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Delaware Bay is fixty miles long, from the Cape to the entrance of the river Delaware at Bombay-hook; and so wide in some parts, as that a ship, in the middle of it, cannot be seen from the land. It opens into the Atlantic north-west and south-east, between Cape Henlopen on the right, and Cape May on the left. These Capes are eighteen or twenty miles apart.
The Chesapeek is one of the largest bays in the known world. Its entrance is nearly E. N. E. and S. S. W. between Cape Charles, lat. 37° 12', and Cape Henry lat. 37°, in Virginia, it is twelve miles wide, and extends two hundred and feventy miles to the northward, dividing Virginia and Maryland. It is from seven to eighteen miles broad, and generally as much as nine fathoms deep; affording many commodious
“ From the survey of the foliis in these parts of the American coast one becomes convinced, that the pr ncipal share of them is GRANITICAL, composed of the same forts of ma:erials with the highest Alps, Pyrenees, Caucasus; and Andes, end like them deftitute of metals and petrefactions.
The occurrence of no horizontal strata, and the frequency of vertical layers, lead us further to suppose that these are not secondary collections of minerals, but are certainly in a ftate of primeval arrangement.
The Stearites, Amia ithus, Shoerl, Feldspath, Mica, Garnet, Jalpar, Shistus, Asbestos, and Quartz, muit all be considered as primitive fHils, and by no means of an alluvial
What inference remains now to be drawn from this statement of facts, but that the fashionable opinion of confidering these maritime parts of our country as flats, hove up from the deeps by the sea, or brought down from the heights by the rivers, stands unfupported by realɔn, and contradicted by experience ?
A more probable opinion is, that Long Inand, and the adjacent continent, were in former days contiguous, or only separate l by a finall river, and that the strait which now divides them, was formed by successive inroads of the sea from the eastward and westward in the course of ages. This conjecture is supported by the facts which follow, to wit : 1. The foflil bodies on both fores have a near resemblance. 2. The rocks and islands lying between are formed of similar materia's. 3. In several places, particularly at White-Stone and Hell-Gate, the distance from land to land is
4. Where. ever the shore is not coinpríed of solid rock, there the water continues to make great incroachments, and to cause the high banks to tumble downg not only here, but at Moncton, Newton, and elsewhere, at this very day. 5. The rocky piles in the Sound, called Execution, and Stepping-Stones, and those named Hurtleberry INand, Pea Illand, Heart Island, and many more that lie up and down, are strong circumstances in favour of this opinion; for frona several of them all the earthy matter, as far as the highest rides can reach, has long since been carried away, and from the rest, the fand and gravel continue to be removed by daily attrition; as is the case with the Brothers, Ryker’s, Blackwell's, and other islands. 6. There is a tradition among that race of men, who, previous to the Europeans, pollefled this tract of country; that at some distant period, in former times, their ancestors could itep from rock to rock, and cross this arm of the sea on foot at Hell-Gate." C¢2
harbours, and a safe and easy navigation. It receives the waters of the Susquehannah, Potomak, Rappahannok, York and James river, which are all large and navigable.
FACE OF THE COUNTRY, The tract of country belonging to the United States, is happily variegated with plains and mountains, hills and vallies. Some parts are rocky, particularly New-England, the north parts of New York, and New Jersey, and a broad space, including the several ridges of the long range of mountains which run fouth-westward through Pennsylvania, Virginia, North-Carolina, and part of Georgia, dividing the waters which flow into the Atlantic, from those which fall into the Mislimppi. In the parts, east of the Allegany mountains, in the southern states, the country for several hundred miles in length, and fixty or seventy, and sometimes more, in breadth, is level and entirely free of ftone. It has been a question agitated by the curious, whether the extensive tract of low, flat country, which fronts the several states south of New-York, and extends back to the hills, has remained in its present form and situation ever since the flood : or whether it has been made by the particles of earth which have been wathed down from the adjacent mountains, and by the accumulation of soil from the decay of vegetable substances; or by earth washed out of the bay of Mexico by the gulf stream, and lodged on the coast; or by the recess of the ocean, occasioned by a change in fome other part of the earth. Several phenomena deserve confideration in forming an opinion on this question.
