Saturday, May 21, 2011

Inland Waterways to the Land of Promise? Part II

Continuing with Arlin Nasbaum’s statement regarding Lehi’s voyage to the Great Lakes area, “and then navigate North American waterways inland until you arrive within walking distance of a freshwater ‘west sea’."

Even though none of these rivers would have accepted the depth of a deep sea vessel, and the fact that any movement up any one of these rivers would be against the downstream currents, the following major rivers are cited to show the ridiculous idea of sailing the inland waterways in 600 B.C:

Delaware River. The government dug a 30-foot channel from Philadelphia to Delaware Bay for the use of shipping in 1885, with small improvements beginning in 1771. Even so, the “walking distance” from the closest point of the river to the “sea west” would be 200 miles, and that would be to the upper lake by Nasbaum’s narrow neck. To an area along the “west seashore” (Alma 22:28) would be 300 miles. However, according to the DIT depth charts, the river depth at Lambertville, about halfway up the river, ranges from just under two feet to a high of three feet, a distance of 350 miles from Lake Erie (Nausbaum’s West Sea).

Map of the Delaware River. The Image is the upper Delaware, the closer point to the Great Lakes—note the narrow and shallow waterway (about 10 feet across) where fishermen stand in the river to flyfish; no ship of any kind could fit into this waterway

Susquehanna River. Coming off the eastern fork of the Chesepeak Bay north of Baltimore, this river is very shallow. In fact, local legend claims that the name of the river comes from an Indian phrase meaning "mile wide, foot deep," referring to the Susquehanna's unusually shallow depth. There are also many rapids in the river, preventing any kind of movement of boat until the 18th century. The closest this river comes for walking distance to the west shore of the “Sea West” is about 450 miles.

Juniata River. This is a tributary to the Susquehanna River branching to the west and takes one about 90 miles closer to the “West Sea,” however, for any shipping of any kind to be used here, the Juniata Divison Canal had to be dug in the 19th century, later abandoned because of flooding.

Ohio River. This river is an offshoot (or feeder) of the Mississippi River. A previous post has shown how the Mississippi River was not navigatible very far north of its delta mouth until new depths were dug in the 18th and 19th centuries. Thus, the Ohio River was not reachable from the Sea. The Ohio and Missouri tributaries of the Mississippi themselves had to be developed for ship navigation, including dredging the river deeper and the Mississippi itself to remove dangerous sandbars the sometimes raised the water depth to just a couple of feet.

Potomac River. 14 miles upriver from present day Washington D.C. is located the “Great Falls of the Potomac.” Here the river cascades over a series of 20-foot falls, falling a total of 76 feet in elevation over a distance of less than 1 mile—obviously, not navigatable.

These falls are about 300 miles from Lake Erie and impassable

Of course, other rivers could be cited, but they are smaller and of far less distance from the Atlantic Ocean. The point is, that the glib comment “and then navigate North American waterways inland until you arrive within walking distance of a freshwater ‘west sea’," shows how inexperienced and unknowledgeable a person is. It strikes as someone looking at a current map and saying, “yeah, that looks possible.” However, it was not.

When one studies the rivers and waterways along the eastern United States, one easily comes to the conclusion that anything larger than a raft or canoe could not have gone very far up any of these rivers. Just another nail in the coffin of the H38 theory and the West New York model.

No comments:

Post a Comment