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HISTOEY OF NEW ENGLAND.
On the eastern coast of North America, midway between the equator and the pole, is a tract of land properly described as a peninsula, from a physical conformation which has had important relations to its civil history.1 The northern extremity of the Appalachian zone of elevated land is separated from the continent by the long bed of the St. Lawrence, and the deep and broad chasm which holds the waters of Lake Champlain, Lake George, and the river Hudson. The series of ridges and plateaus, which, rising from the sandy shore of the Gulf of Mexico, stretches nearly unbroken in a direction parallel to the Atlantic coast, is suddenly interrupted and cut down to its base by a valley sunk thousands of feet between the Katskill Mountains and the lofty chains and table-lands of the Adirondac region on one side, and the long belt of the Green Mountains on the other. The average width of this depression is not far from twenty.miles. At the north it expands into a broad prairie between Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence, while among the Highlands near West Point it is compressed to the diminished width of the Hudson where that river seems to have broken a link between the two parts of the Appalachian chain.
1 This geographical feature, though lyn, New England's Rarities, pp. 4, 5;
imperfectly understood, was not over- comp. his Voyages, p. 42.) Cush
looked in early times. "New England man (Discourse, ad init.) and Winslow
is by some affirmed to be an island, (Good Newes from New England, 62),
bounded on the north with the river at Plymouth in 1621 and 1623, believed
Canada, so called from M. Cane; on that it was an island; Wood, in Massa
the south with the river Mohegan, or chusetts in 1633, that it was an island
Hudson River, so called because he was or a peninsula (New England's Pros
the first that discovered it." (Josse- pect, 1).
VOL. I. 1
The insulation of this tract is all but complete. The tide runs up the St. Lawrence nearly five hundred miles, almost reaching the point where the river Richelieu, or Sorel, discharges the surplus waters of Lake George and Lake Champlain. The surface of Lake Champlain is only ninety feet above the ocean; the canal which now unites its waters with those of Hudson River running in an opposite direction, scarcely rises fifty more to its highest level; and at Troy and Albany, a hundred and fifty miles from the sea, the tide is met again, coming up from the south. Of that long depression of nine hundred miles from the mouth of the St. Lawrence to the mouth of the Hudson, the tide-waters cover six hundred and fifty miles; while for the remaining two hundred and fifty the elevation above the ocean is not so great as is reached by ordinary structures reared by the hand of man. A level way was prepared by nature, along which the travel and the commerce of tranquil times have at length succeeded to the incursions of savage or of civilized war.
The area thus defined as one physical region, and measuring with the neighboring islands about a hundred and forty-five thousand square miles, is occupied by the British Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, with part of that of Lower Canada; the six States of the American Union known by the collective name of New England; and a narrow section of the State of New Area of New York. New England, covering less than half of England. fids surface, extends from the forty-first degree nearly to the forty-eighth degree of north latitude, and from the sixty-seventh degree almost to the seventy-fourth