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of nature has this complication of wonders been White Mountains, in New Hampshire, may be formed? But what in an eminent degree enhances regarded as the nucleus of the north-eastern part the surprise and wonder is, that for many miles on of the Appalachian system, but so defectively have both sides of these great masses of granite, both the chains been grouped as to leave the points of chains are comparatively humble, and the river or connection doubtful. If we examine Connecticut bay, call it by either term, fills the bottom of a basin in relation to the mountains, we find that chasm in a series of peaks, much broader in base stream rising between two chains, and flowing down and far more elevated than the ordinary extent of the intermediate valley, in the higher part of its either chain. The highest peaks, however, are course, and, if the expression can be admitted, enabove West Point, and belong to Blue Ridge. Of tangled in the extensions of both chains, towards these peaks, the most elevated is Butter Hill, which its final discharge into Long Island Sound. rises to 1535 feet above the ocean tides; and rising The very striking distinction in the character of directly from the river affords a very extensive land- the United States coast on the south-west and northscape to the south-west and north.

east side of the estuary of the Hudson, will be more After passing the Hudson the Blue Ridge con particularly noticed under the head of the river tinues to the N. E. about twenty miles, and then basins; but we merely glance on the subject in this similar to the other chains of the same system on place to remark, that the coast of the United States both sides of that river, rapidly inflects to a course southwest from the Hudson is longitudinal to the a very little N. of E., a direction which it maintains Appalachian chains, whilst the coast to the northabove two hundred and fifty miles in the states of east of that estuary, is transversal to that part of New York, Massachusetts and Vermont. For the the system to which it appertains. That the genfirst seventy miles of its northerly course, the Blue eral course of the Appalachian system is from southRidge discharges from the eastern slope numerous west to north-east is only true of that section bebranches of Housatonick, and from the Fishkill, tween the Hudson and Gulf of Mexico, and there, Wappinger's, Jansen's or Ancram, and Kinderhook also, with great specific exceptions; but to the creeks flowing into Hudson. With the sources of north-eastward of the Hudson the commonly asHousatonick and Hoosack rivers, the features of sumed range of the mountain system is utterly in the Blue Ridge change; hitherto from the Hudson error. Over the whole Appalachian physical seca line of river source, it now loses that character, tion of the continent of North America, the mean and is broken into innumerable ridges by the higher or general course of the rivers are along or very sources of Hoosack and Batten Kill flowing into nearly at right angles to the range of their depenthe Hudson; and thence by Paulet, Otter, Onion, dent mountain chains. This admirable natural La Moelle, and Mississque rivers falling into Lake structure prevails in the whole system, and has Champlain. All these latter streams rise in the given to the courses of the rivers on each side of chain already noticed under the name of South East the Hudson valley, their specific characters. Mountain.

From the estuary of the Hudson to the utmost We may be permitted to hazard a hypothesis, bounds of the United States south-westwardly, the that what' is designated Green Mountains in the coast is low, and alluvial in its component matesouthern part of Vermont, and the ridge or series rials, whilst from that estuary to the north-eastof ridges known by the same term in the northern ward the shore, with but trivial exception, is bold, part of the same state, are respectively fragments and in many places actually rocky. To this, Cape of the two separate chains we have been reviewing, Cod, physically, is not an exception, more than is though represented generally as the continuation Long Island: the former being really insular in all of one and the same chain.

