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flow eastwardly into the Mononga hela. Down this plain flow, Harmans, Cross, Buffalo, Wheeling, Fish, Fishing, Middle Island, and some other creeks of less note. Near the little Kenawha the plain widens, and the declivity inclines from W. 10 N. W: this declination is also maintained in the vallies of the great Kenawha, and great Sandy rivers.
The tributary waters of the extreme southern part of the Ohio section of Virginia, though drained into the same recipient, are borne from the elevated plateau, between the sources of the great Kenawha and Tennessee; and before their discharge make the immense semicircular curve of the latter.
The difference of level between high-water mark on the Ohio river, and the elevation we have noticed, is about a mean of 850 feet; but this elevation is only the first in a series of planes, which rise one above another, until a mean height of between 1800 and 2000 feet, is attained in central Virginia. If we assume latitude 38° 10' as the central latitude, it will at longitude 3o west of Washington city, correspond nearly with the greatest elevation, and estimating 400 feet as an equivalent to a degree of latitude, the counties along the mountainous section of Virginia will have a climate, similar to that in north latitude 43° on the Atlantic coast.
If from the foregoing elements, we embrace the whole of Virginia, we have before us, a large section of the United States; extending over more than 4° of latitude, and 81° of longitude, differing in relative level upwards of 2000 feet, without estimating mountain peaks, or ridges. If we suppose the actually settled parts of the United States, to be 630,000 square miles, Virginia will embrace one ninth part. It is as we have seen traversed from S. W. to N. E. by the Appalachian system of mountains in lateral chains; of these the Blue Ridge is the most distinctly defined, but is only one of six or seven chains that may be traced and identified across the state. One of these chains, though omitted in some maps and broken into fragments in others, is in nature little less obvious than the Blue Ridge; and is distinct throughout its course in Virginia. This neglected Appalachian chain stretches at a distance, varying from 15 to 30 miles, southeastwardly from the Blue Ridge. It is known in New Jersey as Schooley's mountain, and though entirely apparent through Pennsylvania, it has received no distinct appellation in that state. In Maryland it is called the Parr Spring Ridge, and is rendered very conspicuous where it is traversed by the Potomac, by the fine conical peak called the Sugar Loaf. In Virginia it traverses Loudon, Fauquier, Orange, Albemarle, Nelson, Amherst, Bedford, Franklin, and Henry counties. West of the Blue Ridge, the mountain chains are also very confusedly delineated on our maps, though they are far from being so in nature; even on Tanner's large map of the United States, the continuous chains cease with the Alleghany, whilst in fact western Virginia is traversed by three distinct chains, west of this mountain;-indeed the whole state, from the head of tide-water to the Ohio, is formed of a series of mountain chains, and intervening vallies. This structure is obvious to all who examine the map, with a knowledge of the influ. ence of the direction of the hills upon the inflection of the streams. Among the mountain chains however, the Blue Ridge must ever be the most important, physically and politically. This chain stands distinct and 'de. tached from the rest, in a remarkable manner. Its highest points are the Peaks of Otter, in Botetourt county, which may be seen at a great distance; one of them is remakable for its symmetry, being conical, and terminating in a limestone cube; the upper surface of which is scarcely sufficiently extensive
to contain a dozen persons. It has been supposed that these beautiful peaks, are the highest points in the Appalachian system, S. W. of the Delaware, if computed from their base; but the White Top peaks of the Iron mountains, near the North Carolina line are now thought to be still more elevated.
The different portions of the state are strikingly distinguished from each other in their appearance. The tide-water eastern section, is in general low, level, sandy, and unproductive,—in some parts exhibiting almost as desolate appearance as the pine barrens of New Jersey. Above the falls of the rivers, the country presents a bolder and more picturesque outline, and the soil if not generally productive, is in most cases capable of improvement; the alluvial lands on river and creek bottoms of this section are very fine; those on James river will compare with any in the world for fertility. The valley section contains a considerable portion of mountainous and sterile land; but no part of the commonwelth presents larger tracts of fertile and well cultivated soil, or better adapted to the cultivation of every species of grain.
West of the Alleghany, a large portion of the country must for ever remain in its primitive forest; it is generally mountainous and broken, but interspersed with fertile vallies, well calculated to grazing, and raising stock, and occasionally presenting rich bodies of limestone.
From the vast extent of this state and the variety of its surface, we should of course expect a great diversity of climate. In the Atlantic country, east of the mountains, the heat of summer is long and oppressive, the spring short and variable, and the winter extremely mild, -snow seldom lying more than a day after it has fallen. Droughts in summer and autumn are common, and the people are subject to autumnal fevers. On the mountains, the air cool, and salubrious, and the inh tants are tall and muscular, with robust forms, and healthy countenances; fires are used during five months in the year; the heat of summer during the day is considerable, but • the nights are always cool. On the western side of the mountain the climate is cooler by several degrees, than on the same parallel of latitude on the coast: the valley of the Ohio, is exceedingly hot in summer, while in winter, the river is sometimes frozen for two months at a time, so hard as to be passed on the ice; the autumn is dry, temperate, and healthy, and the weather most delightful.
