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States.

States.

1. Boundaries and Extent. The six northeasternmost States are known by the general designation of the Eastern States, or New England. New England is bounded on the N. by Lower Canada ; E. by New Brunswick and the Atlantic Ocean; S. by the Ocean and Long Island Sound, and W. by New York. It lies between 41° and 48° N. Lat., extending from 67° to 73° 48' W. Lon., and comprising an area of 65,000 square miles, with a population of nearly 2,000,000.

New England States.
Capitals.

Capitals.
Maine,

Augusta. Massachusetts, Boston. New Hampshire,

Concord. Rhode Island, Newport and Providence. Vermont,

Montpelier. | Connecticut, New Haven and Hartford. 2. Mountains. New England is distinguished for a surface of infinite variety. Mountains in considerable ranges, bold spurs and solitary eminences, rising from the New Haven bluffs of 400 feet to the lofty grandeur of Mount Washington, are everywhere dispersed. Beautiful swells of land in every form are innumerable. None of the mountains reaches the height of perpetual snow, and few are utterly sterile or inaccessible. The ancient forests still clothe their sides, but the industry of the cultivator is only necessary to render them productive. Their outline is in general somewhat rounding and tame, and, except in the loftier regions of the White Mountains, and perhaps some of the unexplored eminences of Maine, they exhibit none of those astounding precipices, deep and gloomy ravines, abrupt elevations, and towering peaks, which invest the Alps and Andes with sublimity.

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3. Valleys.

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NEW ENGLAND

ticularly the lighter and finer particles, are from time to time washed into their channels, by occasional cur

rents springing from rains and melted snows. Wherever the stream moves with an uniform current these particles are carried along with it ; but where the current is materially checked, they are in greater or less quantities deposited. In this manner a shoal is formed at first, which afterwards rises into dry land; this is almost invariably of good quality, but those parts which are lowest are commonly the best, as being the most frequently overflowed, and therefore most enriched by successive deposits of slime. Of these parts, that division which is furthest down the river is the most productive, consisting of finer particles, and being more plentifully covered with this manure. In the spring these grounds are almost annually overflowed. In the months of March and April, the snows, which in the northern parts of New England are usually deep, and the rains, which at this time of the year are generally copious, raise the river from 15 to 20 feet, and extend the breadth of its waters in some places a mile and a half or two miles. Almost all the slime conveyed down the current at this season, is deposited on these lands, for here, principally, the water becomes quiescent, and permits the earthy particles to subside ; this deposit is a rich manure ; the lands dressed with it are preserved in their full strength, and being regularly enriched by the hand of nature, cannot but be highly valuable. Nor are these grounds less distinguished by their beauty. The form of most of them is elegant; a river passing

; through them, becomes, almost of course, winding ; the earth of which they are composed is of a uniform texture, the impressions made by the stream upon the border are also nearly uniform; hence this border is almost universally a handsome arch, with a margin entirely neat, and very commonly ornamented with a fine fringe of shrubs and trees. Nor is the surface of these grounds less pleasing ; their terraced forms and undulations are eminently handsome, and their universal fertility makes a cheerful impression on every eye. A great part of them is

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formed into meadows which are more profitable, and everywhere more beautiful, than lands devoted to any other culture ; they are from 5 to 500 acres, and are everywhere covered with a verdure peculiarly rich and vivid. The vast fields also which are not in meadow, exhibit all the productions of the climate, interspersed in parallelograms, divided only by mathematical lines, and mingled in a charming confusion. In many places large and thrifty orchards, and everywhere forest trees standing singly, of great height and graceful figures, diversify the landscape. Through its whole extent this valley is almost a continual succession of delightful scenery. The Connecticut is one of the most beautiful rivers in the world ; the purity, salubrity, and sweetness of its waters, the frequency and beauty of its meadows, its absolute freedom from aquatic vegetables, the enchanting elegance and grandeur of its banks, sometimes consisting of a smooth and winding beach, here covered with rich verdure, there fringed with bushes, now crowned with lofty trees, and now formed by the intruding hill, the rude bluff, and the shaggy mountain ; these are objects which no description can equal.

4. Rivers. Few countries are better watered than New England. There is scarcely a farm without a brook, mill-stream, or river. These rivers are remarkable for flowing over different levels. Water-falls are abundant. There is not a brook or river whose course is not broken by them, and many of the streams are little more than a succession of cataracts. The falls are most numerous toward the heads of the streams. None of them is remarkable for height, but some are highly picturesque.

