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(title page) The Resources of North Carolina: Its Natural Wealth, Condition, and Advantages, as Existing in 1869. Presented to the Capitalists and People of the Central and Northern States
(cover) Resources of North Carolina, 1869
Bannister, Cowan & Company.
viii, 116 p.; 24 cm
Wilmington, N. C.
Call number NCC 917 B21(North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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Library of Congress Subject Headings, 21st edition, 1998
LC Subject Headings:
Established for the purpose of negotiating the sale of Southern lands of all descriptions, and other property; also to induce Immigration, organize joint stock companies, negotiate loans, etc. etc.
Principal Offices located at Wilmington, N. C., and 48 Broad Street, New York Branch offices will be established in other cities of the North and South.
TO THE PUBLIC.
We would respectfully state to capitalists and others desiring profitable investments in real estate, mining, or manufacturing interests, timber lands, water power, etc., that we are prepared to offer them greater inducements than can elsewhere be found.
The principal fact which led to the establishment of this agency was the existence in the South of so many very important, and, in most cases, wholly undeveloped resources, which for their proper development require capital, and which, by such development, would undoubtedly result in great prosperity and wealth. The capital, in abundance, is in the North, seeking opportunities of profitable investment, while the opportunities, in like abundance, are in the South, awaiting the capital. What is now needed is a means of bringing them together. This our Agency proposes to furnish.
We are also prepared to negotiate loans upon the best of securities, and at liberal rates of interest. There are numerous industries in the South which are crippled, to a great extent, for the want of a little more capital. Loans can readily be negotiated upon abundant security, bearing interest at from ten to fifteen
per cent. per annum. We invite attention to this branch of our business.
It is our intention to publish, at an early day, a catalogue of lands and other properties placed in our hands for sale; and also to solicit from all who desire to see a complete schedule of such properties, permission to place them in our lists, in order to exhibit, as completely as possible, a classified statement of mill sites and mill properties, iron mines, gold mines, timber tracts, and other conspicuous properties, to which the attention of capitalists is invited.
This catalogue will be frequently corrected and extended, making, a new issue at intervals of not more than two months, and it will therefore be a reliable guide to the development of all the properties to which it will refer.
For copies of these Catalogues, please address, at Wilmington or New York,
BANNISTER, COWAN & CO.
NORTH CAROLINA is conspicuous among the States of the Atlantic seaboard for advantages of position calculated to develop every feature of its natural wealth. Whatever it may produce through its fertility of soil, its abundant growth of timber, or its extensive mineral deposits, is within easy reach of the best markets, and can be forwarded by the cheapest modes of transportation. Facilities for cheap production are also remarkably abundant. Machinery can easily be sent to any point; the properties of every sort--land, water power, timber, and mines--are all purchasable at very reasonable rates; labor is cheaper than in. any other State of the Union, east or west, and all these materials and appliances can be handled by an owner or capitalist residing in any one of the States north of it without such risk of loss or waste as is inevitable in attempting to own, hold, or work productive property in the new Western States. These are most important facts, to be put in the foreground of any statement of the resources and merits of North Carolina, in considering its new and important relation to the business interests of the people of the States north of it.
North Carolina holds a position of equal advantage as regards its climate. It has that better phase of the temperate climates belonging in Europe to Italy and to Spain, giving the capacity to produce half tropical products, while it is still exempt from tropical unhealthiness, and from the excess of heat or of moisture belonging to the Gulf Coast of the United States. Cotton is abundantly grown over nearly half the surface of the State, and the low country of the southeastern
part is as rich in productions of the warm climates as any part of the coast south of it; yet all parts of even this low country are conspicuously healthy. Stretching westward the country rises, first in rolling lands, of admirable adaptation to general tillage, and next into mountains, inclosing valleys of great comparative elevation, and of the purest air, and most perfect adaptation to all the growths of Western Pennsylvania and Western New York. The climate, in fact, really merges the almost tropical southeastern coast, with the Italian softness of the interior, and the temperate freshness of the mountains and the west. No other State of the Union has so great diversity, nor has any considerable diversity within such easy reach by ready means of communication.
In a more detailed account given in another part of this paper we show what the precise conditions of climate are in various parts of the State, and how strikingly the positions outlined here are sustained by the recorded facts.
Geographically, therefore, North Carolina is a half-way house for the Seaboard States, at any point of which the business man and business enterprises of the East are practically at home. Transportation of cotton, grain, lumber, iron, fruits, and vegetables is quite as easy to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Now York, as from Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Buffalo. The Sailing vessels and steamer lines of the Atlantic Coast offer cheap and prompt transportation, and, aided by the interior railroads of North Carolina, they bring the whole section tributary to Wilmington as near to New York as Central Ohio is. This fact alone should concentrate attention on the natural wealth of the State, but when we add to it the difference of climate, which is as if the spring were to open nearly three months earlier, and fruits were to ripen in Ohio when they were blossoming in New York, we have a new value given to the productive lands, which it is reasonable to estimate at twice what they would otherwise be worth.
Every product of the soil is now of higher value and of greater interest than at any previous time. Vegetables and fruits are merchandise, to be produced, shipped, handled, and sold by wholesale, as commercial products. The changes of a few years in this respect are astonishing, and they add enormously
to the value of the lands of the South, especially of the seaboard from Norfolk southward. Norfolk has for a few years been conspicuous in producing early fruits, but it is really too far north, and Wilmington has much the better position. The difference between Norfolk and Wilmington in the advance of the seasons is twenty-one days, a difference so great as to give the latter overwhelming advantages in everything that relates to early cultivation.
We have, therefore, a district of almost tropical capacity of production within easy reach of the daily business of the East. The number of active men free to choose a profitable opening to new business is very great, and they are looking eagerly for new fields of enterprise. Her mining States are far less attractive now than they were three or five years ago : heavy losses, distant fields of labor, and painful inability to control surrounding circumstances, and prevent losses, crowd the whole history of investment in the West. In the new east of the Southern States it need not be so. A moderate capital suffices to obtain absolute control of a large tract of land, of fine water power, and of productive mines. Neither in the original purchase, nor in the subsequent management, are large sums required. Valuable products are, ready for market almost at the outset, and the purchaser can bring cargoes of shingles, lumber, ores, or fruits, to eager markets, almost as soon as his possession is secured.
With this general reference to the advantages of North Carolina, resulting from its geographical position, its climate, and its intrinsic capacity for production, we proceed to give full information on each branch of these interests in detail, and we ask every reader to follow us, confident that we have embodied facts, not only of interest in themselves, but that will show new and attractive openings for business enterprise.
Is conspicuously fairer to the first impression of a visitor than any of the Seaboard States north of it, in consequence of the finer growth of its forests, and the number and depth of its indenting bays and navigable rivers. While the low eastern
lands of New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia exhibit a comparatively short growth of pine and other timber, the plains of North Carolina are covered with fine and lofty pines, and the swamps abound with the largest growths of cedar.
Access to every part of the lowlands is also afforded by the rivers and bays, all of which are navigable for vessels of sufficient capacity to carry lumber, grain, and every form of produce directly and cheaply to northern markets. By reference to the map, these advantages of water communication are very apparent. Leaving Wilmington in either direction, for instance, forty or fifty miles of railway will touch on the bead of some of the fairest bays to be found in the world, communicating both with the ocean and with the interior, and enabling business establishments handling the heaviest goods to attain the greatest economy in freights inward and outward. Waccamaw Lake, on the south of Wilmington, is peculiarly favored in this respect, and the finest cedar, cypress, and pine abound in the forests near its shores.
As the rolling lands further westward are reached, the scene is varied and attractive. There is little waste land, and nothing bare of valuable products--timber, if unopened, and valuable crops, if the land has been cleared. Less of waste surface, and of the often-prevailing stretches of land once cultivated and afterward abandoned, is visible in North Carolina than in any other State south of Maryland.
Still farther inland, the splendid mountain scenery of the Blue Ridge and adjacent ranges rises before the visitor, offering a succession of green hills, with intervening valleys, which never fail to interest the most superficial observer, and which reward the closest examination with evidences of universal fertility. The general aspect of this upper part of the State is attractive in the highest degree. Fruit cultivation and grazing here attain greater perfection than in any other part of the Alleghany range. Orchard fruits, particularly, exhibit a degree of perfection not exceeded by the best in Western New York or Pennsylvania. Upland valleys of this district are well known when cited as belonging to East Tennessee, but in North Carolina, bordering the whole eastern
line of Tennessee, the same conformation exists, and the same advantages are found, with the addition of much more ready access to Raleigh, Wilmington, and Norfolk.
The elevation of this western part of the State is, in fact, greater than that of East Tennessee and the climate is greatly modified in consequence. Quite a large area west of the, Blue Ridge, from which the French Broad and other rivers cut their way, and drain the western tier of counties into the Tennessee valley, will average two thousand feet above the sea, a good share of it being table-land 2500 feet above the sea. East of the Blue Ridge, the fine valleys in which Danbury, Yadkinville, and Morganton are situated, are about 1500 feet above the sea, on an average. A railroad runs to Morgantown, and another to Lincolnton, both connecting with Charlotte, Salisbury, and Greensboro. The valley country of North Carolina is, in fact, if not quite as accessible as the celebrated "Valley of Virginia," scarcely less fertile or less attractive in any respect.
Generally we claim for North Carolina that it is the richest and most attractive in its appearance among the States of the seaboard south of New York. Its water penetration, its forests on the plains, as well as on the mountains, and its noble mountain ranges with their intervening valleys, place it in the first rank not only for variety of resources, but also for the intrinsic value of these resources.
The peculiar value of the forest growths of North Carolina entitles them to consideration before almost anything else, because of the facility with which the timber and lumber they produce may be made a source of profit to the purchaser. Exhausted as the timber lands of the Northern States are, the demand for building and ship timber, for shingles, flooring lumber, and other varieties, must for many years be supplied from the South. North Carolina has the best, the greatest quantity, and the most readily accessible timber lands from which this supply can be obtained, and we proceed to give such account of them as will enable the purchaser
of lands there to put this class of his resources at once to use.
In the eastern and lower counties of the State the most valuable trees are the long-leafed pine, the cypress and the cedar, all trees of magnificent growth, with trunks two to five feet in diameter, and forty to a hundred feet to the branches. This may seem an extreme statement, yet the facts are indisputable. General W. A. Blount, of Beaufort County, describes his cypress lands, of many thousand acres, as bearing "cypress trees, averaging eight or ten in number per acre, from two and a half to four and a half feet in diameter at the stump, one hundred feet to the limbs, straight bodies, small bulky tops." These cypress trees generally grow in clusters, and they are found all over the swamp lands of the eastern counties. Where the swamps are deepest, and unreclaimable to agriculture, there are great quantities of fallen cypress timber, easily raised, and as perfectly sound and available for any form of lumber or shingles, as if cut from standing trees. All the swamp lands from Norfolk southward were formerly covered with cypress and cedar, or as the last is usually called, juniper; but the surface growth of the Dismal Swamp in Virginia is now almost wholly destroyed, and only that which was buried ages since in the peaty swamp earth, can now be got for timber. In the North Carolina swamps, however, the cedar and cypress are both abundant yet standing, while the mass of the peat and earth of the swamps yields incredible quantities of the finest timber when excavations are made.
In excavating a canal through the Matamuskeet savanna lands, Mr. Ruffin says:--
"Such a quantity of dead but sound wood was found and removed, and which was at first left lying alongside, that it appeared to an eye-witness impossible to replace all the wood in the canal from which it had been taken." Mr. Ruffin also says (Sketches of Lower North Carolina, p. 198): "There are extensive bodies of cypress lands, owned by wealthy companies or individuals, who deem it more profitable to use the swamps to produce cypress shingles and timber, than to drain and clear any portion The juniper trees are very valuable for furnishing shingles. Every deep burning of any portion of a juniper swamp exposes numerous dead, but sound trunks, before buried and concealed, from which much shingle", timber is obtained. Thus, though the great fires, which occur after almost
every unusual drought, kill the living trees, and burn and destroy much of the upper earth also, they are often the cause of exposing much great values in the before buried juniper trunks."
In fact, the whole of the vast area of swamp lands of, eastern North Carolina, estimated at two millions of acres, is a great mine of valuable cedar and cypress timber, and the only practically inexhaustible store of this necessary element of supply to the Northern States.
Growing with the cypress on the best lands bordering the swamps and bays of this lower district, there is also a fine tree called the black gum two or three feet in diameter, and fifty feet to the branches, valuable for a great variety of purposes. Gigantic poplars are also intermixed, with laurel large enough for use as timber, and one or two varieties of water maple.
But the greatest timber trees of North Carolina are the pines, of which there are four or five conspicuous species. That first deserving notice is the Great Swamp pine, or the naval timber pine, a variety growing in a few localities on the borders of the sounds and bays. Magnificent timber of the species has been cut within a few years for naval purposes, and the few clumps and scattering trees tower far above the height of the surrounding forest whenever found. In a lot of seventeen mast sticks, cut in Bertie County in 1856, one was 88 feet long, two 86 feet, four 80 feet, and six more 70 feet or over, varying from 20 to 36 inches square; they measured from 200 to 600 cubic feet in each stick, nearly all heart wood It is unfortunate that but few of these groves remain, but being so conspicuous and so valuable, it was not to be expected that they would escape notice and capture. We are assured, however, that they are still frequent in the more secluded portions of the bay country.
Next, away from the water border, come the great pine forests for which North Carolina is celebrated. They occupy all the sandy lands, the two great species being the long-leaf southern pine, and the yellow pine. The first-named is the turpentine tree, so long wastefully cut for the manufacture of turpentine and rosin. It grows on the poorest of the sandy soils, to an average of seventy feet high, with a trunk
nearly uniform diameter of twenty inches for about fifty feet, forming a beautifully straight columned series of forest arches, crowned with tufted summits of leaves ten or twelve inches long. Such a forest is peculiarly attractive to a stranger, and it is as valuable for practical uses as it is picturesque and beautiful. Long seed cones, seven or eight inches in length, contain edible seeds.
"For naval architecture the timber of this tree," Ruffin says, "is preferred to that of all other pines." "The broad belt of land stretching through North Carolina, which has been covered by the long-leafed pine, except on the borders of rivers, is generally level, sandy, and naturally poor. Even if it had been much richer, and better for agricultural profits, the labors of agriculture would still have been neglected in the generally preferred pursuit of the turpentine harvest. But so great were the profits of labor, and even of the land, in the turpentine business, compared to other available products, that capital thus invested has generally yielded more profit than agriculture on the richest lands." (Ruffin.)
North Carolina is the first State in which these splendid forests of long-leafed pine are found. A few specimens are found in Southampton and Nansemond Counties, Virginia; but almost immediately on entering North Carolina, the fine arched canopies of this splendid tree begin, and stretch in one unbroken belt across the State. Some of this timber has been injured by long tapping of the trees for turpentine; but it is still of vast value in the aggregate, and it is so easy of access to cutting by mills on the rivers and bays, and the value placed on the lands themselves is so moderate, that great advantages are offered to occupants who know how to put the whole tree to use, as well as to extract the turpentine.
The remaining valuable species is the yellow pine, a fine tree in two or three counties in the northern part of the State. It is very valuable for flooring lumber, and it grows to a large size, with fine clear trunks. But it disappears as the more compact forests of long-leafed pine begin, and is only of secondary importance in the general appearance of the forests. There are two or three other species of pine in the State, but not important. The old field pines of the wasted lands, a small pine of the poorer swamps, and some instances of white pine in the mountains of the western part of the State.
These are the most conspicuous forest growths of North
Carolina that are accredited as having commercial or business importance to new settlers. But there are also very rich and varied forests in the rolling lands west of the pine plains, in which valuable timber of oak, walnut, chestnut, the gum trees, and many others may be found. No part of the State is so bare of fine timber as the corresponding parts of Virginia are. The oaks and other trees of the middle region, above the pine forests, are of magnificent growth, and in great variety. And in the mountainous counties of the west a singular forest phenomenon exists in the crowning balsam firs of several of the principal mountains. The Black Mountains of Buncombe County, north of Asheville, are the most conspicuous for this dense growth of black balsam firs. The Roan or Bald Mountains, west of this valley, and the Balsam Mountains, southwest of Asheville, are the principal instances of this peculiarity, in addition to the first named.
The elevated districts of the western counties bring in the general forest variety of the Northern States, and the beech, maple, chestnut, linden, and similar trees are almost as abundant as they are in Pennsylvania or New York. White pine is often found with a handsome growth, and forming trunks as large as in the Northern States. Although these peculiarities of forest growth in the western part of the State are of less business or commercial importance than the pine and cypress of the east, they aid in proving the State distinction for picturesque and conspicuous forests, and a just preference for their beauty as well as for their value.
The soil of North Carolina must be relied upon as the principal and permanent basis of prosperity, however. There is, in the opinion of Edmund Ruffin and other intelligent writers on Southern agriculture, a marked superiority in the lands near the Atlantic coast, after entering North Carolina, over those of Virginia, at least. In the whole coast line from New Jersey southward, there is first a belt of swamp lands nearest the sea, and next a wide tract, generally level, sandy,
and covered with pine timber, which extends westward to the edge of the rolling lands. In North Carolina both these belts are very large: the swamp lands proper are estimated at two millions of acres, and the pine forest lands next to them are nearly as great in extent. And here it is proper to, say, that what are called "swamp lands" are by no means irreclaimable swamps. They are generally highly fertile, and not difficult of reclamation. Professor Emmons, for many years State geologist, estimates their value, in a special report to the North Carolina Legislature, to be as great as that of four millions of uplands.
"We have no hesitation in saying that the two millions of swamp lands are worth four millions of upland. In a rough estimate of this kind we take time and expense of cultivation into the account--the time these lands endure without the use of expensive fertilizers, and the ease and the slight wear and tear of the instruments used in cultivation, when compared in the same list of expenses required in the cultivation of the upland of the middle counties." (Report of State Geologist for 1860, p. 5.)
As these swamp lands are the first encountered in entering the State from the north, by way of Norfolk, it may be well to describe them first. They have been the subject of elaborate examination and report, by both Professor Emmons, and Edmund Ruffin, of Virginia, the first in 1860, and the last in 1861. Remarkable peculiarities are presented in the soil of these tracts, and all observers agree that nothing has been found exactly like them, and nothing equal to them in fertility when reclaimed.
The entire body of these lands is a vast plain, with open but shallow bays or lakes, and deep navigable rivers, everywhere cutting through it. Most of the land is only from four to ten feet above tide, though the interior of all the tracts rises, whether wet and an actual swamp, or dry and fully reclaimed, to the height of twelve, fifteen, and sometimes twenty feet. There is, therefore, always an ample descent to afford drainage when ditches or canals are cut. The materials which form the soil are, to a surprising extent, vegetable or organic matters, the proportion of sand, lime, or earths of any kind never exceeding one-half, and often not amounting to more
than one-tenth. Emmons describes the general extent and appearance of these lands as follows:--
"The lands under consideration are confined to the eastern counties. They scarcely touch the long narrow sounds that skirt the Atlantic. Large bodies extend from fifty to one hundred miles from the ocean, and occupy wide belts not far from, and parallel with, the principal rivers. .The most northern swamp is a continuation of the Great Dismal, lying partly in Virginia and partly in North Carolina.. Numerous towns and hamlets are planted in it; it is traversed by roads, and few in passing through this section of the country would suspect, that they were in this swamp, famous the world over for its ominous name. The largest territory of swamp lands lies in Washington, Tyrrel Beaufort, and Hyde Counties. Its whole length is rather more than 75 miles from east to west, and at least forty-five in the widest part, from north to south. It lies between Albemarle Sound, the lower Roanoke River, and Pamlico Sound, Pamlico and Tar Rivers. .This great body differs from other swamps by a more uniform continuity, and a more perfect level, and with fewer knolls, called islands. Hyde County, for example, is as level as a house floor, or as a well constructed garden. It is but a few feet above tide. This swamp has four shallow lakes of considerable size; the largest is Matamuskeet, which is twenty miles long. Lying a few feet lower than the swamp are tracts of a stiff clay soil, probably as good for wheat as any in the State. .The lands of this swamp have become famous for the large crops of coin they produce."
Other tracts of these lands are described, one between the Pamlico and the Neuse Rivers, an eighth of the size of that described above; another of great size, south of the Neuse, in Carteret and Jones Counties, "eighty thousand acres of which is the open prairie of Carteret," and the whole of which is 75 miles in length, east and west; the Dover Swamp, fifteen miles in length, is another; Holly Shelter Swamp, in New Hanover County, and the Great Green Swamp, in Brunswick County. This embraces an immense area south of Wilmington, and its connected portions reach to the southeastern corner of the State.
But the most remarkable feature of these swamp lands is their apparently inexhaustible fertility when reclaimed Those in Hyde County are the most celebrated, and the circle of plantations surrounding Matamuskeet Lake has been under cultivation for more than a century with undiminished crops. The farm of Dr. Long, of Lake Landing, is cited by Professor Emmons, in 1860, as having been under cultivation
for six generations, with an average product of 12 barrels of 5 bushels each, or 60 bushels of corn per acre. Fourteen thousand plants to the, acre are left to stand for the crop, and the growth is 12 feet high. Ruffin says that the lands under tillage around Matamuskeet Lake, in 1860, amounted to fifty square miles, all of it "immensely rich, and very productive in corn; the good land sells nearly for $75 to $100 per acre." He also declares that these lands are much superior to any similar lands in Virginia--drainage, of the low, peaty, and swampy lands in that State, supposed to be similar, not having been successful in producing lands of permanent fertility.
Next to these are the drained lands about Lake Scuppernong, in Washington and Tyrrel Counties. This lake lies higher than Matamuskeet, being about twenty feet above tide. Very rich and productive farms have been made around this lake. Ruffin says:--
"The principal production is Indian corn, which is doubtless the best adapted to this peculiar soil, and is therefore most sure and profitable. Wheat is grown to much less extent, and sometimes produces very heavy crops. Clover and cotton have both been found productive--a sufficient evidence of the soil being well drained. Rice has also been made by dry culture, and as much has been made in that least productive mode as fifty bushels of rough rice to the acre. Tobacco has been tried and grew well; but the cured leaves were deemed too coarse and thick."
These swamp soils are singularly composed of vegetable matter, half formed into peat, yet capable of being rotted and reduced into the most fertile soils in the world. In some cases more than nine-tenths of the mass for a depth of ten feet, is vegetable or other organic matter, the accumulation of ages of growth and of partial decay. And by this long, course of accumulation the surface has been elevated so much as to permit free drainage from the centre of the largest swamp outward. In all cases the central parts are higher, and beautiful lakes lie in these positions from which the cultivation spreads as drainage is perfected. Lake Scuppernong and Pungo Lake, in Washington and Tyrrel Counties, and Matamuskeet Lake, in Hyde County, are the best illustrations of splendidly fertile soils reclaimed in this manner. Two samples of Hyde County soil are reported by Professor Emmons, containing from 60 to 75 per cent. of vegetable matter, and 15 to
20 per cent. of fine sand. The lands and what they had produced are thus described:--
"The sample A was taken from an 80 acre field lying on the north shore of Matamuskeet Lake, and running back half a mile. This land has been in cultivation about 20 years, and produces now, in a fair crop year 10 to 12 barrels (50 to 60 bushels) of corn to the acre. The sample B was taken from a 640 acre tract lying back of the 80 acre field. It has been in cultivation five years, and produces, in a fair crop year, from 10 to 12 barrels of corn per acre. These lands lie between Matamuskeet and Alligator Lakes, four miles distant from Alligator River. Alligator Lake is said to be ten miles wide and fifteen long, and from three to five feet deep. It lies nearly in the centre of Hyde County. It is surrounded by a ridge from four to six feet above the sheet of water. The back lands are drained into Alligator River on the north, and into Pamlico Sound on the south. The cultivated lands on the north side of Matamuskeet Lake run back about two miles, and are very uniform in quality. The north side is the best and deepest soil. Indeed, it may be said the county is a garden spot. It has a population of 5000 to 6000, and ships from 500,000 to 600,000 bushels of corn, and some 50,000 bushels of wheat per annum; to which may be added a large quantity of peas, potatoes, etc."
From this description of what has actually been done in the cultivation of the swamp lands of Hyde County, it is clear that there is a mine of wealth in these soils, as yet only begun to be opened. Prof. Emmons also says, that the "Hyde County soils show a capacity for endurance greater than the prairies of Illinois," and also, "as it regards health, Hyde County is no more subject to chills and fever than the country of the prairies." In fact, as we shall show in another place, all this so-called swamp region is singularly healthy, and has none of the diseases of swamp districts elsewhere.
We have referred more at length to the coast lands of North Carolina than was necessary, perhaps, but it was due to the intrinsic merit they have, to show what wealth may be developed from them, and to avert any prejudice that might be created by the usual language employed in describing them as swamp lands. In a word, the timber in the swamps still undrained, and the inexhaustible richness of their cultivable soil when drained, put them in the front rank for productive value to the enterprising visitor.
The pine lands have not, so far, been so fully tested for agricultural purposes as any other general section of the State, the reason being that the pine timber was too valuable to be cut away and farming the turpentine was the most profitable pursuit. But it is a sufficient assurance that they have intrinsic fertility to find the lofty growth of pine covering them everywhere, in their original State. When cultivated in the careless manner often found in the previous history of that section they are of course exhausted, and being laid out to "rest," the after-growth is by no means attractive, and their general appearance is calculated to lead to the belief that they cannot be made productive. But there can be no greater mistake. The whole history of light and sandy lands is one well known: with care in cultivation they are always productive; they are very cheaply and easily handled, and with the demand that now exists for early crops, they have a value they never had in competition with richer lands without early markets. The successful experience of thousands of cultivators in New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, is one that will be repeated on an equally large scale on the long-leafed pine lands of North Carolina, and with the advantage of at least a month advance of the season, giving a precedence in the seaboard city markets of just so much time.
In the Northern States of the coast above referred to, the sandy tracts are almost always lightly timbered; the short and inferior growth which covers them in New Jersey is particularly well known. This short growth is really the best test of want of intrinsic fertility. Where timber of a larger character will grow, the real fertility of the soil is proportionally greater. When, therefore, the timber which now covers them is removed, the lands, instead of being valueless for cultivation, will repay care almost as well as any others, and they will be peculiarly fitted to early market culture, in consequence of their light and sandy character.
On the western border of the pine lands, a large and most important district begins, stretching westward to the foot of the Blue Ridge, and embracing an immense area. It is more than 200 miles in length from east to west, and it includes over 30 entire counties. It all belongs to what is called in Virginia, the Piedmont region, on the foot of the mountains, as distinguished from the eastern plains and the interior valleys west of the Blue Ridge. But in North Carolina this belt is more than twice as wide as in Virginia, and it constitutes the greater part of the State under cultivation.
It is a district of great capacity, and of that peculiar attractiveness which is so well known further north. The surface is undulatory and varied, with many river valleys and much bottom land along them. Rich and productive farming, lands abound, interspersed, however, with tracts on which cultivation has been carelessly bestowed, and the usual proportion of washed and worn-out slopes may be found, grown up, in places, to the old-field pines. But here, as in Virginia and Maryland, careful cultivation very soon restores them, and they have all the qualities of the light, easily worked, warm lands which are so readily made remunerative under careful cultivation in the south.
