Imágenes de página


Situation and Extent.) The United States is the great middle division of North America. It is bounded N. by New Britain and the Canadas; E. by New Brunswick and the Atlantic ocean; S. by the gulf of Mexico; S. W. by the Spanish dominions, and W by the Pacific ocean.

The boundary on the side of the Spanish dominions, according to the treary with Spain, ratified in 1821, begins on the gulf of Mexico, at the month of the river Sabine, and proceeds along the west bank of that river to the 32d degree of N. lat. ; thence, by a line due north, to Red river; thence up that river to the meridian of 100° W. Ion. thence due north, along that meridian to the river Arkansas; thence, along the south bank of the Arkansas to its source ; thence, due north or south, as the case may be, to the parallel of 42° N. lat. and thence, along that parallel, to the Pacific ocean. On the side of the British dominions, the boundary begins in the Atlantic ocean, at the mouth of the river St. Croix, and proceeds up that river to its source ; thence, due north, to the highlands which separate the waters falling into the St. Lawrence from those which fall into the Atlantic; thence, along those highlands, in a S. W. direction, to the parallel of 45° N. lat. ; thence, along that parallel to the river St. Lawrence ; and thence, up that river, and the great lakes, Ontario, Erie, Hurou and Superior, to the most northwestern point of the lake of the Woods. By the treaty with Great Britain in 1819, the boundary line proceeds from the last mentioned point, due north or south, as the case may be, to the parallel of 49° N. lat. and thence, due west along that parallel to the Rocky mountains. The boundary between the Rocky mountains and the Pacific ocean remains unsettled.

Including Florida, which has been ceded by Spain, the territory of the United States extends from 25° to 49° N. lat. and from 66° 49' to 125° W. Jon. embracing 2,000,000 square miles.

Divisions. This extensive country is divided into 24 States, 1 District and 6 Territories. The states are usually classed under four divisions, Eustern, Middle, Southern and Western. States,

Sq, miles. Population in 1820. Pop. on 1. Maine, 31,750 298,335

10 2. New Hampshire, 9,491 244,161

26 EASTERN 3. Vermont,

10,212 235,764

23 STATES. 4. Massachusetts,

7,250 523,287

72 5. Rhode Island, 1,580 83,059

53 6. Connecticut,

4,764 275.248 7. New-York, 46,000 1,372,812 30

[ocr errors]


8. New Jersey, 8,320 277,575 33 MIDDLE 9. Pennsylvania, 46,000 1,049,398

23 STATES. 10. Delaware,

72,749 34 11. Maryland, 13,959 407,350 29




Sq. miles. Population in 1820. Pop. on

a sq. n. 12. Virginia, 64,000 1,065,366 17

13. North-Carolina, 48,000 638,829 SOUTHERN | 14. South-Carolina, 24,000 490,309 20 STATES. 15. Georgia,

60,000 340,989 6 16. Alabama, 44,000 127,901 3 17. Mississippi, 45,000 75,448 2 18. Louisiana: 48,000 153,407 3 19. Tenpessee,

40,000 422,813 11 20. Kentuoky, 42,000 564,317 WESTERN 21. Ohio,

39,000 581,484 15 STATES. 22. Indiana,

36,000 147,178 3 23. Illinois,


55,211 1 ( 24, Missouri, 60,000 66,586 1 District of Columbia,


33,039 330 r Michigan, 40,000

Northwest, 140,000

Missouri, 1,000,000
( Oregon,

Florida, 50,000 15,000

Seas Bays and Sounds.] The territory of the United States is washed by three seas ; the Atlantic ocean on the east; the gulf of Mexico on the south; and the Pacific ocean on the west. The principal bays and sounds on the Atlantic border are, Passamaquoddy bay, which lies between Maine and the British province of New-Brunswick ; Massachusetts bay, between cape Ann and cape Cod, on the coast of Massachusetts ; Long island sound, between Long island and the coast of Connecticut; Delaware bay, which sets up between cape May and cape Henlopen, and separates New Jersey from Delaware; Chesapeake bay,which communicates with the ocean between cape Charles and cape Henry, and extends in a Dortherly direction for 200 miles through the states of Virginia and Maryland ; and Albemarle and Pamlico sounds on the coast of North Carolina. There are no very large bays or sounds on the coast of the gulf of Mexico or of the Pacific ocean.

Face of the Country.] This country is iotersected by two principal ranges of mountains ; the Rocky mountains in the west, which run acrose the territory in a direction nearly parallel with the coast of the Pacific ocean, at the distance of several hundred miles; and the Allegbany mountains in the east, which run nearly parallel with the Atlantic coast from Georgia, through Tennessee, Virginia and Pennsylvania to New-York. The immense valley included between these two ranges of mountains is intersected by the Mississippi river, which runs from north to south through the whole length of the United States. The country west of the Mississippi, with few exceptions, is a wilderness inhabited by savage Indians, and beyond the meridian of 94o the whites bave scarcely


a solitary settlement; but the country on the east of the Missis. sippi is, to a considemble extent, cultivated and populous.

