Page images
PDF
EPUB

Sec. iv. Face of the Country. The face of the country exhibits an interesting variety, but is less mountainous, than many other parts of America. The Catskill Mountains in the eastern part of the state are the principal range. The western part generally presents a level, or moderately undulating surface.

The southeastern part of the state particularly between the Hudson and Chenango, may be characterized as mountainous. A narrow tract near the Pennsylvania line is generally hilly. From this to lake Ontario the country is mostly level, and contains no elevation deserving the name of a mountain.

The northwestern part of the state, between lakes Erie and Ontario, presents a remarkable singularity of surface. Lake Erie is more than 300 feet above lake Ontario, and the country around proportionably higher. The descent towards lake Ontario is net irregular and imperceptible; but is made by three successive pitches, or steeps, with a wide interval of level land between them.

The upper, or southern pitch commences at Buffalo, at the mouth of lake Erie, and runs north of east stretching round the mouth of Canandaigua lake to the west side of the Seneca, thence south to the high grounds of the Tioga.

The middle pitch commences at the Falls of Niagara, and, after an eastern course of about 50 miles, takes a southerly direction to the Genesee; thence north of the Seneca, Cayuga, Skeneateles, and Otisco lakes, and in an eastern direction to the hills, from whose southern declivities, flow the Chenango and Unadilla.

The northern, or lower pitch branches from the middle one near the Eighteen Mile Run, (a stream, which empties eighteen miles east of the Niagara,) and diverg

IV. What is said of the face of the country ?--

What is the principal range of mountains ? - -What is said of the western part of the state? -- What part of the state is mountainous ?

What part is hilly, and what level ?- -What singulurity of surface in the northwestern part ? - Describe the southern pitch.---The middle.

-The northern.

ing northward, proceeds with a progress sometimes i distinct to the lower falls of the Genesee, thence eastwa, to the falls of the Oswego, 12 miles from its mouth.

The northeastern part of the state is generally hilly and the height of land betwen Champlain, and the S Lawrence presents a range of mountains of considerabl elevation. A tract about 30 miles wide on the banks ( the St. Lawrence is uneven. At that distance it become rough and broken.

SEC. V. Soil and Productions. The soil o New York is generally fertile, and well adapter to the purposes of agriculture. The country between the Seneca and Cayuga lakes, the valley of the Chenango, the extensive flats o the Genesee, and the lands along Black river in richness of soil are second, perhaps, to none in America.

West of the Genesee the soil is less uniformly good That near lake Ontario is the best. An extensive tract in the eastern part of the

state, including the counties o Rensselaer, Columbia, Green, Schoharie, Albany and Schenectady is but indifferent. The country along the Mohawk west of the Oneida village is very rich. The plains of Herkimer have long been justly celebrated fo their fertility

Wheat is the most important production, an, is extensively cultivated throughout the state It is raised on the flats of the Genesee wit! unparalleled facility, and in quality surpassed by none.

Many parts of the state are well adapted to grazing. Maize, rye, and barley are generally cultivated with suc

What is said of the northeastern part ?

v. What is the character of the soil ?- What parts remarkably fertile ? What is said of the soil west of the Genesee? What part is best? -What part is mentioned as indifferent ?What is said of the country along ihe Mohawk ?

What is the most important production ?

cess.

In the counties southeast of the Chenango, the hills are covered with fine timber, and when cleared afford excellent pasture. The intervening valleys produce grass, and the various kinds of grain in abundance.

SEC. VI. Rivers. This state contains many noble streams, and is watered by some of the most celebrated rivers of America. On the western and northern boundaries are the Niagara and the St. Lawrence. The Allegány, Susquehannah, and Delaware rise in the south part of the state. The western part contains the Genesee, Oswego, and Black rivers ; and the eastern part the Saranac, Hudson, and Mohawk.

The Niagara river is the outlet of lake Erie, and runs north about 30 miles to lake Ontario ; embracing Grand and Navy islands, and receiving the Tonnewanta creek from the east." Three miles from lake Erie, it is 7 furlongs in width, and its average depth 21 feet, with a current of 6 miles an hour.

