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west of the Mississippi. The other tribes are the Dahcotahs, living about the Upper Mississippi ; the Hohays or Assiniboins, further north ; the Omawhaws, near the Platte ; the Mandans on the Missouri, further north ; the Kansas, on the river of the same name; the Osages, further south ; the Ioways, the Otoes, the Missouris, the Quapaws, &c. Several of these tribes are more civilized and peaceable than the more eastern nations.

(5.) The Pawnee family are a fierce and warlike people, consisting of several tribes, who have learned how to manage the horse which has become numerous in those regions. The principal tribes are the Pawnees, the Arrapahoes, and the Cumanches, who roam through the regions on the Platte, the Arkansas, and Norte.

(6.) Of the Columbian family, on the west of the Rocky Mountains, little is known. There are many tribes, known under the names of Flatheads, Shoshonees, Esheloots, &c.

(7.) The great Mexican family comprises the Aztecs, Toltecs, and Tarascos of Mechoacan ; these nations had established civil governments, practised the useful arts, and built cities, at the time of the conquest of the country by the Spaniards. Many remnants of their works survive, and are elsewhere described. T'heir descendants are incorporated, to a considerable degree, with the Spanish population.

13. Political Divisions. Although a large portion of North America is still occupied by the aboriginal tribes, and extensive tracts are not fitted for the residence of a civilized society, yet the whole continent has been at least nominally divided by lines of demarcation among several European powers and the former European colonies. Russia and Great Britain are now the only foreign States which lay claim to any part of the mainland ; but Denmark claims Iceland and Greenland, and France has a sort of usufruct of the little islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

1. DANISH AMERICA comprises Iceland, inhabited by 50,000 persons of Scandinavian descent; Greenland, in which there are several missionary stations on the southwest coast, the rest of the country being occupied by wandering bands of Esquimaux, or being without inhabitants.

II. RUSSIAN AMERICA consists of the northwestern peninsula, west of the 141st meridian, with a strip of seacoast reaching as far south as the southernmost point of Prince of Wales Island. The only Russian establishments, however, within this vast tract are a few factories and forts of the Russian American Fur Company. The capital, if it can be so styled, is New Archangel on Sitka Island, the King George the Third of Vancouver. The company has also a fortified factory at Bodega, on the coast of California.

III. BRITISH AMERICA comprises all that immense region lying between the Polar Seas and the United States, and stretching across the whole breadth of the continent in its widest part. On the west of the Rocky Mountains the conflicting clairs of Great Britain and the United States extend over the basin of the Columbia River. The frozen and sterile regions north of the 50th parallel, with the exception of the Moravian missions of Labrador, and the posts of the Hudson's Bay Company, are actually occupied by the indigenous tribes, or are uninhabited and uninhabitable. South of that parallel lie the Provinces, rapidly filling up with an English population, and capable of accommodating and supporting 20,000,000 of inhabitants. Great Britain also holds the Bermudas, and the colony of Honduras on the peninsula of Yucatan.

IV. The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, lying in the central part of the continent, and occupying its whole breadth from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, embrace a region unsurpassed in the world for its productive powers and useful qualities.

V. The Republic of Texas has lately made good its claim to independence, but its precise limits are not yet settled.

VI. The REPUBLIC OF MEXICO, until 1835 the United States of Mexico, occupies the peninsular tract west of Texas and the United States, and extending from 15° to 420 N. lat. There are, however, few Spanish settlements north of the 30th parallel, the missions and posts on the coast of California, and the towns and villages on the banks of the Del Norte, being almost the only establishments in that region. The country west of the Norte is more remarkable for its mineral wealth than for its agricultural resources, and suffers much from droughts. Further south the soil becomes more productive.

VII. The REPUBLIC OF GUATEMALA, styled the UNITED States of CENTRAL AMERICA, occupies the long narrow tract between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, a large portion of which is yet a wilderness.

The following table shows the area and population of each of these divisions. State or Region. Population. Area. Government. State or Region. Population. Area. Governmeni British Provinces, 1,500,000 500,000 Colonial. Texas,

100,000 350,000 Republic. Russian Territory, 50,000 500,000 Company. Mexico,

6,000,000 1,300,000 Danish Possessions, 100,000 450,000 Colonial. Central America or Hudson's Bay Comp’y, 50,000 2,000,000 Company.

186,000 Guatemala,

} 2,000,000 United States, 17,000,000 2,300,000 Republic.

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1. Boundaries and Extent. The United States are bounded N. by Russian and British America ; E. by the British Province of New Brunswick and the Atlantic Ocean ; S. by the Gulf of Mexico, and by Texas and Mexico, and W. by the Pacific Ocean. They extend from 25° to 54° N. Lat., and from 67° to 1250 W. Lon., or through 29 degrees of latitude, and' through 58 degrees of longitude, comprising an area of upwards of 2,200,000 square miles, with a frontier line of 9,500 miles, 3,650 of which are sea-coast.*

2. Face of the Country. This vast country, comprising one twentieth of the habitable globe, is divided by two ranges of mountains, into three great natural sections, the Atlantic slope, the Mississippi valley, and the Pacific slope.

