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NEWFOUNDLAND

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Originally appearing in Volume V19, Page 481 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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NEWFOUNDLAND, a large island, forming a British colony, its deepest portion being 300 ft. below sea-level. It contains an and occupying an important and commanding position off the island 22 m. long. The next, Red Indian Lake, is 37 m. long, with eastern coast of the North American continent, not dissimilar an area of 64 sq. m. Gander Lake is 33 M. in length, and Deer to that occupied by Great Britain towards Europe. It stretches Lake, through which the Humber flows, is 15 m. After these directly lakes rank across the entrance of the Gulf of St Lawrence, to which lakes rSandy next in e, size. Victoria, Save where Hind's, Terra the railNovaway and and lumGeorgeberIn ing access is afforded at both the northern and the southern camps have invaded them the shores of these lakes are still primitive extremities of the island. In the south-west its distance from wilderness. Cape Breton is less than 6o m., while only 1640 m. separate its The coasts of the island, intersected by many great bays, have of Ireland. It is situated been familiar to fishermen from an early period, but the interior most easterly point from the coast remained almost completely unknown until the geological survey, between 46° 36' 50" and 51° 39' N., and between 52° 37' and still in process, was begun in 1864. Chief amongst the inlets are 59°' 24' 500 W. The total area of the island is about 40,200 sq. M. Placentia Bay, 55 M. in width at its mouth and 90 M. long; Notre or one-sixth larger than Ireland: its maximum length from Cape D and ame Ba 50 m. 70 long; and StiMarand M. g; Fortune y's Bay, 25nm. wide by B5 m. Innlength. Ray to Cape Norman is 317 m., its maximum breadth from Opposite Fortune Bay, which has several important arms, are the Cape Spear to Cape Anguille, 316 m. In shape it is roughly two islands of St Pierre and Miquelon, ceded by treaty in 1713 to triangular, three extensive peninsulas, which project from the France, as shelter for her fishermen, and now all that remains of north (Petit Nord) and south-east. (Avalon), assisting the con- French sovereignty in North America. In the neighbourhood of formation, although the latter, the most populous region of the boating a good harbour) are itute(d so some of idethe most fertile lands island, is joined by a very slender isthmus, at one place only in the island, well-timbered and containing large deposits of coal 3 M. wide. A further division of the Avalon peninsula is wrought and other minerals. Three extensive arms run 20 M. inland from by the two bays of St Mary's and Conception. St John's, the Bay of Islands, the seat of a profitable herring fishery. Conception capital, is situated on the eastern side of Avalon. Bay is one of the largest and most important in the island, having in Igor a population scattered through the settlements on its shores Physical Features.—Viewed from the ocean the coasts of of over 40,000 inhabitants. Another principal inlet is Bonavista Newfoundland appear bleak, rocky and barren. The brown wall Bay, which contains numerous groups of islands. of rock, 200 to 300 ft. in height, is, however, broken at frequent Geology.—All the great ancient rock systems, between the Lower intervals by deep fjords and large bays running in some instances Laurentian and the Coal-measures, are more or less represented at one part or another of Newfoundland. 8o to go m. inland, and throwing out smaller arms in all directions. The Laurentian system has an immense spread in the island. It For this reason the circumference of the island, which, measured constitutes the principal mountain ranges, coming to the surface from headland to headland, is about r000 m., is actually doubled. through the more recent deposits, on the axes of anticlinal lines, or The fjords resemble those of Norway; islands are numerous, brought up by great dislocations, most of which trend nearly parallel of them clad with vegetation; and is with each other in a general bearing of about north-north-east and some picturesque scenery south-south-west. The Laurentian gneiss of the Long Range, on not uncommon. the western side, extends in a nearly straight course from Cape Near the coasts the surface of the country is of a hilly, rugged Ray to the headwaters of the Castor in the great northern peninsula. character. In the interior the elevated undulating plateau is