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original thirteen states, and by the treaty of peace, transferred to the federal government, and are pledged as a fund for linking the debt of the United States. Of this territory the Indians now possess a very large proportion. Mr. Jefferson, in his report to Congress, Nov. 8, 1791, describes the boundary line between us and the Indians, as follows:

Beginning at the mouth of the Cayahogana, which falls into the southernmost part of Lake Erie, and running up the river to the portage, between that and the Tuscaroro or N. E. branch of Muíkingum; then down the said branch to the forks, at the crossing place above Fort Lawrence; then westwardly, towards the portage of the Great Miami, to the main branch of that river, then down the Miami, to the fork of that river, next below the old fort, which was taken by the French in -2752; thence due west to the river De la Panse, a branch of the Wabash, and down that river to the Wabash. So far the line is precisely deter. mined, and cleared of the claims of the Indians. The tract comprehending the whole country within the above described line, the Wabash, the Ohio, and the western limits of Pennsylvania, contains about 55,000 fquare miles. How far on the western side of the Wabash, the southern boundary of the Indians has been defined, we know not. It is only understood, in general, that their title to the lower country, between that river and the Illinois, was formerly extinguished by the French, while in their possession.

Estimate of the number of acres of water, north and westward of the river Ohio, within the territory of the United States.

Acres. In Lake Superior,

21,952,780 Lake of the Woods,

1,133,800 Lake Rain, &c.

165,200 Red Lake,

551,000 Lake Michigan,

10,368,000 Bay Puan,

1,216,000 Lake Huron,

5,009,920 Lake St. Clair,

89,500 Lake Erie, western part,

2,252,800 Sundry small lakes and rivers,



Vol. I.

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Estimate of the number of acres of water within the Thirtcen United States, In the lakes as before mentioned

43,040,000 In Lake Erie, westward of the line extending from the north-west corner of Pennsylvania, due north, to the boundary between the British territory and the United States;

410,000 In Lake Ontario,

2,390,000 Lake Champlain,

500,000 Chesapeek bay,

1,700,000 Albemarle bay,

330,000 · Delaware bay,

630,000 All the rivers within the thirteen states, including the Ohio,



Total 51,000,000



may in truth be faid, that no part of the world is so well watered with springs, rivulets, rivers, and lakes, as the territory of the United States. By means of these various streams and colle&tions of water, the whole country is chequered into islands and peninfulas. The United States, and indeed all parts of North America, seem to have been forined by nature for the most intimate union. The facilities of navigation render the communication between the ports of Georgia and New-Hampshire, far more expeditious and practicable, than between those of Provence and Picardy in France; Cornwall and Caithness, in Great Britain; or Gallicia and Catalonia, in Spain. The canals proposed between Susquehannah, and Delaware, between Pafquetank and Elizabeth rivers, in Virginia, and between the Schuylkill and Susquehannah, will open a communication from the Carolinas to the weiern countries of Pennsylvania and New-York. The improvements of the Potomak, will give a passage from the southern States, to the weftern parts of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and even to the lakes. From Detroit, to Alexandria, on the Patomak, fix hundred and seven miles, are but two carrying places, which together do not exceed the distance of forty miles. The canals of Delaware and Chesapeck will open

the communication from South-Carolina to New-Jersey, Delaware, the most populous parts of Pennsylvania, and the midland counties of


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New-York. Were these and the proposed canal between Ashley and Cooper rivers in South Carolina, the canals in the northern parts of the ftate of New York, and thofe of Massachusetts and New Hampshire all opened, North America would thereby be converted into a cluster of large and fertile islands, communicating with each other with ease and little expence, and in many instances without the uncertainty or danger of the seas.

There is nothing in other parts of the globe which resembles the prodigious chain of lakes in this part of the World. They may properly be termed inland seas of fresh water; and even those of the second or third class in magnitude, are of larger circuit than the greatest lake in the eastern continent. Some of the moít northern lakes belonging to the United States, have never been surveyed, or even visited by the white people ; of course we have no description of them which can be relied

Others have been partially surveyed, and their relative Situation determined.—The best account of them which we have been able to procure is as follows:

The LAKE OF THE Woods, the most northern in the United States, is fo called from the large quantities of wood growing on its banks; such as oaks, pines, firs, spruce, &c. This lake lies nearly east of the south end of Lake Winnepeck, and is supposed to be the source or conductor of one branch of the river Bourbon, if there be such a river. Its length from east to west is said to be about seventy miles, and in some places it is forty miles wide. The Killistinoe Indians encamp on its borders to fish and hunt. This lake is the communication between the Lakes Winnepeck and Bourbon, and Lake Superior.

RAINY OR LONG LAKE lies east of the Lake of the Woods, and is said to be nearly an hundred miles long, and in no part more than twenty miles wide.

