Page images

lat. 47*-47' N. and Ion- 95° 6' W. amidst lakes and swamps, dreary and desolate beyond description, and after a S. E. course of about 600 miles reaches the falls of St. Anthony in lat. 44° N. where it descends perpendicularly 40 feet. From these falls it pursues at first a southeasterly and then a southerly direction, and after forming the boundary between Missouri, Arkansas territory, and Louisiana on one side, and Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi on the other, discharges itself through many mouths into the gulf of Mexico. It is more than 3,000 miles long and is navigable for boats of 40 tons to the falls of St. Anthony. The following are the principal tributaries of the Mississippi from the east. 1- The Ovisconsin, a rapid river, which joins it between the parallels of 42° and 43° N. lat. 2. The Illinois, a navigable river, which rises in the N. VV. part of Indiana, and after a circuitous course of 400 miles through the state of Illinois, joins the Mississippi near lat. 38° 40' N. 3. The Ohio, which is formed by the union of the Alleghany and Monongabela rivers at Pittsburg, in the western part of Pennsylvania. It flows in a southwesterly direction for 045 miles, separating the states of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois from Virginia and Kentucky, and falls into the Mississippi in 33° N. lat Its current is very gentle and nowhere broken by any considerable falls, except at Louisville inJKentuckv, where the water descends 22£ feet in 2 miles, producing a very rapid current; yet boats have notwithstanding frequently ascended. The chief tributaries of the Ohio are, the Wabash, a fine navigable river, which rises in the N. E. part of Indiana, and flowing in a southwesterly direction falls into the Ohio after a course of 500 miles, during the last half of which it forms the boundary between Indiana and Illinois; the Cumberland, which rises in the mountains on the eastern boundary of Kentucky, and running into Tennessee, makes a circular bend, passes again into Kentucky, and joins the Ohio after a course of 600 miles, for 000 of which it is* navigable; and the Tennessee, which is formed by several streams from the western part of Virginia and the Carolinas, which unite a little west of Knoxville in the state of Tennessee; it runs ut first S.YV. into Alabama and then turns and flowing N.W. through Tennessee into Kentucky, joins the Ohio 10 miles below the. mouth of the Cumberland. 4. The Yazoo, which rises in the northern part of the state of Mississippi, and running S. VV. joins

the Mississippi 100 miles above Natchez. The following

are the principal tributaries of the Mississippi from the west. 1. The St. Peter's, which joins it about 9 miles below the falls of St. Anthony, after a S.E. course of several hundred miles. 2 The river des Moinet, which joins it near the parallel of 40° N. lat. after a S. E. course of more than 800 miles. 3. The Missouri, which is formed by three branches, cnllejl Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin rivers, all of which rise in the Rocky mountains, between 42° and 48° N. lat. and unite at one place in lat. 45° 10' N. and Ion. 110° W. From the confluence of these streams to the Great Falls, the coarse of the river is northerly ; thence to the Mandan villages, easterly; and from the Macdun villages to the junction with the Mississippi it runs first south and afterwards S. E; The whole length from the highest navigable point of Jefferson's river to the confluence with the Mississippi is 3,096 miles, and to the gulf of Mexico 4,491; during the whole of which distance there is no cataract or considerable impediment to the navigation, except at the Great Falls, which are 2,575 miles from the Mississippi. At these falls the river descends in the distance of J 8 miles 362 feet.—The principal tributaries of the Missouri are the Yellowstone, which rises in the Rocky mountains between lat. 43° and 44° N. and joins it after a northeasterly course of 1,100 miles; the Platte, which rises in the Rocky mountains and after an easterly course of 1,600 miles joins the Missouri in lat. 41° N. and the Kansas, which joins it near lat. 39° N. after an easterly course of more than 1,000 miles. 4. The Arkansas, which rises in the Rocky mountains in about lat. 41° N. and pursuing a southeasterly course, forms for some distance the boundary between the United States and Mexico, after which its course lies principally in Arkansas territory till it joins the Mississippi. Its length is more than 2,000 miles. 5. Red river, which rises in the Rocky mountains in about lat 37° N. and after a southeast course of more than 1,200 miles, falls into the Mississippi in lat. 31° N.

