Page images
PDF
EPUB

Congress Spring* in its medicinal effect, is the most important. The gas escaping through the water in fine bubbles gives to the surface the appearance of simmering. When first dipped, the water is remarkably limpid, but after standing a few hours exposed to the air, it becomes turbid, and deposits 4 sediment. Its most obvious effect, when taken as a medicine, is that of a cathartic and diuretic.

High Rock Spring is enclosed in a hollow rock of a conical form, that rises about five feet, the base of which is about nine feet in diameter. At the top is a circular opening of near ten inches in diameter, which enlarges downward. The water rises within two feet of the top, and is kept in a state of constant ebullition by the escape of carbonic acid gas, of which this spring contains a larger proportion, than any of the others.

This rock seems to have been formed by concretion, from the particles thrown up by the waters, and is of a spongy texture, soft and easily broken, though the surface is more compact and hard, of a color approaching to the brown oxyd of iron in a natural state. There is a crack on one side, which is supposed to open a vent for the water below the surface of the earth; and tradition asserts, with every appearance of probability, that, when the spring was first discovered, the water flowed over the top of the rock.

These waters contain muriates of soda and lime, carbonates of lime, magnesia, soda and iron, with large quantities of carbonic acid gas. They are useful in cases of dyspepsia, cabulous complaints, cutaneous eruptions, and

* One gallon of the water of Congress spring gives on analysis the following result. Muriate of Soda,

471,5 Carbonate of Lime,

178,476 Carbonate of Soda,

16,5 Carbonate of Magnesia,

3,356 Carbonate of Iron,

6,168

Total 676, Grains. Carbonic acid gas_343, cubic inches.

Describe the Congress Spring

-The High Rock Spring.

scrofula. They are widely diffused over Saratoga county. Those of Ballston* have long been in high repute, and are much frequented.

The Clifton Springs are in Farmington, twelve miles from Geneva. The principal issues are 3 large springs. The rocks around them are calcareous, filled with impressions generally imputed to petrifaction of testaceous shells. Where one of them rises, is a spot 5 or 6 rods in diameter completely covered with mineral precipitates, principally sulphur, which is found to be in some places near 6 feet deep.

These waters are strongly impregnated with sulphur. When first dipped, they are perfectly transparent, but become opaque by standing, and assume a yellowish cream color, as the precipitates form. These consist of sulphur, and carbonate of lime. In this state, they emit great quantities of sulphuretted hydrogen gas, which diffuses a scent to a very considerable distance.

Chappequa spring is a chalybeate, at Mount Pleasant 3 miles from Hudson's river, and 30 from New York.

On a mountain near Newbury, there is a mineral spring, whose waters créate sickness, and nausea. It is said to contain copper; and around it a flame has been seen, as if issuing from the earth. The Seneca Oil, from Cataraugus and Allegany counties, is a petroleum very nearly resembling the British Oil of commerce. There are warm springs at New Lebanon in Columbia county, and near Flushing in Long Island.

*One gallon of the water from the principal fountain at Ballston Spa, givesMuriate of Soda,

159, Carbonate of Soda,

9, Carbonate of Lime,

75,5 Carbonate of Magnesia,

2,5 Carbonate of Iron,

7,

253, grains.

Carbonic acid gas-210 cubic inches.

What do these waters' contain ?.-- What is said of the Clifton Springs ? —With what are these waters impregnated ?- What is said of the Chappequa Spring ?- Of the Seneca Oil ?What other springs are mentioned ?

SEC. IV.

Botany The common forest trees are the varieties of oak, ash, walnut, pine, maple, beech, chesnut, birch, poplar, cherry, cedar, elm, hemlock, sumach, &c. Of shrubs and plants, the most noted are wild hops, fox grapes, ginseng, sarsaparilla, snakeroot, spikenard, mandrake, wild gooseberry, and cranberry.

The greatest proportion of timber in the western country consists of oak, elm, maple, walnut, beech, butternut, chesnut, cucumber. The indigenous plum tree yields a fruit of an agreeable flavor, which ripens late in autumn. Four varieties of wild grape grow throughout the whole territory.

In the northwestern parts, near the river St. Lawrence and lake Ontario, black and white oak abounds interspersed with pine and hickory. The natural growth consists of maple, beech, elm, basswood, and birch. There are numerous tracts covered with pine. SEC. V.

