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is an old waggon road, cut by the French in the war of 1755. The lands on French Creek are very fertile, and mostly cleared, which is an evidence that its former Indian inhabitants were numerous. Fourteen miles from the mouth of this creek is a gentle rapid, thence to its mouth, it is flow, deep and smooth.
Before we leave this interesting head concerning rivers, we cannot omit inserting the observations of Mr. Charles Thomson, secretary of Congress. • Besides the three channels mentioned (page 45) between the western waters, and the Atlantic, there are two others, to which the Pennsylvanians are turning their attention ; one from Presquesisle, on Lake Erie, to Le Bouf, down the Allegany to Kishiminitas, then up the Kishiminitas, and from thence, by a small portage, to Juniatta, which falls into the Susquehannah: The other from Lake Ontario to the east branch of the Delaware, and down that to Philadelphia. Both these are said to be very practicable ; and, confidering the enterprising temper of the Pennsylvanians, and particularly of the merchants of Philadelphia, whose object is concentered in promoting the commerce and trade of one city, it is not improbable but one or both of these communications will be opened and improved *.'
There is faid to be still another communication equally as practicable as either of the others ; and that is between the southern branch of the Tyoga and a branch of the Allegany, the head waters of which, are but a short distance from each other. The Seneca Indians say, they can walk four times in a day, from the boatable waters of the Ohio, to those of the Tyoga, at the place now mentioned. And between the Susquehannah, just before it crosses into Pennsylvania the first time, and the Delaware, is a portage of only twelve miles,
One remark must not be omitted here, and that is, that in all the back country, waters of this state, even in those high up in the mountains, marine petrifactions may be found in great abundance.
Szamps.] The only swamps worth noticing, are, the Great Swamp, between Northampton and Luzerne counties, and Buffaloe swamp in the north-western parts of Northumberland county, near the head waters of the west branch of the Susquehannah. These swamps, on examination and survey, are found to be bodies of rich farm land, thickly covered with beach and sugar maple.
Mountains, face of the country, foil and productions.] As much as nearly one third of this state may be called mountainous ; particularly the counties of Bedford, Huntingdon, Cumberland, part of Franklin, Dauphin, and part of Bucks and Northampton, through which pass, under various names, the numerous ridges and spurs, which collectively form what we chuse to call, for the sake of clearness, the GREAT RANGE OF AL
The principal ridges in this range, in Pennsylvania, are the Kittatinoy, or Blue mountain, which pass north of Nazareth in Northampton County, and pursue a south-west course, across the Lehigh, through Dauphin County, just above Louisburgh, thence on the west lide of the Susquehannah through Cumberland and Franklin counties. Back of these, and nearly parallel with them, are Peters, Tuscarora and Nescopek mountains, on the east of the Susquehannah; and on thế west, See Appendix to Mr. Jefferson's Notes or Virginia, No. I.
Shareman's hills, Sideling hills, Ragged, Great Warriors, Evits and Wills mountains, then the great Allegany ridge, which being the largest, gives its name to the whole range ; west of this are the Laurel and Chefnut ridges. Between the Juniatta and the west branch of the Susquehannah are Jacks, Tuffes, Nittiny and Bald Eagle mountains. The vales between these mountains are generally of a rich, black soil, suited to the various kinds of grain and grass. Some of the mountains will admit of cultivation almost at their tops.
There is a remarkable difference between the country on the east and west side of the range of mountains we have just been describing. Between these mountains and the lower falls of the rivers which run into the Atlantic, not only in this but in all the southern states, are several ranges of stones, sand, earths and minerals, which lie in the utmost confufion. Beds of stone, of vast extent, particularly of lime-stone, have their several layers broken in pieces, and the fragments thrown confusedly in every
direction. Between these lower falls and the ocean, is a very extensive collection of sand, clay, mud and shells, partly thrown up by the waves of the sea, partly brought down by foods from the upper country, and partly produced by the decay of vegetable substances.
