PART 1 OF 2QUERY VI.
A NOTICE OF THE MINES AND OTHER SUBTERRANEOUS RICHES; ITS TREES, PLANTS, FRUITS, &C.?
I knew a single instance of gold found in this State. It was interspersed in small specks through a lump of ore, of about four pounds weight, which yielded seventeen pennyweight of gold, of extraordinary ductility. This ore was found on the North side of Rappahanock, about four miles below the falls. I never heard of any other indication of gold in its neighborhood.
On the Great Kanhaway, opposite to the mouth of Cripple Creek, and about 25 miles from our Southern boundary, in the county of Montgomery, are mines of lead. The metal is mixed, sometimes with earth, and sometimes with rock, which requires the force of gunpowder to open it; and is accompanied with a portion of silver, too small to be worth separation under any process hitherto attempted there. The proportion yielded is from 50 to 80 lb of pure metal from 100 lb of washed ore. The most common is that of 60 to the 100 lb. The veins are at some times most flattering; at others they disappear suddenly and totally. They enter the side of the hill, and proceed horizontally. Two of them are wrought at present by the public, the best of which is 100 yards under the hill. These would employ about 50 laborers to advantage. We have not, however, more than 30 generally, and these cultivate their own corn. They have produced 60 tons of lead in the year; but the general quantity is from 20 to 25 tons. The present furnace is a mile from the ore bank, and on the opposite side of the river. The ore is first wagoned to the river, a quarter of a mile, then laden on board of canoes and carried across the river, which is there about 200 yards wide, and then again taken into wagons and carried to the furnace. This mode was originally adopted, that they might avail themselves of a good situation on a creek for a pounding mill; but it would be easy to have the furnace and pounding mill on the same side of the river, which would yield water, without any dam, by a canal of about half a mile in length. From the furnace the lead is transported 130 miles along a good road, leading through the peaks of Otter to Lynch's Ferry, or Winston's, on James River, from whence it is carried by water about the same distance to Westham. This land carriage may be greatly shortened by delivering the lead on James River, above the Blue Ridge, from whence a ton weight has been brought on two canoes. The Great Kanhaway has considerable falls in the neighborhood of the mines. About seven miles below are three falls, of three or four feet perpendicular each; and three miles above is a rapid of three miles continuance, which has been compared in its descent to the great fall of James River. Yet it is the opinion that they may be laid open for useful navigation, so as to reduce very much the portage between the Kanhaway and James River.
A valuable lead mine is said to have been lately discovered in Cumberland, below the mouth of Red River. The greatest, however, known in the Western country are on the Missisipi, extending from the mouth of Rock River, 150 miles upwards. These are not wrought, the lead used in that country being from the banks on the Spanish side of the Missisipi, opposite to Kaskaskia.
A mine of copper was once opened in the county of Amherst, on the North side of James River, and another in the opposite country, on the South side. However, either from bad management or the poverty of the veins, they were discontinued. We are told of a rich mine of native copper on the Ouabache, below the upper Wiaw.
The mines of iron worked at present are Callaway's, Ross's, and Ballendine's, on the South side of James River; Old's on the North side, in Albemarle; Millar's, in Augusta, and Zane's, in Frederick. These two last are in the valley between the Blue Ridge and North Mountain. Callaway's, Ross's, Millar's, and Zane's, make about 150 tons of bar iron each in the year. Ross's makes also about 1,600 tons of pig iron annually; Ballendine's 1,000; Callaway's, Millar's, and Zane's, about 600 each. Besides these, a forge of Mr. Hunter's, at Fredericksburgh, makes about 300 tons a year of bar iron, from pigs imported from Maryland; and Taylor's forge, on Neapsco of Patowmac, works in the same way, but to what extent I am not informed. The indications of iron in other places are numerous, and dispersed through all the middle country. The toughness of the cast iron of Ross's and Zane's furnaces is very remarkable. Pots and other utensils, cast thinner than usual, of this iron, may be safely thrown into or out of the wagons in which they are transported. Salt pans made of the same, and no longer wanted for that purpose, cannot be broken up, in order to be melted again, unless previously drilled in many parts.
In the Western country we are told of iron mines between the Muskingum and Ohio; of others on Kentuckey, between the Cumberland and Barren rivers, between Cumberland and Tanissee, on Reedy Creek, near the Long Island, and on Chestnut Creek, a branch of the Great Kanhaway, near where it crosses the Carolina line. What are called the iron banks, on the Missisipi, are believed, by a good judge, to have no iron in them. In general, from what is hitherto known of that country, it seems to want iron.
Considerable quantities of black lead are taken occasionally for use from Winterham, in the county of Amelia. I am not able, however, to give a particular state of the mine. There is no work established at it, those who want, going and procuring it for themselves.
The country on James River, from 15 to 20 miles above Richmond, and for several miles northward and southward, is replete with mineral coal of a very excellent quality. Being in the hands of many proprietors, pits have been opened, and before the interruption of our commerce, were worked to an extent equal to the demand.
In the Western country coal is known to be in so many places, as to have induced an opinion that the whole tract between the Laurel Mountain, Missisipi, and Ohio, yields coal. It is also known in many places on the North side of the Ohio. The coal at Pittsburg is of very superior quality. A bed of it at that place has been afire since the year 1765. Another coal hill on the Pike Run of Monongahela has been afire ten years; yet it has burnt away about twenty yards only.
I have known one instance of an Emerald found in this country. Amethysts have been frequent, and chrystals common; yet not in such numbers any of them as to be worth seeking.
There is very good marble, and in very great abundance, on James River, at the mouth of Rockfish. The samples I have seen, were some of them of a white as pure as one might expect to find on the surface of the earth; but most of them were variegated with red, blue and purple. None of it has been ever worked. It forms a very large precipice, which hangs over a navigable part of the river. It is said there is marble at Kentuckey.
