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The Shenandoah, its great southern branch, unites its waters at Harper's Ferry, just above the Blue ridge, after a course of 250 miles. It is navigable to Port Republic, a distance of nearly 200 miles. Large boats ascend fifty or sixty miles above Harper's Ferry. The other branches of the Potomac, which water the northern parts of this state, are the Paquian Creek, the Great and Little Cacapon, and the south branch of the Potomac. The rivers which traverse this state in their course from the western side of the mountains to the Ohio are, 1. The upper branches of the river Monongahela. 2. The Little Kenhawa, which is 150 yards wide at its outlet, and navigable to the distance of ten miles. 3. The Great Kenhawa, which is 400 yards wide at its mouth, is navigable ninety miles to the great falls, where there is a descent of thirty feet. 4. Big Sandy, or Tottery river, which separates this state from that of Kentucky, is also navigable with loaded batteaux to the Ouasioto mountain, a distance of sixty miles from its junction with the Ohio. Its length is 100 miles ; its width at the junction sixty yards. 5. The Guyando river, which falls in ten miles above the former, is a considerable stream.
Minerals.--Iron ore is in great abundance on the banks of James river, in the counties of Albemarle and Augusta. The manufacturing establishments on the southern banks of Cullaway, Ross, and Balendine, produce each about 150 tons of bar iron a-year. Brown scaly iron ore, or the brown oxyd of iron, is seen on the Shenandoah. Plumbago, or carburet of iron, is in great abundance in the county of Amelia, between the Blue ridge and the extremity of tide water. Copper, in a native state, has been found in Orange coun. ty, and the ore of this metal on both sides of James river, in the county of Amherst. Gold ore has been discovered in Buckingham county. In Mr Jefferson's “ Notes on Virginia,” it is stated, that on the borders, and not far from the cataracts of the Rappahanock river, a piece of this substance was found which yielded seventeen pennyweights. Antimony.-Sulphuret of antimony is said to exist near Richmond. Manganese is found in the county of Albemarle, and also of Shenandoah, on the north mountain. Lead ore abounds on the banks of the Kenhawa in Wythe county, and opposite the mouth of Cripple creek. The mines are worked by twenty or thirty hands; and their average produce is about sixty per cent. Marble, of a variegated appearance, on James river, at the mouth of Rock Fish stream. Limestone everywhere west of the Blue ridge. Slate has been lately worked to advantage. Talc, or Soapstone, used for chimneys, tobacco-pipes, and other uses. Ochre in different places; one kind, of a yellow colour on the Apomatox river, is employed in its natural state to colour the brick hearths; when calcined it forms a valuable red paint. Coal is found in the western parts, and is in great abundance above Richmond, and on the Apomatox branch of James river, where it extends in veins of twenty miles in length, and ten in breadth, which are nearly 200 feet above the level of the river. It now forms an article of export, and more than 5000 men are employed in this branch of commerce. Saltpetre is found in subterraneous places in considerable quantity.
Salt Springs.-In 1810 the salt springs, seventy miles above the mouth of the Big Kenhawa, and a little below the falls of that river, furnished from thirtyfive to fifty bushels daily. The salt furnaces extend six miles on each side of the river. The depth to the rock is from ten to fifteen feet, and to the salt water from sixty to ninety feet of solid rock. During the last war the salt springs on the Kanhawa river supplied the whole western country from Pittsburgh to New Orleans. The working of coal is not yet well understood, and wood has become so scarce, that by means of
pumps the water is forced through pipes three miles to the place where fuel is procured. The springs worked near the sea during the war have been since nearly abandoned. *
* The following note was communicated by a friend :
“ If 10,000 represent the specific gravity of the river water of Kenhawa, then the specific gravity of the salt waters of Kenhawa is 1st, Raffner's lower well,
18,541 2d, Beverly Randolph's upper well,
16,583 3d, James Harris's, at the confluence of Campbell Creek and the Kenhawa,
10,625 The specific gravity of sea water of the North Atlantic is from 10,260 to 10,300. In the waters of the Kenhawa salines, independeut of common salt, there are found combined a considerable portion of muriate of magnesia, a very small portion of muriate of lime, and some carbonate of iron. 500 parts of the water of Randolph's lower well yielded 39 of all salts, of these 323% were pure eommon salt, and 6 do were muriate of magnesia and of lime, the latter in very small proportion, 15106 pounds of the same water yielded one pound of pure salt. At the Kenhawa salines from 80 or 85 to 100 gallons of water yield 50 pourds of good merchantable salt. The wells vary in their degrees of saline impregnation. The number of furnaces in April 1814 was 38; the number at present in operation exceeds 50. The computed average produce of the furnaces is about 60 bushels of 50 pounds each in 24 hours. The quantity of salt made ought therefore to be considerable, but such is the want of system in the manufacture, and such the loss of time incurred, that the whole produce of the preceding year, by the books of inspection, was something less than 400,000 bushels of 50 pounds each. The quantity of salt held in solution by the wa. ters of Kenbawa is to that combined with the waters of Onondago, in the interior of New York, in the proportion nearly as is 1 to 2. Harris's well above mentioned would be as 5 to 9. I found the specific gravity of the Anondago water,
Mineral Springs. There are sulphureous, warm, and hot springs near the sources of James river, at the foot of the Alleghany mountains, which are visited in July and August by a number of valetudinaries, particularly those who labour under rheumatic affections. At the warm springs there are two baths upwards of forty feet in diameter, into which the water rises from a pebbly bottom in such a quantity, that a mill near the source is driven principally by this stream. The air bubbles rising constantly to the surface create an agreeable sensation. The waters are slighty purgative, and are efficacious in cutaneous diseases, and in rheumatic and chronic complaints. The hot springs, five miles from the warm springs, are also resorted to for the cure of rheumatic and chronic complaints. The temperature of the former is 96, of the latter 112 degrees. The sweet springs, another mineral water, are situated at the distance of forty-two miles from the former, in the county of Botitourt. The temperature is rather greater that that of common water. At the distance of a mile are the red springs, which, like the former, have a tonic or bracing quality. The white sulphur springs in Green Briar county, thirty-six miles from the hot springs, are purgative, and much frequented for the purpose of purifying the blood, as well as for amusement. In the summer of 1815, the number of infirm visitors was nearly 400. There are two burning springs, as they are called, on the Kenhawa, near the great salt works. One in a field some hundred yards from the river, the other on its banks, sixty or eighty feet above the surface of the water, and ten feet from the summit of the bank. No stream runs from either. Seven miles above the mouth of Elk river, rises from a hole in the earth, of the capacity of thirty or forty gallons, a bituminous vapour, which keeps the sand about its orifice in constant motion, and when stirred or brought into contact with flame, it burns sometimes for the space of twenty minutęs, at others for two or three days, presenting a column of fire four or five feet in height, and eighteen inches in diameter, and throwing out matter resembling pit coal in combustion. Washerwomen resort to this place for the purpose of boiling their linen.
11.125 of the best Kenhawa well,
10.625 In Montgomery county, within half a mile of Preston, there are salt works at the depth of 200 feet, which yield daily 400 bushels of salt.