The following are the principal rivers east of the Allegany mountains; 1. The Connecticut, which rises in the highlands sepaating the United States from Lower Canada, and running south divides New Hampshire from Vermont, and passing through Massachusetts and Connecticut falls into Long Island sound. It is navigable for sloops 50 miles, to Hartford, and by means of canals and other improvements lias been rendered passable for boats 250 miles further. 2. The Hudson, which rises west of lake Champlain, and pursuing a southerly course of more than 300 miles falls into New York bay. It is navigable for ships to Hudson, 130 miles; and for large sloops 30 miles further, to Albany hear the head of the tide. 3. The Dclaxoare, which rises in New York, and flowing south separates Pennsylvania from New York and New Jersey, and falls into Delaware bay after a course of 300 miles. It is navigable for ships of the line 40 miles, to Philadelphia, and for sloops 35 miles further to the head of the tide at Trenton falls. 4. The Susquehannah, which rises in New York and pursuing a southerly zig zag course through Pennsylvania, falls into the head of Chesapeake hay near the N. E. corner of Maryland. During the last 50 miles the navigation is obstructed by an almost continued series of rapids. 5. The Potomac, which rises in the Alleghany mountains, and after forming during its whole course the boundary between Maryland and Virginia falls into Chesapeake bay. It is navigable for sloops of the greatest burden to the city of Washington, 300 miles, but in the upper part of its course the:-e are numerous obstructions, many of which have been overcome by canals. 5. James river, which rises in the Alleghany mountains, and pursuing a course S. of E. wholly in Virginia, falls into the southern part of Chesapeake bay. It is navigable for sloops to Richmond, where the Great falls formerly presented an obstruction, but a canal has been made around them, and the river is now navigable for batteaux for 230 miles above the city. 6. The Savannah, which forms the boundary between South Carolina and Georgia, and falls into tho Atlantic in lat. 32° N. It is navigable for large vessels to Savannah, 18 miles; and for boats to Augusta, 340 miles further.

The following are the principal rivers, which rise south of the Alleghany mountains and fall into the gulf of Mexico. I. The Appalachicola, which discharges itself into (he western part of Apalachy bay in Florida. It is formed by the union of the Cnatahoocbee and Flint rivers, the former of which rises in the northern part of Georgia, and flowing south receives Flint river it the S. \y. extremity of Georgia. During the latter part of its course the Chatahoochee forms the boundary between Georgia and Alabama. 2. The Mobile, in Alabama, which discharges itself into Mobile bay. It is formed by two large rivers, the Alabama and Tombigbee, which unite near lat. 31° N. after having pursued, each, a separate course of many hundred miles.

The principal rivers west of the Rocky mountains are the Columbia and its branches. Columbia river rises in the Rocky mountains near lat- 55° N. and running S. W. falls into the Pacific ocean in lat. 46° 15' N. after a course of 1,500 miles. Its principal tributaries are Clarke's river, Levis'' river, and (he Multnomah or Wallaumvt, all of which join it on the left bank. Vessels of 300 Iods may ascend the Columbia to the mouth of the Multnomah, 125 miles, and large sloops to the head of the tide, 60 miles further.

Inland Navigation.] Numerous canals have been proposed for connecting the great rivers, bays and lakes, in various parts of the country, some of which are already completed, and others in a course of execution. The principal are the following s 1 The Middlesex canal, which lies wholly in Massachusetts. It is 31 miles long and connects Boston harbor with Merrimack river, tbus opening an easy communication between Boston and the interior of New Hampshire. It was completed in 1804. 2. The Chain-plain canal, which lies wholly in N. Y. is 22 miles long and connect* lake Champlain with the Hudson. It was completed in 1820. 3. The Erie canal, extending from lake Erie to the Hudson, 350 miles, is the greatest work of the kind ever undertaken in America. It is wholly in the state of New York, and will probably be completed in 1823, at an expense of about $5,000,000. 4. A canal has open proposed to connect James river villi the Ohio. Tho board of public works in Virginia have recently reported in favor of its practicability and expediency. 6. The Chesapeake and Albemarle canal lies partly in Virginia and partly in North Carolina, and connects Chesapeake bay with Albemarle •oond. 6. The Santt* canal, 22 miles long, is wholly in South Carolina, and connects Santee river with Charleston harbor, f. A canal for sloops from Massachusettr buy-to Buzgard/s bay across the isthmus which connects the peninsula of cape Cod with the ■online nt has been proposed, and n company has-been incorporated

by the legislature of Massachusetts for carrying the plan in*© execution. 8. A canal for sloops has -been proposed through the centre of New Jersey, designed to connect, with the aid of intervening streams, JYev York bay with Delaware river. A company was incorporated in New Jersey many years ago for this purpose, and a survey of the intended route Whs made, from which the practicability of the plan was ascertained. 9. A canal has been commenced across the isthmus which separates Delaware river from Chesapeake bay. 10. Two canals have been proposed for connecting rivers which full into lake Erie with navigable branches of the Ohio, and Congress have granted J00,(JO0 acres of land lor carrying each of these plans into execution. 11. A canal has been proposed to connect the head waters of Illinois river with lake Michigan, and Congress have also appropriated 100,000 acress of land towards defraying the expense of this project. Besides these there are numerous other eanals of minor importance, particularly around the falls in the great rivers.