But one vein of lime stone is known below the Blue Ridge. Its first appearance in our country is in Prince William, two miles below the Pignut Ridge of mountains; thence it passes on nearly parallel with that, and crosses the Rivanna about five miles below it, where it is called the Southwest ridge. It then crosses Hardware, above the mouth of Hudson's Creek, James River at the mouth of Rockfish, at the marble quarry before spoken of, probably runs up that river to where it appears again at Ross's iron works, and so passes off southwestwardly by Flat Creek of Otter River. It is never more than one hundred yards wide. From the Blue Ridge westwardly, the whole country seems to be founded on a rock of lime stone, besides infinite quantities on the surface, both loose and fixed. This is cut into beds, which range, as the mountains and sea-coast do, from Southwest to Northeast, the lamina of each bed declining from the horizon towards a parallelism with the axis of the earth. Being struck with this observation, I made, with a quadrant, a great number of trials on the angles of their declination, and found them to vary from 22° to 60°, but averaging all my trials, the result was within one-third of a degree of the elevation of the pole or latitude of the place, and much the greatest part of them taken separately were little different from that, by which it appears that these laminae are in the main parallel with the axis of the earth. In some instances, indeed, I found them perpendicular, and even reclining the other way; but these were extremely rare, and always attended with signs of convulsion, or other circumstances of singularity, which admitted a possibility of removal from their original position. These trials were made between Madison's Cave and the Patowmac. We hear of lime stone on the Missisipi and Ohio, and in all the mountainous country between the Eastern and Western waters, not on the mountains themselves, but occupying the valleys between them.
Adjacent to the vein of lime stone first mentioned, or at least to some parts of it, is a vein of slate of greater breadth than that of the lime stone, sometimes mixed with it, some times a small distance apart from it. The neighborhood of these veins of lime stone, and slate, and of lime stone and schist, between the North Mountain and Blue Ridge, coincides with the following observations of Bouguer, while in Peru: "Le marbre est tres commun sur le bord de plusieurs de ces rivieres: on y voit aussi des rochers d' ardoise & j'ai souvent eu occasion d'y observer la grande affinity qu 'il y a entre ces deux sortes de pierre. J'avois deja fait cette remarque dans la Cordeliere. Les rochers de marbre et d' ardoise s 'y touchent souvent, et j 'en ai vu qui etoit ardoise par une extremite et marbre parfait par l'autre. Toutes les fois qui'il survient un nouveau suc pierreux analogue a l' ardoise et qui en unit les feuilles, il rend tout le rocher plus compacte et plus dur; le rocher cesse d' etre de l' ardoise pour devenir du marbre. Une pierre egalement distribuee par feuilles qu'on nomme schite, est aussi sujette a cette transformation. Quelquefois ce ne sont pas simplement ses feuilles qui se soudent entr' elles iin quartier de cette pierre se joint comme au hazard avec un autre. Si le tout est ensuite expose a l' action du gravier & des cailloux roules par un eau courante, et qu 'il recoive une sorte d' arrondissement qui le rende a peu pres cylindrique, il prend toutes les apparences d' un tronc d' arbre; et il est meme quelquefois tres difficile de ne s 'y pas tromper. Je fus tres fache de ne pouvoir porter avec moi une de ces-especes de tronc que je trouvai dans une ravine entre Guanacas et la Plata, au pied d'une colline nommee la Subida del Frayle. C 'etoit un morceau de marbre qui avoit 20 pouces de longueur sur 17 on 18 de diametre; on distinguoit comme les fibres du bois, la surface presente des noeuds de diverses formes; le contour meme du tronc etoit egalement propre a en imposer. Il y avoit un enfoncement d' un cote qui formoit un angle rentrant, et une saillie du cote oppose. Je ne scavois qu 'en penser, de meme que les personnes qui m 'accompagnoient. Je ne reussis enfin a me decider, qu 'en jettant les yeux sur d 'autres quartiers de schite qui etoient aupres, qui commencoient a prendre les memes apparences, mais qui n' etoient pas encore dans un etat a pouvoir jetter dans l' erreur, et qui au contraire m' eclairerent sur la nature du morceau de marbre. On pretend qu 'entre les different bois c 'est le gayac qui se petrifie le plus aisement. On m' assuroit que je verrois audessou de Mompox une croix dont tout le haut de l' arbre etoit encore de ce bois pendant que le bas etoit reellement de la pierre a fusil. Plusieurs personnes m' affirmerent en avoir tire du feu. Lorsque je passai dans cet endroit on me confirma la meme chose; mais on m' ajonta qu' une crue extraordinaire avoit fait tomber la croix dans la riviere, il y avoit 6 a 7 ans. Page xciii.
Near the Eastern foot of the North Mountain are immense bodies of schist, containing impressions of shells in a variety of forms. I have received petrified shells of very different kinds from the first sources of the Kentuckey, which bear no resemblance to any I have ever seen on the tide-waters. It is said [i] that shells are found in the Andes, in South America, 15,000 feet above the level of the ocean. This is considered by many, both of the learned and unlearned, as a proof of an universal deluge. To the many considerations opposing this opinion, the following may be added. The atmosphere, and all its contents, whether of water, air, or other matters, gravitate to the earth; that is to say, they have weight. Experience tells us that the weight of all these together never exceeds that of a column of mercury of 31 inches height, which is equal to one of rain water of 35 feet high. If the whole contents of the atmosphere then were water, instead of what they are, it would cover the globe but 35 feet deep; but as these waters as they fell would run into the seas, the superficial measure of which is to that of the dry parts of the globe as two to one, the seas would be raised only 52-1/2 feet above their present level, and of course would overflow the lands to that height only. [ii] In Virginia this would be a very small proportion even of the champaign country, the banks of our tide-waters being frequently, if not generally, of a greater height. Deluges beyond this extent then, as for instance, to the North Mountain or to Kentuckey, seem out of the laws of Nature. But within it they may have taken place to a greater or less degree, in proportion to the combination of natural causes which may be supposed to have produced them. History renders probable some instances of a partial deluge in the country lying round the Mediterranean sea. It has been often supposed, [iii] and is not unlikely, that that sea was once a lake. While such, let us admit an extraordinary collection of the waters of the atmosphere from the other parts of the globe to have been discharged over that and the countries whose waters run into it. Or without supposing it a lake, admit such an extraordinary collection of the waters of the atmosphere, and an influx of waters from the Atlantic Ocean, forced by long continued Western winds. That lake, or that sea, may thus have been so raised as to overflow the low lands adjacent to it, as those of Egypt and Armenia, which, according to a tradition of the Egyptians and Hebrews, were overflowed about 2,300 years before the Christian area: those of Attica, said to have been overflowed in the time of Ogyges, about 500 years later; and those of Thessaly, in the time of Deucalion, still 300 years posterior. [iv] But such deluges as these will not account for the shells found in the higher lands. A second opinion has been entertained, which is, that in times anterior to the records, either of history or tradition, the bed of the ocean, the principal residence of the shelled tribe, has, by some great convulsion of Nature, been heaved to the heights at which we now find shells and other remains of marine animals. The favorers of this opinion do well to suppose the great events on which it rests to have taken place beyond all the eras of history; for within these certainly none such are to be found; and we may venture to say further, that no fact has taken place, either in our own days, or in the thousands of years recorded in history, which proves the existence of any natural agents, within or without the bowels of the earth, of force sufficient to heave, to the height of 15,000 feet, such masses as the Andes. The difference between the power necessary to produce such an effect, and that which shuffled together the different parts of Calabria in our days, is so immense, that from the existence of the latter, we are not authorized to infer that of the former.
