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portions of which have been contracted for, and in October, 1818, were in a considerable state of forwardpess. Upon an allotment, which extends from Utica to within seren miles of Seneca river, a distance of eighty-five miles, above 2,000 men have been constantly employed; and the work has been prosecuted with such spirited exertion, that in December, 1818, the excavation was completed, and much done towards the construction of the necessary embankments, culverts, locks, &c. This stupendous undertaking, compared with which the largest canal in Europe would appear a mere Lilliputian performance, is 353 miles in length, from Albany to Buffalo, on lake Erie; the water of which is fifty-six feet higher than tide water at the city of Albany, and 145 feet higher than the summit level at Rome, ill miles from Albany, on the route of the canal. The number of locks will be seventy-seven, the aggregate rise and fall in the whole distance 6613 feet, and the total expense, according to the report of the commissioners, 4,881,738 dollars, or £1,098,391 sterling.*
The Northern Canal, which is to unite the Hudson with lake Champlain and the river St. Lawrence, commences at Fort Edward, in Washington county, forty-vine miles north of Albany, and terminates at Whitehall, in the same county, a distance of twenty-two miles. The water in this canal is not to be less than thirty feet wide at the surface, twenty feet at the bottom, and three feet deep. Nine locks will be required, each of which must be seventyfive feet long, and ten feet wide in the clear; the estimated expense amounts to 871,000 dollars, or £195,975 sterling. In January, 1819, the digging and excavating of the canal, in its whole extent, had been completed, and a great part of the materials for constructing the locks collected and prepared ; so that there is little doubt that a water communication between lake Champlain and New York will be opened before the close of another season.
The Mohawk river rises near Oneida lake, and running a south-east course about 130 miles, falls into the Hudson eight miles above Albany. The navigation of this river is obstructed by the Cohoes falls, about two miles above its entrance into the Hudson ; but goods are carried by land between Albany and Skenectady, fifteen miles; and, except a portage of about a mile, sixty miles further up, the river is passable for boats from Skenectady to its source, where it communicates by another canal with Wood creek, and from thence to lake Ontario. Oneida · · Upon the map of the United States, prefixed to this volume, the range of the Canal is marked, with the intermediate distances.
river rises near Rome, by a stream called Wood creek, which, after a western course of ten or twelve miles, joins Fish creek; the united stream then dilates into Oneida , lake, from the western extremity of which the river again issues, and runs about forty miles to lake Ontario. It is navigable by boats to the falls, which occasion a portage of twenty yards only, from wbence it is again navigable to the lake, and thepce, through Wood creek, almost to fort Stanwix, whence there is a portage of a mile to Mohawk river. Oneida river is of great importance, as it forms part of the chain of communication between the Hudson and the lakes; and, through the medium of the Seneca river, which falls into the Oneida a little above the falls, it may, in process of time, form an important route between lake Ontario and the smaller lakes in the interior of the country. Genessee river rises in Pennsylvania, and running a northerly course of about 100 miles through the Genessee country, falls into lake Ontaria eighty miles to the eastward of Niagara falls. Fifty miles from its source there are falls of forty feet, and five miles from its inouth, of seventy-five feet, and a little higher up of ninetysix feet; these falls furnish capital mill-seats, of which the inhabitants have availed themselves. This river waters a fine tract of country, remarkable for its natural advantages, its fertile soil, and mild climate.
The head waters of the Delaware, Susquehannah, and Allegany rivers are in the southern parts of the state..
Climate, face of the country, soil, and produce.— The climate of this state is very various. In that part which lies to the southward of the highlands, about fifty miles above New York, it is remarkably changeable ; experiencing all the extremities of heat and cold, and sometimes a change of thirty degrees in the course of twenty-four hours. Among the mountains, and along lake Champlain, towards Canada, the winters are long and severe, and the summers are often şultry and hot. In the western district, the climate is more temperate, and the winters are subject to a good deal of rain ; but the whole country is healthy, the neighbourhood of ponds and undrained marshes excepted. The winter commences about Christmas and ends in February; but March and April are frequently cold months.
There is a great variety in the aspect of the country; particularly to the east of the Allegany mountains, where the land is broken into bills, with many rich intervening
valleys. These mountains and others intersect the state in ridges, in a north-east and south-west direction from the northern extremity of the state to Utica westward. From thence to its western boundary, nearly 300 miles, there is an elegant country, rich aud well watered, and for the most part a dead level ; having spurs of the Allegany mountains on the one side, and on the other the lakes Ontario and Erie, two of the finest sheets of water in the world : all the numerous creeks which flow into the latter have many falls, which afford a great number of excellent mill-seats.
The soil in such an extent of country must be various. The southern and eastern parts are dry and gravelly, in- . termixed with loam, and is not very rv:; the mountainous districts are pretty well adapted for grazing, and there are many rich valleys on the rivers. The whole of the northera and western parts are rich and fertile, except a small portion bordering on the state of Pennsylvania, which, however, is interspersed with good land. The hills are generally clothed thick with timber, and towards the west, - a fine rich soil is covered, in its natural state, with maple, beech, birch, cherry, black walnut, locust, bickory, and some mulberry-trees. Of the commodities produced by colture, wheat is the principal, wbich in grain and in flour is exported in prodigious quantities; the other agricultural products. are Indian corn, barley, oats, rye, peas, beans, hemp, flax, &c.