Geologically this whole great district is one in which the stratification has been much disturbed by the forces which elevated the mountain chains, the rock ledges being turned up almost on edge, and quartz and other primary rock veins often showing at the surface. All these formations have been swept over by a powerful denuding force, which has crushed and carried away a vast amount of the earth and rocks. Scientific writers call it, therefore, the, "denuded regions." Its soils are peculiar, but with many belts of rich, red clay, deep loamy ridges, and light mixtures of clay and sand. The worst fault is the want of limestone, yet on the whole it is a very attractive and productive district. The careful Mr. Ruffin says of these lands:--
"The lands of the Piedmont region (including all the surface here treated as part of the denuded region), in their natural state of fertility, as
found when first settled by the white race and subjected to the tillage, were in general far more fertile than the great body of the lower drift formed lands. . . Again, since the course of improvement and resuscitation has been begun, and has been extensively in successful progress in both regions, the lands of the denuded region have been found most capable of being enriched by putrescent manures alone, and restored to the productive condition."
In fact the natural growths of grass and grain on these lands, being carefully preserved to put the waste and the manures again on the soil, afford the best and cheapest means of restoring them. No form of expensive fertilizers is equal, for such soils, to the straw heap and the cattle yard accumulations. Soils of this class always require to be kept covered as much as possible, and to be laid down in clover or grass at frequent intervals. The climate of this part of the State, while not so favorable as in the West, by no means forbids clover cultivation, as we shall show in another place.
This great middle belt will probably please Northern farmers more than any other part of the State. It has such variety of surface, with woodlands of various sorts, groves, hills, water power at the rivers, as they descend the several steps to the sea level, and so much to satisfy the wish for varied cultivation that thousands will choose them for residence. At the prices at which they are generally held, there is nothing more remunerative. Cotton can be tried for variety, while corn, wheat, and all the ordinary farm products of the Central States are unfailing staples. This section has been well compared with Northern Italy and Southern France, with the climate of which it strikingly corresponds, and it requires only skill in cultivation to develop almost every growth known in those attractive countries of Europe.
But as we are here referring to the soil and surface more particularly, we will repeat that there is no part of the Atlantic slope of the Alleghanies that affords greater advantages of soil than the belt, 200 miles wide, which in North Carolina stretches from the Blue Ridge mountain foot to the pine forests of the low country. (Twenty thousand square miles of area are embraced in this generally uniform belt, the position of which is such that the soil will produce all temperate climate staples, and half those belonging to semi-tropical
districts. Going westward, there are several moderate steps of ascent, so that each range of counties in succession affords some modification toward cooler uplands, but it is all the characteristic Piedmont soil, with upturned rock stratification, and rich belts interspersed with others of a poorer character. In the mild climate of North Carolina these soils are far more susceptible of being brought up to a high standard of productiveness than they would be even in Maryland, and they would be particularly tempting to a northern farmer, who has to struggle with refractory clays during the, cold rains of May and June in the North.
West of the Blue Ridge lies the American Switzerland, an elevated mass of valleys and mountains, from which the rivers all run westward into Tennessee, no streams passing through the lofty Blue Ridge to the Atlantic. There are fourteen counties in this western section, and the loftiest mountains of the whole Allegheny range cluster around it on both sides. The soils are the very best for grazing, and are characteristic of the plateau of the Alleghanies from New York southward, being formed of loam and drift, deeply abraded from slates, shales, and limestones. The river borders have fine and rich gravel flats, and the hill-sides are always green with grass.
The forests of this western tier of counties show an abundant growth of the sugar maple, a tree characteristic of the best northern grazing lands, and of a temperate and healthy climate. The valley will average 2000 feet above the sea at its lowest part, and the slopes of the mountains exhibit every variety of elevation above this to the mountain tops, averaging 4000 feet for the chains generally, and 6500 feet for some twenty of the highest peaks. To show the cultivated products of these counties, we append the results of the census of 1860:--
|Wheat||Corn||Oats and Rye.||Cattle and Sheep||Butter and Wool|
|Ashe||3,500 bus||110,000 bus||100,000 bus||11,000||105,500 lbs.|
The growth of corn is due to the number of river valleys, and among the products there is an aggregate, in the ten counties, of 138,000 bushels sweet potatoes, 36,000 pounds maple sugar, and $68,500 in value of orchard products. The climate and soil favor orchard fruits very much, and no part of the South will compare with it, while nothing at the North is superior.
Though the grain crops of the State are very large, and more valuable in the aggregate, cotton has peculiar interest, and we place it first in order in consequence of the attractions it has for residents of districts where cotton is not grown. There is great capacity for cotton culture in North Carolina, and the experience of the most skilful farmers is that land may be fertilized so as to produce two, three, or even more, bales to the acre, precisely as fertilization will produce corn or any other crop. Heretofore cotton lands have simply been cropped without any attempt to maintain their fertility, and when they would no longer produce enough to repay the cost of cultivation, they were thrown out as worthless. In the new era of management of soils at the South, cotton will be restored to thousands of tracts from which it has been dropped for the last fifteen, or twenty years, and under the present remunerative prices it will be a crop worthy attention on many tracts where it is not now grown.
In 1860 the total production of cotton in the State was 145,514 bales, of 400 pounds each. The value of this crop now, at 25 cents net a pound, would be $1,455,140, a handsome accession to the resources of the State for a year. Looking at the distribution of this crop for 1860, we find more or
less cotton grown in two thirds of the counties. The following is a list of the chief cotton producing counties in which the quantities exceed 400 bales, and in the general table which we give elsewhere of the crops of 1860 as shown by the census, it will be seen what counties produced it then in quantities less than 400 bales.
On examination, these cotton producing counties are found to be grouped around the leading rivers, and to be chiefly near the border of the sandy plains. The best district is on the northern border of the State in the valley of the Roanoke, where four counties produce 26,804 bales; next, four counties on the Tar River produce, in a somewhat larger area, 32,200 bales. Edgecombe County, on this river, produces 19,138 bales, which is the greatest production reported by any county. Together, these two river valleys in the northeastern part of the State produced over 60,000 bales of cotton in 1860.
On the Neuse River the cotton product was 18,000 bales, while the counties through which the Cape Fear passes report much less. Six or seven counties on the Yadkin make up
over 30,000 bales, and on the Catawba and Broad Rivers, further west, there was a considerable production. There are few counties, as we have said, that did not produce some cotton in 1860, and it is undoubtedly true that careful cultivation would greatly extend its range in the uplands, and add largely to the exportable product.
It is a mistake to suppose that cotton cannot be grown in the general and varied farming which best maintains the fertility of the soil. In the North the rotation of crops which is invariable, is, more than anything else, the guaranty that the soil will not be exhausted. It is the "rest" which is needed, and which is infinitely preferable to laying out the lands in barren abandonment. It is safe to assume that with proper attempts to maintain the uplands, and with the opening of new tracts in the low country, the cotton crop of the State can be brought up to 250,000 bales as a reliable average.
The great cotton market of the State, and to which a large quantity from South Carolina also comes for shipment, is Wilmington. In our notice of the commerce of Wilmington the facts will be fully given.
The capacity of the low country of North Carolina for rice culture is much greater than is usually supposed. In 1860 the whole State produced 7,593,976 pounds, four-fifths of which was in Brunswick County, but twelve or fifteen other counties produced a notable quantity.
Brunswick County is as perfect a rice district as any on the coast, and in this county and vicinity many of the most successful
localities of northern capital and enterprise have been made.
Upland or dryland rice is grown on the reclaimed swamp land of Hyde County and Albemarle. It is a branch of industry worth looking into, in view of its extension to other reclaimed lands of this coast. Mr. Ruffin says, in his valuable "Sketches of Lower North Carolina," p. 239, that on the swamp lands of the Pamlico and Albemarle districts, in Hyde and Tyrrell Counties, "rice has also been made, by dry culture, and, as much has been raised, in that least productive mode as fifty bushels of rough rice to the acre." This important fact in regard to the capacity of the drained lands, should not be neglected in estimating their value.
This is the great staple crop of the State, and almost its chief reliance alike for breadstuffs and for export, as the statics of the census show. The corn grown at the South is well known for higher farinaceous qualities than that of the States in the latitude of New York. Containing less both of moisture and of oil in the kernel, it is admirably adapted for shipment to foreign countries, and for distant transportation generally. It never fails of a market, therefore, and with the facility of reaching it at the various outlets by water and rail, the export of corn may always be relied upon as among the most certain and valuable.
Indian corn is grown in every county of the State; the river bottoms and lower slopes of even the mountain region yielding large and profitable returns. On the swamp lands, as we have before mentioned, the crop of corn is very heavy and constant. It has been grown for fifty to sixty years, in some cases, with but a very slight diminution of the product, or decrease of fertility. The lowest product on these lands thirty bushels, and the highest near a hundred bushels per acre. Nothing can more forcibly convey the impression of vast productive capacity than to see a cornfield of two or three hundred acres, on land as level as a floor, stand twelve feet high, and yielding when harvested twelve barrels
or sixty bushels of corn to the acre. Yet such fields may be seen in the swamp lands of the northeastern part of the State now, while opportunity exists to drain and open vast areas to a like abundant production.
Of course it is requisite to invest something in the preparation of lands for such cropping as this, but with the certainty that for half a century, almost, the store of vegetable matter in these soils would answer to the fullest draft upon it, without material weakness or exhaustion, there can be no more promising opening to a spirited farmer or capitalist.
The corn crop of North Carolina in 1860 reached 30,078,564 bushels, an increase over that of 1850 of 2,137,513 bushels. In 1867 it was estimated at only 17,967,000 bushels, but since the last census we cannot state with definiteness what the production has been. Probably it is now little or none in excess of 1860, in consequence of the hesitation of new cultivators to open their lands, and the unfortunate neglect of too many of the present occupants to improve and fertilize the tracts in their hands. Simultaneously with the inauguration of new enterprises, however, the dormant energies of all others will be brought into action, and this class of products will be brought out in constantly increasing, abundance.
It will be seen by reference to the census statistics of 1860 that but ten States produced a larger aggregate, and in 1850 only nine exceeded the production of this staple in North Carolina.
It could scarcely be expected that the soils of this State would be especially adapted to wheat, yet the product in 1860, was 4,743,706 bushels, distributed quite generally over the State. Even the drained swamp-lands produce wheat, though of course not so profitably. In the counties of the Albemarle and Pamlico districts, a good deal of wheat is grown, the counties surrounding these Sounds averaging 20,000 bushels each, nearly, in 1860. The greatest production was in the central part of the State--Chatham, Davidson, and Randolph Counties leading with an average 225,000 bushels each. Next, Granville, Orange, Alamance,
Guilford, and Rowan, in the same vicinity, furnish 150,000 to 200,000 bushels each. Even the mountain counties produce from 10,000 to 60,000 bushels each, showing that wheat may be successfully grown there also.
Ruffin says of the Albemarle swamp-lands, after speaking of their great production of Indian corn, that "wheat is grown to a much less extent, but often produces very heavy crops," (p. 239, Sketches of N. C.). And again (p. 99): "Corn is the great crop of the Roanoke lands, though fine crops of wheat are raised in Northampton County, and in Halifax, giving evidence of the fitness or the low-ground soils for that crop." The visitor from other States may therefore expect to find opportunities for a variety of cultivation that he has not been led to anticipate from the current impression conveyed in the usual references to this State.
The census of 1860 shows a production of 436,856 bushels of rye and 2,781,860 bushels of oats, both being very equally distributed over the State. Barley is scarcely grown, and but a small quantity of buckwheat. Peas and beans are much in excess of any other State of the Union, both in 1850 and 1860; being in 1850, 1,584,252 bushels, and in 1860, 1,932,204 bushels. Peas are, in fact, a most prolific crop, favored greatly by both soil and climate, and the natural alternate of wheat and Indian corn. All writers on the cultivation of lands of lower North Carolina recommend sowing peas, as a preparatory, or fallow crop. Ruffin says (p. 89, "Statistics" &c.) speaking of the northeastern counties:--
"The farmers of this region possess peculiar facilities for rotation in the pea crop, and a climate admirably adapted to its growth. The limited territory on which both the pea and the wheat crop can grow well, the one suiting so well to prepare for and aid the growth of the other, I deem the most favored of agricultural regions. . . It is true that peas are planted, as a secondary crop, in every field of corn, and the returns are highly valued. . . With the superior facilities for the best growth of peas, if I were farming in this region, I should much prefer pea-fallow to clover-fallow to precede wheat."
The greater part of the pea crop so produced with corn is fed off by hogs on the round in the fall and winter following,
so that the full production of the State does not appear in the statistics.
Sweet potatoes constitute a crop having peculiar value in this climate. In 1850 the production of the State was 5,095,709 bushels, and in 1860, 6,140,039 bushels. The sandy pine lands lead off in this crop, several of these counties making up from 200,000 to 300,000 bushels each. Proper attention has not yet been given to the early shipment of sweet potatoes northward. With the rapidly extending consumption of the large cities, and of the interior towns of the Northern States, supplied by railroad from the seaports, this will become a staple export and source of profit. A large share of such produce can come cheaply to Norfolk, there connecting with the trade in other market garden products. It is a noticeable fact that the mountain counties of the western border produce sweet potatoes in considerable quantity. In 1860 ten of these counties produced no less than 109,000 bushels, no one of them being without some small quantity.
Irish potatoes are grown to a smaller extent, the quantity being but one-eighth of the sweet potatoes, or 830,565 bushels for 1860. The greatest quantity is in the west, but they are distributed everywhere. The only difference caused by the climate is that the crop grows earlier in the season as we go southward. It may be eminently profitable, as an early garden crop, to put in the northern markets by the early part of June. It is customary to plant them in December for the earliest use, which is in May, and to follow with later plantings for later uses.
The census returns of orchard products are again our best guide to the valuable fruit growth of North Carolina. In 1860 the whole value of these was $643,688, a sum unexpectedly large. Peaches in the eastern counties, and apples, with peaches, pears, and cherries, in the central counties and the west, make up the market fruits. The apples are peculiarly fine, the native varieties doing better than those cultivated at the North. All the counties of the interior lying somewhat elevated above the deeper river valleys, are very favorable to orchard fruits.
Some of the finest fruits known south of New York are of North Carolina origin, and native seedlings of this State are conspicuous for size and fine flavor. Wilkes and Rutherford Counties, east of the Blue Ridge, and Buncombe County, west of it, are celebrated for fine apples and fine cherries. The, requisites for fine orchard fruits appear to be more fully met in the climate of Western North Carolina, indeed, than in any part of the country south of New York.
Peaches belong more particularly to the eastward counties, or to those lower than the best localities for the fruits just referred to. The uncertainty of "peach seasons" in New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland renders it important to extend their growth to warmer localities, and now attention is being directed to the belt from North Carolina to Georgia, corresponding in position relatively to the sea on one side and to the inland districts on the other, which the northern peach region has. Heretofore, so little attention has been given to planting out largely that the capacity of the section has not been proved. It cannot be doubted that it has great capacity, however. The peach tree is almost indigenous here; it comes early, and grows to great size. The only question is that of transportation, but with care in packing it should be practicable to ship from Wilmington, Newbern, or Norfolk with dispatch and safety. As the season is a full month earlier than that of ripening in Delaware, the question of competition is not in the way. Cheap and safe transportation has already been provided through a semi-weekly line of steamers from Wilmington to New York, which can put any such products in market in fifty hours, while by railroad only thirty-six hours' time is required.
Wine is, as the census of 1860 shows, a standard product of North Carolina. Three leading American grapes have their origin here--the Scuppernong, the Catawba and the Lenoir. From the Scuppernong grape chiefly, 54,061 gallons of wine are reported to have been made in 1860, the larger quantity in the low eastern counties, but with a surprising distribution of small quantities in every part of the State.
First, the Scuppernong grape is the most extraordinary plant of its class in the world. It is identified chiefly with
the Albermarle and Pamlico districts, where it is a native, growing wild in many localities. The vine is capable of making an enormous growth, covering half an acre, almost, if the fertility of the soil and other circumstances favor. It need not be trimmed or cut back, but must be allowed to grow over a large space, its production being in proportion to its size. Large vines will form a canopy covering thousands of square feet, and the production of one vine may reach 50 bushels of grapes. They are round, of a rusty white color, a thick skin and a sweet pleasant juice. The wine is considered especially fine by most persons, and it has long been made in considerable quantity in many of the eastern counties for the local use of the people. It would warrant cultivation for export, as well on account of its quality, as for the facility with which the grapes may be grown to any extent. Though totally unlike any European grape, since the vines, instead of being cut short and multiplied in number on the surface, grow so large that a single plant will cover 2000 to 5000 square feet, the Scuppernong is an unfailing bearer, and instead of a half dozen or a dozen bunches constituting the growth of a year, as many bushels may be gathered. There is no bunch to this grape, the fruit being formed two or three berries, at most, together, but the size of these is equivalent to many more of the common or European grapes.
This picturesque and peculiar vine is first met with in North Carolina. It will scarcely grow at Norfolk, and not at all in States further north. It is a singular anomaly in grape cultivation, and the only known wine grape of the giant North American wild species.
The Catawba is the most important grape of general cultivation in every part of the United States where grapes will grow at all. It is the favorite on Lake Erie as well as in its native district of Western North Carolina. Major Adlum, of Georgetown, D. C., through whose efforts it was originally brought into notice, "thought that be had conferred a greater boon upon the American people by its introduction than if be had paid the national debt." Though this was spoken when the debt was less than now, it is a fair illustration of
the universal acceptance of the Catawba grape as the finest among cultivated varieties. The Catawba is claimed to be a native of Buncombe County, and the Lincoln, or Lenoir, is a native of Lincoln County. The Isabella grape is often accredited to Western North Carolina as its place of origin. Universally cultivated as it is, it is certain that its best growth is in the elevated lands of the Southern States. Another valuable grape, which is a native of North Carolina, is the Lenoir, just referred to, promising much as a wine grape; and still another new one is called the North Carolina Seedling. All observers are struck by the evidences which most parts of both Virginia and North Carolina afford, of the great adaptation they have to the growth of grape-vines, wild or cultivated. In the low country the gigantic Scuppernong grape is without a parallel in the world for magnitude of growth, and abundance of production. Writers have even declared that no plant known produces so much for the uses of man, as a full grown vine of this Scuppernong grape. A gentleman of Mississippi writes to the Gardener's Monthly in 1868, styling it "the grape of America." He says:--
This most wonderful grape was first brought to notice by Col. James Blount, of Scuppernong, North Carolina, who found it growing wild on the banks of the Scuppernong River. The name was given by Calvin Jones, of the Southern Planter, in which paper Col. Blount presented it to the public, in several well written articles. It is also said that an Episcopal clergyman, grandfather to Gen. Pettigrew, very highly recommended it to the Southern people. It is now generally known, and universally esteemed by all grape-growers of the South, and it is destined to revolutionize grape-growing and wine-making throughout America. It grows in small bunches of four to ten berries, of large size, juicy, round, sweet, luscious, rich flavored. Skin very thick, light green, marked sometimes with yellow dots; tough, bears handling, keeps well, excellent for wine.
. . . There are three varieties, white, black, and golden-hued. The white is the native, and the one generally known: it makes an amber-colored wine. The black ripens after the white is gathered, and makes a darker wine, though there is no difference in the taste of the fruit. It remains on the vine till after frost, and will sometimes keep till after Christmas. The white berries are gathered by shaking the vine; the black must be picked.
. . . It is immensely productive, surpassing all others in its most fabulous yield; a single vine often producing annually from 25 to 50 bushels of grapes. One vine in this county is said to have yielded over 50 bushels this last year (1867). Dr. Neisler, of Georgia, has one averaging 35 bushels. There is one at Mobile averaging 40 bushels, bringing its owner over
$300. Col. Ross, of Georgia, writes that he has a vine, thirty years old, that yields annually from 35 to 75 gallons of wine. There is one near Somerville, Tenn., producing fruit enough for a small family, and making a barrel of wine besides. Two vines are ordinarily considered enough, in North Carolina, for an ordinary sized family. Mr. Van Buren estimates that 100 vines planted on three acres of land will yield every year after maturity 5250 gallons, or 1750 gallons per acre. Mr. W. F. Stevenson says that this estimate is entirely too low--that 100 vines will yield twice as many gallons at ten years of age, and three or four times as much as they grow older . . . . . The Scuppernong never fails to bear; never mildews; never rots, and is seldom troubled by frost. There are but few fruit trees, if any, known to live half so long as the Scuppernong Its native region is a level, dry, sandy open soil; though it is also found in abundance in pine barrens and along hill-sides, near the Tar, Neuse, Roanoke, and Cape Fear Rivers. It will flourish in alluvial bottoms as well as in sandy plains. Thousands of acres in the South can be planted with it; indeed, it will grow anywhere that corn and cotton will grow, and is ten times as profitable as either. An acre that will grow 30 bushels of corn will yield 300 bushels of Scuppernong grapes. . . . The celebrated chemist, Dr. Jackson, of Boston, analyzed 38 of the best wine grapes of America, and he says, 'Scuppernong wine may be made so fine as to excel all others made on this continent.'The white variety makes a beautiful, pale, amber-colored wine; sweet, rich, luscious, and fragrant, everywhere the ladies' favorite: so says the President of the Memphis and Little Rock Railroad, who has been familiar with it for many years. . . . It is the Poor Man's Friend--and it richly deserves this appellation, be-because it needs no Pruning nor training, nor placing- vines along trellis work; because it never mildews nor rots, and never fails to produce an abundant crop."
J. M. D. MILLERof Iuka Miss., in Gard. Monthly, March, 1868
This enthusiastic tribute may appear extravagant to those who have never seen a full-grown vine in bearing, but by those who have, and who have used the wine, no exaggeration will be charged.
Market garden products attain to respectable proportions in the census reports of North Carolina, being for 1860, $75,663 in value. For many varieties no return is made, and undoubtedly a small portion only is included in the values above. The item is valuable only as showing that some counties attain to $15,000 in value for what should be, and probably already is approaching $50,000 for each county of
the more accessible in the eastern part of the State. Unfortunately we have no recent report of this cultivation, and only know that in many spots the work of market garden cultivation has been energetically and profitably begun.
A novel crop in the eastern part of the State is the ground pea, or peanut, the cultivation of which is very profitable on the light lands near the coast. For many years past these pea-nuts have been the preference in the northern markets, and large quantities are sent there. The chief production is in the counties near Wilmington, and at that city a constant shipping market has existed for several years past. The average quantity shipped for several years up to 1861 was about 200,000 bushels. During the war of course they were not grown for shipment outward, but the trade is now reviving, and nearly restored to its best proportions.
Onslow County, about fifty miles northeast of Wilmington, reported in 1867 to the agricultural department that the growth of ground-nuts, or pea-nuts, was the farming specialty, and that the crop grown was 50 to 90 bushels per acre, and the value $2 25 to $2 50 per bushel. The light soil of the low pine lands is particularly adapted to this crop, and at the production and prices reported above, it is very remunerative. The cultivated pea-nuts of the coast, from Virginia southward, and particularly those obtained at Wilmington, are far superior to those imported from Africa and other foreign countries.
The extent of the mineral resources of all the States of the seaboard south of Delaware has, for years past, been much undervalued in consequence of the delay in developing them. While the reputation of North Carolina and Georgia has been very well known in the production of gold, there has been no proper credit given for the more useful minerals, and particularly for coal and iron. It may be a subject of surprise to claim much merit for North Carolina coal fields, yet the principal locality, on the Deep and Cape Fear Rivers, covers an area of forty square miles in Chatham and Moore Counties, in which there is a most extensive bed of the best bituminous coal in the world. The superior character of this coal has been vouched for in an official report by Admiral Wilkes to the Navy Department in 1859, and by Prof. Emmons, in his general geological report for the State. Prof. W. C. Kerr, the present State geologist, describes these coal fields as follows:--
"Coal is found in two districts in North Carolina, known as the Deep River and Dan River coal fields. In both the coal is bituminous, and occupies a narrow tract of country along the course of the rivers from which they respectively take their names. These beds, therefore, follow in their outcrop the general direction of the rocks of the country. The Dan River bed is distant from market, and has been little explored. There is an outcrop in Rockingham and Stokes Counties, one seam being four feet thick. The Deep River bed is better known, and probably more extensive. It is described in detail in the geological reports of Dr. Emmons for 1852 and 1856; and also by Admiral Wilkes, in his report to the Secretary of the Navy, in 1859. According to these authorities, this coal is of the best quality, well adapted to the manufacture of iron and of gas, and it is inexhaustible in quantity. They represent it as extending over an area of more than forty square miles, and containing more than 6,000,000 tons to each square mile. This bed, therefore, would yield more than 1,000,000 tons annually, for several hundred years."
Other writers speak in even higher terms of these coals, their characteristic being a very dense, heavy and rich bituminous coal, without sulphur, and admirably adapted to gas making. It has been said for years, that this North Carolina bed from Deep to Cape Fear Rivers, would ultimately exceed in value that at Richmond, Virginia, with which its position shows a general similarity. A condensed report on the facility with which this coal can be mined and transported, will be found in the Appendix.
There are various localities furnishing unusually good iron Ores in
North Carolina, and the finest wrought iron has been made there in small quantities since colonial times. The iron of Lincoln County has been particularly celebrated for its strength and toughness. In the report of the American Iron Association for 1859, no less than fifty-one furnaces forges and bloomaries are enumerated as having been in operation at various recent periods, about one-half of them being at that time at work. Some of the ore beds are among the most promising in the United States, and that in Guilford County, near Greensboro, is just now being put in operation, making iron with ten Catalan forges, a steam hammer weighing eight tons, and three hundred workmen.*
*"Greensboro, North Carolina, May 25th, 1869. The North Carolina Central Steel and Iron Manufacturing Company,
in this county, are just receiving their machinery. The ponderous steam hammer weighs over eight tons. The Company is now erecting ten Catalan forges, and will in a time give employment to three or four hundred skilled iron workers, the most of whom will be from Pennsylvania."--Bulletin of the American, Iron and Steel Association, May 26, 1869. The accounts given of the iron ore beds of this State are here condensed from Prof. Emmons' reports, and from the reports of the American Iron Association. Beginning at the western part of the midland counties, or those between the foot of the Blue Ridge and the low counties of the coast we find three valuable belts of magnetic iron ore the first passing within six or seven miles of Lincolnton, in Lincoln County, on the Catawba. "The beds of ore are seen on the north side of the plank road, seven miles from Lincolnton. The limestone is a mile west of the ore. The ore is usually near the crest of a ridge, or traverses parallel ridges very obliquely . . . The veins of Lincoln County are lens shaped, with knife edges lapping each other, increasing, to six or eight feet thick in a length or depth of fifty or sixty feet . . . The ore is usually fine grained, soft, easily crushed in the hands, strongly magnetic, easily smelted . . . The veins have been wrought for many years, and have made a celebrated iron, strong and tough" This ore bed extends into Gaston County, at King's Mountain, and at this point the Briggs' vein is forty feet thick.
