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The following calculations were made from a&ual measurement of the best
maps, by THOMAS HUTCHINS, Esquire, geographer to the United States,
The territory of the United States contains by computation a million of square miles, in which are
640,000,000 of acres. Deduct for water
51,000,000 Acres of land in the United States, 589,000,000
That part of the United States comprehended between the west temporary line of Pennsylvania on the east, the boundary line between Britain and the United States, extending from the river St. Croix to the northwest extremity of the Lake of the Woods on the north, the river Missisippi, to the month of the Ohio on the west, and the river Ohio on the south to the aforementioned bounds of Pennsylvania, coðtains by computation about four hundred and eleven thousand square miles, in which are
263,040,000 acres. Deduct for water
43,040,000 To be disposed of by order of Congrefs, 220,000,000 of acres.
The whole of this immense extent of unappropriated western territory, containing, as above stated, 220,000,000 of acres, has been, by the cession of some of the original thirteen states, and by the treaty of peace, transferred to the federal government, and is pledged as a fund for sinko ing the continental debt. It is in contemplation to divide it into new ftates, with republican constitutions fimilar to the old ftates near the Ato lantic Ocean. Efimate of the number of acres of water, north and westward of the river Ohio, within the territory of the United States.
Acres. In Lake Superior,
21,952,780 Lake of the Woods,
1,133,800 Lake Rain, &c.
165,200 Red Lake,
551,000 Lake Michigan,
10,368,000 Bay Puan,
1,216,000 Lake Huron,
5,009,920 Lake St. Clair,
89,500 Lake Erie, western part,
2,252,800 Sundry small lakes and rivers,
43,040,000 Eftimate of the number of acres of water within the Thirtäen United States,
In Lake Erie, westward of the line extended from the north-west corner of Pennsylvania, due north, to the boundary between the British territory and the United States,
410,000 In Lake Ontario,
2,390,000 Lake Champlain,
500,000 Chesapeek bay,
1,700,000 Albemarle bay,
330,000 Delaware bay,
630,000 All the rivers within the thirteen
states, including the Ohio, 2,000,000
Total 51,000,000 Lakes and Rivers.] It may in truth be said, that no part of the world is so well watered with springs, rivulets, rivers, and lakes, as the territory of the United States. By means of these various streams and collections of water, the whole country is checkered into islands and peninsulas. The United States, and indeed all parts of North America, seem to have been formed by nature for the most intimate union. The facilities of navigation render the communication between the ports of Georgia and New Hampshire, infinitely more expeditious and practicable, than between those of Provence and Picardy in France; Cornwall and Caithness, in Great Britain ; or Gallicia and Catalonia, in Spain. The canals proposed at South-Key, Susquehannah, and Delaware, will open a communication from the Carolinas to the western counties of Pennsylvania and NewYork. The improvements of the Patomak, will give a passage from the southern States, to the western parts of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsyl. vania, and even to the lakes. From Detroit, on Lake Erie, to Alexandria, on the Patomak, fix hundred and seven miles, are but two carrying places, which together do not exceed the distance of forty miles. The canals of Delaware and Chesapeek, will open the communication from South-Carolina to New-Jersey, Delaware, the most populous parts of Pennsylvania, and the midland counties of New York. These important works might be effected, an accurate and well informed computer supposes, for two hundred thousand guineas; and North-America would thereby be converted into a cluster of large and fertile inlands, communicating with each other with ease and little expence, and in many instances without the uncertainty or danger of the sea.
There is nothing in other parts of the globe which resembles the prodigious chain of lakes in this part of the world. They may properly be termed inland feas of fresh water ; and even those of the second or third class in magnitude, are of larger circuit than the greateft lake in the eastern continent. The best account of these lakes that I have seen, is in Carver's Travels in North America. This book is my authority for the defcriptions which follow,
The Lake of the Woods is so called from the large quantities of wood growing on its banks; such as oaks. pines, firs, spruce, &c. This lake lies nearly cast of the south end of Lake Winnepeek, and is the source or con. doctor of one branch of the river. Bourbon. Its length from east to weft
is about seventy miles, and in some places it is forty miles wide. The Killistinoe Indians encamp on its borders to fish and hunt. This lake is the communication between the Lakes Winnepeek and Bourbon, and Lake Superior.
