Travels in North America, in the Years 1841-2: With Geological Observations on the United States, Canada, and Nova Scotia, Volume 1

Wiley and Putnam, 1845

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Pagina 246 - England was the perception that only those works that have a practical tendency awake attention and command respect, while the purely scientific, which possess far greater merit, are almost unknown. And yet the latter are the proper and true source from which the others flow. Practice alone can never lead to the discovery of a truth or a principle. In Germany it is quite the contrary. Here, in the eyes of scientific men, no value, or at least but a trifling one, is placed on the practical results....
Pagina 118 - The water is transparent, though tinged of a pale brown color, like that of our peat-mosses, and contains abundance of fish. This sheet of water is usually even with its banks, on which a thick and tall forest grows. There is no beach, for the bank sinks perpendicularly, so that if the waters are lowered several feet, it makes no alteration in the breadth of the. lake. Much timber has been cut down and carried out from the swamp by means of canals, which are perfectly straight for long distances,...
Pagina 114 - It is one enormous quagmire, soft and muddy, except where the surface is rendered partially firm by a covering of vegetables and their matted roots ; yet, strange to say, instead of being lower than the level of the surrounding country, it is actually higher than nearly all the firm and dry land which encompasses it, and, to make the anomaly complete, in'spite of its semi-fluid character, it is higher in the interior than towards its margin.
Pagina 42 - By pursuing still further the same investigations, we learn that there are luminous clouds, scarcely distinguishable by the naked eye, but resolvable by the telescope into clusters of stars which are so much more remote, that the interval between our sun and Sirius may be but a fraction of this larger distance. To regions of space of this higher order, in point of magnitude, we may probably compare such an interval of time as that which divides the human epoch from the origin of the coralline limestone...
Pagina 114 - THERE are many swamps, or morasses, in this low, flat region, and one of the largest of these occurs between the towns of Norfolk and Weldon. We traversed several miles of its northern extremity on the railway, which is supported on piles. It bears the appropriate and very expressive name of the "Great Dismal," and is no less than forty miles in length from north to south, and twenty-five miles in its greatest width from east to west, the northern half being situated in Virginia, the southern in...
Pagina 131 - ... marshes. Thus at Beauly, I found upright stumps of trees of the pine, cedar and ilex, covered with live oysters and barnacles, and exposed at low tides; the deposit in which they were buried having been recently washed away from around them by the waves.
Pagina 15 - York after this time, that he " became convinced that we must turn to the New World if we wish to see in perfection the oldest monuments of the earth's history so far at least as relates to its earliest inhabitants. Certainly in no other country are these ancient strata developed on a grander scale or more plentifully charged with fossils; and as they are nearly horizontal, the order of their relative position is always clear and unequivocal.
Pagina 59 - In spite of the constant influx of uneducated and pennyless adventurers from Europe, I believe it would be impossible to find five millions in any other region of the globe, whose average moral, social, and intellectual condition stands so high.
Pagina 119 - Dismal, already covering so many square miles of a low, level region, bordering the sea, and capable' of spreading itself indefinitely over the adjacent country, helps us greatly to conceive the manner in which the coal of the ancient carboniferous rocks may have been formed. The heat, perhaps, may not have been excessive when the coal-measures originated, but the entire absence of frost, with a warm and damp atmosphere, may have enabled tropical forms to flourish in latitudes far distant from the...

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