its essential characters, and only deviating from In relative elevation and mass, the Blue Ridge other islands on the Atlantic coast of the United and South East Mountain reverse their characters States, in being united by a sandy neck to the main on the opposite sides of the Hudson. To the south- land. The boldness of the north-eastern coast is an westward the former greatly exceeds; but on the effect in full accordance with the internal structure contrary, between the basins of Connecticut and of the country, to which it is an immense abutment. Hudson, the latter gradually increasing in base and Here, the mountains so far from extending from height assumes a decided superiority, and at one south-west to north-east, on the contrary, stretch point, about 8 or 10 miles eastward from Rutland in lateral chains with a very slight deviation to the in Vermont, rises in Killington Peak to 4000 feet south-west and north-eastward of due north and above the level of Atlantic tides. This height ex south, and the rivers flow down the intervening ceeds that of any part of Blue Ridge, except the vallies in an astonishing manner parallel to the Peaks of Otter. To this general comparison be- mountain chains, and to each other. This is the tween the two chains there is one exception, how case with the Hudson, Housatonick, Connecticut, ever, which has been, it is true, noted already, but Merrimack, Kennebeck and Penobscot. to avoid ambiguity may be repeated. Where the The general course of the main streams of Delatwo chains are broken by the Hudson, nearly all ware and Susquehannah, it may be observed, corthe large and elevated peaks are parts of Blue respond to the course of the north-eastern rivers, Ridge; such as Anthony's Nose, 935 feet; Bare and the cause is obviously found in the bend of the Mount, 1350; Crow's Nest, 1418; Butter Hill, 1535; mountain system in the basins of these streams. Bull Hill, 1484; and Break Neck Hill, 1187, above With the western confluents of the Susquehannah, tide water.

however, commences that long series of rivers,

which with partial bends and windings extend them- rivers, and into the Valley of Tennessee the sources selves from, and nearly at right angles to that part of French, Broad, Tennessee Proper, and Hiwassee of the great Appalachian system south-west from rivers. the Hudson.

From Hudson to the basin of Roanoke inclusive, With this digression we return to our survey of the Blue Ridge extends along the Atlantic slope; the mountain chains.

but leaving the basin of Roanoke this chain beThe Blue Ridge we have traced beyond the Hud comes the line of demarcation between the Atlantic son towards St. Lawrence basin; we now pursue slope and Ohio Valley or Mississippi basin, and its range in the opposite direction. Nearly paral- continues so to the region where it separates the lel, and with a very narrow intervening valley, the higher sources of Savannah and Hiwassee rivers. Blue Ridge ranges with the South East Mountain, The discordance between the delineation of the in a direction very little declined from S. W. from Blue Ridge on our maps, and the analogy of the the Highlands above West Point to the Delaware, Appalachian, to a very different systematic arrangeimmediately below the mouth of the Lehigh. In ment, has been already noticed under this head; we this range, with a humble general elevation the may therefore dispense with pursuing the chain chain is complete, and discharges from the south- where neither its existence or infections are coreastern flank the higher sources of Hackinsac and rectly ascertained. Musconecung; and from the opposite side, the up If the whole range of the Blue Ridge in the Uniper branches of the Wallkill and Pequest.

ted States is taken into one view, it extends from Traversed by the Delaware, the chain commences the sources of the Savannah and Hiwassee, to those to inflect more westward, and to widen in distance of Connecticut and St. Francis rivers, and within from the South East Mountain 45 miles, to where it a small fraction of one thousand miles following is again cut by another river, the Schuylkill at Read the inflections. Geographically it reaches from ing. Still deflecting westward, it continues another N. Lat. 35° to 45°, and in Lon. from 5° 30' E. to stretch of 45 miles to the Susquehannah, which it 6° 30' W. from the meridian of Washington City. reaches at and below the mouth of Swatara river. Its position and length from extreme to extreme, Rising from the right bank of Susquehannah, the determined by actual calculation, yields a deflection Blue Ridge commences a re-inflection to the east- of very near 41° from the meridians, and for length ward, but with little change for the first 40 miles, 920 statute miles. The length and position of the but thence bends to the east of south-south-east, and Blue Ridge may be assumed as a scale of reference pursues that direction 50 miles to the Potomac, at for the other chains of the Appalachian system in Harper's Ferry, and though a small distance below, the United States. nearly opposite the mouth of the Shenandoah. The relative height of this chain illustrates the

From the High Lands on the Hudson to the Po- peculiar position of the whole system. These ele. tomac, in an aggregate distance of 180 miles, the vations demonstrate that the plain on which the Blue Ridge, except by the large rivers, is traversed chain extends rises gradually from tide water in by no other stream, and though of moderate mean the Hudson, to the sources of New River, or the elevation, is a perfectly defined chain. It is, how- highest constituent of the Great Kenhawa. ever, only after its rise to the south-westward of Potomac, that map makers have condescended to give it a general and distinctive name. Thence