Eighteen miles from lake Erie, are the celebrated Falls of Niagara. For a mile above the great pitch, the bed of the river sinks gradually 57 feet, causing grand, and fearful rapids. It is then suddenly depressed, forming a precipice of about 160 feet from bank to bank. On the brink of the precipice is a small island, * which divides the stream, and presents, for 150 yards, a perpendicular front of rock, fragments of which lie in confusion at its base.

Table Rock is on the Canada bank, and presents the most interesting view of this sublime spectacle. Looking up the river, you behold it tumbling with strange magnificence over the ledges of rocks, which from this point

* Goat Island.

What other productions are mentioned ?

VI. What is said of the rivers of this state? What rivers on the northern and western boundaries ?-_What rise in the south part?

- What are contained in the western part ? - In the eastern ? Describe the Niagara.

Give some account of the Falls.

appear close together, and to constitute a single unbroken cataract. The immense mass of waters, greatly increased in rapidity by this descent, and still more by the contraction of the river, rolls with an almost instantaneous motion to the brow of the precipice, and shoots many yards beyond, as it falls over it into the abyss below.

If you then dare approach the verge of the rock and look down into this hell of waters," you behold its billows of foam bounding in agony, and sending up columns of rnist to the very clouds; while the depth of this tremendous chasm, the roar of the cataract, above all, the inconceivable exertion of power, overwhelm the mind with emotions of sublimity and grandeur.

The quantity of water passing the. falls is estimated at 670,255 tons per minute, and the width of the stream,

including the island, at 1410 yards. The channel on the American side of the island is the widest, and has the greatest perpendicular descent; though four fifths and perhaps a still larger proportion of the waters pass on the Canadian side.

The depth of the river beneath the fall is probably far greater, than its height; since the tallest trees descending perpendicularly are lost for several minutes beneath the water, before they reappear. The banks of the river below are on both sides perpendicular, of solid rock, and of the same height with the falls. They continue about the same height 7 miles to Queenstown.

The St. Lawrence is the outlet of lake Ontario, and for a considerable distance constitutes the northern boundary of New York. If considered as rising at the source of the St. Louis, it is 2000 miles in length, and in its quantity of water surpassed by no river in North America.

The Hudson rises in the northern part of the state, between lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence, and runs south 250 miles to the Atlantic. It is navigable for ships 130 miles to Hudson, and for sloops 36 miles further to Troy. ,The tide in this river flows 160 miles.

The Mohawk rises in the northern part of Oneida county 8 miles from Black river. Its course is south of

Describe the St. Lawrence.

The Hudson.-The Mohawk.

east 150 miles to the Hudson. It runs in a deep ravine, and is wild and impetuous. There is generally along its banks a vale of rich soil, but in many places, spurs from the neighboring hills project themselves to the shore of the river.

The chief tributaries of the Mohawk from the north are Great and Little Canada creeks. The former empties at Herkimer, and the latter 13 miles below. They run in deep ravines, are long, rapid and unnavigable. On the south, the Schoharie descending from the Catskill mountains rolls northward with the impetuosity of a torrent, and joins the Mohawk at Fort Hunter.

The Genesee rises in Pennsylvania, and pursues a northerly course of 120 miles to lake Ontario. It has several interesting cataracts,

At Rochester is a perpendicular descent of 96 feet. In spring this river is a torrent; in autumn, it is nearly dry.

The Oswego is formed by the union of the Oneida and Seneca rivers, and runs northwest 45 miles to lake Ontario. Through the Oneida river, it receives the waters of the lake of that name, and through the Seneca river the waters of the Seneca, Cayuga, Owasco, Skeneateles, and Otisco lakes. The courses of these branches are very irregular.

Black river rises near the source of Great Canada creek, and after an irregular course of more than 100 miles, falls into Jake Ontario. The Oswegatchie, Racket, and severa! other considerable rivers fall into the St. Lawrence.

Big Chazy, Saranac, and Sable rivers fall into lake Champlain. The Chenango and Tioga are branches of the Susquehannah. Cataraugus and Buffalo creeks are considerable streams falling into lake Erie. The Tonnewanta aster a course of 40 miles falls into the Niagara. It is navigable for boats 28 miles.

SEC. VII. Lakes. rie, Ontario, and Champlain, each form a part of the boundary of New York. In the interior are several lakes

Describe the Genesee.- -The Oswego.

Black river. What others are mentioned ?

vii. What Lakes form a part of the boundary of New York? ---What in the interior ?

« PreviousContinue »