On the south-western extremity of the island these rocks occupy the diversified by ranges of low hills, valleys, woods, lakes, ponds and coast from Cape Ray to La Poile. They are largely exhibited on marshes. Much of this is a savanna country, giving sustenance to Grand Lake, running in a spur from the Long Range between it large herds of caribou. All the principal hill ranges have a N.N.E. and Red Indian Lake, and bearing for the south-eastern shores of and S.S.W. trend, as have also all the other great physical features Hall's Bay. The central portion of the northern peninsula is of the island, such as the bays, larger lakes, rivers and valleys, a Laurentian, which also spreads over a wide expanse of country conformation doubtless shaped by glacial action during the Ice between Grand Lake and the Humber and Exploits rivers, and period. The most important range of mountains is the Long Range, shows itself on the coast between Canada Bay and White Bay. beginning at Cape Ray and extending along the western side of the Another range of Laurentian comes up in the district of Ferryland, island for some 200 m., and having peaks more than 2000 ft. high. and shows itself occasionally on the coast of Conception Bay. Parallel to this but nearer the west coast is the Anguille Range, Thus more than half the island is Laurentian. running from Cape Anguille to the highlands of Bay St George. Three-fourths of the peninsula of Avalon are Huronian, a forma-Some of the summits of the Blomidon Range, extending along the tion which does not extend west of Fortune Bay. The town of St south shore of the Humber and Bay of Islands, attain a height of John's and, in fact, nearly all the settlements between Fortune Bay 2084 ft., being the highest on the island. Avalon peninsula is and Bonavista Bay are built upon it. Signal Hill, overlooking the also very hilly, but the greatest altitude is only 1200 ft.—North-East harbour of St John's, is capped with the sandstone of this formation. Mountain, from which sixty-seven lakes are visible on a clear day. The whole Huronian system is not less than 10,000 ft. thick, and Over the interior are spread a number of detached sharply-pointed has been cut through by denudation to the Laurentian floor. The summits, springing abruptly from the great central plateau, bearing rocks of the Primordial Silurian age are spread unconformably over the local name of " toffs," and serviceable as landmarks. the area thus ground down. These evidences of denudation and In comparison with the island's size large rivers are few, owing reconstruction are very clear in Conception Bay, where the rocks Outer,. eel Noe CaPii Paradise tiler 'p ^.loon cr C.er,pyifle rtC°droY Goa& CodroYB' Catl•d Rock Pt. t C•goY a0f'0 6 vor UE L wewerap°.na Bay st Beov ee Coat Need ~-`- St.Paudee 1., Martin /Ilt. B, Green PC Bonne Say frout P. C.Crepory Chi eney Coo e Or gory Cu Trsretlll.L~ Bay of /a/q : s Bonne EO .'' P nt j cholsvillel'~, 5o. A +'Lake er neCreehP ..t l•. _. Gres^a^BearCae Om”' B.St.Barnc SLQeneineue•.( e.Sl.Marpar I •! Pt.Ferolle Custer Bay St. John Port au Choir ai ,endeis P1.Riche t /n0ernachar B.`}. HOo : Nor& Mal! SaY fablO Pt Podsd,° Pon ~•.. Sa MtSpat; ndy Self SMljeldPon0d 3Oe d ~. . qr k !_ 'Fmena, / - o lei hgQFZJ ~` -L>B9h ~' e too NodOta F1p S g r I eN /! / ~.0 SN GNbou „ Y a Janu 101, a' B [ •(, FT' PeYtP : R•' r eI uayMLf'!n 'eno .Y ~1 ` rn4 e• Ru,': I •r C.Blena Great Miquelon Miquelon Mooch) LM Little Miquelon . :tG Platte PL n, Churn,. c :Mute le. tnrmy C. SL/una,.e hit robe! R ~ma%Ien Nei* .,°O .C. fn hot /F. St.Ju/.enl. roc Harbour ,;„XCroie 1. Fee C H,Ihen ore. /' /Bar/ 1. ado a town, elkse et. Lake. There is also a wider spread of the same series along the valley of the Humber and round the shores of Deer Lake and the eastern half of Grand Lake, and as far as Sandy Lake. " Coal," says Mr J. P. Howley, F.R.G.S., head of the survey, " is known to exist at several places in this series; and seams, apparently of workable thickness, judging from their out-crops, occur on the Middle Barachois and Robinson's Brook, in St George's Bay." It will thus be seen that the Carboniferous series is confined to the western side, while the middle, eastern and southern portions are occupied by Silurian, Huronian and Laurentian formations. From the extent to which the Lauzon division of the Quebec group, the true metalliferous zone of North America, prevails in the island, its yet undeveloped mineral wealth must be very great. Climate.