« ZurückWeiter »
ease was found, over a great extent of country, without excepting the Alleghany ridge, itself. Previous to this year, pulmonary consumption was rarely seen, and epilepsy was a rare disease in Ohio. These diseases are now as common as in the Atlantic states. Dyspepsia has become a very common disease, and doubtless, has been a sequel, to long continued intermitting and remitting fevers, by exhausting the powers of the liver.
In 1824 there were very few cases of intermittent or remittent fever, nor has there since been a general epidemic. In 1827, it was known, that while the river country was healthful, the small streams had the inhabitants of their banks, affected with dysentery. i .
It might be profitable, to our citizens, to mark out the wide difference between, what is, by common people called dysentery,--and the true dysentery or flux. These diseases of dysentery and diarrhoea, are confounded with each other, as being one and the same, whereas they are as opposite, in their nature, and in their appropriate remedies, as any two diseases, that affect the human body. The first, consisting of a continued stricture and constipation of the bowels, from first to last, and requiring evacuants for their remedy, while the last consists in a relaxation of the intestinal fibres, and requires astringents for its cure. Much mischief has occured from a want of discrimination in these diseases. We find accordingly that upon the approach of cold weather, a congestion and distention of the liver or spleen, take place, and frequently, a painful affection of the joints, which is called rheumatism, arising from the use of astringents in dysentery or flux, ; .
We have only further to add, that since the year of 1827, the health of our state, has been unparalleled by that of any other state in the Union, scarcely a case of fever to be seen among the residents of Ohio.
From 1827 to 1837, south of the summit level, between lake Erie and the Ohio river, fevers have been very rare. The Asiatic cholera was in Cincinnati, Chillicothe, Columbus, and sev. eral other towns in two summers, while that desolating scourge prevailed in the United States. We have enjoyed a degree of health unparalleled in the whole Union during the last ten years. Our autumus almost without a cloud in view, have been truly delightful. We see the rosy cheek, the cheerful countenance, the quick, light, elastic step, and hear the sound of industry in all its life and vigor, in all our growing and prosperous towns. We no longer have a sickly season, every year, as all new countries have, but in their stead, health, happiness and prosperity prevail. From all we hear, see, and know, of our country and its climate, we have reason to believe, and do believe, that Ohio will be one of the healthiest regions in the world. The forests are cleared off, to a great degree, over a large portion of our territory, and the grass and weeds, in the woods, have been ate down by the cattle. The whole surface of our soil, even in the woods, has become dry, compared with what it was twenty years since. The whole atmosphere is drier than formerly, and the fogs and mists which once rose from the earth every morning, and fell down upon it again in the evening in the form of a heavy dew, are no longer seen, felt, or known among us. Those who wish to find these things, must travel beyond us to the west. Our roads, twenty years since, were mostly shaded by a dense forest, and the mud was abundant in them, even in August. Those forests, are mostly destroyed, and our roads, are dry eight months in the year. Within a few short years, Ohio will present the aspect of an old settled country, traversed by canals and roads, thronged with travelers and animated by a dense population. Our winters have very little snow, and what we have soon disappears before the rays of the sun. While the people of New York and all the eastern states, even Philadelphia, are suffering from deep snows, and intense cold, it is not uncommon with us to have warm weather, freezing a little in the night, and thawing during the day, opened by a white frost in the morning.
Thus our winter proceeds, until early in March, when the farmer plows his fields, and sows his oats and other spring grains,
CURRENTS OF AIR.
The current which prevails most in all that part of the state lying south of the summit level between Lake Erie and the Ohio river, comes from the Mexican Gulph. This current follows the Mississippi upwards, and the Ohio river and its tributaries, to their sources, where it comes in contact with a current of air descending the lakes, from lake Superior and the Frozen Ocean. i These two currents having united their forces, pass down lakes Erie and Ontario, and through the St. Lawrence to the sea. Where these two currents meet, varies from forty miles south, to as many miles north of the summit level, between the waters of the Mississippi and those of the St. Lawrence. At the town of Delaware we have often seen both these currents, bearing along the clouds. Sometimes one current was uppermost, sometimes the other, as either set of clouds happened to be the most loaded with moisture. When those two currents of air impinge on each other, meeting at an oblique angle they both move with a very great force. A tornadoe, is the necessary result. Such an one touched Urbana, and rising, swept across Licking and Knox counties, a few miles below Kenyon college; then rushing along eastwardly, touching New Lisbon in Columbiana county, it passed onward, occasionally touching the earth, until it rose over the Alleghanies, and we heard of its ravages no farther in the United States. Across Licking and Knox counties its width was scarcely one mile, but where it moved, it prostrated every forest tree, or stripped it of its limbs and left it standing as a monument of its inexorable wrath. This tornadoe happened on the 18th of May, 1825.
