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ry, and all the forest trees, were blighted in most of their foliage; the sycamore only remained unhurt. Frost during the winter, is a fatal enemy to those plants which are nurtured in southern exposures; they are sometimes covered with snow, which melting rapidly, is converted in the course of the night into destructive ice. Our white frost is generally harmless, it being simple dew slightly congealed.
Dew is found in Virginia in heavy masses, generally in the months of August, September, and October; it lies in greater quantities on our flat than high lands, being collected there during the absence of the sun from the horizon, like the relics of a drizzling rain. It appears first on the lower parts of bodies, because in the evening the lower atmosphere is first cooled and most disposed to part with its vapor.
Virginia is subject to rains of vehement and long continuance; they fall in the largest quantity about the breaking of the winter, and in March and September. I have no data on which to reckon their depth* or their prevalence over the fair and cloudy days of our climate. Our valley and western regions, by the condensing power of their mountains, and our tide water sections, by the attractive force of broad rivers, have more local rains than the intermediate country, and do not suffer in the same proportion from continued droughts. If a year be remarkable for rain, it is fair to conclude that the ensuing winter will be severe, from the great evaporation of the heat of the earth, and if the rains have been violent, sterility and barrenness will follow in the next year in proportion, as the surface mould, so vital to vegetation, has been scattered and wasted away.
Our Indian summer presents an ample field for the creations of fancy and the conceits of theory. It generally follows excessive and protracted droughts, and is dispersed by heavy rains. It has been traced to electric influenceto the burning of mountains—to the existence of numerous impalpable atoms of decayed vegetation, and has been assimilated to those light gray clouds which overhang Peru. Adhuc lis est subjudice.
POLITICAL AND MORAL CONDITION. Having given a summary account of the natural condition of Virginia, reserving a more detailed account for the particular counties; we now proceed to give a similar succinct description of the situation of her people, begining with their number and classes.
POPULATION. The number of people in Virginia has been as follows, at the several periods mentioned, viz: in 1790,–747,610—in 1800,—-830,200-in 1810,974,622—in 1820,-1,065,366—and in 1830,-1,211,375.—At the last period the population was divided as follows, among the several counties, viz:
Population. Accomac, 16,656 Amelia,
11,036 Albemarle, 22,618 Amherst,
* According to the observations of Dr. Sanders, made near Boston during ten years from January 1, 1821 to January 1, 1831, there were on an average in each year, 219 days of fair and 146 of cloudy weather. Rain fell more or less on 57 days. Boston is on the sea coast, in lat. 425 20--58', and the standing temperature of the level of the sea at that place is between 599 and 60 Farenheit.
7,100 Prince Edward,
3,838 Prince William,
5,500 15,252 18,637 20,477
4,122 11,784 11,254
6,458 24,806 8,641 7,953 10,130 14,637
8,517 14,107 8,367 9,330 9,102 6,055 16,074 15,134 9,362 7,109 12,720 1,570 8,396 5,354
Counties. Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, . Berkeley, Botetourt, Brooke, Cabell, Frederick, Giles, Grayson, Greenbrier, Harrison, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Kana wha, Lee,
Population 2,816 Lewis,
6,241 19,926 Logan,
3,680 4,002 Monongalia,
14,056 10,518 Mason,
6,534 16,354 Monroe,
7,798 7,041 Montgomery
12,306 5,884 Morgan,
2,694 25,046 Nicholas,
3,346 5,274 Ohio,
15,584 7,675 Page, (formerly E. Shenandoah) 8,327 9,006 Pendleton,
6,271 14,722 Pocahontas,
2,542 11,279 Preston,
5,144 6,798 Randolph,
5,000 12,927 Rockbridge,
14,244 9,326 Rockingham,
- 20,683 6,461 Russell,
Population. Scott, 5,724 Washington,
15,614 Shenandoah, 11,423 Wood
6,429 Tazewell, 5,749 Wythe,
12,163 Tyler, ·
4,104 Total population of Eastern Virginia, 832,980; Western Va. 378,425. Of the preceding were white persons,
15,447 + 60 to 70
8,765 · 70 to 80
3,857 * 80 to 90
1,098 " 90 to 100
158 u 100 and upwards
Increase in thirty years,
331,175 Or thirty-seven and a half per cent.
