Description of the New Netherlands

i3 protruding mountains, particularly those named the Highlands, which is a place of high, connected mountain land, about three miles broad, extending in curved forms throughout the country; separated in some places, and then again connected. There also is much fine level land, intersected with brooks, affording pasturage of great length and breadth, but mostly along the rivers, and near the salt water side. Inland most of the country is waving, with hills which generally are not steep, but ascend gradually. We sometimes in travelling imperceptibly find ourselves on high, elevated situations, from which we overlook large portions of the country. The neighbouring eminence, the surrounding valleys, and the highest trees are overlooked, and again lost in the distant space. Here our attention is arrested in the beautiful landscape around us, here the painter can find rare and beautiful subjects for the employment of his pencil, and here also the huntsman is animated when he views the enchanting prospects presented to the eyes; on the hills, at the brooks and in the valleys, where the game abounds and where the deer are feeding, or gambolling or resting in the shades in full view. The surface of the land generally is composed of a black soil intermixed with clay, about a foot or a foot and a half deep, in some places more, and in some less; below the stratum is white, reddish and yellow clay, which in some places is mixed with sand, and in others with gravel and stones. Here and there large rocks and stones appear on the surface. There are also hills of pure clay, but sand hills I have not seen, except near the sea-shore, which have been cast up or formed by the ocean. There also are very rocky places which our naturalists suppose abound in minerals. The mountains and highlands are in some places tillable and fertile, the soil being composed of clay intermixed with stone. Other parts are composed of rocks, of various colours, but all overgrown with wood, growing in the seams, rents, clefts, and ravines. Such are the aspects of the mountains, the hills and inland country. Near the rivers and water sides there are large extensive plains containing several hundred morgens;* in one place more and in another less, which are very convenient for plantations, villages, and towns. There also are brookiands and fresh and salt meadows; some so extensive that the eye cannot oversee the same. Those are good for pasturage and * A morgen is somewhat less than two acres.