תמונות בעמוד

Rivers.] There are six considerable rivers, which, with their numerous branches, peninsulate the whole state, viz. The Delaware, Schuylkill, Susquehannah, Yohoganey, Monongahela, and Allegany. We have already given an account of the rise and progress of Delaware river, until it crosses into Pennsylvania (page 245). From the mouth of Delaware bay, at Cape Henlopen, to Philadelphia, is reckoned one hundred and eighteen miles. So far there is a fufficient depth of water for a seventyfour gun fhip. From Philadelphia to Trenton falls is thirty-five miles. This is the head of Noop navigation. The river is navigable for boats that carry eight or nine tons, forty miles further, and for Indian canoes, except feveral small falls or portages, one hundred and fifty miles. At Easton, it receives the Lehigh from the west, which is navigable thirty miles. The tide sets up as high as Trenton falls, and at Philadelphia rises generally about fix feet. A north-east and east wind raises it higher.

On Cape Henlopen * ftands the light-house, with a few other houses. Opposite the light-house, on the Jersey shore, twelve miles, is Cape May. Between these Capes is the entrance into the Delaware bay. The entrance into the river is twenty miles further up, at Bombay Hook, where the river is four or five miles wide. From Bombay Hook to Reedy Hand is twenty miles. This island is the rendezvous of outward bound Thips in autumn and spring, waiting for a favourable wind. The course from this to the sea is S. Š. E. so that a N. W. wind, which is the prevailing wind in these seasons, is fair for vessels to put out to sea. This river is generally frozen one or two months in the year so as to prevent navigation.

From Chester to Philadelphia, twenty miles, the channel of the river is narrowed by islands of marsh, which are generally banked and turned into rich and immensely valuable meadows.

Billingsport, twelve miles below Philadelphia, was fortified in the late war for the defence of the channel. Opposite this fort, several large frames of timber, headed with iron spikes, called chevaux de frizes, were sunk to prevent the British ships from palling. Since the peace, a curious machine has been invented in Philadelphia, to raise them.

The Schuylkill rises north-west of the Kittatinny mountains, through which it passes, into a fine champaign country, and runs, from its source, upwards of one hundred and twenty miles in a south-east direction, and falls into the Delaware three miles below Philadelphia. It is navigable from above Reading, eighty-five or ninety miles, to its mouth. There are three floating bridges thrown across it, made of logs fastened together, and lying upon the water.

The Susquehannah river rises in lake Otsego, in the state of NewYork, and runs in such a winding course as to cross the boundary line between New-York and Pennfylvania three times. It receives İyoga river, one of its principal branches, in lat. 41° 57', three miles south of the boundary line. The Susquehannah branch is navigable for batteaux to its source, whence to Mohawks river, is but twenty miles. The Ty. oga branch is navigable fifty miles, for batteaux; and its source is but a few miles from the Chenessee, which empties into lake Ontario. From

* Henlopen is a Swedish word, signifying ' entering in.'


Tyoga point, the river proceeds fouth-east to Wyoming, without any obftruction by falls, and then fouth-west, over Wyoming falls; till at Sunbury, in about lat. 41° it meets the weft branch of Susquehannah, which is navigable ninety miles from its mouth, and some of the branches of it are navigable fifty miles, and are said to approach very near some of the boatable branches of the Allegany river. From Sunbury the river is paffable with boats to Louisburgh and Middletown, on Swetara ; and with rafts of boards and masts to Lancaster, but it is attended with difficulty and danger on account of the numerous falls below Middletown. About fifteen miles above Louisburgh, it receives the Juniatta, from the northwest, proceeding from the Allegany mountains, and flowing through a mountainous, broken country. It is navigable, however, eighty miles from its mouth.

The Swetara, which falls into the Susquehannah from the north-east, is navigable fifteen miles. It is in contemplation to cut a canal about twenty miles from the Swetara to the Tulpeboken, a branch of the Schuylkill

. Should this be effected, a passage would be open to Philadelphia from the Juniatta, the Tyoga, and the east and weft branches of the Susquehannah, which water at least 15,000,000 of acres. From this junction, the general course of the river is about fouth-east until it falls into the head of Chesapeek bay, just below Havre-de Grace. It is about a mile wide at its mouth, and is navigable for sea vefsels but about twenty miles, on account of its rapids. The banks of this river are very romantic, particularly where it passes through the mountains. This palsage has every appearance of having been forced through by the pressure of the water, or of having been burst open by some convulsion in nature.

The several branches of Yohogany river rise on the west side of the Allegany mountains. After running a short distance, they unite and form a large beautiful river, which, in passing some of the most western ridges of the mountains, precipitates itfelf over a level ledge of rocks, lying nearly at right angles to the course of the river. These falls, called the Ohiopyle falls, are about twenty feet in perpendicular height, and the river is perhaps eighty yards wide. For a considerable distance below the falls, the water is very rapid, and boils and foams vehemently, occasioning a continual mift to rise from it, even at noon day, and in fair weather. The river at this place runs to the fouth-west, bui presently winds round to the north-west, and continuing this course for thirty or forty miles, it lofes its name by uniting with the Monongahela, which comes from the southward, and contains, perhaps, twice as much water. These united streams, shortly after their junction, mingle with the waters of the Allegany at Pittsburgh, and together form the grand river Ohio.

