Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

RIVERS.

The principal rivers in New-England are Penobscot, Kennebeck, Androscoggin, or Ameriscoggin, Saco, Merrimack, Piscataqua, and Connecticut, besides many smaller ones, which we shall notice when treating of the different States.

PENOESCOT.

This river has its source in the district of Maine, a short distance weit of Union river on the high lands; it rises in two branches, running for a considerable distance, and then uniting in one noble and majestic stream. Between the fource of the west fork, and its junction with the east, is Moosehead lake, thirty or forty miles long, and fifteen wide. The eastern branch pafles through several smaller lakes. From The Forks, as they are called, the Penobscot Indians pass to Canada, up either branch, principally the west, the source of which they say is not more than twenty miles from the waters that empty into the river St. Lawrence. At the Forks is a remarkable high mountain. From the Forks down to Indian Old Town, situated on an island in this river, is about fixty miles, forty of which the water flows in a still, smooth stream, and in the whole distance there , are no falls to interrupt the passing of boats. In this distance, the river widens, and embraces a large number of small islands; and about hali way reccives two confiderable tributary ítreams, one from the east and the other from the west, whose mouths are nearly oppofite to each other. About fixty rods below Indian Old Town are the Great Falls, where is a carrying-place of about twenty rods; thence, twelve miles to the head of the tide, there are no falls to obstruct boats. Vefsels of thirty tons come within a mile of the head of the tide. Thence, thirty-five miles to the head of the bay, to the site of Old Fort Pownal, the river is remarkably straight, and easily navigated. Palfing by Majabagaduse on the east, seven miles, and Owl's Head, twenty miles farther, on the west, it enters the ocean by Penobscot Bay.

KENNEBECK.

This is one of the finest rivers in this country, and has its origin, like the former, in the district of Maine ; its sources are two streams, one of which rises in the highlands, a short distance from a branch of the Chaudiere, which empties into the St. Lawrence; another branch rises in Moose Head lake. In its course, it receives Sandy

river from the west, and Sebasticook and several others from the east, and passes to the sea by Cape Small Point. It is navigable for vessels of one hundred and fifty tons upwards of forty miles from the sea.

ANDROSCOGGIN,

This river, sometimes called Ameriscoggin, properly speaking, is but the main western branch of the Kennebeck; it rises near the end of the dividing line between New-Hampthire and the Old Province of Maine. The lake Umbagog, and several smaller lakes, flow into it. From this lake its course is southerly, till it approaches near the White Mountains, from which it receives Moose and Peabody rivers, and then turns to the east, and south-east through the province of Maine, in which course it passes within two miles of the sea coast, and turning north runs over Pejepíkaeg Falls, into Merry Meeting Bay, where it forms a junction with the Kennebeck, twenty miles from the sea, and one hundred and forty-lix from the source. Formerly, from this bay to the sea, the confluent stream was formerly called Saggadahoch.

SACO.

This river is one of the largest rivers in the district of NewHainpshire. The principal part of its water falls in different streams from the White Mountains, which unite at twelve or fifteen miles distance. Its course, some distance from its fource, is foutherly ; it then suddenly bends to the east, and crosses into the district of Maine, then makes a large bend to the north-east, east, and southweft, embracing the fine township of Fryeburg, in the county of York. Its general course thence to the sea is about forty-five miles S. E. Great and Little Offapee rivers fall into it from the west, making a great addition to the original ftream. This river is navigable for ships to Saco Falls, about fix miles from the sea.

MERRIMACK.

MERRIMACK RIVER is formed by the confluence of Pemigewasset and Winnipifeogee rivers ; the former is a very rapid river, and springs from a white mountain, west of the noted mountains of that name; and before its junction with the Winnipiseogee branch, it receives from the west, Baker's river, a pleasant stream, forty miles in length, and several smaller streams. The Winnipifeogee branch rises from the lake of the same name. The stream which issues from the lake is small, and in its course passes through a bay twelve miles VOL.II.

C

long

long, and from three to five broad. A few miles from its entrance into the Pemigewaslet is a place called the Weres, remarkable for the number of salmon and shad which are there caught. The river is wide, and so shallow that the fishermen turn the course of the river in a short time, or compress it into a narrow channel, where they fix their gill nets, and take the fish as they pafs up the strean. After the Pemigewasset receives the waters of Winnipiseogee, it takes the name of Merrimack; and after a course of about ninety miles, first in a southerly, and then in an easterly direction, and passing over Hookset, Amuskeag, and Pantucket Falls, empties into the sea at Newburyport. From the west it receives, Blackwater, Contoocook, Piscataquoag, Souhegan, Nashu, and Concord rivers ; from the east, Bowcook, Suncook, Cohas, Beaver, Spicket, and Powow rivers, Contoocook heads near Monadnock mountain, is very rapid, and ten or twelve-miles from its mouth is one hundred yards wide. Just before its entrance into the Merrimack it branches and forins a beaua tiful island of five or six acres.