M. de Voltaire has suggested a third solution of this difficulty. (Quest. Encycl. Coquilles.) He cites an instance in Touraine, where, in the space of 80 years, a particular spot of earth had been twice metamorphosed into soft stone, which had become hard when employed in building. In this stone shells of various kinds were produced, discoverable at first only with the microscope, but afterwards growing with the stone. From this fact, I suppose he would have us infer, that besides the usual process for generating shells by the elaboration of earth and water in animal vessels. Nature may have provided an equivalent operation by passing the same materials through the pores of calcareous earths and stones; as we see calcareous drop stones generating every day by the percolation of water through lime stone, and new marble forming in the quarries from which the old has been taken out; and it might be asked whether it is more difficult for Nature to shoot the calcareous juice into the form of a shell, than other juices into the forms of chrystals, plants, animals, according to the construction of the vessels through which they pass? There is a wonder some- where. Is it greatest on this branch of the dilemma; on that which supposes the existence of a power, of which we have no evidence in any other case; or on the first, which requires us to believe the creation of a body of water, and its subsequent annihilation? The establishment of the instance cited by M. de Voltaire, of the growth of shells unattached to animal bodies, would have been that of his theory. But he has not established it. He has not even left it on ground so respectable as to have rendered it an object of enquiry to the literati of his own country. Abandoning this fact, therefore, the three hypotheses are equally unsatisfactory; and we must be contented to acknowledge that this great phenomenon is as yet unsolved. Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
There is great abundance (more especially when you approach the mountains) of stone, white, blue, brown, &c., fit for the chisel, good mill stone, such also as stands the fire, and slate stone. We are told of flint, fit for gun flints, on the Meherrin in Brunswic, on the Missisipi between the mouth of Ohio and Kaskaskia, and on others of the Western waters. Isinglass or mica is in several places; load stone also, and an asbestos, of a ligneous texture, is sometimes to be met with.
Marl abounds generally. A clay, of which, like the sturbridge in England, bricks are made, which will resist long the violent action of fire, has been found on Tuckahoe Creek of James River, and no doubt will be found in other places. Chalk is said to be in, Botetourt and Bedford. In the latter county is some earth, believed to be gypseous. Ochres are found in various parts.
In the lime stone country are many caves, the earthy floors of which are impregnated with nitre. On Rich Creek, a branch of the Great Kanhaway, about 60 miles below the lead mines, is a very large one, about 20 yards wide, and entering a hill a quarter or half a mile. The vault is of rock, from 9 to 15 or 20 feet above the floor. A Mr. Lynch, who gives me this ac- count, undertook to extract the nitre. Besides a coat of the salt which had formed on the vault and floor, he found the earth highly impregnated to the depth of seven feet in some places, and generally of three, every bushel yielding on an average three pounds of nitre. Mr. Lynch having made about 1,000 ft) of the salt from it, consigned it to some others, who have since made 10,000 ft). They have done this by pursuing the cave into the hill, never trying a second time the earth they have once exhausted, to see how far or soon it receives another impregnation. At least fifty of these caves are worked on the Greenbriar, There are many of them known on Cumberland River.
The country westward of the Alleghaney abounds with springs of common salt. The most remarkable we have heard of are at Bullet's Lick, the Big Bones, the Blue Licks, and on the North Fork of Holston. The area of Bullet's Lick is of many acres. Digging the earth to the depth of three feet, the water begins to boil up, and the deeper you go, and the dryer the weather, the stronger is the brine. A thousand gallons of water yield from a bushel to a bushel and a half of salt, which is about 80 lb of water to 1 lb of salt; but of sea water 25 lb yield 1 lb of salt. So that sea water is more than three times as strong as that of these springs. A Salt Spring has been lately discovered at the Turkey Foot on Yohogany, by which river it is overflowed, except at very low water. Its merit is not yet known. Duning's Lick is also as yet untried, but it is supposed to be the best on this side the Ohio. The Salt Springs on the margin of the Onondago Lake are said to give a saline taste to the waters of the lake.
There are several Medicinal Springs, some of which are indubitably efficacious, while others seem to owe their reputation as much to fancy and change of air and regimen as to their real virtues. None of them having undergone a chemical analysis in skilful hands, nor been so far the subject of observations as to have produced a reduction into classes of the disorders which they relieve, it is in my power to give little more than an enumeration of them.
The most efficacious of these are two springs in Augusta, near the first sources of James River, where it is called Jackson's River. They rise near the foot of the ridge of mountains, generally called the Warm Spring Mountain, but in the maps Jackson's mountains. The one is distinguished by the name of the Warm Spring, and the other of the Hot Spring. The Warm Spring issues with a very bold stream, sufficient to work a grist mill, and to keep the waters of its bason, which is 30 feet in diameter, at the vital warmth, viz: 96° of Farenheit's thermometer. The matter with which these waters is allied is very volatile; its smell indicates it to be sulphureous, as also does the circumstance of its turning silver black. They relieve rheumatisms. Other complaints also of very different natures have been removed or lessened by them. It rains here four or five days in every week.
