It forms the divide between the headwaters of the Minnesota river on the east and of the James river on the west.
An exploring party from Jamestown, under command of Captain Christopher Newport (c. 1565-1617), and including Captain John Smith, sailed up the James river in 1607, and on the 3rd of June erected a cross on one of the small islands opposite the site of the present city.
West of the James River Valley lies an elevated table-land, known as the Coteau du Missouri, which marks the waterparting between the James and the Missouri rivers, and has a general elevation of about 1800 ft.
The greater part of the James River Valley lies in the bed of the extinct Lake Dakota, which was once a very narrow body of water extending northward from about the latitude of the present town of Mitchell for a short distance into what is now North Dakota.
NEWPORT NEWS, a city and port of entry of Warwick county, Virginia, U.S.A., on the James River and Hampton Roads, 14 m.
The plains, except in the south-east corner, are underlaid by sheets of water-bearing sandstone, which carry a volume of water under such pressure that in the valleys of the James river and the Missouri river and its western tributaries a strong surface flow may be obtained from artesian wells.
In a middle section of the system, from the Hudson river in southern New York to the James river in southern Virginia, the crystalline belt is narrowed, as if by the depression of its south-eastern part beneath the Atlantic Ocean or beneath the strata of the Atlantic coastal plain which now represents the ocean; but the stratified belt is here broadly developed in a remarkable series of ridges and valleys determined by the action of erosion on the many alternations of strong and weak folded strata; and the plateau assumes full strength southward from the monochinal Mohawk valley which separates it from the Adirondacks.
His next service was in the James river flotilla, but after reaching the rank of commodore, on the 16th of July 1862, he was assigned to duty against blockade runners in the West Indies.
Tyler, The Cradle of the Republic: Jamestown and James River (Richmond, 2nd ed., 1906); Mrs R.