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sombre features to kindle with habitual cheerfulness. And then this blessed age of our late posterity, is to wonder at the present; and to read with astonishment, that the science of physiology and the kindred studies have had no more influence on the systems of education in an age which boasts, and in many respects may justly boast, of its enlightened condition.
With the best wishes for this improved race of man, which future centuries may behold, we turn to the world around us, where the thousand inadvertencies, follies, or excesses of men, continue to make them heirs to a thousand evils, and where those concerned in education, instead of receiving of physiology the improved species, must bear with the faulty productions of nature, and make the most of such imperfect materials. Enough, we believe, has been said to show, that the care and culture of the body deserve to be methodically pursued in connexion with moral education. The great design of all efforts is, to bring the body and the mind into that condition, which shall most successfully promote the health, just action, and harmonious co-operation of both, for the real happiness of the individual. We never shall be able to explain their mysterious union; we may do much to make that union a happy and a useful one.
ART. VIII.-View of the United States, Historical, Geogra
phical, and Statistical; exhibiting, in a convenient form, the Natural and Artificial Features of the several States, and embracing those leading branches of History and Statistics best adapted to develop the present Condition of the North American Union. Illustrated with Maps, 8c. By WILLIAM DARBY. 18mo. Philadelphia: H. S. Tanner: 1828:
This is the age of exact science, and development in the arts. The last few years have defined more than the eighteen centuries of our era. All those capital improvements of which Europe and America boast, date within forty years. “Old things are laid aside, and every thing has become new."
Old books grow mouldy upon the shelves of the curious; they have yielded to that potent spirit, which estimates books for their practical teachings only. Our presses no longer labour for the few; they usher forth to the multitude. Learning is no longer the recluse, dwelling in cloisters, and sneering at the occupations of society. Our age has hailed the happy affiliation of the arts and sciences. Every science now is made to subserve some art; and valued exactly in proportion to its usefulness. This happy union characterizes
our era; and has developed those great agents in power and mechanics, whose action, with the certainty of intelligence, seems to perform all the duties of the social economy.
Chemistry applied to the arts, the philosophy of mechanics, and physical science, constitute that fulcrum which the ancient philosopher so much wanted; they support the great lever. of action that is moving the moral and physical world. Steam power, labour-saving machinery, with all their concomitant inventions, enable us to subsidize nature herself, and to go forth that real lord and master, so proudly promised in Holy Writ.
The physical sciences have entered our schools, and opened to us the great roll of nature, at whose readings the speculations of the old school have fled; all the clouds of mysticism have dispersed and left our horizon bright and extended. These sciences give an exactness to the mind that fits it for practical pursuits. We enter upon our duties with clear vision-we follow the plain laws of nature-reason upon every thing-analyse every thing. We take nothing on authority-nothing on faith. We apply nature's standard to all the arts, and her principles to all our operations.
Thus we are enabled to improve and extend every department of our domestic economy. We have given to agriculture a redoubled capacity to support our race; we have almost created new fruits and new animals, by enlightened practice. We have so much facilitated manufactures, by labour-saving machinery, that they reach after new worlds for a mart. We have accelerated intercourse by steamers, canals, and rail-roads, until time and space are almost nothing. We have elaborated our earths, salts, and minerals, into all the shapes that comfort, health, and luxury can desire. We have decomposed every substance, extracted every essence, and figured every object.
In this condition of science, when its true connexion with nature is every where recognised, its subserviency to the arts generally felt, and its amelioration of the human condition so highly appreciated, it was to be expected that physical geography and the political state of man would receive the attention due to their importance. Those philosophers and naturalists who claim the whole globe for a patrimony, and all mankind for readers, now regard with deep interest, the prominent and varied features of our earth. They are no longer content with lines of latitude, plano-delineations, and common-place descriptions ; they look to the great features of each continent, and of each country. They now cast countries into mountain ranges, plateaux, slopes, and basins, and calculate the influence which these features have upon climate and productions, as well as the health and habits of the human race; they note the Alpine character of the plants and animals; the capacity of the plateaux, and the de
leterious qualities of the basins. These naturalists stop not at the surface, they penetrate the substrata ; examine those carrières of rock that upbear the mountains, spread out the plains, and give character to the streams and basins, and estimate the capacity of each formation to support the vegetable and aftord mineral productions. They have established the mineral associations with each formation, and point the miner to his treasure. The Guthries, the Pinkertons, the Morses, with their commonplace descriptions and quaint divisions, are no longer satisfactory. We look to the bolder sketches of a Humboldt; to the more discriminating and better defined views of later investigations.
Europe has done much to develop her physical geography, In her last draughts, she preserves all the fixed features of her continent, and pays to them the proper homage. She considers the bearings of her mountains, and is studying their effect upon her climate and capacities. She does not smooth down her eminences to unmeaning plains. She has, with instruments having an accuracy unknown to former ages, established the astronomical position of all her important places. She has triangled her elevated points in England, France, Germany, and the regions of the Baltic, and ascertained their real heights and distances. By air lines, she has calculated the length of a degree of latitude in every parallel, from the Pyrenees to Lapland, and at this time, all surveys in Europe present each country in its true garb of mountains, slopes, and basins. France is now engaged in carrying lines parallel with the horizon, around all her basins and mountains. These lines rise in regular steps of ten toises from the lowest to the highest levels, and exhibit by their convergence or divergence at regular distances, the gentleness or abruptness of the slopes. Such surveys show the military capacity of the country for offensive or defensive operations; the practicability of extending roads, canals, and lines of intercommunication ; and with what facility the resources of one basin may, on any emergency, be thrown into another, either to aid its defence or supply its wants, when an enemy or scarcity threatens. These surveys present the fine perspective of a country, thrown into vertical sections or profile views.