In the same period, the free whites increased 180,020, or 35 per cent.; the free colored persons 27,224, or 135 per cent.; and the slaves, 123,961, or 36 per cent. For the ten years preceding the census of 1830, the rate of increase of the whole population diminished considerably, and the relative increase of the several classes varied from the foregoing results. On the whole population, the rate was reduced from 371 to 13} per cent.; on the free white, from 35 to 15 per cent.; on the free colored, from 135 to 281 per cent.; and on the slaves from 36 to 10.4 per cent. It is to be observed, however, that, while the black population of the whole state has been dimin. ishing, when compared with the white, the reverse is true in respect to Eastern Virginia, which is peculiarly the slave region; for, while, in 1790, there was in that district a majority of 25,000 whites, the slave and free colored population outnumbered them at every successive census, until
, in 1830, the excess was upwards of 81,000. The facts thus exhibited show that Western Virginia, which contains comparatively few slaves, has rapidly increased its white population in the last ten years, the rate of increase amounting to 25 per cent,; while, on the eastern side of the mountains, the increase of the whites, in the same period, did not exceed 7} per cent. The greater multiplication of blacks in Eastern Virginia, notwithstanding constant deportation to the southern and southwestern states, may be partly ascribed to the mild treatment which they generally receive from their owners. On the other hand, the evil effects of slavery, and the policy of adopting some scheme for gradual abolition, are topics which have been freely and earnestly discussed, and have already arrayed the Virginians into two powerful parties. The slow progress of the white population, compared with some of the other states, when so many propitious causes exist for its advancement, has been urged as a prominent objection to slavery. Indeed, the march of its aggregate population has fallen far short of the predictions of former times. Mr. Jefferson, in his Notes, which were written in 1782, estimated that the then existing stock, unaided by foreign emigration, would be multiplied to 2,270,000 by the year 1835, exceeding, by upwards of a million, the result of the last census. That the inerease of numbers has been restrained by powerful checks seems reasonable; but to point out their true character and operation, belongs rather to the department of moral and political philosophy.
This state is now divided into one hundred and eleven counties; whereof sixty-six are on the eastern side, and forty-five on the western side of the Blue Ridge mountains. Six new counties having been added since the taking of the last census, and revision of the constitution; they were erected by act of Assembly 1831–2, viz:- Page county, formed out of parts of Shenandoah and Rockingham-Rappa hannock, formed out of a part of Culpeper county-Smyth, formed out of Washington and Wythe-Floyd, from a part of Montgomery-Jackson, out of part of Mason, Kanawha and Wood-and Fayette, formed out of parts of Greenbrier, Nicholas, and Kanawha counties.
GOVERNMENT AND LAWS.
Constitution.— The first constitution of this state was formed and adopted in 1776, and continued in operation until October, 1829, when a convention met at Richmond to alter and amend it, or frame a new one: on the 14th of January, 1830, the present constitution was adopted by a yote of 55 to 40. The amended constitution on being submitted to the legal voters of the state was ratified by a majority of 10,492 votes, as appears by the following statement:
LEGISLATURE.— The first election of members of the House of Delegates, and Senate, under the amended constitution, took place on the several court days in the month of October, 1830, in the different counties and boroughs entitled to representation: and the first General Assembly convened at Richmond on the first Monday in December, 1831.
By this constitution the legislative power is vested in a Senate and a House of Delegates, which are together styled the General Assembly of Virginia. The House of Delegates consists of 134 members chosen annually;-31 from the Trans-Alleghany district;--25 from the Valley district; -42 from the Middle district;—and 36 from the Tidewater district.
The Senate consists of 32 members;-13 from the couniies west of the Blue Ridge;—and 19 from the country east of that mountain. The Senators are elected for four years, and the seats of one-fourth are vacated each year.-In all elections to any office or place of trust, honor, or emolument; the votes are given viva voce. A reapportionment in both houses, is to take place every ten years, commencing in 1841; until which time there is to be no change in the number of delegates and senators from the several divisions; and after 1841 the number of delegates is never to exceed 150, or that of senators 36.
EXECUTIVE.— The executive power is vested in a Governor elected by the joint vote of the two houses of the General Assembly. He holds it three years, commencing the 31st of March after his election, or on such other day as may be from time to time prescribed by law; and he is ineligible for the three years next after the expiration of his term of office. There is a Council of State, consisting of three members, elected for three years by the joint vote of the two houses; the seat of one being vacated annually, The senior counsellor is Lieutenant Governor. The present executive officers are
L. W. TAZEWELL, Governor,
WILLIAM SELDEN, Register of the Land Office. JUDICIARY.—The Judges of the Supreme Court of Appeals, and of the Circuit Superior Courts of Law and Chancery, are elected by joint vote of both houses of the General Assembly, and hold their offices during good behavior, or until removed by a concurrent vote of both houses; but twothirds of the members present must concur in such vote, and the cause of removal be entered on ihe journals of each house.