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most of the European wines. Cotton is the natural production of this country, and grows in great perfection.
The sugar maple is a most valuable tree for an inland country. Any number of inhabitants may be forever supplied with a sufficiency of sugar, by preserving a few trees for the use of each family. A tree will yield about ten pounds of sugar a year, and the labor is very trifling. The sap is extracted in the months of February and March, and granulated, by the simple operation of boiling, to a sugar equal in flavor and whiteness to the best Muscovado.
Springs of excellent water abound in every part of this territory, and small and large streams, for mills and other purposes, are actually interspersed, as if by art, that there be no deficiency in any of the conveniences of life.
Very little waste land is to be found in any part of the tract of country comprehended in the map which accompanies this. There are no swamps, and, though the hills are frequent, they are gentle and swelling, nowhere high nor incapable of tillage. They are of a deep, rich soil, covered with a heavy growth of timber, and well adapted to the production of wheat, rye, indigo, tobacco, etc.
The communications between this country and the sea will be principally in the four following directions:
1. The route through the Scioto and Muskingum to Lake Erie, and so to the river Hudson, which has been already described.
2. The passage up the Ohio and Monongahela to the portage above mentioned, which leads to the navigable waters of the Potomac. This portage is 30 miles, and will probably be rendered much less by the execution of the plans now on foot for opening the navigation of those waters.
3. The great Kenhawa, which falls into the Ohio from the Virginia shore between the Hockhocking and the Scioto, opens an extensive navigation from the south-east, and leaves but 18 miles portage from the navigable waters of James River, in Virginia. This communication, for the country between Muskingum and Scioto, will probably be more used than any other for the exportation of manufactures and other light, valuable articles, and especially for the importation of
foreign commodities, which may be brought from the Chesapeake to the Ohio much cheaper than they are now carried from Philadelphia to Carlisle and the other thick-settled back counties of Pennsylvania.
4. But the current down the Ohio and the Mississippi, for heavy articles that suit the Florida and West India markets, such as corn, flour, beef, lumber, etc., will be more frequently loaded than any streams on earth. The distance from the Scioto to the Mississippi is 800 miles; from thence to the sea it is 900. This whole course is easily run in 15 days, and the passage up those rivers is not so difficult as has usually been represented. It is found by late experiments that sails are used to great advantage against the current of the Ohio, and it is worthy of observation that, in all probability, steamboats will be found to do infinite service in all our extensive river navigation.
Such is the state of facts relative to the natural advantages of the territory described in the annexed map. As far as observations in passing the rivers and the transitory remarks of travelers will justify an opinion, the lands further down, and in other parts of the unappropriated country, are not equal, in point of soil and other local advantages, to the tract which is here described. This, however, can not be accurately determined, as the present situation of these countries will not admit of that minute inspection which has been bestowed on the one under consideration.
It is a happy circumstance that the Ohio Company are about to commence the settlement of this country in so regular and judicious a manner. It will serve as a wise model for the future settlement of all the federal lands; at the same time that, by beginning so near the western limit of Pennsylvania, it will be a continuation of the old settlements, leaving no vacant lands exposed to be seized by such lawless banditti as usually infest the frontiers of countries distant from the seat of gov. ernment.
The design of Congress and of the settlers is that the settlements shall proceed regularly down the Ohio and northward to Lake Erie. And it is probable that not many years will elapse before the whole country above Miami will be brought to that degree of cultivation which will exhibit all its latent beauties, and justify those descriptions of travelers which have so often made it the garden of the world, the seat of wealth, and the center of a great empire.
To the philosopher and the politician, on viewing this delightful part of the federal territory, under the prospect of an immediate and systematic settlement, the following observations will naturally occur.
First. The toils of agriculture will here be rewarded with a greater variety of valuable productions than in any part of America. The advantages of almost every climate are here blended together; every considerable commodity, that is cultivated in any part of the United States, is here produced in the greatest plenty and perfection. The high dry lands are of a deep, rich soil, producing in abundance, wheat, rye, Indian corn, buckwheat, oats, barley, flax, hemp, tobacco, indigo, silk, wine, and cotton. The tobacco is of a quality superior to that of Virginia; and the crops of wheat are larger than in any other part of America. The common growth of Indian corn is from 60 to 80 bushels to the acre. The low lands are well suited to the production of nearly all the above articles, except wheat.