In that part of the United States which lies east of the Missis. sippi, the most remarkable feature in the face of the country is the low plain, from 50 to 100 miles wide, which extends along the Atlantic coast, from Long island to the gulf of Mexico; a distance of more than 1,000 miles. Beyond this plain the country rises towards the interior till it terminates in the Aliegbany mountains.

Lakes.) All the large lakes in the United States are on or near the northern boundary, where they form a connected chain extending through a distance of more than 1,000 miles. 1. Lake Superior, the first in the chain, is the largest body of fresh water on the globe, being 490 miles long and 1,700 in circumference. It discharges its waters at its S. E. extremity through the straits of St. Mary into lake Huron. 2. Lake Huron, the second in the chain, is 218 miles long from east to west in the widest part, and 180 from north to south, and is estimated to contain 5,000,000

It is connected on its N. W. side with lakes Superior and Michigan, and discharges itself at its southern extremity through St. Clair river into lake St. Clair. 3. Lake St. Clair is 90 miles in circumference, and discharges itself into lake Erie through De, troit river. The bottom of the lake is said to be a perfect plain, the depth being invariably 21 feet except near the shore. 4. Lake Erie is 290 miles long from S. W. to N. E., in the widest part 631 broad, and discharges itself at its N. E. extremity through Niagara river into lake Ontario. 5. Lake Ontario is 171 iniles long and 60 in its greatest breadth, and discbarges itself into the ocean through the river St. Lawrence, which issues from it at its N. E. extremity. 6. Lake Michigan, the largest lake which lies wholly in the United States, is 260 miies long. On the N. E. it communicates with Jake Hurou through the straits of Michillimackinac, and on the N. W. it branches out into two bays, one called Noquet's !ay and the other Green bay. 7. Lake Champlain lies between the states of New York and Vermont. It is 128 miles Jong, and from half a mile to 16 miles broad, and discharges itself at its northern extremity through the river Sorelle into the St. Lawrence.

Pivers.] The principal rivers of the United States may be divided into four classes. First, those which drain the waters of the country included between the Alleghany and Rocky monotains ; Secondly, the rivers which discharge themselves into the Atlantic ocean, all of which are east of the Alleghany mountains ; Thirdly, the rivers south of the Allegbany mountains, which discharge themselves into the gulf of Mexico ; Fourthly, the rivers west of the Rocky mountains, all of which discharge themselves through the Columbia into the Pacific ocean.

The principal rivers which draiu the waters of the countrv between the Allegbany and Rocky mountains are the Miss ssippi and its branches. The Mississippi rises west of lake Superior in

lat. 47° 47' N. and lon 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 froin the east1. The Ovisconsin, a rapid river, which joins it between the parallels of 42 and 43° N. lat. 2. The Illinois, it navigable river, which rises in the N. W. part of Indiana, and after a circuitous course of 400 miles through the state of lllinois, joins the Missis. sippi dear lat. 38° 40' N. 3. Tbe Ohio, wbich is formed by the union of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers at Pittsburg, ia the western part of Pennsylvania. It flows in a southwesterly direction for 945 miles, separating the states of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois from Virginia and Kentucky, and falls into the Mississippi in 37° N. lat. Its current is very gentie and nowhere broken by any considerable falls, except at Louisville in Kentucky, where the water descends 224 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 inlo the Ohio after a course of 500 miles, during the last half of which it forms the bouvdary between Indiana and Illinois; the Cuinberland, which rises in the mountains on the eastern boundary oi Kentucky, and running into TenBessee, makes a circular bend, passes again into Kentucky, and joins the Obio after a course of ovo miles, for 500 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 Kaoxville in the state of Tennessee; it runs it first S.W. into Alabama and then turns and fowing N.W. through Tennessee into Kentucky, joins the Ohio 10 miles below the mouth of the Cumberland. 4. The Yazoo, which rises in the Dorthern part of the state of Mississippi, and running S. W. joing 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 Moines, which joins it near the parallel of 40° N. lat. after a S. E. conrse of more than 800 miles. 3. The Alissouri, which is formed by three branches, called Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin rivers, all of which rise in the Rocky inountains, between 42° and 48° N. lat. and unite at one place in lat. 45° 10 N. and lon. 110° W. From the confluence of these streams to the Great Falls, the course of the river is northerly ; thence to the Mandan villages, easterly; and from the Mandan 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 naviganon, except at the Great Falls, which are 2,575 miles from the Mississippi. At these falls the river descends in the distance of 18 miles 362 feel.-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. 39o N. afier 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. Iis 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 Conneeticut, 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 has 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 near the head of the tide. 3. The Delaware, whicb 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 courge through Pennsylvania, falls into the head of Chesapeake bay 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 afier forming during its whole course the boundary between Maryland and Virginia falls into Chesapeake bay. It is tavigable for sloops of the greatest burden to the city of Washington, 300 miles, but in the upper part of its course there 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

« AnteriorContinuar »