Hayward’s United States Gazetteer (1853) page 674

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miles in that direction. Their base is about 10
miles broad.

The Indian name of these mountains, accord-
ing to Dr. Belknap, was
Agiocochook. An ancient
tradition prevailed among the savages, that a
deluge once overspread the land, and destroyed
every human being, except a single powwow and
his wife, who sheltered themselves in these ele-
vated regions, and thus preserved the race from
extermination. The fancy of the natives peopled
these mountains with beings'of a superior rank,
who were invisible to the human eye, but some-
times indicated their presence by tempests, which
they were believed to control with absolute au-
thority. The savages, therefore, never attempted
to ascend the summit, deeming the attempt peril-
ous, and success impossible. But they frequented
the defiles and environs of the mountains, and
of course propagated many extravagant descrip-
tions of their appearance ; declaring, among other
things equally credible, that they had seen car-
buncles at immense heights, which, in the dark-
ness of night, shone with the most brilliant and
dazzling splendor.

President Alden states, that the White Moun-
tains were called, by one of the eastern tribes,
Waumbekke.tmeih.na. Waumbekket signifies white,
and methua, mountains.

These mountains are the highest in New Eng-
land ; and, if we except the Rocky Mountains,
whose height has not been ascertained, and one
or two peaks in North Carolina, they are the
most lofty of any in the United States. Their
great elevation has always rendered them exceed-
ingly interesting, both to the aboriginal inhabit-
ants and to our ancestors. They were visited
by Neal, Jocelyn, and Field, as early as 1632,
who gave romantic accounts of their adventures,
and of the extent and sublimity of the moun-
tains. They called them the
Crystal Hills.

Since that time this mountainous region has
been repeatedly explored by hunters and men of

Although these mountains are 65 miles distant
from the ocean, their snow-white summits are
distinctly visible, in good weather, more than
miles from shore. Their appearance, at that
distance, is that of a silvery cloud skirting the

The names here given are those generally ap-
propriated to the different summits :
Mount Wash-
is known by its superior elevation, and by
its being the southern of the three highest peaks.
Mount Adams is known by its sharp, terminating
peak, and being the second north of Washington.
Jefferson is situated between these two. Madison
is the eastern peak of the range. Monroe is the
first to the south of Washington.
Franklin is the
second south, and is known by its level surface.
Lafayette is known by its conical shape, and being
the third south of Washington. The ascent to
the summits of these mountains, though fatiguing,
is not dangerous; and the visitant is richly re-
warded for his labor and curiosity. In passing
from the Notch to the highest summit, the trav-
eller crosses the summits of Mounts Lafayette,
Franklin, and Monroe. In accomplishing this,
he must pass through a forest, and cross several
ravines. These are neither wide nor deep, nor
are they discovered at a great distance; for the
trees fill them up exactly even with the mountain
on each side, and their branches interlock with
*ach other in such a manner that it is very diffi-
cult to pass through them, and they are so stiff
and thick as almost to support a man's weight.
Mount Lafayette is easily ascended. Its top, to
the extent of five or six acres, is smooth, and
gradually slopes away in every direction from its
centre. It even has a verdant appearance, as it
is every where covered with short grass, which
grows in little tufts, to the height of four or five
inches. Among these tufts, mountain flowers
are thinly scattered, which add life and beauty to
the scene. The prospect from this summit is
beautiful. To the N., the eye is dazzled with the
splendor of Mount Washington ; N. W. are seen
the settlements in Jefferson ; W., the courses of
the Amonoosuck, as though delineated on a map;

S. W., the Moosehillock and Haystack are dis-
covered ; S., Choeorua Peak; S. E., the settle-
ments and mountains in Bartlett; E., only dark
mountains and forests. On descending this
mountain, a small patch of water is found at its
base, from which the ascent, is gradual to the
summit of Mount Franklin. After crossing this
mountain, you pass over the east pinnacle of
Mount Monroe, and soon find yourself on a plain
of some extent, at the foot of Mount Washing-
ton. Here is a fine resting-place, on the margin
of a beautiful sheet of water, of an oval form,
covering about three fourths of an acre. The
waters are pleasant to the taste, and deep. . Not a
living creature is to be seen in the waters at this
height on the hills; nor do vegetables of any
kind grow in or around them, to obscure the
clear rocky or gravelly bottom , oh which they
rest. A small spring discharges itself into this
pond, at its south-east angle. Another pond, of
about two thirds its size, lies north-west of this.
Directly before you, the pinnacle of mount Wash-
ington rises with majestic grandeur, like an im-
mense pyramid, or some vast Kremlin, in this
magnificent city of mountains. The pinnacle is
elevated about
1500 feet above the plain, and is
composed principally of huge rocks.of granite
and gneiss, piled together, presenting a variety
of colors and forms.

In ascending, you must pass enormous masses
of loose stone : but a ride of half an hour will
generally carry you to the summit. The view
from this point is wonderfully graad' and pictu-
resque. Innumerable mountains, lakes, ponds,
rivers, towns, and villages meet the delighted
eye, and the dim Atlantic stretches its waters
along the eastern horizon. To the north is seen
the lofty summits of Adams and Jefferson; and
to the east, a little detached from the range,
stands Mount Madison. Mount Washington is
supported on the north by a high ridge, which
extends to Mount Jefferson ; on the north-east by
a large grassy plain, terminating in a vast spur,
extending far away in that direction; east, by a
promontory, which breaks off abruptly at St.
Anthony's Nose ; south and south-east by a grassy
plain, in summer, of more than
40 acres. At the
south-eastern extremity of this plain a ridge com-
mences, which slopes gracefully away towards
the vale of the Saco, upon which, at short dis-
tances from each other, arise rocks, resembling,
in some places, towers; in others, representing
the various orders of architecture.

It would be vain in us to attempt a description
of the varied wonders which here astonish and
delight the beholder. To those who have visited
these mountains, our description would be tame
and uninteresting: and he who has never ascend-

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