Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

from New Brunswick to Easton at the mouth of the Leheigh, a distance of forty-three miles, is nearly executed at an expence of more than 3000 dollars a mile.

Canals. It is proposed to make a canal from Brunswick to Trenton, to complete the inland navigation between New York and Philadelphia. Its length will be twenty-nine miles, and it is to run in a straight line through a level country. The only eminence, which is about 136 feet high, is on the banks of the river between the tide water and the canal. The whole cost is estimated at upwards of 800,000 dollars. Another canal, recommended by the legislature, is to pass through Seakank, called Squam Beach, in the township of Havel, Monmouth county, and to form a communication between the main ocean and Cape May Bay, nearly opposite the mouth of Militecunk river, which, when cleared of obstructions, will shorten the passage from New York to some points of the bay, and will become a safe harbour.

Books and Documents relating to the History and Geography of this State.

Budd, (Thomas) a proprietor and settler, published a description of West Jersey in a pamphlet, about the year 1686, referred to by Smith, p. 309.

Smith's (Samuel) History of the Colony of Nova Cesarea, or New Jersey, containing an account of its first settlement, progressive improvements, the original and present constitution, and other events, to the year 1721, with some particulars since; and a short view of its present state. Burlington, in New Jersey. 1 Vol. in 8vo. pp. 572.

Morse's Geography, article New Jersey.

CHAPTER XV.

PENNSYLVANIA.

SITUATION AND BOUNDARIES.-Pennsylvania is situ ated between 39°, 43°, and 42° of north latitude, and 2° 20′ east, and 3° 30′ west longitude from Washington. It is bounded on the north by New York and Lake Erie; south by Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia; east by New York and New Jersey; west by Ohio and Virginia. The form of this state is nearly a parallelogram, the length of which, from east to west, is about 273 miles, and the breadth from north to south 158; area, 24,500 square miles, or 27,200,000

acres.

Aspect of the Country and Nature of the Soil.The great chain of mountains, called the Alleghany, runs across the state from north-east to south-west. Between their numerous ridges there are delightful vallies, with a very rich soil. Every kind of soil is to be found in this state; but a great proportion of the land is of an excellent quality. The poorest soil is in

• So called from Penn, the name of the original proprietor; to which Sylva was added, on account of the fine forests which covered the whole surface at the time of his arrival, in 1681.

the maritime parts, where it consists generally of a light sandy loam. The soil of the southern and northwestern parts, and of all the vallies, is a black mould, or rich loam, which is extremely fertile. All the new forest land in general has several inches of a light black mould, formed by the decay of vegetable substances. In some places, especially in the western counties, the sides of hills, which have been washed by heavy rains, are thin and stoney. Erie county, near the lake of that name, is very productive, the soil consisting of a sandy loam, in some places intermixed with gravel, covered by two or three inches of vegetable mould. In Lancaster, Berks, Lebanon, and Dauphin counties, the soil is excellent. The two first are remarkably populous and wealthy. The farmers, who are mostly Germans, have generally in hand from 50 to 400 acres of land. In the counties of Dauphin and Lancaster, which are watered by the Susquehannah, thriving towns and villages appear at the distance of every four or five miles. The Cumberland valley, extending from the river Susquehannah to the county of Washington in Maryland, has a fine soil, reposing on a bed of limestone. In crossing the north mountain, which bounds this valley to the north-west, the country becomes hilly and less fertile.

Temperature. The upper parts of this state, though lying under the same latitude as Naples in Italy, and Montpellier in France, are far from enjoying a similar climate. The low maritime, the hilly, and the mountainous tracts, are all liable to a great change of temperature; but, upon the whole, this is considered one

of the most agreeable and temperate states in the Union. The season of frost and snow seldom exceeds three months; the winter commencing from the 1st to the 15th of December, and terminating from the 1st to the 15th of March. The heat of summer is seldom oppressive, except in low situations. In all the hilly parts the air is healthy; but near the sea-coast the temperature of winter is severe, varying in the months of January and February from fourteen to twentyeight degrees. The warm wind from the south and south-east brings on a sudden thaw, which instantly changes to frost when it shifts to the north-east and north-west. Such changes also take place in summer, and the difference of temperature between the afternoon and morning is often from twenty to thirty degrees, or even more after storms of rain and thunder. In the elevated parts the temperature is more regular. It is described by an accurate observer, Dr Rush, as a compound of all other climates. "In spring it has the moisture of Britain; in summer, the heat of Africa; the temperature of Italy in June; the sky of Egypt in autumn; in winter the cold and snow of Norway, and ice of Holland; the tempests of the West Indies in every season, and the monthly variable winds and weather of Great Britain." The most agreeable

* According to the calculation of Baron de Humboldt, the mean annual temperature of Philadelphia, in latitude 50° 56,' is 12° 7' of the centigrade thermometer. Of winter, 1o 1'; of spring, 11° 7'; of summer, 24° 0'; of autumn, 13° 4′; of the coldest month, 0o 4'; of the warmest, 29° 0'. (Nova Genera et Species Plantarum Alexandri de Humboldt, prolegomena

months are April, May, the 1st half of June, September, and part of October. The birds of passage begin to return about the middle of March. Cherries are ripe by the 25th of May; and wheat is commonly reaped before the middle of July.

Earthquakes.-A slight shock was felt at Philadelphia on the 5th of September 1732, which extended to Boston and Montreal in Canada; another more considerable, which lasted half a minute, was felt in the month of November 1737.

Rivers.-The Susquehannah river rises in the state of New York, from the lakes Otsego and Otego, and runs across the state of Pennsylvania, to its outlet at the head of the Chesapeak bay, where it is more than a mile across. In its course it receives several important streams. The Tioga river, which runs eastwardly from the Alleghany mountains, joins it at Tioga Point, in latitude 41° 57', three miles south of the boundary line. The western branch of the Susquehannah rises near the Connemagh branch of the Alleghany river, passes through the whole range of Alleghany mountains, and unites with the eastern at Sunbury, in latitude 41°, from which it is navigable for boats of 40 tons to the distance of 140 miles. The Juniata branch rises in the great chain of mountains, through which it winds a considerable distance; and after a course of 180 miles, unites its waters with the Susquehannah, about 15 miles above Harrisburg. The Juniata is navigable from Bedford to its mouth, a distance of 150 miles. On the east side this river receives the Swetara, and Conostoga, each running in a south-west

« AnteriorContinua »