors. Of these, the most
  remarkable is near Naples, named the Grotto del Cane. In Iceland,
  there are many formed by the lava from its volcanoes. In the
  volcanic country near Rome, are many natural cavities of great
  extent and coolness, which form pleasant places of resort in
  the hot weather. The grottoes in the Cevennes Mountains, in
  France, are both numerous and extensive, and abound in objects
  of curiosity. In South America is the cavern of Guacharo, which
  is said to extend for leagues.



                         CHAPTER IX.――ISLANDS.


MOST of the coast of Maine is thickly strewn with islands. The
largest is _Mount Desert_, on the west side of Frenchman’s Bay; it
is fifteen miles long, and twelve broad. Many fine islands lie in
Penobscot Bay, as _Long Island_, on which is the town of Islesborough;
the _Fox Islands_, containing the town of Vinalhaven; and _Deer Isle_,
on the east side of the bay, about eight miles from Castine.

The _Isles of Shoals_ belong partly to New Hampshire, and partly to
Maine. They lie about eight miles out at sea, between Portsmouth and
Newburyport, and are hardly more than a cluster of rocks rising above
the waters; but they are, on many accounts, worthy of notice. They have
but a thin and barren appearance, yet for more than a century previous
to the revolution they were quite populous, containing at one time
six hundred inhabitants, who found there an advantageous situation
for carrying on fisheries. To this day the best cod in the world are
those which are known in the market as _Isle of Shoals dun fish_.
These islands were discovered by the celebrated Captain Smith in
1614, and called at first Smith’s Isles. The New Hampshire portion
now constitutes the town of Gosport.

In all of them are chasms in the rocks apparently caused by
earthquakes. There is a remarkable chasm on Star Island, where one of
the female inhabitants secreted herself when the islands were invaded,
and the people carried into captivity by the Indians. The largest is
named Hog Island, and contains three hundred and fifty acres; Star
Island has one hundred and fifty, Hayley’s one hundred; they are in
all seven. The inhabitants are about one hundred; they live solely by
fishing, and in connection with those of the shore in their immediate
neighborhood, who follow the same mode of life, are the most rude and
uncivilized beings in New England, except the Indians. They supply the
markets of Newburyport with fish, and have long been known there by the
name of _Algerines_. Efforts have recently been made to improve their
social condition.

In the northern part of Massachusetts, at the mouth of the Merrimack,
lies _Plum Island_, nine miles long and one wide. On the side towards
the ocean it consists of sand hills twenty or thirty feet high, thrown
into a thousand fantastic shapes like snow drifts in a storm. These
hills are covered with low bushes bearing the beach plum, a fruit about
the size of a musket ball, and of a pleasant taste; wild cherries and
grapes also grow in different parts. In autumn it is much frequented
by parties of pleasure from the neighborhood. At the northern extremity
are two lighthouses and a hotel.

_Nantucket_, twenty miles south of the main land at Cape Cod, is an
island of triangular form, about fifteen miles long and eleven broad
in the widest part, containing twenty-nine thousand three hundred and
eighty acres. It is removed at least twenty miles from the nearest
land, and, during some parts of the winter, the water is frozen around
it as far as the eye can reach, for a number of weeks. The climate is
comparatively of an equal temperature. Springs of water on the island
below a certain level have a peculiar taste, and are disagreeable
to those unused to them. The frequency of dense and heavy fogs has
frustrated the attempts made here, to manufacture salt by evaporation
from sea-water.

The inhabitants of this island are a robust and enterprising race,
chiefly seamen and mechanics; and those employed in the whale fishery
are said to be superior to all others; the island, being sandy and
barren, is calculated only for such people as are willing to depend
almost entirely on the ocean for subsistence.[24] The people are mostly
of the society of Friends, and are warmly attached to their island; few
wishing to remove to a more desirable situation.

There is a sand-bar at the entrance of the harbor of Nantucket,
which effectually excludes large vessels, deeply laden. Some attempts
have been recently made to remove this bank, and an appropriation of
twenty-eight thousand dollars was made by government for this purpose;
but the sand removed in summer was more than supplied in winter, and
the project was abandoned. Ships now unlade at Edgartown, Martha’s
Vineyard, and their cargoes are taken in small vessels to the island.
Some months in the year, they can unload at the bar. South-east of the
island, and out of sight of land, lie Nantucket Shoals, a dangerous
reef of sand, fifty miles in extent.

_Martha’s Vineyard_, west of Nantucket, and lying nearer the
continent, is twenty miles long, and ten broad. This island has a
good soil, and in the western part is somewhat elevated; it has many
productive farms, and contains the town of Edgartown, which has a good
harbor. Holmes’s Hole is a safe and commodious harbor in the north
part of the island, much frequented during the winter by inward bound
vessels. The _Elizabeth Islands_ are a chain of sixteen small islands
lying north-west of Martha’s Vineyard, and forming the south-east
side of Buzzard’s Bay; a part of them only are inhabited. They were
discovered by Bartholomew Gosnold, in 1602. A multitude of islands
lie in Boston Bay, many of them very beautiful, but none of sufficient
importance to merit particular description.

_Rhode Island_, in Narraganset Bay, is fifteen miles long from
north-east to south-west, and averages two and a half in width. In its
most flourishing state it was called by travellers the Eden of America.
It has a good soil well cultivated, and an agreeably varied surface,
but it is destitute of trees, the whole island having been laid waste
by the British in the revolutionary war. A mine of anthracite coal has
been wrought to some extent in the north part of the island, but is not
now much esteemed. The town of Newport, in the south-west part, is a
fashionable summer resort.

_Conanicut_ is an island lying on the west side of Rhode Island;
it is eight miles long and about one in breadth. This is also a
beautiful island, and has a fertile soil. At the southern extremity
is a lighthouse. In the same part may be seen the ruins of an ancient
circular fortification, which once defended the passage of the bay.

_Prudence Island_, farther up Narraganset Bay, is six miles in length.
_Block Island_ lies ten miles out at sea, and is eight miles long and
from two to four broad; it has an uneven surface, but produces maize
and other grain. A lighthouse stands upon it. Among the other islands
in Narraganset Bay are Patience, Hope, Dyers’ and Hog Island.

_Long Island_ extends along the coast of Connecticut, but belongs
wholly to New-York. It is one hundred and forty miles long from east
to west, and its average breadth is about ten miles. It is of alluvial
formation, but there is a rocky ridge or spine, extending lengthwise
through it, which presents summits of considerable elevation. On the
south side of the island is Hempstead Plain, an extensive tract of
wild savanna, fifteen miles in length and four in breadth. In favorable
years, the best parts of the island have yielded thirty or forty
bushels of wheat to the acre. In the western parts are many fine
orchards. Deer are found in great numbers in the centre of the island;
the shores abound with the finest oysters.

_Shelter Island_ lies off the east end of Long Island. It contains
about eight thousand acres of varied surface, with a soil generally
light and sandy, but in some parts rich, level, and well cultivated.
_Fisher’s Island_ lies near the east extremity of Long Island; it is
twelve miles long and one wide; the surface is broken, but it affords
a good farm, and its dairies are very fine. _Gardiner’s Island_ is on
the north side of Long Island, and contains about three thousand acres
of valuable land.

_Staten Island_ lies at the mouth of New-York harbor; it is about
eighteen miles long, and eight wide. The surface is generally rough
and hilly, but on the south is a level tract of good land. This island
forms the county of Richmond.[25]

_Manhattan Island_, the seat of the city of New York, is fifteen
miles long, and one and a half in its average breadth. It is washed
on the western side by the Hudson, and separated from the continent
and Long Island on the east by narrow channels. It is generally level
in the lower part, and the soil here rests upon a granite rock. At
the northern extremity, the granite is succeeded by limestone, which
affords excellent marble, and extends for some distance into the
country. In the northern part, the shores are rocky, and the face
of the island strongly marked by abrupt crags and ravines, hills and
valleys, insulated rocks and marshy inlets. The gneiss rock, which is
much used for side-walk pavements and the foundations of buildings, is
found in abundance here. Small quantities of porcelain clay have also
been found upon the island.

The Bay of Chesapeak contains many islands within the limits of
Maryland. _Kent Island_, on the east side of the bay, opposite
Annapolis, is twelve miles long. The _Tangier Islands_ lie farther
down the bay. On the seacoast is the island of _Assatiegue_, twenty
miles long and two broad.

The coast of North Carolina is skirted by a range of low, sandy
islands, thrown up by the sea. They are long and narrow, and inclose
several bays or sounds. They are generally barren. The southern part
of South Carolina exhibits a similar range, separated from the main
land by narrow channels, which afford a steam-boat navigation. These
islands, like the neighboring continent, are low and flat, but are
covered with forests of live oak, pine, and palmetto. Before the
cultivation of cotton, many of them were the haunts of alligators, and
their thick woods and rank weeds rendered them impenetrable to man.
At present, they are under cultivation and well inhabited; and as the
voyager glides along their shores in a steam-boat, he is enchanted with
the prospect of their lively verdure, interspersed with thick clumps of
palmettoes, live oak, and laurel, and flowering groves of orange trees.
The long sandy beaches which border these islands towards the sea, are
covered with thousands of water-fowl. Georgia is also bordered with a
range of small islands and marshy tracts, intersected by channels and
rivulets which are navigable for small vessels. These islands consist
of a rich gray soil called _hammoc land_. In their natural state,
they are covered with forests of live oak, pine, and hickory, but
under cultivation they produce the best cotton in the world, called
_Sea-Island_ cotton. There are many small islands scattered along the
coast of Florida; and off the southern extremity, at some distance from
the land, lies a cluster, on one of which, Key West, the United States
have established a naval station.

The _Chandeleur Islands_ lie on the eastern coast of Louisiana; they
are little more than heaps of sand, covered with pine forests. West of
the Mississippi are many others scattered along the coast. Here is the
island of _Barataria_, formerly noted as a nest of pirates. It lies in
a bay which receives the waters of a lake of the same name. The soil of
these islands is generally rich; most of them are low and level. There
are some very fertile islands in the _Mississippi_,[26] and in the
Great Lakes.

The Island of _Michilimackinac_, in the strait connecting Lake Huron
and Lake Michigan, is important in a political point of view, being the
Gibraltar of the north-west. It is of an elliptical form, about seven
miles in circumference, rising gradually to the centre; its figure
suggested to the mind of the Indians its appropriate name, _Michi
Mackina_,[27] (Great Turtle.) The greater part of the island is almost
an impenetrable thicket of underwood and small trees, which contribute
materially to the defence of the garrison. Fort Holmes stands on a
summit of the island, several hundred feet above the level of Lake
Huron, and is now one of the most formidable positions in the western
country. The French were the first settlers, and their descendants, to
a considerable number, reside near the Fort.

_Maniton Island_ is situated near the eastern coast of Lake Michigan;
it is six miles long and four wide, and is held sacred by the Indians.
The _Castor Islands_ are a chain of islets, extending from Grand
Traverse Bay nearly across the lake; they are low and sandy, but afford
a shelter for light boats in their passage to Green Bay. _Grosse Isle_
is a valuable alluvion of several thousand acres, being five miles
long, and from one to two wide.


                      GENERAL REMARKS ON ISLANDS.

  It has been well observed, that a large island is a continent in
  miniature, with its chains of mountains, its lakes, rivers, and
  not unfrequently its surrounding islets. The smaller islands are
  found single, or in groups. Among the low or flat islands, there
  are some which are only banks of sand, scarcely raised above the
  surface of the water; sometimes they consist of masses of shells
  or petrifactions, as the Isles of Lachof to the north of Siberia,
  which are nothing but masses of ice, sand, and the bones of the
  mammoth. The Pacific contains a great many islands formed of
  coral reefs, which are sometimes covered with sand, and afford
  nourishment to a few plants.

  Among the more elevated islands we find very many which owe their
  foundation, in a great measure, to volcanic agencies. Submarine
  islands, as they have been sometimes called, or immense sand-banks,
  covered with shoal water, are not unfrequent. Chains of islands
  in the neighborhood of continents seem to be often formed by the
  action of the waters washing away the less solid parts, which
  once occupied the spaces between the mountains and rocks. In this
  manner were probably formed the islands along the coast of the
  United States, which still appear above the surface of the waves.

  One of the chief advantages that islands derive from their
  situation is, that the climate is generally rendered mild and
  salubrious, from the vapors of the surrounding sea, which
  generally moderate the violence of heat and cold, both of which
  are sensibly less than on the continent in the same latitude.
  Another advantage is found in their accessibility on every side,
  by which islands are open to receive and export commodities, and
  at times when the ports of the continent are closed. An island
  has on all sides the most extensive and effectual frontier,
  subsisting forever without repairs and without expense; and, which
  is still more, derives from this very frontier, a great part of
  the subsistence of its inhabitants, and a valuable article in its
  commerce, from fisheries.

  The island of Acroteri, famous in ancient history, is represented
  to have risen from the sea, in a violent earthquake; its surface
  is composed of pumice-stone incrusted with a covering of fertile
  earth. Four neighboring islands have been attributed to a similar
  cause, and yet the sea about them cannot be fathomed by any
  sounding line. These have risen at different periods, the last in
  1573, the first long before the birth of Christ. Similar eruptions
  of islands have occurred in the group of the Azores. Thus in
  December, 1720, a violent shock of an earthquake was felt at
  Tercera. During the night, the top of a new island appeared, which
  ejected a huge column of smoke. The pilot of a ship who attempted
  to approach it sounded on one side of the new formed island,
  but could not reach bottom with a line of sixty fathoms. On the
  opposite side, the sea was deeply tinged with various colors,
  white, blue and green, and was very shallow. This island gradually
  diminished in size, and finally altogether disappeared.

  History abounds with accounts of floating islands, but they are
  either false or much exaggerated. These islands are generally
  found in lakes, and are composed of the light matter floating
  on the surface of the water in cakes, forming, with the roots of
  plants, collections of different sizes, which, not being fixed
  in any part to the shore, are driven about by the winds. In the
  course of time, some of them arrive at considerable size. The
  floating islands, however, mentioned by the old writers, have now
  disappeared or become fixed.



                   CHAPTER X.――CAPES AND PENINSULAS.


_Cape Ann_, the northern limit of Massachusetts Bay, is a rocky
promontory, fifteen miles in length, containing several good harbors.
The peninsula of _Cape Cod_, in the south-east part of Massachusetts,
is about sixty-five miles long, and from one to twenty miles broad;
its shape is nearly that of a man’s arm bent inward at the elbow and
wrist. The greater part of the peninsula is a barren desert; in the
south-western portion the land, though sterile, is under some little
cultivation; but the northern part consists almost wholly of hills of
white sand. The houses are built upon stakes driven into the ground,
with open spaces between for the sand to drift through. The cape
is well inhabited, notwithstanding its sterility, and supports a
population of twenty-eight thousand, who derive their subsistence
chiefly from the fisheries. The coast is beset with numerous shoals,
and has long been the dread of mariners. At the first settlement of the
country, there was an island east of the cape, about nine miles out at
sea, which was twenty acres in extent, and covered with savin and cedar
trees; for a century this island has been entirely submerged, and the
water is above six fathoms deep.

The peninsula of _Nahant_, a few miles north of the harbor of Boston,
is connected with the main land by Lynn beach, a smooth and level floor
of sand two miles in length. It is divided into Great Nahant, Little
Nahant, and Bass Neck: the two former being connected by a delightful
beach ninety rods long. These beaches are hard and smooth, and of
sufficient width at low water to accommodate thousands with a pleasant
walk or ride. Great Nahant contains three hundred and five acres
of land. The shores of this peninsula are bold and rocky. On its
southern side is a large and curious cavern called the Swallows’ House,
inhabited by a great number of swallows, which here make their nests.
On the northern shore is a chasm thirty feet deep, called the Spouting
Horn, into which, at about half-tide, the water rushes with great
violence and a tremendous sound.

Nahant presents some of the most striking sea views in the world. After
an easterly storm, the violent dashing of the huge waves against the
rocks presents a spectacle possessing all the elements of the sublime.
During the heat of summer, Nahant is a favorite place of resort for
invalids, and people of fashion, on account of its cool and refreshing
breezes.

_Cape May_, on the coast of New Jersey, and the northern point of
the mouth of Delaware Bay, is the termination of a range of low,
sandy, barren coast, commencing at Shrewsbury. It is eighteen miles
north-east of _Cape Henlopen_, a point on the southern coast of the
entrance to the same bay. On this cape is a lighthouse of an octagon
form, handsomely built of stone, one hundred and fifteen feet high, and
on a foundation nearly as much above the level of the sea. _Cape Henry_
is the southern salient point at the mouth of Chesapeak Bay; and its
northern salient point, twelve miles distant to the north, is the
promontory of _Cape Charles_.

_Cape Hatteras_, the most remarkable and dangerous cape on the coast
of North American, is situated in latitude thirty-five degrees and
twelve minutes, and has occasioned the destruction of many a fine
vessel, and the loss of hundreds of valuable lives. The water is very
shoal at a great distance from the cape, which is remarkable for sudden
and violent squalls of wind, and for the most severe storms of thunder,
lightning, and rain, which happen almost every day for one half the
year. The shoals lie about fourteen miles south-west of the cape, and
are nearly five or six acres in extent, with about ten feet water. Here,
at times, the ocean breaks in a tremendous manner, spouting as it were
to the clouds, from the violent agitation of the Gulf Stream, which
touches the edge of the banks.

_Cape Fear_ and _Cape Lookout_ are dangerous capes on the coast of
North Carolina. The former is the southern extremity of Smith’s Island,
at the mouth of the river of the same name. About sixty years ago,
Cape Lookout afforded an excellent harbor, capacious enough for a large
fleet in good deep water; but the basin is now filled up. _Roman_ is
the name of a cape on the coast of South Carolina, and of one on the
western coast of East Florida. _Cape Cannaveral_ is on the Atlantic
coast of Florida, being the projecting point of a long, narrow and
low sandy island between Indian river and the ocean. _Cape Florida_
is a promontory of the south-eastern coast of Florida, projecting to
the south, and inclosing on the north-east the Bay of Biscino. _Cape
Sable_ is the extreme point of Florida. Every part of the coast of the
Southern States is low and flat, without a single lofty headland to
warn the navigator of his approach to the land. The peninsula of East
Florida may be considered an immense cape, and much the largest in
the United States. The Mississippi has formed at its mouth, by the mud
brought down in its waters, a cape forty miles in extent, the extreme
point of which is called the _Balize_, through the whole length of
which the river passes into the Gulf of Mexico.


               GENERAL REMARKS ON CAPES AND PENINSULAS.

  Parts of continents which shoot into the sea, and are connected
  with the main land by only a small portion of their circumference,
  are named peninsulas, and their figures often correspond with
  those of gulfs and inland seas. When such masses of land are
  attached to the continent by a greater extent of line than
  one fourth of their circumference, they are not considered as
  peninsulas. If the projection of land reach but a short distance,
  they are called capes, promontories, or simply points. The most
  remarkable capes in the world are, Cape Horn, St. Roque, Blanco,
  Cod, Verd, Good Hope, Gardafui, North, Comorin, and Taymour.



            CHAPTER XI.――BAYS, HARBORS, SOUNDS, AND GULFS.


                         I. BAYS AND HARBORS.

THE seacoast of Maine is indented with numerous bays. Of these the
largest is _Penobscot Bay_, which forms the estuary of the river of
that name, is about thirty miles in length, and eighteen in width at
its entrance between the isle of Holt and Owl’s Head. It incloses Fox,
Haut, Long, and Deer islands, besides a number of small islands and
rocks. On a fine peninsula in this bay the British, in the late war,
built a fort, and made a settlement, which is now the shire town of the
county of Hancock, and is a very commodious place for the lumber trade.
_Broad Bay_ is situated about twelve miles westwardly, and is bounded
by Pleasant-point on the east, and Pemaquid-point on the west, the
latter of which projects considerably into the sea. _Casco Bay_ lies
between Cape Elizabeth and Cape Smallpoint, and averages twenty-five
miles in width by fourteen in length; it forms the entrance into
Sagadahok river, and has sufficient depth of water for vessels of any
burden. This is a very handsome bay, and contains not less than three
hundred small islands, some of which are inhabited, and nearly all
more or less cultivated; the land on these islands, and on the opposite
coast, being the best for agriculture of any near the seashore of this
part of the country. _Wells Bay_ lies between Cape Porpoise and Neddick,
which are twenty-one miles apart. _Passamaquoddy Bay_, forming a part
of the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick, is six miles long and
twelve wide; it contains many islands, and receives the St. Croix river.
Small harbors are numerous, and the shores are rocky and bold. Besides
the bays here described, are the _Saco_ and _Machias_ bays.

_Massachusetts Bay_ is about forty miles in extent, lying between
Cape Ann on the north and Cape Cod on the south. Within this lies
_Boston Bay_, comprising the space between Nahant on the north and
Point Alderton on the south, and including the harbors of Boston,
Lynn, Dorchester, Quincy, and Hingham, with Nantucket and President
Roads, and the numerous islands within the Boston lighthouse. The most
noted of these are Governor’s Island, and Castle Island, on both of
which fortifications are erected; they lie about two and a half miles
easterly from Boston, at the distance of about a mile from each other,
dividing the inner from the outer harbor. The only channel for large
ships passes between them. This harbor is of sufficient extent, and its
water is sufficiently deep to admit five hundred ships of the largest
class to ride at anchor in safety; while its entrance is so narrow as
scarcely to admit two ships abreast.

In the south of Massachusetts Bay is _Cape Cod Bay_, fifteen or twenty
miles in extent, lying between Cape Cod and Plymouth; within this are
Barnstable and Plymouth Bays. In the south of the state is _Buzzard’s
Bay_, on the south-west side of Cape Cod, twenty miles deep, and
inclosing the harbor of New Bedford. ‘Buzzard’s Bay,’ says a recent and
entertaining tourist, ‘has much that is interesting on its extensive
shores. A beautiful little spot called _Naushaw_, will not fail to
attract the attention of the voyager on his way to Nantucket. Parts
of it are thickly covered with woods. From its centre, on an eminence,
rises a picturesque spot, which was built by an English gentleman of
wealth, for his summer residence. Some time previous to his death,
he became impressed with the belief that, at the expiration of twenty
years after his decease, he should return and resume the occupations
of life. He accordingly gave orders that the house with its furniture,
should remain unmolested until the expiration of that time, when he
should again return to occupy it. Every thing remained as he would
have it for some time after his death. But eventually the house and
furniture were sold, and passed into other hands. Thirty or forty
summers have reinvigorated the turf of his grave, but he has not yet
returned, to claim his property, or to reinhabit the decaying mansion.’
The boat passes from the bay into the sound, through a narrow passage
called Wood’s Hole, a place very intricate and difficult of navigation.
Breakers run out from the shore in all directions; so that a straight
course through, would be impossible. The boat in passing through this
miniature Hurl Gate, makes a course in the form of the letter _s_.

_Narraganset Bay_ intersects the state of Rhode Island, and is about
twenty-eight miles long and ten miles broad. It contains fifteen
islands; it has many excellent harbors, and affords great advantages
for navigation. Newport harbor, in the channel between Conanicut and
Rhode Island, is one of the finest in the world, being safe, deep,
capacious, and easily accessible. Its entrance is defended by Fort
Wolcott on Goat’s Island, and Fort Adams on Rhode Island; the latter
is a large stone castle of great strength. The banks of this bay are
covered with fine settlements, the view of which from the water is
highly pleasing and picturesque.

The seacoast of New York is nearly all comprised within the shores
of Long Island, which contain a few harbors and inlets, but none that
are much frequented by shipping. The bay or harbor of New York is very
safe and capacious; its boundaries towards the sea are Long Island and
Staten Island; it extends nine miles below the city, and is from a mile
and a half to five miles broad; inclosing several small islands, on
which are fortifications. The Hudson enters this bay from the north.
The East river, or channel between New York Island and Long Island,
communicates with Long Island Sound on the east. The Kills, a strait
between Staten Island and the Jersey shore, communicates with Newark
Bay and the river Raritan on the west; and the Narrows open into the
Atlantic towards the south. At low water, the entrance by the Narrows
is somewhat difficult for large ships, and the entrance from the Sound
is obstructed by the rocky strait of Hell Gate. There are several
harbors on Lake Ontario, the most noted of which is Sacket’s Harbor,
toward the east end of the lake; it is deep and safe, and was an
important naval station during the war of 1812.

New Jersey has a long line of seacoast, but it is quite deficient in
good harbors. _Newark Bay_ is rather a small lake, communicating by
long outlets with the sea. The Bay of _Amboy_, between Staten Island
and Sandy Hook, affords little shelter for vessels. There is a long
bay, formed by a beach four or five miles from the shore, extending
along the coast from Manasquan river, in Monmouth county, almost to
Cape May. Through this beach are a number of inlets, by which the bay
communicates with the ocean. _Delaware Bay_ lies between the states
of Delaware and New Jersey, formed by the mouth of Delaware river and
several other smaller ones. It is sixty-five miles long, and in the
centre about thirty miles across, and about eighteen at its mouth, from
Cape May to Cape Henlopen. This bay has many shoal places, but is in
general deep and favorable to navigation. A breakwater and dike are now
constructing by the United States’ government at the entrance of the
bay. The anchorage ground is formed by a cove in the southern shore,
directly west of the pitch of Cape Henlopen and the seaward, and of
an extensive shoal called the _Shears_: the tail of which makes out
from the shore about five miles up the bay, near the mouth of Broadkill
Creek, from whence it extends eastward, and terminates at a point about
two miles to the northward of the shore at the cape. The breakwater
consists of an insulated dike or wall of stone, formed in a straight
line from east south-east to west north-west, and twelve hundred yards
in length. At the distance of three hundred and fifty yards from the
western end of the breakwater, a similar dike of five hundred yards in
length is projected in a direct line, west by south, one half south,
forming an angle of one hundred and forty-six degrees fifteen minutes
with the breakwater. This part of the works is more particularly
designed as an ice-breaker. The whole length of the two dikes above
described, is seventeen hundred yards. The entrance to the harbor is
six hundred and fifty yards in width, between the north point of the
cape and the east end of the breakwater. At this opening, the harbor
will be accessible during all winds coming from the sea.[28]

The _Chesapeak Bay_ is a deep gulf opening from the Atlantic ocean,
between capes Henry and Charles, and lying in the states of Maryland
and Virginia. It is one hundred and eighty-five miles in length,
extending northwardly, and its entrance is sixteen miles wide. Its
general breadth varies from seven to twenty miles, and its average
depth is nine fathoms; it affords a safe and easy navigation, and many
fine harbors. Among these may be mentioned that of Norfolk, in the
southern part of the bay near the mouth of the James. The embouchure
of this river forms a spacious haven, called Hampton Roads.

The channel which leads in from the capes of Virginia to _Hampton
Roads_, is, at Old Point Comfort, reduced to a very narrow line. The
shoal water, which, under the action of the sea, and re-acted upon by
the bar, is kept in an unremitting ripple, has given the name of Rip
Raps to this place. When the bar is passed, Hampton Roads afford the
finest anchorage in the world, and in them all its navies might ride
with perfect safety. With a view of making this a secure retreat for
ships of war and for our commerce, in any future contest with a naval
power, Fort Monroe was built on the point, on the right side of the
channel at the entrance of the Roads; and the Castle of the Rip Raps
is directly opposite the point, at the distance of about one thousand
nine hundred yards. The two forts will completely command the channel,
and it will be impossible for a single ship of war to pass without the
permission of the power holding the fortresses. They are so constructed,
as to present immense batteries of cannon upon an approaching ship,
from the moment she comes in reach, from the capes, and throughout all
the bendings of the channel.[29]

_Chesapeak Bay_, and its tributary streams, have been known from their
discovery as the great place of resort for water-fowl in the United
States. This is attributed to the great abundance of their favorite
food, which is found on the immense flats or shoals near the mouth of
the Susquehanna, the whole length of North, East, and Elk rivers, and
on the shores of the Bay as far south as York and James rivers.

The harbors of North and South Carolina are generally bad. That of
Charleston is obstructed at its entrance by a dangerous sand-bar;
that of Georgetown will admit only small craft. The harbor of Beaufort
or Port Royal is the best in the state, but is little frequented.
The largest bays of Florida are those of Apalachicola, St. Andrew’s,
Ochlockney, and Pensacola. Alabama has but about sixty miles of
seacoast, containing the spacious Bay of Mobile, which extends thirty
miles inland. It has two principal entrances, one of which has eighteen
feet depth of water. To the west it communicates by a shallow passage
with the Bay of Pascagoula, which lies within a number of islands, on
the coast of this state and Mississippi.


                              II. SOUNDS.

_Long Island Sound_ is an extensive gulf or channel, from three to
twenty-five miles broad, and about one hundred and forty in length,
extending the whole length of Long Island, and dividing it from
Connecticut. It is narrow at the eastern entrance, and expands in the
middle; it communicates with the ocean at both ends. Towards the west
it contracts gradually, till it joins the harbor of New York by a
narrow and crooked strait. It admits of a free navigation throughout
its whole extent for the largest ships, except at the celebrated
passage called _Hell Gate_,[30] situated near the west end of this
sound, about eight miles from the city of New York. It is a very
singular strait, about three or four hundred yards in breadth, having
a ledge of sunken rocks across it in an angular direction, which
occasions many whirlpools and cross currents in the water. These, at
certain periods of the tide, make a tremendous noise, and render a
passage impracticable; but at other times the water is smooth, and the
navigation easy.

_Pamlico Sound_ is a kind of a lake or inland sea, from ten to thirty
miles broad, and seventy miles in length. It is separated from the
Atlantic ocean, in its whole length, by a beach of sand hardly a mile
wide, generally covered with trees or bushes. Through this bank are
several small inlets, by which boats may pass; but Ocrecock Inlet is
the only one that will admit vessels of burden. This inlet communicates
with _Albemarle Sound_, which is also a kind of inland sea, sixty miles
in length, and from four to fifteen in breadth, lying north of Pamlico
Sound. _Core Sound_ lies south of Pamlico, and has a communication with
it. These sounds are so large, when compared with their inlets from the
sea, that no tide can be perceived in any of the rivers which empty
into them, nor is the water salt, even in the mouths of these rivers.


                              III. GULFS.

_Gulf of Mexico._――The Gulf of Mexico washes the shores of Florida,
Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, on the side of the United States.
It extends between the eighteenth and thirtieth parallels of north
latitude, and is nearly of a circular form, but somewhat elongated from
east to west. In the latter direction it is one thousand one hundred
and fifty miles long; in the transverse direction it is about nine
hundred and thirty. It opens in a south-east direction, between the
peninsula of Yucatan and Florida, or the capes Catoche and Sable, which
are about four hundred and sixty-five miles distant from each other.
The Island of Cuba divides this opening into two channels: the one to
the south-west, communicating with the Sea of the Antilles, and the
other to the north-east with the Atlantic, by means of the Straits of
Bahama or Florida. South from the mouth of the Rio del Norte, round
about the mouth of the Rio Alvarado, an extent of six hundred miles,
this gulf does not present a single good port, as Vera Cruz is merely
a bad anchorage amidst shallows. The Mexican coast may be considered
a sort of dike, against which the waves, continually agitated by the
trade-winds blowing from east to west, throw up the sands carried by
the violent motion. The rivers descending from the Sierra Madre, have
also contributed to increase these sands, and the land is gaining on
the sea. No vessels, says Humboldt, drawing more than twelve and a half
inches water, can pass over these sand-bars without danger of grounding.

The Mississippi is the principal tributary of the Gulf of Mexico, and
carries down with it, besides its vast body of waters, a prodigious
quantity of organic and unorganic debris. The town of New Orleans, near
the mouth of this river, is the principal commercial station along the
whole gulf. In the middle of the gulf the winds blow regularly from the
north-east; but they vary considerably on approaching the shore. From
the Mississippi, along the Florida coast, the south-west wind blows
violently in the months of August, September, and October; the north
wind prevails during the other nine months. Between the Mississippi
and San Bernardo, the wind generally blows in the morning from the
south-east or east-south-east, and in the evening from the south-west.
Between Catoche and Campeachy the reigning wind, during a great part
of the year, blows from the north-east; but from the end of April to
September, it comes from the opposite direction. The most remarkable
current in the gulf, is that called the _Gulf Stream_, described in the
following chapter.


                       GENERAL REMARKS ON BAYS.

  Many portions of the land and sea extend reciprocally the one
  into the other. If the sea penetrate into the interior of any
  continent, it forms there a _mediterranean_, or inland sea, almost
  surrounded by land, and having only a narrow opening into the
  sea. If the extent of such seas be less, and the opening larger,
  they are called _gulfs_ or _bays_, two terms which geographical
  writers have wished to distinguish, but which customary language
  more frequently confounds. The still smaller portions of sea,
  surrounded as it were by land, and which afford a shelter for
  ships, are called ports, creeks, or roads. The first term means
  a secure asylum; the second is applied to places or ports of much
  smaller size, and which, when improved or completed by artificial
  aid, are styled harbors, and roads afford only a temporary
  anchorage and security from certain winds. The principal bays in
  the world are Baffin’s, Hudson’s, James’s, Fundy, Massachusetts,
  Narraganset, Delaware, Chesapeak, Campeachy, Honduras, Bristol,
  All Saints, Cardigan, Donegal, Galway, Biscay, Bengal, Walwich,
  Table, False, Angola, Natal, Saldanha, and Botany. The principal
  gulfs are St. Lawrence, Mexico, Amatique, California, Panama,
  Guayaquil, St. George, Bothnia, Finland, Riga, Genoa, Naples,
  Taranto, Venice, Salonica, Persian, Ormus, Siam, Tonquin, Corea,
  Obi, and Guinea. The principal sounds are Long Island, Albemarle,
  Pamlico, Prince William’s, Queen Charlotte’s and Nootka.



                         CHAPTER XII.――OCEANS.


THE United States are washed by the _Atlantic Ocean_ on nearly the
whole of their eastern coast, and by the _Pacific_ on a large portion
of their western boundary.

Under the name of the _Atlantic_, is comprised that mass of water
between the eastern coast of America and the western coast of Europe
and Africa. In its narrowest part, between Europe and Greenland, it is
one thousand miles wide, and opening thence to the south-west with the
general range of the bounding continents, spreads under the northern
tropic to a breadth of sixty degrees of longitude, or four thousand
one hundred and seventy miles, without estimating the Gulf of Mexico.
The general phenomena on the two opposing sides of the Atlantic have
great resemblance. The Atlantic coast of the United States presents
an elliptic curve in its entire extent, with three intermediate and
similar curves; the first extending seven hundred miles from Cape
Florida to Cape Hatteras, the second from Cape Hatteras five hundred
miles to the outer capes of Massachusetts, and the third formed by
the coasts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Opposite to the
United States, the Atlantic admits soundings in every place near the
shores, always deepening very gradually. We have not found an exact
comparison of the natural history of the Atlantic with that of other
oceans. The chief phenomenon that marks it along the coast of the
states is the Gulf Stream.

Besides the regular periodical currents produced in the ocean by the
tides, various others arise from different causes.[31] The waters of
the sea may be put in motion by an external impulse, by a difference
in temperature and saltness, by the periodical meeting of the polar
ice, or by the inequality of evaporation that takes place in different
latitudes. Sometimes several of these causes concur in producing the
same effect; at others, their actions are opposed to one another, and
their effects wholly or partially destroyed. Some of those currents
constantly follow the same direction, others are subject to periodical
changes, whilst a third class are more accidental. The most regular and
extensive current on the globe is that which constantly flows from east
to west, between the tropics, and extends on each side of the equator
to about the thirtieth degree of latitude.

This vast current necessarily results from the attraction of the
heavenly bodies, the diurnal motion of the earth, and the direction
of the trade winds. Its existence is incontestibly proved by the
fact, that vessels sailing to the westward, are always ahead of their
reckoning; that is, their real situation, as determined by observations
of the heavenly bodies, is always found to be west of that estimated
from the rate of which the vessel is supposed to sail, as impelled
by the wind alone. This difference of situation is occasioned by
the general movement of the waters in the same direction, and is,
consequently, the proper measure of the current. This is the reason
why navigators, in sailing from Europe to America and the West India
Islands, make the latitude of the Canaries, and then shape their course
in the direction of the wind and current across the Atlantic.

A general current also flows from the poles towards the equator. This
arises from the increased evaporation in the equatorial regions, and
the augmented temperature of the waters, which render them specifically
lighter than those of the ocean in higher latitudes, as well as from
the increased supplies produced by the melting of the polar ice; all
of which render these currents necessary to maintain the equilibrium
of this perpetually circulating fluid. Their existence and effects are
fully attested by the enormous masses of polar ice, which they convey
into the more temperate regions of the ocean, and which sometimes float
as low as forty degrees of latitude.

These general currents are greatly modified, and changed into
various directions by the obstacles they encounter in their progress.
The coast of America, and the numerous islands with which it is
flanked, intercept the general current of the Atlantic, and create
what navigators call the _Gulf Stream_. This great current enters the
Gulf of Mexico, and, sweeping round the shores of that gulf, issues
with accelerated velocity towards the north, by the channel between
the southern point of Florida and the Bahama Islands.[32] It then
rolls along the shore of North America, diminishing in velocity, but
increasing in breadth, till it reaches the great bank of Newfoundland.
There it suddenly turns towards the east and south-east, and flows with
still decreasing velocity, towards the shores of Europe, the Azores,
and the coasts of Africa. Navigators readily distinguish this current
by the high temperature of its waters, their great saltness, their
indigo color, and the shoals of sea-weed[33] that cover their surface.

Humboldt, in May, 1804, observed its velocity in the twenty-seventh
degree of latitude, and found it about eighty miles in twenty-four
hours, though the north wind blew very strongly at the time of the
observation. When it issues from the Gulf of Florida, its velocity
resembles that of a torrent, and is sometimes five miles an hour, but
at others not more than three. Between the nearest point of Florida,
and the bank of Bahama, the breadth is only fifteen leagues, but a few
degrees further north, it is seventeen; in the parallel of Charleston
it is from forty to fifty leagues in breadth, and in latitude forty
degrees and twenty-five minutes, this is increased to nearly eighty
leagues. The waters of the torrid zone, being thus forcibly impelled
towards the north-east, preserve their high temperature to such a
degree, that, in latitude forty and forty-one degrees, it has been
found to be seventy-two degrees of Fahrenheit, while out of the current
the temperature of the water was only sixty-three degrees.

In the parallel of New York the temperature of the Gulf Stream is
equal to that of the sea in latitude eighteen degrees. When the current
reaches the western islands of the Azores, where the breadth is about
one hundred and sixty leagues, the waters still preserve a part of
the impulsion they receive in the Gulf of Florida, nearly one thousand
leagues distant. Hence the current proceeds to the Canaries and the
coast of Africa, and in the latitude of Cape Blanco, where the waters
flow towards the south-west, they mingle with the current of the
tropics, and recommence their tour from east to west.

From this it appears that the waters of the Atlantic, between the
eleventh and forty-third degrees, are constantly drawn by currents
into a kind of whirlpool; and if a drop of these waters be supposed
to return precisely to the place from which it commenced its motion,
Humboldt has calculated, from the known velocity of the current, that
it would require two years and ten months to complete its circuit of
three thousand eight hundred leagues.

‘A boat,’ he observes, ‘which may be supposed to receive no impulsion
from the winds, would require thirteen months from the Canary Islands,
to reach the coast of Caraccas, ten months to make the tour of the Gulf
of Mexico and reach the Tortoise Shoals, opposite the port of Havana,
while forty or fifty days might be sufficient to carry it from the
straits of Florida to the bank of Newfoundland. Estimating the velocity
of the water at seven or eight miles in twenty-four hours, in their
progress from this bank to the coast of Africa, it would require ten or
eleven months for this last distance. Such are the effects of this slow
but regular motion, which agitates the waters of the ocean.’ The Gulf
Stream furnished to Christopher Columbus indications of the existence
of land to the west. This current had carried upon the Azores the
bodies of two men of an unknown race, and pieces of bamboo of an
enormous size. In latitude forty-five or fifty degrees, near Bonnet
Flamand, an arm of the Gulf Stream flows from the south-west to the
north-east, towards the coast of Europe. It deposits upon the coasts
of Ireland and Norway, trees and fruits belonging to the torrid zone.
Remains of a vessel burnt at Jamaica were found upon the coast of
Scotland. It is likewise this river of the Atlantic which annually
throws the fruits of the West Indies upon the shore of Norway.

The _Pacific_ is also one of the great boundaries of the United States.
By treaties with Spain and Russia our government possesses sovereignty
along the Pacific ocean from latitude forty-two degrees to fifty-four
degrees and forty minutes, which is equal to about eight hundred and
eighty statute miles. This great ocean extends from Beering’s Straits
to the antarctic circle, a distance of three thousand two hundred
leagues, and from Asia and New Holland to America. It is separated from
the Atlantic and Antarctic oceans only by imaginary lines. Its extreme
breadth, a little north of the equator, is four thousand five hundred
and fifty leagues; between South America and New Holland, latitude
thirty degrees south, it is two thousand nine hundred and seventy
leagues. It contains an immense number of islands spread over its
surface, particularly between latitude thirty degrees north and fifty
degrees south, to which modern geographers have given the general
appellation of _Oceanica_. It was first called the _South Sea_ by
the European navigators who entered it from the north. Magellan gave
it the name of Pacific, on account of the prevalence of calms which
he experienced in it; but it by no means deserves the name, as it is
remarkable for the fury of its storms, and the agitation of its waters.
The trade-winds, which constantly blow between the tropics, render
the passage from the western coast of America to Asia very short; but
the return is proportionately difficult. The Portuguese were the first
Europeans who entered the Pacific, which they did from the east. Balboa,
in 1513, discovered it from the summit of the mountains which traverse
the Isthmus of Darien. Magellan sailed across it from east to west in
1521.[34]

The Pacific, by its general motion, retreats from the coast of America,
and flows from east to west; and this motion is very powerful in the
vast and uninterrupted extent of that sea. Near Cape Corriantes, in
Peru, the sea appears to flow from the land by this single cause. Ships
are carried with rapidity from the port of Acapulco, in Mexico, to the
Philippine Islands. But in order to return, they are obliged to go to
the north of the tropics, to seek the polar current, and the variable
winds. On the other side, the south polar current, finding no land to
impede it, carries along with it the polar ice even to the latitude
where the motion of the tropical current begins to be felt. This is the
reason why, in the southern hemisphere, floating pieces of ice are met
with at fifty and even at forty degrees.

In its motion towards the west, the Pacific is impeded by an immense
archipelago of flats, islands, submarine mountains, and even land of
considerable extent; it penetrates into this labyrinth, and there forms
one current after another. The direction which the principal of these
currents observe, is conformable to the general motion towards the
west. But, as might be expected, the inequalities of the basin of the
sea, the coasts, and the chains of submarine mountains, sometimes turn
these currents toward the north or south. We may easily conceive that
a strong repercussion of the waters of the ocean, in consequence of
their meeting with a large mass of land, (as New South Wales,) may
even produce a counter current, which will return towards the east,
and which, by breaking, will also produce other currents, adverse and
dangerous to navigators, and such as were encountered by Cook and La
Perouse.

The Pacific Ocean is bounded on the east by Asia. Beering’s Straits
connects it with the Arctic Ocean, and the line which indicates the one
hundred and forty-seventh eastern meridian, arbitrarily separates it
from the Indian Ocean. Geographers divide the Pacific into the northern
and southern, the equator being the line of demarcation. This ocean
occupies fifty millions of square miles; nearly one fourth part of the
surface of the globe. It covers three times the extent of the Indian,
and twice the extent of the Atlantic Ocean.


                      GENERAL REMARKS ON OCEANS.

  The bed of the ocean is diversified by the same inequalities
  that are exhibited on the surface of the land. Its greatest depth
  that has been ascertained by experiment, is seven thousand two
  hundred feet. Its mean depth is a little over three thousand feet,
  about the same as the mean heights of the continents and islands
  above its surface. Parts of the sea differ in saltness, but
  the difference is slight. Though more bitter than that at a
  considerable depth, it has been ascertained that the water of
  the surface is less salt. Inland seas are less salt than the main
  ocean, on account of the large volumes of fresh water emptied
  into them. The coldness of the polar seas occasions a more rapid
  deposit of the saline substances, and renders them more salt than
  those of the equator. Various theories have been formed to account
  for the saltness of the sea; one attributes it to the existence
  of primitive beds of salt at its bottom, another to the corruption
  of vegetable and animal matter carried into it by rivers. A third
  theory considers the ocean as the residue of a primitive fluid,
  which, after depositing all the substances of which the earth is
  composed, retained the saline principle. Sea-water is freed from
  its salt only by distillation.

  In the open ocean, the prevailing color is a deep greenish
  blue; other shades observed in the different seas seem to be
  owing to local causes. In shoal places the water takes a lighter
  hue. The luminous appearance of the sea by night is a magnificent
  phenomenon, that has not yet been entirely explained. The great
  divisions of the sea are inhabited by their peculiar fish, and
  frequented by peculiar species of birds. The level of the sea is,
  generally speaking, every where the same; though exceptions to
  this rule are sometimes found in land-locked bays and gulfs, where
  the waters become accumulated and stand higher than in the open
  ocean.



                         CHAPTER XIII.――SOIL.


EVERY variety of soil is found within the territory of the United
States, and an accurate general estimate is not of course to be
formed. We will first describe that portion of the country known as
the Atlantic Slope. Next to the ocean are salt meadows or marshes, but
little elevated above the water, towards which, their surface has a
very slight inclination. They are covered with a peculiar reddish grass,
from six to twelve inches in height, growing very thick, and forming
with its roots a compact turf or sward, which is only cut with a sharp
instrument and by considerable force. These meadows are overflowed by
the salt water a few inches deep, several times every spring, and to
this their peculiar character is attributed; for when the water is kept
from them by dikes, the upland grasses take root, the turf loses its
tenacity and crumbles, and in a few years their appearance is entirely
changed. A slope of about six feet in two or three rods lies between
these meadows and low water mark; this is covered with a coarse tall
grass called sedge, which requires the returns of the daily tides to
bring it to maturity.

Adjoining the salt meadows, and on the same level, at the
farthest extent of the overflowing of the spring tides, fresh meadows
immediately commence, which generally extend to the upland; sometimes,
however, there is an interval of wet ground covered with bushes, or a
swamp between them and the upland. They are wet, and usually too soft
to bear a wagon. Similar meadows are sometimes found several miles from
any salt meadows or salt water, and generally at the heads of rivers,
where the face of the country is level. These meadows bear a general
resemblance, all being covered with wild grass, varying in height from
twelve to thirty-six inches, according to the quantity of water in
the soil; the more water there is, the more rank becomes the growth of
the grass, until flags and rushes take its place. The meadows are much
lower than the upland, and were evidently formed by the agency of water,
depositing an alluvion composed of the fine particles from the high
grounds, and decayed vegetable matter. When drained by means of ditches,
they become hard, will produce cultivated grass, and even trees, and
will in a few years lose all their former features, except their low
situation and level aspect.

The soil of this section is to a great extent sandy; very light
therefore, and sometimes barren, more especially near the coast, where
there are much marsh land, and extensive swamps. In many places these
swamps are covered with an impenetrable growth of timber, especially
of the cypress, and some species of the pine, which are favored by the
deep clayed soil, with its rich annual deposit; Louisiana, towards the
sea, exhibits a great breadth of this country through its whole extent.
Along the rivers a rich clay is found in considerable quantities;
many fertile spots are likewise interspersed among the sands, and the
land generally improves as it approaches the mountains. The best soil
is in the central portions of the slope. In the alluvial district
of Louisiana the soil is, for the most part, deep and rich; it is
also strong and vigorous on the Red river. Along the range of the
Apalachian Mountains a thin and poor soil prevails, mingled, however,
with many rich and productive valleys. In the northern portion of it is
a considerable extent of hilly, flinty, and consequently barren land.

When we cross the mountains, and come to the slope descending to the
Mississippi, we survey a large extent of country almost universally
fertile, and divided, as we have before mentioned, into the thickly
timbered, the barren, and the prairie country. In the first division
every traveller remarks a grandeur in the form and size of the trees,
a depth of verdure in the foliage, and a luxuriance of growth of every
sort, that distinguish this country from other regions. The trees
are large, tall, and rise aloft free from branches, like columns.
In the richer lands they are generally wreathed with a drapery of
ivy, bignonia, grape vines, or other creepers. Intermingled with the
foliage of the trees are the broad leaves of the grape vines, with
trunks occasionally as large as the human body. Sometimes the forests
are entirely free from undergrowth; at others, the only shrub is the
graceful and splendid papaw; but often, particularly in the richer
alluvions of the south, beneath the trees, are impenetrable cane brakes,
and a tangle of brambles, briars, vines, and every sort of weed.

The country denominated barrens has a very distinct and singular
configuration. It has usually a surface gently undulating, in long and
uniform ridges. The soil is generally of a clayey texture, of a reddish
or grayish color, covered with tall, coarse grass. The trees are thinly
scattered, seldom either large or dwarfish. They are chiefly oaks, and
have an appearance peculiar to the region they inhabit. The general
quality of the land seldom exceeds the third rate; but in the proper
latitudes, it is favorable to the growth of wheat and fruit trees. On
the little elevations of the barrens, trees and grass grow; but grass
and weeds are the only occupants of the low grounds. The soil of the
barrens is alluvial to a greater or less depth, though on some of
the highest points there is very little; and the lower the ground the
deeper the alluvion. On the elevations, when there is no alluvion,
a stiff blue clay is found, without pebbles. On the little ridges,
where the dampness is not too great, the oak or the hickory has taken
possession, and there grows to a moderate height in clusters; on the
low lands the soil is too wet and the grass too thick for such a growth.

The barrens then are natural meadows, covered with tall coarse grass,
varying in extent and figure, with here and there a piece of elevated
ground, decked with a cluster of trees; add to this, a reddish stream
running through ground but little lower than the surrounding plain,
and you have the picture complete. There are large districts of this
description in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama; they are common in
Illinois and Missouri, and are found more or less over the whole valley
of the Mississippi. This region and the bushy prairies, abound in those
singular cavities called sink-holes, which are generally in the shape
of inverted cones, from ten to seventy feet in depth, and at the top
from sixty to three hundred feet in circumference. Willows and other
aquatic vegetables grow at the sides and bottom. There is little doubt
that these cavities are caused by running waters, which find their way
through the limestone cavities beneath the upper stratum of the soil.

The remaining surface is that of the prairies, and this is by far the
most extensive. These may be classed under three general divisions,
though they have great diversity of aspect; the heathy, or bushy; the
alluvial, or wet; and the dry, or rolling prairies. The bushy prairies
seem to be intermediate between the barrens and the alluvial prairies.
They have springs, abound in bushes and shrubs, with grape vines, and
in the summer with a great variety of flowers; the bushes are often
overtopped with the common hop vine. Prairies of this description are
very common in Illinois, Mississippi, and Indiana, and they occur among
the other prairies to a considerable distance towards the Chippewayan
Mountains. The dry prairies are for the most part without springs, and
destitute of all vegetation except weeds, flowering plants, and grass.
To the sight they are nearly level, but their inclination is proved by
the quick motion of the water courses. This class of prairies is by far
the most extensive. Here are the haunts of the buffaloes, and here the
traveller may wander for days without wood or water, and the horizon on
every side sinking to contact with the grass.

The alluvial or wet prairies form the last and smallest division.
They occur generally on the margins of water courses, though they are
sometimes found with all their distinctive peculiarities, far from the
points where waters run at present. They are commonly basins, and their
outline is strongly marked; their soil is black, deep, friable, and
wonderfully rich. Native grasses spring on them in singular luxuriance,
rising to a great height, but they are too loamy for the cultivated
grasses. In proper latitudes they are excellent for wheat and maize.
Still more than the rolling prairies, they appear to the eye a dead
level, though they have slight inclinations and depressions; yet from
the general equality, and immense amount of vegetation, small ponds and
bayous are formed there, which fill from the rivers and rains, and are
only exhausted during the intense heats of summer, by evaporation.

In the alluvial prairies that are connected with the rivers, these
ponds are filled in the season of high waters with fish of various
kinds; as the water becomes low, and their course connecting with the
river become dry, the fish are taken by cartloads among the high grass,
where the water is three or four feet deep. When the waters evaporate,
the fish die, and thousands of buzzards are unable to prevent them from
polluting the air. This decayed matter seriously affects the salubrity
of the climate.

Along these rich plains, herds of deer are seen, flying with the
rapidity of the wind, or feeding quietly with the domestic cattle. In
the spring and autumn, water-fowl in innumerable flocks hover about
the ponds and lakes of these prairies, to feast on the oily seeds of
the plants and grasses. During the months of vegetation, the richer
prairies are blooming with flowers, of whose variety, number, forms,
hues, and odors, description can furnish no adequate idea. Most of the
prairie plants have tall and arrowy stems, with spiked or tassellated
heads, and the flowers have great size, gaudiness and splendor, without
much delicacy or fragrance. In the spring their prevailing color is
bluish purple; in mid-summer, red mingled with yellow; in autumn, the
flowers are large, generally of the helianthus shape, and of a rich
golden color.

The northern shores of Lake Ontario and Erie, the western shore of
Lake Huron, and the general surface of the valleys of the Ohio, the
Illinois, and the Mississippi, afford a highly productive soil. More to
the southward, the extended valley of the Tennessee is one of the most
fertile portions of the republic; and the same fertility extends itself
beyond the Mississippi below the Missouri, until it is checked by the
Ozark Mountains, whose productive portion is confined to the valleys.
To the west of these mountains, and of the Missouri, the soil becomes
less and less fertile, till we reach the Great American Desert, which
has already been described. The eastern shores of Lake Michigan, and
the southern coast of Lake Superior, are either sandy or rocky, and
generally barren.

Among the Rocky Mountains are sheltered and fertile valleys, though
their summits are of course rocky, sterile, and covered with snow the
greater part of the year. The timber in the mountains is pine, spruce,
fir, and other terebinthines. Though deficient in timber, the terrace
plains below have generally a fine soil. The prairies, like those in
the Mississippi valley, are covered with coarse grass and a variety
of beautiful flowers. Among the prairie plants are two or three kinds
of roots, which furnish food to the savages. Wild sage is found in
abundance; it grows of the size and height of a small tree, and on
these extensive plains is one of the principal articles of fuel. For a
considerable distance into the interior, the seashore is skirted with
deep and thick forests of evergreen. On the whole, it is believed that
few countries on the earth have a more fertile soil, than the valleys
west of the Rocky Mountains.

‘In estimating the quality of new lands in America,’ says Dr. Dwight,
‘serious errors are very commonly entertained, from want of due
attention to the following fact: Wherever the forest has been
undisturbed by fire, they have accumulated, by shedding their foliage
through a long succession of ages, and by their own decay, a covering
of vegetable mould from six to twelve inches deep, and sometimes from
eighteen to twenty-four. This mould is the best of all soils, and
eminently friendly to every species of vegetation. It is, indeed,
no other than a mere mass of manure, and that of the very best kind,
converted into mould; and so long as it remains in considerable
quantities, all grounds produce plentifully. Unless a proper allowance
be made, therefore, when we are forming an estimate of the quality of
soils, for the efficacy of this mould, which, so far as my observation
has extended, is not often done, those on which it abounds will be
of course overrated. On the contrary, where it does not abound, the
quality of the soil will, in a comparative view, be underrated. Hence
all maple lands which, from their moisture, are incapable of being
burnt, are considered as more fertile than they ultimately prove; while
oak, and even pine lands, are, almost of course, regarded as being
less fertile. The maple lands in Ballston are found to produce wheat
in smaller quantities, and of a worse quality, than the inhabitants,
misled by the exhuberance of their first crops, expected. Their pine
lands, on the contrary, yield more and better wheat than, till very
lately, they could have been induced to believe. The same things
severally are true, as I have already observed, of the oak and maple
lands in the county of Ontario.

‘From this source it has arisen that all the unburnt new lands in
the northern, middle, southern, and western states, have been, and
still are, uniformly valued beyond their real worth. When the tract on
the mountains in Massachusetts was first settled, the same luxuriant
fertility was attributed to it which has since characterized Kentucky.
About the same time it was ascribed to the Valley of Housatonic,
in the county of Berkshire. From these tracts it was transferred to
the lands in New Hampshire and Vermont, on the Connecticut; and from
thence to those in Vermont, on the western side of the Green Mountains.
From these regions the paradise has travelled to the western part of
the state of New York, to New Connecticut, to Upper Canada, to the
countries on the Ohio, to the south-western territory, and is now
making its progress over the Mississippi into the newly purchased
regions of Louisiana. The accounts given of all these countries,
successively, were extensively true, but the conclusions which were
deduced from them were, in a great measure, erroneous. So long as this
mould remains, the produce will be regularly great, and that with very
imperfect cultivation,――for the mould in its native state is so soft
and light, as scarcely to need the aid of the plough. But this mould,
after a length of time, will be dissipated. Where lands are continually
ploughed, it is soon lost; on those which are covered with grass from
the beginning, it is preserved through a considerable period. At length,
however, every appearance of its efficacy, and even of its existence,
vanishes.

‘The true object of inquiry, whenever the quality of a soil is to be
estimated, is the nature of the earth immediately beneath the vegetable
mould, for this, in every case, will ultimately be the soil. If this is
capable of being rendered, by skilful cultivation, regularly productive,
the soil is good; if not, it is poor. With this object in view, I
have formed the opinion expressed above, concerning the country under
discussion. Throughout most of this tract, the earth beneath the mould
is an excellent soil. The mould itself will speedily be gone. It is
wisely and kindly provided by the Creator, to answer the immediate
calls of the first settlers. These are of course few and poor,――are
embarrassed by many wants and difficulties, and need their time and
labor to build their houses, barns, and inclosures, as well as to
procure, with extreme inconvenience, many articles of necessity and
comfort, which are obtained in older settlements without labor or time.
To them it is a complete and ample manure, on which whatever is sown
springs with vigor, and produces, almost without toil or skill, a
plentiful harvest. But it was not intended to be permanent; it is not
even desirable that it should be. To interrupt, or even to slacken,
the regular labor of man materially, is to do him an injury. One of the
prime blessings of temperate climates is this, that they yield amply
to skilful labor, and without it yield little or nothing. Where such
is the fact, energy and effort will follow, and all their inestimable
consequences. Where countries are radically barren, man will despair.’

We will now give a brief description of the soil of each of the states,
commencing with the north-eastern divisions. The soil of Maine in
general, when properly fitted to receive the seed, is friendly to the
growth of Indian corn, rye, barley, oats, peas, hemp, and flax, as well
as to the production of almost all kinds of culinary roots and plants;
wheat is also grown, but not in large quantities. Excellent potatoes
are raised in great quantities. For the most part, the lands are easily
cleared, having very little underwood. The natural productions consist
of white pine and spruce trees in large quantities, suitable for masts,
boards, and shingles; and also of maple, beech, white and grey oak,
and yellow birch. The land between the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers
is well adapted to the purposes of agriculture, and is excellent for
grazing. With good cultivation, land of average quality yields forty
bushels of maize to the acre, from twenty to forty bushels of wheat,
and from one to three tons of hay. Apple, pear, plum, and cherry trees,
flourish; the peach tree does not thrive.

The soil of New Hampshire, near the seacoast, is in many places sandy;
on the banks of the rivers it is generally good, and in the valleys
among the mountains, which are rich on the brows, and usually covered
with timber. The river land is most esteemed, producing every kind
of grain in the utmost perfection; but it is not so good for pasture
as the uplands. In the uncultivated parts of the state, the soil is
distinguished by the various kinds of timber which grow upon it; thus,
white oak land is hard and stony, the undergrowth consisting of brakes
and fern; black and yellow birch, white ash, elm, and alder, are
indications of a good soil, deep, rich and moist, which will admit
grass and grain without ploughing; red oak and white birch are signs
of strong land. Agriculture is, and always will be, the chief business
of the people of New Hampshire. Apples and pears are fruits the most
commonly cultivated, and no husbandman thinks his farm complete without
an orchard.

A large portion of Vermont state is fertile, and adapted to the
various purposes of agriculture. The soil is generally deep, rich,
moist, of a dark color, loamy, and seldom parched with drought. On
the border of the stream it is alluvial, and the richest in the state;
though some of the uplands almost equal it in fertility. Wheat is
extensively cultivated, particularly on the west side of the mountains.
Barley, rye, oats, peas, flax, and potatoes, flourish in all parts
of the state. Indian corn also thrives, and apples are abundant. Much
of the land among the mountains is excellent for grazing, and great
numbers of cattle are annually sent out of the state for sale.

No extensive alluvial tracts occur in Massachusetts; although limited
patches of this stratum are sometimes found on the banks of every
stream, and, with the adjoining elevated woodland and pasture ground,
constitute many of the richest farms in the state. There are numerous
uncultivated swamps, however, for ages the reservoir of rich soil, that
may be reclaimed with considerable labor and expense, which they will
amply repay by their singular fertility. The soil of Massachusetts is
chiefly diluvial, of all soils the most unfriendly to rich vegetation,
though capable of being made rich by clearing away its stone, and
the extensive use of manure. The diluvium is most abundant in the
south-east parts of the state, almost entirely overspreading the
counties of Plymouth, Barnstable, Duke’s and Nantucket. Toward the
extremity of Cape Cod, and on the Island of Nantucket, this stratum is
composed almost entirely of sand. The most extensive tertiary formation
in the state is found in the valley of the Connecticut. Here also are
found tracts, from which the diluvium and tertiary have been swept
away, and which exhibit the reddish aspect that characterises the
red sand-stone formation. This soil is of a superior quality, and
peculiarly well adapted for fruit.

The soil of Rhode Island is various, and a great part of it good;
though better adapted for grazing than for grain. The north-western
parts of the state are rocky and barren; but the tract in the
neighborhood of Narraganset Bay is excellent pasture land, and is
inhabited by wealthy farmers, who raise some of the finest neat cattle
in America. The ground is well cultivated, and produces Indian corn,
rye, barley, oats, wheat, (though not enough for home consumption,)
fruits and vegetables, in great abundance. The soil of Connecticut
is generally rich and well watered, and the whole state resembles a
cultivated garden. In the central valley of the Connecticut river,
and in the valleys of its tributary streams, large accumulations of
alluvial deposit have formed extensive plains and meadows. The soil is
adapted to Indian corn, rye, wheat, and flax; orchards are numerous,
and of late years, tobacco has also been raised in not inconsiderable
quantities. Much of the land, however, is better for grazing than
tillage; and the beef, pork, butter and cheese, of Connecticut, are
equal to any in the world. The meadows on the banks of the river are
uncommonly rich.

The soil of the southern and eastern parts of New York, is dry and
gravelly, intermixed with loam; the mountainous districts are well
adapted for grazing, and there are many rich valleys on the rivers.
The northern and western parts are generally rich and fertile. In the
valley of the Gennessee[35] is some of the best wheat country in the
world; and the alluvial flats of the valley of the Mohawk are highly
fertile. Around Lake Champlain is an extensive district of clayey
soil, extending to the hills that skirt the Peruvian Mountains. West
of Albany are extensive sandy plains interspersed with marshes. A
large part of New York is under excellent cultivation; particularly the
western end of Long Island, and the counties of Westchester and Duchess.

The soil of Pennsylvania is of many various kinds. To the east of
the mountains it is generally good, and a considerable part of it is
bedded on limestone. Among the mountains, the land is rough, and much
of it poor, in some parts quite barren; but there are a great many
rich and fertile valleys. In the neighborhood of York and Lancaster,
the soil consists of rich, brown, loamy earth; and proceeding in a
south-westerly course, parallel to the Blue Mountains, the same kind
of soil is met with as far as Fredericktown, in Maryland. West of the
mountains the country improves, and about the head-waters of the Ohio
it is generally fertile. Pennsylvania has a soil much better adapted to
grazing than tillage.

The southern parts of New Jersey are sandy and flat, sometimes marshy,
almost perfectly sterile, though occasionally producing shrub oaks,
and pines: the northern half of the state is well adapted either for
grazing or tillage. A part of Delaware abounds with swamps and stagnant
waters, which render it alike unfit for the purposes of agriculture,
and injurious to the health of the inhabitants. At the southern
extremity of the state is the Cypress Swamp, a morass twelve miles in
length and six in breadth, including an area of nearly fifty thousand
acres of land; the whole of which is a high and level basin, very wet,
though undoubtedly the highest land between the sea and the bay. The
swamp contains a great variety of trees, plants, wild beasts, birds,
and reptiles. In the northern parts, along the Delaware river and bay,
and from eight to ten miles into the interior, the soil is generally
a rich clay, in which a great variety of the most useful productions
can be conveniently and plentifully reared; from thence to the swamps
before noticed, the soil is light, sandy, and of an inferior quality.
In the central parts of the state, there is a considerable mixture of
sand; and in the southern part it, renders the soil almost totally
unproductive.

In the western part of Maryland, the soil is somewhat strong, and in
other parts are tracts of thin, unproductive land. It is generally,
however, a red clay or loam; much of it is excellent, and producing
large crops. Wheat and tobacco are the staple commodities, but on the
uplands of the interior, hemp and flax are raised in considerable
quantities.

The soil in the low part of Virginia is sandy or marshy, except on the
banks of the rivers, where it is very rich. This territory is alluvial,
and under its surface every where exhibits bones and marine shells.
Between the head of tide-waters and the mountains, it exhibits a great
variety, and a considerable portion is good. Among the mountains there
is a great deal of poor land, but it is interspersed with rich valleys.
In the valley between the Blue Ridge and the Alleghany, we come to a
country lying upon a bed of limestone. Here the soil is a deep clayey
earth, well suited to the culture of small grain and clover, and
produces abundant crops. Beyond the mountains the surface is broken,
with occasional fertile tracts, but the soil is generally lean.

North Carolina, from the seacoast to sixty miles inward, is a level
tract, of a lean and sandy soil, interspersed with swamps, and covered
with pine forests. In the mountainous parts, and to the west of the
mountains, the soil is moist and fertile. On the banks of some of the
rivers, particularly the Roanoke, it is remarkably rich. It has been
estimated that there are two millions five hundred thousand acres of
swampy land within the state, capable of being drained at a trifling
cost, and adapted to the purposes of agriculture. They have a clayey
bottom, overlaid with a vegetable compost, and when drained have proved
exceedingly fertile. One of these tracts is known by the name of the
Dismal Swamp; it is thirty miles long and ten broad, overgrown with
pine, juniper, and cypress trees. In the midst of it is a lake seven
miles in length. The Alligator, or Little Dismal Swamp, lies to the
south of Albemarle Sound, and incloses a lake eleven miles long and
seven broad. This swamp has been partly drained by means of a canal,
and many productive rice plantations occupy the reclaimed lands.

The soil of South Carolina may be divided into five classes: first,
the pine barren, which is valuable only for its timber; interspersed
among these barrens, are tracts destitute of every kind of growth
except grass, called _savannas_, and forming a second kind of soil,
good for grazing. The third, is that of the swamps and low grounds on
the rivers, which is a mixture of black loam and rich clay, producing
naturally canes in great plenty, cypress, and bays. In these swamps
rice is cultivated. The high lands, commonly known by the name of oak
and hickory lands, constitute the fourth kind of soil; this tract is
comparatively small, and is situated in the north-western extremity of
the state. The fifth class is that of the salt marsh, which borders on
the seacoast and has been much neglected.

The greater part of the soil of Georgia is alluvial. On the islands
which line its coast the soil is very fertile, and produces cotton of a
superior quality. The soil of the main land, adjoining the marshes and
creeks, is similarly fertile. This is succeeded by the pine barrens,
which abound with swampy tracts. On the banks of the rivers are the
valuable rice plantations. The soil between the rivers, after leaving
the borders of the swamps, at the distance of twenty or thirty miles,
changes from a gray to a red color, and is covered with oak, hickory,
and pine. In some places it is gravelly, but fertile, and so continues
for a number of miles, gradually deepening the reddish color of the
earth, till it changes into what is called the _mulatto soil_, which
is composed of black and red earth. These mulatto lands are generally
strong, and yield large crops. To this kind of land succeeds by turns a
soil nearly black and very rich. This succession of the different soils
continues uniform and regular, though there are some large veins of all
the different soils intermixed.

The soil of East Florida is generally poor, and circumstances have
prevented the settlement and cultivation of the small proportion of
really good lands. The parts on the western seashore are barren and
sandy, abounding with marshes and lagoons. In the northern districts,
gentle elevations of fertile land, supporting a vigorous growth of
oaks and hickories, are found in the midst of marshes and pine barrens.
Sugar cane is raised here with great facility, and a superior quality
of long and short staple cotton.

In the lower parts of Alabama are extensive swamps, cypress land,
and cane brakes. The central region is covered with gentle elevations,
having a thin soil with a substratum of clay that cultivation will
render productive. At present these hills are covered with pine, and,
while there are tracts of rich land, will be held in little estimation;
they include more than one half the surface of the state. On the banks
of the Alabama and Tombeckbee there are wide and fertile alluvions, and
the region between these rivers is the richest and best in Alabama. The
French emigrants represent the soil of the slopes and hammoc lands of
this state to be suitable for the vine.

In the northern section of Mississippi the land rises in regular
undulations, and the soil is black, fertile, and deep, covered with
high cane brake. The valleys north-west of the Yazoo are well watered
and exceedingly rich. In the western parts of the state, the lands are
unfortunately exposed to inundation; but, in other respects, the soil
does not much differ from that of Alabama. The southern tract is a
level alluvion.

A region of Louisiana, comprising about five millions of acres, is
annually overflowed by the waters of the Mississippi. Of this tract
a large portion is, in its present state, unfit for cultivation. This
immense tract embraces soil of various descriptions; cypress swamps,
sea marsh, small elevated prairie lands of great fertility, and a
tract covered with cane brake, rank shrubbery, and a heavy growth of
timber.[36] The best soil of Louisiana is found in the region called
the _coast_, which is that part of the bottom of the Mississippi
commencing with the first cultivation above the Balize, and comprising
forty miles below New Orleans, and one hundred and fifty above. This
fertile belt, which varies in width from one to two miles, is secured
from inundation by an embankment, broad enough to furnish a fine
highway, from six to eight feet in height. In the northern part of
this state, bordering on Arkansas, is a considerable extent of hilly,
flinty, barren land.

Arkansas territory exhibits every variety and quality of soil.
The cultivated belt below the Post of Arkansas bears some outward
resemblance to the _coast_ in Louisiana; though its soil is not so
fertile, and needs manuring to produce large crops. Large prairies
interspersed with forest bottoms, and large tracts of excellent soil,
are found five or six hundred miles from the mouth of Arkansas river.
Mount Prairie, which lies on the Washita, has a black soil of extreme
richness. On the White river are some of the healthiest and most
fertile situations in this country. The other parts of this territory
are vast tracts of sterile and precipitous ridges, sandy prairies, and
barrens.

The soil of Tennessee, in the valleys of its creeks and streams,
is rich beyond any of the same description elsewhere in the western
country. In East Tennessee it derives its fertility from the quantities
of dissolved lime, and nitrate of lime that are mixed with it. In West
Tennessee the strata are arranged in the following order: first, a
loamy soil, or mixtures of clay and sand; next, yellow clay; then comes
a mixture of red sand and red clay; and lastly, a white sand. In the
southern parts of this state immense banks are found of uncommonly
large oyster shells, situated on high table-grounds remote from any
water-course.

Missouri contains a large proportion of friable, loamy, and sandy soil.
The uplands are rich, and of a darkish gray color: excepting the region
of the lead mines, where the soil is bright and reddish. The prairies
are generally level, and of an intermediate character between the rich
and the poorer uplands, the latter of which have a light, yellow soil,
stiff and clayey. The bottoms of the great rivers and smaller streams
of this state have uncommon fertility. On the upper Mississippi are
rich uplands, interspersed with flinty knobs two or three hundred feet
high. In the south-west part of the state are sterile tracts, covered
with yellow pine, and scattered with hilly and rocky country.

