Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

The Great Miami of the Ohio, is two hundred yards wide at the mouth. At the Piccawee towns, seventy-five miles above, it is reduced to thirty yards; it is, nevertheless, navigable for loaded canoes fifty miles above these towns. The portage from its western branch into the Miami of Lake Erie, is five miles; that from its eastern branch into Sandusky river, is of nine miles.

Salt River is at all times navigable for loaded batteaux seventy or eighty miles. It is eighty yards wide at its mouth, and keeps that width to its fork, twenty-five miles above.

The Little Miami of the Ohio, is sixty or seventy yards wide at its mouth, sixty miles to its source, and affords no navigation.

The Sioto is two hundred and fifty yards wide at its mouth, which is in latitude 38° 22', and at the Saltlick towns, two hundred miles above the mouth, it is yet one hundred yards wide. To these towns it is navigable for loaded batteaux, and its eastern branch affords navigation almost to its source.

Great Sandy River is about sixty yards wide, and navigable sixty miles for loaded batteaux.

Guiandot is about the width of the river last mentioned, but is more rapid. It may be navigated by canoes sixty miles.

The Great Kanhaway is a river of considerable note for the fertility of its lands, and still more, as leading towards the head waters of James river. Nevertheless, it is doubtful whether its great and numerous rapids will admit a navigation, but at an expense to which it will require ages to render its inhabitants equal. The great obstacles begin at what are called the Great Falls, ninety miles above the mouth, below which are only five or six rapids, and these passable, with some difficulty, even at low water. From the falls to the mouth of Greenbriar is one hundred miles, and thence to the lead mines one hundred and twenty. It is two hundred and eighty yards wide at its mouth.

Hockbocking is eighty yards wide at its mouth, and yields navigation for loaded batteaux to the Press-place, sixty miles above its mouth.

The Little Kanhaway is one hundred and fifty yards wide at the mouth. It yields a navigation of ten miles only. Perhaps its northern branch, called Junius' creek, which interlocks

with the western of Monongahela, may one day admit a shorter passage from the latter into the Ohio.

The Muskingum is two hundred and eighty yards wide at its mouth, and two hundred yards at the lower Indian towns, one hundred and fifty miles upwards. It is navigable for small batteaux to within one mile of a navigable part of Cuyahoga river, which runs into Lake Erie.

At Fort Pitt the river Ohio loses its name, branching into the Monongahela and Alleghany.

The Monongahela is four hundred yards wide at its mouth. From thence is twelve or fifteen miles to the mouth of Yohogany, where it is three hundred yards wide. Thence to Redstone by water is fifty miles, by land thirty. Then to the mouth of Cheat river by water forty miles, by land twenty-eight, the width continuing at three hundred yards, and the navigation good for boats. Thence the width is about two hundred yards to the western fork, fifty miles higher, and the navigation frequently interrupted by rapids, which, however, with a swell of two or three feet, become very passable for boats. It then admits light boats, except in dry seasons, sixty-five miles further to the head of Tygart's valley, presenting only some small rapids and falls of one or two feet perpendicular, and lessening in its width to twenty yards. The Western fork is navigable in the winter ten or fifteen miles towards the northern of the Little Kanhaway, and will admit a good wagon road to it. The Yahogany is the principal branch of this river. It passes through the Laurel mountain, about thirty miles from its month; is so far from three hundred to one hundred and fifty yards wide, and the navigation much obstructed in dry weather by rapids and shoals. In its passage through the mountain it makes very great falls, admitting no navigation for ten miles to the Turkey Foot. Thence to the Great Crossing, about twenty miles, it is again navigable, except in dry seasons, and at this place is two hundred yards wide. The sources of this river are divided from those of the Potomac by the Alleghany mountain. From the falls, where it intersects the Laurel mountain, to Fort Cumberland, the head of the navigation on the Potomac, is forty miles

of very mountainous road. Wills' creek, at the mouth of which was Fort Cumberland, is thirty or forty yards wide, but affords no navigation as yet. Cheat river, another considerable branch of the Monongahela, is two hundred yards wide at its mouth, and one hundred yards at the Dunkard's settlement, fifty miles higher. It is navigable for boats, except in dry seasons. The boundary between Virginia and Pennsylvania crosses it about three or four miles above its mouth.

The Alleghany river, with a slight swell, affords navigation for light batteaux to Venango, at the mouth of French Creek, where it is two hundred yards wide, and is practised even to Le Beuf, from whence there is a portage of fifteen miles to Presque Isle on the Lake Erie.

