Imagens da página



formerly had an abundance, have ceased state of New York, and more than half of to receive the necessary supply of water it within the limits of Vermont. It exduring a considerable portion of the year; tends in a straight line from south to and many mill sites, which were once north, 102 miles along the western bounthought valuable, have, from the same dary, from Whitehall to the 45th degree cause, become entirely useless. One of of latitude, and thence about 24 miles to the principal causes of this diminution of St. Johns in Canada, affording an easy our streams is supposed to be the cutting communication with that province and down of the forests, which formerly threw with New York. This lake is connected off immense quantities of vapor into the with Hudson river, at Albany, by a canal atmosphere, which was again precipitated 64 miles in length; so that the towns lyupon the earth in rain and snow. But it ing on the shores of Lake Champlain is believed that the quantity of water have direct communication by water with which annually passes off in our streams the cities of Troy, Albany, Hudson, and is not so much less than formerly as is New York, and, by means of the great generally imagined. Before the country western canal, with the great western was cleared, the whole surface of the lakes. The length of this lake from ground was deeply covered with leaves, south to north, measured in a straight line limbs, and logs, and the channels of all from one extremity to the other, and supthe smaller streams were much obstruct-posing it to terminate northerly at St. ed by the same. The consequence was, Johns, is 126 miles. Its width varies from that, when the snows dissolved in the one fourth of a mile to 13 miles, and the spring, or the rains fell in the summer, mean width is about 4d miles. This would the waters were retained among the give an area of 567 square miles, two leaves, or retarded by the other obstruc-thirds of which lie within the limits of tions, so as to pass off slowly, and the Vermont. The waters, which this lake streams were kept up, nearly uniform as receives from Vermont, are drained, by to size, during the whole year. But since rivers and other streams, from 4088 miles the country has become settled, and the of its territory. Its depth is generally obstructions, which retarded the water, sufficient for the navigation of the largest removed by freshets, when the snows vessels. It received its present name melt or the rains fall, the waters run off from Samuel Champlain, a French noblefrom the surface of the ground quickly, man, who discovered it in the spring of the streams are raised suddenly, run rap- 1609, and who died at Quebec in 1635, idly, and soon subside. In consequence and was not drowned in its waters, as has of the water being thus carried off more been often said.* One of the names givrapidly, the streams would be smaller en to this lake by the aborigines is said to than formerly during a considerable part have been Caniaderi-Guarunte, signifying of the year, even though the quantity of the mouth or door of the country. If so, water be the same. It is a well known it was very appropriate, as it forms the fact that the freshets in Vermont are gate-way between the country on the St. more sudded and violent than when the Lawrence and that on the Hudson. The country was new.

name of this lake in the Abenà qui tongue The waters of the lakes, ponds and was Petawa-bouque, signifying alternate streams are universally soft, miscible with land and water, in allusion to the numereoap, and in general free from foreign ous islands and projecting points of land substances. And the same may be said along the lake. Previous to the settle. of most of the springs, particularly on the ment of the country by Europeans, this Green Mountains, and in that portion of lake had long been the thorough-fare bethe state lying east of these mountains. tween hostile and powerful Indian tribes, The waters of most of the springs and and its shores the scene of many a mortal wells in the western part of the state conflict. And after the settlement, it are rendered hard and unsuitable for continued the same in reference to the washing by the lime they hold in solu- French and English colonies, and subsetion, and there are many springs which quently in reference to the English in are highly impregnated with Epsom salts, Canada and the United States. In conand others containing iron, sulphuretted sequence of this peculiarity of its locahydrogen, &c. These mineral springs tion, the name of Lake Champlain stands will be described in another place. connected with some of the most interest

Lakes and Ponds. Small lakes and ing events in the annals of our country; ponds are found in all parts of Vermont, and the transactions associated with the but there are no large bodies of water names of Ticonderoga, and Crown Point, which lie wholly within the state. Lake Champlain lies between this state and the Sea Part II, p. 2. tSpafford'sGaz.of N.Y., p. 98.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1842, by

ZADOCK THOMPSON, in the Clerk's office of the District Court, for the District of Vermont.


Ever since the publication of his Gazetteer of Vermont in 1824, the author has contemplated a larger work, which should embrace, not only the Gazetteer, but a general History of the state, both Natural and Civil. He accordingly commenced collecting and laying aside materials for that purpose, and during the four years last past, he has devoted the greater part of his time to the preparation and publication of the work. His means and facilities for the researches and investigations in which he has been engaged, have not been such as he could have wished; but he has endeavored to improve these, such as they were, to the best advantage; and DOW, through the blessing of a kind Providence, he is enabled to lay before his fellow citizens the result of his labors. That his work, embracing, as it does, subjects so multifarious and dissimilar, has many imperfections, he is fully sensible; but he ventures to indulge the hope that it may be found to answer the reasonable expectations of all, and especially of those who can duly appreciate the labor and difficulties of a work of this kind.

For convenience in printing, the three several parts into which the work is divided, have been separately paged, and, to the two first parts, separate indices have been prepared. On account of the alphabetical arrangement of the third part, an index to that was thought to be unnecessary.

Part First is devoted to the Natural History of the state, and is almost wholly the result of original investigations. The only general account of our Natural History, which has hitherto been published, is that contained in Dr. Williams' History. Though highly interesting and useful, that account was prepared at a period and under circumstances which necessarily rendered it imperfect, and in many respects erroneous. Misled by the vulgar names, and depending upon the representations of the hunters, he has in, perhaps, a majority of cases, applied the scientific names of European animals to ours, which, though bearing considerable resemblance to them, are specifically distinct. The first chapter of this part contains the result of several years' meteorological observations made by the author at Burlington, and also of observations made at several other places within the state. Some new views will also be found here respecting the formation of ice, earthquakes, the cause of the coldness of our climate compared with that of Europe, &c. The descriptions in the four following chapters have been nearly all made by the author, directly from Vermont animals. In some cases, where Vermont specimens could not be procured, and the animal was known to exist in the state, a borrowed description has been introduced, but in all such cases the source from which it was derived has been indicated, by placing the name of the author at the close of the description In making out his account of the Birds, he was much assisted by a list of Vermont Birds, kindly furnished by Dr. Thomas M. BREWER, of Boston; and in determining several species of Reptiles and Fishes, he has been kindly aided by Dr. D. H. STORER, also of Boston. For the full descriptions of our Molluscous Animals, in the sixth chapter, he is indebted to the kindness of Prof. C. B. Adams, of Middlebary College, and the full and excellent Catalogue of Vermont Plants has been

« AnteriorContinuar »