Kentucky abounds in large bodies of fertile land, but even here are
tracts too sterile for cultivation. Nothing can exceed in richness
the great valley of which Lexington is the centre. A tract one hundred
miles by fifty in extent is found in the centre of the state, with a
substratum of limestone, which dissolves and so mingles with the soil
as to impart to it great richness and vigor. Much of the soil is of
that character known as mulatto land. An extensive tract of barrens
occurs between the Rolling Fork and Green river, and between the latter
and Cumberland river, in the northern and eastern parts of the state.
Here the soil is generally good, and affords fine pasturage.

Illinois has but few elevations, and those of inconsiderable extent;
it is generally a region perfectly level. Though containing tracts
of barrens and rough lands, not to be easily cultivated, it perhaps
includes a greater proportion of land of the best quality than any
other state. This region was called by the French the Terrestrial
Paradise; and its soil is said to be the richest in the world. ‘Our
road,’ says a recent traveller, ‘passed through the prairie ground, of
which above two thirds of the whole state of Illinois is composed, most
beautiful at all times, but especially at this season, owing to the
brilliancy of the flowers now in blossom. Plantations we saw here and
there, but the general appearance of the country was that of a fine
waving surface of strong grass, covered with strawberry plants, and
the finest flowers, and with wood on the high grounds and hollows, and
occasional dropping trees, and clumps or islets of wood. In general,
there was quite enough of wood in the view, and far more happily
disposed than if the trees had been planted by the hand of man.’

Indiana contains large tracts of excellent soil; and is generally
level and fertile. The prairies bordering the Wabash, are particularly
rich; wells have been sunk in them, where the vegetable soil was
twenty-two feet deep, under which was a stratum of fine white sand;
yet the ordinary depth is from two to five feet. Many of the prairies
and intervals are too rich for wheat. The northern part of the state
contains much good land, but is intersected by long narrow bogs and
swamps, with a soil of stiff blue clay.

In Ohio, the land bordering on the river of the same name is hilly and
broken; but most of these hills have a deep rich soil, and are capable
of being cultivated to their very summits. The bottoms of the Ohio are
of very unequal width; the bases of some of the hills approach close to
the river, while others recede to the distance of two or three miles.
There are usually three bottoms, rising one above the other like the
glacis of a fortification; and they are heavily timbered with such
trees as denote a very fertile soil. In such parts of these bottoms as
have been cleared and settled, the soil is uniformly fertile in a high
degree; producing in great abundance wheat, Indian corn, rye, oats,
and barley, and apples and peaches of excellent quality. In the western
counties, and in the north-western and northern portions of the state,
there is a leveller surface, and a moister soil, interspersed with
tracts of dry prairie, and forests of a sandy or gravelly soil. The
north-western corner of the state contains a considerable district of
level, rich land, too wet and swampy to admit of healthy settlements:
the soil is a black, loose, friable loam, or a vegetable mould, watered
by sluggish and dark-colored streams.

That part of the territory of Michigan, which forms the peninsula
lying between the great lakes, is generally level. In its centre,
however, is a ridge of table-land about three hundred feet above the
lakes, running north and south, and dividing the waters emptying into
Erie and Huron from those running to the westward. This peninsula is
divided into about equal proportions of grass prairies and forests.
Along the southern shore of Lake Michigan is a sandy and barren tract
of country, bleak and desolate. But much of the soil of this country
is excellent, and its productions are similar to those of the state of
New York. The North-West territory has not yet been much explored. That
portion of it situated between the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, and the
western shore of Lake Michigan, has a rich, black, alluvial soil, and
is well watered. The face of the country is unbroken by hills of any
magnitude.

The most striking feature of the vast Missouri territory is its ocean
of prairies. A belt of partially wooded country extends from two to
four hundred miles west of the Mississippi and its waters. The immense
extent of country west of the two great rivers is generally level, and
is covered with grass plains, and sand deserts. On the banks of the
streams there is usually a line of rich soil, but as we leave them
it becomes barren and dry. Much of this country is as sterile as the
deserts of Arabia, though in the most sandy parts there is a thin sward
of grass and herbage. The Missouri, the Platte and the Yellow-stone run
through a rich soil; but in its upper courses the Arkansas waters only
a barren prairie.


                       GENERAL REMARKS ON SOIL.

  The productiveness of soils is influenced by the nature of the
  sub-soil, or the earthy or stony strata on which they rest, and
  this should be attended to in all plans for their improvement.
  Thus sandy soil may owe its fertility to the power of the sub-soil
  to retain water; and an absorbent clay soil may occasionally be
  prevented from being barren by the influence of a substratum of
  sand and gravel. Those soils that are most productive of corn,
  contain always certain proportions of aluminous or calcareous
  earth in a finely divided state, and a certain quantity of
  vegetable or animal matter.

  ‘In cases,’ says Sir Humphrey Davy, ‘where a barren soil is
  examined with a view to its improvement, it ought, in all cases,
  if possible, to be compared with an extremely fertile soil in
  the same neighborhood, and in a similar situation; the difference
  given by their analyses would indicate the methods of cultivation,
  and thus the plan of improvement would be founded upon accurate
  scientific principles.

  ‘If the fertile soil contained a large quantity of sand, in
  proportion to the barren soil, the process of amelioration would
  depend simply upon a supply of this substance; and the method
  would be equally simple with regard to soils deficient in clay or
  calcareous matter. In the application of clay, sand, loam, marl,
  or chalk, to lands, there are no particular chemical principles to
  be observed; but, when quicklime is used, great care must be taken
  that it is not obtained from the magnesian limestone; for in this
  case, as has been shown by Mr. Pennant, it is extremely injurious
  to land. The magnesian limestone may be distinguished from the
  common limestone by its greater hardness, and by the length of
  time that it requires for its solution in acids; and it may be
  analyzed by the process for carbonate of lime and magnesia.

  ‘When the analytical composition indicates an excess of vegetable
  matter as the cause of sterility, it may be destroyed by much
  pulverization and exposure to air, by paring and burning, or the
  agency of lately made quicksilver; and the defect of animal and
  vegetable matter must be supplied by animal or vegetable manure.
  The general indications of fertility and barrenness, as found
  by chemical experiments, must necessarily differ in different
  climates, and under various circumstances. The power of soils to
  absorb moisture, a principle essential to their productiveness,
  ought to be much greater in warm and dry countries, than in cold
  and moist ones; and the quantity of fine aluminous earth they
  contain should be larger.

  ‘From the great difference of the causes that influence the
  productiveness of lands, it is obvious, that, in the present
  state of the science, no certain system can be devised for their
  improvement, independent of experiment; but there are few cases
  in which the labor of analytical trials will not be amply repaid
  by the certainty with which they denote the best methods of
  melioration; and this will particularly happen when the defect of
  composition is found in the proportions of the primitive earths.
  In supplying animal or vegetable manure, a temporary food only is
  provided for plants, which is in all cases exhausted by means of
  a certain number of crops; but when a soil is rendered of the best
  possible constitution and texture with regard to its earthy parts,
  its fertility may be considered as permanently established. It
  becomes capable of attracting a very large portion of vegetable
  nourishment from the atmosphere, and of producing its crops with
  comparatively little labor and expense.’



                      CHAPTER XIV.――CLIMATE.[37]


THE United States are most desirably situated. Placed in the northern
temperate zone, they occupy just that portion of it, which is most
likely to yield a healthy climate and rich soil. Happily removed from
the parching heat of the torrid, and eternal frosts of the frigid zone,
the republic is nevertheless of such an extent as almost to touch upon
both. The climate of a country, stretching through twenty degrees of
latitude, cannot but be of great diversity. In this respect it has been
divided into five regions, which may be denominated the _very cold_,
the _cold_, the _temperate_, the _warm_, and the _hot_.

1. The _very cold_, in the north-east, may be defined by running a line
from St. Regis, on the St. Lawrence, along the high land in the state
of New York to Tioga Point, in Pennsylvania; thence to Stony Point
on Hudson’s river, and thence to Cape Cod in Massachusetts. In this
region the summers continue from June through August, and the winters
from November to the middle of April. The extremes of heat and cold
are great, and the changes sudden, but the country is, notwithstanding,
healthy. To the westward, north of a line drawn from the southern
extremity of Lake Huron to the Rocky Mountains, the climate is also
very cold, and the northern extremity in the winter is excessively so.

The winters of Maine are long and severe, with clear settled weather,
which generally continues from the middle of December, till the latter
end of March; during which time, the ponds and fresh water rivers are
passable on the ice. There is scarcely any spring season; the summer is
short, and warm; but autumn is in general pure, healthy, and pleasant.

The climate of New Hampshire is highly favorable to health; but the
winters are long and severe. Cattle are housed about the first of
November. Snow lies on the ground from four to five months, and the use
of sleighs during that period is general. The spring is rapid, and the
heat of summer great, but of short duration; autumn is very pleasant.
Morning and evening fires are needed as early as the first of September,
and as late as the first of June.

The climate of Vermont differs little from that of New Hampshire, and
is extremely healthy. The earth is generally covered with snow from
the middle of December till the end of March; but the winter seasons
may be said to continue from the beginning of November till the middle
of April, during which, the inhabitants enjoy a serene sky and a keen
cold air. The ground is seldom frozen to any great depth, being covered
with a great body of snow, in some high lands to the depth of four or
five feet, before the severe frosts begin. In this way the earth is
enriched and moistened, and in the spring vegetation advances with
great rapidity.

The climate of Massachusetts is perhaps more variable than that of
any other of the New England states; not having the steady winter
cold of those to the north, nor the general mildness in summer of
those immediately south. Fires are necessary from November to May; and
there are days, even in June, when they are not only comfortable, but
indispensable for comfort. Cattle are housed in November. In winter,
travelling is not often impeded by great falls of snow; though heavy
and severe snow storms occur. The rivers and ponds are frozen three
months in the year; and the harbors are usually closed a week or
fortnight, and sometimes for a much longer time. As there are many
cold days in summer, so also there are many warm days in winter; and
the field which is at night soft enough to receive the plough, may be
chained with frost and buried in snow before morning. Winter sets in
late; frequently not till December, but, recently, it has gone quite
through the spring months. Indeed, the most disagreeable portion of
the year, is during March and April and part of May, when the east are
prevailing winds. In autumn there is much weather truly delightful.
Apples and pears flourish well in Massachusetts, peach trees sometimes
suffer from the late spring and the early autumnal frosts. It is
difficult to find an accurate description of so variable a climate;
as no tolerably correct account of it could be given, except in the
details of a meteorological table.

The climate of Rhode Island and Connecticut does not differ very
materially from that of Massachusetts. In the southern parts of
these states, summer may set in a few days earlier, and the winter be
generally a little more temperate, but the change of climate is slight.

In the very cold tract are included the eastern and northern parts
of New York, being the mountainous country, and the region lying to
the east of it. Here the winters are long and severe, being more so as
you proceed to the north. The climate of this region may be generally
described as similar to that of the New England states, which lies in
the same latitude. In the parts of Michigan territory, lying within
this region, the climate resembles that of Canada.

In the region we have called _very cold_, the range of the thermometer
is from thirty degrees below zero to ninety-eight above it; including
great extremes both of heat and cold.

2. The _cold region_ comprehends a great and very unequal range of
country. In the eastern division it extends from the foregoing line,
to Lakes Ontario and Erie, westward; and south, on the Atlantic coast,
to about Cape Henlopen on the Delaware. Hence a line may be protracted
to Washington, and along by the foot of the first mountains in Virginia
to about Morgantown, North Carolina; thence through the mountains to
Kenaway river, and north-east on the west side of the mountains to
the upper part of Chesnut Ridge, in Pennsylvania. In the westward,
the southern boundary of the very cold region before-mentioned, may be
assumed as the northern boundary of the cold; and the southern boundary
of the cold may be protracted westward from the head of Chesnut Ridge
to the high lands, dividing the waters falling into the Ohio from
those falling into the great lakes, and along in a northern and western
direction, crossing the Mississippi about thirty miles below Praire des
Chiens, thence south and west, crossing the Missouri about thirty miles
below the Platte river; thence southward to the west of the Great Osage
village, and then eastward to the Arkansas river, above the Hot Springs.
In this division the winters commence in December and end in March, and
the heat of summer commences in May and ends in September. The heat and
cold here also go to great extremes; but the weather is very changeable,
particularly in winter, so that neither severe heat nor severe cold
lasts long at a time. The country in this division is also generally
healthy.

In this division are comprehended the south-eastern and western parts
of New York, New Jersey, the northern and eastern parts of Pennsylvania,
most of Delaware and Maryland, the central and mountainous parts of
Virginia, the southern portion of Michigan territory, the northern
extremities of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and portions of the
Missouri and Arkansas territories.

In the south-eastern parts of New York the prevailing winds, during
the summer, are southerly; the weather is variable, and the change of
temperature sudden and frequent. The mild and damp sea air penetrates
far inland; indeed, as far as the Highlands, the climate differs
little from that of the seacoast. In the parts of New York west of the
mountains, the average temperature is about three degrees higher than
in the same latitude farther east. South-westerly winds prevail through
most of the year; and the chill easterly wind is nearly unknown.[38]

The climate of Pennsylvania is very various. On the east side of the
Alleghany Mountains it differs little from that of Connecticut. It is,
like the other countries east of the mountains, subject to great and
sudden changes; but on the west side, it is much more agreeable and
temperate, with a greater portion of cloudy weather, and winters milder
and more humid than on the Atlantic. The winter season commences about
the twentieth of December, and the spring sets in about two weeks
earlier than in the eastern parts of New York. There is frost almost
every month in the year in some places, and the extremes of heat and
cold are considerable. The keenness of the north-west wind in winter
is excessive, but the state is, upon the whole, extremely healthy, and
numerous instances of longevity occur.

The climate of New Jersey is dissimilar in different sections of the
state. In the northern parts, there is clear, settled weather, and
the winters are exceedingly cold; but the whole is very healthy. In
the districts towards the south, particularly near the extremity, the
weather approaches more nearly to that of the southern states, and
is subject to very sudden changes. The climate of Delaware is much
influenced by the face of the country; for the land being low and flat,
the waters stagnate, and the inhabitants are consequently subject to
intermittent fevers and agues. The northern parts, however, are much
more agreeable and healthy than those to the south.

Among the mountains of Virginia the summers are delightful, and
the heat is never found to be so oppressive as it is in the Atlantic
districts; the winters are so mild in general, that snow seldom lies
three days together on the ground. The salubrity of the climate, also,
is equal to that of any part of the United States; and the inhabitants
have, in consequence, a healthy, ruddy appearance. Perhaps there is
no part of North America possessing a more agreeable climate, than
that section of Virginia which lies west of the Blue Ridge; and,
in particular, the fertile county of Bottetourt, which is entirely
surrounded by mountains. Here the frost in winter is regular, but not
severe. In summer the heat is great; but there is not a night in the
year that a blanket is not found comfortable. Before ten o’clock in the
morning the heat is greatest; at that hour a breeze generally springs
up from the mountains, and renders the air agreeable the whole day.
Fever and ague are disorders unknown here, and persons who come hither
afflicted with them from the low country, get rid of them in a very
short time. Except in the neighborhood of stagnant waters, Virginia
has, upon the whole, a healthy climate.

The climate of Maryland is various in different districts, but
for the most part mild and agreeable, well suited to agricultural
productions, and particularly fruit trees. The eastern parts are
similar to Delaware, having large tracts of marsh, which, during the
day, load the atmosphere with vapor, that falls in dew in the close
of the summer and autumn, which are unhealthy, and during which the
inhabitants are much exposed to fever and ague. In the interior hilly
country the climate improves very much, and among the mountains it is
delightful and healthy; the summers being cooled by fine breezes, while
the winters are tempered by a southern latitude, which renders them
much milder than to the northward.

In the southern portions of Michigan territory, the winters are not
severe, and the spring sets in as early as in any other part of the
state which lies in the same latitude. In 1820, at Detroit, the mean
heat of December was twenty-seven degrees, and of July sixty-nine. The
temperature of this territory is rendered milder by the neighborhood of
such large bodies of water, and by the absence of great elevations. The
portions of the Missouri and Arkansas territories, that lie within the
boundaries of the cold region, partake of the character of the climate
already described. As the country in these territories is open and
generally level, the temperature depends chiefly on the latitude.

The northern and north-eastern parts of Illinois are cold in the
winter; the air from the great lake is chill and bleak, and sensibly
affects the country exposed to its influence. In the region of Ohio,
sloping towards the lakes, the snow falls to a very considerable depth,
and lies long; sleighs and sledges are much used. The transitions
during the winter are violent and frequent. That part of Indiana
contiguous to Lake Michigan is often exposed to heavy falls of rain,
and is consequently marshy and unhealthy.

3. The _temperate_ region is situated between the cold, and a line
drawn from Morgantown, North Carolina, south-westward along the foot of
the mountains to their termination in Georgia, thence in a north-west
direction by Florence, in Alabama, and crossing the Mississippi river
about the upper part of the Chickasaw Bluffs, thence north-west to the
Delaware towns on White river, and thence south-west to the Arkansas,
above the Hot Springs. The region described within these limits lies
in the very heart of the country, the whole being on a considerable
elevation. It comprehends Kentucky and Missouri, with nearly the
whole of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Tennessee, the south part of
Pennsylvania, the western part of Virginia, and small portions of North
Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. This climate is distinguished from
the foregoing by an earlier spring, and by greater serenity, and fewer
changes.

The climate of Tennessee forms a medium between the warmth of the
south and the cold of the north; it may be correctly viewed as the
middle climate of the United States, and proves peculiarly congenial
to northern constitutions. There is no country in America where
diseases are so rare, where physicians have so little practice, and
where children are more robust and healthy. Snow falls in winter, and
sometimes to a considerable depth; but the summer, particularly in the
higher ground, is mild, and accompanied with excessive heat. Apples,
pears, and plums are raised here in great perfection; and in sheltered
situations it is thought that the fig might be cultivated to advantage.
Maize is planted early in April; cotton is the staple of agriculture.
Within the limits of this state, most of the forest trees of the
western country are found in abundance.

In Kentucky the climate is not so mild as that of Tennessee. It is
however mild and temperate. Grape vines flourish here of prodigious
size. All the grains, pulses, garden vegetables, and fruits of the
temperate climate abound. The wheat of Kentucky is excellent, but hemp
and tobacco are her staples.

The climate of Missouri is temperate, though variable. Winter
continues in its severity for about two months, from the latter part of
December to the last of February; but even during this interval there
are many warm and pleasant days. Snow seldom remains on the ground
more than sixty hours; and its maximum depth is generally about six
inches. Frequently the rivers are for weeks frozen sufficiently hard
for the passage of loaded teams. Trees sometimes blossom in March,
and the spring months with occasional cold, have days as pleasant
as those of summer. From the sandy and warm texture of the soil, and
the openness of the country, the heat in summer is very great, and
would be oppressive, except for the prevalence of agreeable breezes.
Another characteristic of the Missouri climate, is its extreme dryness;
evaporation is rapid, and the average amount of rain falling in the
year is estimated at eighteen inches. Long and steady rains so common
in the eastern states, seldom occur; the summer rains are generally
thunder showers. The autumn months are delightful, serene, temperate,
and salubrious.

The part of Ohio lying within this division of climate is moderate
in respect to climate; suffering neither from excessive cold or the
reverse. Along the banks of the Ohio river it is more mild than in the
central and mountainous regions; and the difference is owing to the
difference of latitude and elevation. The winters vary in severity,
being sometimes quite mild; in other years the rivers are frozen for
eight or nine weeks. Severe cold generally continues from the last week
in December through the first in February. Summer heat in the valley
of the Ohio is oppressive, but of short duration. Autumn is temperate,
pleasant, and healthy. Nowhere in the world, says Mr. Flint, is the
grand autumnal painting of the forests, in the decay of vegetation,
seen in more beauty than in the beech forests of Ohio. The richness
of the fading colors, and the effect of the mingling hues baffles all
description. On the whole, a great farming community, like that of Ohio,
could scarcely desire a better climate for themselves, their cattle,
and stock of all kinds; or one, in which a man can work abroad, with
comfort, a greater number of days in the year.

Indiana has much the same temperature with Illinois and Missouri.
The winters are mild, and seldom last in their severity more than six
weeks; during this period, the slower streams are generally frozen, and
afford a safe passage on the ice. In the middle and southern parts of
the state snow seldom falls to a greater depth than six inches. Trees
begin to be green early in April, and the peach blossoms in March. A
large number of shrubs put forth their flowers before the leaves, and
from this the spring vegetation is singularly beautiful. Illinois has
in general the same climate with Missouri, and its productions are
the same as those of that state; being, however, somewhat lower,
it is more subject to inundation, and consequently the air is more
humid. The portions of Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia
and Alabama, comprehended within this division, partake the general
character of climate with those we have particularly described.

4. The region possessing a _warm_ climate lies between the
temperate, and a line drawn from Cape Henry in a circular direction,
and passing above Tarboro, and through Fayetteville, Columbia, Augusta,
Milledgeville and Fort Jackson in Alabama, and thence a little south
of west across the Mississippi, and on to the Sabine river, in the
latitude of Nacogdoches, in Texas. In this region the winters continue
from about the first of January to the first of March; and the summers
from the first of May to the middle of October. The weather is pretty
settled and steady, and, except in swampy or marshy situations, the
country is generally healthy. This region includes the interior and
central parts of North Carolina, the northern and western parts of
South Carolina, the northern parts of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi,
and Louisiana.

In the northern and western parts of South Carolina, the land is
mountainous, and the climate generally salubrious. The air is dry, and
in winter cold; but it is generally mild and delightful. The highlands
of North Carolina that lie within this district are healthy and
pleasant; the days in summer are hot, but the nights are refreshed by
cool breezes. The northern and hilly region of Georgia is as healthy as
any part of the states. Winter continues from the middle of December to
the middle of February. The northern parts of Alabama, in the districts
of hills, springs, and pine forests, are generally healthy. In winter
the still waters often freeze; and the summers are not much hotter than
they are many degrees farther to the north.

The climate of the northern part of Mississippi, in places removed from
stagnant waters, is healthy. Heat in summer is intense; and during the
latter month of that season and the first of autumn, even the residents
in the healthy districts are exposed to severe bilious attacks. In
compensation, however, they are free from the pulmonary affections
which occasion so much destruction in the more northern regions. The
productions of this state are the same with those of Louisiana.

5. The _hot_ region extends from the southern extremity of the warm, to
the Atlantic Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico. It comprises all Florida,
and the southern parts of the Carolinas,[39] Georgia, Alabama, and
Mississippi, with the greater portion of Louisiana.

The climate of Florida may be considered in some respects as a tropical
climate. From the first of July to the first of October, the air is
sultry, and the heat exceedingly oppressive. This may be considered
the unhealthy season, during which fevers are prevalent, but even at
this time the climate of St. Augustine is salubrious and pleasant, and
is a place of resort for those who are desirous of avoiding sickness.
During this period the range of the thermometer is between eighty-four
and eighty-eight degrees, and it sometimes rises above one hundred.
Even in winter, the influence of the clear vertical sun is always
uncomfortable; in the peninsular parts, water never freezes, though
there are sometimes slight frosts. In this climate the most delicate
orange trees flourish and bear delicious fruits; the air is generally
pure and mild, and the breeze pleasant. Heavy dews fall, and the
night air is exceedingly humid. The rainy season commences early
in winter; in February and March there are severe thunder storms by
night, followed by days of great clearness and beauty. The peninsula
is visited by tornadoes, and at the time of the autumnal equinox,
hurricanes and destructive gales occur.

In the southern and eastern portions of the Carolinas, the summers
are very hot, sultry, moist and unhealthy. The extensive and rapid
decomposition of vegetable matter engenders exhalations, which unite
with the miasmata of the swamps, and create an atmosphere loaded with
the most deleterious qualities. Intermittent and bilious fevers are
frequent and severe. In the low country the summer lasts seven or
eight months; and though the winter frost is sometimes severe enough
to kill the tender plants, it seldom lasts more than three or four
days, or penetrates the ground above two inches. Spring commences about
the middle of February, and green peas are often in the market by the
middle of March; but the weather varies very much till about the first
of May, when it becomes steadily warm, and continues increasing in heat
till September, when it begins to moderate. Almost every person whose
circumstances permit, removes to a more healthy situation during this
period, and a vast number go to the northern states in the summer,
and return in the fall. The period of going north is mostly from
the middle of May to the middle of July, and of returning, from the
middle of October to the middle of November. The anxiety that prevails
during that period is extreme, and when it is over, the inhabitants
congratulate one another with the full prospect of ten or eleven months
being added to their lives.

The climate of Georgia differs little from that already described of
the Carolinas. The rice swamps, and the low country in general, are
very unhealthy, and the planters are obliged, during the sickly season,
to retire to the elevated parts of the state. A near approach to the
tropical temperature is found in some portions of Georgia, where the
cane, the olive, and sweet orange flourish luxuriantly. The climate
of the southern part of Alabama, and of Mississippi, resembles that of
Georgia and South Carolina in the same latitudes. In the thirty-first
degree of latitude, the thermometer stands in spring water at
sixty-nine degrees, which is nearly the mean temperature of the year.
A series of thermometrical observations is mentioned by Mr. Flint,
which gave the following result. The warmest part of the warmest
day in April, gave eighty-two degrees; mean heat of July of the same
year, eighty-six; coldest in January, fifty-four; coldest in February,
forty-three; warmest in March, eighty-five degrees. In the same year,
trees even in swamps, where the vegetation is most tardy, were in full
leaf by the second of April; at which time peach blossoms were gone.
Peas were in pod by the twelfth of April; when peaches were of the size
of a hazel-nut, and the fig trees in full leaf. Green peas were on the
table, and strawberries ripe by the second of May, and on the sixteenth
of the same month, mulberries, dewberries, and whortleberries were ripe.

The climate of Louisiana bears a general resemblance to that of Florida.
All the northern fruits come to perfection here, with the exception
of apples. The pumpkin and melon tribe flourish, and the common garden
vegetables are cultivated in abundance. Figs of different kinds might
be extensively raised for exportation, but are much neglected. On the
rich alluvial lands maize thrives wonderfully; but wheat and rye do not
flourish. In the region of the sugar-cane, along the whole shore of the
gulf, and on the lower courses of the rivers of Louisiana, the orange
tree flourishes and bears a delicious fruit. In the year 1822, a severe
frost destroyed these trees while in full bearing, but the roots have
thrown out new trees. The cultivated grape, and various wild grapes
abound. Berries are neither common nor good. Cotton grows to the height
of six feet; and tobacco of the first quality is extensively raised.

                   *       *       *       *       *

In addition to the views of climate already given, we may add the
following description of that of Mississippi Valley, for which we have
been indebted to the industrious observation of Mr. Flint. ‘We may
class four distinct climates, between the sources and the outlet of the
Mississippi. The first, commencing at its sources, and terminating at
Prairie du Chien, corresponds pretty accurately to the climate between
Montreal and Boston; with this difference, that the amount of snow
falling in the former is much less than in the latter region. The mean
temperature of a year would be something higher on the Mississippi. The
vegetables raised, the time of planting, and the modes of cultivating
them, would, probably, be nearly the same. Vegetation will have nearly
the same progress and periodical changes. The growing of gourd seed
corn, which demands an increase of temperature to bring it to maturity,
is not planted in this region. The Irish potatoe is raised in this
climate in the utmost perfection. Wheat and cultivated grasses succeed
well. The apple and the pear tree require fostering, and southern
exposure, to bring fruit in perfection. The peach tree has still
more the habits and the fragile delicacy of a southern stranger, and
requires a sheltered declivity, with a southern exposure, to succeed
at all. Five months in the year may be said to belong to the dominion
of winter. For that length of time, the cattle require shelter in the
severe weather, and the still waters remain frozen.

‘The next climate includes the opposite states of Missouri and
Illinois, in their whole extent, or the country between forty-one and
thirty-seven degrees. Cattle, though much benefited by sheltering,
and often needing it, seldom receive it. It is not so favorable for
cultivated grasses, as the preceding region. Gourd seed corn is the
only kind extensively planted. The winter commences with January, and
ends with the second week in February. The ice, in the still waters,
after that time thaws. Wheat, the inhabitant of a variety of climates,
is at home, as a native, in this. The persimon and the papaw are found
in its whole extent. It is the favored region of the apple, the pear,
and peach tree. Snows neither fall deep, nor lie long. The Irish potato
succeeds to a certain extent, but not as well, as in the former climate;
and this disadvantage is supplied by the sweet potato, which, though
not at home in this climate, with a little care in the cultivation,
flourishes. The grandeur of vegetation, and the temperature of March
and April, indicate an approach towards a southern climate.

‘The next climate extends from thirty-seven to thirty-one degrees.
Below thirty-five degrees, in the rich alluvial soils, the apple tree
begins to fail in bringing its fruit to perfection. We have never
tasted apples worth eating, raised much below New Madrid. Cotton,
between this point and thirty-three degrees, is raised, in favorable
positions, for home consumption; but is seldom to be depended upon for
a crop. Below thirty-three degrees commences the proper climate for
cotton, and it is the staple article of cultivation. Festoons of long
moss hang from the trees, and darken the forests. The palmetto gives
to the low alluvial grounds a grand and striking verdure. The muscadine
grape, strongly designating climate, is first found here. Laurel trees
become common in the forest, retaining their foliage and their verdure
through the winter. Wheat is no longer seen, as an article of
cultivation. The fig tree brings its fruit to full maturity.

‘Below this climate, to the gulf, is the region of the sugar-cane and
the sweet orange tree. It would be, if it were cultivated, the region
of the olive. Snow is no longer seen to fall, except a few flakes in
the coldest storms. The streams are never frozen. Winter is only marked
by nights of white frost, and days of north-west winds, which seldom
last longer than three days in succession, and are followed by south
winds and warm days. The trees are generally in leaf by the middle of
February, and always by the first of March. Bats are hovering in the
air during the night. Fireflies are seen in the middle of February.
Early in March the forests are in blossom. The margins of the creeks
and streams are perfumed with the meadow pink, or honeysuckle, yellow
jessamine, and other fragrant flowers. During almost every night a
thunder-storm occurs. Cotton and corn are planted from March to July.
In these regions the summers are uniformly hot, although there are days
when the mercury rises as high in New England, as in Louisiana. The
heat, however, is more uniform and sustained, commences much earlier,
and continues much later. From February to September thunder-storms are
common, often accompanied with severe thunder, and sometimes with gales,
or tornadoes, in which the trees of the forest are prostrated in every
direction, and the tract of country, which is covered with the fallen
trees, is called a ‘hurricane.’ The depressing influence of the summer
heat results from its long continuance, and equable and unremitting
tenor, rather than from the intensity of its ardor at any given time.
It must however be admitted, that at all times the unclouded radiance
of the vertical sun of this climate is extremely oppressive.――Such are
the summers and autumns of the southern divisions of this valley.

‘The winters, in the whole extent of the country, are variable, passing
rapidly from warm to cold, and the reverse. Near the Mississippi, and
where there is little to vary the general direction of the winds, they
ordinarily blow three or four days from the north. In the northern and
middle regions, the consequence is cold weather, frost more or less
severe, and perhaps storm, with snow and sleet. During these days the
rivers are covered with ice. The opposite breeze alternates. There is
immediately a bland and relaxing feeling in the atmosphere. It becomes
warm; and the red-birds sing in these days, in January and February,
as far north as Prairie du Chien. These abrupt and frequent transitions
can hardly fail to have an unfavorable influence upon health. From
forty to thirty-six degrees the rivers almost invariably freeze,
for a longer or shorter period, through the winter. At St. Louis on
the Mississippi, and at Cincinnati on the Ohio, in nearly the same
parallels, between thirty-eight and thirty-nine degrees, the two rivers
are sometimes capable of being crossed on the ice for eight weeks
together.

‘Although the summers over all this valley must be admitted to be
hot, yet the exemption of the country from mountains and impediments
to the free course of the winds, and the circumstance, that the greater
proportion of the country has a surface bare of forests, and, probably,
other unexplained atmospheric agents, concur to create, during the
sultry months, almost a constant breeze. It thence happens, that
the air on these wide prairies is rendered fresh, and the heats are
tempered, in the same manner, as is felt on the ocean.’

The annual and mean quantity of rain that falls in the United States
is much greater than in most countries of Europe, certain mountainous
regions and heads of gulfs excepted. This has been ascertained by
numerous and accurate observations made on different parts of the
Atlantic coast. It is said, on the authority of tabular views, that,
on a medium, one third less rain falls in Europe than in the United
States; yet Dr. Holyoke mentions, in his memoir on the climate of the
United States, twenty cities in Europe, which, at a mean of twenty
years, have had one hundred and twenty days of rain; while Cambridge
has had but eighty-eight days, Salem ninety-five days of rain, and
Philadelphia seventy-six days, at a medium of twenty years. The mean
annual quantity of rain at Philadelphia is very little more than the
mean annual quantity at Glasgow for a term of thirty years preceding
1790. The above greater quantity of rain, in fewer days, in America,
indicates the rain to be much heavier there than in Europe. On the
other hand, it is equally well ascertained, that the evaporation
of these rains proceeds much quicker in America than in Europe; and
that, consequently, the air is habitually drier, and less calm, unless
Charleston be taken as an exception. It has been found, that the
mean annual quantity of evaporation at Cambridge, near Boston, was
fifty-six inches, for a term of seven years; while in seven German
and Italian cities, on a mean of twenty years, the annual evaporation
was forty-nine inches, or seven of difference; although the Italian
cities are in a much more favorable situation for evaporation than the
vicinity of Boston, adjacent to the Atlantic ocean. The same fact of
greater evaporation was also observed to take place in Upper Louisiana,
and along the higher Missouri, as far as the Rocky Mountains, by
Captain Lewis.

The habitual dryness of the American climate increases, as we advance
west and north-west from the Missouri, where there frequently is not
a drop of rain for six months. This is owing to the great distance
from any sea, the superior elevation, and the comparative want of
timber, combined with the greater intensity and longer duration of
the north-west wind, which sweeps with unobstructed force over the
naked plains. It appears, then, that more rain falls in fewer days,
in America, than in Europe; and that there are fewer cloudy days, more
fair days, and quicker evaporation. It is to this last circumstance we
must ascribe those immense dews, unknown in European climates, which
occur in America, and which are so copious in summer, as to resemble
heavy showers of rain. But it must also be observed, that dews are
comparatively unknown in the tract watered by the Upper Missouri; and
which, in all probability, is owing to the want of timber, wood being
limited to the banks of the rivers, which are commonly bordered with
trees.


                      GENERAL REMARKS ON CLIMATE.

  It is the opinion of Professor Leslie, that all the varieties of
  climate are reducible to two causes; distance from the equator,
  and height above the level of the sea. ‘Latitude and local
  elevation form, indeed,’ says he, ‘the great basis of the law of
  climate, and any other modifications have only a partial and very
  limited influence.’

  Climate is generally treated of under four divisions: the cold
  and humid; cold and dry; warm and humid; hot and dry. But these
  climates do not always exist according to the full import of
  the terms by which they are designated. They are subject to
  modifications, principally of two kinds; the one arising from
  the alternation of two different climates in the same region, the
  other from the greater or less prevalence of either of the four
  elements. Thus when heat, dryness, and humidity are duly combined,
  they render the climate comparatively temperate. In Egypt, for
  instance, the combinations of heat and humidity, during the
  inundation of the Nile, and of heat and dryness during the rest of
  the year, temper a climate, without which these alternations would
  be insupportable. In Holland the cold humidity of the autumn is
  succeeded by frost, which increases the salubrity of the climate,
  that would not otherwise be so healthy.

  The sea exercises an important equalizing influence on the
  temperature of the globe. In the tropical regions a large
  extent of ocean spreads coolness on every side, and affords a
  perpetual succession of refreshing breezes. Islands are always,
  comparatively, of more temperate climates than continents, and
  those scattered over the expanse of the Pacific may be said to
  enjoy almost a perpetual spring. The influence of the winds is
  also very important; particularly that of the trade-winds. Blowing
  from east to west across the sands of Africa, the latter produce,
  on its western coast, a most intense heat, much greater than
  is experienced on the eastern. In passing the Atlantic they are
  considerably cooled; and though their temperature is again raised
  in traversing South America, yet, before reaching the opposite
  coast, they meet the tremendous snow-clad Andes, which stop their
  progress and diffuse a wide coolness.

  Again, the mountain ranges of the earth not only present and
  retain on their sides a refreshing coolness, but, by the mighty
  rivers to which they give rise, diffuse a great amelioration of
  the temperature through extensive regions. They are particularly
  of this character, and give rise to the largest rivers in the
  torrid and burning zones of the earth. In the temperate climate,
  and those approaching to the poles, mountains are of moderate
  elevation, are almost always barren, and give rise to few
  considerable streams.

  It appears probable that the climates of European countries were
  more severe in ancient times than they are at present. Cæsar says
  that the vine could not be cultivated in Gaul on account of its
  winter cold. The reindeer, now found only in the zone of Lapland,
  was then an inhabitant of the Pyrenees. The Tiber was frequently
  frozen over, and the ground about Rome covered with snow for
  several weeks together, which very rarely happens in our time.
  The Rhine and the Danube, in the time of Augustus, was generally
  frozen over for several months of winter. The barbarians who
  overran the Roman empire a few centuries afterwards, transported
  their armies and wagons across the ice of these rivers. Though the
  fact is well established, the causes of this change of climate do
  not seem to be satisfactorily explained.



                        CHAPTER XV.――MINERALS.


IN the ordinary mineral productions, such as brick-earth, stone adapted
to building, as well as for any kind of workmanship, and in sand of all
qualities, the resources of the United States are inexhaustible. The
same may be said of many minerals of less universal occurrence, that
may seem to merit a more particular description. To begin with the
precious metals. The gold region commences in Virginia, and extends
south-west through North Carolina, along the northern part of South
Carolina, thence north-westwardly into Alabama, and to its termination
in Tennessee. In 1825, Professor Olmsted published a particular account
of the gold region of North Carolina, as it was then explored; it has
since been found to be vastly more extensive, but the richest mines
are still worked in the region which he described, in the counties of
Mecklenburg, Rowan, Cabarras, Anson, and Davidson. This account, which
is quite minute and interesting, we present slightly abridged in the
following pages:

A geographical description of the gold country, would present little
that is interesting. The soil is, for the most part, barren, and the
inhabitants generally poor and ignorant. The traveller passes a day
without seeing a single striking or beautiful object, either of nature
or of art, to vary the tiresome monotony of forest and sand-hills, and
ridges of gravelly quartz, either strewed coarsely over the ground,
or so comminuted as to form gravel. These ridges have an appearance
of great natural sterility, which is, moreover, greatly aggravated
by the ruinous practice of frequently burning over the forests, so
as to consume all the leaves and undergrowth. The principal mines are
three――the Anson mine, Reed’s mine, and Parker’s mine.

The _Anson Mine_ is situated in the county of the same name, on the
waters of Richardson’s creek, a branch of Rocky river. This locality
was discovered by a ‘gold hunter,’ one of an order of people, that
begin already to be accounted a distinct race. A rivulet winds from
north to south between two gently sloping hills that emerge towards
the south. The bed of the stream, entirely covered with gravel, is
left almost naked during the dry season; the period which is usually
selected by the miners for their operations. On digging from three
to six feet into this bed, the workman comes to that peculiar stratum
of gravel and tenacious blue clay, which is at once recognised as
the repository of the gold. The stream itself usually gives the
first indications of the richness of the bed through which it passes,
by disclosing large pieces of the precious metal shining among its
pebbles and sands. Pieces unusually large were found by those who first
examined Anson’s mine, and the highest hopes were inspired. On inquiry,
it was ascertained that part of the land was not held by a good title,
and parcels of it were immediately entered; it has since been the
subject of a constant litigation, which has retarded the working of
the mine.

_Reed’s Mine_, in Cabarras, is the one which was first wrought; and at
this place, indeed, were obtained the first specimens of gold that were
found in the formation. A large piece was found in the bed of a small
creek, which attracted attention by its lustre and specific gravity;
but it was long retained in the hands of the proprietor, through
ignorance whether or not it was gold. This mine occupies the bed of a
branch of Rocky river, and exhibits a level between two hillocks, which
rise on either side of the creek, affording a space between from fifty
to an hundred yards in breadth. This space has been thoroughly dug over,
and exhibits at present numerous small pits, for a distance of about
one fourth of a mile on both sides of the stream. The surface of the
ground, and the bed of the creek, are occupied by quartz, and by sharp
angular rocks of the greenstone family. The first glance is sufficient
to convince the spectator, that the business of searching for gold
is conducted under numerous disadvantages, without the least regard
to system, and with very little aid from mechanical contrivances.

Large pieces of gold are found in this region, although their
occurrence is somewhat rare. Masses weighing four, five, and sometimes
six hundred pennyweights are occasionally met with, and one mass was
found that weighed in its crude state twenty-eight pounds avoirdupois.
This was dug up by a negro at Reed’s mine, within a few inches of the
surface of the ground. Marvellous stories are told respecting this
rich mass; as that it had been seen by gold hunters at night reflecting
so brilliant a light, when they drew near to it with torches, as to
make them believe it was some supernatural appearance, and to deter
them from further examination. No unusual circumstances, however, were
really connected with its discovery, except its being found unusually
near the surface. It was melted down and cast into bars soon after its
discovery. The spot where it was found has been since subject to the
severest scrutiny, but without any similar harvest.

Another mass, weighing six hundred pennyweights was found on the
surface of a ploughed field in the vicinity of the Yadkin, twenty
miles or more north of Reed’s mine. Specimens of great beauty are
occasionally found, but, for want of mineralogists to reserve them
for cabinets, they have always been melted into bars. Mr. Reed found
a mass of quartz, having a projecting point of gold, of the size of
a large pin’s head. On breaking it open, a brilliant display of green
and yellow colors was presented. The gold weighed twelve pennyweights.
Mineralogists may perhaps recognise, in this description, a congeries
of fine crystals, but on that point the proprietor was uninformed.
Although fragments of greenstone, and of several argillaceous minerals,
occur among the gravel of the gold stratum yet, in the opinion of
the miners, it is never found attached to any other mineral than
quartz. Indeed, it is seldom attached to any substance, but is commonly
scattered promiscuously among the gravel. Its color is generally yellow,
with a reddish tinge, though the surface is not unfrequently obscured
by a partial incrustation of iron or manganese, or adhering particles
of sand. The masses are flattened and vascular, having angles rounded
with evident marks of attrition.

_Parker’s Mine_ is situated on a small stream, four miles south of the
river Yadkin. As in the instance already mentioned, excavations were
numerous in the low grounds adjacent to the stream; but the earth for
washing, which was of a snuff color, was transported from a ploughed
field in the neighborhood, elevated about fifty or sixty feet above
the stream. The earth at this place, which contained the gold, was of
a deeper red than that of either the other mines. The gold found here
is chiefly in flakes and grains. Occasionally, however, pieces are met
with that weigh one hundred pennyweights, and upwards; and one mass
has been discovered that weighed four pounds and eleven ounces. This
is said to have been found at the depth of ten feet.

The mines have given some peculiarities to the state of society in the
neighboring country. The precious metal is a most favorite acquisition,
and constitutes the common currency. Almost every man carries about
with him a goose quill or two of it, and a small pair of scales in
a box like a spectacle case. The value, as in patriarchal times, is
ascertained by weight, which, from the dexterity acquired by practice,
is a less troublesome mode of counting money than one would imagine.

The greatest part of the gold collected at these mines is bought up,
by country merchants, at ninety or ninety-one cents a pennyweight.
They carry it to market-towns, as Fayetteville, Cheraw, Charleston,
and New York. Much of this is bought up by jewellers; some remains in
the banks; and a considerable quantity has been received at the Mint of
the United States. Hence it is not easy to ascertain the precise amount
which the mines have afforded. The value of that portion received at
the mint, before the year 1820, was forty-three thousand six hundred
and eighty-nine dollars. It is alloyed with a small portion of silver
and copper, but is still purer than standard gold, being twenty-three
carats fine.

Since the year 1827, the gold mines of Virginia have attracted
considerable attention. The belt of country in which they are found
extends through Spotsylvania and some neighboring counties. The gold
region abounds in quartz, which contains cubes of sulphuret of iron.
These cubes are often partly or totally decomposed; and the cells
thus created are sometimes filled with gold. The gold is found on the
surface and in the structure of quartz; but in the greatest abundance
resting upon slate and in its fissures. It is diffused over a large
extent, and has not yet been found sufficiently in mass, except in a
few places, to make mining profitable. The method of obtaining the
metal is by filtration, or washing the earth, and by an amalgam of
quicksilver. The average value of the earth yielding gold, is stated
at twenty cents a bushel.

Habersham and Hall counties are the chief seat of the gold mines of
Georgia, and its discovery there has been very recent. The search was
commenced by a gentleman of the name of Wilhero, and proved eminently
successful; deposits of gold were found in the counties mentioned,
and discovery followed discovery. In the Cherokee nation, which was
separated by the Chestetee river, the indications of gold were not
strong, but report exaggerated them, and this unfortunate nation was
intruded upon as a common; at one time, about five thousand adventurers
were engaged in digging up the face of the country. The owners of the
gold lands in Habersham and Hall counties were many of them poor and
destitute, and, with the exception of a few deposits, the most valuable
tracts were sold to speculators. Many of these have frequently changed
owners at increased prices, and four companies have regularly commenced
mining operations.[40]

Silver and its ores are not of frequent or extensive occurrence
in the United States. Doctor Dana states the curious fact, that a
mass three or four inches in diameter, composed principally of native
silver in filaments, was found on the top of a wall near Portsmouth,
New Hampshire; the surrounding hills are chiefly greenstone. Mercury,
which has been found native in Kentucky, occurs more plentifully as
a sulphuret in Ohio and the Michigan territory, more particularly on
the shores of lakes Michigan, Huron, St. Clair, Detroit river, and Lake
Erie, to the mouth of Vermilion river. It occurs in the soil in the
form of a black and red sand, but is usually more abundant in banks of
fine ferruginous clay. Near the mouth of Vermilion river, it is in the
form of a very fine powder, or in grains and small masses, disseminated
in clay. It yields by distillation about sixty per cent. of mercury.

Copper, in various forms, is found in the United States, but the ores
do not appear to be brought into use. It is not found on the shores
of Lake Superior so abundantly as was anticipated; but many specimens
of copper ore have been found at different points in the Mississippi
valley. Specimens of pure and malleable copper have been obtained; one
of which, said to have been found in Illinois, weighed three pounds.
Iron ores are abundant in the United States. Those hitherto worked are
chiefly the magnetic oxide, brown hematite, and the argillaceous oxide,
particularly bog ore. The more important ores are the following, viz.:
in New Hampshire, the magnetic oxide; in Vermont, brown hematite and
bog ore; in Massachusetts, bog ore; in Rhode Island, brown hematite;
in Connecticut, brown hematite and bog ore; in New York, the magnetic,
specular, and argillaceous oxides; in New Jersey, the magnetic and
argillaceous oxides; in Pennsylvania, and the states south and west,
the magnetic oxide, brown hematite, and the argillaceous oxide.

To these may now be added the carbonate of iron, which has
recently been successfully smelted, and which produces iron having the
carbonaceous impregnation of steel, whence it has been called steel
ore. In New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the ore is found in
abundance, and of a quality not exceeded in Sweden. The Connecticut
and Virginia iron is highly esteemed.

Ores of lead are extensively found in the territories; and in Ohio
it is said to have been met with native, forming slips, or slender
prismatic masses, in crystallized galena. This mineral is found in
various places, from the Arkansas river to the North-West territory,
the precise line of the Ozark and Shawnee Mountains, a tract which
seems to constitute one of the most important and extensive deposits of
lead hitherto known. On the Arkansas, the ore is smelted by the Osage
Indians for bullets. To the northward, some valuable mines at Prairie
du Chien are imperfectly worked by the proprietors of the soil. But
the most important mines are those of Cape Girardeau district, commonly
known as the lead mines of Missouri. The mining district is situated
between two prominent ridges of sandstone which bound the valley of
Grand river, or the basin of Potosi. These ridges diverge in their
course northward, and are intercepted by the Merameg, which receives
the waters of Grand river, and forms a boundary to the mining district
in that direction.

In Illinois are the richest lead mines in the world. The district
which furnishes the ore, lies in the north-west part, and extends
beyond the limits of the state. It comprises a tract of above two
hundred miles in extent. The ore is inexhaustible. It lies in beds
or horizontal strata, varying in thickness from one inch to several
feet. It yields seventy-five per cent. of pure lead. For many years
the Indians and hunters were accustomed to dig for the metal; they
never penetrated much below the surface, but obtained great quantities
of the ore, which they sold to the traders. The public attention was
drawn to this quarter, and, from 1826 to 1828, the country was filled
with miners, smelters, merchants, speculators, and adventurers. Vast
quantities of lead were manufactured; the business was overdone, and
the markets nearly destroyed. At present, the business is reviving,
and in 1830, there were eight million three hundred and twenty-three
thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight pounds of lead made at the mines.
The whole quantity obtained, from 1821 to 1830, was forty million
eighty-eight thousand eight hundred and sixty pounds. The principal
mines are in the neighborhood of Galena.

Coal is found in the United States in great quantities, though the
abundance of wood has hitherto impeded the working of the mines to
their full capability. The coal found at different localities has
been classed by Professor Eaton under the following heads: first, the
genuine anthracite, or glance coal, found in the transition argillite,
as at Worcester in Massachusetts, and Newport in Rhode Island; also in
small quantities in the north and south range of argillites along the
bed and banks of the river Hudson. Second, coal destitute of bitumen,
usually called anthracite, but differing greatly in its character from
the anthracite found in argillite. It may be called anasphaltic coal.
This is embraced in slate rock, being the lowest of the lower series
of secondary rocks. This coal formation is equivalent to the great
coal measures of Europe. The principal localities of this coal are
in the state of Pennsylvania; as at Carbondale, Lehigh, Lackawanna,
and Wilkesbarre. Third, the proper bituminous coal, as at Tioga and
Lyocoming. This coal is embraced in a slate rock, which is the lowest
of the series of upper secondary rocks. The fourth formation is the
lignite coal, which is found in a very extensive stratum in the state
of New Jersey, along the south shore of the Bay of Amboy.

The anthracite of Pennsylvania is found in the Wyoming and
Lackawanna valley, situated between the Blue Ridge and the Susquehanna.
The coal district is chiefly occupied by mountains which run parallel
to the Blue Ridge, and are fifteen hundred feet high. But little of
this surface, with the exception of a few narrow valleys, invites
cultivation. These mountains are mostly in a wild state, and offer a
secure retreat to cougars, wolves, bears, and other animals.

The rocks of the above described region are of a transition class,
and present little diversity. Gray wacke slate occurs in abundance,
loose on the surface and in ledges. It is sometimes based on old red
sand-stone, and surmounted by unstratified rock, and aggregate of
quartz, pebbles of various dimensions, with a cement principally
silicious. In the Blue Ridge, in addition to the above described rock,
a silicious gray wacke, resembling fine grained granular quartz, is
common. It appears in some places massive, but is often slaty. Its
cement is chiefly silicious; some alumine, however, is indicated in
its composition.

The beds and veins of anthracite range from north-east to south-west,
and may often be traced for a considerable distance by the compass.
The veins have the inclination of the adjacent strata of gray wacke,
with which they often alternate, usually between twenty and forty-five
degrees. In a few places they are horizontal and vertical. The beds and
veins of anthracite have narrow strata of dark colored, fine grained,
argillaceous schist, for the roof and floor. This slate generally
contains sulphuret of iron, and disintegrates on exposure to the air.
The sulphates of iron and alumine are often observed in the schist, and
it frequently presents impressions of plants and sometimes of marine
shells. Impure pulverulent coal is usually connected with this slate,
and is said to be a good material for printers’ ink.

Anthracite has been found in the greatest quantity in sections of
coal regions most accessible by water. Extensive beds and veins range
from the Lehigh to the Susquehanna, crossing the head-waters of the
Schuylkill and Swatara, about ten miles north-west of Blue Ridge, and
it abounds contiguous to the Susquehanna and Lackawanna. But in no part
of the district does anthracite occur in such apparently inexhaustible
beds, or is so abundantly raised, as in the vicinity of Mauch Chunk, a
village situated on the Lehigh, thirty-five miles from Easton, and one
hundred and eight by water from Philadelphia.

The coal is there excavated on the flat summit of a mountain that rises
nearly fifteen hundred feet above the ocean. It is of good quality, and
presents beds of unparalleled extent; is disclosed for several miles on
the summit, wherever excavations have been made, and is indicated in
many places by coal slate in a pulverulent state, on the surface. The
mountain rises with a steep acclivity, particularly on the north-west
side, and when penetrated at various altitudes, discloses coal at
about the same distance from the surface. Strata of grey wacke slate,
containing mica, sometimes rest on the coal, parallel with the mountain
side. In the deep excavations made on the summit, no termination of the
coal bed has been found, and it is not improbable that the anthracite
forms the nucleus of the mountain for a considerable distance.

This coal mountain range is described as extending in a south-west
direction to the Susquehanna. To the north-east, beyond the Lehigh, it
is connected with the Broad Mountain, the first considerable elevation
west of the Blue Ridge. The Lehigh from Mauch Chunk to the water gap,
eleven miles, winds between rocky mountains, with a brisk current, but
presents no falls. The road usually runs near the stream, and sometimes
at a considerable elevation above, on the side of the steep mountain.
In its passage through the Kittetany, or Blue Ridge, the river has
a tranquil but slightly inclined course. On the adjacent elevation,
yellow pine, hemlock, and spruce, are interspersed with deciduous
trees. From the water gap to the Delaware, the river pursues its course
in a deep ravine, seldom with alluvial borders of much extent. In
this district of country, the soil generally rests on limestone sinks,
indicating caves; and fissures in the rocks are often observed, that
must, in some places, render canalling difficult. From the confluence
of the Lehigh with the Delaware to tide-water, the descent is one
hundred and fifty feet.

The village of Mauch Chunk is situated on the western bank of the
Lehigh, in a deep romantic ravine, between rocky mountains that rise
in some parts precipitously to eight hundred or one thousand feet
above the stream. Space was procured for dwellings, by breaking down
the adjacent rocks and filling up a part of the ravine of Mauch Chunk
Creek. A portion of this stream has been transferred to an elevated
railway, and is used to propel a grist-mill. Within a few years the
Lehigh Company have erected, and are proprietors of, a large number
of dwellings and buildings of every description, including a spacious
hotel, a store, furnaces, grist-mills, and several saw-mills: about
eight hundred men are employed by the company.[41]

Next to Mauch Chunk, Mount Carbon, or Pottsville, as it is now called,
situated at the head of the Schuylkill canal, has been the principal
source of the supply of anthracite. Many large veins are worked within
three miles of the landing; and some have been opened seven miles to
the north-east; in the direction of the Lehigh beds.

On almost every eminence adjacent to Pottsville, indications of coal
are disclosed. The veins generally run in a north-east direction, with
an inclination of about forty-five degrees, and are from three to nine
feet in thickness; commencing at or near the surface they penetrate to
an unknown depth, and can often be traced on hills for a considerable
distance, by sounding in a north-east or south-west direction. Some
veins have been wrought to the depth of two hundred feet without the
necessity of draining; the inclined slate roof shielding them from
water.

Where the ground admits, it is considered the best mode of working
veins, to commence at the back of a coal eminence, or as low as
possible, and work up, filling the excavation with slate and fine coal,
leaving a horizontal passage for the coal barrows. A section of a wide
vein near Pottsville, has been wrought by this mode several hundred
feet into the hill. The same vein is explored from parts of the summit
by vertical and inclined shafts. The coal and slate handled, are raised
by horse-power, in wagons by a rail-way that has the inclination of
the vein. Veins of coal alternate with gray wacke slate in the hill.
Vegetable impression sometimes occur in the argillaceous schist that
forms the roof of the Pottsville coal veins.

The western part of Pennsylvania is abundantly supplied with bituminous
coal, as the eastern is with anthracite. It is found on the rivers
Conemaugh, Alleghany, and Monongahela, and in numerous places to the
west of the Alleghany ridge, which is generally its eastern boundary;
it occurs on this mountain at a considerable elevation, and elsewhere,
in nearly a horizontal position, alternating with gray sand-stone
that is often micaceous and bordered by argillaceous schist. The veins
are generally narrow, rarely over six feet in width. This mineral is
abundant and of good quality near Pittsburg, where it is valuable for
their extensive manufactures. Beds of bituminous coal are reported as
occurring in Bedford county, in the north-west part of Luzerne, and in
Bradford county. In the last county, nine miles from the Susquehanna,
there is an extensive bed of coal, regarded as bituminous. It has been
penetrated thirty feet without fathoming the depth of the strata.

Bituminous coal is abundant in Tioga county, state of New York. The
summit level is forty-four feet above the river, and upwards of four
hundred above the lake. It occurs on the Tioga, and on the Chemung, a
branch of that river. Bituminous coal exists on the numerous streams
that descend the western side of the extensive peninsula, situated
between the north and west branches of the Susquehanna.

The appearance of the Tioga, or bituminous coal, differs but little
from the best Liverpool or Newcastle coal. Its color is velvet black,
with a slight resinous lustre, its structure is slaty or foliated, and
its layers as in the best English coal, divided in prismatic solids,
with bases slightly rhomboidal; it is easily frangible, and slightly
soils the finger. It burns with a bright flame and considerable smoke,
with a slight bituminous smell, a sort of ebullition taking place, and,
as the heat increases, an appearance of semi-fusion leaving a slight
residue or scoria.

Graphite or plumbago, commonly but improperly called black lead, occurs
extensively in primitive and transition rocks; from that which is
obtained in New York, excellent pencils have been made. There are also
numerous localities of petroleum, or mineral oil. It usually floats
on the surface of springs, which in many cases are known to be in the
vicinity of coal. It is sometimes called Seneca or Gennessee oil. In
Kentucky, it occurs on a spring of water in a state sufficiently liquid
to burn in a lamp; it is collected in considerable quantities.

Salt appears to be abundant in the United States, but it has not been
found in the mass. It is principally obtained from the springs which
have been noticed in another part of the work. Professor Eaton has
suggested doubts whether masses of salt really exist. He conceives
that an apparatus for the spontaneous manufacture of salt may be
found within the bosom of the earth, in those rocks which contain the
necessary elements, and in this opinion he is supported by experiment.
Subsequently, however, Mr. Eaton had reason to think that salt has
existed in a solid state in cubical crystals, the hollow forms of which
he discovered abundantly in the lias and saline rocks of the west,
and it seems still to be highly probable that masses of salt exist
in the neighborhood of the salt springs. The brine contains, besides
the muriate of soda, a considerable proportion of muriate of lime and
magnesia. Recently, also, bromine has been detected in the brine of
salina, by Dr. Silliman. Saltpetre is abundant in the west, being found
in numberless caves along the Missouri; and the shores of the Arkansas
are almost covered with nitre. The testimony of Mr. Schoolcraft, in
relation to the recent formation of quartz crystals, is very striking.
They have been found, it appears, upon the handle of a spade, and
the edge of some old shoes, which had been left for some years in
an abandoned lead mine of the Shawnee Mountains. Crystals of great
beauty and dimensions have been found in numerous localities. Many
minerals which are rare in Europe, are found abundantly, and often in
finer forms, in the United States; some, which have subsequently been
detected elsewhere, were first discovered here, and not a few may still
be claimed as the peculiar treasure of our country.


                     GENERAL REMARKS ON MINERALS.

  It is observed by Dr. Mead, that a general resemblance can be
  traced between the minerals of North America, and those which
  have been found in the north of Europe, particularly in Norway
  and Sweden. This resemblance is stated to exist, not merely in
  the properties of the minerals themselves, but in the geological
  character, and geognostic situation throughout the whole series.
  It is observed more particularly in those specimens which are
  found to accompany the primitive formation at Arendal, in Norway;
  it is not confined, however, to the primitive range of mountains
  alone, as the same resemblance can be frequently traced, on
  comparing American minerals with those of Piedmont, and even of
  the Hartz Mountains. Among the principal minerals of the north of
  Europe, there are none of more importance than the ores of iron
  for which Norway and Sweden are so remarkable; and every variety
  of this mineral which has been met with there, has been found in
  the same class of rocks in America in the greatest abundance,
  and of equally good quality. Titanium is one of those metals
  which have been found more particularly in the north of Europe.
  It is said to occur frequently in those primitive aggregates
  which contain beds of magnetic iron ore, associated with augite,
  scapolite, epidote and hornblende, precisely the same rocks in
  which we find it in this country. There is scarcely any part of
  Europe where a greater variety of augites are found than in Norway
  and Sweden; nor can there be any class of minerals in which the
  similitude between the specimens from those countries and America
  is more striking.

  Mineralogy, considered as a pure science, is of very recent date.
  Early observations related merely to the usefulness of minerals
  to the purposes of society, and it was not before the lapse of
  many ages that they came to be investigated on account of their
  great variety, and the beautiful arrangements of which they
  are susceptible. No attempt was made to classify them before
  the introduction of alchemy into Europe by the Arabians; and to
  Avicenna belongs the merit of the first arrangement. He divided
  minerals into stones, metals, sulphurous fossils, and salts. In
  1774, Werner published his great work on the External Properties
  of Minerals, which was of eminent service in first calling the
  attention of naturalists to the only correct method of arriving
  at a knowledge of this department of nature. The study of minerals
  has received considerable attention during the last twenty years
  in the United States.



                        CHAPTER XVI.――ANIMALS.


                            I. QUADRUPEDS.

The _Black Bear_ (ursus Americanus) is found in considerable numbers
in the northern districts of America. In size and form he approaches
nearest to the Brown Bear; but his color is a uniform shining jet
black, except on the muzzle, where it is fawn colored; on the lips and
sides of the mouth it is almost gray. The hair, except on the muzzle,
is long and straight, and is less shaggy than in most other species.
The forehead has a slight elevation, and the muzzle is elongated,
and somewhat flattened above. The young ones, however, are first of a
bright ash color, which gradually changes into a deep brown, and ends
by becoming a deep black.

  Illustration: Black Bear.

The American Black Bear lives a solitary life in forests and
uncultivated deserts, and subsists on fruits, and on the young shoots
and roots of vegetables. Of honey he is exceedingly fond, and as he
is a most expert climber, he scales the loftiest trees in search of
it. Fish, too, he delights in, and is often found in quest of it on
the borders of lakes and on the seashore. When these resources fail, he
will attack small quadrupeds, and even animals of some magnitude. As,
indeed, is usual in such cases, the love of flesh in him grows with the
use of it.

As the fur is of some value, the Indians are assiduous in the chase
of the creature which produces it. ‘About the end of December, from
the abundance of fruits they find in Louisiana and the neighboring
countries, the bears become so fat and lazy that they can scarcely run.
At this time they are hunted by the American Indians. The nature of the
chase is generally this: the bear chiefly adopts for his retreat the
hollow trunk of an old cypress tree, which he climbs, and then descends
into the cavity from above. The hunter, whose business it is to watch
him into this retreat, climbs a neighboring tree, and seats himself
opposite to the hole. In one hand he holds his gun, and in the other
a torch, which he darts into the cavity. Frantic with rage and terror,
the bear makes a spring from his station; but the hunter seizes the
instant of his appearance, and shoots him.’

The black bear, says Godman, like all the species of this genus,
is very tenacious of life, and seldom falls unless shot through the
brain or heart. An experienced hunter never advances on a bear that
has fallen, without first stopping to load his rifle, as the beast
frequently recovers to a considerable degree, and would then be a
most dangerous adversary. The skull of the bear appears actually
to be almost impenetrable, and a rifle ball, fired at a distance of
ninety-six yards, has been flattened against it, without appearing
to do any material injury to the bone. The best place to direct blows
against the bear is upon his snout; when struck elsewhere, his dense
woolly coat, thick hide, and robust muscles, render manual violence
almost entirely unavailing.

When the bear is merely wounded, it is very dangerous to attempt to
kill him with such a weapon as a knife or tomahawk, or indeed any thing
which may bring one within his reach. In this way hunters and others
have paid very dearly for their rashness, and barely escaped with their
lives; the following instance may serve as an example of the danger of
such an enterprise:

‘Mr. Mayborne, who resides in Ovid township, Cayuga county, between the
Seneca and Cayuga lakes, in the state of New-York, went one afternoon
through the woods in search of his horses, taking with him his rifle
and the only load of ammunition he had in the house. On his return home,
about an hour before dusk, he perceived a very large bear crossing his
path, on which he instantly fired, and the bear fell, but immediately
recovering his legs, made for a deep ravine a short way onwards. Here
he tracked him awhile by the blood, but night coming on, and expecting
to find him dead in the morning, he returned home. A little before
daybreak the next morning, taking a pitchfork and hatchet, and his
son, a boy of ten or eleven years of age, with him, he proceeded to
the place in quest of the animal. The glen or ravine into which he
had disappeared the evening before, was eighty or ninety feet from the
top of the bank to the brook below; down this precipice a stream of
three or four yards in breadth is pitched in one unbroken sheet, and,
forming a circular basin or pool, winds away among the thick underwood.

‘After reconnoitering every probable place of retreat, he at length
discovered the bear, who had made his way up the other side of the
ravine, as far us the rocks would admit, and sat under a projecting
cliff, steadfastly eyeing the motions of his enemy. Mayborne, desiring
his boy to remain where he was, took the pitchfork, and, descending
to the bottom, determined from necessity to attack him from below. The
bear kept his position until the man approached within six or seven
feet, when on the instant, instead of being able to make a stab with
the pitchfork, he found himself grappled by the bear, and both together
rolled towards the pond, at least twenty or twenty-five feet, the bear
biting on his left arm, and hugging him almost to suffocation. By great
exertion he thrust his right arm partly down his throat, and in that
manner endeavored to strangle him, but was once more hurled headlong
down through the bushes, a greater distance than before, into the
water. Here, finding the bear gaining on him, he made one desperate
effort, and drew the animal’s head partly under water, and repeating
his exertions, at last weakened him so much, that calling to his boy,
who stood on the other side, in a state little short of distraction
for the fate of his father, to bring him the hatchet, he sunk the edge
of it by repeated blows into the brain of the bear. This man, although
robust and muscular, was scarcely able to crawl home, where he lay
for nearly three weeks, the flesh of his arm being much crushed, and
his breast severely mangled. The bear weighed upwards of four hundred
pounds.’

_Grisly Bear._――This animal, like the species just described,
inhabits the northern part of America; but, unlike him, he is, perhaps,
the most formidable of all bears in magnitude and ferocity. He averages
twice the bulk of the black bear, to which, however, he bears some
resemblance in his slightly elevated forehead, and narrow, flattened,
elongated muzzle. His canine teeth are of great size and power. The
feet are enormously large; the breadth of the fore foot exceeding nine
inches, and the length of the hind foot exclusive of the talons, being
eleven inches and three quarters, and its breadth seven inches. The
talons sometimes measure more than six inches. He is, accordingly,
admirably adapted for digging up the ground, but is unable to climb
trees, in which latter respect he differs wholly from every other
species. The color of his hair varies to almost an indefinite extent,
between all the intermediate shades of a light gray and a black brown;
the latter tinge, however, being that which predominates. It is always,
in some degree, grizzled, by intermixture of grayish hairs, only the
brown hairs being tipped with gray. The hair itself is, in general,
longer, finer, and more exuberant than that of the black bear.

The neighborhood of the Rocky Mountains is one of the principal
haunts of this animal. There, amidst wooded plains, and tangled copses
of bough and underwood, he reigns as much the monarch as the lion is
of the sandy wastes of Africa. Even the bison cannot withstand his
attack. Such is his muscular strength, that he will drag the ponderous
carcass of the animal to a convenient spot, where he digs a pit for its
reception. The Indians regard him with the utmost terror. His extreme
tenacity of life renders him still more dangerous; for he can endure
repeated wounds which would be instantaneously mortal to other beasts,
and, in that state, can rapidly pursue his enemy. So that the hunter
who fails to shoot him through the brain, is placed in a most perilous
situation.

One evening, the men in the hindmost of one of Lewis and Clark’s
canoes, perceived one of these bears lying in the open ground about
three hundred paces from the river; and six of them, who were all good
hunters, went to attack him. Concealing themselves by a small eminence,
they were able to approach within forty paces unperceived; four of
the hunters now fired, and each lodged a ball in his body, two of
which passed directly through the lungs. The bear sprang up and ran
furiously with open mouth upon them; two of the hunters, who had
reserved their fire, gave him two additional wounds, and one breaking
his shoulder-blade, somewhat retarded his motions. Before they could
again load their guns, he came so close on them, that they were obliged
to run towards the river, and before they had gained it, the bear had
almost overtaken them. Two men jumped into the canoe; the other four
separated, and concealing themselves among the willows, fired as fast
as they could load their pieces. Several times the bear was struck, but
each shot seemed only to direct his fury towards the hunter; at last he
pursued them so closely, that they threw aside their guns and pouches,
and jumped from a perpendicular bank twenty feet high into the river.
The bear sprang after them, and was very near the hindmost man, when
one of the hunters on the shore shot him through the head and finally
killed him. When they dragged him on shore, they found that eight balls
had passed through his body in different directions.

On another occasion, the same enterprising travellers met with the
largest bear of this species they had ever seen; when they fired he
did not attempt to attack, but fled with a tremendous roar, and such
was his tenacity of life, that although five balls had passed through
the lungs, and five other wounds were inflicted, he swam more than half
across the river to a sand-bar, and survived more than twenty minutes.

Mr. John Dougherty, a very experienced and respectable hunter, who
accompanied Major Long’s party during their expedition to the Rocky
Mountains, several times very narrowly escaped from the grizzly bear.
Once, while hunting with another person on one of the upper tributaries
of the Missouri, he heard the report of his companion’s rifle, and when
he looked round, beheld him at a short distance endeavoring to escape
from one of these bears, which he had wounded as it was coming towards
him. Dougherty, forgetful of every thing but the preservation of his
friend, hastened to call off the attention of the bear, and arrived
in rifle shot distance just in time to effect his generous purpose.
He discharged his ball at the animal, and was obliged in his turn to
fly; his friend relieved from immediate danger, prepared for another
attack by charging his rifle, with which he again wounded the bear,
and saved Mr. D. from further peril. Neither received any injury from
this encounter, in which the bear was at length killed.

_The Raccoon._――This animal continues to be frequently found even in
the populous parts of the United States. Occasionally their numbers are
so much increased, as to render them very troublesome to the farmers
in the low and wooded parts of Maryland, bordering on the Chesapeak
Bay. Being peculiarly fond of sweet substances, they are sometimes
destructive to plantations of sugar-cane, and of Indian corn. While
the ear of this corn is still young and tender, it is very sweet, and
at that time troops of raccoons frequently enter fields of maize, and
in a single night commit the most extensive depredations.

  Illustration: Raccoon.

The size of the raccoon varies with the age and sex of the individual.
When full grown, the male is about a foot in length, or a few inches
longer; the highest part of the back is about a foot from the ground,
whilst the highest part of the shoulder is ten inches. The head is
about five inches, and the tail rather more than eight. The general
color of the body is a blackish gray, which is paler on the under
part. The feet have five toes each, terminated by strong curved and
pointed claws; and each foot is furnished with five thick and very
elastic tubercles beneath. The fur of the raccoon forms an article
of considerable value in commerce, as it is extensively used in the
manufacture of hats.