(1.) The Alleghany chain is more remarkable for its length than height. Perhaps there is no tract of country in the world that preserves the mountain character over so great a space with so little elevation. The mean height of the Alleghanies is only from 2,000 to 3,000 feet,

* On the subject of the boundaries, see Maine, Michigan, Oregon, and Wisconsin.


about one half of which consists of the elevation of the mountains above their base, and the other of the elevation of the adjoining country above the sea. To this height the country rises, by an almost imperceptible acclivity, from the ocean, at the distance of 200 or 300 miles on the one side, and from the channel of the Mississippi, at an equal distance, on the other.

A gradual elevation of 1,000 or 1,200 feet upon a horizontal surface of 200 or 300 miles, would give the surface of the country, on the eastern side, an average rise of from 3 to 4 feet in the mile, and from 2 to 3 feet on the western side. This small degree of inclination accounts for the great extent of inland navigation which the United States enjoy. By the course of the M.ssissippi, Ohio, and Alleghany rivers, vessels ascend over an inclined plane of 2,400 miles in extent, to an elevation of perhaps 1,200 or 1,400 feet, without the help of canals or locks.

(2.) The second great mountainous range which traverses the United States, is the Rocky Mountains. This ridge is more elevated than the former, but is also more distant from the Pacific Ocean on the one side, and the Mississippi on the other. From the Mississippi to the Pacific, in latitude 40°, is about 1,500 miles; and the Rocky Mountains, which crown this gradually swelling surface, rise, with the exception of some insulated peaks, to a height of about 9,000 feet. This elevation is about three times as great as that of the Alleghanies; and it is remarkable that the Mississippi, the common reservoir of the streams descending from both, is about three times further from the higher chain than from the lower, so that the declivity on both sides of the immense basin included between these mountains, is nearly the same ; and the streams flowing from the Rocky Mountains are as susceptible of navigation as those from the Alleghanies.

The Mississippi valley also presents a southern declivity, by which it gradually sinks from the high table-land of the centre of the continent to the level of the ocean on the Gulf of Mexico. From this table-land, which is estimated to have an elevation of not more than 1,500 feet above the sea, descend the great rivers of North America, — Mackenzie's to the north, the

, St. Lawrence to the east, and the Mississippi to the south.

(3.) To the west of the Rocky Mountains lies the Pacific slope, the declivity of which is greater and more rapid than those of the others. This region, as yet little known, is visited only by missionaries, hunters, and trading ships. 3. Soil. With regard to soil, the territory of the United States to the east of the Rocky

Mountains may be classed under five grand divisions :

(1.) That of the New England States, east of the Hudson, where the Alleghanies spread out into a broken, hilly country. The soil is here, in general, rocky, has but little depth, is barren in many places, and better adapted for pasture than tillage.

(2.) The sandy soil of the seashore, commencing from Long Island, and extending along the coast of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico to the mouth of the Mississippi, with a breadth varying from 30 to 100 miles.

This tract, from the Potomac southward, approaches to a horizontal plain, very little raised above the sea, and traversed through its whole breadth by the tide water at the mouths of the great rivers. The surface, which consists of sea sand, is scarcely capable of cultivation, and produces nothing but pines, except on the banks of rivers, and in marshy spots where rice is raised.

(3.) The land from the upper margin of this sandy tract to the foot of the Alleghany mountains, from 10 to 200 miles in breadth, the soil of which is generally formed from the alluvion of the mountains, and the decomposition of the primitive rocks beneath the surface. This tract is fertile, and generally well adapted for tillage.


of fair weather is greater here, and the air is drier; as the rain in America falls in much heavier showers, and the evaporation is more rapid than on the eastern continent. The spring of the United States is remarkably short. The peculiarities of climate in each State and division are elsewhere minutely described.

9. Minerals. The mineral products of the United States are rich and various. Iron, coal, lime, and salt, articles of primary importance, exist in great abundance. Lead is found in inexhaustible quantities in Virginia, New York, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Salt, which is obtained from the sea on the eastern side of the Alleghanies, is procured on the western side from salt springs, which are numerous and copious in their produce all over the Western States. The supply of coal is equally abundant; on the west of the mountains immense beds of bituminous coal stretch for hundreds of miles through the valley of the Mississippi ; and on the east anthracite coal is found in various positions. Gold has recently been found in considerable quantities in some of the Southern States. Copper is found in Michigan and Missouri.

10. Political Divisions, Population, and Capital. The United States are divided politically into twenty-six States, three Territories, and the District of Columbia ; all of which, with the exception of Louisiana, Missouri, and Arkansas, and Iowa Territory, lie on the east of the Mississippi. The capital is Washington in the District of Columbia.

States and Territories.

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Territories and District. Wisconsin, 80,000 Florida,

55,000 Iowa,

1 District of Columbia,

100 The regions to the west of the Missouri have no separate governments. The constitution requires that a census or enumeration of the population should be taken every ten years, in order to determine the number of representatives to which each State is entitled. Five official enumerations have been taken, which give the following results.

Population at different Periods by official Enumerations.


Free Colored. Total Colored. Total Population. 1790,



3,929,827 1800,



5,305,941 1810,


7,239,814 1820,


9,654,596 1830, 10,537,378 2,009,043 319,599


12,866,020 1810,

The Indians are not included, and at present there are very few of them remaining east of the Mississippi

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