The currents of the rivers are rapid, and their waters remarkably clear. In the spring and summer they are subject to inundations, called in this country freshets, occasioned by the melting of the snow upon their banks, or the fall of heavy rains. Upon these occasions, the rivers often overflow their beds, and rush to the sea with such velocity, as to sweep away bridges, houses, and everything upon their banks. The Boston schooner, which was run down by a Methodist meetinghouse in Long Island Sound, as sung by the poet, was no fiction. The rivers are sometimes bordered with high and rocky banks, but some of the larger streams have wide valleys. The principal river of New England is the Connecticut, which rises in the Highlands that separate Lower Canada from the United States, and, taking a southerly course between Vermont and New Hampshire, traverses Massachusetts and Connecticut, and falls into Long Island Sound, after a course of 450 miles. At the northern boundary of Vermont, it is 150 feet wide, and in Massachusetts and Connecticut, its breadth varies from 500 to 1,000 feet. It meets the tide waters at the foot of Enfield Falls, having a descent of 1,600 feet in 330 miles. It is navigable to Hartford for vessels drawing 8 feet of water, and, by the aid of canals, for flat-bottomed boats to the distance of 270 miles from its mouth. lis valley is infinitely diversified with mountain and meadow, and on its borders are situated some of the prettiest towns in New England. It overflows its banks annually in the spring. The shad fishery in this river is very valuable.

5. Lakes and Ponds. New England is abundantly supplied with lakes and ponds. The larger ones will be particularly described. The smaller sheets of water are scattered about in every part of the country. Within a dozen miles of Boston, there are more than twenty, and in the six New England States, there are probably above a thousand. They often form pictures of exquisite beauty. Their shores are commonly high and varied ; they sometimes show a bright gleam in the midst of a dark forest, and at other times are surrounded by meadows and farms. In the neighborhood of the large towns, their romantic borders are occupied by country seats. Nothing can be more cheerful than the aspect they impart to the landscape. They are supplied generally by subjacent springs, and their waters are cool, sweet, and limpid.

6. Bays and Harbors. The great bays of this region, under which name we must include also Long Island Sound, afford a free navigation, from their depth of water, and the absence of dangerous shoals. Hardly any country is better furnished with harbors. The whole coast is indented with inlets and mouths of rivers, which afford almost every town, lying upon the sea, conveniences for commerce. The harbors of Portsmouth, Boston, and Newport, are equal to any in the world, and, in the event of future wars, will be important naval stations.

7. Shores. The coast is, for the most part, rocky and bold. The sandy district of Cape Cod is the only considerable exception. considerable exception. The headlands which boun

The headlands which bound Massachusetts Bay, are the most prominent points. Almost every cape, point, and island along the coast, is furnished with a lighthouse.

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8. Climate. New England is subject to great extremes of temperature. The winters are much colder, and the summers hotter than under the same parallels in Europe. Greece and Italy cannot boast of more exquisite days than the summer and autumn here exhibit ; and the most foggy, ice-bound region of the north, does not endure a more disagreeable visitation than the cold mists of a New England spring. The climate is more open and more varying on the coast than in the interior. In the severest cold of winter, every lake and river is frozen, and most of the harbors on the coast are sometimes hermetically sealed. The northwest winds, at this time, usually blow from one to four days, and slacken at sunset. When they cease, the sky grows cloudy, and rain or snow follows. The northeast winds are very tempestuous, and seldom blow 24 hours, without bringing rain or snow. The southeast winds are violent; they generally bring rain, and are soon over.

The heavy snowstorms seldom happen before the middle of December. The rains, which have previously fallen in abundance, having saturated the earth with water, the preparations for winter seem now to be complete. After a few days of clear weather, attended with warm southerly breezes, a cloud is seen gathering in the south. The sun, however, rises unobscured, but, in a short time, the whole sky is overcast with thin, gray clouds. The air grows sensibly colder. The farmer is seen carefully housing some of his cattle, and the people are many of them busy in gathering into the house an ample stock of wood. The snow now begins to fall in small particles, and descends in a noiseless and almost invisible manner. But the clouds gradually thicken and sweep more rapidly to the north, the wind slowly rises, and, in the course of an hour, the whole atmosphere seems filled with myriads of round flakes, which come slanting and swift to the earth.

The work thus seriously begun is not remitted, and mountain and valley are soon wrapped in an interminable sheet, which sometimes spreads from the southern shore of Connecticut to the Polar Sea. Throughout the day, the snow falls incessantly, and at night, the howling of the tempest and the rattling of the snow against the windows, give evidence to the comfortable inmates of the houses, of the work that is going on abroad. The morning comes, and the sun is shining upon the glittering surface of nature. But the wind is still high, and the air is intensely cold. The snow is driven like small clouds through the air, and dristed into innumerable heaps. But at length the wind is abated, and the snow being two or three feet deep, the inhabitants set about clearing the paths around their dwellings. They then go into the streets with their horses and cattle, and break out the public roads. The sleighs are then brought forth, and the merry bells are soon heard in every direction.

There is one spectacle exhibited by a New England winter, which perhaps surpasses all others in beauty and splendor. It occasionally happens, that the rain is congealed by the cold as it falls, and thus every object is covered with ice. The bending trees are loaded with it, and, as the storm generally clears off in the night, every twig and bough is glittering in the sun, as it rises. The beholder often sees before him a whole forest thus converted in one night, as if by enchantment, into trees of crystal, each flashing with the beauty and brilliancy of a thousand diamonds.