Rainy or Long Lake lies east of the Lake of the Woods, and is nearly an hundred miles long, and in no part more than twenty miles wide.
Eaftward of this lake, lie several small ones, which extend in a string to the great carrying, place, and thence into Lake Superior. Between these little lakes are several carrying places, which render the trade to the northweft difficult, and exceedingly tedious, as it takes two years to make one voyage from Michillimackinac to these parts.
Lake Superior, formerly termed the Upper Lake, from its northern fituation, is so called from its magnitude, it being the largest on the continent. It may justly be termed the Caspian of America, and is supposed to be the largeft body of fresh water on the globe. According to the French charts it is fifteen hundred miles in circumference; Carver lupposes that if the utmost extent of every bay was taken, it would exceed fixteen hundred. A great part of the coast is bounded by rocks and uneven ground. The water is pure and transparent, and appears generally, throughout the lake, to lie upon a bed of huge rocks. It is worthy of remark, in regard to the waters of this lake, that although their furface, during the heat of summer, is impregnated with no small degree of warmth, yet on letting down a cup to the depth of about a fathom, the water drawn from thence is so exceflively cold, that, when taken into the mouth, it has the same effect as ice.
The situation of this lake, from the most accurate observations which have yet been made, lies between forty-six and fifty degrees of north latitude, and between nine and eighteen degrees of west longitude from the meridian of Philadelphia.
There are many inands in this lake, two of them have each land enough, if proper for cultivation, to form a considerable province; especially ille Royal, which is not less than an hundred miles long, and in many places forty broad. The natives suppose these islands are the residence of the Great Spirit.
Two very large rivers empty themselves into this lake, on the north and north-east lide; one is called the Nipegon, which leads to a tribe of the Chipeways, who inhabit a lake of the same name, and the other is the Michipicooton river, the source of which is towards James's Bay, from whence there is but a short portage to another river, which empties itself into that bay.
Not far from the Nipegon is a small river, that, just before it enters the lake, has a perpendicular fall from the top of a mountain, of more than fix hundred feet. It is very narrow, and appears at a distance like a white garter suspended in the air. There are upwards of thirty other rivers, which empty into this lake, some of which are of a considerable fize. On the south side of it is a remarkable point or cape of about sixty miles in length, called Point Chegomegan. About an hundred miles west of this cape, a considerable river falls into the lake, the head of which is composed of a great assemblage of small streams. This river is remarkable the abundance of virgin copper that is found on and near its banks.
Many small islands, particularly on the eastern shores, abound with copper ore lying in beds, with the appearance of copperas. This metal might be easily made a very advantageous article of commerce, as it costs nothing on the spot, and requires but little expence to get it on board boats or ca noes, in which it might be conveyed through the falls of St. Marie to the Isle of St. Joseph, which lies at the bottom of the straits near the entrance into Lake Huron, thence into Lake Ontario, from which it may be conveyed by water into the Mohawks river, except two portages, one of twenty yards, and the other of about a mile; down Mohawks river in the Hud. lon, except the portage at the Cohoes; thence to New-York. The cheapness and ease with which any quantity of the ore may be procured, will make up for the distance and expence of tranfportation. This lake abounds with fish, particularly trout and sturgeon; the former weigh from twelve to fifty pounds, and are caught almost any seafon of the year in great plenty. Storms affect this lake as much as they do the Atlantic Ocean; the waves run as high, and the navigation is equally dangerous. It discharges its waters from the south-east corner through the Straits of St. Marie, which are about forty miles long. Near the upper end of these ftraits is a rapid, which, though it is impossible for canoes to ascend, yet, when conducted by careful pilots, may be descended without danger.
Though Lake Superior is supplied by near forty rivers, many of which are large, yet it does not appear that one tenth part of the waters which are conveyed into it by these rivers, is discharged by the abovementioned ftrait. How such a superabundance of water can be disposed of, remains a secret. They doubtless have a paffage through some subterraneous cavities, deep, unfathomable, and never to be explored. The entrance into this lake from the fraits of St. Marie, affords one of the most pleasing prospects in the world. On the left
beautiful little islands, that extend a considerable way before you; and on the right, an agreeable fucceffion of small points of land, that project a little way into the water, and contribute, with the islands, to render this delightful bason calm, and secure from those tempestuous winds, by which the adjoining lake is frequently troubled.
