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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1853, by
ZADOCK THOMPSON, in the Clerk's office of the District Court, for the District of Vermont.
A little more than ten years have now elapsed since the publication of my Natural, Civil and Statistical History of Vermont. In that work I endeavored to collect and present as concisely and clearly as I was able, and, at the same time, as fully as the state of knowledge and my prescribed limits would permit
1. An account of the Natural History of the State, embracing its physical geography, zoology, botany and mineralogy.
II. The Civil History of the State, comprehending the settlement of the territory, the organization of the government, and the progress of legislation and improvement, together with a full account of the controversy with New York, the negotiations with the British in Canada, and of our various political, literary and religious institutions.
III. A Historical and Statistical Gazetteer, embracing a full account of all the counties, towns, streams, &c., in the State, arranged in alphabetical order.
Since the publication of that work, rail roads and the magnetic telegraph have been introduced into the State, and very considerable changes have taken place. A Geological Survey of the State has been commenced, but was discontinued, without any full publication of the results ; in consequence of which, the greater part of the discoveries made and the facts elicited, have been lost to the State and the world ; while a very small additional appropriation in 1847, would have secured to the State a Final Report on the Geology of Vermont, which would have been not only creditable to the State Geologist, but an honor and treasure to the State. But notwithstanding the loss, which has been occasioned, by this penny wise and pound foolish policy of the legislature, our general knowledge of the geology, and of the mineralogical productions of the State, has been greatly enlarged by the information elicited and made public during the continuance of the survey.
During the last ten years, I have spent a large portion of my time in collecting and preserving facts in relation to the natural and çivil history of the State, thinking that the time might possibly come, when I should be warranted in the publication of a new and improved edition of the whole work. But the new materials having largely accumulated, and the number of copies of the original work, on hand, being such as to afford no encouragement for a speedy republication of the entire work, I concluded to select some of the principal items into the form of an Appendix, which might be bound with the remaining copies of the original work, and also be bound separately for those who already have the origi: nal work and desire the Appendix.
The matter of the Appendix will be found, to belong almost entirely, to the department of Natural History. This is not owing to any lack of materials for making additions to the other parts, but because those materials could not be so conveniently used in their separate condition. Additions to a work of this nature are, necessarily, fragmentary; and to be used advantageously, they must be in corporated by re-writing the whole. But as this could not be done without reprinting the whole, I have selected, for the Appendix, such materials as I thought would be most interesting and useful in their separate state ; and these, for the most part, relate to Natural History.
Since the publication of my work in 1842, much light has been thrown upon the early history of our State by the antiquarian researches of Henry Stevens, Esq., and facts have been developed, which remove the mystery from certain transactions in our revolutionary struggles. But the introduction of these matters into the Appendix would require a repetition of much of the history of that period, to make it intelligible, and, consequently, more room than can be spared for it.
The history of our legislation during the last ten years, if fully written, would furnish an interesting and instructive chapter ; but that, too, is excluded for the want of room. Perhaps the most important acts of legislation within the time, are those which relate to schools and the sale of alcoholic liquors. But, these several acts have not yet been fully tested by experience. The general school law of 1845, appeared to have been drawn with much care, and to promise an efficient provision for the advancement of primary education in the State, and it is to be regretted that it had not been more fully tested, before it was mutilated by repeals and additional enactments; and was violated by the body which enacted it, by their neglect to appoint a State Superintendent of Schools. But in spite of all obstacles, I am happy in believing that the cause of education is advancing, and that one of the most efficient causes of this advancement in our large villages, is the establishment of Union Schools. These schools furnish to the children of the poor the same advantages which are enjoyed by those of the rich, for pursuing the higher branches of study, and thus afford a universal stimulus in all the classes in the several schools, which form the union.
To almost every article in the Gazetteer, alterations and additions might be made, but, for the reasons already stated, it was deemed inexpedient. If life and health should be spared for a few years longer, it would afford me much satisfaction to re-write the whole work, and, by incorporating in it the additional material, make it more worthy of the approval and patronage of my fellow citizens, but, as the great expense would preclude me from the possibility of being able to publish a new edition, that satisfaction is not likely to be realized.
Z. THOMPSON. Burlington, April 9, 1853.
NATURAL HISTORY OF VERMONT.
DESCRIPTIVE AND PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY OF VERMONT.
Vermont is in the township of Canaan,
and the most western in the township of Situation, Boundaries, Extent and Divis. Addison. This state lies nearly in the ions.
middle of the north temperate zone. The Situation.-Vermont is situated in the longest day at the south line of the state, northwestern corner of New England, is 15h. 9m. 93., and at the norih line, 15h. and lies between the parallels of 42° 44' 25m. 50s. and 45° of north latitude, and between 3° Boundaries.-Vermont is bounded on 35' and 5° 29' of east longitude from the the north by the province of Canada, on Capitol of the United States at Washing. the east by New Hampshire, on the south, ton, or between 71° 33' and 73° 25' of by Massachusetts, and on the west by west longitude from Greenwich Observa- New York. The north line of the state tory.* The most eastern extremity of runs upon the parallel of latitude 45°
north. This line was first surveyed by Where it is not otherwise specified, the longitudes given in this work are in all cases reckoned commissioners appointed by the provinces from the Capitol of the United States. The longi- of New York and Canada, in the year tude of the Capitol from Greenwich, according to 1767. It was afterwards run, but very the most recent observations, is 7701' 48''. It is very much to be lamented that the longitude of erroneously, by I. Collins and I. Carden. places in Vermont is so imperfectly known.
We in 1772. In 1806, Dr. Samuel Williams are not aware that a single point within the state made some observations with the view of has been determined with any pretensions to ac- ascertaining the true north lineof the state, served and some calculations have been made, for and still further observations were made in the purpose of deducing from then the longitude of 1818, by Messrs. Hassler and
Tiarks, surthe places ; but the only observations within our veyors under the treaty of Ghent. Acknowledge, which have hitherto been regarded as entitled to any degree of confidence, were those of the longitude of the University, But the opportuthe solar eclipse of 1811, made at Burlington by Prof. nity proved unfavorable, the sun being hid by clouds James Dean and John Johnson, Esq., and at Rut during the greater part of the eclipse. Of the ben land by Dr. Williams. The longitude of the Uni- ginning he had a tolerable observation, and from this versity of Vermont, deduced from these observa- | alone he carefully calculated the longitude by Di; tions by Dr. Bowdich, was 73° 14' 34", and of Rut- Bowdich's precepts, and the result was 730 10: 36" land court house 72° 57' 27"' west from Greenwich
for the longitude of the University, or about 4m. less observatory, and in accordance with these has the longitude of the different parts of the state been and, as he is inclined, from other circumstances, to
than was obtained from the preceding observations laid down upon our maps. In 1838, the author pre
think it as near an approximation to the true lonpared, with
much care, for observing the large solar gitude as any yet obtained, has adopted it in this eclipse of that year, for the purpose of determining work.