In the depths of winter, the rays of the sun, falling upon the wide, uninterrupted covering of snow, produce a dazzling brilliancy, that is almost insupportable. A moonlight at this season is equally remarkable, and its effects can be more easily endured. The moon is nearly the same with that moon of Naples, which the Italian told the king of England was “superior to his Majesty's sun.” When the surface of spotless snow is shone upon by the moon at its full, and reflects back its beams, the light, indeed, is not that of day, but it takes away all appearance of night.

If the spring is the finest season in Europe, it is the most unpleasant in New England. No weather can be more capricious. Fogs, showers, and sunshine checker the whole period. The summer is brought by the southwest wind, which is the true zephyr of New England, and is the prevailing breeze of the warm season. This season begins with a clear sky, a hot sun, and a rapid vegetation.

Among the most beautiful phenomena of our seasons, may be reckoned those exhibited by the summer thunderstorm. In the minds of many persons, these only create a nervous dread; but to an observer who loves to contemplate nature in her sublimer moods, and draws inspiration even from a sense of danger, we know of nothing that is better suited to excite admiration. Droughts are unfrequent in New England; the forests of the mountain sides attract the moist

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ure of the heavens, and the showers of summer are generally copious. A famine was never known here from the earliest period of regular cultivation. The finest weather is in the latter part of summer, and in autumn. The sunset at this season is often uncommonly splendid, and exhibits such magical effects of light, and such a universal tone of brilliant coloring, that the very air seems deeply tinged. The hills to the south of Boston display at such times those exquisite hues which the Neapolitans admire upon Vesuvius. The evenings during the whole of this season are delightful; however uncomfortable the heat may be through the day, the nights are sure to be cool and pleasant.

One of the most agreeable peculiarities in this climate is a period in the autumn, called the Indian Summer. It happens in October ; the temperature is delightful, and the weather differs in character from that of

any

other season. The air is filled with a slight haze, like smoke; the wind is southwest, and there is a vernal softness in the atmosphere, yet it is very different from spring. The Indians have some pleasing superstitions respecting it. They believe that it is caused by a wind which comes immediately from the court of their great and benevolent god Cautantowwit, or the southwestern god; he who is superior to all other beings, who sends them every blessing which they enjoy, and to whom the souls of their fathers go after their de

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9. Soil. Of this, there is every variety. There are not, except upon the shores, any tracts of utter barrenness, and most of the mountain sides are susceptible of cultivation ; yet the level regions are stony, and the country, on the whole, cannot be called fertile. Sand, loam, and clay exist in the earth, in all their various mixtures ; but the most common soil is a light brown loam mixed with gravel. The salt marshes have a deep and rich soil, and where they can be reclaimed from the water, may be rendered highly productive. There are thousands of acres of wet land, that may be easily drained, and rendered of the highest value for tillage.

10. Agriculture. The farms in New England are smaller than in any other part of the United States, yet the great fault of agriculture here, is the occupation of too much land. The price of labor is high, and land is cheap. The common results of agriculture cannot, therefore, be considered as displaying the full capabilities of the soil. One of the greatest annoyances to the cultivator of grain, has been the Hessian fly, which appeared at first at Long Island, near the encampment of the Hessian troops, during the war, and entered New England about 1787, advancing at the rate of twenty miles a year. Blasts, also, sometimes attack the wheat and rye, when their vegetation is too rapid. The canker-worm first appeared in 1666, and has continued to the present time. The apple trees are principally exposed to their ravages. These insects, with the caterpillars, will, if not guarded against by the farmer, strip an orchard as completely of its foliage, as if it had been laid waste by fire. Fortunately they remain only a few weeks in a season.

11. Scenery. The whole surface of New England is checkered with cultivation, except the northern parts of Maine and New Hampshire. There are many beautiful villages in the country, but the farm houses are generally scattered along the roads. The most pleasing of all rural scenes, and those of the most frequent occurrence, are composed of a farm house, shaded with two or three spreading elms; large barns ; an extensive orchard; one or two fields of maize, beautiful in all its changes ; a small brook, with a green meadow, and a patch of woodland that supplies the farmer with his fuel. In traveling through the six States, cultivation may be witnessed in all its different stages, from the log hut of the new settler, in the midst of the forest, to the farms of the older districts, that have been cultivated for two centuries.

12. Animals. In a great part of the country, the wild animals have been completely exterminated. In the northern parts, the moose and the caribou are still occasionally met with, and the Canada lynx, the wolverene or glutton, the black bear, and the wolf are still found in the wilder tracts.

A cougar or panther has also occasionally been shot in New England, within the present century. The Virginia or common deer is abundant in the north, and is also found

, in the southeastern part of Massachusetts. The red fox, weasel, woodchuck or marmot, otter, mink, skunk, raccoon, hare, musquash, various squirrels, &c., are also numerous.

The quail, called partridge in the south, the ruffed grouse, called partridge in New England, and pheasant further south, and occasionally the wild turkey, are met with. A great number of migratory birds visit these States in summer ; thrushes, woodpeckers, the humming bird, the wild goose, various species of duck, passenger pigeon, the raven, several owls, eagles, and hawks abound:

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