« AnteriorContinuar »
Sea fowl, eagles, ravens, and other birds of prey are very numerous. Whales, porpoises and other fish abound on the coast. Greenland is valuable principally on account of its fisheries.
But the animal of most importance to the Greenlander is the seal. It is every thing to him. The flesh of the seal is his principal food ; the oil is instead of wood for fuel; out of the skin he makes his boat, tent and clothes ; the fibres of the sinews answer for thread; even the bones and entrails are found to be valuable. Catching seals is the principal employment of the inhabitants. It is a difficult and dangerous business; but to excel in it is the highest pride of the Greenlander. The man who cannot catch seals is looked upon with contempt.
The Russian settlements in North America are on the northwest coast. They extend from Cape Prince of Wales, at Bebring's straits, near lat. 65° N. to Portlock harbor, near lat. 58o. They contain, in all, about 1000 white inhabitants. The number of Indians tributary to the Russians, is more than 50,000. The principal employment of the Indians is fishing and hunting for the Russians, who pay them for their furs in beads and tobacco. The mode of living and character of these Indians, in many points, resemble those of the Greenlanders.
Situation. British America comprehends all that part of North America, which lies north of the United States, excepting Greenland and the Russian settlements.
Divisions.] Noi more than one tenth part of this vast country is in the possession of the whites. This part is in the southeast, along the banks of the St. Lawrence and the great Lakes, and em braces the island of Newfoundland, and the four following provinces.
1. Nova Scotia.
3. Lower Canada.
All British America, not included in the above mentioned divisions, is generally called New Britain, and is in the possession of the Indians.
Government.) British America is under a governor general, whose residence is at Quebec. Besides the governor general, each of the four provinces has a governor, who is styled lieutenant governor. The island of Newfoundland is under the government of an admiral.
Situation.) Newfoundland is an island, 380 miles long, separated from Labrador by the straits of Bellisle. It is bounded by the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the west, and on all other sides by the Atlantic.
Face of the country. The country is billy, and the soil barren; the coasts are high and bold, and abound with fine harbors. The interior of the island has never been explored.
Fisheries. Newfoundland owes all its importance to the fisheries which are carried on upon its shores, and upon the banks, which lie to the southeast of the island. The Grand Bank lies 100 miles from the southeast extremity of the island. It is 300 miles long and 75 broad. East of this is Green Bank, 240 miles long, and 120 broad. No less than 3,000 sail of small craft, belonging to Great Britain, France, and the United States, are employed in these fisheries. They are an excellent nursery for seamen.
Towns. All the principal towns are on the southeast side of the island, in the neighborhood of the fisheries.
St. John's is the capital. It contained in 1815 about 12,000 inhabitants ; but three dreadful fires in the winters of 1816 and 1817, laid nearly the whole of the town in ashes. Placentia and Bonavista are next in size and importance.
Population.) The population is very fluctuating. It depends upon the state of the fisheries. In 1813, when the fisheries were most prosperous, it amounted to nearly 70,000. The largest portion of the settlers has usually been from Ireland.
Religion.) More than three quarters of the inhabitants are Roman Catholics. The rest are Protestants, of various denominations.
Government. This island belongs to Great Britain, and is under the government of an admiral.
Situation.] Nova Scotia is a narrow peninsula, more than 300 miles long, stretching from southwest to northeast. It is bounded on the north by the Gulf of St. Lawrence; on the west by the Bay of Fundy; on the northwest by the province of New Brunswick ; and on all other sides by the Atlantic Ocean.
History.] No settlements, of any consequence, were made in this country till the year 1749. In that year the English goyernment sent out a colony of about 3000 persons, who settled at Halifax. For several years, they were much disturbed by the French from Canada, and the Indians ; but the conquest of Cana. da by the English in 1760, put an end to these troubles; emigrants then came over from England in great numbers, and the colony has ever since advanced rapidly in wealth and population.
Divisions.] Nova Scotia is divided into 9 counties, which are subdivided into 37 townships.
Counties. Halifax, Hants, King's, Annapolis,
Chief Towns. Shelburne. Liverpool. Lunenburgh. Manchester. Cumberland,
Population.] The population is estimated at more than 100,000. The great body of the people are of English origin; principally emigrants from New England. After these, the Scotch and Irish settlers are inost numerous. The Mickmack Indians were the aborigines of the province, and still inhabit the shore east of Halifax. They are diminishing in numbers.
Religion and Learning.) The established religion is that of the Church of England. There is one Bishop, whose diocese includes Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and the islands of Cape Breton and Prince Edward.
There is a College at Windsor, which has a valuable library, and several scholarships. Schools are established in all the villages.