The Hot Spring is about six miles from the Warm, is much smaller, and has been so hot as to have boiled an egg. Some believe its degree of heat to be lessened. It raises the mercury in Farenheit's thermometer to 112 degrees, which is fever heat. It sometimes relieves where the Warm Spring fails. A fountain of common water, issuing within a few inches of its margin, gives it a singular appearance. Comparing the temperature of these with that of the Hot Springs of Kamschatka, of which Krachininnikow gives an account, the difference is very great, the latter raising the mercury to 200°, which is within 12° of boiling water. These springs are very much resorted to in spite of a total want of accommodation for the sick. Their waters are strongest in the hottest months, which occasions their being visited in July and August principally.
The Sweet Springs are in the county of Botetourt, at the Eastern foot of the Alleghaney, about 42 miles from the Warm Springs. They are still less known. Having been found to relieve cases in which the others had been ineffectually tried, it is probable their composition is different. They are different also in their temperature, being as cold as common water, which is not mentioned however as a proof of a distinct impregnation. This is among the first sources of James River.
On Patowmac River, in Berkeley county, above the North Mountain, are Medicinal Springs, much more frequented than those of Augusta. Their powers, however, are less, the waters weakly mineralized, and scarcely warm. They are more visited, because situated in a fertile, plentiful, and populous country, better provided with accommodations, always safe from the Indians, and nearest to the more populous States.
In Louisa county, on the head waters of the South Anna branch of York River, are springs of some medicinal virtue. They are not much used however. There is a weak chalybeate at Richmond, and many others in various parts of the country, which are of too little worth, or too little note, to be enumerated after those before mentioned.
We are told of a Sulphur Spring on Howard's Creek of Greenbriar, and another at Boonsborough, on Kentuckey.
In the low grounds of the Great Kanhaway, 7 miles above the mouth of Elk River, and 67 above that of the Kanhaway itself, is a hole in the earth of the capacity of 30 or 40 gallons, from which issues constantly a gaseous stream so strong as to give to the sand about its orifice the motion which it has in a boiling spring. On presenting a lighted candle or torch within 18 inches of the hole, it flames up in a column of 18 inches diameter, and four or five feet height, which sometimes burns out within 20 minutes, and at other times has been known to continue three days, and then has been left still burning. [v] The flame is unsteady, of the density of that of burning spirits, and smells like burning pit coal. Water some- times collects in the bason, which is remarkably cold, and is kept in ebullition by the gas escaping through it. If the gas be fired in that state, the water soon becomes so warm that the hand cannot bear it, and evaporates wholly in a short time. This gaseous fluid is probably inflammable air, the hydrogene of the new chemistry, which we know will kindle on mixing with the oxygenous portion of the atmospheric air, and the application of flame. It may be produced by a decomposition of water or of pyrites, within the body of the hill. The circumjacent lands are the property of General Washington and of General Lewis.
There is a similar one on Sandy River, the flame of which is a column of about 12 inches diameter, and 3 feet high. General Clarke, who informs me of it, kindled the vapor, staid about an hour, and left it burning.
The mention of uncommon springs leads me to that of Syphon fountains. There is one of these near the intersection of the Lord Fairfax's boundary with the North Mountain, not far from Brock's Gap, on the stream of which is a grist mill, which grinds two bushels of grain at every flood of the spring. An- other, near the Cow Pasture River, a mile and a half below its confluence with the Bull Pasture River, and 16 or 17 miles from the Hot Springs, which intermits once in every twelve hours. One also near the mouth of the North Holston.
We are told that during a great storm on the 25th of December, 1798, the Syphon Fountain, near the mouth of the North Holston, ceased, and a spring broke out about 100 feet higher up the hill. [vi] Syphon fountains have been explained by supposing the duct which leads from the reservoir to the surface of the earth to be in the form of a syphon, a, h, c, where it is evident that till the water rises in the reservoir to d, the level of the highest point of the syphon, it cannot flow through the duct, and it is known that when once it begins to flow it will draw off the water of the reservoir to the orifice a, of the syphon. If the duct be larger than the supply of the reservoir, possibly the force of the waters and loosening of the earth by them, during the storm above mentioned, may have opened a more direct duct as from e to f, horizontally or declining, which issued higher up the hill than the one fed by the syphon. In that case it becomes a common spring. Should this duct be again closed or diminished by any new accident, the syphon may begin to play again, and both springs be kept in action from the same reservoir.
After these may be mentioned the Natural Well, on the lands of a Mr. Lewis in Frederick county. It is somewhat larger than a common well; the water rises in it as near the surface of the earth as in the neighboring artificial wells, and is of a depth as yet unknown. It is said there is a current in it tending sensibly downwards. If this be true, it probably feeds some fountain, of which it is the natural reservoir, distinguished from others like that of Madison's Cave, by being accessible. It is used with a bucket and windlass, as an ordinary well.
A complete catalogue of the trees, plants, fruits, &c., is probably not desired. I will sketch out those which would principally attract notice, as being — 1, Medicinal; 2, Esculent; 3, Ornamental; or, 4, Useful for fabrication: adding the Linnaean to the popular names, as the latter might not convey precise information to a foreigner. I shall confine myself too to native plants:
1. Senna — Cassia ligustrina. Arsmart — Polygonum Sagittatum. Clivers, or goose grass — Galium spurium. Lobelia, of several species. Palma Christi — Ricinus. James Town weed (3) — Datura Stramonium. Mallow — Malva rotundifolia. Syrian mallow — Hibiscus moschentos. Hibiscus virginicus. Indian mallow — Sida rhombifolia, Sida abutilon. Virginia Marshmallow — Napaea hermaphrodita, Napsea dioica. Indian physic — Spiraea trifoliata, Euphorbia Ipecacuanhse. Pleurisy root — Asclepias decumbens. Virginia snake root — Aristolochia serpentaria. Black snake root — Actaea racemosa. Seneca rattlesnake root — Polygala Senega. Valerian — Valeriana locusta radiata. Gentiana, Saponaria, Villosa and Centaurium. Ginseng — Panax quinquefolium. Angelica — Angelica sylvestris. Cassava — Jatropha urens.