‘The raccoon,’ says Godman, ‘is an excellent climber, and his strong
sharp claws effectually secure him from being shaken off the branches
of trees. In fact, so tenaciously does this animal hold to any surface
upon which it can make an impression with its claws, that it requires
a considerable exertion of a man’s strength to drag him off; and as
long as even a single foot remains attached, he continues to cling with
great force. I have had frequent occasion to pull a raccoon from the
top of a board fence, where there was no projection which he could
seize by; yet, such was the power and obstinacy with which the points
of his claws were stuck into the board, as repeatedly to oblige me to
desist for fear of tearing his skin, or otherwise doing him an injury
by the violence necessary to detach his hold.’

‘Water seems to be essential to their comfort, if not of absolute
necessity for the preparation of their food. I have had for some time,
and at the moment of writing this have yet, a male and female raccoon
in the yard. Their greatest delight appears to be dabbling in water,
of which a large tub is always kept for their use. They are frequently
seen sitting on the edge of this tub, very busily engaged in playing
with a piece of broken china, glass, or a small cake of ice. When they
have any substance which sinks, they both paddle with their fore feet
with great eagerness, until it is caught, and then it is held by one,
with both paws, and rubbed between them; or a struggle ensues for the
possession of it, and when it is dropped the same sport is renewed. The
coldest weather in winter does not in the least deter them from thus
dabbling in the water for amusement; nor has this action much reference
to their feeding, as it is performed at any time, even directly after
feeding till satiated. I have frequently broken the ice on the surface
of their tub, late at night, in the very coldest winter weather, and
they have both left their sleeping place with much alacrity, to stand
paddling the fragments of ice about, with their fore legs in the water
nearly up to the breast. Indeed, these animals have never evinced the
slightest dislike to cold, or suffered in any degree therefrom; they
have in all weathers slept in a flour-barrel thrown on its side, with
one end entirely open, and without any material of which to make a
bed. They show no repugnance to being sprinkled or dashed with water,
and voluntarily remain exposed to the rain or snow, which wets them
thoroughly, notwithstanding their long hair, which, being almost erect,
is not well suited to turn the rain. These raccoons are very fond of
each other, and express the greatest delight on meeting, after having
been separated for a short time, by various movements, and by hugging
and rolling one another about on the ground.’

‘My raccoons are, at the time of writing this, more than a year old,
and have been in captivity for six or eight months. They are very
frolicsome and amusing, and show no disposition to bite or injure
any one, except when accidentally trodden on. They are equally free
from any disposition to injure children, as has been observed of
other individuals. We frequently turn them loose in the parlor, and
they appear to be highly delighted, romping with each other and the
children, without doing any injury even to the youngest. Their alleged
disposition to hurt children especially, may probably be fairly
explained by the fact above mentioned, that they always attempt to bite
when suddenly hurt, and few children touch animals without pinching or
hurting them. They exhibit this spirit of retaliation, not only to man,
but when they accidentally hurt themselves against an inanimate body;
I have many times been amused to observe the expression of spite with
which one of them has sprung at and bit the leg of a chair or table,
after knocking himself against it so as to hurt some part of his body.

‘These animals may be tamed while young, but as they grow to maturity,
most generally become fierce and even dangerous. I have had one so
tame as to follow a servant about through the house or streets, though
entirely at liberty; this was quite young when obtained, and grew so
fond of human society as to complain very loudly, by a sort of chirping
or whining noise, when left alone. Nothing can possibly exceed the
domesticated raccoon in restless and mischievous curiosity, if suffered
to go about the house. Every chink is ransacked, every article of
furniture explored, and the neglect of servants to secure closet doors,
is sure to be followed by extensive mischief, the evil being almost
uniformly augmented by the alarm caused to the author of it, whose
ill-directed efforts to escape from supposed peril, increase at the
same time the noise and the destruction.’

The _Puma_, or American Lion was once spread over the new world,
from Canada to Patagonia, but it is not now common in any part of the
United States, except the unsettled districts. It is usually called
the panther, or painter by the common people. It is also called the
catamount. The progress of civilization has, however, circumscribed
his range, and has rooted him out in many places. Notwithstanding his
size and strength, he is cowardly; and, like almost all cowards, he is
sanguinary. If he find a flock of sheep unprotected, he will destroy
the whole, merely that he may enjoy the luxury of sucking their blood.
He has a small rounded head, a broad and rather obtuse muzzle, and a
body which, in proportion, is slenderer and less elevated than that
of his more dignified namesake. ‘The upper parts of his body,’ says
Mr. Bennett, ‘are of a bright silvery fawn, the tawny hairs being
terminated by whitish tips: beneath and on the inside of the limbs he
is nearly white, and more completely so on the throat, chin, and upper
lip. The head has an irregular mixture of black and gray; the outside
of the ears, especially at the base, the sides of the muzzle from
which the whiskers take their origin, and the extremity of the tail,
are black.’ The fur of the cubs has spots of a darker hue, which are
visible only in certain lights, and disappear when the animal is full
grown. Both the sexes are of the same color.[42]

  Illustration: The Puma, or Cougar.

_American Wild Cat._ This animal bears a strong resemblance to the
domestic cat, and its motions are very similar. It stands high upon its
legs, and has a short curved tail. Its principal food consists of birds,
squirrels, and other small animals which abound in the woody districts
it inhabits. Though common in the western states, the wild cat is
seldom found in New England.

_The Moose._――This animal, which in Europe is called the elk, is an
inhabitant of the northern parts of America, but is found in no part of
the United States excepting Maine, where it is now met with but seldom.
Its figure is ungraceful and clumsy. During summer, the moose frequents
swampy or low grounds, on the borders of lakes, in which it is fond
of bathing, and whose plants form a favorite article of its food. In
winter, the moose seeks the depths of the forest for shelter, and a
herd of fifteen or twenty take possession of a tract of about five
hundred acres, where they subsist on the tender twigs and the mosses of
the trees. To these places the Indians give the name of ‘moose-yards.’
Like other northern animals, the moose is much vexed by insects, which
deposit their eggs in different parts of his body, and at certain
seasons of the year render his skin worthless to the hunter. At other
times, the skin is very valuable, and serves the Indians for clothing
and tent covers. This species is much hunted, and has so rapidly
diminished within a few years, that there are fears it will become
extinct.

  Illustration: Moose.

The moose is hunted generally in March, when the snow is of sufficient
depth and hardness to sustain the weight of a dog. Five or six hunters
generally join in the pursuit and carry provisions to last them nearly
a week. The chase is commenced at daybreak, when the dogs are set on,
and the hunters who wear snow-shoes follow as closely as possible.
When started and attacked by the dogs, the moose attempts to escape by
flight. The crust of ice covering the snow breaks at every step, and
the poor creature cuts his legs so severely that he is obliged to stand
at bay, and endeavors to defend himself against his assailants by means
of his fore feet. In this situation he is despatched by the rifle ball
of the hunter.

_The Elk._――The elk is still occasionally found in the remote and
thinly settled parts of Pennsylvania, but the number is small; it is
only in the western wilds that they are seen in considerable herds.
They are fond of the great forests, where a luxuriant vegetation
affords them an abundant supply of buds and tender twigs; or of
the great plains, where the solitude is seldom interrupted, and all
bounteous nature spreads an immense field of verdure for their support.

The elk is shy and retiring; having acute senses, he receives early
warning of the approach of any human intruder. The moment the air is
tainted by the odor of his enemy, his head is erected with spirit, his
ears rapidly thrown in every direction to catch the sounds, and his
large dark glistening eye expresses the most eager attention. Soon as
the approaching hunter is fairly discovered, the elk bounds along for
a few paces, as if trying his strength for flight, stops, turns half
round, and scans his pursuer with a steady gaze, then, throwing back
his lofty horns upon his neck, and projecting his taper nose forwards,
he springs from the ground and advances with a velocity which soon
leaves the object of his dread far out of sight.[43]

This animal appears to be more ready to attack with his horns than any
other species of deer. When at bay, and especially if slightly wounded,
he fights with great eagerness, as if resolved to be revenged. The
following instance from Long’s Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, will,
in some degree, illustrate this statement.

A herd of twenty or thirty elk were seen at no great distance from the
party, standing in the water or lying upon the sand beach. One of the
finest bucks was singled out by a hunter, who fired upon him, whereupon
the whole herd plunged into the thicket and disappeared. Relying upon
the skill of the hunter, and confident that his shot was fatal, several
of the party dismounted and pursued the elk into the woods, where the
wounded buck was soon overtaken. Finding his pursuers close upon him,
the elk turned furiously upon the foremost, who only saved himself
by springing into a thicket, which was impassable to the elk, whose
enormous antlers becoming so entangled in the vines as to be covered
to their tips, he was held fast and blindfolded, and was despatched by
repeated bullets and stabs.

_Black-tailed Deer._――The habits of this animal are similar to those
of its kindred species, except that it has a manner of bounding along,
instead of running at full speed. It is found in prairies and open
grounds, west of the Rocky Mountains, and but seldom in the woodlands.
It is larger than the common deer, and its flesh is considered inferior;
its eye is larger, and the hair coarse. The ears are very long, being
half the length of the whole antler. It was first observed by the
members of Lewis and Clarke’s expedition, and was described by Say.

_Common Deer._――This species, sometimes called the Virginia Deer, is
found throughout the United States, with such varieties in its size
and coloring, as naturally arise from variety of climate. Its form is
slender and delicate, and its whole appearance indicates a degree of
feebleness, which is counteracted only by the agility of its movements,
and the animation of its eye. Its sense of hearing and seeing is
wonderfully acute; and the hunter must approach his intended victim
with the utmost caution, for he is discovered by the slightest noise.
The resort of this species is in the forests and plains adjacent to
rivers, where they feed chiefly on buds and twigs, and sometimes on
grass. They are headed by one of the largest and strongest bucks,
who appears to be the guardian of the general safety and directs his
followers to combat or retreat. Though generally shy and timid, the
males are much disposed to battle during the season of the sexual
passion, and are almost always inclined to fight when wounded or
brought to bay. At this time they fight with their fore feet, as
well as their horns, and inflict severe wounds by leaping forward
and striking with the edges of their hoofs. If a hunter misses his
aim when attempting to despatch a wounded deer with his knife, he is
placed in great peril. To serpents, of every description, the deer is
particularly hostile, and it seems to have an instinctive horror of the
rattlesnake. To destroy this enemy, the deer leaps into the air, and
comes down on him with its four feet closed in a square, repeating its
violent blows until the reptile is killed.

  Illustration: Virginia Deer.

The males frequently engage in combats, in which their horns sometimes
become so interlocked that neither can escape, and they then remain
engaged in fruitless struggles till they perish of famine, or become
the prey of the wolf or the hunter. Heads of deer which have thus
perished are frequently found, and there is scarcely a museum in this
country which has not one or more specimens. The following instance
is given by Say in Long’s Expedition to the Rocky Mountains. ‘As the
party were descending a ridge, their attention was called to an unusual
noise proceeding from a copse of low bushes, a few rods from the path.
On arriving at the spot, they found two buck deer, their horns fast
interlocked with each other, and both much spent with fatigue, one in
particular being so much exhausted as to be unable to stand. Perceiving
that it would be impossible that they should extricate themselves, and
must either linger in their present situations or die of hunger, or be
destroyed by the wolves, they despatched them with their knives, after
having made an unavailing attempt to disentangle them. Beyond doubt,
many of these animals must annually thus perish.’

_Prong-horned Antelope._――This species was first described by the
leaders of the first American expedition to the west of the Rocky
Mountains. It is shy and timorous, wonderfully fleet, and with great
acuteness of sight and smell. When once startled, they fly with the
rapidity of the wind, and baffle all pursuit. In one instance, captain
Lewis, after various fruitless attempts, by winding around the ridges,
succeeded in approaching a party of seven that stood upon an eminence
towards which the wind was unfortunately blowing. The only male of the
party frequently encircled the summit of the hill, as if to announce
any danger to the group of females which stood upon the top. Before
they saw captain Lewis, they became alarmed by the scent, and fled
while he was at the distance of two hundred yards. He immediately ran
to the spot where they had stood; a ravine concealed them from him, but
at the next moment they appeared on a second ridge, at the distance of
three miles. He could not but doubt whether these were the same he had
alarmed, but their number and continued speed convinced him they were
so, and he justly infers that they must have run with a rapidity equal
to that of the most celebrated race horse.

‘The chief game of the Shoshonees,’ say Lewis and Clarke, ‘is the
antelope, which when pursued retreats to the open plains, where the
horses have full room for the chase. But such is its extraordinary
fleetness and wind, that a single horse has no possible chance of
outrunning it, or tiring it down; and the hunters are therefore
obliged to resort to stratagem. About twenty Indians, mounted on fine
horses, armed with bows and arrows, left the camp; in a short time
they descried a herd of ten antelopes; they immediately separated into
squads of two or three, and formed a scattered circle round the herd
for five or six miles, keeping at a wary distance, so as not to alarm
them till they were perfectly inclosed, and usually selecting some
commanding eminence as a stand. Having gained their positions, a small
party rode towards the herd, and with wonderful dexterity the huntsman
preserved his seat, and the horse his footing, as he ran at full speed
over the hills and down the steep ravines, and along the borders of the
precipices.

‘They were soon outstripped by the antelopes, which, on gaining
the other extremity of the circle, were driven back and pursued by
the fresh hunters. They turned and flew, rather than ran, in another
direction; but there too they found new enemies. In this way they
were alternately pursued backwards and forwards, till at length,
notwithstanding the skill of the hunters, (who were merely armed with
bows and arrows) they all escaped; and the party, after running for
two hours, returned without having caught any thing, and their horses
foaming with sweat. This chase, the greater part of which was seen from
the camp, formed a beautiful scene, but to the hunters is exceedingly
laborious, and so unproductive, even when they are able to worry the
animal down and shoot him, that forty or fifty hunters will sometimes
be engaged for more than half a day, without obtaining more than two or
three antelopes.’

_Rocky Mountain Goat._――This species is nearly the size of a common
sheep, and has a shaggy appearance. Its hoofs and horns are black; the
latter project but little, and are slightly curved. Great numbers of
this goat are found about the head-waters of the north fork of Columbia
river, where they are much hunted by the natives, and form an abundant
though somewhat unsavory article of food. They are seldom seen far from
the mountains, and are more numerous on their western than on their
eastern slopes. The skin is thick and spongy, and is used for moccasins.
The fleece is said to be as fine as that of which the celebrated
cashmere shawls are manufactured.

  Illustration: Rocky Mountain Goat.

_Argali._――The argali is found in the Rocky Mountains, from about
the fiftieth degree of north latitude to California. Here troops of
twenty or thirty are seen together, feeding on the most precipitous
tracts, and bounding with wonderful agility from rock to rock. During
the summer months, the color of this animal is a grayish fawn, with a
reddish line across the back. The male has very large twisted horns,
fixed near the eyes; its ears are straight, broad and pointed, and its
tail quite short. This is said to be the species from which all the
varieties of our domestic sheep are descended.

_Bison._――This animal is found in herds in the prairies in the
neighborhood of the Rocky Mountains: it is continually receding before
the advance of man, and will soon be entirely banished to the far west.
Schoolcraft says that the species is confined to the regions situated
between the thirty-first and forty-ninth degrees of north latitude,
and west of the Mississippi river. The only part of the country east
of this river, where the bison now remains, is that included between
the falls of St. Anthony and Sandy Lake, a range of about six hundred
miles.

‘Being now in the region of buffalo,’ says Mr. Schoolcraft, ‘we
concluded to land, in the course of the day, at some convenient place
for hunting them. This we were soon invited to do by seeing one of
these animals along the shore of the river, and on ascending the bank,
we observed, upon a boundless prairie, two droves of them, feeding upon
the grass. All who had guns adapted for the purpose, sallied forth in
separate parties upon the prairie, while those who felt less ambition
to signalize themselves upon the occasion, or were more illy accoutred
for the activities of the chase, remained upon an eminence which
overlooked the plain, to observe the movements of this animal while
under an attack of musketry, and to enjoy the novel spectacle of a
buffalo-hunt. The grass was so tall as to allow an unobserved approach
towards the spot where they remained feeding, but the first fire proved
unsuccessful, at the same time that it scattered the herd, which were
now seen running in all directions across the prairie, and an incessant
fire of random shots was kept up for about two hours; during which
three buffaloes were killed, and a great number wounded, which made
their escape.

‘While thus harrassed, they often passed within a few yards of us,
and we enjoyed a fine opportunity of witnessing their form, size,
color, and speed. The buffalo has a clumsy gait, like the domestic ox,
which it also resembles in size and general appearance. Unlike the ox,
however, this animal exhibits no diversity of color, being a uniform
dark brown, inclining to dun. It is never spotted, with black, red, or
white. It has short black horns growing nearly straight from the head,
and set at a considerable distance apart. The male has a hunch upon its
shoulders, covered with long flocks of shaggy hair, extending to the
top of the head, from which it falls over the eyes and horns, giving
the animal a very formidable appearance. The hoofs are cloven like
those of the cow, but the legs are much stouter, and altogether, it is
more clumsy and ill-proportioned. The tail is naked till towards the
end, where it is tufted, in the manner of the lion.

‘The general weight of this animal is from eight hundred to a thousand
pounds; but they sometimes attain an enormous size, and have been
killed upon the Mississippi prairies weighing two thousand pounds. The
skin of a buffalo bull, when first taken off, is three fourths of an
inch in thickness, and cannot be lifted by the strongest man. A hundred
and fifty pounds of tallow have been taken from one animal, and it is
highly esteemed by the Indians in preparing their hommony. Instances of
excessive fatness are, however, rare, and such over-fed animals become
so unwieldy that they often fall a prey to wolves; particularly if they
happen to stray a distance from the herd. The buffalo is a timid animal,
and flies at the approach of man. It is however asserted by the hunters,
that when painfully wounded, it becomes furious, and will turn upon its
pursuers.

‘There is a particular art in killing the buffalo with a rifle, only
known to experienced hunters, and when they do not drop down, which is
often the case, it requires a person intimately acquainted with their
habits, to pursue them with success. This has been fully instanced
in the futile exertions of our party, upon the present occasion; for
out of a great number of shots, few have reached the object, and very
few proved effectual, and the little success we met with is chiefly
attributable to the superior skill of the Indians who accompanied
us. Unless a vital part is touched, the shot proves useless. It also
requires a larger ball than the deer and elk. Lieutenant Pike thinks
that in the open prairies, the bow and arrow could be used to better
advantage than the gun, particularly on horseback, for you might ride
immediately along side the animal and strike it where you pleased.
The Indians employ both the rifle and arrow, and in the prairies of
Missouri and Arkansas, pursue the herds on horseback; but on the upper
Mississippi, where they are destitute of horses, they make amends for
this deficiency by several ingenious stratagems.

‘One of the most common of these is the method of hunting with fire.
For this purpose, a great number of hunters disperse themselves around
a large prairie where herds of buffalo happen to be feeding, and
setting fire to the grass encompass them on all sides. The buffalo,
having a great dread of fire, retire towards the centre of the prairie
as they see it approach, and here being pressed together in great
numbers, many are trampled under foot, and the Indians rushing in
with their arrows and musketry, slaughter immense numbers in a short
period. It is asserted that a thousand animals have been killed by
this stratagem in one day. They have another method of hunting by
driving them over precipices, which is chiefly practised by the bands
inhabiting the Missouri. To decoy the herds, several Indians disguise
themselves in the skins of the buffalo, taken off entire, and by
counterfeiting the lowing of this animal in distress, they attract the
herds in a certain direction, and when they are at full speed, suddenly
disappear behind a cleft in the top of a precipice, when those animals
which are in front on reaching the brink, are pushed over by those
pressing behind, and in this manner great numbers are crushed to death.
These practices are less common now than formerly, the introduction
of fire arms, among most of the tribes, putting it into the power
of almost every individual to kill sufficient for the support of his
family.

‘By a very bad policy, however, they prefer the flesh of the cows,
which will in time destroy the species. Few of the native animals of
the American forest contribute more to the comforts of savage society
than the buffalo. Its skin, when dressed by a process peculiar to
them, forms one of the principal articles of clothing. The Sioux tribes
particularly excel in the method of dressing it, and are very much
in the habit of ornamenting their dresses with porcupine quills, and
paints. The skin, dressed with the hair on, supplies them with blankets,
and constitutes those durable and often beautiful sleigh-robes which
are now in such universal use in the United States and the Canadas. The
tallow of this animal, as well as the beef, has also become an article
of commerce, particularly in the south-western states and territories,
and its horns are exported for the manufacture of powder-flasks. The
tongue is considered superior in flavor to that of the domestic cow,
and the animal is often hunted for no other purpose. I have seen
stockings and hats manufactured from its wool, with a little addition
of common wool, or of cotton. This practice is very common among the
white hunters of Missouri and Arkansas. The flesh of the buffalo is not
equal, in its fresh state, to that of the cow or ox, but is superior
when _dried_, which is the Indian mode of preserving it.

‘The attempts which have been made to domesticate this animal, have not
been attended with success. Calves which have been taken in the woods
and brought up with the tame breed, have afterwards discovered a wild
and ungovernable temper, and manifested their savage nature by breaking
down the strongest enclosures, and enticing the tame cattle into the
woods. The mixed breed is said to be barren, like the mule. The period
of gestation is ascertained to be twelve months, whereas that of the
cow is nine. A remarkable proof of the little affinity existing between
it, and the domestic breed of cattle, was exhibited a few years ago in
Canada, where the connexion resulted in the death of the cows submitted
to the experiment.’

_American Wolf._――The common wolf of America is considered as the
same species with the wolf of Europe. Richardson remarks that he has
travelled over thirty degrees of latitude in America, and has never
seen there any wolves which had the gaunt appearance, the comparatively
long jaw and tapering nose, the high ears, long legs, slender loins,
and narrow feet of the Pyrenean wolf. He adds, that the American animal
has a more robust form than the European wolf. Its muzzle is thicker
and more obtuse, its head larger and rounder, and there is a sensible
depression at the union of the nose and forehead. He notices six
varieties of the wolf in North America: common gray wolf, white, pied,
dusky, black, and prairie. There is little reason to doubt that all the
wolves of America are of one species; and the variations of size, color,
and habits, are to be referred to diversities of climate which have
been gradually impressed upon these animals.

_Prairie Wolf._――This species is found in large numbers in the prairies
to the west of the Missouri, and also occurs in the vicinity of the
Columbia river. Its general color is gray, mixed with black; the ears
are erect, rounded at the tip, and lined with gray hair. It is about
three feet and a half in length, and bears a very strong resemblance
to the domestic dog, so common in the Indian villages. Its bark is also
similar to that of the dog. It resembles the other species of wolves
in rapacity and cunning, being very suspicious and mistrustful and
shunning pitfalls and snares with intuitive sagacity.[44]

_Horses._――The number of horses among the various tribes on the
Columbia, and its tributary streams, differs with the circumstances of
the country. Among the Flat-heads, Cootonais, and Spokans, whose lands
are rather thickly wooded, there are not more than sufficient for their
actual use, and every colt, on arriving at the proper age, is broken in
for the saddle. But in the countries inhabited by the Wallah Wallahs,
Nez Percés, and Shoshonés, which chiefly consist of open plains, well
watered and thinly wooded, they are far more numerous, and thousands
are allowed to go wild. Their general height is about fifteen hands,
which they seldom exceed; and ponies are very scarce. Those reared in
the plains are excellent hunters, and the swiftest racers; but are not
capable of enduring the same hardships as those bred in the vicinity of
the high and woody districts. Seven hundred or a thousand wild horses
are sometimes seen in a band; and it is said that in parts of the
country belonging to the Snake Indians, bands varying from three to
four thousand are frequently seen; and further to the southward, they
are far more numerous.

  Illustration: Wild Horses.

The Indian horses are never shod; and owing to this circumstance,
their hoofs, particularly of such as are in constant work, are nearly
worn away before they are ten or eleven years old, after which they are
unfit for any labor except carrying children. They are easily managed,
and are seldom vicious. An Indian horse is never taught to trot. The
natives dislike this pace, and prefer to it the canter or light gallop.
They are hard taskmasters; and the hair-rope bridles, with the padded
deer-skin saddles which they use, lacerate the mouths and backs of
the unfortunate animals in such a manner as to render them objects of
commiseration. In summer they have no shelter from the heat, in winter
no retreat from the cold; and their only provender throughout the year
is the wild loose grass of the prairies, which, in the latter season,
is generally covered with snow, and in the former is brown and arid,
from the intense heat of the sun.

_Foxes._――The Gray Fox is found in great numbers throughout the country,
and ventures more boldly than any other species into the neighborhood
of human habitations. It exhibits different colors at different seasons
and ages; its general color is grizzly, growing gradually darker from
the fore shoulders to the hinder part of the back. The inferior parts
of the body are white, tinged slightly with faint reddish brown. The
tail is thick and bushy. The _Red Fox_ is a very beautiful species,
and abounds in the middle and southern states, where it proves very
troublesome to poultry-yards. In summer, its fur is long, fine, and
brilliant; in winter, it becomes longer and more thick. The length of
this species is about two feet, and of its tail, nearly a foot and a
half. Its fur is valuable, and much used. When caught young, the red
fox is very playful, and may be domesticated to a considerable degree;
we have known it to live in perfect friendship with a number of dogs,
and to take much pleasure in tumbling about and sporting with them.[45]

The _Black Fox_ bears a striking resemblance to the common fox, from
which it has nothing to distinguish it but its abundant and beautiful
black fur. Its color is rich and lustrous, having a small quantity
of white mingled with the prevailing black on different parts of its
body. It is found throughout the northern parts of America, but no
where in great numbers. The _Swift Fox_ is a very interesting species,
inhabiting the open plains which stretch from the base of the Rocky
Mountains towards the Mississippi.

  Illustration: Black Fox.

_Opossum_.――This animal is found in the southern parts of the
United States, and is easily distinguished from all others by two
peculiarities: the first is that the female has a cavity under the
belly in which she receives and suckles her young; the second is, that
the male and the female have no claws on the great toe of the hind feet,
which is separated from the others as a man’s thumb is separated from
his fingers. The opossum produces often, and a great number of young at
a time. It walks awkwardly, and seldom runs; but it climbs trees with
great facility, and hangs from the branches by means of a very flexible
and muscular tail. Though voracious and greedy of blood, it also feeds
on reptiles, insects, sugar-canes, potatoes, and even leaves and bark
of trees. It may be easily domesticated; but its smell is strong and
offensive, though its flesh is eatable, and much liked by the Indians.
So tenacious is it of life, that it has given rise to a saying in North
Carolina, that if a cat has nine lives, an opossum has nineteen. The
general color of the opossum is a whitish gray; the tail is thick and
black, for upwards of three inches at its base, and is covered by small
scales, interspersed with white, short, rigid hairs. It is a timid
and nocturnal animal, depending for its safety more on cunning than
strength.

  Illustration: Virginia Opossum.

_American Hare._――This species, improperly called rabbit, is found
throughout the states, and in some parts is exceedingly common. Its
flesh is much esteemed as an article of food. During the summer it is
tough, but after the first frosts of autumn, it is fat and delicate. In
the north, during winter the hare feeds on the twigs of pine and fir,
and is fit for the table during the season. It never burrows in the
ground, but in the day time remains crouched, within its form, which is
a mere spot of ground cleared of grass and sheltered by an overhanging
plant. Sometimes it lives in the trunk of a hollow tree, or under a
pile of stones. It wanders out at night, and makes sad havoc among the
turnip and cabbage fields, and the young trees in nurseries. It is not
hunted in this country as in Europe, but is caught in a trap, or roused
by a dog and shot.

_Varying Hare._――This animal appears to inhabit a great portion of
North America, as it has been found in Virginia, and as far north as
fifty-five degrees, whilst eastward it is found on the great plains of
the Columbia. It appears generally to frequent plains and low grounds,
where it lives like the common hare, never burrowing, but not resorting
to the thick woods. The _variabilis_ of Europe, on the contrary,
is described as always inhabiting the highest mountains, and never
descending into the plains, except when forced to seek for food,
when the mountains are covered with snow. The American species is
remarkably swift, never taking shelter when pursued, and capable of
most astonishing leaps; Captain Lewis measured some of these, and found
their length to be from eighteen to twenty feet. From the middle of
November to the middle of April, this animal is of a pure white, with
the exception of the black and reddish brown of the ears. During the
rest of the year, the upper parts of the body are of a lead color; the
under parts white, with a light shade of lead color.

_Beaver._――The general appearance of the beaver is that of a large rat,
and seen at a little distance, it might be readily mistaken for the
common musk-rat. But the greater size of the beaver, the thickness and
breadth of its head, and its horizontally flattened, broad, and scaly
tail, render it impossible to mistake it for any other creature when
closely examined. In its movements, both on shore and in the water, it
also closely resembles the musk-rat, having the same quick step, and
swimming with great vigor and celerity, either on the surface or in the
depths of the water.[46]

  Illustration: Beaver.

_Musk-Rat._――This animal is closely allied in form and habits to the
beaver, and is found in the same parts of America as that animal, from
thirty to sixty-nine or seventy degrees of latitude. But it is more
familiar in its habits, as it is to be found only a short distance from
large towns. The musk-rat is a watchful, but not a very shy animal. It
may be frequently seen sitting on the shores of small muddy islands,
not easily to be distinguished from a piece of earth, till, on the
approach of danger, it suddenly plunges into the water. It forms
burrows on the banks of streams and ponds, the entrance to which is in
deep water. These burrows extend to great distances, and do extensive
injury to the farms, by letting in the water upon the land. In some
situations, these animals build houses of a conical form, resembling
those of the beaver, formed of mud, grass and reeds, plastered together.
They feed upon the roots and tender shoots of aquatic plants and on
the leaves of grasses. They are excellent swimmers, dive well, and can
remain for a long time under water. It is rare to have an opportunity
of seeing the animal during the day, as it then lies concealed in its
burrow, and it is not till night, that it issues forth for food or
recreation. It does not, like the beaver, lay up a store of provision
for the winter; but it builds a new habitation every season.

This animal is common in the Atlantic states, and its fur being
valuable for hats, it is much hunted. The Indians kill them by spearing
them through the walls of their houses. Between four and five thousand
skins are annually imported into Great Britain from North America.

_The American Badger_, as compared with the European, is smaller and
lighter, with different markings on its fur, and with a head less sharp
towards the nose. It frequents the prairies and sand plains at the base
of the Rocky Mountains, as far north as latitude fifty-eight degrees.
It abounds on the plains watered by the Missouri. Timid and slow, the
badger, on being pursued, takes to the earth like a mole, and makes
his way with great rapidity. It is caught in spring, when the ground
is frozen, by filling its hole with water, when the tenant is obliged
to come out.

_The Ermine Weasel_ is known in the middle and eastern states, by
the name of weasel: farther north, it is called stoat in summer, and
ermine in its winter dress. In its habits it resembles the common
weasel of Europe. It is courageous, active, and graceful. His long
and slender body, bright and piercing eye, sharp claws and teeth, and
great strength, indicate that he is dangerous and destructive to the
smaller animals, which he can follow into their smallest hiding places,
from his peculiar flexibility of body. This animal frequents barns and
out-houses, and is the particular enemy of mice, and other depredators
upon the granary. To compensate for the service he thus renders the
farmer, he helps himself without ceremony to a number of his fowls, and
the henroost sometimes exhibits a sad proof of the value he sets upon
his labors, in exterminating the mice. In winter, the fur of the weasel
is much longer, thicker and finer, than in summer.

_Pennant’s Marten_ is found in various parts of North America, from
the state of Pennsylvania, to as far north as the Great Slave Lake,
where it was seen by captain Franklin. It is easily domesticated,
becomes fond of tea leaves, is very playful, and has a pleasant musky
smell. This species is not very scarce, as Pennant says that five
hundred and eighty skins were sent in one year from the states of New
York and Pennsylvania; and Sabine remarks that the Hudson’s Bay Company
sent eighteen hundred skins to England in one year.

The length of this marten is from twenty-four to thirty inches without
the tail, which is from thirteen to seventeen inches long. The feet are
very broad, and covered with hair, which conceals the sharp, strong,
white claws. The fur on the head is short, but gradually increases
in length towards the tail, and its color changes, losing much of the
yellowish, and assuming a chestnut hue. The tail is full, bushy, black
and lustrous, being smallest at the end.

_The Maryland Marmot_, or _Woodchuck_, is common in all the temperate
parts of America. It does great injury to the farmers, as the quantity
of herbage it consumes is really surprising. It burrows in the ground
on the sides of hills, and these extend to great distances under ground,
and terminate in various chambers. Here the marmot makes himself a
comfortable bed of dry leaves, grass, and any soft rubbish, where he
sleeps from the close of day, till the next morning is far advanced.

The Maryland marmot eats with great greediness, and in large quantities.
It is fond of cabbage, lettuce, and other garden vegetables. When in
captivity, it is exceedingly fond of bread and milk.

At the commencement of cold weather, the marmot goes into winter
quarters, blocks up the door within, and remains torpid till the warm
season. It is about the size of a rabbit, and of a dark brown color.

_The Prairie Marmot_, commonly called Prairie Dog, builds his
dwelling in the barren tracts of the western country, and may often be
seen sitting by the small mounds of earth, which indicate his abode,
in an attitude of profound attention. Whole acres of land are occupied
by these little tenants, and villages are found, containing thousands
of inhabitants. Near the Rocky Mountains, these villages are found
to reach several miles. The burrow extends under ground, but to what
distance has not been determined.

This marmot, like the rest of the species, remains torpid during the
winter. It is very much annoyed in its habitation by owls, rattlesnakes,
lizards, and land tortoises, who appropriate these comfortable
dwellings for their own use, and frequently destroy the young marmots.

The _Fox Squirrel_ is found throughout the southern states, where it
frequents the pine forests in considerable numbers, and derives its
principal subsistence from the seed of the pine. Its color varies from
white to pale gray and black, and is sometimes mottled, with various
shades of red. The _Cat Squirrel_ is one of the largest species, and is
found in great abundance in the oak and chesnut forests of this country.
It is a very heavy animal, and is slow in its movements, seldom leaping
from tree to tree, unless it is alarmed or closely pursued. It is found
of almost every variety of color. The _Black Squirrel_ is very common,
but is often confounded with the black varieties of the squirrels
before described. In the winter, this animal is of a pure black; in
the summer, it is of a grayish black, intermingled with a dark reddish
brown. It is found in the United States, and inhabits the northern
shores of Lakes Huron and Superior.

  Illustration: Black Squirrel.

The _Common Gray Squirrel_ is remarkable for its beauty and activity,
and is common throughout the United States. It is generally found in
hickory and chesnut woods, where it feeds on nuts, and lays up a hoard
for the winter. It is very easily domesticated, and in captivity is
very playful and mischievous. The _Great-tailed Squirrel_, so called
from the length of its tail, is common on the Missouri. It is of a
grayish black color, and is very graceful and active. The _Line-tail
Squirrel_ inhabits the Missouri country, where it builds its nest
in the holes and crevices of rocks. It is fond of the naked cliffs,
where there are but few bushes, and very rarely ascends a tree. It
feeds on the buds, leaves, and fruits of plants. It is of an ash
color, intermixed with white hairs. Its fur is coarse, and the tail,
which is very long, is marked with three black lines on each side.
The _Four-lined Squirrel_ is found on the Rocky Mountains. Its nest
is composed of a great quantity of the branches of different kinds of
trees, and of other vegetable productions. It does not ascend trees by
choice.

The _Columbian Pine Squirrel_ was seen by Lewis and Clarke on the banks
of the Columbia river, but is supposed by Richardson to be a variety of
the Hudson’s Bay Squirrel, its habits being similar.

The _Common Red Squirrel_ is abundant in most parts of North America.
It is one of the most lively and nimble of the squirrel race. It digs
burrows at the roots of large trees, to which it forms four or five
entrances. It does not leave its tree in cold and stormy weather, but
when it is sporting in the sunshine, if any one approaches, it conceals
itself, and makes a loud noise, similar to a watchman’s rattle. From
this circumstance it has received the name of Chickaree. When pursued,
it makes long leaps from tree to tree, and seeks for shelter as soon
as possible in its burrow. The skin of this animal is of no value. It
is of a reddish brown color, shaded with black. The tail is long and
beautiful.

The _Ground_ or _Striped Squirrel_ is abundant in all our woods. It is
sometimes called Harkee, and, in New England, is usually denominated
the Chip Squirrel. It differs very much from other squirrels in its
habits. It never makes its nest in the branches of trees, but burrows
in the ground near the roots. These burrows extend a considerable
distance under ground, and are always provided with two openings.
The general color of this animal is of a reddish brown. The _Common
Flying Squirrel_[47] is very abundant in the United States, and is
much admired for the softness of its fur, and the gentleness of its
disposition. The skin of the sides is extended from the fore to the
hind limbs, so as to form a sort of sail, which enables it to descend
swiftly from a great height, in the easiest and most pleasant manner,
often passing over a considerable space. This squirrel is small, of
an ash color above, and white beneath, with large, prominent black
eyes. It builds its nest in hollow trees. The _Rocky Mountain Flying
Squirrel_ lives in thick pine forests, and seldom leaves its retreats
except at night.

The _Urson_, or _Canada Porcupine_, exhibits none of the long and
large quills which are so conspicuous and formidable in the European
species, and the short spines or prickles which are thickly set over
all the superior parts of its body, are covered by a long coarse hair,
which almost entirely conceals them. These spines are not more than
two inches and a half in length, yet form a very efficient protection
against every other enemy but man. This animal dislikes water, sleeps
very much, and chiefly feeds upon the bark of the juniper. His flesh
is eaten by the savages and American traders. He is still found in the
remote and unsettled parts of Pennsylvania, but south of this state is
almost unknown. It was formerly found, but very rarely, in Virginia.
The porcupine is much prized by the aborigines, both for its flesh,
and quills, which are used as ornaments to their pipes, weapons, and
dresses. A large collection of dresses, thus ornamented, is exhibited
in the Philadelphia Museum.

The _Mink_ is found throughout the country, from Carolina to Hudson’s
Bay, and in its habits and appearance strongly resembles the otter. It
lives in the neighborhood of mill-seats, or farm-houses, frequenting
holes near the water, or in the ruins of old walls. It feeds upon frogs
and fish, and, like the weasel, sometimes pays an unwelcome visit to
the poultry-yard. The length of this animal is about twenty inches; its
feet are broad, webbed, and covered with hair. Hats are made of its fur.

The _Skunk_ is of a brown color, marked sometimes with two white
stripes. The faculty this animal possesses, of annoying its enemies
by the discharge of a noisome fluid, causes it to be rather shunned
than hunted, which the value of its skin would otherwise be sure to
occasion. The smallest drop of this fluid is sufficient to render a
garment detestable for a great length of time. Washing, smoking, baking,
or burying articles of dress, seems to be equally inefficient for its
removal. The skunk is generally found in the forests, having its den
either in the stump of an old tree, or in an excavation in the ground.
It feeds on the young of birds, and upon small quadrupeds, eggs, and
wild fruits. It also does much mischief in the poultry-yard.

The _American Otter_ is about five feet in length, including the tail,
the length of which is eighteen inches. The color of the whole of the
body, (except the chin and throat, which are dusky white) is a glossy
brown. The fur throughout is dense and fine. The differences between
this species and the European otter, are thus pointed out by Captain
Sabine: ‘The neck of the American otter is elongated, not short, and
the head narrow and long in comparison with the short, broad visage of
the European species; the ears are consequently much closer together
than in the latter animal. The tail is more pointed and shorter, being
considerably _less_ than one half of the length of the body, whilst the
tail of the European otter is _more_ than half the length of its body.’
The fur of the otter is much valued by the hatters and other consumers
of peltries, and this animal must ultimately become as rare in North
America as the kindred species has long since become in Europe.


                              II. BIRDS.

The Ornithology of the United States is exceedingly rich and
interesting. For their beauty of plumage, variety and melody of song,
diversity of form, habits, disposition and faculties, our birds well
merit the industrious observation which has been bestowed upon them.
They have been highly fortunate in their historians, for no department
of our animal kingdom has been so thoroughly investigated as this;
and the indefatigable labor, science and genius of such men as Wilson,
Audubon, Bonaparte, and Nuttall, have left us but little to expect from
future researches.

The vulture called _Turkey Buzzard_, is found in large numbers in
the southern states, where he is protected by law, on account of his
services in the removal of carrion. This bird has never been known
to breed in any of the Atlantic states north of New Jersey. In the
southern cities, during the winter, they pass the night on the roofs
of houses, and are fond of warming themselves in the smoke that issues
from the chimneys. This bird is about two and a half feet in length,
and six in breadth; the upper plumage is glossed with green and bronze,
the fore part of the neck is bare. The _Black Vulture_ is smaller,
and flies in flocks; the range of this bird is confined by very narrow
limits to the southern states. The _Condor_ is not uncommon in the
Rocky Mountains; but his peculiar residence is among the precipitous
cliffs of the majestic Andes.

The _Common_ or _Wandering Falcon_ lives along the seacoast of the
country, and is said to breed in the cedar swamps of New Jersey. The
_American Sparrow Hawk_ is found principally in the warmer parts of
the states, and builds its nest in a hollow or decayed tree, on some
elevated place. In the winter it becomes familiar, and approaches to
the neighborhood of man; at this time it lives on such small game as
it can find in the way of mice or lizards. The flight of this bird is
irregular. It perches on the top of a dead tree or pole in the middle
of a field, and sits there in an almost perpendicular position for
an hour together, reconnoitering the ground below in every direction
for the favorite articles of its food. The bluejays have a particular
antipathy to this bird, who punishes their enmity by occasionally
making a meal of one of them.

  Illustration: American Sparrow Hawk.

The _American Fish Hawk_ is a formidable, vigorous-winged, and
well-known bird, which subsists altogether on the fishes that swarm
in our bays rivers, and creeks. It is doubtless the most numerous of
its genus in the United States, and besides lining our seacoast from
Georgia to Canada, it penetrates far into the interior.

  Illustration: Fish Hawk.

‘The motions of the fish hawk,’ says Mr. Audubon, ‘in the air are
graceful, and as majestic as those of the eagle. It rises with ease
to a great height by extensive circlings, performed apparently by mere
inclinations of the wings and tail. It dives at times to some distance
with the wings partially closed, and resumes its sailing, as if these
plunges were made for amusement only. Its wings are extended at right
angles to the body, and when thus flying, it is easily distinguishable
from all other hawks by the eye of an observer, accustomed to note the
flight of birds. Whilst in search of food, it flies with easy flappings
at a moderate height above the water, and with an apparent listlessness,
although in reality it is keenly observing the objects beneath. No
sooner does it spy a fish suited to its taste, than it checks its
course with a sudden shake of its wings and tail, which gives it the
appearance of being poised in the air for a moment, after which it
plunges headlong with great rapidity into the water, to secure its
prey, or continue its flight, if disappointed by having observed the
fish sink deeper.

‘When it plunges into the water in pursuit of a fish, it sometimes
proceeds deep enough to disappear for an instant. The surge caused
by its descent is so great as to make the spot around it present the
appearance of a mass of foam. On rising with its prey, it is seen
holding it in the manner represented in the plate. It mounts a few
yards into the air, shakes the water from its plumage, squeezes the
fish with its talons, and immediately proceeds towards its nest, to
feed its young, or to a tree, to devour the fruit of its industry in
peace. When it has satisfied its hunger, it does not, like other hawks,
stay perched until hunger again urges it forth, but usually sails about
at a great height over the neighboring waters.

‘The fish hawk has a great attachment to the tree to which it carries
its prey, and will not abandon it, unless frequently disturbed, or shot
at whilst feeding there. It shows the same attachment to the tree on
which it has built its first nest, and returns to it year after year.’

_The Swallow-tailed Hawk._――This beautiful kite breeds and passes the
summer in the warmer parts of the United States, and is also probably
resident in all tropical and temperate America, migrating into the
southern as well as the northern hemisphere. In the former, according
to Viellot, it is found in Peru, and as far as Buenos Ayres; and though
it is extremely rare to meet with this species as far as the latitude
of forty degrees in the Atlantic states, yet, tempted by the abundance
of the fruitful valley of the Mississippi, individuals have been
seen along that river as far as the Falls of St. Anthony, in the
forty-fourth degree of north latitude. Indeed, according to Fleming,
two stragglers have even found their devious way to the strange climate
of Great Britain.

  Illustration: Swallow-tailed Hawk.

They appear in the United States about the close of April or beginning
of May, and are very numerous in the Mississippi territory, twenty
or thirty being sometimes visible at the same time, often collecting
locusts and other large insects, which they are said to feed on from
their claws while flying; at times also seizing upon the nests of
locusts and wasps, and like the honey-buzzard, devouring both the
insects and their larvæ. Snakes and lizards are their common food in
all parts of America. In the month of October they begin to retire to
the south, at which season Mr. Bartram observed them in great numbers
assembled in Florida, soaring steadily at great elevations for several
days in succession, and slowly passing towards their winter quarters
along the Gulf of Mexico.[48]

Other hawks in the United States are the _Sharp-shinned_, the
_Great-footed_ or _Duck_, the _Pigeon_, _Cooper’s White-tailed_,
_Red-tailed_, _Broad-winged_, _Mississippi Kite_, _Black_, _Marsh_,
_Stanley’s_, _Red-shouldered_, _Ash-colored_, and _Slate-colored Hawks_.

_Washington Eagle._――For the first accurate observation of this bird,
we have been indebted to the untiring study and genius of Audubon, who
first noticed it in the year 1814. He is three feet and seven inches
long; the extent of his wings is ten feet two inches. His plumage is
compact and glossy, the upper parts being of a dark, shining coppery
brown; the throat, breast and belly of a bright rich cinnamon color.
He lives in the neighborhood of the seashore, lakes and rivers, and
subsists chiefly on fish. ‘The name which I have chosen for this new
species of eagle,’ says its great discoverer, ‘the “Bird of Washington,”
may, by some, be considered as preposterous and unfit; but as it is
indisputably the noblest bird of its genus that has yet been discovered
in the United States, I trust I shall be allowed to honor it with the
name of one yet nobler, who was the savior of his country, and whose
name will ever be dear to it. To those who may be curious to know
my reasons, I can only say, that, as the new world gave me birth and
liberty, the great man who insured its independence is next to my
heart. He had a nobility of mind and a generosity of soul, such as
are seldom possessed. He was brave, so is the eagle; like it, too, he
was the terror of his foes; and his fame, extending from pole to pole,
resembles the majestic soarings of the mightiest of the feathered tribe.
If America has reason to be proud of her Washington, so has she to be
proud of her great eagle.’

  Illustration: Washington Eagle.

_White-headed_ or _Bald Eagle_.――This bird is abundant in all the
latitudes of the United States, but shows a predilection for the warmer
climates. He lives near the seacoast, where he usually selects some
lofty pine or cypress for his eyry, which he builds of large sticks,
sods, moss, reeds, pine tops and other coarse materials, arranged in a
sort of level bed. This breeding place is never deserted as long us the
tree lasts. Fish constitutes the chief article of food of this bird,
and he usually obtains it by cunning and rapine, seldom by the exercise
of honest industry. His principal occupation is to rob the osprey of
the fruits of his labor, and he has sometimes been known to attack the
vulture, and oblige him to disgorge his carrion.[49]

  Illustration: White-headed or Bald Eagle.

_Royal_ or _Golden Eagle_.――This bird is found in all the cold
and temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. It is supposed to
live for a century, and is about three years in gaining its complete
growth and permanent plumage. The neighborhood of Hudson’s Bay is more
frequented by this eagle than any part of the United States, but it
is not uncommon in the great plains of the larger western rivers. ‘The
lofty mountains of New Hampshire,’ says Mr. Nuttall, ‘afford suitable
situations for the eyry of this eagle, over whose snow-clad summits
he is seen majestically soaring in solitude and grandeur. A young bird
from this region, which I have in a state of domestication, showed
considerable docility. He had, however, been brought up from the nest,
in which he was found in the month of August; he appeared even playful,
turning his head about in a very antic manner, as if desirous to
attract attention; still his glance was quick and fiery. When birds
were given to him, he plumed them very clean before he began his meal,
and picked the subject to a perfect skeleton.’

The _Ring-tailed Eagle_ is now found to be the young of this bird,
as has been long supposed. Its tail feathers are highly valued by the
aborigines as they serve for ornamenting their calumets.

  Illustration: Ring-tailed Eagle.

_Owls._――One of the most common species of this bird in the United
States is the _Little Screech Owl_, which is found throughout the
country. It is noted for the melancholy wailing, which is heard in the
evenings in autumn and the latter part of summer. On clear moonlight
nights, they answer each other from the various parts of the fields or
orchards, roost during the day in thick evergreens, and are rarely seen
abroad during the sunshine. They construct their nests in the hollow of
a tree, frequently in an orchard.

The _Great-horned Owl_ is also an inhabitant of every part of the
country. ‘All climates are alike,’ says Mr. Nuttall, ‘to this eagle
of the night, the king of the nocturnal tribe of American birds. The
aboriginal inhabitants of the country dread his boding howl, dedicating
his effigies to their solemnities, and, as if he were their sacred
bird of Minerva, forbid the mockery of his ominous, dismal, and almost
supernatural cries. His favorite resort, in the dark and impenetrable
swampy forests, where he dwells in chosen solitude secure from the
approach of every enemy, agrees with the melancholy and sinister traits
of his character. To the surrounding feathered race he is the Pluto of
the gloomy wilderness, and would scarcely be known out of the dismal
shades where he hides, but to his victims, were he as silent as he is
solitary. Among the choaking, loud, guttural sounds which he sometimes
utters, in the dead of night, and with a suddenness which always alarms,
because of his noiseless approach, is the _’waugh ho! ’waugh ho!_ which,
Wilson remarks, was often uttered at the instant of sweeping down round
his camp fire. Many kinds of owls are similarly dazzled and attracted
by fire-lights, and occasionally finding, no doubt, some offal or flesh,
thrown out by those who encamp in the wilderness, they come round the
nocturnal blaze with other motives than barely those of curiosity.’

The _Burrowing Owl_ differs essentially from all others in his habits
and manners. Instead of hiding his head in the daylight, he fearlessly
flies abroad in search of prey, in the broadest glare of the sun; and
far from seeking abodes of solitude and silence, he lives in company
with animals in the recesses of the earth, where they all enjoy the
pleasures of fellowship and good harmony. The mounds of the prairie dog
or marmot, which are thrown up in such numbers near the Rocky Mountains,
are about eighteen inches in height. The entrance is by a passage
two feet in length, which terminates in a comfortable cell composed
of dry grass, where the marmot takes up his winter abode. Around these
villages, the burrowing owls may be seen moving briskly about, singly
or in small flocks. They seem to have very little fear of man; either
soaring to a distance when alarmed, or descending into the burrows,
where it is very difficult to come at them. In countries where the
marmot is not found, this owl is said to dig a hole for himself. Their
food appears to consist entirely of insects. Its note is similar to the
cry of the marmot, which sounds like _cheh, cheh_, pronounced in rapid
succession.

The burrowing owl is nine inches and a half long. The general color
of the plumage is a light burnt umber, spotted with whitish. The under
parts are white, banded with brown.[50]

Other birds of this species found in the limits of the states are the
_Great Gray_ or _Cinereous Owl_, the _Long-eared Owl_, the _Short-eared
Owl_, the _Acadian Owl_, and the _White_ or _Barn Owl_.

The _Baltimore Oriole_ is a gay, lively, and beautiful bird, which
passes its summers among us, but retreats for the winter to South
America. The most remarkable instinct of this bird is the ingenuity
exhibited in building its nest, which is a pendulous cylindric pouch,
from five to seven inches in depth, and usually suspended from the
extremities of high and drooping branches of a tree. The leaves, as
they grow out over the top, form a protection from the sun and rain
for the young. Though naturally shy and suspicious, this bird usually
selects his building place in the neighborhood of farm-houses, and
along frequented roads. He is easily domesticated, becomes playful and
attached, and sings in confinement.

  Illustration: The Baltimore Oriole.

The _Orchard Oriole_ is a smaller and plainer species, of similar
habits. The _Red-winged Blackbird_ is an inhabitant of all North
America, but is migratory in the northern states. This bird commits
great depredations on the unripe corn, and on the rice fields. He
is known by a variety of names. His flesh is tough, and but little
esteemed. The _Cow Blackbird_ is passing from one part of the states to
another, and lives in winter in the warmer parts. In the latter part of
March, he appears in Pennsylvania, and as the weather becomes milder,
he gradually advances into Canada.[51] The _Rice Bunting_ is a small
bird of beautiful plumage and musical song, and as much of a favorite
with the sportsman and gourmand, as of an enemy to the farmer and
planter. They are found in immense numbers in the middle states, where
they do great damage to the barley, Indian corn, and early wheat.

  Illustration: The Rice Bunting.

_Blackbirds._――The _Great Crow Blackbird_ is found only in the
southern parts of the union, where it appears early in February. It is
gregarious, omnivorous, and its note is said sometimes to resemble a
watchman’s rattle. The _Common Crow Blackbird_ appears in every part
of the country, at different seasons, and commits great havoc among
the fields of maize. It is easily domesticated, and may be taught to
articulate a few words. The numbers in which this species are found
are almost beyond belief; and the damage they do to the crops is
astonishing. Other birds of this genus are the _Slender-billed_ and
the _Rusty Blackbird_.

The _Raven_ is found in greater numbers in the western than in the
eastern part of the union; it is a resident, however, in almost every
country in the world. He has been too often described to require
extended notice. The _Crow_ is also an inhabitant of nearly every
region. In most of the settled districts of North America, he is
frequently met with, and is as little liked as he is often seen. He is
smaller than the raven, and is of a deep black color, with brilliant
reflections. Easily domesticated, and quite intelligent, he becomes
attached to his master, and learns a variety of amusing tricks, though
he is apt to be thievish, and is sometimes noisy and disagreeable. The
_Fish Crow_ resembles the rook; it is peculiar to this country, and is
met with along the coast of Georgia, and as far north as New Jersey.
The _Columbian Crow_ is another variety frequenting the shores of
Columbia river.

The _Magpie_ is found in the western parts of America, and is very
numerous to the west of the Rocky Mountains. He is a restless, active,
and impudent bird, bold, and easily domesticated. Like the crow, he is
artful and thievish. His nest is built with great ingenuity and labor,
in a place inaccessible to man. The body of it is composed of hawthorn
branches, the thorns sticking outwards; it is lined with fibrous roots,
wool, and long grass, and then nicely plastered with mud and clay. A
canopy of sharp thorns is then built over the nest, so woven together
as to deny all entrance except at the door. Here the male and female
bring up their young brood in perfect security.

  Illustration: Magpie.

The _Blue Jay_ is peculiar to North America, and is distinguished
as a kind of beau among the feathered tenants of our woods, by the
brilliancy of his dress, and, like most other coxcombs, makes himself
still more conspicuous by his loquacity and the oddness of his tones
and gestures. He is an almost universal inhabitant of the woods,
frequenting the thickest settlements as well as the deepest recesses
of the forest, where his squalling voice often alarms the deer, to the
great disappointment of the hunter. He appears to be among his fellow
musicians, what the trumpeter is in a band, some of his notes bearing
no distant resemblance to the tones of that instrument. These he has
the faculty of changing through a great variety of modulations. When
disposed for ridicule, there is scarcely a bird to whose peculiarities
of song he cannot tune his notes. When engaged in the blandishments
of love, they resemble the soft chatterings of a duck, and are scarce
heard at some paces distant; but no sooner does he discover your
approach, than he sets up a sudden and vehement outcry, flying off
and screaming with all his might. His notes a stranger might readily
mistake for the repeated creakings of an ungreased wheelbarrow. All
these he accompanies with various nods, jerks, and other gesticulations,
for which the whole tribe of jays are so remarkable.[52] Other jays are
the _Columbia_, _Canada_, and _Florida_.

  Illustration: Blue Jay.

The _Meadow Lark_ is a well-known agreeable bird, living in meadows,
and is found throughout the states. There are two species of titmouse,
the _Tufted_, and the _Black-capt Titmouse_. The _Cedar Bird_ is a
small and very beautiful creature, with a soft silky plumage, and crest
of a bright brownish gray; it feeds on cherries, and whortle-berries,
and late in the season on persimmons, small winter grapes, and other
fruits.

The _Great American Shrike_ is common in the northern parts of the
continent, but sometimes summers in New England and Pennsylvania. He
feeds on grasshoppers, spiders, and small birds, and after satisfying
hunger, impales his remaining victims on thorns. When his supply of
fresh game is abundant, he leaves his stores to dry up and decay. He is
fearless, and will attack even the eagle in defence of his young. The
_Loggerhead Shrike_ is a species strongly resembling the one described.

  Illustration: Great American Shrike.

The _Tyrant Flycatcher_, or _Kingbird_, is the field martin of Maryland
and some of the southern states, and the kingbird of Pennsylvania and
several of the northern districts. The trivial name king, as well as
tyrant, has been bestowed on this bird for its extraordinary behavior
in breeding time, and for the authority it assumes over all other
birds. His extreme affection for his mate, nest, and young, makes him
suspicious of every bird that comes near his residence, so that he
attacks every intruder without discrimination; his life at this season
is one continued scene of broils and battles; in which, however, he
generally comes off conqueror. Hawks and crows, the bald eagle, and the
great black eagle, all equally dread a rencontre with this merciless
champion, who, as soon as he perceives one of these last approaching,
launches into the air to meet him, mounts to a considerable height
above him, and darts down on his back, sometimes fixing there to the
great annoyance of his sovereign, who, if no convenient retreat be
near, endeavors by various evolutions to rid himself of his merciless
adversary; but the kingbird is not so easily dismounted. He teazes the
eagle incessantly, sweeps upon him and remounts that he may descend on
his back with greater violence; all the while keeping up a shrill and
rapid twittering. The purple martin, however, is sometimes more than a
match for him. The general color of this bird is a dark slaty ash, the
throat and lower parts are pure white; the plumage on the head, though
not forming a crest, is frequently erected, and discovers a rich bed of
orange color, called by the country people his crown; when the feathers
lie close, this is concealed.

The other principal Flycatchers are, the _Great-crested_, _Arkansas_,
_Fork-tailed_, _Swallow-tailed_, _Says_, _Pewit_, and _Olive-sided_;
the last first described by Mr. Nuttall in his valuable work, from a
specimen obtained at Mount Auburn, now the celebrated cemetery in the
neighborhood of Boston.

The _Mocking Bird_ is peculiar to the new world, and is found in much
larger numbers in the southern than the northern states of the Union.
A warm climate and low country seem to be most congenial to its nature.
It feeds on berries and insects. ‘The mocking bird,’ says Wilson, whose
description has never been surpassed, ‘builds his nest in different
places, according to the latitude in which he resides. A solitary
thorn bush; an almost impenetrable thicket; an orange tree, cedar,
or holly bush, are favorite spots. Always ready to defend, but never
over anxious to conceal his nest, he very often builds within a small
distance of a house; and not unfrequently in a pear or apple tree,
rarely higher than six or seven feet from the ground. The nest is
composed of dry twigs, weeds, straw, wool and tow, ingeniously put
together, and lined with fine fibrous roots. During the time when the
female is sitting, neither cat, dog, man, or any animal can approach
the nest without being attacked. But the whole vengeance of the bird
is directed against his mortal enemy the black snake. Whenever this
reptile is discovered, the male darts upon it with the rapidity of
an arrow, dextrously eluding its bite, and striking it violently and
incessantly against the head, where it is very vulnerable. The snake
soon becomes sensible of his danger, and seeks to escape; but the
intrepid bird redoubles his exertions, and as the snake’s strength
begins to flag, he seizes and lifts it up from the ground, beating it
with his wings, and when the business is completed, he returns to his
nest, mounts the summit of the bush, and pours out a torrent of song
in token of victory.

  Illustration: Mocking Birds.

‘The plumage of the mocking bird has nothing gaudy or brilliant in
it, but that which so strongly recommends him, is his full, strong
and musical voice, capable of almost every modulation, from the mellow
tones of the woodthrush, to the savage screams of the bald eagle. In
his native groves, mounted on the top of a tall bush, in the dawn of
a dewy morning, while the woods are already vocal with a multitude of
warblers, his admirable song rises pre-eminent over every competitor.
The ear can listen to his music alone. Nor is the strain altogether
imitative. His own native notes are bold and full, and varied seemingly
beyond all limits. They consist of short expressions of two, three,
or five and six syllables, generally interspersed with imitations, all
of them uttered with great emphasis and rapidity, and continued for
an hour at a time with undiminished ardor; his expanded wings and tail
glistening with white, and the buoyant gaiety of his action arresting
the eye, as his song most irresistibly does the ear. He sweeps round
with enthusiastic ecstasy――he mounts and descends as his song swells or
dies away――and, as Mr. Bartram has beautifully expressed it, “he bounds
aloft with the celerity of an arrow, as if to recover or recall his
very soul, expired in the last elevated strain.” While thus exerting
himself, a bystander would suppose that the whole feathered tribes had
assembled together on a trial for skill――so perfect are his imitations.

‘The mocking bird loses little of the power and energy of his song by
confinement. In his domesticated state, when he commences his career
of song, it is impossible to stand by uninterested. He whistles for the
dog; Cæsar starts up, wags his tail, and runs to meet his master. He
squeaks out like a hurt chicken, and the hen hurries about with hanging
wings and bristling feathers, clucking to protect her injured brood.
The barking of the dog, the mewing of the cat, the creaking of the
passing wheelbarrow, follow with great truth and rapidity. He repeats
the tune taught him by his master, though of considerable length, fully
and faithfully. He runs over the quiverings of the canary, and the
clear whistlings of the Virginia nightingale, or red bird, with such
superior execution and effect, that the mortified songsters feel their
own inferiority, and become silent, while he seems to triumph in their
defeat by redoubling his exertions.’

_Warblers._――The _Summer Yellow Bird_, or _Warbler_, is a brilliant and
common species, found in every part of the American continent; he is
about five inches in length, with an upper plumage of greenish yellow,
and wings and tail deep brown, edged with yellow. He is a lively and
familiar bird, and a great ornament to the gardens and orchards. His
nest is built with great neatness in the fork of a small shrub. It
is composed of flax or tow, strongly twisted round the twigs, and
lined with hair and the down of fern. This interesting little bird will
feign lameness to draw one from his nest, fluttering feebly along, and
looking back to see if he is followed. His notes are few and shrill,
hardly deserving the name of a song. There is a very great variety
belonging to the family of warblers, of which we can only allude to the
_Prairie_, _Hemlock_, _Pine-swamp_, _Blue-mountain_, _Chesnut-sided_,
_Mourning_, and _Blue-winged Warbler_.

_Ferruginous Thrush._――This is the Brown Thrush or Thrasher of the
middle and eastern states, and the French Mocking-Bird of Maryland,
Virginia, and the Carolinas. It is the largest of all our thrushes,
and is a well-known and distinguished songster, and from the tops
of hedge rows, apple or cherry trees, he salutes the opening morning
with his charming song, which is loud, emphatical and full of variety.
These notes are not imitative, but solely his own. He is an active and
vigorous bird, flying generally low from one thicket to another, with
his long broad tail spread out like a fan; he has a single note or
chuck when you approach his nest.

  Illustration: Ferruginous Thrush.

There is a very numerous variety of thrushes in the states, of
which the best known are the _Cat Bird_, _Robin_, _Wood_, _Little_ or
_Hermit_, _Wilson’s_, and the _Golden-crowned Thrush_.

_Wren._――The _House Wren_, throughout the states, is a well-known and
familiar bird, who builds his nest sometimes under the eaves, or in a
hollow cherry tree; but most commonly in small boxes fixed on a pole,
for his accommodation. He will even put up with an old hat, and if
this also is denied him, he will find some hole or crevice, about the
house or barn, rather than abandon the dwellings of man. A mower once
hung up his coat, under a shed near a barn; two or three days elapsed
before he had occasion to put it on; thrusting his arm up the sleeve,
he found it completely filled with some rubbish as he expressed it,
and on extracting the whole mass, found it to be the nest of a wren,
completely finished and lined with a large quantity of feathers. In his
retreat he was followed by the forlorn little proprietors, who scolded
him with great vehemence, for thus ruining the whole economy of their
domestic affairs.

The immense number of insects which this sociable little bird removes
from the garden and fruit trees ought to endear him to every cultivator;
and his notes, loud, sprightly and tremulous, are extremely agreeable.
Its food is insects and caterpillars, and while supplying the wants
of its young it destroys, on an average, many hundreds a day. It is a
bold and insolent bird against those that venture to build within its
jurisdiction; attacking them without hesitation, though twice its size,
and compelling them to decamp. Even the blue bird, when attacked by
this little impertinent, soon relinquishes the contest: with those of
his own species, also, he has frequent squabbles. The varieties of the
wren are very numerous.

The _Blue Bird_, is a familiar favorite throughout the continent. It
is migratory, and his return is hailed in the northern states as the
first presage of spring. ‘Towards autumn,’ says Mr. Nuttall, ‘in the
month of October, his cheerful song nearly ceases, and is now changed
into a single plaintive note. Even when the leaves have fallen, and the
forest no longer affords a shelter from the blast, the faithful blue
bird still lingers over his native fields, and only takes his departure
in November, when, at a considerable elevation, in the early twilight
of the morning, till the opening of the day, they wing their way in
small roving troops to some milder regions in the south.’

_Tanagers._――The _Tanagers_ are gaudy birds, which annually visit the
republic from the torrid regions of the south. The _Scarlet Tanager_
is perhaps the most showy. He spreads himself over the United States,
and is found even in Canada. He rarely approaches the habitations
of man, unless perhaps in the orchard, where he sometimes builds; or
in the cherry trees in search of fruit; the depth of the wood is his
favorite abode. Among all the birds that inhabit our woods, there is
none that strikes the eye of a stranger, or even a native, with so much
brilliancy as this. Seen among the green leaves, with the light falling
strongly on his plumage, he is really beautiful. Another species, the
summer red bird, delights in a flat sandy country, covered with wood,
and interspersed with pine trees; and is, consequently, more numerous
towards the shores of the Atlantic than in the interior.

  Illustration: Tanager.

_Finches._――The _Song Sparrow_ is the most generally diffused over
the United States, and is the most numerous of all our sparrows; and it
is far the earliest, sweetest, and most lasting songster. Many of them
remain during the whole winter in close-sheltered meadows and swamps.
It is the first singing bird in spring. Its song continues through the
summer and fall, and is sometimes heard even in the depths of winter.
The notes or chant are short but very sweet, and frequently repeated,
from a small bush or tree, where it sits chanting for an hour together.
It is fond of frequenting the borders of rivers, meadows and swamps;
and, if wounded and unable to fly, will readily take to the water, and
swim with considerable rapidity. There are other familiar species of
sparrows, as the _Chipping_, _Field_, and _Tree_, _Yellow-winged_, and
_White-throated_ sparrows.

The _Indigo Bird_ is numerous in the middle and eastern states,
and in the Carolinas and Georgia. Its favorite haunts are about
gardens, fields of clover, borders of woods, and road sides, where it
is frequently seen perched on fences. In its manners it is extremely
neat and active, and a vigorous and pretty good songster. It mounts to
the tops of the highest trees, and chants for half an hour at a time.
Its song is not one continued strain, but a repetition of short notes,
commencing loud and rapid, and falling by slow gradations till they
seem hardly articulate, as if the little minstrel were quite exhausted;
but after a pause of half a minute, it commences again as before.
Notwithstanding the beauty of his plumage, and the vivacity of his song,
the indigo bird is seldom seen domesticated. Its nest is built in a low
bush among rank grass, grain, or clover, suspended by two twigs, one
passing up each side, and is composed of flax, and lined with grass.
This bird is five inches long, the whole body of a rich sky-blue,
deepening in color toward the head, and sometimes varying to green.

The _Yellow Bird_, or _Goldfinch_, bears a great resemblance to the
canary, and in song is like the goldfinch of Britain, but it is in
general weak. In the spring, they associate in flocks, to bask and
dress themselves in the morning sun, singing in concert for half an
hour together; the confused mingling of their notes forming a kind
of harmony not at all unpleasant. Their flight is not direct, but
in alternate risings and sinkings, twittering as they fly at each
successive impulse of the wings. They search the gardens in numbers,
in quest of seeds, and pass by various names, such as lettuce-bird,
sallad-bird, thistle-bird, yellow-bird. They are very easily tamed.

The goldfinch is four inches and a half in length: the male is of a
rich lemon color. The wings and tail are black, edged with white. In
the fall, this color changes to a brown olive, which is the constant
color of the female. They build a nest in the twigs of an apple tree,
neatly formed of lichen and soft downy substances.

The _Cardinal Grosbeak_ is one of our most common cage birds, and is
very generally known both in this country and in Europe. Numbers of
them have been carried to England and France, in which last country
they are called Virginia nightingales. They have great clearness and
variety of tones; many of which resemble the clear notes of the fife,
and are nearly as loud. They begin in the spring at daybreak, and
repeat a favorite passage twenty or thirty times. The sprightly figure
and gaudy plumage of this bird, with his vivacity and strength of voice,
must always make him a favorite.

The _Crossbill_ is an inhabitant of almost all the pine forests
situated north of forty degrees, from the beginning of September to
the middle of April. The great pine swamp in Pennsylvania appears to
be their favorite rendezvous. They then appear in large flocks, feeding
on the seeds of the hemlock and white pine; have a loud, sharp, and
not unmusical note; chatter as they fly; alight during the prevalence
of the deep snows before the door of the hunter, and around the house,
picking off the clay with which the logs are plastered, and searching
in corners where any substance of a saline nature had been thrown. At
such times, they are so tame as only to settle on the roof of the cabin
when disturbed, and a moment after, descend to feed as before. They are
then easily caught in traps. When kept in a cage, they have many of the
habits of the parrot, often climbing along the wires, and using their
feet to grasp the cones in, while taking out the seeds.

_Carolina Parrot._――This is the only species of parrot found native
within the territory of the United States. The vast luxuriant tracts
lying within the torrid zone seem to be the favorite residence of
those noisy, numerous and richly plumaged tribes. The Carolina parrot
inhabits the interior of Louisiana and the shores of the Mississippi
and Ohio, east of the Alleghanies. It is seldom seen north of Maryland.
Their private places of resort are low, rich, alluvial bottoms along
the borders of creeks; deep and almost impenetrable swamps filled with
sycamore and cypress trees, and the _salines_ or _licks_ interspersed
over the western country. Here too is a great abundance of their
favorite fruits. The seeds of the cypress tree and beech nuts are
eagerly sought after by these birds.

  Illustration: Carolina Parrot.

The flight of the Carolina parrot is very much like that of the wild
pigeon, in close compact bodies, moving with great rapidity, making a
loud and outrageous screaming, like that of the red-headed woodpecker.
Their flight is sometimes in a direct line, but most usually circuitous,
making a great variety of elegant and easy serpentine meanders, as
if for pleasure. They generally roost in the hollow trunks of old
sycamores, in parties of thirty or forty together. Here they cling fast
to the sides of the tree, holding by their claws and bills. They appear
to be fond of sleep, and often retire to their holes during the day,
probably to take their regular _siesta_. They are extremely social and
friendly towards each other.

The _Yellow-billed Cuckoo_ is not abundant any where; but it is
found far north, though preferring a residence in the southern states.
It feeds on berries and insects of various kinds. ‘In autumn,’ says
Mr. Audubon, ‘they eat many grapes, and I have seen them supporting
themselves by a momentary motion of their wings opposite a bunch, as if
selecting the ripest, when they would seize it and return to a branch,
repeating their visits in this manner, until satiated. They now and
then descend to the ground, to pick up a wood-snail or a beetle. They
are extremely awkward at walking, and move in an ambling manner, or
leap along sidewise, for which the shortness of their legs is an ample
excuse. They are seldom seen perched conspicuously on a twig, but on
the contrary are generally to be found amongst the thickest boughs and
foliage, where they emit their notes until late in autumn, at which
time they discontinue them.’ It is shy and cowardly, robbing small
birds of their eggs.

