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above Hanover town, and Mattapony to Downer'š bridge, 70 miles above its mouth.
Piankatank, the little rivers making out of Mobjack Bay and those of the Eastern shore, receive only very small vessels, and these can but enter them.
Rappahannock' affords 4 fathom water to Hobb's hole, and 2 fathom from thence to Fre. dericksburg
Patowmac is 74 miles wide at the mouth; 4. at Nomony bay ; 3 at Aquia ; lt at Hallowing point; 14 at Alexandria. Its soundings are, 7 fathom at the mouth; 5 at St George's island; 4. at Lower Matchodic ; 3 at Swan's point, and thence up to Alexandria ; thence 10 feet water to the falls, which are 13 miles above Alexan. dria. These falls are 15 miles in length, and of very great descent, and the navigation above them for batteaux and canoes, is so much interrupted as to be little used. It is, however, used in a small degree up the Cohongoronta branch as far as fort Cumberland, which was at the mouth of Willis creek; and is capable, at no great expence, of being rendered very practicable. The Shenandoah branch interlocks with James River about the Blue Ridge, and may perhaps in future be opened.
The Missisipi will be one of the principal channels of future commerce for the country westward of the Alleghaney, From the mouth of this river to where it receives the Ohio, is 1000 miles by water, but only 500 by land, passing through the Chickasaw country. From the mouth of the Ohio to that of the Missouri, is 250 miles by water, and 140 by land. From
thence to the mouth of the Illinois river, is about 25 miles.
The Missisipi below the mouth of the Missouri, is always muddy, and abounding with sand bars, which frequently change their places. However, it carries 15 feet water to the mouth of the Ohio, to which place it is from one and a half to two miles wide, and thence to Kaskaskia from one mile to a mile and a quarter wide. Its current is so rapid, that it never can be stemmed by the force of the wind alone, acting on sails. Any vessel, however, navigated with oars, may come up at any time, and receive much aid from the wind. A batteaux passes from the mouth of Ohio to the mouth of Missisipi in three weeks, and is from two to three months in getting up again. During its floods, which are periodical as those of the Nile, the largest vessels may pass down it, if their steerage can be insured. These floods begin in April, and the river 'returns into its banks early in August. The inundation extends further on the western than eastern side, covering the lands in some places for 50 miles from its banks. Above the mouth of the Missouri, it becomes much such a river as the Ohio, like it clear, and gentle in its current, not quite so wide, the period of its floods nearly the same, but not rising to so great a height. I he streets of the village at Cohoes are not more than 10 feet above the ordinary level of the water, and yet were never overflowed. Its bed deepens every year. Cohoes, in the memory of many people now living, was insulated by every flood of the river. What was the eastern channel has now become a lake, 9 miles in length and one
in width, into which the river at this day never flows. This river yields turtle of a peculiar kind, perch, trout, gar, pike, mullets, herrings, carp, spatula fish of 50lb. weight, cat-fish of 100lb, weight; buffalo fish and sturgeon. Aligators or crocodiles have been seen as high up as the Acansas. It also abounds in herons, cranes, ducks, brant, geese, and swans. Its passage is commanded by a fort established by this state, five miles below the mouth of the Ohio, and ten miles above the Carolina boundary.
The Missouri, since the treaty of Paris, the Illinois and Northern branches of the Ohio, since the cession to Congress, are no longer within our limits. Yet having been so heretofore, and still opening to us channels of extensive communication with the western and northwestern country, they shall be noted in their order.
The Missouri is, in fact, the principal river, contributing more to the common stream than does the Missisipi, even after its junction with the Illinois. It is remarkably cold, muddy and rapid. Its overflowings are considerable. They happen during the months of June and July: Their commencement being so much later than those of the Missisipi, would induce a belief that the sources of the Missouri, are northward of those of the Missisipi, unless we suppose that the cold increases again with ascent of the land from the Missisipi westwardly. That this ascent is great, is proved by the rapidity of the river. Six miles above the mouth it is brought within the compass of a quarter of a mile’swidth:
yet the Spanish merchants at Pancore, or St. Louis, say they go two thousand miles up it. It heads far westward of the Rio Norte, or North River. There is, in the villages of Kask., askia, Cohoes and St. Vincennes, no inconsiderable quantity of plate, said to have been plun. dered during the last war by the Indians from the churches and private houses of Santa Fe, on the North river, and bro't to the villages for sale. From the mouth of Ohio to Santa Fe are forty days journey, or about 1000 miles. What is the shortest distance between the navigable waters of the Missouri, and those of the North river, Gr how far, this is navigable above Santa Fe, I could never learn. From Santa Fe to its mouth in the Gulph of Mexico is about 1200 miles. The road from New Orleans to Mexico crosses this river at the post of Rio Norte, 800 miles below Santa Fe : and from this post to New Orleans is about 1200 miles ; thus making 2000 miles between Santa Fe and New Orleans, passing down the North river, Red river and Missisipi ; whereas it is 2230 through the Missouri and Missisipi. From the same post of Rio Norte, passing near the mines of La Sierra and Laiguana, which are between the North river and the river Salina to Sartilla, is 575 miles; and from thence, passing the mines of Charcas, Zaccatecas and Potosi, to the city of Mexico is 375 miles ; in all, 1550 miles from Santa Fe to the city of Mexico. From New Orleans to the city of Mexico is about 1950 miles : the roads after setting out from the Red river near Natchitoches, keeping generally parallel with the coast, and about two hun
dred miles from it, till it enters the city of Mexico.
The Illinois is a fine river, clear, gentle, and without rapids ; insomuch that it is navigable for batteaux to its source, From thence is a portage of two miles only to the Chickago, which affords a batteau navigation of 16 miles to its entrance into lake Michigan. The Illinois, about 10 miles above its mouth, is 300 yards wide.
The Kaskaskia is 100 yards wide at its entrance into the Missisipi, and preserves that breadth to the Buffalo plains, 70 miles above. So far also it is navigable for loaded batteaux, and perhaps much further. It is not rapid.
The Obio is the most beautiful river on earth. Its current gentle, waters clear, and its bosom smooth and unbroken by rocks and rapids, a single instance only excepted.
It is 1.4 of a mile wide at Fort Pitt :
500 yards at the mouth of the Great Kan. haway :
1 mile and 25 poles at Louisville :
1-4 of a mile on the rapids, three or four miles below Louisville :
1-2 a mile where the low country begins, which is 20 miles above Green river:
1.4 at the receipt of the Tennessee : And a mile wide at the mouth.
Its length, as measured according to its me, anders by captain Hutchins, is as follows:
From Fort Pitt. To long's town
181 Two creeks Big Beaver creek
102 Long reach
16 114 Muskinghum
Little Beaver creek