Natural Curiosities. The country contains many of those uncommon views, which have been classed under this head. Its noble cataracts, the gloomy recesses of its cav-erns, the romantic defiles of its mountains and highlands, present many striking and highly interesting scenes.

The falls of Niagara, and the Genesee, have been pre. viously mentioned. Glenn's Falls, on the Hudson, near Kingsbury, are highly picturesque and magnificent. A solid bed of limestone extends across the channel, forming, as the bed of the river sinks down, an irregular precipice. From this, the whole waters of the Hudson descend in broken torrents.

IV.

What are most common forest trees Shrubs and plants ? What is said of the timber in the western part ? In the northwestern part ?

Y. What is said of the curiosities of the country?

The masses of rock which direct the courses of the waters, and separate their currents, are disposed in horizontal strata. In several places, they are very abrupt, and terminate in a perpendicular wall. Between them are profound openings, through which, the torrent forces its way. At the bottom all the streams unite, and proceed in conjunction towards Fort Edward.

The Cahoes, or Great Falls of the Mohawk, are not unworthy of notice. The river pours over a rock, which extends 900 yards, nearly across the channel, and about 30 feet in height. These falls are about 3 miles from its junction with the Hudson.

There is a singular cave at Rhinebec, in Dutchess county. The entrance, between two large rocks on the declivity of a steep hill, is a short and small horizontal passage, to a narrow perpendicular passage, about 10 feet long, from 8 to 10 broad, and 4 high.

A narrow passage conducts from this to a second room, 13 feet long, but higher, and broader, than the first. Numerous calcareous stalactites depend from the roof of this room, and some statagmites rise from the floor. These have met in various places, and formed solid columns, some of them more than two feet in circumference.

In Ulster county, is a cavern of greater dimensions than any other yet explored in this country. Its length is estimated at three quarters of a mile, and its breadth varies from twenty to forty feet. It is at least twenty feet in height. A stream, which issues from the mountain to the northwest, turns two mills, before it runs through it. It emerges about a quarter of a mile from the Roudout creek, and falls into it. The passage

into the cavern is a considerable distance from its western extremity. It is very narrow, and so precipitous, as to occasion some difficulty in descending. It is evident from the form of the blocks of stone, which lie under the opening, that it has been made by the splitting of the rock from the expansion of ice in its cavities.

What fulls are mentioned on the Hudson ?- Describe them.

What on the Mohawk? -Describe them.- -Describe the cavern in Dutchess county.. In Ulster county.

On the sides and roof of the cavern, which are composed of dark colored limestone, are seen impressions of shells, calcareous spar, and beautiful white and yellow stalactites, of different size and shape ; some of which have the apo pearance of a honeycomb. A few rods from the opening on the west side, the cavern divides itself into two vaults of nearly equal dimensions. Near the eastern extremity, there is a fall of water of unknown depth, beyond which no person has yet ventured.

In the southeast part of Lake Erie, about 20 rods from the shore, is a curious spring, which boils up from the bottom of the lake. The water is here 4 and a half feet deep. The water of the spring rises with some force through that of the lake, and may be collected. It takes fire, when a brand is thrust into it, and, when drank, proves a powerful emetic.

In Chester, Warren county, is a natural bridge, which gives the name of Stone Bridge Creek to a small stream that runs under it. This stream rises in Essex county, and enters Chester about 30 rods above the bridge, and immediately fails over a rocky precipice into a large natural basin ; whence turning easterly, it enters the subterranean passage in two branches.

The northern branch enters its passage under an arch of granite 40 feet high, and about 80 feet broad at the base, gradually diminishing in capacity as you descend. A person may follow the stream with ease, 156 feet from the entrance, where it becomes so much contracted, as to prevent any further progress.

At a short distance, the southern and principal branch enters its passage amidst a heap of stones and rubbish that almost conceals the entrance, and, with difficulty, its passage has been explored. It is in some places.much confined, and in others, opens into caverns of 30 or 40 feet diameter, and filled with water to a great depth. At the distance of 247 feet from the entrance, the waters disembogue in one stream, having united in the subterranean passage, and here a precipice of rock 57 feet high termin

What is said of the spring in Lake Erie ?What natural bridge is mentioned ? -Describe it.

« PreviousContinue »