Where the large bottoms are interspersed with small streams, they are well adapted to the growth of rice, which may be produced in any quantities. The borders of the large streams do not generally admit of this crop, as very few of them overflow their banks. But the scarcity of natural rice swamps is amply compensated by the remarkable healthfulness of the whole country, it being entirely free from stagnant waters. It is found, in this country, that stagnant waters are by no means necessary to the growth of the rice ; the common rich bottoms produce this crop in as great perfection as the best rice swamps of the Southern States. Ilops are the natural production of this country, as are peaches, plums, pears, apples, melons, and almost every fruit of the temperate zone.
No country is better stocked with wild game of every kind. Innumerable herds of deer, elk, buffaloe, and bear, are sheltered in the groves, and fed in the extensive bottoms that every-where abound-an unquestionable proof of the great fertility of the soil. Turkeys, geese, ducks, swans, teal, pheasants, partridges, etc., are, from observation, believed to be in greater plenty here than the tame poultry are in any part of the old settlements of America.
The rivers are well stored with fish of various kinds, and many of them of an excellent quality. They are generally large, though of different sizes. The cat-fish, which is the largest, and of a delicious flavor, weighs from 30 to 80 pounds. Provisions will, for many years, find a ready market on any of these rivers; as settlers are constantly coming in from all parts of the world, and must be supplied by purchase, for one year at least, with many articles.
Second. From its situation and productions, no country is so well calculated for the establishment of manufactures of various kinds. Provisions will be forever plenty and cheap. The raw materials for fabricating most of the articles of clothing and dress, are and will be the luxuriant production of this country. Though silk, cotton, and flax are valuable in themselves, yet, by being wrought into the various articles of use and ornament, the expense of transportation is proportionably lessened. The United States, and perhaps other countries, will be supplied from these interior parts of America.
Ship-building will be a capital branch of business on the Ohio and its confluent streams. The Ohio, when at the lowest, admits of four fathom of water, from the mouth of the Muskingum to its confluence with the Mississippi, except at the rapids, which, at such times, interrupt the navigation for about one mile. The descent in that distance is only 15 feet; and the channel, which is 250 yards wide, has at no time less than 5 feet of water. In freshes, the water rises 30 feet; and boats are not only rowed against the stream, but ascend the rapids by means of their sails only. It is the opinion of the Geographer, and others who have viewed the spot, that, hy cutting a canal a little more than half a mile on the south side of the river, which is low meadow ground, the rapids may be avoided, and the navigation made free at all seasons of the year. Hemp, timber, and iron will be plenty and good; and the high freshes, from February to April, and frequently in October
and November, will bear a vessel of any burden over the rapids, in their present state, and out to sea.
The following observations, by an English engineer who had explored the western country, were addressed to the Earl of Hillsborough in the year 1770, when Secretary of State for the North American department—at a time when we were British colonies, and our country considered only as the handmaid to Great Britain, in furnishing raw materials for their manufactures.
“No part of North America will require less encouragement for the production of naval stores and raw materials for manufactories in Europe, and for supplying the West India islands with lumber, provisions, etc., than the country of the Ohio, and for the following reasons:
“1. The lands are excellent, the climate temperate; the native grapes, silk-worms, and mulberry trees, abound everywhere; hemp, hops, and rye grow spontaneously in the valleys and low lands ; lead and iron ore are plenty in the hills ; salt springs are innumerable ; and no soil is better adapted to the culture of tobacco, flax, and cotton, than that of the Ohio.
“ 2. The country is well watered by several navigable rivers, communicating with each other, by which, and a short land carriage, the produce of the lands of the Ohio can, even now, be sent cheaper to the sea-port town of Alexandria, on the River Potowmac—where General Braddock's transports landed his troops—than any kind of merchandise is sent from Northampton to London.
“ 3. The river Ohio is, at all seasons of the year, navigable with large boats; and from the month of February to April, large ships may be built on the Ohio and sent to sea, laden with hemp, iron, flax, silk, tobacco, cotton, potash, etc.
“ 4. Flour, corn, beef, ship-plank, and other useful articles, can be sent down the stream of Ohio to West Florida, and from thence to the West India Islands, much cheaper, and in better order, than from New York or Philadelphia to those islands.
“5. Hemp, tobacco, iron, and such bulky articles, may be sent down the stream of Ohio to the sea, at least 50 per cent cheaper than these articles were ever carried by a land