Many departments of science directed by government-patronage or individual enterprise, meet in the common field of physical geography in Europe, and jointly labour to define and give value to it. The common geographer presents his charts and descriptions: the astronomer, his parallels, fixed points, and meridians: the naturalist, his phenomena, plants, animals, and curiosities: the geognostic indicates the formations of rock and their mineral associations: the chemist, the character of soils and substrata : the mathematician, his triangulations and points: the engineer, his lines of defence, elevations, defiles, and plains: the VOL. V.—NO. 9.
civil engineer, his vertical sections and communications: the scientifie observer, his ranges of the thermometer, the course of the winds, and the nature of the climate: the agriculturist, the capacity of the plains and basins to subsist a population. All these departments of science bring in their well-defined documentary facts, and make up that vast budget which constitutes physical geography.
But when we quit Europe, with its limited plains and narrow valleys, and approach this new world, our field enlarges and our vision expands. Plains open to our view as boundless as the ocean; mountains that look down upon the clouds; and slopes that cover four thousand miles in extent, with rivers coextensive, which seem to defy the known curvatures of the globe. We see Alpine plains extensive enough to be the seat of republics, rising in the tropical regions. Nature here limns upon her large scale; all her figures are colossal, all her features bold and strongly marked.
We leave South America and the Mexican table, and approach these United States: although the Cordilleras have sunk into more moderate dimensions, they are still extended, and the plains, valleys, and slopes, as large and as well defined. Europe asks of us, what is the character of our great plains and long line of mountains ? What are the climate, soil, and productions of this goodly patrimony? What its capacity to support our race ? Wherein is it better, or in what respect does it differ from the well known corresponding latitudes in the old world? And what has been done in these states to illustrate the real nature of our physical geography? We answer, that Darby's View of the Unit. ed States has done much, and will go far to satisfy these anxious inquiries and just requisitions of Europe. Mr. Darby has presented to us in a condensed shape, a complete view of the physical geography of this country, no where else to be found. He has opened the budget of geographical, statistical, and documentary facts, which have been accumulating for years, and digested them into order. Our country, with its strongly marked features, stands in relief by the perspective of Mr. Darby ; his sketch is not that of a Chinese, without light and shade; he presents us in our mountains and plains, our valleys and slopes.
Before we enter more particularly into the plan and merits of this work, it will be an interesting inquiry, to ascertain and enumerate the kind of information which aided Mr. Darby in his View, and formed the basis of his work.
In this country as well as in Europe, many departments of science, acting under the authority of the local and federal governments, and much individual enterprise, have been employed, to elucidate our physical geography. The local governments, like primary schools, have given the rudiments. The
states are sovereign within their limits, for all purposes of police and improvement. They present us accurate charts and maps of their respective territories, and are engaged in the construction of roads and canals, which oblige them to survey with science, and sketch with nicety profile views of their territory. In addition to this, the governor of each state makes up annually, and reports to the legislature, a very interesting mass of facts, declaratory of the finances, population, improvements, literature, health and agriculture of the state over which he presides. These reports are filed in the office of state, are accessible to all, and furnish facts very necessary to a full and perfect description of our geography. The federal government, however, has done infinitely more in this way. By the cessions of the different states, and by the purchase of Louisiana and Florida, it became possessed of the great valley of the Mississippi and the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, of which national domain Congress has organized 400,000 square miles into the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and the territories of Florida, Arkansas, Michigan, and Huron ; and three times as much more. remain unorganized. The direction of these lands has been thrown into a bureau of the government, called the land department; and with much science, under the superintendence of the late Josiah Meigs, one of our best mathematicians, they have been surveyed into sections of a mile square, founded upon a series of true meridians. There we see a minuteness of survey which puts older countries to the blush, extended over an area as large as all Europe, and developing its geographical features, its natural history, and its mineral and agricultural resources, in all the richness of detail and certainty of mathematics. This bureau of the federal government is invaluable to the physical geographer.
The portions of this national domain not yet embraced by these minute surveys, including the Rocky mountains, the Pacific slope, and the great plains of Missouri, have been partly explored by scientific and competent officers and naturalists, sent out under the orders of the government. Captains Lewis and Clark explored the Missouri river, the region of the Rocky mountains, and the Columbia river of the Pacific slope ; an extent of country within the temperate latitudes, never before examined by one expedition. Our squadron in the Pacific has examined the coasts of that ocean. Captain Pike explored the Arkansas and Red rivers; Dr. Hunter and William Dunbar, the Washita river; Major Long, the heads of the Mississippi, the St. Peters, Platte, base of the Rocky mountains, and the Arkansas river ; Governor Cass and Mr. M'Kenny, the north-western lakes and their connexion with the Mississippi; Mr. Schoolcraft and Lieutenant Thomas, the lead district of Missouri and Illinois.
These parties were aided by astronomical and other suitable