Page images
[ocr errors]

States, and in part account for its singular healthfulness. Winter
commonly commences, in its severity, about the middle of De-
cember-fometimes earlier, and sometimes not till Christmas.
Cattle are fed or housed, in the northern parts of New-England,
from about the 20th of November, to the 20th of May ; in the
Southern parts not quite so long. There have been frosts in
almost every month in the year, though not in the same year;
but not very injurious.
l'he diseases most prevalent in New-England are the following,

Alvine Fluxes,

St. Anthony's Fire, Slow, nervous, and



Pulmonary Consumption,


Rheumatism. These disorders, of which the pulmonary consumption is much the most destructive, are commonly the effcet of imprudent exposures to cold and rainy weather, cvening air, and the wearing of damp linen; or fram frequent excefles in the use of strong liquors, especially of fresh distilled rum, which in too many intances

prove the bane of morals, and the ruin of families. The small pox, which is a specific, infectious disease, is not allowed at present to be communicated by inoculation, except in hospitals erected for that purpose in bye places, and in cases where there is a probability of a general spread of the infcétion

Nor is this disease permitted to be communicated generally by inoculation, in any of the United States, except New-York, New- Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and SouthCarolina.

In populous towns, the prevalent diseases are more numerous and compiicated, owing to want of fresh air and exercise, and to luxurious and fashionable living.

Pr. Foulke* has observed, that " in other countries, men are divided according to their wealth or indigence, into three classes; the OPULEST, the MIDDLING, and the POOR; the idlencís, luxuries, and debaucheries of the first, and the milery and too frequent intemperance of the last, destroy the greater proportion of these two. The intermediate class is below those indulgencies which prove fatal to the rich, and above those sufferings to

in a town.

In a discourse which he lately read before the American Philosophical Gociety

which the unfortunate poor fall victims: this is therefore the happiest divifion of the three. Of the rich and poor, the American States furnish a much smaller proportion than any other district of the known world. In Connecticut particularly, the ditribution of wealth and its concomitants is more equal than elsewhere, and, therefore, as far as excess or want of wealth may prove destructive or falutary to life, the inhabitants of this State may plead exemption from diseases." What this writer says of Connecticut in particular, will, with very few exceptions, apply to New-England at large.



New-England is a high, hilly, and in some parts a miountaincus country, formed by nature to be inhabited by a hardy race of free independent republicans. The mountains are comparatively small, running nearly north and fouth in ridges parallel to each other. Between these ridges flow the great rivers in majestic mcanders, receiving the innumerable rivulets and larger streams which proceed from the mountains on each side. To a spcetator on the top of a neighbouring mountain, the vales between the ridges, while in a state of nature, exhibit a romantic appearance. They seem an ocean of woods, swelled and depressed in its furface like that of the great ocean itself. A richer though less romantic view is prelented, when the valleys, by industrious husbundien, have been cleared of their natural growth ; and the fruit of their labour appears in loaded orchards, extensive meadows, covered with large herds of sheep and neat cattle, and rich fields of flax, corn, and the various kinds of grain, These valleys, which have received the expressive name of intervale lunds, are of various breadths, froin two to twenty miles; and by the annual inundations of the rivers which flow through them, there is frequently an accumulation of rich, fat foil, left upon their furface when the waters retire.

There are four principal ranges of mountains, palling nearly from north-cast to south-west through New England. These consist of a multitude of parallel ridges, each having many spurs, deviating from the course of the general range; which spurs are again broken into irregular hilly land. The main ridges terminate, sometimes in high bluff heads, near the sea-coast, and some times by a gradual descent in the interior part of the country. One of the main ranges runs between Connecticut and Hudson rivers. This range branches and bounds the vales through which flows the Housatonick river. The most eastern ridge of this


range terminates in a bluff head at Meriden; a second ends in like manner at Willingford, and a third at New-Haven. In Lyine, on the east side of Connecticut river, another range of mountains commences, forming the eastern boundary of Connecticut vale. This range tends northerly, at the distance, generally, of about ten or twelve miles cast froin the river, and passes through Massachusetts, where the range takes the name of Chickabee Mountain ; thence crossing into New-Hampshire, at the distance of about twenty miles from the Massachusetts line, it runs up into a very high peak, called Monadnick, which terminates this ridge of the range. A western ridge continues, and in about latitude 43° 20' runs up into Sunipee mountains. About fifty niles further, in the same ridge, is Mooscoog mountain. A third range begins near Stonington in Connecticut. It takes its course north-easterly, and is sometimes broken and discontinued; it then rises again, and ranges in the same direétion into NewHampshire, where, in latitude 43° 25', it runs up into a high peak called Cowsawaskog. The fourth range has a humble beginning about Hopkinton in Massachusetts. The eastern ridge of this range runs north by Watertown and Concord, and crosses Merrimack river at Pantucket-Falls, In New Hampshire, it rises into several high peaks, of which the White mountains are the principal. From these White mountains a range continues north-east, crossing the east boundary of New-flampshire, in latitude 44° 30', and forms the height of land between Kennebeck and Chaudiere rivers. These ranges of mountains are full of lakes, ponds, and springs of water, that give rise to numberless streams of various fizes, which, interlocking each other in every direction, and falling over the rocks in romantic calcades, now meandering into the rivers below. No country on the globe is better watered than New England.

