« AnteriorContinuar »
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 treaty with Spain, ratified in 1821, begins on the gulf of Mexico, at the mouth 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. lon. Thence due north, aloog 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 i thence, along those highlands, in a S.W. direction, to the parallel of 45° N. lat. ; thence, along that parallel to the river St. Law. rence; and thence, up that river, and the great lakes, Ontario, Erie, Huron 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 490 N. latand from 66° 49 to 1250 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, Eastern, Middle, Southern and Western. States. Sq. les. Population in 1820. Pop. on
a sq m. 1. Maine,
31,750 298,335 10 2. New Hampshire, 9,491 244,161
26 EASTERN 3. Vermont,
23 STÁTES. 4. Massachusetts,
523,287 5. Rhode Island,
1,580 83,059 53 6. Connecticut, 4,764 275,248 58 7. New York, 46,000 1,372,812
8. New Jersey, 8,320 277,575 MIDDLE
33 9. Pennsylvania, STATES.
3+ (11. Maryland, 13,959 407,350 29
a sq. m. 12. Virginia, 64,000 1,065,366 17
13. North-Carolina, 48,000 638,829 13 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. Tennessee, 40,000 422,813 11
20. Kentucky, 42,000 564,317 13 WESTERN 21. Ohio,
39,000 581,484 15 STATES. 22. Indiana,
36,000 147,178 3 23. Illinois,
52,000 55,211 1 ( 24. Missouri, 60,000 66,586 1 District of Columbia,
33,039 330 r Michigan, 40,000
Seas Bays and Sounds.] The territory of the United States is washed by three seas; the Atlantic Oceap on the east; the gulf of Mexico on the south; and the Pacific ocean on the west. The priocipal bays and sounds on the Atlanticborder are, Passamaquoddy bay, which lies between Maine and the British province of New-Brunswick; Massachusetts bay, between cape Ano and cape Cod, on the coast of Massachusetts; Long island sound, between Long island and the coast of Connecticut; Delaware bay, which sets op between cape May and cape Henlopen, and separates New Jersey from Delaware; Chesapeake bay,which communicates with ibe 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 istersected by two priocipal ranges of mountains ; the Rocky mountains in the west, which run across the territory in a direction nearly parallel with tbe coast of the Pacific ocean, at the distance of several hundred miles; and the Alleghany mountains in the east, which run nearly parallel with the Atlantic coast from Georgia, through Tennessee, Virginia and Pennsylvania to New-York. The immense yalley 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 Migsissippi, with few exceptions, is a wilderness inhabited by savage ļodians, and beyond the meridian of 94o the whites bare scarcely
a solitary settlement; but the country on the east of the Missis sippi is, to a considerable extent, cultivated and populous.
In that part of the United States which lies east of the Mississippi, 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 Alleghany mountains.
Lakes. All the large lakes in the United States are on or near the northern boundary, where they form a connected chain ex tending 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 Detroit 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 63} broad, and discharges itself at its N. E. extremity through Niagara river into lake Ontafio. 5. Lake Ontario is 171 miles long and 60 in its greatest breadth, and discharges 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 wbolly in the United States, is 260 miles long. On the N. E. it communicates with Jake Huron through the straits of Michillimackinac, and on the N. W. it branches out into two bays, one called Noquet's bay and the other Green bay. 7. Lake Champlain lies between the states of New York and Vermont. It is 128 miles long, and from half a mile to 16 miles broad, and discharges itself at its norihern extremity through the river Sorelle into the St. Lawrence.
Rivers.] 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 mountains ; Secondly, the rivers which discharge themseives into the Atlantic ocean, all of which are east of the Alleghany mountains ; Thirdly, the rivers south of the Alleghany 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 drain the waters of the country be. tween the Alleghany and Rocky mountains are the Mississippi 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 aod desolate beyond description, and after a S. E. course of abouť 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 navi. gable for boats of 40 tons to the falls of St. Anthony. The following are the principal tributaries of the Mississippi from the east. 1. The Ouisconsin, a rapid river, which joins it between the parallels of 42° and 43° N. lat. 2. The Illinois, a navigable river, which rises in the N. W. part of Indiana, and after a circuitous course of 400 miles through the state of Illinois, joins the Mississippi near lat. 38° 40' N. 3. The Ohio, wbich is formed by the union of the Alleghany and Monongahela rivers at Pittsburg, in the western part of Pennsylvania. It flows in a southwesterly direction for 845 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 gentle 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 into the Ohio after a course of 500 miles, during the last half of which it forms the boundary between Indiana and Illinois ; the Cumberland, which rises in the mountains on the eastern boundary of Kentucky, and running into Tennessee, makes a circular bend, passes again into Kentucky, and joins the Ohio after a course of 600 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 Knoxville in the state of Tennessee; it runs at first S.W. into Alabama and then turns and flowing N.W. through Tennessee into Kentucky, joins the Ohio 10 miles below the. mouth of the Cumberland. 4. The Yazoo, which rises in the northern part of the state of Mississippi, and running S. W. joins the Blississippi 100 miles above Natchez. The following are the principal tributaries of the Mississippi from the west. 1. The St. Peter's, which joios 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. course of more than 800 miles. 3. The Missouri, which is formed by three branches, called Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin rivers, all of which rise in the Rocky mountains, 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 Mardan villages to the
junction with the Mississippi it runs first-south and afterwards S. É 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 navigation, 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 feet.— 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. after an easterly course of more than 1,000 miles. 4. The Arkansas, which rises in the Rocky mountains iu 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. Its 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 Connecticut, 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, which 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 course 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 after forming during its whole course the boundary between Maryland and Virginia falls into Chesapeake bay. It is navigable for sloops of the greatest burden to the city of Washington, 300 miles, but in the upper part of ils course there are numerous obstructions, many of which have been overcoine by canals. 5. James river, which rises in the Alleghany mountains, and pursuing a course S. of E. wholly in Virginia, falls into the youthern part of Chesapeake bay. It is navigable for sloops to Richmond, where the Great