"The Mississippi," He Says, "Holds Its
Own From Its Very Origin; For It Is Not Necessary To Suppose, As Has
Been Done, That Lake Itasca May Be Supplied With Invisible Sources, To
Justify The Character Of A Remarkable Stream, Which It Assumes At Its
Issue From This Lake.
There are five creeks that fall into it, formed
by innumerable streamlets oozing from the clay-beds at the
the hills, that consist of an accumulation of sand, gravel, and clay,
intermixed with erratic fragments; being a more prominent portion of
the great erratic deposit previously described, and which here is
known by the name of 'Hauteurs des Terres' heights of land.
"These elevations are commonly flat at top, varying in height from 85
to 100 feet above the level of the surrounding waters. They are
covered with thick forests, in which coniferous plants predominate.
South of Itasca Lake, they form a semicircular region with a boggy
bottom, extending to the south-west a distance of several miles;
thence these Hauteurs des Terres ascend to the north-west and north;
and then, stretching to the north-east and east, through the zone
between 47 degrees and 48 degrees of latitude, make the dividing ridge
between the waters that empty into Hudson's Bay and those which
discharge themselves into the Gulf of Mexico. The principal group of
these Hauteurs des Terres is subdivided into several ramifications,
varying in extent, elevation, and course, so as to determine the
hydrographical basins of all the innumerable lakes and rivers that so
peculiarly characterize this region of country.
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