1. It is a fact, well known to every person of observation who has lived in, or iravelled through the southern states, that marine shells and other substances which are peculiar to the sea-shore, are almost invariably found by digging eighteen or twenty feet below the surface of the earth. A gentleman of veracity has asserted; that in finking a well many miles from the sea, he found, at the depth of twenty feet, every appearance
of a falt marsh ; that is, marsh grass, marsh mud, and brackish water. In all this flat country
you come to the hilly land, wherever you dig a well, you find the water, at a certain depth, fresh and tolerably good; but if you exceed that depth two or three feet, you come to a faltish or brackish water that is scarcely drinkable, and the earth dug up, resembles, in appearance and smell, that which is dug up on the edges of the falt marshes.
2. On and near the margin of the rivers are frequently found sand hills, which appear to have been drifted into ridges by the force of water. At the bottom of some of the banks in the rivers, fifteen or twenty feet below the surface of the earth, are washed out from the solid ground,
logs, branches, and leaves of trees; and the whole bank, from bottom to top, appears streaked with layers of logs, leaves and fand. These appearances are seen far up the rivers, from eighty to one hundred miles from the fea, where, when the rivers are low, the banks are from fifteen to twenty feet high. As you proceed down the rivers toward the fea, the banks decrease in height, but ftill are formed of layers of sand, leaves and logs, fome of which are entirely found, and appear to have been suddenly covered to a considerable depth.
3. It has been observed, that the rivers in the southern States frequently vary their channels; that the swamps and low grounds are conftantly filling up; and that the land in many places annually infringes upon the ocean. It is an authenticated fact, that no longer ago than 1771, at Cape Look-out on the coast of North Carolina, in about latitude 34° 50', there was an excellent harbour, capacious enough to receive an hundred sail of shipping at a time, in a good depth of water : it is now entirely filled up, and is folid ground. Instances of this kind are frequent along the coast.
It is observable, likewise, that there is a gradual descent of about eight hundred feet, by measurement, from the foot of the mountains to the sea board. This defcent continues, as is demonstrated by foundings, far into the fea.
4. It is worthy of observation, that the soil on the banks of the rivers is proportionably coarse or fine according to its distance from the mountains. When you first leave the mountains, and for a considerable distance, it is observable, that the soil is coarse, with a large mixture of sand and shine ing heavy particles. As you proceed toward the sea, the soil is less coarse, and so on; in proportion as you advance, the soil is finer and finer, until, finally, is deposited a foil fo fine, that it consolidates into perfect clay; but a clay of a peculiar quality, for a great part of it, has intermixed with it reddish streaks and veins, like a species of ochre; brought probably from the red-lands which lie up towards the mountains. This clay, when dug up and exposed to the weather, will diffolve into a fine mould, without the least mixture of sand or any gritty substance whatever. Now we know that running waters, when turbid, will deposit, first, the coarseft and heaviest particles, mediately, those of the several intermediate degrees of fineness, and ultimately, those which are the most light and subtle; and such in fact is the general quality of the foil on the banks of the southern rivers. 5.
It is a well-known fact, that on the banks of Savannah river, about ninety miles from the sea in a direct line, and one hundred and fifty or two hundred, as the river runs, there is a very remarkable collection of
oyster shells of an uncommon size. They run in a north-east and southwest direction, nearly parallel to the sea coast, in three distinct ridges, which together occupy a space of seven miles in breadth. The ridges commence at Savannah river, and have been traced as far south as the northern branches of the Alaramaha river. They are found in such quantities, as tliat the indigo planters carry them away in large boat loads, for the purpose of making lime water, to be used in the manufacture of indigo. There are thousands and thoufands of tons still remaining *. The question is, how came they here? It cannot be fupposed that they were carried by land. Neither is it probable that they were conveyed in canoes, or boats, to such a distance from the place where oysters are now found. The uncivilized natives, agreeable to their roving manner of living, would rather have removed to the sea fhore, than have been at such immense labour in procuring oysters. Befides, the dificulties of conveying them would have been insurmountable. They would not only have had a strong current in the river against them, an obstacle which would not have been easily overcome by the Indians, who have ever had a great averfion to labour; but could they liave furineunted this dificuity, oysters conveyed such a distance, either by land or water, in so warm a climate, would have spoiled on the passage, and have become useless. The circumstance of these shells being found in such quantities, at so great a distance from the sea, can be rationally accounted for in no other way, than by supposing that the sea shore was formerly near this bed of shells, and that the ocean has since, by the operation of certain causes not yet fully investigated, receded.