Climate.] The territory of the United States, extending through 24 degrees of latitude, presents of course a great variety of climate. As a general remark, however, it is every where much colder than in the same parallels in Europe, and the difference has been commonly estimated as equivalent to 8 or IO degrees of latitude. The country on the Ohio has been commonly considered warmer in the same parallels than the Atlantic states. The difference was supposed by Mr. Jefferson to equal what would result from three degrees of latitude. Accurate observations, however, which have been mnde at Cincinnati for a series of years, prove that there is no foundation for this opinion; or at least, if there be a difference, it cannot equal one third of what has been mentioned. The opinion that the climate on the Ohio is more moist and more liable to sudden and extreme changes than that of the eastern states is equally erroneous. In the flat country of the southern states the summers are hot and unhealthy; the months of July, August and September are here denominated the sickly season, hut the rest of the year is generally mild and pleasant. In New England the climate is healthy, but in the spring of the year bleak and piercing east winds prevail, which are very disagreeable. In Plorida, the climate is favorable to the production of tropical fruits, and it is supposed that coffee, cocoa and sugar might be raised there abundantly.

Soil and Productions.] Th;> soil is generally fertile and capable of supporting a dense population. The principal production of the statea south of Virginia and Kentucky, is cotton. Tobacco is raised in large quantities in Maryland and Virginia. Wheat it the staple production of the Middle and Western States. In the Eastern states a considerable portion of the soil is devoted to pasturage. Rice is cultivated to a considerable extent in the swamps of Georgia and the Carolinas. The sugar cane flourishes in Louisiana as high as the parallel of 30° N- Int. The vine has, within a few yean, been successfully cultivated in Indiana, and it is supposed that the climate would be equally favorable in Virginia, the Carolinas, Kentucky and Tennessee. Population.] The population of the United States, in 1790, was 3,929,326 ; in 1800, 5,305,666; in 1810, 7,239,903, and in 1820, 9,625,734; of whom 1,531,436 were slaves and 233,398 free blacks. . The population increases very regularly at the rate of about 3 per cent. per annum, doubling in less than 25 years. The inhabitants consist of whites, negroes and Indians. The negroes are generally slaves, and are principally confined to the states south of Pennsylvania and the river Ohio. All the whites are of European origin ; principally English. The New-Englanders, Virginians, and Carolinians are almost purely English. Next to the English are the Germans, who are very numerous in the Middle states, particularly in Pennsylvania. Next to the Germans are the shutch, who are most numerous in New-York. The French constitute nearly half the population of Louisiana. The Irish and Scotch are found in the Middle states, in the back parts of Virginia, and in all the principal cities of the Union. Very hitle is known about the Indians west of the Mississippi. The 4 principal tribes on the east of the Mississippi are the Creeks, Choctaws, Cherokees, and Chickasaws. These tribes live within the chartered limits of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tenhtssee. Religion.] The principal religious denominations are Presbyterians and Congregationalists, who have together more than 2,500 congregations; the Baptists, who have more than 2,000 congregations; the Friends, who have more than 500 societies; and the Episcopalians, who have about 300. The Methodists, also, are very numerous. The Baptists and Methodists are found in all parts of the United States; the Congregationalits are almost wholly in New-England; the Presbyterians are scattered over the Middle and Southern states ; the Friends are most numerous in Pennsylvania and the adjoining states, and the Episcopalians in New-York, Connecticut, Maryland and Virginia. German Lutherans, German Calvinists, and Moravians are also numerous in the Middle states. Government.] The United States are a federal republic. Each of the states is independent, and has the exclusive control of all concerns merely local ; but the defence of the country, the regulation of commerce, and all the general interests of the confederacy are committed, by the constitution of the United States, to a general government. The legislative power is vested in a Congress, consisting of a Senate and House of Representatives. The Senate is composed of two members from each state, chosen by their Legislatures for 6 years. The Representatives are chosen by the people biennially, each state being entitled to a number proportioned to its free population, and in the slave-holding states every five slaves are allowed to count the same as three freemen. The President and Vice President are chosen for four years by electors appointed for the purpose, and each state appoints as many electors as the whole number of its Sena

« PreviousContinue »