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The principal rivers in New-England are Penobscot, Kennebeck, Androscoggin, or Amerifcoggin, Saco, Merrimack, Piscataqua, and Connecticut, befides many fmaller ones, which we shall notice when treating of the different States.
This river has its fource in the diftrict of Maine, a fhort distance weft of Union river on the high lands; it rifes in two branches, running for a confiderable distance, and then uniting in one noble and majestic stream. Between the fource of the weft fork, and its junc tion with the eaft, is Moofehead lake, thirty or forty miles long, and fifteen wide. The eastern branch paffes through several finaller lakes. From The Forks, as they are called, the Penobscot Indians pafs to Canada, up either branch, principally the weft, the fource of which they fay is not more than twenty miles from the waters that empty into the river St. Lawrence. At the Forks is a remarkable high mountain. From the Forks down to Indian Old Town, fituated on an island in this river, is about fixty miles, forty of which the water flows in a still, smooth stream, and in the whole distance there are no falls to interrupt the paffing of boats. In this distance, the river widens, and embraces a large number of fmall islands; and about half way receives two confiderable tributary ftreams, one from the east and the other from the weft, whofe mouths are nearly oppofite to each other. About fixty rods below Indian Old Town are the Great Falls, where is a carrying-place of about twenty rods; thence, twelve miles to the head of the tide, there are no falls to obftruct boats. Veffels of thirty tons come within a mile of the head of the tide. Thence, thirty-five miles to the head of the bay, to the site of Old Fort Pownal, the river is remarkably ftraight, and eafily navigated. Paffing by Majabagadufe on the eaft, feven miles, and Owl's Head, twenty miles farther, on the weft, it enters the ocean by Penobscot Bay.
This is one of the finest rivers in this country, and has its origin, like the former, in the district of Maine; its fources are two streams, one of which rifes in the highlands, a fhort diftance from a branch of the Chaudiere, which empties into the St. Lawrence; another branch rifes in Moofe Head lake. In its courfe, it receives Sandy
tiver from the weft, and Sebafticook and feveral others from the east, and paffes to the fea by Cape Small Point. It is navigable for vessels of one hundred and fifty tons upwards of forty miles from the sea.
This river, fometimes called Ameriscoggin, properly speaking, is but the main western branch of the Kennebeck; it rifes near the end of the dividing line between New-Hampshire and the Old Province of Maine. The lake Umbagog, and feveral smaller lakes, flow into it. From this lake its courfe is foutherly, till it approaches near the White Mountains, from which it receives Moofe and Pea body rivers, and then turns to the eaft, and fouth-eaft through the province of Maine, in which courfe it paffes within two miles of the fea coast, and turning north runs over Pejepfkaeg Falls, into Merry Meeting Bay, where it forms a junction with the Kennebeck, twenty miles from the fea, and one hundred and forty-fix from the fource. Formerly, from this bay to the fea, the confluent ftream was for merly called Saggadahock.
This river is one of the largest rivers in the district of NewHampshire. The principal part of its water falls in different streams from the White Mountains, which unite at twelve or fifteen miles diftance. Its course, fome diftance from its fource, is foutherly; it then fuddenly bends to the east, and croffes into the district af Maine, then makes a large bend to the north-east, eaft, and fouthweft, embracing the fine townfhip of Fryeburg, in the county of York. Its general courfe thence to the fea is about forty-five miles S. E. Great and Little Offapee rivers fall into it from the west, making a great addition to the original stream. This river is navi gable for fhips to Saco Falls, about fix miles from the fea.
MERRIMACK RIVER is formed by the confluence of Pemigewasset and Winnipiseogee rivers; the former is a very rapid river, and fprings from a white mountain, weft of the noted mountains of that name; and before its junction with the Winnipifeogee branch, it receives from the weft, Baker's river, a pleasant stream, forty miles in length, and several smaller streams. The Winnipifeogee branch rifes from the lake of the fame name. The stream which iffues from the lake is small, and in its course paffes through a bay twelve miles VOL. II. с
long, and from three to five broad. A few miles from its entrance into the Pemigewaffet is a place called the Weres, remarkable for the number of falmon and fhad which are there caught. The river is wide, and fo fhallow that the fishermen turn the course of the river in a fhort time, or comprefs it into a narrow channel, where they fix their gill nets, and take the fish as they pass up the streamn. After the Pemigewaffet receives the waters of Winnipifeogee, it takes the name of Merrimack; and after a course of about ninety miles, first in a foutherly, and then in an eafterly direction, and paffing over Hookfet, Amufkeag, and Pantucket Falls, empties into the fea at Newburyport. From the weft it receives, Blackwater, Contoocook, Pifcataquoag, Souhegan, Nahu, and Concord rivers; from the eaft, Bowcook, Suncook, Cohas, Beaver, Spicket, and Powow rivers. Contoocook heads near Monadnock mountain, is very rapid, and ten or twelve miles from its mouth is one hundred yards wide. Just before its entrance into the Merrimack it branches and forms a beau tiful ifland of five or fix acres.