2. Tuckahoe — Lycoperdon tuber. Jerusalem artichoke — Helianthus tuberosus. Long potatoes — Convolvulas batatas. Granadillas, Maycocks, Maracocks — Passiflora incarnata. Panic — Panicum, of many species. Indian millet — Holcus laxus, Holcus striosus. Wild oat — Zizania aquatica. Wild pea — Dolichos of Clayton. Lupine — Lupinus perennis. Wild hop — Humulus lupulus. Wild cherry — Prunus Virginiana. Cherokee plum — Prunus sylvestris fructu majori. Clayton. Wild plum — Prunus sylvestris fructu minori. Clayton. Wild crab apple — Pyrus coronaria. Red mulberry — Morus rubra. Persimmon — Diospy- ros Virginiana. Sugar maple — Acer saccharinum. Scaly bark hiccory — Juglans alba cortice squamoso. Clayton. Common hiccory — Juglans alba, fructu minore rancido. Clayton. Paccan, or Illinois nut. Not described by Linnaeus Millar, or Clayton. [Were I to venture to describe this, speaking of the fruit from memory, and of the leaf from plants of two years growth, I should specify it as the Juglans alba, foliolis lanceolatis, acuminatis, serratis, tomentosis, fructu minore, ovato, compresso, vix insculpto dulci putamine, tenerrimo. It grows on the Illinois, Wabash, Ohio, and Missisipi. It is spoken of by Don Ulloa under the name of Pacanos, in his Noticias Americanas — Entret. 6.] Black walnut — Juglans nigra. White walnut — Juglans alba. Chesnut — Fagus castanea. Chinquapin — Fagus pumila. Hazlenut — Corylus avellana. Grapes — Vitis, various kinds, though only three described by Clayton. Scarlet Strawberries — Fragaria Virginiana of Millar. Whortleberries — Vaccinium uliginosum? Wild gooseberries — Ribes grossularia. Cranberries — Vaccinium oxycoccos. Black raspberries — Rubus occidentalis. Blackberries — Rubus fruticosus. Dewberries — Rubus csesius. Cloudberries — Robus chamaemorus.
3. Plane tree — Platanus occidentalis. Poplar — Liriodendron tulipifera, Populus lieterophylla. Black poplar — Populus nigra. Aspen — Populus tremula. Linden, or lime — Tilia Americana. Red flowering maple — Acer rubrum. Horsechesnut, or Buck's eye — Aesculus pavia. Catalpa — Bignonia catalpa. Umbrella — Magnolia tripetala. Swamp laurel — Magnolia glauca. Cucumber tree — Magnolia acuminata. Portugal bay — Laurus indica. Red bay — Laurus borbonia. Dwarf rose bay — Rhododendron maximum. Laurel of the Western country. Qu. species? Wild pimento — Laurus benzoin. Sassafras — Laurus sassafras. Locust — Robinia pseudo acacia. Honey locust — Gleditsia. I. ß. Dogwood — Cornus florida. Fringe, or snow drop tree — Chionanthus Virginica. Barberry — Berberis vulgaris. Red bud, or Judas tree — Cercis Canadensis. Holly — Ilex aquifolium. Cockspur hawthorn — Crataegus coccinea. Spindle tree — Euonymus Europoeus. Evergreen spindle tree — Euonymus Americanus. Itea Virginica. Elder — Sambucus nigra. Papaw — Annona triloba. Candleberry myrtle — Myrica cerifera. Dwarf laurel — Kalmia angustifolia, Kalmia latifolia, called ivy with us. Ivy — Hedera quinquefolia. Trumpet honeysuckle — Lonicera sempervirens. Upright honeysuckle — Azalea nudiflora, Azalea viscosa. Yellow jasmine — Bignonia sempervirens. Calycanthus floridus. American aloe — Agave Virginica. Sumach — Rhus. Qu. species? Poke — Phytolacca decandra. Long moss — Tillandsia Usneoides.
4. Reed — Arundo phragmitis. Virginia hemp — Acnida cannabina. Flax — Linum Virginianum. Black, or pitch pine — Pinus tseda. White pine — Pinus strobus. Yellow pine — Pinus Virginica. Spruce pine — Pinus foliis singularibus. Clayton. Hemlock spruce fir — Pinus Canadensis. Arbor vitse — Thuya occidentalis. Juniper — Juniperus virginica (called cedar with us.) Cypress — Cupressus disticha. White cedar — Cupressus Thyoides. Black oak — Quercus nigra. White oak — Quercus alba. Red oak — Quercus rubra. Willow oak — Quercus phellos. Chesnut oak — Quercus prinus. Black jack oak — Quercus aquatica. Clayton. Query? Ground oak — Quercus pumila. Clayton. Live oak — Quercus Virginiana. Millar. Black birch — Betula nigra. White birch — Betula alba. Beach — Fagus sylvatica. Ash — Fraxinus Americana, Fraxinus Novae Angliae. Millar. Elm — Ulmus Americana. "Willow — Salix. Query, species? Fluvialis. Bartr. 393. Sweet Gum — Liquidambar styraciflua.
The following were found in Virginia when first visited by the English; but it is not said whether of spontaneous growth, or by cultivation only. Most probably they were natives of more Southern climates, and handed along the continent from one nation to another of the savages:
Tobacco — Nicotiana. [vii] Maize — Zea mays, [viii] Round potatoes — Solanum tuberosum. Pumpkins — Cucurbita pepo. Cymlings — Cucurbita verrucosa. Squashes — Cucurbita melopepo. There is an infinitude of other plants and flowers, for an enumeration and scientific description of which I must refer to the Flora Virginica of our great botanist, Dr. Clayton, published by Gronovius at Leyden, in 1762. This accurate observer was a native and resident of this State, passed a long life in exploring and describing its plants, and is supposed to have enlarged the botanical catalogue as much as almost any man who has lived.
Besides these plants, which are native, our farms produce wheat, rye, barley, oats, buckwheat, and broom corn. The climate suits rice well enough wherever the lands do. Tobacco, hemp, flax, and cotton, are staple commodities. Indico yields two cuttings. The silk worm is a native, and the mulberry, proper for its food, grows kindly.
We cultivate also potatoes, both the long and the round, turnips, carrots, parsneps, pumpkins, and ground nuts, (Arachis.) Our grasses are Lucerne, St. Foin, Burnet, Timothy, ray, and orchard grass; red, white, and yellow clover; greensward, blue grass, and crab grass.
The gardens yield musk melons, water melons, tomatoes, ochre, pomegranates, figs, and the esculent plants of Europe.
The orchards produce apples, pears, cherries, quinces, peaches, nectarines, apricots, almonds, and plums.
