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Situation and Extent.] Massachusetts is bounded N. by Vermont and New-Hampshire ; E. by the Atlantic; S. by Rhode Island and Connecticut; and W. by New-York. Its length on the northern line is 130 miles ; its breadth at tbe western extremity is 50 miles. It extends from 41° 23' to 43° 52' N. lat. and from 69° 50' to 73° 10' W. Ion. The area is estimated at 7,250 square miles.
Divisions.] The state is divided into 14 counties and 300 towns.
Counties. Torng. Pop.in 1810, Pop, in 1820.
Chief towns, 1. Essex, 26 71,888 74,655 Salem, Newburyport. 2. Middlesex, 44 52,789 61,472 Charlestown, Cambridge. 3. Suffolk, 2 34,381 43,940 Boston. 4. Norfolk, 22 31,245 36,471 Dedham. 5. Plymouth, 18 35,169 38,136 Plymouth. 6. Barnstable, 14 22,211 21,026 Barnstable. 17. Bristol,
37,168 40,908 Taunton. 8. Worcester, 54 64,910 73,625 Worcester. 9. Franklin, 25 27,301 29,268 Greenfield. 10. Hampshire, 22 24,553 26,487 Northampton.. 11. Hampden, 18 24,421 98,021 Springfield. 12. Berkshire, 32 35,907 35,720 Lenox. 13. Duke's, 3 3,290 3,292 Edgarton. 14. Nantucket, 1 6,807 7,266 Nantuckei.
The seven first named counties border on the sea-coast. Worcester county is in the centre of the state and extends through its whole breadth from Rhode Island to New-Hampsbire. Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden are on Connecticut river. Berkshire is the most western county, and borders on Vermont, New-York and Connecticut. Duke's county embraces Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth islands. Nantucket consists of the island of Nantuckel.
Peninsula. The county of Barnstable is a peninsula, commonly called the peninsula of cape Cod. Its shape is that of a man's arm bent inwards, both at the elbow and wrist. A great part of this peoinsula is sandy and barren, and in many places, wholly destitute of vegetation ; yet it is populous. The inhabituals obtain their support almost entirely from the ocean ; the men laging constantly employed at sea ; and the boys, at a very carly age, are put on board the fishing boats. In consequence of the violent east winds, it is supposed that the cape is gradually wearing away.
Bays and Capes.] Massachusetts bay is a large bay communicating with the Atlantic between cape Ann on the north and cape Cod on the south. It includes several smaller bays, among which are Boston bay, which sets up between Nahant point on the north, and point Alderton on the south ; Plymouth bay, and Barnstable bay. Buzzard's bay is on the S. W. side of the peninsula of cape Coil, and separated from Barnstable bay by a narrow isthmus. The most noted
Ann and cape Cod, are cape Malabar, at the southeast extremity of the peniosula ot cape Cod ; Sandy point, at the northern extremity of the island of Nantucket; and Gayhead, the western point of Martha's Vineyard.
Face of the Country.] The surface is generally undulating, except in the southeastern counties, where it is level. The western part of the state is traversed from north to south by several ranges of mountains. The White mountain range comes from New Hampshire, and running on the east side of Connecticat river, divides a little below Northampton into the Mount Tom range and Lyme range. The Green mountain range comes from Vermont, and occupies a large part of the county of Berksbire. The Taghkannuc range runs along the western boundary of the state. The bighest summits in the Taghkannuc range are Saddle mountain, which rises near the N. W. corner of the state to the height of about 4,000 feet above the level of the sea ; and Taghkannoc, which is near the S.W. corner of the state, on the borders of Connecticut and New-York,and is about 3,000 feet high. The principal summits in the Mount Tom range are Mount Tom and Mount Holyoke, both of which rise in the neighborhood of Northampton to the height of more than 1,200 feet above the level of the sea. Wachusett is a single mountain in Princeton, 15 miles north of Worcester. The height is variously estimated from 2,000 to 3,000 feet.
Soil and Productions.) On the sea coast the land is poor, particularly in the southeastern counties which are sandy. The rest of the state has generally a good soil, producing grass, Indian corn, rye, wheat,oats and potatoes, in abundance. In no state in the Unioo have greater advances been made in agriculture than in Massachusetts. The towns around Boston are literally gardens from which the capital is supplied with the finest fruits and vege. ables. Agricultural societies have recently been formed in various parts of the state, which promise to be of great benefit by enccuraging the importation of valuable breeds of animals, and promoting every species of agricultural improvement.