TABLE II. known as the Blue Ridge, this chain once more

Elevations of the River Surface at Low Water of the inflects, and assuming a course of very nearly south

several rivers which traverse the Blue Ridge. west, giving source on the south-east side to the higher branches of Rappahannoc, and some minor

Above Tide. confluents of James river, and from the opposing Delaware below the influx of the Lehigh at side discharges creeks into Shenandoah, and gives Easton,

160 source to the extreme fountains of South river Schuylkill at Reading,

178 branch of James river, continues 150 miles unbro. Susquehannah, below the influx of Swatara, 276 ken by any stream, to where it is traversed by Potomac at Harper's Ferry,

282 James River.

James River, below the union of its two main Still maintaining a south-western course of 35

Forks, and at the passage of the Blue miles, the Roanoke traverses it, and is the last

Ridge,

670 stream that interrupts its continuity in the direc- Roanoke at the passage of the Blue Ridge, 1000 tion of our survey. With a slight inflection west

Base of Blue Ridge at the sources of Yadkin ward, the Blue Ridge stretches beyond the Roanoke and New River,

2000 170 miles, discharging from its south-east flank the sources of Dan, Yodkin, and Catawba rivers, and The mean height of this chain falls short of one from the opposing side those of New River, Wathousand feet, if taken from its base, and does not tauga, and Nolachucky rivers. With a deep amount to two thousand if estimated from tide curve to the south-eastward, the Blue Ridge, pass water. It usually stretches in one, two or three ing the sources of Catawba and Nolachucky, con sharp ridges, clothed with timber to the summit. tinues its general south-western course about 100 There has no vestige of any volcanic eruption been miles, discharges towards the Atlantic Ocean the discovered and made public in this or any other numerous sources of Broad, Saluda, and Savannah Appalachian chain.

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400 ?

Feet. The few peaks in the Blue Ridge are composed

360 of rocks piled on each other, and when examined, Womelsdorf, on the Union Canal,

do. do.

480 appear the remains of masses of much greater mag. Lebanon, on the nitude. The Peaks of Otter in the northern part Middletown, above the mouth of the Swataof Bedford county, Virginia, N. Lat. 37° 23', and

ra,

276 between James and Roanoke rivers, are the highest Harrisburgh, the centre of the borough, points in the Blue Ridge, and of the whole system about

300 south-west from the Delaware, and they are only Chambersburgh, near the sources of Cone4250 feet above the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. cocheague and Conedogwinet rivers, say

The great difference of elevation, however, be. Williamsport, on the Potomac, immediatetween its two bounding plains, is more remarkable ly below, and on the same side with the in the Blue Ridge than in similar phenomena of any

mouth of Conecocheague, the village, 450 other chain of the Appalachian system. The sub- Williamsport, level of Potomac at,

355 joined Tables of elevations along both plains or Harper's Ferry, water level at,

282 valleys, will illustrate the preceding remarks.

Shenandoah and James rivers, sources of,
Pattonsburg, at the Great Bend of James ri-
ver in Botetourt county, Virginia,

806 TABLE III.

James River, at the influx of Cowpasture ri. Elevations above Atlantic Tide Water of Places on

ver,

995 the Valley between South East Mountain and Blue Covington, at the junction of Jackson's river Ridge.

with Dunlap's creek, and where the united Feet. waters take the name of James river,

1224 Montpellier, in Vermont, 394 Salem, on the Roanoke,

1002 Pittsfield, in Berkshire county, Massachusetts, Forks of Roanoke,

1178 and in the valley of the Housatonick near Summit level between the sources of the its source,

945 Southern Fork of Roanoke and those of Dover, Morris county, New Jersey, and on Little river branch of New river,

2049 the Morris Canal, and E. of Blue Ridge, 570 Little river and New rivers, junction of 1740 City of Lancaster,

349 Little river, sources of, where they interlock Columbia, on the Susquehannah,

220

with those of the Watauga branch of HolUpper Point of Rocks on the Potomac, where ston, at least

2500 Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road reaches that From the sources of New river, the north

200 ,

western slope of Blue Ridge depresses Lynchburg, Campbell county, Virginia, level of

along the sources of Nolachucky, French James river at,

500 Broad, Tennessee Proper, and Hiwassee Level of James river, immediately below the rivers, but at the extreme Table Land Blue Ridge,

