National Geographic : 1893 Jul 10
New England and the Rhine Country. for example, a close correspondence may be found between our dissected New England plateau and the Hunsriick-Taunus plateau, through which the Rhine has cut its famous gorge below Bingen.* Here we find an even upland, with occasional eminences rising above it, and with deep valleys sunk below it. The eminences on the plateau are there, as with us, residuals of a once much greater mass, rising moderately above a base levelled surface; the valleys are the work of a later cycle of development, inaugurated when the old baselevelled surface was uplifted to its present altitude. In all this, southern New England and the plateau of the middle Rhine are thoroughly homologous, but certain significant differences between the two regions should be noted: The plateau of the middle Rhine is so extremely flat-topped that it must be conceived as having advanced further in its first cycle of denudation than New England; indeed, it is the best illustration of a smoothly baselevelled area. that I have found, and serves me as a type of such a form. On the other hand, its valleys are much narrower than ours; hence its second cycle must be regarded as less ad vanced than ours. Both regions possess composite topography, including similar elements; but the stages in the two cycles of development represented in each case do not precisely agree. I cannot now delay to illustrate other elements of our New England topography, even in so brief a manner as the plateau, with its residual mountains and its initiated valleys, has been treated; but I may record my conviction, based on experience with scholars of different ages and with teachers in schools of various grades, that all our geographical features, when studied out in a manner similar to that outlined above, become lumi nous in comparison with the obscurity of the conventional ac counts in our school books. The drowned valleys that form our bays, the drowned rivers that form our estuaries, at once gain a new meaning when thus explained ; and it is not a little remark able to see how little recognition there is in general teaching of the control exerted by depression of the land on the form of its coast line. Look at Narragansett bay, the fiord of the Thames at Norwich, of the Connecticut above Saybrook, of the Housa tonic towards Birmingham. of the Hudson even up to Albany all " drownded," like Pegotty's brothers at old Yarmouth ; yet * Excellent lantern slides of this picturesque region may be had from dealers; much better, in fact, than can be found for our scenery at home, although the latter is much the more important for our schools.
1894 Jan 31
1893 May 05