National Geographic : 1893 Jul 10
The New England Peneplain. made. Nearly every state in our country must be much more carefully studied than it yet has been before its physical features will be made known to us. The geographical descriptions now accessible in print would be very gently characterized if only called " old fashioned." Where newer material has been pub lished, it is generally fragmentary, brief, and imperfectly illus trated. The first elements of geographical study, the physical features of the earth-especially of its surface-still call for devoted investigation. It is not simply a description of the forms of the land that is wanted. It is a recognition of the forms as dependent on struc ture and sculpture, and a comparison of like and unlike forms in a systematic manner. This requires special study, precisely as petrography does, and the desired end will not be gained until the work is placed in the hands of men especially trained for it. Having found this study an absorbing interest for several years past, I shall try to make my meaning clearer by introducing specific illustrations from New England. Southern New England consists essentially of a gently inclined plateau, rising to 1,400 or 1,600 feet above sea level in the rolling uplands of western Massachusetts * and southwestern New Hampshire, and thence descending gradually southward and eastward to sea level at the coast. This inclined plateau is nothing more than a slightly tilted lowland of denudation, the product of long-continued destructive action of the atmosphere by which a once larger mass was worn down to a surface of moderate relief close to the baselevel of its time. The south eastern extension of the old lowland was depressed beneath the sea at the same time that its interior portion was elevated to form our New England plateau; the present coast line therefore lies roughly midway on the surface of old New England. The continuity of the plateau-like uplands is interrupted in two ways; isolated mountains rise above it, and branching valleys sink below it. Mount Monadnock is a typical example of the former, with its bold summit more than a thousand feet above the surrounding plateau. When seen from a distance to the southwest, it rises in symmetrical triangular outline above the level skyline of its base. It is not a mountain of local con struction, raised by upheaval above the mass of the plateau; it * Nearly all the districts thus referred to in the address were illustrated by lantern slides.
1894 Jan 31
1893 May 05