Iron has been made here for half a century. Beds of hematite ore occur on both King's Mountain and Crowder's Mountain, and Prof. Lesley says that "the resources of the present veins are so vast that no inducement is held out to active exploration." Twelve or fifteen furnaces and forges have long been at work on these splendid ore banks; and in one of them the ore contains nickel, this ore being worked by Columbia furnace and forges. In Cleveland County, just west of Lincoln and Gaston, six forges were at work in 1859 on fine magnetic ores, obtained from the mountains east of and near the First Broad River. There are other works in Rutherford County, adjoining. This whole district is rich almost without parallel in magnetic and hematite ores of the best quality. Next are the belts of ore in and near the valley of the Yadkin River, and occurring chiefly in Montgomery, Randolph, Davie, Guilford, Stokes, and Surrey Counties. Near Troy there are some fine masses; one occupies a low hill a quarter of a mile in length, and fifty feet wide--a fine, heavy peroxide. Beds of specular and of magnetic ore lie near each other north of Troy. (Prof. Lesley.) These are near the Carter gold mine. "Three or four miles southwest of Franklinville, and near Deep River, heavy black masses of magnetic ore lie in abundance loose about the uncultivated surface, near a fine ore bed." "In Stokes County four bloomary forges, within ten miles around Danville, work up magnetic ore . . .A magnetic ore bed, one mile from Danbury, is six feet thick, nearly vertical, strike northeast; percentage of iron 77; depth of shaft fifty-seven feet. The Dan River coal basin is within ten miles." (Lesley.) Some of these works have long been in operation, but without adequate capital. In Surrey and Yadkin Counties, near the localities just mentioned, the same beds are found, and twelve or fifteen forges have at various times been in operation. In Catawba County, some distance southwest, there are also several works, and fine magnetic beds; but in Guilford County, near Greensboro, and east of the counties last above named, there are "several veins of black and middling coarse, valuable magnetic ore, unmixed and pure, which have long been known." This is
the locality of the extensive new works just referred to, and the extraordinary opportunity offered to make the best iron at very cheap rates, might be much more largely improved. The third belt of what Lesley calls primary iron ores is found on the Neuse and Cape Fear Rivers, in Chatham, Johnston, Wake, and Orange Counties. In Chatham County is "Ore Hill, a famous locality of hematite ore, traversing a knob three hundred feet high in east and west belts of talc slate, quartz, etc., forming the pinnacle of the hill. Here old excavations show where, in the times of the Revolutionary war, the large concretionary masses of ore were extracted." A portion of the ore of Chatham County is said to be identical with the celebrated Blackband of Scotland. Various extensive beds of hematite ore are reported in the other counties named, and a less number of magnetic ore beds. A valuable bed of carbonate of iron, in a vein containing gold, exists on the Uwharrie River. (Dr. Emmons' Rept. 1856.) West of the Blue Ridge there is also plenty of valuable ore. No less than twenty bloomaries and furnaces have been established in Ashe, Wautauga, and Cherokee Counties, representing both extremities of the mountain valley region. Some of the ore beds were magnetic and others various forms of hematite. Altogether, although the quantity of iron made in any one year heretofore has not been large, there is no part of the Union more promising for the establishment of works. In 1856 there were 36 forges at work, making 1182 tons of blooms; while 3 furnaces made of charcoal pig iron 450 tons, and one rolling-mill only was at work. The census reports are very incomplete, yet they return, in 1850, 1200 tons of bar iron made, value $127,849; and in 1860, 1096 tons, value $99,656. The Briggs Iron Works, and two other mills just below King's Mountain, in South Carolina, have long made excellent bar iron for use in the counties adjoining. The following account of the iron ore beds of the western counties is from Prof. Kerr's report of 1866, and it is so clear and forcible as to require transcribing in full:-- "Iron is found in some of its various forms of ore in most of the western counties, but its most important localities are in Cherokee and Mitchell,
These are worthy of being mentioned with the Iron Mountain of Missouri.
The ore of Cherokee belongs to the class known as hematite. It occurs along with each of the parallel subdivisions of the limestone, sometimes on both sides of them. It outcrops in immense masses along Notteley, on Hiwassee at the junction of Valley River, on Peachtree Creek, and the whole length of Valley River, an aggregate distance of twenty-five miles. One of these beds, which appears on Peachtree, is a soft, uncompacted brown ochre, which has been mined for paint. This bed is well developed in the upper portion of the valley of Valley River, on Paint Creek, and again above Valleytown. The ores from many of these beds have been wrought in the common bloomaries of the country (of which there were, perhaps, half a dozen in the county), and even under this mode of treatment are said to yield a large percentage of metal of good quality. And those beds of slaty ore, which are not workable in such open forges, would be easily smelted in a blast furnace. "It is apparent, therefore, that there exist in Cherokee County the most favorable conditions for the manufacture of iron on an indefinite scale. Three large rivers flow along and over the edges of these iron mountains furnishing unlimited power, and at all points; the ore is interstratified with limestone for fluxing; and the neighboring mountain slopes abound with fuel. And if this were not sufficient, the distance is only twenty-five miles to the State line, where a railroad will shortly bring mineral fuel from Chattanooga. Nothing is wanting but transportation to develop here a manufacturing interest equal to any on the continent. "The other principal iron bed is that of Mitchell County, near the head of Toe River. This ore is found in the gneissic series of rocks, and is magnetic or gray ore. It occurs in an immense bed of hornblende slate and syenite, near the base of the Yellow Mountains and a few miles from the State line. The outcrop is on the lower slope of the mountain, perhaps 200 feet above its base, and reveals a network of heavy'veins'or beds, extending over several acres of surface. It is inexhaustible in quantity. The iron manufactured in the bloomaries of the neighborhood has been long celebrated for its tenacity and durability, and is admirably adapted to the manufacture of steel. It is known as the Cranberry iron, from a small stream near the ore banks. Here, also exist the best natural facilities for the manufacture of iron. Water power and fuel in the greatest profusion are at hand, and the only difficulty here, too, is in the matter of transportation, which, however, could be readily overcome. "Magnetic ore is found in many other localities, and no doubt this Cranberry ore will be discovered in other outcrops in these mountains. Ore of the same character appears at the western base of the mountain at Flat Rock, which is probably a continuation of the same series of beds. Magnetic ore occurs near Marshall also, in Madison County, and again near Fines Creek, in Haywood; in each case, having the same association of hornblendic rocks. It is also found in Macon County at several points, here in a garnetiferous mica schist. Hematite ore occurs, at one or two points in Buncombe, and a bed of it also overlies the limestone in Transylvania County, appearing again with it on the North Fork in McDowell. This association with limestone, which occurs so frequently, is not accidental, but points to the origin of these ores." North Carolina has been celebrated for half a century as a gold-mining country, and the reports of the U. S. Mint show that more than ten millions of dollars' worth of gold has come from this State to the Mint for coinage. Previous to 1869 there had been coined at the Branch Mint at Charlotte, North Carolina, $4,520,730 of North Carolina gold, and at the U. S. Mint at Philadelphia, $4,666,026 of the same production. These items, with $147,756 assayed at New York, and $99,585 coined at Dahlonega, represent a known addition to the gold coin of the country of $9,434,097, while it is probable that at least $2,500,000 in value passed into use in the arts, was sent abroad, or was retained in some way from the mint. Since the war about $400,000 in gold has been received at the Mint and Assay offices from North Carolina, the amount in 1868 being about $100,000. In 1866 it was over $140,000. The gold mines of the State are all in positions of very ready access, and, whatever their production may be, are very easily and cheaply worked. The quartz veins, and other gold-bearing rocks, are all up-tilted and broken down by the great geological forces which swept over the State east of the Blue Ridge. They all stand on edge over a surface generally very little broken up into hills or mountains, and, with good machinery, any vein promising a fair return, should be worked with profit. The principal mines are west of the centre of the State, and about half way from Raleigh to the foot of the Blue Ridge. Cabarrus County is distinguished as the place of original discovery, and one piece of pure gold, weighing twenty-eight pounds, was found there. All the counties of that section of the State, which is drained chiefly by the Yadkin and Catawba Rivers, abound in gold. It is also found as far east as Franklin County, north of Raleigh. Not only are all the primary rock formations of the State east of the Blue Ridge often found to yield gold, but the mountain counties west of the Blue Ridge also show valuable gold deposits. Prof. W. C. Kerr, the present State Geologist, says in his report for 1860, that Cherokee and Jackson Counties,
in the extreme southwest show gold freely at the western foot of the Blue Ridge. "There are two principal gold regions in the mountain section, one in Cherokee, and the other in Jackson. The gold belt of Cherokee is in the same body of slates which carries the limestone and iron. It is found both in the veins and in superficial deposits. The sands of Valley River yield it profitably through a large part of its course, and some very rich washings have been found along its tributary streams on the north side. The origin of this gold is very near the limestone. A remarkably rich vein has been opened near the town of Murphy, known as No. 6, which immediately underlies the marble. This is a silver-lead quartz vein in which is imbedded a large percentage of free gold. There is a strong probability of other similar veins having furnished the golden sands of the river and streams above mentioned. "On the southeast of the limestones is also a series of diggings along the lower slopes of the mountains from near Valley Town to Vengeance Creek, a distance of twelve or fifteen miles. The gold is found here in the drift which covers the lower spurs and terminal ridges of the mountains south of Valley River. . . . The continuation of this gold belt sent westward is rendered probable by the existence of several valuable mines in this direction beyond the Hiwassee, as the Warren mine on Brasstown, Creek, and others on Notteley River, in Georgia. . . . The gold of Jackson County is also obtained almost entirely from washings . . . The most important locality is Fairfield Valley, where Georgetown Creek, one of the head streams of the Toxaway, is said to have yielded between $200,000 and $300,000. The deposits extend several miles." The latest Geological Report of Professor Kerr, which has just been issued, May, 1869, has an interesting description of the gold producing districts of the east side of the Blue Ridge, and along the South Mountains, which we extract from as follows:-- "In the Piedmont section there are three gold placers of considerable note. One of these is at Sandy Plains in Polk County. The gold is found in the gravel from the debris of denuded hills of mica schist. This gravel is found in the beds of small streams, over an area of several miles. These diggings are still wrought in a small way. No veins have been discovered. The most extensive and notable deposit in this region, and in the State, is found in the South Mountains on the head waters of the First and Second Broad, and of Silver and Muddy Creeks. It is divided into four principal districts, on the above mentioned streams, which are named respectively Whiteside, Jeanstown, Brindletown, and Brackettown. The whole area occupied, interruptedly, by this deposit, is between one and two hundred square miles. These mines were opened about the year 1830, and were operated on a large scale, but in a rude way, until the discovery of the California mines. Some thousands of laborers were at work here for a number of
years, and no doubt several millions of gold were obtained. Work is still carried on at a great many points, and several thousands of dollars are annually mined. The deposits were originally very rich, and yielded frequently ten dollars a day for each laborer. The gold bearing drift or gravel is accumulated along the beds of the streams, on the benches of the hills, and in all the various situations which have, in California, given rise to the division into river, hill, bench, flat, and gulch diggings. Some of the deposits on the larger streams are quite extensive, and of considerable depth. Many of them have been worked over several times. The processes heretofore employed were of the rudest kind, and no doubt the introduction of the improved California methods would render the mines again very profitable. Many of the hill and bench deposits have never been worked, and could not be except by the hydraulic process. The gold of these placers has evidently been derived from the numerous small veins in the, slopes of the adjacent hills and mountains. The gangue of these veins is usually a granular white quart (saccharoid). They are small, and have not been mined hitherto. Machinery has been put up, however, near Brackettown for the purpose of working one of these saccharoidal veins, which seems to be nearly a foot in thickness. "The third gold field referred to is in Caldwell County, on Lower Creek. Operations have been carried on here on a considerable scale on both sides of the creek, but mostly on the north side, along the beds of the tributary streams, which come down from the terminal spurs and ridges of the Warrior Mountains dividing the waters of Lower Creek from John's River . . . . There are many other places where gold has been obtained from gravel in considerable amounts, as in the beds of some small streams on the slopes of the hill, three to four miles west of Morganton, where gold washing is still carried on profitably; also in the waters of the Second Broad, in Rutherford; on Pacolet River, in Polk County, and in several parts of Cleveland and Lincoln Counties. "The Shuford mine in the eastern part of Catawba, which contains both placers and veins is situated in the King's Mountain belt. It has been worked for a number of years with very satisfactory results, and operations are to be resumed shortly. These are dry diggings, and the difficulty is in procuring a supply of water. Vein mining has never been extensively carried on in this region. The Mountain Mining Company were erecting machinery during last summer to operate the quartz vein already mentioned, and were about to reopen a mine some four miles south of Shelby which is neither a vein nor a placer mine. The gold-bearing rock is a heavy ledge of brown, ferruginous mica-schist, which is impregnated with iron pyrites in a state of minute subdivision, and abounds in garnets. There is no semblance of a vein proper. Dr. Emmons reports that gold is found in the conglomerates of Montgomery, and the very intelligent superintendent of the Rhodes mine in Lincoln assured me that he obtained gold from the common gray gneiss of the country, which constitutes the wall rock of that vein; and at the King's Mountain in Gaston, large quantities of the limestone are stamped and washed. And I have seen gold-bearing felspathic slates from Moore County, and talco-quartzose slates from Montgomery; so that, although the gangue rock of gold in this State is usually
quartz, compact, or saccharoidal, it is far from being universally so, nor is the occurrence of these auriferous rocks limited to veins. "There are two other mines in the Piedmont section that are worthy of mention, the Baker (or Davis), and the Michaux, both on John's Rivet, near the Caldwell and Burke line. The latter has yielded some very fine cabinet specimens, the veins being numerous, small, and in places very rich . . . . If we pass beyond the Piedmont group into the King's Mountain slates, there are many famous gold mines along this formation, and the gneissic rocks between it and the Lower Catawba; several of which have lately been reopened under favorable auspices; the King's Mountain mine, the Rhodes, Beattie, and two or three others. These are now operated by companies and under superintendents of California experience, in several cases with the most improved California machinery, manufactured in San Francisco. From these facts, and especially from the superior engineering skill which is now employed in these and several other such enterprises of the Mountain Mining Company, I infer that a new era is opening upon the mining interests of one State." But the most celebrated gold mines are in Cabarrus County, particularly the Reed mine, discovered in 1799, and from which more than a dozen nuggets, weighing, together more than 120 pounds, have been taken at different, times. The best of these mines are veins of quartz, or of slaty veinstone, with iron and copper pyrites associated. Many of these veins are as promising as those of California or Colorado, and if worked by powerful machinery, would, in the opinion of most persons who have compared them, yield better than those celebrated districts of the Pacific coast. Quartz crushing machinery has been but little tried, however, the people having heretofore passed these rich districts by to waste their energies on a more distant field. A great deal of successful placer or surface mining has been done in Burke and other counties at the eastern part of the Blue Ridge. It is estimated that more than a million of dollars has been so obtained in Burke County alone. It is a peculiarity of most of the previous washing of sands in search of gold in North Carolina, that only the rudest processes were employed, and not only was the separation of the gold imperfect in such as was washed, but much rich material has been left untouched. It will be an inviting field to an Eastern or Northern man who would like to try gold mining without going to California, to buy a tract in this tempting region, and while he prosecutes
farming or any other business as a general pursuit, try his hand at leisure times in obtaining gold from his own lands. Some of the best and most profitable of gold mining in the State, heretofore has been conducted by thrifty farmers in the intervals of other employment. The present writer has personally seen several who have thus saved money, and who were, at the time, travelling in the Northern States, and designing still to return and continue the double employment by which their wealth had been acquired. We would be able to give, a more complete directory to the gold mines and gold-producing localities, were the written accounts heretofore published as definite as they should be. The best way is to go to Salisbury, a town of easy access by the North Carolina Railroad from Raleigh by way of Greensboro; and on reaching Salisbury, make examinations, first in Cabarrus, Stanly and Anson Counties, for vein mining; next westward to Burke County for the surface "diggings," and also beyond the Blue Ridge, if possible, to the washings at the western foot of the Blue Ridge, in the extreme southwest, before described. The North Carolina Railroad is being rapidly extended in the direction of the passage of the Blue Ridge, at Swannanoa Gap, and the road to Asheville by way of this gap is not at all difficult. There are valuable and interesting, mines of gold and copper near Greensboro, also, which are described in the list of vein mines. The annual production of gold in North Carolina is now, probably, about twice the value of that which reaches the mint. This amount sent to the mint was, in 1868, $89,805 in value. While it may be much more, it cannot be less than $180,000; and probably a better estimate would be about $250,000 as the present annual value of these gold mines. The list of vein gold mines on page 47, following, will give as good an account of the condition of that branch of gold mining in the States, as is practicable now to be obtained. Silver mining is of sufficient importance in several counties to justify an allusion to it. In Davidson County, at a locality known as Silver Hill the Washington mine is the most valuable of those. While silver was in demand for coinage, a small annual product came to the mint from North Carolina; the whole in three years 1859 to 1861, reaching $41,888. But four times as much would go into use in the arts, even then, and now it all takes that direction. Silver is found here, as elsewhere, in combination with various other metals; with gold, copper, lead and zinc. The silver-bearing rocks are the slates at their line of contact with the granite, and along the line of this contact, both northeast and southwest from the Davidson County mines, there are many localities where silver is found. The principal mines southwestward are the Conrad, McMakin, and Stewart mines. Prof. Kerr's references to these mines are so clear and brief that we reproduce them. In the report of 1866 he says:--
"SILVER.--It will be observed that the richest gold mines lie along and near the line of contact of the slates and granite. And it is also along this line that the principal silver mines of this State are found. The most noted of these are at Silver Hill, in Davidson County. The combination of metal here is quite complex, including, with the silver, gold, lead, copper and zinc. A chain of similar mines runs southwest along the western border of the States, including the McMakin and Stewart mines. During the war the first named of these mines yielded a considerable quantity of lead. It had been previously worked chiefly for silver and gold. The same association of metals occurs in Cherokee."
Iron Ores and Iron Works.
There are various localities furnishing unusually good iron Ores in North Carolina, and the finest wrought iron has been made there in small quantities since colonial times. The iron of Lincoln County has been particularly celebrated for its strength and toughness. In the report of the American Iron Association for 1859, no less than fifty-one furnaces forges and bloomaries are enumerated as having been in operation at various recent periods, about one-half of them being at that time at work. Some of the ore beds are among the most promising in the United States, and that in Guilford County, near Greensboro, is just now being put in operation, making iron with ten Catalan forges, a steam hammer weighing eight tons, and three hundred workmen.*
*"Greensboro, North Carolina, May 25th, 1869.
The North Carolina Central Steel and Iron Manufacturing Company, in this county, are just receiving their machinery. The ponderous steam hammer weighs over eight tons. The Company is now erecting ten Catalan forges, and will in a time give employment to three or four hundred skilled iron workers, the most of whom will be from Pennsylvania."--Bulletin of the American, Iron and Steel Association, May 26, 1869.
The accounts given of the iron ore beds of this State are here condensed from Prof. Emmons' reports, and from the reports of the American Iron Association.
Beginning at the western part of the midland counties, or those between the foot of the Blue Ridge and the low counties of the coast we find three valuable belts of magnetic iron ore the first passing within six or seven miles of Lincolnton, in Lincoln County, on the Catawba.
"The beds of ore are seen on the north side of the plank road, seven miles from Lincolnton. The limestone is a mile west of the ore. The ore is usually near the crest of a ridge, or traverses parallel ridges very obliquely . . . The veins of Lincoln County are lens shaped, with knife edges lapping each other, increasing, to six or eight feet thick in a length or depth of fifty or sixty feet . . . The ore is usually fine grained, soft, easily crushed in the hands, strongly magnetic, easily smelted . . . The veins have been wrought for many years, and have made a celebrated iron, strong and tough"
This ore bed extends into Gaston County, at King's Mountain, and at this point the Briggs' vein is forty feet thick.
Iron has been made here for half a century. Beds of hematite ore occur on both King's Mountain and Crowder's Mountain, and Prof. Lesley says that "the resources of the present veins are so vast that no inducement is held out to active exploration." Twelve or fifteen furnaces and forges have long been at work on these splendid ore banks; and in one of them the ore contains nickel, this ore being worked by Columbia furnace and forges. In Cleveland County, just west of Lincoln and Gaston, six forges were at work in 1859 on fine magnetic ores, obtained from the mountains east of and near the First Broad River. There are other works in Rutherford County, adjoining. This whole district is rich almost without parallel in magnetic and hematite ores of the best quality.
Next are the belts of ore in and near the valley of the Yadkin River, and occurring chiefly in Montgomery, Randolph, Davie, Guilford, Stokes, and Surrey Counties. Near Troy there are some fine masses; one occupies a low hill a quarter of a mile in length, and fifty feet wide--a fine, heavy peroxide. Beds of specular and of magnetic ore lie near each other north of Troy. (Prof. Lesley.) These are near the Carter gold mine. "Three or four miles southwest of Franklinville, and near Deep River, heavy black masses of magnetic ore lie in abundance loose about the uncultivated surface, near a fine ore bed." "In Stokes County four bloomary forges, within ten miles around Danville, work up magnetic ore . . .A magnetic ore bed, one mile from Danbury, is six feet thick, nearly vertical, strike northeast; percentage of iron 77; depth of shaft fifty-seven feet. The Dan River coal basin is within ten miles." (Lesley.) Some of these works have long been in operation, but without adequate capital. In Surrey and Yadkin Counties, near the localities just mentioned, the same beds are found, and twelve or fifteen forges have at various times been in operation. In Catawba County, some distance southwest, there are also several works, and fine magnetic beds; but in Guilford County, near Greensboro, and east of the counties last above named, there are "several veins of black and middling coarse, valuable magnetic ore, unmixed and pure, which have long been known." This is
the locality of the extensive new works just referred to, and the extraordinary opportunity offered to make the best iron at very cheap rates, might be much more largely improved.
The third belt of what Lesley calls primary iron ores is found on the Neuse and Cape Fear Rivers, in Chatham, Johnston, Wake, and Orange Counties. In Chatham County is "Ore Hill, a famous locality of hematite ore, traversing a knob three hundred feet high in east and west belts of talc slate, quartz, etc., forming the pinnacle of the hill. Here old excavations show where, in the times of the Revolutionary war, the large concretionary masses of ore were extracted." A portion of the ore of Chatham County is said to be identical with the celebrated Blackband of Scotland. Various extensive beds of hematite ore are reported in the other counties named, and a less number of magnetic ore beds. A valuable bed of carbonate of iron, in a vein containing gold, exists on the Uwharrie River. (Dr. Emmons' Rept. 1856.) West of the Blue Ridge there is also plenty of valuable ore. No less than twenty bloomaries and furnaces have been established in Ashe, Wautauga, and Cherokee Counties, representing both extremities of the mountain valley region. Some of the ore beds were magnetic and others various forms of hematite.
Altogether, although the quantity of iron made in any one year heretofore has not been large, there is no part of the Union more promising for the establishment of works. In 1856 there were 36 forges at work, making 1182 tons of blooms; while 3 furnaces made of charcoal pig iron 450 tons, and one rolling-mill only was at work. The census reports are very incomplete, yet they return, in 1850, 1200 tons of bar iron made, value $127,849; and in 1860, 1096 tons, value $99,656. The Briggs Iron Works, and two other mills just below King's Mountain, in South Carolina, have long made excellent bar iron for use in the counties adjoining.
The following account of the iron ore beds of the western counties is from Prof. Kerr's report of 1866, and it is so clear and forcible as to require transcribing in full:--
"Iron is found in some of its various forms of ore in most of the western counties, but its most important localities are in Cherokee and Mitchell, These are worthy of being mentioned with the Iron Mountain of Missouri.
The ore of Cherokee belongs to the class known as hematite. It occurs along with each of the parallel subdivisions of the limestone, sometimes on both sides of them. It outcrops in immense masses along Notteley, on Hiwassee at the junction of Valley River, on Peachtree Creek, and the whole length of Valley River, an aggregate distance of twenty-five miles. One of these beds, which appears on Peachtree, is a soft, uncompacted brown ochre, which has been mined for paint. This bed is well developed in the upper portion of the valley of Valley River, on Paint Creek, and again above Valleytown. The ores from many of these beds have been wrought in the common bloomaries of the country (of which there were, perhaps, half a dozen in the county), and even under this mode of treatment are said to yield a large percentage of metal of good quality. And those beds of slaty ore, which are not workable in such open forges, would be easily smelted in a blast furnace.
"It is apparent, therefore, that there exist in Cherokee County the most favorable conditions for the manufacture of iron on an indefinite scale. Three large rivers flow along and over the edges of these iron mountains furnishing unlimited power, and at all points; the ore is interstratified with limestone for fluxing; and the neighboring mountain slopes abound with fuel. And if this were not sufficient, the distance is only twenty-five miles to the State line, where a railroad will shortly bring mineral fuel from Chattanooga. Nothing is wanting but transportation to develop here a manufacturing interest equal to any on the continent.
"The other principal iron bed is that of Mitchell County, near the head of Toe River. This ore is found in the gneissic series of rocks, and is magnetic or gray ore. It occurs in an immense bed of hornblende slate and syenite, near the base of the Yellow Mountains and a few miles from the State line. The outcrop is on the lower slope of the mountain, perhaps 200 feet above its base, and reveals a network of heavy'veins'or beds, extending over several acres of surface. It is inexhaustible in quantity. The iron manufactured in the bloomaries of the neighborhood has been long celebrated for its tenacity and durability, and is admirably adapted to the manufacture of steel. It is known as the Cranberry iron, from a small stream near the ore banks. Here, also exist the best natural facilities for the manufacture of iron. Water power and fuel in the greatest profusion are at hand, and the only difficulty here, too, is in the matter of transportation, which, however, could be readily overcome.
"Magnetic ore is found in many other localities, and no doubt this Cranberry ore will be discovered in other outcrops in these mountains. Ore of the same character appears at the western base of the mountain at Flat Rock, which is probably a continuation of the same series of beds. Magnetic ore occurs near Marshall also, in Madison County, and again near Fines Creek, in Haywood; in each case, having the same association of hornblendic rocks. It is also found in Macon County at several points, here in a garnetiferous mica schist. Hematite ore occurs, at one or two points in Buncombe, and a bed of it also overlies the limestone in Transylvania County, appearing again with it on the North Fork in McDowell. This association with limestone, which occurs so frequently, is not accidental, but points to the origin of these ores."
North Carolina has been celebrated for half a century as a gold-mining country, and the reports of the U. S. Mint show that more than ten millions of dollars' worth of gold has come from this State to the Mint for coinage. Previous to 1869 there had been coined at the Branch Mint at Charlotte, North Carolina, $4,520,730 of North Carolina gold, and at the U. S. Mint at Philadelphia, $4,666,026 of the same production. These items, with $147,756 assayed at New York, and $99,585 coined at Dahlonega, represent a known addition to the gold coin of the country of $9,434,097, while it is probable that at least $2,500,000 in value passed into use in the arts, was sent abroad, or was retained in some way from the mint. Since the war about $400,000 in gold has been received at the Mint and Assay offices from North Carolina, the amount in 1868 being about $100,000. In 1866 it was over $140,000. The gold mines of the State are all in positions of very ready access, and, whatever their production may be, are very easily and cheaply worked. The quartz veins, and other gold-bearing rocks, are all up-tilted and broken down by the great geological forces which swept over the State east of the Blue Ridge. They all stand on edge over a surface generally very little broken up into hills or mountains, and, with good machinery, any vein promising a fair return, should be worked with profit.
The principal mines are west of the centre of the State, and about half way from Raleigh to the foot of the Blue Ridge. Cabarrus County is distinguished as the place of original discovery, and one piece of pure gold, weighing twenty-eight pounds, was found there. All the counties of that section of the State, which is drained chiefly by the Yadkin and Catawba Rivers, abound in gold. It is also found as far east as Franklin County, north of Raleigh. Not only are all the primary rock formations of the State east of the Blue Ridge often found to yield gold, but the mountain counties west of the Blue Ridge also show valuable gold deposits. Prof. W. C. Kerr, the present State Geologist, says in his report for 1860, that Cherokee and Jackson Counties,
in the extreme southwest show gold freely at the western foot of the Blue Ridge.