This is the only large river whofe whole courfe is in New-Hampfhire. Its head is a pond in the N. E. corner of the town of Wake field, and its general course thence, to the fea, is S. S. E. about forty miles. It divides New-Hampshire from York-County, in the dif trict of Maine, and is called Salmon-fall river, from its head to the lower falls at Berwick, where it affumes the name of Newichawannock, which it bears till it meets with Cocheco river, which comes from Dover, when both run together in one channel to Hilton's Point, where the western branch meets it. From this junction to the fea, the river is fo rapid that it never freezes; the distance is seven miles, and the courfe generally from S. to S. E. The western branch is formed by Swamscot river, which comes from Exeter. Winnicot river, which comes through Greenland, and Lamprey river, which divides Newmarket from Durham; these empty into a bay, four miles wide, called Great Bay. The water in its further progress is contracted into a leffer bay, and then it receives Oyster river, which runs through Durham and Back river, which comes from Dover, and at length meets with the main ftream at Hilton's Point. The tide rifes into all these bays, and branches as far as the lower falls in each river, and forms a most rapid current, efpecially at the feafon of the frefhets, when the ebb continues about two hours
longer than the flood; and were it not for the numerous eddies, formed by the indentings of the fhore, the ferries would then be impaffable.
At the lower falls in the feveral branches of the river, are landing places, whence lumber and other country produce is transported. and veffels or boats from below discharge their lading; fo that in each river there is a convenient trading-place, not more than twelve or fifteen miles distant from Portsmouth, with which there is conftant communication by every tide. Thus the river, from its form and the fituation of its branches, is extremly favourable to the purpofes of navigation and commerce.
This river gives name to one of the five colonies of this province. It rifes in a swamp on the height of land, in lat. 45. 10. W. long. 71. 30. After a fleepy course of eight or ten miles, it tumbles over four feparate falls, and turning west keeps close under the hills which form the northern boundary of the vale through which it runs. The Amonoofuk and Ifrael rivers, two principal branches of Connecticut river, fall into it from the east, between the latitudes 44° and 45°. Between the towns of Walpole on the east, and Westminster on the west side of the river, are the great Falls. A large rock divides the ftream into two channels, each about ninety feet wide on the top of the shelving bank. When the water is low, the eastern channel appears croffed by a bar of folid rock, and the whole ftream falls into the western channel, where compreffed between two rocks fcarcely thirty feet afunder, it shoots with amazing rapidity into a broad bason below. Above Deerfield in Maffachusetts it receives Deerfield river from the weft, and Miller's river from the east, after which it turns wefterly in a finuous course to Fighting Falls, and a little after tumbles over Deerfield Falls, which are impaffable by boats. At Windfor in Connec ticut it receives Farmington river from the weft; and at Hartford meets the tide. From Hartford it paffes on in a crooked course, until it falls into Long-Ifland found, between Saybrook and Lyme.
The length of this river, in a straight line, is nearly three hundred miles. Its general course is several degrees weft of fouth. It is from So to 100 ronds wide, 130 miles from its mouth. At its mouth is a bar of fand which confiderably obstructs the navigation. Ten feet water at full tides is found on this bar, and the same depth C 2
to Middleton. The distance of the bar from this place, as the rivet runs, is thirty-fix miles. Above Middleton are several thoals which ftretch quite across the river. Only fix feet water is found on the fhoal at high tide, and here the tide ebbs and flows but about eight inches. About three miles below Middleton the river is contracted to about forty roods in breadth by two high mountains. Almost every where else the banks are low, and fpread into finc extensive meadows. In the fpring floods, which generally happen in May, these meadows are covered with water. At Hartford the water fometimes rifes twenty feet above the common furface of the river, and having all to pass through the above-mentioned strait, it is fometimes two or three weeks before it returns to its ufual bed. Thefe floods add nothing to the depth of water on the bar at the mouth of the river: this bar lying too far off in the found to be affected by them.
On this beautiful river, whose banks are fettled almoft to its fource, are many pleafant, neat, well-built towns, which we fhall notice when treating of the particular States on which they stand.
This river is navigable to Hartford, upwards of fifty miles from its mouth, and the produce of the country for two hundred miles above is brought thither in boats. The boats which are used in this business are flat-bottomed, long, and narrow, for the convenience of going up stream, and of so light a make as to be portable in carts. They are taken out of the river at three different carrying places, all of which make fifteen miles.
Sturgeon, falmon, and fhad, are caught in plenty in their feafon, from the mouth of the river upwards, except fturgeon, which do not afcend the upper falls; befides a variety of small fish, such as pike, carp, pearch, &c.
From this river are employed several brigs of one hundred and eighty tons each, in the European trade; and about fixty or seventy fail of from fixty to one hundred and fifty tons, in the Weft-India trade; befides a few fishing veffels, and forty or fifty coafting veffels.
In addition to thefe, there are in this province many other rivers, which, though inferior in point of magnitude, yet are worthy of notice, as they afford, in many inftances, either excellent inland navigation, or present the means of improving of it. As they add to the beauty of the country, and value of the foil; and as they furnish fituations peculiarly defirable for the erecting of mills, or the introduction of manufactures, thefe we fhall notice when treating of the