Our quadrupeds have been mostly described by Linnaeus and Mons. de Buffon. Of these the mammoth, or big buffalo, as called by the Indians, must certainly have been the largest. Their tradition is, that he was carnivorous, and still exists in the Northern parts of America. A delegation of warriors from the Delaware tribe having visited the Governor of Virginia, during the present revolution, on matters of business, after these had been discussed and settled in council, the Governor asked them some questions relative to their country, and, among others, what they knew or had heard of the animal whose bones were found at the Saltlicks, on the Ohio.
Their chief speaker immediately put himself into an attitude of oratory, and with a pomp suited to what he conceived the elevation of his subject, informed him that it was a tradition handed down from their fathers: "That in ancient times a herd of these tremendous animals came to the Big Bone Licks, and began an universal destruction of the bear, deer, elks, buffaloes, and other animals, which had been created for the use of the Indians; that the Great Man above, looking down and seeing this, was so enraged that he seized his lightning, descended on the earth, seated himself on a neighboring mountain, on a rock, of which his seat and the print of his feet are still to be seen, and hurled his bolts among them till the whole were slaughtered, except the big bull, who, presenting his forehead to the shafts, shook them off as they fell; but missing one at length, it wounded him in the side; whereon, springing round, he bounded over the Ohio, over the Wabash, the Illinois, and finally over the great lakes, where he is living at this day." It is well known that on the Ohio, and in many parts of America further North, tusks, grinders, and skeletons of unparalleled magnitude, are found in great numbers, some lying on the surface of the earth, and some a little below it. A Mr. Stanley, taken prisoner by the Indians near the mouth of the Tanissee, relates that, after being transferred through several tribes, from one to another, he was at length carried over the mountains West of the Missouri to a river which runs westwardly; that these bones abounded there; and that the natives described to him the animal to which they belonged as still existing in the Northern parts of their country; from which description he judged it to be an elephant. Bones of the same kind have been lately found some feet below the surface of the earth, in salines opened on the North Holston, a branch of the Tanissee, about the latitude of 36-1/2° North. From the accounts published in Europe, I suppose it to be decided that these are of the same kind with those found in Siberia. [ix] Instances are mentioned of like animal remains found in the more Southern climates of both hemispheres; [x] hut they are either so loosely mentioned as to leave a doubt of the fact, so inaccurately described as not to authorize the classing them with the great Northern bones, or so rare as to found a suspicion that they have been carried] thither as curiosities from more Northern regions. So that on the whole there seem to be no certain vestiges of the existence of this animal further South than the salines last mentioned, [xi] It is remarkable that the tusks and skeletons have been ascribed by the naturalists of Europe to the elephant, while the grinders have been given to the hippopotamus, or river horse. [xii] Yet it is acknowledged that the tusks and skeletons are much larger than those of the elephant, and the grinders many times greater than those of the hippopotamus, and essentially different in form. Wherever these grinders are found, there also we find the tusks and skeleton; but no skeleton of the hippopotamus nor grinders of the elephant. It will not be said that the hippopotamus and elephant came always to the same spot, the former to deposit his grinders, and the latter his tusks and skeleton. For what became of the parts not deposited there? We must agree then that these remains belong to each other, that they are of one and the same animal, that this was not a hippopotamus, because the hippopotamus had no tusks nor such a frame, and because the grinders differ in their size as well as in the number and form of their points. That it was not an elephant, I think ascertained by proofs equally decisive. I will not avail myself of the authority of the celebrated [xiii] anatomist, who, from an examination of the form and structure of the tusks, has declared they were essentially different from those of the elephant, because another [xiv] anatomist, equally celebrated, has declared, on a like examination, that they are precisely the same. Between two such authorities I will suppose this circumstance equivocal. But, 1, The skeleton of the mammoth (for so the incognitum has been called) bespeaks an animal of six times the cubic volume of the elephant, as Mons. de Buffon has admitted. [xv] 2, The grinders are five times as large, are square, and the grinding surface studded with four or five rows of blunt points : whereas those of the elephant are broad and thin, and their grinding surface flat. [xvi] 3, I have never heard an instance, and suppose there has been none, of the grinder of an elephant being found in America. 4, From the known temperature and constitution of the elephant he could never have existed in those regions where the remains of the mammoth have been found. The elephant is a native only of the torrid zone and its vicinities: if with the assistance of warm apartments and warm clothing he has been preserved in life in the temperate climates of Europe, it has only been for a small portion of what would have been his natural period, and no instance of his multiplication in them has ever been known. But no bones of the mammoth, as I have before observed, have been ever found further South than the salines of the Holston, and they have been found as far North as the Arctic circle. Those, therefore, who are of opinion that the elephant and mammoth are the same, must believe, 1, That the elephant known to us can exist and multiply in the frozen zone; or, 2, That an internal fire may once have warmed those regions, and since abandoned them, of which, however, the globe exhibits no unequivocal indications; or, 3, That the obliquity of the ecliptic, when these elephants lived, was so great as to include within the tropics all those regions in which the bones are found; the tropics being as is before observed, the natural limits of habitation for the elephant. M. de Buffon considers the existence of elephant bones in Northern regions, where the animal itself is no longer found, as one of the leading facts which support his theory, that the earth was once in a liquid state, rendered so by the action of fire, that the process of cooling began at its poles, and proceeded gradually towards the torrid zone, that with this progress the animals of warm temperature retired towards the equator, and that in the present state of that progress the globe remains of sufficient warmth, for the elephant for instance, in the tropical regions, only to which therefore they have retired, as their last asylum, and where they must become extinct when the degree of warmth shall be reduced below that adapted to their constitution. How does it happen then that no elephants exist at present in the tropical regions of America, to which those of the Ohio must have retired, according to this theory? But if it be admitted that this obliquity has really decreased, and we adopt the highest rate of decrease yet pretended, that is, of one minute in a century, to transfer the Northern tropic to the Arctic circle, would carry the existence of these supposed elephants 250,000 years back; a period far beyond our conception of the duration of animal bones left exposed to the open air, as [these are in many instances. Besides, though these regions would then be supposed within the tropics, yet their winters would have been too severe for the sensibility of the elephant. They would have had too but one day and one night in the year, a circumstance to which we have no reason to suppose the nature of the elephant fitted. However, it has been demonstrated, that if a variation of obliquity in the ecliptic takes place at all, it is vibratory, and never exceeds the limits of 9 degrees, which is not sufficient to bring these bones within the tropics. One of these hypotheses, or some other equally voluntary and inadmissible to cautious philosophy, must be adopted to support the opinion that these are the bones of the elephant. For my own part, I find it easier