—The climate is more temperate than that of most portions of the neighbouring continent. It is but rarely, and then only for a few hours, that the thermometer sinks below zero in winter, while the summer range rarely exceeds 8o° F., and for the most part does not rise above 7o°. The Arctic current exerts a chilling influence along the eastern coast, but as a compensation it brings with it the enormous wealth of commercial fishes and seals which has rendered the fisheries the most productive in the world. The Gulf Stream, while it creates fogs, modifies the cold. The salubrity of the climate is evidenced by the robust healthy appearance of the inhabitants. English 111 ails o 'o go go 60 80 a Rai/wage— ..e r Cove. 4' [init _ ornbu,nL ` _ - 'Eyentl4 \t~9~•.~e~~0 ~s°,. Random yes '0 &intend B.d-0 .. fi- lorra' Gq,Q 4E,bt- SO wf ° tip 50 ob ./[ y arboi'"r 0 `Black Hens C [sec Yee B[I no uriot Cow ~.eel t.Johas f Petty r i 1 4; r H Petton eed am . B,p.. Lon PG t.~ i Mobil aY Bulls •n O/13Hla 'Gull I. eareat f. Brgyle Harbour '`. a OAi19 FCr[ytM,•6 ferrplanc Head r+. F',muse Mara ingot of the intermediary system have been ground down to the Laurentian gneiss, and, subsequently, the submarine valley thus formed has been filled up with a new set of sediments, the remains of which are still to be found skirting the shores of the bay and forming the islands in it. Rocks of the Silurian age are most extensive on the peninsula of Cape St Mary, and around the head of Trinity Bay. These belong to the Primordial Silurian group. The Lower Silurian rocks have a large development, and in them the metallic ores occur which seem destined to render the island a great mining centre. The Lauzon division of the Quebec group, which is the true metalliferous zone of North America, has an immense spread in the island. It consists of serpentine rocks associated with dolomites, diorites, &c., and is well known throughout North America to be usually more or less metalliferous. The Newfoundland rocks are no exception, but give evidence of being rich in metallic ores. The Middle Silurian division of rocks is also widely spread; and the most fertile belts of land and the most valuable forests are nearly all situated on the country occupied by this formation. The great valley of the Exploits and Victoria rivers, the valley of the Gander and several smaller tracts belong to it. The Carboniferous series occupies a large area on the western side of the island, in the neighbourhood of Bay St George and Grand Open fireplaces are sufficient to warm the houses, and free exercise in the open air is attainable at all seasons. The average mean temperature at St John's is 41.2° F., the maximum being 83° and the minimum 7°; the average height of the barometer is 29.37 in. The average rainfall is 58.3o in. Winter sets in, as a rule, in the beginning of December and lasts until the middle of April. Generally the snow lies during this period, and the frost rarely penetrates the ground to a greater depth than a few inches. Spring is sometimes late in arriving, but once vegetation sets in it advances with marvellous rapidity. The autumn is usually very fine, and is often pro-longed till November. There is nothing in the climate to interfere with agriculture. Tornadoes are unknown, and thunderstorms are very rare. Fogs, of which so much is said in connexion with the country, are confined to the shores and bays of the south-eastern and southern coasts. Fauna.—Among the well-known wild animals indigenous to the country the caribou or reindeer hold a conspicuous place. They migrate regularly between the south-eastern and north-western portions of the island. The winter months are passed in the south, where " browse " is plentiful, and the snow is not too deep to prevent them from reaching the lichens on the lower grounds. In March they begin their spring migration to the barrens and mountains of the north-west. In May or June they bring forth their young. As soon as the frosts of October begin to nip the vegetation they turn south. September and October are the best months for stalking. In addition to the caribou, the wolf and black bear are found in the interior; the fox (black, silver, grey and red), beaver, otter, arctic hare, North-American hare, weasel, hat, rat, mouse and musquash or musk-rat are numerous. The famous Newfoundland dog is still to be met with, but good specimens are rare, and he appears to thrive better elsewhere. The common dogs are a degenerate mongrel race. It is estimated that there are three hundred species of birds in the island, most of them being migratory. Among them may be enumerated the eagle, hawk, owl, woodpecker. swallow, kingfisher, six species of fly-catchers and the same number of thrushes, warblers and swallows in great variety, finches, ravens, jays. The ptarmigan or willow grouse is very abundant, and is the finest game-bird in the island. The rock ptarmigan is found in the highest and barest mountain ridges. 