_Woodpeckers._――The _Red-headed Woodpecker_ is universally known
from his striking and characteristic plumage, and the frequency of his
depredations in the orchards and corn-fields. Towards the mountains,
particularly in the vicinity of creeks and rivers, these birds are
extremely abundant, especially in the latter part of the summer.
Wherever you travel in the interior at that season, you hear them
screaming from the adjoining woods, rattling on the dead limbs of trees,
or on the fences, where they are perpetually seen flitting from stake
to stake on the roadside before you. Wherever there are trees of the
wild cherry, covered with ripe fruit, there you see them busy among the
branches; and in passing orchards, you may easily know where to find
the sweetest apples, by observing those trees on or near which this
bird is skulking; for he is so excellent a connoisseur in fruit, that
wherever an apple or pear is found broached by him, it is sure to be
among the ripest and best flavored. When alarmed, he seizes a capital
one by sticking his open bill deep into it, and bears it off to the
woods. When the Indian corn is in its ripe, succulent, and milky
state, he attacks it with great eagerness, opening a passage through
the numerous folds of the husk, and feeding on it with voracity. The
girdled or leadened timber, so common among the corn-fields in the
back settlements, are his favorite retreats, whence he sallies out
to make his depredations. He is fond of the ripe berries of the sour
gum, and pays regular visits to the cherry trees, when loaded with
fruit. Towards fall, he often approaches the barn or farm house, and
raps on the shingles and weather-boards. He is of a gay and frolicsome
disposition; and half a dozen of the fraternity are frequently seen
diving and vociferating round the high dead limbs of some tree,
pursuing and playing with each other, amusing the passenger with their
gambols. Their note or cry is shrill and lively, and so much resembles
that of a species of tree-frog, which frequents the same tree, that it
is sometimes difficult to distinguish the one from the other.

  Illustration: Red-headed Woodpecker.

The _Ivory-billed Woodpecker_ breeds in the Carolinas, and in
strength and magnitude stands at the head of the tribe. He lives in
the cypress swamps, seeking the tops of the most towering trees; his
bill is like polished ivory, and his crest a superb carmine. His eye
is brilliant and daring, and his manners are said to be dignified and
noble. Among the other American birds of this tribe are the _Pileated_,
_Yellow-bellied_, _Golden-winged_, and _Red-bellied Woodpeckers_.

_Nuthatch._――The _White-breasted Nuthatch_ is found almost every where
in the woods of North America; his whole upper plumage is light-blue
or lead, the under parts are white, and the crown of the head, black.
Ants, seeds, insects, and larvæ, form his principal subsistence. There
are two other species of this bird found in the United States.

The _Ruby-throated Humming Bird_ is the only species of the genus found
in the limits of the states, though there are upwards of one hundred in
America. Its approach to the north is regulated by the advance of the
season. He is extremely fond of tubular flowers, particularly of the
blossoms of the trumpet flower. When arrived before a thicket of these,
that are full blown, he suspends himself on wing for the space of two
or three seconds, so steadily that his wings become almost invisible;
the glossy golden green of his back, and the fire of his throat,
dazzling in the sun, form altogether an interesting spectacle. When he
alights, he prefers the small dead twigs of a bush, where he dresses
and arranges his plumage with great dexterity. His flight from flower
to flower greatly resembles that of a bee, but is infinitely more
rapid. He poises himself on wing, while he thrusts his long slender
tongue into the flowers in search of food. He sometimes enters a room
by the window, examines the bouquets of flowers, and passes out by the
opposite door or window. He feeds on the honey extracted from flowers,
and on insects.

‘The old and young,’ says Mr. Nuttall, ‘are soon reconciled to
confinement. In an hour after the loss of liberty, the little cheerful
captive will often come and suck diluted honey, or sugar and water,
from the flowers held out to it; and in a few hours more, it becomes
tame enough to sip its favorite beverage from a saucer, in the interval
flying backwards and forwards in the room for mere exercise, and then
resting on some neighboring elevated object. In dark or rainy weather,
they seem to pass the time chiefly dozing or on the perch. They are
also soon so familiar as to come to the hand that feeds them. In cold
nights, or at the approach of frost, the pulsation of this little
dweller in the sunbeam becomes nearly as low as in the torpid state of
the dormouse; but on applying warmth, the almost stagnant circulation
revives, and slowly increases to the usual state.’

_Belted Kingfisher._――This is the only species of its tribe found
within the United States, where it frequents the banks of all the
fresh water rivers from Maine to Florida. His voice is loud, rattling,
and sudden. His flight is rapid, and is sometimes prolonged to very
considerable distances. He follows up the course of the rivers to their
very fountains, and his presence is a sign of abundant fish. Mill-ponds,
where the water is calm, are favorite resorts of this bird, and its
eggs are generally found in places not far from a mill worked by water.
The kingfisher, for many successive years, returns to the same hole to
breed and roost. Its flesh is oily and disagreeable.

  Illustration: Belted Kingfisher.

_Swallows._――The beautiful _Purple Martin_ is a great favorite of man
in all parts of the country. The farmer prepares a little house for
him, the Indian hollows a calabash, and as either mansion is to him
indifferent, so is he equally acceptable to the husbandman and the
hunter. Year after year he returns to the same mansion. In the middle
states, the martins prepare their nest about the third week in April,
and they rear two broods in the season. There are several other species,
such as the _Barn_, _Cliff_, _White-bellied_, and _Chimney_.

_Night-Hawks._――The _Whip-poor-will_ is a remarkable nocturnal bird
migratory through nearly the extent of the states. It is well known
for its sad and peculiar song. The _Chuck-will’s Widow_ is seldom found
north of Virginia, and is particularly numerous in the vast forests
of the Mississippi. Its note is strikingly different from that of the
whip-poor-will. In sound and articulation it seems plainly to express
the words which have been applied to it, pronouncing every syllable
leisurely, and distinctly, putting the principal emphasis on the last
word. In a still evening it may be heard at the distance of nearly a
mile; the tones of its voice being strong and full.

The flight of this bird is slow, skimming about the surface of the
ground, frequently settling on old logs or on the fences, and from
thence sweeping around in pursuit of various insects that fly in the
night. Like the whip-poor-will, it prefers the declivities of glens,
and other deeply shaded places, making the mountains resound with
echoes the whole evening.

_Pigeons._――The _Passenger Pigeon_ is the most remarkable American
species. The head, throat, and upper parts of the body are ash colored;
the sides of the neck are of a glossy variable purple; and there is a
crimson mark round the eyes. These birds visit the different parts of
North America in immense flocks. The most important facts connected
with their habits relate to their extraordinary associations and
migrations. No other species known to naturalists is more calculated
to attract the attention of either the citizen or the stranger, as he
has opportunity of viewing both of these characteristic habits while
they are passing from north to south, east and west, and, _vice versa_,
over and across the whole extent of the United States of America. These
migrations are owing entirely to the dire necessity of providing food,
and not merely to escape the severity of a northern latitude, or seek a
southern one for the purpose of breeding. They consequently do not take
place at any fixed period or season of the year. Indeed, it happens
sometimes that a continuance of a sufficient supply of food in one
district will keep these birds absent from another for years.

  Illustration: Passenger Pigeon.

Their rapidity of flight is wonderful. Pigeons have been killed in the
neighborhood of New York, with their crops full of the rice they must
have collected in the plantations of the Carolinas, or Georgia, and the
flight necessary to account for this circumstance has been estimated at
a mile a minute. Another well-known bird of this tribe is the _Carolina
Pigeon_.

_Wild Turkey._――This splendid bird is found from the North-West
territory to the isthmus of Panama. They abound in the forests and
unsettled parts of the Union, but are very rare in the northern and
eastern parts. They were formerly abundant in Canada; but as their
places of resort become settled and thickly peopled, they retire and
seek refuge in the remotest recesses of the interior. In New England,
it appears to have been destroyed many years ago; but it is still found
in the eastern parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

  Illustration: Wild Turkey.

These birds do not confine themselves to any particular food, but eat
corn, berries, grapes, barley, tadpoles, young frogs and lizards. Their
favorite food, however, is the pecan nut and acorn. Where there is an
abundant crop of acorns, numerous flocks of turkeys may be expected.
In the fall, they direct their courses in vast numbers to the rich
lands on the borders of the Ohio and Mississippi. Before crossing a
river, they assemble on the highest eminences, and remain there as if
in consultation for a day or two. At length, after due preparation, the
leader gives a signal note, and they all wing their way to the opposite
shore. Some of the young and weak fall into the water, and many perish.
It is observed that after these journeys, the turkeys are so familiar,
that they fearlessly enter the plantations, in search of food. Great
numbers are killed at this time, and kept in a frozen state to be sent
to distant markets.

  Illustration: Wild Turkeys.

The flesh of the wild turkey is of excellent flavor, being more
delicate and juicy than that of the domestic turkey; the Indians value
it so highly, that they term it, when roasted, ‘the white man’s dish.’
The male of the wild turkey is nearly four feet in length; the female
is only three feet and a quarter long. The plumage of the male is
very brilliant, and of a variety of hues; that of the female is not
so beautiful.[53]

_The Quail._――The American quail is found throughout the union;
and though in form and general appearance it somewhat resembles the
European quail, the two birds differ very widely in their habits. The
food of the quail consists of grain, seed and insects, but buckwheat
and Indian corn are its favorites. The flight of this bird is
accompanied with a loud whizzing sound, occasioned by the shortness of
their wings and the rapidity with which they move. During winter, they
often suffer severely from the inclemency of the weather, and whole
coveys are found frozen in spots where they had endeavored to shelter
themselves.

  Illustration: Quail.

_Grouse._――The Ruffed Grouse is the partridge of the eastern states,
and the pheasant of Pennsylvania and the southern districts. It is
known in almost every quarter of the United States, and appears to
inhabit a very extensive range of country. Its favorite places of
resort are high mountains covered with the balsam, pine, hemlock, and
such like evergreens. Unlike the pinnated grouse, it always prefers
the woods; is seldom or never found in open plains, but loves the
pine-sheltered declivities of mountains near streams of water. In the
lower parts of Georgia, Carolina, and Florida, they are very seldom
observed; but as we advance inland to the mountains, they again make
their appearance. The _Sharp-tailed Grouse_, the _Dusky Grouse_, and
the _Cock of the Plains_, are other species of this tribe.

The _Woodcock_, in its general figure and habits, greatly resembles
the woodcock of Europe, but is considerably less, and very differently
marked. This bird is universally known to our sportsmen. During the
day they keep to the woods and thickets, and at the approach of evening
seek the springs and open watery places to feed in. In hot weather,
they descend to the marshy shores of our rivers, their favorite springs
and watery recesses inland being dried up. To the former of these
retreats they are pursued by sportsmen, flushed by dogs, and shot down
in great numbers. The woodcock is properly a nocturnal bird, feeding
chiefly at night, and seldom stirring about till after sunset; at such
times he rises by a kind of spiral course to a considerable height
in the air, uttering at times a sudden quack, till having gained his
utmost height, he hovers round in a wild irregular manner, making a
sort of murmuring sound, then descends with rapidity as he rose.

_Ducks._――The _Canvass-back Duck_ is peculiar to this country, and a
witty gourmand of England, who made the tour of the states, thinks it
the only production of nature or art of which America can with reason
be proud. It was known to the epicure, long before it was described by
the naturalist. Arriving in the United States from the north, about the
middle of October, its chief place of resort is about the waters which
flow into Chesapeak bay. On its first arrival it is lean, but from
the abundance of its favorite food, it soon becomes fat. This bird is
sometimes found in numbers so great as to cover acres.[54]

  Illustration: Canvass-Back Duck.

Among the American birds of this tribe are the _Eider Duck_, _Black_ or
_Surf Duck_, _Ruddy Duck_, _Golden-eye_, _Buffel-headed Duck_, _Tufted
Duck_, _Teal_ and some others. The _Wood_ or _Summer Duck_, is the most
beautiful bird of its kind in the world. Its head is adorned with a
beautiful crest, and its plumage is most beautifully variegated. Its
favorite places of resort are the border of ponds and lakes; but it
passes the summer in the woods. It nestles in hollow trees, and when
taken may be easily tamed.

  Illustration: Summer Duck.

_Wild Goose._――The common wild goose is well known over the whole
of the United States, and its periodical migrations are sure signs
of returning spring or approaching winter. Its flight is heavy and
laborious. When in good order this bird weighs from ten to fourteen
pounds, and yields about half a pound of feathers. Mr. Wilson relates
the following interesting anecdote.

  Illustration: Wild Geese.

‘Mr. Platt, a respectable farmer on Long Island, being out shooting in
one of the bays which in that part of the country abound in water-fowl,
wounded a wild goose. Being unable to fly, he caught it, and brought
it home alive. It proved to be a female, and turning it into the yard
with a flock of tame geese, it soon became quite familiar, and in a
little time its wounded wing entirely healed. In the following spring,
when the wild geese migrate to the northward, a flock passed over
Mr. Platt’s barn yard, and just at that moment, their leader, happening
to sound his bugle note, our goose, in whom its new habits had not
quite extinguished the love of liberty, and remembering the well-known
sound, spread its wings, mounted into the air, joined the travellers,
and soon disappeared. In the succeeding autumn, the wild geese, as
usual, returned from the northward, in great numbers, to pass the
winter in our bays and rivers. Mr. Platt happened to be standing in
his yard, when a flock passed directly over his barn. At that instant,
he observed three geese detach themselves from the rest, and after
wheeling round several times, alight in the middle of the yard. Imagine
his surprise and pleasure, when, by certain well-remembered signs,
he recognised in one of the three his long-lost fugitive. It was she
indeed! She had travelled many hundred miles to the lakes; had there
hatched and reared her offspring; and had now returned with her little
family, to share with them the sweets of civilized life.’

_Wild Swan._――This bird is found widely spread over the whole of the
northern continent. During the winter, great numbers of them resort to
the Chesapeak bay, and whilst there, form collections of from one to
five hundred on the flats near the western shore. These birds are so
exceedingly vigilant, that if but three of them are feeding together,
one will generally be on guard, and when danger approaches, the alarm
is given. While feeding and dressing, they make much noise, and through
the night their vociferations can be heard for several miles. Their
notes are extremely varied; some resembling the deepest base of the
common tin horn, others running through the various modulations of the
clarionet. The swan is five or six years in reaching its perfect growth.
The aborigines employ the skin of this bird in making dresses for their
women of rank, and the feathers as ornaments for the head.[55]

  Illustration: Wild Swan.

_Rail._――This bird belongs to a genus of which naturalists enumerate
about thirty species, distributed over almost every region of the earth.
Their general character is every where the same. They run swiftly, fly
slowly, and usually with the legs hanging down, are fond of concealment,
and become at seasons extremely fat. The common American rail is
migratory. It is feeble and delicate in every thing but the legs, which
are strong and vigorous; their bodies are so remarkably thin that they
are enabled to pass between the reeds like rats. They disappear on the
first severe frost, from their usual residence along the reedy shores
of the Delaware, and so sudden is their departure that no one knows how
or when it is made.

  Illustration: American Rail.

_Plovers._――The _Black-bellied Plover_ is known in some parts of this
country by the name of the large whistling field plover; the gunners
along the coast call them the black-bellied plover. In Pennsylvania,
this bird frequents the countries towards the mountains; seems
particularly attached to newly ploughed fields, where it forms its nest,
of a few slight materials, as slightly put together. It is an extremely
shy and watchful bird, though clamorous during breeding time.

The _Kildeer Plover_ is known to almost every inhabitant of the
United States, being a common and pretty constant resident. During
the severity of winter, when snow covers the ground, it retreats to
the seashore, where it is found at all seasons; but no sooner have the
rivers broken up than its shrill note is again heard, either soaring
about high in the air, tracing the shore of the river, or running
amidst the watery flats and meadows.

_Flamingo._――This bird is common on the south frontiers of the states,
and the peninsula of East Florida. When the Europeans first came to
America, they found this bird on several shores on either continent
gentle, and no way distrustful of mankind. When the fowler had killed
one, the rest of the flock, far from attempting to fly, only regarded
the fall of their companion in a kind of fixed astonishment: another
and another shot was discharged; and thus the fowler often levelled the
whole flock, before one of them began to think of escaping.

But at present it is very different in that part of the world; and the
flamingo is not only one of the scarcest, but one of the shyest birds
in the world, and the most difficult of approach. They chiefly keep
near the most deserted and inhospitable shores; near salt water lakes
and swampy islands. When seen by mariners in the day, they always
appear drawn up in a long close line, of two or three hundred together;
and present, at the distance of half a mile, the exact representation
of a long brick wall. This line, however, is broken when they seek
for food; but they always appoint one of the number as a watch, whose
only employment is to observe and give notice of danger while the rest
are feeding. As soon as this trusty sentinel perceives the remotest
appearance of danger, he gives a loud scream, with a voice as shrill
as a trumpet, and instantly the whole cohort are upon the wing.

Their time of breeding is according to the climate in which they reside:
in North America, they breed in summer; on the other side of the line,
they take the most favorable season of the year. They build their nests
in extensive marshes, and where they are in no danger of a surprise.

_Herons._――The _Great Egret Heron_ is often seen in summer in our low
marshes and inundated meadows; yet on account of its extreme vigilance,
it is very difficult to be procured. It is found in Guiana, and
probably beyond the line, to New York. It enters the territories of the
United States late in February. The high inland parts of the country it
rarely or never visits. Its favorite haunts are vast inundated swamps,
rice fields, the low marshy shores of rivers, and such like places;
where from its size and color it is very conspicuous even at a distance.
The plumage of this elegant bird is of a snowy whiteness; the bill of
a rich orange yellow; and the legs black.

The _Great Heron_ is a constant inhabitant of the Atlantic coast from
New York to Florida. They breed in the Carolinas and New Jersey, in the
gloomy solitudes of the cedar swamps. Their nests are constructed of
sticks and placed on the tallest trees.

The _Louisiana Heron_ is a rare and delicately formed species,
occasionally found on the swampy river shores of South Carolina, but
more frequently along the borders of the Mississippi, particularly
below New Orleans. In each of these places it is migratory, and in
the latter builds its nests on trees amidst the inundated woods. Among
the species of this tribe, are the _Green Heron_, _Blue Heron_, _Night
Heron_, _Yellow-crowned Heron_, the _Bittern_, and several others.

  Illustration: Night Heron.

The _Whooping Crane_ is the tallest and most stately species of all
the feathered tribes of the United States; the watchful inhabitant
of extensive salt marshes, desolate swamps, and open morasses, in the
neighborhood of the sea. Its migrations are regular, and of the most
extensive kind, reaching from the inundated shores and tracts of South
America to the arctic circle. In these periodical journeys, they pass
at such a prodigious height in the air as to be rarely observed. They
wander along the marshes and muddy flats of the seashore, in search of
marine worms; sailing occasionally from place to place with a loud and
heavy flight. At times they utter a loud and piercing cry, which may
be heard at a great distance. They have various modulations of this
singular note, from the peculiarity of which they derive their name.

The _Sand-hill Crane_ is a fine stately bird, taller than a swan, and
in the water, said to be quite as majestic. They abound in countless
numbers on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, appearing at a distance
like great droves of sheep. They migrate in company with the pelicans.

_Pelican._――To those who have visited the estuaries of the Florida
coast, the demure and awkward attitude of this bird is perfectly
familiar. In that portion of our country, this species occurs in
large flocks, and they are often to be seen along the shores of
the Mississippi and Missouri, imparting a peculiar character to the
otherwise solitary scene; their solemn and quiet demeanor being in
strict unison with the stillness of the uninhabited plains which
surround them. They build in societies, and are seldom found except in
flocks. When they are disturbed, they rise in much confusion, but soon
form in regular order, usually flying in long lines, though sometimes
in a triangle, like geese, with their long bills resting on their
breasts.

The _Wood Ibis_ is found in the southern parts of the United States, in
watery savannas and inland swamps, where it feeds on fish and reptiles.
The neck, body, and lower parts of this bird are white; the bill is
nearly nine inches long. The _White Ibis_ is numerous in the same
latitudes. The _Scarlet Ibis_ frequents the borders of the sea, and
the shores of the neighboring rivers, feeding on small fry, shell-fish,
sea-worms, and crabs. The _Purple Gallinule_ is sometimes met with in
Georgia, but is a native of the southern continent.

The _Roseate Spoonbill_ is an inhabitant of our southern seashore, and
is sometimes found in the Mississippi in the summer. It wades about in
search of shell-fish, marine insects, small crabs and fish, in pursuit
of which it occasionally swims and dives. The _Black-bellied Darter_,
or _Snake Bird_, is common in the Carolinas. Its head, neck, and breast
are light brown; the belly and tail deep black. It sits on the shrubs
that overhang the water, and often terrifies the passengers by darting
out its long and slender neck, which bears strong resemblance to that
of a serpent.


                             III. FISHES.

The natural history of American fishes is yet to be written, as very
little progress has yet been made in the scientific observation of this
interesting order of animals. The fishes which fill the bays and coasts
of the United States are generally of the same species with those on
the coasts of the opposite continent. Along the shores of New England
they are particularly abundant, though there is no other bank that
equals that of Newfoundland in extreme richness. Shad and salmon are
fine fish abounding in the Atlantic rivers, and beautiful trout are
taken in the mountain streams of the northern states. Among the fish
of the western waters, probably in a great measure common to them and
other rivers, are noticed several varieties of perch, one of which,
the buffalo perch, derives its name from the singular grunting noise
which it makes, and which is familiar to every one who has been much on
the Ohio. It is a fine table fish, weighing from ten to thirty pounds.
There are, also, varieties of the bass, the hog-fish, and the sun-fish,
and sixteen species of minny found in these waters, besides trout,
false herring, and shad. Of all the inhabitants of the western rivers,
the brown buffalo-fish is, perhaps, as much esteemed as any; it is
quite abundant, and is found from two to three feet in length. In
the lower waters of the Ohio and Mississippi, we meet with the black
buffalo-fish, sometimes weighing half a hundred. A larger buffalo,
resembling the shad of the Atlantic states, is taken in immense numbers
in the lakes and meadows of the Mississippi.

The trout of Florida and Louisiana is not identical with the beautiful
fish of that name that is a tenant of the cold and swift streams of
the northern Atlantic country; it is of the perch class, and takes
the bait with a spring like the trout, and is beautifully marked with
golden stripes. It is a sound, hard fish, with a pleasant flavor, and
weighs from one to four pounds. ‘We have never witnessed angling,’ says
Mr. Flint, ‘that could compare with that of this fish, in the clear
pine-wood streams of the southern divisions of this country. With fresh
bait a barrel may be taken in a few hours.’ Twelve species of cat-fish
have been observed in the Ohio, and it is indeed the most common
fish in the western waters. They are of all colors and sizes, without
scales, and easily taken with a hook. Their English name is derived
from the noise which they make when at rest, which is very similar to
the purring of a cat. In the Mississippi, this fish is found of the
weight of an hundred pounds.

The Ohio ‘toter’ is two or three inches in length; its name is derived
from the barbarism ‘tote,’ meaning to ‘carry,’ because this fish makes
itself a cell by surrounding a place with pebbles. Pike, pickerel, and
jack-fish, weighing from six ounces to twenty pounds, are found in the
western rivers. Of the gar-fish there are also numerous varieties. The
alligator-gar is sometimes eight feet long, and is voracious, fierce
and formidable, even to the human species. Its dart in rapidity equals
the flight of a bird. Its mouth is long, round, and pointed, thickset
with sharp teeth; its body is covered with scales so hard as to be
impenetrable by a rifle-bullet, and, when dry, answer the purposes
of a flint in striking fire from steel. Its weight is from fifty to
two hundred pounds, and its appearance is hideous. It is, in fact,
the shark of rivers, and is considered far more formidable than the
alligator himself. The devil-jack-diamond fish is another monster of
the rivers. One has been caught that weighed four hundred pounds; its
usual length is from four to ten feet.

Eels vary in length from two to four feet. The best species for the
table is the yellow eel. Of sturgeon there are six species in these
rivers, some of them four feet in length; some of them are said to form
a palatable food. The Mississippi saw-fish varies in length from three
feet to six; it has twenty-six long teeth on either side, in the form
of a saw. There is also a spotted horn-fish from two to three feet long,
the horn being one quarter the length of the body. The beautifully
striped bar-fish go in shoals in the southern streams; they weigh from
one to three pounds, and are taken with a hook. The shovel-fish is
found in the muddy lakes of the middle region of the valley; it weighs
from ten to fifty pounds, is without scales, and has in front of the
mouth a bony substance between six and twelve inches long, and two or
three inches wide, with which it turns up the mud in search of its food.
It is exceedingly fat, and is taken for its oil.

‘We have never remarked this fish in any museum,’ says Mr. Flint,
‘although to us the most strange and whimsical-looking fish we
have seen. We have seen one instance of a horribly deformed animal,
apparently intermediate between the class _testudo_ and fishes. We saw
it in a water of the Washita, and had not a fair opportunity to examine
it. It is called toad-fish, has a shell like a tortoise, but in every
thing else resembles a fish. It is said to be sufficiently strong
to bear a man on its back; and, from the account of those who have
examined it, this animal must be a _lusus naturæ_.’

The rock fish,[56] drum and sheep’s-head are large fish, taken in
saline lakes in the neighborhood of the gulf of Mexico. In size they
correspond to the cod and haddock of the Atlantic, and are among the
most common fish in the market of New Orleans. The fish of the gulf
shore partake of the character both of salt and fresh water fish; this
arises from their being taken in shallow lakes principally composed of
fresh water, but having outlets in the gulf, through which in strong
south winds the sea-water is forced in such quantities that they become
salt. There are a vast number of craw-fish every where in the marshy
grounds and shallow waters. By penetrating the bank of the Mississippi,
they have more than once made perforations which have imperceptibly
enlarged to crevices, by which the inundation of the river has been let
in upon the country.

The fish of the western rivers are generally less esteemed than
those of the Atlantic waters; and in truth, fresh-water fish generally
will not vie with those of the sea. The fishes of the Mississippi
and its tributary rivers are for the most part coarse, tough, large
and unpleasant in their flavor. ‘Except the trout, the small yellow
cat-fish, the pike, the bar-fish and the perch,’ says Mr. Flint, ‘we
do not much admire the fish of the western waters.’

Dr. Mitchell gives the following account of a gigantic fish of the
ray kind, which he calls the oceanic vampire. It had been taken near
the entrance of the Delaware Bay, by the crew of a smack which had been
fitted out for the express purpose of capturing some sea-monster. After
an absence of about three weeks, the adventurers returned with the
animal to which we refer. It was killed after a long and dangerous
encounter. The weight was so considerable, that after it had been
towed to the shore, three pair of oxen aided by a horse and twenty-two
men could not drag it to the dry land; the weight was supposed to be
between four and five tons. Its length was seventeen feet and three
inches, from the tip of the head to the tip of the tail. The breadth
from the extremity of one pectoral fin or wing to the other, measuring
along the line of the belly, was sixteen feet; when measured over the
convexity of the back, eighteen feet.

On each side of the mouth there was a vertical fin two feet and six
inches long, twelve inches deep, and two inches and a half thick in
the middle, whence it tapered towards the edges, which were fringed
before with a radiated margin. The fin or organ thus constituted was
so flexible as to bend in all directions, and be made in many respects
to perform the function of a hand. The wings, flaps, or pectoral
fins, were of very curious organization; they bore more resemblance
to the wings of a bird than to any thing else, and were yet so
different as to manifest a remarkable variety of mechanism, in organs
intended substantially for the same use. Fish of the kind now under
consideration may be aptly denominated submarine birds; for they fly
through the water, as birds fly through the air.


                             IV. REPTILES.

Reptiles, or animals of the serpent, turtle, and lizard class, are
found in various parts of the United States; and in some in pernicious
abundance. All varieties of the rattlesnake[57] are seen; of these, the
largest is the yellow rattlesnake. This is sometimes seen from six to
nine feet in length, and as large as a man’s leg. A species of small
rattlesnake is numerous on the prairies; in the far west, they are
said to live in the same burrows with the prairie dogs. The snapper,
or ground rattlesnake, is very troublesome; it travels by night, and
frequents house paths and roads. The copper head is a snake supposed to
be more venomous even than the preceding, but is less frequently found.
It is of a dirty brown color; but when it has recently shed its skin,
some parts of its body resemble burnished copper.

There are three or four varieties of the moccasin snake inhabiting
the southern country. The upland moccasin somewhat resembles the
rattlesnake, but is still more disgusting in its appearance. The
largest variety of the moccasin snake is similar to the water snake of
the Atlantic country. It is a serpent of the largest size, exceedingly
venomous, with a very large flat head, lazy, and unobservant of man.
There is another species of the moccasin seldom seen on shore, of a
brilliant copper color, striped with gray rings. The brown viper, or
hissing snake, is from six to eight inches long, terminating in a sharp
tail; when angry, the color of its back changes, its head flattens and
dilates to twice its usual extent, and its hiss resembles that of a
goose. It is extremely venomous, and of a very repulsive aspect. One
that was confined by a stick across its back, instantly bit itself in
two or three places; and when released, it soon become swollen and died.

Mr. Flint expresses his conviction that the Mississippi valley presents
a greater number of serpents, and is more infested by them than the
Atlantic shore, excepting perhaps its southern border. Wherever the
population becomes dense, the swine prey upon them, and they quickly
disappear. Their most permanent and dangerous resorts are near the
bases of precipitous and rocky hills, about ledges and flint knobs,
and in the southern countries along vast swamps and stagnant waters.
The bite of these serpents is venomous, and the person that is bitten
often becomes blind. During the latter part of the summer, the serpents
themselves become blind; the popular belief on this subject is, that
this blindness arises from the absorption of their own poison into the
system. During this period, though their aim is less certain, their
bite is most dangerous. Death seldom occurs, however, from this cause.

The country has the usual varieties of harmless serpents, such as the
green garter, chicken, and coach-whip snakes. The glass snake is often
seen with a body of the utmost brilliancy. A stroke across the back
separates the body into several pieces, each of which continues for
some time to exercise the powers of locomotion. The bull or prairie
snakes are of hideous appearance and of large size; they inhabit holes
in the ground, and run at the traveller with a loud hiss, but instantly
retreat if he stands and faces them. They are believed to be perfectly
harmless, but their aspect is such as to excite great horror.

Ugly animals of the lizard kind are seen in all the climates in a
greater or less number; they are found under rotten logs, and are
dug out of alluvions, the last description being lazy and disgusting.
They appear to be harmless. Common small lizards are frequent in the
southern districts, and also varieties of small chameleons. These
will change in half an hour to all the colors of the rainbow. ‘We
have placed them on a handkerchief,’ says Mr. Flint, ‘and they have
gradually assumed all its colors. Placed on a black surface, they
become brown; but they evidently suffer while under this color, as is
manifested by uneasy movements, and by strong and quick palpitation,
visible to the eye. They are very active and nimble animals, three or
four inches in length.’ Some lizards of a larger class and with flatter
heads, are called scorpions; they are ugly animals, and are considered
poisonous. When attacked, they show the angry manner of the serpent,
vibrating a fiery and forked tongue, and biting with great fury at the
stick which arrests them.

Of this class, the most terrible is the alligator. The description of
this animal by Mr. Audubon is so interesting, and so strongly marked
by the agreeable peculiarities of his attractive and original style,
that we shall transfer it to our pages with but slight abridgment. This
distinguished naturalist, by his eminent services in the cause to which
he has been so zealously devoted, has erected an eternal monument; and
posterity will read the name which it records for ages, after every
trace of the great warriors and ambitious politicians of our time has
faded from the pages of history.

‘In Louisiana, all our lagoons, bayous, creeks, ponds, lakes and
rivers, are well stocked with alligators; they are found wherever there
is a sufficient quantity of water to hide them, or to furnish them with
food; and they continue thus, in great numbers, as high as the mouth
of the Arkansas river, extending east to North Carolina, and as far
west as I have penetrated. On the Red river, before it was navigated
by steam vessels, they were so extremely abundant that, to see hundreds
at a sight along the shores, or on the immense rafts of floating or
stranded timber, was quite a common occurrence, the smaller on the
backs of the larger, groaning and uttering their bellowing noise,
like thousands of irritated bulls about to meet in fight, but all so
careless of man that, unless shot at, or positively disturbed, they
remained motionless, suffering boats or canoes to pass within a few
yards of them, without noticing them in the least. The shores are
yet trampled by them in such a manner, that their large tracts are
seen as plentiful as those of sheep in a fold. It was on that river
particularly, thousands of the largest size were killed, when the mania
of having shoes, boots, or saddle-seats, made of their hides, lasted.
It had become an article of trade, and many of the squatters and
strolling Indians followed for a time no other business. The discovery
that their skins are not sufficiently firm and close-grained to prevent
water or dampness long, put a stop to their general destruction, which
had already become very apparent. The leather prepared from these
skins was handsome and very pliant, exhibiting all the regular lozenges
of the scales, and able to receive the highest degree of polish and
finishing.

‘The usual motion of the alligator, when on land, is slow and sluggish;
it is a kind of labored crawling, performed by moving alternately each
leg, in the manner of a quadruped when walking, scarce able to keep up
their weighty bodies from dragging on the earth, and leaving the track
of their long tail on the mud, as if that of the keel of a small vessel.
Thus they emerge from the water, and go about the shores and the woods,
or the fields in search of food, or of a different place of abode,
or one of safety to deposit their eggs. If, at such times, when at
all distant from the water, an enemy is perceived by them, they droop
and lie flat, with the nose on the ground, watching the intruder’s
movements with their eyes, which are able to move considerably round,
without affecting the position of the head. Should a man then approach
them, they do not attempt either to make away or attack, but merely
raise their body from the ground for an instant, swelling themselves
and issuing a dull blowing, not unlike that of a blacksmith’s bellows.
Not the least danger need be apprehended: then you either kill them
with ease, or leave them. But to give you a better idea of the slowness
of their movements and progress of travels on land, when arrived at
a large size, say twelve or fifteen feet, believe me when I tell you,
that having found one in the morning, fifty yards from a lake, going
to another in sight, I have left him unmolested, hunted through the
surrounding swamps all the day, and met the same alligator within five
hundred yards of the spot when returning to my camp at dusk. On this
account they usually travel during the night, they being then less
likely to be disturbed, and having a better chance to surprise a litter
of pigs or of land tortoises, for prey.

‘The power of the alligator is in his great strength; and the chief
means of his attack or defence is his large tail, so well contrived by
nature to supply his wants, or guard him from danger, that it reaches,
when curved into half a circle, his enormous mouth. Woe be to him who
goes within the reach of this tremendous thrashing instrument; for no
matter how strong or muscular, if human, he must suffer greatly, if
he escapes with life. The monster, as he strikes with this, forces all
objects within the circle towards his jaws, which, as the tail makes a
motion, are opened to their full stretch, thrown a little sideways, to
receive the object, and, like battering-rams, to bruise it shockingly
in a moment.

‘The alligator, when after prey in the water, or at its edge, swims so
slowly towards it as not to ruffle the water. It approaches the object
sideways, body and head all concealed, till sure of his stroke; then,
with a tremendous blow, as quick as thought, the object is secured, as
I described before.

‘When alligators are fishing, the flapping of their tails about the
water may be heard at half a mile; but to describe this in a more
graphic way, suffer me to take you along with me, in one of my hunting
excursions, accompanied by friends and negroes. In the immediate
neighborhood of Bayou-Sarah, on the Mississippi, are extensive shallow
lakes and morasses; they are yearly overflowed by the dreadful floods
of that river, and supplied with myriads of fishes of many kinds,
amongst which trouts are most abundant, white perch, cat fish, and
alligator-gars, or devil fish. Thither, in the early part of autumn,
when the heat of a southern sun has exhaled much of the water, the
squatter, the planter, the hunter, all go in search of sport. The lakes
are then about two feet deep, having a fine sandy bottom; frequently
much grass grows in them, bearing crops of seed, for which multitudes
of water-fowl resort to those places. The edges of these lakes are
deep swamps, muddy for some distance, overgrown with heavy large
timber, principally cypress, hung with Spanish beard, and tangled
with different vines, creeping plants, and cane, so as to render them
almost dark during the day, and very difficult to the hunter’s progress.
Here and there in the lakes are small islands, with clusters of the
same trees, on which flocks of snake-birds, wood-ducks, and different
species of herons, build their nests. Fishing-lines, guns, and rifles,
some salt, and some water, are all the hunters take.

‘At last, the opening of the lake is seen: it has now become necessary
to drag one’s self along through the deep mud, making the best of the
way, with the head bent, through the small brushy growth, caring about
nought but the lock of your gun. The long narrow Indian canoe kept
to hunt those lakes, and taken into them during the fresh, is soon
launched, and the party seated in the bottom, is paddled or poled in
search of water game. There, at a sight, hundreds of alligators are
seen dispersed over all the lake; their head, and all the upper part of
the body, floating like a log, and in many instances, so resembling one
that it requires to be accustomed to see them to know the distinction.
Millions of the large wood-ibis are seen wading through the water,
mudding it up, and striking deadly blows with their bills on the fish
within. Here are a hoard of blue herons――the sand-hill crane rises
with hoarse note――the snake-birds are perched here and there on the
dead timber of the trees――the cormorants are fishing――buzzards and
carrion-crows exhibit a mourning train, patiently waiting for the
water to dry and leave food for them――and far in the horizon, the eagle
overtakes a devoted wood-duck, singled from the clouded flocks that
have been bred there.

‘It is then that you see and hear the alligator at his work,――each
lake has a spot deeper than the rest, rendered so by those animals who
work at it, and always situate at the lower end of the lake, near the
connecting bayous, that, as drainers, pass through all those lakes,
and discharge sometimes many miles below where the water had made its
entrance above, thereby insuring to themselves water as long as any
will remain. This is called by the hunters the alligators’ hole. You
see them there lying close together. The fish that are already dying
by thousands, through the insufferable heat and stench of the water,
and the wounds of the different winged enemies constantly in pursuit
of them, resort to the alligators’ hole to receive refreshment, with
a hope of finding security also, and follow down the little currents
flowing through the connecting sluices: but no! for, as the water
recedes in the lake, they are here confined. The alligators thrash them
and devour them whenever they feel hungry, while the ibis destroys all
that make towards the shore. By looking attentively on this spot, you
plainly see the tails of the alligators moving to and fro, splashing,
and now and then, when missing a fish, throwing it up in the air. The
hunter, anxious to prove the value of his rifle, marks one of the eyes
of the largest alligator, and, as the hair trigger is touched, the
alligator dies. Should the ball strike one inch astray from the eye,
the animal flounces, rolls over and over, beating furiously about him
with his tail, frightening all his companions, who sink immediately,
whilst the fishes, like blades of burnished metal, leap in all
directions out of the water, so terrified are they at this uproar.
Another and another receives the shot in the eye, and expires; yet
those that do not feel the fatal bullet, pay no attention to the death
of their companions till the hunter approaches very close, when they
hide themselves for a few moments by sinking backwards.

‘So truly gentle are the alligators at this season, that I have waded
through such lakes in company of my friend Augustin Bourgeat, Esq.
to whom I owe much information, merely holding a stick in one hand
to drive them off, had they attempted to attack me. When first I saw
this way of travelling through the lakes, waist-deep, sometimes with
hundreds of these animals about me, I acknowledge to you that I felt
great uneasiness, and thought it fool-hardiness to do so: but my friend,
who is a most experienced hunter in that country, removed my fears by
leading the way, and, after a few days, I thought nothing of it. If you
go towards the head of the alligator, there is no danger, and you may
safely strike it with a club, four feet long, until you drive it away,
merely watching the operations of the point of the tail, that, at each
blow you give, thrashes to the right and left most furiously.

‘The drivers of cattle from the Appelousas, and those of mules from
Mexico, on reaching a lagoon or creek, send several of their party
into the water, armed merely each with a club, for the purpose of
driving away the alligators from the cattle; and you may then see men,
mules, and those monsters, all swimming together, the men striking the
alligators, that would otherwise attack the cattle, of which they are
very fond, and those latter hurrying towards the opposite shores, to
escape those powerful enemies. They will swim swiftly after a dog, or
a deer, or a horse, before attempting the destruction of man, of which
I have always remarked they were afraid, if the man feared not them.

‘Although I have told you how easily an alligator may be killed with
a single rifle-ball, if well aimed, that is to say, if it strike
either in the eye or very immediately above it, yet they are quite as
difficult to be destroyed if not shot properly; and, to give you an
idea of this, I shall mention two striking facts.

‘My good friend Richard Harlan, M.D. of Philadelphia, having
intimated a wish to have the heart of one of these animals to study
its comparative anatomy, I one afternoon went out about half a mile
from the plantation and, seeing an alligator that I thought I could put
whole into a hogshead of spirits, I shot it immediately on the skull
bone. It tumbled over from the log on which it had been basking, into
the water, and, with the assistance of two negroes, I had it out in a
few minutes, apparently dead. A strong rope was fastened round its neck,
and, in this condition, I had it dragged home across logs, thrown over
fences, and handled without the least fear. Some young ladies there,
anxious to see the inside of his mouth, requested that the mouth should
be propped open with a stick put vertically; this was attempted, but
at this instant the first stunning effect of the wound was over, and
the animal thrashed and snapped its jaws furiously, although it did
not advance a foot. The rope being still round the neck, I had it
thrown over a strong branch of a tree in the yard, and hauled the poor
creature up swinging, free from all about it, and left it twisting
itself, and scratching with its fore feet to disengage the rope. It
remained in this condition until the next morning, when finding it
still alive, though very weak, the hogshead of spirits was put under
it, and the alligator fairly lowered into it with a surge. It twisted
about a little; but the cooper secured the cask, and it was shipped to
Philadelphia, where it arrived in course.

‘Again, being in company with Augustin Bourgeat, Esq., we met an
extraordinary large alligator in the woods whilst hunting; and, for
the sake of destruction I may say, we alighted from our horses, and
approached with full intention to kill it. The alligator was put
between us, each of us provided with a long stick to irritate it; and,
by making it turn its head partly on one side, afford us the means of
shooting it immediately behind the fore leg and through the heart. We
both discharged five heavy loads of duck-shot into its body, and almost
all into the same hole, without any other effect than that of exciting
regular strokes of the tail, and snapping of the jaws at each discharge,
and the flow of a great quantity of blood out of the wound, and mouth,
and nostrils of the animal; but it was still full of life and vigor,
and to have touched it with the hand would have been madness; but as we
were anxious to measure it, and to knock off some of its larger teeth
to make powder charges, it was shot with a single ball just above the
eye, when it bounded a few inches off the ground, and was dead when
it reached it again. Its length was seventeen feet; it was apparently
centuries old; many of its teeth measured three inches. The shot taken
were without a foot only of the circle that we knew the tail could form,
and our shots went _en masse_.

‘As the lakes become dry, and even the deeper connecting bayous
empty themselves into the rivers, the alligators congregate into the
deepest hole in vast numbers; and, to this day, in such places, are
shot for the sake of their oil, now used for greasing the machinery
of steam-engines and cotton mills, though formerly, when indigo was
made in Louisiana, the oil was used to assuage the overflowing of the
boiling juice, by throwing a ladleful into the kettle whenever this
was about to take place. The alligators are caught frequently in nets
by fishermen; they then come without struggling to the shore, and are
killed by blows on the head given with axes.

‘When autumn has heightened the coloring of the foliage of our woods,
and the air feels more rarefied during the nights and earlier part of
the day, the alligators leave the lakes to seek for winter quarters, by
burrowing under the roots of trees, or covering themselves simply with
earth along their edges. They become then very languid and inactive,
and, at this period, to sit or ride on one would not be more difficult
than for a child to mount his wooden rocking-horse. The negroes, who
now kill them, put all danger aside, by separating, at one blow with an
axe, the tail from the body. They are afterwards cut up in large pieces,
and boiled whole in a good quantity of water, from the surface of which
the fat is collected with large ladles. One single man kills oftentimes
a dozen or more of large alligators in the evening, prepares his fire
in the woods, where he has erected a camp for the purpose, and by
morning has the oil rendered.

‘I have frequently been very much amused when fishing in a bayou, where
alligators were numerous, by throwing a blown bladder on the water
towards the nearest to me. The alligator makes for it, flaps it towards
its mouth, or attempts seizing it at once, but all in vain. The light
bladder slides off; in a few minutes many alligators are trying to
seize this, and their evolutions are quite interesting. They then put
one in mind of a crowd of boys running after a football. A black bottle
is sometimes thrown also, tightly corked; but the alligator seizes this
easily, and you hear the glass give way under its teeth as if ground
in a coarse mill. They are easily caught by negroes, who most expertly
throw a rope over their heads when swimming close to shore, and haul
them out instantly.’

The _Tortoise_ is found in considerable numbers and variety. In
the lakes west of the Mississippi, and near New Orleans, a soft
shelled mud-tortoise is found, which epicures declare to be not much
inferior to the sea-turtle of the West Indies. The gouffre is an animal
apparently of the tortoise class, and is abundant in the pine barrens
of the south-western states. Its shell is large and thick, and it
burrows to a great depth in the ground; its strength and power are
wonderful, and in many respects it is similar to the logger-head turtle.
The siren is nearly two feet in length, and a very singular animal; it
somewhat resembles the lamprey. It is amphibious, penetrates the mud
easily, and seems to be of an order between fish and lizards. The whole
of the republic is prolific in toads, frogs, and reptiles of that class;
but they are found in the greatest number and variety in the regions of
the warmest temperature.


                              V. INSECTS.

The insects of the United States are numerous, and many of them
beautiful; many of the species are entirely new, and science has been
much indebted to Mr. Say for additions of no inconsiderable importance
to entomology. The moths and butterflies are exceedingly splendid, and
one of them, the atlas moth, is the largest hitherto known. Among the
spiders, is a huge species called the tarantula, supposed to inflict
a dangerous bite. The annoyance inflicted by moschetos in hot weather
is well known; by these and other stinging insects, damp and low
situations are rendered very disagreeable during the summer. The fire
flies, which glitter especially in the southern forests, are very
interesting. The copper colored centiped, a creature of cylindrical
form, and as long as a man’s finger, is dreaded as noxious; a family is
said to have been poisoned by taking tea in which one of them had been
accidentally boiled.

One insect, the _ægeria exitiosa_, has committed great ravages
among the peach trees. The larva begins the work of destruction about
the beginning of October, by entering the tree, probably through the
tender bark under the surface of the soil; thence it proceeds downwards,
within the tree, into the root, and then turns its course upwards
towards the surface, where it arrives about the commencement of the
succeeding July. They voraciously devour both the alburnum and the
liber, the new wood and the inner bark. The insects deposit from one
to three hundred eggs within the bark of the tree, according to its
capacity to support their progeny.

The United States are not free from the scourge of the locust. The
males have under each wing a ribbed membrane as thin as a gossamer’s
web, which, when inflated, constitutes their musical organ. The female
has a sting or drill, the size of a pin, and near half an inch in
length, of a hard and brittle substance, which lies on the under
surface of the body; with this the insect drills a hole into the small
limbs of trees, quite to the pith; there it deposits through this
hollow sting or drill some dozen or two of small white eggs. The time
required to drill the hole and deposit the egg is from two to five
minutes. When undisturbed, they make some half dozen or more insertions
of their drill in the same limb, perhaps an inch apart, and these
punctures usually produce speedy death to the end of the limb. They
sometimes swarm about the forests in countless multitudes, making
‘melancholy music,’ and causing no less melancholy desolation.


                      GENERAL REMARKS ON ZOOLOGY.

  The zoology of the United States opens a wide and interesting
  field of observation: it is more peculiar and striking than
  either the mineralogy or botany. The following general view of
  the mammiferous animals inhabiting North America is given by Dr.
  Harman. The number of species now ascertained is one hundred and
  forty-six, in which we do not include man; of these twenty-eight
  are cetacea, and one hundred and eighteen are quadrupeds. Among
  the quadrupeds, Dr. Harman reckons eleven species, of which no
  living trace is found in any part of the world; which cannot of
  course be considered as forming a part of our present zoology. The
  number of living species of quadrupeds is therefore one hundred
  and seven. The comparative numbers of the several orders are
  stated as follows, omitting man:

                          Carnivora        60
                          Glires           37
                          Edentata          6
                          Pachydermata      2
                          Ruminantia       13
                          Cetacea          28

  We may here introduce from Dr. Harman a statement of the number of
  North American quadrupeds, which he conceives to be common both to
  the new and old world.

                         _Species._
                        1   Mole.
                        2   Shrew.
                        1   Bear.
                        1   Glutton.
                        1   Otter.
                        2   Wolf.
                        2   Fox.
                        2   Seal.
                        2   Weasel.
                        1   Beaver.
                        1   Field-mouse.
                        1   Campagnol (rat.)
                        1   Squirrel.
                        2   Deer.
                        1   Sheep.

  The whole number of common species is twenty one; leaving
  eighty-six species as peculiar to North America, though not all of
  them to the United States.

  Charles Lucien Bonaparte has arranged the birds of the United
  States in twenty-eight families, eighty-one genera, and three
  hundred and sixty-two species, viz.: two hundred and nine land,
  and one hundred and fifty-three water-birds. Of the eighty-one
  genera, sixty-three are common to Europe and America, while
  eighteen have no representatives in Europe.



                        CHAPTER XVII.――BOTANY.


The vegetation of the United States is as various as the climate
and soil. In Florida and the southern states, the superb magnolia,
the majestic tulip tree and the deciduous cypress charm the traveller
by their grandeur and beauty. The lofty oak, the stately fir and the
gracefully-waving elm of the north, present a different and still a
highly interesting study to the naturalist. As a general observation,
the trees of the United States are larger, taller, and more generally
useful for timber than those of Europe. As to height, it is observed
by Michaux, that, while in France only thirty-seven species of trees
arrive at thirty feet, in the transatlantic republic, one hundred and
thirty exceed that elevation. A general idea of the American forest
having thus been given, we will now notice, as largely as our limits
will permit, the most remarkable trees.

_Oak._――The _White Oak_ is found throughout the United States,
though it is by no means equally diffused. It abounds chiefly in the
middle states, particularly in that part of Pennsylvania and Virginia
which lies between the Alleghanies and the Ohio, a distance of about
one hundred and fifty miles, where nine tenths of the forests are
frequently composed of these trees, whose healthful appearance evinces
the favorable nature of the soil. East of the mountains, this tree is
found in every exposure, and in every soil which is not extremely dry
or subject to long inundations; but the largest stocks grow in humid
places. In the western districts, where it composes entire forests,
the face of the country is undulated, and the yellow soil, consisting
partly of clay with calcareous stones, yields abundant crops of wheat.

The white oak attains the elevation of seventy or eighty feet, with a
diameter of six or seven feet; but its proportions vary with the soil
and climate. Soon after their unfolding, the leaves are reddish above
and white and downy beneath; when fully grown, they are smooth and of
a light green on the upper surface. In autumn, they change to a bright
violet color, and form an agreeable contrast with the surrounding
foliage which has not yet suffered by the frost. This is the only
oak on which a few of the dried leaves remain till the circulation is
renewed in the spring. By this peculiarity and by the whiteness of the
bark, from which it derives its name, it is easily distinguishable in
the winter. This tree puts forth flowers in May, which are succeeded by
acorns of an oval form, large, very sweet, contained in rough, shallow,
grayish cups, and borne singly or in pairs, by peduncles eight or ten
lines in length, attached, as in all species of annual fructification,
to the shoots of the season. The fruit of the white oak is rarely
abundant, and frequently, for several years in succession, a few
handfuls of acorns could hardly be collected in a large forest where
the tree is multiplied. Some stocks produce acorns of a deep blue color.

Of all the American oaks, this is the best and the most generally used,
being strong, durable, and of large dimensions. It is less employed
than formerly in building, only because it is scarcer and more costly.
Among the uses of this wood, the most important is in ship-building. In
all the dock yards of the northern and middle states, except Maine, it
is almost exclusively employed for the keel, and always for the lower
part of the frame and the sides: it is preferred for the knees, when
sticks of a proper form can be found. In the smaller ports south of New
York, the upper part of the frame is also made of white oak; but such
vessels are less esteemed than those constructed of more durable wood.
The medicinal properties of oak bark depend on its astringency, and
that again on its tannin. The inner bark of the small branches is the
strongest, the middle bark next, and the outer bark is almost useless.

The _Gray Oak_, _Water Oak_, _Bear Oak_, _Upland_, _Willow Oak_, and
_Bartram Oak_ are interesting varieties. The _Laurel Oak_ is a stranger
north of Philadelphia, and is rare in the more southern states. It is
most abundant in the open savannas of Illinois. Rising to the height
of forty or fifty feet, clad in a smooth bark, and for three fourths of
its height laden with branches, it presents an uncouth appearance when
bared by the winter blasts, but in the summer with its thick tufted
foliage is really beautiful. The _Black Oak_ is found throughout the
country, with the exception of the northern part of New England. It is
one of the loftiest of the American forest trees, rising to the height
of eighty or ninety feet, with a diameter of four or five feet. The
wood is reddish and coarse-grained, with empty pores, but is esteemed
for strength and durability. It furnishes excellent fuel, and the bark
is largely used for tanning. Other varieties of the oak are numerous.

_Walnut._――The _Black Walnut_ is met with in large numbers in the
forests in the vicinity of Philadelphia, and with the exception of the
lower parts of the southern states, where the soil is too sandy, or too
wet as in the swamps, it is met with to the banks of the Mississippi
throughout an extent of two thousand miles. East of the Alleghanies in
Virginia, and in the upper parts of the Carolinas and Georgia, it is
chiefly confined to the valleys where the soil is deep and fertile,
and which are watered by creeks and rivers. On the banks of the Ohio
and on the islands of this beautiful river, the black walnut attains
the elevation of sixty or seventy feet, with a diameter of three to
seven feet. Its powerful vegetation clearly points out this, as one of
the largest trees of America. When it stands insulated, its branches,
extending themselves horizontally to a great distance, spread into
a spacious head, which gives it a very majestic appearance. The bark
is thick, blackish, and on old trees deeply furrowed. The leaves when
bruised emit a strong aromatic odor.

When the wood of this tree is freshly cut, the sap is white and the
heart of a violet color, which, after a short exposure to the air,
assumes an intenser shade, and becomes nearly black: hence probably is
derived the name _Black Walnut_. There are several qualities for which
its wood is principally esteemed: it remains sound for a long time,
even when exposed to the influences of heat and moisture; but this
observation is only applicable to the heart, the sap speedily decays:
it is very strong and very tenacious: when thoroughly seasoned, it is
not liable to warp and split; and its grain is sufficiently fine and
compact to admit of a beautiful polish. It possesses, in addition to
these advantages, that of being secure from worms. On account of these
excellencies, it is preferred and successfully employed in many kinds
of work. East of the Alleghanies, its timber is not extensively used
in building houses, but, in some parts of Kentucky and Ohio, it is
split into shingles which serve to cover them: sometimes also this
timber enters into the composition of the frame. But it is chiefly in
cabinet-making, that this wood is employed wherever it abounds.

There are several other species of the walnut. The _Shell-bark Hickory_
sometimes grows to the height of eighty or ninety feet, with a diameter
of less than two feet; the trunk is destitute of branches, regularly
shaped, and almost of a uniform size for three fourths of its length.
The _Butternut_ is found in all the New England states, and in the
middle states.

_Maple._――The _Sugar Maple_, called also rock maple, has leaves
five-parted, and yellowish green flowers, and is one of the loftiest
trees in our forests. Its trunk is usually straight and entire, to the
height of from forty to eighty feet, where it suddenly unfolds into a
dense top, crowded with rich foliage. The bark of the older trees is
gray, and marked with numerous deep clefts. The wood is firm and heavy,
though not durable. It is much used by cabinet-makers, and when cut
at the right season forms excellent fuel. Michaux says, that it grows
in its greatest perfection, between the forty-third and forty-sixth
degrees of north latitude.

The _White Maple_, sometimes called silver maple, is distinguished by
having its leaves five-parted, and white beneath; its flowers reddish
yellow, without flower-stalks. The trunk frequently divides near the
ground, so as to appear like several trunks close together. These
divisions diverge a little as they rise, and often at the height of
from eight to twenty feet the top commences. This is generally larger
in proportion to the trunk, than the top of any other tree. It blossoms
earlier than the sugar maple. The fruit is larger than that of any
other species: it advances with great rapidity towards perfection,
ripens and falls about June in Georgia, and May in Pennsylvania. The
fruit of the sugar maple does not ripen until October. The white maple
is principally found on the banks of rivers, and on the banks of such
only as have a clean gravelly bottom and clear water. It is most
luxuriant on flats which are subject to annual inundations, and is
usually the first settler on alluvial deposits. ‘The banks of the
Sandy river, in Maine,’ says Michaux, ‘and those of the Connecticut in
Windsor, Vermont, are the most northerly points at which I have seen
the white maple. It is found more or less on all the rivers of the
United States, flowing from the mountains to the Atlantic, but becomes
scarce in South Carolina and Georgia. In no part of the United States
is it more multiplied than in the western country, and no where is its
vegetation more luxuriant than on the banks of the Ohio, and of the
great rivers that empty into it. There, sometimes alone, and sometimes
mingled with the willow, which is found all along these waters, it
contributes singularly by its magnificent foliage to the embellishment
of the scene. The brilliant white of the leaves beneath, forms a
striking contrast with the bright green above, and the alternate
reflection of these two surfaces in the water, heightens the beauty
of this wonderful moving mirror, and aids in forming an enchanting
picture, which during my long excursions in a canoe, in these regions
of solitude and silence, I contemplated with unwearied admiration.’

The _Red-flowering Maple_ is a beautiful tree, and in the swamps of
New Jersey and Pennsylvania, it is found to the height of sixty or
seventy feet, with a diameter of three or four. It blossoms earlier in
the spring than any other tree, and flowers from the middle to the last
of April. The blossoms, of a beautiful purple or deep red, unfold more
than a fortnight before the leaves. This tree furnishes wood adapted
to a variety of purposes; it is much used in making domestic wares
and agricultural implements. Furniture of great richness and lustre
is also made of it. It is not good fuel. The _Mountain_, _Striped_ and
_Ash-leaved Maples_ are all beautiful trees.

_Birch._――The _Black Birch_ abounds in New England and the middle
states; farther south it is confined to the summits of the Alleghanies.
It often exceeds seventy feet in height. At the close of winter, the
leaves, during a fortnight after their birth, are covered with a thick,
silvery down, which soon after disappears. When bruised, the leaves and
bark diffuse a very agreeable odor, and as they retain this property
when dried and carefully preserved, they afford a pleasant infusion,
with the addition of a little sugar and cream. The wood is applied to
a variety of useful purposes; it is of a rosy hue, which deepens on
exposure to the light. The _Yellow_, _Canoe_, _White_, and _Red Birch_
are found in various localities throughout the country.

_Pines._――The pines constitute a large and interesting class of
American forest trees. The most valuable species is that which is known
in England and the West Indies as the _Georgia Pitch Pine_; and which,
in the United States, is variously called yellow pine, pitch pine,
broom pine, southern pine, red pine, and long-leaved pine, a name which
is adopted by Michaux. Towards the north, the long-leaved pine makes
its appearance near Norfolk, in Virginia, where the pine-barrens begin.
It seems to be especially assigned to dry sandy soils; and it is found,
almost without interruption, in the lower part of Carolinas, Georgia,
and the Floridas, over a tract more than six hundred miles long, from
north-east to south-west, and more than a hundred miles broad, from the
sea towards the mountains. Immediately beyond Raleigh, it holds almost
exclusive possession of the soil, and is seen in company with other
pines only on the edges of swamps, enclosed in the barrens; even there
not more than one stock in a hundred is of another species, and with
this exception, the long-leaved pine forms the unbroken mass of woods
which covers this extensive country.

The mean stature of the long-leaved pine is sixty or seventy feet, with
a uniform diameter of fifteen or sixteen inches for two thirds of this
height. Some stocks, favored by local circumstances, attain much larger
dimensions, particularly in East Florida. The timber is very valuable,
being stronger, more compact, and more durable, than that of all the
other species of pine: it is besides fine grained, and susceptible of
high polish. Its uses are diversified, and its consumption great. But
the value of the long-leaved pine does not reside exclusively in its
wood; it supplies nearly all the resinous matter used in the United
States in ship-building, with a large residue for exportation; and in
this view, its place can be supplied by no other species, those which
afford the same product being dispersed through the woods, or collected
in inaccessible places. In the northern states, the lands, which at
the commencement of their settlements were covered with pitch pine,
were exhausted in twenty-five or thirty years, and for more than half a
century have ceased to furnish tar. The pine-barrens are of vast extent,
and are covered with trees of the forest growth; but they cannot all be
rendered profitable, from the difficulty of communicating with the sea.

Among the varieties which we can only enumerate, without an attempt at
description, are the _New Jersey_, _Table Mountain_, _Gray_, _Pond_,
and _White Pine_.

_Spruces._――The _American Silver Fir_ is found in the colder regions
of the states; towards the south, it is found only on the tops of the
Alleghanies. It flourishes best in a moist, sandy loam. Its height
rarely exceeds forty feet, with a diameter of twelve or fifteen inches.
The trunk tapers from a foot in diameter at the surface of the ground
to seven or eight inches at the height of six feet. When standing alone
and developing itself naturally, its branches, which are numerous and
thickly garnished with leaves, diminish in length in proportion to
their height, and form a pyramid of perfect regularity. The bark is
smooth and delicate. The leaves are six or eight lines long, and are
inserted singly on the sides and on the top of the branches; they are
narrow, rigid and flat, of a bright green above, and a silvery white
beneath; whence probably is derived the name of the tree. The flowers
appear in May, and are followed by cones of a fragrant odor, nearly
cylindrical, four or five inches long, an inch in diameter, and always
directed upwards. The seeds are ripe in autumn, and if permitted to
hang late will fall apart and scatter themselves. The wood of the
silver fir is light and slightly resinous, and the heart is yellowish.

The _Hemlock Spruce_ inhabits a similar tract of country, though moist
ground appears not to be the most favorable to its growth. It arrives
at the height of seventy or eighty feet, with a circumference of six or
nine feet, and is uniform for two thirds of its length. The _White_ and
_Black Spruce_ are varieties of this genus.

_Cypresses._――The _Cypress_ is a very interesting tree, from its
extraordinary dimensions, and the varied application of its wood.
Its northern boundary is Indian river, in Delaware, in latitude about
thirty-nine degrees. In proceeding southward, it becomes more abundant
in the swamps, and in Louisiana those parts of the marshes where
the cypress grows almost alone are called cypress swamps, and they
sometimes occupy thousands of acres. In the swamps of the southern
states and the Floridas, on whose deep, miry soil a new layer of
vegetable mould is every year deposited by floods, the cypress attains
its utmost developement. The largest stocks are one hundred and twenty
feet in height, and from twenty-five to forty feet in circumference,
above the conical base, which at the surface of the earth is three or
four times as large as the continued diameter of the trunk: in felling
them, the negroes are obliged to raise themselves upon scaffolds five
or six feet from the ground. The base is usually hollow for three
fourths of its bulk.

Amidst the pine forests and savannas of the Floridas is seen here
and there a bog filled with cypresses, whose squalid appearance, when
they exceed eighteen or twenty feet in height, proves how much they are
affected by the barrenness of a soil which differs from the surrounding
only by a layer of vegetable mould, a little thicker upon the quartzous
sand. The summit of the cypress is not pyramidical like that of the
spruce, but is widely spread and even depressed upon old trees. The
foliage is open, light, and of a fresh agreeable tint; each leaf is
four or five inches long, and consists of two parallel rows of leaflets
upon a common stem. The leaflets are small, fine, and somewhat arching,
with the convex side outwards. In autumn they change from a light green
to a dull red, and are shed soon after. This tree blooms in Carolina
about the first of February.

Among the resinous trees of the United States, the _White Cedar_ is one
of the most interesting for the varied utility of its wood. North of
the river Connecticut, it is rare and little employed in the arts. In
the southern states, it is not met with beyond the river Santee, but it
is found, though not abundantly, on the Savannah: it is multiplied only
within these limits and to the distance of fifty miles from the ocean.
The white cedar is seventy or eighty feet high, and sometimes more
than three feet in diameter. When the trees are close and compressed,
the trunk is straight, perpendicular and destitute of branches to the
height of fifty or sixty feet. When cut, a yellow transparent resin
of an agreeable odor exudes, of which a few ounces could hardly be
collected in a summer from a tree of three feet in circumference.
The foliage is evergreen: each leaf is a little branch numerously
subdivided, and composed of small, acute, imbricated scales.

The _White Ash_ is one of the most interesting among the American
species for the qualities of its wood, and the most remarkable for
the rapidity of its growth and for the beauty of its foliage. A cold
climate seems most congenial to its nature. It is everywhere called
_White Ash_, probably from the color of its bark, by which it is easily
distinguished. The situations most favorable to this tree are the banks
of rivers and the edges and surrounding acclivities of swamps. The
white ash sometimes attains the height of eighty feet, with a diameter
of three feet, and is one of the largest trees of the United States.
The trunk is perfectly straight and often undivided to the height of
more than forty feet. On large stocks the bark is deeply furrowed, and
divided into small squares from one to three inches in diameter. The
leaves are twelve or fourteen inches long, opposite and composed of
three or four pair of leaflets surmounted by an odd one. The leaflets
are three or four inches long, about two inches broad, of a delicate
texture and an undulated surface. Early in the spring they are covered
with a light down, which gradually disappears, and at the approach
of summer they are perfectly smooth, of a light green color above and
whitish beneath. It puts forth white or greenish flowers in the month
of May, which are succeeded by seeds that are eighteen lines long,
cylindrical near the base, and gradually flattened into a wing, the
extremity of which is slightly notched. They are united in bunches
four or five inches long, and are ripe in the beginning of autumn.
The shoots of the two preceding years are of a bluish gray color and
perfectly smooth: the distance between their buds sufficiently proves
the vigor of their growth.

_Elm._――The _White Elm_ inhabits an extensive tract of the states,
being found from Nova Scotia to the extremity of Georgia. It is also
found on the banks of the western rivers; growing in low, moist and
substantial soils. In the middle states, this tree stretches to a great
height, but does not approach the magnificence of vegetation which it
displays in the countries peculiarly adapted to its growth. In clearing
the primitive forests, a few stocks are sometimes left standing;
insulated in this manner, it appears in all its majesty, towering to
the height of eighty or one hundred feet, with a trunk four or five
feet in diameter, regularly shaped, naked, and insensibly diminishing
to the height of sixty or seventy feet, where it divides itself into
two or three primary branches. This species differs from the red and
European elm in its flowers and seeds; it blooms in the month of April,
previous to the unfolding of the leaves; the flowers are very small, of
a purple color, supported by short, slender footstalks, and united in
bunches at the extremity of the branches. The _Wahoo_ and the _Red Elm_
are interesting species.

The _American Chesnut_ sometimes attains the height of seventy or
eighty feet, with a circumference of fifteen or sixteen feet. Though
this tree nearly resembles that of Europe in its general appearance,
its foliage, its fruit and the properties of its wood, it is treated
by botanists as a distinct species. Its leaves are six or seven inches
long, one and a half broad, coarsely toothed, of an elongated oval
form, of a fine, brilliant color and of a firm texture, with prominent
parallel nerves beneath. It flowers in June. The fruit is spherical,
covered with fine prickles, and stored with two dark brown seeds or
nuts, about as large as the end of the finger. They are smaller and
sweeter than the wild chesnuts of Europe. They are ripe about the
middle of October. The wood is strong, elastic and capable of enduring
the succession of dryness and moisture.

_Buttonwood_ or _Sycamore_.――Among trees with deciduous leaves,
none in the temperate zones, either in the old or new continent,
equal the dimensions of the planes. The species which we are about
to describe is not less remarkable for its amplitude, and for its
magnificent appearance, than the plane of Asia, whose majestic form
and extraordinary size were so much celebrated by the ancients.
In the Atlantic states, this tree is commonly known by the name of
_Buttonwood_, and sometimes in Virginia, by that of _Water Beach_. On
the banks of the Ohio, and in the states of Kentucky and Tennessee,
it is most frequently called _Sycamore_, and by some persons _Plane
Tree_. This tree, in no part of the United States, is more abundant
and vigorous than along the rivers of Pennsylvania and Virginia; though
in the more fertile valleys of the west, its vegetation is still more
luxuriant, especially on the banks of the Ohio and of the rivers that
flow into it.

On the margin of the great rivers of the west, the buttonwood is
constantly found to be the loftiest and largest tree of the United
States. Often with a trunk of several feet in diameter, it begins to
ramify at the height of sixty or seventy feet, near the summit of
other trees; and often the base divides itself into several trunks,
equally vigorous and superior in diameter to any of the surrounding
trees. On a little island in the Ohio, fifteen miles above the mouth
of the Muskingum, Michaux mentions a buttonwood which, at five feet
above the ground, was forty feet and four inches in circumference, and
consequently more than thirteen feet in diameter. The American species
is generally thought, in Europe, to possess a richer foliage, and
to afford a deeper shade than the Asiatic plane: its leaves are of
a beautiful green, alternate, from five to fifteen inches broad, and
formed with more open angles than those of the plane of the eastern
continent.

_Beech._――The species of _Red Beech_ is almost exclusively confined to
the north-eastern parts of the United States. In the state of Maine,
New Hampshire and Vermont, it is so abundant as often to constitute
extensive forests, the finest of which grow on fertile, level or gently
sloping lands which are proper for the culture of corn. The red beech
equals the white species in diameter, but not in height; and as it
ramifies nearer the earth and is more numerously divided, it has a
more massy summit and the appearance of more tufted foliage. Its leaves
are equally brilliant, a little larger and thicker, and have longer
teeth. Its fruit is of the same form, but is only half as large, and
is garnished with firmer and less numerous points.

The _White Beech_ is one of the tallest and most majestic trees of
the American forests. It grows the most abundantly in the middle and
western states. On the banks of the Ohio, the white beech attains the
height of more than one hundred feet, with a circumference of eight to
eleven feet. In the forests, where these trees vegetate in a deep and
fertile soil, their roots sometimes extend to a great distance even
with the surface, and being entangled so as to cover the ground, they
embarrass the steps of the traveller and render the land peculiarly
difficult to clear. This tree is more slender and less branchy than
the red beech; but its foliage is superb, and its general appearance
magnificent.

_Poplar_ or _Tulip Tree_.――This tree, which surpasses most others of
North America in height and in the beauty of its foliage and of its
flowers, is one of the most interesting from the numerous and useful
applications of its wood.

In the Atlantic states, especially at a considerable distance from the
sea, tulip trees are often seen seventy, eighty and one hundred feet
in height, with a diameter of eighteen inches to three feet. But the
western states appear to be the natural soil of this magnificent tree,
and here it displays its most powerful vegetation. M. Michaux mentions
a tulip tree, near Louisville, on the Ohio, which at five feet from
the ground was twenty-two feet six inches in circumference, and whose
elevation he judged to be from one hundred and twenty to one hundred
and forty feet. The flowers bloom in June or July. They are large,
brilliant, and on detached trees very numerous, variegated with
different colors: they have an agreeable odor, and produce a fine
effect. The fruit is composed of a great number of thin, narrow scales,
attached to a common axis, and forming a cone two or three inches in
length. Each cone consists of sixty or seventy seeds, of which never
more than a third part are productive. For ten years before the tree
begins to yield fruit, almost all the seeds are unproductive, and on
large trees, those from the highest branches are the best.