Minerols.) iron ore is found in considerable quantities in Bristol and Plymonth counties. Quarries of marble have been opened in Stockbridge, and in other towns of Berkshire county. Great quantities of beautiful granite are found in Chelmsford and Tyngsborough, near the banks of the Middlesex canal; it is much used for building in Boston and other places.
Rivers.) Connecticut river traverses, the western part of the state from north to south and passes joto Conneciicut. The Merrimack comes from New-Hampshire, and running in a north
easterly direction about 50 miles, falls into the ocean below Newburyport. Ipswich river is a small stream, which falls into the ocean 9 miles south of the Merrimack. Charles river falls into Boston harbor between Boston and Charlestown, after a northeasterly course of 40 miles. It is payigable to Watertown, 7 miles. Neponset river falls into Boston harbor on the south side of the town. It is navigable for ressels of 150 tons to Milton, 4 miles. Taunton river rises in Plymouth county, and after a S. W. course of 50 miles falls into Narraganşett bay. It is navigable for small ressels to Taunton, 20 miles.
The principal tributaries of the Connecticut from this state are, Westfield river, which rises in the northern part of Berkshire county, and running in a S. E. direction joins it at West Spring; field near the southern boundary; Deerfield river, which rises in Bennington county in Vermont, and running S. E. empties itself between Deerfield and Greenfield near the northern boundary ; Millers river, which empties itself from the east side, above Deerfield river; and the Chickapee, which rises in Worcester county, and running S. W. empties itself at Springfield, above the mouth of Westfield river.
The principal tributaries of the Merrimack from this state are, the Nashua, which rises in Worcester county and running N. E. iuto New-Hampshire, empties itselt near the southern boundary of that state ; and Concord river, which is formed by the union of two small rivers at Concord and running N. E. empties itself 15 or 20 miles below the Nashua.
The Hooestennuc rises in the northern part of Berkshire county and flows south into Connecticut, draining the waters of the yalley included between the Green mountain range on the east and the Taghkaonuc range on the west.
Cunals.) Middlesex canal is wholly within the county of Mid dlesex. It connects Boston harbor with Merrimack river. It is supplied with water by Concord river which it crosses op its surface. From that river, southward, it descends 107 feet by 13 locks, to the tide water of Boston harhor; and from that river, northward, it descends 21 feet by 3 locks, to the level of Merrimack river.
The canal is 31 miles long, 24 feet wide on the surface, and 4 feet deep. It was commenced in 1793 and completed in 1804 at an expense of more than $700,000. By this canal and Merrimack river an easy communication is opened between Boston and the interior of New-Hampshire.
There is a canal around the falls in Connecticut river at South Hadley. In one place it is cut through the solid rock more than 40 feet deep and 300 feet in length. There are other falls in the Connecticut above and below South Hadley, wbich have been overcome by canals, dams and other improvements, so that the river is now navigable for boats through the whole of its course in this state, and as high as Bath in New-Hainpshire.
A canal for sloops from Buzvard's bay to Barnstable bay through the isthmus of cape Cod has long been in contemplation, and in 1818 a company was incorporated to carry the plan into
execution. The great object is to shorten the voyage between Boston and the southern ports, and to avoid the dangerous navigation around cape Cod, which has heretofore occasioned the destruction of much property and many lives.
Chief Towns. Boston, the capital of the state, and the largest town in New-England, is pleasantly situated at the bottom of Massachusetts bay, on a peninsula of an uneven surface, 2 miles long, and in the widest part about one mile wide. The harbor is one of the best in the United States. It has sufficient depth of water for the largest vessels at all times of lide, and is accessible at all seasons of the year. It is safe from every wind, and so capacious that it will allow 500 vessels to ride at anchor, while the entrance je so narrow as scarcely to admit two ships abreast. The entrance is well defended by Fort Independence and Fort Warren.