"There are two principal gold regions in the mountain section, one in Cherokee, and the other in Jackson. The gold belt of Cherokee is in the same body of slates which carries the limestone and iron. It is found both in the veins and in superficial deposits. The sands of Valley River yield it profitably through a large part of its course, and some very rich washings have been found along its tributary streams on the north side. The origin of this gold is very near the limestone. A remarkably rich vein has been opened near the town of Murphy, known as No. 6, which immediately underlies the marble. This is a silver-lead quartz vein in which is imbedded a large percentage of free gold. There is a strong probability of other similar veins having furnished the golden sands of the river and streams above mentioned.
"On the southeast of the limestones is also a series of diggings along the lower slopes of the mountains from near Valley Town to Vengeance Creek, a distance of twelve or fifteen miles. The gold is found here in the drift which covers the lower spurs and terminal ridges of the mountains south of Valley River. . . . The continuation of this gold belt sent westward is rendered probable by the existence of several valuable mines in this direction beyond the Hiwassee, as the Warren mine on Brasstown, Creek, and others on Notteley River, in Georgia. . . . The gold of Jackson County is also obtained almost entirely from washings . . . The most important locality is Fairfield Valley, where Georgetown Creek, one of the head streams of the Toxaway, is said to have yielded between $200,000 and $300,000. The deposits extend several miles."
The latest Geological Report of Professor Kerr, which has just been issued, May, 1869, has an interesting description of the gold producing districts of the east side of the Blue Ridge, and along the South Mountains, which we extract from as follows:--
"In the Piedmont section there are three gold placers of considerable note. One of these is at Sandy Plains in Polk County. The gold is found in the gravel from the debris of denuded hills of mica schist. This gravel is found in the beds of small streams, over an area of several miles. These diggings are still wrought in a small way. No veins have been discovered. The most extensive and notable deposit in this region, and in the State, is found in the South Mountains on the head waters of the First and Second Broad, and of Silver and Muddy Creeks. It is divided into four principal districts, on the above mentioned streams, which are named respectively Whiteside, Jeanstown, Brindletown, and Brackettown. The whole area occupied, interruptedly, by this deposit, is between one and two hundred square miles. These mines were opened about the year 1830, and were operated on a large scale, but in a rude way, until the discovery of the California mines. Some thousands of laborers were at work here for a number of
years, and no doubt several millions of gold were obtained. Work is still carried on at a great many points, and several thousands of dollars are annually mined. The deposits were originally very rich, and yielded frequently ten dollars a day for each laborer. The gold bearing drift or gravel is accumulated along the beds of the streams, on the benches of the hills, and in all the various situations which have, in California, given rise to the division into river, hill, bench, flat, and gulch diggings. Some of the deposits on the larger streams are quite extensive, and of considerable depth. Many of them have been worked over several times. The processes heretofore employed were of the rudest kind, and no doubt the introduction of the improved California methods would render the mines again very profitable. Many of the hill and bench deposits have never been worked, and could not be except by the hydraulic process. The gold of these placers has evidently been derived from the numerous small veins in the, slopes of the adjacent hills and mountains. The gangue of these veins is usually a granular white quart (saccharoid). They are small, and have not been mined hitherto. Machinery has been put up, however, near Brackettown for the purpose of working one of these saccharoidal veins, which seems to be nearly a foot in thickness.
"The third gold field referred to is in Caldwell County, on Lower Creek. Operations have been carried on here on a considerable scale on both sides of the creek, but mostly on the north side, along the beds of the tributary streams, which come down from the terminal spurs and ridges of the Warrior Mountains dividing the waters of Lower Creek from John's River . . . . There are many other places where gold has been obtained from gravel in considerable amounts, as in the beds of some small streams on the slopes of the hill, three to four miles west of Morganton, where gold washing is still carried on profitably; also in the waters of the Second Broad, in Rutherford; on Pacolet River, in Polk County, and in several parts of Cleveland and Lincoln Counties.
"The Shuford mine in the eastern part of Catawba, which contains both placers and veins is situated in the King's Mountain belt. It has been worked for a number of years with very satisfactory results, and operations are to be resumed shortly. These are dry diggings, and the difficulty is in procuring a supply of water. Vein mining has never been extensively carried on in this region. The Mountain Mining Company were erecting machinery during last summer to operate the quartz vein already mentioned, and were about to reopen a mine some four miles south of Shelby which is neither a vein nor a placer mine. The gold-bearing rock is a heavy ledge of brown, ferruginous mica-schist, which is impregnated with iron pyrites in a state of minute subdivision, and abounds in garnets. There is no semblance of a vein proper. Dr. Emmons reports that gold is found in the conglomerates of Montgomery, and the very intelligent superintendent of the Rhodes mine in Lincoln assured me that he obtained gold from the common gray gneiss of the country, which constitutes the wall rock of that vein; and at the King's Mountain in Gaston, large quantities of the limestone are stamped and washed. And I have seen gold-bearing felspathic slates from Moore County, and talco-quartzose slates from Montgomery; so that, although the gangue rock of gold in this State is usually
quartz, compact, or saccharoidal, it is far from being universally so, nor is the occurrence of these auriferous rocks limited to veins.
"There are two other mines in the Piedmont section that are worthy of mention, the Baker (or Davis), and the Michaux, both on John's Rivet, near the Caldwell and Burke line. The latter has yielded some very fine cabinet specimens, the veins being numerous, small, and in places very rich . . . . If we pass beyond the Piedmont group into the King's Mountain slates, there are many famous gold mines along this formation, and the gneissic rocks between it and the Lower Catawba; several of which have lately been reopened under favorable auspices; the King's Mountain mine, the Rhodes, Beattie, and two or three others. These are now operated by companies and under superintendents of California experience, in several cases with the most improved California machinery, manufactured in San Francisco. From these facts, and especially from the superior engineering skill which is now employed in these and several other such enterprises of the Mountain Mining Company, I infer that a new era is opening upon the mining interests of one State."
But the most celebrated gold mines are in Cabarrus County, particularly the Reed mine, discovered in 1799, and from which more than a dozen nuggets, weighing, together more than 120 pounds, have been taken at different, times. The best of these mines are veins of quartz, or of slaty veinstone, with iron and copper pyrites associated. Many of these veins are as promising as those of California or Colorado, and if worked by powerful machinery, would, in the opinion of most persons who have compared them, yield better than those celebrated districts of the Pacific coast. Quartz crushing machinery has been but little tried, however, the people having heretofore passed these rich districts by to waste their energies on a more distant field. A great deal of successful placer or surface mining has been done in Burke and other counties at the eastern part of the Blue Ridge. It is estimated that more than a million of dollars has been so obtained in Burke County alone. It is a peculiarity of most of the previous washing of sands in search of gold in North Carolina, that only the rudest processes were employed, and not only was the separation of the gold imperfect in such as was washed, but much rich material has been left untouched.
It will be an inviting field to an Eastern or Northern man who would like to try gold mining without going to California, to buy a tract in this tempting region, and while he prosecutes
farming or any other business as a general pursuit, try his hand at leisure times in obtaining gold from his own lands. Some of the best and most profitable of gold mining in the State, heretofore has been conducted by thrifty farmers in the intervals of other employment. The present writer has personally seen several who have thus saved money, and who were, at the time, travelling in the Northern States, and designing still to return and continue the double employment by which their wealth had been acquired.
We would be able to give, a more complete directory to the gold mines and gold-producing localities, were the written accounts heretofore published as definite as they should be. The best way is to go to Salisbury, a town of easy access by the North Carolina Railroad from Raleigh by way of Greensboro; and on reaching Salisbury, make examinations, first in Cabarrus, Stanly and Anson Counties, for vein mining; next westward to Burke County for the surface "diggings," and also beyond the Blue Ridge, if possible, to the washings at the western foot of the Blue Ridge, in the extreme southwest, before described. The North Carolina Railroad is being rapidly extended in the direction of the passage of the Blue Ridge, at Swannanoa Gap, and the road to Asheville by way of this gap is not at all difficult.
There are valuable and interesting, mines of gold and copper near Greensboro, also, which are described in the list of vein mines.
The annual production of gold in North Carolina is now, probably, about twice the value of that which reaches the mint. This amount sent to the mint was, in 1868, $89,805 in value. While it may be much more, it cannot be less than $180,000; and probably a better estimate would be about $250,000 as the present annual value of these gold mines. The list of vein gold mines on page 47, following, will give as good an account of the condition of that branch of gold mining in the States, as is practicable now to be obtained.
Silver mining is of sufficient importance in several counties to justify an allusion to it. In Davidson County, at a locality known as Silver Hill the Washington mine is the most valuable of those. While silver was in demand for coinage, a small annual product came to the mint from North Carolina; the whole in three years 1859 to 1861, reaching $41,888. But four times as much would go into use in the arts, even then, and now it all takes that direction.
Silver is found here, as elsewhere, in combination with various other metals; with gold, copper, lead and zinc. The silver-bearing rocks are the slates at their line of contact with the granite, and along the line of this contact, both northeast and southwest from the Davidson County mines, there are many localities where silver is found. The principal mines southwestward are the Conrad, McMakin, and Stewart mines. Prof. Kerr's references to these mines are so clear and brief that we reproduce them. In the report of 1866 he says:--
"SILVER.--It will be observed that the richest gold mines lie along and near the line of contact of the slates and granite. And it is also along this line that the principal silver mines of this State are found. The most noted of these are at Silver Hill, in Davidson County. The combination of metal here is quite complex, including, with the silver, gold, lead, copper and zinc. A chain of similar mines runs southwest along the western border of the States, including the McMakin and Stewart mines. During the war the first named of these mines yielded a considerable quantity of lead. It had been previously worked chiefly for silver and gold. The same association of metals occurs in Cherokee."
Also in the report of Prof. Kerr just published (1869) the following reference is made:--
"SILVER AND LEAD.--These two metals are associated in their ores in this State. On the north slope of the Beech Mountain in Watauga County, on the waters of Watauga River at two points galena has lately been discovered which is rich in silver . . . A similar outcrop of galena was found a number of years ago at Flint Knob, in Wilkes County. The ore is of good quality, containing both gold and silver; but no exposure of the vein has been effected, from which a reasonable conclusion can be drawn as to its extent and value. The ore, so far as exposed, is in a coarse slaty gneiss."
Ores of copper are very frequently found in almost all parts of the State, and at some points they have been mined very successfully. A few years since quite a fever of speculation raged in regard to copper mines, and in the pursuit of the mineral gossan, which is supposed to indicate the locality of veins of ores. This gossan is a showy sulphuret of iron, or iron pyrites, found on the surface after the decomposition and waste of copper veins, and from which no metal can be extracted. The ore is always in the vicinity, however, and can be worked with profit when opened. Prof. Kerr, in 1866, says:--
"I am not aware of the existence of copper in the mountain section, except in what I have called the Jackson belt; because it is in this county that the formation receives its principal development, although it crosses the whole breadth of the State, and has yielded copper at several points in Macon on one side, and Hayward, on the other . . . The copper belt occupies the whole middle portion of Jackson County, from the head-waters of Tuckasegee River, northward to Scott's and Savannah Creeks, and probably several miles beyond . . . Many of the deposits are of the most promising character, and the veins are of unusual size. The principal points where mining has been carried on are Cullowhee, Waryhut, and Savannah; although work has been done, and symptoms of the presence of copper discovered at many other places--as at Shell Ridge, Scott's Creek, Sugar Loaf, Panther Knob, Wolf Creek, etc. The great Cullowhee, where the best exposure has been made, is eight or nine feet thick; at Waryhut, five or six feet; at Savannah, where there are several veins or beds of ore, the largest which has been opened is nine or ten feet. In several of the above localities copper was found within a few feet of the surface. The outcrop, in all cases, is the mineral known among miners as gossan--really an ore of iron, resulting from the weathering and decomposition of the exposed ore, which is yellow copper, or copper pyrites . . . These copper deposits will, no doubt, under a judicious system of mining, give rise to many valuable mines."
Many of the gold mines first worked were abandoned because of the greater abundance of copper pyrites than of gold ores, and they have since been reopened as copper mines. They are, therefore, abundant in all the central counties, in Chatham, Guilford, Davidson, Rowan, Cabarrus, and Mecklenburg. The Greensboro mines are valued now as much for copper as for gold. The Gillis mine, in Person County, on the border of Virginia, is a noted copper mine.
"The three most noted copper mines in the northwestern part of the State are the Elk Knob, Peach Bottom, and Ore Knob. The first is one of the most promising outcrops of copper ore in the State. It is a large vein of the yellow sulphuret imbedded in the most extensive body of hornblendic rocks in the State. The vein rock is a dark-colored micaceous quartzite, nine or ten feet in thickness. It is situated on the northern slope of the mountain from which it is named, at an elevation of about four thousand feet . . . The Peach Bottom mine is situated on the west side of the mountain range of that name in Alleghany County, and a few miles south of the New river. This mine was well furnished with machinery for the elevation and concentration of the ore; it has been wrought to a depth of one hundred and fifty feet . . . A portion of the vein also yields lead. Large quantities of the ore were sent to the smelting works at Petersburg during the war. . . Ore Knob is in the southeast part of Ashe County, quite near the Blue Ridge, in the same character of rock formations as the last. It is said to have yielded several thousand tons of ore within a depth of 60 or 70 feet. The vein is said to be a large one. The ore is'yellow copper,'as in the other mines. I have no doubt that all these mines could be profitably reopened, but for the difficulty of transportation to market. In the southeast corner of Ashe County is another mine of some note, known as Gap Creek. Dr. Emmons visited it when first opened, and reports that at'a depth of 50 to 60 feet the ore is vitreous, which will probably be twice as rich as the yellow sulphuret."(Prof. Kerr, 1869.)
The results of copper mining heretofore can scarcely be stated. In 1860 the county of Alleghany reported one establishment, employing twenty men; and Guilford County also reported one, with a capital of $60,000, employing 180 men and ten women, and producing copper to the value of $100,000. The aggregate value is now twice what it was in 1860, and a little capital employed in developing the present mines could be richly repaid. This form of the ore is far less refractory in reduction than most others in Virginia, and the States northward, where the very hardest of state veins form the copper-bearing rocks. In the very brief list of copper mines which follows, but a small proportion can be named, and it will be seen that almost every gold mine is also a copper mine, the Gardner mine in Guilford Count being a conspicuous instance.
Conrad Hill Gold Mine, a celebrated mining property, both for gold and copper, is in the north part of Davidson County, six miles east of Lexington. It is a low hill, very easy of access, the gold being found in quartz veins, of which six have been identified. The gold is found pure, in pockets, and in the quartz itself, and also in the form of sulphurets. Some of the veins now show copper largely, and may, perhaps, be more profitably worked for copper than for gold.
Dodge Hill is a mining property in the immediate vicinity of Conrad Hill, having the same formation, and, it is believed, the same veins. It has not been worked or opened so fully, but is certainly a valuable deposit.
Gold Hill Mine, perhaps the most celebrated gold mine, is located on the southern border of Rowan County, 14 miles south of Salisbury. It had produced of gold, up to 1856, more than $2,000,000; of which sum $400,000 came from a vein found on Troutman's land, and worked only to 100 feet in depth. The Honeycut vein yielded over $100,000; and the Earnhardt vein, the richest of all, yielded nearly $150,000 a year for some time after its discovery. The Barnhardt, another vein, yielded well at the opening, and the Randolph pocket, as it was called, gave splendid specimens of native gold. Much speculative management at one time took place in regard to this mine, and it was for a long time regularly put on the stock boards in New York. The ordinary forms of mills and machinery have generally been used, the separation of the gold being only by crushing and amalgamation with mercury. The vein stone is a combination of iron and copper pyrites, interspersed with seams and masses of quartz.
This celebrated mine was first opened about 1842, and has at times employed a large number of miners, the Earnhardt vein alone employing 66 white miners, and 39 negroes in 1854, at an average cost of$4000 per month, and realizing a net profit of $76,000 in 13 months. It is claimed that it always yielded a profit on the working for gold.
Reed Gold Mine, another celebrated mine, is in Cabarrus County, and is the oldest locality at which gold was found in the State. A lump of gold of three or four pounds weight was found here in 1799; in 1803 one of 28 pounds; in 1804, five lumps, weighing 1 ¼ to 9 pounds were found; in 1826, one of 16 pounds, one of 9 ½, and one of 8 pounds; in 1835, one of 13 ¾, one of 4 ½ one of 5, and another of 8 pounds weight--in all, these lumps weighed 115 ¼ pounds avoirdupois. This mine has not been worked regularly, and the character of the veins is not so well known. A valuable vein of galena, or sulphuret of lead, has been found on this property.
The Phifer Gold Mine, in Union County, was for some time a very successful mining property, obtaining the name of the Mint, for this reason.
The Davis Gold Mine, also in Union County, was also long a profitable mine. It was worked to a depth of 90 feet, and abandoned temporarily.
The Pewter Mine is another gold and silver mine of Union County, in which the gold is found alloyed with 40 to 70 per cent. of silver, giving the metal a whitish appearance.
The Hearne Gold Mine is in Stanley County, 2 ½ miles west of Albemarle. It is a quartz vein, yielding gold freely, and has been successfully worked. The
vein is three feet wide, and has been traced a mile. Eight quarts of the rock selected at one time, yielded $80 in gold.
Long Creek Gold Mine is on the High Shoal property of the Little Catawba River. It was extensively worked for many years, sometimes yielding $3 per bushel of ore as taken from the vein. It has the same quartz vein, with iron and copper pyrites.
The Carter Gold Mine is a well-known and valuable mine of Montgomery County. It is peculiar in having crystalline limestone associated with the quartz of the vein, and in the presence of telluret of gold with the limestone.
The Reynolds Gold Mine is in Montgomery County, 6 miles northeast of Troy. There is some silver in the ore, and the mine has been worked at a moderate profit.
The Kings' Mountain Gold Mine has a vein of porous quartz, 6 to 7 feet wide in which native gold is diffused. It contains crystalline limestone in the lower workings, mingled with the quartz, and often bearing gold. It has been worked successfully for many years by Mr. Briggs.
The McCulloch Gold and Copper Mine, near Greensboro, is a celebrated mine for both gold and copper. The gold is in a quartz vein, of varying width, but growing much larger at a depth of 80 to 100 feet, and with a distinct vein of copper pyrites. Native gold is abundant in the quartz, and the copper is rich enough for profitable working alone. It is now worked with a large capital, both for copper and for gold. Including what is called the Lindsay vein, this great vein is more than a mile in length, and with a close management, will largely repay the capital employed in working it. The copper ore yields 30 per cent. of pure copper.
The Fisher Hill Gold Mine in the same vicinity is in a vein of quartz, without any copper or iron sulphurets. It can, therefore be roasted before grinding, and yields in average of $3 per bushel, as raised from the mine.
Hodge's Hill Mine is a mine containing a variety of minerals and metals. The ore of copper is rich, but the gold has not been found in such abundance as to be profitable.
The Lindsay Mine is a continuation of the McCulloch Mine; it has been separately worked, but not with so much success.
The Gardner Mine, near Jamestown, and in the same cluster of mining properties, is a quartz vein, very rich in gold, and also rich in copper pyrites, yielding 30 per cent. of pure copper. It has paid large profits on the gold working alone. It has been worked to a depth of 110 feet, yielding better there than at less depth.
The Beason, the Harlan and the Beard mines are other gold mines of this Guilford County group, all being southwest of Greensboro, and near Jamestown, of that county. They have been worked successfully in some cases, but were afterwards abandoned.
The Rudersill Gold Mine, near Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, is a well-known mine, at one time thought to be as profitable as any in the State. It is native gold, in quartz veins, the accompanying rocks being slate and granite, with some copper ore in and near the veins. There are two or three veins that have been worked, giving one dollar of gold per bushel of quartz mined. The ore is crushed by steam power.
The Dunn Mine, seven miles from Charlotte, has been worked for gold, but not profitably.
The Phoenix Mine, in Cabarrus County, has produced ore yielding one to three dollars in gold per bushel. It is located 14 miles S. E. from Concord.
The Barrier Mine, near the Phoenix Mine, is a productive gold mine.
The Orchard Mine, an extension of the Phoenix Mine eastward, produces both gold and copper, but not largely.
The Pioneer Gold Mines constitute a cluster, twelve miles east of Concord, and produce both gold and copper. The vein is quartz, and the surrounding rock granite. With one pair of Chilian millstones in operation, 30 to 40 bushels of ore were ground per day, with an average yield of gold of $3 30 per bushel. In the vicinity of this mine, on the Morrison plantation, there are four veins bearing gold, and one rich both in gold and copper.
The Long Mine, 2 miles N. W. of the Pioneer, is a vertical vein of crumbling quartz, two feet wide, and as rich in gold as the pioneer.
Rymer Gold Mine is 6 miles east of Salisbury, to the left of the road leading to Gold Hill. The gold is in a three-foot vein of pale-colored sulphuret of iron, forming part of a vein fissure of quartz, 7 feet wide. It contains no copper, and may be treated by roasting. It is said to be productive.
The Jones and Lafflin Mines in Davidson County, belong to a class of gold mines different from those above described, and in which the gold is found in rocks of sedimentary deposit and not in intruded veins. The Jones Mine is largely worked from a bed of soft slate and quartz, 60 feet wide and 30 feet high, yielding 15 to 30 cents of gold per bushel. The Lafflin mine, one mile from the other, is worked in a soft bed of slate, forty feet deep, and is very productive.
The Delft Mine, near the Lafflin, is another of this class; and the Robbins Mine, in Randolph County, with the very productive Sawyer Mine, of the same county, are others of the same class, the gold being found in beds of soft, sandy slate
The Zion Mine, 12 miles from Troy, in Montgomery County, is a deposit of gold in quartz, overlying a conglomerate. More than $ 100,000 have been taken from this deposit, and the singular fact is well authenticated that the gold bearing rock contains fossils.
The Howie Mine, in Union County, is another yielding gold from sedimentary rocks. It is usually called the Howie and Lawson Gold Mines, and is located in the hills of this county, near the State line. The gold is found in seams or beds of slate and granular quartz, and the yield is $1 50 to $3 00 per bushel of the mined rock.
The Ward Mine, in Davidson County, has its gold in quartzite seams, horizontal, or slightly inclined, in slate rocks, not in vertical veins. The gold is crystallized, and lies in pockets of red clay, some of them having $500 or $600 of crystallized gold. There are 20 or 30 of this peculiar class of gold mines in all.
The Hoover Hill Gold Mine of Randolph County, is another of this class.
The Cansler and Shuford Gold Mine, in Catawba County, 16 miles N. E. of Lincolnton, is another of this class, from which a large amount of gold has been obtained.
The Portis Mine in Franklin County, is remarkable for the quantity of gold found in lumps, the deposit being in seams, not veins.
The Parker Mine, in Stanley County, also has its gold in seams. $200,000 in gold have been taken out.
The Beaver Dam Mine in Montgomery County, has been a very productive mine of this class.
The Washington Silver Mine is one of the most important and valuable in North Carolina. It is located S. E. of Salisbury, and not far from Gold Hill, the locality being called Silver Hill. The mine consists of two heavy veins, originally exposed by the plough, on a low rounded hill of but 50 feet elevation. The vein is slate, looking much like other slate, but being perceptibly heavier, and containing both native silver, and silver in combination with galena, or sulphuret of lead. Though these are the leading metals, there are also gold, zinc, and copper, the zinc being particularly abundant. The zinc has interfered with the successful working of the silver, at some times, and a great variety of metallic forms and combinations has been disclosed in the workings of the mine. Black, steel-grained zinc ore; galena, with silver combined, and fine arborescent native silver, are the most common products. Some of the ore yields as high as 38 per cent. of lead, and 3 per cent. of silver. By methods recently adopted, the zinc is separated in the form of blende and 3 tons of the silver lead ore can be smelted daily, yielding 100 ounces to each ton, and worth $10 per ounce. An extension of the Washington silver veins has been discovered near A. J. Moore's, 3 miles west of Spencer's P. O., which is quite as valuable as the portion so long worked.
McMackin Silver Mine is 1 ½ miles S. W. of Gold Hill, and in the same formations as the gold mines, but the mineral veins are like those of the Washington mine. It is in all respects similar in its products to the mine above described. Phosphates and carbonates of lead are found here, also, and a fine imitation of French chalk. It has been worked much less than the Washington mine.
The North Carolina Copper Mine, in Guilford County, sometimes called the Fentress mine, has been traced for 3 miles by the external show of quartz. It is a vein of quartz and carbonate of iron, from one to three or four feet thick, the copper being in the form of yellow pyrites, or sulphuret, yielding 15 to 80 percent. of fine copper. Most of this ore was formerly shipped to Boston for reduction, and was sold for a price dependent on the percentage of copper in it. About 1500 tons of the ore had been sent out up to 1856 (Emmons.)
The Ludowick, Boger, and Hill Mines 12 miles from Gold Hill, in Cabarrus County, are veins yielding the yellow sulphuret of copper largely, and promising profitable results when worked.
The Twin Mine 6 miles S. W. of Greensboro, shows two veins, each 18 inches thick, and only about 4 feet apart, containing quartz thickly crowded with yellow sulphuret of copper.
Headrick Copper Mine is composed of veins of copper and iron pyrites intruded through slate formations. The veins have been traced more than a mile, and there is no doubt of its value as a mine.
The Spencer Copper Mine, in Randolph County, has a promising sulphuret vein.
The Standard property, near Gold Hill, and a large number of gold mines, before named, yield large quantities of rich copper ore.
The Little Tennessee Copper Mine is 10 miles south of Franklin, Macon County, near the Tennessee River. It is only about a mile from the Rabun Gap Railroad, and four miles from the Georgia State line. It is a bed of black ore, the form in which the yellow sulphuret is found after decomposition of the iron pyrites, and the washing out of the sulphur from both, by the long exposure to which the upper part of the original vein has been subjected. Great quantities of gossan, or wasted iron oxide, resulting from the same decomposition, abound on the surface, and the great promise afforded by the external indications has been fully borne out by the results of the openings so far made.
The Nantahala Copper Mine is four miles southwest of Franklin, Macon County, and two or three miles from the track of the railroad. It is a broad mineral vein, with a large quantity of both the yellow sulphuret and the black oxide of copper within easy reach.
The celebrated Ducktown Copper Mines are just across the line in Tennessee, the geological formation, the ores, and the form of mixing, being exactly the same as in all the mines west of the Blue Ridge, or particularly those just described. The Ducktown mines show what this class of mines is capable of producing. They were discovered in 1850, and in spite of great difficulties in transporting the ore, they had produced, up to 1853, 14,291 tolls of copper ore, which was sold for more, than a million dollars. In September, 1855, seven mines of that vicinity produced 807 tons of ore, worth $80,000, or at the rate of nearly $1,000,000 annually.
The Hiwassee Copper Mine, in the vicinity of the Ducktown, and also just across the line of Tennessee, is scarcely less celebrated or less productive than the Ducktown.
The average product of pure copper from the black oxide and the sulphuret of these North Carolina mines is more than twice as great as the Cornwall mines of England. Pressed ore from the Cornwall mines ranges from four to eight per cent. of pure copper only, while this North Carolina ore, as mined, yields from ten to fifty per cent., the average being about twenty-five per cent.