Eastward of this lake, lie several small ones, which extend in a string to the great carrying place, and from thence into Lake Superior. Between these little lakes are several carrying places, which render the trade to the north-west difficult, and exceedingly tedious, as it takes two years to make one voyage from Michillimakkinak to these

parts. Lake SUPERIOR, formerly termed the Upper Lake, from its northern situation, is so called from its magnitude, it being the largest on the continent. It may juftly be termed the Caspian of America, and is Supposed to be the largest body of fresh water on the globe. According to the French charts it is fifteen hundred miles in circumference. A great part of the coast is bounded by rocks and uneven ground. The water is pure and transparent, and appears, generally, throughout the lake, to lie upon a bed of huge rocks. It has been remarked, in A a 2


regard to the waters of this lake, with how much truth I pretend not to say, that although their surface, during the heat of summer, is imprego nated with no small degree of warmth, yet on letting down a cup to the depth of about a fathom, the water drawn from thence is cool and refreshing.

The situation of this lake, from the most accurate observations which have yet been made, lies between forty fix and fifty degrees of north latitude, and between nine and eighteen degrees of west longitude, from the meridian of Philadelphia.

There are many islands in this lake, two of them have each land enough if proper for cultivation, to form a confiderable province; efpecially Ille Royal, which is not less than an hundred miles long, and in many places forty broad. The natives suppose these islands are the refidence of the Great Spirit.

Two very large rivers empty themselves into this lake, on the north and north-east fide ; one is called the Nipegon, which leads to a tribe of the Chipeways, who inhabit theborders of a lake of the same name, and the other is the Michipicooton river, the source of which is towards James's Bay, from whence there is but a short portage to another river, which empties itself into that bay.

Not far from the Nipegon is a small river, that just before it enters the lake, has a perpendicular fall from the top of a mountain, of more than one hundred feet. It is very narrow, and appears at a distance like a white garter suspended in the air. There are upwards of thirty other rivers, which empty themselves into this lake, fome of which are of a considerable size. On the south side of it is a remarkable point or cape of about fixty miles in length, called Point Chegoregan. About a hundred miles west of this cape, a confiderable river falls into the lake, the head of which is composed of a great assemblage of finall streams. This river is remarkable for the abundance of virgin copper that is found on and near its banks. Many small islands, particularly on the eastern fhores, abound with copper ore, lying in beds, with the appearance of copperas. This metal might be easily made a very advantageous article of commerce. This lake abounds with fish, particularly trout and fturgeon; the former weigh from twelve to fifty pounds, and are caught almost any season in the year in great plenty. Storms affect this lake as much as they do the Atlantic Ocean; the waves run as high, and the navigation is equally dangerous. It discharges its waters from the southeast corner through the Straits of St. Marie, which are about forty miles long. Near the upper end of these straits is a rapid, which though it is impossible for canoes to ascend, yet, when conducted by careful pilots, may be defcended without danger,


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Though Lake Superior is supplied by near forty rivers, many of which are large, yet it does not appear that one tenth part of the waters which are conveyed into it by these rivers, is discharged by the abovementioned strait. Such a superabundance of water can be dis. posed of only by evaporation *. The entrance into this lake from the ftraits of St. Marie, affords one of the most pleafing prospects in the world. On the left may be seen many beautiful little islands, that extend a considerable way before you; and on the right, an agreeable succession of small points of land, that project a little way into the water, and contribute, with the islands, to render this delightful bason calm, and secure from those tempeftucus winds, by which the adjoining lake is frequently troubled.

LAKE HURON, into which you enter through the straits of St. Marie is next in magnitude to Lake Superior.

to Lake Superior. It lies between 439 30 and 46° 30' of north latitude, and between fix and eight degrees west longitude. Its circumference is about one thousand miles. On the north fide of this lake is an island one hundred miles in length, and no more than eight miles broard. It is called Manataulin, signifying a place of spirits, and is considered as facred by the Indians. On the south west part of this lake is Saganaum Bay, about eighty miles in length, and about eighteen or twenty miles broad. Thunder Bay so called from the thunder that is frequently heard there, lies about half

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* That such a superabundance of water should be disposed of by evaporation is no fingular circumstance. There are some seas in which there is a pretty just balance between the waters received from rivers, brooks, &c. and the waste by evaporation. Of this the Caspian Sea, in Asia, affyrds an instance; which, though it receives several large rivers, has no outlet. There are others, to speak in borrowed languge, whose expence exceeds their income; and these would soon become bankrupt, were it not for the supplies which they conftaatly receive from larger collections of water, with which they are connected ; such are the Black and Mediterranean seas; into the former of which there is a constant current from the Mediterranean, through the Bosphorus of Thrace; and into the latter, from the Atlantic, through the Straits of Gibraltar. Others again derive more from their tributary Itreams than they lose by evaporation. These give rise to large rivers. Of this kind are the Dambea in Africa, the Winipiseagee in New Hamp. shire, Lake Superior, and other waters in North America ; and the quantity they difcharge, is only the difference between the influx and the evaporation. It is observable, that on the shores the evaporation is much greater than at a distance from them on the

The remarkable cluster of lakes in the middle of North America, of which Lake Superior is one, was doubtless designed, by a divine Providence, to furnith the iraterior parts of the country with that supply of vapours, without which, like the interior parts of Africa, they must have been a mere desert. It may be thought equally furprizing that there should be any water at all discharged from them, as that the quan. tity should bear so smal) a proportion to wbat they receive.



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