The country westward of the Allegany mountains, in these respects, is totally different. It is very irregular, broken and variegated, but there are no mountains ; and when viewed from the most western ridge of the Allegany, it appears to be a vast extended plain. All the various ftrata of stone appear to have lain undisturbed in the situation wherein they were first formed. The layers of clay, fand and coal, are nearly horizontal. Scarcely a single instance is to be found to the contrary, Detached rocks are indeed found here in all situations, as well as eastward of the mountains ; but these are only such as lie near the surface, and being undermined by the waters, have tumbled from their original places. Every appearance, in short, tends to confirm the opinion, that the original crust, in which the ftone was formed, has never been broken up on the west side of the mountains, as it evidently has been eastward of them. The irregularity and unevenness of the country westward of the mountains, appear to have been the effect of water descending in heavy showers of rain. Many thousands of square miles are cut by innumerable deep drains for carrying off water, and nothing is left between them but high, steep and narrow ridges. The prodigious rains which produced this surprising effect, probably filled up the intervals between the mountains, and the pressure of the water in time, may have become so great as to have, at length, broken through the lowest and weakest parts of them; and in such places have carried away the rocks which formed the ridges, down nearly as low as the present beds of the rivers ; part of the water running eastward, and part westward, so that the principal ridge, the proper Allegany, only was left unbroken. The rocks, thus torn from their beds, appear to lave been lodged within a few miles of the mountains, where at this day we find them; and the gravel, fand and earth, carried far below, and deposited in the lower country, in succession, according to their respective gravities
* See Col. Mag. Vol. I. P. 49.
In this connection, in confirmation of what we have now been faying, and also of what was observed, page 48, I beg leave to introduce the remarks of the secretary of Congress, whom we just now quoted, which were suggeited on his reading Mr. Jefferson's description of the passage of the Patomak through the Blue ridge. · The reflections I was led into on viewing this passage of the Patomak through the Blue ridge were, that this country must have suffered some violent convulsion, and that the face of it must have been changed from what it probably was fome centuries ago; that the broken and ragged faces of the mountain on each side the river; the tremendous rocks, which are left with one end fixed in the precipice, and the other jutting out, and seemingly ready to fall for want of support ; the bed of the river for several miles below obstructed, and filled with the loose stones carried from this mound; in short, every thing on which you caft your eye, evidently demonstrates a disrupture and breach in the mountain, and that, before this happened, what is now a fruitful vale, was formerly a great lake or collection of water, which posibly might have here formed a mighty cascade, or had its vent to the ocean by the Susquehannah, where the Blue ridge seems to terminate. Besides this, there are other parts of this country which bear evident traces of a like convulsion. From the best accounts I have been able to obtain, the place where the Delaware now fiows through the Kittatinny mountain, which is a continuation of what is called the North ridge, or mountain, was not its original course, but that it pasied through what is now called “the Wind-gap,' a place several miles to the westward, and above an hundred feet higher than the present bed of the river. This wind-gap is about a mile broad, and the stones in it such as seem to have been washed for ages by water runn ng over them. Should this have been the case, there must have been a large lake behind that mountain, and by some uncommon swell in the waters, or by fome convulsion of nature, the river must have opened its way through a different part of the mountain, and meeting there with less obstruction, carried away with it the opposing mounds of earth, and deluged the country below with the immense collection of waters to which this new pariage gave vent. There are still remaining, and daily discovered, innumerable instances of such a deluge on both sides of the river, after it palied the hills above the falls of Trenton, and reached the champaign. On the New Jersey fide, which is flatter than the Pennsylvania fide, all the country below Croswick hills seems to have been overflowed to the distance of from ten to fifteen miles back from the river, and to have acquired a new soil by the earth and clay brought down and mixed with the native fand. The spot on which Philadelphia ftands evidently appears to be made ground. The different strata through which they pass in digging to water, the acorns, leaves, and sometimes branches, which are found above twenty feet below the surface, all seem to demonstrate this. I am informed that at York town in Virginia, in the bank of York river, there are different strata of shells and earth, one above another, which seem to point out that the country there has undergone several changes ; that the sea has, for a succeslion of ages, occupied the place where dry land now appears; and that the ground has been suddenly raised at various periods. What a
change would it make in the country below, should the mountains at Niagara, by any accident, be cleft asunder, and a passage suddenly opened to drain off the waters of Erie and the Upper Lakes : While ruminating on these subjects, I have often been hurried away by fancy, and led to imagine, that what is now the bay of Mexico, was once a champaign country; and that from the point or cape of Florida, there was a continued range of mountains through Cuba, Hispaniola, Porto-Rico, Martinique, Gaudaloupe, Barbadoes, and Trinidad, till it reached the coast of America, and formed the shores which bounded the ocean, and guarded the country behind : that, by some convulsion or shock of nature, the sea had broken through these mounds, and deluged that vast plain, till it reached the foot of the Andes ; that being there heaped up by the trade-winds, always blowing from one quarter, it had found its way back, as it continues to do, through the gulph between Florida and Cuba, carrying with it the loom and sand it may have scooped from the country it had occupied, part of which it may have deposited on the fores of North America, and with part formed the banks of Newfoundland.-But these are only the visions of fancy *.'