*« On the Georgia side of the river, about 15 miles below Silver Bluff, the high road crosses a ridge of high-swelling hills of uncommon elevation, and perhaps 70 feet higher than the surface of the river. These hills are from three feet below the common vegetative surface, to the depth of 20 or 30 feet, composed entirely of fossil oyster shells, internally of the colour and consistency of clear white marble: they are of an incredible magnitude, gencrally 15 or 20 inches in length; from 6 10 8 wide, and from 2 to 4 in thickness, and their hollows sufficient to receive an ordinary man's foot. They appear all to have been opened before the period of petrifaction; a transınutation they seem evidently to have suffered. They are undoubtedly very ancient, and perhaps antediluvian. The adjacent inhabitants burn them to lime, for building, for which purpose they serve well; and will undoubtedly afford an excellent manure, when their lands require it, these hills now being remarkably fertile. The heaps of thells lie upon a stratum of yellowish Sand mould, of several feet in depth, upon a foundation of soft white rocks, that has the outward appearance of free-fone, but on strict examination is really a teftaceous concrete, or composition of land and pulverised sea shells. In short, this testaceous rock approaches near in quality and appearance to the Bahama ar Bermudian White Rock." Bartram's Travels, p. 318. 3
These phenomena, it is prefumed, will authorize this conclusion, that a great part of the flat country which fpreads easterly of the Allegany mountains, had, in some past period, a superincuinbent fea; or rather, that the constant accretion of soil from the various causes before hinted at, has forced it to retire.
MOUNTAINS. The tract of country east of Hudson's river, comprehending part of the State of New York, the four New England States, and Vermont, is rough, hilly, and in some parts mountainous. These mountains will be more particularly described under New England. In all parts of the world, and particularly on this western continent, it is observable, that as you depart from the ocean, or from a river, the land gradually rises; and the height of land, in common, is about equally distant from the water on either side. The Andes, in South America, form the height of land between the Atlantic ar: 1 Pacific oceans. The high lands between the diftrict of Maine and the province of LowerCanada, divide the rivers which fall into the St. Lawrence, north, and into the Atlantic, south. The Green Mountains, in Vermont, divide the waters which how easterly into Connecticut river, from those which fall westerly into Lake Champlain, Lake George, and Hudson's River.
Between the Atlantic, the Millilippi, and the lakes, runs a long range of mountains, made up of a great number of ridges. These mountains extend north-easterly and south-westerly, nearly parallel to the sea coast, about nine hundred miles in length, and from sixty to one hundred and fifty and two hundred miles in breadth. Mr. Evans observes, with respect to that part of these mountains which he travelled over, viz. in the
of Pennsylvania, that scarcely one acre in ten is capable of cul-' ture. This, however, is not the case in all parts of this range. Numerous tracts of fine arable and grazing land intervene between the ridges. The different ridges which compose this immense range of mountains, have different names in different states.
As you advance from the Atlantic, the firit ridge in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina, is the Blue Ridge, or South Mountain, which is from one hundred and thirty to two hundred miles from the sea. Between this and the North Mountain spreads a large fertile vale; next lies the Allegany ridge; next beyond this is the Long Ridge, called the Laurel Mountains, in a spur of which, about latitude 36°, is a spring of water fifty feet deep, very cold, and it is said, to be as blue as indigo. From these several ridges proceed innumerable nameless branches or spurs.