'The American golden plover, various species of sandpipers and curlews, the brent goose, ducks, petrels, gulls and the great northern diver are met with everywhere. The great auk, now extinct, was once found in myriads around the island. The little auk, guillemot and the razor-billed auk are abundant. No venomous reptiles occur. Frogs have been introduced and thrive well. Of molluscous animals the common squid, a cephalopod about 6 or 7 in. in length, visits the coasts in immense shoals in August and September, and supplies a valuable bait. A gigantic species of cephalopod was discovered in 1873, which excited much interest among naturalists: the body varies from 7 to 15 ft. in length, with a circumference of 5 or 6 ft.; from the head ten arms radiate, the two longest (tentacles) being from 24 to 40 ft. in length, and covered with suckers at their extremities; the other eight arms vary from 6 to 11 ft., and on one side are entirely covered with suckers. Professor Verrill, of Yale College, distinguished two species—one he named Architeuthis Harveyi, after the discoverer, and the other Architeuthis monachus. Flora.—The pine, spruce, birch, juniper and larch of the forests of the interior furnish ample materials for a large timber trade as well as for shipbuilding purposes. The white pine grows to the height of 7o or 8o ft. in some places, and is 3 or 4 ft. in diameter. There is an abundance of wood suitable for making pulp for paper; and in 1906-1907 a London company, with Lord Northcliffe (of the Daily Mail) at its head, acquired large tracts for this purpose, and operations were begun iii 1910. The mountain ash, balsam poplar and aspen thrive well. Evergreens are in great variety. The berry-bearing plants cover large areas of the island. The maidenhair or capillaire yields a saccharine matter which is lusciously sweet. Flowering plants and ferns are in vast varieties, and wild grasses and clover grow luxuriantly. Garden vegetables of all kinds, and straw-berries, raspberries, gooseberries, currants, &c., thrive well. Population.—By the earliest computation made in 1654 the number of permanent inhabitants in the island was 1750. Twenty-six years later the resident population was stated to be 2280; in 1763, 7000; in 1804, 20,000. In 1832 the population had risen to 6o,000; in 1836 to 75,094; in 1857, 124,288; and in 1874, 161,374. By the census of 19ot the total population of Newfoundland was 217,037, that of Labrador• being 3947. The capital, St John's, which contained a population of 15,000 in 1835, had in 1901 29,594 souls. The rate of increase for the island for the ten years ending in 1901 was 9.37% as compared with the rate of increase 1874-1884, which was 22.30%. Certain districts such as Carbonear, Harbour Grace and Ferryland, as well as Labrador, showed a steady decline, the largest increase being in St George's district and on the west coast, where it is not less than 40%. Of the various religious denominations the strength in 1901 was as follows: Roman Catholics, 95,989; Chuch of England, 73,008; Methodists, 61,388; Presbyterians, 1168; Congregationalists, 954; Salvationists, 6594; XIoravians, Baptists and others, 1554. The system of public education is denominational, each religious body receiving grants from the revenue according to numerical strength. The total sum allotted to education in 1904-1905 was $196,192. The aggregate number of pupils under fifteen attending the 783 elementary schools and academies in the island was 35,204. It is estimated that 25 % of the population, chiefly the older folk, are illiterate. Fisheries.—These constitute the great staple industry of the island. On the export of its products the trade of the colony still mainly depends. The most important fish in these waters, commercially, is the cod, which is here more abundant .than anywhere else in the world. Although subject to considerable fluctuation the average annual export of dried cod-fish over a term of years is about 1,200,000 quintals. The value of the export varies between five and six million dollars, according to the market price of the dried fish. The cod are taken on the shores of the island, along the Labrador coast and on " the Banks." These Banks, which have played such an important part in the history of the colony, and are the chief source of its wealth, stretch