The Monongahela has been particularly described, and some observations made on the navigation of the Allegany, (Page 44.) In addition it may be observed, that at the junction of French Creek (which comes from the north-west) with the Allegany, are the remains of a British fortification; and about a mile above is a fort, built in 1787, and then guarded by a company of about fixty American soldiers, under the command of Capt. Hart, from Connecticut. The Pennsylvania north line, crofies French Creek about three miles above Le Bauf, where there was formerly a fort. From Le Bæuf to Presque-ile, fourteen or fifteen miles,



is an old waggon road, cut by the French in the war of 1755. The lands on French Creck are very fertile, and mostly cleared, which is an evidence that its former Indian inliabitants 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 keave this interesting head concerning rivers, we cannot omit infirting the observations of Mr. Charles Thomson, secretary of Congress. • Befides 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 Presque-ille, on Lake Erie, to Le Bauf, down the Allegany to Kilkiminitas, then up the Kiskininitas, and from thence, by a small portage, to Juniatta, which falls into the Sufquchannah : The other from Lake Ontario to the eat branch of the Del: ware, and down that to Philadelphia. Both these are said to be very practicable; and, considering the enterprising temper of the Pennsylvanians, and particularly of the merchants of Philadelphia, whole object is concentered in promoting the commerce and trade of one city, it is not improbable but one or both of these communications will lie cieved and improred *'

There is said 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 -bot 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 Su quehannah, just before it crosses into Pennsylvania the first time, and rhe 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 ttate, even in those high up in the mountains, marine petrifactions may be found in great abundance.

Swamps.] The only swamps worth noticing, are, the Great Scamp, . between Northampton and Luzerne counties, and Buffaloe kwamp in the morth-western parts of Northumberland county, near the head waters of the wett branch of the Susquehannah. These swamps, on examination and furvey, are found to be bodies of rich farm land, thickly covered with beach and sugar maple.

Mountains, face of the country, soil and prodnations.] As much as nearly one thiru of this tiate 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 lake of clearness, the GREAT RÁNCE OF ALLEGANY MOUNTAINS. The principal ridges in this range, in Pennsylvania, are the Kittatinny, or Blue mountain, which pass north of Nazareth in Northampton county, and pursue a fouth-weit course, across the Lehigh, through Dauphin County, jult above Louisburgh, thence on the west side 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 the welt, * See Appendix to Mr. Jefferson's Notes on l'irginia. 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 foil, suited to the various kinds of grain and grass. Some of the mountains will admit of cultivation almoit to their tops.

There is a remarkable difference between the country on the east and weft 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 confusion. Beds of stone, of valt 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 extentive collection of sand, clay, mud and shells, partly thrown up by the waves of the sea, partly brought down by floods 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, sand and coal, are nearly horizontal. Scarcely a single instance is to be found to the contrary. Detached rocks are indeed fourd here in all situations, as well as eaitward 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 fone was formed, has never been broken up on the west side of the mountains, as it evidently has been eartward of them. The irregularity and unevenness of the couniry 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 preslure 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 caftward, and part westward, so that the principal ridge, the proper Allegany, cnly was left unbroken. The rocks, thus torn from their beds, appear to have 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 fay. ing, and also of what was observed, page 48, I beg leave to introduce the remarks of the fecretary of Congrets, whom we just now quoted, which were suggested on his reading Mr. Jefferson's description of the passage of the Patomak through the Blue ridge. • The reflections I was led into or 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 some centuries ago; that the broken and ragged faces of the moun. tain on each side the river; the tremendous rocks, which are left wish one end fixed in the precipice, and the other jutting out, and seeiningly 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 cast your eye, evidently demonftrates 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 wates, which possibly 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 beit accounts I have been able to obtain, the place where the Delaware now flows 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 passed 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 itones in it such as seem to have been washed for ages by water running over them. Should this have been the case, there must have been a large Jake behind that mountain, and by fome uncommon swell in the waters, or by some 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 passage gave vent. There are still remaining, and daily discovered, innumerable instances of such a deluge on both sides of the river, after it pafled the hills above the falls of Trenton, and reached the champaign. On the New Jersey lide, which is flatter than the Pennfylvania lide, 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. xquired a new soil by the earth and clay brought down and mixed with the native fand. The spot on which Philadelphia Itands 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 furface, all seem to demonitrate this. I am informed that at York town in Virginia, in the bank of York river, there are different strata of fhells and earth, one above another, which seem to point out that the country there has undergone feveral changes; that the sea has, for a fuccession of ages, occupied the place where dry land now appears; and that the ground has been suddenly raised at various periods. What a


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