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dollar for man and horse ; the highest, I believe, in the United States, if we consider the amount of the capital, and the quantum of travelling.
The appearance of Cayuga lake, except that there is no current, is exactly that of a great river. Its length is thirtyeight miles; and, if we include its windings, not far from forty. The water is clean. The banks are of a moderate height, sloping, and,' so far as the eye can reach, wholly covered, except at this little settlement, by a forest.
I have already mentioned several of these lakes. You may possibly wish to have a general account of them. The whole number in the western country is nineteen; of which fifteen empty their waters into the great lake Ontario. Two of the others, viz. Otsego and Caniaderago, are the head-waters of the Susquehannah proper. A third, Mud lake, is one of the sources of the Tioga. A fourth, Chataughque, is the principal source of Conewango creek; one of the head-waters of the Alleghany. The first fifteen, beginning with the easternmost, and proceeding onward to the westernmost, are the following: Names.
Length Breadth. 1 Oneida
20 miles. 6 miles. 2 Cazenovia ..
03 3 Onondaga
3 4 Otisco.
14 5 Skeneateles
2 6 Cross
2 8 Cayuga
4 9 Seneca
4 10 Crooked
2 11 Canandagua
2 12 Hanyaya, or Honeoye
2 13 Little
1 14 Hemlock
3 15 Canesus.
3 16 Otsego
3 17 Caniaderago
2 18 Chataughque
21 19 Mud..
To these if we add Long lake (of which, however, I know nothing but the name, and that it is said to lie in the county of Ontario), the number will be twenty. You will observe, I have given the greatest length and breadth of each. The first fifteen empty their waters into Lake Ontario by two channels. Of these the first eleven find a common passage in Oswego river; the remaining four by the Genesee. Crooked lake enters the Seneca by a small stream. The Seneca river carries their united waters into Cayuga river, just at the outlet. The Canandagua meets it farther down; as do the Owasco and Skeneateles still farther. Cross lake is a bason, formed by the common stream below the junction of the Skeneateles. The Onondaga unites with it about twenty miles still lower; and the Oneida, after receiving the waters of the Cazenovia, ten miles lower still. All these waters are considered here as received by the Seneca river, until their junction with the Onondaga. After this the common stream is known by the name of Onondaga or Oswego river, which is navigable for boats about seventy miles. At a future day, it is probable, that through this channel a considerable commerce will be carried on down Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence with Montreal, whenever that city shall become the seat of regular and extensive business. Canandagua, Seneca, Cayuga, and Oneida, are already useful channels of internal intercourse to the inhabitants on their shores, particularly for the transportation of lumber and wheat.
These lakes are important additions to the beauty of the country. All those, which I have seen, are handsome. How far they contribute to health or disease, it is difficult to determine. The lakes themselves, I suspect, are salubrious. Several of their outlets are, however, evidently noxious.
This is certainly true of the Cayuga outlet; which, together with some others, is marshy and disagreeable to the eye. The families at the bridge, though living on high and clean grounds, are, between the middle of August and the middle of October, exposed, as they informed me, to fevers, especially to bilious remittents. We found some of them very ill at our arrival. As the settlement lies south-eastward of this marshy ground, I was surprised to find this mentioned as the cause of the evil. In Connecticut, persons living at a small distance, on the southern side of stagnant waters, are rarely injured by them ; while those, who live at considerably greater distances on the northern side, particularly the north-eastern, are apt to be sickly at this season of the year. The reason is; the southern winds, particularly the south-western, blow in that state, with little interruption, throughout the summer half of the year. My surprise ceased when I was informed, that the north-western winds blow almost continually throughout the same season in this region, and therefore waft the miasmata of the marsh directly to this cluster of houses.
In the township of Aurelius there were, in 1800, 3,312 inhabitants; and, in 1810, 4,642.
The Lake Owasco lies almost equally in this township and Scipio.
After we had crossed the bridge, we entered the township of Junius ; and, travelling through a thinly settled and uninviting country about three miles, came to the Seneca river, a large, sprightly mill-stream of remarkably pure, transparent water. Here we found a small and poor settlement. The remaining distance to Geneva, about seven or eight miles, is a forest. The soil is a hard clay, producing scattered and stinted oaks. Here also we found, in two or three spots, the only white pines since we left the Chenango. The whole tract is dull and forbidding.