The best lands in this state are those upon the Mohawk river, north of it, and west of the Alleganies; all of which are rapidly settling. The counties of Genessee, Allegany, Niagara, Cattaraugus, and Chautaughque, except the eastern parts of the two first, constitute what is called the “ Holland Purchase," which contains about 4,000,000 of acres. This extensive and fertile tract is bounded by a transit line running north from the Pennsylvania state line to lake Ontario, being 97 miles in length ; north, by lake Ontario; west, by the river Niagara and lake Erie ; and south, by Pennsylvania. The southern parts of this purchase are watered by the Allegany and Connewango rivers, and eight tributary creeks ; the Genessee river and Allen's creek flow into lake Ontario ; four considerable creeks empty into the river Niagara; and seven into lake Erie ; all these rivers and creeks have their course through this fine country. In 1797, the above lands were purchased from the Seneca Indians and the state of Massachusetts for about three-pence an acre; and in 1799 they were surveyed and laid out into townships of six miles square. NO. XVI.
The sale of lots commenced the same year, at from 58. 7 d. to lls. 3d. an acre; at present, the price of wild lands is from four to twelve dollars, and of improved lands from twelve to twenty dollars, and upwards. The soil for the most part is a deep grey loam; the timber, beech, sugar maple, bass wood, elm, white ash, and black cherry; with about 500,000 acres of the finest white pine timber in America.
The flats bordering upon the Genessee river are amongst the richest lands that are to be met with in the United States, to the east of the Ohio. On the first settlement of this country, the soil was too strong to bear wheat; but at present it produces abundance of that essential grain. Indeed, the ground is so extremely rich and fertile, that it does not appear to be the least exhausted by the successive crops of Indian corn and hemp which are raised upon it year after year. The high lands in the neighbourhood of the Genéssee are stony, and not remarkable for fertility; but the valleys are uncommonly fruitful, and abouod with fine timber. The summers in this part of the country are by po means so hot as towards the Atlantic, and the winters are moderate ; the snow seldom lying longer than six weeks.
In the western counties of the state of New York provisions are very reasonable, while tabour of every description is well paid for. In that part of the country just described, (which may be taken as a standard for the whole,) the rates of the markets are as follow : flour 2 dollars per ewt.; beef, mutton, pork, and veal, from three to five cents, and poultry six cents per lb.; board two dollars a week; and house rent for mechanics, in villages, about fifty dollars per annum. Blacksmiths, masons, carpenters, and cabinet makers are in request, and meet with encouragement; the three former are paid a dollar and a balf per day, the latter work by the piece; when smiths are employed in that manner, the charge is twenty-five cents per lb.; labourers receive one dollar a day.
All the western parts of this state are settled and settling principally by people from Connecticut, Massachusetts, and the other New England states; few emigrants from Europe have as yet fixed their residence in this fruitful country. Most of the districts adjoining the Atlantic, including Long and Staten islands, the former of which comprises King's, Queen's, and Suffolk counties; and the latter constituting the county of Richmond, have been long, and, in many places, thickly settled. Long Island is situated at the southeru extremity of the state, of which
it is a very interesting portion. Its length is about 140 miles, and its medium breadth from ten to fourteen miles; extending from Hudson's river, opposite to Staten Island, almost to the western boundaries of the coast of Rhode Įsland. The soil here is very well calculated for raising grain, hay, and fruit; and on the sea coast are extensive tracts of salt meadow, which are, however, well adapted to the culture of grain, particularly Indian corn. In Queen's county is Hampstead plain, sixteen miles long and about eight broad; it produces some rye, and large herds of cattle are fed upon it, as well as upon the salt marshes. On the south side of the island vast quantities of oysters are taken ; forty or fifty vessels are often here at a time loading with them. The produce of the middle and western parts of this island is carried to New York, where a ready market is always to be found. The population of Long Island, by the last census, amounted to 48,752. Staten Island lies nine miles south-west of the city of New York, and is about eighteen miles in length, and at a medium six or seven in breadth; containing 5,347 inha.. bitants. On the south side is a considerable tract of level, good land; but the island in general is rough and the hills high. The inhabitants are chiefly descendants of the Dutch and French; and are noted for their hospitality to strangers.
The principal mineral productions of this state are iron and lead ore; copper and zinc have also been found in various places; and silver has likewise been discovered, but in no great quantity Marble abounds, and is of an excellent quality; and freestone and slate are in great plenty. Plaster of Paris is raised in several parts of the state, and much used as a mapure; sulphur is common in. many places, and coal has been found, but in no great quantity. The salt springs at Onondago have been already noticed, and there are numerous air springs; which last are. probably the gas arising from beds of pit coal on fire in the bowels of the earth. There is a medicinali spring at New Lebanon, twenty-nine miles from Albany, which affords a pleasant bath, at the temperature of 720, and is much frequented; but the most remarkable springs in this state, or indeed in the United States, are those of Ballstown and Saratoga, the former thirty-two, and the latter thirty-six miles from Albany. The waters are highly medicinal, and are greatly resorted to in the summer season.
Civil divisions, towns, population, religion, character, &c.- In the year 1731, the state of New York, then a