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OF THE

UNITED STATES

OF

NORTH AMERICA.

PART SECOND. CHAPTER XIII.

STATE OF CONNECTICUT. *

Situation And Extent.—Between 41° and 41° 2* north latitude, and S° 2tf and 5° east longitude from Washington. Bounded on the north by Massachusetts; south by Long Island Sound; east by Rhode Island; west by New York. This state stretches ninety miles along the sea coast. The Massachusetts line of boundary is seventy-two, and that which separates it from Rhode Island is forty-five miles long. Area—4000 square miles, or 2,560,000 acres.

Mountains.—The Toghconnuc chain of mountains runs northward from Ridgefield, between the western boundary of the state and the Housatonic river. On

• So named from the river which traverses the state, formerly written Quonectiquot, and signifying Long River.

The name of New England was applied to all that portion of the United States' territory which lies eastward of the river Hudson, including the five states of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

VOL. II. A

the eastern side is another parallel range, the summit of which, in Litchfield, is 500 feet above the adjacent level country. The Blue Hills, in Southington, are 1000 feet high. The Middleton mountains, which run north-east from Newhaven to the White Mountain range, have an elevation between 700 and 800 feet.

Aspect of the Country, and Nature of the Soil.— The soil is generally fertile, except in the southern parts, where it is sandy and barren. The most extensive level tracts are near the coast, and on the sides of the Connecticut river, and the Quinebaug, an eastern branch of the Thames. Along the valley of the Connecticut river, the soil is a fine sandy loam, with a clayey bottom. This valley is about two miles in breadth; and, on leaving it, the soil on both sides becomes sandy, and in some places stoney. *

Temperature.—The temperature is similar to that of Massachusetts; and, though cold in winter, is generally very healthy. Frost and snow continue three months; the winter commencing about the first of Novemher, and ending the first of March. Near the Connecticut river, apples and cherries are in blossom the first of May. t The greatest heat is in July and August. The weather is very variable, depending on the direction of the wind. The north-west wind brings cold; the north-east, storms; and the south-west, the most prevalent, is the sure forerunner of warmth and rain. In summer, the mercury (Fahr.) seldom rises above ninety-one degrees, and is generally lower by six

* Frjm Mr Martin Stanley. -j- Ditto.

or seven degrees. The greatest cold ever experienced was ten degrees below zero.

Bays and Rivers.—The southern coast of this state is washed by Long Island Sound, into which all the rivers and streams flow from the middle and northern parts. The surface is interspersed with a number of small lakes. The three principal rivers are the Connecticut, Housatonic, and Thames. The first waters the middle parts, from north to south; the second the western; and the third the eastern. The Connecticut, which takes its rise above the northern limits of New Hampshire, or forty-fifth degree of latitude, forms its western line of boundary, and runs through the middle of Connecticut, first in a southern, and afterwards in a south-eastern direction, into Long Island Sound in the Atlantic Ocean. In full tide, it is navigable for vessels which do not draw more than ten feet water to Middleton, thirty-six mi.es; for those of smaller size to the town of Hartford, fifty miles from its outlet; and for flat-bottomed boats 200 miles higher. The boats of the Connecticut river are from fifty to sixty feet in length, and eight or ten in width, not drawing, when loaded, more than sixteen or eighteen inches of water, though they carry from sixteen to twenty tons. * To the distance of 130 miles from its source, it is from eighty to a hundred rods wide, except about three miles below Middleton, where it is contracted by the high banks to forty yards. Except at this place, the banks are level, and generally cover

* From Mr Martin Stanley.

eel by the spring floods in the month of May* which, at Hartford, rise to the height of twenty, and sometimes thirty feet, above the usual level. The river is here not more than a quarter of a mile wide. It receives on both sides a number of small branches. The Hoestennuc, or Housatonic, « rises from two sources in Massachusetts, and runs a south east course to Long Island Sound, from which it is navigable for sloops to the town of Derby, twelve miles from its mouth. It runs a course of 140 miles. The Naugatuk, which enters at Derby, is a considerable eastern branch, which runs from near the northern parts in a southern direction. The Thames is formed of numerous branches, which water the north-eastern parts of the state; the most southern branches, Shetucket and Norwich, unite, fourteen miles from its outlet in Long Island Sound, at the town of Norwich, to which it is navigable for small vessels. These branches have falls, which afford the most eligible situation for mills. Several smaller streams empty themselves into the sound. The Paivcatuck, on the east, which runs into Narraganset Bay, forms a part of the dividing line between this state and Rhode Island, while Byram river separates it from New York for some distance on the western side.

Islands.—Near the outlet of the rivers, along the whole extent of the sound, a number of small islands appear. Mason's and other islands, at the mouth of Mittick river; Great island and others, at the con

* An Indian name, signifying Over the Mountain.

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