_Catalpa._――In the Atlantic states, the _Catalpa_ begins to be found
in the forests, on the banks of the river Savannah, and west of the
Alleghanies, on those of the Cumberland, between the thirty-fifth and
thirty-sixth degrees of latitude. Farther south it is more common,
and abounds near the borders of all the rivers which empty into the
Mississippi, or which water West Florida. In the regions where it grows
most abundantly, it frequently exceeds fifty feet in height, with a
diameter from eighteen to twenty-four inches. It is easily recognised
by its bark, which is of a silver-gray color, and but slightly furrowed,
by its ample leaves, and by its wide-spreading summit, disproportioned
in size to the diameter of its trunk. It differs from other trees also
by the fewness of its branches. The flowers which are collected in
large bunches at the extremity of the branches, are white, with violet
and yellow spots, and are beautiful and showy.

_Magnolia Grandiflora._――‘Bartram and others,’ says Mr. Flint, ‘by
overrating the beauty of this tree, have caused, that when strangers
first behold it, their estimation of it falls too low. It has been
described, as a very large tree. We have seen it in Florida, where
Bartram saw it. We have seen it in its more congenial position for
full developement, the rich alluvions of Louisiana; and we have never
seen it compare with the sycamore, the cotton wood, or even the ash,
in point of size. It is sometimes a tall tree; often graceful in form;
but ordinarily a tree of fourth or fifth rate in point of comparative
size in the forest, where it grows. Its bark is smooth, whitish, very
thick, and something resembles that of the beech. The wood is soft,
and for aught we know, useless. The leaves strongly resemble those of
the orange tree, except in being larger, thicker, and having a hoary
yellowish down upon the under side. The upper side has a perfect
verdure, and a feel of smoothness, as if it was oiled. The flowers
are large, of a pure white, nearest resembling the northern pond lily,
though not so beautiful; and are, ordinarily, about twice the size. The
fragrance is indeed, powerful, but to us rather sickly and offensive.
We have felt, and we have heard others complain of feeling a sensation
of faintness, in going into a room, where the chimney place was filled
with these flowers. The tree continues to put forth flowers for two
months in succession, and seldom displays many at a time.

‘We think, few have been in habits of examining flowering trees more
attentively than ourselves, and we contemplated this tree for years in
the season of flowers. Instead of displaying, as has been represented,
a cone of flowers, we have seldom seen a tree in flower, which did not
require some attention and closeness of inspection, to discover where
the flowers were situated among the leaves. We have not been led to
believe, that others possessed the sense of smell more acutely, than
ourselves. In advancing from points, where these trees were not, to
the pine forest, on the water courses of which they are abundant,
we have been warned of our approach to them by the sense of smell,
at a distance of something more than half a mile; and we question,
if any one ever perceived the fragrance much farther, except by the
imagination. The magnolia is a striking tree, and an observer, who
saw it for the first time, would remark it, as such. But we have been
unable to conceive whence the extravagant misconceptions, respecting
the size, number, fragrance and beauty of its flowers, had their origin.

‘There are six or seven varieties among the laurels of the
magnolia tribe, some of which have smaller flowers than those of
the _grandiflora_, but much more delicate, and agreeably fragrant.
A beautiful evergreen of this class is covered in autumn with berries
of an intense blackness, and we remarked them in great numbers about
St. Francisville. The holly is a well-known and beautiful tree of this
class. But that one, which has struck us, as being the handsomest of
the family, is the laurel almond. It is not a large tree. Its leaves
strongly resemble those of the peach; and it preserves a most pleasing
green through the winter. Its flowers yield a delicious perfume. It
grows in families of ten or fifteen trees in a cluster. Planters of
taste in the valley of Red river, where it is common, select the place
of their dwelling amidst a cluster of these trees.’

The _Bow Wood_ is a very striking tree, found about the upper courses
of the Washita, the middle regions of Arkansas, and occasionally on
the northern limits of Louisiana. Its leaves are large and beautiful,
and its fruit, which somewhat resembles a large orange, is of a most
inviting appearance, but is ‘the apple of Sodom to the taste.’ It is
considered by many the most splendid of all forest trees.

The _China Tree_ is much cultivated in the south-western region of the
states, as an ornamental shade tree. Its leaves are long and spiked,
set in correspondence on each side of the stem. The verdure is deep
and brilliant. When in full flower, the top is one tuft of blossoms.
The tree is of most rapid growth, and its beautiful color imparts
delightful freshness to the landscape. After the fall of its leaves,
a profusion of reddish berries remain, and give at a little distance
the appearance of continuing in flower. This berry is a narcotic, and
stupefies the birds that eat of it.

The _Papaw_ is seldom found north of the river Schuylkill, and is
extremely rare in the low, maritime parts of the southern states. It
is not uncommon in the bottoms which stretch along the rivers of the
middle states; but it is most abundant in the rich valleys intersected
by the western waters, where at intervals, it forms thickets
exclusively occupying several acres. In Kentucky and in the western
part of Tennessee, it is sometimes seen also in forests where the soil
is luxuriantly fertile; of which its presence is an infallible proof.

It seldom exceeds thirty feet in height, and a diameter of six or eight
inches, though it generally stops short at half this elevation. The
trunk is covered with a silver-gray bark, which is smooth and finely
polished. The leaves are alternate, five or six inches in length, and
of an elongated form, widening from the base to the summit. They are of
a fine texture, and the superior surface is smooth and brilliant. The
flowers are pendent, and of a purple hue. When the fruit is ripe, which
takes place towards the beginning of August, it is about three inches
long, one and a half thick, of a yellowish color, and of an oval form,
irregular and swelling into inequalities. Its pulp is soft, and of an
insipid taste, and it contains several large, triangular stones.

_Persimon._――The banks of the river Connecticut, below the
forty-second degree of latitude, may be uniformly considered as the
northern limit of this tree; but it is rendered rare in these parts by
the severity of the winter, while in New Jersey it is common, and still
more so in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the southern states; it abounds,
also, in the western forests. The persimon varies surprisingly in size
in different soils and climates. In New Jersey it is not more than
half as large as in the more southern states, where, in favorable
situations, it is sometimes sixty feet in height, and eighteen or
twenty inches in diameter. The trunk of a full-grown tree is covered
with a deeply-furrowed blackish bark, from which a greenish gum exudes,
without taste or smell. The leaves are from four to six inches in
length, oblong, entire, of a fine green above; in autumn they are
often variegated with black spots. This tree belongs to the class
of vegetables whose sexes are confined to different stocks. Both the
barren and fertile flowers are greenish and not strikingly apparent.
They put forth in June or July. The ripe fruit is about as large as the
thumb, of a reddish complexion, round, fleshy, and furnished with six
or eight semi-oval stones, slightly swollen at the sides, and of a dark
purple color. It is not eatable till it has been touched with frost, by
which the skin is shrivelled, and the pulp, which before was hard and
extremely harsh to the taste, is softened and rendered palatable. The
fruit is so abundant in the southern states, that a tree often yields
several bushels. In the south, it adheres to the branches long after
the shedding of the leaf, and when it falls, it is eagerly devoured by
wild and domestic animals.

_Dogwood_ and _Red Bud_.――These are plants between shrubs and trees.
The former has a heart-shaped leaf, and an umbrella-shaped top. In
spring, it adorns itself with brilliant, white flowers, and in autumn
with fine scarlet berries. The latter is the first blossoming shrub on
the Ohio; and its blossoms there resemble those of the peach tree. They
are scattered every where through the wood, and impart a charm to the
whole descent of the ‘beautiful river.’ The two are the most common, as
they are the most beautiful shrubs of the great western valley.

_Mountain Laurel._――This is a large shrub, which indifferently bears
the name of _Mountain Laurel_, _Laurel_, _Ivy_, and _Calico Tree_. It
abounds in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Proceeding thence south-west,
it is found along the steep banks of all the rivers which rise in the
Alleghanies; but it is observed to become less common in following
these streams from their source, towards the Ohio and Mississippi on
one side, and towards the ocean on the other. It is rare in Kentucky
and in West Tennessee, and in the southern states it disappears
entirely when the rivers enter the low country, where the pine-barrens
commence.

In favorable situations, this shrub grows to the height of eighteen
or twenty feet, with a diameter of three inches. The flowers put forth
from May to July, are destitute of odor, and disposed in clusters at
the extremity of the branches: in general they are of a beautiful rose
color, and sometimes of a pure white. They are always numerous, and
their brilliant effect is heightened by the richness of the surrounding
foliage.

The _Palmetto_ inhabits the southern states, as far north as Cape
Hatteras. It is from forty to fifty feet in height, crowned with a
tufted summit, which gives it a beautiful and majestic appearance. The
_Coral Tree_ is a brilliant and gaudy shrub, native of the open forests
of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida; it grows to the height of two
or three feet. The _Snow Berry_ is an ornamental shrub, inhabiting the
banks of the upper Missouri. In the autumn, when the large bunches of
ivory or wax-like berries are matured, the appearance is said to be
extremely beautiful.

_Fruit Trees._――The _Chickasaw Plum_ is common from thirty-four degrees
north latitude, to the gulf of Mexico. It is found in great abundance.
Prairie plums are found in great quantities on the hazel prairies of
Illinois and Missouri. When cultivated under favorable circumstances,
the Osage plum is delicious. Crab apple shrubs are found in great
quantities in the middle regions of the central valley. Their blossoms
resemble those of the cultivated apple tree, and the tree is useful
as a stock in which the cultivated apple and pear may be grafted. The
_Mulberry_ is rare in the Atlantic states, but abounds in every part of
the Mississippi valley. Its wood is valuable, and scarcely less durable
than that of the locust.

_Vine._――The common grape vine is diffused through all the climates.
It frequently happens that we see, in the rich lands, vines of the size
of a man’s body, perpendicularly attached at the top to branches sixty
or eighty feet from the ground, and at great lateral distance from
the trunk of the tree. It is common to puzzle a man first brought into
these woods, by asking him to account for the manner in which a vine
of prodigious size has been able to rear itself to such a height. There
can be no doubt that the vine in this case is coeval with the tree;
that the tree, as it grew, supported the vine; and that the vine was
carried from the trunk with the projection of the lateral branch, until,
in the lapse of years, this singular appearance is the result. In many
bottoms, half the trees are covered with these vines. In the deep
forest, on the hills, in the barrens, in the hazel prairies, and in the
pine woods, every form and size of the grape are found.

Of the plants of the winter grape, which so generally clings to the
trees in the alluvial forests, probably not one in fifty bears any
fruit at all. The fruit when produced is a small circular berry not
unlike the wild black cherry. It is austere, sour, and unpleasant,
until it has been softened by the winter frosts; but it is said, when
fermented by those who have experience in the practice, to make a
tolerable wine. The summer grape is found on the rolling barrens and
the hazel prairies. It is more than twice the size of the winter grape,
is ripe in the first month in autumn, and, when matured under the full
influence of the sun, is a pleasant fruit. It grows in the greatest
abundance, but is too dry a grape to be pressed for wine. The muscadine
grape is seldom seen north of thirty-four degrees. More southerly, it
becomes abundant, and is found in the deep alluvial forests, clinging
to tall trees. The fruit grows in more scanty clusters than that of
other grapes. Like other fruits, they fall as they ripen, and furnish
a rich treat to bears and other animals that feed on them; they are of
the size of a plum, of a fine purple black, with a thick tough skin,
tasting not unlike the rind of an orange; the pulp is deliciously sweet,
but is reputed unwholesome. The pine woods grape has a slender, bluish
purple vine, that runs on the ground among the grass. It ripens in the
month of June; is large, cone-shaped, transparent, with four seeds,
reddish purple, and is fine fruit for eating.

_Cane._――The _Cane_ grows to the height of twenty or thirty feet on the
lower courses of the Mississippi, Arkansas and Red rivers. Its leaves
are dagger-shaped, long and narrow, and of a beautiful green. It grows
in masses so compact that the smallest sparrow would find it difficult
to fly in the intervals. A man could not make his way through a cane
brake, at a rate more rapid than three miles a day.

_Flax._――A species of flax was found by Lewis and Clarke growing in
the valleys of the Rocky mountains, and on the banks of the Missouri.
The bark possesses the same kind of tough fibres as the common flax,
and the Indians are in the habit of making lint and gun-waddings of it.

_Berries._――The gooseberry is indigenous to the United States, and
in the western parts grows to great size. The red raspberry is also
indigenous. Whortleberries, and blackberries high and creeping, are
found in prodigious abundance; many of the prairies are red with
strawberries. The cranberry is a native of the country, growing in
morasses and rich bottom through its whole extent. Large cranberry
swamps occur in New Jersey.

_Other Plants._――There are many annual and evergreen creepers in the
United States, of various kinds, form and foliage. The grasses are
various and luxuriant. In the prairies they are rank and coarse; the
Atlantic country is covered with a fine sward. The rush is a useful
herbaceous plant, which grows on bottoms of an elevation between that
of the cane brakes and the deeply-flooded lands. The pea-vine covers
the richer soil of the forest lands; it is small and fibrous. The wild
rice is a plant of great importance, found on the marshy margins of the
northern lakes, and in the shallow waters of the upper courses of the
Mississippi. One of the most striking of the forest productions is the
wax-plant, which is nearly entirely of a snow-white, and resembles the
most delicate wax preparation. It grows in rich shady woods, and is
much prized.

The common kinds of water-plants are found in the marshy grounds
and ponds; particularly a very beautiful and fragrant lily. This
closely resembles the European water-lily. One of this genus is said
to be unrivalled for size and beauty. Dr. Barton considers it to be
the same as the sacred bean of Judea, and mentions it as abundant in
Philadelphia, but rare otherwise, and refusing propagation. Mr. Flint
found it in the southern states, and says that it attains great
splendor on the lakes and stagnant waters of the Arkansas. There is a
large variety of parasitic plants in the states, the most remarkable of
which is the long moss.

It will be observed that in these chapters on the natural history
of the United States, we have only intended to describe the most
conspicuous objects, without reference to scientific arrangement. A
mere scientific catalogue of the natural productions of our country
would occupy all the space we have devoted to the subject, and possess
no interest or attraction for the general reader.


                      GENERAL REMARKS ON BOTANY.

  Botany, the science of plants, is generally divided into two
  branches, one of which describes their internal structure and
  organic action, and the other their external appearance. At the
  revival of learning, hardly fifteen hundred plants were known from
  the descriptions of the ancients. More than fifty thousand, at
  a reasonable estimate, have been described. Linnæus founded his
  system exclusively on the sexual relations of plants; dividing
  them all into two general divisions, one of which has, and the
  other has not, visible sexual parts. This division is generally
  adopted as the basis of elementary instruction, but many
  objections have been brought against it.

  The second general division of this science begins with the
  anatomy of plants, or an investigation of their internal structure.
  This study has been recently cultivated to a great extent,
  particularly by the Germans. With this division is connected
  chemical botany, which investigates the constituent parts, the
  various changes, and the different combinations of the liquid and
  solid parts of plants. From these we rise to the laws of vegetable
  life, which are generally the same with those of animal life; the
  physiology of plants and of animals is thus of course intimately
  connected.

  Of the two general divisions of botany, the physiological, or
  philosophical is the elder. It was created by Theophrastus of
  Eresus. Historical botany was founded by the Germans. In the
  seventeenth century, the foundation of botanical anatomy was laid
  by Grew and Malpighi; botanical chemistry was founded by Homberg,
  Dodart, and Mariotte: and the difference of sex was discovered by
  Grew, Morland and Camerarius.



                       CHAPTER XVIII.――GEOLOGY.


The first important attempt toward a scientific view of the
character and relations of the strata in the United States was
made by Mr. Maclure, but a short time previous to the year 1812.
His work was small and general, but has proved a valuable guide
to subsequent inquirers. In order to obtain a view of the general
geological formation of the territory of the states, it will be well to
recapitulate its chief geographical features; the Apalachian mountains
on the east, with the slope to the Atlantic ocean; the Rocky mountains
to the west, with the valleys intervening between them and the Pacific
ocean; and the extended valley between these elevated ranges, with
the Ozark mountains dividing it in the centre, and the Black mountains
occupying its north-western angle.

The summits of the Rocky mountains are formed entirely of primitive
rocks, chiefly of granite itself. A red and saline sandstone rests on
this granite, through the whole chain, as far as it has been explored.
But few traces of that animal and vegetable life are found, which
in other countries has reared mountains of limestone, clay-slate,
and those other aggregates which are so often composed of the exuviæ
of living beings. The western boundary of this sandstone formation
corresponds to the side of the easternmost granite ranges. From the
Platte toward the south, the sandstone increases in width, and on
the Canadian it extends more than half the distance from the sources
of that river to its confluence with the Arkansas. It consists of
two members; red sandstone, and argillaceous or gray sandstone. This
formation was at one time probably horizontal and uniform; it is now
found in a state of entire disruption and disorder. This tract abounds
in scenery of an interesting and majestic character. The angle of
inclination of the strata varies from forty-five to ninety degrees.
Though not very recent, the sandstone along the base of the mountains
contains the relics of marine animals and plants, and embraces
extensive beds of pudding stone.

South of the Arkansas are rocks of basaltic origin, overlaying the
red sandstone. By the vastness and broken character of their masses,
and their dark color, they present a striking contrast to the light,
smooth and fissile sandstone on which they rest. Sometimes they are
compact and apparently homogeneous in their composition, and in many
particulars of structure, form and hardness, more analogous to the
primitive rock than to those recent secondary aggregates with which
they are associated. In other instances, dark and irregular masses of
porous and amygdaloidal substances are seen scattered about the plain,
or gathered in conical heaps, but having no immediate connection with
the strata on which they rest. Most of the rocks of this class were
observed in the neighborhood of the sources of the Canadian; and may
be distinguished into two kinds, referable to the two divisions called
greenstone and amygdaloid.

The valley immediately east of the Rocky mountain range is composed
of an extensive accumulation of sand, seemingly the debris of the
mountains. To an unknown depth, the soil is made up of rounded
fragments of granite, varying in dimension from a grain of sand to a
six pound shot. This accumulation has evidently been washed from the
mountains, and slopes gradually from their base. The small particles
derived from the quartzose portions of the primitive aggregates, being
least liable to decomposition, have been borne to the greatest distance,
and of these the eastern margin of the great sandy desert is almost
entirely composed; the central portions are of coarser sand, intermixed
with particles of mica and feldspar; nearer the mountains, boulders and
pebbles occur abundantly, and at length cover almost the entire surface
of the country.

In many other respects besides geological structure, the Apalachian
range of mountains differs from that we have just been considering.
The whole of their eastern front is composed of primitive rocks,
comprehending both the granitic family and its associated strata
of clay-slate and limestone. In New England, rocks of this class
constitute the seacoast, and with some exceptions extend inwards
towards the St. Lawrence. South of the Hudson, the edge of the
primitive follows the general contour of the mountains, at a variable
distance from the sea to their termination, and until it meets more
recent deposits at the extremity of the mountain range. The breadth of
this primitive belt is very unequal. In passing through the states of
Pennsylvania and Maryland, it occupies but a small part of the country;
in Virginia it increases in breadth, and proportionably in height,
composing the greatest mass as well as the most elevated points of the
mountains in Georgia and North Carolina. Besides this range, there is a
great mass of primitive on the west side of lake Champlain.

In general, the primitive rocks run from a north and south to
a north-east and south-west direction, and dip generally to the
south-east at an angle of more than forty-five degrees with the
horizon; their highest elevation is towards their north-western limit.
The mountains of this formation consist generally of detached masses,
with rounded flat tops and a circular waving outline. Granite in large
masses constitutes but a small part of this formation, and is found
indifferently in the plains and on the tops of mountains. Gneiss
extends perhaps over a half of this formation, and includes in a great
many places beds from three to three hundred feet thick. These beds are
mixed, and alternate occasionally in the same gneiss with the primitive
limestone, the beds of hornblende and hornblende slate, serpentine,
magnetic iron ore, and feldspar rocks. In short, there are scarcely any
of the primitive rocks that may not occasionally be found included in
the gneiss formation.

The breadth of the transition district, like that of the primitive,
is variable. Narrow towards the gulf of Mexico, it gradually widens
towards the north-east, till it reaches the river Hudson. From its
upper portion it sends off a considerable arm, which penetrates for
several hundred miles into the granitic region, overlaying it, but
running parallel with the principal body. After the primitive, it forms
some of the highest mountains in the range, and seems to be both higher
and wider to the west in Pennsylvania, Maryland and part of Virginia,
where the primitive is least extended and lowest in height. It contains
all the varieties of rocks found in the same formation in Europe.

It varies in breadth from twenty to one hundred miles. In the limestone
of this formation there are many and extensive caves, some of which
extend for miles under ground, and contain the bones of animals. It is
the lowest, and is considered the most ancient of the rocks containing
organized remains, which are those of cryptogamous plants, and animals
without sight. The graywacke has been observed to contain impressions
of organized remains, but they are usually those of zoophytic animals,
and are exceedingly unlike those found so abundantly in the coal
formations. Its colors are variable; it is, however, most commonly
bluish, black, or dark brown. The graywacke seems to form the
connecting link between the clay-slate and a rock which has been called
the old red sandstone, and is usually found intimately blended either
with the one or the other. This sandstone occurs throughout the whole
extent of the transition formation, and evidently belongs to the oldest
depositions of that rock. It is for the most part distinctly stratified,
and in all cases its stratification is inclined.

Of the rocks thus described, the limestone occurs extensively all along
the north-western side of the primitive strata. It is probable that
transition limestone is the foundation through their whole extent of
the Alleghany mountains of Pennsylvania, Maryland and the western parts
of Virginia, on a level with the surface at the base of their eastern
declivities. The clay-slate occurs in the central portions of that
extensive field of transition, which skirts the western margin of the
primitive of New York and New England, and forms the great body of the
Catskill mountains. The old red sandstone in the transition district,
along the whole range of mountains, is perhaps more abundant than any
other aggregate. This region has also a considerable mixture of trap.
Various large bodies of transition rock are thrown to a considerable
distance into the primitive region; while in many instances, secondary
rocks are found running along the valleys far into the bosom of the
mountains.

With the edge of the transition strata, we approach the western
summits of the Apalachian mountains, or the line from whence they
begin to fall toward the Mississippi valley. Along this line commences
a series of secondary rocks, stretching westward to an immense extent
towards the Mississippi and the lakes, and constituting one of the most
interesting and important geological formations in the United States.
This secondary region extends unbroken across the whole country to the
shores of the lakes, being bounded on the west probably by the river
Wabash, and in descending the Mississippi by the more recent formations
through which that river flows. It consists generally of various strata
of sandstone, limestone and clay. Immense beds of secondary limestone,
of all shades from light blue to black, sometimes intercepted by
extensive tracts of sandstone and other secondary aggregates, appear
to constitute the foundation of this formation, which extends from the
head waters of the Ohio, with some interruptions, all the way to the
waters of the Tombigbee, accompanied by slaty clay and freestone with
vegetable impressions; but in no instance yet ascertained, covered by
or alternating with any rock resembling basalt, or indeed any of those
called the newest floetz trap formation. A grand peculiarity of this
secondary region is the uniform, horizontal direction of the strata.

We will now briefly examine the region which occupies the centre of the
Mississippi valley. The Ozark mountains consist chiefly of secondary
and transition rocks; but there are two points at which the primitive
makes its appearance. About fifteen miles south-east from the hot
springs, near the Washita, granite is found _in situ_. It is very soft,
and disintegrates rapidly when exposed to the air. It is compounded
of greyish-white quartz, yellowish-white feldspar, and an unusually
large proportion of mica in variously and brilliantly-colored masses.
This granite, if of secondary formation, is much more extensive than
any of the kind hitherto known. ‘We are ignorant,’ says Dr. James, ‘of
the manner of its connection with any other rock, nor do we know of
any formation of primitive granite from which it could, by the action
of water, have been derived: one can have no hesitation, however, in
considering the Ozark mountains as a separate system within themselves,
and having no immediate connection with either the Apalachian or the
Chippewayan mountains.’ Mr. Schoolcraft mentions another granite region
as occurring in the north-eastern extremity of the Ozark range, in the
mining district of Potosi.

In connection with the granite of the Washita is found a stratum of
clay-slate, and another of transition sandstone, but neither of them of
great extent. The hot springs of the Washita issue from the clay-slate,
and it is supposed that a very large mass of clay-slate is interposed
between the surface of the granite and the point at which the springs
rise. The slate-rock about the hot springs is highly inclined, often
flinty in its composition, and, as far as it has been hitherto examined,
contains no organic remains. It is traversed by large upright veins,
usually filled with white quartz. The mountains contain vast beds of
secondary limestone, which from its peculiar crystalline appearance
might be easily mistaken for the primitive. These vast beds of sparry
limestone, almost exclusively made up of deposits from chemical
solution, would seem to have been formed during periods of great
tranquillity in the waters. The sandstones of this small group of
mountains appear under almost every variety of character. A region
similar in mineralogical character to the Ozark mountains extends
northward from the confluence of the Missouri, to the Ouisconsin and
Ontonagon rivers of lake Superior. The sandstones, limestones and
other rocks have a striking resemblance. Of the Black mountains in
the north-western part of the Mississippi valley, but little is known;
they appear to be composed of sandstone lying horizontally, and to
be destitute of valuable minerals. Between these mountains and the
central district, is a wide alluvial tract containing the course of the
Missouri. The same appellation has been given by Dr. James to a space
between the Ozark mountains and the Chippewayan sands, and to the
country on both sides of the lower Mississippi.

We must now turn our attention to the region which lies to the
eastward of the Apalachian mountains. The eastern front of this range
is composed of primitive rocks, which reach the sea as far south as
the Hudson; from this point they take an inland course, and leave a
considerable tract of land between them and the ocean all the way to
the Mississippi. On this side, there is no appearance of any rocks
of the transition class; the primitive terminates abruptly, and is
skirted through its whole length by an extensive series of beds of
shell-limestone, marl, clay, sand and gravel, constituting what has
been described as the Atlantic slope. This class of strata begins at
Long island, and gradually widens in its extent through the middle
and southern states, forms the whole of Florida, and crossing the
Mississippi, meets the secondary formation of that valley, and sends up
a tongue for a considerable distance along the sides of that river. We
may here notice one of the most peculiar features of our geology. This
is the ridge of granite which forms the boundary between the primitive
and secondary regions, and is conjectured to have been the ancient line
of the seacoast. It commences in Georgia and extends as far north as
New York, whence it seems to pass into Long island and under the sound
into Connecticut.

The entire region to the eastward of the primitive was long considered
as alluvial; but it has been found to comprehend secondary, as well as
a large extent of tertiary formations. Decisive evidence of this fact
has been furnished by the investigations of Dr. Morton of Philadelphia.
The secondary strata are not, however, calcareous, but consist of beds
of sand and clay analogous to the iron sand, green sand, and chalk marl
or galt of England. Dr. Morton calls it the ferruginous sand formation.
In Maryland commences a vast deposit of sand and clay, extending
along the coast to the Mississippi; this tract abounds with tertiary
fossils, which appear chiefly to belong to the upper marine formation
of European geologists. The secondary strata are occasionally met with
beneath it, and sometimes approach so near the surface as to be readily
identified by their fossils. It is therefore reasonable to suppose,
that the beds of ferruginous sand extend nearly the whole length of the
Atlantic frontiers, of the states south of Long island. One of the most
abundant mineral productions of these beds is lignite, which is found
at the deep cut of the Chesapeak and Delaware canal, in almost every
variety, from charred wood to well-characterized jet. It sometimes
occurs in small fragments, and sometimes in large masses, presenting
the trunks and limbs of trees thirty feet in length.

Though occurring largely on the Atlantic slope, the tertiary formations
are by no means confined to it; they overlay the secondary strata to
a great extent on both sides of the mountain chains. Of all visible
strata, marly clay is one of the most universal; it is the common clay
of all North America. In this clay, sulphate of magnesia frequently
occurs, and sometimes muriate of soda. Bagshot sand and crag are next
in extent to the marly clay, and generally overlie it. The plastic
clay formation is stated to appear very distinctly on the west side
of lake Champlain, and at various points from Martha’s Vineyard to the
eastward of Long island, to Florida and the Mississippi. The silicious
limestone of Georgia is asserted to be decidedly contemporaneous with
the _calcaire silicieuse_ of the Paris basin. In Virginia, the marly or
London clay is found, and the sands of the upper marine formation are
conceived to occur in the same state and in Staten island.

Of the geology of the region west of the Chippewayan mountains, nothing
certain is known. The chains which stretch nearer to the Pacific are
lofty, and are presumed to be primitive. Mr. Scrope represents the
mountains which border the Pacific ocean as volcanic.

From the importance which fossil remains have recently assumed in
geological science, much interest is naturally attached to those
contained in the strata of the western world. It will be long before so
vast a field of inquiry is fully explored, and with Mr. Maclure in 1812,
we may still say that it has not yet been examined with that accuracy
of discrimination necessary to form just conclusions. We derive such
knowledge as is possessed on the subject from various sources. The
fossils of the transition strata consist of the ancient coralline and
encrinital families, and generally resemble those of similar rocks in
other parts of the globe. Organic remains in the coal formations are
found at Westfield, Connecticut; at Sunderland, Massachusetts; and it
is said also in some other places. At Westfield they were found, in
exploring for coal, lying upon bituminous shale.

The following information is furnished in an article by Mr. Caleb
Atwater. ‘In the vicinity of the Ohio river, and on the waters of the
Muskingum, I have carefully examined not a few of the fossil trees
there existing. Among them I noticed the following, viz. black oak,
black walnut, sycamore or button wood, white birch, sugar maple, the
date or bread-fruit tree, cocoanut-bearing palm, the bamboo and the
dogwood; and I have in my possession the perfect impression of the
cassia and the tea leaf. Of ferns, I have beautiful impressions of the
leaves, and of the bread-fruit tree flowers, fully expanded, fresh, and
entire. I have specimens so perfect, and so faithful to nature, as to
dispel all doubts as to what they once were. The larger trees are found
mostly in sandstone, although the bark of the date tree, much flattened,
I ought to say perfectly so, is found in shale covering coal. The date
is a large tree, not very tall, and having numerous wide-spreading
branches. Nine miles west of Zanesville, the body of a bread-fruit tree,
now turned to sandstone, may be seen; it is exactly such sandstone as
that in which M. Brongniart found tropical plants imbedded in France.
It contains a considerable quantity of mica in its composition. The
cassia was found in such sandstone in the Zanesville canal. The bamboo
is mostly impressed upon ironstone, especially the roots, and the
trunk and leaves are found in the micaceous sandstone. The ironstone
is sometimes apparently made of bamboo leaves, the leaves of fern, and
bamboo roots. It happens frequently that the trunks of small trees and
plants are flattened by pressure, and the bark of them partially turned
into coal. Thus the shale often contains a bark, now become coal, and
a stratum of shale in succession, alternately, for several inches in
thickness.’

Some further interesting particulars respecting fossil and other
remains will be found in the following description of them by Mr.
Atwater, as occurring in the state of Ohio. ‘I am credibly informed,
that in digging a well at Cincinnati, in this state, an arrow-head
was found more than ninety feet below the surface. At Pickaway plains,
while several persons were digging a well several years since, a human
skeleton was found seventeen feet six inches below the surface. This
skeleton was seen by several persons, and among others, by Doct. Daniel
Turney, an eminent surgeon; they all concurred in the belief, that it
belonged to a human being. Pickaway plains are, or rather were, a large
prairie, before the land was improved by its present inhabitants. This
tract is alluvial to a great depth; greater, probably, than the earth
has ever been perforated, certainly than it ever has been by the hand
of man. The surface of the plain is at least one hundred feet above the
highest freshet of the Scioto river, near which it lies. On the surface
is a black vegetable mould, from three, to six, and nine feet in depth;
then we find pebbles, and shells imbedded among them: the pebbles are
evidently rounded and smoothed by attrition in water, exactly such as
we now see at the bottom of rivers, ponds, and lakes.

‘I have examined the spot where this skeleton was found, and am
persuaded that it was not deposited there by the hand of man, for
there are no marks of any grave, or of any of the works of man; but the
earth and pebbles appear to lie in the very position in which they were
deposited by the water. On the north side of a small stream, called
Hargus creek, which at this place empties itself into the Scioto, in
digging through a hill composed of such pebbles as I have described in
Pickaway plains, at least nine feet below the surface, several human
skeletons were discovered, perfect in every limb. These skeletons were
promiscuously scattered about, and parts of skeletons were sometimes
found at different depths below the surface. This hill is at least
fifty feet above the highest freshets in the Scioto, and is a very
ancient alluvion, where every stratum of sand, clay, and pebbles has
been deposited by the waters of some stream. Other skulls have been
taken out of the same hill, by persons who, in order to make a road
through it, were engaged in taking it away. These bones are very
similar to those found in our mounds, and probably belonged to the
same race of men; a people short and thick, not exceeding generally
five feet in height, and very possibly they were not more than four
feet six inches. The skeletons, when first exposed to the atmosphere,
are quite perfect, but afterwards moulder and fall into pieces. Whether
they were overwhelmed by the deluge of Noah, or by some other, I know
not; but one thing appears certain, namely: that water has deposited
them here, together with the hill in which, for so many ages, they have
reposed. Indeed, this whole country appears to have been once, and for
a considerable period, covered with water, which has made it one vast
cemetery of the beings of former ages. Fragments of antique pottery,
and even entire pots of coarse earthen ware, have been found likewise
in the excavations of the Illinois salt-works, at the depth of eighty
feet and more from the surface. One of these was ascertained to hold
from eight to ten gallons, and some were alleged to be of much greater
capacity. This fossil pottery is stated not to differ materially from
that which frequently occurs in the mounds supposed to have been formed
by the aboriginal Indians.’

The largest and most interesting fossils of this country are the
remains of the mastodon, an enormous creature of an extinct race,
nearly allied to the elephant, and long considered identical with it,
but now allotted to a distinct genus under the name of mastodon. For a
minute and detailed account of these remains, we must refer our readers
to the valuable work of Godman. The size of the living animal may be
conjectured when it is stated, that the head at the posterior part
is thirty-two inches across, the lower jaw two feet ten inches long,
and the tusks ten feet seven inches long, and seven inches and three
fourths in diameter at the base. It is wonderful to reflect that
but for the accidental preservation of a few bones, we should never
have known the existence of an animal so huge in its dimensions, and
necessarily of such vast strength and power.

We know not where, better than in the present connection, to introduce
a circumstance hitherto unexplained, if not altogether inexplicable.
There have been found, it appears beyond all question, in naked
limestone of the elder secondary formation, close on the western margin
of the Mississippi at St. Louis, the prints of human feet. The prints
are those of a man standing erect, with his heels drawn in, and his
toes turned outward, which is the most natural position. They are not
the impressions of feet accustomed to a tight shoe, the toes being very
much spread, and the foot flattened in the manner that happens to those
who have been habituated to go a great length of time without shoes.
The prints are strikingly natural, exhibiting every muscular impression
and swell of the heel and toes, with great precision and faithfulness
to nature. The length of each foot, as indicated by the prints, is ten
inches and a half, and the width across the spread of the toes, four
inches, which diminishes to two inches and a half at the swell of the
heels, indicating, as it is thought, a stature of the common size.

Every appearance seems to warrant the conclusion that these impressions
were made at a time when the rock was soft enough to receive them by
pressure, and that the marks of feet are natural and genuine. ‘Such was
the opinion of Governor Cass and myself,’ says Mr. Schoolcraft, ‘formed
upon the spot, and there is nothing that I have subsequently seen to
alter this view: on the contrary, there are some corroborating facts
calculated to strengthen and confirm it.’ At Herculaneum, in the same
neighborhood, similar marks have been found, as well as on some of
the spurs of the Cumberland mountains, always in similar limestone. In
the latter case it is stated that the impressions are elongated, as of
persons slipping in ascending a slimy steep. Opinions are much divided
as to the origin and import of these impressions. Should similar
observations multiply, important inferences may perhaps be drawn
from them; at present it seems impossible to speak respecting them
decisively or satisfactorily.

The following extraordinary facts, respecting what may be termed living
fossils, appear to be well authenticated. During the construction
of the Erie canal, while the workmen were cutting through a ridge of
gravel, they found several hundred of live molluscous animals. ‘I have
before me,’ says Professor Eaton, ‘several of the shells from which
the workmen took the animals, fried and ate them. I have received
satisfactory assurances that the animals were taken alive from the
depth of forty-two feet.’ In addition to this discovery in diluvial
deposits, mention is made of a similar one in a much older formation.
In laying the foundation of a house at Whitesborough, the workmen had
occasion to split a large stone from the millstone grit. ‘It was
perfectly close-grained and compact. On opening it, they discovered a
black, or dark brown spherical mass, about three inches in diameter, in
a cavity which it filled. On examining it particularly, they found it
to be a toad, much larger than the common species and of a darker color.
It was perfectly torpid. It was laid upon a stone, and soon began to
give signs of life. In a few hours, it would hop moderately on being
disturbed. They saw it in the yard, moving about slowly for several
days; but it was not watched by them any longer, and no one observed
its farther movements. They laid one half of the stone in the wall, so
that the cavity may still be seen.

‘The millstone grit,’ says Professor Eaton, who gives this account,
‘in which this toad was found, is the oldest of the secondary rocks.
It must have been formed many years before the deluge. Was this toad
more than four thousand years old? or was it from an egg introduced,
through a minute and undiscovered cleavage, into this cavity or geode,
made precisely to fit the size and form of a toad? I was particular
in my inquiry, and learned that the whole stone was perfectly compact,
without any open cleavage which would admit an egg. Besides, it is well
known that the millstone grit is neither porous nor geodiferous. If
this rock stratum was deposited upon the toad, it must have been in
aqueous, not in igneous solution, and the toad must have been full
grown at the time. Toads are often found in compact, hard, gravelly
diluvial deposits, in situations which demonstrate that they must have
lived from the time of the deluge. I think I am warranted in saying
this without citing authorities, as it is a common occurrence. Then why
may they not have lived a few centuries longer, if we admit them a life
of at least three thousand years?’


                      GENERAL REMARKS ON GEOLOGY.

    Geological researches are made with much greater facility in
    America than in Europe, especially in the region of the secondary
    strata. The immense extent over which they can be traced, the
    undisturbed condition in which they are found, and their generally
    horizontal position, afford great facility for efforts of system
    and generalization. The absence of the newest floetz-trap rocks,
    and of the effects of the violent convulsions, so frequent in
    the vicinity of this disputed formation, unquestionably assist
    geological research. A second and more efficient cause is found in
    the extent of the changes that have been wrought in the different
    classes of rocks on the European continent since their original
    formation, by the effect of water, and the continual action of
    rivers wearing deep beds, and exposing the subordinate strata.
    Rivers also in North America have not generally cut so deep
    into the different strata, either in the mountains, or during
    their course in the level country, as materially to derange the
    stratifications. Broken masses of one formation covering the
    tops of mountains, whose foundations are composed of rocks of a
    different class, seldom occur. A third cause of the facility of
    geological observation in this continent is found in the fact
    that the whole continent east of the Mississippi follows the
    arrangement of one great chain of mountains. Europe, on the
    contrary, is intersected by five or six distinct ranges, which
    follow different laws of stratification, and frequently interrupt
    each other.

    The effect of opening this new field of observation has been
    striking and important. It has been to confound every previous
    effort at the determination and arrangement of general strata.
    European geologists themselves have acknowledged that the general
    strata must be determined in America. The absence of the chalk
    forcibly illustrates this; the chalk being not only a very
    prominent feature in the geological structure of Europe, but
    the grand point of division between the secondary and tertiary
    formations. The English oolite is not found in this country. It
    has been affirmed by Professor Eaton that the old red sandstone
    is not a general stratum, and even the existence of primitive
    clay-slate is questioned; while Mr. Maclure informs us that though
    the primitive formation contains all the variety of rocks contained
    in the mountains of Europe, yet neither their relative situation
    in the order of succession, nor their relative heights in the
    range of mountains, correspond with European observations. The
    order of succession from the clay-slate to the granite, as well as
    the gradually diminishing height of the strata, from the granite
    through the gneiss, mica slate, and hornblende rock, down to
    the clay-slate, is so often inverted and mixed, as to render the
    arrangement of any regular series impracticable.

    It is of course out of the question in these remarks to present a
    detailed account of the general science of geology. For valuable
    and well-digested treatises on this subject, we refer to Cuvier’s
    _Theory of the Earth_, and _Lyell’s Principles of Geology_. The
    volumes of Silliman’s Journal, and Professor Cleaveland’s works,
    abound in important matter on the geology of our continent.



                  CHAPTER XIX.――NATURAL CURIOSITIES.


It is our intention to collect under this general head a few
miscellaneous descriptions, that could not have been properly placed
under any other division. The space that we can devote to this subject
is small, and it is impossible to enter into much detail. Among the
most admired and interesting natural curiosities of our country, are
the Pictured Rocks, of lake Superior, which have been described by an
intelligent traveller to whose observation we have been already largely
indebted.

‘The _Pictured Rocks_,’ says Mr. Schoolcraft, ‘are a series of lofty
bluffs, which continue for twelve miles along the shore, and present
some of the most sublime and commanding views in nature. We had been
told, by our Canadian guide, of the variety in the color and form of
these rocks, but were wholly unprepared to encounter the surprising
groups of overhanging precipices, towering walls, caverns, waterfalls,
and prostrate ruins, which are here mingled in the most wonderful
disorder, and burst upon the view in ever-varying and pleasing
succession. In order to convey any just idea of their magnificence,
it is necessary to premise, that this part of the shore consists
of a sandstone rock of a light gray color internally, and deposited
stratum super-stratum to the height of three hundred feet, rising in
a perpendicular wall from the water and extending from four to five
leagues in length.

  Illustration: Pictured Rocks.

‘This rock is made up of coarse grains of sand, united by a
calcareous cement, and occasionally imbedding pebbles of quartz and
other water-worn fragments of rocks, but adhering with a feeble force,
and, where exposed to the weather, easily crushed between the fingers.
Externally, it presents a great variety of color, as black, red,
yellow, brown, and white, particularly along the most permanent parts
of the shore; but where masses have newly fallen, its color is a light
gray. This stupendous wall of rock, exposed to the fury of the waves,
which are driven up by every north wind across the whole width of lake
Superior, has been partially prostrated at several points, and worn out
into numerous bays and irregular indentations. All these front upon the
lake, in a line of aspiring promontories, which, at a distance, present
the terrible array of dilapidated battlements and desolate towers.

‘Among many striking features, two attracted particular
admiration,――the Cascade La Portaille, and the Doric Arch. The
cascade is situated about four miles beyond the commencement of the
range of bluffs, and in the centre of the most commanding part of it.
It consists of a handsome stream, which is precipitated about seventy
feet from the bluff into the lake at one leap. Its form is that of a
rainbow, rising from the lake, to the top of the precipice. We passed
near the point of its fall upon the surface of the lake, and could
have gone, unwetted, between it and the rocks, as it is thrown a
considerable distance into the lake.

‘The Doric Rock is an isolated mass of sandstone, consisting of
four natural pillars, supporting a stratum or entablature of the same
material, and presenting the appearance of a work of art. On the top
of this entablature rests a stratum of alluvial soil, covered with a
handsome growth of pine and spruce trees, some of which appear to be
fifty or sixty feet in height. To add to the factitious appearance of
the scene, that part of the entablature included between the pillars
is excavated in the form of a common arch, giving it very much the
appearance of a vaulted passage into the court yard of some massy pile
of antiquated buildings. A little to the west of this rock, the Miner’s
river enters the lake by a winding channel, overshadowed with trees,
and intersected by a succession of small rapids.’

_Mineralized Tree._――About half a mile from the village of Chitteningo,
in New York, a fossil or mineralized tree was some years ago discovered.
It lies at the base of the Conasewago mountains, within a few yards
of a branch of the Erie canal, which runs up to the village. The tree
appears to have been blown down or broken off; there are eight or
ten feet of stump remaining, with some part of the large end near the
root; the stump is about three feet in diameter, the bark, the fibrous
texture of the wood and two or three knots are very obvious; there is a
substance very much resembling veins disseminated through what seems to
have once been the sap vessels of the tree. The lower part of the root
is imbedded in the soil, where it probably once grew. Vast quantities
of mineralized wood, both in small and large masses, are scattered in
all directions around this stump; fragments which from their loose and
porous texture, seem to have been petrified, after the wood began to
decay. Indeed so numerous are these fragments, that almost every stone
in this vicinity appears to have been once a living plant.[58]

_The Devil’s Diving Hole._――About four miles below the falls of Niagara,
on the American side, is a very curious place called the Devil’s Diving
Hole, which is nearly one hundred feet deep; the edge of it is so very
near the road that they have taken the precaution to cut down some
trees, so as to form a kind of barricado, in order to prevent cattle or
strangers from falling into it. This hole, as it is called, is, more
properly speaking, the narrow extremity of a considerable ravine, which
has, at some remote period, been formed in the rock; it shelves off as
it descends towards the river, and is in length about two hundred yards
from the road to the river. The top is so overgrown with bushes that
a hasty view would induce many to suppose it to be really a hole; but
a closer examination soon leads their eye along the windings of its
courses, and discovers a very considerable breadth at no great distance.
A hemlock tree, firmly rooted at the bottom, stretches its top almost
to the surface, and is so conveniently fitted to the hole or opening,
that you have only to descend five or six feet, when its branches
afford you a safe and easy step-ladder quite to the bottom, where you
will find a copious spring of excellent water.

An occurrence is traditionally described as having taken place at
this spot during the French war, the circumstances of which were as
follows:――A British detachment, being pursued by a superior French
force, were so hemmed in that their retreat to the road was cut off,
and their escape effectually prevented by this ravine. Seeing their
situation irretrievable, they laid down their arms, and surrendered
themselves prisoners of war. Notwithstanding this surrender, the French
rushed upon them with charged bayonets and precipitated the whole party
down this precipice. Here they perished with the exception of a single
soldier, who was preserved by falling on some of his comrades.

_Natural Bridge._――This wonderful bridge is considered by many the
greatest natural curiosity in this country. It has never been described
so well as by Mr. Jefferson, and though his account of it has been so
frequently reprinted, we have thought best to adopt it.

‘The Natural Bridge, the most sublime of nature’s works, is on the
ascent of a hill, which seems to have been cloven through its length
by some great convulsion. The fissure just at the bridge is by some
admeasurements two hundred and seventy feet deep, by others only two
hundred and five. It is about forty-five feet wide at the bottom, and
ninety feet at the top: this of course determines the length of the
bridge and its height from the water. Its breadth in the middle is
about sixty feet, but more at the ends, and the thickness of the mass
at the summit of the arch, about forty feet. A part of this thickness
is constituted by a coat of earth, which gives growth to many large
trees. The residue, with the hill on both sides, is one solid rock of
limestone.

‘The arch approaches the semi-elliptical form, but the larger axis
of the ellipsis, which would be the chord of the arch, is many times
longer than the transverse. Though the sides of this bridge are
provided, in some parts, with a parapet of fixed rocks, yet few men
have resolution to walk to them and look over into the abyss. You
involuntarily fall on your hands and feet, creep to the parapet, and
peep over it. Looking down from this height about a minute, gave me a
violent headache.

‘If the view from the top be painful and intolerable, that from below
is delightful in an equal extreme. It is impossible for the emotions
arising out of the sublime to be felt beyond what they are here, so
beautiful an arch, so elevated, so light, and springing, as it were,
up to heaven, the rapture of the spectator is really indescribable!

‘The fissure continuing narrow, deep, and straight for a considerable
distance above and below the bridge, opens a short but very pleasing
view of the North mountain on one side, and the Blue ridge on the other,
at the distance each of them of about five miles. This bridge is in the
county of Rockbridge, to which it has given name, and affords a public
and commodious passage over a valley, which cannot be crossed elsewhere
for a considerable distance. The stream passing under it is called
Cedar creek. It is a water of James river, and sufficient in the driest
seasons to turn a grist-mill, though its fountain is not more than two
miles above.’

The description which follows is from another writer. ‘As we stood
under this beautiful arch, we saw the place where visitors have often
taken the pains to engrave their names upon the rock. Here Washington
climbed up twenty-five feet and carved his own name, where it still
remains. Some wishing to immortalize their names have engraved them
deep and large, while others have tried to climb up and insert them
high in this book of fame.

‘A few years since, a young man, being ambitious to place his name
above all others, came very near losing his life in the attempt. After
much fatigue, he climbed up as high as possible, but found that the
person who had before occupied his place was taller than himself,
and consequently had placed his name above his reach. But he was
not thus to be discouraged. He opened a large jacknife, and in the
soft limestone began to cut places for his hands and feet. With much
patience and industry he worked his way upwards, and succeeded in
carving his name higher than the most ambitious had done before him.

‘He could now triumph; but his triumph was short, for he was placed in
such a situation that it was impossible to descend unless he fell upon
the ragged rocks beneath him. There was no house near, from which his
companions could get assistance. He could not remain in that condition,
and, what was worse, his friends were too much frightened to do any
thing for his relief. They looked upon him as already dead, expecting
every moment to see him precipitated upon the rocks below and dashed to
pieces. Not so with himself. He determined to ascend. Accordingly he
plied himself with his knife, cutting places for his hands and feet,
and gradually ascended with incredible labor. He exerted every muscle.
His life was at stake, and all the terrors of death rose before him. He
dared not look downwards lest his head should become dizzy, and perhaps
on this circumstance his life depended.

‘His companions stood at the top of the rock exhorting and encouraging
him. His strength was almost exhausted; but a bare possibility of
saving his life still remained, and hope, the last friend of the
distressed, had not yet forsaken him. His course upwards was rather
oblique, than perpendicular. His most critical moment had now arrived.
He had ascended considerably more than two hundred feet, and had still
further to rise, when he felt himself fast growing weak. He now made
his last effort and succeeded. He had cut his way not far from two
hundred and fifty feet from the water, in a course almost perpendicular;
and in a little less than two hours, his anxious companions reached him
a pole from the top, and drew him up. They received him with shouts of
joy; but he himself was completely exhausted. He immediately fainted
away on reaching the spot, and it was some time before he could be
recovered.

‘It was interesting to see the path up these awful rocks, and to follow
in imagination this bold youth as he thus saved his life. His name
stands far above all the rest, a monument of hardihood, of rashness,
and of folly.’

_Natural Stone Walls._――On the Missouri, at the distance of about one
hundred miles from the Great Falls, are the natural stone walls which
have thus been described by Lewis and Clarke:

‘We came to a high wall of black rock rising from the water’s edge
on the south, above the cliffs of the river: this continued about a
quarter of a mile, and was succeeded by a high open plain, till three
miles further a second wall, two hundred feet high, rose on the same
side. Three miles farther, another wall of the same kind, about two
hundred feet high and twelve thick, appeared to the north. These hills
and river cliffs exhibit a most extraordinary and romantic appearance.
They rise in most places nearly perpendicularly from the water to the
height of between two and three hundred feet, and are formed of very
white sandstone, so soft as to yield readily to the impression of the
water, in the upper part of which lie imbedded two or three horizontal
strata of white freestone insensible to the rain, and on the top is a
dark rich loam, which forms a gradually ascending plain, from a mile to
a mile and a half in extent, when the hills again rise abruptly to the
height of about three hundred feet more.

‘In trickling down the cliffs, the water has worn the soft sandstone
into a thousand grotesque figures, among which, with a little fancy,
may be discerned elegant ranges of freestone buildings, with columns
variously sculptured, and supporting long and elegant galleries, while
the parapets are adorned with statuary. On a nearer approach, they
represent every form of elegant ruins; columns, some with pedestals
and capitals entire, others mutilated and prostrate; and some rising
pyramidically over each other till they terminate in a sharp point.
These are varied by niches, alcoves, and the customary appearances
of desolated magnificence. The illusion is increased by the number of
martins that have built their globular nests in the niches, and hover
over these columns; as in our country they are accustomed to frequent
large stone structures.

‘As we advance, there seems no end to the visionary enchantment that
surrounds us. In the midst of this fantastic scenery are vast ranges of
walls, which seem the productions of art, so regular is the workmanship.
They rise perpendicularly from the river, sometimes to the height of
one hundred feet, varying in thickness from one to twelve feet, being
equally broad at the top as below. The stones of which they are formed,
are black, thick, and durable, and composed of a large portion of
earth, intermixed and cemented with a small quantity of sand, and a
considerable proportion of talc or quartz.

‘These stones are almost invariably regular parallelopipeds of unequal
sizes in the wall, but equally deep, and laid regularly in ranges over
each other like bricks, each breaking and covering the interstice of
the two on which it rests. But though the perpendicular interstice is
destroyed, the horizontal one extends entirely through the work. The
stones, too, are proportioned to the thickness of the wall in which
they are employed, being largest in the thickest walls. The thinner
walls are composed of a single depth of the parallelopiped, while
the thicker ones consist of two or more depths. These walls pass the
river at several places, rising from the water’s edge much above the
sandstone bluffs, which they seem to penetrate; thence they cross in
a straight line, on either side of the river, the plains over which
they tower to the height of from ten to seventy feet, until they lose
themselves in the second range of hills. Sometimes they run parallel in
several ranges near each other; sometimes intersect each other at right
angles, and have the appearance of walls of ancient houses or gardens.’



                               PART II.

                         POLITICAL GEOGRAPHY.



           CHAPTER I.――POLITICAL AND GEOGRAPHICAL DIVISIONS.


UNITED STATES. The territory of the United States extends from
twenty-five to fifty-four degrees north latitude, and from sixty-six
degrees forty-nine minutes to one hundred and twenty-five degrees west
longitude; comprising one million eight hundred and thirty-two thousand
three hundred and fifteen square miles. It is bounded north by Russia
and British America; east by the Atlantic and British America; south
by the Atlantic, the gulf and territory of Mexico, and west by Mexico,
Texas, and the Pacific ocean. This extent of country is divided into
twenty-six states, six territories, and the district of Columbia.
The states are familiarly classed under the Eastern or New England,
the Middle, the Southern, and the Western states. The first division
comprehends Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
and Connecticut; the second, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,
Delaware and Maryland; the third, Virginia, North and South Carolina,
Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana; the fourth, Tennessee,
Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Arkansas and Missouri.
The territories are Florida, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana,
and Oregon. There are no territorial governments in the Missouri and
Oregon territories. The whole extent of inhabited country includes more
than eight hundred thousand square miles; and the whole population is
seventeen million sixty-eight thousand one hundred and twelve.


                        I. NEW ENGLAND STATES.

_Maine._――This state is bounded north and north-west by Lower Canada;
east by New Brunswick; west by New Hampshire, and south by the Atlantic
ocean. The north-eastern boundary is yet in dispute. Maine is divided
into 18 counties.[59] The towns are about four hundred in number;
Augusta is the capital. The other principal towns are Portland,
Brunswick, Bath, Wiscasset, Bangor, Castine, Hallowell, York, Saco,
Kennebunk, Eastport, Machias, Belfast, Gardiner, and Waterville.
The chief rivers are the Saco, Penobscot, Androscoggin, Kennebec,
Walloostook and Allagash, head streams of the St. John, and the
St. Croix. Among the mountains are Bald, Ebeeme, Spencer and Katahdin.
The lakes are Moosehead, Umbagog, Chesuncook, and Sebago. Mount Desert
is the largest of the islands with which the coast is strewn. The bays
are Portland, Passamaquoddy, Casco and Penobscot. Population, five
hundred and one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three.

_New Hampshire_ is situated between forty-two degrees forty-one
minutes and forty-five degrees eleven minutes north latitude, and
between seventy degrees forty minutes, and seventy-two degrees
twenty-three minutes west longitude. It is bounded on the north by
Lower Canada; south by Massachusetts; east by Maine and the Atlantic
ocean, and west by Connecticut river, which separates it from Vermont.
Its extreme length from north to south, is one hundred and sixty-eight
miles; and its greatest breadth from east to west, ninety miles;
containing an area of nine thousand four hundred and ninety-one miles.
This state is divided into ten counties. Portsmouth is the largest town,
but Concord is the seat of government. The number of towns in the state
is two hundred and 33, and besides those mentioned the principal are
Dover, Exeter, Amherst, Hanover and Haverhill. The chief rivers are the
Connecticut, Merrimac, and Piscataqua; the mountains are the Monadnock,
Sunapee, Kearsarge, Carr’s, and Moosehillock. The White mountains
are the most elevated in this state, and the highest east of the
Mississippi. The lakes are Winnipiseogee, Squam, Ossipee, Newfound,
Spafford’s, and Connecticut; Umbagog lies partly in this state, and
partly in Maine. The population by the last census was two hundred
eighty-four thousand five hundred and seventy-four.

_Vermont_ is bounded on the west by lake Champlain and New York; south
by Massachusetts; east by the Connecticut river, and north by Lower
Canada. It is situated between forty-two degrees forty-four minutes,
and forty-five degrees north latitude; and between seventy-one degrees
thirty-three minutes, and seventy-three degrees twenty-six minutes
west longitude. It is one hundred and fifty-seven miles in length;
its breadth is ninety miles on the north line, and forty on the south.
It is divided into thirteen counties, and two hundred and forty-five
towns. None of the towns are very large. Montpelier is the seat
of government. Among the chief towns are Middlebury, Bennington,
Montpelier, Brattleboro’, Burlington, and Windsor. The rivers, all of
which are small, are Lamoille, Onion, Otter, White, and Missisque;
the west bank of the Connecticut forms the eastern boundary of the
state. The mountains are Ascutney, Killington’s Peak, Camel’s Rump, and
Mansfield, peaks of the Green mountains. The population in 1840 was two
hundred and ninety-one thousand nine hundred and forty-eight.

_Massachusetts_ is bounded east by the Atlantic; west by New York;
north by Vermont and New Hampshire, and south by Connecticut, Rhode
Island and the Atlantic. It lies between forty-one degrees fifteen
minutes and forty-two degrees fifty-four minutes north latitude; and
between sixty-nine degrees fifty-four minutes and seventy-three degrees
thirty minutes west longitude. It is one hundred and eighty miles long
from east to west; and ninety-six miles broad from north to south. Its
area includes seven thousand and eight hundred square miles. The rivers
are Connecticut, Merrimac, Charles, Concord, Blackstone, Miller’s,
Chickopee, Deerfield, Westfield and Housatonic. The mountains are
Saddle mountain, Tagkannuc, Holyoke, Tom and Wachuset. This state
is divided into fourteen counties and three hundred and seven towns.
Boston is the capital. Salem and New Bedford are next in size and
importance; Lowell, Taunton, Springfield, and Waltham are extensively
engaged in manufactures; Nantucket, Newburyport, Plymouth and
Marblehead are fishing and commercial ports. Worcester, Northampton,
and Pittsfield are pleasant inland towns. The population in 1840 was
seven hundred and thirty-seven thousand six hundred and ninety-nine.

_Connecticut_ is bounded north by Massachusetts; east by Rhode Island;
south by Long Island sound, and west by New York. It lies between
forty-one degrees and forty-two degrees two minutes north latitude; and
between seventy-one degrees twenty minutes and seventy-three degrees
fifteen minutes west longitude. Its length is eighty-eight miles, and
its average breadth about fifty-three; its area is four thousand eight
hundred and twenty-eight miles. It is divided into eight counties.
Hartford, New Haven, Middletown, New London, Norwich and Bridgeport are
incorporated cities; Danbury, Guilford, Killingworth, Newtown, Stamford,
Stonington and Waterbury are boroughs. Hartford and New Haven are the
seats of the state government; and the legislature holds its sessions
alternately at the two places. The principal rivers are the Connecticut,
Housatonic, Thames, Farmington and Naugatuck. The greatest elevations
are a continuation of the Green mountains. The population of this state
is three hundred and ten thousand and fifteen.

_Rhode Island_ is bounded west by Connecticut; south by the Atlantic
ocean; north and east by Massachusetts. It lies between forty-one
and forty-two degrees north latitude; and between seventy-one degrees
eight minutes and seventy-one degrees fifty-two minutes west longitude.
The average length of the state from north to south is about forty-two
miles; its mean breadth about twenty-nine miles; its whole area,
including Narraganset bay, comprises one thousand one hundred and
twenty-five miles. It contains five counties, and thirty-one towns.
Providence is the capital, and in population and wealth the second
town in New England. Newport, Bristol, Pawtucket and Warwick are the
other chief towns. Pawtucket is the only river of any importance; the
Pawtuxet is also the seat of a number of manufactories. The islands are
Rhode Island, Conanicut, Prudence and Block. Narraganset bay extends
more than thirty miles into the state. The population is one hundred
and eight thousand eight hundred and thirty.


                          II. MIDDLE STATES.

_New York_ is bounded east by Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut;
north by lake Ontario and the river St. Lawrence; west by Pennsylvania,
lake Erie and Niagara river; south by New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Its length is three hundred and forty, its breadth three hundred and
four miles; and, including Long island, it contains forty-six thousand
and eighty-five square miles. It is comprised between forty degrees
thirty minutes and forty-five degrees north latitude; and between
seventy-three degrees and seventy-nine degrees fifty-five minutes west
longitude. It is divided into eight districts, which are subdivided
into fifty-six counties. There are seven hundred and sixty-two towns
and cities. The population is 2,428,921. New York city is the largest
in the western world; Albany is the seat of government, and the second
city in the state. Brooklyn, Troy, Hudson, Poughkeepsie, Newburgh,
Catskill, Plattsburgh, Rochester and Buffalo are all important towns.
The mountains are the Peruvian, Catskill and Shawangunk. The Hudson,
Mohawk, Gennessee, Black, Oswegatchie and Susquehannah are the chief
rivers. The lakes are Ontario, Champlain, George, Oneida, Skeneateles,
Owasco, Cayuga, Seneca, Crooked, Canandaigua, and Chatauque. The
islands are Long, Shelter, Grand and Manhattan. The bay of New York is
the only large harbor; there are several harbors on lake Ontario.

_New Jersey_ is bounded north by New York and the Atlantic; south by
the Atlantic; west by Delaware and Pennsylvania. Its length is one
hundred and sixty-three, its breadth fifty-two miles; its area in
square miles is seven thousand four hundred and ninety. It lies between
thirty-eight degrees seventeen minutes and forty-one degrees twenty-one
minutes north latitude; and seventy-five degrees thirty minutes and
seventy-three degrees fifty-three minutes west longitude. The state
is divided into fourteen counties. Trenton is the seat of government.
The other principal towns are Newark, Paterson, Hackensack, Morristown,
Newton, Perth Amboy, Belvidere and Elizabethtown. The chief rivers
are Second, Hackensack, Passaic and Raritan. Raritan bay is a spacious
estuary, on the eastern coast, affording ready access at all seasons to
Perth Amboy, the chief seaport town of the state. The population of New
Jersey is three hundred and seventy-three thousand three hundred and
six.

_Pennsylvania_ is bounded on the north by New York, and the north-west
by lake Erie; on the east by the river Delaware which divides it from
New York and New Jersey; on the south by Virginia, Maryland and a small
portion of Delaware; on the west by Virginia and Ohio. It lies between
thirty-nine degrees forty-three minutes and forty-two degrees north
latitude; and between seventy-four degrees and eighty degrees forty
minutes west longitude. It is divided into the eastern and the western
districts; containing fifty-two counties, and six hundred and fifty-one
townships. The population of the state is one million seven hundred
and twenty-four thousand and thirty-three. Harrisburg is the seat of
government. Philadelphia is the chief city, and the second in the union.
Pittsburg, Reading, Lancaster, Easton and Bethlehem are large towns.
The rivers of this state are the Delaware, Susquehanna, Tioga and
Monongahela. The mountains are the South, Kittatiny, Sideling, Ragged,
Great Warrior, East Wills, Alleghany, Laurel and Chesnut ridges.

_Delaware_ is bounded south and west by Maryland; east by the ocean
and Delaware river and bay, and north by Pennsylvania. Its greatest
width is twenty-three miles, and its length ninety-two miles; it is
the smallest state in the union with the exception of Rhode Island.
It is comprised within thirty-eight degrees twenty-nine minutes and
thirty-nine degrees forty-seven minutes north latitude; and within
seventy-four degrees fifty-six minutes and seventy-five degrees forty
minutes west longitude. Delaware is divided into three counties, which
are subdivided into twenty-four hundreds. Dover is the capital; the
other principal towns are Wilmington and Newcastle. Brandywine and
Christiana creeks are the only streams; Delaware bay forms a large part
of the eastern boundary. The population is seventy-eight thousand and
eighty-five.

_Maryland_ is bounded south and west by Virginia; east by Delaware and
the ocean; north by Pennsylvania. It is divided into nineteen counties.
Annapolis is the seat of government. Baltimore is the third commercial
city in the union; the other important towns are Fredericktown and
Hagerstown. The rivers are the Potomac, Susquehanna, Patapsco, Severn
and Patuxent. The northern half of Chesapeak bay is comprised in this
state, including many small islands. Maryland lies between thirty-eight
degrees and thirty-nine degrees forty-four minutes north latitude;
and between seventy-five degrees ten minutes and seventy-nine degrees
twenty minutes west longitude. It contains thirteen thousand nine
hundred and fifty square miles. Its population is four hundred and
sixty-nine thousand two hundred and thirty-two.


                         III. SOUTHERN STATES.

_Virginia_ is bounded south by North Carolina and Tennessee; north
by Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland; east by Maryland and the Atlantic;
and west by Ohio and Kentucky. It lies between thirty-six degrees
forty minutes and forty degrees forty-three minutes north latitude; and
seventy-five degrees twenty-five minutes and eighty-three degrees forty
minutes west longitude. Its mean length from east to west is three
hundred and fifty-five miles; its mean breadth from north to south
is one hundred and eighty-five miles. It is divided into one hundred
and sixteen counties, fifty of which are situated on the west, and
sixty-six on the east of the Blue ridge. Richmond is the capital.
The other principal towns are Norfolk, Petersburg, Fredericksburg,
Lynchburg, Wheeling, Winchester, Shepardstown, Staunton, Martensburg,
Lexington, Fincastle, Williamsburg and Charlottesville. The chief
rivers are the Potomac, Shenandoah, Rappahanock, York and James; these
empty into the Chesapeak bay, and other streams intersect different
portions of the country. The mountains are ranges of the Apalachian
chain; the Alleghany ridge is continued from Pennsylvania; the other
ridges are Greenbriar, North mountain, Broad mountain, Back Bone,
Jackson river mountain, Iron mountain and Great Flat Top. The highest
summits are the Peaks of Otter in the Alleghany ridge. The population
of Virginia is one million two hundred and thirty-nine thousand seven
hundred and ninety-seven.

_North Carolina_ is bounded west by Tennessee; south by South Carolina
and the ocean; east by the ocean; and north by Virginia. It contains
forty-three thousand and eight hundred square miles; extending from
thirty-three degrees fifty minutes to thirty-six degrees thirty
minutes north latitude; and seventy-five degrees forty-five minutes
to eighty-four degrees west longitude. It is divided into sixty-seven
counties. Raleigh is the seat of government; Newbern is the largest
town. The other towns of importance are Fayetteville and Wilmington.
The rivers are the Roanoke, Chowan, Pamlico, Cape Fear and Yadkin; the
mountains, Iron, Bald and Smoky. The sounds are Albemarle and Pamlico;
the coast is skirted by small islands. The population is seven hundred
and fifty-three thousand four hundred and nineteen.

_South Carolina_ is bounded south and west by Georgia; east by the
Atlantic, and north by North Carolina. It is two hundred miles long
and one hundred and twenty-five broad; lying between thirty-two degrees
and thirty-five degrees eight minutes north latitude; and seventy-eight
degrees twenty-four minutes and eighty-three degrees thirty minutes
west longitude. It contains thirty thousand and eighty square miles;
and is divided into twenty-nine districts. Charleston is the chief
city and great commercial port; it was formerly the seat of government.
Columbia is now the capital. Georgetown, Beaufort and Camden are the
other principal towns. The rivers are the Great Pedee, Santee, Edisto
and Savannah. The population of South Carolina is five hundred and
ninety-four thousand three hundred and ninety-eight.

_Georgia_ is bounded west by Alabama; south by Florida; east by South
Carolina and the Atlantic; north by North Carolina and Tennessee. It
extends from thirty degrees thirty minutes to thirty-five degrees north
latitude; and from eighty degrees fifty minutes to eighty-six degrees
six minutes west longitude; its length is two hundred and seventy,
and its breadth two hundred and fifty miles. It is divided into
ninety-three counties. Savannah is the largest town; Milledgeville
is the seat of government. Augusta and Macon are the other principal
towns. The chief rivers are the Savannah, Oakmulgee, Oconee, St. Mary’s,
Alatahama and Chatahoochee. The mountains are the peaks of the southern
extremity of the Blue ridge, and the Lookout mountain. Georgia is
bordered by ranges of small islands. The population, exclusive of
Indians, is six hundred and ninety-one thousand three hundred and
ninety-two.

_Alabama_ is bounded on the south by Florida and the gulf of Mexico;
west by Mississippi; east by Georgia, and north by Tennessee. It lies
between thirty degrees twelve minutes and thirty-five degrees north
latitude; and eighty-five degrees and eighty-eight degrees thirty
minutes west longitude. Its breadth is one hundred and sixty, and its
length two hundred and eighty miles; the whole area including forty-six
thousand square miles. This state is divided into forty-six counties.
Tuscaloosa is the seat of government. Mobile is the great commercial
depot, and the only town of consequence. Among the other towns are
Blakely, St. Stephens’ and Cahawba. In the northern part of this
state is the western extremity of the Apalachian mountains, consisting
chiefly of limestone rocks. Alabama is the longest river; this unites
with the Tombeckbee, and takes the name of Mobile. The population of
Alabama, not including Indians, is five hundred and ninety thousand
seven hundred and fifty-six.

_Mississippi_ is bounded south by Louisiana; west by Louisiana and the
state of Arkansas; north by Tennessee, and east by Alabama. Its breadth
is one hundred and fifty, and its length three hundred and thirty-five
miles; it contains forty-five thousand seven hundred and sixty square
miles. It lies between thirty degrees ten minutes and thirty-five
degrees north latitude; between eighty degrees thirty minutes and
eighty-one degrees thirty-five minutes west longitude. It is divided
into forty-three counties. Natchez is the only large town in the state.
Jackson is the seat of government. Monticello, Warrenton and Vicksburgh
are considerable places. The rivers that water this state are the
Tombeckbee, Pascagoula, Pearl, Yazoo and Big Black. The Mississippi
washes the western limit. The population is three hundred and
seventy-five thousand six hundred and fifty-one.

_Louisiana_ is bounded east by Mississippi, and the gulf of Mexico;
west by Texas; south by the gulf, and north by the state of Arkansas
and Mississippi. It is divided into the Eastern and Western districts;
which are subdivided into thirty-three parishes. New Orleans is
the seat of government, and the commercial mart of all the western
country. Donaldsonville, Baton Rouge, St. Francisville, Point Coupee,
Alexandria and Natchitoches are considerable places. The rivers are
the Mississippi, Red, Washita, and Sabine. The lakes are Maurepas,
Pontchartrain, and Borgne. The Chandeleur islands are mere heaps of
sand; Barataria has been of some note as a resort for pirates. The
population of Louisiana is three hundred and fifty-two thousand four
hundred and twenty-two.


                          IV. WESTERN STATES.

_Tennessee_ is bounded south by Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi; west
by the river Mississippi, separating it from Missouri and Arkansas;
east by North Carolina, and north by Kentucky. Its breadth is one
hundred and four, and its length is about four hundred and thirty miles;
its area is forty thousand square miles. It lies between thirty-five
and thirty-six degrees thirty-six minutes north latitude; and between
eighty-one degrees thirty minutes and ninety degrees ten minutes west
longitude. It is divided into East and West Tennessee; the former
has twenty-two counties, and the latter forty. Nashville is the seat
of government, and the largest town. Knoxville, Murfreesborough and
Memphis are growing settlements. The mountains are the Laurel, Stone,
Yellow, Iron, Bald and Unaka, peaks of a continued chain; Welling’s
and Copper Ridge, Church, Powell’s and Bay’s mountains are in the
north-east. The Cumberland Ridge intersects the state, running from
north-east to south-west. The rivers are the Tennessee, Cumberland,
Obian, Forked Deer, Big Hatchee and Wolf. The population of Tennessee
is eight hundred and twenty-nine thousand two hundred and ten.