Lead, as we have before said, was produced largely during the war from the Conrad and McMakin silver mine, but at other times, no regular working for lead has been done. It would pay to reduce the galena, so often found with other ores, more systematically than has before been attempted; and the fullest proof of this fact is furnished in the production of lead at these mines during the Confederate authority.
Both lead and zinc occur in connection with the primary iron ores in North Carolina as they do in New Jersey; and in many cases it will be found profitable to construct works for
reducing them. In no country are the valuable metals found more frequently associated in the same mineral veins than in North Carolina.
Zinc is abundant in many of the gold-bearing veins of Cabarrus and Davidson Counties, and as it was formerly much neglected, if not wholly unknown to the miners, it is probable that it will be found still more largely when it is found to be capable of profitable working. It is found principally, if not wholly, in the form of sulphuret, better known as zinc blende--a fine grained and hard mineral, of an ash-gray color, with some metallic lustre, resembling, in some degree the more abundant galena, or sulphuret of lead, with which it is often found associated in the mine. Much difficulty has been experienced in working the silver ores of the Washington and other similar mines in consequence of the presence of zinc, and for a long time it was not properly known what this intrusive sulphuret was.
Several promising veins of zinc blende are known, one at the Jacob Troutman gold mine, one mile east of Gold Hill. At 100 feet below the surface it first appeared, two inches thick; 50 feet deeper it is six inches thick. This would well repay working. At the Washington silver mine of Davidson County, zinc blende is abundant, and also at the McMackin mine in Cabarrus County. It is believed that not only zinc itself, but the white oxide, so valuable as a paint, may be readily and profitably made at these blende mines.
CHROMIC IRON, the basis of many paints, is found in considerable quantities in nearly every county west of the Blue, Ridge. It is claimed by geologists that it can be mined to advantage there for transportation to any market.
IRON PYRITES (sulphuret of iron) is found in great abundance in Cleveland and Rutherford Counties, and, during the war, copperas and alum were made there. Prof. Kerr says in the report just made, May, 1869:--
"The rock weathers easily on exposure to the air, and produces copperas and alum in immense quantities. Thousands of tons were manufactured here during the war, and the business might still be profitably conducted. The circumstances under which copperas is made in Vermont and elsewhere are not more favorable. The only disadvantage here is in
the matter of transportation to market, which, however, is likely soon to be remedied."
Iron pyrites is found abundantly in the gold-bearing veins, and also with copper pyrites; sometimes misleading alike those who expect too much, and others who expect too little from it. Though often a brilliant colored mineral, it is neither gold nor copper; but it may be associated with one or both of them, as found in North Carolina, and it is valuable of itself, being easily converted into copperas, which is sulphate of iron.
GRAPHITE, or Plumbago, is found in abundance in Wake County, a few miles west of Raleigh, and extending a distance of eighteen or twenty miles southwestward. It is in veins, six to eighteen inches in width, with quartz associated, and the veins clipping at an angle of 60° or 70°. It is highly valued as a paint, but contains too much silex for use as pencils, or as anti-friction bearings. In Lincoln County, on the border of Catawba County, other extensive deposits exist, reported to be of good quality, also. Where so much is found, it is scarcely possible that the best forms of the mineral will not ultimately be discovered. The black-lead beds of Wake County alone exceed in extent all others known. They have been worked, and the product refined at Raleigh, for some years with fair success.
The true black-lead, or graphite, as it is called in the mineral form, is frequently found in the King's Mountain district, in Catawba, Lincoln, and Gaston Counties. It is a pure carburet of iron, and might be expected in the vicinity of such iron ores as are found there; and wherever found it is very valuable.
MICA is found in the mountain counties in the largest sizes known, furnishing plates six by eight inches, and free from spots or flaws. "Plates four inches by six, when clear and free from flaws, are worth about a dollar and a half per pound." (Kerr.)
DIAMONDS of large size have been found in the King's Mountain district, and in McDowell County is found the flexible sandstone, Itacolumite of the mineralogist, in which the diamond occurs in other parts of the world.
TUNGSTEN a rare metal, "which was long merely a chemical curiosity, but has recently assumed a high value, particularly on account of its relation to the manufacture of steel, occurs in Cabarrus County." (Prof. Kerr, Rept. of 1869.)
ALUM AND COPPERAS SLATES.--Under the head of Iron Pyrites these formations have been referred to, the original mineral being chiefly that; but the original form being much changed by "weathering" or exposure. In his report of 1866, Prof. Kerr says:--
"Alum and copperas slates abound in many parts of the State, and have been extensively brought into requisition during the late war. The counties of Cleveland and Rutherford alone contain not less than one hundred square miles of these rocks, and could easily supply the continent with cooperas. This material is derived by the process of weathering, from the iron pyrites, which is disseminated in great abundance, and in a state of extreme comminution through the slates, many of which, being feldspathic, also yield alum."
There are three formations in the western part of the State which afford supplies of limestone, and two beds east of the Blue Ridge, one of which extends through the State from Stokes County on the north, to Gaston and King's Mountain on the south. The other is in McDowell County, chiefly near the Blue Ridge. A small bed of limestone, approaching marl in its characteristics, is also found in the northeast parts of Wake County. The largest of the beds in the southwest is in Cherokee County, extending along Notteley and Valley Rivers, into Macon County. "It crops out along the banks and beds of the streams, in the fields and roads, and in the bluffs overhanging the rivers, so as to be easily accessible and convenient for agricultural purposes." (Kerr.) There are three other beds of limestone crossing the valley of the French Broad River, in Buncombe and the adjoining counties. Great quantities of lime are made here, and distributed to various districts for agricultural purposes. One of these belts is crystalline, and a natural marble; but unfit for use as marble, because of the presence of magnesia. The lower bed at Warm Springs, on the French Broad, is a solid blue limestone of great purity.
Limestone is extensively used for fertilizing purposes in both the mountain districts just referred to, and in the great central belt, from Gaston County northward. Its use may be and should be largely extended, and it is only too rare in some of the eastern counties where it may be particularly valuable. Prof. Emmons speaks of a white granular limestone in Stokes County, found in connection with primary rocks, which at Bolejack's quarries, four miles from Germantown, as well as at Martin's lime-kilns, is extensively quarried, and makes excellent lime. Prof. Emmons also refers to the peculiar limestone of the King's Mountain gold mine, and of the Carter gold mine, in Montgomery County in both cases containing gold. Practically, a valuable source for lime, and, therefore, an equivalent of limestone, is found, as we subsequently show, in the shell marls of the Eastern counties.
Marble is silly moderately abundant in the State, and it is found chiefly in the mountain counties west of the Blue Ridge. In the earlier examinations of the State, marble is scarcely referred to, but recently it has been found more largely in the southwest on the completion of the survey of the mountain counties.
"The limestone of Valley River is all marble, although it is not everywhere sufficiently free from flaws and impurities for ornamental uses. There are several quarries, however, where the rocks crop out in fine quality and grain. The track of the proposed railroad lies along the line of these quarries, and will be built for many miles upon beds of solid marble. It is of several shades of color, generally white and blue to bluish-gray. I have seen specimens also of a fine mottled blue and white variety from the head of Valley River. But the finest grained and tinted specimens are found on Red Marble Creek and Nantehala River. The most beautiful shades are gray and rose to flesh-colored. I have seen no marbles from any part of the world superior to these." (Prof. Kerr's Report of 1866.)
The marble here referred to is a continuation of the well-known beautifully variegated Tennessee marble beds. There is no reason why a large use of this marble should not be made at once for the local consumption, at least. All the western part of the State could be supplied at cheaper rates
than it could possibly be imported from other States or from abroad, and the fine polish these variegated marbles admit makes them desirable for variety in ornamental building in every part of the country. The railroad when laid will supply cheap transportation, and the State Geologist earnestly urges the practicability of putting these marble beds to immediate use.
The greater part of the surface of North Carolina belongs to the primary geological formations, arid good granite is found in many localities, as it is in the New England States, and in Virginia. There are two continuous belts of granite rocks crossing the State from northeast to southwest; the first or most eastern having Raleigh nearly central to it. It is called the Raleigh granite, and the noble State House at Raleigh is built of this material. This granite varies from a light to a dark gray, and some quarries of it have too much felspar, and it undergoes decomposition too readily when exposed. It extends from Weldon on the northeast by way of Raleigh across the State, to Richmond County and the Yadkin at the southwest, in many places furnishing the best possible building material. Another belt of granite passes in the same direction across the State, having Greensboro and Salisbury central to it. This is more properly to be called sienite, or syenitic granite, with felspar too abundant generally to make a firm and durable stone. Still, many quarries exist where it is a firm building material, equal in grain and texture to the best. This belt is full of mineral deposits and metallic veins. Gold and copper mines are abundant along the entire line of the belt. A very friable decomposing granite is found in Lincoln and Gaston Counties, west of the Catawba, but it is useless for building purposes.
Between these granite belts there are fine belts of freestone or sandstone of red grain, mostly in the vicinity of the Deep River coal mines. This freestone is soft and easy to work when first opened, but it becomes very hard on exposure. Emmons describes the red sandstone underlying the coal of Deep River as a freestone, but it is really a formation like the
brown stone of Connecticut, and all agree that it is a superior building material. There is an upper red sandstone above the coal, but it is softer and less reliable as a building stone than the lower beds. Emmons says, "The lower sandstone is red or purplish-red, often deep red, or the color of a well burnt brick. It is made up of grains of quartz, which are rarely coarse; its texture is even, and many beds are firm, free from marly layers, and constitute an excellent freestone." "The red and purple sandstones abound in the lower red sandstone, with beds suitable for building stone. The color of these beds, whatever it may be, is lively and inviting. Indeed, no difference can be discovered between those of Deep River and those of the Hudson River, or the Connecticut River sandstone. As these beds are extensive they furnish at many points stone of a suitable quality for any purpose which may be required." (Report of 1856.) The stone marl of the low country also makes good building stone, as may be seen at Newbern.
GRINDSTONES and WHETSTONES are found in many parts of the State. The Linville slates of Burke County furnish them, and at Adams' Knob, on Johns River, good material for grindstones is found. There are some sheets of the sandstones of the Deep River coal-fields that are suited for grindstone. Scythe stones are found on the Nantehala, in Macon County. In many places the quartzite rocks become fine grained, and well adapted to use as whetstones and hones.
"In the midst of the gray stone beds, more particularly those which occupy a place between the two red sandstones, I have frequently observed valuable grits, which are suitable both for coarse and fine grindstones. Grindstones have, however, frequently been made from the reddish bed, as well as the drab and gray grits. These stones have been made to supply the wants of citizens far removed from the means of transporting heavy materials." (Emmons' Report of 1856.)
MILLSTONES are particularly frequent and good in many parts of North Carolina. The county of Montgomery, Prof. Emmons says, can furnish buhrstones of the best quality, enough to supply the whole country. It is like the buhrstone of Paris, very tough and hard, and perfectly adapted to grinding wheat. This kind of rock is abundant in many places;
that on Laurel River in Madison County is also said to be equal to the French, and in Montgomery County, on the Yadkin, the same resemblance to the French buhrstone exists. This cellular quartz rock is found in nearly all of the western counties also. Still another form of millstone is found in the conglomerate rocks both above and below the coal of Deep River. "Beneath the red sandstone the conglomerate is so perfectly consolidated that it forms a valuable millstone."In this the rock is composed of cemented quartz pebbles, and in splitting it, these split in two, giving a grinding surface which is particularly well suited to corn mills, but not so well to wheat grinding. There are millstone quarries on Richland Creek, and Indian Creek. The best are quarried in Moore County, where "they make an excellent corn stone, which, when broken from the quarry, split across the pebbles of quartz without removing them from their beds.""Several quarries are opened in Moore County, and from them the country is principally supplied."(Emmons.)
SERPENTINE of fine quality for ornamental purposes is found near Patterson, in the Upper Yadkin Valley. "It is of a dark blue color, and beautifully veined with chrysolite, furnishing an excellent material for mantels, table tops, and other ornamental uses."(Prof. Kerr.) Extensive dykes of serpentine exist in many places, which frequently contain mineral deposits and metal veins.
ROOFING and FLAGGING SLATES abound in the belt of slate formations which extends through the State from Anson and Union Counties, on the south, to the Virginia line on the north. This belt is forty miles wide and it produces a great variety of slates useful for practical purposes.
SOAPSTONE of two varieties is found, one being the soapstone proper, and found in Wake, Moore, Orange and Caldwell Counties. The other is a very rare mineral, in which alumina takes the place of magnesia, forming a white or greenish-white slaty rock, soapy to the feel, and admirably adapted as lining for stoves, chimney backs, mantel pieces, &c. It is perfectly adapted to resist fire. It is abundant at Hancock's mills, on Deep River, and at Troy, in Montgomery County.
FIRE-CLAY of the best quality for fire-brick or other uses, is found in the beds beneath all the coal seams, both in the Deep River and Dan River coal-fields.
PORCELAIN CLAY is found in Montgomery and Chatham Counties; also in Cherokee and Macon Counties of the extreme southwest. It has been mined largely for transportation out of the State, to New York, and even to Europe, to be used in the manufacture of the fine kinds of porcelain ware. (Prof. Kerr, Report of 1866.)
BITUMINOUS and OIL-BEARING SHALES exist in the vicinity of the coal-beds. Prof. Emmons says, "From thirty to forty gallons of crude kerosene oil exist in every ton of these slates. They are from fifty to seventy feet thick, and it is proper to add that it is a better oil than that furnished from the coal."
Professor Kerr, in 1866, gives the following list of metalliferous ores, and of earthy minerals and rocks of economical value, as being found in considerable quantities in the State:--
"Under the first division occur gold, silver, copper, lead, zinc, iron, and tungsten; and here, for convenience, may be added the diamond; and under the second may be mentioned as occurring in this State under such circumstances as render them economically valuable, coal, marl, limestone, marble, architectural granite, sandstone, porphyry, firestone, buhrstone, grindstone grit, whetstone slate, roofing slate, alum, and copperas slates, soapstone, serpentine, agalmatolite, a form of soapstone, procelain clay, fire-clay, graphite, or plumbago, garnet, barytes, manganese, oil slates, and chromate of iron."
We have not been able, with the space at command in this brief statement of the resources of the State, to give as much of detailed description of all these as we desired, and there still remain to be noticed the native mineral fertilizers; marl and phosphates.
Marl is one of the leading elements of native wealth in the soils of the eastern part of the State, being, confined, of course, to the low country, the sand plains and swamp lands. It appears to be a continuation of the New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia marl beds, so far as the green sand marl is concerned; and the phosphate marls of Brunswick County are a
continuation of the rich phosphate beds found near Charleston. Prof. Kerr says:--
"This valuable mineral is literally scattered over most of the sea-coast counties of the State, and is found in every degree of purity and consolidation, from a mere aggregation of loose shells to the most compact limestone, suitable for building or for burning into lime. The famous bathstone of London is matched by some of these beds. The marl is generally found near the surface, and is easily accessible."
Dr. Emmons and Mr. Ruffin have very thoroughly described the marl beds of the eastern counties in their reports on the Swamp Lands, and have pointed out the distinction between the more valuable classes, and some that appear to be deficient in potash, or to have an excess of injurious salts. Professor Emmons describes three classes of these marls, one, called stone marl, is composed of small shells cemented by silica. It is hard, making a good building stone, and even good millstones. The inclosure of the cemetery at Newbern is of this rock, and it has a fine appearance, giving evidence also of great durability. Professor Emmons claims that it is superior to granite for fine walls, and that, in house walls, it has the merit of being always dry. Another variety of this stone marl is a granular cream-colored rock, almost destitute of shells. It is soft when first cut from the quarry, but soon hardens. This is a good building stone, and in some places may be burnt into good lime, but generally it will not make strong lime. It is abundant in Wayne County, near Goldsboro. The stone marl first mentioned above, underlies Newbern and vicinity.
Next is the green sand marl, similar to that of New Jersey. The best beds of this are at Black Rock, on the Cape Fear River, twenty-five miles above Wilmington. It extends across the State northeastward, at about the same distance from the sea, appearing at a great many points in the direction of Kinston, Tarboro, and other places in this range. In some places it is very good, but generally is not equal to the best of New Jersey green sand marls. Colonel Clark, three miles above Tarboro, has used this green sand marl with great success, as have many others.
Again, a white shell marl is found, composed of light cream
colored grains, with fragments of shells, corals, &c. Much of this is soft, and easily shovelled from the beds. It often makes good lime by burning, and therefore answers a double purpose. There is a narrow belt of this marl only, stretching across several of the eastern counties, through Hanover, Onslow, Jones, and Craven Counties. It is found at Wilmington, and on the Neuse above Newbern. Mr. Wadsworth, of Craven County, certifies to the best results from its use, and it is evident that the abundance of lime it contains must render it very valuable in reclaiming worn-out lands. Lastly, there is a shell marl proper, composed very largely of undecomposed marine shells. This is less valuable than the preceding, yet when they are wanting, it will furnish lime cheaply, with some phosphates and potash. It is found in the same general localities, and is sometimes used direct, and in other cases burned into lime.
With this vast store of marls of the three varieties underlying almost all the eastern counties, there should be no difficulty in keeping up the productiveness of the soil in that part of the State, and no difficulty in reclaiming such lands as have heretofore been exhausted. Though they lack the potash, or the amount of potash found in the green sand marls of New Jersey, they contain more lime, by a large proportion, and can be put to a greater variety of valuable uses.
Extensive phosphate marl beds, composed chiefly of animal remains, have recently been found in South Carolina, and through two or three of the lower counties of North Carolina, which form a bed of bones and other remains similar in position to the marl beds, but vastly more rich in fertilizing elements. The phosphates, and particularly phosphate of lime, appear to be the leading mineral elements, and so far as they have been developed; they justify high expectations as to their value, in reclaiming the soils of both States. In fact, their wealth of fertilizing elements is so great as to repay shipping to distant points in other States. Three or four of the lower counties are known to contain these beds of animal remains, and further inquiry may show that they extend to Newbern, or beyond. Very high expectations are indulged as to their value, as they are now being opened in the vicinity
of Charleston, and from recent openings in Brunswick County, almost exactly the same formations are disclosed. Altogether, it does not appear that any part of this State is essentially deficient in the means of fertilizing and renewing soils, and particularly the eastern counties, with their marl and muck deposits, aided by the phosphate beds of animal remains, ought to be sustained in a high condition of agricultural prosperity.
The geological formations in North Carolina are highly favorable to the development of mineral springs, particularly in the central and western counties--and some form of such springs, including a fair representation of the red and white sulphur, the chalybeate and alum, and also of some one of the varieties of warm springs, will be found in almost every county.
The most conspicuous of these springs that have attained celebrity, and have become resorts for visitors, are the Catawba White Sulphur, in the north part of Catawba County; Wilson's White and Red Sulphur Springs near Shelby, in Cleveland County, and the Piedmont Springs in Burke County, fifteen miles west of Morganton. These are east of the Blue Ridge: and west of it we have the celebrated warm springs Of the French Broad River, 35 miles west of Asheville; the Deaver White Sulphur Springs, five miles only from Asheville, and the Million Springs, nine miles north of Asheville. There are other springs in the vicinity of Asheville, and also east of the Blue Ridge, but none so conspicuous as those mentioned above.
In the eastern or northeastern part of the State the long-known Shocco Springs of Warren County are the most important. They are located nine miles from the Warrenton depot, of the Raleigh and Gaston Railroad. This was for many years the most fashionable resort in the south, and it still deserves attention. Jones' Spring is in the same vicinity, and Kittrell's Spring, in Granville County, is another reputed to be valuable for its waters. This last is but one mile from the railroad. All these are chalybeate waters, and though less
attractive now than the sulphur springs of the western part of the State, are highly valued by all who have used the waters for many forms of ill-health requiring tonic treatment.
The springs of the Catawba are well fitted up and much frequented as fashionable resorts. The Shelby, or Wilson's White and Red Sulphur, of Cleveland County, said to be the finest spring of its kind in the world, is easily reached by the new railroad from Charlotte by way of Lincolnton, which is now completed nearly to Shelby. It is also accessible from the south by way of Yorkville or Spartansburg, South Carolina. The Catawba White Sulphur in the north part of Catawba County, is near the railroad from Salisbury to Morganton. Both these are celebrated resorts, with white and red sulphur, and chalybeate waters in the immediate vicinity, and they are well filled up for the reception of visitors. There are also, near Shelby, the less known springs called McBrier's and Patterson's. These are all in no respect inferior to the best Virginia sulphur springs.
The Piedmont Springs of Burke County are well worth visiting because of the various attractions of scenery, waterfalls, the celebrated Table Rock, &c. There, are also chalybeate springs in Stokes Count called "Piedmont Springs," which are much resorted to. They are near the celebrated Pilot Mountain.
West of the Blue Ridge, near Asheville, are very attractive sulphur springs, much praised by Colton, in his "Mountain Scenery of North Carolina."The town of Asheville, and all in its vicinity, are highly eulogized by all who have written in regard to that part of the State; and particularly by Colton in the work above cited, and by Lanman, in his "Alleghany Mountains."At the Warm Springs, on the French Broad below Asheville, there are "more attractions to the seeker of pleasure, leaving out of view the invalid, than probably at any other watering place in the south,"--so writes one visitor in 1858. The temperature of the water varies from 98° to 102°, and a great variety of mineralized waters abound in springs of the vicinity. "The Warm Springs are annually visited by a large number of fashionable and health-seeking people from
all the Southern States. . . . As a resort they have no superior in any State."--(Colton.)
We cannot leave the subject without referring to the several localities along the coast which have already been more or less occupied as watering-places and summer resorts. At Smithville, the outlet of Cape Fear River, there is a fine beach on the broad salt water bay, and many historical as well as picturesque attractions are within easy reach. Masonboro Sound, on the coast in front of Wilmington, also has a fine beach; as have Middle Sound, and Wrightsville Sound, in the same vicinity.
At Beaufort, the terminus of the railroad from Raleigh and Newbern, there are fine facilities for sea bathing, and the beach is much resorted to. Carolina City is a point on the beach south of Newbern.
The peculiar lakes of the low country near the coast are places of winter resort, both for health and for sporting. Waccamaw Lake, at a point on the railroad thirty-four miles west of Wilmington, is visited by invalids in winter, and at Flemington Station there is a well-kept house for visitors. The severity of winter cold is greatly modified at these locations without the roughness of the open sea-shore. The finest of these lakes have a clear sand beach and perfectly pure waters, rendering them healthy and attractive as resorts, while they abound with vast numbers of wild fowl at that season. Waccamaw Lake, thirty miles from Wilmington, is eight or ten miles in length and six miles wide, nearly. Further north, between Beaufort and Newbern, there are three or four of these lakes, the largest being Catfish Lake and Great Lake. In Hyde County is the celebrated Matamuskeet Lake, the largest of all, and surrounded by much fine cultivation. Alligator Lake is in the same county, and on its northern border are Phelps and Pungo Lakes. Drummond Lake of the Dismal Swamp is just at the Virginia line.
We shall refer to these lakes and the adjacent salt water sounds in some notices of the fisheries and fowl shooting,
which have become a regular and profitable business of the whole line of coast in North Carolina.
The mountains of North Carolina have long been objects of attraction to scientific men in consequence of the interest felt in them as the highest elevations in the United States east of the Mississippi, and of the important bearing they have on various questions in physical science. They have been less known to tourists and pleasure seekers than they deserve to be, not only for the general attractions of mountain scenery, but for peculiar features that make them very conspicuous. They are the highest mountains of the whole Alleghany chain, the highest peak exceeding the height of Mount Washington about 700 feet; Clingman's peak being 6941 feet, and Mount Washington 6226 feet high. Mount Mitchell, for some years supposed to be the highest peak, is 6732 feet. The Roan mountain is 6306 feet, and the general average of the Roan and Yellow Mountains, in Mitchell County, is over 6000 feet. Southwest of these, in Hayward and Jackson counties, the Balsam Mountains are fully as high, the high chain of the Balsam averaging 6000 feet and the Richland Balsam being 6225 feet high. The researches of Prof. Mitchell, Prof. Guyot, and Senator Clingman have shown that there are more than twenty peaks rising much above 6000 feet, and that the whole mass of these mountains far surpasses all others east of the Rocky Mountains in magnitude. They were from valleys or plains already more than 2000 feet above the sea, and constitute half a dozen distinct chains, most of which run from the Blue Ridge across the valleys to the Alleghany range, called the Iron or Great Smoky Range, which forms the western boundary of the State.
All this region of lofty mountains is easily reached from Morganton, to which point the railroad is already built, and by Swananoa gap to Asheville. On the north of this gap are the lofty Black Mountains, with Mitchell's and Clingman's Peaks, and in the same line, further north, the Roan and Yellow Mountains are the great feature. These are in Mitchell
County. Southwest are the lofty Balsam Mountains, south of the French Broad and of the Big Pigeon River. These are difficult of access, yet almost as high as the Black Mountains north of Swananoa. Prof. Guyot recently describes some of these peaks, which are reached from Sevierville, Tennessee, through a "road gap" itself 5,271 feet above the sea. Near this gap is the Bull Head Mountain, or Triple Mountain, 6636 feet high; and but a short distance from it, six miles southwestward of the gap, is "Smoky Dome,"or Clingman's Mountain, 6660 feet high. The chains and peaks of this vicinity are usually known as the Balsam Mountains, a distinction given because of the dense forests of balsam firs with which they are covered to their very summits.
This peculiarity of the mountain summits is noticeable over all the high ranges. They are always clothed with forests, and several of the highest ranges have the dense black forest of balsam firs, so often referred to, and very rare, if not wholly unknown, in any other part of the world. They are therefore conspicuous and novel features of American scenery, which persons of leisure or research should not fail to see. Their surroundings are also particularly romantic and full of interest. The road by which they are approached passes Old Fort, a celebrated fort long before the Revolution, maintained as a protection against the Indians. It is in the upper valley of the Catawba, in McDowell County, a few miles from Swananoa Gap of the Blue Ridge. This mountain region may also be readily reached by way of the Tennessee Valley, and the railroads on that side, taking a good road up the valley of the French Broad River to Asheville.
A pleasant book of reference to mountain scenery in this State will be found in Colton's "Scenery of the Mountains of Western North Carolina,"which, although printed in 1859, is very fresh and applicable to the present state of things. The great attractions of the Pilot Mountain and its vicinity, and more particularly of the magnificent scenery of Burke and Caldwell Counties cast of the Blue Ridge, and Mitchell, Yancey, and Buncombe Counties, on the west, adjoining, would require much space to describe. The celebrated Falls of the Linville River, with the surrounding
cliffs and peaks, Table Rock, Hawksbill, and others, are unequalled for wild and picturesque grandeur. And north of Swananoa gap the whole lofty group of the Black Mountain peaks is close at hand, forming not only the highest mountains east of the Mississippi, but by far the most attractive as novelties to a visitor.
Among the attractions of the State there should be noticed more at length some of the conspicuous falls of the mountain region, chief among which, probably, are the Linville Falls already mentioned. They are on the Linville River, as it leaves the mountains, twenty-eight miles from Morganton, and five miles from Childsville, near the, northwestern corner of Burke County. There are several broken cascades of various heights, ending in one of more than 100 feet perpendicular fall. The scenery in the vicinity is remarkable, the river being bordered for some distance by cliffs of enormous height, in some cases more than 1200 feet. Below the falls are various cliffs, named Table Rock, Hawksbill, Bynum's Bluff, Ginger-cake Rocks, Chimney Rocks, etc. Between Hawksbill and Table Rock the bed of the Linville River is 1200 feet in perpendicular descent below their summits. Colton, Lanman, and several other writers have eulogized the scenes of the vicinity of Linville Falls in the highest terms.