On the other or northern side of the summit level, before mentioned, there was such a tornadoe in the year 1788, and it passed the Maumee river, about five miles below the head of the rapids, and moved eastwardly quite across the now state of Ohio, occasionally touching the earth and prostrating the forest wherever it descended to the ground.
Another effect, resulting from the impinging of these two currents of air, is the cooling of the waters held in suspension by either of them, and the consequent descent of the water in the form of rain, snow, hail, or dew. There is more rain on the summit level, than there is either north or south of it; more frost and snow.
The southern current of air is always warmer than the northwestern one, and those who live where these currents alternately prevail, sometimes changing several times in a day, feel all the inconveniences resulting from such frequent changes of temperature. This difference is from three to twenty, or even more degrees of Fahrenheit. Where these changes occur in very warm weather, the effect on the human system is very sensibly felt. Our westwardly wind, in the lower part of the state, is generally a dry one, and a gentle current of air.
The effect produced by this wind from the Mexican Gulph, is very sensibly felt by us in winter. It is the principal cause why our winters in Ohio, are much warmer than they are east of the mountains. In the winter of 1827–8 we had the southwestern current of air all winter. It came loaded with water, which fell in torrents, during that winter, and on the eighth of January, there was the greatest freshet which we had had for years before. And on the Scioto, we had no ice that winter, more than three-eighths of an inch in thickness.
During all that winter, while the rain was falling in torrents, in Ohio, there was no rain and but little snow on the Upper Misssissippi, in the Wisconsin country, and in all the region west of lake Michigan. In the following spring and summer, there was no rise in the streams of that region, worth naming. The whole winter there, was fair, almost without a cloud, and it was excessively cold, more so than common in that coldest of all countries in the world, for its latitude. So much for the difference of climate, between Ohio and Wisconsin Territory.
We have been at considerable pains to get as accurate information as possible, as to our winters, before we came into the state ; and our own recollection is relied on, for a period of twenty-five winters past. We proceed to state our information, as well as our recollections, as to the winters since 1785. · 1785 mild. 1799 severe. 1813 cold.* 1826 mild. 1786 mild. 1800 severe. 1814 mild. 1827 mild. 1787 mild. 1801 mild. 1815 mild. 1828 mild. 1788 mild. 1802 mild. 1816 mild. 1829 cold. 1789 mild. 1803 mild. 1817 mild. 1830 cold. 1790 mild. 1804 mild. '. 1818 mild. 1831 cold. 1791 severe.' 1805 mild. 1819 mild.: 1832 mild. 1792 severe. 1806 mild. 1820 mild. 1833 mild. 1793 mild. 1807 mild. 1821 mild. 1834 mild. 1794 mild. 1808 severe. 1822 mild. 1835 mild. 1795 mild. 1809 severe. 1823 mild. 1836 mild. 1796 severe. 1810 mild. 1824 mild 1837 mild. 1797 severe. 1811 mild. 1825 mild. 1838 mild. 1798 severe. 1812 mild.
The winter of 1791–2 was severe, and Governor Sargeant computed the snow that fell in the month of January, at twenty-four inches! On the 23d of January 1792, the thermometer sunk seven degrees below zero. The winter of 1796–7 is considered the severest one ever known in this state. On the morning of the 8th of January, 1797, the thermometer sunk eighteen degrees below zero. During that winter, the thermometer sunk below zero seven other mornings. The winters of 1791 and 1792, were quite cold, but not severe, like 1796 and 1797. During these last mentioned years, the Ohio was frozen over, four weeks, and frost occurred so late as the twenty-fourth day of May.
In the spring of 1834, we had a frost all over Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, as late as the sixteenth day of May, which
* Snow twenty-four inches deep at Fort Wayne.