Imatges de pÓgina

them are elevated 200 feet above the level of the adjacent country. Mr Drayton observes, that the country may be properly divided into the lower, middle, and upper country. The first extending from the sea to the Sand hills; the second from these hills to the falls of the rivers; and the third from this last line to the north-western mountains. The pine lands of the lower country consist of a light blackish earth, which rests on a stratum of sand of a few feet in depth, supported by a layer of marl or clay. In some places, the sand is from fifteen to twenty feet deep, extending to a bed of small broken shells, and other marine productions. The veins of oak lands which intersect these barrens, which have a substratum of clay or marl, are very fertile, and produce different species of oak, gum, hickery, maple, dog-wood, elm, beech, walnut, and the short-leaved pine. The morasses, swamps, and bogs, which are numerous, have a sour spungy soil, which is favourable to the growth of the bay-tree, the andromeda, china briar, and ferns. The most fertile soil is along the borders of the rivers, being a dark brown loam, with a strong light blue clay underneath, to the depth of fifteen or twenty feet; it is almost exclusively reserved for the cultivation of rice. The swamps are covered with heavy timber, with oak, ash, gum, cypress, maple, tupelo, elm; in some places they are intersected by rising grounds, on which grow the laurel, beech, plane-tree, cottontree, prickly-leaved and deciduous holly, the wild orange, persimon, wild swamp, whortleberry, and dwarf palmetto. On one side of all the rivers, and

generally on both, the margin is a swamp from half a mile to three miles in breadth. The Sand-hills produce nothing but small pine trees, small shrub oaks, and one or two species of lupine, and many places are completely sterile; but the vallies into which the vegetable mould has been carried by the rains are very fertile. The hills of Santee in the middle country, which give rise to the secondary streams, are elevated 200 feet above the surrounding lands, and their soil, consisting of sand, clay, and gravel, irregularly blended, produces oak, hickery, and a great variety of shrubs. Above this middle region and the first cataracts of the rivers, the soil is fertile, of a dark colour, reposing in some places on a stratum of reddish brown clay, in others on marl; loose stones and rocks appear, and the surface is broken into hill and dale to the base of the mountains. The more elevated parts of the hills are covered with oak, hickery, sassafras, and persimon, sometimes interspersed with chestnut and short-leaved pine. The lowlands produce the plane tree, ash, beech, elm, the swamp oak, locust, walnut, and mulberry.

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Temperature. Throughout the whole extent of low country the heat of summer is intense, and after the heavy rains of July and August, the air is loaded with noxious vapours, which generate bilious fevers and other diseases. The climate is liable to sudden changes of temperature, much greater than in the tropical countries. * From the year 1791 to 1798, the

*From the 18th to the 24th July 1817, the range of the thermometer was about 90°. On the 23d, it rose to 93° or 94°, in

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thermometer never rose above 93° nor fell below 17°. The difference between the mildest and hottest summer is about 7°; and between the mildest and severest winter 17°. The winter is remarkably mild'; snow seldom falls near the sea; and as it is never to a greater depth than one or two inches, it is soon dissolved by the warm rays of the sun; but in the upper country it is sometimes from twelve to eighteen inches deep. It is a curious fact, that, before the year 1791, snow had seldom been seen in Charleston, and since that period it has not been unfrequent. The almond, olive, orange, lemon, and fig tree are sometimes destroyed by the frost, but their roots send forth new shoots in spring. Dr Ramsay observes, "that at Charleston, the number of extreme warm days is not more than thirty in a year, and three of these seldom follow each other. There are about twenty nights when the closeness and sultriness of the air prevent sleep, but this unpleasant state of the atmosphere soon yields to cooling and refreshing showers.


The healthiest months are April, May, and June, though children, during this period, are subject to diseases of the bowels. The most sickly months are August and September. April and May the driest; June, July, and August, the wettest. November is

cool situations, and so intense was the heat that two or three persons dropped down in the streets and expired. (Walsh's Amer. Reg.)

* On the 15th January 1816, a very unusual cold was experienced at Columbia, where the thermometer, at sunrise, fell 10° below the freezing point.

considered the most agreeable. January and February are the coldest. The cold weather seldom commences before December, and terminates in March. In the year 1802 thunder was heard distinctly, and in a few cases very loudly, on forty-eight days between the 7th of April and 30th of November. The annual average quantity of rain from 1797 to 1807 was 49.8; the greatest quantity in 1799 was 83.4; the least in 1800 86.6. The average annual number of rainy days from 1802 to 1807 was seventy-two. There is three weeks' difference between the climate of the upper country and that of Charleston. The frost commences earlier in the former, and continues longer; but the weather is not so variable. In the upper country the thermometer (Fahrenheit) fluctuates in summer from 65° to 86°, and sometimes rises to 94° and 95°. In winter it ranges between 20° and 55°, and falls to 10° or 11° during the greatest cold, which lasts but a few days. The climate of the Santee hills, which are situated between eighty and ninety miles from the ocean, resembles that of the upper country, where the mercury rises to the ninety-fourth or ninety-fifth degree. Though this chain borders on the lower country, the general temperature is favourable to health. The vegetation is so early, that in the month of February the red flowering maple, the alder, plum, and peach tree, are in full blossom. Agricultural labours commence in March, and continue till June. In July and August the country is afflicted with torrents of rain, hurricanes, thunder and lightning. It has been several times visited by violent whirlwinds,

which break in pieces the strongest trees of the forest, and overthrow every thing in their destructive passage. Such was that of May 1764, which broke the masts, or overset and sunk a fleet of loaded vessels, lying near the road of Charleston. Another, in September 1811, destroyed several houses in that city, and buried the inhabitants in the ruins.

In some parts of this state hailstones have been known, to fall three inches in circumference, destroying grain, vegetables, and even poultry. In 1800, in the country extending from Broad river towards the Savannah, a remarkable sleet froze on the branches of the trees, many of which were broken to pieces: the year was uncommonly cold. Violent shocks of an earthquake were felt at Charleston on the 16th December 1811, and on the 23d January 1812. The last continued between two and three minutes.

Lakes. The only lake worthy of notice is one about a mile in circumference, situated in Barnwell district, in the middle country.

Rivers. The principal navigable rivers of this state, which empty their waters into the Atlantic Ocean, are, the Savannah, one of the finest of the American streams, which divides the state from Georgia. It is navigable from the sea to Augusta, for vessels of seventy tons, a distance of 250 miles, including the windings of the river, and it is boatable sixty miles above the falls, which at this place obstruct the navigation. The upper branches of this river, Tugeloo and Keowee, are each more than 200 yards wide, for some distance above their confluence. The Santee, which runs into the



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