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powerful agents of nature, corroborate the impression. But the diftant finishing which nature has given to the picture is of a very different character. It is a true contralt to the fore ground. It is as placid and delightful, as that is wild and tremendous. For the mountain being cloven alunder, she presents to your eye, through the cleft, a small catch of smooth blue horizon, at an infinite distance in the plain country, inviting you, as it were, from the riot and tumult roaring around, to pass through the breach, and participate of the calm below. Here the eye ultimately composes itself; and that way too the road happens actually to lead. You cross the Patomak above the junction, pass along its fide through the base of the mountain for three miles, its terrible precipices hanging in fragments over you, and within about 20 miles reach Frederick town and the fine country round that. This scene is worth a voyage across the Atlantic. Yet here, as in the neighbourhood of the natural bridge, are people who have passed their lives within half a dozen miles, and have never been to survey these monuments of a war between rivers and mountains, which must have shaken the earth itself to its center.-The height of our mountains has not yet been estimated with any degree of exactness. The Allegany being the great ridge which divides the waters of the Atlantic from those of the Miilisippi, its fummit is doubtless more elevated above the ocean than that of any other mountain. But its relative height, compared with the base on which it ftands, is not so great as that of some others, the country rising behind the successive ridges like the steps of ftairs. The mountains of the Blue Ridge, and of these the Peaks of Otter, are thought to be of a greater height, measured from their base, than any others in our country, and perhaps in North America. From data, which may be found a tolerable conjecture, we suppose the highest peak to be about 4000 feet perpendicular, which is not a fifth part of the height of the mountains of South America, nor one third of the height which would be necessary in our latitude to preserve ice in the open air unmelted through the year. The ridge of mountains next beyond the Blue Ridge, called by us the North Mountains, is of the greatest extent; for which reason they are named by the Indians the Endless Mountains.
• A substance supposed to be pumice, found floating on the Miflisippi, has induced a conjecture, that there is a volcano on some of its waters: and as these are mostly known to their sources, except the Missouri, our expectations of verifying the conjecture would of course be led to the mountains which divide the aters of the Mexican Gulph from those of the South Sea; but no volcano having ever yet been known at such a distance from the sea, we must rather fuppofe that this floating substance has been erroneously deemed pumice.
Cascades and Caverns.] · The only remarkable cascade in this country, is that of the Falling Spring, in Augusta. It is a water of James river, where it is called Jackson's river, rifing in the warm spring mountains, about 20 miles south-west of the warm spring, and Howing into that valley. About three quarters of a mile from its source, it falls over a rock 200 feet into the valley below. The sheet of water is broken in its breadth by the rock in two or three places, but not at all in its height. Between the sheet and rock, at the bottom, you may walk across dry. This cataract will bear no comparison with that of Niagara, as to the quantity of water
compofing it; the sheet being only 12 or 15 feet wide above, and somewhat more spread below; but it is half as high again, the latter being only 156 feet, according to the mensuration made by order of Mr. Vandreuil, Governor of Canada, and 130 according to a more recent ac
In the lime-ftone country, there are many caverns of very considerable extent. The most noted is called Madison's Cave, and is on the north side of the Blue Ridge, near the intersection of the Rockingham and Augusta line with the south fork of the southern river of Shenandoah. It is in a hill of about 200 feet perpendicular height, the ascent of which, on one side, is so steep, that you may pitch a biscuit from its summit into the river which washes its base. The entrance of the cave is, in this side, about two thirds of the way up. It extends into the earth about 300 feet, branching into fubordinate caverns, fometimes ascending a little, but more generally descending, and at length terminates, in two different places, at basons of water of unknown extent, and which I Mould judge to be nearly on a level with the water of the river; however, I do not think they are formed by refluent water from that, because they are never turbid; because they do not rise and fall in correspondence with that in times of flood, or of drought; and because the water is always cool. It is probably one of the many reservoirs with which the interior parts of the earth are supposed to abound, and which yield supplies to the fountains of water, distinguished from others only by its being acceslible. The vault of this cave is of solid lime-stone, from 20 to 40 or 50 feet high, through which water is continually percolating. This, trickling down the sides of the cave, has incrusted them over in the form of elegant drapery; and dripping from the top of the vault generates on that, and on the base below, ftalactites of a conical form fome of which have met and formed massive columns.
Another of those caves is near the North Mountain, in the county of Frederick, on the lands of Mr. Zane. The entrance into this is on the top of an extensive ridge. You descend 30 or 40 feet, as into a well, from whence the cave then extends, nearly horizontally, 400 feet into the earth, preserving a breadth of from 20 to 50 feet, and a height of from 5 to 12 feet. After entering this cave a few feet, the mercury, which in the
open air was at 50', rose to 57° of Farenheit's thermometer, answering to 11° of Reaumur's, and it continued at that to the remoteft parts of. the cave.
The uniform temperature of the cellars of the observatory of Paris, which are go feet deep, and of all subterranean cavities of any depth, where no chymical agents may be supposed to produce a factitious heat, has been found to be 10° of Reaumur, equal to 54°of Farenheit. The temperature of the cave above-mentioned so nearly correfponds with this, that the difference may be ascribed to a difference of instruments.