There are four bridges connecting Boston with the adjacent towns. Charles river bridge, which connects it with Charlestown on the north, is 1503 feet long; 42 broad, and stands on 75 piers. West Boston bridge, connecting it with Cambridgeport on the west, is 3,483 feet long, and stands on 180 piers. Cragie's bridge is between these two, and connecis it with Cambridge. A mill-dam,nearly two miles long and 50 feet wide ,was completed in 1821 across the bay on the S. W. side of the city, at an expense of about $500,000. The object of it is to open a new avepre, and also to create a water power sufficient to put in operation extensive tide mills and other water works.
The houses in the older part of the city are plain, and the streets generally narrow and crooked, but in West Boston and in several streets recently laid out, the private buildings are more splendid than in any other city in the United States. In 1817 there was erected on each side of Market street, a block of brick stores more than 400 feet in length, and 4 storie: high; and on Central wharf, another immense pile of buildings was completed the same year, 1,240 feet long and containing 54 slorés 4 stories bigb.
Among the public buildings are the State honse, which is built on elevated ground, and commands a tine view of the surrounding country; the new court house, built of stone, at an expense of $92,000; Faneuil hall, where all town meetings are held; a theatre; an almshouse; a custom-liouse ; and 28 places for poblic worship, 11 of which are for Congregationalists, 4 for Episcopalians, 4 for Baptists, 2 for Methodists, 3 for L'niversalists, 1 for Roman Catholics, 1 for Friends à Dew Jerusalem church, and the seamen's chapel.
Among the literary institutions are the Boston Athenæum, which contains about 18,000 volumes; the Boston library, which has 5 or 6,000, and several other libraries belonging to literary societies. Among the benevolent institutions are the Geneal Hospital founded in 1818, which has been richiy endowed by the liberality of the state and of individuals ; and a Hospital for the Insane, the buildings of which are situated in Charlestown.
Boston is very extensively engaged in commerce. There are probably few cities in the world where there is so much walth
in proportion to the population. The amount of shipping owned here in 1815 was 143,420 tons; a greater amount than belonged to any other port in the United States, except New-York. The country in the immediate vicinity is fertile and populous, and connected with the capital by fine roads, while the Middlesex capal opens a water communication with the interior of NewHampshire. The population of Boston in 1800 was 24,937; in 1310, 33,250; and in 1820, 43,298. The inhabitants have long been celebrated for their enterprise and intelligence, and for the liberality with which they support religious, literary and humane institutions.
The country around Boston is the admiration of every traveller of taste. The view from the dome of the State house sorpasses any thing of the kind in this country, and is not excelled by that from the castle hill of Edinburgh, or that of the bay of Naples from the castle of St. Elmo. be seen at one view, the shipping, the harbor variegated with islands and alive with business ; Charles river and its beautiful country oraamented with elegant country seats; and more than 20 flourishing towns. The hills are finely cultivated, and rounded by the hand of nature with singular felicity,
Salem, the second town in New England in commerce, wealth, and population, is built on a low peninsula, formed by two small inlets of the sea, called North and South rivers ; over the former of which is a bridge 1,500 feet long, connecting the town with Beverly : the other separates it from Marblehead, and forms the principal harbor. The harbor is so shallow that vessels drawing more than 12 feet water must load and uuload at a distance from the wharves.
The streets are crooked, and the houses are generally built of wood, but many of those recently erected are handsome edifices of brick. Ainong the public buildings are a court house, alms. house, market house, 3 bauks, a museum belonging to the EastIndia Marine society, an athenæum containing more than 5,000 volumes, an orphan asylum, and 11 houses of public worship, 6 for Congregationalists, 2 for Baptists, 1 for Episcopalians, 1 for Friends, and 1 for Universalists.
The commerce of Salem is extensive. In 1816, it was the sixth town in the United States in amount of shipping, the number of tons being 34,451, of which nearly one half was employed in the India trade. This trade has been prosecuted with great spirit and success for many years, and has been a source of much wealth to the town). A society composed of masters and super. cargoes of vessels who have sailed round the cape of Good Hope or cape Horn, was incorporated in 1801, and now consists of abont 160 members. A museum belongs to the society, composed of curiosities from all parts of the world, and is visited by strang. ers without expense. The inhabitanis of Salein are celebrated for enterprise, industry and true republican economy. It is the oldest town in Massachusetts, except Plymouth, having been settled in 1626. The population in 1820 was 12,731.