National Geographic : 1900 Apr
130 THE ANGLO- VENEZUELAN BOUNDARY DISPUTE indirect. The bitterness over the Alsace-Lorraine boundary is strik ingly in evidence on the continent today. The boundary line be tween Massachusetts and New Hampshire, surveyed and marked in 1741, has, after a lapse of about 150 years, only recently been ac cepted. The Alaskan boundary, established in 1825, still drags on, un surveyed and unmarked, a source of growing irritation and bitterness. The Disputed Tract.-The tract in dispute comprised an area of about 50,000 square miles. England, with an area,of 51,000 square miles, and New York, with an area of 49,000 square miles, is about equal in extent to the territory in dispute. The tract is bounded on the east by the Essequibo, on the north by the Atlantic and lower Orinoco, on the west by a low, flat water shed separating it from the Caroni, an affluent of the lower Orinoco, and on the south by a mountainous district forming the watershed which separates the streams flowing northward to the Atlantic from those flowing southward to the Amazon. It is included between the 4th and 10th parallels of north latitude and between the 58th and 64th degrees of west longitude. It may be broadly characterized as a low, bench country, buried for the most part beneath a tropical forest of marvelous density and beauty. Lying near the heart of the torrid zone, with the sun passing day after day forever through or near the zenith, and through two rainy seasons of each year fur nished for weeks together with downpours of warm rain that suggest a deluge, we have the conditions of nature's own hot-house. From these two conditions of excessive heat. and excessive moisture comes the forest covering, which in density, beauty, and variety travelers agree in describing by the word indescribable. Beyond the forest tracts there are, in the interior, unforested districts called savannas, which, according to character of soil and altitude, are either swampy, hard and grass-covered, or partially desert. The culminating point of the region is Mount Roraima, about 220 miles from Demerara, on the coast, near latitude 4° and longitude 610. This mountain is a sand stone mesa whose almost inaccessible flat top is 8,600 feet above the sea-level. Its walls are everywhere cliffs more than half a mile high. From this natural rock fortress the country gently slopes away and then drops in cliffs or benches, so far as we know. In this benched country are deep canyons, with numerous waterfalls-one the Kai eteur fall, on the Potaro, being 900 feet high. Pictures of Mount Roraima and Kaieteur Fall may be seen on the current issue of British Guiana postage stamps.