From the facts which have been stated with regard to the variety of soil, and climate in Virginia; a corresponding variety in the staple productions will at once be suggested. Every vegetable, from cotton to wheat, and the fig to the apple, can be produced in abundance.
When discovered and colonized by Europeans, the region now comprised in Virginia, was one continued dense, and vary partially broken forest. A few savage tribes were found along the tide-waters, but the interior was scarcely inhabited. It may be remarked that though the soil increases in fertility as we advance from the seaboard, yet density of population is in a near ratio to proximity to the place of original settlement, on James river If we make every just allowance for the space actually occupied by mountains, and other unproductive tracts, still there would remain at least 50,000 square miles, capable of sustaining a mean distributive population, equal in number to that which occupies any of the best inhabited of ils existing counties, (for example, Henrico, including Richmond, ) such a ratio, would give Virginia more than five millions of inhabitants,-a number far below the population she could support.
The principal Towns are, Richmond, the seat of government, situated at the falls of James river, on a site or elevation perhaps not to be surpassed in beauty in the United States, having an extensive view of the river, and an open, well cultivated, and fertile country for many miles in extent; it contains 16,060 inhabitants: Norfolk, on Elizabeth river, which flows into Hamp: ton Roads, had in 1830, a population of 9,816: Petersburg and Fredericksburg, at the falls of the Appomatox and Rappahannock, the first containing 8,300 inhabitants, and the last 3,308: Lynchburg, on James river, 120 miles above the falls, contains 4,630 inhabitants: Wheeling, on the Ohio, though only the fourth town in size and population, containing 5,211 inhabitants, is perhaps the most flourishing town in the state. Besides these— Winchesier, Shepperdstown, Martinsburg, Staunton, Lexington and Fincastle, in the valley; Charleston, Abingdon and Brooke in the trans-Alleghany section deserve to be noticed—Williamsburg in the eastern section, and the ancient seat of government, is on the decline, but Charlottesville, near which the state University is located, has rapidly improved.
The principal Rivers flowing into the Chesapeak bay, are, the Potomac, Rappa hannock, York and James; all of which are large and navigable. The Shenandoah traces its quiet course down the valley, at the base of the Blue Ridge, and unites with the Potomac at Harper's Ferry. The Roanoke rises in the mountains, and passing into North Carolina, empties its waters into Albemarle sound. The Mononga hela, and great Kenawha are both tributaries of the Ohio. Besides these, numerous other streams intersect the country in every direction; and render it inferior to few in facilities for transportation by water. The Chesapeake bay, one of the finest on the continent, extends 190 miles from its mouth, into the states of Virginia and Maryland; it is from 7 to 20 miles broad, and generally 9 fathoms deep.
GeologÝ AND MINERALOGY.—If we trace a line from the mouth of Potomac creek, though the Bowling Green and fork of the Pamunky, to Richmond,—thence through Petersburg and Hicksford, to the Roanoke near Weldon,—we shall embrace between it and the ocean, only tertiary, and alluvial formations. The soil contains oxides of iron, shells and marle, bones of sharks, whales, and other fish, carbonated wood, and other vegetable remains. From this line to the Blue Ridge, the formation may be regarded as essentially primitive; as most of the rocks are of that denomination. In this space however, two belts of transition and secondary formation have been found resting on the primitive rocks. One of these is the sand-stone and coal formation of the counties of Goochland, Powhatan, and Chesterfield; which is supposed to continue through the state, in a direction parallel to its mountains; the other, a narrow stratum of limestone, which has been found at the base of the South West mountains, at various points between the Potomac and James, and which yields in several of its quaries beautiful marble. In this primitive region, various valuable ores and pure metals have been discovered, among them iron ore in masses, and layers black lead, copper, and gold. It is now well ascertained that a formation in which the latter metal is frequently found, commences near the Rappahannock in the county of Spottsylvania, and inclining with the mountains from N E. to S. E. runs through Spottsylvania, Louisa, Fluvanna, and Goochland, to James river; and crossing this stream near the Point of fork, passes through Buckingham into North Carolina, and thence on to the Cherokee lands in Georgia. Many portions of this vein are extremely rich,
and the purity is so extraordinary, the ore so near the surface, and the machinery necessary for its collection so cheap, that many individuals have engaged in the search. [For a more particular discription, see the several counties mentioned.] The dip of the rocks in this region is usually about 45°.
West of the Blue Ridge, the country may be considered as divided by a line, sometimes corresponding with the Alleghany mountains, but in general running east of them; and south of the head waters of the Roanoke, stretching along the summits of the Bushy, Clinch, and Garden mountains. East of this line, the primitive rocks appear only at the tops of high ridges and mountains; the intervals between, and the sides of the mountains being in general transition, but sometimes secondary formations. Among the rocks of this region, are blue and gray limestone, slate, sandstone, gypsum, buhrstone, and conglomerate or pudding stone,-iron ore of the best quality is extensively distributed in this portion of the state, and valuable lead mines are worked in Wythe county, near Austinsville. The dip of the rocks is in this district less than in the primitive, but sometimes rises to 45°.