Two or three miles east from Geneva we left the turnpike, and directed our course to the Seneca lake. On the north end of this beautiful water, strongly resembling Lake George in its elegant, pellucid appearance, the waves, agitated by the south wind, have thrown up a hard beach, consisting wholly of small pebbles, about six feet in height, and two rods in breadth. A better road and a pleasanter ride can scarcely be imagined, that is, in a country só destitute of cultivation. The outlet of the lake, which is the commencement of Seneca river, is bordered by a low, marshy, dismal ground, a copy of one of those, concerning which Ossian says, that their mist is “ the dart of Death."
Geneva stands at the north-west corner of the Seneca lake. The town is partly built on the acclivity by which it is entered from the east, and partly on a single street, running north and south along the summit of the hill, the most beautiful eminence, I think, for the site of a town which I ever beheld.
The street is about a mile in length, and from 150 to 200 feet in breadth. The surface is an easy, obtuse, elegant arch, and at the highest point elevated about 200 feet above the lake. The houses are chiefly built on the western side, the lands on the eastern being devoted to gardens, declining to the water, and forming a very ornamental part of the landscape. The houses on the acclivity, and at its foot, are generally very indifferent, as are also a number of those on the hill. There are a few pretty buildings, a considerable number of decent ones, and, what is remarkable, as the town is scarcely of sixteen years' standing, a number well advanced in decay. This fact is partly accounted for by the negligence of the proprietors, and still more by the slight, imperfect manner of building, which to a great extent prevails throughout this region. The prospect from the street is more attractive than any other in this part of the state. The lake is the most beautiful piece of water west of the Hudson. The shores op both sides are handsome rising grounds, covered, like those of the Cayuga, with a rich forest. The south-eastern view is terminated at a great distance by a mountain of considerable length and moderate height, which, though exhibiting a straight, uniform summit, adds here an interesting variety to the landscape. The whole aspect is remarkably cheerful and pleasant, and is warmly commended by every traveller. Fortunately, the disagreeable buildings and marshy grounds which I have mentioned are chiefly out of sight.
Geneva is a settlement, formed by Major Williamson. The spot was pitched upon, both as an object of taste and a theatre of business. Hitherto, the latter part of the design has, however, failed. There are several stores and mechanics' shops, and a considerable distillery in the list of its buildings. But the general aspect of business is dull and lifeless.
A respectable clergyman is settled here, who preaches half the time to the inhabitants, and is employed the other half, as a missionary in the surrounding country, by the general assembly of the Presbyterian church.
There are about seventy houses in this village. It lies in the township of Seneca, which, in the year 1800, contained 1,522 inhabitants; and, in 1810, 3,431.
I am, Sir, &c.
Easton. Canandagua. Bloomfield. Charlestown. Hart
ford. Genesee River. Genesee Flats. Oak Plains. Their peculiar Appearance, owing to Fires kindled by the Indians. Their Soil productive. County of Genesee. Buffaloe. View of the Lake, &c. Beautiful Collection of Clouds.
TUESDAY, October 2d, we left Geneva in the morning, and rode to Bloomfield through Easton and Canandagua: twenty-one miles. In Easton we saw nothing remarkable, except that the forests to a considerable extent were composed of oaks. This township contained, in the year 1800, 476 inhabitants.
The township of Canandagua lies chiefly on the western side of the lake, heretofore mentioned as bearing this name, and in the centre of the county of Ontario.
The town of Canandagua * is built chiefly on a single street, formed along the great road. Its site is partly an easy, handsome acclivity, and partly an elevated level, at its termination. The situation is inferior in beauty to that of Geneva. The town itself is greatly superior. The houses are remarkably good ; in a better style than that of most older settlements, and at the same time are not defaced by any appearances of decay. The inhabitants are without a church, but have settled a respectable clergyman. A good building is erected here for an academy, on a very pleasant elevation. It is not yet completed, but so far advanced, that it is intended to establish a
* This name was formerly written Canandargue, and is now commonly written Canandaigua. Both modes are erroneous. The Iroquois have in no other case used the diphthong ai.