In addition to what we have already said respecting the face of the country in Pennsylvania, it may be observed, that, excepting the Allegany range of mountains, which crosses the state in an oblique direction, and is from twenty to fifty miles wide, the state is generally level, or agreeably diversified with gentle hills and vales.
The soil is of the various kinds ; in some parts it is barren; a great proportion of the ftate is good land ; and no inconsiderable part is very good. Perhaps the proportion of first rate land is not greater in any of the thirteen states. The richest part of the state that is settled is Lancaster county. The richest that is unsettled, is between Allegany river and Lake Erie, in the north-west corner of the state. Of this fine tract, 100,000 acres, lying on and near French Creek, are for sale by the state. The convenient communications through this creek into the Allegany, and from the Allegany, through various creeks and rivers to the Susquehannah and Patomak, have already been mentioned.
The north side of Pennsylvania is the richest and the best settled land throughout, owing entirely to the circumstance of the western road having been run by the armies, prior to 1762, through the towns of Lancaster, Carlisle and Bedford, and thence to Pittsburgh. For the purpose of turning the tide of settlers from this old channel, into the unsettled and more fertile parts of the state, the government and landed interest of Pennsylvania have been, and are ftill busy in cutting convenient roads. During the last summer (1788) they run a road north, from the former roads beyond Bethlehem, to the north portage between Delaware and Susquehannah; and thence north eighty degrees west to the mouth of the Tyoga ; the first seventy miles, and the last above fixty. It is now in contemplation to cut a road from Sunbury, at the forks of the east and west branches of Susquehannah, west, 150 miles, to the mouth of Toby's creek, which empties into the Allegany river, from the east. This road will be through a tract of rich land, now for sale by
* Jefferson's Notes on Virginia. Appendix, No. II,
the state. A road is also cutting from the mouth of the Tyoga, fouthward, to the mouth of Loyal, a branch of the west branch of Susquehannah. Another road is cutting from Huntingdon-town, on Frankstown branch of the Juniatta, westward thirty miles, to a navigable branch of the Allegany.
Thus the well-judged policy of this state, is paving the way for the settlement of all their waste lands. And to evidence their benevolence, and their wishes to have the advantages of education increased, and more extensively enjoyed, they have allotted 60,000 acres of these waste lands for the use of public schools ; and above 60,000 more have been granted for that purpose, and to the societies established for the promotion of knowledge, the arts, religion, &c.
In addition to the common observation, that the natural growth of this state is similar to that of New- Jersey and New-York, which is indeed the case in most respects, it may be said, that there are in Pennsylvania great bodies of sugar-maple, particularly in the counties of Northampton, Luzerne, Northumberland and Washington, which yield a well-tafted and wholesome sugar, to profit.
Cumberland and Franklin valley is timbered. principally with locust, black walnut, hickory and white oak. The mountainous parts are covered with pines, chefnuts, &c.
The produce from culture, consists of wheat, which is the staple commodity of the state, some rye, Indian corn, buck-wheat, oats, speltz *, barley, which is now raised in greater quantities than formerly, occasioned by the vast comsumption of it by the breweries in Philadelphia, hemp, flax, and vegetables of all the various kinds common to the climate. Pennfylvania is a good grazing country, and great numbers of cattle are fed, and large dairies are kept, but their beef, pork and cheese, are not reckoned so good as those of Connecticut and the other parts of NewEngland; but their butter has been supposed superior.
Climate, diseases, longevity, &c.] Nothing different from that of Connecticut; except, that on the west side of the mountains, the weather is much more regular. The inhabitants never feel those quick transitions from cold to heat, by a change of the wind from north to fouth, as those so frequently experience, who live eastward of the mountains, and near the sea. The hot fouthwardly winds get chilled by passing over the long chain of Allegany mountains.
It has been observed that Pennsylvania is now more unhealthy than formerly; that bilious and remitting fevers, which a few years ago appeared chiefly in the neighbourhood of rivers, creeks and mill-ponds, now appear in parts remote from tirem all, and in the highest situations. This change has been traced to three causes : First, To the increase of mill-ponds. Till these were established, intermittents, in several counties in Pennsylvania, were unknown. Secondly, to the clearing of the country:
It has been remarked, that intermittents on the shores of the Susquehannah, have kept an exact pace with the passages which have been opened for the propagation of marsh effluvia, by cutting down the wood which formerly grew in its neighbourhood. A distinction, * See this kind of grain described, page 53.