636 from which flow the higher sources of SaRoanoke, valley of, in Bedford and Franklin

vannah, Chatahooche, Coosa, and Hiwascounties, Virginia, mean elevation of about 800

see, the mean elevation, without estimatNorth Carolina, mean height of Surry, Wilkes,

ing the mountain ridges, must be above

1500 Burke, and Rutherford counties, bounding on, and sloping south-eastward from the Tables III. and IV. are in great part constructed Blue Ridge,

800

from elements procured from actual admeasure

ment, and will serve to exhibit the great elevations TABLE IV.

and depressions of, perhaps, the most remarkable

mountain valley, not only in the United States but Elevations above Tide Water of the Atlantic Ocean, on the earth. Before, however, proceeding to close of various Places in the Great Valley above Blue

the description of the intervening valley, we shall Řidge,or between that Chain and Kittatinny Moun proceed to trace the succeeding chain to the Blue tain, south-westward from the Hudson.

Ridge, the Kittatinny.

Feet. One of the greatest difficulties in classifying the Drowned Lands, from which flow the Appalachian chains, is the want of general names;

sources of the Wallkill into Hudson, and a deficiency arising from another disgraceful want, those of Pawling's creek into the Dela

a scientific survey of the whole system. Such a ware, about

400 survey, would, it is probable, connect the ShawanEaston, on the Delaware, on the Point above

gunk ridge with those to the eastward of the Hudthe junction of that stream with the Le

To the westward of that stream, in the lower high,

186 part of Ulster county, New York, and between the Bethlehem, Bridge, the level of Lehigh at 261 Rondout creek and Wallkill, or rather between Allentown or Northampton in Lehigh coun Rondout and Shawangunk creeks, ridges of mounty,

300 tains are found rising, and ranging thence southReading,

178 westward towards the Delaware. These ridges Hamburg, level of the Schuylkill at, imme are the commencement to the south-west of the

diately below the passage of that stream Hudson of the Katuatin Chunk, or, as we have through the Kittatinny chain,

362

corrupted the Indian term, the Kittatinny chain.

son.

Extending about 40 miles between the Shawangunk to the S.W., and under the various names of Iron and Nevesink rivers, the Kittatinny is reached by mountain, Bald mountain, Smoky mountain, and Delaware river, at the extreme northern angle of Unika mountain, pierced in succession by Watau. New Jersey, and at the mouth of Nevesink. From ga, Doe, Nolechucky, French Broad, Big Pigeon, this point the mountain chain deflects the Dela. Tennessee Proper, and Hiwassee, according to ware, and the river and mountain stretch nearly Tanner's United States, merges into Blue Ridge in parallel to each other, south-westwardly 36 miles, the northern part of Georgia, between the sources to the Delaware Water Gap. Here the river as of Coosa and Hiwassee rivers. sumes a southern course and traverses the moun If the whole mass of the Kittatinny is taken into tain; whilst the latter again rising and inclining a the estimate, it exceeds the Blue Ridge, though no little more to the westward, stretches 28 miles to peak of the former rivals in elevation the peaks of where it is traversed by the Schuylkill, above the Otter. Both chains are almost every where in a village of Hamburg. Inclining so much more to natural state clothed with timber. the westward as to lie nearly S. W. by W., the Kit In the existing state of our mountain geography tatinny extends 30 miles from the Schuylkill Water it is impracticable to attempt a systematic review Gap to where it is pierced by the Swatara. Be of the chains beyond the Kittatinny. tween the latter point and the Susquehannah, five Alleghany Mountain, or the main spine of the miles above the borough of Harrisburgh, in a dis system, has received no more definite delineation tance of about 22 miles, the direction of the chain than the minor chain, and it is evident from the is something W. of S. W., and pierced by several analogy of the system that the term Alleghany is small confluents of Swatara, it is there broken into applied to ridges of different chains. Where exact successive ridges.