for about 300 M. in a south-east direction towards the centre of the North Atlantic, and probably at one time formed a part of the North American continent. The depths range from 15 to 8o or 90 fathoms. The deposits consist of sand and gravel composed of ancient rocks, and fragments of quartz, mica, hornblende, felspars and magnetite; along with these are many calcareous fragments of echinoderms, polyzoa and many foraminifera. In the deeper parts there is sometimes a fine mud containing the above-mentioned minerals and calcareous fragments, and in addition numerous frustules of diatoms. The Banks are swept by the cold Labrador current, and icebergs are frequently stranded upon them. The Gulf Stream passes over their southern portions. These two currents bear along many species of pelagic algae and animals, which supply abundant food to the myriads of echinoderms, molluscs, annelids, coelenterates and other invertebrates which live at all depths on the Banks. These invertebrates in turn supply food to the cod and other fishes which are sought for by the fishermen. Sea birds frequent the Banks in great numbers; and, as diving birds are not met with at any great distance from them, the presence of these in the sea gives seamen an indication of the shallower water. The total annual catch of cod in Newfoundland waters has been estimated at about 2.500,000 quintals (a quintal being one-twentieth of a ton), with a value of about £ 1,400,000 sterling. The cod fishery forms four-fifths of the entire industry, in spite of the increase in the herring and lobster catch. No increase in the quantities taken is to be noted, but the market value of dried cod fish is generally enhanced. In 1885 an export of 1,284,710 quintals was only worth $4,o61,600. In 1905 1,196,814 quintals were valued at $6,108,614. To this may be added the value of the fish consumed by the people of the colony, estimated at $450,000. According to the census of 1901 there were 41,231 males and 21,443 females engaged in the catching and curing of fish. The figures have greatly varied in past years: as for instance in 1857, 31 % of the total population were engaged in catching and curing fish : in 1869, 25.4%, in 1884, 30.6%, and in 1901, 28.4%. Small voyages and low price* have tended to limit fishery operations; and the opening up of other industries has diverted labour from the fisheries. The total number of vessels engaged is about 1550, with a tonnage of 54,500; over 11,000 fishing rooms are in actual use. The use of traps has followed the decrease in number of nets and seines, but the continued increase of fishing rooms shows that there is no falling off in the Newfoundland cod fishery, which has now been prosecuted for fully four centuries. Notwithstanding the enormous drafts every year, to all appearance the cod are as abundant as ever. They begin to appear on the coasts of the island about the first of June, at which time they move from the deep waters of the coast to the shallower and warmer waters near the shore, for spawning purposes. Their approach is heralded by the caplin, a beautiful little fish about 7 in. in length, vast shoals of which arrive, filling every bay and harbour. The cod follow in their wake, feasting greedily upon the caplin, which supply the best bait. In six weeks the caplin disappear, and their place is taken by the squid about the 1st of August. These also supply a valuable bait, and are followed by the herring, which continue till the middle or end of October, when the cod fishery closes. The cod are taken by the hook-and-line, the seine, the cod-net or gill-net, the cod-trap and the bultow. Newfoundland exports cod to Brazil, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Great Britain, Greece, the West Indies and the United States. Brazil and Spain are the largest consumers. After the cod the seal fishery is of next importance. The industry was begun about 1740, when the value of the seal oil exports was ;E1000. In 1904-1905 sealskins and seal oil to the value of $370,261 and $374,974 were exported, the price of a skin varying between $.90 to $1.25. This shows a considerable falling off. The number of men employed is about 4000. Steamers were first used in 1863. They are from 350 to 500 tons burden, most of them carrying from 200 to 300 men. The larger class can bring in from 30,000 to 40,000 seals. In one instance 41,900 seals were brought in by a single steamer, the " Neptune," the weight being 874 tons and the value $103,750. In bad years the catch may not exceed 200,000-in 189 it fell to 129,061. By law no steamer may leave port