_Kentucky_ is bounded west by Missouri and Illinois; east by Virginia;
south by Tennessee; north by Indiana and Ohio. Its length is three
hundred miles, its mean breadth one hundred and fifty; its area
includes about forty thousand square miles. It lies between thirty-six
degrees thirty minutes and thirty-nine degrees ten minutes north
latitude; and between eighty-one degrees fifty minutes and eighty-nine
degrees twenty minutes west longitude. It is divided into eighty-four
counties. Frankfort is the seat of government. Lexington, Louisville,
Maysville, Washington, Paris, Georgetown and Versailles are the chief
towns. The rivers that water this state are the Ohio, Mississippi,
Cumberland, Tennessee, Licking, Kentucky, Green and Big Sandy. The
population is seven hundred and eighty thousand two hundred and
ninety-seven.

_Ohio_ is bounded north by the state of Michigan and lake Erie; east
by Pennsylvania: south-east by the Ohio river, which separates it
from Virginia, and west by Indiana. Its length is two hundred and ten
miles, its mean breadth two hundred; its area includes forty thousand
square miles. It lies between thirty-eight degrees thirty minutes and
forty-one degrees nineteen minutes north latitude; and between eighty
degrees thirty-five minutes and eighty-four degrees forty-seven minutes
west longitude. It is divided into seventy-four counties. Cincinnati
is the largest city; Columbus is the seat of government. Zanesville,
Steubenville, Chilicothe, Dayton, Marietta and Circleville are
flourishing towns. The chief rivers are the Ohio, Muskingum, Scioto,
Great Miami, Little Miami, Maumee, Sandusky and Cuyahoga. The
population one million five hundred and ten thousand four hundred and
sixty-seven.

_Indiana_ is bounded north by the lake and state of Michigan; south
by the Ohio, which divides it from Kentucky; east by Ohio, and west
by Illinois. Its breadth is one hundred and fifty, and its length
two hundred and fifty miles. It lies between thirty-seven degrees
forty-seven minutes and forty-one degrees fifty minutes north latitude;
and eighty-four degrees forty-two minutes and eighty-seven degrees
forty-nine minutes west longitude. It is divided into eighty-five
counties. Indianapolis is the seat of government. Vincennes, New Albany,
Jeffersonville, Vevay, and Madison are flourishing settlements. The
rivers that water this state are the Ohio, Wabash, White Water and
Tippecanoe. The population is six hundred and eighty-five thousand
eight hundred and sixty-six.

_Illinois_ is bounded north by Wisconsin, east by Lake Michigan
and Indiana, south by Kentucky, and west by Missouri and Iowa. It
extends from 37° to 42° 37′ north latitude, and from 87° 17′ to 81° 15′
west longitude. It is 380 miles in length, and 160 in mean breadth,
and contains 59,000 square miles. It is divided into 87 counties.
Springfield is the seat of government. Chicago, situated on Lake
Michigan, at the mouth of the river Chicago, which forms a fine harbor
and connects with the Illinois and Mississippi rivers by canal, offers
great advantages for trade. Alton, on the Mississippi river, enjoys
advantages only second to Chicago. Quincy, Galena, Peoria, Kaskaskia,
Jackson, Cairo, and Shawneetown, are also thriving places. Nauvoo, the
city of the Mormons, is in the western part of this State. The rivers
are the Mississippi, Illinois, Rock, Kaskaskia, and Little Wabash.
Population, according to the last census, 476,183.

_Missouri_ is bounded south by Arkansas; east by Illinois, Kentucky and
Tennessee; west by Missouri territory and north by Iowa. It contains
about sixty thousand square miles; its length being two hundred and
seventy, and its breadth two hundred and twenty miles. Its limits are
between thirty-six degrees and forty degrees thirty minutes north
latitude; and between eighty-nine degrees and ninety-four degrees ten
minutes west longitude. It is divided into fifty-one counties. The city
of Jefferson, which has been laid out within a few years, is the seat
of government. St. Louis is the largest town. Potosi, St. Genevieve and
Herculaneum are flourishing towns. The chief elevations are the Ozark
and Iron mountains. The rivers are the Mississippi, Missouri, Osage,
Gasconade, Maramec, St. Francis, White, Black, Currant, Grand and
Chariton. The population is three hundred and eighty-one thousand one
hundred and two.

_State of Arkansas._――Arkansas lies in a very compact form between
Louisiana and Missouri, having Zennepee and Mississippi on the east,
and the western territory of Mexico on the west. It is 240 miles in
length; 250 in breadth; and has an area of 54,500 square miles. The
centre of the state is broken and hilly, and the western portion is
even mountainous. In general it is covered with a heavy timber. The
western part is level and marshy.

Arkansas formed a part of Louisiana, and afterward of Missouri
territory, till 1819, when it became a territorial government, and
in 1836 an independent state. It is divided into 34 counties; and its
capital, Little Rock, is a small town. The population is 95,642.

_State of Michigan._――This state consists of two peninsulas, separated
by the waters of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. The southern division
has Lake Michigan on the west, and Lake Huron, the Detroit river, the
river and Lake St. Clair, and Lake Erie on the east. It is 280 miles
in length, and about 190 in breadth in the southern part, and has an
area of 36,000 square miles. The southern peninsula is between lakes
Michigan and Huron on the south, St. Mary’s river on the east, and Lake
Superior on the North――Montreal river on the west. It is 300 miles long,
and varies in width from 100 to a few miles. Its area is about 20,000
square miles. In fertility the state is not surpassed perhaps in the
world. The northern peninsula has been imperfectly explored, but seems
to be far more hilly than the southern. Lake Michigan is 360 miles long
and has an area of near 26,000 square miles. Some settlements were made
here by the French in the 17th century; and Detroit was an important
trading post at an early period. Michigan passed into English hands
in 1763, and was afterward part of the north-western Territory. It was
made a distinct Territory in 1805, and in 1836 was received into the
Union. Population 212,267.

In 1835 the population of Detroit was estimated at 8,000. It was
beseiged in 1763 by Pontiac a celebrated Ottawa chief. In 1812 it was
surrendered by Hull to the British.

Fort Gratiot is a military post of the United States, at the outlet of
Lake Huron. There is another on the island of Michilimackinac.

_Missouri Territory_ is nine hundred miles in length, and eight
hundred in breadth. It is bounded north by the British possessions;
east by the Iowa territory, Illinois and Missouri; south and south-west
by the territories of the Mexican republic; west by the Rocky mountains.
It lies between thirty-four and forty-nine degrees north latitude; and
ninety and one hundred and twelve degrees west longitude; its area is
estimated at four hundred and seventy thousand square miles. The United
States have two military posts in this territory. The mountains of
this territory are ranges of the Rocky mountains. The rivers are the
Missouri, Rivière de Corbeau, St. Peter’s, Cannon, Ioway, Yellowstone,
La Platte, Kansas, Osage, Runningwater, Arkansas, Negracka, and Grand
Saline. This territory is inhabited by various Indian tribes, whose
numbers are not known.

_Oregon Territory_ is a vast country, whose southern boundary is on
the forty-second parallel to the Pacific; our north-west boundary is
in dispute with Russia; our division from the British possessions is in
the forty-ninth parallel. The Pacific is its western limit; Indiana and
Missouri territories form its eastern. It lies between forty-one and
forty-nine degrees north latitude, and between one hundred and seven
and one hundred and thirty west longitude; it contains about three
hundred thousand square miles. The Rocky mountains, and the unnamed
chain between this range and the Pacific, present great elevations.
The chief rivers are the Oregon and its tributaries. This region is
claimed by the United States on the ground of priority of discovery and
occupation. A settlement called Astoria was formed in 1811 at the mouth
of Oregon or Columbia river, by a number of American citizens. The
number of Indian inhabitants is 140,000.

_Florida Territory_ is bounded north by Georgia and Alabama; south
and west by the gulf of Mexico, and east by the Atlantic. It extends
from twenty-five to thirty-one degrees north latitude; and from eighty
degrees thirty minutes to eighty-seven degrees twenty minutes west
longitude; its length is three hundred and fifty, and its breadth
one hundred and fifty miles. Its area includes about fifty thousand
square miles. It is divided into fifteen counties. St. Augustine
is the largest town; the other considerable places are Pensacola
and Tallahassee. The rivers are the St. Mary’s, St. John’s, and
Appalachicola. The population is fifty-four thousand two hundred and
seven.

_Wisconsin Territory._――This tract stretches from Lake Michigan to
the Mississippi river, and from the northern boundary of Illinois to
British America. It is a lofty table land, and contains the richest
lead deposites in the world. The land is rich and of easy cultivation.
It was erected into a territory in 1836. It is a portion of the tract
known as the Black Hawk purchase, ceded to the United States by the
Sacs and Foxes in 1832.――Population, thirty thousand seven hundred and
fifty-two.

_Iowa Territory._――This is a tract situated between the Mississippi
and Missouri rivers, and reaches from Missouri to British America. This
territory, as to soil and surface, resembles that of Wisconsin. It also
contains rich lead deposites, and was a part of the Black Hawk purchase.
It was erected into a territory in 1837. Population, forty-three
thousand and thirty-five.

_The Western or Indian Territory._――This region, which has been
denominated in official papers the Western Territory, extends from
Red river on the south, to the Running Water river and the north fork
of the Platte on the north. Its greatest width is 600 miles; and its
greatest breadth the same; with an area of 200,000 square miles. It is
an extensive region, set aside by the federal government as a permanent
home for the Indian tribes. It is truly to be hoped that this original
intention of the United States may be carried out in full, both for
the honor of our country, and the improvement and happiness of the rude
races that may thus pitch their tents in a land they may call their own.

It is a noble region, watered by noble rivers; of which the Arkansas
is the chief. It appears by the report of the commissioners on Indian
affairs in 1834, that a considerable portion of the land is as good as
is found in any of the western states.

_The District of Columbia_ is a territory ten miles square, under the
immediate government of Congress. It is divided into two counties and
three cities. The cities are Washington, Alexandria and Georgetown.
This district lies on both sides of the Potomac, one hundred and twenty
miles from its mouth, and was ceded to the general government in 1790,
by Virginia and Maryland, within whose territory it was situated. The
capital at Washington, from which American geographers often compute
their meridian, is in thirty-eight degrees fifty-three minutes north
latitude, and seventy-seven degrees one minute and forty-eight seconds
west longitude from Greenwich. Population 43,712.



                    CHAPTER II.――CITIES AND TOWNS.


_Albany_ is the seat of government for the state of New York, and is
situated on the west side of Hudson’s river, one hundred and forty-four
miles from the city of New York, to which it is next in rank. This
city is unrivalled for situation, being nearly at the head of sloop
navigation, on one of the noblest rivers in the world. It enjoys a pure
air, and is the natural emporium of the increasing trade of a large
extent of country west and north. In the old part of the town, the
streets are very narrow, and the houses mean, being all built in the
Dutch taste, with the gable end towards the street, and ornamented, or
rather disfigured, on the top with large iron weathercocks; but in that
part which has been more recently erected, the streets are commodious,
and many of the houses are handsome.

  Illustration: Albany.

The Capitol stands on an elevation at the end of the main street, and
presents a fine appearance. It is a fine stone edifice, with an Ionic
portico in front, supported by columns thirty-three feet in height. The
public square adjacent is adorned with beautiful walks and avenues.

The Farmers’ and Mechanics’ bank and the Albany bank, both at the foot
of State street, are both of white marble, and are handsome buildings.
There are about sixteen churches in this city. Albany has received more
permanent and evident advantages from the canals than any other place
in the state. Since 1825, the population has increased from fifteen
thousand nine hundred and seventy-one to 33,627. The first settlement
at Albany was made about 1614, when a stockade was built on a spot just
below the steam-boat dock. The charter of the city was granted in 1686,
a few months before that of New York. The city and township are a mile
in breadth, and extend thirteen miles along the river. The neighborhood
of Albany abounds in pleasant villages.

_Alexandria_ is a city and port of entry in the district of Columbia,
on the west bank of the Potomac, six miles below Washington. It is
a place of some business and resort during the session of Congress,
and contains some fine buildings. Of late, Alexandria has not much
increased, notwithstanding it enjoys good commercial advantages. This
city is regularly built, and has good streets, well paved and clean.
The trade is chiefly in flour. Population about eight thousand four
hundred and sixty-two.

_Amherst_ is a town of Hampshire county, Massachusetts, ninety-one
miles west of Boston. It is the seat of a college which was
incorporated in 1821, with the title of Amherst College. This seminary
has professors and tutors. Amherst is the seat also of an academy,
and a school called the Mount Pleasant Institution. Population, two
thousand four hundred and fifteen.

  Illustration: Amherst College.

_Annapolis_, the capital of Anne Arundel county, and the seat of the
government of Maryland, is situated at the mouth of the Severn river,
about two miles from its entrance into Chesapeak bay, thirty miles
south of Baltimore, and forty north-east of the city of Washington.
It is a place of little note in the commercial world; but being in
a pleasant situation, and commanding a beautiful prospect of the
Chesapeak, and the shore on the other side of the bay, it is a very
pleasant residence. The houses are built of brick, and for the most
part large and elegant, denoting great wealth. The state house is one
of the most superb structures in the United States. Here is the seat
of the University of Maryland. Population two thousand six hundred and
twenty-three.

_Augusta_, capital of Maine, stands on the west branch of the Kennebec
river, two miles above Hallowell. It is a pleasant town, and contains
some neat public buildings. The new state house is built of granite,
and is a very handsome edifice. It contains a spacious hall for the
house of representatives, and two smaller ones for the senate and the
council. On the side of the river opposite to the state house is the
United States Arsenal, consisting of about a dozen buildings of stone,
some of which are large and handsome. This place has considerable trade,
and the river below is navigable for vessels of one hundred tons.
Population 5,314.

_Augusta_, capital of the state of Georgia, stands on the south-west
bank of the river Savannah, about one hundred and forty miles from the
sea. It is regularly built of brick upon a level spot, and surrounded
by a fertile country. It has a good trade in cotton, and other
productions of the interior. Population, six thousand three hundred
and forty-one.

 _Baltimore_ is a large city, standing on the north side of the
river Patapsco, in Maryland. The basin on which it stands has only five
or six feet water at high tide, so that the city can be approached only
by small vessels. For large ships, the harbor is at some distance, at
a place called Fell’s point, where wharves have been built, along side
which vessels of six hundred tons burden can lie with perfect safety.
Numbers of persons have been induced to settle on this point on account
of the shipping; and regular streets have been laid out, with a large
market-place. But though these buildings, generally speaking, are
considered as part of Baltimore, yet they are a mile distant from the
other part of the town.

The city is the chief commercial mart for the country upon Chesapeak
bay and its waters. It is finely situated, and regularly built, in
great part of brick; the public buildings and monuments indicate great
enterprise and opulence.

Baltimore was laid out in 1729, on an area of sixty acres, purchased at
forty shillings per acre, and partly paid for in tobacco at a penny a
pound. Its progress was slow and unpromising; and in 1752 it contained
but twenty-five houses. With its population of more than eighty
thousand, it may now be considered the third or fourth city in the
union. According to its re-charter in 1816, Baltimore now includes
ten thousand acres, and contains a lunatic asylum, three theatres,
an exchange, a public library, and forty-five churches.

The Cathedral is built after the Ionic order, on a plan drawn by
the celebrated architect Latrobe. Its width is one hundred and
seventy-seven, its length one hundred and ninety, and its height
to the summit of the cross surmounting the dome, is one hundred and
twenty-seven feet. It contains several fine paintings, and the largest
organ in the United States. The Merchants’ Exchange, built by private
subscription for the accommodation of the citizens, is a spacious and
splendid edifice.

The Battle Monument is an elegant marble structure, fifty-five feet
high, erected in memory of those who fell in defence of the city on
the twelfth and thirteenth of September, 1814. The Washington Monument
is built of white marble, on an elevation in the north part of the
city; it is one hundred and sixty-three feet high, and on its summit
is placed a colossal statue of Washington. This monument is embellished
with bas-reliefs, and other decorations.

  Illustration: Battle Monument, Baltimore.

Baltimore is the greatest flour market in the United States. In its
immediate neighborhood, are above sixty flour mills, a single one of
which has produced thirty-two thousand barrels in a year. Within the
same compass are numerous manufactories of cotton, cloth, powder, paper,
iron, glass, steam engines, and other articles. The Baltimore and Ohio
rail-road extends a distance of three hundred miles, from this city to
the Ohio river at Pittsburgh. The Baltimore and Susquehanna rail-road
is to extend seventy-six miles to York in Pennsylvania. The Chesapeak
and Ohio canal, of the proposed length of three hundred and forty-one
miles was commenced in 1828. The population of Baltimore is one hundred
and two thousand three hundred and thirteen.[60]

_Bangor_ is a flourishing town of Penobscot county, Maine, situated
thirty-five miles above Castine. It is built upon the banks of the
rivers Kenduskeag and Penobscot. The increase of this town within a few
years has been very surprising. Building-lots near the centre of the
town, that in 1832 were held at three hundred dollars, are now valued
at eight hundred or a thousand. Woodlands at three, four, or five
miles distance, that were then sold at five, seven, or ten dollars the
acre, are now selling from twenty to fifty. Rents and all marketable
commodities are proportionably high.

‘Bangor,’ says a correspondent of the Portland Advertiser, ‘has
much the appearance of a hundred villages springing up on the
non-slave-holding side of the Ohio, with this difference, that the
buildings there are chiefly of wood, cheaply built, and hastily thrown
up; and here they are fine blocks of brick with granite fronts, or
handsome white houses that would do credit to any estate in Virginia or
Carolina. I do not remember seeing what can be called a miserable house
in Bangor. The Exchange is a building that would do credit to many of
our large cities. The churches are numerous, and often elegantly built.
Already they are numerous enough for a city; and it is such a spectacle
that distinguishes New England; for no where, not even in the middle
states, are such churches, and so numerous to be seen, as any village
in New England of any size can exhibit.’

The water power in this vicinity is said to be superior to that of
any town in the United States. Its present great source of wealth is
the lumber business, which has been carried on to a very great extent.
Thirty years ago, Bangor was a wilderness; according to the last census,
its population was eight thousand six hundred and twenty-seven.

_Bath_, a town of Maine, on the west side of the Kennebec, twelve miles
from the sea, is at the head of the winter navigation; is pleasantly
situated, and has great advantages for commerce. Ship-building is
carried on here to a large extent; and in 1827 the value of the
shipping of Bath was a million of dollars. This town is almost isolated
by some of the numerous arms of the sea which penetrate that part of
the coast. Population, five thousand one hundred and forty-one.

_Baton Rouge_, a beautiful village on the eastern bank of the
Mississippi, one hundred and fifty miles above New Orleans, is the
capital of a parish of the same name in the eastern district of
Louisiana. It is a small town, situated on the last bluff that is
seen on descending the river, and about thirty or forty feet above
its highest overflow. The village is tolerably compact, and the United
States’ barracks are built in a very handsome style. ‘The town itself,’
says Mr. Flint, ‘especially in the months when the greatest verdure
prevails, when seen from a steam-boat in the river, rising with such
a fine swell from the banks, and with its singularly shaped French
and Spanish houses, and its green square, looks like a finely painted
landscape.’ Population, two thousand eight hundred and sixty.

_Beaufort_, principal town of Beaufort district, South Carolina,
situated on the western bank of Port Royal river, is a pleasant and
healthy place, containing a college, three churches, and seven thousand
six hundred and eighty-seven inhabitants. Its harbour is spacious.

_Belfast_, the capital of Waldo county, Maine, has a fine situation and
good harbor, and is a flourishing town. It is twelve miles north-west
of Castine, from which it is separated by Penobscot river. Its coasting
trade is very considerable. Population, four thousand one hundred and
ninety four.

_Bennington_ is the chief town of the county of the same name in
Vermont. It is situated at the foot of the Green mountains, near the
south-west corner of the state. It has several manufactories, and a
marble quarry, and is celebrated for two victories of General Stark,
over the British, in 1777. It is the largest and oldest town in the
state, having been chartered by Governor Wentworth in 1749, and first
settled by the Separatists under Robinson in 1761. Population, two
thousand six hundred and seventy-one.

_Bethlehem_, in Albany county, New York, includes much rich alluvial
land near Hudson river, inhabited by descendants of early Dutch
settlers. It contains several caverns. Population, 3209.

_Bethlehem_, in Northampton county, Pennsylvania, is situated on a
fine acclivity rising from the Lehigh river. It was founded in 1741
by the United Brethren, or Moravians, under Count Zinzendorf. The same
order still retain the ownership, and have established here a seminary
of considerable note for female education. The houses are neat and
substantial. There is but one place of public worship, in which service
is performed in English and German. The situation of this village is
remarkably picturesque and romantic. There are ten other towns of this
name in the United States. Population, two thousand nine hundred and
eighty-nine.

_Beverly_, town in Essex county, Massachusetts, is a seaport, and
connected with Salem by a bridge. It was formerly a part of Salem. It
is pleasantly situated, and is largely engaged in the fisheries and in
commerce. Population, four thousand six hundred and eighty-six.

_Blakely_ is a seaport of Baldwin county, Alabama, on the Tensa, a
branch of the Mobile. It was founded in 1816, and is a flourishing
place. Its situation is healthy, and it has a commodious harbor.

_Boston_, the capital of Massachusetts, and the chief city of New
England, is situated at the head of Massachusetts bay, on a peninsula
of an uneven surface, about a mile in width, and nearly three miles
long. Its original Indian name was Shawmut, and it was afterwards
called Trimountain; its present name was given in honor of the Rev.
John Cotton, one of its earliest pastors, who emigrated from Boston in
Lincolnshire, England. In the older parts of the city, the streets are
crooked, narrow, and intricate; laid out with no reference to beauty or
order. The more recent streets are wider, straight, and regular; with
edifices of great elegance and large dimensions. The avenues leading
into the adjacent country are the natural isthmus which connects the
city with Roxbury, the mill dam, six bridges and three rail-roads.
There is also a ferry between Boston and Chelsea, with steamboats for
the conveyance of foot passengers and carriages. Of the bridges, four
are thrown over Charles river, connecting the capital with Cambridge
and Charlestown, and two unite it with South Boston.

The harbor has been before described. It is dotted with numerous
islands, and affords ample accommodation for a fleet of five hundred
sail. The approach to the city from the sea is highly picturesque
and beautiful. The wharves and piers are ample, covered with spacious
stores of brick and granite, and presenting as great conveniences for
the transaction of business as are to be found in the world.

The local divisions of Boston are into North Boston, West Boston,
South End, and South Boston. To these we may now add East Boston,
comprehending what was formerly called Noddle’s Island, a tract of
about six hundred acres, purchased by a company in 1832 for the purpose
of extending the city in that direction. The Common is a beautiful
promenade at the west end of the city, containing an extent of nearly
fifty acres, agreeably varied by small eminences, the most prominent of
which still exhibits the vestiges of a fortification thrown up by the
British soldiers during the revolution. A little north of this mound
is a small sheet of fresh water. This spacious green is surrounded by
malls, lined with magnificent elms. On three sides are rows of fine
private dwelling-houses, including some of the most elegant mansions
in the city.

On an eminence overlooking the common stands the State House; a
conspicuous and striking edifice, the view from whose dome is most
interesting and extensive. The broad harbor with its green and
picturesque islands, the adjacent country covered by pleasant villages,
and with a pleasing alternation of hill and valley, interspersed with
orchards and woodland――and at its base, the avenues of a crowded and
busy city, form a combination of beauty that cannot fail to delight
every beholder. Beyond the islands of the bay, the eye stretches
eastward to the waters of the ocean; and to the north lies Charlestown
with the navy-yard, and the monument erecting and soon to be completed
on Bunker hill. To the west is a view of Cambridge, with the various
edifices attached to the university. The state house was erected about
thirty-eight years since. It is of an oblong form, one hundred and
seventy-three feet front, and sixty-one deep; a dome thirty-five feet
in height and fifty-two feet diameter, surmounts the edifice, and
the whole terminates with a circular lantern twenty-five feet high.
The basement story is ornamented with rows of Doric pillars; in an
open chamber projected from the north centre of this story is placed
Chantry’s noble statue of Washington. This building contains the usual
accommodation for the various offices of state, besides the senate
chamber, council chamber and representatives’ hall.

Faneuil Hall is famous in American annals. It is a building of good
proportions, and convenient size, though of no great architectural
pretensions; its history is sacred to the spirit of eloquence, courage
and patriotism. The building has a cupola which presents a good view
of the harbor; the great hall is nearly eighty feet square, and about
twenty-eight feet high. It is decorated with an original full length
painting of Washington, by Stuart, and another of the same size by
Colonel Sargent, representing Mr. Faneuil, the noble donor of the
edifice. Faneuil Hall Market is situated to the east of Faneuil hall.
It is a splendid building of granite, five hundred and thirty-five
feet and nine inches in length. The basement story is occupied by
market stalls; on the second floor is a spacious hall, used for
public assemblies and caucuses, called Quincy Hall, in honor of the
distinguished gentleman in whose mayoralty the edifice was projected
and built.

The City Hall, formerly known as the old state house, was built in
nearly its present form in the year 1747. It stands at the head of
State street, and on the line of Washington street, the principal
avenue of the city. In this building are the post office, the marine
news room, and the merchants’ exchange; from this there is a winding
stair-case leading to the hall of the common council, and that of the
mayor and aldermen together with various public offices connected with
the city administration. Other public buildings, of great beauty to the
city, are the old U. S. Branch Bank, and the Masonic Temple. The latter
building fronts on the common; it is of the Gothic order.

  Illustration: City Hall.

  Illustration: King’s Chapel.

One of the most interesting of the churches of the city is that
known as the King’s Chapel. Its exterior is plain, and in appearance
it is unfinished being built entirely of unhammered stone. It was
first opened for divine service in 1754. The tower is ornamented
by a colonnade of large wooden pillars, and the whole presents the
appearance of massy grandeur suited to distinguish in former days the
place of worship for the public functionaries. In the interior, the
governor’s pew was formerly distinguished above the rest, but was taken
down a few years since. The style of architecture is of the Corinthian
order. There are several monumental marbles, which add to the interest
with which the church is visited. It is now the only house in which
the old fashion of square pews is retained. Brattle street church is
interesting from historical associations. Governors Hancock and Bowdoin
were liberal benefactors of this society. The name of the former was
inscribed on one of the rustic quoins at the south-west corner of the
building. The British soldiery defaced it, and the stone remains in the
condition in which they left it. A similar inscription, unmutilated,
appears on one of the rustic quoins at the south-west corner of the
tower; and on one in the north-west corner, the name of Dr. John
Greenleaf appears, who, with Gov. Bowdoin, advanced the money for
refitting the church, it having been improved as a barrack, during
the siege. A shot, which was sent from the American army at Cambridge,
struck the tower on the night preceding the evacuation of the town.
It was picked up and preserved, and is now fastened in the spot where
it struck. General Gage’s head quarters were in the house opposite.
Trinity church in Summer street is a beautiful granite edifice, built
in 1829. It is one of the chief architectural ornaments of the city;
and for beauty of proportion, strength and solidity, is perhaps
unsurpassed in this country. The number of worshipping assemblies in
this city is between fifty and sixty.

  Illustration: Trinity Church.

The places of public amusement in Boston are not numerous, nor
remarkably well patronized. The Tremont theatre affords the only
dramatic entertainment that is much resorted to by strangers and
people of fashion. It is a handsome building, with a front of Quincy
and Hallowell granite. This front is in imitation of the Ionic order,
with four pilasters and two antœs, one on each angle, supporting an
entablature and pediment, and elevated on a basement seventeen feet.
The Warren theatre is a minor establishment, and is much frequented.
The New England Museum attracts numerous visitors.

Of the hotels of Boston, we can only particularly mention the Tremont
House, a splendid building, in the pleasantest quarter of the city,
and esteemed the best house in the country. ‘Most gratifying is it to a
traveller in the United States,’ says a recent tourist, ‘when, sick to
death of the discomforts of the road, he finds himself fairly housed in
the Tremont hotel. The establishment is on a large scale, and admirably
conducted.’ This stinted approbation is one of the few tokens of
satisfaction that Mr. Hamilton gives in his unsparing though witty
and entertaining volumes; it is not the less acceptable, because it
is extorted.

  Illustration: Tremont House.

In the year 1841, there were thirty-one banks in the city, which
employed a capital of twenty millions one hundred thousand dollars.
The increase, of course, has been in proportion to the increasing
enterprise and prosperity of the city. The oldest is the Massachusetts’
bank, which was incorporated in 1785. There are twenty-four insurance
companies, with an aggregate capital of seven millions and a quarter.
The charitable institutions of the city are numerous. Of these, one
of the most important is the Institution for the Education of the
Blind, recently established under very favorable circumstances. Besides
this are the Asylum for Indigent Boys, the Female Asylum, Charitable
Mechanic Association, Prison Discipline Society, and many others. The
Massachusetts General Hospital is situated in the west part of the town;
it has been pronounced the finest building in the state. The Quarantine
Hospital is situated on Rainsford island, in the harbor, and about six
miles from the city.

The number of periodicals issued in this city is above seventy,
inclusive of dailies and annuals. The first paper published in the
country was the Boston News Letter, commenced in 1704, and continued
for nearly seventy-two years. The oldest surviving journal established
since the revolution is the Columbian Centinel, which was commenced
in 1784.

Boston is celebrated for her public schools, and the great efforts
which have been made by her citizens in the cause of education. The
expenditures for these institutions, during the year ending August,
1833, amounted to over seventy thousand dollars. Social libraries are
numerous. The Boston Athenæum was established in 1806, and contains
above twenty-eight thousand volumes. Though accessible only to men of
fortune, as the price of a share is three hundred dollars, it is still
a useful institution. Annual subscribers are admitted at ten dollars.
This noble establishment is situated in Pearl street, in a fine
building, for the half of which the proprietors were indebted to the
munificence of the late James Perkins, Esq. Attached to the Athenæum is
a gallery of the fine arts, in which is held an annual exhibition that
has hitherto been the source of a considerable income. The American
Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Massachusetts Historical Society,
are highly respectable institutions which have issued numerous volumes
of great value, and possess considerable libraries. On the whole, the
libraries of Boston are neither so large nor so generally accessible as
might be expected from the wealth and liberality of her citizens.

Middlesex canal unites the water communication between Boston and
the Merrimack river, at the bend in Chelmsford; the company for its
construction was incorporated in 1793. The toll has amounted some years
to about twenty-five thousand dollars. Rail-roads are now complete,
connecting this city with Providence, Worcester, Lowell, Springfield
and Salem. The marine rail-way, which affords facilities for the repair
of large vessels, has been in successful operation since 1826. One
of the greatest improvements of late years has been the building of
Mercantile wharf, which ranges in front of the harbor, between City
wharf and Lewis’s wharf. It has made access to the northern extremity
of the city very convenient from the central parts, and has led to
great improvements.

Since 1822, when the city was incorporated, Boston has been governed by
a mayor, eight aldermen, and a common council of forty-eight members,
chosen annually. With the town of Chelsea, it constitutes the county of
Suffolk, and sends one representative to Congress. As a commercial city,
it holds a second rank among the seaports of the United States. There
are many manufactures in the city, and much wealth of the citizens is
invested in the manufactories of Waltham, Lowell, and other towns.
Population, ninety-three thousand three hundred and eighty-three.[61]

_Bordentown_, a town of New Jersey, in Burlington county, standing
on a steep sand bank on the west side of the Delaware, is chiefly
remarkable for the villa of Joseph Bonaparte, ex-king of Spain. This
is a long white building, with two low square towers at the ends, and
a shot-tower near it by the river. Pop. three thousand four hundred and
thirty-four.

_Brattleboro_ is a pleasant village, in Windham county, Vermont,
on the Connecticut. It is situated on an elevated plain above the
river; at the bridge over the stream are several manufactories, the
chief of which are of paper and machinery, which are made here in
large quantities. The situation of the village is quite romantic and
picturesque. Population, two thousand and six hundred and twenty-four.

_Bridgeport_, in Fairfield county on Long Island sound, maintains an
active intercourse with New York by means of sloops and steamboats, and
furnishes that city with a great amount of produce. The harbor is shoal,
but with a good channel; the town is pleasant and thriving. Population
four thousand five hundred and seventy.

_Brighton_, a town of Middlesex county, Massachusetts, is celebrated
for its annual cattle show and fair which has been held here ever
since the revolution. Vast numbers of cattle for the Boston market
are brought here from all quarters of the country. The soil is good,
and well cultivated. Population, one thousand four hundred and five.

_Bristol_, a thriving town, situated on Narragansett bay, about half
way between Providence and Newport, is distinguished for its pleasant
situation, healthful climate, rich soil, and a commodious, safe harbor.
This town suffered greatly during the revolutionary war, a great part
of it having been destroyed by the British; but it is now in a very
flourishing state, and has a good shipping trade: onions in great
quantities, and a variety of provisions and garden roots, are raised
here for exportation. Mount Hope, celebrated in the early history of
New England as the residence of king Philip, is within the limits of
Bristol; it is a cone-shaped hill, with a pointed summit, and exhibits
a charming prospect. Population, three thousand four hundred and ninety.

_Brooklyn_, a large town on Long Island, separated from the city of New
York by the narrow channel of East river. It is properly a suburb of
that city, and is a place of great business. It is regularly built, and
contains many fine houses, the residence of merchants from the city.
The United States navy yard is in the east quarter, upon a bay called
the Wallabout. Near this town a bloody and disastrous battle was fought
with the British in 1776. The town stands on an eminence, and commands
fine views of the city and bay. A constant intercourse is kept up with
New York by steamboats. It is the third town in the state in regard to
its population, which amounts to 36,221.

_Brookville_ is pleasantly situated in the forks of Whitewater, and is
the seat of justice of Franklin county, Illinois. It was laid out in
the year 1811; but no improvements were made until the succeeding year,
and then but partially, owing to the unsettled state of the frontiers;
its vicinity to the Indian boundary being about fifteen miles. The late
war completely checked the emigration to this country, and consequently
the town ceased to improve; since that period, it has improved and been
noted for the enterprise of its citizens. It is now, however, decaying.
It contains about a hundred houses.

_Brunswick_ is a town of Cumberland county, Maine, situated on the
south side of Androscoggin river, twenty-six miles north-east of
Portland. The river has many falls at this place, on which are situated
numerous mills, and manufactories of cotton and woollen. It is chiefly
distinguished as the seat of Bowdoin college, which was established
here in 1794. This institution is partly supported by funds bequeathed
by governor Bowdoin, of Massachusetts, from whom the college takes its
name. Population of Brunswick, four thousand two hundred and fifty-nine.

_Buffalo_, delightfully situated near the margin of lake Erie, three
hundred and twenty-seven miles from Albany, and twenty-two from the
falls of Niagara, is a place of considerable importance, and the
emporium of the lake commerce. The principal streets are from sixty-six
to one hundred feet wide; these are intersected by others of equal
width, and as many of the houses are of brick, two and three stories
high, they make a neat and handsome appearance. Buffalo, standing
on the great road leading from Albany to Ohio, possesses natural
advantages for trade, equal to any internal place in the United States.

Its harbor is singularly fitted for the two kinds of navigation that
are here brought together, the entrance from the lake being sheltered
by the point on which the light-house is erected, and the two small
rivers which here unite their waters affording every convenience
for landing and re-shipping goods; a number of basins and lateral
canals communicate with the great canal. This harbor is thronged with
steamboats and every kind of water craft; it is one of the most busy
and bustling places in the country.

‘In Buffalo,’ says a recent writer, ‘the miserable descendants of
the Iroquois or Six Nations may constantly be seen in the streets.
The Senecas have three villages within nine miles. If any man wishes
to observe the effect of an intercourse between whites and Indians,
let him go to Buffalo. There he may see red men, reeling drunk in the
streets, begging in the most abject manner for liquor, and the women
in the lowest stage of moral and physical degradation. They are in
some measure civilized, some of them having adopted the costume of the
whites, and living by the cultivation of the soil. Should they continue
to reside in their present dwelling-place, it is to be hoped that the
change will be complete. When the chase will no longer afford them a
subsistence; when they are completely hemmed in by the whites, they
must of necessity have recourse to agriculture for the means of living,
and knowledge must be the attendant of industry――but as long as they
are able to live, no matter how wretchedly, in idleness, they will not
work, and will continue to retrograde.’ Population, eighteen thousand
three hundred and fifty-six.

_Burlington_, in Chittenden county, Vermont, on lake Champlain, is
a flourishing and commercial town. It is situated on the declivity
of a hill, commanding an extensive view of the lake, and a beautiful
prospect of the town. It is the seat of the university of Vermont, and
of several manufactories. Its commerce is considerable. Population,
four thousand two hundred and seventy-one.

_Burlington City_ stands on the banks of the Delaware, eighteen
miles north-east from Philadelphia. The main streets are conveniently
spacious, and mostly ornamented with rows of trees in the fronts of the
houses, which are regularly arranged. The river opposite the town is
about a mile wide, and under shelter of two islands, affords a safe and
convenient harbor; but, though well situated for trade, Burlington is
too near the opulent city of Philadelphia to admit of any considerable
increase of foreign commerce. Population, two thousand six hundred and
seventy.

_Cahokia_, in St. Clair county, Illinois, is situated on a small stream,
about one mile east of the Mississippi, and five miles below St. Louis.
It is pleasantly situated, and is inhabited chiefly by French people.
This town contains a post-office and a Roman catholic chapel, and is
the seat of justice for the county.

_Cambridge_, a town of Middlesex county, Massachusetts, lies west of
Boston, was settled in 1631. It is a fine village, containing many very
pleasant residences, and is divided into three distinct portions. East
Cambridge is a suburb of Boston, with which it is connected by Cragie’s
bridge; it is flourishing, and has some glass and iron manufactories.
Old Cambridge is about three miles from the city, and is the seat
of Harvard college, the oldest and richest university in the United
States; this institution is fully described in another portion of the
volume. In the western part lies Fresh Pond, a fine sheet of water,
much resorted to in summer by citizens of the neighboring towns. In
the south-westerly part is a beautiful hilly grove called Mount Auburn,
recently devoted to the purposes of a cemetery, and forming one of the
most beautiful burial places in the world.[62] The first printing-press
in America was set up here, and was used by Stephen Day, who printed
the _Freeman’s Oath_. During the siege of Boston, in 1776, the American
army encamped here, and vestiges of some of their intrenchments still
remain in the neighborhood. Population, eight thousand one hundred and
twenty-seven.

  Illustration: Harvard University.

_Camden_, in Kershaw district, South Carolina, on the Wateree, is
the seat of justice for the district. It is chiefly celebrated for the
battles fought in its vicinity during the revolutionary war. Population,
one thousand. A flourishing town of the same name in Oneida county,
New York, has a population of about two thousand.

_Canandaigua_, capital of Ontario county, New York, on the outlet
of the lake of the same name, is one of the pleasantest towns in the
country. The principal street runs along the ridge of a hill, which
rises from the north end of the lake, for the distance of a mile; it
is handsomely planted with trees, and the houses, which are generally
painted white with green blinds, present a very neat appearance. In
the centre of the town is a large square; the neighborhood abounds with
pleasant gardens. Population, five thousand six hundred and fifty-two.

_Castine_, a town of Maine, built on a promontory at the head
of Penobscot bay, is placed in a commanding situation, and has an
excellent harbor. It was taken by the British during the last war,
but was restored in 1815. Population one thousand one hundred and
eighty-eight.

_Catskill_, principal town of Greene county, New York, is situated on
the west bank of the Hudson river, nearly opposite the city of Hudson,
and thirty-one miles south of Albany. It exhibits gentle elevations in
the neighborhood, and the soil is generally good; it is well watered,
has fine meadows, and good mill sites. Population, 5,339.

_Charleston_, the chief city of South Carolina, stands upon a piece
of land projecting into the bay, at the confluence of the Ashley and
Cooper rivers, and has a deep and safe harbor. Ships drawing twenty
feet of water pass the bar. The city is regularly built; the fine
houses are very large, many of them inclosed like the great hotels in
Paris, and all of them covered with verandas, and situated in gardens
neatly dressed, and in summer and fall, not only adorned with the
finest evergreen shrubs, but with a great variety of beautiful roses,
jonquils, and other flowers. On the other hand, many of the streets
are dirty and unpaved, and the houses in some parts of the town have
a filthy appearance. The churches and public buildings are handsome,
especially St. Michael’s church, with its steeple one hundred and
sixty-eight feet high. The post office is a large, handsome building.
Most of the finest buildings here were erected previously to the
revolution. There are many charitable institutions, among which the
Orphan Asylum stands in the first rank.

The society of Charleston is refined, intelligent and hospitable. The
commerce of the place consists chiefly in the export of rice and cotton.
On account of its level character, the city is liable to occasional
inundation; but it is, nevertheless, a fine commercial mart, and highly
prosperous, exhibiting most of the institutions which mark a liberal
and opulent community. This city is celebrated in the history of the
revolution. Population, twenty-nine thousand two hundred and sixty-one.

_Charlestown_, in Middlesex county, Massachusetts, is an irregular town,
containing some fine situations. Here are the United States navy yard,
and the finest dry-dock in the country; the Massachusetts state prison,
an insane hospital, and the Ursuline convent. This town was burnt in
1775, by the British troops. On the eminence of Bunker Hill, a splendid
monument of granite has been for some time in an unfinished state;
but there is every hope of its immediate completion. Population ten
thousand eight hundred and seventy-two.

_Chilicothe_, in Ross county, Ohio, formerly the seat of the state
government, is situated on the west bank of the Scioto, on a beautiful
and extensive plain. It is laid out on a large scale, with a great
number of out-lots attached to it. The plan is regular; the streets
cross each other at right angles, and every square is divided into four
parts. In the vicinity are several mills and manufactories, and the
Grand canal is cut through the town. The town was laid out in 1796,
on the site of an old Indian village. Population, three thousand nine
hundred and seventy-seven.

_Cincinnati_, the largest town in Ohio, is handsomely built, and
surrounded by a range of fine wooded hills, which command a beautiful
prospect. The plain on which it is situated occupies about four square
miles; the height of the rising ground above the alluvial plain is
about fifty feet. The population is much mixed, being composed of
emigrants from all parts of the union, and most of the countries of
Europe. Its progressive increase has been most wonderful. In 1813,
Cincinnati numbered about four thousand inhabitants; in 1820, ten
thousand; in 1840, forty-six thousand three hundred and eighty-two.

It has extensive flour and sawmills, worked by steam, and various
manufactures. The public buildings are twenty-four churches, the
College Athenæum, Medical College, Mechanics’ Institute, four market
houses, a theatre, two museums, a famous and tasteless bazaar, a bank
for the United States branch, court house, and other edifices. The
charitable and religious associations are numerous. There are sixteen
periodical publications. There are three city insurance companies, and
two branches of companies at Hartford, Connecticut. Water is furnished
for the inhabitants from the Ohio river, and is distributed over town
at an average expense of eight dollars for a family.

Vast remains of ancient fortifications, embankments, stone walls,
earthen mounds, the latter containing rude stone coffins filled with
human bones, have been discovered within the precincts of this town;
and many curious articles dug up, composed of jasper, rock crystal,
cannel-coal, copper, sculptural representations on different substances,
altogether tending to prove that this country was formerly inhabited by
a race of men very different from the present American Indians.

_Circleville_, the seat of justice of Pickaway county, Ohio, is
situated on the Pickaway bottom, about half a mile east of the Scioto.
Its site is two mounds of earth, one circular, and the other square,
containing about twenty acres. In the centre of the town is a small
vacant circle. From this focus the streets diverge in regular radii.
The growth of this town has been owing to the wealth of the surrounding
plantations. Population, two thousand three hundred and twenty-nine.

_Columbia_, the capital city of South Carolina, is situated on the
Congaree, one hundred and ten miles north-north-west of Charleston. It
is the seat of the college of the state. The town is regularly built,
and occupies an elevated plain gently sloping on every side. Population,
four thousand two hundred ninety-five. There are eleven other towns
called Columbia in the United States.

_Columbus_, the metropolis of the state of Ohio, is situated on the
east bank of the Scioto, on an elevated plain of several hundred acres.
It is situated near the middle of Franklin county, and within twenty
miles of the centre of the state, in a fine fertile country. It was
founded in 1812, in the midst of a thick forest. It contains a state
house, court house, penitentiary, a classical seminary, three churches,
and an asylum for the deaf and dumb. Population, six thousand and
forty-eight.

_Concord_, a town of Merrimack county, New Hampshire, is the capital
of the state. It is pleasantly situated on both sides of the Merrimack,
along which spread some rich intervals. The chief village is on the
west side, and forms a street two miles in length. It contains a state
house and a state prison, both of granite. It was first settled in 1724,
and twenty years afterwards suffered severely from the Indians. By the
river and Middlesex canal, Concord has a boat navigation to Boston; and
it is a place of considerable trade. Population, four thousand eight
hundred and ninety-eight.

_Concord_, a village of Middlesex county, Massachusetts, is celebrated
as the place of meeting of the first provincial congress in 1774, and
the first opposition to the British arms. Population, one thousand
eight hundred.[63]

_Covington_, a town of Genesee county, New York, has a soil of ordinary
quality, well watered. Population, two thousand four hundred and
thirty-eight.

_Dayton_, chief town of Montgomery county, Ohio, is situated on
the left bank of Great Miami river, near the point where it is met by
the canal. It is a flourishing place, with many mills and factories.
Population six thousand and sixty-seven.

_Detroit_, the capital of Michigan territory, is situated on the bank
of the river of the same name. During the French jurisdiction, it was
the farthest post on the lakes except Macinac. Since 1815, this town
has rapidly improved; before, it was small and of no importance except
in a military view. It is famous for the siege here sustained by Major
Gladwyn against the united tribes of Indians under Pontiac, and for its
surrender to the British forces in the year 1812, by General Hull. The
ground plan of the city of Detroit is laid out like that of Washington,
and the buildings are very much scattered. The jail, state house, and
two churches, constitute the chief public buildings. The Erie canal has
done much to increase the prosperity of this town, and the Ohio canal
will give it an additional impulse. Population nine thousand one
hundred and two.

The streets of Detroit are generally crowded with Indians of one tribe
or other, who collect here to sell their skins; at night, all those
who are not admitted into private houses, and remain there quietly,
are turned out of the town, and the gates shut upon them. The French
inhabitants employed upon the lakes and rivers are very dexterous
watermen, and will navigate a small bark in a rough sea with incredible
skill. They have nothing like enterprise in business, and are very fond
of music, dancing, and smoking tobacco; the women have generally lively
and expressive countenances.

The fort stands on a low ridge, in the rear of the town, at the
distance of about two hundred yards. From the summit of this ridge,
the country gradually subsides to a low swampy plain, from five to nine
miles across, covered with thick groves of young timber. Beyond this
plain commences a surface moderately hilly.

_Dover_, a town of Kent county, Delaware, and capital of the state. It
is handsomely laid out and built on a small stream that runs into the
Delaware. The houses are mostly of brick, and in the centre of the town
is a spacious square surrounded by the public buildings. Population,
3790.

_Dover_, a town of Strafford county, New Hampshire, is situated on
the falls of the Cocheco, a stream running into the Piscataqua. The
falls have several pitches, one of which is forty feet perpendicular,
affording a vast water power, which has been applied to manufacturing
purposes. This town was settled in 1623, and is the oldest in the state.
The greater part of the timber exported from New Hampshire is brought
to Dover. Population, five thousand four hundred and fifty-eight.

_Easton_, a town of Northampton county, Pennsylvania, situated on the
Delaware, at the mouth of the Lehigh, is a handsome town, regularly
laid out with a large square in the centre. The union of three canals
at this point, gives it vast facilities for trade. The scenery of the
neighborhood is remarkably picturesque. The town is laid out at right
angles. Population, five thousand five hundred and ten.

_Eastport_, a town of Washington county, Maine, and the most
eastern point of the United States. It is situated on Moose island in
Passamaquoddy bay, and is favorably situated for an extensive traffic
up the Passamaquoddy and the other rivers falling into the bay of Fundy.
The principal business is afforded by the fisheries and the lumber
trade. Population, two thousand eight hundred and seventy-six.

_Economy_, a beautiful village of Beaver county, Pennsylvania, on the
Ohio, a few miles below Pittsburg. It is inhabited solely by the sect
of Harmonists, under the celebrated Rapp. The village is regularly
built, and the streets are laid out at right angles. Industry is
the characteristic of the inhabitants, who are of German origin. The
property purports to be held in common, though it has been stated that
the legal tenure of it is in the hands of the principal. The grape is
extensively cultivated here; a thriving trade is carried on with the
neighboring country, and the establishment is in a thriving condition.
Population, 1283.

  Illustration: Economy.

_Elizabethtown_, a town of Essex county, New Jersey, situated on
a creek of Newark bay, was originally settled by emigrants from
Connecticut. It has some good gardens, and supplies many agricultural
products for the New York market. Population, four thousand one hundred
and eighty-four.

_Exeter_, a town of Rockingham county, New Hampshire, fourteen miles
south-west from Portsmouth, is situated at the head of the navigation
on Swamscot river, a branch of the Piscataqua. Formerly, ship-building
was carried on here to a great extent, and the vessels were employed
in the West Indian trade; at present, this business is much decreased,
but several manufactories have been established. Here is a celebrated
academy, incorporated in 1781. Population, two thousand nine hundred
and eighty-five.

_Fayetteville_, a village of Cumberland county, North Carolina, is
situated at the head of uninterrupted boat navigation on Cape Fear
river. In 1831, it was desolated by a destructive fire; but it is
rapidly regaining its former flourishing condition. Population, four
thousand two hundred and eighty-five.

_Frankfort_, the metropolis of Kentucky, and chief town of Franklin
county, stands on the east bank of Kentucky river, sixty miles above
its entrance into the Ohio. The river, which is here about one hundred
yards wide, with bold limestone banks, forms a handsome curve, and
waters the southern and western parts of the town. The bottoms on both
sides of the river are very broad, but subject to inundation. Frankfort
is about sixty-two miles from Louisville. Population, 1,917.

_Fredericksburg_, a port of entry, and chief town of Spottsylvania
county, Virginia, situated on the right bank of the Rappahanoc river,
is a flourishing place. It stands at the head of tide water. Population,
three thousand nine hundred and seventy-four.

_Fredericktown_, in Frederick county, Maryland, is situated forty-seven
miles from Baltimore, on the Pittsburg road, and is a flourishing place,
carrying on considerable manufactures, and a brisk inland trade through
a fertile and well-cultivated country. It is the second town in the
state, and increases with rapidity. Population, five thousand eight
hundred and fifty-eight.

_Galena_, a village in Illinois, the centre of a celebrated lead-mining
district, from which it takes its name. It is situated on Fever river,
five miles before it empties into the Mississippi.

_Gardiner_, a flourishing town in Kennebec county, Maine, on the west
bank of the Kennebec river. It has a considerable trade in lumber, and
in manufactures of cotton and iron, and many very valuable mills. In
this town is a Gothic church, built of granite, and considered the
finest specimen of architecture in the state. Population, five thousand
six hundred and forty-four.

  Illustration: Church in Gardiner.

_Georgetown_, city of the district of Columbia, and separated from
Washington only by a small creek, is finely situated on a series of
heights at a bend of the Potomac. It is well laid out, and contains
some good private residences. The Catholic college is an ancient
pile of building, with a large library, and some good paintings. The
Chesapeak and Ohio canal passes through this town. Tobacco and flour
are exported in considerable quantities. Population, seven thousand
three hundred and thirteen.

_Gloucester_, a seaport of Massachusetts, in Essex county, and on the
peninsula of cape Ann, is one of the most considerable fishing towns
in the country. The harbor, which is defended by a battery and forts,
is accessible for large ships. This town suffered severely from fire a
few years ago; but the damage has been nearly repaired. Population, six
thousand three hundred and ninety-four.

_Hagerstown_, in Washington county, Maryland, is a well-built and
flourishing place, surrounded by a fertile country. It is a handsome
town, and the houses are generally of stone or brick. Population, three
thousand four hundred.

_Hallowell_, in Kennebec county, Maine, is one of the most flourishing
and wealthy towns in the state. The river is navigable to this place
for vessels of one hundred and fifty tons. Hallowell granite is
extensively quarried and wrought, and is much esteemed. The commerce
of the place is considerable, confined chiefly to the lumber trade.
Population, four thousand six hundred and fifty-five.

_Hanover_, in Grafton county, New Hampshire, situated on the
Connecticut, is a pleasant village, and the seat of Dartmouth college,
which was established in 1771. It received its name from one of its
principal benefactors, the earl of Dartmouth. This town is crossed from
north to south by Moose mountain. Population, two thousand six hundred
and thirteen.

  Illustration: Dartmouth College.

_Harrisburg_, the seat of government of the state of Pennsylvania, is
in Dauphin county, and situated on the eastern bank of the Susquehanna,
ninety-six miles from Philadelphia. It is regularly built, and has a
handsome state house, and other public edifices. A bridge here crosses
the Susquehanna. Population, six thousand and twenty.

_Hartford_, city, the capital of Hartford county, and, jointly with
New-Haven, the seat of government of Connecticut. It stands on the
western bank of the Connecticut, at the head of sloop navigation. It is
handsomely built, and contains many fine public edifices, among which
are a Gothic church, much admired for its architecture; a state house,
a deaf and dumb asylum, a retreat for the insane, and a seminary called
Washington college. This institution was founded in 1826. Hartford
enjoys a considerable commerce with Boston, New York, and the southern
cities. The bookselling trade is carried on here extensively, and there
is much inland traffic with the towns on the Connecticut, and in the
neighborhood. On the opposite bank of the river is East Hartford, which
is connected with the city by a bridge. The inhabitants point out to
the stranger an ancient oak tree in the southern part of the city,
which bears the name of the Charter Oak, and is interesting on account
of its connection with our early history. Pop. twelve thousand seven
hundred and ninety-three.

  Illustration: Hartford, Conn.

_Haverhill_, in Essex county, Massachusetts, on the Merrimack,
twelve miles above Newburyport. Pop. four thousand three hundred and
seventy-three. This is a pleasantly situated town, and has considerable
ship-building and trade by the river. It was settled in 1640, and
suffered much in the early Indian wars. In 1698, the Indians attacked
and set fire to the town.

_Hudson_, a city of New York, in Columbia county, with considerable
manufacturing business. The streets are spacious, and cross each other
at right angles, and the houses are supplied with water brought in
pipes from a spring two miles distant. The trade is considerable,
and vessels of the largest size can unload here. It is seated on an
eminence, on the east side of Hudson river. It is twenty-eight miles
south of Albany. Population, five thousand six hundred and seventy.

_Indianapolis_, capital of Indiana, situated in Marion county, on the
west bank of White river, in the centre of one of the most extensive
and fertile bodies of land in the world, though recently settled,
promises to be one of the largest towns between Cincinnati and the
Mississippi. The country about it is said by Mr. Flint to be settling
with unexampled rapidity. Population, two thousand six hundred and
ninety-two.

_Jameston_, an ancient town in James City county, Virginia, the first
English settlement in the states, was established in 1608. It stands on
an island in James river, thirty-two miles above its mouth. It is now
in ruins, and almost desolate. Two or three old houses, the ruins of
an old steeple, a church-yard, and faint traces of rude fortifications,
are the only memorials of its former importance.

_Jefferson City_, seat of justice for Cole county, Missouri, and
capital of the state, is situated on the right bank of Missouri river,
about nine miles above the mouth of the Osage. It is a new town,
containing two hundred houses and twelve hundred inhabitants, and,
after Little Rock in Arkansas, is the most western state capital of
the United States.

_Kaskaskia_, an ancient village of Illinois, and seat of justice for
Randolph county, is situated on Kaskaskia river, eleven miles from its
mouth. It was one of the earliest French settlements in the Mississippi,
and once contained seven thousand inhabitants; it is now very much
reduced, numbering only one thousand. The situation of this town is
represented as very beautiful.

_Kennebunk_, a town of York county, Maine, at the mouth of a river
of the same name, has considerable lumber trade. The principal harbor
is obstructed by a sandbar, and in 1820 an appropriation was made by
Congress to build a pier at the mouth of the river. Population, two
thousand three hundred and twenty-three.

_Knoxville_, the chief town of East Tennessee, is situated one hundred
and eighty miles from Nashville, on the north side of Holston river,
where it is three hundred yards wide; on a beautiful spot of ground,
twenty-two miles above the junction of the Holston with the Tennessee.
The college of this town is one of the oldest seminaries in the state.
Population, three thousand.

_Lancaster_, a handsome town of Pennsylvania, and capital of a county
of the same name. It is a pleasant and flourishing place, situate in
a fertile and well-cultivated country, and contains a court house,
a jail, two banks, and nine places of worship. A college was founded
here in 1787; but the buildings are now appropriated to schools. Here
are manufactures of guns and other hardware; and about a mile distant
is a large cotton manufactory. The town has considerable trade, which
increases with the surrounding country. It is seated near Conestoga
creek, which runs into the Susquehanna, sixty-one miles west by north
of Philadelphia. Population, eight thousand four hundred and nineteen.

_Lancaster_, oldest town in Worcester county, Massachusetts, finely
situated on both sides of the Nashua, has manufactories of combs and
cotton, and an extensive engraving and stereotyping establishment. In
beauty of scenery the neighborhood is surpassed by that of few towns in
New England. Population, two thousand and thirteen.

_Lansinburg_, a town of Rensselaer county, New York, is principally
built on a single street parallel with the river. A high hill rises
abruptly behind the town, on which is seen the celebrated diamond rock,
emitting a brilliant lustre in the rays of the sun. Population, three
thousand three hundred and thirty.

_Lexington_, a town of Middlesex county, Massachusetts, will ever be
memorable in American history, for the early revolutionary struggles.
The first battle was fought here between the British troops and the
Americans on the nineteenth of April, 1775. A monument has been erected
on the green at Lexington in commemoration of this event. Pop. 1559.

_Lexington_, capital of Fayette county, Kentucky, is the oldest town
in the state, and was for many years the seat of government. It stands
in a beautiful spot, on a branch of the Elkhorn river, in the centre
of the richest tract in the state. The principal street is a mile and
a quarter in length, spacious and well paved. The buildings are much
superior in size and elegance to those of the other towns in the state,
and may be compared to those of the Atlantic country. The Transylvania
university is established here. The public inns are large and
convenient. The town has manufactories of woolen, cotton, and paper.
The general appearance of the town is neat, and the neighborhood is
adorned with many handsome villas, and finely ornamented rural mansions.
Population, six thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven.

_Litchfield_, capital of Litchfield county, Connecticut, is situated
on an elevated plain, in the midst of a fertile and hilly country. It
contains numerous mills and manufactories. A law school was established
here in 1782, by Judge Reeve, which has been for many years highly
celebrated. Population, four thousand and thirty-eight.

_Little Rock_, the seat of government of Arkansas territory, is
situated on a high bluff on the south bank of the river Arkansas, and
derives its name from the high masses of rock above it. It was laid out
in 1820.

_Lockport_, a town of Niagara county, New York, on the Erie canal.
Here are the most remarkable works on the canal, consisting of ten
locks, overcoming an ascent of sixty feet. Besides these, there is an
excavation through the mountain ridge, for three miles, cut in the rock.
The town is a place of considerable trade. Population, five thousand
eight hundred and seventy-three.

_Louisville_, a city of Jefferson county, Kentucky, on a plain
elevated about seventy feet above the level of the Ohio, opposite
to the rapids or falls, is a handsome town, and the largest in the
state. Eight broad and straight streets run parallel with the river,
and command a pleasant view of the opposite shore. They are paved
with blocks of limestone; the houses are built chiefly of brick. This
is the most commercial city of the west, commanding the trade of a
great extent of country. Manufactures are yet in their infancy. The
Louisville and Portland canal passes through this town, round the falls;
it is about two miles in length, and cut through a limestone rock. It
admits the passage of the largest steamboats, and thus opens a line of
free navigation from Pittsburg to the sea. This canal was finished in
1831. It has been estimated that seventy-five thousand travellers pass
through Louisville annually. The resident population is twenty-one
thousand two hundred and ten.

_Lowell_, a town of Middlesex county, Massachusetts, situated at the
junction of the Concord and Merrimack rivers, is celebrated for its
extensive manufacturing establishments, and for its rapid increase. It
was incorporated in 1826. In 1831, the quantity of cotton manufactured
here was estimated at five million one hundred thousand pounds. The
water power is held and managed by a company possessing a great amount
of real estate, and a capital of six hundred thousand dollars. A
rail-road from Boston to Lowell is in rapid progress. The two largest
companies are the Merrimack, with a capital of a million and a half;
and the Lawrence, with a capital of one million two hundred thousand
dollars. Population twenty thousand nine hundred and eighty-one.

_Lynchburg_, a town of Columbia county, Virginia, is one of the most
flourishing and commercial towns in the state. It has several tobacco
warehouses and factories, cotton and woolen manufactories, and in the
vicinity are extensive flour mills. The surrounding country is rugged
and mountainous. Lynchburg was established in 1786. Population, four
thousand six hundred and twenty-six.

_Lynn_, a town of Essex county, Massachusetts, is noted for its
extensive manufacture of shoes. About a million and a half pair of
women’s shoes are made here every year. There is a mineral spring in
this town, with a hotel in its neighborhood. Population, nine thousand
and seventy five.

_Machias_, on the bay of that name, in Washington county, Maine,
consists of two villages, one at the falls at the east branch of
Machias river, and the other at the falls of the west branch, six and
a half miles apart, each containing a post office. The village at the
east falls is at the head of the tide, two miles above the junction
of the branches, and contains various mills. The village at the west
falls, contains the court house, jail, and various mills; there are
many saw mills in this town, which cut upwards of ten million feet
of boards in a year. The tonnage of the shipping in 1827 amounted to
five thousand two hundred and thirty-six; much of this is employed in
the transportation of plaster from the British territory adjacent to
Passamaquoddy bay. Population, one thousand three hundred and fifty-one.

_Marblehead_, a town of Essex county, Massachusetts, situated on a
peninsula projecting into Massachusetts bay. It is compactly, though
irregularly built; it was settled soon after Salem, and has been very
flourishing and opulent. It suffered severely during the revolution and
the last war. In the fishing business it has greatly excelled all other
towns in the United States. Population in 1810, five thousand eight
hundred; in 1840, five thousand five hundred and thirty-nine.

_Marietta_, in Washington county, Ohio, is finely situated near the
mouth of Muskingum river, in the centre of a fertile neighborhood. It
was one of the earliest settlements of the state; but it has suffered
severely from sickness and inundations of the river. Ship-building was
formerly carried on here, but has been discontinued. The inhabitants
are noted for industry and sobriety. Population, one thousand eight
hundred and fourteen.

_Maysville_, in Mason county, Kentucky, on the Ohio, stands on a
narrow bottom below the mouth of Limestone creek, and has considerable
trade and manufactures. It is the principal commercial depot for the
north-east portions of the state. It is a very busy and flourishing
town. Population, two thousand seven hundred and forty.

_Middlebury_, in Addison county, Vermont, situated on Otter creek,
has a college, two academies, several churches, and manufactures of
cotton, iron, and marble. A quarry of fine marble was discovered here
in 1804, and is now wrought for a variety of purposes. Population,
three thousand one hundred and sixty-two.

_Middletown_, a city of Middlesex county, Connecticut, on the west
bank of the Connecticut river, and thirty-four miles from its mouth,
is a pleasant place, and has considerable trade and manufactures. In
1816, it owned a larger shipping than any other town in the state. In
the neighborhood is a lead mine, which was wrought during the war. A
college, under the name of the Wesleyan University, was opened in this
city in 1831. Population, seven thousand two hundred and ten.

_Milledgeville_, capital of Baldwin county, Georgia, and metropolis of
the state, is situated on the west bank of the Oconee, eighty-seven
miles south-west of Augusta. It is a depot of cotton for the Savannah
and Darien markets. It contains several public buildings, and has four
weekly papers. Population two thousand and ninety-five.

_Mobile_, a city of Mobile county, Alabama, on the west side of
Mobile river, at its entrance into the bay. When this town came into
the possession of the United States, in 1813, it contained about three
hundred inhabitants; it now numbers twelve thousand seven hundred. It
is pleasantly situated on a spot elevated above the overflow of the
river; but the adjacent country is a marsh or a forest. Fire and the
yellow fever have committed great ravages here; but trade has increased
rapidly, and in the cotton business Mobile is inferior only to
Charleston and New Orleans.

_Montpelier_, shire town of Washington county, Vermont, and seat
of government, is situated on the north bank of Onion river, about
ten miles north-east of the centre of the state, and is a great
thoroughfare for travellers. It was incorporated in 1818, contains
a number of public buildings and good seats for manufactories.
Population, 3,725.

_Nantucket_, a town of Massachusetts, of the same extent with the
island and county of that name, contains seven houses of public worship,
two banks, and two insurance offices. It was formerly called Sherburne.
The trade suffered greatly during the late war and the revolution, but
has since been more flourishing. There are extensive spermaceti works
here. Education is well attended to, and the people, who are chiefly
Friends or Quakers, are generally moral and industrious. Population,
nine thousand five hundred and twelve.

_Nashville_, capital of Davidson county, and seat of government of
Tennessee, is regularly built, pleasantly situated on the south side
of Cumberland river, and is much the largest town in the state. It is
a rich and flourishing place. Steamboats from New Orleans ascend the
river to this point. The state penitentiary, a fine stone building, is
here erected. The University of Nashville was incorporated in 1806, and
is now in a very prosperous condition. Pop. eight thousand one hundred
and thirty-three.

_Natchez_, a city of Mississippi, and much the largest town of the
state, stands on a bluff, upwards of one hundred and fifty feet above
the surface of the river. The houses have an air of neatness, though
few are distinguished for elegance or size. To enable the inhabitants
to enjoy the evening air, almost every house has a piazza and balcony.
The soil of the adjoining country is rich, and vegetation of most kinds
attains to uncommon luxuriance; the gardens are ornamented with orange
trees, figs plums, peaches, and grape-vines. Natchez is the principal
town in this region for the shipment of cotton to New Orleans, and at
the business seasons the streets are almost barricadoed with bales. In
this place is the Planters’ bank, with a capital of three millions.

The reputation of Natchez in regard to morals seems to be rather at
a discount. The lower town is said to have a worse character than
any place on the river; and, particularly in the spring, to present
a congregation of the most abandoned and desperate. The following
picture by a recent traveller is probably overcharged: ‘In the evening,
a steamer stops at Natchez to land or take in goods, the passengers
observe several houses lighted up, and hear the sounds of fiddles and
merriment, and they run up to see what is going on; they find men and
women dancing, gambling and drinking; the bell of the steamboat rings
to announce that she is about to continue her voyage, the lights in
the houses of entertainment are immediately extinguished, and the
passengers run out, afraid of being too late for the boat, and run down
toward the landing; ropes are drawn across the road, the passengers
fall heels over head, a number of stout ruffians throw themselves upon
them, and strip them of their money and watches, and they get on board
in doleful plight, and of course never see or hear more of their
plunderers!’ Population, 4,826.

_Natchitoches_, commonly pronounced Nackitosh, a town of Louisiana, is
beautifully situated on the south-west bank of Red river, at the head
of steamboat navigation. The trade between Louisiana and the Mexican
states centres here, and it must eventually become a place of great
size and importance. This town was established more than a hundred
years ago, and its population is a mixture of Americans, French,
Spaniards, and Indians.

_New Albany_, in Floyd county, Indiana, is an industrious and
flourishing village, with a ship-yard for building steamboats. During
the summer, many steamboats are laid up here to be repaired. Population,
four thousand two hundred and twenty-six.

_Newark_, capital of Essex county, New Jersey, is handsomely built,
and finely situated on the west side of Passaic river. It is one of the
most beautiful towns in the country. It has extensive manufactures of
shoes, leather, coaches, and cabinet work. Morris canal passes through
this town. Population, seventeen thousand two hundred and ninety-two.

_New Bedford_, port of entry in Bristol county, Massachusetts, stands
on an arm of Buzzard’s bay, about fifty-two miles south of Boston. ‘We
entered New Bedford,’ says a recent tourist, ‘through Fairhaven, by way
of the ferry. From Fairhaven the town shows to better effect than from
any other point. A stranger, perhaps, might be surprised at the great
apparent extent of New Bedford as seen from this place. Passing through
the villa of Fairhaven (a place of no inconsiderable size by the by,)
it opens before him, with its spires, its shipping and buildings, like
a beautiful panoramic painting of some great city. It appears much
larger, however, than it is. Its population is 12,585. Its commerce is
principally in the whale fishery, employing one hundred and fifty whale
ships. The “county road” displays many elegant mansions, the dwellings
of some of the more wealthy inhabitants. New Bedford is considered
a very wealthy place, and the inhabitants active and enterprising.
A large proportion of them are Quakers.’

_Newbern_, in Craven county, North Carolina, was once the capital,
and is still the largest town of the state. It is situated on the
Neuse, thirty miles above its entrance into Pamlico sound. The river is
navigable to this place, and its commerce is considerable. Population,
three thousand six hundred and ninety.

_New Brunswick_, a city of New Jersey, partly in Middlesex and partly
in Somerset county, on the south-west side of Raritan river, is built
on a low but healthy situation, and has considerable trade. Besides the
other public institutions usually found in towns of similar size, this
has a theological seminary, and a college; both established by the
Dutch Reformed Church. Population, eight thousand seven hundred and
eight.

_Newburgh_, a port of entry in Orange county, New York, is a well-built
village, pleasantly situated on the west bank of the Hudson, commanding
a delightful view of the river and the highlands. The principal streets
are paved. A considerable amount of shipping is owned in this village;
agriculture and manufactures are also extremely flourishing. Population,
five thousand six hundred and sixty-two.

  Illustration: Newburgh.

_Newburyport_, in Essex county, Massachusetts, at the mouth of the
Merrimack, is remarkable for the beauty of its situation, and the
regularity of its streets. It stands upon a gentle declivity sloping
down to the river, the streets are generally straight and at right
angles, and the town lies along the bank of the river for about a mile.
The principal streets pass through the whole width of the town, from
the summit of the declivity to the river. The buildings are generally
handsome, and the streets clean. Few towns in the United States surpass
Newburyport in beauty. It was desolated by a fire, which broke out on
the night of May 31, 1811, and destroyed nearly three hundred buildings.
The place has never recovered from the effects of this calamity; at the
present day, the traveller is struck with the view of a wide heap of
grass-grown ruins, in the heart of a populous town.

The harbor of this place is good, but obstructed at the entrance by a
dangerous bar; attempts are now making to improve it by a break-water
on the south side of the channel. The mercantile enterprise of the
place has latterly been diverted from commerce to the fisheries.
Ship-building is carried on to a considerable extent, and a manufactory
of hosiery has been established in the place. This town has seven
churches, two banks, two insurance offices, and two newspapers. A
handsome chain bridge crosses the river from the centre of the town.
The celebrated preacher, George Whitefield, died in this town in 1760,
and is now entombed in the Presbyterian church in Federal street, where
an elegant monument has been erected recently to his memory. Population,
seven thousand one hundred and twenty-four.

_New Castle_, seat of justice of the county of the same name, in
Delaware, and formerly capital of the state. The village extends
lengthwise along the Delaware river, on a rising plain, and is
tolerably compact and well built. It once enjoyed considerable trade.
Population two thousand seven hundred and thirty-seven.

_New Harmony_, or Harmony, a town in Posey county, in the south-western
part of Indiana, on the Wabash, formerly the seat of the Harmonists,
under the German, Rapp, and more recently of the followers of Owen, of
Lanark. The former establishment was removed to Economy, and the latter
abandoned.