information cannot be given, silence is best; but Beyond the Susquehannah, the Kittatinny again with a view to stimulate to future inquiry, I shall rises, and extending first nearly west between the hazard the hypothesis, that the Catsbergs or Catsconfluents of Conedogwinet and Shareman rivers; kill mountains of New York are a part of the same thence broken into ridges bounding on the west- chain with the Alleghany of Pennsylvania, Maryward the valley of the Conecocheague, the chain land, and Virginia. gradually curves to the southward and reaches the Catskill mountains, properly to called, rise very Potomac, extending very little west of south. abruptly from the valley of the Hudson, dischargRising again beyond the Potomac, between the ing northwardly the Schoharie river into the MoOpequan and Back creeks, it assumes a very near hawk, westwardly the extreme sources of Susqueparallelism with the Blue Ridge, is passed by the hannah, and south-westwardly the sources of CoNorth Fork of Shenandoah, and extends thence quago and Popachton rivers, or the two main between the two main branches of that river. constituents of Delaware river. The Catskills are Though scarcely appearing on our maps, the chain part of a mountain nucleus, rising into peaks from of Kittatinny remains continuous over Rocking- 3000 to 3500 feet above the tide level. From this ham, Augusta and Rockbridge counties of Virgi- burr, if the term is admissible, two chains. nia into Botetourt, to where it is traversed by James The first or minor chain extends south-westwardriver below the mouth of Craig's creek. . Still ly towards the Delaware, and between the sources faintly represented, the chain stretches along the of Nevesink and Popachton rivers; traverses Dehigher sources of James and Roanoke rivers to the laware river, and is mingled with the numerous centre of Montgomery near Christiansburg, where chains between the Kittatinny and north-east branch it merges from the Atlantic slope into the valley of of Susquehannah. Ohio, by entering the sub-valley of New river or The principal chain, however, which stretches Upper Kenhawa.

from the Catsbergs, extends also south-westwardly Thus far, in all its range from the Hudson, the between Coquago and Popachton rivers; is traKittatinny chain is broken into links by the higher versed by the main volume of the former, and rises sources of the Atlantic rivers, and similar to the in Pennsylvania by the local name of Tunkhannoc South East mountain and Blue Ridge the base gra. mountain. The latter name is continued to where dually rises, ascending the vast inclined plain the chain is broken by the passage of the north-east obliquely, until it reaches the highest apex between branch of Susquehannah river, below the influx of the sources of Roanoke and Little river. Here the Tunkhannoc river. Between the two main branches. lowest gap, through which a projected canal is in- of the Susquehannah, this chain inflects to S.W. by tended to be carried, is 2049 feet above the level of W. in full conformity with the corresponding dithe Atlantic Ocean. See Table IV. The chain now rection of the South East Mountain, Blue Ridge, inflects to a course considerably west of south-west; and Kittatinny, and by the local name of Bowman's and is traversed by New river or Upper Kenhawa. mountain, reaches and is traversed by the west Beyond the latter stream, under the local name of branch of Susquehannah, at the Great Bend below Iron mountain, discharging to the eastward the Pennsboro'; thence extending very nearly due confluents of New river, and from the opposite west by the name of White Deer mountain and Aank those of the south branch of Holston and other local terms, merges into the valley of Bald Watauga, reaches the extreme north-eastern angle Eagle creek, and sweeping to S. W. assumes the of Tennessee.

distinctive name of Alleghany Mountain. At the preceding remarkable natural and politi. The length of the chain from the Catsbergs to cal point, the chain assumes a direction very nearly where it is unequivocally known as Alleghany, is

VOL. XVIII. PART I.

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about 200 miles. Curving round to S.S.E. be the mountain representation may be doubted. tween the sources of Bald Eagle and Juniata on the is directly contrary to the character of the Appaeastward and the sources of the West Branch west lachian mountain ridges to inflect with the water ward, the base of the Alleghany reaches the sum courses, though in innumerable instances the ridges mit between the Atlantic slope and Ohio valley, are separated by the water channels. The chandischarging the higher branches of Juniata east- nels, as already observed, flow generally along or ward, and those of Kiskiminitas westward. It is at right angles to the mountain valleys. But it is this part of the Alleghany which is traversed by the circumstance of the chains, being so frequentthe rail road to connect the two branches of the ly traversed by the streams, which render the true Pennsylvania Canal. The summit level where the delineation of the latter so difficult. The intricacy road is to pass, is by admeasurement 2291 feet would, however, in great part disappear, if a careabove tide level, but so rapid is the descent on both ful and skilful survey was made of the whole Apflanks of the chain, that Frankstown, on a western palachian system. branch of Juniata, and almost at the eastern foot of From the double confusion produced by nature the mountain, is only 910, and Johnstown, at the and the want of correct maps, we may be excused forks of Kiskiminitas, about 16 miles westward from an attempt to describe, or even name, the nufrom the mountain, is 1154 feet above tide level. merous chains and ridges which extend between