on a sealing voyage until the 12th of March, and no seal may be killed before the 14th of March. The young seals are born on the ice between the 15th and 25th of February, and mature so rapidly that they are in excellent condition in four weeks. Of more recent origin is the lobster fishery, their packing for export having begun in 1873. By 1888 the value of the lobster export had risen to $385,077. In 1904-1905, while the catch had somewhat diminished as compared with 1895, the value had in-creased to $512,662. A vigorous effort has been made to establish the herring fishery on a scale commensurate with the abundance of the fish in these waters. In 1855 the total quantity exported was 32,042 barrels, with a value of 91,357. In 1905 there were 176,633 barrels, valued at $379,938. The principal seats of the herring fishery are Fortune Bay, Placentia, Bay St' George and Bay of Islands, and the whole coast of Labrador, which furnishes the finest kind of herring. Besides the herring exported, at least $150,000 worth is sold to the French and Americans as bait. The export of preserved salmon, of which the island has an abundant supply, does not form a large or important item, seldom reaching in value $1oo,000. Salmon is taken for the most part in nets in the coves and bays and at the mouths of rivers. The season for taking it is brief, six or seven weeks, beginning at the end of May. The proper preservation of the salmon waters has been for generations neglected, and reckless practices bade fair wholly to exterminate the fish. In 1888, however, a fisheries commission was appointed, and rivet warders were charged with the stringent enforcement of the new laws. The best salmon fisheries are in Bonavista Bay, Gander and Exploits bays, and on the west coast. Mackerel formerly frequented the Newfoundland coasts, but disappeared about the middle of the 19th century; and few halibut or haddock are caught. Sea trout and brook trout, however, abound, and latterly Loch Leven and Californian rainbow trout have been introduced with success. The most extraordinary increase concerns the whaling industry. Before 185o a very successful whale fishery was carried on, but it then suddenly ceased and has only recently been revived. The revival is due to the invention of a harpoon-gun which kills the whale effectually and with despatch. There are now fourteen whale factories in operation for the production of bone and oil. While in 1895 the value of the oil reached only $7300 and the bone $1000, a decade later the values were $384,062 and $34,833 respectively; no fewer than 1275 whales being caught. A patent process manufactures the carcases into a fine guano, and utilizes the by-products, thus adding $ioo,000 to the industry. On the whole the aggregate value of the Newfoundland fisheries for 1906-1907 was nearly £2,000,000 sterling, including the fish consumed in the colony. Agriculture.—Until recent years little attention has been paid to agriculture, the belief being current that the interior of the island was a desert. The reports of the geological survey dispelled this fiction, it being conclusively shown that out of the 28,000 sq. m. of dry land over one-sixth or 7000 Sq. m. is available under suitable conditions for arable and for grazing purposes. The best land is situated in the Codroy valley, which is rich in alluvial soil. That in the Bay St George district is very fertile, and in the Humber valley, Exploits valley and elsewhere many thousands of farmers could work to advantage. In 1874 only 36,339 acres were under cultivation. In 1901, 215,579 acres were occupied, of which 85,533 acres were actually under cultivation, producing chiefly hay, oats, potatoes, turnips and cabbages. In the numbers of live stock there has been a notable increase, especially in sheep. Newfoundland seems especially adapted for a sheep-grazing country. Mining.—Not until a comparatively recent date was Newfound-land known to contain mineral deposits of great value. The first discovery of copper ore took place at a small fishing hamlet called Tilt Cove in 1857. Seven years later the mine was opened, and during the following fifteen years Tilt Cove mine yielded about o,000 tons of copper ore valued at $1,572,154, besides nickel worth 32,740. In 1875 another mine at Bett's Cove was opened. There are three principal mines, all in Notre Dame Bay, the copper exports in 1905 being 81,491 tons, with a value of $448,400. The copper-bearing deposits are widely distributed. •According to the geological
End of Article: NEWFOUNDLAND
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