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STATE OF NEW YORK.
PHYSICAL FEATURES OF NEW YORK.
Square Miles, 45,658,(exclusive of the Lakes.) Population, 2,603,995.
Valuation in 1845, $605.646,095. Boundaries. New York is bounded North by Lake Ontario, the river St. Lawrence and Canada; East by Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut; South by the Atlantic Ocean, New Jersey and Pennsylvania; West by Pennsylvania, Lake Erie and the Niagara river.
Its extreme length from North to South is 310 miles; from East to West, including Long Island, 408 miles; exclusive of that island 340 miles. It extends from 40° 30' to 45° North Latitude, and from 5° 05' East to 20 55' West Longitude from Washington.
General Features. The Hudson and Mohawk rivers naturally divide the State into three sections, of unequal size.
The first comprises Long Island, and that portion of the State lying east of the Hudson river and Lake George. The second embraces all of the State lying north of the Mohawk and Oswego rivers;
and the third and largest, the vast, fertile tract, south of those two rivers. These three sections may be called the Eastern, Northern and Southern.
The ranges of mountains of these different sections are numerous, and some of them quite elevated.
In the Eastern division, the Taghkanic range forms the eastern boundary of the state, from Lake Champlain to Putnam county. At this point it turns southwestward, and the Hudson forces a passage through it.
On the west side of the Hudson it assumes the name of the Kittating mountains, and continues its course, into New Jersey and Pennsylvania, under that name.
The Northern section, comprising that portion of the State lying north of the Mohawk and Oswego rivers, has six ranges of mountains running northeasterly.
1. The Palmertown range, some portions of which have also received the names of Black, and Tongue mountains.
This range rises in the northern part of Saratoga Co., runs northeast through the tongue of land which separates Lake George from Lake Champlain, and finally terminates in bold and precipitous cliffs, at the shore of the latter lake, south of Ticonderoga.
2. The Kayaderosseras, or Luzerne mountains.
These are about six miles wide and seventy long, running from Montgomery Co., through Saratoga and Warren counties, along the Western side of Lake George to Ticonderoga.
The Hudson breaks through it on the line of Warren and Saratoga counties. 3. The Clinton range.
This extends from Montgomery Co. northeast, through Fulton, Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren and Essex counties, to Point Trembleau on Lake Champlain. It is the largest range of mountains lying north of the Mohawk. At its most elevated portion there are numerous distinct peaks, forming a remarkable group, known as the Adirondack. The Mohawk forces a passage through its southwestern extremity. This range divides the waters flowing into the St. Lawrence, from those flowing into the Mohawk and Hudson. Its principal peaks are Mounts Marcy, McIntyre, McMartin and Dial mountain. The first is the highest in the State, being 5467 feet above tide water.
4. The Au Sable, or Peru range.
This range commences in Montgomery Co., and, running parallel with the others through Fulton, Hamilton and Essex counties, terminates in the south part of Clinton county.
It is one hundred and sixty miles long, and higher than the preceding ranges. White Face, its loftiest peak, is 2000 feet in height.
5. The Chateaugay range.
This is the longest and highest range in the state. Commencing on the line of the Kaatsbergs, in Herkimer Co., it maintains an altitude of nearly 2000 feet through the counties of Hamilton, Franklin and Clinton; and crossing the Canada line terminates upon the Canada plains.
6. A range commencing ten or twelve miles from the northern extremity of the Chateaugay range, and trending along the slope of the St. Lawrence.
This has been little explored, and is of less extent than the last. The St. Regis, Grasse and other rivers descending into the St. Lawrence divide it into several distinct portions.
The Northern section has also two smaller ridges worthy of notice.
1. The Highlands of Black river.
This ridge extends from the sources of Black creek, west, and northwest, about sixty miles, covering much of the country between Black river on one side, and the plains north of Oneida Lake on the other. Its altitude is given at from twelve to sixteen hundred feet; and it has frequently a rolling surface upon its top of several miles in width.
2. The Hassencleaver mountain.
Hassencleaver ridge, extending from Herkimer county into Oneida, occupies the space between the Highlands and the Mohawk river. It is twenty miles long -about nine miles broad at its base and has an altitude varying from eight to nine hundred feet, with a rolling surface.
The third, or Southern section may be subdivided into two distinct portions—the Eastern and the Western.
The Eastern division has three distinct ranges of mountains.
1. The Highlands of Orange and Putnam counties, running to the northeast.
2. The Shawangunk, running in a similar direction, and skirting the valley of the Rondout.
3. The Catskill, or Kaatsberg, whose direction is northwest through the counties of Ulster, Albany and Schoharie, to the valley of the Mohawk. Those portions of this range lying in the counties of Albany and Schoharie, are called the Helderberg mountains.
The southwestern section, also called western New York, gradually rises, from the shore of Lake Ontario, till it obtains its highest elevation, in the southern tier of counties.
The first of the terraces, composing this ascent, extends from the Genesee river, near Rochester, to the falls of Niagara, at Lewistown, a distance of eighty miles, and froth six to ten miles in width. It is called the Ridge Road, and is supposed once to have formed the shore of Lake Ontario. It is about three hundred feet above the surface of the Lake.
The second extends from this ridge road to the falls of the Genesee, at Nunda And Portageville, where there is another abrupt declivity of nearly 300 feet.
This surmounted, the ascent is gradual to the summit level, at a height of 1500 to 2000 feet in the southern portion of Chautauque, Cattaraugus, Allegany and Steuben counties.
These terraces, though all quite fertile, are each characterized by a difference of soil and of forest trees.
NOTE. The following table presents the names, situation and elevation of the principal summits of these different ranges.
Feet. Mount Marcy, Adirondack Group, Essex county,
5,000 Dial Mountain or Nipple Top,
4,900 White Face,
4,855 Mount Seward, Adirondack group, Franklin county,
4,000 Round Top, Catskill mountains, Greene county,
3,804 High Peak,
3,718 Pine Orchard,
Orange New Beacon, or Grand Sachein, Highlands,
1,685 Butter Hill,
1,520 Old Beacon,
1,471 Breakneck Hill,
1,187 Anthony's Nose,
1,128 Mount Defiance, near Ticonderoga,
550 Fort Putnam, near West Point, Harbor Hill, Long Island,
319 Richmond Ffill, staten Island,
307 Lakes. New York abounds in lakes of great beauty and surrounded by the most lovely scenery.
Lake Erie, lying on the western border of the state, is the most extensive. It is 268 miles in length, and from 30 to 50 in breadth.
Its surface is greatly elevated, being 565 feet above tide water, and 334 above Lake Ontario. Its greatest depth is 270 feet, though its mean depth does not exceed 120. Only 60 miles of its coast lie within the state, and these afford but