Chief Towns.] Halifax, the capital, is situated on Chebucto Bay, in the ceutre of the peninsula. It has a spacious and commodious harbor, of a bold and safe entrance. It is the principal Daval station, belonging to Great Britain, in North America. The population is 15,000.
Liverpool is on the Atlantic coast, 45 miles S. W. of Halifax, and has considerable trade. Pictou, on the gulf of St. Lawrence, 100 miles N. E. of Halifax, has a fine harbor. Great quantities of timber are exported from Pictou to Great Britain.
Roads and Commerce.] Intercourse between the different parts of the country is easy. Roads have been made at considerable expense, from Halifax to all the towns in the province; and packets carry the mail regularly, between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, over the Bay of Fundy.
The commerce and wealth of Nova Scotia have increased, of late, with great rapidity. Fish and lumber are the staple commodities, and are exported in great quantities to Great Britain, and the West Indies.
Soil.]. The N. E. shores present a gloomy and barren aspect. But the counties to the S. W. of Halifax, and along the Bay of Fundy, have a rich soil, and produce good crops of grain.
Bays.] The bays and harbors on the coast of Nova Scotia are very numerous. The Bay of Fundy is remarkable for its tides, which rise in some parts to 40 feet, and in some to 60. The rise of the tide is so rapid, that cattle feeding on the shore, are often suddenly overtaken by it, and drowned.
Islands.] Prince Edward's island, formerly called St. John's, is Liore than 100 miles long. It is in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, west of Cape Breton, and near the northern coast of Nova Scotia. The principal town is Charlottetown, The population of the island is about 5000.
Situation.] New Brunswick is bounded on the N. by Lower Canada; on the E. by the Gulf of St. Lawrence; on the S. E. by Nova Scotia, and the Bay of Fundy; on the W. by Maine and Canada.
Chief Towns.] Frederickton is the capital. It is on St. John's river, about 80 miles from the mouth, at the head of sloop navigation.
The city of St. John's is the largest town. It is near the mouth of St. John's river, and contains upwards of 2,000 inhabitants.
Population.] The population of the province is estimated at more than 60,000.
Bays.] The principal bays are Passamaquoddy, bordering on Maine ; the Bay of Fundy; Chignecto bay, which is an arm of the bay of Fundy; Merramichi and Chaleur bays, which communicate with the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Rivers.) St. John's river is the principal river in the province. It rises in Maine, and empties into the Bay of Fundy. It is navigable for sloops 80 miles, and for boats, 200. The common route from the city of St. John's to Quebec is up this river.
Merra michi river empties into Merramichi bay. It abounds with salmon.
Soil and Productions. The lands on the rivers, especially on St. John's river and its branches, are very rich and fertile. The pines on this river are the largest in British America, and afford a considerable supply of masts for the British navy.
The timber with which the uplands are covered, and the codfish, salmon, and herring, which abound in the rivers, and on the coasts, are the principal productions of the country, and are exported in considerable quantities.
Situation.] Lower Canada lies on both sides of the river St. Lawrence, from its mouth to Lake St. Francis. It is bounded N. by New Britain ; E. by the Gulf of St. Lawrence; S. E. and S. by New Brunswick, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. S. W. and W. by Upper Canada.
Name. According to father Hennepin, “ the Spanjards were the first who discovered Canada ; but at their first arrival, haying discovered nothing considerable in it, they abandoned the country, and called it si Capo di Noda, that is, a Cape of Nothing; hence by corruption sprung the word Canada.”
Divisions.] Lower Canada is divided into districts, which are subdivided into counties. The counties are divided into townships, seignories, and parishes.
Chief Towns.) QUEBEC, the capital of Lower Canada, and of all British America, stands on the north side of the St. Lawrence, at its confluence with the river St. Charles, about 350 miles from the
The town is divided into Upper and Lower. The Upper town, which is built on a high steep rock, is a place of great natural strength, and is extremely well fortified.-The Lower town is much the smallest part, and is inhabited principally by tradesmen and sailors. It is situated at the foot of the rock; and from the fortifications of the Upper town, you look down upon it as from a very high steeple; when the cannon of the fortifications are discharged, the balls fly far above the tops of the highest houses. The population of the city, in 1818, was 15,257. The country around Quebec presents a most sublime and beautiful scenery.
Montreal is situated on the east side of an island in the St. Law. rence, at the head of ship navigation. It is 180 miles above Quebec, and 200 below Lake Ontario. The population, in 1818, was estimated at 25,000. The commerce of the city is extensive ; the principal branch is the fur trade.
Trois Rivieres or Three Rivers is pleasantly situated, on the north side of the St. Lawrence, half way between Quebec and Montreal, 90 miles from each. It was formerly the seat of the French government. It contains about 2,500 inhabitants.