to believe that an animal may have existed, resembling the elephant in his tusks and general anatomy, while his nature was in other respects extremely different. From the 30th degree of South latitude to the 30th of North, are nearly the limits which Nature has fixed for the existence and multiplication of the elephant known to us. Proceeding thence northwardly to 36-1/2 degrees, we enter those assigned to the mammoth. The further we advance North, the more their vestiges multiply as far as the earth has been explored in that direction; and it is as probable as otherwise, that this progression continues to the pole itself, if land extends so far. The centre of the frozen zone then may be the acme of their vigor, as that of the torrid is of the elephant. Thus Nature seems to have drawn a belt of separation between these two tremendous animals, whose breadth, indeed, is not precisely known, though at present we may suppose it about 6-1/2 degrees of latitude; to have assigned to the elephant the regions South of these confines, and those North to the mammoth, founding the constitution of the one in her extreme of heat, and that of the other in the extreme of cold. When the Creator has therefore separated their nature as far as the extent of the scale of animal life allowed to this planet would permit, it seems perverse to declare it the same, from a partial resemblance of their tusks and bones. But to whatever animal we ascribe these remains, it is certain such a one has existed in America, and that it has been the largest of all terrestrial beings. It should have sufficed to have rescued the earth it inhabited, and the atmosphere it breathed, from the imputation of impotence in the conception and nourishment of animal life on a large scale: to have stifled in its birth the opinion of a writer, the most learned too of all others in the science of animal history, that in the new world, "La nature vivante est beaucoup moins agissante, beaucoup moins forte:" that Nature is less active, less energetic on one side of the globe than she is on the other. [xvii] As if both sides were not warmed by the same genial sun; as if a soil of the same chemical composition was less capable of elaboration into animal nutriment; as if the fruits and grains from that soil and sun yielded a less rich chyle, gave less ex- tension to the solids and fluids of the body, or produced sooner in the cartilages, membranes, and fibres, that rigidity which restrains all further extension, and terminates animal growth. The truth is, that a pigmy and a Patagonian, a mouse and a mammoth, derive their dimensions from the same nutritive juices. The difference of increment depends on circumstances unsearchable to beings with our capacities. Every race of animals seems to have received from their Maker certain laws of extension at the time of their formation. Their elaborative organs were formed to produce this, while proper obstacles were opposed to its further progress. Below these limits they cannot fall, nor rise above them. What intermediate station they shall take may depend on soil, on climate, on food, on a careful choice of breeders. But all the manna of heaven would never raise the mouse to the bulk of the mammoth.
The opinion advanced by the Count de Buffon [xviii] is, 1, That the animals, common both to the old and new world, are smaller in the latter. 2, That those peculiar to the new are on a smaller scale. 3, That those which have been domesticated in both, have degenerated in America; and, 4, That on the whole it exhibits fewer species. And the reason he thinks is, that the heats of America are less; that more waters are spread over its surface by Nature, and fewer of these drained off by the hand of man. In other words, that heat is friendly, and moisture adverse to the production and development of large quadrupeds. I will not meet this hypothesis on its first doubtful ground, whether the climate of America be comparatively more humid? Because we are not furnished with observations sufficient to decide this question. And though, till it be decided, we are as free to deny, as others are to affirm the fact, yet for a moment let it be supposed. The hypothesis, after this supposition, proceeds to another; that moisture is unfriendly to animal growth. The truth of this is inscrutable to us by reasonings a priori. Nature has hidden from us her modus agendi. Our only appeal on such questions is to experience; and I think that experience is against the supposition. It is by the assistance of heat and moisture that vegetables are elaborated from the elements of earth, air, water, and fire. We accordingly see the more humid climates produce the greater quantity of vegetables. Vegetables are mediately or immediately the food of every animal; and in proportion to the quantity of food, we see animals not only multiplied in their numbers, but improved in their bulk, as far as the laws of their nature will admit. Of this opinion is the Count de Buffon himself in another part of his work: [xix] "En general il paroit que les pays un peu froids conviennent mieux a nos boeufs que les pays chauds, et qu'ils sont d'autant plus gros et plus grands que le climat est plus humide et plus abondans en paturages. Les boeufs de Danemarck, de la Podolie, de l'Ukraine et de la Tartarie qu'habitent les Calmouques sont les plus grands de tous.' [xx] Here then a race of animals, and one of the largest too, has been increased in its dimensions by cold and moisture, in direct opposition to the hypothesis, which supposes that these two circumstances diminish animal bulk, and that it is their contraries, heat and dryness, which enlarge it. But when we appeal to experience, we are not to rest satisfied with a single fact. Let us therefore try our question on more general ground. Let us take two portions of the earth, Europe and America for instance, sufficiently extensive to give operation to general causes; let us consider the circumstances peculiar to each, and observe their effect on animal nature. America, running through the torrid as well as temperate zone, has more heat, collectively taken, than Europe. But Europe, according to our hypothesis, is the dryest. They are equally adapted then to animal productions, each being endowed with one of those causes which befriend animal growth, and with one which opposes it. If it be thought unequal to compare Europe with America, which is so much larger, I answer, not more so than to com- pare America with the whole world. Besides, the purpose of the comparison is to try an hypothesis, which makes the size of animals depend on the heat and moisture of climate. If therefore we take a region, so extensive as to comprehend a sensible distinction of climate, and so extensive too as that local accidents, or the intercourse of animals on its borders, may not materially affect the size of those in its interior parts, we shall comply with those conditions which the hypothesis may reasonably demand. The objection would be the weaker in the present case, because any intercourse of animals which may take place on the confines of Europe and Asia, is to the advantage of the former, Asia producing certainly larger animals than Europe. Let us then take a comparative view of the quadrupeds of Europe and America, presenting them to the eye in three different tables, in one of which shall be enumerated those found in both countries; in a second those found in one only; in a third those which have been domesticated in both. To facilitate the comparison, let those of each table be arranged in gradation according to their sizes, from the greatest to the smallest, so far as their sizes can be conjectured. The weights of the large animals shall be ex- pressed in the English avoirdupoise pound and its decimals; those of the smaller in the ounce and its decimals. Those which are marked thus, [*] are actual weights of particular subjects, deemed among the largest of their species. Those marked thus [†], are furnished by judicious persons, well acquainted with the species, and saying, from conjecture only, what the largest individual they had seen would probably have weighed. The other weights are taken from Messrs. Buffon and D'Aubenton, and are of such subjects as came casually to their hands for dissection. This circumstance must be remembered where their weights and mine stand opposed; the latter being stated, not to produce a conclusion in favor of the American species, but to justify a suspension of opinion until we are better informed, and a suspicion in the mean time that there is no uniform difference in favor of either, which is all I pretend.