_New Haven_, a city and seaport of Connecticut, in New Haven county,
lies at the head of a bay that runs out of Long Island Sound, and
is situated on a beautiful plain, bordered on the north by bold and
perpendicular eminences. It is regularly laid out and consists of two
parts, the old and new town. The old town is divided into squares of
different extents. The public buildings of the city are handsome and
well situated. The state house is a fine edifice, on the model of
the Parthenon. Several of the churches have a commanding appearance;
two of them are of Gothic architecture, and built of stone. Private
dwelling-houses are mostly of wood, handsome and convenient. The public
square and principal streets are finely ornamented with trees; and
beautiful gardens attached to many of the residences, give the town
a rural and delightful appearance.

  Illustration: New Haven.

The harbor of New Haven is shallow, and gradually filling with mud, but
it is well defended from winds, and the maritime commerce of the port
is greater than that of any other town in Connecticut. Its interior
trade is assisted by the Farmington canal. Packets and steamboats ply
regularly and frequently between this port and New York. The Indian
name of this town was Quinipiack. It was first settled by the English
in 1638, and was the capital of the colony of New Haven, which remained
distinct from that of Connecticut till 1665. The state legislature
meets here and at Hartford alternately. Yale College, one of the most
distinguished literary institutions in America, is established in
this city; connected with this are a theological, a medical, and a
law school. Many academies and smaller seminaries are also established
here. Population, fourteen thousand three hundred and ninety.

_New London_, a city of New London county, Connecticut, in the
south-eastern part of the state, has a fine harbor near the mouth of
the Thames. It is irregularly built, principally at the foot of a hill
facing the east. There are many pleasant sites in the higher parts of
the town, and several of the buildings are handsome; but the general
appearance of the place is not flourishing. The neighboring region is
rocky and sterile, and there are no great channels of communication
with the interior. The recent attention of the merchants to the whale
fisheries has given a considerable impulse to the place, and promises
to restore it to its former importance as a commercial city. Fort
Trumbull is situated at the south of the town, and to the east, on the
opposite side of the river, are the remains of Fort Griswold, which,
during the revolution, was the scene of a well-remembered and fearful
tragedy. Population, five thousand five hundred and twenty-eight.

_New Madrid_, now an insignificant village, though historically
interesting, is situated on the west bank of the Mississippi,
eighty-one miles below the mouth of the Ohio. This town was founded
in 1787, and was intended to become a great commercial city, and
the emporium of the vast tract of fertile country watered by the
Mississippi, the Missouri, and their branches. It was indeed happily
situated for the purpose; but the river has swept away the ground on
which it was originally placed, and the earthquakes of 1812 have sunk
the remainder of the bluff below high-water mark. It is impossible
to visit this spot, knowing any thing of its history, and not be
struck with the air of desolation it now breathes. There was a fine
lake in the rear of the town, on the banks of which public walks
and plantations of trees were planned for the accommodation of its
inhabitants; this is now a heap of sand. As the earthquakes are
occasionally recurring in this neighborhood, even to the present time,
people have been cautious in respect to settling here; but as they
are becoming more assured, New Madrid is gradually emerging from her
prostration.

_New Orleans_, the capital of the state of Louisiana, is situated
directly on the east bank of the Mississippi, one hundred and five
miles from the mouth of the river. In the year 1717, this city was
founded; and at that period, there were not, perhaps, five hundred
white inhabitants in the whole valley of the Mississippi. In the
beginning of 1788, the town contained one thousand one hundred
houses, built of wood; in March of that year, by a fire, the number
of houses was reduced in five hours to two hundred. It has been rebuilt
principally of brick, which is of so soft a nature, that the buildings
are plastered on the outside with a thick coat of mortar, and then
painted or whitewashed. Several warehouses with stone fronts have been
recently erected. The city is regularly laid out, and the streets are
generally forty feet wide, crossing each other at right angles. The
public buildings are generally elegant, commodious and expensive. There
are few churches. The Catholic cathedral is a noble edifice, ninety
feet by one hundred and twenty, with four towers. The _Place des armes_
is a beautiful green, which serves as a parade. Most of the houses
in the suburbs have fine gardens, ornamented with orange groves. The
general style of living is luxurious, and the private dwellings are
elegantly furnished. The markets are plentifully supplied with the
necessaries of life, and the luxuries of every country; but provisions
are dear.

New Orleans will become to the United States the great emporium of
commerce and wealth, if, by the draining of the marshy country in the
neighborhood, it ever becomes a healthy city. The more we contemplate
the present and prospective resourses of New Orleans, the more must
we be convinced of its future greatness. Being built in the form of
a crescent, the curve of the river constitutes a safe and commodious
harbor. Defended on one side by the river, and on the other by a swamp
that no effort can penetrate, the city can only be approached through
a defile three quarters of a mile wide.

New Orleans is gradually becoming more purely American in all its
characteristics; but many of its inhabitants are of French and Spanish
descent, and the French language is more commonly spoken than the
English. The charitable institutions of the city are highly creditable.
Education is not so much attended to as in other parts of the country;
but great improvements have been made in this respect within a few
years. The police is efficient, and scenes of disorder rarely occur.

This city is the grand commercial metropolis of the Mississippi valley.
The tributaries of the great river on which it stands afford an extent
of more than twenty thousand miles, already navigated by steamboats,
and passing through the richest soil and the pleasantest climates.
Steamboats are departing and arriving every hour, and fifty or sixty
are often seen in the harbor at one time; while many hundreds of flat
boats are seen at the levee, laden with the various productions of the
great valley. Measures have been adopted by the state legislature to
have the neighboring country well explored, for the purpose of draining,
raising, and improving it.[64] The streets of the city have been paved,
and gutters are washed by water from the river. Pop. one hundred and
two thousand one hundred and ninety three. New Orleans will probably
become the largest city of America.

_Newport_, a seaport and semi-metropolis of Rhode Island, is pleasantly
situated on the south-west end of the island of Rhode Island, thirty
miles south of Providence. During the summer months it is a place of
fashionable resort, being celebrated for the salubrity of its climate.
It formerly possessed considerable commerce, and contained more than
nine thousand inhabitants; but during the revolution, it was a long
time occupied by the enemy, and suffered severely. The principal street
is a mile in length; the houses have an antique appearance. The harbor
is very safe, sufficiently spacious for a whole fleet, and defended by
three forts. Newport was first settled in 1638. A large stone mill is
still standing here, which was erected before the date of the earliest
records. Population, eight thousand three hundred and thirty-three.

  Illustration: Asylum at Newport.

  Illustration: New York.

_New York_, the largest and most populous city in the United States,
lies in the state of that name, at the head of New York bay, about
sixteen miles from the Atlantic ocean. Manhattan island, on which the
city stands, and which is formed by the Hudson, the Hærlem, and East
rivers, with the bay on the south, is fifteen miles in length, and
from two to three in breadth. On the south-west point of the island,
overlooking the bay, is a fine public promenade, of from five to six
hundred yards in length, and one hundred and fifty in breadth, prettily
laid out in walks, and planted with trees. In the evenings it is
generally crowded with citizens, who assemble to derive the benefit
from a pleasant breeze off the water, or listen to a band that
frequently plays in the Castle garden, which is connected with the
walk by a wooden bridge. The former promenade is called the Battery,
from having, in the olden times of the Dutch settlers, or during the
revolutionary war, mounted a few guns; and the Castle garden, in a
similar manner, possessed no garden, nor could it ever have possessed
one, being a modern stone fort, with twenty-eight embrasures, built
upon a solid rock, which appeared but a short distance above the water.
This being an unprofitable kind of investment of funds, has been let
by the corporation to a publican, who has converted it to a much more
profitable use charging sixpence for admission, and giving a ticket, so
that the visitor may enjoy a stroll upon the upper platform of the fort,
admire the view, and then call for a glass of liquor at the bar. The
battery, nevertheless, is the most pleasant promenade in New York, and
excels any thing else of the kind in America. Governor’s island, about
three quarters of a mile distant in the bay, has a large stone circular
fort, with three tiers of embrasures, and is calculated for more than
one hundred guns at its western extremity.

  Illustration: Castle Garden and Battery.

Of the public buildings of New York, the City Hall, containing the
supreme court, mayor’s court, and various public offices, situated in
the park, a fine and handsome square, is the most remarkable; and being
fronted with white marble, has a beautiful effect when seen through
the trees in the park. The building is upwards of two hundred feet in
length, with a dome and tower surmounted by a statue of justice. The
Merchants’ Exchange, in Wall street, is a fine edifice, of the same
material as the front of the City Hall. The basement story is occupied
by the post-office, and above it the Exchange, eighty-five feet in
length, fifty-five in width, and forty-five in height to the dome, from
which it is lighted. The greater proportion of the other buildings in
the street, are insurance offices, banks, and exchange offices.

‘The churches in New York,’ says Lieutenant Coke, ‘are handsomer
edifices than those in the southern cities I visited, and contain some
interesting monuments. St. Paul’s, in the park, is one of the finest
in the states. In the interior, there is a tablet in the chancel to Sir
Robert Temple, baronet, the first consul general to the United States
from England, who died in the city; and one to the wife of the British
governor of New Jersey, who died during the revolution, from distress
of mind; being separated from her husband by the events of the time. In
the yard, also, there is a large Egyptian obelisk of a single block of
white marble, thirty-two feet in height, erected to Thomas A. Emmett,
an eminent counsellor at law and brother of the Irish orator who
suffered during the rebellion. When I visited New York again, some
months afterwards, one front of it was embellished with an emblematical
representation of his fortunes. Though it was in an unfinished state,
and the canvass had not been removed from before the scaffolding, I
could catch a glimpse of the representation of a hand, with a wreath
or bracelet of shamrock round the wrist, clasping one with a similar
ornament of stars, and the eagle of America sheltering the unstrung
harp of Ireland. Mr. Emmett had emigrated to the states, and settled
in New York, where he had acquired considerable reputation many years
previous to his death. There is also another monument near it, under
the portico of the church, to General Montgomery, who fell in the
unsuccessful attack upon Quebec in 1775. This monument was erected
previously to the declaration of independence by the congress; and
in 1818, when his remains were removed from Quebec to New York, and
interred at St. Paul’s, another tablet was added, recording the event;
though at the time, great doubts were entertained whether they actually
were the general’s remains which were exhumed. The matter was, however,
subsequently set at rest beyond a doubt, by the publication of a
certificate drawn up by the person who had actually buried the general
in the first instance, and who was then living in Quebec, at a very
advanced age, being the only survivor of the army which served under
Wolfe.

  Illustration: Merchants’ Exchange.

‘There is a very handsome monument, near the centre of the church-yard,
erected by Kean, of Drury Lane theatre, to Cooke, the actor. Trinity
church, which is also in Broadway, was the oldest in the city, having
been originally built in 1696, but destroyed by fire eighty years
afterwards, although from the circumstance of a monument in the
church-yard, of 1691, it appears it was used as a burial-ground some
time previously. Though not containing much above an acre of ground,
by a moderate calculation, not fewer than two hundred thousand bodies
have been buried in it. Of late years there have been no burials, and
weeping willows with various trees have been planted, which in time
will make it ornamental to the city. In one corner are the ruins of a
monument, erected but sixteen years since to Captain Lawrence, of the
American navy, who fell defending his ship, the Chesapeak, against
Sir P. Broke, in the Shannon. His body was taken to Halifax, in Nova
Scotia, and buried there with all the honors of war, the pall being the
American ensign supported by six of the senior captains in the royal
navy, then in the harbor. But the Americans immediately after sent a
vessel with a flag of truce to apply for the removal of the body, which
being granted, it was re-buried in Trinity church-yard, and the present
monument, no lasting memorial of his country’s grief, erected upon the
spot. It is a most shabby economical structure, built of brick, and
faced with white marble. The column, of the Corinthian order, is broken
short, with part of the capital lying at the base of the pedestal,
emblematic of his premature death. Owing to the summit being exposed
to the weather, the rain has gained admittance into the interior of
the brick work, and has given the column a considerable inclination
to one side. Some of the marble front also, with two sides of that of
the pedestal, have fallen down and exposed the shabby interior. Surely,
such a man deserved a monument of more durable materials.’[65]

Among the most splendid public buildings is the Masonic hall, a
Gothic edifice, in Broadway, fifty feet wide, and seventy feet high;
it is composed of the eastern gray granite. Of collegiate institutions,
Columbia college is the oldest in New York. It is finely situated on
a square ornamented with majestic trees; and the standard of classical
education here is very high. This institution possesses an estate
valued at four hundred thousand dollars. In 1831, the University of
New York was chartered; it is projected on the broad and liberal plan
of the continental universities, and promises to be of great utility.
Schools of all kinds are numerous; bible and missionary societies
are numerous and well endowed. Literary and scientific institutions
flourish. The most ancient of these is the Society Library, founded
in 1754, and containing upwards of twenty-three thousand volumes. The
Historical society was incorporated in 1809, and has collected a vast
number of important documents in relation to the country in general,
and particularly to New York. The Lyceum for Natural History, the
Clinton Hall association, and the Mercantile Library association, are
flourishing and useful institutions.

  Illustration: Masonic Hall.

The Academy of Arts was chartered in 1808. It has two exhibitions
annually. The library consists of books of views, designs and drawings,
relating chiefly to antique subjects. Among the presidents of this
institution have been Edward Livingston, De Witt Clinton, and John
Trumbull. The National Academy was founded in 1826, and, with a
few exceptions, is altogether composed of artists. Of the dramatic
entertainments of the city, we can say but little. The Park theatre
is the place of most fashionable resort; it is a spacious edifice,
adjoining the park. It is eighty feet long, and one hundred and
sixty-five feet deep. The Bowery theatre is well attended. An opera
house has been recently built.

The number of insurance offices in this city is upwards of forty. In
1827, the total of banking capital amounted to about sixteen millions
of dollars. Several new banks have been since chartered, and this
amount has been much increased. For its advantage of inland and
external commerce, no city in the United States can be compared with
New York. The number of vessels that arrived here from foreign parts
during the first eight months of the year 1833, was thirteen hundred
and forty-five, and the number of passengers was over thirty-two
thousand. In 1832, the number of arrivals from foreign parts during
the whole year, was one thousand eight hundred and ten; in 1829, it was
thirteen hundred and four, being forty-one less in the whole year than
during the first eight months of 1833.

The population of New York in 1697, was four thousand three hundred
and two; in 1756, thirteen thousand and forty; in 1790, thirty-three
thousand and thirty-one; in 1800, sixty thousand four hundred
and eighty-nine; in 1810, ninety-six thousand three hundred and
seventy-three; in 1820, one hundred and twenty-three thousand seven
hundred and six; in 1825, one hundred and sixty-six thousand and
eighty-six; and in 1830, two hundred and seven thousand and twenty-one.
Its present population is three hundred and thirteen thousand six
hundred and twenty-nine.

_Norfolk_, the commercial capital of Virginia, is situated on the
east side of Elizabeth river, immediately below the junction of its
two main branches, and eight miles above Hampton roads. The town lies
low, and is in some places marshy, though the principal streets are
well paved. Among the public buildings are a theatre, three banks,
an academy, marine hospital, athenæum, and six churches. The harbor,
which is capacious and safe, is defended by several forts. One is
on Craney island, near the mouth of Elizabeth river. There are also
fortifications at Hampton roads; the principal of which, Fort Calhoun,
is not yet completed. Population, ten thousand five hundred and
seventy-three.

_Northampton_ is a post and shire town of Hampshire county,
Massachusetts, on the west bank of Connecticut river, and ninety-five
miles from Boston. Its population in 1840 was three thousand six
hundred and seventy-two. It is built chiefly on two broad streets,
in which are situated the churches and county buildings. This town is
very beautiful, consisting of a number of villas of various sizes, and
of pleasing, though irregular architecture, seeming to vie with each
other in the taste and elegance of their external decorations. There
is primitive white limestone in the vicinity, and much of the pavement
and steps are of white marble. The trees in the neighborhood of the
town are single spreading trees, principally elms, and of considerable
age; the roads are wide, and the footpaths are excellent everywhere.
Northampton is surrounded by rising grounds; but mount Holyoke,
situated on the opposite side of the Connecticut river, is the hill
which all strangers ascend, for the sake of the extensive and beautiful
prospect from its summit. The valley that lies at its base, contains
the most extensive and beautiful plain in New England, well cultivated
and populous. The spires of thirty churches are seen from the top of
mount Holyoke, and in a clear day the hills of New Haven are distinctly
visible. Round Hill school, in this town, is an institution of some
note, somewhat on the plan of a German gymnasium. There are two banks
here, woolen manufactories, an insurance office, and a printing office;
the public houses are good, and the town is somewhat a place of summer
resort.

_Norwich_, a city of New London county, Connecticut, situated at
the head of navigation on Thames river, contains three compact
settlements; of which Chelsea Landing, situate at the point of land
between the Shetucket and Yantic rivers, is the principal. Its location
is peculiarly romantic; and it is a place of much enterprise and
business. What is called the town is two miles north-west of Chelsea,
containing the court house, and some other public buildings; and the
third settlement is Bean Hill, in the western part of Norwich. The
city contains a bank, four or five churches, and several manufacturing
establishments. The Yantic falls, one mile from Chelsea, are beautiful,
and afford facilities for mills and manufactories. From a rock seventy
or eighty feet in height, which overhangs the stream, tradition says a
number of Narragansetts once precipitated themselves when pursued by
the Mohegans.

On an elevated bank, north of what is called the cove, and near
the Yantic falls, is the burying-ground of the royal family of the
Mohegans, commonly called ‘the burying-ground of the Uncasses.’ Many
of their graves are still designated by coarse stones; on some of
which are English inscriptions. Uncas was buried here, and many of his
descendants; but his family is now nearly extinct. There are one or two
living who claim a kindred, but who have very little of the magnanimity
or valor for which he was so conspicuous. Population of Norwich, seven
thousand two hundred and thirty-nine.

_Pawtucket_, a town of Bristol county, Massachusetts, four miles
north-east of Providence, Rhode Island. It is finely situated on the
falls of Pawtucket river, near the Blackstone canal, and is one of
the most extensive manufacturing places in the union. It contains
numerous cotton factories, and shops for machinery, and other purposes.
Population, two thousand one hundred and eighty-four.

_Pensacola_, the capital of West Florida, and naval station of the
United States, is situated on the north-west shore of the bay of the
same name. It was founded by a Spanish officer in 1699, and is built
in the form of a parallelogram, nearly a mile in length. The harbor is
safe and commodious, and the anchorage is good, though toward shore the
water is generally shallow. It is regarded as a comparatively healthy
place. Population, about two thousand.

_Petersburg_, a borough and port of entry, in Dinwiddie county,
Virginia, on the south bank of the Appomatox. The river is navigable
to this point for vessels of one hundred tons. In 1815, three hundred
buildings were destroyed by fire. It has since been rebuilt of brick,
and the new houses are generally three stories in height; it is of
the first class of towns in Virginia, and presents an appearance of
enterprise and wealth. Population, eleven thousand one hundred and
thirty-six.

_Philadelphia_, the second city in size and population in the United
States, is situated in a county of the same name, five miles above the
junction of the Schuylkill and Delaware rivers, and, by the course of
the river, about one hundred and twenty miles distant from the Atlantic
ocean. It was founded by William Penn, in 1682, and was originally
laid out in the shape of a parallelogram, two miles in length by one in
breadth. The city now extends from the lower part of Southwark to the
upper part of Kensington, about four miles, and from one river to the
other. For municipal purposes, the legislature has, from time to time,
established corporate governments in different parts of the suburbs,
so that Philadelphia is divided into the following districts: the
corporations of the city of Philadelphia, of the Northern Liberties,
Kensington, Spring Garden, Southwark, and Moyamensing. The municipal
government of the city proper is vested in a mayor, a recorder,
fifteen aldermen, and a select and common council, besides subordinate
executive officers.

‘Philadelphia, the reverse of Lisbon,’ says a recent English traveller,
‘at first presents no beauties; no domes or turrets rise in the air to
break the uniform stiff roof-line of the private dwellings; and, if I
remember right, the only buildings which show their lofty heads above
the rest, are the state house, Christ church, (both built prior to the
revolution,) a presbyterian meeting-house, and a shot tower. The city,
therefore, when viewed from the water, and at a distance, presents any
thing but a picturesque appearance. It is somewhat singular, too, that
there should be such a scarcity of spires, and conspicuous buildings,
there being no fewer than ninety places of worship, besides hospitals,
and charitable institutions in great numbers. In place, too, of noble
piers and quays of solid masonry, which we might reasonably expect
to find in a city containing near one hundred and forty-thousand
inhabitants, and holding the second rank in commercial importance in
North America, there are but some shabby wharves and piers of rough
piles of timber, jutting out in unequal lengths and shapes, from one
end to the other of the river front; and these, again, are backed
by large piles of wooden warehouses, and mean-looking stores. On the
narrow space between them and the water, are hundreds of negro porters,
working at vast heaps of iron bars, barrels of flour, cotton bags, and
all the various merchandise imported or exported, singing, in their
strange broken English tone of voice, some absurd chorus.

‘Fifty paces hence, the stranger enters the city, which possesses an
interior almost unrivalled in the world. On walking through the fine
broad streets, with rows of locust or other trees, which, planted on
the edge of the causeway, form a most delightful shade, and take away
the glare of the brick buildings, he is struck immediately with the
air of simplicity, yet strength and durability which all the public
edifices possess, while the private dwellings, with their neat white
marble steps and window sills, bespeak wealth and respectability. The
neatness too, of the dress of every individual, with the total absence
of those lazy and dirty vagabonds who ever infest our towns, and loiter
about the corners of all the public streets, passing insolent remarks
upon every well-dressed man, or even unattended female, impress a
foreigner with a most pleasing and favorable idea of an American city.

‘The river in front of the town is about a mile wide, but the channel
is considerably contracted by an island, which extends nearly the
full length of the town, and, consequently renders the navigation more
intricate. It is prettily planted with trees, and a ship has been run
ashore at one end and converted into a tavern, a house being raised
upon the upper deck. It was quite a gala day, numerous steam vessels
and rowing boats proceeding up the stream to Kensington (part of the
suburbs,) and we arrived just in time to see a large ship, of six
hundred tons burthen, glide gracefully from the stocks.

‘I now commenced visiting all the public institutions. Of charitable
societies the number is amazing; probably no city in the world, of the
same population, possesses an equal number. It may be truly said, that
it deserves its name of “Philadelphia;” there are upwards of thirty
humane institutions and societies for the relief of the poor and
orphans, besides above one hundred and fifty mutual benefit societies,
on the principle of the English clubs; being associations of tradesmen
and artisans for the support of each other in sickness, each member
contributing monthly or weekly a small sum to the general fund. Of
the public institutions, the “Pennsylvania Hospital” is on the most
extensive scale. It is situated in a central part of the city, near
Washington square, and was founded eighty-two years since, Benjamin
Franklin being its greatest promoter. It contains an excellent
library of about seven thousand volumes; and it is calculated that
about fourteen hundred patients are annually admitted into it, of
which number three fifths are paupers; the remainder paying for the
advantages they derive from the institution. The building occupies
an immense extent of ground, and on three sides of it an open space
is left for a free circulation of air; the west end of the building
is a ward for insane patients, of whom there are generally more than
one hundred. The necessary funds for the support of the hospital are
derived from the interest of its capital stock, and from the exhibition
of West’s splendid painting of Christ healing the sick, which produces
about five hundred dollars per annum and is exhibited in a building on
the northern side of the hospital square.’

The United States bank is a splendid edifice, built on the plan of the
Parthenon at Athens. Its length is one hundred and sixty-one, and its
breadth eighty-seven feet. The main entrance is from Chesnut street,
by a flight of six marble steps, extending along the whole front of
the portico, which is supported by fluted columns four and a half feet
in diameter. In the centre of the building is the banking room, which
is eighty-one feet long, and forty-eight feet wide. The whole body of
the edifice is arched in a bomb-proof manner, from the cellar to the
roof, which is covered with copper. The New Bank of Pennsylvania is
an extensive and elegant edifice of marble of the Ionic order, and
constructed after the model of the ancient temple of the Muses, on the
Ilyssus. There are at present seventeen banking houses within the city
and the incorporated districts, with an aggregate capital of more than
twenty millions of dollars.

The Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb is one of the most conspicuous
edifices in the city. The association was established in April, 1820,
and was incorporated in the following year. Philadelphia now contains
about one hundred churches, few of which are distinguished for size,
extent, or architectural beauty.

  Illustration: Deaf and Dumb Asylum.

The state house, in which the continental congress sat, and from
whence the Declaration of Independence issued, is still standing. It
is located in Chesnut street, is built of brick, comprising a centre
and two wings, and has undergone no material alteration since its first
erection. It has a venerable appearance, and is surmounted by a cupola,
having a clock, the dial of which is glass, and is illuminated at night
until ten or eleven o’clock, showing the hour and minutes until that
time. The front is a considerable distance back from the street, the
walk being paved to the curb-stone with brick, and two elegant rows
of trees extending its whole length. East of the main entrance, in the
front room, the sessions of congress were held, and the question of
independence decided.

The arcade contains Peale’s museum, one of the best in the United
States, comprising the most complete skeleton of the mammoth perhaps
in the world. It is perfect, with the exception of a few bones, which
have been supplied by imitating the others. This skeleton was found in
Ulster county, New York.

The Academy of Arts, in Chesnut street, contains a large number of
paintings, several of which are the property of Joseph Bonaparte. Among
these is one executed by David, representing Napoleon crossing the Alps.
Another is a full-length portrait of Joseph himself, as king of Spain.

  Illustration: Academy of Arts.

It is to Franklin that the city is indebted for its great library,
which now numbers about thirty-five thousand volumes. It was
incorporated in 1742, and in 1790, the present neat edifice was erected
on the east side of Fifth street, opposite the state house square.
The Athenæum is a valuable institution, established in 1814; it has a
collection of about five thousand five hundred volumes, and more than
seventy newspapers and periodical journals are regularly received in
its reading room. The Philosophical society has a collection of six
thousand, and the Academy of Natural Sciences a collection of five
thousand volumes. The University of Pennsylvania is distinguished
for its medical school, which is attended by a class of from four to
five hundred. The United States Mint was established in 1791, and by
successive acts of congress has been continued at Philadelphia. In 1829,
a new building for the mint was commenced in Chesnut street; it has but
recently been completed. It is of the Ionic order, and modelled after
a celebrated Grecian temple.[66]

  Illustration: Franklin Institute.

Of the public works of Philadelphia, there is none of which its
inhabitants are most justly proud than those at Fair Mount, by which
the city is supplied with water of the best quality, in the greatest
plenty. Fair Mount is in the rear of the city upon the bank of the
Schuylkill. The reservoirs are situated on the top of a hill rising
from the river, a part of it perpendicular rock, upwards of one hundred
feet. They contain upwards of twelve millions of gallons, supplying the
city through between fifteen and twenty miles of pipes. The water was
formerly forced to the reservoirs by steam, which is no longer used; it
is now raised by machinery propelled by the Schuylkill. The machinery
is simple, and is turned by large water wheels, whose speed may be
graduated to any required number of revolutions per minute; if all are
in motion, they will raise seven millions of gallons in twenty-four
hours. To turn them, the Schuylkill has been dammed its whole breadth,
by which the water is thrown back into a reservoir lock, whence it is
admitted as required to operate upon the wheels, and is discharged into
the river below the dam. The whole expense of these works, including
estimated cost of works abandoned, was one million seven hundred and
eighty-three thousand. The quantity of water which they disseminate
through the city, is not only sufficient for every family, but is used
to wash the streets. It is of immense service in case of fire, as it
is only necessary to screw the hose to hydrants, which are placed at
convenient distances, to secure a constant stream of sufficient force
to reach an ordinary height.

  Illustration: Fair Mount Water-Works.

There are three prisons in Philadelphia, one in Walnut street, a second
in Arch street, and the Eastern Penitentiary. The latter is situated on
high ground near the city, and is designed to carry the principle of
solitary confinement into effect. The system pursued here will be fully
explained in a different portion of the volume. Ten acres are occupied
by the establishment, inclosed by massive walls of granite, thirty-five
feet high, with towers and battlements.

  Illustration: Eastern Penitentiary.

There are two bridges across the Schuylkill, both of which are
substantial and elegant structures. The Fair Mount bridge consists
of a single arch, of three hundred and forty feet in length. The whole
length of that on Market street, is one thousand three hundred feet,
including abutments and wing walls.

  Illustration: Upper Ferry Bridge.

The public markets form a very striking feature of the city. One
is nearly two thirds of a mile in extent. The harbor of Philadelphia
possesses many natural advantages, though it is more liable to be
impeded by ice than either that of New York or Baltimore. The Delaware
is not navigable for the first class of ships of the line. For the
amount of its commerce, Philadelphia is the fourth city in the United
States.

By the will of the late Stephen Girard, Philadelphia received large
bequests of land and money, to be appropriated to purposes of public
improvement. To the Pennsylvania Hospital he gave thirty thousand
dollars; to the city, for city improvements, five hundred thousand
dollars; for a college for poor white male children, and its endowments,
two millions. He made further donations to the city of unimproved lands
in the western territories, and stock in the Schuylkill navigation
company, valued at the sum of six hundred thousand dollars.

By the census of 1810, the population of Philadelphia was ninety-six
thousand six hundred and sixty-four; in 1840 it was two hundred and
thirty-five thousand.

_Pittsburg_, a city and capital of Alleghany county, Pennsylvania,
two hundred and ninety-seven miles west by north of Philadelphia, is
situated on a beautiful plain at the junction of the Alleghany and
Monongahela rivers. It is built on the old site of the famous fort Du
Quesne, whose ruins are still seen in the neighborhood. The situation
of Pittsburg is as advantageous as can well be imagined; it is the key
to the western country, and, excepting New Orleans and Cincinnati, is
the first town of the whole valley of the Mississippi. It was created
a city by the legislature of Pennsylvania, at the session of 1816.
The principal cause which has contributed, after its fine position, to
ensure the prosperity of, Pittsburg, is the exhaustless mass of mineral
coal that exists in its neighborhood. The beds are 340 feet above
low water level, and about two hundred and ninety above the level of
the town. The great abundance of this valuable material has converted
Pittsburg into a vast workshop, and a warehouse for the immense
country below, upon the Ohio and the other large rivers of the valley.
According to a list recently published in one of the Pittsburg papers,
there are in operation in that city, and in its immediate vicinity,
eighty-nine steam engines, on which there are two thousand one hundred
and eleven hands employed, and coal consumed to the amount of one
hundred and fifty-four thousand two hundred and fifty bushels per month.
The great use of this coal has given a general dinginess of appearance
to the town, arising from the smoke. The inhabitants of Pittsburg
present specimens of almost every nation; they are distinguished for
economy and industry. The Western university was established here in
1820. Among the buildings are three or four banks, a small theatre,
a public library, and houses of worship for various sects. Population,
twenty-one thousand two hundred and ninety-six.

_Pittsfield_, a town of Berkshire county, Massachusetts, situated on a
hill at the junction of the principal branches of the Housatonic river.
It contains a bank, an academy, a medical institution, and several
extensive manufactories, among which is one of muskets, where arms have
been frequently made for the United States. Population, four thousand
and sixty.

_Plattsburg_, capital of Clinton county, New York, situated on a fine
bay on the west side of lake Champlain, is handsomely laid out and
contains a bank and several manufactories. It is celebrated in the
history of the late war with Great Britain. Population, 6,416.

_Plymouth_, a port of entry and shire town of Plymouth county,
Massachusetts, is the oldest town in New England, having been settled
by the pilgrims who landed from the Mayflower, December 22d, 1620. It
stands on a fine harbor of the same name, thirty-six miles south-east
of Boston. Though often divided, the township is still sixteen miles
long, and five broad. The Indian name was Accomack. It is a place of
considerable commerce, and contains some manufacturing establishments.
The harbor is large, but shallow, and in 1832 an appropriation was made
by government to repair it. One of the principal buildings is Pilgrim’s
hall, which was erected by the Pilgrim society. A part of the rock on
which the pilgrims landed, has been conveyed to the centre of the town.
Population, five thousand one hundred and eighty.

_Portland_, a port of entry, and commercial metropolis of Maine, in
Cumberland county, is situated on an elevated peninsula in Casco bay.
It has an excellent and spacious harbor, dotted with numerous islands,
and defended by two forts. The town is well laid out, and neatly built.
Among the public buildings are, that formerly occupied as the state
house, a court house, town hall, a theatre, alms-house, six banks,
fifteen churches, a custom-house, academy, and an athenæum, in which
is a library of about three thousand volumes. Much attention is here
paid to education, and there are many good schools. Portland has
considerable commerce, the chief articles of export being fish and
lumber. Its shipping amounts to about forty-five thousand tons. In
1775, this town, then called Falmouth, was set on fire by the British,
and about two thirds of the houses were destroyed. It was incorporated
under its present name in 1786. Population, fifteen thousand two
hundred and eighteen.

  Illustration: Mariners’ Church, Portland.

_Portsmouth_, in Rockingham county, New Hampshire, is the largest
town in the state, and the only seaport. It is situated on a beautiful
peninsula on the south side of Piscataqua river, three miles from
the sea. Its harbor is one of the best on the continent, having
a sufficient depth of water for vessels of any burden. It is well
protected by fort Constitution and fort M‘Clary; there are also, three
other forts, built for the defence of the harbor, but not garrisoned.
There is a light-house on Great island. This town has a number of
churches and other public buildings, but none of any great pretensions.
It has suffered severely from fires at different periods. The first
settlement was made here in 1623, and, ten years afterwards, the town
was incorporated by charter. The first ship of the line built in the
United States, was built here during the revolution; it was called the
North America. On Navy island, on the side of the Piscataqua, opposite
to the town, is a navy yard of the United States. The amount of
shipping owned in New Hampshire in 1828, amounted to above twenty-six
thousand tons; and of this nearly all must have belonged to Portsmouth.
Population, seven thousand eight hundred and eighty-four.

_Poughkeepsie_, in Dutchess county, New York, seventy-five miles
south of Albany, is situated one mile on the Hudson river, and was
incorporated in 1801. The village is handsomely situated, and a place
of considerable trade. It is laid out in the form of a cross, the two
principal streets cutting each other at right angles. The trade at the
landings employs a number of packets. This town contains the county
buildings, five churches, an academy, a bank, and several factories.
Population, ten thousand and six.

_Providence_, city and seaport in the county of the same name, in
Rhode Island, is situated at the head of tide water of Narragansett
bay, about thirty miles from the Atlantic ocean, and forty miles
south-south-west of Boston. In point of population it is the second
town in New England. The town is built on both sides of what is
commonly called Providence river; and vessels of nine hundred tons
burden can come to the wharves. Many of the private residences in
this town are finely situated, and of beautiful appearance. The chief
public buildings are the state house, the arcade, fourteen houses of
public worship, the halls of Brown university, an asylum, five public
school-houses, and several large manufacturing establishments. The
arcade is a splendid edifice of granite, with two fronts presenting
colonnades of the pure Doric order. The building is two hundred and
twenty-two feet in length, extending from street to street. Brown
university was incorporated in 1769, and, under its present government,
promises to take a high stand as a literary institution. The college
buildings stand on a lofty elevation, and the approach to them is
through a street decorated with fine mansions and elegant gardens.

  Illustration: Providence Arcade.

Providence became early distinguished as a place of commercial
promise. During the first six months of the year 1791, the duties paid
on imports and tonnage amounted to nearly sixty thousand dollars; in
1831, the whole amount collected was about two hundred and twenty-seven
thousand. There are four insurance companies. The aggregate capital of
the banks, which are fifteen in number, is four and a half millions; to
this we may add eight hundred thousand dollars, which form the capital
of the Branch bank of the United States, and one hundred thousand
belonging to the Savings bank. The Blackstone canal, which extends to
Worcester, in Massachusetts, was completed in 1828; its whole cost was
seven hundred thousand dollars. Providence is most distinguished for
its manufactures, which are very numerous, and embrace many varieties
of articles. Capitalists of the city have also about two million of
dollars invested in manufactures of other towns. The settlement of
this place was commenced as early as 1636, by Roger Williams, a puritan
clergyman who had been settled at Salem, but who had been banished
beyond the jurisdiction of Massachusetts, on account of his contending
for entire and unrestricted freedom in matters of religion. The
population of Providence is twenty-three thousand and forty-two.

_Quincy_, in Norfolk county, Massachusetts, was settled in 1625, under
the name of Mount Wollaston. Extensive quarries of fine granite are
wrought here; the first rail-road constructed in America was built for
the purpose of conveying the granite from the quarry to the landing.
This town is very pleasant, and contains many handsome country seats;
among which is that of ex-president Adams. Population, three thousand
three hundred and nine.

_Raleigh_, city and capital of North Carolina, in Wake county, near
the west bank of the river Neuse, is pleasantly situated in an elevated
tract of country. Besides the government buildings, it contains other
convenient and elegant public edifices. In the centre of the town is
a large square, from which extend four wide streets, dividing the town
into quarters. In the centre of this square stood the state house, with
the splendid statue of Washington, by Canova; the edifice was burnt
down in 1831, and the statue almost destroyed. In the neighborhood of
the town is an excellent quarry of granite. Population, one thousand
seven hundred.

_Reading_, the capital of Berks county, Pennsylvania, is a beautiful
town, situated on Schuylkill river, fifty-four miles north-west of
Philadelphia, on the road to lake Erie. It is a flourishing place,
regularly laid out and inhabited chiefly by Germans; it contains the
usual county buildings, an elegant church for German Lutherans, another
for Calvinists, one for Roman Catholics, a meeting-house for Friends,
and other public edifices. In the neighborhood of this town are a
number of fulling mills, and several iron works. Population, eight
thousand seven hundred and fourteen.

_Richmond_, the metropolis of Virginia, and seat of justice for
Henrico county, is situated at the falls of James river, on the north
side, one hundred and fifty miles above its mouth, and contains twelve
thousand inhabitants. The site is very uneven, and the situation is
healthy, beautiful and picturesque. On the opposite side of the river
is Manchester, connected with Richmond by two bridges. The falls and
rapids extend nearly six miles, in which distance the river descends
eighty feet. A canal with three locks is cut on the north side of
the river, terminating at the town in a basin of about two acres.
Few cities situated so far from the sea, possess better commercial
advantages than Richmond, being at the head of tide water, on a river
navigable for batteaux, two hundred and twenty miles above the city.
The back country is fertile, and abundant in the production of tobacco,
wheat, corn, hemp, and coal. Some of the principal buildings are
the capitol, penitentiary, armory, court house, and eight houses of
public worship. The capitol stands on a commanding situation, and is
a conspicuous object to the surrounding country. In 1811, the theatre
at Richmond took fire during an exhibition, and in the conflagration,
seventy-two persons lost their lives, among whom was the governor of
the state. An elegant Episcopal church of brick, styled the Monumental
Church, has been erected on the spot, with a monument in front,
commemorative of the melancholy event. Population, 20,152.

_Rochester_, in Monroe county, in the western part of New York, is
the most populous and important village in the state. Its growth has
been wonderfully rapid. Thirty years ago there was a wild uninhabited
tract, where now is a flourishing population of more than twenty
thousand people. This growth has been owing to the passage of the Erie
canal through the town, thus furnishing a conveyance to the numerous
manufactures which the great water power of the Gennessee enabled them
to carry on. The canal crosses the river three hundred yards above the
falls. For the distance of three quarters of a mile in the village,
the river is walled with hammer-dressed stone, to the height of from
ten to twenty feet. The power which is furnished by this river, in the
course of two miles at this place, at low water, is equal to that of
six hundred and forty steam engines of twenty horse-power each. The
manufactories are very numerous; they consist of sixteen flour mills,
four woolen factories, two of cotton, three marble, and others of
almost every description. There are twelve religious and seventeen
benevolent societies; the literary institutions are numerous, and there
are many well-conducted schools. The receipts of the canal toll office
of this town are larger than those of any town in the state, except
Albany. Population in 1815, three hundred and thirty-one; in 1840,
twenty thousand one hundred and ninety-one.[67]

_Rutland_, seat of justice of Rutland county, Vermont, is a village of
irregular form, and was first settled in 1770. During the revolution,
two picket forts were built here. There are quarries of blue and white
marble, in a range extending from Berkshire county, Massachusetts.
Population, two thousand seven hundred and eight.

_Saco_, port of entry in York county, Maine, is situated at the head of
tide water on Saco river. The falls at this place afford a great water
power, and carry many saw mills; numerous factories might be erected on
the shore. The lumber trade of this town is extensive and profitable.
Population, four thousand four hundred and eight.

_St. Augustine_, city of Florida, situated on the Atlantic shore of
that territory, is the oldest settlement in North America, having been
founded by the Spaniards forty years before the landing of the English
at Jameston, in Virginia. The breakers at the entrance of the harbor
have formed two channels, whose bars have eight feet of water each.
A fort, mounting thirty-six guns, defends the town. When Florida was
ceded to the United States, in 1821, the number of inhabitants was
about two thousand five hundred, and it has not increased.

_St. Genevieve_, a town of Missouri in the county of the same name, is
situated on the second bank of the Mississippi, about one mile from the
river, and twenty-one miles below Herculaneum. It was commenced about
the year 1774, and is a depot for most of the mines in the neighborhood,
and the store-house from whence are drawn the supplies of the miners.
Its site is a handsome plain; the little river Gabourie, whose two
branches form a junction between the town and the river, waters it on
its upper and lower margins. The common field, inclosed and cultivated
by the citizens, contains about six thousand acres. A road runs from
this town to the lead mines, and the greater part of the inhabitants
have an interest in, or are employed in some way in, the lead trade.
Population about one thousand five hundred.

_St. Louis_, the principal town of Missouri stands nearly in the centre
of the Great Valley on the right bank of the Mississippi, seventeen
miles below the mouth of the Missouri, one hundred and seventy-five
above the mouth of the Ohio, one thousand three hundred and fifty
miles from the Gulf of Mexico, and eight hundred and fifty from
Washington. It was founded in 1774, but remained a mere village while
under the French and Spanish colonial governments. It has easy water
communication with the country at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, two
thousand six hundred miles distant, by the course of the river, on one
side, and with Quebec and New-York, between one thousand eight hundred,
and two thousand miles, on the other; and with New-Orleans, one
thousand two hundred and fifty, to the south, and Fort Snelling, eight
hundred and sixty miles to the north. The site of the town rises gently
from the water, and is bounded on the west by an extensive plain. The
buildings mostly occupy several parallel streets beside the river.
Here are a Catholic College, and several other seminaries of learning.
The Catholic Cathedral is a magnificent structure. The hospital, and
orphan asylum, under the care of the sisters of Charity, the convent of
the Sacred Heart, the City Hall, &c., are among the public buildings.
The population is twenty-one thousand, five hundred and eighty five,
including many Germans and French.

The fur-trade, the lead mines, the supplies for the Indians, create a
good deal of business here, and St. Louis is the emporium of the vast
regions on the upper Mississippi and the Missouri.

The manufactures are also extensive and increasing, and the abundance
of coal in the neighborhood, and the mineral wealth of the State, must
make this an important branch of industry.――There is a United States
arsenal just below the city, and five miles distant are _Jefferson
Barracks_, an important military station.

_Salem_, a seaport, and capital of Essex county, Massachusetts, in
proportion to its size, is one of the wealthiest towns in the United
States. The pop. fifteen thousand and fifty-one. It is chiefly built
on a tongue of land formed by two inlets from the sea, called North
and South rivers; over the former of which is a bridge one thousand
five hundred feet long, connecting Salem with Beverly, and the latter
forms the harbor. The situation is low, but pleasant and healthy. The
appearance of the town is irregular, the streets having been laid out
with little regard to symmetry or beauty. The public buildings, among
which are fifteen houses of public worship, are neat, but not splendid.
The private houses have generally the appearance of neatness, comfort,
and convenience, and many of them indicate taste and opulence. The town
was formerly built almost wholly of wood, but a large proportion of the
houses, erected within the last twenty years, are of brick.

The Marine museum is a valuable collection of rare curiosities,
collected from all quarters of the globe, and presented by the members
of the East India society. The number of banks in this town is eight;
there are six insurance companies. Three semi-weekly and two weekly
papers are published. There are sixteen tanneries, eleven rope and
twine factories, two white lead factories, and a chemical laboratory.
Much attention is here paid to education, the schools being very
numerous and well supported. With the exception of Plymouth, Salem
is the oldest settlement in New England. It was founded in 1628. Its
Indian name was Naumkeag, and this name it long retained.

_Salina_, a post township, and seat of justice of Onondaga county, New
York, includes Onondaga lake, and the principal salt springs in the
state. Very extensive works have been established for several years;
the number of manufactories of salt by artificial heat is one hundred
and thirty-five. In 1831, the amount of salt manufactured was nearly a
million and a half of bushels. These waters are owned by the state of
New York, and a duty of twelve and a half cents per bushel is exacted
on all the salt manufactured from them. From sixteen to twenty-five
ounces of salt are obtained from a gallon of water. Most of the salt
hitherto made has been very fine. The price is about twenty-five cents
a bushel. This township includes four considerable villages, which
contain eleven thousand and thirteen inhabitants.

_Saratoga_, in a county of the same name in New York, is a pleasant
town, and presents a surface agreeably diversified with ranges of hills.
It is memorable for the surrender of Burgoyne to General Gates, on the
seventeenth of October, 1777. Population, two thousand six hundred and
twenty-four.

_Saratoga Springs_, an incorporated village in Saratoga county, New
York, and the great fashionable resort during summer, on account of its
mineral waters. The springs are numerous, and the accommodations for
visitors extensive; but the surrounding country has few attractions.
The village is built on a low sandy plain. Population, three thousand
three hundred and eighty-four.

_Saugerties_, a town of Ulster county, New York, crossed by Esopus
creek. One mile west of it is the village, and at its mouth are
extensive manufacturing establishments, supplied with water by a
canal cut deep through a rock round the head of the falls, and leading
into an artificial basin. The creek is navigable for sloops to these
mills. The inhabitants are generally of Dutch descent. Population, six
thousand two hundred and sixteen.

  Illustration: Barclay’s Iron Works, Saugerties.

_Savannah_, in Chatham county, a port of entry, and the principal
emporium of Georgia, is situated on the river of the same name,
seventeen miles from its mouth. It is built on a sandy cliff, elevated
forty feet above low tide. Vessels drawing fourteen feet of water come
up to the city; larger vessels stop three miles below. The city is
regularly laid out, and contains ten squares, that, with the public
walks, are planted with the Pride of China trees, which contribute
much to the salubrity, comfort and ornament of the place. The streets
are unpaved, and very sandy. The principal public buildings are a
court house, exchange, academy, and ten houses of public worship. The
exchange is a brick building of five stories. The new Presbyterian
church is a very elegant and, spacious edifice of stone The city, a
few years ago, was built almost wholly of wood, with very few elegant
houses; but a large proportion of the houses recently erected are
handsomely built of brick. Population, eleven thousand two hundred and
fourteen.

  Illustration: Interior of Presbyterian Church.

_Saybrook_, in Middlesex county, Connecticut, and the spot of the first
settlement in the state, was founded in 1635. The ground was early laid
out for a city, and it was supposed that it would become a place of
commercial importance. Granite quarries near to navigable waters are
found in the vicinity. Population, three thousand four hundred and
seventeen.

_Schenectady_, a city in Schenectady county, New York, about sixteen
miles north-west of Albany, is regularly built, and a pleasant and
flourishing place. The Erie canal passes through it, and communication
with the Hudson is facilitated by the rail-road to Albany; the
rail-road to Saratoga is much travelled during the warm season. Many
lines of stage coaches pass through this city. Union college was
incorporated in 1794, and is a highly respectable institution. This
town was one of the earliest settlements in New York; it was built on
the site of a Mohawk village. Population, six thousand seven hundred
and eighty-four.

_Springfield_, seat of justice in Hampden county, Massachusetts, is
a flourishing town, standing at the foot of a high hill, the side of
which is ornamented with fine buildings, the residences of some of the
wealthier inhabitants, and the top occupied by the United States armory.
This establishment occupies a large space of ground, and commands a
fine view. In 1786, during the rebellion of Shays, he attacked the
armory, at the head of a strong party of undisciplined men. General
Shepard, who had command at the place, attempted to dissuade them from
their attempt, and finally drove them off by firing twice. The first
shot, over their heads, dispersed the raw troops, and the second drove
off the remainder, who, being about two hundred revolutionary soldiers,
did not desist until they had lost a few of their men. This was the
first check the insurrection received, which was put down without much
subsequent trouble.

Besides the usual county buildings, Springfield contains four churches,
and two insurance offices. It is a thriving seat of manufactures, and
in the division of the town called Chickapee village, there are four
large cotton factories, and a bleaching establishment. Three of the
factories give employment to six hundred persons. In this village there
are also iron works. Population of Springfield, eleven thousand and
thirteen.

_Springfield_, the capital of Illinois, near the centre of the State,
and on the border of a beautiful prairie, is the most important town
in the interior. Its principal growth has been within ten years past.
It contains a State house, for the erection of which $50,000 has been
appropriated; a court house; market house, on a fine public square;
a jail, a U. S. land office, 6 churches, 3 academies, and 3 printing
offices. Population 2579.

_Steubenville_, seat of justice of Jefferson county, Ohio, situated on
the first and second banks of the Ohio river, was regularly laid out in
1798. It is a flourishing and pleasant place. Population, 5,203.

_Tallahassee_, seat of government of Florida territory, is situated in
Middle Florida, about twenty-five miles north of Apalachee bay. It was
incorporated as a city in 1825. It is pleasantly situated in a fertile
neighborhood, and on a site considerably elevated. Population, about
one thousand two hundred.

_Taunton_, shire town of Bristol county, Massachusetts, is pleasantly
situated on Taunton river, which is navigable to this place for
sloops. The first settlement was made here in 1637; the Indian name was
Cohannet. It is a handsome and flourishing town, with excellent water
power and numerous manufactories; the nail factories make from eight to
ten tons daily. The first important iron works in America were erected
here. Population, seven thousand five hundred and twenty-four.

_Ticonderoga_, a town of Essex county, New York, ninety-six miles north
of Albany. There is a valuable iron mine in this township. Ticonderoga
fort, famous in the American wars, stands on an elevation on the west
side of lake Champlain, north of the entrance of the outlet from lake
George. Considerable vestiges of the fortress still remain, of which a
description is given in another part of the volume. About a mile south
of the fort, stands mount Defiance, and mount Independence is half a
mile distant on the opposite side of the lake. Population, 2,169.

_Trenton_, city of Hunterdon county, New Jersey, and capital of the
state, is situated on the east bank of the river Delaware, opposite
the falls, thirty-one miles from Philadelphia, and sixty from New York.
It is a handsome town, standing nearly in the centre of the state,
from north to south, and at the head of sloop navigation; the river not
being navigable above the falls, except for boats carrying from five
to seven hundred bushels of wheat. The streets are very commodious,
and the houses neatly built. The public buildings are, the state
house, two banks, and six churches. In the neighborhood are a number
of gentlemen’s seats, finely situated on the banks of the river, and
ornamented with taste and elegance. Trenton bridge, over the Delaware,
is a beautiful structure. It consists of five arches of one hundred
and ninety-four feet span each; the whole length is nine hundred and
seventy feet, the breadth thirty-six. The Delaware and Raritan canal,
extending from Trenton to New Brunswick, crosses the city, and is
joined by the feeder, which enters the river above the falls. There
are several mills and manufactories in the neighborhood. Trenton
is connected with memorable events in our revolutionary history.
Population, four thousand and seven.

_Troy_, a city and capital of Rensselaer county, New York, stands on
the east bank of the Hudson, six miles north of Albany. It is built
on a handsome elevation, is regularly laid out, and contains some
beautiful private residences. Many of the streets are shaded by fine
trees, and the general aspect of the city is attractive and elegant.
The taxable property in 1831 amounted to nearly four millions of
dollars. The situation of the town for trade and manufactures is
very commanding. It enjoys excellent communication with the interior;
large sloops and steamboats ascend the river to this place; and a dam
across the Hudson, with a branch canal, locks, and a basin, opens a
communication with the Erie and Champlain canals. Hourly stages run to
Albany. The water power of the streams which rise in the neighboring
eminences is well employed, and by means of it several manufactories
are carried on. About twenty-five thousand barrels of beer, ninety-five
thousand rolls of paper, seven hundred thousand pounds of tallow and
soap, one hundred thousand pair of boots and shoes, two thousand tons
of nails and spikes, and twenty-five thousand bells, are made here
annually. Large quantities of lumber, flour, grain, beef, pork, wool,
and other articles, besides manufactured goods, are shipped to the
river towns, and to New York, New Jersey, and Boston. There are nine
churches in this town, three banks, two insurance companies, a court
house of Sing-Sing marble, a female seminary of considerable reputation,
and a literary institution for the practical education of young men.
Population, nineteen thousand three hundred and seventy-three.

_Troy_, in Bristol county. Massachusetts, lies on the west side
of Taunton river, and includes Fall River village, an extensive
manufacturing place. In this place are thirteen cotton factories,
a satinet factory, a print factory, large iron works, and machine
shops. This place has been of recent and rapid growth. Population,
six thousand seven hundred and thirty-eight.

_Tuscaloosa_, seat of justice of Tuscaloosa county, and capital of
the state of Alabama, is situated on the left bank of Black Warrior
river, three hundred and twenty miles above Mobile. The name of this
town is the Choctaw word for Black Warrior. The first settlement was
made in 1816–17, and, by the last census, it contained one thousand
nine hundred and forty-nine inhabitants.

_Utica_, city of Oneida county, New York, is pleasantly situated on
the south side of the river Mohawk, and is one of the largest and most
important of the western towns of this state. The river, the great road,
and the Erie canal, all meet, and roads from a variety of directions
concentrate at this point. The canal level is four hundred and
twenty-five feet above the tide water at Albany. The streets are broad,
straight, and commodious; the principal ones are well built, with rows
of brick stores, or elegant dwelling-houses. The chartered institutions
are fifteen, including three banks, two insurance companies, an
aqueduct company, and associations for literary and benevolent purposes.
There are also thirty-three charitable societies not chartered, and
thirty-six private schools. Numerous manufactories are in operation in
the neighborhood. The situation of Utica gives it superior advantages
for trade, and has led to a flourishing business and considerable
wealth. The canal commerce in 1831, yielded tolls to the amount of nine
hundred and thirty-eight thousand dollars. In 1794, Utica contained
nineteen families; its present population is estimated at 12 thousand
674. It was incorporated as a city in 1830; and it is worthy of mention
that its charter expressly prohibits the licensing of shops for the
retail of ardent spirits.

_Vandalia_, in Fayette county, Illinois, late the seat of government,
is situated on a high bank of the river Kaskaskia, eighty miles
north-east by east, from St. Louis. Though founded but a few years
since, it is a place of respectable appearance, and will soon command
an extensive business. Population, about five hundred.

_Vergennes_, a city of Addison county, Vermont, is situated at the
head of navigation on Otter creek. It was incorporated in 1788. In
1814, Commodore M‘Donough’s flotilla was equipped here; and the large
lake steamboats have laid up here for the winter. Some ship-building
is carried on, and the trade of the place is considerable. Population,
one thousand.

_Vevay_, the seat of justice of Switzerland county, Indiana, is
situated on the Ohio river, about forty-five miles below Cincinnati.
The settlement was commenced by a few emigrants from Switzerland, in
the spring of 1805. There has been a gradual accession of numbers to
this interesting colony. As early as 1810, they had eight acres of
vineyard, from which they made two thousand four hundred gallons of
wine. A part of this wine was made out of the Madeira grape. They
have now greatly augmented the number of their vineyards, which, when
bearing, present to the eye of the observer, the most interesting
agricultural prospect, perhaps ever witnessed in the United States.
They also cultivate Indian corn, wheat, potatoes, hemp, flax, and other
articles necessary to farmers, but in quantities barely sufficient
for domestic use. Some of their women manufacture straw hats, made
quite differently from the common straw bonnets, by tying the straws
together, instead of plaiting and sewing the plaits. They are sold
in great numbers in the neighboring settlements, and in the states of
Mississippi and Indiana. Population, about fifteen hundred.

_Vincennes_, the seat of justice for Knox county, Indiana, stands
on the east bank of the Wabash, one hundred and fifty miles from its
junction with the Ohio. The plan of the town is handsomely designed;
the streets are wide, and cross each other at right angles. Almost
every house has a garden in its rear, with high substantial picket
fences. The common field near the town contains nearly five thousand
acres, of excellent prairie soil, which has been cultivated for more
than half a century, and yet retains its pristine fertility. Population
about eighteen hundred. This town was settled in 1735, by French
emigrants from Canada, and, next to Kaskaskia, is the oldest town in
the western world. Of late years, it has rapidly improved, and now
contains three hundred houses, besides churches, and the usual county
buildings.

_Waltham_, in Middlesex county, Massachusetts, on the north side of
Charles river, is a pleasant town, and contains three cotton factories,
among the most extensive and best conducted in the country. These
establishments were commenced in 1814. The proprietors of the factories
support two schools at this place, where gratuitous instruction
is regularly provided. Population, two thousand five hundred and
ninety-three.

_Warwick_, seat of justice of Kent county, Rhode Island, is one of the
most important manufacturing towns in the country. The fisheries are
also extensive. The branches of the Pawtucket river unite here, and
furnish valuable water power. Population, six thousand seven hundred
and twenty-six.

_Washington_, capital of the District of Columbia, and seat of the
general government of the United States, is situated on the left bank
of the Potomac, near the head of tide water, and by the river and bay
two hundred and ninety miles from the Atlantic. It is divided into
three distinct divisions which are built about the navy yard, the
capitol, and the Pennsylvania avenue. The principal streets meet from
all points of the compass, at the capitol, and bear the names of the
older states in the union. Some of the minor streets are distinguished
by the letters of the alphabet, and tracts of ground have been reserved
for public squares. Except during the sessions of congress, when the
city is thronged with strangers from all parts of the country, there is
little to interest one but the public buildings and the navy yard.

The president’s house is a large edifice of white marble, with Grecian
fronts, situated about a mile west of the capitol, and near the public
offices. It is two stories high with a lofty basement, and one hundred
and eighty feet long, by eighty-five in width; it is surrounded by a
wall. The entrance hall leads into the drawing room, where the company
are received at the levees.

  Illustration: President’s House.

The capitol is placed in an area of above twenty acres of ground,
inclosed by an iron railing, and commands, by the sudden declivity of
the ground on one side, a very charming view of the city and adjoining
country, and of the river Potomac. The building is three hundred and
fifty-two feet in front, and the greatest height to the top is one
hundred and forty-five feet.

  Illustration: Capitol.

The chamber of representatives is semi-circular, in the form of the
ancient Grecian theatre. It is surrounded by twenty-four columns of
variegated native marble, from the banks of the Potomac, which stand on
a base of free-stone, and support the magnificent dome. The seats for
the members are conveniently disposed; each member has his fixed place,
a chair, and a small desk. An engraved plan of the house, a copy of
which is easily procured at the door, points out the name and place of
each member, so that by referring to the plan, every member is at once
known.

  Illustration: Interior of the House of Representatives.

The hall of the senate is a good deal smaller than that of the
representatives, and is very elegantly fitted up. It is also
semi-circular, and the president’s chair is in the centre. In another
part of the building is the library of congress; the great hall
contains four national pictures, painted by Colonel Trumbull, and four
relievos in marble, representing scenes connected with various portions
of our history.

The treasury, navy, war, and land offices are all in the vicinity of
the president’s house; as, also, are the residences of the foreign
ministers. The patent office is in the same building with the general
post office, and contains numerous models of inventions, in all
branches of art. There are more than three thousand dwellings in
Washington, and the population is twenty-three thousand two hundred
and three.[68]

  Illustration: Department of State.

_Waterville_, a town of Kennebec county, Maine, on the west side
of the river Kennebec, eighteen miles north by east of Augusta. The
principal village stands at the head of boat navigation, and its trade
is flourishing. The Wesleyan seminary is established here; in this
institution, the students contribute to their support by manual labor.
Population, two thousand nine hundred and thirty-nine.

_Watervliet_, a town of Albany county, New York, six miles north of
Albany, belonging principally, to the manor of Rensselaerwick. At this
place the Erie crosses the Mohawk canal, and descends by double locks
to the Champlain canal. In the west part is Niskayuna, a settlement of
the Shakers. At Gibbonsville, another village of the township, is an
arsenal of the United States. Population, ten thousand one hundred and
forty-one.

_Wethersfield_, in Hartford county, Connecticut, is a very pleasant
town, having broad streets shaded with elms. It was founded in 1634,
and is the oldest settlement on Connecticut river. Rich and extensive
meadows border the river, and a broad and high level tract, at about
a mile distant, affords a fine soil for onions, which are raised here
in large quantities. The state prison at this place has been erected
within a few years, and the discipline pursued here is similar to that
of Auburn. For details on the subject, refer to the chapter on Prison
Discipline. Population, three thousand eight hundred and twenty-four.

_Wheeling_, seat of justice for Ohio county, Virginia, is situated
on a high bank of the river Ohio, ninety-five miles below Pittsburgh.
It is surrounded by bold and steep hills abounding in coal. The great
national road from Baltimore strikes the river at this place. Its
position possesses many advantages, and its growth of late years
has been very rapid. Wheeling fort, built at an early period of the
revolution, was the origin of the settlement. It is a constant resort
for travellers, and promises to be a place of much importance. Pop.
eight thousand seven hundred and ninety-three.

_Williamsburg_, the seat of justice of James City county, Virginia,
situated between York and James rivers, sixty miles south-east by east
of Richmond, was formerly the metropolis of the state, but has greatly
declined. The college of William and Mary was founded here in 1693,
but is now in decay, though attempts are making to revive its former
prosperous condition.

_Williamstown_, in Berkshire county, Massachusetts, is situated in the
north-west corner of the state, one hundred and thirty-five miles north
by west from Boston. It has two congregational churches, and a college.
Williams college was incorporated in 1793. Population, two thousand and
seventy-six.

_Wilmington_, city, and port of entry, of New Castle county, Delaware,
between the Brandywine and Christiana creeks, one mile above their
junction, twenty-eight miles south-west of Philadelphia, is pleasantly
situated on moderately elevated ground. It is mostly built of brick,
and the streets are regularly laid out. The water power in the vicinity
is great, and is employed in saw mills, powder and paper mills, and
a variety of manufactories to a very considerable extent. The finest
collection of flour mills in the United States is at this place.
Population, eight thousand three hundred and sixty-seven.

_Wilmington_, port of entry, and seat of justice of New Hanover county,
North Carolina, is situated on the east side of Cape Fear river, and
has an extensive trade. Most of the exports from the state are from
this town. The entrance to the harbor is rendered difficult by a shoal,
but it admits vessels of three hundred tons. Opposite the town are
three islands, which afford excellent rice-fields. Population, 4,268.

_Windsor_, seat of justice of Windsor county, Vermont, pleasantly
situated on the west bank of the Connecticut, is surrounded by romantic
and picturesque scenery. It contains a state prison, and several
handsome houses, and its manufactures are considerable. Population,
two thousand seven hundred and forty-four.

_Worcester_, seat of justice of Worcester county, Massachusetts,
forty miles west by south of Boston, is one of the most flourishing
towns in New England, and is a great thoroughfare for travellers. It
lies principally on one long and broad street, nearly level, and shaded
with fine trees. It contains the usual county buildings, four churches,
and the Massachusetts Lunatic hospital, a spacious structure of brick,
admirably arranged, and calculated for the accommodation of one hundred
and twenty patients. The American Antiquarian society was founded
and endowed by the late Isaiah Thomas; it has a handsome building,
containing a hall, a valuable cabinet, and a library of eight thousand
volumes, including many ancient and rare works on American history.
There are three printing offices, which issue four weekly newspapers.
The Blackstone canal terminates in this town, and furnishes boat
navigation to Providence. The great western rail road passes through
the place. This town was first settled in 1674, and at an early
period suffered much from the attacks of the Indians. It was called
Quinsigamond by the natives. Population, seven thousand and sixty.

_York_, port of entry, and semi-metropolis of York county, Maine, was
laid out originally for a large city, and is a place of considerable
trade. York river runs through it, and empties into the ocean,
affording a good harbor for vessels of two hundred tons. Population,
three thousand one hundred and eleven.

_Yorktown_, port of entry, and seat of justice, York county, Virginia,
is situated on the south side of York river. The river at this place
affords the best harbor in the state; but the town has not become
populous, nor the trade extensive. Yorktown will always be famous for
the surrender of the British army under Cornwallis, at the close of
the revolutionary war. The number of prisoners was seven thousand one
hundred and seven, and the American contest for independence was thus
happily concluded.

_Zanesville_, a flourishing town, and seat of justice for Muskingum
county, Ohio, is situated on the east bank of Muskingum river,
seventy-four miles west from Wheeling in Virginia. The river has falls
here, which afford water power for a number of factories. The great
Cumberland road passes through the town. Population, 4,766.



                      CHAPTER III.――AGRICULTURE.


OUR sketch of the agriculture of the United States must be brief and
general; as the numerous subjects to be treated in the present volume
do not allow space for very minute details. The vast extent of the
country, and its various soil and climate, afford growth to a great
variety of productions. As a science, agriculture was formerly much
neglected, and it is only of late years that it has received any thing
of the attention it deserves. ‘It is indeed a lamentable truth,’ says
Mr. Watson, ‘that, for the most part, our knowledge and practice of
agriculture, at the close of the revolutionary war, were in a state
of demi-barbarism, with some solitary exceptions. The labors, I may
say, of only three agricultural societies in America, at that epoch,
conducted by ardent patriots, by philosophers, and gentlemen, in New
York state, Philadelphia, and Boston, kept alive a spirit of inquiry,
often resulting in useful and practical operations; and yet these
measures did not reach the doors of practical farmers, to any visible
extent. Nor was their plan of organization calculated to infuse a
spirit of emulation, which county, or state, should excel in the
honorable strife of competition in discoveries and improvements,
in drawing from the soil the greatest quantum of net profits within
a given space; at the same time, keeping the land in an improving
condition, in reference to its native vigor. These results, and
the renovation of lands exhausted by means of a barbarous course of
husbandry, for nearly two centuries, are the cardinal points now in
progression in our old settled countries, stimulated by the influence
of agricultural societies. Nor did their measures produce any essential
or extensive effects in the improvement of the breeds of domestic
animals; much less in exciting to rival efforts the female portion
of the community, in calling forth the active energies of our native
resources in relation to household manufactures. The scene is now
happily reversed in all directions. Perhaps there is no instance, in
any age or country, where a whole nation has emerged, in so short a
period, from such general depression, into such a rapid change in the
several branches to which I have already alluded; in some instances, it
has been like the work of magic.’

The early neglect of agriculture may be traced to very obvious causes.
The first settlements in the country were made along the shores of
the sea, or on the banks of navigable rivers. Population was thin and
scattered, and the ocean with its tributary waters offered by far the
easiest means of subsistence. The fisheries and navigation naturally
attracted their active attention, and the cultivation of the earth was
limited to the supply of the necessaries of life, and a scanty surplus
to answer the humble demands of colonial commerce. The circumstances
of the country, down to the very era of the revolutionary struggle,
were such as tended unavoidably to reduce agriculture below its just
consequence in the scale of useful employments, and to elevate all the
arts connected with navigation above their proper estimation. Capital
was drawn off from the pursuits of agriculture and devoted to the more
lucrative pursuits of commerce. When to this is added the unceasing
drain upon the agricultural population, by the prospects which the
extent of the interior, and the cheapness of lands, opened to their
enterprise, and the consequent effect upon the demand for labor, there
is more cause of surprise that the actual state of cultivation is so
good, than of reproach that it did not receive higher improvement. The
increase of population in the United States, and the long-continued
peace in Europe, by limiting the sphere and diminishing the profits of
commercial speculation, have operated to withdraw capital from the sea,
and invest it in agriculture and manufactures.

The farms of the eastern, northern, and middle states consist,
generally, of from fifty to two hundred acres, seldom rising to more
than three hundred, and generally falling short of two hundred acres.
These farms are inclosed, and divided either by stone walls, or rail
fences made of timber, hedges not being common. The building first
erected on a new lot, or on a tract of land not yet cleared from its
native growth of timber, is what is called a _log-house_. This is a hut
or cabin, made of round, straight logs, about a foot in diameter, lying
on each other, and notched in at the corners. The intervals between the
logs are filled with slips of wood, and the crevices generally stopped
with mortar made of clay. The fire-place commonly consists of rough
stones, so placed as to form a hearth, on which wood may be burned.
Sometimes these stones are made to assume the form of a chimney, and
are carried up through the roof; and sometimes a hole in the roof is
the only substitute for a chimney. The roof is made of rafters, forming
an acute angle at the summit of the erection, and is covered with
shingles, commonly split from pine trees, or with bark, peeled from
the hemlock.

When the occupant or first settler of this new land finds himself in
comfortable circumstances, he builds what is styled a frame house,
composed of timber, held together by tenons, mortises and pins,
and boarded, shingled and clapboarded on the outside, and often
painted white, sometimes red. Houses of this kind generally contain a
dining-room and kitchen, and three or four bed-rooms on the same floor.
They are rarely destitute of good cellars, which the nature of the
climate renders almost indispensable. The farm-buildings consist of a
barn, proportioned to the size of the farm, with stalls for horses and
cows on each side, and a threshing-floor in the middle, and the more
wealthy farmers add a cellar under the barn, a part of which receives
the manure from the stalls, and another part serves as a store-room for
roots, &c. for feeding stock. What is called a _corn-barn_ is likewise
very common, which is built exclusively for storing the ears of Indian
corn. The sleepers of this building are generally set up four or five
feet from the ground, on smooth stone posts or pillars, which rats,
mice, or other vermin cannot ascend.

With regard to the best manner of clearing forest land from its
natural growth of timber, the following observations may be of use to
a first settler. In those parts of the country where wood is of but
little value, the trees are felled in one of the summer months, the
earlier in the season the better, as the stumps will be less apt to
sprout, and the trees will have a longer time to dry. The trees lie
till the following spring, when such limbs as are not very near the
ground should be cut off, that they may burn the better. Fire must be
put to them in the driest part of the month of May, or, if the whole of
that month prove wet, it may be applied in the beginning of June. Only
the bodies of the trees will remain after burning, and some of them
will be burned into pieces. Those which require to be made shorter,
are cut in pieces nearly of a length, drawn together by oxen, piled
in close heaps, and burned, such trees and logs being reserved as may
be needed for fencing the _lot_. The heating of the soil so destroys
the green roots, and the ashes made by the burning are so beneficial as
manure to the land, that it will produce a good crop of wheat or Indian
corn, without ploughing, hoeing, or manuring. If new land lie in such
a situation that its natural growth may turn to better account, whether
for timber or fire-wood, it will be an unpardonable waste to burn the
wood on the ground. But if the trees be taken off, the land must be
ploughed after clearing, or it will not produce a crop of any kind.