The country watered by the Mississippi and its eastern branches, constitutes five-eighths of the United States, two of which five-eighths are occupied by the Ohio and its waters; the residuary streams which run into the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, and the St. Lawrence, water the remaining three-eighths.

Before we quit the subject of the western waters, we will take a view of their principal connections with the Atlantic. These are three; the Hudson river, the Potomac, and the Mississippi itself. Down the last will pass all heavy commodities. But the navigation through the Gulf of Mexico is so dangerous, and that up the Mississippi so difficult and tedious, that it is thought probable that European merchandise will not return through that channel. It is most likely that flour, timber, and other heavy articles will be floated on rafts, which will themselves be an article for sale as well as their loading, the navigators returning by land, or in light batteaux. There will, therefore, be a competition between the Hudson and Potomac rivers for the residue of the commerce of all the country westward of Lake Erie, on the waters of the lakes, of the Ohio, and upper parts of the Mississippi. To go to New York, that part of the trade which comes from the lakes or their waters, must first be brought into Lake Erie. Between Lake Superior and its waters and Huron, are the rapids of St. Mary, which will permit boats to pass, but not larger vessels. Lakes Huron and Michigan afford communication with

Lake Erie by vessels of eight feet draught. That part of the trade which comes from the waters of the Mississippi must pass from them through some portage into the waters of the lakes. The portage from the Illinois river into a water of Michigan is of one mile only. From the Wabash, Miami, Muskingum, or Alleghany, are portages into the waters of Lake Erie, of from one to fifteen miles. When the commodities are brought into, and have passed through Lake Erie, there is between that and Ontario an interruption by the falls of Niagara, where the portage is of eight miles; and between Ontario and the Hudson river are portages at the falls of Onondago, a little above Oswego, of a quarter of a mile; from Wood creek to the Mohawks river two miles; at the little falls of the Mohawks river half a mile; and from Schenectady to Albany sixteen miles. Besides the increase of expense occasioned by frequent change of carriage, there is an increased risk of pillage produced by committing merchandise to a greater number of hands-successively. The Potomac offers itself under the following circumstances: For the trade of the lakes and their waters westward of Lake Erie, when it shall have entered that lake, it must coast along its southern shore, on account of the number and excellence of its harbors; the northern, though shortest, having few harbors, and these unsafe. Having reached Cuyahoga, to proceed on to New York it will have eight hundred and twenty-five miles and five portages; whereas it is but four hundred and twenty-five miles to Alexandria, its emporium on the Potomac, if it turns into the Cuyahoga, and passes through that, Big Beaver, Ohio, Yohogany, (or Monongahela and Cheat,) and Potomac, and there are but two portages; the first of which, between Cuyahoga and Beaver, may be removed by uniting the sources of these waters, which are lakes in the neighborhood of each other, and in a champaign country; the other from the waters of Ohio to Potomac will be from fifteen to forty miles, according to the trouble which shall be taken to approach the two navigations. For the trade of the Ohio, or that which shall come into it from its own waters or the Mississippi, it is nearer through the Potomac to Alexandria than to New York by five hundred and eighty miles, and it is

interrupted by one portage only. There is another circumstance of difference too. The lakes themselves never freeze, but the communications between them freeze, and the Hudson river is itself shut up by the ice three months in the year; whereas the channel to the Chesapeake leads directly into a warmer climate. The southern parts of it very rarely freeze at all, and whenever the northern do, it is so near the sources of the rivers, that the frequent floods to which they are there liable, break up the ice immediately, so that vessels may pass through the whole winter, subject only to accidental and short delays. Add to all this, that in case of war with our neighbors, the Anglo-Ar the Indians, the route to New York becomes a frontier through almost its whole length, and all commerce through it ceases from that moment. But the channel to New York is already known to practice, whereas the upper waters of the Ohio and the Potomac, and the great falls of the latter, are yet to be cleared of their fixed obstructions. (A.)

QUERY III.

A notice of the best Seaports of the State, and how big are the

vessels they can receive ? Having no ports but our rivers and creeks, this Query has been answered under the preceding one.

QUERY IV.

A notice of its Mountains ? For the particular geography of our mountains I must refer to Fry and Jefferson's map of Virginia ; and to Evans' analysis of this map of America, for a more philosophical view of them than is to be found in any other work. It is worthy of notice, that our mountains are not solitary and scattered confusedly over the face of the country ; but that they commence at about one

« AnteriorContinuar »