Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 10

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This very circumstance, combining with the condition in various respects of other countries
has made the North American states a subject of curiosity abroad, and has attracted to them
very many colonists from countries of an older civilization. And it deserves the attentive
curiosity of those also who are in possession of its benefits, and who, as we trust, are becoming
more sensible of their value ; for it would argue great ingratitude, or inability to appreciate
human privileges and blessings, should those which are the favored lot of the United States be
overlooked or disregarded.

It will not, then, be amiss, in this place, to take a general and extended but rapid prospect
of the country, in regard to its boundaries, divisions, and geography, including soil, climate,
rivers, mountains, lakes ; and to delineate, though briefly, the features of its history, progress,
and present state, in an agricultural, commercial, civil, literary, and religious point of view.

At the period, therefore, when this volume issues, the United States of North America are
thirty-one in number, enjoying each a separate local government, of its own choice and forma-
tion ; and to these are added six
territories, so denominated, whose government emanates
from the supreme authority of the nation or republic, until they also shall have acquired a
numerical population sufficient to establish a claim to become, by due form of law, sovereign

But before, entering further on the exhibition of the political institutions of the country, it is
proper to dwell on its natural features and boundaries.

The British possessions of New Britain, Upper and Lower Canada, with the province of
New Brunswick, form the north and north-east boundary, partially modified, since the peace of
1783, by new treaties.* On the north-west, Russia has indeed a territory upon this continent;
and Greenland, on the opposite side of it, but separated from it, belongs to Denmark; yet
neither reaches the United States' boundary. British territory alone is conterminous with it,
except in its direction through the lakes and a portion of the River St. Lawrence, of both
which it keeps the centre.

On the east is the Atlantic Ocean, which, with the Gulf Stream at no great distance, washes
the shore from the southern extremity of Florida to the extreme eastern coast of Maine. On
the south is the Gulf of Mexico, as far as to the mouth of the Rio Bravo del Norte, which
constitutes the limit between the republic of Mexico and the United States in that quarter, as
far as to the 32d degree of north latitude, whence it takes a western course until it strikes a
branch of the River Gila, which it follows to its entrance into the Rio Colorado, at the head
of the Gulf of California. Thence it crosses over Southern California to the Pacific Ocean, at
a point ten miles south of San Diego. This portion of boundary is under actual survey and
definitive settlement, by commissioners chosen by each power mutually.

The western boundary is the vast Pacific Ocean, from latitude 32° 29' 30" to 49° north, and
the Straits of Juan de Fuca; opening an almost illimitable career to navigation, enterprise,
and skill in the prospective commerce of the country — a commerce that must, in not a long
time, extend to all those Asiatic regions which from time immemorial have excited the cupid-
ity of Europe.

The territory embraced within these limits embodies an area of perhaps 3,250,000 square
miles. In this view, it ranks as the fifth of the great territorial powers of the earth ; Russia
being, since the disruption of the Spanish dependencies from the mother country, first in the
list, Great Britain next, then China, and afterwards Brazil.f

Such an extent in latitude must stretch, of course, through very different climates: so that
nearly every variety of temperature, and of animal, vegetable, and mineral productions, will be
included. And these have actually been found, not, indeed, in all respects similar to those of
Europe and Asia, but for by far the greater number.

* The last of which was negotiated by Hon. Daniel Webster, as secretary of state, and Lord Ashbur-
as commissioner on the part of England, and ratified November 10j 1842.

f Spain once possessed territories containing, by estimation, 9,332,000 square miles. Russia has
7,555,000; England, 6,508,000 ; China, 5,200,000; and Brazil, 3,390,000.

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