As the road to Morganton is now so easy, that pleasant town can be made a point of departure to the Linville River, to Grandfather Mountain on the north; to North Cove, a remarkable place, a few miles directly west of Linville; and to the great peaks of the Black Mountains of Mitchell County, still but five or six miles farther directly west. This road is quite as short and easy as any other to those celebrated mountains.
Mitchell Falls, located on the eastern slope of Blue Ridge, near the Hickory Nut Gap road, is one of the most beautifully picturesque scenes to be found on this continent. The water falls over a solid rock three hundred feet high; trickling down its sides, empties itself into three large pools, and
from thence down the mountain sides. The pools are clear as crystal; no bottom has ever been found to them.
Of places of interest properly belonging in the description of mountain scenery, Flat Rock, in Hudson County, and south of Hickory Nut Gap, is a picturesque place; and on the east foot of the Blue Ridge, in the same vicinity, is an attractive place called Pleasant Gardens.
The rivers of North Carolina drain large areas in each case, the greater breadth of the country cast of the Blue Ridge giving them a long sweep from the mountain ranges in which they rise, before reaching the sea. The Roanoke drains, at its sources as the Dan, four or five counties in North Carolina, and as many in Virginia, before it finally leaves the State in Caswell County to make a long detour in Virginia, returning to North Carolina again above Weldon and Gaston. The Dan River alone is important, furnishing both water transportation and water power in Stokes and Rockingham Counties. Iron works, tobacco-manufacturing, and shipping, are the principal industries here, their general market being at Danville, just across the line of Virginia. At the junction of the Staunton River it becomes the Roanoke, which has shoals and rapids for some twenty miles of its course, affording abundant water power at Gaston and Weldon. Prof. Emmons says that "the falls of the Roanoke, at Weldon, furnish a large water power, in part occupied, but capable of moving a much greater amount of machinery." A canal around the falls connects the navigation of the upper part of the river. The fall at Weldon is fifteen feet, and at Gaston there are rapids which might be improved.
On Tar River there are falls at Louisburg, Franklin County; at Taylor's Mills, south of Nashville, Nash County, and at Rocky Mount, where the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad crosses.
The Neuse River is much larger, and rising in a Lilly country some eight or nine hundred feet above sea level, it furnished good water power as far up as in Person County, at Daniels' Mills; again at Manteo Mills, a few miles north of
Raleigh; at Neuse's Mills, six or seven miles east of Raleigh; at Watson's Mills, 20 miles southeast of Raleigh; and at Smithfield, a little farther down, and just below the point where the railroad from Goldsboro crosses.
The Cape Fear River, with its two great branches, the Haw and Deep Rivers, affords very ample water power at various points. As low as Elizabethtown, in Bladen County, there is a slight fall of the Cape Fear; and at Smiley's Falls, in Harnet County, there is a fall of near 30 feet in three miles over the primitive rocks which mark the boundary of the low country. The Buckhorn Falls are 25 miles farther up the river, at the line of Chatham County. Here the river falls 14 feet in two rapids, affording ample power. A few miles farther up is Haywood, at the junction of the Deep and Haw Rivers. Taking the Haw first, we find it crowded with falls, there being 20 mill sites in a distance of 60 miles. Of the well-known mills on and near the Haw, there are Hadley's, Ruffin's, Holt's, Curtis's, and the High Falls Factory; all but the first named being in Alamance County. Emmons states that the lowest fall on the Haw, of ten feet in the two miles above its mouth at Haywood, has capacity to drive 25,000 spindles, and that the power of the river, as a whole, is equal to 500,000 spindles. It also runs through a rich country, "cotton and wheat are the staples of the lower half of its course, and tobacco of the upper."
The Deep River branch is scarcely inferior to the Haw in water-power capacity. At Jones' Falls, just above Haywood, there is a fine water power, the fall being 24 feet in 3000, or little more than half a mile. This point is now called Lockville. For 20 miles or more beyond this point, through the Deep River coal-field, there is little or no fall; but above that there are five--Farr's Mills and Dixon's Mills in Moore County, and in Randolph County, Brown's, Moffit's, Tryon's, and many other mills, there being, in addition, six mills or mill sites at and near Franklinsville, in as many miles. Emmons declares that those six sites have a capacity to drive 85,000 spindles at the lowest stages of water. The Deep River district is rich in cotton and grain, and its upper part runs through the best mining districts of the State, the
group of gold, copper, and iron mines in Guilford County, south and west of Greensboro. Little River, a tributary of the Cape Fear, in Cumberland County, has sufficient fall at two or three places to afford mill sites, the most important being Elliott's Mills, ten or fifteen miles north of Fayetteville.
The Yadkin is the next great river; below the North Carolina line it forms the great Pedee. The Yadkin sweeps almost all over the State, its upper waters running northeast for 50 miles in Caldwell and Wilkes; then east for 50 miles more through Wilkes and Yadkin Counties, to a point not 20 miles from the Virginia line, called East Bend, where it turns suddenly south, to go through the State toward the sea. Its whole length in North Carolina Emmons gives as 350 miles. Cheraw, in South Carolina, is the head of steamboat navigation, but barges can be taken up as far as the Narrows in the northeast corner of Stanley County. From a point five miles above the Narrows it is practicable to make it navigable, for 150 miles to Wilkesboro, Wilkes County. There is little water power available below the rapids at the Narrows, but for ten or fifteen miles above this point there is the best opportunity to employ the great body of water. At Milledgeville, or Burredge Factory, there is a fall of 13 feet, and a rapid still above this having nearly the same fall. One mile below Milledgeville is another rapid having 13 feet fall, and yet another at the head of the Narrows (Emmons). At Trading Ford, nearly up to the railroad crossing to Salisbury, Emmons insists that there is a most valuable site for a manufacturing town. In the upper portions of the river there are many other natural sites for water power, and all the tributaries afford the usual local mill sites. The South Yadkin is the best of these, and is really a valuable manufacturing stream, having a fall of 22 feet at a locality highly favorable to erecting mills and factories. One is now erected at the junction of Rocky Creek, and a number of mills are found in the vicinity. The falls of the South Yadkin are five or six miles above its mouth, and about 10 miles north of Salisbury. Valuable beds of iron ore are in the vicinity, and it is also a rich agricultural region.
The Catawba is, however, the most remarkable river for
the water power it affords, taken in connection with its tributaries, the Little Catawba, Broad River, and Green River, with Linville, and other of its upper branches. From Tuckasege Ford upward, the main river, for many miles, is a succession of rapids, available for power, the principal one being at the Horse Shoe Bend, in the northeastern part of Gaston County. A short distance below this bend, at Mountain Island, is a fall of 22 feet, affording a power already improved by the erection of a cotton factory. At the Horse Shoe Bend the fall is 32 feet, in a circuit which brings the two extremities of the bend within one mile of each other. Emmons states (Rept. of 1856) that the river is here 600 feet wide, and that a permanent mill race can be formed, 100 feet wide, 4 feet deep, and one mile long, by the construction of a wing dam in the main river. He further claims that this water power would be peculiarly favored as a manufacturing location, in consequence of its safety from freshets, its healthfulness and conveniences for the erection of buildings, and its accessibility to other points, and to materials for use of any works to be erected. It is claimed that the river above may easily be made navigable, and may be employed for the transportation of ores, raw cotton, or any required materials. In Emmons' Geological Report for 1856 will be found much more in explanation of the great advantages of this series of rapids at and below the Bend, the author of that report claiming that a great manufacturing city will ultimately be located there. At Sherrill's Ford of the Catawba, in Catawba County, there are other falls ample for use as water power; and still above, at frequent intervals to Morganton, there are many others. The railroad recently completed traverses the valley of the Catawba here for a long distance, affording convenient and cheap access to any point. And the Linville River, as its chief upper tributary, abounds in mill sites, as it descends, from the flanks of the Blue Ridge. The Little Catawba is much praised by Prof. Emmons and others, for its available water power, almost every part of it falling with so much rapidity as to afford a constant succession of mill sites. The most noted of these is the High Shoal of the Catawba, as it is called, where the river falls 23 feet over a bed of gneiss.
Attached to the water power is an extensive property known as the High Shoal property, which originally embraced ten square miles of land, with many gold, copper, and iron mines. Iron made here is of the best quality, and there are a number of cotton factories, woolen mills, and iron works along the river to a point above Lincolnton. To show how much the water power of the Catawba and its tributaries was developed in 1860, we cite from the census the number of cotton and woolen mills, iron works, and other power mills returned for six counties in which the river lies:--
|No.||Men.||Women.||Value of goods made.|
Several of these establishments were large, ranking with factories of the larger class, and the facilities for establishing such factories are evidently ample. Prof. Emmons, in his report of 1856, says what is far more forcible in its application to the present state of affairs there:--
"The climate of North Carolina is well adapted to the manufacture of cotton in all its branches. The cost of maintaining laborers is much less than in New England. Fuel is plenty, its growth rapid, and into whatever channel a manufacturing spirit may be turned, it has the most flattering prospects of success. It is not now, as in former years, when ways to market were unopened. Then the utmost that could be done was confined to the immediate section of country in which they were located. As it is, this home market will be retained, while the markets upon the sea-board may be competed for with every reason to expect success; for the interior of North Carolina can manufacture goods cheaper, by far, than New England or New York. Her natural advantages put her upon vantage ground, and it only requires enterprise, and the application of that capital which she now has invested out of her territory, to place her among the foremost of the manufacturing States."
Quoting farther from that report, we find the following allusions. Impressed with the advantages offered to the investment of capital in bringing this cheap power, cheap labor, and cheap materials together, he says:--
"When the whole field is brought in review, all must admit that this most important power is distributed over the midland counties in such a way as to give to each section a participation in all the advantages which
a power of that kind is capable of conferring. While the rivers and their tributaries water the soil and render it productive, they still furnish a surplus not only for the every-day wants of man to prepare his lumber and grind his grain for domestic consumption, but enough also for manufacturing the cotton and the ores for a home or a distant market. An inspection of a map of North Carolina shows a very advantageous distribution of the rivers. East of the Blue Ridge it is traversed obliquely by seven large rivers, all of which interlock with each other. Even the hilly and mountainous New England cannot claim a larger and more advantageous supply for the promotion of agriculture and the arts. New England has not suffered her advantages to go to waste. North Carolina has been too quiet and too indifferent to her advantages; but the time of her indifference is past."
We may properly mention here some of the advantages which works driven by water-power would possess, in comparison with Massachusetts, and the greater part of New York. In North Carolina the whole year would be available for active business, and the winter, which so often obstructs, if it does not wholly stop work at the north, would be an uninterrupted season of activity. The rivers would be full, without being frozen, and the bracing temperature and longer daylight would make the management of a large factory much more successful at that season. Iron ores, which cannot be mined and hauled for six months in northern New York, can be handled in any way desired, probably, on every day of the winter; certainly there could be very few and slight interruptions of this season of activity. And in summer, the heat is little, if at all, greater than in New York or Pennsylvania. It is not probable that the season would ever be interrupted, or, at least, that these factories can be worked as nearly the entire year as in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Winter work in mines and iron works is particularly desirable, and greatly facilitates the business of a year in such establishments. There is no State where beds of magnetic iron ore are found of such magnitude, that admits winter work fully, New Jersey being the best, but yet having very severe winter weather.
The extent of the manufacturing driven by power, and chiefly by waterpower, was very considerable in 1860, and we give the following results of the census of that year, to show
how much, under the state of things then prevailing, could be done. At present everything invites, not only to the renewal of all that has heretofore existed, but to an application of capital and skill to the improvement of the natural advantages. Power is cheap, first; and next, raw materials and labor are cheap--indeed, all these are available at half the aggregate cost of working a mill in New England, and, when put in motion, more can be done with them, in consequence of the favorable climate.
It is impossible to say that all the classes of mills here named were driven by water power, without the use of steam. Probably quite a number had some proportion of steam-power, yet not to anything like the extent that would have been required in any northern State. In 1860, there were the following numbers of mills, persons employed, and aggregates of production in certain leading manufactures:--
|Capital invested.||Employed.||Value of Product.|
|Saw and planing mills||335||780,420||1096||11||1,165,003|
The number of these establishments is greater than the proper proportion for the capital invested, or value of product, and probably the present condition of the State represents the same disproportion in even a greater degree, The largest cotton factories are distributed through the following named counties: five in Alamance County, on the Haw River; one in Cabarrus County, on Rocky River; one in Caldwell, on Linville River; two in Catawba, on Catawba River; one in Cleveland, on the First Broad; one in Craven, on the
Neuse; seven in Cumberland, mostly at Fayetteville, on the Cape Fear, which employed 122 men and 367 women, representing an invested capital of $287,000; one in Edgecombe, on Tar River; Forsyth County has one large cotton factory, employing 54 persons, and one woolen factory, employing 55 persons, both located at Salem; Gaston County has three cotton factories, on the Little Catawba, with a capital of $133,000, and employing 205 persons; Iredell has two, employing 53 persons; Lincoln County one, with 27 persons employed; Mecklenberg with one cotton mill, working 17 persons, and a woolen mill, working 85 persons; Orange County one, employing 50 persons; Randolph County five, employing 223 persons, and making $149,486 in value of goods; Rockingham County one, employing 105 persons; Richmond one, employing 41 persons; Surrey two, employing 49 persons.
What has already been done in manufactures in North Carolina is, at least, a reliable proof of what may be done; and we therefore cite some general facts from the Census of 1860, with the assurance that, in spite of the confusion and losses of the past few years in many of these classes, the present condition of affairs is an improvement on the figures here given. The truth is that, in many parts of the State, unusual natural facilities for manufacturing exist--cheap power, cheap materials, and cheap labor; and, under such circumstances, many works are started, which, to be successful in the degree understood to mean success in the Northern States, need the strong hands of capitalists, and the direction of skilful superintendents.
The following leading classes of manufactures were reported in 1860, excluding from the official table some thirty or forty small items.
|No.||Capital.||Men.||Women.||Value of product.|
|Boot and shoe making||62||68,000||167||9||150,955|
|Fisheries, shad and herring||32||67,312||698||134||117,259|
|Flour and meal||639||1,719,283||814||3||4,354,309|
|Hats, clothing, etc.||11||3,925||26||33,470|
|Iron, pig, bar, and blooms||25||165,250||129||99,656|
|Iron manufactories, other||63||84,950||174||120,410|
|Lumber, sawed and planed||335||780,420||1028||11||1,074,003|
|Machinery, steam engines||6||455,846||142||116,150|
|Oils, linseed and rosin||7||11,400||10||18,000|
|Printing, newspaper and book||13||42,050||81||87,950|
|Saddlery and harness||44||49,629||98||99,593|
|Sash, doors, and blinds||5||30,000||38||1||56,900|
|Ships and boats||3||6,900||26||10,100|
|Staves, spokes, etc.||4||6,000||28||18,325|
|Tin, copper, and sheet iron||15||56,870||44||60,374|
|Wagons and carts||48||42,900||144||82,650|
|Totals (including smaller items)||3689||$9,693,603||12,106||2111||$16,678,698|
These are very creditable aggregates, and they show a large amount of manufacturing industry in the sea-board counties, where turpentine, lumber, shingles, rice, and other products of those counties abound. In these establishments steam power is much employed, and with the recent changes and improvements going on in those counties, a much larger amount of steam power will be employed. Fuel being cheap, and the transportation of steam machinery easy, a mill for cutting timber and lumber can be placed where the timber is most abundant, the finished products being then brought, by
water or rail, to the most convenient shipping point. Extensive manufactures of wooden wares, staves, etc. of the very valuable cedar, cypress, and pine of the coast counties, will inevitably spring up. These are already in progress near Wilmington, in the hands of the Green Swamp Lumber Company.
TOBACCO MANUFACTURE.--In the interior two or three classes of hand-labor factories have a fair degree of prominence, particularly tobacco factories, tanneries, and distilleries. Tobacco was manufactured in 1860 to the value of $1,117,099; and, at the present time, while the quantity is less, probably, the increase in value renders the total as great as then. Tobacco is not so largely cultivated as it was formerly, yet in many counties, among which, in 1867, Franklin, Davis, and Person are named in the reports of the Agricultural Departments, tobacco is still a leading product. The manufacturing establishments existing in 1860 were principally in Rockingham, Granville, Stokes, Caswell, Davie, Surrey, and two or three other counties, showing that the chief business of the State in tobacco is in the counties near the border of Virginia. The Dan River Valley, and other tributaries of the Roanoke, appear to be the favorite localities for tobacco cultivation.
TANNERIES are numerous and important as local manufactures, but none appear of magnitude sufficient to provide leather for export out of the State. They are quite equally distributed among the interior and western counties, oak bark being abundant and cheap. The addition of sumac, prepared from the native sumac of Virginia and all adjacent States, is now being made in nearly all the markets; and this would form a valuable resource for exportation, as well as for local use. In 1860 there were 171 tanneries, producing leather to the value of $413,364.
TURPENTINE MANUFACTURES, though found in many counties, are chiefly in Bladen, New Hanover, Cumberland, Craven, and Duplin Counties; in Now Hanover alone there were, in 1860, 332 establishments, for both crude and distilled, producing $897,887 in value. Four turpentine distilling establishments in this county made $716,600 in value.
The production centering about Wilmington, and in the counties above it on the Cape Fear River, is four-fifths of the entire product of the State. The greater facilities for transportation, and the standard market always existing at Wilmington, concur in bringing the business to this point.
LUMBER AND SHINGLES.--In the recent improvements inaugurated in the timber-producing counties near the coast, the manufacture of lumber and shingles has been systematized and, in many cases, placed in the hands of energetic and successful companies. By the aid of a fair proportion of capital they are able to put a vigorous producing force at work, and to prepare, for northern and foreign markets, from $150,000 to $350,000 in value of shingles, lumber, and timber in a year for each company. The Green Swamp Company with its mills for cutting lumber and shingles at Bolton, on the railroad, 27 miles southwest of Wilmington, and H. B Short's undertaking at the head of Waccamaw Lake, are the most successful of these establishments, and an illustration of the facility with which associated capital can make the abundant raw material of those timber swamps profitable.
It may be convenient here to refer to the price of freights of lumber from Wilmington to northern cities as compared with interior transportation from the Western States to the same markets. The cost per thousand feet of ordinary lumber, from Wilmington to New York or Philadelphia, varies from $7 to $9; while from any point on Lake Erie to New York or Philadelphia, the cost would be about $100 per car load, averaging 8000 feet each. Not only is the quality of lumber better suited to the general consumption of the seaboard markets, where the demand for resinous pine increases as its greater durability becomes more important, but the facility of production and shipment in large quantities increases rather than diminishes. The northern pine districts waste rapidly, and each year become more difficult of access, with increasing cost of transportation to all the markets.
In connection with the manufacturing statements previously given should follow some account of the cost of labor, which is the chief power, after all, in manufacturing. We have previously said that in consequence of the peculiar circumstances which have kept the resources of the State dormant, the cost of labor was reduced to lower figures than in any other part of the United States. This condition is not one of such adversity to the people as might be supposed, in consequence of the cheapness of living. The abundance of everything necessary for the ordinary support of the people, the ease with which grains, fruits, and vegetables may be grown in any part of the State, enables the laboring population to live on very moderate wages. The ease with which a large laboring force can be put in motion with money, renders the field a most inviting one to a capitalist, whatever the business he may undertake, or the character of the natural resources proposed to be developed.
The following table shows the prices of farm labor per month so recently as 1867, and this may be taken as a standard of comparison for all labor:--
|By the year without board.||By the year with board.||By the season without board.||By the season with board.|
The materials for the above statement were obtained with great labor and care by the Agricultural Department in 1866, and published at the beginning of 1867. It shows most conclusively the advantages under which enterprises involving the employment of labor can be entered upon in North Carolina, over any other State of the Union.
As the chief market town of the coast, and point of export for the peculiar products of the State, Wilmington is a place of especial interest. The following statement of its trade is from the Wilmington Price Current sheet, for January, 1869. Its trade in lumber is nearly half to foreign ports, and of spirits of turpentine about one-third goes to foreign ports direct; but nearly all other articles come coastwise to northern ports.
|ARTICLES SENT COASTWISE||New York.||Boston.||Philada.||Baltimore.|
|Spirits Turp. bbls.||36,646||7,931||6,762||8,907|
|Crude Turp . bbls.||10,279||6,141||1,605||742|
|Cotton Yarn, bales||128||2||1|
|Cotton Sheeting, bales||519||3||11|
|Rough Rice, bushels||3,409||12,420||1,563||55|
|Lumber, P. P. feet||2,011,059||2,204,780||4,287,937||2,328,328|
|Timber P. P. feet||16,680|
|ARTICLES SENT COASTWISE.||Ports in Virginia.||Ports in New England.||Total, 1868.||Total, 1867.||Total,1866.|
|Spirits Turp. bbls.||60,246||54,904||49,078|
|Crude Turp. bbls.||301||19,068||17,417||28,973|
|Cotton Yarn, bales||74||225||153||1,115|
|Cotton Sheet'g bales||1||534||443||493|
|Lumber, P. P. feet||118,589||2,623,059||13,874,751||13,314,520||10,264,809|
To Charleston 1000 bushels rough rice; and to Galveston 100,000 feet of lumber, in addition to the detailed list.
|ARTICLES SENT TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES.||British ports.||St. John's, N. B||West Indies.||Rio de Janeiro.||Amsterdam.|
|Spirits Turp. bbls||34,397||25||48||202|
|Crude Turp. bbls||3,275|
|Cotton Yarn, bales|
|Cotton Sheeting, bales|
|Rough Rice bushels|
|Lumber, P. P. feet||43,000||4,956,209||250,662|
|Timber P. P. feet||18,000|
|COASTWISE AND FOREIGN.||COASTWISE AND FOREIGN.||COASTWISE AND FOREIGN.|
|ARTICLES SENT TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES.||Total, 1868.||Total, 1867.||Total, 1866.||Grand Total, 1868.||Grand Total, 1867.||Grand Total, 1866.|
|Spirits Turp. bbls.||34,672||34,670||7,929||94,918||89,574||57,007|
|Crude Turp. bbls||3,275||4,464||1,150||22,343||21,881||30,123|
|Cotton Yarn, bales||225||153||1,115|
|Cotton Sheet'g bales||534||443||493|
|Lumber, P. P. feet||5,249,871||5,419,942||12,106,267||19,194,662||18,734,462||22,371,076|
|Timber P. P. feet||18,000||47,399||199,199||277,834|
The railroad system of North Carolina is now very well advanced toward completeness, and it is actively being pushed in the most necessary localities during the current year, 1869. From the north two, or rather three, great roads enter the State from Virginia; first, the Seaboard and Roanoke, from Norfolk to Weldon; next the Petersburg and Roanoke, connecting Richmond with Wilmington, by way of Weldon and Goldsboro, and with Raleigh, by way of Gaston. Next is the Richmond and Danville, now extended from the Dan River Valley to Greensboro and Salisbury. The whole central part of the State is penetrated by these roads and their branches, giving an outlet for any kind of freights direct to Norfolk, City Point, or Richmond.
On the seaboard, the first railroad south of Norfolk is the new "Atlantic and North Carolina"road, connecting Beaufort and Newbern with Goldsboro and Raleigh, where it connects with road from Raleigh to Greensboro and Salisbury. This is an important opening of the Neuse River district.
But the chief system of diverging roads from the seaboard is at Wilmington, where the Wilmington and Weldon, leading to Goldsboro, due north, is the first; the Wilmington, Charlotte, and Rutherford road, leading north of west to Lumberton and Rockingham, and then west to Charlotteville, next; and the Wilmington and Manchester, finally, which leads due west to the State line, and then southwest to Manchester and Columbia, in South Carolina. The Wilmington, Charlotte, and Rutherford road is a new one; it is now built complete to the crossing of the Yadkin (or Great Pedee), near Wadesboro, a distance of 120 miles from Wilmington. Forty-three miles beyond this point have been completed, west of Charlotte, leaving but 110 miles of unfinished road. The State has recently appropriated $4,000,000 for the building of this road, and it will be pushed forward as rapidly as possible. This State appropriation furnishes ample means to finish it. Ultimately, it will connect with the Tennessee system of roads, and form one of the great trunk routes between the east and west.
Another important new road is the Chatham, which begins at the North Carolina Central, near Raleigh, and runs southward through the Deep River coal district, through Montgomery County, and by way of Wadesboro to Cheraw, South Carolina, where it connects with the Northeastern Railroad, to complete what is known as the old metropolitan route. The work of construction is going on rapidly.
The Greensboro and Salem is another new road, extending some thirty miles northwest from the former place, into a new and rich country.
The Western Railroad, from Fayetteville, by way of the coal fields oil Deep River, toward Salisbury, to connect with the western extension of the N. C. R. R., is also in progress, about 40 miles being already completed.
The western extension of the N. C. R. R. is making rapid progress; it has already reached Morganton, and it will be completed to Old Fort, at the eastern foot of Swananoa Gap, by the end of August. It is then to go through Swananoa Gap to Asheville, and from Asheville, southwestward, through Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Cherokee Counties, to Ducktown, Tennessee. A branch of this road will run from Asheville down the valley of the French Broad River to Paint Rock, on the Tennessee line. Work is now going on near Old Fort, at the eastern foot of the Blue Ridge.
The following is a list of the railroads of the State now completed and in operation:--
1. The Seaboard and Roanoke, 80 miles in length, from Norfolk to Weldon, 20 miles within the State, and 60 miles in Virginia.
2. The Petersburg Railroad, a Virginia road entering the State by two branches, one to Weldon, about ten miles within the State, and another to Gaston, of 5 or 6 miles only within the State, and connecting each of these points with Richmond, through Petersburg.
3. The Wilmington and Weldon, 162 miles in length from Wilmington, in nearly a direct line north to Weldon, through Goldsboro.
4. The Raleigh and Gaston, 85 miles to Gaston, and 97 miles
to Weldon, connecting at each of these points with the Virginia roads above named.
5. The Atlantic and North Carolina, from Goldsboro to Morehead City, 95 miles, the most important part of which is from Goldsboro to Newbern, 60 miles, and from Newbern to the coast near Beaufort, 35 miles; the whole distance from Beaufort or Morehead City to Goldsboro being 95 miles, and to Raleigh 143 miles.
6. The North Carolina Railway, a curved line, the whole length of which from Goldsboro to Charlotte is 223 miles, and from Raleigh to Charlotte 175 miles. Its principal sections are from Goldsboro to Raleigh 48 miles (northwest); from Raleigh to Greensboro 83 miles, northwest for half the distance, and west for the remainder; from Greensboro to Salisbury 50 miles southwest, and from Salisbury to Charlotte, 43 miles south-southwest, at which point it connects with the Charlotte and South Carolina Railroad.
7. The Charlotte and South Carolina, just named, extends from Charlotte 109 miles southwest to Columbia, 20 miles of which is in North Carolina.
8. The Western North Carolina, an extension of the North Carolina 81 miles from Salisbury to Morganton, with 35 miles farther nearly or quite complete to Old Fort, the completed length being 115 miles from Salisbury.
9. The Wilmington and Manchester, from Wilmington west to Fair Bluff, 63 miles within the State, and 117 miles farther to Kingsville, South Carolina.
