511

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CONNECTICUT.

511

(is generally 5. s.zc. as likewise through Massachus
setts, and part of Connecticut, until it reaches the
city of Middleton ; after wliich it runs a s, s. e.
course to its mouth. The navigation of this beau
tiful river, which, like the Nile, fertilizes tiie lands
through which it runs, is much obstructed by
falls ; two of these are between New Hampshire
and Vermont, the first are called the Fifteen-mile
falls ; here the river is rapid for 20 miles : the
second remarkable fall is at Walpole, formerly
called the Great falls, but now called Bellows’
falls. Above these the breadth of the river is in
some places 22, in other places not above 16 rods;
the depth of the channel is about 25 feet, and com
monly runs full of water. In September 1792,
however, owing to the severe drought, the water
of the river, it is said, “ passed within (he space
of 12 feet wide, and 2| feet deep.” A large rock
divides the stream into two channels, each about
90 feet wide ; when the river is low, the e. channel
is dry, being crossed by a solid rock ; and the
whole stream falls into the w. channel, where it is
contracted to the breadth of 16 feet, and flows with
astonishing rapidity. There are several pitches,
one above another, in the length of half a mile, the
largest of which is that where the rock divides the
stream. A bridge of timber was projected over this fall
by Colonel Hale, in the year 1784, 365 feet long,
and supported in the middle by the island rock,
and under it the highest floods pass without doing
any injury; this is the only bridge on the river,
but it is contemplated to erect another, SO miles
above, at the middle bar of Agar falls, where the
passage for the water, between the rocks, is 100
feet wide ; this will connect the towns of Lebanon
in New Hampshire, and Hartford in Vermont ; as
the former bridge connects Walpole in New
Hampshire with Rockingham in Vermont. Not
withstanding the velocity of the current at Bellows’
falls, above described, the salmon pass up the
river, and are taken many miles above, but the shad
proceed no farther. On the steep sides of the
island rock, at the fall, hang several arm chairs,
secured by a counterpoise ; in these the fishermen
sit to catch salmon with fishing nets. In the course
of the river, through Massachusetts, are the falls
at South Hadley, around which locks and canals
were completed in 1795, by an enterprising com
pany, incorporated for that purpose in 1792, by
the legislature of Massachusetts. In Connecticut
the river is obstructed by falls at Enfield, to ren
der which navigable in boats, a company has been
incorporated, and a sum of money raised by lot
tery, but nothing effectual is yet done. The

average descent of this river from Weathersfield in
Vermont, 150 miles from its mouth, is two feet to
a mile, according to the barometrical observations
of J. Winthrop, Esq. made in 1786. The rivers
or streams which fall into Connecticut river are
numerous; such of them as are worthy of notice
will be seen under their respective names. At its
mouth is a bar of sand, which considerably ob
structs the navigation ; it has 10 feet water on it
at full tides, and the depth is the same to Middle
ton, from which the bar is 36 miles distant. Above
Middleton there are some shoals which have only
six feet water at high tide, and here the tide ebbs
and flows about eight inches ; three miles above
that city the river is contracted to about 40 rods
in breadth, by two high mountains ; on almost
every other part of the river the banks are low,
and spread into fine extensive meadows. In the
spring floods, which generally happen in May,
these meadows are covered with water. At Hart
ford, the water sometimes rises 20 feet above the
common surface of the river, and the water hav
ing no other outlet but the above mentioned strait,
it is sometimes tw o or three weeks before it returns
to its usual bed ; these floods add nothing to-the
depth of water on the bar at the mouth of the
river, as the bar lies too far off in the sound to be
affected by them. This river is navigable to
Hartford city upwards of 50 miles from its mouth,
and the produce of the country for 200 miles above
it, is brought thither in boats. The boats which
are used in this business are flat-bottomed, long,
and narrow, and of so light a make as to be port
able in carts : before the construction of locks and
canals on (his river, they were taken out at three
different carrying places, all of which made 15
miles : it is expected that in a few years the ob
structions will be all removed. Sturgeon, salmon,
and shad, are caught in plenty in their season, from
the mouth of the river upwards, excepting stur
geon, which do not ascend the upper falls; be
sides a variety of small fish, such as pike, carp,
perch, &c. There is yet a strong expectation of
opening a communication between this river and
the Merrimack, through Sugar river, which runs
into the Connecticut at Claremont in New Mamp
shire, and the Contoocook, which falls into tlie
Merrimack at Boscawen. From this river were
employed, in 1789, three brigs of 180 tons each,
in the European trade ; and about 60 sail, from
60 to 150 tons, in the VV. India trade, besides
a few fishermen, and 40 or 50 coasting vessels.
The number has considerably increased since.)

(Connecticut, a stream in Long island, New

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