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noise of these falls, in a clear day and fair wind, may be heard between forty and fifty miles. When the water strikes the bottom, its spray rises a great height in the air, occasioning a thick cloud of vapours, on which the sun, when it shines, paints a beautiful rainbow. Fort Ni. agara is situated on the east side of Niagara river, at its entrance into Lake Ontario. This fort, and that at Detroit, contrary to the treaty of 1783, are yet in pofleflion of the British Government.
LAKE ONTARIO, is situated between forty-three and forty-five degrees north latitude, and between one and five west longitude. Its form is nearly oval. Its greatest length is from south-west to north-east, and in circumference about fix hundred miles. It abounds with fish of an excellent flavour, among which are the Ofwego bass, weighing three or four pounds. It receives the waters of the Chenessee river from the fouth, and of Onondago, at Fort Oswego, from the south-east, by which it communicates, through Lake Oneida and Wood Creek, with Mohawk river. On the north-east, this lake discharges itself through the river Cataraqui, which at Montreal, takes the name of St. Lawrence, into the Atlantic Ocean.
About eight miles from the west end of Lake Ontario is a curious cavern, which the Mellisaugas Indians call Manito’ah wigwam, or boufe of the Devil. The mountains which border on the lake, at this place, break off abruptly, and form a precipice of two hundred feet perpendicular descent; at the bottom of which the cavern begins. The first opening is large enough for three men conveniently to walk abreast. It continues of this bigness for seventy yards in a horizontal direction. Then it falls almoft perpendicularly fifty yards, which may be descended by irregular steps from one to four feet distant from each other.. It then continues forty yards horizontally, at the end of which is another perpendicular defcent, down which there are no steps. The cold here is intense. In spring and autumn, there are, once in about a week, explosions from this cavern, which shake the ground for fixteen miles round,
LAKE CHAMPLAIN, is next in size to Lake Ontario, and lies nearly cast from it, forming a part of the dividing line between the state of New York and the state of Vermont. It took its name from a French governor, whose name was Champlain, who was drowned in it. It was before called Corlaer's Lake. It is about eighty miles in length from north to fouth, and in its broadeft part, fourteen. It is well stored with fish, and the land on its borders and on the banks of its rivers, is good. Crown Point and Ticonderoga are situated on the banks of this lake, near the southern part of it.
LARE GEORGE, lies to the southward of Champlain, and is a most clear, beautitul collection of water, about thirty-fix miles long and from one to seven miles wide. It embosoms more than two hundred islands, some fay three hundred and fixty-five; very few of which are any thing more than barren rock, covered with heath, and a few cedar, fpruce, and hemlock trees, and thrubs, that harbor abundance of rartlea snakes. On each side it is skirted by prodigious mountains, from which large quantities of red cedar are every year carried to New York, for thip timber. The lake is full of fishes, and some of the best kind; among which are the black Oswego bass and large speckled trouts. The water of this lake is about one hundred feet above the level of Lake Champlain. The portage between the two lakes is one mile and a half; but with a small expence might be reduced to fixty yards; and with one or two locks might be made navigable through for batteaux. This lake, in the French charts, is called Lake St. Sacrament; and it is fiid that the Roman Catholics, in former times, were at the pains to procure this water for facramental uses in all their Churches in Canada : hence probably it derived its name.
The MISSISSIPPI RIVER, is the great reservoir of the waters of the Ohio and Illinois, and their numerous branches from the east; and of the Missouri and other rivers from the west. These mighty streams united, are borne down with increasing impetuosity, through vast forests and meadows, and discharged into the Gulf of Mexico. The great length and uncommon depth of this river, and the excessive muddiness and falubrious quality of its waters, after its junction with the Missouri, are very singular*. The direction of the channel is so crooked, that from New Orleans to the mouth of the Ohio, a distance which does not exceed four hundred and srxty miles in a strait line, is about eight hundred and fifty-fix by water. It may be shortened at least two hundred and fifty miles, by cutting across eight or ten necks of land, some of which are not thirty yards wide. Charlevoix relates that in the year 1722, at Point Coupeé, or Cut Point, the river made a great turn, and some Caa nadians, by deepening the channel of a small brook, diverted the waters of the river into it. The impetuosity of the stream was so violent, and
* In a half pint tumbler of this water has been found a fediment of one inch. It is, notwithstanding, extremely wholesome and well tasted, and very cool in the hottest seasons of the year; the rowers, who are there employed, drink of it when they are in the stronger perspiration, and never receive any bad effe&ts from it. The inhabitants
New Orleans use no other water than that of this river, which, by being kept in jars, becomes perfectly clear. Vol. I,
the soil, of so rich and loose a quality, that, in a short time, the point was entirely cut through, and travellers saved fourteen leagues of their voyage. The old bed has no water in it, the times of the periodical overflowings only excepted. The new channel has been since founded with a line of thirty fathoms, without finding a bottom. Several other points, of great extent, have, in like manner, been since cut off, and the river diverted into new channels.
In the spring foods the Miliffippi is very high, and the current so Atrong, that it is with difficulty it can be ascended; but this disadvantage is in part compensated by eddies or counter-currents, which are found in the bends close to the banks of the river, which runs with nearly equal velocity against the stream, and assist the ascending boats. The current at this season descends at the rate of about five miles an hour. Ia autumn, when the waters are low, it does not run faster than two miles, but it is rapid in such parts of the river, as have clusters of islands, Thoals, and sand-banks. The circumference of many of these shoals being several miles, the voyage is longer, and in some parts more dangerous than in the spring. The merchandize necessary for the commerce of the upper settlements on or near the Misliflippi, is conveyed in the spring and autumn in batteaux, rowed by eighteen or twenty mers, and carrying about forty tons. From New Orleans to the Illinois, the voyage is commonly performed in eight or ten weeks. A prodigious number of inands, some of which are of great extent, intersperse this mighty river. Its depth increases as you ascend it. Its waters, after overflowing its banks below the river Ibberville on the east, and the river Rouge on the west, never return within them again, there being many outlets or streams, by which they are conducted into the bay of Mexico, more especially on the west side of the Miffiflippi, dividing the country into numerous islands. These fingularities distinguish it from
other known river in the world. Below the Ibberville, the land begins to be very low on both sides of the river across the country, and gradually declines as it approaches nearer to the sea. The island of New Orleans, and the lands opposite, are to all appearance of no long date; for in digging ever so little below the surface, you find water and great quantities of trees. The many beaches and breakers, as well inlets, which have arisen out of the channel within the last half century, at the feveral mouths of the river, are convincing proofs that this peninsula was wholly formed in the same manner, And it is certain that when La Salle failed down the Mililippi to the sea, the opening of that river was very different from what it is at present.