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64 97 42
a6 To Little Miami
23 Buffalo River 17 Licking Creek 8
24 Wabash 18 Great Miami
25 Big Cave 19 Big Bones
26 Shawanee River Kentucky
44 ] 27 Cherokee River Rapids
77 28 Massac Low Country
In common winter and spring floods, it affords thirty or forty feet water to Louisville, twenty-five or thirty feet to La Tartes's rapids, forty miles above the mouth of the Great Kanhaway, and a sufficiency at all times for light batteaux and canoes to Fort Pitt. The rapids are in latitude 28° 8'. The inundations of this river begin about the last of March, and subside in July, although they frequently happen in other months, so that boats which carry three hundred barrels of four, from the Monongahela, or Youhiogany, above Pittsburg, have seldom long to wait for water only. During these floods a first rate man of war may be carried from Louisville to New Orleans, if the sudden turns of the river and the strength of its current will admit a safe fteerage ; and it is the opinion of Col. Morgan, who has had all the means of information, that a vessel properly built for the sea, to draw 12 feet wa:er, when loaded, and carrying from twelve to fixteen hundred barrels of four, may be more easily, cheaply, and safely navigated from Pittsburgh to the sea, than those now in use; and that this matter only requires one man of capacity and enterprize to ascertain it. He observes, that a vessel intended to be rigged as a brigantine, snow, or ship, Mould be double decked, take her masts on deck, and be rowed to the Ibberville, below which are no islands, or to New Orleans, with twenty men, so as to afford reliefs of ten and ten in the night.-Such a vessel, without the use of oars, he says, would float to New Orleans, from Pittsburg, twenty times in twenty-four hours. If this be so, what agreeable prospects are presented to those who have fixed their residence in the western country.
The rapids at Louisville descend about ten feet in a length of a mile and a half. The bed of the river there is folid rock, and is divided by an island into two branches, the southern of which is about two hundred yards wide, but impaffable in dry seasons, about four months in the year. The bed of the northern branch is worn into channels by the constant course of the water, and attrition of the pebble stones carried on with it, so as to be paffable for batteaux through the greater
of the year. Yet it is thought that the southern arm may be the moft easily opened for constant navigation. The rise of the waters ja these rapids does not exceed twenty or twenty-five feet. The Americans have a fort, situated at the head of the falls. The ground on the south side rises very gradually.
At Fort Pitt the river Ohio loses its name, branching into the Monosgahela and Allegany.
The Monongahela is four hundred yards wide at its mouth. From thence is twelve or fifteen miles to the mouth of Yohogany, where it is three hundred yards wide. Thence to Redstone by water is fifty miles, by land thirty. Then to the mouth of Cheat river by water forty miles, by land twenty-eight, the width continuing at three hundred yards, and the navigation good for boats. Thence the width is about two hundred yards to the western fork, fifty miles higher, and the navigation frequently interrupted by rapids; which however with a swell of two or three feet, become very paffable for boats. It then admits light boats, except in dry seasons, fixty-five miles further to the head of Tygart's valley, presenting only some small rapids and falls of one or two feet perpendicular, and lessening in its width to twenty yards. The western fork is navigable in the winter ten or fifteen miles towards the northern of the Little Kanhaway, and will admit a good waggon road to it. The Yom bogany is the principal branch of this river. It passes through the Laurel mountain, about thirty miles from its mouth; is so far, from three hundred to one hundred and fifty yards wide, and the navigation much ob, fructed in dry weather by rapids and shoals. In its passage through the mountain it makes very great falls, admitting no navigation for ten miles to the Turkey foot. Thence to the great crossing, about twenty miles, it is again navigable, except in dry seasons, and at this place is two hundred yards wide. The sources of this river are divided from those of the Potomak by the Allegany mountains. From the falls, where it interfects the Laurel mountain, to Fort Cumberland, the head of the navigation on the Potomak, is forty miles of very mountainous road. Wills's creek, at the mouth of which was Fort Cumberland, is thirty or forty yards wide, but affords no navigation as yet. Cheat river, another confiderable branch of the Monongahela, is two hundred yards wide at its mouth, and one hundred yards at the Dunkard's settlement, fifty miles higher. It is navigable for boats, 'except in dry seasons. The boundary between Virginia and Pennsylvania crosses it about three or four miles above its mouth,
The Allegany river, with a flight swell, affords navigation for light batteaus to Venango, at the mouth of French creek, where it is two hundred yards wide; and it is practised even to Le Beuf, from whence
there is a portage of fifteen miles and a half to Pesque Isle on Lake Erie.
The country watered by the Misisippi and its eastern branches, conAtitutes five-eights of the United States; two of which five-eighths are occupied by the Ohio and its waters; the residuary streams, which ron into the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, and the St. Lawrence, water the remaining three-eights.