A COMPARATIVE VIEW OF THE QUADRUPEDS OF EUROPE AND OF AMERICA.
I. ABORIGINALS OF BOTH.
II. ABORIGINALS OF ONE ONLY.
III. DOMESTICATED IN BOTH.
I have not inserted in the first table the [xxi] phoca nor leather-winged bat, because the one living half the year in the water, and the other being a winged animal, the individuals of each species may visit both continents.
Of the animals in the first table, Mons. de Buffon himself informs us, [xxii] that the roe, the beaver, the otter, and shrew mouse, though of the same species, are larger in America than Europe. This should therefore have corrected the generality of his expressions; [xxiii] and elsewhere, that the animals common to the two countries, are considerably less in America than in Europe: "& cela sans aucune exception." He tells us too, [xxiv] that on examining a bear from America, he remarked no difference: " Dans la forme de cet ours d' Amerique compart a celui d' Europe." But adds from Bartram's journal, that an American bear weighed 400 lb English, equal to 367 lb French; whereas we find the European bear, examined by Mons. D'Aubenton, [xxv] weighed but 141 lb French. Kalm tells us that the moose, orignal, or palmated elk of America, is as high as a tall horse; and Catesby, that it is about the bigness of a middle-sized ox. [xxvi] I have seen a skeleton 7 feet high, and from good information believe they are often considerably higher. The Elk of Europe is not two-thirds of his height. The wesel is larger in America than in Europe, as may be seen by comparing its dimensions as reported by Mons. D' Aubenton and Kalm. [xxvii] The latter tells us that the lynx, badger, red fox, and flying .squirrel, are the same in America as in Europe; by which expression I understand they are the same in all material circumstances, in size as well as others; for if they were smaller, they would differ from the European. [xxviii] Our grey fox is, by Catesby's account, little different in size and shape from the European fox. [xxix] I presume he means the red fox of Europe, as does Kalm, where he says, [xxx] that in size "they do not quite come up to our foxes." For proceeding next to the red fox of America, he says " they are entirely the same with the European sort;" which shews he had in view one European sort only, which was the red. So that the result of their testimony is, that the American grey fox is somewhat less than the European red; which is equally true of the grey fox of Europe, as may be seen by comparing the measures of the Count de Buffon and Mons. D'Aubenton. [xxxi] The white bear of America is as large as that of Europe. The bones of the mammoth, which have been found in America, are as large as those found in the old world. It may be asked, why I insert the mammoth, as if it still existed? I ask in return why I should omit it, as if it did not exist? Such is the economy of Nature, that no instance can be produced of her having permitted any one race of her animals to become extinct; of her having formed any link in her great work so weak as to be broken. To add to this, the traditionary testimony of the Indians, that this animal still exists in the Northern and Western parts of America^ would be adding the light of a taper to that of the meridian sun. Those parts still remain in their aboriginal state, un- explored and undisturbed by us, or by others for us. He may as well exist there now, as he did formerly, where we find his bones. If he be a carnivorous animal, as some anatomists have conjectured, and the Indians affirm, his early retirement may be accounted for from the general destruction of the wild game by the Indians, which commences in the first instant of their connection with us, for the purpose of purchasing match- coats, hatchets, and fire locks, with their skins. There remain then the renne, the buffalo, red deer, fallow deer, wolf, glutton, wild cat, monax, vison, hedgehog, martin, and water rat, of the comparative sizes of which we have not sufficient testimony. It does not appear that Messrs. de Buffon and D' Aubenton have measured, weighed, or seen those of America. It is said of some of them, by some travelers, that they are smaller than the European. But who were these travelers? Have they not been men of a very different description from those who have laid open to us the other three quarters of the world? Was natural history the object of their travels? Did they measure or weigh the animals they speak of? or did they not judge of them by sight, or perhaps even from report only? Were they acquainted with the animals of their own country, with which they undertake to compare them? Have they not been so ignorant as often to mistake the species? [xxxii] A true answer to these questions would probably lighten their authority, so as to render it insufficient for the foundation of an hypothesis. How unripe we yet are, for an accurate comparison of the animals of the two countries, will appear from the work of Mons. de Buffon. The ideas we should have formed of the sizes of some animals, from the information he had received at his first publications concerning them, are very different from what his subsequent communications give us. And indeed his candor in this can never be too much praised. One sentence of his book must do him immortal honor.
"J' aime autant une personne qui me releve d' une erreur, qu'une autre qui m' apprend une verite, parce qu'en effet une erreur corrigee est une verity." [xxxiii] He seems to have thought the Cabiai he first examined wanted little of its full growth. "Il n'etoit pas encore tout-a-fait adulte." [xxxiv] Yet he weighed but 46-1/2 lb, and he found afterwards that these animals, when full grown, weigh 100 lb. [xxxv] He had supposed, from the examination of a jaguar, said to be two years old, which weighed but 16 lb 12 oz., that, when he should have acquired his full growth, he would not be larger than a middle-sized dog. [xxxvi] But a subsequent account raises his weight to 200 lb. [xxxvii] Further information will, doubtless, produce further corrections. The wonder is, not that there is yet something in this great work to correct, but that there is so little. The result of this view then is, that of 26 quadrupeds common to both countries, 7 are said to be larger in America, 7 of equal size, and 12 not sufficiently examined. So that the first table impeaches the first member of the assertion, that of the animals common to both countries, the American are smallest: "Et cela sans aucune exception." It shews it not just, in all the latitude in which its author has advanced it, and probably not to such a degree as to found a distinction between the two countries.