• At the Panther gap, in the ridge which divides the waters of the Cow and the Calf pasture, is what is called the Blowing Cave. It is in the fide of a hill, is of about 100 feet diameter, and emits constantly a. current of air of such force, as to keep the weeds prostrate to the diftance of twenty yards before it. This current is strongest in dry frosty weather, and in long spells of rain weakest. Regular inspirations and
expirations of air, by caverns and fiffures, have been probably enough accounted for, by supposing them combined with intermitting fountains ; as they must of course inhale air while their reservoirs are emptying themselves, and again emit it while they are filling. But a constant issue of air, only varying in its force as the weather is drier or damper, will require a new hypothesis. There is another blowing cave in the Cumberland mountain, about a mile from where it crosses the Carolina line. All we know of this is, that it is not constant, and that a fountain of water issues from it.
The Natural Bridge, the most sublime of Nature's works, though not comprehended under the present head, must not be pretermitted. It is on the ascent of a hill, which seems to have been cloven through its length by some great convulsion. The fiffure, just at the bridge, is, by some admeasurements, 270 feet deep, by others, only 205. It is about 45 feet wide at the bottom, and go feet at the top; this of course determines the length of the bridge, and its height from the water. Its breadth in the middle is about 60 feet, but more at the ends, and the thickness of the mass at the summit of the arch, about 40 feet. A part of this thickness is constituted by a coat of earth, which gives growth to many large trees. The residue, with the hill on both sides, is one folid rock of lime-stone. The arch approches the femi-elliptical form; but the larger axis of the ellipfis, which would be the cord of the arch, is many times longer than the transverse. Through the fides of this bridge are provided in some parts with a parapet of fixed rocks, yet few men have resolution to walk to them, and look over into the abyss. You involuntarily fall on your hands and feet, creep to the parapet, and peep over it. Looking down from this height about a minute, gave me a violent head-ach. If the view from the top be painful and intolerable, that from below is delightful in an equal extreme. It is impossible for the emotions arising from the tiblime, to be felt beyond what they are here : so beautiful an arch, fo elevated, so light, and springing as it were up to Heaven, the rapture of the fpectator is really indescribable! The fissure continuing narrow, deep, and streight for a considerable distance above and below the bridge, opens a Mort but very pleasing view of the North mountains on the side, and Blue Ridge on the other, at the distance each of them of about five miles. This bridge is in the county of Rock bridge, to which it has given name, and affords a public and cominodious paffage over a valley, which cannot be croTed elsewhere for a considerable distance. The stream paffing under it is called Cedar creek. It is a water of James river, and fufficient in the driest seasons to turn a grift-mill, though its fountain is not more than two miles above *.”. There is a natural bridge, fimilar to the one above described, over Stock creek, a branch of Pelefon river, in Washington county.
* Don Ulloa mentions a break, similar to this, in the province of Angaraez, in South-America. It is from 16 to 22 feet wide, 111 deep, and of 1 miles coutinuance, English measure. Its breadth at top is not sensibly greater than at bottom.
Mines and Minerals.] ' I knew a single instance of gold found in this Itate. It was interspersed in small specks through a lump of ore, of about four pounds weight, which yielded seventeen penny-weights of gold, of extraordinary ductility. This ore was found on the north fide of Rappahannock, about four miles below the falls. I never heard of any
other indication of gold in its neighbourhood.
On the Great Kanhaway, opposite to the mouth of Cripple creek, and about 25 miles from our southern boundary, in the county of Montgo mery, 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 filver, too small to be worth separation under any process hitherto attempted there. The proportion yield. ed is from 50 to 80 lb. of pure metal from 100 lb. of washed ore. The most common is that of 60 to the lb. The veins are at sometimes 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 labourers 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 waggoned 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 waggons, and carried to the furnace. This mode was originally adopted, that they might avail themselves of a good fituation on a creek for a pounding mill: but it would be easy to have the furnace and pounding mill on the fame 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 in two canoes.
The Great Kanhaway has considerable falls in the neighbourhood 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 Missisippi 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 fide of the Miffifippi, opposite to Kaskalkia.
A mine of copper was once opened in the county of Amherst, on the north fide of James river, and another in the opofite county, on the fouth fade. However, either from bad
management, or the poverty
of the Bb
veins, they were discontinued. We are told of a rich mine of native cope per on the Ouabache, below the
Wiaw. · The mines of iron worked at present are Callaway's, Ross's, and Ballendine's, on the fouih fide of James river; Old's on the North side, in Albeniarle ; Miller's in Augusta, and Zane's in Frederick. These two laft are in the valley between the Blue Ridge and north Mountain. Callaway's, Rois’s, Miller's, and Zane's make about 150 tons of bar iron cach, in the year. Ross's makes also about 1600 tons of pig iron anqualiy; Ballendine's 1000; Callaway's, Miller's, and Zane's, about 600 each. Beides 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 Patoinak, 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 mi idle 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 waggons 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 Mukingum and Ohio; of others on Kentucky, between the Cumberland and Barren rivers, between Cumberland and Tennissee, on Reedy creek, near the Long Island, and on Chesnut creek, a branch of the Great Kanhaway, near where it crosses the Carolina line. What are called the iron Banks, on the Millisippi, 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 establiihed 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 commerie, 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, Missisippi, and Ohio, yields coal. It is also known in many places on the north fide of the Ohio. The coal at Pittsburg is of a very superior quality. A bed of it at that place has been on fire since the year 1765. Another coal-hill on the Pike Run of Monongahela has been on fire ten years : yet it has burnt away about 20 yards only.
• I have known one instance of an emerald found in this country. A. methysts have been freuent, and chryitals 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 iamples I have seen, were some of them of a white as pure as one migiit expect to find on the surface of the