Before we quit the subject of the western waters, we will take a view of their principal connections with the Atlantic. Thefe are four, the Hudson's river, the Potomak, St. Lawrence, and the Mississippi. Down the last will pass all the heavy commodities. But the navigation through the Gulf of Mexico is fo dangerous, and that up the Mislilippi so difficult and tedious, that it is thought probable that European merchandize will not be conveyed through that channel. It is most likely that flour, timber, and other heavy articles will be floated on rafts, which will themfelves be an article for sale as well as their loading, the navigators returning by land, as at present. There will therefore be a competition between the Hudson, the Potomak, and the St. Lawrence rivers for the residue of the commerce of all the country westward of Lake Erie, on the waters of the lakes, of the Ohio, and upper parts of Mississippi. To go to New-York, that part of the trade which comes from the lakes or their waters must first be brought into Lake Erie. Between Lake Superior and its waters and Huron are the rapids of St. Marie, which will permit boats to pass, but not larger vessels. Lakes Huron and Michigan afford communication with Lake Erie by vessels of eight feet draught. That part
of the trade which comes from the waters of the Misissippi must pass from them through some portage into the waters of the lakes. The portage from the Illinois river into a water of Michigan is of one mile only. From the Wabah, Miami, Muskingum, or Allegany, are portages into the waters of Lake Erie, of from one to fifteen miles. When the commodities are brought into, and have passed through Lake Erie, there is between that and Or.tario an interruption by the falls of Niagara, where the portage is of eight miles; and between Ontario and the Hudson's river are portages of the falls of Onondago, a little above Ofwego, of a
quarter of a mile; from Wood creek to the Mohawks river two miles; • at the little falls of the Mohawks river half a mile, and from Schenectady
to Albany fixteen miles. Besides the increase of expence occafioned by frequent change of carriage, there is an increased risk of pillage produced by committing merchandize to a greater number of hands successively. The Potomak offers itself under the following circumstance. For the trade of the lakes and their waters westward of Lake Erie, when it shall
have entered that lake, it must coast along its southern shore, on account of the number and excellence of its harbours, the northern, though the Thortest, having few harbours, and these unsafe. Having reached Cayahoga, to proceed on to New-York it will have eight hundred and twenty-five miles, and five portages: whereas it is but four hundred and twenty-five miles to Alexandria, its emporium on the Potomak, if it turns into the Cayahoga, and passes through that, Bigbeaver, Ohio, Yahogany, or Monongalia and Cheat, and Potomak, and there are but two portages; the first of which between Cayahoga and Beaver
may removed by uniting the sources of these waters, which are lakes in the neighbourhood of each other, and in a champaign country; the other from the waters of Ohio to the Potomak will be from fifteen to forty miles, according to the trouble which shall be taken to approach the two navigations. For the trade of the Ohio, or that which shall come into it from its own waters or the Miffissippi, it is nearer through the Potomak to Alexandria than to New York, by five hundred and eighty miles, and it is interrupted by one portage only. There is another circumstance of difference too. The lakes themselves never freeze, but the communications between them freeze, and the Hudson's river is itself shut up by the ice three months in the year: whereas the channel to the Chesapeek leads directly into a warmer climate. The southern parts of it very rarely freeze at all, and whenever the northern do, it is so near the sources of the rivers, that the frequent foods to which they are there liable break up the ice immediately, so that vessels may pass through the whole winter, subject only to accidental and short delays. Add to all this, that in case of a war with their neighbours of Canada, or the Indians, the route to New York becomes a frontier through almost its whole length, and all commerce through it, ceases from that moment. But the channel to New-York is already known to practice; whereas the
upper waters of the Ohio and the Potomak, and the great falls of the latter,
are yet to be cleared of their fixed obstructions. The rout by St. Lawrence is well known to be attended with many advantages, and some disadvantages. But there is a fifth rout, which the enlightened and enterprizing Pennsylvanians contemplate, which, if effected, will be the easiest, cheapest, and surest passage from the lakes, and the Ohio river; by means of the Susquehannah, and a canal from thence to Philadelphia. The latter part of this plan, viz. the canal between Susquehannah and the Schuylkill rivers, is now actually in execu. tion. Should they accomplish their whole scheme, and they appear confident of success, Philadelphia in all probability will become, in some future period, the largest city that has ever yet exifted. Vol. I.
Particular descriptions of the other rivers in the United States, are reserved to be given in the geographical account of the states, through which they respectively flow. One general observation respecting the rivers will, however, be naturally introduced here, and that is, that the entrances into almost all the rivers, inlets and bays, from New-Hampshire to Georgia, are from south-east to north-west.
BAYS. The coast of the United States is indented with numerous bays, some of which are equal in size to any in the known world. Beginning at the north-easterly part of the continent, and proceeding fouthwesterly, you first find the bay or gulf of St. 'Lawrence, which receives, the waters of the river of the same name. Next are Chedabukto and Cebukto Bays, in Nova Scotia, the latter diftinguished by the loss of a French fleet in a former war between France and Great-Britain. The bay of Fundy, between Nova Scotia and New-Brunswick, is remarkable for its tides, which rise to the height of fifty or fixty feet, and flow fo rapidly as to overtake animals which feed upon the shore. Paffamaquody, Penobscot, Broad and Casco Bays, lie along the coast of the district of Maine. Massachusetts-Bay spreads eastward of Boston, and is comprehended between Cape Ann on the north, and Cape Cod on the south. The points of Boston harbour are Nahant and Alderton points. Passing by Narraganset and other bays in the state of Rhode-Iland, you enter Long-Iland Sound, between Montauk-point and the Main, This Sound, as it is called, is a kind of inland sea, from three to twenty-five miles broad, and about one hundred and forty miles long, extending the whole length of the island, and dividing it from Connecticut. It communicates with the ocean at both ends of Long-INand, and affords a very safe and convenient inland navigation.
The celebrated straight, called Hell.Gate, is near the west end of this found, about eight miles eaftward of New-York city, and is remarkable for its whirlpools, which make a tremendous roaring at certain times of tide. These whirlpools are occasioned by the narrowness and crook. edness of the pass, and a bed of rocks which extend quite across it ;
and not by the meeting of the tides from east to weit, as has been conjectured, because they meet at Frogs-point, several miles above. A skilful pilot may with safety conduct a ship of any burden through ihis strait with the tide, or at still water with a fair wind *.
* The following ingenijus geological remarks of Dr. Mitchell's, on certain maritim parts of the state of New York, deserve a place in this connection :