West of this line described lies the great secondary formation of the state. The line of strata is more or less undulating, but in general nearly horizontal. This portion of the state abounds in mineral wealth. Bituminous coal, and iron ore are found almost every where;-beds of limestone are extensively distributed, and the caverns which abound in them furnish large quantities of nitre. The salt wells of the great Kenawha and Holston, are even superior to those of Onandagua, in New York; and new springs are every day developing themselves and being brought into operation, on the little Kenawha, and in other places. When greater facilities of transportation shall be given to this district of country, it may be confidently predicted that no portion of the United States will present greater rewards to industry and enterprize.
MINERAL WATERS.— The Hydro-sulphurous springs of Virginia have been long celebrated. Perhaps they are surpassed in no portion of the earth for efficacy, in most of the cases which result from diseased action of the liver, or the stomach. They are known by the appellations of the Blue sulphur, White sulphur, Salt and Red sulphur springs, to which have been recently added, the Gray sulphur; and are situated, the two former in Greenbrier, at the foot of the western slope of the Alleghany,—and the three last in the county of Monroe. The Blue sulphur holds at least three active medicinal qualities in its composition; its tonic quality admirably sustains and husbands the debilitated system, while the alimentary canal and the glandular organs are efficiently operated upon, by its cathartic and deobstruent powers. The White sulphur acts, when taken in doses of two or three glasses at a time, as an alterative, exercising on the system much of the salutary influence, without the evil effects of mercury,-used in larger quantities it becomes actively diaretic and purgative. The Salt sulphur is more remarkable than the White, for the latter property; but not equal to it in the former. The Red sulphur, in addition to the qualities which it has in common with the last mentioned springs, is remarkable for its action on the pulse, which it reduces considerably in a short time: this property renders it highly valuable in pulmonary affections. The Sweet springs are situated on Potts' creek (a branch of James river) about 22 miles east of the Salt sulphur springs. They are of the class of waters called acidulous, and are valuable as a tonic in cases of debility, and in all the varieties of dyspepsia which are unaccompanied by inflammation. Their temperature is
about 73o. In the same range of mountains in which the Sweet springs are situated, and from 35 to 40 miles to the northeast are the thermal waters, known as the Warm and the Hot springs: The baths of the former are of the temperature of 96o, and are famed for relieving rhumatism, and various other complaints. The temperature of the latter, present every variety, from 51 to 107°, and are celebrated for their efficacy in cutaneous, rhumatic, dyspeptic, and liver complaints. Dr. Bell, in describing these springs observes-all that has been performed by the Bristol, Buxton, and Bath waters in England, may be safely claimed as of easy accomplishment by the Virginia waters just enumerated. If to the Hot, Warm and Sweet springs, We add the white, Salt, Red, and Blue Sulphur,—we may safely challenge any district of country of the same extent in the world to produce the same number and variety of valuable waters,—whether we have regard to their mineral impregnation or temperature, or the time in which they relieve entirely and permanently from a host of distressing maladies.
Besides the above waters, there are various others of more or less value in Virginia. The springs at Bath, in Berkely county, have similar properties with the Sweet springs, and a temperature somewhat higher. In Botetourt
, Montgomery, and Augusta there are also Hydro-sulphurous waters, similar in character to those in Greenbrier and Monroe, but of less efficacy. (See in the several counties named, a more particular description of these springs.] It is astonishing that these waters should, as long as their value has been known, never have been accurately analyzed; until the summer of 1834, Professor Rogers of William and Mary college analyzed the Warm spring water, the result of which may be seen under the head of Bath county.
SCENERY AND NATURAL CURIOSITIES.— The scenery of Virginia is in general highly picturesque. Without possessing the combination of highland and water prospect, which gives such a charm to the shores of the Hudson, or the soft lake scenery of the interior of New York; she surpasses even that state in the beauty of her vallies, and the grandeur of her mountains. The James and Kanawha vallies, offer at many points, in the bold outlines of their hills, and their broad and fertile low-lands, images which remind the traveller of the rich scenery of the Loire and the Garonne, The mountains of the state are strikingly distinguished, not only by an ever-varying succession of hill and dale, but by the beauty of their covering; their vigorous growth of oak, chesnut and lynn, contrasting advantagiously with the mountain districts of the northern and eastern states.
The Curiosities of Virginia, present to the traveller, objects of yet deeper interest than her scenery. Among them may be enumerated :-the passage of the Potomac, through the Blue Ridge, so happily described by Mr. Jefferson,—that of James river through the same mountain;—the cliffs of New river, which present for a distance of 20 miles, a succession of sublime scenery-rivalled in our country only by that of Niagara, between the falls and Queenstown; the celebrated Natural Bridge of Rockbridge, and the natural Tunnell of Scott county, "the most sublime of nature's works,”—the various medicinal springs already noticed;-and the burning springs of Kan. awha. The blowing cave at the Panther's Gap in Rockbridge, admits per petually a strong current of air. Other extensive and beautiful caverns exist in the limestone districts of the state; of the latter, two surpass the rest in beauty and interest, -the one called Weyer's cave, from its discoverer,-the other Allen's cave,—the former is situated in Augusta, near the little vil