From where the Pennsylvania Rail Road passes the Kittatinny and Alleghany chains. To the inthe Alleg hany, to where it is intended to be tra: terior or westward of the laiter, I have traced two versed by the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, is about lateral chains from the sources of the Monongahe. 40 miles, the intermediate direction a very little la into the state of New York. Though inferior in W. of s. At the passage of the Chesapeake and height above their bases to the chains more eastOhio Canal, the Alleghany is again elevated 2754 ward, the western part of the system is in a pecufeet above tide level, but here also the descent each liar manner distinctly defined in nature. Between way is so rapid, that Cumberland, on the Potomac, the Youghiogany and the Kiskiminitas rivers, the close upon the eastern slope of the chain, is only easternmost of these western chains is called Lauelevated 573 feet above tide water, and on the op rel Hill, and the westernmost designated Chesnut posite flank, where the declivity is less abrupt, the Ridge; but with unequalled absurdity, the names falls of Youghiogany river is only 1170 feet above are reversed between Cheat and Youghiogany. tide level.

With the Kiskiminitas valley, these two chains are The preceding elements demonstrate the very omitted on some maps, and confounded on others, unequal depression of the two valleys which lie on but really remain distinct and defined to the sources each side of the Alleghany chain. The valley of Genessee river. A similar observation may be westward is a real and not very lightly elevated table made on the geography of the same chains in an land, rising from 900 to 1200 feet above the oceanic opposite direction. Along the comparatively great level.

distance of two hundred miles from the valley of With that part which separates the sources of Cheat river to that of the West Fork of Sandy rithe north-western confluents of Potomac from ver, they are again omitted, though there also disthose of Youghiogany, terminates the certain geo tinct and defined. graphy of the Alleghany chain. As delineated on Which of the more northern chains is continued Tanner's United States, it is carried in continuity in Cumberland Mountain, it is impracticable to from the sources of Kiskiminitas and Juniata to determine from the representation of the maps. New river S.S. W. and gradually inclining upon or

The Cumberland chain becomes distinct as the towards Kittatinny and Blue Ridge. In the valley boundary between Virginia and Kentucky, on the of Potomac, the latter and Alleghany are upwards higher sources of Sandy, Kentucky, Cumberland, of 70 miles asunder, whilst at the sources of Roan and Powell rivers. The direction of the chain oke and James rivers, the two chains approach to from the West Fork of Sandy river to Cumberland within less than 30 miles; and as the Alleghany is Gap, at the point where Virginia, Kentucky and drawn between the extremes along the real separat. Tennessee unite, in a distance of 85 miles, is to ing line of the river sources, we may from analogy the west of south-west. Entering Tennessee, where, doubt the correctness of the delineation. Judging in a distance of two hundred miles, it maintains a from the structure of the system, it would appear general course of a little W. of S.W., but with a that the continuation of the Alleghany chain from large curve to the north-west, this chain discharges the sources of Potomac, James, and Monongahela from the western Aank the numerous sources of rivers, is to be found in Green Briar Mountain, be. Cumberland river, and from the opposite side the tween Green Briar and Gauley rivers, and again north-western streams of Upper Tennessee. From beyond the Kenhawa in the Great Flat Top Moun. Tennessee it merges into Alabama, within which, tain. If this conjecture is correct, what I have about 40 miles, it reaches and is traversed by the long suspected will follow, that Powell's mountain, main volume of Tennessee. Beyond Tennessee ribetween Powell's and Clinch rivers, is a ridge of ver, the Cumberland chain is quickly lost amongst the Alleghany chain.

the hills which separates the valley of that stream Where, on any map of the United States, the from that of the Black Warrior branch of Tommountain chains are represented inflecting with bigbee. the dividing line of river source, the accuracy of The passage of Tennessee river through the

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