The following remarks on this subject are extracted from some
observations by Samuel Preston, of Stockport, Pennsylvania, a very
observing cultivator. They were first published in the New England
Farmer, issued at Boston, and may prove serviceable to settlers on
uncleared lands. Previous to undertaking to clear land, Mr. Preston
advises,――‘1st. Take a view of all large trees, and see which way
they may be felled for the greatest number of small trees to be felled
along-side or on them. After felling the large trees, only lop down
their limbs; but all such as are felled near them should be cut in
suitable lengths for two men to roll and pile about the large trees,
by which means they may be nearly all burned up, without cutting into
lengths, or the expense of a strong team, to draw them together. 2d.
Fell all the other trees parallel, and cut them into suitable lengths,
that they may be readily rolled together without a team, always cutting
the largest trees first, that the smallest may be loose on the top, to
feed the fires. 3d. On hill-sides, fell the timber in a level direction;
then the logs will roll together; but if the trees are felled down hill,
all the logs must be turned round before they can be rolled, and there
will be stumps in the way. 4th. By following these directions, two
men may readily heap and burn most of the timber, without requiring
any team; and perhaps the brands and the remains of the log heaps may
all be wanted to burn up the old, fallen trees. After proceeding as
directed, the ground will be clear for a team and sled to draw the
remains of the heaps where they may be wanted round the old logs. Never
attempt either to chop or draw a large log, until the size and weight
are reduced by fire. The more fire-heaps there are made on the clearing,
the better, particularly about the old logs, where there is rotten wood.

‘The best time of the year to fell the timber, in a great measure,
depends on the season’s being wet or dry. Most people prefer having it
felled in the month of June, when the leaves are of full size. Then,
by spreading the leaves and brush over the ground, (for they should
not be heaped,) if there should be a very dry time the next May, fire
may be turned through it, and will burn the leaves, limbs, and top of
the ground, so that a very good crop of Indian corn and pumpkins may
be raised among the logs by hoeing. After these crops come off, the
land may be cleared and sowed late with rye and timothy grass, or with
oats and timothy in the spring. If what is called a _good burn_ cannot
be had in May, keep the fire out until some very dry time in July or
August; then clear off the land, and sow wheat or rye and timothy,
harrowing several times, both before and after sowing; for, after the
fire has been over the ground, the sod of timothy should be introduced
as soon as the other crops will admit, to prevent briers, alders,
fire-cherries, &c. from springing up from such seeds as were not
consumed by the fire.

‘The timothy should stand four or five years, either for mowing or
pasture, until the small roots of the forest trees are rotten; then it
may be ploughed; and the best mode which I have observed, is to plough
it very shallow in the autumn; in the spring, cross-plough it deeper,
harrow it well, and it will produce a first rate crop of Indian corn
and potatoes, and, the next season, the largest and best crop of flax
that I have ever seen, and be in order to cultivate with any kinds
of grain, or to lay down again with grass. These directions are to be
understood as applying to what are generally called _beech lands_, and
the chopping may be done any time in the winter, when the snow is not
too deep to cut low stumps, as the leaves are then on the ground. By
leaving the brush spread abroad, I have known such winter choppings to
burn as well in a dry time in August, as that which had been cut the
summer before.’[69]

‘The various crops,’ says Mr. Stuart, ‘raised in that part of the state
of New York which I have seen, are very much the same as in Britain,
with the addition of maize, for which the climate of Britain is not
well adapted. Wheat, however, is the most valuable crop. A considerable
quantity of buckwheat and rye is grown. The greater degree of heat is
not favorable for oats and barley. Potatoes, turnips, and other green
crops, are not at all generally cultivated in large fields. Rotation
of crops is far too little attended to. I observe in the magazines and
almanacs, that in the rotations, a crop of turnips, ruta-baga, or other
green plants, is generally put down as one part of the course; but I
have nowhere seen more than the margins or edges of the maize, or other
grain, devoted to the green crop, properly so called. The attention of
the farmers seems chiefly directed to the raising enough of maize for
home consumption, and of wheat for sale; and when you talk to them of
the necessity of manuring, with a view to preserve the fertility of
the soil, they almost uniformly tell you that the expense of labor,
about a dollar a day, for laborers during the summer, renders it far
more expedient for them, as soon as their repeated cropping very much
diminishes the quantity of the grain, to lay down their land in grass,
and make a purchase of new land in the neighborhood, or even to sell
their cleared land, and proceed in quest of a new settlement, than to
adopt a system of rotation of crops, assisted by manure. There is great
inconvenience, according to the notions of the British, in removing
from one farm to another; but they make very light work of it here,
and consider it to be merely a question of finance, whether they shall
remain on their improved land, after they have considerably exhausted
its fertilizing power, or acquire and remove to land of virgin soil. In
a great part of the northern district of the state of New York, there
is still a great deal of land to be cleared; and a farmer may, in many
cases, acquire additions to his farm, so near his residence that his
houses may suit the purpose of his new acquisition; but he is more
frequently tempted to sell at a price from fifteen to thirty dollars
an acre, supposing the land not to be contiguous to any village. If
he obtains land near his first farm, after he has worn it out, he lays
down the first farm in grass, allows it to be pastured for some years,
and breaks it up again with oats.

‘Maize, or Indian corn, which, _par excellence_, is alone in this
country called corn, is a most important addition to the crops which
we are able to raise in Britain. It is used as food for man in a great
variety of ways, as bread, as porridge, in which case it is called mush,
and in puddings. When unripe, and in the green pod, it is not unlike
green peas, and is in that state sold as a vegetable. One species, in
particular, called green corn, is preferable for this purpose. Broom
corn is another species, of the stalks of which a most excellent kind
of clothes brush, in universal use at New York, is made, as well as
brooms for sweeping house floors. Horses, cattle, and poultry, are all
fond of this grain, and thrive well on it. The straw is very nutritive,
and considerable in quantity. The usual period of sowing is from the
fifteenth of May to the first of June, in drills from three and a half
to four and a half feet apart, and the seed from four to six inches
apart. It is harvested in October, sometimes later. The hoe weeding and
cleaning of this crop is expensive, the whole work being performed by
males,――females, as already noticed, never being allowed to work out
of doors. Pumpkins are very generally sown between the rows of corn,
and give the field quite a golden appearance, after the corn itself is
harvested.

‘Thirty-five or forty bushels of corn per acre is considered a good
average crop, on land suited to it, well prepared, and well managed;
but one hundred and fifty bushels have been raised on an acre. Arthur
Young remarks, “that a country whose soil and climate admit the course
of maize, and then wheat, is under a cultivation that perhaps yields
the most food for man and beast that is possible to be drawn from
the land!” That course is frequently adopted here, and with success,
where the soil, lately cleared, is of the best description, and might,
without question, be continued for many years, if a sufficient quantity
of manure was allowed; but where such a course is persisted in without
manure, after the land has been severely cropped, the crops which
follow are inferior in quantity to crops of the same description on
similar soils in Britain. As a cleaning crop, maize is most valuable,
but, being a culmiferous plant, it is, of course, far more exhausting
than the green crops, which, in Britain, in most cases precede wheat.

‘Wheat is sown in the end of September, and some part of it in
spring,――if after maize, it should be sown as soon as possible after
that crop is harvested. It is reaped in July. It is excellent in
quality; if the flour which we have seen in every place where we
have been, and the bread we eat, are tests by which to judge of it.
Thirty-five and forty bushels of wheat is considered a very abundant
crop,――the average produce in that part of the United States in which
wheat is grown, is said not to exceed thirteen bushels, while in
England it is reckoned at twenty-five bushels.

‘Barley or oats very frequently succeed wheat before the land is laid
down in grass, or again bears a crop of maize; but it is not to be
understood that barley, and even oats, do not in many cases follow the
crop of maize immediately, and precede the wheat crop.

‘Oats are sowed in the end of April and beginning of May, and are
reaped in August or the beginning of September. We saw several fields
not cut, but no very great crop in the northern part of this state
in the beginning of September. The average crop is said to be twenty
bushels per acre; but from forty to fifty bushels are often obtained by
good management. The grain is not so plump as in Britain. In 1827, the
premium of one of the agricultural societies was given for fifty-seven
bushels on an acre. Barley is sown at about the same time as oats, and
reaped two or three weeks earlier; the produce about one fifth less
than oats.

‘Potatoes, turnips, ruta-baga, peas, lucern, &c. are all to be seen
here in small quantities, but not so well managed as in well-cultivated
districts of Britain. The high price of labor is the great obstacle
to the management which those crops require. It is not because
the farmer does not understand his business, that such crops are
apparently not sufficiently attended to, but because he in all cases
calculates whether it will not be more profitable for him to remove
his establishment to a new and hitherto unimpoverished soil, than to
commence and carry on an extensive system of cultivation, by manuring
and fallow, or green crops. Such a system may be adopted in the
neighborhood of great towns, where many green crops are easily disposed
of, and where manure can be had in large quantity, and at a cheap rate;
but it is in vain to look for its adoption at all generally, or to
expect to see agricultural operations in their best style, until the
land, even in the most distant states and territories, be occupied, so
that the farmer may no longer find it more for his interest to begin
his operations anew, on land previously uncultivated, than to manage
his farm according to the method which will render it most productive.

‘Prices of grain vary much. Wheat is, of course, the grain which the
farmer chiefly raises for market, and he considers himself remunerated,
if the price is not below a dollar for a bushel. Flour, when wheat is
at a dollar per bushel, is expected to bring somewhat more than five
dollars per barrel of one hundred and ninety-six pounds. Indian corn,
two shillings to two shillings and six pence per bushel; oats, one
shilling and two pence to one shilling and four pence; barley, one
shilling and six pence to one shilling and eight pence.

‘It is difficult to give any precise information as to the wages of
labor. A hired servant gets from ten to twelve dollars a month, besides
his board, which he very frequently has at table with his master,
consisting of animal food three times a day. Laborers hired by the day
for those sorts of farm work in which women are employed in Britain,
such as hoeing, assisting in cleaning grain, and even milking of cows,
get about three quarters of a dollar per day,――in time of hay-making
or harvest work, frequently a dollar besides their board. The workmen
work, or are said to work, from daylight to sunset: but I doubt, from
any thing I have seen, whether the ordinary plan of keeping workmen
employed for ten hours a day be not as profitable to the employer as
to the workman. The days are never so long in summer, nor so short in
winter, as in Britain. The sun rises on the twenty-first of June about
half past four, and sets at half past seven; on the twenty-first of
December, it rises at half past seven, and sets at half past four.

‘Manures are far too little attended to, as has been already noticed;
but there are instances of individuals keeping their land in good heart
with manure, especially where, as in many parts of the state of New
York, gypsum and lime are in the neighborhood. Gypsum is more used
than any other manure, and with great effect, generally in about the
quantity of a ton to ten or fifteen acres. Manure for the villages
is often sold at and under a shilling per ton. The question which the
American settler always puts to himself is, whether it will be more
expedient for him, in point of expense, to remove to a new soil covered
with vegetable mould, or to remain on his cleared land, and to support
its fertility by regularly manuring, and a systematic rotation of crops.

‘The horses and cattle are of mixed breeds, and are always, in
consequence of the abundance of food in this country, and the easy
circumstances of the people, in good order. A starved-looking animal
of any kind is never seen on the one hand, nor very fat pampered
cattle, nor very fine coated, over-groomed horses, on the other. Both
horses and cattle are generally of middling size; the horses of that
description that answer for all sorts of work, the saddle, the wagon,
or the plough. The heaviest are selected for the stages. All carriages
are driven at a trot. Horses are broken with great gentleness, and are,
I think, better and more thoroughly broken than in England. An American
driver of a stage, awkward looking as he appears, manages his team,
as he calls his horses, with the most perfect precision. The law of
the road is to keep to the right side of the road, not to the left as
in Britain. Great exertions are, I observe from the newspapers here,
making to improve the breeds of cattle and horses, by importations
of the Teeswater cattle, and of stud-horses from England. The British
admiral, Sir Isaac Coffin, has displayed great public spirit in sending
over fine cattle and superior horses, from Britain to New England. The
price of beef varies from two pence to five pence per pound, according
to the prices and quality, from which the value of the animal may be
computed. I have nowhere seen any beef equal to the best beef of an
English market, or to the kyloe of the West Highlands of Scotland well
fed; but beef of bad quality is never brought to market, and a great
deal of it is good. I have looked into the markets wherever we have
been. Oxen are much used in ploughing, and are so well trained, that
they are very useful in many operations of carting on farms. The price
of ordinary horses is from sixteen to twenty-five pounds.

‘I observe at the agricultural shows of last year, premiums awarded
for milch cows yielding ten or eleven pounds of butter per week, one of
them yielding thirteen, and twenty-three to twenty-four quarts of milk
per day. One of the breeds of cows is called very appropriately the
“fill-pail.” A premium was also awarded for a cow that calved on the
7th of January,――calf sold in March,――another calf put to her, and sold
in June,――and a third at her side; the price of the three calves forty
dollars.

‘Sheep are not so much attended to as they should be in this country,
where the dryness of the weather preserves them from diseases to which
they are subject in Britain. The merinos, and crosses with the merino,
are those generally seen; but little care is paid to their being well
fed before being killed and brought to market. The mutton is of course
inferior in quality, and the people led to entertain prejudices against
it. Even the slaves in the south are said to object to being fed on
sheep’s meat. I have again and again seen good mutton, but far more
rarely than good beef and pork. Hogs are universal in this country,
and are well fed, frequently, first of all in the woods on chesnuts,
hickory nuts, sometimes on fallen peaches and apples, but almost always,
before being killed, they get a sufficient quantity of meal, either
from Indian corn or barley. Steamed food is also supplied in some
cases. The steam-boiler for food for cattle is well known here. General
La Fayette saw one so well constructed somewhere in this country, that
he had one of the same pattern made for himself and carried to France.

‘Poultry are excellent, well fed everywhere, and in great numbers about
the farm-yards. Turkeys and guinea-fowls abound more than in Britain,
which is not to be wondered at, as their relatively cheap price places
them within the reach of all. The price of geese and turkeys, even at
New York, is frequently not much above half a dollar; ducks and fowls,
about one shilling. Eggs, a dollar for a hundred; cheese very good at
four pence and five pence per pound.

‘Implements of husbandry are, on the whole, well suited to the country.
The two-horse plough, driven by one man, is universally used, unless in
bringing in rough stony land, when four oxen or horses are necessary.
The cradle-scythe is in pretty universal use. A good workman can cut
down an acre of wheat per day. The harvest work being altogether
performed by males, and the crops ripening, and of course reaped, at
seasons differing from each other much more than in England, the
cheerful appearance of the harvest-field all over Britain, filled with
male and female reapers and gleaners, is nowhere seen in this country.
The prices of implements are not higher than in England. The lower
price of wood makes up for the higher price of labor, especially as
carpenters are very expert. Ploughing is well executed, and premiums
given by agricultural societies at their yearly meetings. I observed,
at a late meeting in Massachusetts, sixteen ploughs, drawn by oxen,
started for the competition,――that the ploughs were of the improved
kind, with cast-iron mould-boards, the ploughing five inches deep, and
the furrows not more than ten inches in width. Premiums were at this
meeting awarded for various agricultural implements. Threshing-machines
are not yet so general as in Britain.’[70]

The principal products of the southern states are tobacco, cotton,
rice, and sugar. The first of these is grown largely in Virginia and
other of the middle and southern states, and together with the other
staples of that portion of the country, is chiefly the product of slave
labor. There are at present but two sorts of tobacco raised in the
western states: the one with a long and sharp-pointed leaf,――and the
other with a round and hairy leaf, which is evidently the best tobacco.
The seed is sown in beds well prepared for the purpose, so that in
May it is fit to be transplanted. The plants are then put into another
piece of ground, at intervals of from three to four feet; they are
carefully freed from weeds, and the earth is drawn up to their stems.
When they have obtained a certain growth, the tops are taken off, that
the remaining leaves may acquire a proper size; worms are carefully
removed, and no sucker is allowed to remain. In August, the plants
become spotted, and appear of a brownish color; by these tokens they
are discerned to be ripe, and are therefore immediately pulled. They
lie one night to sweat; next day, they are hung up to dry; when the
tobacco has become sufficiently dry to ensure its preservation, it
is stripped from the stalks, and barrelled up for exportation; or
manufactured into various shapes, for those whom a species of luxury
has taught to look upon it as almost one of the necessaries of life.
Along with six thousand plants, yielding generally one thousand pounds
of tobacco, one person may manage four acres of Indian corn.

There are four kinds of tobacco reared in Virginia, namely, the
_sweet-scented_, which is the best; the _big_ and _little_, which
follow next; then the _Frederick_; and lastly, the _one_ and _all_,
the largest of all, and producing most in point of quantity. The
Virginian tobacco is reckoned superior to any raised in the southern
states; and great care is taken by the regulations of the state, that
no frauds be practised upon the merchants, and that no inferior tobacco
be palmed upon the purchaser. For this purpose, houses of inspection
are established in every district where tobacco is cultivated, whose
regulations are rigorously enforced; this contributes, as much as the
real superiority of the article itself, to keep up its price in the
market. Every person who intends his tobacco for exportation, packs
it up in hogsheads, and thus sends it to one of the inspecting houses.
Here the tobacco is taken from the cask, which is opened for the
purpose; it is examined in every direction, and in every part, in order
to ascertain its quality and its purity; if any defect is perceived,
it is rejected and declared to be unfit for exportation. If no defect
appear, it is pronounced to be exportable. It is then repacked in
the hogshead, which is branded with a hot iron, marking the place of
inspection, and the quality of the contents; and then lodged in the
inspecting storehouses, there to await the disposal of the planter, who
receives a certificate of the particulars, serving at the same time as
an acknowledgment of the deposit. It is by selling this _tobacco note_
to the merchant that the planter sells his tobacco. The purchaser, on
viewing this note, is as well acquainted with the article, as if he had
inspected it himself; and he has only to send the note and transfer to
the store where the tobacco lies, and it is immediately delivered out,
agreeably to his orders. This measure has insured a preference in the
foreign market to the Virginian tobacco, and prevents the deterioration
of the article.

The soil most proper for the cultivation of cotton is found in the
islands lying on the coast. Those belonging to the state of Georgia
produce the best, known in France by the name of _Georgia cotton_, and
in Great Britain by the name of _Sea Island cotton_. This variety of
cotton has a deep black seed, and very fine, long wool, which is easily
separated from the seed by the roller gins, which do not injure the
staple. In the middle and upper country, the green seed or inferior
cotton is produced; this kind is less silky, and adheres so tenaciously
to the seed, that it cannot be separated without the action of a
saw-gin. Though the wool of the green seed, or _bowed_ Georgia cotton,
be cheaper than the other, yet its produce is more luxuriant. An acre,
which will produce one hundred and fifty pounds of black seed cotton,
will generally yield two hundred pounds of the green seed kind. The
packing of the cotton is done in large canvass bags, which must be
wetted as the cotton is put in, that it may not hang to the cloth, and
may slide better down. The bag is suspended between two trees, posts,
or beams; and a negro, with his feet, stamps it down. These bags are
generally made to contain from three hundred and fifty pounds, to four
hundred pounds each.

‘I have been lately favored,’ says Mr. Everett, in his valuable
address before the New York Institute, in October, 1831, ‘with a minute
statement of the average product of five or six cotton plantations in
two of the south-western states, ascertained by putting together the
income of a good and bad year. The result of this statement is, that
the capital invested in these plantations yields from fifteen to twenty
per cent. clear; and the net profit accruing to the proprietor, for the
labor of each efficient hand, is two hundred and thirty-seven dollars
and fifty cents per annum; being a clear gain of four dollars and fifty
cents per week. It further appears that on one of these plantations,
(and the same, though not stated, is believed to hold of the others
in due proportion,) worth altogether, for land, labor, and stock,
ninety-two thousand dollars, the entire amount of articles paying duty
annually consumed, is two thousand three hundred dollars. The average
crop of this plantation, taking a good and bad year, is fourteen
thousand five hundred dollars. Suppose the duties to be thirty-three
and one third per cent. and the whole amount of the duty to be actually
assessed, in the shape of an enhanced price of the article, (the
contrary of which is known to be true, for in several articles the
entire price is little more than the duty,) it would amount to less
than seven hundred and thirty dollars per annum on a clear profit of
fourteen thousand five hundred dollars.’

Rice is extensively cultivated in the southern states. The grains of
this plant grow on little fruit stalks springing from the main stalk.
It is sown in rows, in the bottom of trenches, made entirely by slave
labor. These ridges lie about seventeen inches apart, from centre to
centre. The rice is put in by the hand, generally by women, and is cast
so as to fall in a line. This is done about the seventeenth of March.
By means of floodgates, the water is then permitted to flow over the
fields, and to remain on the ground five days, at the depth of several
inches. The object of this is to sprout the seeds, as it is technically
called. The water is next drawn off, and the ground allowed to dry,
till the rice is between three and four inches in height. This requires
about a month. The fields are then again overflowed, and are allowed to
remain in that state about a fortnight, to destroy the weeds. It is now
about the middle of May, and for two months afterwards the ground is
permitted to continue dry; during this interval it is repeatedly hoed,
and the soil is kept loose and free. The fields are then once more
submerged, in order that the crops may be ripened, and they actually do
ripen while standing in the water. The harvest commences in August, and
extends into October. The plants are then cut by the male slaves, and
tied into bundles by the females. The grains are threshed out by means
of hand flails. The outer husk is detached by passing the rice between
a pair of mill-stones. The film which still envelopes the grain is
removed by trituration under heavy pestles, consisting of upright bars,
shod with iron, which are raised several feet by machinery, and then
allowed to fall upon the rice, the particles of which are thus rubbed
against each other, till the film is removed. When thus thoroughly
winnowed, it is packed in casks holding about six hundred pounds each,
and is ready for exportation.

The sugar cane is cultivated to a great extent in Louisiana, Georgia,
and West Florida. In the first of these states, five kinds of the cane
have been raised. The first is the Creole cane, which is supposed to
have come originally from Africa. The second is the Bourbon cane, from
Otaheite. Besides these, are the riband cane, green and red; the riband
cane, green and yellow; and the violet cane of Brazil. The latter
species was abandoned soon after its introduction, as it proved less
productive in our climate than any of the others. The other species
are the best suited to the nature of the soil. They are all more or
less affected by the variations of the atmosphere, are very sensible
to cold, and are killed in part by the frost every year. Experience has
demonstrated that the cane may be cultivated in a latitude much colder
than was generally supposed; for fine crops are now made in Louisiana,
in places where a few years ago the cane froze before it was ripe
enough to make sugar.

In the process of cultivation, the ground is ploughed as deep as
possible, and harrowed; after it has been thus broken up, parallel
drills or furrows are ploughed at the distance of two feet and a half
to four feet from one another; in these the cane is laid lengthwise,
and covered about an inch with a hoe. Small canals to drain off the
water are commonly dug, more or less distant from each other, and
these are crossed by smaller drains, so as to form squares like a chess
board. These ditches are necessary to drain off the water from rains,
as well as that which filters from the rivers, which would otherwise
remain upon the plantations. The average quantity of sugar that may be
produced upon an acre of land of the proper quality, well cultivated,
is from eight hundred to one thousand pounds, provided that the cane
has not been damaged, either by storms of wind, inundations, or frost.
The strong soil is easiest of cultivation, and most productive, in
rainy seasons. The light soils require less labor, and yield more
revenue, in dry seasons. To these variations, others are to be added,
resulting from the different exposure of the lands, the greater or less
facility of draining, and also from the greater or less quantity of a
weed known by the name of coco or grass nut. Sixty working hands are
necessary to cultivate two hundred and forty acres of cane, planted in
well-prepared land, and to do all the work necessary until the sugar
is made and delivered. The sugar, up to the moment it is delivered
to the merchant, costs the sugar planter about three and a half cents
per pound, for expense incurred, without reckoning the interest on his
capital.

The cultivation of the mulberry tree, and the raising of silk-worms,
have occupied considerable attention in different parts of the United
States. Before the revolution, the production of silk was attempted
in Georgia, but without ultimate success. In Connecticut, and in some
other places, for the last seventy years, an inferior kind of sewing
silk has been manufactured; but its use has been chiefly confined to
the neighborhood in which it has been produced. Of late years, however,
efforts have been made to introduce the important branch of agriculture
that affords the necessary materials for the manufacture of silk.
Societies have been formed in different states for its promotion,
and the national government have thought the subject worthy their
particular attention.

During the year 1829, a series of essays were written by M. D’Homergue,
the son of an eminent silk manufacturer, at Nismes, who had arrived
in Philadelphia at the instance of an association for the promotion of
the culture of silk; they have since been published in a separate form,
and will repay the perusal of those who may feel peculiarly interested
in the subject. The report of the committee of agriculture, who were
instructed to inquire into the expediency of adopting measures to
extend the cultivation of the mulberry tree, and to promote the
cultivation of silk, by introducing the necessary machinery, made to
the house of representatives, March 12, 1830, represents these essays
and the facts contained in them as entitled to high confidence.

‘It appears from them,’ states the report, ‘that American silk is
superior in quality to that produced in any other country;――in France
and Italy, twelve pounds of cocoons are required to produce one pound
of raw silk, whilst eight pounds of American cocoons will produce
one pound of raw silk:――that cocoons cannot be exported to a foreign
market, from several causes,――their bulk, their liability to spoil by
moulding on ship board, and because they cannot be compressed without
rendering them incapable of being afterwards reeled. It is further
demonstrated in these essays, and in a memorial lately presented by
the manufacturers of silk stuffs of Lyons, in France, to the minister
of commerce and manufactures, that the art of filature can only be
acquired by practical instruction, by some one intimately acquainted
with, and accustomed to, that process: that no human skill or ingenuity,
unaided by practical instruction, is capable of acquiring that art to
any profitable extent. It is made manifest that, although the culture
of silk has been carried on for many years in some parts of the United
States, and more particularly in Connecticut, it has been conducted
very unprofitably, compared with what the results might have been,
if the art of filature had been understood. The sewing silk made in
Connecticut is from the best of the silk, and is, after all, quite
inferior to that of France and Italy: in these latter countries, sewing
silk is manufactured from imperfect cocoons, or from refuse silk.

‘It appears also, that unless the silk is properly reeled from the
cocoons, it is never afterwards susceptible of use in the finer fabrics.
It is a gratifying consideration that the benefits from the culture
of silk and the acquisition of the art of reeling the same, will be
common to every part of the United States. The climate of every state
in the union is adapted to the culture of silk: hatching the eggs of
the silk-worms may be accelerated or retarded, to suit the putting
forth the leaves of the mulberry. That tree is easily propagated from
the seed of the fruit, and is adapted to almost any soil. The committee
regard the general culture of silk as a vast national advantage in many
points of view. If seriously undertaken and prosecuted, it will, in a
few years, furnish an article of export of great value: and thus the
millions paid by the people of the United States for silk stuffs will
be compensated for by the sale of our raw silk. The importation of
silk, during the year which ended on the 30th of September, 1828,
amounted to eight million, four hundred and sixty-three thousand, five
hundred and sixty-three dollars, of which, one million, two hundred and
seventy-four thousand, four hundred and sixty-one were exported: but
in the same year, the exportation of bread stuffs from this country
amounted only to five million, four hundred and eleven thousand, six
hundred and sixty-five dollars, leaving the balance against us of
nearly two millions. The committee anticipate that at a period not
remote, when we shall be in possession of the finest material produced
in any country, the manufacture of silk stuffs will necessarily be
introduced into the United States. The culture of silk promises highly
moral benefits, in the employment of poor women and children in a
profitable business, while it will detract nothing from agricultural
or manufacturing labor. The culture of silk will greatly benefit those
states which have abandoned slave labor, the value of whose principal
productions, particularly in the article of cotton, has been depressed
by overproduction.’

The vine grows in most parts of the United States, and yields a
plentiful return for the labor of cultivation. We have already alluded
to the vineyards in the vicinity of Vevay. A large grant of land,
in the territory of Alabama, was made by the general government to a
French association under M. Villar, for the purpose of encouraging the
cultivation of the vine and the olive. About two hundred and seventy
acres had been occupied with vines in 1827, and nearly four hundred
olive trees had been planted. The latter, however, do not thrive, and
it is apprehended that they will not attain an available degree of
perfection in that climate.

Horticulture has not been entirely overlooked in the United States,
though it has not yet received the attention that is paid to it
in other countries. Some idea of the varieties of fruits and of
flowers which the climate will admit of, may be formed from the
following statement of the contents of a garden in the neighborhood
of Philadelphia, which may be relied on as authentic, being extracted
from the report of the committee, appointed by the Pennsylvania
Horticultural society for visiting the nurseries and gardens in the
vicinity of that city: ‘Here are to be found,’ say the committee,
‘one hundred and thirteen varieties of apples, seventy-two of pears,
twenty-two of cherries, seventeen of apricots, forty-five of plums,
thirty-nine of peaches, five of nectarines, three of almonds, six
of quinces, five of mulberries, six of raspberries, six of currants,
five of filberts, eight of walnuts, six of strawberries, and two of
medlars. The stock, considered according to its growth, has in the
first class of ornamental trees esteemed for their foliage, flowers, or
fruit, seventy-six sorts; of the second class, fifty-six sorts; of the
third class, one hundred and twenty sorts; of ornamental evergreens,
fifty-two sorts; of vines and creepers for covering walls and arbors,
thirty-five sorts; of honey-suckle, thirty-sorts; and of roses, eighty
varieties.’



                    CHAPTER IV.――MANUFACTURES.[71]


NECESSITY forced upon the first settlers of this country, at a
very early period, some attention to manufactures. The colony of
Massachusetts was founded in 1630. Between that year and 1640, there
was a great and steady influx of settlers; and the first and most
profitable object of pursuit was the raising of provisions. _We_ can
scarcely conceive of the state of industry in a community, to which
there is every year added, by emigration, a number of individuals equal
to the existing population. Such, however, for a few years, was the
case in New England. So great was the demand, that cattle sold as high
as twenty-five pounds sterling a head. In 1640, the republicans got
possession of the government in England; persecution for religious
non-conformity ceased, and with it the influx of emigrants to this
country. Cattle fell immediately to about five pounds a head. The
effect was distressing, but it put the sagacious colonists upon new
resources. The account of this, contained in the early historian
of the colony, is strongly characterized by the simplicity of elder
times. After describing the check put to emigration, he goes on
as follows:――‘Now the country of New England was to seek, of a way
to provide themselves with clothing, which they could not obtain
by selling cattle, as before; which now were fallen from that huge
price forementioned, first to fourteen pounds sterling and ten pounds
sterling a head, and presently after, at best within the year, to
five pounds a-piece; nor was there at that rate, a ready vent for them
neither. Thus the flood which brought in much wealth to many persons,
the contrary ebb carried all away out of their reach. To help them in
this their exigent, besides the industry that the present necessity
put particular persons upon, for the necessary supply of themselves and
their families, _the general court made order for the manufacture of
woolen and linen cloth_, which, with God’s blessing upon man’s endeavor,
in a little time stopped this gap in part, and soon after another door
was opened by special Providence. For when one hand was shut by way
of supply from England, another was opened by way of traffic, first
to the West Indies and Wine islands, whereby among other goods, much
_cotton wool_ was brought into the country from the Indies, which the
inhabitants learning to spin, and breeding of sheep and sowing of hemp
and flax, they soon found out a way to supply themselves of [cotton]
linen, and woolen cloth.’

In 1645, an iron foundery was established at Lynn, in the state of
Massachusetts; but the same historian tells us that ‘instead of drawing
out bars of iron for the country’s use, there was hammered out nothing
but contentions and lawsuits.’ In the same year, the general court of
the colony granted to a company, of which governor Winthrop’s son was
the head, as an encouragement to undertake the iron manufacture, three
thousand acres of land, a monopoly for twenty-one years, the liberty
to use any place containing ore, in the public domain not already
granted, a tract of land three miles square in the neighborhood of
each establishment, and freedom from taxation. These liberal acts of
encouragement show the necessity which was felt in the very infancy of
the country, of giving a legislative protection to manufactures.

But to understand the history of the industry of the country, we must
bear in mind, that America was a colonial possession, and that the
growth and welfare of the mother country was the avowed object of
colonial policy. Great Britain, if she wished America to prosper,
wished it to be on the principles, not of national, but of colonial
prosperity; to furnish her such agricultural products as she did not
raise herself, to employ her shipping, and to consume her manufactures.
As it soon appeared that the Dutch, at that time the most expert
navigators in Europe, were getting possession of no small part of the
carrying trade of the world, and pursuing a profitable commerce with a
part of the colonial possessions of Great Britain, the navigation law
of 1650 was passed, under the auspices of Cromwell. It was among the
few laws of the commonwealth, which were re-enacted at the restoration.
The object of this law,――in the opinion of Sir William Blackstone, ‘the
most beneficial for the trade and commerce of these kingdoms,’――was,
in the words of the same accomplished jurist, ‘to mortify our sugar
islands, which were disaffected to the parliament, and still held out
for Charles II., by stopping the gainful trade, which they then carried
on with the Dutch, and at the same time to clip the wings of these
our opulent and aspiring neighbors.’ Although aimed particularly at
the West Indies, this law, of course, extended its provisions to all
the other British colonies, and among them to those established on
the American coast. By them, however, it was generally resisted as
an encroachment on their rights. Ineffectual attempts were made for
a century, to enforce it; and in this struggle were sowed the seeds
of the revolution.

Nor did the humble attempts of the colonies in manufactures fail
to awaken the jealousy of the mother country. Sir Josiah Child,
although a more liberal politician than many of his countrymen, in his
discourse on trade, published in 1670, pronounces New England ‘the most
prejudicial plantation of Great Britain;’ and gives for this opinion
the singular reason, that they are a people ‘whose frugality, industry,
and temperance, and the happiness of whose laws and institutions
promise to them long life, and a wonderful increase of people, riches,
and power.’

After many fruitless attempts, on the part of the executive authority
of Great Britain, to keep down the enterprise and industry of the
country, in those departments of industry which were disallowed
by the laws of trade, recourse was had to parliament. The house of
commons took up the subject in 1731, and called upon the board of
trade and plantations to make a report ‘with respect to any laws made,
manufactures set up, or trade carried on in the colonies, detrimental
to the trade, navigation and manufactures of Great Britain.’ In the
result of this inquiry it appeared, that among other branches of
manufacture for domestic supply, hats were made in the colonies
in considerable quantities, and had even been exported to foreign
countries. In consequence of this alarming discovery, the law of
5 George II. c. 22. was passed, forbidding hats or felts to be exported
from the colonies, or even ‘to be loaded on a horse, cart, or other
carriage for transportation, from one plantation to another.’ Nor was
this all; in 1750, a law was passed by the parliament of Great Britain,
which must be considered a disgrace to the legislation of a civilized
country. It prohibited ‘the erection or continuance of any mill or
other engine for slitting or rolling iron, or any plaiting forge,
to work with a tilt hammer, or any furnace for making steel, in the
colonies, under penalty of two hundred pounds.’ Every such mill, engine,
forge, or furnace was declared a _common nuisance_, which the governors
of the provinces, on information, were bound to abate, under penalty of
five hundred pounds, within thirty days!

It has been, within a few years, stated by Mr. Huskisson, and with
truth, that the real causes of the revolution are to be found, not in
the irritating measures that followed Mr. Grenville’s plan of taxation,
but in the long-cherished discontent of the colonies, at this system of
legislative oppression. Accordingly, the first measures of the patriots
aimed to establish their independence, on the basis of the productive
industry and the laborious arts of the country. They began with a
non-importation agreement, nearly two years before the declaration of
independence. This agreement, with the exception of the addresses to
the people of America and Great Britain, was the only positive act of
the first Congress, that met at Philadelphia in 1774, and it is signed
by every member of that body. The details, to which it descends, are
full of instruction. The seventh article provides that ‘we will use
our utmost endeavors to improve the breed of sheep, and increase their
numbers to the greatest extent;’ and the eighth, ‘that we will, in
our several stations, encourage frugality, economy, and industry,
and promote agriculture, arts, and the manufactures of this country,
especially those of wool.’

The policy indicated by these resolutions was, of course, favored by
a state of war. All regular commercial intercourse with Great Britain
was interrupted, and the supply of prize goods, which took its place,
was casual and uncertain. We had as yet formed no connections in trade,
with other countries; nor if we had, could their manufactures have
found their way across the ocean, amidst the cruisers of the enemy, at
any other than high prices. Fresh impulse was accordingly given to what
few manufactures existed before the revolution, and new ones of various
kinds were attempted with success. One of the earliest of these was the
manufacture of nails, upon which lord Chatham had placed his memorable
prohibition. It is within the memory of man, that the first attempt to
manufacture cut nails, in New England, was made in the southern part
of Massachusetts in the revolutionary war, with old iron hoops for
the material, and a pair of shears for the machine. Since that period,
besides supplying the consumption of the United States,――estimated
at from eighty to one hundred million pounds, and at a price not much
exceeding the duty,――machines of American invention for the manufacture
of nails have been introduced into England; and large quantities of
nails are exported from the United States to foreign countries.

On the return of peace in 1783, the influx of foreign goods, in many
respects prejudicial to the country, proved in the highest degree
disastrous to its mechanical and manufacturing industry. The want of
one national government, and the division of the powers of government
among thirteen sovereignties, made it impossible, by a uniform revenue
system, to remedy the evil. The states generally attempted, by their
separate navigation laws, to secure their trade to their own vessels;
but the rivalry and selfish policy of some states counteracted the
efforts of others, and eventually threw almost the whole navigation of
the country into foreign hands. So low had it sunk in Boston, that in
1788, it was thought expedient, on grounds of patriotism, to get up a
subscription to build three ships; and this incident, proving nothing
but the poverty and depression of the town, was hailed as one which
would give renewed activity to the industry of the trades’ people and
mechanics of Boston! The same class of citizens and the manufacturers
in general, in the state of Massachusetts, petitioned the government
of that state, by bounties, imposts, and prohibitions, to protect their
industry. This prayer was granted, and a tariff of duties laid, which
in some points,――that of coarse cottons for instance,――was higher than
any duty laid by Congress, before the war of 1812.

But the state of the country rendered these laws of little avail.
Binding in Boston, they were of no validity in Rhode Island; and what
was subject to duty in New York, might be imported free in Connecticut
and New Jersey. The state of the industry of the country was depressed
to a point of distress, unknown in the midnight of the revolution. The
shipping had dwindled to nothing. The manufacturing establishments were
kept up by bounties and by patriotic associations and subscriptions,
and even the common trades were threatened with ruin. It was plain,
for instance, that, in the comparative condition of the United States
and Great Britain, not a hatter, a boot or shoe maker, a saddler, or a
brass founder could carry on his business, except in the coarsest and
most ordinary productions of their various trades, under the pressure
of foreign competition. Thus was presented the extraordinary and
calamitous spectacle of a successful revolution, wholly failing of its
ultimate object. The people of America had gone to war, not for names,
but for things. It was not merely to change a government administered
by kings, princes, and ministers, for a government administered by
presidents, and secretaries, and members of congress. It was to redress
their own grievances, to improve their own condition, to throw off
the burden which the colonial system laid on their industry. To attain
these objects, they endured incredible hardships, and bore and suffered
almost beyond the measure of humanity. And when their independence
was attained, they found it was a piece of parchment. The arm which
had struck for it in the field, was palsied in the workshop; the
industry which had been _burdened_ in the colonies, was _crushed_ in
the free states; and, at the close of the revolution, the mechanics
and manufacturers of the country found themselves, in the bitterness
of their hearts, independent――and ruined.

They looked round them in despair. They cast about for means of relief,
and found none, but in a plan of a voluntary association throughout the
continent, and an appeal to the patriotism of their fellow-citizens.
Such an association was formed in Boston in 1787 or 1788, and a
circular letter was addressed by them to their brethren throughout the
union. The proposal was favorably received, and in some of the cities
zealously acted upon; but, unsupported by a general legislation, its
effects must at best have been partial and inadequate.

But before our citizens had discovered this, by sad experience, a
new and unhoped-for remedy for their sufferings had been devised.
The day-star of the constitution arose; and of all the classes of
the people of America, to whose hearts it came as the harbinger of
blessings long hoped for and long despaired of, most unquestionably
the tradesmen, mechanics, and manufacturers hailed it with the warmest
welcome. It had in fact grown out of the all-pervading inefficiency and
wretchedness of the revenue system, which had been felt in ruin by them,
more than by any other class. The feelings, with which it was regarded
by the ‘tradesmen and manufacturers of New York,’ will appear from
their letter, in reply to the circular of the association in Boston.
This expression of the sentiments which were entertained in New York,
while the adoption of the constitution by that state was an event of a
few months’ standing, may afford instruction and bear repetition at the
present day.

    _A Letter from, the Tradesmen and Manufacturers of New York
          to the Tradesmen and Manufacturers of Boston._

                                        NEW YORK, _17th Nov. 1788_.

  ‘GENTLEMEN:――The mechanics and manufacturers of the city of
  New York have long contemplated and lamented the evils, which
  a pernicious system of commerce has introduced into our country,
  and the obstacles with which it has opposed the extension and
  improvement of American manufactures; and having taken into
  consideration your circular letter, wherein those evils and their
  remedies are pointed out, in a just and striking manner, have
  authorized us to communicate to you, in answer to your address
  their sentiments on the interesting subject.

  ‘It is with the highest pleasure that we embrace this opportunity,
  to express to you their approbation of the liberal and patriotic
  attempt of the tradesmen and manufacturers of your respectable
  town.

  ‘Every zealous and enlightened friend to the prosperity of this
  country must view, with peculiar regret, the impediments with
  which foreign importations have embarrassed the infant arts in
  America. We are sensible that they are not only highly unfavorable
  to every mechanical improvement, but that they nourish a spirit of
  dependence, which tends in some degree to defeat the purposes of
  our late revolution, and tarnish the lustre of our character. We
  are sensible that long habit has fixed, in the minds of the people,
  an unjust predilection for foreign productions, and has rendered
  them too regardless of the arguments and complaints, with which
  the patriotic and discerning have addressed them from every
  quarter. These prejudices have become confirmed and radical; and
  we are convinced that a strong and united effort is necessary to
  expel them. We are happy that the tradesmen of Boston have led the
  way to a general and efficient exertion in this important cause.

  ‘The impression we feel of the utility and expediency
  of encouraging our domestic manufactures are in perfect
  correspondence with your own; and we shall most cheerfully unite
  our endeavours with those of our brethren throughout the union,
  and shall be ready to adopt every measure, which will have a
  tendency to facilitate the great design.

  ‘The legislature of our state, convinced of the propriety of
  cherishing our manufactures in their early growth, have made
  some provisions for that purpose. We have no doubt that more
  comprehensive and decisive measures will in time be taken by them.
  But on the confederated exertions of our brethren, _and especially
  on the patronage and protection of the general government_, we
  rest our most flattering hopes of success.

  ‘In order to support and improve the union and harmony of the
  American manufacturers, and to render as systematic and uniform
  as possible their designs for the common benefit, we perfectly
  concur with you on the propriety of establishing a reciprocal
  and unreserved communication. When our views, like our interests,
  are combined and concentered, _our petitions to the federal
  legislature will assume the tone and complexion of the public
  wishes, and will have a proportionable weight and influence_.

  ‘We request you to favor us with the continuation of your
  correspondence, and to transmit to us, from time to time, such
  resolutions and proposals of your association as may be calculated
  for the promotion of our mutual interests.

  ‘We are, with the highest respect, &c.’

Such were the feelings and hopes, with which the laboring classes of
the country in general, particularly the manufacturers and mechanics
looked forward to the adoption of the federal constitution. In the
state of Massachusetts, it is admitted, that the question of adoption
was decided, under the influence of the association of tradesmen and
manufacturers already mentioned. In the convention of that state,
the encouragement of manufactures, by protecting laws, was declared
in debate to be a leading and avowed object of the constitution. As
it was successively adopted in each state, triumphant processions
of the tradesmen, mechanics, and manufacturers, with the banners of
their industry, and mottos expressive of their reliance on the new
constitution for protection, evinced, in the most imposing form, and in
the presence of uncounted multitudes, the principles, the expectations,
and the hopes of the industrious classes of the community. Processions
of this kind were organized in Portsmouth, in Boston, in New York, in
Philadelphia, in Baltimore, and in Charleston; and the sentiment which
animated and inspired them all, was that which was expressed in the
motto inscribed upon the banners of the manufacturers in Philadelphia,
‘_May the Union Government protect the Manufactures of America_.’

Forty-three years have since passed, and it is now earnestly maintained,
and that by intelligent citizens, that the federal constitution thus
adopted, under the influence of the mechanics and manufacturers, (who
knew that by the new government the power of protecting their pursuits
was taken from the governments of the states, who had before held and
exercised it), confers no power on congress to protect the labor of
the country, and that the exercise of such power is unconstitutional.
When we consider the control over public sentiment possessed by the
associated mechanics and manufacturers of our large towns, and the
slender majorities by which, in some states, the constitution was
adopted it is not too much to say, that if such a conception of its
powers had then prevailed, it never would have been ratified.

A quorum of the house of representatives under the new constitution
was formed, for the first time, on 1st April, 1789. In one week from
that day, Mr. Madison brought forward the subject of the revenue system,
as the most important, which required the attention of the national
legislature. Pending the discussion of this subject, and three days
after it commenced, a memorial was presented ‘from the tradesmen,
manufacturers, and others of the town of Baltimore, in the state
of Maryland, praying an imposition of such duties on all foreign
articles, which can be made in America, as will give a just and decided
preference to the labors of the petitioners, and that there may be
granted to them, in common with the other manufacturers and mechanics
of the United States, such relief as to the wisdom of congress may
seem proper.’ This was followed up, the next day, by a petition from
the shipwrights of Charleston, S. C., stating ‘the distress they were
in, from the decline of that branch of the business, and the present
situation of the trade of the United States, and praying that the
wisdom and policy of the national legislature may be directed to such
measures, in a general regulation of trade, and the establishment of
a proper navigation act, as will relieve the particular distresses
of the petitioners, in common with those of their fellow shipwrights,
throughout the union.’

Thus the two first memorials presented to the congress of the United
States were for protecting duties on American industry; and of these
memorials, one was from Baltimore, and the other from Charleston, South
Carolina.

A few days after, a similar memorial came in from New York,
‘setting forth that, in the present deplorable state of commerce and
manufactures, they look with confidence to the operations of the new
government for a restoration of both, and that relief which they have
so long and so ardently desired; that they have subjoined a list of
such articles as can be manufactured in New York, and humbly pray the
countenance and attention of the national legislature thereto.’

Numerous other petitions of like purport were shortly after
presented, and in pursuance of their prayers, as well as from the
crying demands of the public service, the first impost law was passed,
at an early period of the session. It was, with the exception of the
law prescribing the oaths of office, the first law, which was passed
under the new government. In the long debate, which arose, at different
stages of its progress, the idea was advanced, by members from every
part of the country, that congress were bound to lay duties, that
would encourage its manufacturing industry; and it does not appear
that the suggestion was made in the reported debates, that they did not
constitutionally possess the power. Mr. Madison thus expressed himself
on the subject:――“The states, that are most advanced in population and
ripe for manufactures, ought to have their particular interest attended
to, in some degree. While these states retained the power of making
regulations of trade, they had the power to protect and cherish such
institutions. By adopting the present constitution, they have thrown
the exercise of this power into other hands. They must have done this
with the expectation, that those interests would not be neglected
here.” And again, “duties laid on imported articles may have an effect,
which comes within the idea of national prudence. It may happen that
materials for manufactures may grow up, without any encouragement for
this purpose. It has been the case in some of the states. But in others,
regulations have been provided and have succeeded in producing some
establishments, which ought not to be allowed to perish, from the
alteration which has taken place. It would be cruel to neglect them,
and turn their industry to other channels; for it is not possible for
the hand of man to shift from one employment to another, without being
injured by the change. There maybe some manufactures, which, being
once formed, can advance toward perfection, without any adventitious
aid; while others, for want of the fostering hand of government, will
be unable to go on at all. Legislative attention will be therefore
necessary to collect the proper objects for this purpose.” Such were
the principles on which this law was supported; and when it finally
passed, it was stated, in the preamble, to be ‘for the support of
government, the discharge of the debts of the United States, and the
encouragement and protection of manufactures.’

The present manufacturing system of the United States may be considered,
partly as the result of the revenue laws of 1789, which remained
without essential changes till the embargo of 1807, and partly as the
effect of that and the other restrictive measures, and of the war which
followed them. Those branches of industry, which are commonly called
the mechanic arts, received, for the most part, though not without
exception, an ample protection under the former laws:――manufactures on
a large scale, requiring great capital and skill, owed their existence
to the total interruption of commerce. In the combined result, a very
large amount of American capital was, at the peace of 1815, found
invested in manufactures. It was the prevalent opinion of the statesmen
of that day, and those of the south among the foremost, that this
capital ought to be protected; and the success which had attended some
of the manufactures, on a large scale, had produced some change in the
public opinion, as to the capacity of the country to support them.

In other parts of the volume we have mentioned the chief manufacturing
establishments in the country, and, for the purpose of avoiding
repetition, have reserved statistical details for the tabular views at
the end of the work.



                         CHAPTER V.――COMMERCE.


In the rapid growth of their commerce, the United States have enjoyed
a most wonderful prosperity. We have, in a previous chapter, alluded
to the restrictive measures adopted by the mother country, while
we remained in colonial subjection, and it will not be necessary to
enter into farther details on that subject. During the revolutionary
difficulties, the traffic which had previously existed was of course
suspended, and after the peace, commerce was still embarrassed with
numerous impediments. These found their origin in the very nature
of the confederation, and were inseparable from the confused and
ineffective powers of such a political system. Congress had no power
to impose any duties without the unanimous consent of the states,
and it is apparent at once how entirely impossible it was, under such
circumstances, to adjust a system that should be universally acceptable.
The foreign articles on which Pennsylvania laid a duty, New Jersey
admitted free; facility of smuggling from one of these states to the
other was unavoidable from their situation.

The several states laid different rates of duty on foreign tonnage;
in some, one shilling sterling per ton was imposed on vessels
which in other states paid three shillings per ton. Such was the
misunderstanding among the several states, that there were no general
commercial regulations; nor could congress enforce any, while the
opposition of any one of the states could prevent the passage of
any act on the subject. The evil of this condition of affairs was
flagrantly manifest, when, to provide a fund to discharge the public
debt, and to pay the arrears of the revolutionary soldiers, it
was proposed to congress, during the operation of the articles of
confederation, to lay a duty of five per cent. ad valorem on all
foreign merchandise imported, and the opposition of Rhode Island alone
was sufficient to defeat the plan.

European nations gladly availed themselves of the embarrassed situation
of our affairs, and labored to throw every obstacle in the way of our
increasing commerce. They refused to negotiate commercial treaties;
for even those nations which were ready to countenance our assertion of
independence, were not ready to receive us as competitors and rivals in
a struggle where their own interests were so deeply involved. The call
for an amendment of the regulations on foreign trade, was one of the
leading inducements to the change of the old confederation, and the new
constitution embraced the necessary provisions for the establishment
of a successful intercourse with foreign nations. Not long after
the adoption of the new constitution, Mr. Jefferson, then secretary
of state, proposed a liberal system of policy in relation to this
intercourse. His report on the subject of our commercial relations at
that period, contains a variety of interesting matter, which enables us
to make a correct comparison between the condition of our trade at that
period and its present very great increase. This report was prepared
in the summer of 1792. The countries with which the United States had
commercial intercourse at that period were Spain, Portugal, France,
Great Britain, the United Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden, and their
American possessions: and the articles of export, which constitute the
basis of that commerce, with their respective amounts, were,

            Bread stuff, that is to say,
              bread grains, meals, and bread,
              to the annual amount of           $ 7,649,887
            Tobacco                               4,349,567
            Rice                                  1,753,796
            Wood                                  1,263,534
            Salted fish                             941,696
            Pot and pearl ashes                     839,093
            Salted meats                            599,130
            Indigo                                  537,379
            Horses and mules                        339,753
            Whale oil                               252,591
            Flax seed                               236,072
            Tar, pitch, and turpentine              217,177
            Live provisions                         137,743
            Ships
            Foreign goods                           620,274

To descend to articles of smaller value than these, would lead into a
minuteness of detail neither necessary nor useful to the present object.

The proportions of our exports, which went to the nations before
mentioned, and to their dominions respectively, were as follows:

            To Spain and its dominions          $ 2,005,907
            Portugal and its dominions            1,283,462
            France and its dominions              4,698,735
            Great Britain and its dominions       9,363,416
            The United Netherlands and their
              dominions                           1,963,880
            Denmark and its dominions               224,415
            Sweden and its dominions                 47,240

Our imports from the same countries were,

            Spain and its dominions               $ 335,110
            Portugal and its dominions              595,763
            France and its dominions              2,068,348
            Great Britain and its dominions      15,285,428
            United Netherlands and their
              dominions                           1,172,692
            Denmark and its dominions               351,364
            Sweden and its dominions                 14,325

These imports consist mostly of articles on which industry has been
exhausted.

Our _navigation_, depending on the same commerce, will appear by the
following statement of the tonnage of our own vessels, entering in our
ports, from those several nations and their possessions, in one year;
that is to say, from October, 1789, to September, 1790, inclusive, as
follows

            Spain                               19,695 tons
            Portugal                            23,576  “
            France                             116,410  “
            Great Britain                       43,580  “
            United Netherlands                  58,858  “
            Denmark                             14,655  “
            Sweden                                 750  “

The report then goes on to describe the degree of favor with which
each of the several articles of export is received in each of the
nations mentioned, and the nature and extent of the restrictions which
had been adopted by each government in reference to American commerce.
It then proceeds to the investigation of the question, how may these
restrictions be removed, modified, or counteracted? Two methods are
suggested; first, by friendly arrangements with the several nations
with whom these restrictions exist; or, secondly, by the separate act
of our own legislatures for countervailing their effects. The views
taken in this report have so important a bearing on many political
subjects that have of late years agitated the country, and indicate so
clearly the opinions of Mr. Jefferson in regard to the constitutional
powers of Congress, in regulating commerce, that it seems not improper
to present in this connection the following extracts:

‘Instead of embarrassing commerce under piles of regulating laws,
duties, and prohibitions, could it be relieved from all its shackles
in all parts of the world; could every country be employed in producing
that which nature has best fitted it to produce, and each be free to
exchange with others mutual surplusses for mutual wants, the greatest
mass possible would then be produced of those things which contribute
to human life and human happiness; the numbers of mankind would be
increased, and their condition bettered.

‘Would even a single nation begin with the United States this system
of free commerce, it would be advisable to begin it with that nation;
since it is one by one only, that it can be extended to all. Where the
circumstances of either party render it expedient to levy a revenue,
by way of impost, on commerce, its freedom might be modified, in that
particular, by mutual and equivalent measures, preserving it entire in
all others.

‘Some nations, not yet ripe for free commerce in all its extent,
might still be willing to mollify its restrictions and regulations for
us, in proportion to the advantages which an intercourse with us might
offer. Particularly they may concur with us in reciprocating the duties
to be levied on each side, or in compensating any excess of duty by
equivalent advantages of another nature. Our commerce is certainly of
a character to entitle it to favor in most countries. The commodities
we offer are either necessaries of life, or materials for manufacture,
or convenient subjects of revenue; and we take in exchange, either
manufactures, when they have received the last finish of art and
industry, or mere luxuries. Such customers may reasonably expect
welcome and friendly treatment at every market. Customers, too, whose
demands, increasing with their wealth and population, must very shortly
give full employment to the whole industry of any nation whatever, in
any line of supply they may get into the habit of calling for from it.

‘But should any nation, contrary to our wishes, suppose it may better
find its advantage by continuing its system of prohibitions, duties,
and regulations, it behoves us to protect our citizens, their commerce
and navigation, by counter prohibitions, duties, and regulations,
also. Free commerce and navigation are not to be given in exchange for
restrictions and vexations, nor are they likely to produce a relaxation
of them.

‘Our navigation involves still higher considerations. As a branch of
industry, it is valuable, but as a resource of defence, essential.

‘Its value, as a branch of industry, is enhanced by the dependence of
so many other branches on it. In times of general peace, it multiplies
competitors for employment in transportation, and so keeps that at its
proper level; and in times of war, that is to say, when those nations
who may be our principal carriers, shall be at war with each other, if
we have not within ourselves the means of transportation, our produce
must be exported in belligerent vessels, at the increased expense of
war-freight and insurance, and the articles which will not bear that,
must perish on our hands.’

The troubled situation of affairs in Europe exerted a very favorable
influence on American commerce. The wars which followed in the train
of the French revolution, created a demand for our exports, and invited
our shipping for the carrying trade of a very considerable portion
of Europe. American bottoms not only carried the colonial productions
to the several parent states, but our merchants became the purchasers
of them in the French, Spanish, and Dutch colonies. A new era was
established in our commercial history. Large numbers of individuals
embarked in commercial enterprises, and the other departments of
industry were comparatively deserted. The most adventurous became the
most wealthy, and that, too, without any knowledge of the principles on
which trade is usually conducted. No one confined himself to a single
branch of business, but the same individual was concerned in voyages to
the four quarters of the globe. Our tonnage increased with a rapidity
proportioned to its demand; in proportion to our population, we ranked
as the most commercial of nations; in point of value, our trade was
second only to that of Great Britain.

This astonishing increase of commercial connections, and consequent
accumulation of wealth, could not but excite the jealousy of European
nations, and eventually occasioned a series of restrictive and
prohibitory codes, on the part of England and France, at that time
belligerent, by which the Americans, as a neutral power, suffered
infinite damage. Indeed, between the years 1804 and 1807, inclusive,
above one thousand American merchant vessels were captured by nations
professedly at peace with the United States, for alleged breaches
of blockade, or of commercial decrees. Under these circumstances,
the government of the United States, at the close of the year 1807,
resorted to an embargo, to prevent the destruction of the mercantile
navy, which was continued till March, 1809. Thus the export trade of
the United States, after having, in the course of sixteen years, from
1790 to 1806, acquired an augmentation of nearly ninety millions of
dollars, was, in 1807, reduced by a single blow to the aggregate of
twenty-two millions, four hundred and thirty thousand, nine hundred and
sixty dollars, being only one million, six hundred and seventy-seven
thousand, eight hundred and sixty-two dollars more than the amount in
1791, the second year after the organization of the present government.
On raising the embargo, commerce at once revived, and during the years
1809 and 1810, the amount of exports, so far as related to domestic
products, was greater than the average of the ten years from 1802 to
1812.

Subsequently to the declaration of war with Great Britain, the export
trade of the United States was materially depressed, till, in the year
1814, it did not amount to seven millions of dollars. At the conclusion
of the war, the exports rose in 1815 to fifty-two millions; in 1816,
to eighty-one; in 1817, to eighty-seven; in 1818, to ninety-three. From
1819 to 1824, the amount ranged between sixty-five and seventy-five
millions, the average being above seventy; but in 1825, the amount
of exports again rose to nearly one hundred millions of dollars. From
1826 to 1830, the exports ranged from seventy to eighty millions;
the exports of foreign goods have materially declined, the amount for
1830 being little more than fourteen millions, a smaller amount than
any year since 1803, except those of the embargo and war, while the
domestic exports are nearly sixty millions, an amount exceeding those
of any preceding year, excepting the years 1816, ’17, ’18, and ’25.

The official accounts presented to congress divide the exports into
four classes: products of the sea, the forest, agriculture, and
manufactures. The following is a summary of the exports of the year
1830; the details of this and other years will be found in the tabular
views at the end of the volume. The products of the sea, consisting
of the results of the whale, cod, mackerel, and herring fisheries,
exported mostly from the northern states, amount to one million, seven
hundred and twenty-five thousand, two hundred and seventy dollars,
being nearly a thirty-fifth part of the whole domestic exports. About
one third of this value consists of codfish, and more than half of the
products of the whale fisheries.

The value of skins, furs, ginseng, amber, staves, bark, tar, pitch,
resin, and turpentine, and pot and pearl ashes, partly from the
northern and partly from the southern states, which were formerly
of much greater comparative importance, now constitutes nearly one
fifteenth part of the whole value of domestic exports, and amounts to
four millions, one hundred and ninety-two thousand, and forty dollars.
A large proportion of the trade in these articles, as well as in those
of codfish and bread stuffs, is carried on with the West Indies, Mexico,
and South America. The skins and the furs go to Europe and Canton, the
ginseng to Canton, and the pot and pearl ashes to France and England.

The chief amount of articles of export consist, as would naturally be
supposed, of the products of agriculture. The article of cotton alone
furnishes nearly half of the amount of the whole exports of the United
States, being for the year 1830 twenty-nine million, six hundred and
seventy-four thousand, eight hundred and thirty-three dollars. The
next important article of export is wheat, either as grain, flour,
or biscuit; the amount being six million, three hundred and twenty
thousand, six hundred seventeen dollars. The third in amount is tobacco,
five million, five hundred and eighty-six thousand, three hundred and
sixty-five dollars; the fourth, rice, one million, nine hundred and
eighty-six thousand, eight hundred twenty-four dollars; the fifth, the
produce of swine, including pork, bacon, and live hogs, one million,
three hundred and fifteen thousand, two hundred and forty-five dollars.
Three of the most important of these articles, cotton, tobacco, and
rice, amounting collectively to thirty-seven million, two hundred
and forty-eight thousand, and seventy-two dollars, are the produce
of the southern states, including Virginia and Kentucky. The other
agricultural exports, viz. beef, tallow, hides and cattle, butter,
cheese, horses, mules, sheep, rye meal, oats, potatoes, and apples,
flax seed, and hops, are mostly furnished by the middle and western
states. Cattle and their products, including butter and cheese,
amounted to eight hundred and sixty thousand, and fifty-three dollars.
This species of export is of far less comparative importance than
formerly, being limited to its present amount, not by the capacity
for production, but by the extent of demand in the foreign markets.
An increase of the foreign demand would soon double and treble the
quantity. Some of the articles comprehended in the above list, though
agricultural products, yet involve some process of manufacture; such,
for example, as butter, cheese, bacon, flour, biscuit, meal, and part
of the tobacco. A great many, however, of the exports coming under
the head of manufactures, include in them the value of materials, such
as the cotton fabrics, those of leather, and spirits distilled from
grain: so that, on the whole, the strictly agricultural products of
the country constitute a larger proportion of the whole exports than
the tables represent; and if we add the value of materials supplied
by agriculture for the manufactured exports, we shall have at least
six sevenths of the whole domestic exportation consisting of the raw
products of agriculture.

The total amount of manufactured articles exported from the United
States in the year 1830, is estimated in the official returns at
six million, two hundred and fifty-eight thousand, one hundred and
thirty-one dollars, being rather more than one tenth of the domestic
exports of the country; about nine hundred and thirty thousand dollars
should, however, be struck out of this list, being gold and silver coin,
consisting mostly of metals coined at the mint, and again exported. The
labor put upon these materials in coining is so inconsiderable a part
of their value, that the amount of coin of the country exported ought
not to be included in the estimate of the value of manufactured exports.
Of the articles exported on which the arts of the United States are
employed, the most considerable are cotton twist, thread, and fabrics,
the exported value of which, for the year 1830, was one million, eight
hundred and thirteen thousand, one hundred and eighty-three dollars,
being more than one fiftieth part of the whole domestic exports,
the principal markets of which are South America, Mexico, and the
Mediterranean.

The value of leather and its various manufactures, exported, is three
hundred and seventy-five thousand, two hundred and fifty dollars. Hats
exported the same year amount to three hundred and nine thousand, three
hundred and sixty-two dollars, a very large sum, considering the short
period during which this article has been sent to foreign markets.
Soap and candles have long been supplied for the foreign markets, but
have lately been on the decline, the amount for the year 1830 being six
hundred and nineteen thousand, two hundred and thirty-eight dollars;
and for 1831 only about twenty-five thousand dollars more. The various
articles manufactured for the most part of wood, such as furniture,
or of wood, leather, and iron, such as coaches and carriages, besides
various agricultural implements supplied to the West Indies and South
America, constitute an important branch of trade. The American glass
begins to appear in the foreign markets; the value sent abroad in 1830,
was sixty thousand, two hundred and eighty dollars; in the next year it
was nearly doubled, and it bids fair to be still increased. The other
exports consist of a variety of articles in small quantities, among
which are wearing apparel, combs and buttons, brushes, fire engines
and apparatus, printing presses and types, musical instruments, books,
maps, paper and stationery, and trunks. It is apparent from the above
enumeration and estimates, that the manufactured articles of which the
export is the most considerable and most flourishing are those of which
the raw materials consist mostly of cotton, wood, and leather.

The foreign articles imported and again exported from the country
during the year 1830, amounted to fourteen million, three hundred and
seventy-eight thousand, four hundred and seventy-nine dollars. This
transit trade consequently forms an important part of American commerce.
The principal foreign articles exported are cottons, coffee and cocoa,
sugar, tea, wines, and hardware.[72]

‘The tendency to the sea,’ says Mr. Cooper, in his Notions of the
Americans, ‘which the American has manifested since the earliest of
the colonial establishments, is, no doubt, to be ascribed originally to
the temper of his ancestors. Nothing can be more absurd, however, than
to argue, that although peculiar circumstances drew him on the ocean,
during the continuance of the late and general hostilities, he will
return to his fertile valleys and vast prairies, now that competitors
for the profits of commerce and navigation are arising among the former
belligerents. The argument implies an utter ignorance of history,
no less than of the character and sagacity of a people who are never
tardy to discover their individual interests. It is, notwithstanding,
often urged with so much pertinacity, as to savor much more of the
conclusions of what we hope for, than of what our reason would teach us
to believe. The fact is, there never has been a period, since society
was first firmly organized in their country, when the Anglo-Americans
have not possessed a tonnage greater, in proportion to their population
and means, than that of any other people, some of the small commercial
cities, perhaps, alone excepted. This was true, even previously to
their revolution, when the mother country monopolized all of trade and
industry that the temper of the colonies would bear, and it is true
now, to an extent of which you have probably no suspicion. The present
population of the United States may be computed at twelve million,
while the amount of shipping materially exceeds one million four
hundred thousand tons.[73] Assuming that amount, however, it gives one
ton to every eight and a half of the inhabitants. The tonnage of the
British empire is, in round numbers, two million, five hundred thousand.
This, divided among the twenty-three million of the British islands
alone, would give but one ton to every nine of the inhabitants. In this
calculation, the vast difference in wealth is forgotten. But by the
British empire, we are to understand Canada, the West Indies, and all
the vast possessions which are tributary to the wealth and power of
that great nation. I know not whether the shipping employed in the East
Indies ought to be enumerated in the amount named. If it is, you will
see the disproportion in favor of America is enormous. But assuming
that it is not, it becomes necessary to add several millions for their
other dependencies. There is, however, still another point of view in
which this comparison should, with strict justice, be made. A large
proportion of the people of the United States are so situated, that in
the nature of things they cannot turn much, if any, of their attention
to navigation. If the slaves and the inhabitants of the new states,
where the establishments are still too infant, to admit of such a
development of their resources, be deducted from the whole amount of
the population, it will not leave more than seven million of souls in
possession of those districts in which navigation can be supposed at
all to exist. The latter, too, will include all those states that are
called interior, where time has not been given to effect any thing like
a natural division of the employments of men. The result will show,
that the Americans, relatively considered, are addicted to navigation,
as compared with Great Britain, in the proportion of more than seven to
five; nor has this commercial, or rather maritime spirit, arisen under
auspices so encouraging as is generally imagined.

‘The navigation laws, adopted by the United States, so soon as
their present constitution went into operation, are generally known.
Their effect was to bring the shipping of the country into instant
competition with that of foreign nations, from the state of temporary
depression into which it had been thrown by the struggle of the
revolution. From that hour, the superiority enjoyed by the American,
in cheapness of construction, provisions and naval stores, aided by the
unrivalled activity, and practical knowledge of the population, put all
foreign competition at defiance. Of six hundred and six thousand tons
of shipping employed in 1790, in the foreign trade of the country, not
less than two hundred and fifty-one thousand tons were the property
of strangers. In 1794, while the trade employed six hundred and
eleven thousand tons, but eighty-four thousand tons were owned by
foreigners. In 1820, (a year of great depression,) the trade gave
occupation to eight hundred and eighty thousand tons, of which no more
than seventy-nine thousand tons were foreign property. This estimate,
however, includes the intercourse with the least, no less than that
with the most maritime nation. The trade between the United States and
England, which is the most important of all, in respect of the tonnage,
it employs, was about three to one, in favor of the former; with other
countries it varies according to the maritime character of the people,
but with all and each it is altogether in favor of the United States.’



                       CHAPTER VI.――RAIL-ROADS.


The first rail-road attempted in the United States, was that
constructed in Quincy, for the purpose of transporting granite from
the quarry at that place. It extends from the quarry to the Neponset
river, a distance of about three miles. It is a single track road, and
the distance between the rails is five feet. The rails are of pine,
covered with oak, and overlaid with thin plates of wrought iron. When
first constructed, the passage from the quarry to the landing of a car
carrying ten tons, with a single horse, was performed in an hour. It
was completed in 1827.

The _Boston and Lowell_ rail-road commences at Boston, near the
entrance to the Warren bridge. Twenty acres of flat have been purchased
at this place to accommodate the various depots of the company. The
rail-road crosses Charles river by a wooden viaduct, and terminates
at the basin of the canal in Lowell; whence branches extend along the
several canals to the factories. It is constructed of stone and iron,
in the most substantial manner. The company to form this road was
incorporated in June, 1830.[74]

The _Boston and Worcester_ rail-road was commenced in August, 1832. In
this road, the greatest degree of inclination from a level will be at
the rate of thirty feet a mile; the average inclination will be but ten
and a half feet, the main street in Worcester being but four hundred
and fifty-six feet higher than Charles street in Boston. The length of
the route is forty-three and a quarter miles.

The _Boston and Providence_ Rail-road company was incorporated in
June, 1831, with a capital of a million of dollars, for the purpose
of constructing a rail-road from Boston to the boundary line of
Massachusetts, in the direction of Providence. A company has been
formed for the continuation of this road to Stonington. Rail-roads
have been projected from Boston or Lowell to Brattleborough; from West
Stockbridge to the boundary line of the state of New York, to meet a
rail-road from Albany; from Boston to Salem, to be continued to the
northern line of the state; from Troy, in New York, at the head of
navigation on the Hudson river, to Bennington, a distance of thirty
miles to the town of Adams; and from Boston to Ogdensburg, in New York.

The _Hudson and Mohawk_ rail-road extends from Albany to Schenectady,
and affords a communication between the tide-water of Hudson river
and the Erie canal. It is a double track road, about sixteen miles in
length. It commences at the termination of the city line on the Hudson
river, and about thirteen acres of land are owned by the company in the
vicinity, for depots of transports. About four miles from Schenectady,
there is a curve in the road of twenty-three thousand feet radius;
there are six principal embankments. The descent from the Schenectady
summit to the level of the Hudson, is three hundred and thirty-five
feet. The soil through which the road passes is sandy. Several ravines
are crossed, and some considerable elevations are cut through. Both
locomotive engines and horses are used upon this route. A locomotive
has travelled upon it, with a load of eight tons, at the rate of
thirty miles per hour. In October, 1831, the number of daily passengers
averaged nearly four hundred. The cost of this road was between six and
seven hundred thousand dollars.

The _Saratoga and Schenectady_ rail-road forms a continuation of the
Mohawk and Hudson rail-road, extending from the city of Schenectady
to the villages of Ballston Spa and Saratoga, and uniting these places
with the line of steam navigation upon the Hudson. It is twenty miles
in length; was commenced in 1831, and completed in the following year.

The _Ithaca and Susquehanna_ rail-road is to extend from the village of
Ithaca, near the south end of Cayuga lake, to Owego, on the Susquehanna.
The distance is about twenty-eight miles. The _Ithaca and Catskill_
rail-road is to extend a distance of one hundred and sixty-seven miles,
from Ithaca to Catskill, on the Hudson. The _Catskill and Canajoharie_
rail-road is to extend for the distance of seventy miles, from Catskill
to Canajoharie, on the Mohawk. The company was incorporated in 1830,
with a capital of six hundred thousand dollars. The _Harlem_ rail-road
is about six miles in length, extending from Twenty-third street, New
York city, to Harlem river.

The _New York and Erie_ rail-road company was incorporated in April
1832, with a capital of ten million dollars. It was the original design
that the road should extend from the city of New York, or some point
in its vicinity,