Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 51.djvu/379

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NORTH AND SOUTH.

NORTH AND SOUTH.
By SPENCER TROTTER.

PROFESSOR OF BIOLOGY IN SWARTHMORE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA.

A WRITER has somewhere remarked upon the different atmosphere that surrounds two well-known railway stations in the city of Baltimore. The Union Station, in the upper and newer section of the city, has about it all the life and bustle of a Northern railroad center, while at the Camden Station, for so many years the terminus of a Southern trunk line, there is an air of easy-going uncertainty that breathes of the South. If this difference in the influence of the Northern and the Southern life is felt within the narrow limits of a metropolis, it is still more apparent in the region that lies between the "City of Monuments" and its more northern neighbor. As a matter of fact, the frontier of the South extends some distance north of the region with which we are accustomed to associate it, and the real line of demarcation is a natural boundary fixed by certain well-marked geographical features and indicated by the distribution of certain animals and plants. When Mason and Dixon ran their celebrated "line," they did more than settle the dispute of a boundary between colonial Commonwealths. Their arbitrary survey embodied, in an approximate way, a more or less natural division between the people of two great physical areas, each one of which is broadly defined as a distinct geographical and political unit—the North and the South. Each of these domains is characterized by certain marked peculiarities, both in natural productions and in the life of the people, which have their origin in climatic and topographical features. Through nearly two and a half centuries the physical environment has slowly worked its subtle influence into the blood and tissues of the inhabitants in each contrasted area, producing a certain cast of thought, speech, and action which are highly characteristic and which present unmistakable marks of difference.

The Northern and the Southern seaboard States of the Atlantic slope are decidedly different in their physical aspects as a result of topography. The numerous mountain ranges embraced in the Appalachian highland have a long, southwesterly trend from New England to Alabama. In the former section, north and east of the lower Hudson Valley, the eastern slopes of the mountainous highland reach to the sea, forming the bold and rocky coast line of New England. South of the Hudson the mountain ranges become more nearly parallel; and the long chains of the Blue Ridge and the Alleghanies, trending more and more toward the southwest, stand some distance inland, leaving a