Lake Huron, into which you enter through the straits of St. Marie, is next in magnitude to Lake Superior. It lies between forty-two and fortysix degrees of north latitude, and between four and ten degrees weft longitude. Its shape is nearly triangular, and its circumference about one thousand miles. On the north side of this lake is an island one hundred miles in length, and no more than eight miles broad. It is called Manataulin, fignifying a place of spirits, and is considered as sacred by the Indians. About the middle of the south-west side of this lake is Saganaum Bay, about eighty miles in length, and about eighteen or twenty miles broad. Thunder Bay, fo called from the continual thunder that is heard there, lies about half way between Saganaum Bay and the north-west corner of the lake. It is about nine miles across either way. The fish are the same as in Lake Superior. The promontory that separates this lake from Lake Michigan, is' a vast plain, more than one hundred miles long, and varying from ten to fifteen miles in breadth. This plain is about equally divided between the Ottowaw and Chipeway Indians. At the north-east corner, this lake communicates with Lake Michigan, Straits of Michillimackinac. It is remarkable, that al
be seen many
though there is no diurnal flood or ebb to be perceived in the waters of thefe ftraits, yet from an exact attention to their state, a periodical altera. tion in them has been discovered. It has been observed that they rise by gradual, but almost imperceptible degrees, till in seven years and an half they had reached the height of about three feet; and in the same space of time, they gradually fell to their former state, so that in fifteen years they had completed this inexplicable revolution.
The Chipeway Indians live scattered around this lake ; particularly near Saganaum Bay. On its banks are found amazing quantities of sand cherries,
Lake St. Claire lies about half way between Lake Huron and Lake. Erie, and is about ninety miles in circumference. It receives the waters of the three great lakes, Superior, Michigan and Huron, and discharges them throngh the river or trait, called Detroit, (which is in French the Strait) into Lake Erie. This lake is of a circular form, and navigable for large vessels, except a bar of fand towards the middle, which prevents loaded vessels from paffing. The cargoes of such as are freighted must be taken out, and carried acrofs the bar in boats, and re-shipped. The town of Detroit is situated on the western bank of the river of the same name, about nine miles below Lake St. Claire.
Lake Erie is fituated between forty-one and forty-three degrees of north latitude, and between three and eight degrees west longitude. It is nearly three hundred miles long, from east to west, and about forty in its broadeft part. A point of land projects from the north fide into this lake, several miles, towards the fouth-east. The islands and banks towards the weft end of the lake are so infested with rattle-snakes, as to render it dangerous to land on them. The lake is covered near the banks of the islande with the large pond lily; the leaves of which lie on the surface of the water so thick, as to cover it entirely for many acres together; on these, in the summer season, lie myriads of water-snakes balking in the fun. Of the venomous ferpents which infeft this lake, the hifing snake is the most remarkable. It is about eighteen inches long, small and speckled. When you approach it, it Aattens itself in a moment, and its spots, which are of various colours, become visibly brighter through rage; at the fame time it blows from its mouth, with great force, a fubtil wind, said to be of a nauseous smell ; and if drawn in with the breath of the unwary traveller, will infallibly bring on a decline, that in a few months mult prove mortal. No remedy has yet been found to counteract its baneful influence. This lake is of a more dangerous navigation than any of the others, on account of the craggy rocks which project into the water, in a perpendicular direction, many miles together, affording no Shelter from Itorms. This lake at its north-eaft end communicates with Lake Ontario, by the river Niagara, which runs from south to north about thirty miles, At the entrance of this river, on its eastern shore, is Fort Niagara, which is at present, contrary to the treaty of 1783, in poffeffion of the British government, as are moft of our north-western posts. About eighteen miles north of this fort, are those remarkable falls which are reekoned one of the greatest natural curiosities in the world. The waters which supply the river Niagara rise near two thousand miles to the north-west, and palling through the lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie, receiv