Page images
PDF
EPUB

INTRODUCTORY TO BOOK IV.

This fourth and last division of the work contains a large mass of very valuable and interesting miscellaneous matter—everything, indeed, valuable and interesting written by Mr. Jefferson, and not embraced in the previous divisions of the work. To the general reader, it will be found much the most instructive and entertaining portion of the publication, ranging, as it does, over a vast field of discussion—unless, perhaps, the latter portion of Mr. Jefferson's Correspondence be excepted, say, from 1812 to the end of his life. Among the interesting papers contained in this division of the work, may be enumerated the "Notes on Virginia," biographical sketches of distinguished Revolutionary characters, Mr. Jefferson's argument in vindication of his official action while President of the United States in connection with the Batture at New Orleans—the celebrated Anas, Eesolutions defining the relations, bet ween the State and Federal Governments, and believed to be the originals of the Kentucky Resolutions of 1799, Ac. These are but a few of the interesting papers comprised in Book IV. There are many others possessing great intrinsic interest and a very considerable historical value, as throwing much light upon the early history of our country. And nowhere does the genius of the distinguished Author, and the richness and diversity of his resources, more impress the reader than in the mass of miscellaneous matter collected in this last division of the work.

PART I.
NOTES ON VIRGINIA.

QUERY L

An exact description of the limits and boundaries of the State

of Virginia?

Virginia is bounded on the east by the Atlantic ; on the north by a line of latitude crossing the eastern shore through Watkin's Point, being about 37° 57' north latitude; from thence by a straight line to Cinquac, near the mouth of Potomac; thence by the Potomac, which is common to Virginia and Maryland, to the first fountain of its northern branch; thence by a meridian line, passing through that fountain till it intersects a line running east and west, in latitude 39° 43' 42.4" which divides Maryland from Pennsylvania, and which was marked by Messrs. Mason and Dixon; thence by that line, and a continuation of it westwardly to the completion of five degrees of longitude from the eastern boundary of Pennsylvania, in the same latitude, and thence by a meridian line to the Ohio ; on the west by the Ohio and Mississippi, to latitude 36° 30' north, and on the south by the line of latitude last mentioned. By admeasurements through nearly the whole of this last line, and supplying the unmeasured parts from good data, the Atlantic and Mississippi are found in this latitude to be seven hundred and fifty-eight miles distant, equal to 30° 38' of longitude, reckoning fifty-five miles and three thousand one hundred and forty-four feet to the degree. This being our comprehension of longitude, that of our latitude, taken between this and Mason and Dixon's line, is 3° 13' 42.4" equal to two hundred and twenty-three and one-third miles, supposing a degree of a great circle to be sixty-nine miles, eight hundred and sixty-four feet, as computed by Cassina. These boundaries include an area somewhat triangular of one hundred and twenty-one thousand five hundred and twenty-five square miles, whereof seventy-nine thousand six hundred and fifty lie westward of the Alleghany mountains, and fifty-seven thousand and thirty-four westward of the meridian of the mouth of the Great Kanhaway. This State is therefore one-third larger than the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, which are reckoned at eighty-eight thousand three hundred and fifty-seven square miles.

These limits result from, 1. The ancient charters from the crown of England. 2. The grant of Maryland to the Lord Baltimore, and the subsequent determinations of the British court as to the extent of that grant. 3. The grant of Pennsylvania to William Penn, and a compact between the general assemblies of the commonwealths of Virginia and Pennsylvania as to the extent of that grant. 4. The grant of Carolina, and actual location of its northern boundary, by consent of both parties. 5. The treaty of Paris of 1763. 6. The confirmation of the charters of the neighboring States by the convention of Virginia at the time of constituting their commonwealth. 7. The cession made by Virginia to Congress of all the lands to which they had title on the north side of the Ohio.

QUERY II.

A notice of its rivers, rivulets, and how far they are navigable?

An inspection of a map of Virginia, will give a better idea of the geography of its rivers, than any description in writing. Their navigation may be imperfectly noted.

Roanoke, so far as it lies within the State, is nowhere navigable but for canoes, or light batteaux; and even for these in such detached parcels as to have prevented the inhabitants from availing themselves of it at all.

« PreviousContinue »