PISCAT AQUA. This is the only large river whose whole course is in New Hamps shire. Its head is a pond in the N. E. corner of the town of Wakefield, and its general course thence, to the sea, is S. S. E. about forty miles. It divides New-Hampshire from York-County, in the disa trict of Maine, and is called Salmon-fall river, from its liead to the lower falls at Berwick, where it assumes the name of Newichawan nock, which it bears till it meets with Cocheco river, which comes from Dover, when both run together in one channel to Hilton's Point, where the wellern branch meets it. From this junction to the sea, the river is so rapid that it never freezes ; the distance iş seven miles, and the course generally from S. to S. E. The western branch is formed by Swamscot river, which comes from Exeter. Winnicot river, which comes through Greenland, and Lamprey river, which divides Newmarket from Durham ; these empty into a bay, four miles wide, called Great Bay. The water in its further progress is contracted into a lesler bay, and then it receives Oyster river, which runs through Durham and Back river, which comes from Dover, and at length meets with the main streain at Hilton's Point. The tide rises into all these bays, and branches as far as the lower falls in each riv r, and forms a moft rapid current, especially at the season of the freshets, when the ebb continues about two hours

longer

longer than the flood; and were it not for the numeroiis eddies, formed by the indentings of the shore, the ferries would then be imp Table.

At the lower falls in the several branches of the river, are land. ing places, whence lumber and other country produce is transported. and vessels or boats from below discharge their lading; so that in each river there is a convenient trading-place, not more than twelve or fifteen miles distant from Portsmouth, with which there is constant communication by every tide. Thus the river, from its form and the fituation of its branches, is extremly favourable to the purposes of navigation and commerce,

CONNECTICUT. This river gives name to one of the five colonies of this province. It rises in a swamp on the height of land, in lat. 45. 10. W. long. 71. 30. After a sleepy course of eight or ten miles, it tumbles over four separate falls, and turning west keeps close under the hills which form the northern boundary of the vale through which it runs. The Amo. moosuk and Israel rivers, two principal branches of Connecticut river, fall into it from the east, between the latitudes 44o and 450. Between the towns of Walpole on the east, and Westminster on the west side of the river, are the great Falls. A large rock divides the Itream into two channels, each about ninety feet wide on the top of The shelving bank. When the water is low, the eastern channel appears crossed by a bar of solid rock, and the whole stream falls into the western channel, where compreiled between two rocks scarcely thirty feet asunder, it shoots with ainazing rapidity into a broad bason below. Above Deerfield in Massachusetts it receives Deerfield river from the west, and Miller's river from the east, after which it turns westerly in a sinuous course to Fighting Falls, and a little after tumbles over Deerfield Falls, which are impassable by boats. At Windsor in Connecticut it receives Farmington river from the welt; and at Hartford meets the tide. Froin Hartford it passes on in a crooked course, until it falls into Long-Iiland sound, between Saybrook and Lyme.

The length of this river, in a straight line, is nearly three hundred miles. Its general course is several degrees west of south. It is from 80 to 100 roods wide, 130 miles from its mouth. At its mouth is a bar of fand which considerably obstructs the navigation. Ten feet water at full tides is found on this bar, and the same depth

to Middleton. The distance of the bar from this place, as the river runs, is thirty-six miles. Above Middleton are several thoals whiclı stretch quite across the river. Only six feet water is found on the moal at high tide, and here the tide ebbs and flow, but about cight inches. About three miles below Middleton the river is contracted to about forty roods in breadth by two high mountains. Almost every where else the banks are low, and spread into finc extensive meadows. In the spring floods, which generally happen in May, these meadows are covered with water. At Hartford the water sometimes rises twenty feet above the common surface of the river, and having all to pass through the abore-mentioned strait, it is sometimes two or three weeks before it returns to its usual bed. These floods add nothing to the depth of water on the bar at the mouth of the river: this bar lying too far off in the found to be affected by them.

On this beautiful river, whose banks are settled almost to its source, are many pleasant, neat, well-built towns, which we shall notice when treating of the particular States on which they stand.

This river is navigable to Hartford, upwards of fifty miles from its mouth, and the produce of the country for two hundred miles above is brought thither in boats. The boats which are used in this business are flat-bottomed, long, and narrow, for the convenience of going up stream, and of fo light a inake as to be portable in carts. They are taken out of the river at three different carrying places, all of which make fifteen miles.

Sturgeon, salmon, and snad, are caught in plenty in their season, from the mouth of the river upwards, except sturgeon, which do not afcend the upper falls; besides a variety of finall fish, such as pike, carp, pearch, &c.

From this river are employed several brigs of one hundred and cighty tons each, in the European trade; and about sixty or seventy fail of from sixty to one hundred and fifty tons, in the West-India trade; befides a few fishing veilels, and forty or fifty coafting vefrels.

In addition to these, there are in this province many other rivers, which, though inferior in point of magnitude, yet are worthy of notice, as they afiord, in many instances, either excellent inland navigation, or present the means of improving of it. As they add to the beauty of the country, and value of the soil; and as they furnish fituations peculiarly desirable for the erecting of mills, or the introduction of manufactures, thicfe we shall notice when treating of the

differens

« AnteriorContinuar »