10. The Wilmington, Charlotte and Rutherford, now completed to Wadesboro, 120 miles from Wilmington. The western division is also built from Charlotte 43 miles to a point beyond Lincolnton.
11. The Richmond, Danville and Piedmont, from Richmond to Danville, 141 miles in Virginia, and from Danville to Greensboro 48 miles in North Carolina; the whole distance from Richmond to Greensboro being 189 miles, and to Raleigh 272 miles.
This last is a convenient line for the transportation of various products of the rich country about Dan River, and the mining products of the vicinity of Greensboro. Tobacco,
oak-bark, copper ore, and like products go to Richmond, and are shipped by steamer to northern cities.
Cotton generally centres at Wilmington, a great deal coming from South Carolina and Georgia over the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad. Some cotton of North Carolina goes to Norfolk, but the greater share to Wilmington. Lumber and naval stores are gathered largely at Newbern, as well as at Wilmington, but shorter roads, better water transportation, and steadier markets, combine to gather much more than half the exportable products of the State at Wilmington.
A number of railroads, in addition to these, have been authorized by the legislature, or less definitely projected recently, two or three of which diverge from Fayetteville, oil the Cape Fear. One is proposed about 40 miles nearly due south to Lumberton; another more nearly southwest to Manchester, S. C.; and another northwest to Greensboro. This last is already built up to the coal mines of Deep River. In the western part of the State the road from Morganton through Swananoa Gap is in progress beyond the Blue Ridge, one branch leading from Asheville down the French Broad, the direction being northwest; and the other passing westward through Waynesville to the valley of the Tennessee River, and due west along that valley into the State of Tennessee. A branch of this leaves the Tuckasage Valley, in Jackson County, to go southwest through Valleytown and Notteley to Ducktown, in Tennessee, there connecting with the Chattanooga Railroad.
The Rabun Gap Railroad also comes up from the south in Macon County, to go westward out of the State in the Nantehala and Tennessee River Valleys. The Chatham Railroad has been referred to above; also the Greensboro and Salem.
Several plank roads are also either built or projected in the eastern part of the State, mainly diverging from Fayetteville; one northeast to Goldsboro; another north to Raleigh; another west to the Yadkin, in Richmond County; and another northwestward to Carthage, Ashboro, and Salem, in Forsyth County.
While all these roads and improvements cannot be expected
at once to attain completion, the fact that they are projected is a good indication of the spirit of enterprise now awakened.
North Carolina must, to a considerable extent, rely on sea transportation to the best markets, which are undoubtedly in the seaboard cities of the North. The question of cost of freight is important, therefore, and it is a fair comparison to show whether freights are cheaper to those cities by sea from Wilmington, than by rail from Cleveland. We have already referred to the cost of transporting lumber by these two routes, the difference being two dollars per thousand feet in favor of Wilmington.
Prof. Maury has recently calculated, in his first report on the "Physical Survey of Virginia,"a very valuable table of average rates of transportation by sea, canal, and railway, which shows the facility with which coastwise freights may be delivered in all the northern markets from Wilmington, Newbern, or Norfolk; and because of this facility and cheapness even the bulky products of eastern North Carolina compete successfully with anything of their class wherever produced. Lumber and shingles, as well as naval stores and cotton, are carried cheaper to New York than they can be from any interior spot of production whatever.
These are Prof. Maury's figures, and we would estimate a lower average for coastwise freights, making them not above 3 mills per ton per mile, or one-tenth the cost of railway freights at 3 cents per ton per mile. The sailing distance from Wilmington to New York may be estimated at 750 to 800 miles at the most, and the freights as equal, on an average, to the cost for 150 to 200 miles by rail.
It is not easy to cite any regular rates of freights in this coastwise trade, or in the large foreign trade of the port of Wilmington. By reference to the table of the trade of Wilmington, before given, it will be seen that a great many cargoes of lumber go every year to West Indian ports, and that naval stores and cotton freight a number of vessels to London, Liverpool, and continental ports. All these are known to be as cheaply shipped as from any other port, and the easiest and safest employment for sailing vessels of the entire coast being found in this trade, there are always vessels offering.
By railroad, also, the shipment of produce to Norfolk is easy and cheap. In 1868 the Wilmington and Weldon Road took over 12,000 barrels of early fruits and vegetables, mostly to Norfolk; and the whole line of seaboard counties, as well as those farther inland, traversed by this road, will furnish a large amount of such freight for sending northward from Wilmington, Newbern, and Norfolk.
The fisheries of the coast of North Carolina make a very important element of the productions of the State. In Ruffin's "Sketches of Lower North Carolina,"a very clear description of the Sound Fisheries is to be found, which we here transcribe:--
"The fisheries on the large rivers, by seines drawn to the shores, have long been in operation; but it has been but recently, compared to the others, that fisheries were first tried in the broad waters of the sounds. Though it was previously supposed that the great expense of such fisheries could not be repaid, and that in so broad a channel but few of the fish could be reached from the shore; yet, on trial, the Sound fisheries were found to be the most productive and profitable. Since that time, however, so many fisheries have been established that the products and profits of each one have, in later years, been greatly diminished.
"The land and shore at Stevenson's Point, the extremity of Durant's Neck (on the north shore of Albemarle Sound in Perquimans County), was the property of J. T. Granbery and P. Nixon, and the first Sound fishery was established there and conducted by them. Albemarle Sound is there supposed to be nine or ten miles across, and in the edge of this broad space the seine is hauled. I will describe the manner of conducting this fishery, which does not differ materially from most others since established on the shore of the Sound. The extremities of the sweeps of the different fisheries almost touch each other, and they extend, with but few
intervals, to the Chowan River. The labors, and other facts of these fisheries may well astonish those who were before uninformed as to the magnitude of the operations.
"The seines used in the different fisheries vary in length from 2200 to 2700 yards, and are 18 feet deep, as fished. They are laid out about a mile and a quarter from the shore, and, of course, the hauling-ropes, from both ends to reach the shore, must be together more than two and a half miles long. A seine is carried out by two large boats, each managed by twelve able hands (in some cases ten suffice), and is laid out, beginning at the middle, straight and nearly parallel with the shore; the boats from each end of the seine then row to the shore, letting the attached hauling-ropes run out from the boats. The shore ends of the ropes are then attached to large capstans, each turned by six horses. Except two men required at each capstan, one to drive the horses, and the other to watch and direct the passage of the rope around the shaft, all the other men attached to the seine are discharged, to rest, eat, or sleep, as they may choose, until the ends of the seine reach the shore . . . . .
"The fishing labors are carried on without cessation through the twenty-four hours, except when suspended because of storms; therefore the hands like sailors at sea, work and rest, not by day and by night, but by shorter watches. Besides the fishermen, or boats' crews, there are fifteen other men employed on shore, and forty women and boys, to trim, salt, and pack the herrings caught. The particular large draughts of herrings, as well as the whole number caught by each seine in a season, have greatly diminished as the seines have increased in number. The seine at Stevenson's Point once brought in and landed 220,000 herrings at one haul. On the rare occasions of such enormous draughts of fish, and at other times when the cleaning and salting cannot proceed fast enough to save the fish if all were landed at once, and also in warm weather, the ends of the seine are hauled gradually, and a smaller seine is hauled within the inclosed space, so as to land the fish no faster than they are needed, or than is safe. In this way one draught of the seine has in some cases been more than twenty-four hours in being landed.
"The first outfit of one of these seines, and the expenses of the first season, amount to from $12,000 to $15,000. Afterwards the expenses for a season are much less . . . . .
"Considering that all these herrings are fish of passage, and enter every spring from the ocean, it is astonishing that such multitudes should enter through the very narrow and shallow inlets through the sand reef. Besides the main and direct profit of these fisheries, there is another which is not availed of to one-tenth of the extent that might be done. This is the use, as manure, of the immense amount of animal matter in the trimming or garbage of the herrings, and other salable fish; and also of other fish, for which there is no demand for curing, and which sometimes rot and go to waste by hundreds of bushels."
Mr. Ruffin advises various modes of saving and using this fish waste, which is now only used at the nearest localities,
and generally by burying a fish or a handful of fragments under each hill or spot where corn is planted. This is the common way all along the coast, in various localities of Long Island Sound and of the New England coast. A better way is to prepare a compost with any ordinary earth, and particularly with vegetable matter, and a share of lime or of shells. Ruffin suggests the use of shell marl, or of any marl containing carbonate of lime. It is clear that many modes of making this fish waste available in fertilizing soils might be resorted to, and in this way a great addition to the value of the fisheries would be made.
The North Carolina herring fishery is a very important one, as Mr. Ruffin's statement shows. We have greatly condensed what he says in the report above cited, and we refer the more critical reader to that report itself for much valuable information.
Mr. Ruffin proceeds, in the same report, to give a very interesting account of this new branch of industry, as he calls it, and we cannot do better than to copy a part of it:--
"In Princess Anne and Currituck Counties the killing of wild waterfowl is a branch of industry of considerable importance for its amount of profit. Its extent is scarcely known by any person out of this region. For myself I had never heard of it as a regular business pursued for profit, and was much impressed with the novelty, as with the singular features of the pursuit . . . . . Since the closing of the former deep and wide Currituck Inlet, the strip of ocean sand beach or reef has been unbroken from the northern extremity in Princess Anne, bordering on the Chesapeake Bay for some 55 miles to the southern end of Currituck County. The narrow waters, or sounds, inclosed between the reef and the mainland, is, in Virginia, not usually more than two miles wide. In North Carolina it widens into Currituck Sound, and is between five and ten miles wide, having within it several inhabited islands. All these sound waters are shallow, and, for the much larger extent, less than ten feet deep--a large proportion near the shores under six feet deep. Since the complete closing of Currituck Inlet in 1828, the water has become fresh, and changes have been gradually effected in most of the productions; one of the most important was in affording new and remarkable attractions to wild fowl of passage. Three or more different kinds of fresh-water grasses soon began to grow at the bottom of all the shallower waters, and even up to nine feet deep. . . . . These different grasses now cover the whole bottom, within the limits of depth named. The seeds of some of these plants mature in
May, but it is not until autumn that the various kinds of water fowl, passing from their far northern summer retreats, are attracted to this place by the great abundance of their preferred food.
"There are ducks of various kinds, of which the canvas-back is the most esteemed. There are also wild geese and swans. Altogether they congregate in numbers exceeding all conception of any person who had not been informed. The shooting season continues through the winter. From description I cannot imagine any other sport, of field or flood, that can be more likely to gratify a hardy sportsman, unless the certain and great success is such as, by its certainty, to take away much of the pleasure of such amusements. The returns in game killed and secured, through any certain time, to a skilful, patient, and enduring gunner, are as sure as the profits of any ordinary labor of agriculture or trade, and far larger for the capital employed.
"Decoy ducks and geese are used to attract the flying flocks of wild ones. In most cases the decoys are made of wood, painted to resemble the designed originals. In other cases the decoys are living geese or ducks of wild kinds tamed or confined; and these are tied by one foot so as to swim at the place where it is designed that the flocks shall settle in the water. A small and natural-looking blind or screen made of a few bushes with rushes, dry water grass, etc., is constructed within gunshot of the decoys, behind which the gunner places himself, to await the arrival of the'raft'of wild ducks. They are often so numerous as entirely to cover acres of the surface of the water, so that the observer from the beach would see only ducks, and no water between them."
The same authority mentions a case in which thirty gunners were employed by one proprietor, for the entire winter. These were paid a definite sum for each fowl shot, and were served with ammunition by the proprietor. In one winter this proprietor consumed one ton of gunpowder and four tons of shot, with 46,000 percussion caps. This business is pursued in the same manner along a line of coast 150 miles in length.
In some references made at the outset of this paper to the climate of this State, it was said that the climate represented, in a very remarkable degree, the entire range from almost tropical characteristics to the temperate and moderate summers of the best part of the Northern States. To show how fully this statement is borne out by the facts, we copy here a number of records of observation made of temperature and the quantity of rain, taken chiefly from Blodget's Climatology of the United States.
A very complete record of thermometric and other observations was made at Chapel Hill by Professors Caldwell, Phillips, and others, beginning as early as 1820, but complete only from 1844. A series of 18 years was also observed at Smithville, Fort Johnson, from 1822 to 1845; and one of 5 years at Beaufort, Fort Macon. These two points fix the climate of the southeastern coast counties quite definitely, and a long series of observations at Norfolk or Fortress Monroe shows nearly what the change is in the northeastern corner of the State. In the west there are few regular observations, and we must rely on comparisons, and the indications afforded by altitude, the growth of forests, and the practical experience of residents.
Reviewing the State by these interesting tests of the practical sort, we find in the southeast many indications of a tropical character. The palmetto, generally thought to belong only to South Carolina, creeps along the coast at intervals as far as Cape Hatteras, showing the softening influences of the Gulf Stream. The live oak goes still farther; it covers Cape Hatteras, and is found in several localities about Norfolk. Figs and pomegranates here are large trees, and bear fruit largely in the open air in all the counties south of Hatteras; winter is lightly felt there; and in the swamps and on the banks vegetation is green throughout the year. Great numbers of cattle run and breed almost or quite wild there, some near the Virginia border being annually herded and branded, but never otherwise seen by their assumed owners. A breed of ponies on the banks also ranges uncared for during the winter months, subsisting on the grass of the savannas. Snow is rarely seen at Wilmington, and frost is equally rare. No ice forms on the waters, and potatoes, cabbages, lettuce, radishes, and many garden vegetables, are planted in December, to be used in February, March, and April.
From Newbern northward the coast is cooler in winter, but no part of it is so cold as at Norfolk; yet the winter at Norfolk permits the live oak and the fig to grow, and gives only occasional snows or frost.
In the interior, or approaching it from the coast, the sandy pine lands soon develop cooler winters, until, at Raleigh, a
new standard is established. Here garden vegetables, such as we have named, still grow in most winters unprotected: but there are occasional frosts and snows. Cabbage, lettuce, spinach, radishes, etc. grow best in winter. The fig has always one crop, and sometimes two, the peach blossoms the 1st of March, and ripens in June. Strawberries ripen early in May; peas are eatable early in May; potatoes at the same time; and the whole growth is a week earlier than Norfolk, two weeks earlier than Maryland, and three weeks earlier than southern New Jersey.
At Greensboro and Salisbury one gradation later is found, the spring being about the same as at Norfolk, perhaps a little later. The average surface is about a thousand feet above the sea level, and the winters have frosts and snows of such severity as to preclude any growth of unprotected vegetation.
In the mountain valleys and slopes, where the average elevation above the sea is from 1800 to 3500 feet, the standard of climate is nearly that of Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Harrisburg. Snow will sometimes remain for some days on the ground, and firm ice forms at intervals in the rivers. The winter begins with November, yet there is less continuous severity of winter weather, and cattle often need little winter feeding, if they have woodlands and open mountain sides to range over.
The period exempt from night frosts is about from April 25th to October 10th, on the average; the planting season for corn and like crops being April 15th to 20th. In some of the more elevated valleys frosts are later in spring and earlier in autumn, but there are no valleys in which corn will not grow well, and the variety of products is so great as to suggest an unusual mingling of climates. Sweet potatoes are, as we have mentioned in a previous part of this paper, a regular product of more than half the mountain counties. Hon. T. L. Clingman says:--
"Horses and horned cattle are usually driven out into the mountains about the 1st of April, and are brought back in November. Within six weeks after they have thus been'put in the range,' they become exceedingly fat and sleek. There are, however, on the tops and along the sides
of the higher mountains, evergreen, or winter grasses, on which horses and horned cattle live well through the entire winter. Such animals are often foaled and reared there until fit for market, without ever seeing a cultivated plantation.". . . . . "All kinds of live stock can be raised (in these mountain counties) with facility. Sheep, in flocks of fifty or sixty, browse all the winter in good condition. I never saw larger sheep anywhere than some I observed in the Hamburg Valley of Jackson County, the owner of which told me that he had not, for twelve years past, fed his sheep beyond giving them salt to prevent their straying away."
The summer of this mountain region is especially delightful, the air being pure, elastic, and free from the excessive heat and excessive saturation which are often found along the Atlantic coast, even as far north as New York. It is healthy and exhilarating, without being damp and chilly at frequent intervals, as is the case on elevated districts of New York and New England. It would be particularly desirable as a summer residence for invalids from pulmonary diseases. The winter as well as the summer climate at Asheville is claimed, by careful observers, to be as dry as that of Minnesota, and all the salubrity so justly claimed for this remote State may be realized to the resident of any seaboard State by taking up his residence in this upland valley of North Carolina.
The following is a summary of thermometrical observations at several places in and near North Carolina, beginning at Richmond and Norfolk, at which last-named point the long series of years observed fixes the averages with great exactness. Most of the observations are from the authority above quoted; others from recent reports of the Agricultural Department:--
|Richmond, Va||55.7||75.4||56.3||37.2||56.2||4 yrs. obs'ed.|
|Norfolk (Fortress Monroe)||56.9||76.6||61.7||40.4||59.9||30 yrs. obs'ed.|
|Gaston, N. C||55.6||76.2||57.6||39.7||57.3||3 yrs. obs'ed.|
|Thornbury, Northampton Co||57.4||77.0||59.1||41.5||58.8||2 yrs. obs'ed.|
|Scuppernong (Lake Phelps)||58.6||74.7||60.0||43.3||59.1||2 yrs. obs'ed.|
|Murfreesborough, Hertford Co.||56.9||76.5||58.4||42.3||58.5||3 yrs. obs'ed.|
|Chapel Hill University||59.3||76.3||60.3||42.8||59.7||14 yrs. obs'ed.|
|Goldsboro||57.1||78.0||60.9||44.0||60.0||2 yrs. obs'ed.|
|Beaufort, Fort Macon||59.5||78.5||65.2||45.7||62.2||5 yrs. obs'ed.|
|Smithville, Fort Johnson||64.5||80.2||67.4||50.6||65.7||18 yrs. obs'ed.|
|All Saints, near Georget'n, S. C||61.8||78.4||65.0||48.2||63.3||5 yrs. obs'ed.|
|Charleston, Fort Moultrie||65.8||80.6||68.0||51.7||66.6||28 yrs. obs'ed.|
|Camden, S. C.||63.0||78.4||62 9||46.6||62.7||5 yrs. obs'ed.|
|Charlotte, N. C.||57.8||76.3||58.9||42.8||58.9||2 yrs. obs'ed.|
|Asheville, N. C||52.0||71.5||56.0||39.0||54.6||2 (parts of.) yrs. obs'ed.|
|Knoxville, Tenn||55.8||70.8||56.7||39.3||55.7||1 yr. obser'd|
|Knoxville (another series)||58.2||73.0||57.4||38.5||56.8||2 yrs. nearly|
The last two of the stations entered here are too imperfect to be satisfactory, but they serve the purpose of partial comparison. It appears from these results that the climate of Richmond is not far from that of the valleys at Asheville and Knoxville; that of Asheville being cooler in summer, but warmer in winter. Smithville and Charleston are very much alike, both showing a marked contrast with places so far in the interior as Chapel Hill and Charlotte.
The isothermal charts of Blodget's Climatology show this contrast of the interior with the coast in a striking manner; the lines representing averages for each season and the year, curving sharply down or southward along the mountain plateau, and this more particularly in summer than at any other time.
The quantity of rain falling is not excessive in any part of the State. At Gaston and Chapel Hill it is 42 inches in the year, and in the more elevated country westward somewhat less, or about 40 inches on the average. In the lower part of the State, toward the coast, it is more, or about 45 inches. There is less just at the sea line than there is 50 to 75 miles inland. The few, and not entirely trustworthy observations we have, are the following:--
|Norfolk, Va.||9.77 inches||15.08||10.16||10.17||45.18||19 years.|
|Gaston, N. C .||11.27||12.09||9.07||10.23||42.66||3 years.|
|Chapel Hill, N. C.||10.03||10.28||10.69||10.10||41.11||4 years.|
|Waccamaw, S. C.||7.33||13.45||9.09||11 02||40.90||5 years.|
|Charleston, S. C.||9.89||17.45||10 06||7.52||44.92||12 years.|
|Camden, S. C.||11.19||17.57||8.05||10.64||47.44||4 years.|
|Knoxville, Tenn.||9.62||13.51||6.77||10.42||40.32||2 1/2 years.|
There are no complete records for points in the interior, and west of North Carolina; but the partial observations made at a few points confirm the distribution before mentioned, and as shown in the shaded charts of Blodget's Climatology. There is more rain in the summer months in consequence of the greater quantity falling at one time, not because of the greater number of rains. Often three, four, or even six inches of water will fall in a single shower of summer.
In conclusion, too much cannot be said in favor of the
general climate of North Carolina. In the east and south it is almost tropical, without the dangers of a tropical climate, and with a soft, delightful winter. In the central part of the State it is elastic and generally dry, precisely like the better parts of Pennsylvania in this respect, except in being warmer, and having an open winter, with only occasional frost or snow. In the west it is peculiarly fine, elastic, and dry; cool, without so much of clouds and rain as in the elevated districts of the Northern States; and in the interior valleys, as at Asheville, nothing can be more uniformly delightful, winter or summer.
In a valuable article on the climate of North Carolina, by David Christy (published by the Nantehala Mining Company), a more complete statement of the advantages of the mountain climate of these counties is given than we have room for here. Its freedom from damp and mildew, its purity of air and elasticity peculiarly fit it for grapes and all the finer fruits. Not like the mountains of the Northern States, or of Europe, always covered with clouds and storms, these upland counties have the purity of mountain air, with the almost constant clear sky of the plains of other countries of the same latitudes.
Some very beautiful spectacles of local cloud formation occur on the higher mountain peaks, all the peculiarities of such scenes as observed in Europe being here much more distinct and conspicuous; the clouds forming in rounded masses, often with lightning and heavy rain, instead of misty rain and diffused fog, as in colder latitudes. A vivid description of these scenes is given by Mr. Christy, in the paper above quoted.
North Carolina is one of the largest States; it is larger than New York or Pennsylvania; the first by 3000 square miles, and the second by 4000 square miles. It is almost exactly as large as Alabama and Iowa, and is exceeded only by Georgia and Florida, of the older States of the South, but not by Virginia, since the division of that State. It embraces 50,701 square miles of surface; and in 1860 reported
23,762,969 acres in farms, of which but 6,517,284 were improved, leaving 17,245,685 acres unimproved. In Pennsylvania and New York, by the same census, these proportions were nearly reversed.
|Acres improved.||Acres unimproved.|
By calculation, the number of square miles given above show that 8,687,591 acres of surface reckoned as within the State, must be water or mountain, not included in the return of farms, nor of tracts owned by the State; or, at least, not being surveyed, and defined as so owned. Large tracts of the swamp lands belong to the Literature Fund, a trust created for the uses of various institutions of instruction. Nearly 2,000,000 of acres in the coast counties yet belong to the State, and large tracts in the mountain counties, amounting, in the aggregate, to much more. But the greater proportion of the unimproved lands are in tracts of various sizes owned by individuals.
The large proportion of unimproved lands is a most important point in considering their available value to a purchaser, or the extent to which his application of capital and labor can advance their value above their cost. To buy lands already as high in price as they can be bought after much money and labor has been expended on them, is quite a different thing from buying where, by opening and rendering them accessible, their value can be largely increased above such first cost.
We give a tabular statement, therefore, of the proportion of improved and unimproved land in the several natural divisions of the State: first, the coast counties and swamp lands; second, the pitch pine, region of sandy lands; and next, the great central area, with the mountain districts in conclusion.
|Counties||Acres improved.||Acres unimproved.|
Thus the area unimproved in the coast counties alone is nearly 4,000,000 of acres, and nearly three and a half times the amount improved. The counties on the Albemarle Sound make the best return, and many tracts in them are richly productive since they were drained and brought under skilful cultivation. But all the coast and swamp lands south of Albemarle show a large excess of unoccupied lands, amounting in New Hanover, Bladen, Columbus, and Brunswick, to nearly ten times the area of lands improved. In these four counties there are 1,481,441 acres unimproved, to 165,070 acres improved.
In the next district, the pine lands, the following are the proportions:--
|Acres improved.||Acres unimproved.|
The proportion here is a little more than two-thirds unimproved, though we have some uplands in the counties named, it being impossible to separate the parts of counties. Parts of Wake, Halifax, Northampton, and two or three other counties, are not of the sandy pine land region; and, again, a good share of some of the counties of the first table were pine lands.
The main part of the State west of these pine lands cannot be separately classified, though some parts are really mountainous. Leaving one tier of counties east of the Blue Ridge to be classed with the mountain counties beyond it, we bring the rest into an aggregate:--
|Acres improved.||Acres unimproved.|
Caswell, Person, Alamance, and Guilford show the largest proportions of improved, the first having two-thirds improved, and the others about half. The average is one-third improved. Moore, Richmond, Montgomery, and Union, in the southern part of the State, show less than one-fifth of the surface improved.
In the remaining counties east of the mountains the proportion improved is much less than in this central belt:--
|Acres improved.||Acres unimproved.|
But little more than one-fifth of the surface is improved, but a share is so rough and mountainous as to preclude cultivation. It is valuable for timber and mining, however.
The counties west of the Blue Ridge have been increased in number by division since 1860, but we can only cite them as then divided:--
|Acres improved.||Acres unimproved.|
The counties of Mitchell, Transylvania, and Clay have been formed by division of the above--Mitchell between Watauga and Yancey, and the others on the southern border, from Jackson and Cherokee. In these mountain counties one-sixth only of the surface was improved in 1860.
Having gone over a number of the leading classes of material resources of the State in distinct descriptions, we may add something here of a general character, to refresh the attention of those who may read what we have written, and to enable us to add a review of the agriculture of the State
in 1867 as prepared by the Agricultural Department from the letters and correspondents in North Carolina.
In the agriculture, lumber-producing, mining, manufacturing, and almost every other pursuit, the point that arrests attention first is the readiness with which great natural advantages can be made available where capital and energy are applied. The whole surface is wonderfully rich in capacity for diversified agriculture--from the surpassingly fertile drained lands of the coast counties, to the mountain valleys of the west, there is nothing to equal the range of production. Cotton and rice; winter-grown vegetables; market garden produce; figs, grapes, and the most delicate orchard fruits of the north; grains of every kind, from rice to buckwheat; cattle and sheep raising in natural ranges almost oblivious of winter--all these are offered in a locality only twenty-four hours by rail and thirty-six by water from New York or Philadelphia. And these lands, with the cost of the labor to work them, represent but half the capital required for lands in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, or even Kentucky.
Transportation, as we have shown, represents only about three-fourths of the cost of transportation from other pro districts equally distant, and on the seaboard, railroad monopoly can never encumber it with excessive prices. The twenty ports of North Carolina are always open to the fleet of cheap carrying vessels seeking business in the coasting trade, and no combination has ever been thought of by which the natural freedom of sea navigation could be bound, up in oppressive exactions.
The following agricultural review of the State in 1867 is valuable as an independent and impartial statement derived from original sources within the State; but it must be borne in mind that it is simply a reflex of the feelings and views of the correspondents or the Department for that year. Then cotton was low in price, and those who had grown it anticipating good prices were severely disappointed. Now it is worth one-half more than then, and what is said of cotton growing is therefore to be taken with these allowances. And a like caution is to be observed in regard to other remarks on crops and production.
