Page:A Topographical Description of the State of Ohio, Indiana Territory, and Louisiana.djvu/76

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western, than on the eastern side of the river. From New Madrid to Pointe Coupee, a distance of more than eight hundred miles, the land on the western bank, with the exception of a few small tracts, is overflowed in the spring. In some parts the inundation extends fifty miles back from the river, covering vast cypress swamps, and lands producing different kinds of wood, with a depth of from two to twelve feet of water. No considerable settlements for this distance can be formed on the bank of the river. But much of the bank on the eastern side rises above the highest floods, and will admit of settlements and improvement. The waters of the Nile are extolled by the Egyptians, on account of their wholesome qualities and pleasant taste. The waters of the Mississippi, after filtration, or being in any way purified from a muddy sediment, are not disagreeable to the taste, especially to those who have been habituated to them. They are supposed to be possessed of medical properties, operating on some people as a mild cathartic, and generally cleansing the skin from curtaneous eruptions.

It is supposed the Mississippi takes its rise in a lake called White Bear Lake, but its head waters appear not to have been very accurately explored. The most that is known is derived from Indian information. The river above the falls of Saint Anthony, is called, by the Indians, Blue river. Here the stream is remarkably clear, and said to be navigable above the falls for three