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LAKE Erie, is fituated between forty-one and forty-three degrees of north latitude, and between 3° 40' and 89 degrees west longitude. It is nearly three hundred miles long, from east to west, and about forty in its broadest part. A point of land projects from the north side into this lake, several miles, towards the fouth-east, called Long Point. The islands and banks towards the west end of the lake are so infested with rattlesnakes, as to render it dangerous to land on them. The lake is covered near the banks of the islands with the large pond-lily; the leaves of which lie on the surface of the water fo thick, as to cover it entirely for

many together; on these, in the summer season, lie myriads of water-snakes balking in the fun. Of the venomous ferpents which infeft this lake, the hifling snake is the most remarkable. It is about eighteen inches long, small and speckled. When you approach it, it flattens itself in a moment, and its spots, which are of various colours, become visibly brighter through rage; at the same time it blows from its mouth, with great force, a subtil wind, said to be of a nauseous finell; and if drawn in with the breath of the unwary traveller, will infallibly bring on a decline, that in a few months muit prove mortal. No remedy has yet been found to counteract its baneful influence. This lake is of a more dangerous navigation than any of the others, on account of the craggy rocks

which project into the water, in a perpendicular direction, many miles together from the northern shore, affording no shelter from forms. Presque Ille is on the south-east more of this lake, about lat. 42° 10. From this to Fort Le Beuf, on French Creek, is a portage of fifty-one miles and a half. About twenty miles north-east of this another portage of nine miles and a quarter, between Chatoughque Creek, emptying into Lake Erie, and Chatoughque Lake, a water of Allegany river.

Fort Erie stands on the northern shore of Lake Erie, and the west bank of Niagara river, in Upper Canada. This lake at its north-east end, communicates with Lake Ontario by the river Niagara, which runs from fouth to north, about thirty miles, including its windings, embracing in its course Grand Island and receiving Tonewanto Creek, from the east. About the middle of this river are the celebrated falls of Niagara, which are reckoned one of the greatest natural curiofities in the world. The waters which sapply the river Niagara rise near two thofand miles to the north-weft, and pasting through the lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie, receiving in their course, constant accumulations; at length, with astonining grandeur, ruh down a stupendous precipice of one hundred and fifty feet perpendicular; and in a strong rapid, that extends to the distance of eight or nine miles below, fall near as much more: the river then loses itself in Lake Ontario. The

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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 rifes 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 possession of the British Government.

LAKE ONTARIO, is situated between forty-three and forty-five degrees north latitude, and between one and five weit 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 Oswego 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 Messisaugas Indians call Manito' ah wigwam, or house of the Devil. The mcuntains which border on the lake, at this place, break off abruptly, and form a precipice of two hundred feet perpendicular defcent; 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 almost 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 descent, 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 make the ground for fixteen miles round.

LAKE CHAMPLAIN, is next in size to Lake Ontario, and lies nearly east 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 south, and in its broadest 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.

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LAKE GEORGE, lies to the fouthward of Champlain, and is a most clear, beautiful collection of water, about thirty-fix miles long and from one to seven miles wide, It embosoms more than two hundred ifands, some say three hundred and fixty-five; very few of which are any thing more than barren rock, covered with heath, and a few cedar, {pruce, and hemlock trees, and thrubs, that harbor abundance of rattlesnakes. On each side it is skirted by prodigious mountains, from which large quantities of red cedar are every year carried to New York, for ship timber. The lake is full of fishes, and some of the best kind; among which are the black Oswego bass and large fpeckled 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 fuid that the Roman Catholics, in former times, were at the pains to procure this water for sacramental 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 impetuofity, 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 fixty miles in a strait line, is about eight hundred and fifty-six by water. It

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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 Canadians, 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 sediment 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 strongest perspiration, and never receive any bad effects from it. The inhabitants of New Orleans use no other water than that of this river, which, by being kept in jars, becomes perfectly clear. VOL. I. Bb

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the fois, of fo rich and loose a quality, that, in a short time, the point was entirely cut through, and travellers faved 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 fince cut off, and the river diverted into new channels.

In the spring foods the Mississippi is very high, and the current so strong, 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 againft the ftream, and assist the ascending boats. The current at this season descends at the rate of about five miles an hour. In 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, fhoals, and sand-banks. The circumference of many of these foals being several miles, the voyage is longer, and in some parts more dangercus than in the spring. The merchandize necessary for the commerce of the upper settlements on or near the Misillippi, is conveyed in the spring and autumn in batteaux, rowed by eighteen or twenty men, 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 islands, 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 Miffiffippi, dividing the country into numerous islands. These fingularities distinguish it from every other known river in the world. Below the Ibberville, the land begins to be very low on both sides of the river acrofs the country, and gradually declines as it approaches nearer to the fea. 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 furface, 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 Miffissippi to the sea, the opening of that river was very different from what it is at present.

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The nearer you approach to the sea, this truth becomes more Ariking. The bars that cross most of these small channels opened by the current, have been multiplied by means of the trees carried down with the streams; one of which stopped by its roots or branches in a Ihallow part, is fufficient to obstruct the passage of thousands more, and to fix them at the same place. Aftonishing collections of trees are daily seen in passing between the Balize and the Missouri. No huinan force being fufficient for removing them, the mud carried down by the river ferves to bind and cement them together. They are gradually covered, and every inundation not only extends their length and breadth, but adds another layer to their height. In less than ten years time, canes, hrubs, and aquatic timber grow on them, and form points and islands, which forcibly shift the bed of the river.

Nothing can be asserted with certainty, respecting the length of this river. Its fource is not known, but supposed to be upwards of three thousand miles from the sea, as the river runs. We only know, that from St. Anthony's falls, in lat. 45°, it glides with a pleasant, clear current, and receives many large and very extensive tributary streams before its junction with the Missouri, without greatly increasing the breadth of the Misfiflippi, though they do its depth and rapidity. The muddy waters of the Missouri discolour the lower part of the river, till it empties itself into the bay of Mexico. The Missouri is a longer, broader, and deeper river than the Millissippi, and affords a more extensive navigation; it is, in fact, the principal river, contributing more to the common Atream than does the Misisippi It has been ascended by French traders about twelve or thirteen hundred miles, and from the depth of water, and breadth of the river at that distance, it appeared to be navigable many miles further.

From the Missouri river, to nearly opposite the Ohio, the western bank of the Miffiffippi, is, fome few places excepted, higher than the eastern. From Mine au fer, to the Ibberville, the eastern bank is higher than the western, on which there is not a fangle discernible rifing or eminence for the distance of seven hundred and fifty miles. From the Ibberville to the sea there are no eminences on either side, though the easter bank

appears rather the highest of the two, as far as the English turn. Thence the banks gradually diminish in height to the mouths of the river, where they are not more than two or three feet higher than the common fur. face of the water.

The nime which the annual floods of the river Mississippi leaves on the Surface of the adjacent shores, may be compared with that of the Nile,

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