On the sea-coast the land is low, and in many parts level and sandy. In the valleys, between the forementioned ranges of mountains, the land is generally broken, and in many places rocky, but of a strong rich foil, capable of being cultivated tu good advantage, which also is the case with many spots even on the tops of the mountains,

SOIL, PRODUCTIONS, &c. The soil, as may be collccted from what has been said, must be very various. Each tract of different foil is diftinguished by its peculiar vegetation, and is pronounced good, middling, or bad, from the species of trees which it produces; and from one fpecies generally predominating in each foil, has origina:ed the

[ocr errors]

descriptive names of oak land, birch, beech, and chefnut lands, pine, barren, maple, ash, and cedar swamps, as each species happens to predominate. Interningled with those predominating fpecies are walnut, firs, elin, hemlock, magnolia, moole wood, faldafras, &c. &c. The best lands produce walnut and chelnut; the next, beech and oak: lands of the third quality produce fir and pitch pinc; the next, whortleberry and burberry bushes; and the poorest produce nothing but marshy imperfect shrubs, Among the flowering trees and shrubs in the forests are the redflowering maple, the fal.fras, the locust-tree, the tulip-tree, honeysuckle, wild rose, dogwood, elm, leather-tree, laurel, hawthorn, &c. which in the spring of the year give the woods a most beautiful appearance, and fill them with a delicious fragrance. Among the fruits which grow wild, are the leveral kinds of grapes; which are small, four, and thick skinned. The vines on which they grow are very luxuriant, often overspreading the highest trees in the forests; and, without doubt, might be greatly meliorated by proper cultivation. Besides thete, arc the wild cherries, white and red mulberries, cramberries, walnuts, hazelnuts, chesnuts, butter-nuts, beech-nuts, wild plurbs and pears, whorile-berries, bilberries, goole-berries, strawberries, &c.

The foil in the interior country is calculated for the culture of Indian corn, rye, oats, barley, flix, and hemp (for wlich the foil and climate are peculiarly propeı) buck-wheat, beans, peas, &c. In many of the inland parts wheat is raised in large quintities; but on the sea-coast it has never been cultivated with fuccels, being subjce to blasts. The fruits which the countiy yields from culture, are, apples in the greatest plenty; of thele cyder is made, which constitutes the principal drink of the inhabitants; alto pear's of various forts, quinces, peaches, plums, cherries, apricots, &c.

Dr. Cutler has furnished the following catalogue of flowering shrubs and plants in New-England, which, from the attentention he has paid to natural history, we have reason to rely upon as accurate,

Blue flag, Iris virginica,-Globe Flower, Cephalanthus occidentalis, Pigeonberry, Ciffius firyoides.—Cornel, Cornus Canadensis, --American Honeysuckle, Azal a vitiofa,-American Tea, Ceamotlus Americanus, -Cherry Honeysuckle, Lonicera diervilla, Great Convolvulus, Convolurilus arvenfis, - Stag's horn Sumach Rhus typhinum.-Mealtree, liburnum lontana.--l'hite flowered Elder, Sumbucus nigra,-Red berried Eler. Sambucus Canadenfis, Pleadow Blue-bells, Gintina ciliata, -Lilies, several ipecies, Luium, -Bethlem Star, Ornithogulum luteum,-American Senna, Rhodora Canadensis,-Great Laurel, Kalmia latifolia,-Dwarf Laurel, Kalmia angustifolia_White Pepper Bush, Andromeda arborea, —Bog Evergreen, Andromeda calyculata, -Sweet Pepper Bush, Clethra alnifelia -Mountain Laurel, or Sorbus-trce, Sorbus aurupora, -Meadow Sweet, Spiræa falicifolia,--Queen of the Meadows, Spiræa tormentosa,-Service Tree, Mospilus Canadenfis -Wild Rose, Rofa Carolina, -Superb Raspberry, Rubus odora125,-Baneberry, Artea spicata, --Side-saddle Flower, Saracena purpurea, -Red Columbine, Aquilegia Canadensis,-Anemone, several species, Anemone hepatira, Sylvestris et nemorofa,-Traveller's Joy, Clematis Virginica, - Dragon's Herd, Dracocephalum Virginicum, -Snap Dragon, Antirrhinum Canadenfis, - American Cardamine, Cardamine Virginica,-Lupin, Lupinus angustifolia, -Locuft, Robinia pseud-acacia,--Beach Pea, Pifum maritimum, --Pied Pea, Pifum ochrus,-Wood Pea, Orobus sylvaticus,Variegated Pea, Lathyrus heterophyllus,--Meadow Sunflower, Ageratum ciliari, — American Amaranthus, Gnaphalium helian themifolium, -New-England Aster, After Nova Anglicum,Smooth-leaved Golden-rod, Solidago altiffima, ---New-England Sunflower Helianthus divaricatus,-American Pride, Lobelia cardinalis,-Ladies Plume, Orchis pycodes,-Ladies Slipper, Cypripedium calceslus, -Blue Eye, Sisyrinchium Bermudiauna, Swamp Willow, or Dog-Wood, Salix cinerea.-Red flowered Maple, Acerubrum.

New-England is a fine grazing country; the valleys between the hills are generally interfe&ted with brooks of water, the banks of which are lined with a tract of rich meadow or intervale land. The high and rocky ground is, in many parts, covered with clover, and generally affords the finest of paiture. It will not be a matter of wonder, therefore, that New-England boasts of raising some of the finest cattle in the world; nor will she be envied, when the labour of raising them is taken into view. Two months of the hottest season in the year, the farmers are employed in procuring food for their cattle, and the cold winter is fpent in dealing it out to them. The pleasure and profit of doing this is, however, a satisfying compensation to the honcft and industrious farmer. Butter and checle are made for exportation; and considerable attention has lately been paid to the Talling of sheep.


The principal rivers in New-England are Peneb cot, Kennebeck, Androlcogsin, cr Anreri.coggia,, Merrimack Piica

« PreviousContinue »