The Department of Agriculture in 1867 issued a circular of inquiries to as many persons as could readily be reached, soliciting answers to the following inquiries:--
A condensed summary of all the answers received from each State was published in the Monthly Agricultural Reports for the early months of 1868, and that for North Carolina in the February number of those reports. The following is this summary:--
1. Reports from forty-one counties represent a very general decrease in values of real estate (from 1860). Madison and McDowell Counties report no decrease from prices of 1860, while the latter shows an actual increase on those of 1866. Onslow reports no decrease on well improved farms, but all others estimate a decline varying from five to seventy-five per cent., and even more, especially at forced sales. As a general rule, small and improved farms have decreased less than large and neglected ones. The general average may be fairly rated at fifty per cent. The causes are variously stated, as war, change in system of labor, scarcity of money, unsettled state of public affairs, and the unrest of doubts in regard to the future.
2. Wild or unimproved lands are reported in three general classes: first, lands exhausted, abandoned, and grown up to bushes; second, virgin uplands, generally well timbered; and third, low or swamp lands, pocosin, often well timbered. The first, once fertile, can be restored in time, and by good management; the second requires only clearing and tillage; and the third needs drainage in addition. The second and third can be had at price varying from fifty cents to ten dollars per acre; the first at even lower rates. Pitch and turpentine lands abound in Duplin, Lincoln, Cabarrus, Hertford, Sampson, Onslow, and Moore Counties; and can be had at from two dollars to five dollars, according to quality and facilities for working and marketing.
"Pocosin,"or swamp lands are reported in quantities in Duplin, Onslow,
and a few other counties; in the latter one body of "white oak pocosin,"of sixty thousand acres, extending into several adjacent counties, and other tracts nearly as large, requiring combined capital to drain. Another writer says of these that "the prices are from two dollars to three dollars per acre and clearing and draining will cost as much more. They are among the most fertile lands when brought into cultivation."The principal portion of these lands belongs to the Literary Board of North Carolina. Wilkes County reports ridge or rolling lands with branch (or river) bottoms: 100 acre farms, one-fourth cleared, with cabin, running water, plenty of wood, at two dollars per acre; mountain lands well wooded, generally fertile, and water power too abundant to be appreciated, at one dollar per acre. Camden County (N. E. extremity of State), virgin forest lands five dollars, and virgin swamp one dollar per acre; Jackson County mountain lands, rich and loose in quality, much of it stony, average fifty cents per acre; Caldwell County, all timbered, and water power abundant, level lands one dollar, and mountain fifty cents per acre; Bertie County (head of Albemarle Sound) is three-fourths timbered, uplands formerly held at five dollars, bottom lands higher in price.
Lands generally of good quality and capable of high improvement exist in Duplin, Bertie, Halifax, Hertford, Onslow, Wilkes, Wilson, Macon, and Davie Counties, all offered low; the greater part of these are suitable for cereals and vegetables, fruits of various kinds, some for cotton and tobacco, and a small part for rice.
3. Among the resources that could easily be made available and profitable in prosperous times, and with a few facilities in marketing, are yellow and pitch pine in abundance, formerly profitable for turpentine and lumber, in Duplin, Onslow, Wake, and other counties; timber of various kinds suitable for building, furniture, &c., in Bertie, Anson, Hertford, Onslow, Sampson, Iredell, Madison Henderson, Montgomery, Moore, Stokes, and Burke Counties; and agricultural resources in marketable products, with a good system of farming, in all except, perhaps, Northampton and Cumberland. Besides these, iron is manufactured in Chatham, Lincoln, and Gaston Counties, and found in Randolph, Mecklenburg, Alleghany, Madison, Moore, Davie, and Guilford Counties. Gold, silver, and copper are found in Davidson; gold in Stanley, Randolph, Cabarrus (the centre of the gold region), Lincoln, Anson, Mecklenburg, (which is rich also in zinc, sulphur, copperas, and blue vitriol,) Iredell, Rowan, Franklin. Gaston, Caldwell, Moore, McDowell, Rutherford, Guilford. and Burke; copper in Iredell, Rowan, Alleghany, Jackson and Guilford; bituminous coal in Chatham and Moore, and plumbago in Wake. In most of the counties, however, railroad or other facilities for marketing will be required to make these resources profitable, and at present, even in the best locations, capital, skill, and enterprise are needed.
4. Cotton has heretofore been a principal, and in many cases the only crop in Duplin, Bertie, Northampton, Halifax, Anson, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Franklin, Wilson, and Wake Counties: but the disturbances in labor and fall in price have rendered it precarious, if not utterly unprofitable.*
* This was written in 1867, when cotton was low: now good prices are received, and the cotton crop is highly profitable. It must be observed that this summary is made up from letters of planters written at that time.
Wheat is a principal and generally profitable crop in Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Randolph, Camden, Polk, Gaston, Caldwell, Moore, Guilford, and Burke; and corn in Duplin, Randolph,
Halifax, Onslow, Sampson, Camden, Polk, Gaston, Henderson, Caldwell, Moore, McDowell, Wake, Rutherford, Guilford, and Burke. Tobacco is made a specialty in Franklin, Davie, and Person, and ground peas (or nuts) in Onslow. In nearly all the counties farming is reported at a low state in management and profits. Corn is the staple for bread in many counties. Halifax reports the yield on best lands--cotton four hundred to five hundred pounds lint; corn on uplands twenty to thirty, and on lowlands thirty to fifty bushels: but on common lands throughout the State the average is one hundred to three hundred pounds lint; twelve to twenty bushels of corn, five to ten bushels of wheat. Onslow reports ground nuts fifty to ninety bushels per acre, at $2 25 to $2.50 per bushel; and sweet potatoes fifty to sixty bushels, at $4 to $10 per barrel. Sampson reports that before the war, at its county fairs, prizes were awarded for one hundred bushels of corn and thirty bushels of wheat to the acre.
5. Drilling in grain crops is not practised in the State, except a few experiments in two counties; and the general amount of wheat is sowed at the rate of one bushel to the acre, and lightly ploughed or harrowed in. The seed wheats preferred are the earliest and hardiest procurable, and are as follows: Purple straw (called a white wheat, while others speak of "rare ripe"as a synonym, and call it a red wheat, thus causing doubt and confusion) is preferred in Duplin, Davidson, Randolph, Chatham, Halifax, Franklin, and Montgomery; Mediterranean in Randolph and Stokes; white Baltimore (pronounced very good, but rather uncertain) in Stanley, Rowan, and Rutherford; blue stem in Wilkes, Franklin, Polk, Alleghany, and Burke; Walker in Madison, Alleghany, Jackson, and Macon; Johnson white in Halifax; Orleans white in Anson; early white and "Ruffin"in Camden; red May in Mecklenburg; and Clingman in Henderson. It is noteworthy that the early Tappahannock, distributed by this department, is superseding all or nearly all these varieties as fast as it becomes known, and is now preferred in Lincoln, Anson, Mecklenburg, Wilkes, Polk, Caldwell, Davie, Person, Watauga, and Burke, for its early ripening, freedom from disease, and insects, good yield, and hardiness. Sowing is done from early in September to January, but generally in October and November. Harvesting is generally in June, sometimes extending into July. In one wheat-growing county the cradle is spoken of as lately superseding the reap hook (sickle).
6. Crab, wire, and sedge-grasses are the most common natives. Herds, meadows blue, timothy, and water grasses, and the clovers are more or less common in most counties. Lespedeza (wild clover) in Lincoln County is rooting out the segge and crab-grass. But few regular pastures or meadows are made. Most stock is turned into forest and mountain ranges in the spring, and remain there until after harvest, when it is put into the fields. On some of those ranges cattle grow fat. Regular pasturing costs from one dollar to two dollars per month; in ranges, the expense of occasional attendance and salt is from one dollar to four dollars the season, which lasts from six to eight months, and winter foddering from three to four and a half months. Little or no stock is raised in Bertie, Northampton, Anson, and Stokes Counties.
7. The long seasons mature northern winter apples too early for good keeping, but the fine Virginia and native winter varieties keep well. Only small quantities of fruits are raised in Northampton, Anson, Camden, Gaston, Moore, and Cumberland; but if there was a demand, nearly all would be found well adapted to fruit raising. The other counties are well suited to this culture, and
fruits of all kinds (except tropical) are easily cultivated and produce abundantly. In some counties the apple, in others the pear, and in yet others the peach are never failing. In many the native grapes, especially the Scuppernong, produce abundantly, and are free from mildew and rot. In Wilson the Scuppernong yields from 20 to 25 barrels of juice per acre. In Chatham apples are profitable. In Polk one hundred apple-trees yield one hundred gallons of brandy. In Alleghany apple-trees average ten bushels each, at a profit of twenty cents per bushel. In Davie an acre of apple orchard is worth from $100 to $150 annually. In Onslow fruit raising is profitable and orchards on the increase. Wilkes is claimed to be the best county in the State for good apples and cherries. In Guilford orchards of good apples, peaches, and cherries are profitable, and in several others fruit raising could be, if facilities for marketing were afforded and proper attention given to the business. In Stanley pear blight is prevented by a free application of putrid urine to the roots at the beginning of winter, and stone fruit trees protected from the borer by applying the same remedy before and while the insect is at work.
In our previous statements less than justice has been done to the value of the coal of Deep River, and particularly to its availability, both as regards facility of mining, and as regards the easy means of getting it to tide-water. This coal has a wide range of uses, being the best and most compact of bituminous coals. All such coals are in demand all along the seaboard, since none of this class is found in the great anthracite region of Pennsylvania, and the bituminous coals of Western Pennsylvania are practically almost as remote as the Nova Scotia coal. If it can be mined freely on the Deep River, therefore, and can be carried at a low cost to the shipping point at Wilmington, there is every encouragement to develop it.
On this point the following letter is so pertinent and explicit, that, although written some years since, we confidently rely on its conclusions, and commend them to the attraction of far-seeing business men and capitalists:--
TO CHARLES ILLIUS, ESQ.--
You ask me for my impartial opinion as to the capabilities of your coal-mines on Deep River, N. C., to supply the Atlantic cities with a superior and cheap gas coal, sufficient for all their consumption, and also for the
supply of the steamers now dependent on the depots at Kingston, Jamaica, for their necessary fuel: and you further ask me for details as to its cost at tide water . . . . . I must commence by stating that accident, and then curiosity, led me to examine your coal-fields before I was acquainted with you. As you are aware, I have had a long practical experience, on a large scale, in the coal-fields of Pennsylvania: a contract for engineering carried me to Washington D. C. Subsequently I was called to Raleigh, N. C. There I became acquainted with Professors Johnson and Emmons, State Geologists, and by them my curiosity was awakened to traverse the coal-fields on Deep River, at that time undefined and but little known. I was confirmed in my opinion by Messrs. Johnson and Emmons of a large deposit of the richest gas and steam coal on the river intersecting these coalfields; which, by the aid of mere flatboats, could be placed at tide-water at a nominal cost, and sufficient for all the wants of the Atlantic cities . . . . . .
As the best coal is always found in the basin of the coal-field, or at the greatest distance from the surface, and surmising from calculation that the depth of the first coal seam of importance would be found at about 350 feet, I commenced boring, about six months ago, on your estate, called Egypt, and at 361 feet I have penetrated a five-foot vein of bituminous coal unincumbered with slate, easily mined and superior to any in Great Britain, and I am corroborated by Prof. Emmons in this opinion, that at about 40 feet below this vein lies another, fully 10 feet thick. Thus, Prof. Emmons gives the quantity of coal to the acre to be 29,400 tons, and as your properties lie in this basin, of which Egypt alone contains 3000 acres, underlaid with this coal, valued at tide-water at five dollars per ton, the intrinsic value of your property is easily estimated. Professors Johnson and Jackson, who have several times explored the whole region, certify to the quantity and quality of this coil for gas, steam, and house purposes.
. . . . . The openings (of the mines) will not exceed one thousand feet from your wharves on the river; and I estimate the cost of sinking a shaft at Egypt, with the necessary engines, capable of supplying any required quantity of coal, not exceeding one ton per minute, at $85,000 to $40,000. The motive power required to carry this coal to tide-water at Wilmington or Smithville is very trifling. A proper steam tug, 80 feet long and 100 horse-power, will take six flat boats, of 120 tons each, four miles an hour. The distance to Wilmington is 160 miles, and allowing one week for each trip of 720 tons, we shall get a supply of about 35,000 tons to tide-water for an outlay in motive power, of about $18,000, or about fifty cents per ton. As there is no railroad required, and the moving is done entirely by water navigation, the quantity will only be limited by the number of steam tugs and flatboats employed. Compare this with the millions necessarily expended before coal could be brought to tidewater from Pennsylvania and Maryland, and which absorbs almost all the value of the coal at market. The further expense of taking these 720 tons per week is the wages of the men, and their keep during this time, about $88 in all, or 13 cents per ton. To this add 2.5 cents per ton toll, and five cents handling into vessel, making 43 cents per ton at Wilmington.
The cost of running a ton of coal can be contracted for, deliverable into boats, at 60 cents per ton; to which add 43 cents, as above, for cost of transportation, and the whole actual cost of a ton of coal on board of a ship at
Wilmington, or Smithville, will amount, say, to $1.03. Of course there will be plenty of back freight offering, sufficient at least to pay for contingencies; but putting this aside, and estimating the cost at two dollars per ton on board at Wilmington, it will still be cheap enough to supply our want of coal at a price to defy competition from any quarter.
Your best depot will be at Smithville, situated at the outlet of Cape Fear River, directly on the ocean, but protected by Smith's Island, forming a secure harbor. Vessels drawing 18 feet of water can enter at all times, and this port lying directly in the track of the steamers plying to the South, can enable them to complete their supplies of coal at a great saving of price, and in a port of the United States, instead of at Kingston, Jamaica, as at present.
Your coal depot will thus be, on an average, only a couple of days' sail from Charleston, Savannah, Havana and Kingston, Jamaica, all of which places are now dependent for their supplies of coal on Great Britain, three thousand miles distant. It will be also of easy access to Baltimore, Philadelphia, Newark, and Boston . . . . . .
Besides coal we have an abundance of the best ingredients for making either the finest castings, or iron suited for car-wheels; for, having our refuse coal, iron ores and flux altogether, pig iron can be made equally cheap, say $12 or $14 per ton.
For this there is a ready market, as North Carolina has been dependent on Pennsylvania for all her pig metal, at a cost of $40 to $60 per ton, including transportation, and according to quality . . . . . .
Very faithfully and truly, yours,
There has been much misapprehension at the North as to the sentiments of the people of North Carolina toward citizens from other States who come to establish themselves in business among them. Whatever may at any time have been the case in other parts of the South, in North Carolina there has never been any great degree of bitterness resulting from the convulsions of the past few years. The great majority originally Union men, and adhering to the last practicable moment to the Union cause, the people of this State have accepted the results of the war in good faith, and have endeavored to adapt themselves to the changed condition of labor as promptly as was possible. It is their wish to forget the differences for which they were not originally responsible, and to enter on a new career of business activity, in which not only will the losses of that time be restored, but a wider and more enduring basis will be laid for their further prosperity in the future.
It has sometimes been remarked, that the earlier undertaking of Northern men in mining and other enterprises in the South were not kindly received, and that losses resulted which need not have occurred had the people been entirely friendly. No doubt, there is some ground for this impression as to some portions of the South, though we believe very little in North Carolina. In 1865, it was too early to expect entire quiet, and a cordial acceptance of results so painful to many in the South, and it was not wise to assume that for which no reasonable ground existed. But the conditions in 1869 are greatly changed. The people of both North and South have learned to discriminate, and to separate the irresponsible persons among each who are always foremost in creating differences. Earnest business men, and responsible citizens of the North, will be welcomed in North Carolina with peculiar cordiality, and will be aided in every proper enterprise by the best wishes and most active exertions of all with whom they come in contact.
For this assurance there are ample evidences and abundant instances within our personal knowledge. The day of mere adventurers has gone by, and whatever was done immediately after the war, there are now none of that objectionable class travelling or going there. Skilful mechanics seeking employment are not adventurers, nor are plain people who wish to apply their energies to new fields even without capital. The class who wander about to prey upon and deceive any part of the Southern people, and particularly those who went there to foist themselves into position by pretended special friendship for the newly-emancipated colored men, very naturally encountered suspicion and hostility. Still worse, they, in an equally natural manner, drew down on many deserving men from the North the odium which was due themselves only. It is true, that there should have been more discrimination, but it would have been surprising if there had been an absolutely correct course under circumstances so well calculated to confound meritorious people with those who have no merit.
But all this is of the past. There is no longer in existence the sore and sensitive public feeling which remained after the
close of the war. All visitors to North Carolina are emphatic in their testimony to the frank and generous spirit with which they are met by all classes. There is no difficulty in engaging colored laborers in the eastern counties, and in procuring any number of workmen required in the greatest enterprises. In the central and western part of the State labor is even cheaper, and great numbers, who cheaply subsist themselves by small farming, are ready to take hold, at very moderate wages, of any new work started up among them.
These white people of the western counties bear a most enviable reputation for sobriety and good character generally. They are particularly ready to engage in anything that will bring money into their country--very moderate wages in money go far with them in practical results. There is no more effective place to wield ready capital in cutting timber, in opening mines, in farming on a large scale, or in any conceivable pursuit. We trust that not two years more will pass without this dormant human power being brought into requisition, and with it, the vast water power of the great interior rivers to which we have before referred.
In a spirit of wise liberality, several of the railroads have arranged to reduce freights and cost of travel by about one half, to all actual purchasers of property who proceed at once to occupy and improve what they purchase. We have before us the "Proceedings of a Convention of the Presidents, Superintendents, and other Officials of Southern Railways, for the promotion of Immigration to the South, held at Atlanta, Georgia, January 4, 1869." At this convention all the leading roads of the Southern States were represented, and although, no absolute rule of a general character could be adopted, the understanding was, that each road would, for itself, make directly favorable terms for immigrants and business enterprises in the district traversed by its line. Among the proceedings was a resolution reducing the freight on bone-dust, guano, and all manufactured fertilizers, to one and one-fourth cents per ton per mile for all distances; a very important item to the agriculturists of all parts of the South. The tone of their recommendations in regard to ordinary freights and fares, was that, as we have said, each
road should endeavor to aid actual enterprises by giving them the advantage of half freights and half fares for all that lay along the line of, or whose business naturally came upon any road. As the proper discriminations and distinctions in such cases can be known only to the managers of each road for all that would relate to its own business, the adjustment was, by common consent, left to each to make for itself. We are assured that there is great readiness to show liberality in this way, particularly on the railroads in North Carolina, and we urge, both on the roads to give, and on business men to ask and improve the opportunities so afforded.
A year of liberality to an enterprise for the establishment of a mill or manufactory, or for the opening of a mine, might turn the scale with a doubting purchaser, and might make a purchaser, who would only purchase to hold without improving, without the offer of some such facilities, decide on putting a considerable sum of active capital into use at once. The result would be a permanent benefit to all concerned, while, if left embarrassed by difficulties of access, there would be little or nothing done, and no public good realized. We therefore say to both parties, that their highest interest lies in liberality--in liberal offers or facilities by those who have the control of railroads, and in liberal investments by those who control now, or who hereafter purchase these dormant properties in lumber tracts, water power, coal and other mines, and even the farming lands.
As some guide to the railroads themselves, as well as a proof or the general character of the movement to aid immigrants and business men establishing themselves in the South, we give the following list or Roads, Presidents, and Superintendents participating in the proceeding, or replying favorably to the circular of invitation:--
The following report of the committee appointed to prepare business for the Convention, expresses their wishes and feelings so clearly that we transcribe it here:--
"The committee appointed to prepare business for the Convention, reported as follows:--
Mr. Chairman: Your committee, in considering the subject referred to them, beg leave to state, that fully appreciating its importance in reference to the interests of the railways of the South, as well as the general interests of our people, would have preferred more time for the consideration of the duty assigned them, but have agreed to submit the following recommendations for your consideration and action.
"It is a fact well known to this Convention, that the rate of passenger fare on Southern railways is much higher than on those of the Northern and Western States, and that in addition to this they have a reduced rate for immigrants, and special trains for their accommodation.
"The great importance of this traffic to them, not only as a source of revenue, but as the most direct means of increasing their general business, by rapidly settling up the lands of the far West, as well as those contiguous to their own lines, thereby securing a permanent business, is well understood by them, and no effort spared to secure this end.
"Special agents of the different nationalities, thoroughly competent and trustworthy, are employed, whose duty it is to look after the foreign immigrant upon his landing on our shores, and direct his movements over the particular line which the agent may represent.
"Railways in the far West are projected and built upon the single idea of the enhancement of the value of lands contiguous thereto, by the flood of immigration thus skilfully directed by them to their doors. We should profit by their example.
"There is evidently a strong disposition on the part of Northern capitalists to invest in the rich mineral hands of the South, in manufactures, and other enterprises. We should encourage this disposition by all the legitimate means in our power.
"No richer field for the various enterprises indicated, can be named than that of the South. With the immense fields of coal, iron, copper, and marble comparatively undeveloped, her immense water power yet unimproved, with her cotton fields in sight of the grain and cattle region, find her genial climate, all combined, makes the South the most inviting field for capital, enterprise, and immigration now unimproved.
"It should be our duty to ourselves, as well as those whose interests we represent, to bring these facts to the attention of the capitalists, the manufacturers,
and the agriculturalists of the Northern States, as well as the foreign immigrant, that at least a portion of this capital, immigration, and wealth of labor, may be drawn to our section.
"To accomplish this we must publish to the world our extraordinary and really wonderful advantages, and the cordial welcome that the South offers to the Northern citizen and foreign immigrant. The mere publication of facts will not, however, accomplish this end.
"The capitalist cannot be expected to venture upon an investment until he has first seen in person that our representations are true.
"The manufacturer will not invest his capital with us, building up towns and cities, until be has verified our statements by personal observation; nor will the farmer purchase our lands until he has first examined their productiveness. Neither will the foreign immigrant come among us until we have convinced him of the many advantages we offer him, following up that information by tendering him the aid and assistance so freely offered by the enterprise of the North and West."
The action of this Convention resulted in the issue of the following important circular, and although, by its terms, it is limited to July 1, 1869, it is understood that it will be continued at least for some months, if not a year later:--
Parties expecting to procure Certificates will be required to conform to the following instructions to Agents:--
The object of the Convention held in Atlanta, Ga., Jan. 4, 1869, as set forth in the resolutions and unanimously adopted, is to induce travel south for the purpose of investigating the extraordinary opportunities now offered for profitable investment in that Section.
It is not contemplated to SELL the excursion ticket or certificate to parties applying for the same, but simply to issue them when satisfied that the party will in good faith comply with the object sought to be attained by the Convention, viz.:--
That of examination for the purpose of investment.
The presentation of the certificate at the ticket offices of either of the roads named as agreeing to the rates, will entitle the holder to purchase tickets at two (2) cents per mile.
Conductors will also recognize the certificate, and pass the party holding the same at the stipulated price per mile.
The certificates will be issued under the following rules:--
what ground the same is issued, also the name of the party or parties who may vouch for him. Stamp each certificate with your official stamp.
Chairman Standing Committee.
After the Agent is satisfied you intend to use the certificate for the purpose for which it was issued, you will be presented with one which gives you the names of the Roads and Hotels in the South who have agreed to the reduction.
Up to a recent period, and to some extent during the year 1867, there remained some soreness on the part of employers, and some carelessness of consequences on the part of the freedmen, which interfered with the regularity of their work in all the counties where dependence must be had upon them, But a year later there was a great improvement, and now, in 1869, the now order of things is as fully established as could at any time be expected. There is practically no difficulty in engaging permanent labor in any part of the State. All who live by labor find the necessity to seek employment quite pressing enough to insure the acceptance of reasonable wages, by whomsoever offered.
In the eastern and southern counties generally, the colored population is nearly equal to the white, in but very few counties being in excess. In some twenty-five counties, including Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Caswell, Chowan, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Edgecombe, Franklin, Gates, Granville, Green, Halifax, Hertford, Jones, Lenoir, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Person, Pitt, Richmond, Sampson, Warren, and Wake, the average is very nearly the same of colored and whites. There are no counties in which a mass of colored people are found to the exclusion of whites; Halifax, with 10,821 colored and 5765 white, and Warren, with 4923 white, to 10,803 colored, being the extremest cases. And probably the state of things in 1860, from the census of which we take these figures, represents a larger number of colored than would now be found.
In the central counties the colored population in 1860 numbered from one-third to one-fourth of the number of white; while in the mountain counties the number of colored was, and is very small.
Several counties east of the Blue Ridge have also very few colored; particularly Alexander, Surry, Wilkes, Catawba, Polk, &c.
In the entire State there were, in 1860, 631,100 whites to 361,512 colored. We can only estimate that there is at least a greater number of whites, in proportion, in 1869.
It is noticeable that fewer conflicts have taken place in North Carolina in the course of the recent delicate and difficult process of harmonizing life-long differences with a new order of things than in any other State of the South. This fortunate result has been due to the sound judgment, and resolute good faith with which the responsible white citizens have met the emergency. They deserve the good opinion of citizens of other States, and they will always be found to understand and appreciate a public duty. We can, therefore, confidently say to capitalists and business men who go among these people to purchase and improve any properties, that they will be met with warm and cordial friendship; and will find every facility placed within their reach that the country can supply. Whatever class constitutes the laboring force of the district, fair wages will promptly put it in motion. Trained miners, iron-workers, and manufacturers of every class abound in the mining and manufacturing counties. In the planting counties the original laboring people remain, and are ready to supply every call for cotton or rice planting. In the pine lands and the cypress lumbering districts, there are thousands of laborers there, mostly colored, who have spent their lives in these pursuits, and who are acclimated as well as habituated and skilled in the requisite degree.
In what we have here written we have confined ourselves to North Carolina, but much that has been said would apply to the adjacent parts of South Carolina particularly, and in some degree to Virginia and Tennessee. It is clearly easier to enter or leave the central and upper portions of South Carolina by way of Wilmington than in any other way, or by any other route. The short Wilmington and Manchester Railroad goes to the heart of the State, and at least a large area along the northeastern border of South Carolina finds a more natural and easy market at Wilmington than anywhere else. In the table previously given, showing the trade of Wilmington, the quantities are so large as to imply a considerable receipt over this Wilmington and Manchester Road from adjacent parts of South Carolina. Some of the items were:--
|Cotton||in 1868||31,828 bales.|
|Cotton Yarns and Cloths||in 1868||759 bales|
|Rough Rice||in 1868||18,447 bushels.|
|Rosin,||in 1868||463,113 barrels.|
|Spirits of turpentine||in 1868||94,918 barrels.|
|Crude turpentine||in 1868||22,343 barrels.|
|Lumber||in 1868||19,194,662 square feet.|
|Timber||in 1868||47,399 cubic feet.|
|Shingle||in 1868||3,983 M.|
|Staves||in 1868||1,145 M.|
|Tar and Pitch||in 1868||47,410 barrels.|
Interested as we are in the general development of the resources of this part of the South, we chose North Carolina, and its commercial representative, Wilmington, as centres and points of readiest access. Through them we believe that many other districts can be easily reached, and particularly to see South Carolina favorably is best accomplished by way of Wilmington or Charlotte, North Carolina.
In Virginia the whole border from Norfolk westward to the Mountains is a continuation of the lands we have described in North Carolina, namely, the swamp and drained lands of the coast, a sandy tract next, but inferior to the magnificent North Carolina pine forest; fine tobacco lands along the Roanoke to Danville, at which point a natural centre for tobacco production exists, with a standard market.